Breaking Free from Hopelessness – Naturally

18
Oct
2013

Breaking Free from Hopelessness - Naturally

I have a huge heart and overwhelming empathy for women – especially moms – who are suffering from feelings of sadness and lack of joy. Whether it is a “winter blues” that comes your way every season, or a mild listless feeling you have that anchors over your spirit during certain periods, I get it. I’ve been there.

My struggle with feelings of hopelessness and overwhelm impacted my life every day. I was embarrassed, frustrated, felt like I was not good enough, and didn’t understand why God would not heal me of this.  

Did I lack faith or was it something else? It boggled my mind and it was all I could do some days to just get out of bed to be a mom to my kids.

I received a dozen emails in the last week alone about my journey to cope with motherhood and feelings of overwhelm and hopelessness. I have been renewed and had to share with others because I have found help in supporting my emotions and taking a more holistic approach by adding Young Living Essential Oils into my daily routine.  

(Here is an updated post I shared after altering my lifestyle in many ways. Make sure to stop by there as well!)

My Situation

I struggled with overwhelm and lack of joy for over 15 years. It was exhausting.

There are details of my story that aren’t necessary for this blog post, but I realize everyone is in a different place and path with their health and wellness. I was ready to receive advice and be empowered in my wellness journey, so I was completely ready to try a new path.

On January 14, 2013, I was introduced to Young Living Essential Oils and purchased my Premium Starter Kit and my journey to hope.

My Routine

I will be sharing my routine, the oils I used, and what I did. Also, know that I am not a doctor. Just another mom who sought natural ways to support my body and came out of the darkness.

I began using the oils that came in my Premium Starter Kit and honestly did not have any particular plan. I just began diffusing different oils at different times, inhaled them directly, and placed them NEAT in certain strategic places on my body. I’ll share a basic background before I share which oils I used.

Young Living Essential Oils Diffuser

Inhaling and Diffusing

Therapeutic essential oils produced by Young Living are extremely medicinal for mood upliftment. The best way to get the oils in the air of your home is by diffusing. I love that in the Premium Starter Kit offered by Young Living a diffuser comes with it! I wish I would have had mine when I first got my kit so I could begin from the start, but I waited a month before getting mine. I love my diffuser and now have several in my home.  

Inhalation Therapy 

Easy peasy. Just pick up the oil bottle, open it up, and smell as often as you like. This is a fast way to get the molecules right in and for them to begin their work.

Applying Neat

By dabbing oils on certain areas of your body you can get almost immediate relief. This is easy and takes little effort, which is always nice. Depending on the oils and your skin type you may want to dilute with a carrier oil (meaning mixing a drop or two of oil with a carrier oil, like grapeseed or olive oil).

Happy Essential Oils

Oils I Used

Joy

I honestly did not like the smell of this oil at first, but I had heard others say the same thing. It has been said that if you find an oil smell a bit disgusting or not attractive, your body needs it! I will agree with this now because my body did need this in a big way!  

Peace and Calming

I diffuse this one quite a bit. When I feel a bit of uneasiness begin to rise, I will apply this to my wrists and rub them together. I also use this in my bath water. 

Stress Away 

This oil is a favorite of many. I like the lime and vanilla scent. It really is different but so relaxing. If things get a bit cranky at our house, this goes in the diffuser and/or I apply it to the back of my neck. (This oil comes in the Premium Starter Kit.)

Lavender

I love Lavender, for almost everything. You will find this diffused daily in my home. If I am not sure what to diffuse, I go with Lavender. It has such a calming fragrance and it just settles my mind. This is my oil of preference for bath time. (This oil comes in the Premium Starter Kit.)

Harmony

I will dab Harmony on my wrists several times throughout the day as well. No big rhyme or reason to it.

Ruta Vala

I got this a few months after my Premium Starter Kit and I am so glad I did. I think it was a special offered through Young Living and I actually got it for free with the order I had placed. I honestly probably would not have ordered it. It would have not been on my radar. Such a nice thing with getting oils for free. You discover ones you would not otherwise have gotten!  

I have the roll-on which makes it super easy to apply and it is great for sleep. My feelings of overwhelm and sadness tend to increase or amplify when occasional stress and tension come in. I can find myself waking up several times in the middle of the night and then cannot settle down to get back to sleep. Or my mind might be racing before I go to bed and I find myself still laying there two hours after bedtime still awake!  

I open it and roll this on the side of my neck when I get ready for bed. Then I set it on my nightstand and have it ready if I wake in the middle of the night. If I do, I reach over and put a dab on my neck and lay back down. I tend to go back to sleep within 15 minutes. On the nights that I do not do this when I wake, I am usually awake two hours. I never forget this oil when I travel out of town!

Typical Day

In the morning, I use Joy and apply a drop or two to the area just above my heart. I do this right after I crawl out of bed. I also apply Valor to my wrists. I use Harmony in the same way, but will apply it to the side of my neck just behind my ears on each side.

I diffuse Joy, Peace and Calming, and Lavender throughout the day, whatever fits my mood. There really is not an exact science and you will just have to experiment a bit to find the right mix for you and your body. I do love diffusing because the rest of my family benefits from the oils being released in the air. It is amazing how calm it can get after 15 minutes of oils being diffused in our crazy family room!

I usually go back during the afternoon and place another round of Joy and Valor on, same as the morning. I might change it up with a different oil – like Motivation, Hope, or Clarity. It is a fairly simple routine and I love it!

If things tend to get a bit more heated up during the day, the nice thing is I can go to my oils at any time and inhale to get immediate relief. There is no time delay. I can feel a sense of peace as soon as I close my eyes and breath.

Baths

One thing I began doing as I was going a more natural route was to start taking 1-2 baths each week. I never was a bath person, but now I see the benefits of using oils in a bath as well as the salts.

A detox bath is using salts and oils is a way to help cleanse the body, relax the mind, and provide extra support to various systems of the body. You can get creative with bath salt recipes for detoxing, but I prefer a standard bath with Epsom salts (I like this one), mixed with Dead Sea Salts (I like this one), a bit of baking soda, and I mix in either Lavender oil or sometimes Rosemary or a combination (about 8-10 drops). Then sit and soak for 15-20 minutes. I had this homemade bath salt recipe I made for one of my first rounds, using ingredients I had on hand, but I prefer using Dead Sea Salts.

Vitamin D3

I also began taking a larger dose of Vitamin D3. I take 3000 IU a day. (Right now I take this brand, but as soon as I empty my supply I will be switching to this Young Living supplement –  OmegaGize³™ – which has Vitamin D as well as Fish Oil and essential oils.) I cannot get Vitamin D from sun exposure, so adding the extra Vitamin D has been my replacement. I do believe in the relationship to low Vitamin D and the incidence of mood issues, so it would be something to talk to your doctor about as well. 

If you are in need of emotional support, please know there is hope by adding natural elements into your daily life, including diet, prayer, nutrition, supplements, and oils.

*These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. I am just a mom sharing my experience in order to help others, not a doctor.  

I Used to Be So Organized Reading Plan

17
Oct
2013

I-Used-To-Be-So-Organized-Study-Main

You have all made me smile as you share your excitement for getting started on the “I Used to Be So Organized” book study!  Whether you are truly disorganized, somewhat disorganized or think you still have it pretty much going on good, this study will be refreshing indeed!

Hopefully you’ve gotten the word already about the study and ordered or picked up a copy of the book, “I Used to Be SO Organized,” by Glynnis Whitwer.  If not, hurry and grab a copy!  But if you think you won’t get a copy before next Monday, no worries, you can read the first two chapters online, so you won’t fall behind!

Each Monday for the next seven weeks I will post the week’s reading assignment on the blog, as well as a memory verse focus for the week and some homework suggestions.  You will be reading three chapters a week.  At the time I post the reading assignment, I will give you some questions to consider as you read.  I am hoping that you can read the chapters listed for the week’s reading prior to reading the post that correlates to the chapter reading, but do what you can, this is not legalistic! [Read more…]

My Struggle with Sin

14
Oct
2013

I have felt it over the few months…..

A growing discontentment with a lot of things…..my home, my marriage, my kids, my routines, my ministry here at The Confident Mom, my retreating into isolation due to a long list of ‘things’ to do and not having time to reach out.

I am bitter, restless, feel beat down and angry.  I am angry at myself for allowing me to get to this point, and even more angry that I have to admit this to others outside my close knit group.  But this is one of the steps to rid sin of it’s place….

Whether you know it or not, this community is one outlet that I depend on.  You are a bit of my family here…..I like to share the positive and encourage you all the best I can, I do truly believe it is a gift that The Lord has given me, but the other part of the equation is being completely and vulnerably honest and truthful when things aren’t so perfect.

This is reality and I know in my heart I have to be honest and authentic  in my walk, my struggles as well as with my successes.

This gig of motherhood is hard, and it’s even harder when you are trying to be the wife and mother that God intends you to be – I feel the expectations sometimes just overwhelm me, but I know it is my given role.  I also realize when my senses are truly engaged and I am tuning in, that satan loves to have my feeling inadequate and insufficient.

Last week I poured my heart out to The Lord during my morning devotional time, asking Him to help me determine what was the problem, or problems causing this anger, frustration and plain exhaustion in my role as Keeper of my Home.  Being a mom lacked any enthusiasm on my part; a wife – serving my husband, even less enthusiasm, even down right disgust.  Now, please do not get me wrong, I love my husband and I know we are a gift to each other – but I was not feeling like serving – in fact I was really wanting someone to serve me.  

What about me?  That ugly selfish thinking…..

I was losing patience with my toddler, feeling lonely and upset that often times I am alone with my little guy 3-4 days per week doing life on my own because my husband travels.  Everyone has their story and every has their struggle, but for me right now, I am struggling.  And it runs deep.

It was revealed to me clearly after I read a post that was written actually several years ago by Mandy over at Biblical Homemaking, it was about an experiment she had done called, “The Complaining Experiment.”  The post was up on my Facebook feed on Friday and I am so thankful that I happen to be on Facebook at that time to run across it.

She spoke of many things that resonated clearly with me and struck a cord, these are direct quotes taken from her article:

“I was being deceived by the father of lies.  In so many ways.”

“And it hit me- the father of lies will do anything to make me give up on being a mother

Satan wants me to stop caring. To disengage. He wants me to want to mentally quit, and not even know he was there. And he kept whispering in my heart, “you are not good at this. This is not who you are.”

And it took me a few years, but I fell for it.

And that’s why I think I believed the second thing God showed me was a lie in my life:

I shouldn’t have to do this.”

This was at the very core of my complaining spirit.”

It was like I had words to put to my anger and frustration.  I was exhausted and felt like I ‘shouldn’t have to do any of this. That was the bitterness, spread out like dirty laundry…..my feeling of entitlement.

I realized from her article and what she shared, that not only did I have a selfish heart (which had been revealed to me earlier in the week by The Lord) but I had a complaining heart.  I was full of sin and it was poisoning everything I did.  

Everything.

I feel like I need an overhaul from a selfish spirit.  I want time for me – period.  And you know what, this is not my time to have time for me necessarily.  I have been called to mother children and be a submissive wife to my husband.  I agreed to this and even when it becomes hard, I need to grasp for Jesus’ hand and keep pushing forward.  Period.  Stop the complaining, seek His word and carry on.

When I lose my temper for the 10th time in a day, I need to sit down and hold my 3 year old and cry asking for forgiveness.  

When I don’t feel like serving my husband because I have been ‘served out’, I need to ask for strength to serve him even more.

I need to pray this verse – hourly….

Create in me a pure heart, O God,
    and renew a steadfast spirit within me.  Psalm 51:10

After I shared Mandy’s article on my Facebook page, I received a message from another mom who had also been struck by Mandy’s post.  I knew it was my time to share my feelings…..I knew I wasn’t the only one and that other’s needed to know they were not also.

I find it interesting that I felt led to share my struggle with you right now, just days before I lead you all in a book and Bible study to regain control in our homes and find peace.  I realize too, that when we step out in obedience that we are prime targets for Satan’s attacks.  I know that I am being attacked, because of the self-talk that I can continually say to myself all day that discourages me from believing God’s word, believing His truths and knowing that He loves me more than anyone can.

But I also know that in the midst of this all, I am still a sinner and will struggle with constantly keeping it all in check.

So, as we venture on this journey together, would you join me in praying, not only for myself and my struggle, but the other ladies who will join this study.  Satan would love nothing more than to have us realize and believe his lies that we are not good enough and we will never be able to provide a calm and peaceful home that is organized for our families.

Ladies, we are going in for battle and we are going to WIN!

I also love that when we admit and ask forgiveness that The Lord blesses us – He meets us and fills our needs.  As I went was writing this post, even in my struggle to share my imperfection and feelings of being unworthy and not good enough, an email came in from a mom who just finished my 5 part FREE mini series.  

Dear Susan,

I just finished your 5 video series! Thank you so much for all of your work and for your heart in offering them for free! I am a homeschooling mom and have four kids ages 10 – 19, and love it it all!  However, we had a very challenging summer with mental illness issues and I’m quite frankly – exhausted! My husband sent me out on a 2 night over-nighter yesterday, to rest, relax and refresh myself. This morning I was able to finish your videos that were waiting for me in my inbox.  Yay! They were JUST what I needed. THANK YOU!
 
I also just sent out an email with your link, recommending your website and video series to the yahoo group of homeschoolers at our church. I’m praying some of these tired mommies will click on your link and prepare themselves to be refreshed.
 
This renewed my spirit ladies and gave me the courage to tackle new challenges here.  I am so thankful when I hear stories like this and can be reassured that I am helping others.  
 
I pray my post today touches someone who needs just that – a kind touch from another mom who knows her struggle and wants her to be a conqueror too.
 

Won’t you join us?  Details to come this week!

I-Used-To-Be-So-Organized-Study-Main 

 

I Used to Be So Organized Online Book Study

11
Oct
2013

A few months ago I went to the Proverbs 31 conference, SheSpeaks back in Charlotte, NC.  I had an amazing experience and also met a lot of other talented writers, bloggers and speakers.  God uses all of our stories for His glory!

I was deeply motivated when I attended a workshop on creating online book/bible studies.  I felt that this was one of the next steps for me to take in my journey as a writer, coach and blogger.  So, I am stepping out in obedience and offering my first online book study.

During this conference I was also able to attend several workshops offered by Glynnis Whitwer and felt an connection with her as a person, writer and then even more so when I picked up her latest book, I Used to Be So Organized and began reading it.  I felt that it was a book I could use as a refresher, but I also felt that this book was a perfect fit for my wonderful community of moms.  

Life is always throwing curveballs at us, our seasons of motherhood change and we can often feel overwhelmed and frustrated with our lack on being able to control things.  Well, Glynnis covers the frustrations that many of us feel when we just can’t get a handle on our lives.  We carry guilt, over this fact that we ‘used’ to have it together, but for some reason, life now seems a bit overwhelming, we are met with one challenge after another and often distracted from managing our homes in a chaos free fashion. 

Combining spiritual encouragement and practical application I Used to Be So Organized presents a balanced approach to finding order and peace for today’s overwhelmed woman.

So this is the first book that I will be offering as a study.  It contains 23 chapters (don’t freak out!!) but each chapter is short and easy enough to read while waiting in the car pool line or while at swim lessons.  It is a great easy to read guide.

IUsedtobeSoOrganized_large

So my crazy idea involves:

  • Reading the book together – breaking it down into 7 weeks bite size pieces
  • Each Monday I will be posting the week’s reading and suggested assignments
  • I will be posting on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday – my own thoughts, implementation ideas and how it worked in hopes that my suggestions may help another mom – all useful content relevant to the study. There will be homework and study ideas, memory verse suggestions, discussion questions, video messages (yep I hope to do a short video in there!!)
  • We will create discussion in the comments section of the blog, and I will be actively engaged in responding
  • We will be sharing and creating conversation on Facebook – both on my Facebook page, but I plan to open a closed group page for more in depth conversation and idea sharing/support.  Participating in the Facebook option is just that, an option not a requirement – I will refer to them in my posts, but  they are supplements and free options for more interaction.
  • You can give yourself a reminder to check my blog daily or sign up to receive my blog via email.  I suggest email. That way the study will always come to you, and you don’t have to remember to come to it. It is up to you to check for the weekly assignments. If you have ANY problems understanding how to do this, just ask.  (There is no certain time of day that you have to check my blog–check it at your convenience. That’s the beauty of an online study!)
  • The study is FREE for you to participate, but you must have your own copy of I Used to Be So Organized in order to participate in this Online Study.  I will be using the book, referencing it and you will be lost otherwise.  You can pick the book up locally or order it online at amazon – here is the link to the paperback copy – here is the kindle version.  If you purchase using this link I get a small *bonus* from amazon as my thank you for referring you.  I appreciate it when you use this link, it helps me keep doing what I am doing for FREE.
  • Other items that will be helpful for this study:  a Bible, a notebook, pen or pencil, and highlighter.

A side note, you will get out of this study exactly what you put in to it. I am your encourager, leader, coach – but I cannot do any of this work for you.  I encourage you to start thinking now when you will set aside the time to fully participate in this study, make it a priority.  

If you are in need of a change, make this your time to succeed!  Bad habits are hard to break, so let’s go in together to create some good habits and get peace back into your home, life and family!  I know you won’t regret it!

BONUS Options for You

Options are just that–options! Good–but not required.

1.  “Getting Real – Conversations that Spark Change”  – Conference Calls~ I will be posting more information on this option later next week, with the line-up of guests and topics that we will cover.  Look for 3-4 calls over the 7 weeks, lasting 45 minutes and encouraging you with real information and solutions – this will be a paid add-on.  (pssst….one of the calls will be with Glynnis too!  I will share more next week!)

2.  Private Facebook page IDEA  – I would like to open a private facebook page for those who want to keep conversations private and in the comfort of those only participating in the study.  This will be where I post the majority of the content as I do not want to bog down the regular Facebook page feed with information for those not doing the study.  Please leave a comment below if this is an option you would like.  If I do not get feedback I will use the existing Confident Mom Facebook page rather than beginning another page.    I heard from you all – here is the link to the private facebook page – please ask to be added and join in on the fun!   

3. Pinterest – Love Pinterest!  I have a page created where I will be posting the weekly verses, resource images and other relevant content.  You will want to follow my I Used to Be So Organized Online Study Board if you are on Pinterest!  

I will be posting the reading schedule next week with additional information – but for now, if you are thinking of joining us – go grab your book!

What do you think?  Are you in, leave me a comment!

20 Simple Ways to Take Great Care of Yourself

10
Oct
2013

20 Simple Ways to Take Great Care of Yourself
I have to admit, I’ve been running a bit on empty and my nerves are beginning to show it. Stress is rising here and I need some relief! I have a short fuse with my husband, my temper has been rearing its ugly head with my toddler, and I am embarrassed to admit last night I yelled so loud at him because he stuck his fingers in his milk (seriously).

I am ashamed of myself. I am the big girl in the scene here, but so often I act like a moron dresssed up like a mom. I stopped the whole dinner show so I could apologize and make things right, but the damage was already done. I mess up too ladies.

We are all in this together and I need grace just like you. Just like the other mom who is at her wits end. I need it more some days than others. It is funny, even after I finished reading this great devotional for moms, got pumped up with my worth as a mom, it doesn’t take long for real life to pummel me.

The past few days of low quality parenting on my behalf have led me to re-examine how I am caring for my needs. I need some time for mama! I see a direct correlation between placing everyone else’s needs above some of my needs each day when I begin to break apart.

Today I am sharing my tips and ideas on how to implement some simple ways to keep yourself nourished so that you can be the mom your kids need and even the wife your husband desires. This list is as much a reminder for me as it is sharing with you. I hope it ignites some self-care habits!

Get Outside

The fall is here and it can be getting a bit nippy in some areas of the country, which means we tend to stay indoors more. Try to make it a habit to get outside at least once during the day, either alone or with your kids.  

Exercise

Pick your favorite. It doesn’t mean you have to run 5 miles a day. You can do stretching, yoga, pilates, walking – the point is to get your body moving. My favorite exercise now is running (since I am participating in a half-marathon next month in San Diego!), but also this video by Jillian Michaels – 6-Week Six Pack Ab workout, only 35 minutes. It’s free!

Take a Bath

This is my one pleasure I started several months ago and have not done in several weeks. I can tell my body needs it. Getting a bath is great, but to have it do double duty, use some homemade bath salts and some quality essential oils for added detox and relaxation. I love adding Lavender and Rosemary. This Redmond salt blend is another one of my recent finds that I like. I also like to light a few candles. 

Take a Nap

This is another great idea that I implemented for awhile and have now pushed to the wayside. Even resting my body on the couch for 15 minutes can make a difference in my perception of the day and how much energy I have until bedtime!

Try a New Recipe

With my new Paleo eating journey, this has been fun. I like recipes that are simple yet new. Pinterest is always a fun place to look, as well as eMeals

Saying No 

Sometimes there are things on your to-do list that are just not critical to the life of your family. Your needs come above laundry, phone calls that are endless with needy friends, or making it to the store to get the latest deal on laundry soap to save $.50 with the coupon. Give yourself the permission to focus on what’s really important. Eliminating the unessential responsibilities off your list will not only create some extra time and space, it will also lighten the burden you’re feeling to keep up with it. Feeling overwhelmed will quickly put any mom into orbit.

Get Sleep

This is certainly not new wisdom, but it’s often avoided! Sleep is essential to you staying healthy and being able to be at your best.  

Get Creative

Do something that engages your creative side. I made this fun 4th of July wreath which really was a fun way to engage myself, but haven’t been doing much lately. Discover what ignites your soul! It can be crafting, cooking, writing, gardening, sewing…it is endless. Find some time to fit in a hobby that you enjoy!

Listen to Your Favorite Music

Pandora is my go-to station to find different music that is what my soul craves. I love that our car has a jack where I can plug my phone in and play it there as well – we were able to get rid of Sirius! A budget saver! What music do you need through the day? Worship music, some beach music, classic guitar? Fit it in! 

Take Tidbits

Break your self-care habits into smaller tasks and do one each day. I love this suggestion I read on another blog, cannot recall where. I do this and didn’t even think about it being a way to conquer self-care needs. If you are like me and color your own hair (oops, I let that one out!), don’t do your own pedicures and manicures if it can feel like too big of a task to keep up. Instead take bits of those larger tasks and break them down. One day color your hair, the next day remove polish and cut toe nails, the following day soak and care for your feet, and the next day polish them. This work great for me!

Keep Connected

Friendships are important and when our busy schedules get overloaded, those times of chatting or having coffee with friends dwindle. Isolation can quickly creep in which is not where God wants us to be. Make sure you are purposeful in engaging and relationship building. I struggle in this area greatly ladies, which I constantly have to battle.

Write a Daily Gratitude List

A daily gratitude list is really helpful to shift your focus and help you appreciate any situation. It doesn’t have to be long, a few sentences will do or just a list. If you keep a gratitude journal, you can also look back on your previous entries whenever you need a little boost of happiness and motivation. I have done this at different times and it has helped.

Use Essential Oils in the Shower

Grab a sponge and give yourself a little drop of love in the shower with a bit of Lavender oil to relax, or a little Peppermint to wake you up. Grapefruit is another refresher which will really start my day off well. Or make a nourishing homemade body wash!

Limit Your Media Consumption

Yep, cut it out. I am the worst at this, but the more time I am on the computer, phone, or iPad, the less patience I have. I need to “cut it out”. We do a good job of limiting the TV being on, which is also a big energy drain.

Have Time Alone

Make sure to get at least 30 minutes of alone time each day. This time could be during your lunch break, before bed, or in the morning before everyone else gets up. 

Make Healthier Choices

Make better choices about the food you consume – less sugar, more fresh fruits and vegetables, and ditch the soda. Your body will reward you when you take the time to make good choices rather than making decisions out of convenience or time restraints.

Meditate on Scripture

Each week pick a Scripture to focus on – you don’t necessarily need to memorize it, but write it out on a 3 X 5 card and place it in a place you will surely see several times during the day.

Read for Pleasure

A good story is so refreshing. I love reading books on motherhood and parenting, but I truly enjoy when I can sit back and read a fiction story. I have a few waiting for me on my Kindle, so I better start setting some time aside. 

Pray

Needless to say, this probably should be at the top of the list. We often get ourselves in dilemmas and try to get ourselves out of them rather than going to the ONE who can perform miracles. Make it a practice to pray throughout your day, not just at certain times.

What would you add to this list?