Sunday, June 7, 2015

A New Team Member

I have always wanted a big family. Always.  Anytime I see a TV Show or a movie with four or more kids in the family my heart swells. I love the noise and the chaos. I love the idea of a full dinner table.  I dream of this. If you ever read Karen Kingsbury's Redemption series imagine me giddy behind the pages of the book dreaming of creating the Baxter's family.

Our family has been grown in freedom.  It has been one of the most freeing and uncharacteristic areas of my life. I like to be in control. I am a planner (at least in my head if not on paper). I think through things extensively.  When I had a surprise pregnancy in college I almost crumbled. That was never in my plan.  Everything seemed like it would be different. I  never dreamed of becoming a Mom for the first time with a man that I was not married to and did not see a future with. It was heartbreaking.  And yet, God redeemed that situation in EVERY POSSIBLE WAY!

When Eric and I got married we started birth control.  Very Western mentality about growing our family. We had a five year plan of sorts.  About a year into our marriage I was having complications with birth control so we went off and schooled ourselves on Natural Family Planning in a sweet Catholic nurse's home.  It was very enlightening and empowering.  A few months later, I started to feel a pull to let go of "the plan". I shared this with Eric and initially his response was not the best. Something to the effect of "if you want kids you should start volunteering in the nursery". You can imagine how well that went over.  Eric and I laugh at that now. We know each other better. I am impulsive and come to him with an idea. He is initially very grounded and needing to think through it which comes off as pessimistic to me. Then he jumps on board and I inevitably freak out and question it. Ah, Marriage!

But alas, we gave up our plan and conceived Simon shortly after.  From there, we joyfully got pregnant with another baby that we lost at 12 weeks.  That was heartbreaking and even though we were without a  plan, no one plans for a miscarriage.  Walker Joseph (Joseph means "God will increase") joined the family 2.5 years after Simon. Eden was another joyful addition 20 months after Walker.  To watch siblings love each other is one of life's greatest joys.  The boys fight on and off all day but then they have moments where they work together or love on each other and it melts everything in me.  The boys have been a protector and lover to Eden from day one. She asks for them first thing in the morning and is looking for them and waving to them when she comes down the stairs.

After we had Eden there were many months that I told Eric "I cannot get pregnant again!".  Having three kids 4 and under proved to be very challenging at times.  So we did practice birth control exactly three times before conceiving again.  And then there was another positive test and though we hadn't even talked through this thoroughly we were elated!

We are thrilled!  My dream of a big family is looking like a reality! We are overjoyed!

Plans work for a lot of people. Not only do some people make plans to help with maternity leave planning, some people have to go through stringent testing and planning to conceive. Planning is not a bad thing, if not necessary in so many cases.

Becoming a Mom for me was not born out of a plan back when I was a scared college senior and it has been a complete gift to carry that forward.  God has been faithful and good to us!  I never really imagined my body could birth 5 babies. I'm beyond humbled!

Baby #4 is due in early December!

And on a sidenote, Eric is looking for "Mr. Fix-It" referrals...wink, wink!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Essential Oils are Not My God!

I have talked about my love for essential oils before.  My knowledge of the oils has grown. My business has grown. My usage has grown. It's truly become an awesome hobby!  Several times a week I am giving samples of oils to friends and even strangers.  Simon and Walker have become accustomed to oil deliveries on the front porch.  We have had some incredible results. The oils are 100% natural with no synthetics which is right in alignment for where I want to be in becoming more green. We are using Young Living's Thieves Cleaner and have cut out 95% of all other cleaners including laundry detergent. I have cut out a lot of other OTC medicinal products and replaced them with oils. It's been awesome!

But...I recently became a little too obsessed with essential oils. I have had to repent many times to God asking him to forgive me for making them a god! I have chosen to use ONLY Young Living Essential Oils and they are a Multi-Level Marketing company. I am ok with that because I believe 100% in their products.  I actually do not believe you can find the quality of essential oils with any other company.  I know a lot of people have issues with MLM's and I understand that. MLM's rely on their worker bees to do the marketing for the company and in turn you get a pay off.  Young Living calls these worker bees, like myself, distributors. I have actually been decently successful distributing Young Living over the past 10 months. I built a website with a friend in August. We created a brand, The Everyday Oilers and have a facebook page.  It's nothing amazing but it has had purpose. It's given us credibility, like when we were featured on Cincy Chic.  And even though I hate saying this out loud (it's cringe worthy) I get super bored at home with the kids. I do work a day or two outside the home each week but my days at home with the kids are long and often mundane--the laundry, the food, the toys all over the house, the meal prep, the clean up, the wiping of butts, the fighting--oh the fighting!  I think this new hobby has tapped into a need for me to work on something productive outside of housework and parenting.  I also love teaching and have done a lot of teaching and coaching with the oil biz! So it all makes sense to me.

Here recently I have been getting close to jumping up in "rank"with Young Living. It's fun! It's rewarding! And it's addicting! If I jump rank, there are incentives to stay at that level and to grow to the next level within six months.  It's like a cycle that once it starts it just keeps going.  There's always another level and another goal to achieve.  And the financial pay off is good enough that it makes you want to keep growing and getting bigger and making more money! None of this is bad but I have had a clear conviction that this oil thing is not a "hill I can die on". It's almost laughable to say out loud (probably to most people) but it's true.

I ABSOLUTELY LOVE talking about oils with fellow oilers.  But I do not want to be known as the oil person who is going to make other people run the other direction when they see me coming or have them become so important that that is all I can talk about. Anyone reading this can easily identify a crazed MLM person obsessing about their AMAZING product that they represent.

I promised myself early on that I would not manipulate anyone for my financial gain.  It's so not worth it!  Do I see myself still using oils in 10 years? I actually really do! They have become an integral part of our daily lives. Even Eric is on board, though he still occasionally tries to offer OTC drugs first. :)

So here I am.  I am trying to split the fence on this oil biz because I will still do the business.   I still plan to teach classes and to continue to study oils and learn all that I can about them.  If I happen upon the next rank level honestly without oils being a god then I will welcome it.  But I do wonder if that is even possible.  It seems that those who are highly successful in MLM companies become pretty consumed and rightly so.  People make full time salaries off of MLM companies. But, alas, it probably won't be me!  At the end of the day I am a Licensed Counselor and a Teacher for a reason. That is my heart! Sales is not my first love or my greatest success!

So, wish me luck on this splitting the fence thing and also stay tuned because I am currently learning about the ancient oils of the Bible and it is blowing my mind!! We are going to have our first Healing Oils of the Bible class in early March at our house and everyone will leave all oiled up, prayed up and covered in Scripture! I am so excited and that IS something I can get super excited about!