The Lord Is My Refuge

24
Mar
2020

In the past few weeks, my heart has been aware of those of us who need to be reminded of how present God is. Yes, even in the midst of things that seem almost unreal. As we learn to navigate this season, with “unplanned homeschooling,” “social distancing,” and “families in close quarters,” it can become almost too much to bear.

It is a time to be drawing near to the Lord, instead of drawing near to the news media. All they do is share some info and then rehash it over and over initiating fear that is thrown at us multiple times a day.

I listened to a sermon a few weeks ago where the pastor told us to read Psalm 91 each morning and each evening. The promise and protection God has for us in that Psalm is what you will want to resonate on. That and only that. If you watch the news and listen to all the opinions, you want to be sure to look at it through God’s eyes. Every SINGLE day!

We want to dwell on God’s word.

As I was reading this piece of scripture with my ten-year-old, a friend shared with me a version she had where she was actually able to fill in her own name, or the name of her family. It was brilliant. I took that as a jumping off point to create a free printable that you can use in your home, now—and fill in your name, your children’s names, or your family last name. There could be nothing better than a personalized reading of Psalm 91 to marinate and dwell on.

I encourage you to grab this free download.

Spend some time during dinner tonight and fill in the blanks. Perhaps you even make more than one copy and have your kids write their name in all the blanks and keep a personal copy for them to read before bed.

Taking time to read this truth…GOD’S words which are full of power will help ease your spirit.

God is not a God of fear. He wants you to be in His word, walking closely with him. It’s time to share that with our kids in a dramatic way.

Do you have a favorite portion of Psalm 91?

For this current season, my favorite is Psalm 91:5-6

You will not fear the terror of night,
    nor the arrow that flies by day,
 nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,
    nor the plague that destroys at midday.

Go now to download your FREE personalized Psalm 91 printable and have it handy.  You can either download and save to your desktop, then open Adobe and use your computer to type the fillable blanks or you can just print and handwrite in the blanks.  Either way, it will empower you with truth.

Remember, the Lord is my Refuge. He is here to protect you and give you peace.

Ways to Help a Child Grieve the Loss of a Pet

29
Jan
2020


Oh, friends…it’s been a rough few days. Let me share…

We were getting ready for small group night (more on that soon!) when our ten-year-old came downstairs in a panicked, anxious state. His hamster “Bean” wasn’t moving and didn’t look good. Obviously not the best time with 20 people arriving at our house, but sure enough, Bean had died in the last hour.

I was shocked. This sweet hamster had only been in our family for about seven weeks. How on earth could this be? That was my thought, but nevertheless, we had to carry on. Lots of hugs from me and thank goodness my husband could take the tiniest member of the family to the garage till after small group.

I have never been so grateful to have a house full of young friends for our son, because they were so helpful in creating a distraction for a few hours. After everyone left later that evening, the real work began.

Emotions

Our family has lost a few pets over the years and it’s never easy. But this was the first loss for our son, Super J, so it was a big deal. If we’re lucky, everyone in the family gets a chance to say goodbye. The amount of emotions that can come to the surface with the death of a pet utterly astounds me. For example…

  • Guilt. Did I cause this? Could I have done more?
  • Sadness and loss. Was this a best friend? Just a pet? If I’m being real, maybe it was a blessing that they’re not with us?
  • Grief. Why does it hurt so much? Does it bring back memories from other loss, maybe a parent?

Include Your Child in All Stages

Sitting with our son as he was in tears later that night, he had lost his best friend; something I didn’t even realize but can completely understand. These furry, lovable friends work their way into our hearts. Their absence can create a giant sucking hole. I wanted to analyze why “Bean” had died, but I knew that wasn’t going to help right now. It was time to be a mom and love on my boy who was hurting intensely.

Teaching Moments

Even though this process stinks, God can create some awesome teaching moments for us to try and be prepared for.

Will we see our pets in heaven? I’m certainly not a bible scholar, but God created animals and talks about them being in his future kingdom. For me personally, I prefer to be honest and say I am not entirely sure.

Can we pray for our pets? Absolutely. We can pray to our Heavenly Father about anything, at any time. We can also pray for our broken heart, for that sadness we feel.

Will I ever stop feeling like this? Yes you will, honey. You are going to have ups and downs in life. I think covering grief by just blatantly saying you will “get over it” is not conducive to the experience. You need to just sit with them in the process, and they will naturally discover that with time, your heart heals.

What’s going to happen to my pet’s body? Always dread that question. In my opinion, just be honest. It’s just a body. Depending on your child’s age and questions, you may need to explain more.

Will that happen to you Mommy? Always the hardest question. Everyone is going to die, but again, another chance to talk God and Jesus and where are we going after our earthly bodies give out.

Ceremony

I believe it’s important to memorialize the major events in our life, a big exclamation point or a period, to help us move forward. If you know your pet is getting close to the end, NOW is the time to have a party for them. Remember the good times and treat that pet like a king or queen for a day. We did this for our dog Riley before he was rehomed. He didn’t die, but he was going to be gone from our lives, so we needed to grieve that as well.

Some of our pets have been cremated. Some buried. But we always have a ceremony to remember their lives and the good times we shared with them. Maybe a poem or special words are appropriate. Maybe a note or picture inside a box. Maybe a walk to spread their ashes. Whatever it is, try to have your child be as involved as they want to be as this won’t be their only loss. We’re modeling behavior for them.

Some families get some type of memorial figure to place where the pet is buried or where you can remember a cremated pet. Our spot will soon have a bench that we will fondly remember “Bean” as we sit and have a wonderful view of the ocean.

Some have an ornament made or mark dedicated to their pet, so each Christmas they can be reminded of that special pet. Whatever you decide, I do believe it’s important to choose something.

Be Open With Feelings

Providing space for our children to talk is important. I have found that out of nowhere conversations have drifted over to talk about “Bean” and how much he is missed. I discovered this handy book and wanted to share it with you as a resource when you need it.

“I Miss My Pet: A workbook for children about pet loss” by Katie Nurmi. This workbook lets children work through the loss of a pet by teaching the child that their feelings are important and respected. They will also learn that respect for all living creatures is an important aspect of growing up.

An Acrobat Reader is needed to view and print this book. Your browser probably already is set up to accommodate this PDF file, but if not, you can download it by clicking here.

Will we get another hamster?

I suspect so. Maybe a different rodent this time. For now though, we’ll allow some time to feel and some time to heal. No reason to be in a rush. Sometimes that is the problem, we are in too much of a hurry to allow our grief to go full circle. Not this time. No, not this time.

My Books of 2019

9
Jan
2020

Ahhhh, a new year. I really love this time of year…I love the fresh start, planning, goal setting, the possibilities. I dream a little bigger, work a little smarter, and focus a little sharper. It’s a time of renewal for me in so many aspects of my life.

I tend to draw a lot of inspiration from books.

What can be better than a few moments of quiet time curled up with a book, taking in some positivity and encouragement to fuel your soul?

If you are looking for some worthwhile books to boost your motivation and inspire you, here are some titles that spoke deeply to me in 2019.

Personal Growth

Present Over Perfect by Shauna Niequist

I read this book each year as a refresher to be in tune with life around me.

A Million Little Ways by Emily P. Freeman

As an avid Podcast listener, this book helped to reconnect all the pieces of who I am, and how God wants me to be.

It’s Not Supposed to Be This Way by Lysa TerKeurst

Such a powerful read.  When life is unfolding in different ways than you planned, this is the book to read!

Simply Tuesday: Small-Moment Living in a Fast-Moving World by Emily P. Freeman

Slowing down, appreciating the moments and giving practical ways to do so.  I loved this book and may be circling around again to read it.

Grace for the Good Girl by Emily P. Freeman

As a recovering perfectionist, I am in a season of re-learning a lot of habits that had me trying and trying and trying to earn friendship, belonging and acceptance.  It’s done.  Such a refreshing read.

Wait and See by Wendy Pope

Waiting… being in the middle of a season and not knowing when it will end.  This book gave me new perspective and shifted my altered thinking.  It drew me closer to God.

The Next Right Thing by Emily P. Freeman

Again, her podcast friends…..  just go listen if you have not.  Getting stuck is no place to be.  I love her approach to helping each of us grab hold of the Next Right Thing.  Pure perfection.

Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis

I had procrastinated reading this book because honestly, I had heard all the hype.  I enjoyed parts of the book, but there were some portions that just did not resonate with my heart and that is okay.  At least I read it for myself, rather than assuming from what others had shared.

The Empath’s Survival Guide by Judith Orloff

As an Empath, this was really eye-opening and gave me some food for thought on how I am wired.  Totally recommend it.

Love Does by Bob Goff

GAME CHANGER!!  So good for truly learning to live your life as Christ would desire.  This life is not about us… just not about us.

Everybody, Always by Bob Goff

Again, this second book of Bob Goff’s was just a joy to read.  He is the example of someone living it all out for God. I want to be like that and have a new drive to do so.

Healthy Living

Delay, Don’t Deny: Living an Intermittent Fasting Lifestyle by Gin Stephens

The fasting lifestyle became part of my routine back in July and am so happy I did.  It’s been so freeing, helped me feel the best I have felt in a long time and been empowering.

Feast Without Fear: Food and the Delay, Don’t Deny Lifestyle by Gin Stephens

An other extended book on the topic of fasting — so worth your time.  If you are struggling with weight, health issues or exhaustion, do yourself a favor for sure!!!

Medical Medium Life-Changing Foods by Anthony William

Fascinating – simply fascinating and how you can use certain foods to help certain conditions.   I am grabbing a hard copy to keep in my library to quickly look things up.  It’s a must have book.

Medical Medium Thyroid Healing by Anthony William

Another one that was so interesting.  Do you struggle with thyroid issues, Auto-immune issues, brain fog, weight gain or unexplained symptoms.  Get this book and read it.  You can then determine for yourself how you want to proceed.

Community Building

The Seed by Jon Gordon

I just love Jon Gordon’s story telling ability – bringing a real “teaching” book into a format that is engaging and empowering.  Finding happiness in both your business, community and personal life can be done.

The No Complaining Rule by Jon Gordon

Everyone needs to read this.  The power of our words and how we, especially as moms can initiate complaining in our home (or not initiate it) is so eye-opening.  I know I know this stuff. but to be reminded is so needed.

We Will Feast: Rethinking Dinner, Worship, and the Community of God by Kendall Vanderslice

Breathtaking…. such a treasured view of the local church redefining itself in the homes and space all over the country.  As one who is looking to do more hospitable worship in this next season, I loved everything about this book.

Fun Fiction

All great books to take to the beach, read while cozied up by the fire and take a mind break for a bit!

Slightly South of Simple by Kristy Woodson Harvey

The Secret to Southern Charm by Kristy Woodson Harvey

Lies and Other Acts of Love by Kristy Woodson Harvey

The Antelope in the Living Room by Melanie Shankle

Nobody’s Cuter Than You by Melanie Shankle

Curious, did you read any books in 2019 that will stick with you for awhile?  I’d sure love to hear.

Four Powerful Essential Oils

2
Nov
2019

Four powerful essential oils for depression

Are you aware how powerful essential oils are for our emotional wellbeing?  

As a mom who struggled with depression for over 16 years, I’ve learned a lot about how essential oils can be used to during my emotional ups and downs.  I have managed to live a healthy lifestyle free from the anti-depressant drugs which I was bound to for over 16 years, with amazing results.

Finding Hope

With the help of my doctors guidance and a weaning processes involving essential oils, self-care and healthy additions to my supplement routine and diet, I have been emotionally healthy and overjoyed.

I used a variety of essential oils over the years, but one of the most profound routines I have put into practice is one called, “The Great Day Protocol.”

The Great Day Protocol was first shared by D. Gary Young, founder of Young Living, at a class in Wyoming in 1994, and has been used by thousands of people, since then, to help them live happier lives.

Why does it work?

When you inhale essential oils, those molecules travel through the nose and affect the brain through a variety of receptor sites, one of which is the limbic system, which is commonly referred to as the “emotional brain.”

The limbic system is directly connected to those parts of the brain that control heart rate, blood pressure, breathing, memory, stress levels, and hormone balance.  This relationship helps explain why smells often trigger emotions.  You know what I mean, right?  When you smell a certain scent, it can bring up a very specific memory.

Also, oils inhaled reach the brain within twenty seconds – that is profound and quick!

Inhalation and Topical Benefits

Layering and blending specific oils in distinct ways can help cultivate the right mindset and create an emotional balancing which will equip you for your day!

Oils applied topically on the skin reach the bloodstream in 20 minutes. So by combining inhalation and topical application you are truly making a big difference. When you rub your hands together with an oil you reach the reflexology points on the hands during the process, which leads to even greater results.

In addition to setting the tone for the day, those who have made the Great Day Protocol a daily ritual have said that they’ve noticed some of the following things:

  • More attention to details
  • Communication has become more solution-oriented with others
  • Increased enthusiasm
  • More follow-through with projects
  • Increased positivity
  • More open outlook
  • Better ability to handle stressful situations
  • Calmer demeanor

If you could have all that with NO adverse side affects – wouldn’t you take action?

Here’s a video sharing how to use the “Great Day Protocol” and how you can easily incorporate it own your life.

I want you to have easy access to this routine, so I have included a downloadable PDF with an easy, step by step guide for you as well.

DOWNLOAD YOUR PDF HERE

Start each day with this self-care routine to feel balanced, intentional and emotionally stable. If you are missing an oil, use what you have.  These four powerful essential oils will change your life.

If you are ready to get started with your own set of essential oils, the time is now!  You can grab your own starter kit of 12 oils, a diffuser and other goodies for over 50% off retail.  I am here and ready to help walk you along with education and community.  Let’s do this friend!!

Young Living Special

My FIVE Favorite Things Right Now

13
Sep
2019


My Five Favorite things

I am super excited to hop in before the weekend to share my FIVE Favorite things (right now).   These are making my life a little more sweet these days!

Intermitten Fasting

I was inspired to check out Intermittent Fasting when a friend of mine jumped in.  Now hear me on this, I had heard of this before and had determined I could NEVER do black coffee.  I liked my coffee with almond milk just fine.  Over the years I have cut back from the terribly tasty, but incredibly bad for you “coffee-mate” creamers, to raw milk, then went to NutPods (French Vanilla is my favorite) and/or almond milk.

I also thought I could never go without eating for 17-20 hours a day.  But after her incredible testimony of reduced inflammation, weight loss, healing of diseases and dramatic energy increase, I decided to jump in.

I read, “Delay, Don’t Deny: Living an Intermittent Fasting Lifestyle,” by Gin Stephens and was totally onboard.  She gave all the information in clear concise chapters, and linked to all the science stuff and studies to back up what she said.  

I just passed two months and I honestly have so much energy, have lost a few inches, and saved money in our family budget on food!!!!  I have found food more enjoyable and honestly, it has less control over me.  If you struggle with weight, disease or illness, I encourage you to read the book.  You also may want to join the incredible Facebook group to see amazing transformations from real people.   People have overcome arthritis, diabetes, thyroid issues, obesity and so much more.  And the best part…. it’s FREE!

I love this APP for helping keep track of my fasting hours too – LIFE Fasting APP.  I did a Facebook live on my two month journey with some tips here, and share why it is crazy amazing for those even not looking to lose weight.

Naturally Alkaline Spring Water

I know that my body needs water – every.single.day.  Even almost as important is the fast that the quality of the water you are consuming can truly impact you – most especially when you are doing things like fasting to help heal your body.

When I discovered FLOW alkaline spring water I was hooked.  This water is sourced from an artesian spring, which contains naturally occurring electrolytes and essential minerals – giving it an alkaline pH of 8.1.  FABULOUS!!!!   I love the taste and the added minerals help my body during the fasting state especially.

It is packaged in 100% recyclable Non-PET & BPA-Free packaging, which is music to my ears. I do not like to buy bottled water in plastic and will rarely do that, even when out.  I prefer to bring along my own water in my own glass water bottle.  But when I am traveling, it’s been so refreshing to have multiple containers of FLOW to help me stay hydrated all day long.

Try it yourself for 30% off when you use my sharing link here.  I love the ease of delivery to my door, but also have purchased from Whole Foods.

A Sweet Book for the Soul

I am a big reader for personal development, but there are times that I just need a good book for my soul.  I am almost finished with, “Nobody’s Cuter than You: A Memoir about the Beauty of Friendship” by Melanie Shankle and it’s been such a joy!!

If you’ve read any of Melanie’s other books, and girl… you need to because she is hilarious…… you know how enjoyable they are.  She has a way of drawing you right into her life and sharing the details in such a humorous way that you just want to laugh out-loud.  And, I did – often!!

Go grab it and check it out for a cozy fall read – just you, a book, cup of tea (I love this tea) and a blanket!

Pumpkin Spice Diffuser Blend

I use to be such a candle addict, until I learned all the dangers of burning them in my home!!  So, I have turned to my trusty diffusers in my house and since it’s September, I can diffuse all things FALL!!!

This is one of my favorite essential oil blends to diffuse, makes it smell all cozy and like my home is ready to bring in anyone.

If you haven’t made the switch to essential oils, I’d be honored to help you grab your very own starter kit.   It includes a fabulous diffuser, along with 12 essential oils and others goodies that will help you kick off the fall season armed for battle!

Dry Skin Brushing

As I am focusing on intermittent fasting, I want to also be sure that all the icky stuff is getting out of my body.  Hydration is key for sure in that process, but I’ve also added Dry Skin Brushing to my routine.

Why add this into my daily routine?  Dry Skin brushing is excellent for getting rid of dry, dead skin cells and helping the body with it’s circulation.  I love doing a routine of Dry Skin brushing with this all-natural  bristle body brush  or this firmer body brush each morning before I get in the shower.

Here is a great video that runs through the details.

There you have it, my Five Favorite Things Right Now that are bringing some sweetness to my daily life!