I’m Excited for you, 2020!

I’m Excited for you, 2020!

I’m a bit late welcoming in the new year blogger-style, but I welcome it all the same!

Day 1 – A day of rest … getting over staying up past my bedtime! Day 2 – Back to the daily grind! Day 3 – Reunited with a dear friend and stayed wayyyy longer than I probably should have. It was a sweet connection and a great way to begin the new year! Day 4 – Today. The first weekend of the year. New Mindset – New Commitments to Old Resolutions – New Business Growth – Same ‘Word of the Year ‘: INTENTIONAL (Connecting with more dear friends tonight, by the way.)

Last year, especially, I felt God had given me the word ‘intentional’ as my word of the year. This year is no different, yet it is. Same word – better committment.

Last year I wanted every minute to be filled with purpose. I didn’t want any wasted idle time or talents or opportunity for knowledge or betterment. Did I fulfill this resolution? Somewhat but, of course, I slacked at times.

This year is the same except for the fact that l’m learning from last year. Last year the learning curve was great in regards to my intentionality. I almost felt guilty if I did anything that was fun, thinking that this was just wasted idle time.

I’m going to do things differently this year with the same purpose for the word but with a better, more free mindset and with greater commitment. This year I am going to focus on the Seven F’s: Faith, Family, Finances, Fitness, Friends, Fun, and Future.

I’m still trying to figure it all out, but there will be intentional time for every seven ‘F’s’, with ‘fun’ time being intentional without feelings of guilt. Also, there WILL be some sacrifices that I will have to make in order to be successful in these areas, but again, I will be intentional about WHERE these sacrifices must fall. I just have to make certain to cultivate the life how God directs me and seek Him first in ALL things to ensure that these sacrifices are made in the areas in which HE directs.

Not every single minute has to be filled with something productive. With my personality and makeup (the way God made me), REST + down time + alone time are the ways in which I was made to RECHARGE. If I don’t get these times, then I cannot recharge and I am good for nothing or no one. This is how God made me and I do not need to feel guilty about it, all the while making sure to use this down time in a constructive manner for the sole purpose of recharging.

THIS is why I have not been ‘all in’ with my business or social media, etc. over the first few days of the new year (not that anyone has noticed or even cared). I want to make sure my priorities are right and not feel like I ‘have’ to be, whether in my business or in my life, what the status quo shows for the moment.

Having said all of this, I am EXCITED about 2020! The year 2019 brought many great things in my life and in the life of my family, and in my business as well. For that I am so very thankful and grateful to God, for He is the Maker of all things good. However, my mindset is totally different this year. Although my purpose was the same last year, this year I am starting off recharged, ready to go, ready to do whatever it takes to be intentional MOST IMPORTANTLY in my spiritual journey (Faith) and in the other 6 F’s as well!

Side note Regarding the Fitness ‘F’: I started January 1 with a mindset of starting Yoga as part of my new daily exercise regime. I did one, yes one, Downward Dog – and not even a full one at that. I quickly realized that I definitely need to invest in a yoga mat or my nose will end up face planting in the hard wood floor! But hey, that’s one more than I did last year, so ‘Go Me!’ 🙂

I would LOVE to hear your thoughts about the new year, what you learned from last year and how you are planning to do things differently this year. Please leave a comment and let’s learn from one another! (When you stop learning, you stop living!)

Happy New Year, friends! (Now, go get that second Downward Dog!) lol

May God do exceedingly, abundantly more than you could ever ask or imagine according to His power at work through you!!

XOXO,

Ephesians 3:20

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Your Worst Enemy

I’ve been enjoying our Christmas tree since the day after Thanksgiving. Does it seem like ‘decorating day’ is an endless day?

1. Moving around the furniture in order for everything to fit just right, making sure there is balance.

2. Hauling everything down from the attic, spreading everything out & then living in chaotic organization until the decorations are precisely placed

3. Then the subtractions, additions + the rearranging which always accompanies the many days to follow. It’s never ending, it seems!

I wonder…

What if we were as deliberate with people and with matters of true importance as we are when we decorate for Christmas?

You know… moving around our schedules to make sure others ‘fit’? Taking the pains to ‘haul’ off or help carry the weight/burdens of others? Shifting our mindset from self and the present situation in order to see the bigger picture? Looking to make decisions based on the greater good rather than on our own selfish desires or concerns or feelings? Making those hard decisions even when it is uncomfortable?

“Where jealousy and selfishness are, there will be confusion and every kind of evil.”

James 3:16

👆 This needs no commentary. It states it perfectly…

Selfishness = Confusion+Evil

A dear friend of mine, when I was in a period of complaining, once said to me “Dana, you are you own worst enemy.”

I was focusing on myself too much, concentrating on how I felt I had been wronged or was in a desolate season thinking God was not hearing my cries.

I was waiting & waiting for something to happen, for God to fix the situation, but I was not able to get beyond a victim mentality to see what God was doing in the midst of it all — for the greater good — for His Kingdom. How fitting it is to speak of now as we are in the season of Advent and studying what it means to wait on the arrival of our Savior, don’t ya think?

I never forgot those words of my dear friend & sister in Christ. She and her words helped shape me and turn my way of thinking around many times since then to focus upward rather than on self.

We can either focus inward, on ourself & on our own selfish ambitions & desires and ‘woe is me’ mentality, or we move out of the way and let God do His perfect work THROUGH us, through OTHERS around us, & through each situation in which He has placed us.

It’s not about you (or me).

Stop focusing on your own feelings, how you’ve been wronged, or on what is wrong with the world around you.

Help stop the chaos + confusion. Ask God for wisdom + revelation to know His plan for your life in this situation & how you can make a difference or even grow from it.

Stop being your own worst enemy.

(I’m preaching to myself, again, btw.)

Ordinary People

Ordinary People

An ordinary people… that’s what I am.

*WARNING: transparent post ahead*

Todd and I were talking this morning, about many things … well, about everything, really. It is one of my most favorite things to do… to just sit in the stillness of the morning and spend time with one another discussing life.

One of the things that has been on my mind lately is my little side hustle with Young Living. To be honest, I truly don’t like referring to it as ‘my side hustle’ because it has become a lifestyle for me. Actually, it’s not even a lifestyle but rather a large part of my life. I have incorporated this wellness lifestyle into my life journey so much so that it is just the ‘norm’ for me and my hubby.

Having said that, one of the thoughts that has plagued me recently is that there are so many ‘oilers’ I’m connect to or follow that are doing so well building their businesses, and it just seems effortless for them. (‘Seems’ being the key word.) Many are already well-known bloggers or influencers who already have such a large following that it appears to be so easy for them to reach so many people and be able to touch and educate a vast group about the benefits of these natural, 100% pure products. That is truly wonderful, seriously, because I feel that as many people as possible SHOULD be informed about these God-given remedies.

However, this is an area of discouragement for me because I can’t reach that many people. I feel like I am stuck in my own little IG community with an open door that leads to nowhere.

I am one person.

I don’t have a vast following.

I am not an influencer, per say.

I am a blogger (part-time) but I am not successful, per say.

Do you know what ‘per say’ means?

It means ‘by itself.’

I am not these things I mentioned above, per say, but with God, I am. Todd reminded me of that this morning.

When I mentioned my discouragement, he immediately responded without hesitation, “God used ordinary people to be His disciples and do great things.”

*drop the mic 🎤

Let’s face it… these successful bloggers and influencers that I speak of are most likely those ordinary people whom Todd spoke of that God is using for His glory!!

How quickly I have forgotten why I wear my mustard seed bracelet 24/7… I never take it off! (Purchased from Marianne at Gracefully Wrapped.) My ‘faith as a mustard seed’ should not be compartmentalized and practiced only in certain areas but it should consume every area of concern in my life.

No… I am not all these things, but with God, I am.

I am what HE calls me to be for such a time as this.

I absolutely CANNOT take my eyes off of Him for one minute, because when I do, I make it all about me.

It’s not about me but rather about the God I serve.

I am not… but I know ‘I Am.’

Thank you, Todd, for that reminder.

Go out today and be ordinary, but allow yourself to be open to God and do great things for His glory.

“Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.” Matthew 6:33

Passion in a Picture

Passion in a Picture

He wanted me to ride out to the baseball field with him.

“But, of course I will!”

I couldn’t help but snap these pics of his silhouette as the sprays of water collided with the rays of sun, making for a very “My life in a square” moment, and one that was very quintessentially Todd!

This picture captures him to the core showing his passion, not in the throws of a heated battle nor in the excitement of a victorious win, but rather in the quiet stillness of a solemn golden hour.

Develop a passion for learning. If you do, you will never cease to grow.” -Anthony J. D’Angelo

His passion runs deep.

He still continues to grow… because he is still excited about learning.

And he still makes my heart go puh, puh, puh…

The Turtoise Testimonial

The Turtoise Testimonial

Let’s travel backwards for a minute, shall we?

  • PIC 1: MAY 2019
  • PIC 2: EASTER 2018
  • PIC 3: JUNE 2011
  • PIC 4: MY WELLNESS STATION

There are some who know I use essential oils and have commented “You better not share that you’ve stayed above the wellness line anymore” whenever I’ve ended up below the wellness line from time to time.

I get it… I claim to use these ‘awesome’ oils & end up getting sick??

*Guys… these oils HAVE kept me above the wellness line, no doubt about that, and I’ll always proclaim that because it’s not just words I’m speaking… it’s my real life I’ve been living!

I’ve never claimed that they are “cure all – end all” remedies.

Scripture says it rains on the unjust AND the just! Likewise, even when using these oils, I will get sick at some time or another because that’s just life. I’m around people… people have germs… I’m in the environment… I’m not in a bubble; But if I can do something to help prevent an illness or reaction or to support my mental, emotional and physical health or remove things (toxic products) from my life that are endocrine disrupters, you bet your bottom dollar I’m going to do it.

And let me just add that I am not against modern medicine. I still consult with my doctor whenever I add a new Young Living supplement into my daily regimen just to make sure that it doesn’t have an adverse reaction to the modern medicine that I HAVE to take on a DAILY basis! I have the best doctor in the world; he has more knowledge in his big toe than I would ever know what to do with if I possessed it! I trust him fully and completely and I will always seek his medical advice. 

But… if I don’t HAVE to take modern meds and can combat issues with the plant-based remedies that God put here on earth for us to use, I’m all about it!

I have this one life to live. God has given me this one temple to use for His glory, so I am (in the words of my dad) determined to do my part here on earth and let God take care of the rest.

I am beyond thankful for my Young Living products… I can’t even put into words how grateful I am. I don’t want to push them on anyone… but those things I love, I love to share with others.

I started this wellness journey circa May 2018 incorporating an AIP diet as well as implementing the ‘ditch & switch’ lifestyle which includes mostly Young Living products and essential oils. I’m still progressively making the switch as it takes some time, and I, myself, am still a work in progress learning as I go.

But just look through the pics …  see the progression of how my wellness journey is going … and tell me I’m crazy.  It may be a slow progression, and I may be in turtoise mode, but slow & steady runs the race! 

Have You Heard?

Have You Heard?

Mother’s Day Gift Ideas

Mother’s Day Gift Ideas

It’s been a minute since I’ve had the time to sit down and blog, and boy, how I have missed it so!

Today’s struggle brings me here…. the Mother’s Day perfect gift.

Do you struggle as much as I do with knowing the perfect gift to give? I want my gifts to be thoughtful and to not only be something the receiver loves in the moment but will also know the thought and love behind it.

Well…I looked to Amazon to help me out, so I thought I would share a few of my favorite finds on here!  If I love these items, I thought you might too! And there is still time to get it in time for Mother’s Day, especially if you are an Amazon Prime member!  So let’s see how Amazon is going to help us out this Mother’s Day…

The Echo Dot — I thought this would be a nice thing to have!

  • Amazon’s most popular smart speaker, improved for richer and louder sound. 
  • Voice control your music – Stream songs from Amazon Music, Apple Music, Spotify, Sirius XM, and others. You can also listen to audiobooks from Audible. 
  • Ask Alexa to play music, answer questions, read the news, check the weather, set alarms, control compatible smart home devices, and more.
  • Connect with others – Call almost anyone hands-free. Instantly drop in on other rooms in your home or make an announcement to every room with a compatible Echo device.
  • Voice control your smart home – Turn on lights, adjust thermostats, lock doors, and more with compatible connected devices
  • More!


Ring Video Doorbell 2 with Echo Dot 
– I’ve wanted one of these for a while now!

  • This bundle contains the Ring Video Doorbell 2 and the Echo Dot (3rd Generation).
  • Works with Alexa to illuminate and send announcements to Echo devices when your doorbell is pressed or motion is detected. You can also see, hear, and talk to visitors through Echo Show or Echo Spot.
  • Get next-level security and convenience with the all-new Video Doorbell 2. Armed with motion-activated alerts, 1080HD video and two-way talk, Ring lets you watch over your home and answer the door from anywhere. Day or night, rain or shine – you’re always home.
  • Monitor your property in HD video, and check-in on your home at anytime with Live View on-demand video and audio.
  • Echo Dot is a hands-free, voice-controlled device with a small built-in speaker. Dot connects to the Alexa Voice Service to play music, make calls, send and receive messages, provide information, news, sports scores, weather, and more—instantly.

Isn’t this the neatest little thing?? And it’s much less expensive than I would have thought it would be!

 

Olive / Avocado Oil Sprayer

Mistro Brushed Aluminum Olive Oil Sprayer –  Okay….this may seem like a strange gift, but I saw this the other day and thought it was genius!  One thing I’ve been trying to do is eliminate as many toxins from my life as possible, and those non-stick sprays that you can buy at your local grocery are FULL of chemicals! Those chemicals get on your food and then you ingest them!  This sprayer is exactly what I need!

  • MISTO is a reusable oil spray and mister bottle that gives you the convenience and health benefits of typical aerosol sprayers but in a more healthy, economical and environmental way
  • Fill MISTO with your favorite oils, vinegars, lemon and lime juice and other liquids. Great for dressing salads, breads, or cooking
  • Easy-to-use pump style cap features a 2-step operation: simply pump the container, then and press the valve on the pressurized sprayer for an even mist
  • Environmentally friendly, the non-aerosol sprayer doesn’t use chemical propellants, and it’s refillable, so no more throwing cans away to end up in landfills.
  • MISTO is BPA-free – threading the cap on incorrectly allows air to escape and in turn does not allow the bottle to build up pressure to spray

This is PERFECT for EVERY kitchen!

 

Lifaith Microfiber Makeup Remover Cloths
Lifaith Microfiber Cloths

Lifaith Microfiber Makeup Remover Cloths – Every girl needs one of these in their life!  I do not own this exact one, but I remove my makeup with a microfiber cloth every night, and it is AWESOME!  Removing your makeup is almost effortless, especially when using the Young Living Mirah Cleansing Oil.

 

 

 

 

Mirah Cleaning Oil

Young Living Mirah Cleansing Oil – This cleansing oil is another good gift choice! I have used nothing else to remove my makeup every single night for the last couple of months! It leaves your skin much more moisturized than using regular makeup removers, and it is non-toxic and great for your skin! (If you order, use enroller/sponsor #16228899).

 

hair bands for washing face  Sweet Super Soft Caroset Wash Cosmetic Headband

For when she is washing her face with  the Mirah Cleansing Oil and needs to keep her hair dry, or when she is putting on her makeup in the morning, or if she just wants to keep her hair off her face … this is perfect! I use mine daily!

Anne Klein has a TON of gorgeous watches for women that are so affordable, you might could even grab two!  Here is a list of just a few of my favorites that I found (and saved on my wish list for future reference for myself!)

Can you tell I’m drawn to the same color tones?  They are just so pretty!!

This is a great bag for any mom, as we all know that every mom, no matter if you are a mom of littles or a mom of biggies, needs a carry-all bag that fits all the extras in there for the whole fam!   (snacks, kleenex, lotion, brush, dental floss, etc. etc.) Ammiright??

Personalized Charm Necklace – Perfect for moms of new littles, older littles or even biggies… this perfect charm necklace will hold the names of her children close to her heart.

Does the mom in your life love the farmhouse decor like I do? Here are a few ideas to help her add to her farmhouse collection!

Farmhouse wreathBoxwood Wreath

Rustic Wall SconcesRustic Wall Sconces

Crazy family pillowLittle Bit of Crazy, Lot of Love Pillow

Farmhouse Tin Plants CanFarmhouse Tin Plants Can

Farmhouse Striped Kitchen Towels Striped Kitchen Towels

Artificial Lavender Plant Artificial Lavender Plant

Buffalo Checkers Plaid Cotton Linen Pillow Buffalo Checkers Plaid Cotton Linen Pillow

3-Tier Galvanized Serving Tray3-Tier Galvanized Serving Tray

Farmhouse scaleAntiqued Farmhouse Scale

Distressed Metal ChairsDistressed Metal Chairs

Vintage Floral Wood PlaqueVintage Botanical Wood Plaque

Well… there are few ideas, and especially for the farmhouse decor lover like me!

I hope this might give you even a little bit of help in the little bit of time we have left until that special day!!

Blessings,

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Sixteen Years…

Sixteen Years…

16 years ago, on January 7, my Mom went to her eternal home.
Oh, how I miss her, but oh, how happy am I for her to be where she is!
 
I penned a little poem in her memory… just simple little questions that I’ve often asked her in my mind, and longings that never die.
—-
Sixteen years in heaven…
what does that feel like, mama?
Does it look or smell any different there;
Is it pretty with a sweet aroma?
 
Sixteen years with Jesus…
Were you greeted with embrace?
Does He look you in the eye,
Does He talk to you face to face?
 
Is there a chair for you to sit in…
Or do you float upon a cloud?
Does music play nonstop?
Is it soft, or is it loud?
 
Do you tell Him all about us…
The ones you left on earth?
Your friends and your dear sweetheart,
and of those you’ve given birth?
 
Sixteen years without you
seems to be a long, long time.
I miss all things about you…
your laugh, your love, your time.
 
Time, they’ve said over and o’er,
Should help to ease the pain.
That may be true, alas,
but it’s more loss to me than gain.
 
But, Oh, how I would not call you down
from the life of bliss you’re in
To ease my life of selfishness
just to have you back again.
 
I’ll see you once again, dear mom,
and our other loved ones too
Who share that side of heaven…
all those we’ve bid adieu.
 
I’ll keep your legacy alive
by doing what you’ve taught.
And teach your words on down the line
and doing what I aught
 
By seeking God in everything,
to trust Him and obey.
And when I’ve finished my final race,
I’ll see you again someday.
Ushering In 2019!

Ushering In 2019!

“Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.”          Isaiah 43:18-19

Happy New Year!

I can’t believe we’ve ushered in another year. I’ve just gotten accustomed to it being 2018, right? It flew by faster than I ever imagined.

My goal.

I shared these words 5 years ago but this is still my wish for today.  I am making it my resolution for 2019 + every year going forward.

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Declutter/Detoxify/Simplify (whatever you want to call it) > the mind…the body… the heart/soul… the home.

Whether it be simplifying or decluttering your home, simplifying your calendar, decluttering your mind, removing yourself from the noise around you, or detoxifying your body which is a temple…This involves Discipline in every area. As it says in 1 Corinthians 6, everything is permissible, but that doesn’t mean it is beneficial. Everything is permissible, but it shall not have power over me. Whatever my hands find to do, I pray I do it well. Whatever I share with others, I pray that it is beneficial and all for the glory of God. I pray that my life as seen through your eyes (most importantly in God’s sight) be Kingdom-minded drawing others closer to Christ as I live my simple but very blessed life!

Do you have a New Year’s resolution or goal that you are trying to achieve? I’d love for you to share what it is!

“The Lord bless you and  keep you;
25 The Lord make His face shine upon you, And be gracious to you;
26 The Lord lift up His countenance upon you,
And give you peace.” (Numbers 6:24-26)

P.S.  Below is what I shared on my Instagram wellness account that pretty much mirrors what I penned above.  If you get a chance, check out my Instagram accounts: alifeblessed, alifeblessedessentials, and alifeblessedimages.

 

Happy New Year

God has not granted me time just to waste it.

God has not given me a temple just to destroy it.

God has not given me passions for MY glory but for HIS.

Everything that touches my hands, goes through my lips, enters my mind and my body, and slips into each second of my time…may it have purpose.

Happy New Year, friends!

It Just Takes Time

It Just Takes Time

98 year-old Thurston Frazier, Todd’s granddad – a/k/a ‘Daddy Pete’.

Every time we leave Alabama we don’t know if it will be our last with him, but God keeps gracing and blessing us with yet another sweet visit.

This right here…

This scene right here sums up all he desires, to spend time talking and reminiscing with his loved ones.

To see Todd and Daddy Pete talk and laugh and go over story after story after story, and usually the same story due to his dementia…it just hit me all of a sudden what precious memories we are making.

Oh, I always know how precious these sweet moments are, but it just hit me in the gut today for some reason.

It doesn’t take money to make precious memories. It doesn’t take anything big or fancy. It doesn’t have to be jaw dropping experiences. What does it take? Time. That’s all it takes to make sweet precious memories that will last a lifetime. Time together…that’s all.

Most of the time, the more simple the scene the more heart-stopping memories. I’ve enjoyed making memories with other family and friends over the last couple of days. I’m missing those whom we can’t connect with over the holidays. I’m looking forward to making more memories with more family over the next few days. Beyond that? I don’t know what tomorrow holds…none of us do. But I do know this: My vow for the new year forward is to take advantage of these moments and make memories with loved ones…those near and far, because each day that passes is a day we can’t get back. As I type this I am reminded of my sweet mother who has been with the Lord 15 years (will be 16 years in January.)

Precious memories, how they linger…

A Little Bit of Mustard Goes A Long Way

A Little Bit of Mustard Goes A Long Way

I pxfgvqatjsfvipybkfrzwas reminded this morning that a little bit of mustard goes a long way.  Just a Lil dab ‘il do ya!  Now, I love mustard, A LOT, and I can use quite a bit on a hot dog or a burger and never miss a beat — it’s soooo good! But have you ever just put mustard on your food of choice and it ends up getting everywhere unnoticed?!?

 

Our staff prepared lunch for our church members one day this week – burgers and hot dogs – and as I was eating mine, it seemed like the mustard just multiplied like the bread and the fish!!  I mean….it was oozing out the side of my sandwich, was all over my fingers – on both hands, mind you – was on the palms of my hands, it covered my napkin – front and back – and STILL had the promise of landing in places I wouldn’t find until later that day!  I love mustard, but puh-lease!! Somehow it always seems to find a way to multiply!

Yes…mustard does seem to multiply, but I’m not actually talking about the kind you spread on your food.

Mustard seedAs much as this is the case for yellow mustard, so is the case for the simple mustard seed.  I wasn’t just blowing smoke when I said I was reminded this morning that a little mustard goes a long way.

 

My Bible reading this morning took me back to the lunch this week and reinforced the promise that a little mustard (seed) goes a long way.

IMG_4157-03-11-18-10-10This is just one of the Bibles I use during my quiet time, and it has been my favorite for years. You may not can tell, but the Bible cover is basically what is holding it together. It is the New Century Version with devotions by Max Lucado.

As I picked it up to read out of Matthew this morning, I found Matthew 17:20 underlined with a name and a date written beside it.

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This took me back to February 2007 when we were praying for a dear lady who was every bit on the brink of death, but the faith of those who steadily prayed for her on this tough journey was enough for God to let us know that He still had plans for her on this earth! Praise God, she is alive and well today and a daily walking testimony of His healing!

Jesus began this verse in Matthew by saying “Your faith is too small,” but in verse 17 above it, he says “You people have no faith…how long must I be patient with you?”

Did you get that? —>>  “...NO faith…”

He then continues in verse 20 by saying that “if your faith is as big as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. All things will be possible for you.”

I’m no theologian, but my take on this scripture that claims ‘your faith is too small’ means ‘you have no faith at all’!  If all it takes is the faith of a mustard seed, as small as it is, then having too little faith means we don’t have any faith at all.

Why don’t we trust God more?

I’m guilty as charged.

There are many things in which I’ve been trusting God for a while now, and there will continue to be those things that only He can make come to fruition. After all, it is Him who is in ultimate control, but I confess that my faith waivers at times. When things don’t happen soon enough, I tend to let my flesh take over and fail to be “… joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer” as we are commanded to do in Romans 12:12.  Allowing your flesh to take over is dangerous, for then you are not working in God’s power but your own…and you have no power.  This can only end up one way:  disastrous.

About a year ago, I purchased a couple of items from Marianne at ‘Gracefully Wrapped‘, a site that I happened upon around that time on Instagram.  I made the purchase, a mustard seed necklace, for a friend who found out that there were multiple complications with her unborn child.  I bought it for her as a reminder that we would be praying for her child and her family during this difficult season of life.  I am a visual person, so I bought that to serve as a visual reminder to give her a bit of hope every time she looked at it.  I am happy to say that a year later, this little miracle is at home and doing well.  She still has to be under 24/7 medical care, but the fact that she is home with her family is nothing short of a miracle!  And, might I add, she is the most precious, adorable little miracle … with a face that brightens any room and a smile like a cup of sunshine!  We are praising God for what He has done in her life and the testimony she is speaking on a daily basis without even saying a word!

While I was making the purchase for my friend, I decided that I could always use a visual reminder for myself as well.  My item of choice was this mustard seed bracelet.

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I wanted something that I could see every moment of the day…not just when I put it around my neck.  I know the item itself has no powers at all, of course, but mine has served as a daily reminder of that little piece of faith that is required to please God, for ‘without faith, it is impossible to please God (Hebrews 11:6). I use this bracelet DAILY as this specific reminder and have found it very useful in grounding me for the moment and bringing me back to God’s promise that all things are possible with Him.

I never take this bracelet off.  I even shower with it on, but I don’t suggest that for everyone! (haha)  I do put coconut oil on it afterward to help keep it conditioned, but I keep anticipating the day it will fall off my arm! Hopefully, Marianne will have plenty in stock for me to replace it!  I love Marianne’s products so much, I’d like to put in a little plug for her Gracefully Wrapped Etsy shop.  It isn’t just her products I love so much, I love what she stands for and her sweet, gentle spirit, and you can see that in every piece she makes.

So, with the help of Marianne and her mustard seed bracelet, I am reminded every day that I must have faith in God for those things which I petition in prayer daily.

Whether it be yellow mustard or a mustard seed … it doesn’t take much.

A little mustard goes a long way.

Do you find your faith waivers when it seems like an answer isn’t in the near future?

For what are you trusting God in your life today?

Blessings to you today,

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Purpose over Profit

Purpose over Profit

“Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute.  Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.” 

Proverbs 31:8-9

I mentioned last week about being a part of a teaching on Wednesday nights at church called ‘Counter Culture’ by David Platt.

This past week was a teaching/discussion on ‘human life’ which covered abortion, sex trafficking and the like.  Todd, my husband, facilitates the class so he is reading more material than that required of the participants.

After viewing the video and reading the material covered in this particular session, he was overwhelmed at the statistics and facts he discovered, especially in regards to sex trafficking.  Not only was he overwhelmed at the statistics, but his heart was breaking for those children who were made slaves to this devastating practice.  I can’t remember the statistics, but most of the children made slaves to trafficking are around the age of 9 years old. This fact alone, not to mention all the other ugly details, was one of those things that was so devastating to Todd.  He is a PE teacher for classes Pre-K through 4th grade. His 3rd graders are around this age. To imagine this kind of debauchery forced upon these innocent children was just too much to bear.

Right before class on the evening of this particular lesson on human life, I was going through some Young Living materials.  If you know me, then you already know I’ve recently fallen in love with essential oils and Young Living is the brand I chose.  I chose YL based on the longevity of their company as well as the purity of their oils and their ‘seed to seal’ promise.  In reading this material, however, I found even more reasons to love Young Living. The Young Living Foundation provides “wellness and education opportunities to underserved communities” through seven different projects, one of which is the ‘Hope for Justice’ project.  The mission of ‘Hope for Justice’ is “to end human trafficking and slavery, in our generation.”

Now, I do not think it is a coincidence that I found this material on the same night that we were to discuss this very issue, and this is just one more reason to love Young Living even more.

I try to do as much research as I can when taking a plunge as big as the one I took when I became a part of the Young Living family of essential oils.  I felt as though I did enough research to justify choosing Young Living over other reputable companies, but having learned of their projects to help empower underserved communities has now made me even more sure of my decision.

Of course, anyone who is in business HAS to make a profit in order to survive, but Gary Young, the founder of Young Living, says this: “I don’t make a product for a profit, I make it for a purpose.”

Young Living - purpose over profit
photo shared from onebreathatathyme.com

Dory from onebreathatathyme.com breaks down the YLF purpose beautifully by giving insight to each of its projects.  Click here to read not only about the YLF purpose but also her backstory leading her passion for it as well.

I’ve shared one of my favorite Bible verses with you before, but I deem it fitting to share it again now:

  ” … he who waters will himself be watered.”

(Proverbs 11:25)

Pic for 'Purpose over Profit' blogIf you’ve been interested in essential oils but aren’t quite sure about pulling the trigger at this point, click here to learn more about them.  You can also ask me any questions and I will help you any way I can.  If I don’t know the answer, I will find out!

If you know you are ready to get started with essential oils, click here!

 

Blessings to you today,

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One Had Everything, One Had Nothing

One Had Everything, One Had Nothing

“Being kind to the poor is like lending to the Lord;
He will reward you for what you have done” (Proverbs 19:17-NCV).
Todd is leading a Bible study every Wednesday night called Counter Culture by David Platt.
Counter Culture
Last week’s session was on wealth and how we should be content with what we have all the while being willing to give/share even more of what we have to those around us who need it.
We’re all familiar with Philippians 4:13 that says “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”, right? Well, have you read the verses that precede it? We take this scripture mentioned above and use it for whatever situation where strength, or the like, is desired (#guiltyascharged). However, the scriptures preceding it puts it into perspective for us.
“Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me” (Philippians 4:11-13).
—>”… in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content ….”
– drawing strength from the Lord.
Let that sink in.
Observation:
Keep the highest standards for God in your thoughts and actions, keep your mind on Christ, and gain contentment. “To live is Christ, to die is gain” Philippians 1:21.
May we practice dying to self and sharing our wealth (whether it be money, food, time, etc.) with those around us who are in need; and may we be more aware of the needs of others and less self-aware as we do all things through Christ who strengthens us.
*I leave you with a story that pretty much sums this up. PLEASE take the time to read it. Todd used it in class Wednesday night,  The original post came from Anthony Eaves and was reposted by a friend of ours. ↓ ↓ ↓
—-
One had everything and one had nothing.
I spent most of yesterday in Little Rock. I had dropped a load off at my company and was waiting for the time to take another one to Oklahoma. Earlier I had gone to the truck stop in my pick-up truck to get a sandwich. That is where I met a young lady sitting on the sidewalk by the door. She was asking people if they were heading towards Hope, Arkansas.
Most people ignored her and some walked way around her. Others just said no and kept going. I stopped and talked to her. She was in her late twenties and, to most people, she looked horrible. Her skin was almost like plastic and scaled. She wore a bandanna on her bald head and she had no eyebrows. I think she was a little surprised that I stopped and said hello.
She asked if I was going towards Hope and I told her no I’m a truck driver and I’m just here to get a sandwich before I go to Oklahoma. Oh, she said. Well, I’m from Hope. I’m just here in Little Rock for my chemo. I had breast cancer and both breasts removed. I have a disease called scleroderma which is why my skin looks this way. I told her yes I’m familiar with scleroderma; my wife has it. I told her. “You seem to be in a tight situation, kid. Do you have any family in Hope that can come to get you?” “No” she replied. “We just have the one vehicle and my husband told me on the phone that it’s broke down again. He won’t be able to get me ’til tomorrow. The doctors know our situation, so they gave me this so I don’t have to come to Little Rock as often.”
She raised her sleeve to show me a device attached to her that will pump chemo into her at home. “Well, do you have any money on you? “I asked. “No,” she said. “But Jesus will provide.”  I slipped her a twenty I had on me and said “Well, now you do. Get yourself something to eat while you wait.”
She reached into her little bag and pulled out her Bible.
“Thank you, sir, for the money; I am hungry. Can I pray for you?”
“Sure,” I told her as I knelt down.
She opened her Bible to read a small scripture. Then she prayed for me. When she said amen I looked to my right and there was an older woman who was dressed quite well down on her knees next to us with her hands folded as if she had been praying also.
“I’m sorry,” she said “but I’ve been waiting out here for my husband. He’s using the restroom and getting us some coffee. I couldn’t help but overhear y’alls conversation. Miss, we are heading home to Texarkana and Hope is on the way. If you’d like, my husband and I could give you a ride?”
“That would be wonderful!” she said as she turned to me and said, “See, Jesus always provides a way for us if we just believe.”
The lady asked her husband if he would go in with the young lady to get her a hamburger. I went in and got my sandwich and my coffee. As I came out the man was helping the young lady into the back seat. His wife came up to me and said: “Sir, I just wanted to thank you.”
“For what,” I asked, as I hadn’t done anything for her.  As she looked behind her at the young lady in the back of her car she said, “For restoring the faith in God of a woman with breast cancer.  I think she’s had faith in God for a long time, the lady with that little Bible of hers.”
She turned and looked at me with tears in her eyes and said “I’m not talking about her. I’m talking about me. That’s why my husband and I are here in Little Rock. We just came from my doctor. You know,” she said, “on the surface, I look like I have everything, and she looks like she has nothing. But before I knelt down and prayed with y’all, her, with her faith, had everything that actually mattered…and I had nothing. Y’alls conversation and prayer reminded me where I came from and how I was raised. And looking at her I now have hope.”
helping the poor
So one had nothing, one had everything.
After that day, we all walked away with something.