The Adventures of Salt n Peppa

Tracy and Sonya have made it a point to do something fun together to celebrate their December birthdays. This is one such adventure… | By Sonya Finley and Tracy Daugherty

Our story begins with a small group ice-breaker exercise. The question was who had a tattoo. It ends with a two-inch needle purposely driven through the soft delicate tissue of two very cute noses …


[Sonya] It was a simple question. “Do you have a tattoo?” Yet my answer, “No,” launched a rather energetic dialogue of the possibility of getting a nose ring. I just got off work and the energy was not mine.

[Tracy] Well it was mine. I had thought and dreamed about it (a nose ring) for a long time. I loved the look of the little diamond in other women’s noses. I felt like, “Now is the time!” There was a lot of synergy, and the folks around us got on board with it, so I said, “Let’s do it!” Besides, if it didn’t work out, I could ditch it if I wanted to. I liked the idea it that it did not have to be permanent.

[Sonya] I thought too about nose piercings on and off. I never quite got up the nerve to do it though. I mean, hey, it took me until I was in my mid-forties to get a third hole in my ear, and that was done only because my sister-friend took me herself. So in the face of Tracy’s enthusiasm, what could I do but go with the energy of the moment and commit to the plan?

[Tracy] Nothing to do but to do it. This was our time, and we committed to the plan.

Once the decision was made, each of us had to find our place of peace with it. This was a pretty significant act, right?

[Tracy] I had decided that I wouldn’t do it without the full approval of every member of my family. My family’s agreement was most important.

[Sonya] I was not necessarily seeking approval—I have long since stopped consulting other people when making decisions regarding my image.

[Tracy] Everyone was okay with it except my youngest son, Hudson. He told me he would never forgive me if I got a nose ring. I was disappointed, but it was important for me to listen to and respect his thoughts. I did not want to make him uncomfortable.

Tracy was adamant that she would not do it if it offended anyone in her family, and so with her son’s voiced objections, Salt n Peppa’s adventure was halted (and the crowd goes, “Awwww.”)

[Sonya] Sometime during Thanksgiving, I get a text stating, “Miss you! My son has given his joyful consent to the nose ring, so let’s lock down the date!”

[Tracy] It was during our trip to Palm Springs. My son came to me and said, “I can actually control if you get a nose ring?” I said yes, and he said, “Ok. You can get one.” After getting a big smooch, I immediately texted Sonya to give her the news.

It was on now! (And the crowd goes, “Woot! Woot!”)

[Sonya] Body piercing is a much different affair then just getting your ears pierced. After some serious research, we decided upon a little place called Body Piercing by Tracy. Yeah, Tracy liked the name.

The shop was great. The sales clerk was kind and attentive. She patiently answered every question Tracy had. Sometimes twice! Our piercer was capable, knowledgeable and professional. Our ease did not last long.

img_0666[Tracy] Sonya convinced me to go first. I am glad I did or I would have chickened out! Did you see that needle?







img_0691-1-1[Sonya] Lucky me, I witnessed the needle before I experienced it. I could have used a teddy bear to hold on to when it was my turn. Tracy offered to hold my hand but I settled for closing my eyes. Then, O.M.G! The pain! When it came, and it did come, it was swift and took over the right side of my face. Tears fell unhindered as I waited for it to pass. It did go away eventually, but only to be replace with a lovely throbbing ache that lasted for about three days.




img_0696There are many reasons why women make changes to their image: dissatisfaction, rebellion or a response to a momentous life event. Change can be as simple as a new dress or as complicated as a totally new look. Sometimes the desire for change is so strong, satisfaction only comes when the transformation is reflected in some sort of external symbol, such as a cute little nose ring.

My partner and I sat in my car after our liberating experience and reflected on our personal motives for taking such a distinct step.


[Tracy] I did it because I have always wanted to. I thought it would be fun doing it with a friend. Of course, being the woman of Scripture that I am, I had to find validation in the Word, just in case someone questioned me. Passages from Ezekiel 16 speak of God redeeming and beautifying us with symbols of his ownership. Verse 12 (NKJV) says, “And I put a jewel in your nose, earrings in your ears, and a beautiful crown on your head.” Okay, for all the Bible scholars out there, I know this passage is pushing it, but I liked it.

[Sonya] My decision was a bit different. I simply want my outside to reflect my most authentic inside self. As I get closer to 50, I am no longer satisfied looking, acting or being like what I have been told I should. I was not created to be anyone else but me. Not being me would be doing God a disservice.


img_0697We did this great thing! Now, there were opinions galore before we did it, but once it was done we found that most people did not notice. Those that did, loved it. And in spite of hard work to keep it clean, we are having fun with it.

Until our next adventure,
Sonya and Tracy





View More: to Southern California, Pastor Tracy Daugherty heard the Lord call her to full-time ministry at age 15. She and her husband, Pastor Dan Daugherty, met in 1991 and have partnered in ministry for over 25 years. Together, they have pastored in Olympia, Washington and Fairfield, California. They now shepherd The Father’s House Church which they planted in 2003 in San Marcos, California. Their family includes their daughter Drew and husband Ryan, their son Dawson and their son Hudson.



sonyaSonya A. Finley (SonyArletta) is an artist and designer currently working “undercover” at North County Transit District and will soon be moving over to the San Diego Airport Authority. She is a proud mother of four young men: James, Kevin, Joshua and Johnathan. Sonya attended US International University School of Performing and Visual Arts, where she majored in Advertising Design. She received her Associates in Fashion Design from FIDM and her Bachelor’s in Fine Art (painting emphasis) from Mississippi State University.

All Ya Single Ladies


Well, it’s that time of the year again. The time, more than any other, which reminds you of the fact that you are doing life, solo. You may be totally content in your singleness the rest of the year, but when Valentine’s Day comes around, it brings up a heaping wave of emotions most of us would rather not admit exist—let alone deal with. We find ourselves morphing into either a weeping willow who bursts into tears at even the smallest mention of love or the super strong “I-don’t-need-a-man” single woman who is actually a weeping willow swimming in “De-Nile” river. (Get it?)

Regardless of how you feel about it, Valentine’s Day does not have to be a day of avoidance. The following is a list of do’s and don’ts to survive Valentine’s Day as a single woman:

  1. DO plan ahead. You know it’s coming, so have a strategy. Decide in advance what you will be doing on that day. A day off at home, under the covers, eating chocolate, watching re-runs of Friends? Perhaps a self-care spa day? Shoe shopping spree? Movie outing? Whatever it is, plan it to give yourself something to focus on and look forward to as Valentine’s Day draws near.
  1. DON’T join in with a “hashtag: we-don’t-need-a-man” single ladies’ night out. This may seem empowering, because (and I quote), “Hey, I don’t need a man. I am fine on my own” (said with an attitude, 2 snaps of the fingers and a head roll, of course). This sentiment is more than likely false. Whether you say it is a want or a need, the desire for companionship is real, not to mention normal. Denying it, no matter how honorable the intent, will leave you feeling hollow once the evening is done.hearts
  1. DO celebrate the love that you have. I mean, isn’t that the reason for Valentine’s Day? Rather than concentrating on what you do not have, pay attention to what forms of love you have been blessed with. If you have children at home, love on your children. Do something special with them. Or plan an event with family members who are also flying solo. Be creative! Buy some of those cheap Valentine’s Day cards we used to get when we were in grade school and pass them out to your favorite people. And do not forget the little candy hearts with the cute sayings on them.
  1. DON’T be that single chick that hates on couples celebrating the day. No, they probably will not be sensitive to your feelings. Yes, they will probably spend a lot of time telling you what sweet things their sweetie has done and what awesomely romantic plans he has planned for them. But that is okay. Smile, be gracious, and acknowledge their blessing. BUT, if you just cannot take it, nothing beats a well-timed retreat—like the need to get back to work, the phantom call that needs to be made or the ever-popular bathroom run. Girlfriend, do what you gotta do to keep your sanity!
  1. DO, do something nice for yourself. Something that celebrates the love you have for you. Try this: At least a week prior, order a nice bouquet of your favorite flowers to be delivered to you on Valentine’s Day. Be sure to include an encouraging note to yourself and sign it “Someone who loves you.” Display those flowers proudly. And of course, when someone asks you who sent them, just smile wistfully and say, “My secret admirer.” The flowers will brighten your day. The encouraging message will lift your spirits. And the bonus, if you bought a nice arrangement, someone will want to be you that
  1. DON’T go out with a couple no matter how well intentioned they may be. Can you say awkward? (Yes, I rolled my eyes.)
  1. DON’T, as if it needs to be said, go out on a double date with the previously mentioned couple to meet someone they think will be “perfect” for you. Say it with me now, “Train Wreck!” Decide now that you will not be that desperate.
  1. DO find someone to talk to. If you find you just cannot handle being alone on this love-filled day, find someone you trust and talk out your feelings. Meet for coffee or dessert or both. Get a good word from them and some prayer. End on a positive note so you leave feeling uplifted and inspired.
  1. DON’T schedule a first date on Valentine’s Day. Online dating is a wonderful thing. It broadens your horizons and allows you to meet some great people outside of your immediate circle. However, if you find yourself communicating with someone you think you might like, do not meet for the first time on Valentine’s Day. Trust me on this. Your romance colored glasses will put a red and white amorous haze on how you see EVERYTHING! You will envision (or expect) an uber-romantic evening full of wonders that spark a beautiful, long- lasting relationship. The reality is that this was the only day you were both free, and he just invited you for coffee at the Starbucks up the street.
  1. DO, above all else, be honest with yourself. Be real about how you feel. If Valentine’s Day brings out the sad sap in you, accept it and create a way to get through it. A way that works for you. Understand that your desire to have a companion is normal and when you don’t have one, you may feel lonely. And that is normal, too. It does not make you weak; it does not make you pitiful. It makes you a woman who understands and accepts her season and that is more than okay.heart-and-book

Let’s face it; living single in a world geared toward couples can be a little rough on a sistah. And the idea of navigating solo through a day that specifically celebrates couples can make a girl want to curl up under the covers and stay there until it is over. Yes, you will be lonely. Yes, there will be times the desire for companionship will feel like a weight on your shoulders, and yes, the struggle is so real. But you got this! Do not despair. There is joy to be had in your oneness. You are in a time of freedom where the possibilities are endless. Embrace all this season has to offer. Get up and go. Do yo thang. Live life and live it more abundantly!



Sonya A. Finley (SonyArletta) is an artist and designer currently working “undercover” at North County Transit District and will soon be moving over to the San Diego Airport Authority. She is a proud mother of four young men: James, Kevin, Joshua and Johnathan. Sonya attended US International University, School of Performing and Visual Arts, where she majored in Advertising Design, she received her Associates in Fashion Design from FIDM and her Bachelor’s in Fine Art (painting emphasis) from Mississippi State University.

Spice-up Your Love Life

I can give you all of the fluffy ways to spice up your love life, however, I want those of you who are reading this to hear truth. | By Kim Henson

When I was asked to write a blog about how to spice-up your love life, I thought, “This will be such an easy topic to write about because I think Kirk and I have enough spice to flavor the world.” But as I prayed and thought about the topic, it occurred to me that I needed to truly examine my marriage and bring Kirk into this too. Before I let you know what works for us, I want to tell you a little about our story.

unnamed-1I met Kirk 23 years ago. I knew immediately that he was the one for me, but little did I know what God was going to do in our lives to restore what had been broken in our past. We were both going through horrible divorces at the time, and I had two children that needed a good male role model. When I look back, I realize that God had an amazing plan, but I decided to help Him a bit. When I intervened, there ended up being a lot of bumps along the way, as you can imagine. But God restored us and answered my prayers the day we said “Yes” to each other. We will celebrate 20 years this October! We have never looked back … well, most of the time.

I can give you all of the fluffy ways to spice up your love life, however, I want those of you who are reading this to hear truth. What works for Kirk and I, and always has worked, is communication–physically and emotionally. As wives, we must learn what are husbands are all about: what they like, don’t like and everything in between. I’m not just talking about the bedroom … I’ll get to that. We need to know the core of what makes our husbands who they are. Here are some practical ways that have worked for us.

  • Pray for your husband always. You may be saying, “I know that.” But are you really doing it? There are great books out there that have specific prayers that you can read every day for your husband. It is one of the most powerful tools you will ever have. I suggest Power of a Praying Wife by Stormie Martian and A Wife’s Prayer: Seeking God’s Best for your Husband by Pamela Hines.


  • unnamed-2Plan weekly dates with your hubby that are fun. Take time to experience some things that he likes to do. This will go far, I promise. Talk about a budget for this. The dates don’t have to be expensive. It’s so important, especially if you have kids.
  • Be confident in yourself! No matter what we look like (after four kids), your hubby truly wants to know if they are pleasing us. It may seem like they only want one thing, but I can assure you, if he thinks he’s a king in the bedroom, he will respond to you differently. Ladies, get naked! Let him see you. I know it’s difficult when we see all of the flaws, but I promise he will only see the beautiful, confident woman he married so long ago.
  • Wear cute pajamas to bed. You don’t need to wear that uncomfortable stuff from Victoria’s Secret (unless you love it). But no more t-shirts or those flannel night gowns. In fact, get rid of them even as you are reading this.
  • unnamedThink about him before he gets home from work. Look up from your crazy day and make eye contact with him so he knows you are happy to see him. Text him during the day and tell him something ‘naughty’ (whatever you feel comfortable with). I’ll be honest, I’ve sent him text pictures and then I pray my kids don’t go through his phone.
  • Most important–talk, talk, talk. Be interested in the things that interest him. Tell him your dreams, desires, everything. Be engaged.
  • Have sex! Don’t set your expectations too high, just get together physically. I know how tired we can get raising kids, going through menopause and dealing with body issues. But try to push through and enjoy your hubby. What will it hurt? You may really enjoy it. Try new things as long as you feel safe together. It’s ok because God created sex to be the most enjoyable gift He gave to marriage.
  • Talk to someone you trust who has been where you are. Don’t talk badly about your husband, and never listen to someone that doesn’t have both of your best interests at heart.

If you are in a place where you don’t know where to turn because you feel unheard, unappreciated, or worse, thinking that life without him would be better, please talk to someone. Don’t give up. It can be great again. This is the man that you said “yes” to so many years ago–that feeling doesn’t just go away. We might put that feeling on a shelf sometimes. Take it down, dust it off and start enjoying one another. It can only get better. When people ask Kirk, “How do you keep your marriage going?” He says simply, “I show up every day.”


unnamed-3Kim Henson have been doing this incredible journey of marriage with her best friend, Kirk, for 20 years this October. The joy of their lives is their family. They have four amazing kids: Jon (32), Tyler (29), Camille (17), and Connor (15). Tyler and their daughter-in-law, Nellie, have their two beautiful grandbabies, Ava (5) and Eli (19 months). Kim loves to spend time with Kirk, her favorite person on this planet. In this season of life, she helps Kirk with the family business and volunteers at her kids’ school. She and Kirk also serve in their church as elders, and they host a marriage life group. She loves spending time with friends and family, going to the movies, working out and traveling. But most of all, she tries not to take herself too seriously.