For Every Kid’s Mom

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Childhood can be interesting and parenthood can be hard.
So much character concentrated into one tiny body.
Like your favorite soda, or my ginger berry kombucha…

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She’s not even 3 and climbs any and everything.

Shake it too much or let it sit for too long and things are likely to get a bit wild.

But someday… Someday that body will grow and the compression will ease. The character will be refined and ready to do what it was created to do.

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The child who never stops talking will be an excellent communicator and someone who makes others comfortable by carrying the conversation when needed. They will convey important messages with their abundance of words.

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The one bouncing off of the walls will have energy to take on tasks most would run from and come out with some to spare.

The sensitive one? Compassion. Empathy. The ability to hear others even if they aren’t saying much.

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As a mom, what I can do now is encourage them to channel that intensity of highly concentrated character into productive areas for their growth, fun, and personal successes.

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Then, when God calls them to the plate, they can let it out with full force.

We don’t need to “fix” or children to fit “normal”. We need to make space for them to take up space and help them to focus their energy for good.

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And hey, don’t be too hard on yourself. They mom on ET had an alien living in her home for a week and never even noticed.

It’s okay to really like your kids. It’s okay to just enjoy watching them grow and it’s okay to encourage them to keep going even when they feel awkward, wrong, out of place, in the way, etc.

We are all on the learning curve!

DIY – #dadlife – Birth

Hi there!

If you’ve been here long, you’ll notice that we focus a lot on all things “natural”.

Recently, I had the pleasure of sitting down with a couple about to deliver their first child and the topic of the Dad’s role in the birth came up.
I thought it would be fun to interview my babies daddy and shed some light on stepping into your role during birth. Kind of a “the things nobody told us and we learned the long way” type of thing.
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Me: If you could tell a first time “Dad to be” some bullet points for being a champion “natural” dad and stepping into his role in his family, what would you tell him?

Brad:
1. “The most important thing is to listen.” To understand. Not just to hear. And not just to your wife. Listen when the doctors, midwives, and nurses when they talk. Carefully, and ask questions. You’re not listening to comply, but to understand so that you can help your wife understand and make informed decisions for your family. Ask all of your questions and test the answers. Look it up. Listen to other dads and parents. Listen to people who have done what you and your wife want to do in terms of the plan she has for her birth, body, baby, etc.  “Sometimes you are the first and only line of defense for your wife and child.” You are there to support here. Everyone else is there to do a job.

2. “Learn about the protocols for birth at the place you plan to deliver.” Do they “room in”? Do they take the baby to the nursery? Do they require interventions like monitors, medications, etc.? “Don’t be afraid to ask questions and don’t be afraid to go against the “norm”. Your wife is an individual and so is your baby. Your story will look different from the couple next door and that’s awesome, not bad. When my wife asked me about circumcision, for instance, I knew I had learned that it wasn’t my first choice. Looking back, I wish I had brought her research and informed evidence because I should have known that that particular body part wasn’t her area of expertise. We both wish we hadn’t chosen that for our sons. I looked at it like this were her choice and that wasn’t being true to myself and my knowledge, and it it certainly didn’t help her.
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3.“You are her “birth liaison. Speak for her.” Birth can be intense and losing focus doesn’t help your wife or the baby. We’ve had both kinds. Ones were I sat back because I didn’t know any better and ones where I was basically fielding all of the things while we watched my wife do her thing. The second kind is the way to go. “Know your birth plan. When someone has a question, they can ask you and you can communicate with your wife. You’ll let the asker know when you do. The goal is to be a wall that protects her ability to focus. A focused woman is a productive woman.”  This goes back to knowing the hospital protocols. When the baby is born in a hospital setting, everything happens fast. The baby is born and its “cut the cord, wipe them off, bath, etc.”, If that’s not your birth plan, you don’t want to get caught up and say the wrong thing or allow something unnecessary just because it’s the way the hospital does it.

4. “Step up.” Your wife is going to push a human out of her body. She’s going to be exhausted. Be prepared to forget what sleep is for a while. Know how to change a diaper and watch a clock. Your wife will want to baby to nurse, but if she’s got to sleep or eat or shower, you’re the man for the job. You can hold the baby and provide that comfort and you’re going to need it. This is your kid’s first time meeting you. Might as well make it a big occasion and spend some quality time holding.

5. “Don’t ask her to put the baby down because of something you want her to do.” Just like this is your time to step into your role, by design, the baby needs to be on your wife. They need her body to regulate their body temperature, breathing, and simply touching her skin fires off so much brain development. “When the baby cries, pick him/her up.” That’s teaching your child the very fundamental truth that you’ll be there for them.

6. “Become a great encourager.” Your job once your wife is pregnant and for the rest of your life is to encourage her. She’s designed to do it all, but she will need you there to constantly reinforce that because her drive to be the best mother is also the source of her greatest self doubt. If you tell her how amazed you are by her, and you’ll be blown away at what she’s made of and her strength, you’ll unleash a confidence in her that will get your whole family through. You’ve gotta walk in your role so you can help her walk in hers.

Somewhere over the generations, we’ve lost sight of passing down the good stuff. The information we need most. We wind up feeling like we don’t have everything we need to walk out who we already are. People have been having babies since the beginning of humanity. You can definitely “DIY” the dad life. It’s okay to surprise yourself.

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our littles

 

Hacks That Work : Thieves Dish Soap

How many times Pinterest pins do you have for a “hack”? You know, a way to make a product work in a different way, last longer, save you money?

I’m guilty.

But as I was lost in the scroll a yesterday, I saw a “hack” using a very toxic product as bug repellent for children. This product is full of synthetic chemicals, synthetic dyes, and fake fragrance. Knowing what I know about how bad those things are for my kids (because a mother with a child like mine learns to read labels pretty quickly), and knowing that I am the gatekeeper of my home, I want to share hacks here that actually work for you, your kids, their bodies, and your budget.

Believe me when I tell you that you are worth it! Learning a new thing! Your kids are worth it. Their overall success in their personal health WILL be based on what YOU do as their parent. They will buy the brands you buy. They will take care of themselves the way that you take care of them.

No pressure. Am I right?

Now, none of this is to “mom shame”. I used to buy the household items for .23 cents with 3 coupons double stacked.  I quit working when I was 5 months pregnant with our first child 11 years ago. I understand making it all work in the parameters of the pay check.

And, I’ve also been standing there in the grocery store looking at 5 different “clean” brands that wanted to charge me an arm and a leg and my wedding rings only to find out that their ingredients weren’t much different than the big toxic brands.

Today, I am thrilled to introduce you to a product from Young Living’s Thieves line. Thieves Dish Soap is a plant based, essential oil infused, liquid dish soap. It is highly concentrated, effective, and safe for our homes. Yours and mine, friend.

In this vlog, I’m going to show you how to hack this product to:
– make it last 3 times as long,
– make it bubble so that you get all of the clean kitchen sink visuals
(because plant based products are so awesome they can clean without bubbles! Bubbles in typical products are from a synthetic agent in order to present that look of “clean” we are taught to want on every Ad for cleaning since the history of ever!)
-and make a truly wonderful product work for your budget.

What do you think? Simple enough? Budget friendly for a product that actually benefits your health while you use it?

Wanting to get your hands on this as fast as possible? I can help you with that: HERE and as an added bonus, when you grab you thieves products, you’ll also have access to a wonderful community of people just like you who are working on their wellness one cabinet of chemicals at a time!

DIY : Summer Glow Salt Scrub

It’s the beginning of April and I have never been more motivated to prep my skin for summer. At 33 and having spent the last 10 years carrying and feeding 5 kids, my entire body is ready for some serious pampering.

Isn’t summer your favorite?

I love the easy breezy days and the endless sunshine. I love being gently sun kissed and not needing to spend any time on make up.

Though I want lush, bright skin without even tones, I’m not willing to sacrifice my overall health to get it.
So many skin care companies claim to be “clean” but when we look at their labels, we find synthetics, hormone disrupters (think: messing with your cycle, causing hormonal troubles, weight, sweat, sleep issues, and even cancers).

The fact that I could eat this recipe (though I don’t know how it would taste. ha) makes me so happy.
– It’s truly clean.
– It’s inexpensive to make enough to last the whole summer in 5 minutes
– It’s effective for every square inch on your body- It’s also great for keeping the skin hydrated- It’s not too abrasive and can be applied right before your shower.
Then all that is left is to simply rinse off.

– Pro Tip: Scrub legs before shaving! Trust me on this one! You won’t even need shaving cream and you’ll get a very smooth shave!

Recipe: 
Baking Soda
Pink Himalayan Sea Salt (Salt Works)
Frankincense Essential Oil
Lemon Essential Oil
V6 Carrier Oil

This recipe is a perfect DIY for a girls night. Help you friends save from spending tons of cash on “skin care” that will leave them with a list of other issues. Keep it clean and walk together in the well life!

Don’t have essential oils? We can fix that right now! HERE

DIY Essential Oil Infused Dry Shampoo

I was working in a high-end spa the year that a popular hair product company introduced us to “hair powder” in a can.

It was so crazy. The concept of not washing every day.

But cut to 13 years later, and the ingredients of those cans aren’t going on my head or in the air (and all over every surface) in my home. Plus $$$.

So we did a thing.

Here is my recipe for a great DIY dry shampoo/hair powder. I tend to have oily hair and will normally wash every day.

I’m able to go 3 days with this little jar of awesome with my health intact.

YOUTUBE VIDEO TUTORIAL

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DIY Essential Oil Infused Dry Shampoo

RECIPE:

2 T arrowroot powder

1 T cocoa powder (dark hair only)

3-5 drops Essential Oils

Mix in a jar. Apply with a foundation brush.

Mattify and style as usual!

Here is a “day 3” before and after

Six Common Questions about Essential Oils

As I was shopping yesterday in a local health food store, I saw two women looking over the three different brands of “essential oils” offered.
I wanted to walk right up to them and tell them the truth about those bottles and all we’ve learned in the last four years about oils, our bodies, government regulations, wellness, and more. The oils offered are directly behind the front desk and I didn’t feel it would go over well if I began to sell something to someone in another person’s retail space. I wish I could have caught them in the parking lot.

While it may seem impossible, I find that there are still so many people who have nobody they trust trying to educate them and help them with natural wellness. With so many people trying to sell anything these days, how can we know what is right for us individually? How will we know what to do?

There have been a lot of these types of questions over the last four years, and naturally, some more than others.

In today’s VLOG, I’ll go over the 6 most common questions I am asked.

To learn more about our community + Young Living, click HERE 

DIY – Lavender Linen Spray

One thing that I value is a home that is inviting to guests.
Everything from clean sheets and towels, to pleasant, relaxing aromas, and good food.

This Lavender Linen Spray is a favorite of mine.
(I’ve also made it with other essential oils when I want a more seasonal scent such as Christmas with cinnamon and orange etc.) I use it to refresh guest beds, rugs, carpet in my car, towels, curtains, and furniture.

Here is a short easy “how-to”:

RECIPE:
+ Glass Spray Bottle
+ Water
+ Witch Hazel
+Lavender Essential Oil

Don’t forget to let us know what you think of this simple recipe + subscribe to our YouTube channel & this Blog! You can also find us in Instagram @blissfully_oily

DIY – Essential Oil Vapor Rub

One of my favorite parts of learning about how my body works has been making non-toxic support tools for our family. This chest rub is a favorite of ours. Infused with pure essential oils that boast menthol for a wonderful cooling sensation that can really open us up so we can breathe deep.

We love to apply it on the bottoms of our feet before we put on our socks during the day or before bed. We also love to apply it to our chests and backs.

This rub is diluted due to the coconut oil and ready for our kids. I’m so thankful to have options to support them that I can use as often as needed that are side effect free.

What do you think of this recipe? Let us know in the comments.

click here for more on Essential Oils 

 

DIY “ONE” Spray

Today we are making a very simple Essential Oil infused spray that can be used for so many things.

RECIPE:
+ Glass Spray Bottle
+ Water
+ Peppermint Essential Oil

+Optional+
+Vodka (For spraying both internally + externally)
+Witch Hazel (For spraying externally only)

This is a perfect addition to the summer beach bag along with our DIY sunscreen recipe

Don’t forget to let us know what you think of this recipe in the comments!

Taylor

There is something so powerful about a young person who is willing to let the circumstances of others break their heart to a place that they are compelled to act. Don’t you think?

 


We see so much on an almost moment to moment basis that we feel helpless to help or change. We press on attempting to not feel it. To not let it break us. I would argue, however, that it is when we allow the things we cannot change to break our hearts, that we see the fullness of the one who can change anything with a single thought. 

And that is what I saw a year ago as I sat across the table from Taylor and listened to her explain her time in NYC.

Taylor is my niece. She has spent her entire life right here in East TN as the only daughter of her hard working, Christian parents. In many ways, she is a bright light to our family and maybe just a tad spoiled rotten. (She’s a wonderful kid… er… woman and deserves every bit of the spoiling)

Most kids like her are looking to their future to see how it can serve their needs. Especially when heading to college. It’s the “finding yourself” phase of life. And while you wouldn’t meet her and think she’s anything but a quiet, sweet, good girl with a loud laugh, she’s anything but “average”.  She is definitely in the “finding herself” stage, but it’s where she is looking that is making such an impact.

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Last Spring, Taylor acted in faith and accepted an invitation to attend summer mission with CRU.

CRU is an international campus ministry. With over 2,300 campuses in the U.S., it is also the largest campus ministry in America.

 

Now, maybe you’re thinking that it wouldn’t be such a leap for a young woman to head to New York for the summer with friends to do some service projects and enjoy seeing the sights. I can assure you, that is far from what happened to my niece last summer. Sure, they saw some of the tourist stops in the big apple, but their days were spent actively looking for those who needed to know peace and hope on various college campuses. Even the choice to go presented the first challenge. 

To start, you’ll remember how I said that she is a very cherished member of our family. The eldest grandchild and a very special God wink amidst the aftermath of deep tragedy. Even getting us to be willing to let her go, was her first hurdle. Five weeks in New York? That’s a far cry from a weekend retreat.

 

She actually initially mentioned going to China. I think she may have a future in sales because she sure did set that up to make NYC look a bit less intense. (I’m kidding. I think.)

But, as we all know, when the Lord opens any door, no man can shut it.

And, while it’s not my story to tell, I will never forget the only time I’ve ever seen my brother in law “get something in his eyes” as he held the room in the kitchen and told us briefly how her choice to follow her King had impacted him in ways that changed him.

Our children do that, don’t they…. change us. Over and over again.

The next hurdle was the funding. $4500 is a lot of money for a junior in college. (Though it does provide her room and board for her entire stay of 5 weeks)

Especially given that she wouldn’t be getting a pay check while away and her current job would only last until the end of the semester. If we’re honest, most college jobs barely provide the money to drive to them. They are more about experience with people and responsibility, etc.

Again though, the Lord had opened the door and down to the very last minute, it felt like, her funding came in from many generous hearts moved to participate in this call on her life.

So she told us.

She told us about the 15 people who made a decision for life in Christ.

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This is Lourhae. A student who accepted Christ while talking with Taylor and her friend Erin at Columbia’s campus.

She told us about the other 205 seeds of good news planted. And, she also told us about a professor who was so visibly shaken by the presence of the Lord that he shouted at them demanding that they leave.

As we listened, I didn’t know if I was scared for her, worried she’d experience a crisis of faith in the face of so much brokenness and warfare from the enemy, proud of her, or just thankful she made it home somehow with a deeper drive to tell one more person that Jesus deeply loves them.

I don’t know about you, but as a mother, I want my kids to “find themselves” like this. To have their hearts broken for the broken. To be compelled to be courageous and speak boldly the cure for the malignancy of the soul. To trust God again for safe travels, provision, his Spirit to move for those called unto his name, and the money.

I want my children bold for the impossible because that is where their King will show up. That is where hearts will grow and change and they will experience Him. In the simplicity of just being available to him. He is able all on his own.

This summer, when most in her class will be heading to grad school and careers, Taylor has decided to again respond with a “yes” to the call to spread the good news at campuses in New York.

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How can we help her?

We can pray. We can ask the Lord to stir hearts to give of their prayer time and their finances. We can pray for her while she is there also and for hearts again to be stirred for Christ. For the plans of the enemy to silence this ministry team of students to be thwarted and for the Spirit to speak to these young adults for the glory of Christ. He is the one who never leaves one behind and as I sit here comfortably in my bed behind a screen, those traveling with CRU this summer will accept the commission in Matthew 28:16-20 of spreading the good news – the gospel – to every nation.

I cannot help but think of Billy Graham as I write this. It has only been days since he left this world for Heaven and I believe that God is moving among our youth to take up the baton and run the race to the finish.

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What we want to do is make options available to you to support her trip. I know firsthand that if I can help my family while helping others, it’s a good thing. I also know that a lot of you are very curious about Young Living and essential oils but maybe haven’t had the push you needed to order yours.

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During the entire month of March, every single person who orders a Premium Starter Kit (Any of the options available: Oils, Thieves Cleaner, Ningxia Red, or Savvy Minerals make up) through me will be a partner for Taylor. I will donate my full commission from each Kit ordered at $50 each.

This means that if this message reaches 90 people who have been on the fence about supporting themselves and their families with Young Living essential oils and oil infused, clean, non-toxic products, the trip will be paid in full.

 Premium Starter Kit Options + Prices:
(All Diffusers have a 1 year warranty)

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Premium Starter Kit with ARIA diffuser $260
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Premium Starter Kit with Rainstone Diffuser (Runs for 8 hours) Diffuser $205
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Premium Starter Kit with Dew Drop Diffuser $160

 

Additionally, because life is better together, when you purchase your Starter Kit, you will be joining a community of oilers ready to walk out this wellness journey with you. We run a private Facebook group where you can find everything from how to support your throat in winter to how to keep the summer bugs at bay.

+ Learn More about the different Premium Starter Kit Options HERE

March 2018: Purchase a Kit, join a community, fund a ministry.

Need to know more about Essential Oils?Click Here

The link to order your Premium Starter Kit is HERE 

The link to donate to Taylor’s trip directly isHERE