Walking Through Grief and Healing with a Loved One

8
Nov
2018

grief

Hello Sweet Friends…. I am just now coming up for some air.  Our family has been venturing down a road that has been emotional, exhausting and heartbreaking.

Two weeks ago, on October  24th, 2018, my 19 year old nephew, Nicholas Schumacher lost his battle with Neuroblastoma cancer.  He fought a 17+ month battle.  We fervently prayed he would be healed, but God had other plans.

The weeks leading up to his death, I was privileged to spend more time with Nick than I had in any other time in his life. I still saw the smile, his personality and his determined spirit coming through.

Gifts

He was the person who lit up the room as soon as he walked in with his infectious smile.

He had more JOY to spread during his short life than most do in 70 years.

He was incredibly talented in film making, even at only 19.

His Make A Wish trip involved a movie filming and meeting Tom Hanks.  It’s was a powerful trip and an awesome video was created to celebrate.

The pain of real, heart wrenching grief has not touched me since I lost my mother just a little over 12 years ago.  Grief will stick to your bones and bring you to your knees in the most dynamic way.  Even 12 years later, there will be certain memories that will open the flood gates of tears.

It’s good to remember, it’s even better to allow the tears to fall.

During this past month, I’ve grasped some concepts and ideas on how to walk alongside someone who has experienced  loss.  My brother and his family are doing just that, right now.  My heart breaks for them as they grieve the loss of a child, and I want to be a help during this time in ways that allow them space to walk the long road. Here are some of the things I have sent be helpful.

Just Be There

I had the privilege to be present when my nephew took his last breath and it was just an honor.  I found the most joy and feeling of peace just being there in the moments with both my brother and my sister-in-law.  Now, it’s the after…. the days that pass where they need someone to be present.  To not forget what they are walking through…. so even thought I am not physically there in their home with them, I will text with a message asking, ” how they are doing today” or just to let them know I am praying for them.

Listen

In the days after Nick’s death I was just present.  I asked questions, but often conversation just started, tears would start and I would just listen and allow space.  I know many feel like they do not know what to say when someone has just lost a loved one…. and that is the beauty, you really do not have anything to say, except I am sorry.  Just stop and be willing to listen.  We try to cover that awkward space with endless words that can often make things feel worse.  A hug can do so much.  Silence also produces healing.

Offer to Give Specific Help

Many times we want to help others, and we tend to ask, “What can I do?”  If you are in a the midst of grief, your mind and body is under a lot of stress and emotions and you are lucky to remember how to brush your teeth and drive your car.  When you ask a person grieving what they need help with, they will often be blank.  They are not sure.  So instead of asking an open ended question like that, offer a specific way to help.  Cleaning house, going grocery shopping, taking over errands, folding laundry, mowing their yard or just being available at their house to take deliveries is so much better.

Meals

Food….. this is important.  The last thing one wants to think about is fixing a meal, let alone trying to eat. So a real practical task you can offer is bringing a meal.  You can do this individually, or you can set up an option and coordinate it so many friends and family can contribute and make things very easy.  One site I am familiar with and used was Meal Train.  I set up a calendar of dinner delivery for two weeks, every other evening.  After that, I set up meals for every four days, to allow my sister in law a chance to get things back to normal in the kitchen, but also allowing friends to help.  Meal Train also allows for you to link up gift cards and offer a cash donation, which is great for those who do not live nearby.  I will say, the donate funds option was a bit pricey on fees, so in the future I will set up a pay-pal option for friends to donate through.

Grief is a tough season, no question about it.  However, these tips will help you walk alongside someone and be a true blessing during the process.

 

Simple DIY Summer Perfume Recipes

18
May
2018

DIY Summer Perfum Recipes
Did you know perfume can be detrimental to your health?

The term “fragrance” on labels can be a combination of over 300 harmful chemicals that the company doesn’t have to disclose. This is often why people get headaches when they smell synthetic perfume.  I ditched my perfume years ago for safe, all-natural essential oil perfume that I know will only benefit my body and not harm it.

It is better to play it safe and create your own perfume with natural and effective essential oils that you KNOW are safe.   Not only are these perfumes safe, but their aroma therapy can take you from feeling down and out to happy and confident in a matter of seconds.

I began my essential oil journey because I was looking for oils to help support my emotional well being – little did I know how much I would learn in the process about the toxic chemicals I had been exposing my body to.  I am so grateful for the knowledge to do better and also to smell amazing with all-natural, plant-based fragrance on my skin.

Check out these BEAUTIFUL bottles provided by Silver Orange Boutique on Etsy. You can order these beautiful bottles through her shop, fill them with your favorite essential oils combo, and gift this perfume to anyone whose day you want to turn around.  I love surprising friends with sweet little gifts!

I have all types of bottles on hand to quickly whip up my DIY perfume blend.  I grabbed these simple bottles on amazon, they are colorful and so adorable, as well as these rose colored bottles.  They are perfect for blending and gifting.

Here are some of my favorite recipes.

Fill with alcohol when using a spray bottle. Fill with V6 carrier oil if using a roll-on bottle. Adjust amount of individual oils based on preferred scent.

DIY essential oil perfume blends

❤ Bon Vivant – “Somebody who loves life.”

In a 10 ml bottle – 5 drops Joy, 5 Geranium, 10 Tangerine
In a 10 ml bottle – 5 drops Joy, 15 drops Lemon
In a 10 ml bottle – 5 Northern Lights Black Spruce, 5 Orange, 2 Rose
In a 10 ml bottle – 10 drops Oola Fun, 10 drops White Angelica

🌺 Rilassante – “Relaxing”

In a 10 ml bottle – 10 drops Stress Away, 10 drops Orange
In a 10 ml bottle – 10 Drops Lavender, 5 drops Frankincense, 5 drops Orange
In a 10 ml bottle – 5 drops Lavender, 5 drops Stress Away, 10 drops Valor

DIY Perfumes with Essential Oils

❤ Amor – “Love”

In a 10 ml bottle – 12 drops Ylang Ylang & 8 drops Orange.
In a 10 ml bottle – 6 drops Grapefruit, 6 drops Sandalwood, 6 drops Jasmine
In a 10 ml bottle – 10 drops Ylang ylang, 10 drops Idaho Blue Spruce.

What is your favorite scent? Floral? Citrus? Spicy?  If you have not tried Ylang Ylang – just do it.  Such an amazing flower that is grown on the Young Living farm in Ecuador. I had the privilege of hadn’t picking flower buds a few years ago.  The field smelled amazing!

Who is next on your list to brighten their day?  Maybe it’s you!!

Please tell me you already have essential oils!!!

If not, please give yourself a gift and make today the day you start.  NOW is a great time to get a starter set of essential oils and a diffuser for 50% off! I’ll also gift you $20 cash back and a goodie bag full of resources worth $25! You’ll also get access to my members-only online community to learn how to use your oils and get lots of education and support.

5 Blogs on Motherhood Which Inspire Me

30
Oct
2017

5 blogs on motherhood

If you’re a mom looking for inspiration, encouragement, real life tips and more – be sure to add these blogs on motherhood to your must-follow list.

Over the course of my years as a mom and a blogger, I have followed a few inspiring and helpful blogs to encourage my journey.  We al need help in different seasons and it’s so nice to have a wealth of information to choose from.

This is a short list, certainly not exhaustive. If you are looking for a few new places to get ideas, you will find a great start here.

Allie Casazza-Inentional Motherhood

This is my newest and most loved new blog!  Simple, inspiring, and relevant.  I don’t have time to read stuff that is not relevant to my season.  Allie she hits it each time!  I love following her on Facebook too for the helpful prompts to focus on areas of my life that I need help in.

The Purposeful Home Podcast

Ready for some fun, mind-blowing awesomeness?  I love this sweet podcast with Allie and her friend Kelsey – they are real, genuine and just tell it like it is – yet, with powerful tips to gain back control in your life and find balance and rhythm.  I listen while folding laundry, while on a run, in my car – it’s a real treat when a new episode goes live!

Intentional Moms with Kayse Pratt

Do you need a bit more organization in your life?  This is your place!!  She really expands on my heart for helping overwhelmed moms in several ways – by focusing on bible study, planning, organizing, and finding community.  All those are dear to my heart.  She is a sweet gem of a mom and shares genuinely in her struggles too.

Inspired to Action with Kat Lee

If you haven’t’ ventured over the Kat’s amazing blog – do it now!  I love her podcast, which will brighten your day for sure and and is so encouraging when it comes to motherhood!  She always delivered just the right content at the right time for me and her genuine heart shines through her writing and her narrative on the podcast.

The Art of Simple with Tsh Oxenreider

This is one of the very first blogs I began following years ago when I started my own blogging journey.  Tsh has created an epic movement of motherhood support here on her slice of blogosphere – including a great podcast too.  Great variety and inspiration will be found!

So hop around and take a look – you will be sure to find one or two to help inspire you to be the best mom you can be right in this season!

7 Things Confident Moms Do Everyday

29
Jun
2017

First things first, just because this blog is called, “The Confident Mom,” does not mean I am a Confident Mom or the expert.   However, over my 24 years of mothering I do feel I have learned some great lessons that will help me succeed in being the best version of myself each and every day.

Does it mean I am perfect – NO!

Does it mean I have it all together – NO!

But it does mean that I have some ideas and beliefs about myself which can help me overcome challenges, especially when our world wants to bring us down in so many ways.

Motherhood is important and is valued in my eyes.  It is valued in God’s eyes and we need to appreciate the importance of our job in that role.

So how can you make a shift to help you on your journey to becoming a Confident Mom?  Let’s chat….

Seek His Word

Nearly every morning I take time to pray, read a devotional and allow God to speak to me. This is critical for  bringing real truth into my mind.  If I don’t fill my mind with His word and truth, the world will fill it with garbage.

Self Care

You have to put yourself in your day for care somewhere!!  I am in a season where I am forgetting this gem – and I have to fit it in my day.  Knowing how my soul is refreshed so I can give back to my family is important.  But I also have to make the time to have that happen.

Check Expectations

Thinking you can clean your whole house, cook a five course dinner, run car pool, bake cookies for the school open house and do three crafts with your kids in a day is not reality.  Understanding that you can prioritize what needs to be done and not be Supermom is reality.  Take a look at your expectations for the day – are they realistic?

Find Support

Do you have a support system of friends and family that you can draw from?  We all need to have someone to talk to and reach out to.  If you do not have this…. pray on how you can create one of your own.  I am in a season of this and it helps a lot, having someone to reach out to.

Give Grace

Not only do you give grace to your kids and family – but most importantly to you!  Realizing you are not perfect and will have days where things just do not go as planned are okay and expected!

Believe in YOU

You must know that the decisions you make for you and your family are the right ones for you.  Period.  You will constantly receive judgement from others, but when you know you are doing the best for you and your family, you can find relief in that judgement and let it roll off your back.

Smile & Laugh

Yes, even when the chips are not in your court, you take time to smile and pull up your boot straps!  There is nothing better than having a big belly laugh instead of bawling (but yes, bawling at times is unavoidable, and that is okay!) but when you can shift your energy and those around you by laughing at an unforeseen issue, it definitely changes the atmosphere!

What can you incorporate in your day?

Hope for a Weary Mom: 6 Tips to Overcome

27
Feb
2017

Hope for a Weary Mom: 6 Tips to Overcome

Exhausted, overwhelmed, and numb. Any of those feelings hit close to home?

Last week I shared with you all about my season of loneliness (a topic we never want to discuss or admit). But I am here to see. I am surviving and pulling up my bootstraps and pushing into a new season of expectation.  

Yes, I’m expecting amazing things!

So, what do you do in the meantime during that transition of feeling worn out and weary? Whether it’s a season of loneliness, toddlers running you ragged, or a season of health challenges, maybe you can implement a few tips I am currently using to give myself grace.

Batch Cook

Oh my word. This is a life saver for me right now. To be honest, there are days I don’t want to cook and am worn out physically and emotionally. So I am thankful that when I make a batch of soup or a casserole, I have been doubling my recipe and making sure I have ingredients on hand and freezing a batch. I can grab something in the freezer and dinner is taken care of.  

Rest

This is a hard one for me, and I rarely ever just relax. But times are changing and my body needs time to recharge. Our emotional health is important and will impact our physical health. Finding time to sit, listen to music, and nap. Yes, I said NAP! Snuggling up with a warm blanket and a book is nourishment for your soul.

Let the Guilt Go

I have let my house get a bit chaotic for my own liking the past few months. One reason is I know we are moving, but the second reason was because I was exhausted. I have done the minimum and, you know what, we all survived! I have changed my perspective and chosen to use that time to relax instead of get all upset because I should have ran the vacuum. Find a balance that fits your season for right now.

Play with Kinetic Sand

Yes, this one is a bit odd, but putting aside our “normal” means doing some things NOT normal! For me, it was sitting down and doing Kinetic Sand (one of my son’s favorite activities). I am so not about the play, but when you are needing to change things up a bit, drawing, coloring, or using your hands in mundane activities can be really good! We have had quite the collection of sand, toys, and imaginary play.

Get Outside

I have said this one before (many times), but I know it can be work in the middle of winter. Whether you deal with snow, freezing temperatures, or lots of rain like I do, it is not always easy to just get yourself outside. But do it anyway. Especially when it’s not easy. I can often make excuses to stay indoors for days on end and it will feed my exhaustion and overwhelm. Seeing the inside four walls of my home day after day will exhaust my spirit. Getting outside I am reminded of God’s goodness and His caring for what is around me. I love the fresh air and my body needs the activity for sure.

Get Yourself Some Flowers

Yes, get yourself some fresh flowers to brighten your space. My favorite flowers are tulips and they can bring a smile to my face in an instant. You don’t have to spend a lot, but grab yourself a bunch of daisies, tulips, or maybe a potted primrose and brighten your space up!

What is your tip for seasons of weary motherhood?