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I wrote a brief caption about this last night on my Instagram but I can’t help but speak on it a little more here.

Comparison is something I have struggled with for a very long time. It’s so easy to get caught up in what everyone else is doing and forget about what you have, isn’t it?

I spent the last week trying to figure out why my eye was twitching. It wouldn’t stop, in fact it bothered me so much I found myself praying for it to stop, but I didn’t know why it was doing it. I wasn’t stressed, I hadn’t had a particularly hard week, lots of fun and exciting things were happening.

I felt happy.

But it just wouldn’t stop.

Finally on Friday night right before our essential oils 101 class I found myself smelling the aroma of the oil blend release. I was particularly drawn to it and just kept inhaling it. I looked over at my friend and mentioned how my head almost felt lighter not like I was going to pass out or anything but almost as if I was floating, I kept saying how I had never felt something like that.

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Then out of nowhere in the middle of a normal conversation the tears fell. I tried to stop them, and they weren’t pouring out by any means, but they fell. And I felt even lighter. Like a release, like the oil blend had done exactly what it was intended to do.

I looked at my sweet friend in amazement saying how I had no idea what I was being released from. It was the most bizarre situation I had ever been in. I felt better from something that I didn’t even know was bothering me.

The night went on, the next day went on, I praised the oil and the Lord for doing a work in me, but I didn’t know what the work was.

Then Saturday evening came.

We sat through church and the entire night we were listening to the pastor speak about comparison.

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The thief of joy.

A never ending battle.

A no win game.

Jealousy.

Envy.

Rotting to the soul.

Bitterness.

Near impossible to overcome without the Lord.

And it hit me like a ton of bricks.

Everything I had touched lately I was comparing to others.

My children, my marriage, my home, myself, my blog, my social media outlets, the way I spent my days, and on and on and on.

Goodness gracious I was eating myself alive with comparison.

But goodness gracious my Lord is mighty to save.

Do not fear, do not be anxious, I will never leave you, or forsake you.

He revealed my need to me, in a gentle and slow way. In the way He knew I would respond and take recognition to.

The twitching, the release, the church service, my heart.

It was all how He planned, all how He wanted, and all that I needed.

Comparison is ugly.

It will rot your bones, make your heart a dark place even before you know its there, and it is almost impossible to overcome alone.

But God.

God is good.

God loves you and wants you to overcome it.

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Look at all you have friends, look at it, take inventory and be thankful for all He has given you. Then look at your friend or your neighbor or the girl on your social media channel and thank the Lord for the work He has done in them, for all he has given them, for all He will give them.

And release it.

God is good, all of the time. 

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Cold and flu season is dwindling down but if your kids are anything like mine they hang onto the coughs until the bitter end.

This trio however, liquid gold I tell ya. 

I slather this on before bed and add to the diffuser and it quickly calms that nagging and annoying cough.

We know thieves is amazing at killing any and all bacteria or viruses and we know frankincense is great at promoting lung health and is a great immunity boosting oil, but R.C., y’all this is a must have. R.C. is a blend of eucalyptus oils that helps to promote healthy lung function. It’s also great at opening up bronchial tubes that are inflamed or even sinuses that are full.

You need this trio in your arsenal!

I can so confidently say that these oils are helping my kids have a better life, you know why?

Every.single.year. we have spent weeks in the hospital due to respiratory issues and this year?

Not one.

In fact, my sickly son hasn’t even come down with a cold.

All the praise hands friend.

And I truly believe this is because God created mighty natural plants to help keep us healthy and through prayer we have been using those natural resources.

I don’t know about you but this is life changing.

Want in?

Want to get your oils for free?

Want to join our awsomely amazingly encouraging and growing team?

Please, please, please, email me.

We are working together to make essential oils less scary, and more exciting.

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Lately, I have been shown the overwhelming grace of Gods timing.

Everything in its season and time.

Yeah?

I just sit here in amazement at the place where I am at…

This place, right here, right now. 

Everything that I am surrounded by are dreams that weren’t ever even dreamed.

I have friends that I never knew would be in my life really in my life and filling me up with truth every single day. I have children I didn’t even think I would ever have filling my home with joyful noise. I have a home I never intended to live in but now love. All these things are over and beyond anything I ever dreamed or planned.

Do you ever feel these things?

An overwhelming sense of satisfaction in His will over yours?

I mean goodness, if I was in control of this plan, I wouldn’t be anywhere near where I am.

Yet the things that brought me here aren’t things I would have even used.

Heartache, pain, loss, sorrow, stress, anxiety, guilt, worry.

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All bad things. All things I would never think would produce good everlasting fruit.

But God.

But God takes those things and uses them for His glory.

Thank God.

Am I right!?

I just pray I keep being clay…clay that is soft and ready to be molded and shaped, not clay that hardens and dries out not willing to be transformed into his glorious plan.

Friends. I pray that you have these moments.

The ones that are so good they are hard to understand and couldn’t come from anywhere else except from Him, and I pray that you too remain clay, soft and pliable and ready to mold into whatever it is he has planned for you.

Friends!

I am so excited to introduce to y’all today my friend Charity.

I have told y’all before one of my most favorite things about blogging is meeting like minded people I wouldn’t have met otherwise, and well, this gem of a girl is one of them. We met around this time last year when we both sponsored another blog. I have loved following along on her journey as she grows through her writing (y’all she is so real, like really real) and it makes my day having her stop on by over here. So grab your cup of coffee, make yourself at home, and be ready to be inspired and convicted and loved on.
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I think most of us live on a proverbial teeter totter, bouncing between our culture’s definition of a beautiful body image and the real world we live in. We curse the magazine racks with their perfect Photoshopped cover models, but we lament when our cottage cheese thighs won’t fit in our jeans any more, and to make ourselves forget that we don’t have a size two frame we order another Starbucks grande Caramel Macchiato, and as we sip liquid heaven we wonder why God made all the bad foods taste so good and exercise hurt so much?

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Sometimes when things get too desperate we join a gym, sign up for the latest diet program and pray we can get off at least 20 pounds before our family vacation. Thus, begins our up and down ride on our teeter totter, each time less enthusiastic and each time less hopeful of real change.

This is where I was two years ago, addicted all things junk food and my butt planted on the couch. As my muffin top grew, so did my despair. I knew I was heading in the wrong direction with my weight, but my love for Pepsi was greater than my love of a flat stomach, and my love for donuts superseded a thigh gap, so what was I going to do? How was I ever going to overcome my failure, and live a life of abundance and health? How was I ever going to lose weight and keep it off?

I discovered something very important when it comes to a lasting change in our lives, including losing weight, and living a healthier lifestyle — self-love. As I pursued the heart of God, and his delight in me, I discovered how much I really hated myself. My thoughts were filled with negative and self-destructive thoughts. I hated my body, so I never took care of it. I hated my life, so I comforted myself with food and inactivity. Deep down I believed I wasn’t beautiful or worthy to be beautiful. I discovered that everything I believed contradicted the words God was singing over me. I realized I was believing the lie, instead of the truth — the truth that I am fearfully and wonderfully made. 

This is when I decided to go on a journey. A journey that I am going to be on until the day I die. There is no destination, there is no perfect moment, no perfect weight, size or shape. There is only one goal on this journey, to see myself as God sees me, and I will never stop pursuing Love and his delight in me. This journey is never about being perfect, but finding true love. 

First, I faced myself just the way I was — flabby, dimples (and not the cute ones), bad habits, whatever I hated, and I began to practice accepting myself. Every single day I would stare at myself in the mirror, and I would begin to love the girl I saw. I would speak of her beauty, her strength, and her fire inside. I didn’t look away. I asked myself, “If nothing about yourself ever changes, could you love her just the way she is?” I began to call the lies out and replace them with truth, because until I love myself right now, in this moment, I don’t care how skinny I get, how perfect I can make myself, I will still hate the girl. 

True and lasting change comes from the foundation of love and knowing I am worthy of that love. 

Second, I began to practice self-forgiveness. Every day I would drive to the gas station to get my super-sized fountain Pepsi, and the whole way home, I’d say to myself, “Charity, I forgive you for drinking this soda. You’re on a journey, and you are going to love yourself more than this soda, but today I’m not ready, and that’s ok.” It took three months of practicing self-forgiveness and kicking shame out the door, and I was finally ready to quit soda for good. That was two years ago, and if you knew how much I loved soda, you’d understand this was a huge step in my journey, but I couldn’t take the step until I was ready to make it forever. 

There weren’t very many other big changes for the next year. I continued to eat fast food, and forgive myself. I continued to squeeze my flabby arms, and say, “I still love you, Charity.” It was a journey of daily renewing my mind, learning to love myself in this very moment, and forgiving myself for not getting it right. 

It didn’t seem like anything was changing on the outside, but I was changing on the inside. I was walking a journey to self-love, and inside there were so many true and lasting changes taking place under the surface, and then, four months ago, I decided to cut out refined sugar, like, within a day. I was shocked at how easy it was. Two months ago, I started working out, and I love it. I’ve added in mountains of rabbit food. (Barf, ain’t nobody got time for leafy greens! Except, you know, I was ready for them, and I actually like them.) 

I want to share with you my favorite salad that I pretty much eat every single day, and if you’d rather be on Pinterest pinning pecan pies and deep fried pork chops, then that’s ok. That’s where you are right now, besides, it’s more about enjoying your journey, then making it perfect. Love yourself now, because you’re perfect just the way you are, and you’re on a journey to discover how much God takes delight in you, and how much you’re worthy of that love.

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The Most Amazing Spring Salad

 2 handfuls of leafy green salad mix (make sure to add fresh spinach and kale for extra power foods)

1 handful of blueberries

1 handful of cut apple chunks (Tart apples are the best. Fugi are my favorite.)

1 handful of grilled chicken chunks

Blue Cheese crumbles (See, it ain’t perfect. I’ve have more than one person tell me to lose the cheese. No way! I’m not ready for that!)

Homemade Vinaigrette dressing

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Homemade Vinaigrette dressing:

 1 part apple cider vinegar

1 part virgin olive oil

Italian seasoning

Dried Basil seasoning

Red pepper flakes (if you like a kick)

Salt

Pepper

Shake it all together and pour over the salad.

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You’re so beautiful just the way you are, and remember, you are not on a journey to perfection, but rather you’re on a journey to Love.
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Charity shares pieces of her messy journey over at The Wounded Dove. If there is anything Charity has learned from her broken story is to embrace her past, practice gratitude, and pursue Love, because from that freedom is found. When she’s not writing, Charity is managing four fabulous young children who continue to inspire her to be a #GoodEnoughMom. Come connect with her on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

Happy Friday! Today you are in for an awesome treat. I have gathered up several of my favorite gals to give you the opportunity of a Lifetime – a ticket to the 2015 Influence Network Conference AND $300 in PayPal Cash to help with travel costs!

I have been a member of the Influence Network for a couple years now and it has only been an encouragement to me in my personal, online, and spiritual life! This community is packed with people who desire to encourage, come along side, share, promote, and awaken the dreams & talents within you. This conference will be an unbelievable experience and will help you grow and connect with so many other small businesses, bloggers, and creatives. To learn more about The Influence Network and the Conference, click here.

YOUR CHANCE TO WIN

Now is your chance! Use the Rafflecopter below to enter to win the Influence Conference Ticket and Travel cash! For each entry you get entered in the giveaway, the more you complete, the higher your chances are of winning so go meet some new bloggers! The winning entries will be verified so no cheating! The giveaway is open to anyone in the world who wants to win and come to the conference! GOOD LUCK!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I want to take a moment to document all that life is bringing us these days.

I feel like one of the best parts of blogging is being able to take a look back at all that was, and all the wisdom that was gained, all the memories that were made, and just the moments being recorded for all time. Isn’t that the goodness? I have been failing at baby books lately, but this space, I can’t help but think it is even better, a living journal of sorts for my children to look through as they grow up.

Lately my sweet oldest has been growing and learning and we have been working so hard with his reading. And guys, he is flourishing. He is reading chapter books out loud to me and while some days its harder to have him do it than others, we push through and we make it happen and the perseverance that he is learning already is unbelievable. Something that I am embarrassed to admit that we just started is praying over our reading time together. We ask the Lord for strength and clarity and for his mind to focus and work correctly, and friends, its amazing how God delivers, and how this just solidifies my thoughts on homeschooling.

My second born is so bright. He reads a mile a minute, thrives in school, loves his friends, but is struggling to find his place at home right now. I think that this has a lot to do with his independence. He has never really needed much attention and just kind of gets things done and goes about his business. This is a blessing and a curse. A blessing in that he is so easy, and he is always able to be counted on to get his work done, but a curse in the fact that I find myself taking advantage of it. And that is never good. I need to work on loving him harder, pulling him aside and letting him know how awesome he is, and helping him refine the character God has given him.

My sweet, sweet girl. She is on fire lately. So full of life, so happy, and so much fun. Four was always a hard age for me with the other two, but man, she is redeeming it. She is lovely and fun and fierce and just four. I love it. Baby girl has taken a liking to gymnastics and she is so dang good. She was quickly moved through the classes and now settles in nicely in the developmental class. She flourishes out there and truly loves it. I thought I would be pushing her too hard moving her up into such a disciplined class at such a young age but man, that’s her jam and I am excited to see where God takes her.

My baby. Oh my sweet sweet baby. He is going to be two in a couple months and I cannot believe it. We still haven’t completely weaned but we are pretty darn close. He is a joy though, still loves me fiercely and prefers me over anyone. He is talking up a storm and loves his brothers and sisters more than anything.

This is what life is about sweet friends, goodness gracious, my heart is full and happy and just could sing His praises all day long. It’s not easy, its hard work, there are tears and hurt hearts and frustrated minds, but when I sit back and recount all these blessings, those just fade to the background.

God is so so good.

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Sleep is something that for a very long time has been few and far between.

Between four kids, a husband, and a dog, I feel like someone is always waking, and usually waking up mama. Why do they feel like mama should be waken up instead of Daddy? Is that just my house? Goodness.

Well, when we started using Essential Oils, I knew I wanted a sleepytime blend that I could introduce into a bedtime routine.

Now, I don’t want to stand here and say that this magical little blend will for sure 100% help you and your kids sleep all night long soundly, because if that isn’t the case you will stand there and say I lied and don’t know what I am talking about;) but I will say it works for my family.

My kids, my husband, and I use this every single night and if I forget I get reminded.

The smell is soothing and who can resist a little foot rub. If anything that sweet little moment of connection is worth it in my book.

Give it a try, you will love it.

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/I am not a doctor and I do not claim to be one. I am a mama who has learned through experiences and I am sharing those experiences with you. If you are on medication, please seek the guidance of a health care professional and please don’t stop. Anything ever mentioned on this site is exclusive for Young Living Essential Oils.

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I wanted to introduce y’all to a few of my favorite mixes.

Allergies.

We all have them, yea?

Well this allergy trio is magical. Seriously.

As most of you know my son has really bad allergies, so bad that he usually can’t ever breathe out of his nose. Until we introduced this combo.

While he isn’t old enough to swallow a gel capsule he does find relief through the diffuser and topical method.

What are you waiting for?

I posted a short little video on my private Facebook group which has a few recipes of my favorite mixes that I put in roll ons and this was one of them. Want access to that awesome group? And resources on how to use these oils in your everyday? And a great community that will encourage you with every step you take? Then join us! We are growing like crazy and would love to have you be a part of it! And trust me when I say we don’t pressure ya, we empower you and encourage you in ways to naturally help your family. Its an awesome thing we have going. Email me for some information friends, we would love to have ya!

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/I am not a doctor and I do not claim to be a doctor. I am simply a mom who has learned through experiences. Please if you are on medication, don’t stop, and ask a doctor before beginning an essential oil regimen. Anything mentioned on this blog is exclusively related to Young Living Essential Oils and I cannot emphasize that enough.

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I posted this recipe over at Adrianne’s blog a few months back but decided y’all needed this goodness here.

Growing up I wasn’t too fond of pie.

I remember visiting my grandma when I was young and her baking a fresh cherry pie each and every time. I would always find myself trying to escape the dinner table before the slice was placed in front of me.

Weird right?

I wasn’t very successful at sneaking away, so I would end up just picking off the crust enjoying that with what little bit of filling stuck to it, only to have my plate covered with a big pile of the filling. That was usually followed by me sliding it around and spreading it out to make it look like I ate enough.

Oh kids.

Well, since then a lot has changed and very little has changed.

I now love pie, but the crust is still my favorite part.

 That love of crust became the inspiration behind this recipe. I knew I wanted to create a simple apple pie but I wanted it to be one that didn’t become a soupy mess all over the plate.

TaDa…the apple hand pie.

Eat it as a literal hand pie or dress it up with some whipped cream and caramel sauce.

Friends, this is a good one, so please enjoy.

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Ingredients for the filling

4 Apples peeled and cubed

1 Lemon juiced and zested or one drop Lemon Essential Oil

1/4 Cup Flour

1/4 Teaspoon Ground Cloves

1/4 Teaspoon Ground Nutmeg

1 1/2 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon

1/2 Cup Brown Sugar

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Ingredients for the crust

2 1/2 Cups Flour

1 1/4 Teaspoon Salt

6 Tablespoon Unsalted Butter chilled

3/4 Cup Vegetable Shortening chilled

3/4 Cup Water cold

egg white

coarse sugar

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Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Begin by placing peeled and cubed apples in a medium size bowl. Add lemon juice and zest to apples and toss to coat. Sprinkle in sugar, flour, and spices. Stir to combine and place in refrigerator while you prepare crust. Add flour, butter, shortening, and salt to your food processor. Pulse a couple of times until mixture becomes crumbly. While food processor is running slowly stream in cold water. Stop as soon as dough begins to form a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap and allow to chill for about ten minutes.

apple5Once dough is chilled roll out. Using either a cup or cookie cutter cut dough into about three inch circles. Spoon apples into the center and top with another circle of pie crust. Using a fork press both sides of dough together.

apple7Place hand pies onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Gently brush each pie with egg whites and sprinkle generously with coarse sugar. Place in preheated oven and cook until lightly browned, approximately 30 minutes. Eat while warm, or top with whipped cream and caramel sauce.

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//Original Recipe and Pictures

Anything mentioned on this blog is exclusive to Young Living Essential Oils. I am not a doctor nor do I claim to be. I am a mama who has done her research and feel comfortable safely ingesting Young Living oils. Young Living has a seed to seal guarantee which is why I would only recommend their oils.  

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You know what has been happening a lot lately!?

Alot of my nevers are turning into actualities.

Which is beyond me.

I will never co sleep.

Happened.

I will never have a natural birth.

Yup, did that.

I will never use those essential oil things.

Sorry, guilty again.

I will never nurse them past 18 months.

Still going.

I will never ever in a million ever’s home school.

Uh oh.

Yeah, I think God laughs at our never’s.

He sees us down here planning out our lives. We make our choices, say our never’s, and think anyone who doesn’t follow them is crazy, all the while He is up there seeing the bigger picture nodding his head. Yup, changing that path, switching this, changing those plans, boy she sure doesn’t know whats coming her way this will be good.

But you know what, it will.

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It will be good.

All of those changed paths, all of those never’s turned into already happeneds. All of those things are good things. I have never said, never will I ever, and had something bad happen from it. And you want to know why?

Because it wasn’t me changing the story, it was Him.

A big God who promises nothing but good for us. Not good in the way of an easy life, but good in the way of reaping the benefits of those hard good things He gives us.

When I was thinking and dreaming about homeschooling the kids I was talking with my sister in law and she told me the greatest piece of advice I could have ever gotten,

Nothing good is ever easy

Hard is good. Such a strange concept right?

But such a beautiful one.

What is a never that has changed for you? Is God changing your heart right now? Can I pray for you?