Tuesday, May 27, 2014

The New Man

Along with so many others, I have been blown away by The New Man series at my church the past five weeks.  It has been inspiring, affirming, encouraging and challenging for me personally and for our community.  This series is relevant more than ever in our society.  This message is necessary as so many men did not have a good example of a real man in their home to model themselves after. This message is freeing in that it calls men to be who they were created to be; that is to be Men instead of Boys.  I highly encourage you to listen to the series. It will be relevant to you whether you are a man, woman, married, single, or divorced.  If you have a man in your life that has emulated any of the characteristics of the man God created him to be, thank God and find ways to continually affirm him. If you are a parent, listen in an attempt to teach your sons about manhood and for your daughters to instil a standard that she will not compromise on.  If you find yourself wanting to be married, listen with an open heart and allow the Lord to form a vision for your future.  If you are a man who has caused harm to others in your life because you have acted like a boy instead of a man allow the Lord to redeem those areas and relationships by humbling yourself fully before Him and those you have hurt along the way.

Would you be surprised to hear that the women of our church community have been reportedly thanking our leadership for these inspiring messages?  I am not surprised in the least.  Women can be so quick to nudge the man beside them pointing the finger and yet women might be the most difficult to address in a similar fashion. Can you even imagine what would happen if a church, even Crossroads preached a series on Womanhood? This would be so incredibly controversial, I cannot even fathom it.  I can see the revolt now, women rising up saying, "Who is HE to tell me who to be as a woman?"

Ok, but seriously, who are we supposed to be as women? Our culture has been telling women to become like men: be strong, be independent, be able to provide for ourselves. Even sexually women have taken their sexuality into their own hands claiming that they have a right to be pleasured too coming out of generations where women's sexual needs have been under valued.  Many women shudder when they hear the Biblical woman as described in Proverbs 31.  Where do we begin? This has got my heart and mind swirling. I'm asking the Lord to form the answers more in my life. I have some ideas and I hope to share them soon. My initial idea for a series title for womanhood might be something like: Women, Stand Down! Yes, I just said that.

Recently I had the privilege of witnessing a dear friend of mine lean into her husband's strength in unimaginable ways under heartbreaking, unjust circumstances. He fought for her and their family. He took responsibility for their loss, their hurts. He did all he could to protect them emotionally and physically. And you know what I will never forget? I saw her physically and emotionally lean into his strength, his protection, his loving arms. I have a visual of them sitting on the front pew that I will never forget. I literally saw her leaning on him and I saw a man with a strong back accepting her need for him. Oh my goodness. It still makes me tearful and gives me goose bumps.This exemplifies a man being who God has called him to be and allows his wife to benefit from his strength and courage. 

So thankful for the work that the Lord is doing in our church, in our community and in our family. I have had the joy of listening to this series with much delight because of the Man I have in my husband. I appreciate the reminder to appreciate and affirm Eric for his leadership in our family and in his work. 

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

The Day the Steve Harvey Show Had Me In Tears

Over the last three months it seems several days a week I'm feeding Eden and folding laundry around the 3 p.m. hour when The Steve Harvey show is on. He is always good for a laugh.  Today, my ears piped up as I heard him announce he had adult twins looking for their birth-mom and even though they did not know it, their birth-mom was there to meet them for the first time.

First Segment:
As soon as the twins, who are in their mid-20s started to share about their life I immediately started having a negative reaction. They were saying things like, "We just want to thank her because if she hadn't given us up we probably wouldn't be where we are today." And "We believe we are better off because of the decision she made." These are honest and probably very true statements. I try to stay unbiased, I really do. But my heart bleeds for birth-parents.  Both of the adoptees are very successful according to American standards: College grads, Christians, successful jobs, philanthropic involvements. They've obviously been given a solid foundation and are very blessed financially, physically and spiritually.  While I can definitely celebrate that, I was thinking about how will that birth-mom feels as she listens to this? Will it make her feel better or feel worse? It was really bothering me.  Certainly she wanted her twin babies to have a better life but that means she was not a part of it. 

As I was listening to this I began to weep. Sometimes I feel angry that birth-parents are always seem to be known as what's NOT best for their kids. I feel angry that birth-moms on welfare are perceived as less than parents who have money. I feel angry when I hear adoptees say thank you to their birth-parents for giving them a BETTER life.  BUT, what I realized more than my anger is that it just HURTS so bad that I was not what was best for my first born. That will never stop hurting! I know I'm not the stereotypical birth-parent. I wasn't on welfare. I was a recent college graduate. But, I decided that the most important thing for the my firstborn was a two parent, Christian home and THAT, I could not give her.  And it hurts and it always will. Today the band-aid that covers this wound got ripped off, again. And the band-aid of grief that some of us know all too well will continue to get ripped off, oftentimes, when we least expect it.

Second Segment:
During the second segment the adopted twins were surprised by their birth-mother being there and met her for the first time. The male twin hung his head and wept. The female twin was absolutely speechless.  She had no words.  Adoptions should not go this way, if at all possible.  No child should have to wonder where they came from, who they look like, and the BIGGEST question that almost every adoptee needs answered is WHY? Why did my birth-parent "give me up"? The female twin was clearly conflicted about the reunion and even said prior to the birth-mother coming out that she had a lot of questions. One question she wanted to ask is, "Did she ever think about us afterwards?" OH MY GOSH! That question breaks me!!! For any adopted person out there, trust me when I say that your birth-mother has not gone 1 day without thinking about you. Not one day! She wonders if she made the right decision. She hopes you are happy and healthy and that you will understand her decision and prays you never feel abandoned!

And then I cried again and I just had to pause and thank God that my firstborn will never have to search for me because she knows who I am. She knows my husband, my other children, my family. I am welcomed into her home and into her life.  She's heard me tell her, "I Love You!" And I am so thankful for that. I can't imagine all of her questions are answered at this point but I thank God she knows I am here when/if more questions come. 

Friends, Adoption involves LOSS. At some point in the process every member of the adoption triad is affected: adoptee, adopted parent, birth-parent.  Today I witnessed loss as all three parties cried.  I don't know what all of their tears meant but I pray some healing comes. God bless them all!

Monday, April 28, 2014

How Do I Get My Hands On These Oils You Keep Talking About?


I want to try these oils for myself. What are my options to buy?

You may purchase the oils as Retail Customer or as a Wholesale Customer here.
  • Retail Customer: Purchase oils at Full Retail Price and no Starter Kit is needed.
  • Wholesale Member: Purchase oils at wholesale pricing, which is 24% off retail. A Starter Kit purchase is required.  The only requirement to begin & maintain your Wholesale Membership is a $50 purchase each year (covered the first year by both the Basic Plus or Premium Kits below). There is no monthly order required.
I want to become a Wholesale Member. What are the Starter Kit options?
  • The Basic Starter Kit is $40 and contains the most up-to-date resource guide, Essential Oil Sample Packets, all-new product and business literature, and a 5 ml roll-on bottle of Stress Away. You are basically buying a year-long membership without getting the oils.
  • The Basic Plus Starter Kit is $75 and includes everything in the Basic Starter Kit, plus an easy-to-use Home Diffuser. With this kit you are gaining the membership and a diffuser but again, without getting the oils.
  • The Premium Starter Kit is $150 and includes everything in the Basic Starter Kit, plus a Home Diffuser and an Everyday Oils collection. The Everyday oils includes (10) 5ml bottles of oils: Lavender, Lemon, Peppermint, Thieves, Purification, Joy, PanAway, Peace and Calming, Frankincense, and Valor. Including the Stress Away bottle you get to try - 11 bottles of oil total.  This is by far the best value considering the diffuser alone is $75 wholesale and $98.68 retail. 
Do I have to sell the oils?
  • No, you do not have to sell anything as a wholesale member.   
How can I get started?
  •  https://www.youngliving.com/signup/
    • Choose whether you want to enroll as a retailer or become a wholesale member.
    • My Sponsor ID: 1577473  Enroller ID: 1577473
    • Select which starter kit you want to purchase (assuming you choose wholesale). I highly recommend the Premium Starter Kit so you can get your hands on a lot of oils quickly.  
    • Next, you will be asked if you would like to purchase an Essential Rewards Starter Kit.  Learn more about Essential Rewards Here. {"I'm getting overwhelmed here,Priscilla!" I get it, I really do. You don't have to sign up for rewards right away. You can get in on the Rewards programs anytime!}
I want to learn more!!!
  • I would highly recommend doing your own research on Young Living Oils specifically.  Here are a few great resources:
    • Young Living's Seed to Seal Video (7 min) Educate yourself on the quality of Young Living's oils. They are unmatched in my opinion. Knowing where your oil comes from and how it is made can make a world of difference in the results you will gain.  Young Living does not add any synthetic oils to their bottles. When you purchase a bottle of Lavender you are REALLY getting a full bottle of lavender. You will get better results with a pure oil! 
    • Get acquainted with all of the products that Young Living offers on their website.
    • Curious if these oils really work for people? I LOVE the oil-testimonials.com site. You can register for free here and do basic searches. When I am interested in what people have found successful with a particular oil I search the name of the oil. For any kind of issue that you want to address you can search that specifically. ie: Anxiety, Teething, Sleep issues, Skin blemishes, energy, indigestion, etc.
    • If you do choose to sign up under me you have access at a discounted price of $6.99 for an Essential Oiler's Handbook.  This is an excellent resource and offers so much good information.  It is a downloadable copy that you can keep on your home computer or print off to take on the go. 

Sunday, April 27, 2014

My Newfound Passion in Young Living Essential Oils

Many of you have seen my Facebook feed blow up over the last 3-4 months with Essential Oils. I was first introduced to them last summer when my college friend, Lori used Lavender on Walker for his allergies. It helped him after one night of Lavender. As Fall approached our family had several different illnesses passing through us including Hand Foot Mouth Disease (all four of us), several colds and allergy flares and stomach bugs. I was nearing desperation for some health and wellness, especially as Eden's due date was quickly approaching.

After months of research, I begged Eric's blessing to purchase the Premium Starter Kit through Young Living. It costs $150 and comes with 11 everyday oils (Lavender, Lemon, Peppermint, PanAway, Peace & Calming, Stress Away, Joy, Purification, Thieves, Frankincense & Valor) and it comes with a Diffuser.  Many of the oils can be diffused and this particular diffuser can cover up to 1200 Sq Ft. which allows the oils to benefit the whole household.  Many days I wish I had more than one diffuser.

I quickly went through several of my oils.  My initial successes are as follows:

Thieves: I put Thieves oil on the boy's feet every night before they go to bed. They love it and often ask for their oils.  Immediately Walker's chronic runny nose was dried up. If either of the boys ever have any sniffles or signs of a cold coming on I up the "dose" and put Thieves on their feet several times a day and/or diffuse Thieves as well.  One day I was going to make up my batch of Thieves (diluted 1 drop of Thieves to 4 drops of Olive Oil) and realized I was almost out. Panic!!!! It took me about a week to get another bottle in my house and what do you know....Walker got sick a few days after Eden's due date. Despite being overdue I was then asking the Lord to wait for her delivery until Walker was on the mend. That will be the last time I run out of Thieves oil. Neither of the boys have taken any prescription medications or Over the Counter drugs since I started using Thieves. I use it as a preventative and a restorative oil.  Thieves can also be used to clear up Strep Throat. The other day Eric's throat started to hurt him and he gargled thieves once before bed and once the next morning and his sore throat was gone, in ONE DAY!

Thieves Household Cleaner: You might say I'm obsessed with Thieves. When I read this blog one day I decided it was time to get a bottle of the cleaner. I have never been happier with a cleaning product. I use it on EVERYTHING IN MY HOUSE! This is the only cleaner I have used for the past three months. I will be honest and say I have yet to master cleaning the toilet bowl with the spray bottle but I'm sure I'll find a solution soon.  It smells amazing and no more stinging eyes or scratchy throat from cleaning!

Lemon: Some of my favorite uses for Lemon are for my water, to remove crayon off the walls (with no elbow grease), for the allergy bomb (lemon, lavender & peppermint), and to cut down a fever. It's one of the cheaper oils and I always want to have it on hand. 

Lavender: A very popular oil. It's great for allergies. It promotes healing from cuts and scrapes. It has killed the nastiest diaper rashes on Walker mixed with Coconut oil.  It promotes relaxation and can be used to help you get to sleep. I put it in my bath water after I had Eden to promote healing.  It has sooooo many uses!!

Peace & Calming: A big favorite around here. When the boys are wild, I now have a simple solution. They each get a touch of P&C behind their ears and I take advantage of it and put what is left behind my ears. I have literally seen each of my boys calm down in less than five minutes after I put it on them and I love the smell. It's a hippie oil. Eric says he can't get used to our kids smelling like it.  :) Peace and Calming is also used for anxiety and hyper-activity.  I have not personally used it for either of those but have read numerous testimonies on them.

Peppermint: Smells amazing. Sometimes I just take off the cap and inhale Peppermint. It tastes delicious in Brownies. It helps stomach aches and promotes digestion. It can also be used for allergies. It is also used on headaches.

Purification: Four days before Christmas and 9 months pregnant I caught a stomach bug. It was nasty. Two days later Simon caught the bug. Eric's family was due to arrive the very next day and I was STRESSED OUT worrying that we would get everyone sick! Each day I would wake up waiting to see if there would be another victim. I was Saturday, Simon was Monday and my Mom caught the bug on Wednesday, Christmas day :(  I felt terrible! As Eric's family was on their way I ran my diffuser constantly alternating between Purification (to help purify the air and anything that might be tempted to spread) and Thieves, which is also highly anti-viral and anti-bacterial. Luckily, none of his family caught the bug. I have also been using 2-3 drops of Purification in each load of my laundry. I started making my own detergent from Mama's Wellness Blog recipe in October and it is unscented. Purification adds a very pleasant scent and it is non toxic! Win-Win!

These are just a few of my favorite uses. I am waiting on a few new oils to try on my next order including Orange (is also used to calm nerves/tantrums) and Carrot Seed Oil to make my first batch of homemade Sunscreen.

The more I learn, the more I appreciate these oils! MANY  people have been asking me for more information on the oils.  I will save that for the next blog, coming soon!!!

Happy Oiling!