Sunday, May 12, 2019

A hard thing to learn.

I'm about to be super vulnerable and share a piece of my heart that I've never been comfortable putting out there before.
But if I needed to experience this - I know I'm not the only one.
Agree with me on how I'm handling this or not...
We will all experience dissatisfaction in our marriage at one point or another.

On this side of eternity I am certain of at least one thing:
God will use my marriage (as messy, selfish, lacking and troubled as it sometimes can seem) for His glory.

For me, this is some pretty heavy stuff and I am no where near having all the answers.
I've struggled immensely with feeling our marriage is completely one-sided, focusing on all that I do that my husband doesn't do and even feeling incapable of loving him the way that I'm supposed to as a wife.
I don't even know how to tell our story without over complicating it by drawing it out so much that it rambles through all the hard parts..
Or over simplifying it by skipping all the gory details and planting us right where we are at this time.
Believe me, I've tried.
I've written pages and pages then closed the book and put it right back on the shelf.
I've listed all of the ways I've been wronged and held them over his head.
I've sulked, pouted and silently wished our marriage had that never ending pursuit of the other person.
I've wondered "what's wrong with me", "does he feel anything toward me" and "what are we even doing"?
"why us?"

In all honesty, why NOT us?
Our marriage is just as affected by the consequences of sin as anyone else's.

Here we are, 9 years in to being married, and I've only recently felt led to dig deeper into God's perspective on  marriage: the why's and the whole design of it. I've just never thought to question it.
Not that I doubt it - but looking for more in terms of what can I do to fix something that isn't where it ought to be.

I'm learning: I can't expect my husband to be someone he wasn't made to be.

It can be so easy to forget that our spouses will never be able to "complete" us OR meet the demands of our highest expectations OR fill in all the empty spaces that only God can.
My husband isn't God - and giving him that high of a position in my life was destroying the way I saw him.

I had always set myself up to be let down - by looking to my husband to nourish and fulfill me in the ways that only God can.

Almost a year ago, I was broken, hurting and in need of being rescued.
Our marriage had been suffering for a while on the inside but on the outside, it was business as usual.
Only, I felt like I was completely by myself and nothing I was doing was working.
No one really talks about all the hard stuff.
I didn't even want to acknowledge it because that would give it a name and make it that much harder.
I always push things down and try my best to get through it on my own.
I didn't want to talk about it because that would mean a confrontation.
And when I get upset, the words in my head just don't come out right.
Sometimes the weight of everything continues to build - creating an avalanche threatening to send me over the edge.
Alone, resorting to the last thing I knew should have been the first thing I reached for, I turned on worship music. A playlist I created years ago for when I would read my bible. It had been quite a while since I'd done that too.

I don't even remember the song.
But I remember feeling it grip me and being brought to my knees.
I couldn't even sing along because the words kept getting caught in my throat.
All I could do was sit there and cry.
And that is the exact place where God met me and pulled me back up to my feet.

I handed it all over to God because it was the only thing I hadn't done.

He spoke to my heart and in a matter of seconds filled me with peace and hope in a way that no one on the face of this planet is able to.
I know this isn't usually the case but for me, at that minute, on that day, in the stillness, I heard His voice speak words that I clung to so fiercely.

"I am ENOUGH for you. I am all you need."

and that was it.
Those words put my whole world back into the right perspective.
It makes more sense now than it did then but I was flooded with all the ways I wasn't turning to God in the midst of blaming my husband for not being all of the things I expected him to be.
The problem wasn't with him - it was with me.
I was putting WAY too much responsibility on my husband to cover distance and bring us together in ways that only God can.

It's still a journey but its easier to understand how someone can feel totally alone in their marriage.
I was looking to the wrong relationship for fulfillment.
My husband did try to point this out to me in subtle ways but of course I always dismissed them.
And then one day, it just made sense.

In my search just this week I stumbled upon a series of posts from Focus On the Family
Marriage: God's Idea.
Another one of those eye opening, earth shaking, heart clinching moments happened again.
One of those times where it's totally a "God thing".

You see, sometimes I still feel slighted because we don't have a "conventional" love story.
It wasn't "love at first sight".
I never got the romantic, well thought out proposal.
I never experienced with my husband a wedding with meaningful vows surrounded by family (we signed a marriage certificate, it was notarized and taken to the court house).
I never had a doting fiance/ husband that longed to hold my hand, be near me or fell over himself to put my needs above his own...
We were married simply out of "duty" because our child needed a complete family to grow up in since he went through U-Turn for Christ when I was 8 months pregnant (until Hailee was almost a year old) and wanted to do what was right for her and us (him as a new, baby Christian - he was an atheist before this). < how was that for oversimplifying things ;)
I've since accepted this as God's will for us and understand that I will stand by my husband because it is God's plan for our lives and I want to be obedient to that.
It hasn't really even been an issue any more.

When I got to the 4th post in the series, Reflecting Our Relationship with God, it's focus was primarily on us as believers: God married us both corporately as the Body of Christ and individually as sons and daughters - "who He loves with such intensity that He was willing to let evil men torture Him on a cross in order to win our hearts"

The part that grabbed my feelings the most??

And there is was -
my romantic, well thought out proposal, one that came from the ultimate example of sacrificial love.
One that I could put all of my hopes and expectations in.
Along with the most meaningful wedding vows anyone could imagine - spoken right to me!
This is where the healing reached past the years of hurt and covered me with the love that I so desperately ached for.
Why hadn't I seen this before???
probably because I wasn't looking for it.
and probably because God reveals things to us in His own perfect timing.

Even now, things get hard. Marriage is hard because it's supposed to be selfless - that doesn't come naturally.
"Behold, I am making all things new" Revelation 21:5
Because if anyone can restore and transform my heart, HE can.
And whatever God has planned for our marriage, I trust that all of this messy stuff will be used to show others His glory and grace and mercy.

Monday, April 29, 2019

Thieves Essential Oil: Stay Well.

Let's get this party started - and not spread any funky germs around while we're at it!

Cold and flu season is ANYONE'S worst nightmare.
And who could blame them? No one likes being sick.
No one appreciates the dreadful sore throat that precedes all the sickness which has yet to come..
the cough, fevers, stuffy nose, runny nose, sore nose from blowing it over and over again, can't hardly breathe, sinus pressure, sinus drainage, which leads to nausea and hopefully not actually spewing out your insides...
And let's not even mention missing work, your kid missing school, cabin fever from being locked in your quarantined quarters, then having to deep clean the entire house, ridding it of contagion.
And Man flu can be even worse than having a sick child.
you don't have to answer that - I'll do it for you.
Its. The. Worst.

Getting sick is an inevitable part of life. Unfortunately, our bodies were not made to be indestructible.
Because germs. They're not all compatible with Us.
Those little boogers hide on surfaces better than my child, playing this game of hide and seek 9 years ago... she was a hiding genius!

This child was NEVER one to put things in her mouth when she was itty bitty.
And my parents blessed my socks off by watching her while I went through nursing school so she didn't have to go to daycare at such a young age. I can never thank them enough for that!

THEN, there was PRESCHOOL.

Oh, the 3 and 4 year old years. They were funny! My child kept me laughing because that is when she said the funniest things ever.
But, they were also those years where no one washes their hands..
Where they eat their boogers..
And come at you with their snotty noses, because you are a living, breathing Kleenex in their eyes..
Where all things having to do with the TOILET are soooooo fascinating..

Where food on the floor is just as enticing as the food on their plates..

Where they drink out of other kids' cups because they want to see if it's different than what they have..

Where all animals need to be "explored"

Where they sneeze at your face in the middle of a conversation and don't even bat an eyelash, but expect you to say, "Bless You, child"..
Where they cough with their mouths WIDE open..
Yep, those years where you pretty much own stock in Lysol Wipes and that suffocating aerosol spray that is supposed to rid all surfaces and air of GERMS.

That is where my search began.
A search for something, ANYTHING, to boost our immune systems.
The more natural, the better.
Enter, Thieves Essential Oil.

This stuff is amazing. As in, kept people from dying while there was a little sickness called, The Plague, which was dropping people with no effort what so ever.
And yes, there is a legend behind it. Myth or not, it's still pretty interesting - because essential oils work - so hard!

Around the 13-14th centuries, the bubonic plague had Europe, Africa and Asia in a death grip.
The Black Death.
It was devastating. It killed whole towns. Doctors couldn't even keep up with it. The middle ages medicine had NOTHING to combat it. They were at a loss; and lost so many.
Somewhere around the 15th century - there were 4 thieves (in France maybe?) that took to robbing plague dead and dying victims of all their worldly possessions. In and out of those highly contagious dwellings and they never came down with the plague. Eventually - they were found out and taken into custody.
At their hearing, the judge was so amazed that none of them came down with the deadly disease that he offered them a "less harsh" sentence in return for their secret of staying well amidst plundering through the belongings of the diseased and dying.
What was the secret???
They had herbal knowledge of the medicinal properties of a special blend of oils that when used together, killed airborne bacteria and prevented them from catching the plague. Some stories say it was a blend mixed with vinegar doused all over their bodies. Other stories say it was a special mask they put the blend on that covered their mouths... it's just a story, a legend, the humble beginnings of this powerful blend of oils.

Young Living Thieves Essential Oil Blend includes:
Clove, Lemon, Cinnamon bark, Rosemary and Eucalyptus.
POWERHOUSE blend for immune system support.

As you know, there was no way for me to justify us spending Roger's hard earned money working at the Landscaping company to support our small family while I was in school and NOT working.
Young Living was way too expensive for my Hamburger Helper budget.

But I was still curious.
I did get that tiny little sample packet (maybe 5 drops) of YL's Thieves Essential Oil from a friend but that was in no way the answer to long lasting immune support. The key to essential oils is consistency. You can't take one vitamin and say, "I'm healthy!"
It isn't a quick fix. It has to fit into your daily routine.

And, as you know, I later found a similar product on Amazon, and it didn't smell half bad. But I didn't know what all was REALLY in it. I only diffused it. I did not trust it enough to put it on or IN our bodies.
Fast forward to 2017, I made the decision to get my Premium Starter Kit from Young Living and start our oily journey.
And we haven't looked back!

My MOST FAVORITE roller to give my friends is the one I use all the time for our immune system support. I call it the "Be Well" roller. Not only does it smell super amazing, but it keeps those nasty germs from sinking their gangly bacterial/viral tentacles into our bloodstreams and respiratory tracts.

Yes, we still get sick from time to time, but it definitely shortens the time that we are sick.
It lessens the symptoms and speeds up our immune response/ recovery. It purifies the air when diffused.
My "Be Well" roller is:
1 10 ml glass roller bottle
15 drops of Thieves Essential Oil
10 drops of Frankincense Essential Oil
5 drops of Lemon Essential Oil
5 drops of Peppermint Essential Oil
topped off with Organic Fractionated Coconut Oil.

It's a good one!
When I first found this recipe and put this roller together, I did not use it daily.
It was all still so new to me. I was just trying to figure it out.
Then, I found myself with a sore throat one morning. That never means good things!!
This is usually the first sign I have that something's "off" and I'm about to get full blown S.I.C.K.
Immediately, I pulled out my little roller and rolled it alllllllllll over my throat and chest.
Not long after, the sore throat that threatened to give life to some kind of illness slowly eased off, never to return.
Praise the LORD!!

There is a WHOLE line of Thieves Essential Oil products through Young living.
All purpose cleaner, foaming hand soap, antibacterial hand cleanser, Thieves spray, dish soap, dishWASHER soap, laundry detergent, fruit and vegetable wash, oral stuff: toothpaste, mouthwash, dental floss, bar soap.
All chemical free! All natural.
Y'all, I know there are more things but these are the few that come to mind.
I actually had a whole post already written out 2 weeks ago, but cannot find the notebook I wrote it in so I'm totally winging this as I go   ;)
Thieves is good for cleaning EVERYTHING!
Germs, you better recognize what I have in my oily tool box and hit the road!
Or else.

Maybe you're one of the sweet friends that I've gifted one of my favorite wellness rollers to.
Maybe you're wondering what all this essential oil stuff is all about.
Clearly, the use of essential oils  [natural, herbal, God given resources] has been around for centuries and their medicinal properties have been used in numerous ways.
Yet, people are skeptical and weary about using them?? I don't get it.
It's not a NEW thing.
If you have questions about oils, I'm here! Just let me know!
And if I don't have the answers, there are numerous resources and other people that will have them.

Maybe you're ready to jump in to the oily life style.
You can do that too..
{this is where it all starts}

Be well my friends, and stay well!

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Lavender Essential Oil: basically the answer to almost everything.

If you were to ask me which oil I use the most, I could answer you faster than you could even finish that sentence..
If you were to ask me which oil is in every single one of my monthly Essential Rewards order...
Not necessarily my favorite, but most definitely my most used essential oil.

We use Lavender Essential Oil in some way every day.
Whether it's in one of our night time diffuser blends, a main ingredient in a roller we use often, on a mosquito bite, scrape, minor burn, or mixed with Epsom salt for unwinding in a relaxing bath at the end of the day...

Lavender is one of the most versatile oils in my oily tool box - no wonder it's also known as "The Swiss Army Knife of Essential Oils". It's uses are endless.

Lavender is distilled from the Lavandula angustifolia plant.
Young Living has farms all around the world where they grow their plants and bottle up all that goodness.
Young Living's Lavender Farm and Distillery is located in Mona, Utah.

Can you picture how beautiful this must look?? Not only that, but how amazing this must smell??
What about now??

When my friends went to Young Living's Yearly Convention last year, they WENT to this farm and got to do all kinds of amazing things with these beautiful plants.

The first time I opened my premium starter kit, I looked at all those oils and thought, "I can't wait to start using these but what the heck do I do first?!?!"
Of course, after opening all of those little bottles and smelling them, I found a diffuser recipe list I got from my oily friend when I signed up for my kit.
In the diffuser went: 3 drops of Lavender + 3 drops of Lemon + 3 drops of Peppermint.
This is the most commonly used blend to help support those seasonal allergies. It gives you a non-toxic way to help kick all those pollen woes to the curb. And it smells amazing! It was a great first combination to diffuse.

Alone, Lavender smells fresh, floral, calming and grounding. It is gentle and comforting.
This is why most of the time, it is used for sleep support.
Our favorite blend to diffuse at night: 4 drops of Lavender + 2 drops of Cedarwood + 1 drop of Orange (sometimes I leave this out but I LOVE ME some orange essential oil!!)

But the list of things it helps with does not end there...
Looking for something safe to put on bug bites and insect stings? Lavender.
What about keeping the pesky gnats out of your eye balls/ nose/ ears/ mouth? Try Lavender, Peppermint and Purification mixed together (a roller bottle is my favorite way to use oils) and used around your hairline and ears.
A chemical free spray to keep Pests Away?? 
In a 2 oz glass bottle, add 10 drops of Lavender + 10 drops of Eucalyptus Radiata + 10 drops of Purification + 10 drops of Lemongrass. THEN, add a splash of alcohol free Witch Hazel and Distilled water. And Spray Away!!!
Were you out in the sun too long and now you can feel the burn? Use Lavender + some Aloe Vera Gel to cool it off.
Did you get a minor scrape or burn? Drop Lavender Essential Oil right on your skin after touching a hot surface or getting scraped. Lavender Essential Oil is adaptogenic and helps your skin work with your body to heal.

Straight out of one of my Oily Resource Books, Essential Oils Pocket Reference (7th Edition)
when looking up information on Lavender:

"The French Scientist, Rene Gattefosse was the 1st to discover lavender's ability to promote tissue regeneration and speed wound healing when he burned his arm in a laboratory explosion" (p.80)

because it works, y'all.

Do you want to boost eye lash growth naturally? Add a drop of Lavender to your tube of mascara to support fuller, longer lashes.
Is the baby stuffy and can't sleep well? Diffuse Lavender + Peppermint at bedtime.
Feeling frazzled in high times of stress? Use lavender to promote calm feelings. My favorite "Mood" roller is Lavender + Frankincense + Stress Away: 10 drops each then topped with fractionated coconut oil. We all need a mood adjustment sometimes.

Ditching store bought dryer sheets and want to move toward a chemical free lifestyle? Get some wool dryer balls and add a few drops of Lavender (or whatever other scent you prefer) and use them in the dryer. Go ahead and freshen up that laundry!
Want to beat the heat with some fresh Lemonade in the Summer? Add a drop or 2 of Lavender Vitality Essential Oil right to your glass pitcher and mix it up! Use only in glass or stainless steel. (The Vitality line oils are the ones with white labels - like the one on my Frankincense above - which means it's safe for ingestion)

So much support from such a tiny bottle. I'm pretty sure we have a bottle of Lavender Essential Oil in every room.

Looking for more info on Young Living's Lavender Life??

No wonder this is included in your Premium Starter Kit. It's the one I ran out of first!!
If you think it's about time to add Lavender Essential Oil into your daily routine, you're right ;)
You will not be disappointed until the bottle runs out and you have to get more!
As always, the first step is having a need.
All the possibilities are definitely awaiting you!
Get your Premium Starter Kit and experience it for yourself. [right here]

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