Living Every Moment!

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Phew!  Where did September go?  We have been going non-stop every weekend!  A wedding, a wedding reception, a BMX State Championship, and an essential oil roller bottle Make and Take class at the house.  I am exhausted!

Earlier in the month I spent three days in Mississippi with my sister as she prepared for her daughter’s wedding.  There was so much to do, the days went by in a flash.  It was beautiful, but hot.  That’s the south in the summer!  It was nice seeing family.

The very next weekend, I had some lovely ladies over to catch up on our kids and families, and to discuss how to stay above the wellness line now that school is back in session.  Everyone had a great time talking and learning each other’s secrets on health and wellness.  We made essential oil roller bottles to take home and put in our wellness toolboxes.  We also had a special treat of lavender lemonade and peppermint brownies!

 

Our third weekend in September was spent in Dothan, Alabama where Steve raced in the Alabama BMX State Championships.  He came away with the #1 plate for his class.  I am just thankful for no broken bones or concussions!  I swear sometimes I think he is just trying to give me a heart attack, so he can get himself a younger woman!  Anyway, it was a good weekend, too, but of course, very hot!

Just a few days ago, we got back from St. Louis, Missouri and southern Illinois.  We attended Steve’s cousin’s wedding reception and since we were so close to where he grew up, we met more family out at the home place early Saturday morning, before the reception in St. Louis that afternoon.  The farm where his father and six siblings were raised is quiet, out in the country, and very relaxing.  Another of his cousins, Shelby, and her husband, Eric, met us out there with their 4-wheeler and Polaris side by side.  Michael got his first driving lesson from Eric in the Polaris.  He loved it!  Steve and I rode the 4 wheeler behind them.  We had beautiful weather.  It feels like the beginning of Fall in Illinois – a nice break from the heat of the south.  Shelby brought a breakfast pizza and strawberry milk in a glass container from the Chester Dairy.  Steve said it was just like when he was a kid.

We then loaded up and headed to our hotel in St. Louis to get ready for the reception.  We had the best time.  It was so nice meeting our new family and spending time with everyone.  We sat around talking and laughing as stories were told and memories were shared.  We ate good food and danced and visited until evening.  It really was a wonderful day.  The next day we were able to see more family members out where they were harvesting corn.  We got an up close and personal view of the farm equipment and just how hard farmers work.  We had homemade chicken and dumplings at St. John’s Lutheran of Breman where Steve was able to connect with more old friends and family and then we headed back home to Alabama.

I will say that I am worn out and am still doing laundry, but I will also say that this is life.  Sometimes you are extremely busy and on the go and sometimes you are at home and things are a little slower.  I love it all.  I love being at home and getting things done around the house, or going for an evening walk after dinner, but I also love getting to see family that we don’t see very often due to distance and life.  In the end, when I am older and not able to do All the Things, I will look back and hopefully remember that I lived EVERY moment and did All The Things, and had no regrets!

 

 

 

The Power of Our Thoughts

jad-limcaco-256487-unsplash“Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right either way.”  Henry Ford

Lately, I have been studying conscious language and the power of what we say to ourselves.  Actually, I didn’t set out to study this.  The subject just keeps finding its way into every article I read, devotional I do, video I watch, radio program I listen to.  You think God is trying to tell me something?

Well, I do.

You see, I struggle with depression.  Deep, dark, ugly depression…and when I say struggle, I mean fighting it tooth and nail most days, feeling like it has won.  What I have learned about this state of mind is that it doesn’t just stay on the inside.  It oozes out and seeps into every tiny crevice of my life.  Why do I mind?  Why should I care?  It’s just how I feel. Right?  Wrong.  Thinking negatively turns into speaking negatively, which then shapes those within my sphere of influence – my children, my husband, my friends, my coworkers.  It shapes how I feel, how I look, how I perceive everything and how others perceive me.  Soon, what happens?  My words create my world, whether I intended that or not.

So, what do I do with this world that I’ve created?   What a mess!  How do I turn the ship around?   I have found that a negative thought pattern that is ingrained in the brain is a terrible place to be, however, there is hope.  There are physical things we can do and there are spiritual things that we can do to flip the switch, so to speak.  I don’t think it is easy for anyone who struggles with this, but I do believe it is possible.  For with God, ALL THINGS are possible.  Matthew 19:26.  Living an intentional life is just that. Intentional.  If I wake up grumpy and filled with anger and frustration, I will reap anger and frustration if that is all that I sow.  If I continue to think about, mull over and fuss about that which upsets me, then, my attitude will be negative and I am going to have a bad day.  If I step out of the shower and say His mercies are new EVERY morning, this is the day that the Lord has made, I WILL rejoice and be glad in it, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever can be admired, if there is anything excellent or praiseworthy, think on such things – then I have chosen to change my thinking and I can pray that the Lord will honor His word and bless me with a good day.  For He is faithful to watch over His word to perform it.

Please don’t misunderstand me.  I KNOW that it is not easy and there are days where, nope, my day still stunk.  I deal with chronic pain from degenerative discs and exhaustion from adrenal fatigue and I have two special needs children.  LIFE is not easy.  So, what else can I do?  Rest is important.   Vitamins and supplements to support my health are important.  Exercise is important.  (Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy.  Happy people just don’t shoot their husbands.  They just don’t.)   Ha ha.  It is true that exercise does make me feel better and I absolutely believe in the power of proper nutrition and vitamin supplementation.

When I fail miserably and give in to the anger and irritability, and sadness, it feels terrible.  Isaiah 55:6-7 says: Seek the Lord while he may be found; call on him while he is near.  Let the wicked forsake their ways and the unrighteous their thoughts.  Let them turn unto the Lord, and he will have mercy on them, and to our God, for he will freely pardon.  I ask forgiveness for my stinkin’ thinkin’ and I try again.  Life is God’s gift to me.  What I do with it is my gift to him.  So, tomorrow is a new day.

 

 

 

 

 

Are you sick and tired of being sick and tired?

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This year has been pretty brutal with regards to the flu, bronchitis, the stomach bug… you name it and we know someone who has had it.  The news is covered with stories on the latest area to be stricken.  Schools with low attendance, workplaces with hand sanitizer stations just inside every entrance, and grocery store shelves empty where tissue boxes, cough syrups, and fever reducers used to be.  The waiting rooms in all of the urgent care clinics in our area are filled with people suffering from these awful illnesses.

I am so thankful that we have had an unusually healthy Fall and Winter season in our household this year.  I can remember a time when our youngest had strep throat almost every Thanksgiving.  Yes, I mean on Thanksgiving.  It never failed.  If we were supposed to be going out-of-town, he would get sick the day before.  Bless his heart.  He would spend the day on the couch with a bowl, a washcloth, and a cup of Gatorade.  It seemed every Fall our two youngest would get the sniffles and the stuffy nose and congestion would just stay with them almost all Winter long.  Not really sick, but not really healthy or well either.  I remember one Valentine’s Day, I had already been sick for about a month and had an asthma type attack at work.  I had to leave and go to the doctor.  I had developed Bronchitis and was prescribed an inhaler and other meds.  The last couple of  years has been remarkably calm for our family and again – I am so very thankful.

So what changed?  Have we just been lucky this year?  Extra blessed?  I don’t think that’s it.  I thought this would be a good place to just think about and write down the changes we have been making over the last couple of years and how I believe they have helped and maybe how they might help you, too.  These are the big things that I believe have helped our family stay above the wellness line, so to speak.

We try to limit the amount of sugar we consume.  Excess sugar depresses immunity.  Now, don’t get me wrong.  We still ordered Girl Scout cookies.  We aren’t crazy!  We just watch the amount of sugar we consume and cut it out where we can.  I use raw Stevia in my coffee, for example.  I don’t drink coffee every day because it has a tendency to make me too acidic.  When our bodies are too acidic, disease can take root.

My son now drinks non fluoridated water and uses non fluoridated toothpaste.  We have been trying to reduce as much inflammation in his body and brain as we can.  This has proven, for us, to help him tremendously.  We also use aluminum free deodorant for the same reason.  We try to eat less inflammatory foods, such as dairy, grains, and soy.  Reducing things that cause inflammation in the body has been key.

My family started using essential oils last April.  We began that journey when our daughter had a severe eczema flare and nothing else we tried helped.  As a result of venturing into the world of essential oils we stumbled upon a super fruit drink called Ningxia Red.  It is a highly concentrated blend of super fruits, the wolfberry, and essential oils.  It helps support the immune system and is high in nutrients and anti-oxidants.  This has been a game changer for our family.  I will post another article on how this has helped our autistic son tremendously.

The last thing I believe that has helped us stay above the wellness line is the reduction in the use of toxins in our home.  I used to love to burn candles.  I was unaware of the dangerous chemicals released into the air when burning candles.  Most candles are made of paraffin wax, which emits highly toxic benzene and toluene when burned.  We have stopped using aerosol sprays that contain highly toxic chemicals like regular household cleaners.  The ingredients in some widely used disinfectant cleaners are highly toxic and can disrupt our endocrine and respiratory systems.  We are still in the process of replacing our cleaning supplies with non-toxic ones that won’t harm our bodies.

Now, I know that even doing all of this doesn’t make it impossible for us to get sick.  I just hope that by making these changes we stay healthy more often.  Each of these changes are simple, but I believe they add up.  As we eat healthier and take vitamins and supplements that strengthen our immune systems and rid our homes of as many toxic chemicals as possible, we get stronger and healthier.  Praying that you find all the things that help you and your family stay healthy, too.