Some of us are really good at talking about our problems
because we have lots of practice. Time fora new skill.
Let’s practice talking about our blessings
and what’s going right in our life! ~ Charlotte Siems
To find joy, you have to look for it. ~ Reagan Kerr
Are you finding yourself down in the “depths of despair”? (Remember this scene from Anne of Green Gables) Lately it seems that at every turn something goes wrong, or doesn’t go MY way. I know it’s my own perception of the situation and not reality; or it’s my self-indulgent nature, not the way things truly are in my life.
So why the dramatic “depths of despair” moments? Because, like Charlotte said in the above quote, you get what you focus on. If I’m focused on how hard life is (or appears to be), then life is going to be hard. Instead, I desire and choose to focus (from this point forward) on what is going right. I choose to find joy in the blessings all around me.
Starting right now.
- Bedtime went smoothly tonight and I was able to spend some time writing.
- I ran; my body is strong enough to carry me fast than a walk.
- Lovely friends popped in for a visit.
- There are sunny dandelions in a vase on my desk. (The kids assure me they are leaving lots for the bees.)
- The wind has died down; the night is so still that the frogs seem loud!
- Technology allows me to contact friends and acquaintances, on a regular basis.
- I look forward to my parents’ visit in June.
So tell me something that’s going right in your life!
Searching for joy,
She waits anxiously, hour after hour, for him to return, thankful for the text messages he sends from time to time though they aren’t enough to put her mind at ease. Why is this call taking so long? It came across the lines as routine. He should have been home hours ago.
She comfortingly explains to the children that their plans have changed because he is needed to save a life, or someone’s property. They are disappointed but after years of similar situations they have become accustomed to changed plans, walking home from events and holiday meals where he was serving his community, instead of visiting with them. They aren’t angry. The children are gracious and understanding that their father has a special passion; he fulfills a calling that not many desire to meet.
When they are finally united, and the afternoon’s activities completed, just a lot later into the day than originally planned, he shares with her a little more of his experiences through that long day. He tells of the scared pets, the damage to the building, the lives affected. At her request, he leans on her and she holds him as he processes the day, thinking nothing of how the information shared may affect her later. She thinks only of him and what he needs in the moment after such a taxing day that didn’t end when the trucks were put back in service. She thinks how he continued to sacrifice for his family after the not-so-routine call ended.
Life goes on for a fire fighter and his family, but not always for his wife. Like Mary, the mother of Yeshua, she takes and ponders these things, mauls them over, contemplates how they will affect her man, how they will change the families affected. Having suffered great loss herself, she knows acutely the emotions and the fears they are experiencing.
And, though not always, this time the nightmares start. Days later, the fire fighter’s wife, lays down to sleep but sleep is the enemy. So unexpected the images come, a terrifying inaccurate retelling of scenes never experienced by her or by her man, but so real and so disturbing that she can’t tell reality from the dream. And she clings to him. Rousing him from his near slumbering state, tears streaming down her face and screams stifled into his strong shoulder, so as not to wake the children sleeping nearby.
As he comforts her, his words are as you would expect.
It’s gonna be okay.
You don’t have to be sorry.
And just as suddenly as the terror started, there comes a unexplained peace. The room slowly fills with a presence, a peace she can’t explain. But she doesn’t fight it, she allows the peace to fill her body, to fill her soul, as she lays, safe in her fire fighter’s arms. Her mind pushes to recapture the images, to see the horrifying scene again. Not of her own desire but from somewhere deep within. But the images are gone. An inky blackness stands between her and the terror. A thick wall. A comforting blanket of peace and her mind sees nothing, nothing but complete peace.
In her heart she knows he prayed for her, but before she can form the question, she is asleep. Safe in the arms of Yahweh and in the arms of her man.
He realizes anew that his job of protection starts at home. And he decides again that night, that there are just some things, she doesn’t need to know, even if she asks, even if she has them already figured out. But his faith is strengthened, his prayers were answered. She is protected and the enemy can’t bother his family with those images ever again.
With much love,
It’s crazy that I don’t fully trust him after all he’s brought us through. And it’s so unfair to make him prove himself over and over again, and yet I do. I don’t trust God and that is evident in my personal issue with prayer. Prayer seems so wrong to me.
To pray: to plead, to beg
That’s not a conversation! That’s a one sided give-me-give-me. The word prayer has a different meaning, or different connotations than we realize, I think. I don’t want to pray to Yahweh unless it is to beg and plead for my life, which I should probably be doing! I deserve death, so I guess that would make sense. But that’s not relationship building. If prayer is the way we talk to Yahweh, the way we build relationship, prayer, as defined above, is not it! Begging and pleading is not meaningful conversation with our Creator, our Savior and our King.
I admit that prayer is a powerful thing, a tool or whatever. I’ve seen it work in the lives of people around me. I’ve even seen it work in my life, but I feel as if I’m missing out on something. Something big. I desire to build my relationship with Yahweh, and I need to talk to him and to hear from him to build that relationship, and so I must use prayer, or less formally, I must talk to him.
So how does this tie into my lack of trust and fearing how he’ll use me. Well, I guess I fear that Yahweh will give me more change than I’m willing to handle; if I’m in an intimate relationship with him, he’ll expect too much of me too soon for my liking. I fear the changes I know I’m required to make. I am too content with my life the way it is; I appear to dread the good things he’ll do in and around my life if I let him get that close to me, if I allow his love and power and grace to truly and completely affect my life.
And I know that makes no sense at all. Why WOULDN’T I want to have these good things in my life???
So what’s my hang up with prayer? Why do I turn my nose up at the word and the concept? Prayer has become “holier than thou” concept. It’s something Christians use to beat and berate each other with; it’s a measuring stick of holiness.
And it shouldn’t be.
And that’s what makes me angry. That’s what causes my feelings of disdain for something that is so good for me, so beneficial. And ironically, the best way to work through this, is to pray… the best way to work through this is by getting to know my Creator and my Father better!
I don’t know if this is a “fake it until you make it” deal or what, but I’m game. What’s the worst that can happen? I stay the same. And the best? I become more in love with Yahweh.
More in love with Yahweh…. that is the desire of my heart.
Today I pulled up this post and made the Snack Cake that we loved a couple of years ago. I think it will be our breakfast for the next little while. It’s easy, fast and changeable. I can add any number of treats to the batter to make it taste different. This morning I swapped vanilla for Young Living’s orange essential oil.The kids haven’t even let the pan get cool yet and the cake is more than half gone. Granted, that doesn’t take long around here, but sometimes it’s really a chore to get them to eat. I think I may experiment with using honey instead of sugar too.
In this house we deal with more burns than we do cuts, but a Facebook acquaintance told me about this “kick butt healing goo” aka essential oil salve that she made to help with a cut on her finger. With the oils she used, this would be good for any number of cuts, scrapes and abrasions as well as respiratory issues. I’ll have to make some up for us, I think.
I’m always hurting myself. Not that long ago, I cut myself pretty good cutting a deer leg up. Nothing seemed to be working, so I did a little research and thought I’d make my own healing salve. This is the “recipe”: I melted coconut oil (I didn’t measure it, sorry), added about 40 drops of tea tree oil, 20 each of eucalyptus and orange oils; I poured this into a pint-sized mason jar and put it in the fridge. To use it, I scrape a little bit up and apply it where I need it. It melts and feels wonderful. My wound was basically healed over in 3-4 days.
I don’t have a real good picture of the original cut, but it was pretty deep towards the nail! This is about a week or so later.
For respiratory issues, I would put Jessica’s “healing goo” on the chest or back. I can’t wait to try this out.
If you are interested in learning more about Young Living essential oils, be sure to contact me; I’d love to help you out.
Zyto Compass Scan: Adding Insight into Your Body
Our family started using essential oils early 2012. Since that time I have spent a lot of time learning about the oils – how and where to use them, what oils to use for which issues. I continue my education in this area regularly by purchasing (and reading) books, taking courses online and listening to podcasts and webinars.
My biggest problem with choosing which oils for each issue is that I always felt like I was playing a guessing game. I never knew for sure what exactly the issue might be and what oil might just work the best. When I heard about the Zyto Compass* I loved the idea of being able to pinpoint the exact oils my body (or those of my family members) needed at that time and so in December of 2013 I purchased a Zyto Compass*. I run regular scans on my family members (about once a month, though my husband likes them every 2-3 weeks) and we purchase the oils needed as we are able. When we don’t have the oils listed on hand, or simply can’t put out the money to get them, we use what we have. I feel more in control of our healthcare issues, because the Zyto Compass* gives me direction.
So how does the Zyto Compass work?
Before I purchased the Zyto Compass*, our family experienced great success improving our health with essential oils. My husband helped rid himself of an ongoing sinus infection using such oils as eucalyptus, peppermint and a blend called R.C.. I helped remove slivers less painfully with Thieves blend. My second youngest son had a number of warts on his feet; each night for about 6 weeks, I placed a tiny bit (less than a drop) of oregano oil on just two of the warts and I covered them with band-aids. When those two warts fell out, the others also disappeared within days.
Now that we have the Zyto Compass*, I am able to deal with problems more quickly; if one of the children are feeling “off” they will come and ask me for a scan so they can get the right oil for the job. My husband is able to tweak his oil protocols every two weeks or so and has had great results in maintaining and increasing digestive and respiratory health.
My distributors and other clients are enjoying this tool as well. One lady in particular waits to make her monthly essential oils order until she gets her scan; she wants to be sure that she’s ordering what her body needs. Others come away with a better understanding of what’s going on inside. My friend and colleague, Lynne, loves the scan and appreciates the accuracy when comparing what she knows about her body, where the issues are specifically and loves being able to help fix the problem areas effectively.
If you are at all interested in more information about the Zyto Compass* or Young Living, you can contact me or visit the websites linked in this information.
Loving my new tool,
Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional. I’m a mom sharing what works for our family and friends. The information included on this website are for information purposes and not a substitute for speaking with your healthcare professional.
So my friend Lynne and I hosted a workshop in my home today for a few other women. At this workshop we talked about Young Living oils, did Zyto scans on everyone to find out what oils our bodies needed and made these really cool shower “discs” among other things. Lynne and I had a number of trial and error adventures before the ladies arrived and by the time they left I think we got it down. The ones pictured are still drying, but here’s the end result:
I can’t wait to try them. Not that I want to be sick, but I want to give them a try too.
Click here for a free download of the recipe we tried to follow; you’ll have to do it trial and error, just like we did.
1 So if you were raised along with the Messiah, then seek the things above, where the Messiah is sitting at the right hand of God. 2 Focus your minds on the things above, not on things here on earth. 3 For you have died, and your life is hidden with the Messiah in God. 4 When the Messiah, who is our life, appears, then you too will appear with him in glory! 5 Therefore, put to death the earthly parts of your nature – sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed (which is a form of idolatry); 6 for it is because of these things that God’s anger is coming on those who disobey him. 7 True enough, you used to practice these things in the life you once lived; 8 but now, put them all away – anger, exasperation, meanness, slander and obscene talk. 9 Never lie to one another; because you have stripped away the old self, with its ways, 10 and have put on the new self, which is continually being renewed in fuller and fuller knowledge, closer and closer to the image of its Creator. ~Colossians 3:1-10
Would you lie for me?
Can I trust that if I were in a sticky situation that you would tell the truth, even if it got me in more trouble?
I have a very high standard of honesty. Little white lies are a bigger deal to me than a big fat bold-faced ones. I understand exaggerations and stretching a story for a story’s sake but that is totally different than what I’m talking about. Lying is a tiny chink in the armor of our relationships. Lying is an entryway drug. When you tell a little white lie you start down the slippery slope to more lies, and other forms of mistrust.
I need to trust that you will not only tell me the truth but that you will tell others the truth on my behalf. Wrong or not, I hold you to the same standard of honesty as I hold myself. So guess what that means? I’m not going to lie for you nor to you. I may even be brutally honest (though I’m working on tempering my honesty with compassion because I don’t want to hurt people).
I’ve never read in the Bible anywhere that condones or supports lying and that’s the standard to which I try to hold myself. I’m not perfect; lies slip out. And then repentance and moving forward.
What level of trust and honesty so you hold yourself and your relationships to?
My aunt died earlier this year. She was my mom’s oldest sister and the oldest of 7 living daughters. I didn’t feel sad, not really. I didn’t feel any loss here. I’m sad for my mom that she lives in Rwanda, Africa and couldn’t be here to grieve along with her family and that she couldn’t be part of the funeral. But I feel nothing for myself. I didn’t know her well at all and until this summer I didn’t even feel I knew her children well. We were not close to them growing up. Our house fire reconnected me with a lot of people, my cousins were some of those people. And this summer we got to know each other a little better at a family reunion. I’m so grateful for that.
My frustration is that I have a different idea of the theology of death than the rest of my family and most of my friends. Everyone is sure that my aunt (or any of their loved ones who have died) has gone to heaven and I’m not 100% sure on that. I don’t know how my aunt lived her life, so I’m not judging that. My issue is with “where we go when we die”, or “what happens when we die”. Most people around me are certain that we will go straight to heaven when we die and will wait for loved ones to join us. I don’t agree.
I believe in heaven and I believe in eternal damnation (what does that look like??? I haven’t a clue, really.), but I don’t believe that we go to either place immediately upon our death. There seems to be enough Scriptural evidence to point towards what my friend called “a dirt nap” where our bodies just lay in wait for the resurrection. The dead in Christ will rise and meet him in the air is something we are taught in Christian circles. My question is: WHY would we have to rise and meet him if we are ALREADY with him? It’s just not logical. And I have my faith in a pretty logical and organized God.
It feels “better” and helps with the grieving process to say that our loved ones are in heaven with Jesus – playing and doing this or doing that, meeting with family who has gone on before, but in my opinion, that’s just bad theology. Maybe you need to know where I’m coming from on this topic. I’m a mother of 8, but I only get to parent 7. In March 2004, I gave birth to a son who lived for 10 days on machines and then we took him home, where he “lived” (I should say, slowly died) for another 2 days. It felt better and made things easier to say that Harvey was in heaven with a cousin and an aunt who died in infancy that I never met. But even then, in the middle of my grief, I “knew” or “felt” that we were not quite right to say that he was in heaven. Will he get to heaven? Yes, I completely believe that, I just don’t believe he’s there now. And that thought begs the question, “So is he actually there – in the ground where we buried him?” I dunno. I’ve always been taught that it’s just his body that’s in the ground. His soul is in heaven. I dunno. It’s a big question that many people ask and I don’t know that anyone can have a concrete answer to these questions.
Like my husband says, “We’ll know when we get there.”
My girls are LOVING 1 Girl Nation!! They used to listen to One Direction NON-STOP and it was driving me crazy! I was so tired of their “worship” of these boys. They were so ga-ga over them. I went looking for something different and found these beautiful women with music that is very similar sounding to One Direction but the lyrics are so much better. My four girls latched on to this right away and have memorized most of the songs on the album in the short few weeks that we’ve had the disc in the house. I will be buying more of their albums for sure!
I encourage you to check out their links below, listen to a sampling on iTunes and buy if you are so inclined! We love 1GN in the Harris house! (Scroll to the bottom of this post for a video of my two youngest girls dancing and singing to One Girl Nation’s title track. Excuse the chaos! Life goes on, whether we are producing or not! LOL! Especially because everyone wants in on the action – even the dog!)
About 1 Girl Nation:
Landing in the space where One Direction meets TobyMac, 1 Girl Nation is an exciting blend of upbeat pop music, with lyrics that are totally focused on living life for God, even while you’re young. 1GN, as they’ve already been dubbed, stars Carmen, Kayli, Kelsey, Lauryn Taylor and Lindsey, five girls with a passion for telling their fans about Christ through their music. Their first single, “While We’re Young,” can be heard on radio stations across the country and their self-titled debut album is available now!