Wednesday, April 8, 2015

{Dents and All}

The other day outside of Panera there was a car that had a huge dent in the back end of it - it was a pretty good dent! But the car was able to drive and be used and was still on the journey!

I felt like God was reminding me that this is like us - sometimes we have big dents from things that have happened to us but we have been made new on the inside - like we have been given a new motor! 

The dents are part of your story :) But when God saves us and we believe in Christ it is like we are given a new motor :) despite the dents that may be on the outside, we are made brand new on the inside and given His power inside of us, His life, His Spirit for the journey, new strength that comes from God ❤️and we are able to drive like never before - dents and all! 

It's not about what's on the outside but what's on the inside that matters ❤️

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

{All His} ❤️

Driving down the road yesterday it struck me like a ton of bricks while looking at the cars around me... And I realized all that we have is literally God's and belongs to Him! Wow!!

This doesn't only pertain to the vehicles that He has given to us to get around in but EVERYTHING - from our marriage, to our children, ourselves, the homes he has given us, the food we have, the drink we have, the gifts/talents He has given to us, our communities, our groups of friends, our bodies, our very lives are His 💗 To think about this just makes me say WOW! And smile... Because lady... We belong to God!!! 😍 WOW! This answers any question in our restless hearts about our worth... About why we are here... About what we were made for... It answers every one!! ☺️ Wow...

I don't know where you might be right now in your relationship with God but want to lead us both in a prayer - "Lord please have your way in all ❤️ marriage, family, children, relationships, business relationships, working, resting, playing, life 😀 it's all Your's God - Everyday - Today ❤️

Love each of you!!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

{God Dates} ❤️

A few weeks ago I was feeling worn out... Mama's you feel me? :) And it usually takes me a while to realize this but God has been teaching me - when I am feeling run down like this, like I have nothing left to give, like I am almost completely run dry {not like a spring or well watered garden} something is up and I am needing more of God. It is a sign to me that somewhere along the way I have gotten side tracked from the MAIN Thing... Really the Main One! 

I have read it so many times before - that Jesus said "Apart from me you can do NOTHING." And just as God means ALL that He says - He meant it - we can literally do NOTHING without Him.

What are some things that I do that lead me down the path of doing things without Him? 

Some things that have come to mind are:
* Not trusting God with the details of my life.
* Not spending time with Him.
* Somewhere along the way I stop fixing my eyes on Him the author and perfecter of my faith and I begin fixing them on the things going on around me - the to do lists, the frustrations that occur during the day with the little ones, my overwhelmed feeling of feeling like I can't seem to do enough in a day, all the things that try and stack up against us in a day as Mamas, wives and women in today's world.
* I try to do things out of my own strength instead of calling upon God that He may be my strength.
* I forget who I am and Whose I am

These are some of the things that God has been showing me in myself that have lead me away from remaining in Him and trusting Him to do what only He can do.

I don't know where you ladies are at or what part of the journey you are on but I feel God is calling us to come back to Him :) to spend time with Him :) to lay down our comparisons, the expectations we have constructed for ourselves or received from other people and come to Him, rest in Him, and maybe even go on a date with Him :) for me my God dates are usually at Panera but it can be anywhere and look any way - the only thing you need are yourself and a heart open to hear God speak those words we all need to hear. That we are loved, that He is in control, that He has a plan for our lives and receive that stream of living water that only He can give! May you be filled up today by the only One who can fill you and me :)

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

{Exercise & Emotional Wellness} and GIVEAWAY!!

Hello again!!

It's been a little bit since the last post in the Emotional Wellness series, our daughter Ava had a heart procedure done through the Cath Lab up at Duke University to close an ASD hole that she has had since she was a baby. It went SO WELL :) Praising God for everything and for His hand over Ava through all of it! 

Now that things have slowed down a little bit I am excited to share the last post of the Emotional Wellness series and also for the giveaway at the end :) I love giveaways and I am so excited to get to share some of these tools with you!!

Today we are going to look at Exercise & Emotional Wellness! 

  • How does exercise help with anxiety and depression?

  • What are some things that we can be actively be doing with our bodies to support healthy thought processes and emotions?


Here is an excerpt of an article from Mercola that shares some very exciting research that has been done with active mice and sedentary mice comparing their stress responses. The results are VERY exciting:

"Exercise is known to create new excitable neurons in the hippocampus, an area of the brain involved in thinking and emotions.
This would suggest that exercise might induce anxiety in physically active people, but, ironically, research shows that exercise is associated with reduced anxiety and calmness.
The reason for these seemingly incompatible exercise effects was recently explored by Princeton University, who appear to have revealed, as the New York Times put it, “an eye-opening demonstration of nature’s ingenuity.”1

Exercise Creates New Excitable Brain Cells… and Quiets Them When Necessary

Newly formed ‘young’ neurons can be prone to easy excitement, making them quite efficient at inducing anxiety. Physical exercise creates excitable new neurons in abundance, which is beneficial in the long run, but would be expected to increase anxiety rates in the short term.
However, a new animal study comparing running mice with sedentary mice found that while the exercising animals’ brains ‘teemed with many new, excitable neurons,’ they also contained new neurons designed to release a neurotransmitter called gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). GABA inhibits excessive neuronal firing.

This helps to induce a natural state of calm.2 Commonly prescribed anti-anxiety drugs like Ativan, Xanax and Valium actually exert a calming effect in this same manner, by boosting the action of GABA.
Exercise appears to go one step further, however, as when the mice were later exposed to a stressful situation, the study found that the exercising mice, as opposed to the sedentary mice, responded with only an initial rush of anxiety, followed by calm. What all of this suggests, one of the study’s authors noted:3
 “ … is that the hippocampus of runners is vastly different from that of sedentary animals. Not only are there more excitatory neurons and more excitatory synapses, but the inhibitory neurons are more likely to become activated, presumably to dampen the excitatory neurons, in response to stress.
… I think it’s not a huge stretch to suggest that the hippocampi of active people might be less susceptible to certain undesirable aspects of stress than those of sedentary people.”

Such exciting news and so encouraging for anyone who has some level of anxiety or depression. By being physically active our bodies are actually being prepared to be able to have a healthier stress response when stressors do come {not a matter of if but when right?}. 



"If you struggle with anxiety, you really can’t go wrong with starting a comprehensive exercise program – virtually any physical activity is likely to have positive effects, especially if it’s challenging enough. That said, Duke University researchers recently published a review of more than 100 studies that found yoga appears to be particularly beneficial for mental health.6 Lead author Dr. P. Murali Doraiswamy, a professor of psychiatry and medicine at Duke University Medical Center told Time Magazine:7
“Most individuals already know that yoga produces some kind of a calming effect. Individually, people feel better after doing the physical exercise. Mentally, people feel calmer, sharper, maybe more content. We thought it’s time to see if we could pull all [the literature] together… to see if there’s enough evidence that the benefits individual people notice can be used to help people with mental illness.”

According to their findings, yoga appears to have a positive effect on:
  • Mild depression
  • Sleep problems
  • Schizophrenia (among patients using medication)
  • ADHD (among patients using medication)
Some of the studies in the review suggested yoga can have a similar effect to antidepressants and psychotherapy, by influencing neurotransmitters and boosting serotonin. Separate research also found that three months of regular yoga sessions resulted in less anxiety and depression, with anxiety scores falling from an average of 34 (on a scale of 20-80) to an average of 25."
To do yoga on your own at home there are some classes available on YOUTUBE to get started with!

Circuit Training 
This can be done with body weight movements so that you are ready for a workout wherever you happen to be :) or if you have something near by to use as a weight that would work as well.
Choose how many repetitions of each movement you would like to do {10 is a good place to start}
Choose how many rounds you would like to do {3 is a good place to start if you are just beginning - better to start off nice and easy than to overdo it. Even a little exercise has shown to go a long way in helping with anxiety and depression.}
Choose 3 - 5 Movements such as: 
Jumping Jacks
Push Ups
or have fun creating your own movements - just make sure to keep good posture through out in order to protect your back from injury {no rounded back or slouching}. 
Here is a great circuit style OUTDOOR WORKOUT video from Jenni Hulburt {see her WEBSITE for additional great ideas on healthy eating, motivation, workouts and using essential oils!}

Running and/or Walking
Even 10 minutes of exercise has been shown to have an impact on anxiety and depression. So no need to feel that you can't do enough to see benefits from this, anything you do is a GREAT step! When you have a few minutes away from work or when you might be outside with the kiddos just take a few minutes to do a few laps around the yard.
Or you can mix it up by doing some intervals {run for a certain amount of time or a certain distance and then walk for that same time or distance, run again, walk again for as many times as you are ready to do}. This is a great way to make a game of it and at the same time getting your body moving and receiving the benefits of working out both emotionally and physically. 

There are lots of other options for working out, these are just a few ideas! Feel free to be creative and make up your own workouts with things that you enjoy doing, even in the places you enjoy being. Remember every step is important no matter how big or small it may seem at the time. For today do what is do-able for you right now, have fun with it and enjoy the benefits of being places you love to be and being active! 

Thank you for stopping by and I hope and pray this has been helpful and encouraging for you on your journey!! Please feel free to send a message over on this - - - - - - - > side of the screen with any questions that might have popped up or for more information on anything that was covered in this series. 
To be entered into the GIVEAWAY that will happen this Friday feel free to leave a comment below! The giveaway will include a copy of Ann Voskamp's book One Thousand gifts, a bottle of DoTERRA's Citrus Bliss Essential Oil blend and a jar of Better Body Coconut Oil to add to your own toolbox at home :) Looking forward to this! 

Monday, February 2, 2015

{Nutrition & Emotional Wellness} and GIVEAWAY!

Hello again everyone!

I am really excited to share with you about this topic again because it is one that hits close to home for me and because I have seen first hand how nutrition and supplements can make a HUGE difference in how I feel emotionally and mentally.

I like to picture what life would have been like way back when the earth was new to help me understand what my body needs today. There are several things that have changed over all of these years that are effecting us now in more ways than we might realize and even with how we are feeling emotionally.

  • What animals are eating
  • What we are eating or not eating
But one thing for sure has stayed the same

  • What we need 
So what does our body need each day to help us to function well both physically and mentally/emotionally?

Web MD states that "Nutrients in foods support the body's repair, growth, and wellness. Nutrients we all need include vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, protein, and even a small amount of fat."

When we don't get these nutrients things can begin to go a little haywire in our bodies. Some vitamins and components in particular that greatly impact our emotional health are:

  • Vitamin B6 comes from foods such as avocados, walnuts and hazelnuts
  • Vitamin B12 comes from foods such as sardines, eggs, cheese and many kinds of fish.
  • Folate comes from vegetables such as broccoli and dark green leafy vegetables as well as fruits     such as cantaloupe and strawberries. 
  • Vitamin D comes from being exposed to sunlight and is created in our bodies.
  • Vitamin C comes from fruits such as oranges, green and red peppers, strawberries, mangoes and cantaloupe.

  •  Going back to that picture of what it would have been like back in the day to give us an idea of what is ideal for our bodies - we wouldn't have had this information about which vitamins and minerals we need but we would have eaten the things that were around us and natural to us. I don't know exactly what it would have been like but we can know for sure we would have only eaten natural foods from the earth. Back then there weren't the choices we have today. We would have eaten what was available and depending on where we lived that could have been some sort of protein (land animals, fish, etc.), fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds. There would have been no means of processing anything or altering anything so there would not have been any artificial ingredients, processed ingredients, chemicals added or modified ingredients. The only things available were the things naturally grown on and from the earth, gifts to us :) The animals were also eating the things that they naturally tend to eat (grass, algae, etc.). Because the animals were eating the things they naturally eat they were most likely healthy and in return the people eating these animals were able to get all of the nutrition they needed from the plants and animals that got great nutrition.

    A lot has changed today though and we aren't necessarily able to get the nutrients our bodies need from the food available around us. This is something that is great for us to be aware of as we go about our days and make choices about the things we eat. Having this picture will hopefully help! 

    With all of these changes that have occurred what are some things we can do to help us receive the nutrients that we need each day to help us function well physically and mentally?

    Whole Foods:
    • Eat meat, eggs and fish from sources that were raised in their natural conditions and fed their natural food source so that you are able to get the most nutrients possible. There is a wide range of different qualities of meats (organic grass fed, organic vegetarian fed, natural, etc.). Each family has a good fit for them and where they are right now! Don't feel like it needs to be 100%, each step forward is a good one :)
      • Eggs are a great choice since they contain Vitamin B12
      • Wild caught fish can also be a good choice once a week or so to help increase your intake of Omega 3s.
      • Grass Fed Beef also contains Omega 3s as well as Vitamins B12 and B6
    • Eat a wide range of vegetables and fruits. Lots of great vitamins and minerals that our bodies need! Folate is one that seems to have quite an impact on our emotional health. Here is what one source has to say about Folate - "When a person is low in folate they can have an increased risk of depression, insomnia and mental fatigue. To get enough folic acid, eat or drink raw dark, green leafy and colourful vegetables". The wider the range the better :)
      • Fruits such as strawberries, cantaloupe, mangoes and oranges.
      • Vegetables such as kale, spinach, collard greens, red and green bell peppers, avocados and broccoli. 
    • Avoid processed foods, soda, artificial sweeteners as much as possible - again it doesn't have to be 100%, just what is doable for you now!
    • Supplement the food you eat with a multi vitamin to help you get enough Vitamin B6, Vitamin B12, Folate and Vitamin D that have been linked with feelings of depression and anxiety when there is a deficiency. 
      • Vitamin D3 (during the winter months you might want to look into supplementing with additional Vitamin D3. You can supplement up to 4,000 IU if you are not receiving plenty of direct sunlight each day. Even supplementing 1,000 IU per day in addition to your multi vitamin can give you a great boost! Just make sure to not overdo it since it can be toxic at very high levels. Somewhere around 4,000 IU per day is a safe maximum.)

    • Supplementing with Omega 3s in the form of fish oil is a GREAT option since buying meat or fish that has high amounts of these fatty acids can be difficult to find and also more expensive.
      • When supplementing with Omega 3s in the form of fish oil we want to make sure we are getting the best option for our investment, to do this look for:
        • Oils that come from wild caught fish (sardines and anchovies as the best options to avoid heavy metals)
        • Oils that have been purified and tested for heavy metals and contain little to none
        • Oils that are processed using gentle methods to extract the fish oil, including low heat (this helps to maintain the natural components of the fish oil so that we can receive the great benefits when we use this as a supplement).
        • Oils that have high EPA and DHA amounts and a ratio that is close to 1:1.
      • Here is a great page from the Whole 30 website about Fish Oil. and FAQ.
      • Another great article on Omega 3s from the DoTERRA Blog.
    • Brands That Are Reliable
      • DoTERRA, Nordic Naturals, Rainbow Light Multivitmins

    IQmega Fish Oil - provides 600 mg EPA and 400 DHA mg of pure, heavy metal free fish oil!
    Lifelong Vitality Pack (Vitamins, Minerals, Omegas & Essential Oils for support) 

    A2Z Children's MultiVitamin

    I just started takng Omega 3s and Vitamin D again just about 2 days ago and I have already felt a huge difference in how I have been feeling emotionally - feeling less anxious through out the day and when I do it's at times that would naturally elicit that kind of response, not just feeling that way for most of the day without a reason. Thankful for these tools to help us get the things our bodies need! One step at a time, every step forward is an important one! 

    Hope this was helpful for you all! If you have any questions feel free to message me over on this side -----> and I will get back to you! 

    p.s. I will add an item to the giveaway to help with nutrition also along with Anne Voskamp's book One Thousand Gifts! To enter just leave a comment below saying hi and if you feel lead to share this on your Facebook page let me know that you did so in your comment and you will receive an extra entry :)

    Have a great week everyone! Next time we will be going over essential oils and how they can help with anxiety and depression, looking forward to it!

    **Note I am not a medical doctor and can not diagnose any condition. Please make sure to make choices that you are comfortable with and consult a doctor before making any changes to your supplements or diet if you are pregnant, nursing or on medication. Thank you!

    Wednesday, January 21, 2015

    {Anxiety & Our Thoughts} and a GIVEAWAY!

    For a large part of my life I have felt anxious. At certain times more so than others. It was always just kind of there and I accepted it as part of who I was or as normal. But the older I get the more I am starting to ask questions, like why am I feeling this way? What exactly is it that is making me feel this way? What am I so scared of? What if it happened... Would it be as bad as I feel it would be? And what can I do to help myself address these feelings or situations that bring about these feelings when they come up?

    {What makes us think and feel the things we do? What can we do about it?}

     These are interesting questions! Excited to uncover what might really be going on under these thought and feelings. We will be looking at scientifically and biblically supported ways of addressing these thought and feelings. Lets get started :)

    {The Root} : Where does the anxiety originate from?

    What we fear {what happened to cause fear?}

    For example, I tend to feel anxious around groups of people that I don't know. I believe God has helped me to trace that fear back to when I was younger and something embarassing happened to me in front of a large group of people. Now when in certain unstable feeling situations where I don't know the people around me I feel afraid of them judging me and rejecting me without really knowing me. The uncertainty of the situation and possibility of being hurt again makes me feel anxious.

    What we believe {about ourselves, about others}

    Using my example again, I am believing that others are watching me and judging my every move in those moments. That people are looking for the places where they can find something "wrong" with me to use as ammunition. I am also believing that what others say about me can define me or it says something about who I am.

    What are roots that you may have? It can be hard to look at them for sure but once we do there is freedom in that! I challenge you to write it down, what are you afraid of and what are you believing about yourself and/or others?


    {Feelings} - Results of our thoughts, fears and beliefs

    The feelings of anxiety can often distract us from what caused it in the first place because they can be very uncomfortable at times. But it is comforting to know that these feelings associated with anxiety are directly effected by our thoughts and the great news is that we get to CHOOSE our thoughts and beliefs. And I truly believe that a thought or belief can trump a fear anyday when applied to our lives regularly!


    Here's where the fun part begins :) I have applied many of the things I am about to share to my life and I  can say for sure that they work!


     {Challenge Your Fears & Beliefs} -  what would really happen?

    This is actually a form of therapy called CBT (Cognitive Behavior Therapy) that has had wonderful results in patients' thoughts and brain activity. My friend Heather brought this concept up to me a while back and the times I have used it it has helped so much (not to mention it has been proven to change brain activity :) ). The goal of CBT is to look at situations that cause distress and to develop "more realistic interpretations of events." Many of our fears and anxieties may be more distorted in our minds than we realize. How freeing to see a situation for what it really is and not what we have perceived it to be :)

    "Scientific studies of CBT have demonstrated its usefulness for a wide variety of mental illnesses including mood disorders, anxiety disorders, personality disorders, eating disorders, substance abuse disorders, sleep disorders and psychotic disorders. Studies have shown that CBT actually changes brain activity in people with mental illnesses who receive this treatment, suggesting that the brain is actually improving its functioning as a result of engaging in this form of therapy. CBT has been shown to be as useful as antidepressant medications for some individuals with depression and may be superior in preventing relapse of symptoms. Patients receiving CBT for depression are encouraged to schedule positive activities into their daily calendars in order to increase the amount of pleasure they experience. In addition, depressed patients learn how to change (“restructure”) negative thought patterns in order to interpret their environment in a less negatively-biased way. As regular sleep has been found to be very important in both depression and bipolar disorder, therapists will also target sleeping patterns to improve and regulate sleep schedules with their patients. Studies indicate that patients who receive CBT in addition to treatment with medication have better outcomes than patients who do not receive CBT as an additional treatment. CBT is also a useful treatment for anxiety disorders. Patients who experience persistent panic attacks are encouraged to test out beliefs they have related to such attacks, which can include specific fears related to bodily sensations, and to develop more realistic responses to their experiences. This is beneficial in decreasing both the frequency and intensity of panic attacks. Patients who experience obsessions and compulsions are guided to expose themselves to what they fear in a safe and controlled therapeutic environment. Beliefs surrounding their fears (of contamination, illness, inflicting harm, etc.) are identified and changed to decrease the anxiety connected with such fears." - from the National Alliance on Mental Illness

    So, our next step is to ask ourselves... What would actually happen if_________________<insert the thing that causes you distress and/or anxiety here>? Was it not as bad as you have anticipated?

    What is the truth that was revealed when you asked this question?

    Has your perception changed?


    {Apply Truth}

    Whether we are young or older we each need to know the truth about who we are. Then when these fears arise we have been equipped to perceive the situation for what it really is and through truth we will be able to KNOW who we are. These truths can not be changed by anything that we do or anything that someone may do to us that is hurtful. We have a firm foundation, not routed in perceptions and wrong beliefs but in truth.

    Who do you say you are?

    I can tell you these things about you without a doubt in my mind -

    * You are loved by God

    * You have a unique and special purpose here

    * You are wonderfully made

    How does this compare to what you believe about yourself?


    Believe me friend, even though they don't feel true at times {believe me, I understand} we can CHOOSE to say I KNOW these things are true about me. I KNOW that I am loved by God. I KNOW that I am unique and have a special purpose here. I KNOW that I am wonderfully made. We can know these things are true because they are written to us in God's Word (which is a lot like a love story - explaining who we really are and how God came to save us).


    Another truth that we can look at is who do we believe God is?


    Believing in His goodness, His love, His presence and what He has done for me has been so freeing. During my most difficult time of anxiety after our son Elijah's birth it was using scriptures to remind myself of who I am to God and who God is and has been to me that brought me up and out of what felt like an impossible situation. By His power I came out of it and began enjoying everyday life again :)


    Here is my list of scriptures, thoughts and quotes from this time that I saved to my I Phone that I would open up and look at whenever I felt anxious and can now share with you :)



    {Scriptures, Thoughts & Quotes – Encouragement During Times of Anxiety}


    “Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.” Psalm 139:16


    “Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.” Luke 12:17


    “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.” Psalm 46:1-3


    The Father will only give you what is good! - We can pray with confidence.


    “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10


    Thank you that you love me so much that there is nothing I have to hide from you out of shame... Even unbelief. - Me


    "The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing." Zephaniah 3:17


    “My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” Psalm 73:26


    “Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her!" Luke 1:45


    “For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” John 3:17


    “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” Galatians 5:1


    "You get up and decide you are going to be in agreement with God!" - Unknown


    "God is faithful, by whom you were called, into the fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord." 1 Corinthians  1:9


    God cannot be evil or make plans for evil - it is impossible. He is good and that cannot and will not ever change! I felt God reveal this to me this morning and today in Ann Voskamp’s book One Thousand Gifts she wrote: "A good God plans everything. Everything. So a good God can only... Make plans for good? He only gives good gifts? A thing of evil cannot be created by a good God?" Yes


    "Rest and receive" - Jesus Calling


    "Any created thing of which I am amazed, it is the glimpse of His face to which I bow down. Do I have eyes to see it’s Him and not the thing?" - Ann Voskamp


    "If I can give thanks for the good things, the hard things, the absolute everything, I can enter the gates of glory. Living in His presence is fullness of joy- and seeing shows the way in."  - Ann Voskamp One Thousand Gifts


    "His love had invited me into this part of the answer - wouldn't He lead on into the rest?" - Ann Voskamp One Thousand Gifts. Yes! I can trust God!


    "I have come for you my child :)". "The rest I will also do!"


    "I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you." – Jesus J John 16:22


    “Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid. The LORD, the LORD himself, is my strength and my defense; he has become my salvation." Isaiah 12:22


    “We are already citizens of heaven”, live as citizens of heaven :) - Pastor Toomer, Transit Church


    "Here lies another day. During which I have had eyes, ears, hands. And the great world round me." One Thousand Gifts Ann Voskamp


    "The Lord of Heavens Armies is here among us; the God of Israel is our fortress." Psalm 46: 11

    Reading over these scriptures, thoughts and quotes again I am reminded of how much they helped me! As my eyes were lifted off of my myself, my fears and back onto God and what He has and is doing in my life I was able to rest… *sigh* Isn’t that what so many of us are needing? A good ol’ rest J



    As I came to trust in God’s goodness and who He really is I was able to rest more and more. The Bible as well as Ann Voskamp’s book One Thousand Gifts played a huge part in changing how I see God.



    I highly recommend the book One Thousand Gifts to anyone that is wrestling with feelings of anxiety, fear or having difficulty trusting God amidst difficult and possibly extremely hurtful or scary situations. This book is going to be a part of the GIVEAWAY at the end of this series J Excited to share it with one of you (deep down wish I could send each of you a copy… maybe one day God willing J) Ann Voskamp also has a blog that has also been SO helpful to me! So encouraging!


    Here is a link to Ann’s Blog if you are interested in checking it out:

    Here is a link to a recent post on anxiety titled “The 1 Secret to Squashing Anxiety This Year”:


    I hope and pray that you have been encouraged and that this helps you practically in your moments where you are faced with a fear, a belief or a feeling of anxiety. Love you all and look forward to the next part of the series on Nutrition; how it effects our emotions and what we can do to help!

    If you have any prayer requests – things I can be praying for you about specifically please feel free to message or email anytime!

    Also don’t forget to comment below by just saying hi and telling us a little bit about yourself to be entered into the GIVEAWAY at the end of the series - you only need to comment on one post to be entered!! If you feel lead to share this post on your Facebook page let me know you did so in your comment below and you will be given an extra entry in the giveaway! Feel free to invite friends to come enter the giveaway also :)


    Friday, January 16, 2015

    Emotional Wellness Series {Thoughts, Nutrition, Essential Oils & Exercise}

    Hello again all! I am very excited to start this series because it is something that is not only personal to me but something that I believe more of us face daily than we realize {according to one study approximately 40 million US adults have some level of anxiety and 14.8 million US adults have some level of depression}. I hope that these posts will equip each of us to better address our feelings of anxiety or depression that might come up and that we may also be equipped to help those we know who are having these feelings!

    During this series we will learn about 4 different tools we have been given to help with anxiety:

    Thoughts{what we tell ourselves about ourselves vs. the truth}

    Nutrtition {eating healthy and nutritious food, promoting gut health, omega 3s and vitamins}

    Essential Oils {Using oils aromatically and topically}

    Exercise {Being active and spending time outside}

    {There is something so free about just being able to throw your arms open and smile... maybe spin around in circles too like when you were little for good measure :) Praying and hoping we can all be this kind of free!}

    Excited to learn together and to add some more tools to the tool box, one tool at a time right :)

    Love to you all and hope you have a great week! Tomorrow we'll begin the series taking a look at our thoughts and how they effect us - it's amazing how what we think and what we believe about ourselves and the world around us effect us in so many different ways.

    P.s. I am really excited about this and wanted to share - at the end of this series I will be doing a giveaway on the blog to help equip you with some tools to get started or continue what you have already begun! To be entered into the giveaway you'll just need to comment on the one of the blog posts or on the Facebook post. If you feel lead to share the blog entry on your facebook page let me know that you did in your comment and you will recieve an additional entry! Will announce the giveaway as we get close to the end of the series!

    ** Note: I am not a doctor and cannot diagnose any condition or provide medical advice. Just sharing here what I have learned in the hopes that it might help others. Before starting anything new please make sure you are informed about the product, how to use it and any times the product should not be used such as when you are pregnant or breast feeding. If you have any questions about the use of any of the products we are talking about please feel free to message me and I will seek to get you the best answer.

    Wednesday, January 14, 2015

    Change of Name {Nature's Toolbox}!!

    Welcome, welcome!! Thank you for stopping by to check out this new adventure that God has taken me on and the blog that will document this journey and the things I learn along the way! I am passionate about sharing with you all the natural ways that we have been given to help our minds and bodies to heal. So many gifts all around us :) As the subtitle states, the focus of this blog is to talk about "helping our bodies heal one truth, one drop and one meal at a time". So I'll be sharing about the truth of God's Word and how this effects our everyday lives and the gifts of essential oils and nutrition and how they can impact our minds and bodies for good - a lot of good not just a little bit of good :)

    How did I start using essential oils?
    I began using oils in the spring of 2013 when I began holding a weekend women's workout group. At the end of the class we would all do a little yoga together to cool down and to stretch out our tired muscles. I remember taking yoga classes back in 2009 when I was pregnant with little one #1 and I loved the idea of sending the ladies off with that special relaxing smell that essential oils brings - specifically Lavender. Around the same time my friend Samantha Huddleston (we spent a good part of our pregnancies together with our first children doing yoga, drinking Chick-Fil-A and talking about new mama things - she is a great friend :) ) started to hold yoga classes at her home and had begun incorporating essential oils into her classes. I thought this was such an awesome way to show love to the ladies and care for their emotions as well as their bodies that I was ready to start looking into it. I talked with Sam on the phone before that class began. I wasn't quite ready to jump in head first so I did not enroll at the time and just went with a small bottle I found at a store nearby. I LOVED getting to use it at the end of the women's workout group, they all seemed to appreciate it and you could see them relaxing as they breathed it in - as women we all need that deep breath relaxation right? It was awesome to see! Those classes ended, I continued to use the Lavender I had at night time on my pillow or sometimes on my wrists and neck if I felt stressed or anxious. I slowed down using in 2014 until we moved back to Fayetteville. Once back in Fayetteville our dog Marley began scratching a lot and we started noticing fleas on her... they are interesting little creatures and fast! The kiddos also began getting a lot of mosquito bites this past summer as well. Dan and I started looking into natural ways to treat the fleas and mosquito situations. Alot of what we found when searching pointed us in the direction of essential oils. I was intrigued and excited at the thought that this could actually work... and it was natural... and it was good for us! So much better than having to layer the chemicals on Marley and the kiddos if we didn't have to. So Dan bought a few bottles for us online of Tea Tree Oil, Lavender, Cedarwood and Orange. They all smelled so good, Cedarwood was a really special one for me right away with it's woodsy smell. Just taking a sniff of the bottle seemed to just settle me down mentally and physically. So we used the oils mixed with Dr. Bronner's soap on Marley and it worked WONDEFULLY! As we scrubbed her with the soap the fleas would start to just pop to the top of her fur or fall off. It was such a great feeling to be able to help her with things that I could trust are good for her. The next episode that we looked to essential oils to help with was a mold problem that we had in our house in August - September of this past year. I began having a cough, runny nose, etc. I doctors thought it was a virus, I thought that could be it too. But then it just hung in there. And then I noticed that it would get worse at certain times of the day when I was in certain parts of the house. Then I was thinking "ok... something is up". Dan and I one night just started looking around in our kitchen and we noticed patches on the walls we hadn't noticed before. Then we realized the stuff we were looking at wasn't dust but mold. I was surprised and ready to get after cleaning it up so that this sinus/chest congestion would hopefully go away (not to mention not wanting the kiddos breathing it in either). So again, we searched online and a lot of what we read about treating mold naturally pointed us to vinegar and some to Tea Tree Oil. I was excited! Again, another thing that we can treat naturally! So again I bought a small bottle of Tea Tree Oil from a store nearby. Since we didn't have a diffuser at the time I put it into a metal spray bottle I had left over and mixed the Tea Tree Oil with water. I made it strong in the hopes that it would knock this mold out and it DID :) :) I sprayed it directly onto the patches that were all over the kitchen walls and also in the air throughout the house in the hopes of killing any stray spores that might have been floating around. Within days I was feeling almost completely better!! This was huge for me because this congestion had lasted almost 2 months. Huge relief, huge gift! I would use them here or there but was still generally not using them topically unless it was Lavendar on myself. Then at the beginning of this year I felt like God brought to mind using the essential oils to potentially help our son Caleb with the things that go along with having ASD {Autism Spectrum Disroder. He has had A LOT of improvement with changes in nutrition and also speech therapy at Sandhill Therapy Solutions but I was curious about what else we could try to see if it might help him. After looking it up it seemed like quite a few people have had great outcomes with using essential oils with children on the spectrum, so we just started with what we had on hand that others said had helped them. We started with Lavender, Orange and Cedarwood. This began only about a month ago and not long after that I contacted my friend Sam about becoming a Wellness Advocate for DoTERRA :) I was excited to do this not only because of the needs that our family has but also because of the quality of the product that DoTERRA sells. I think it's so awesome that they have taken this gift {Gift of The Earth as they call it - which is the meaning of the name DoTERRA}and they are taking great care to give each person the very best product that they possibly can so that they can receive the maximum amount of benefits from each oil. I also love that this fits in SO well with everything that I love to do :) This job as a wellness advocate truly has been a gift from God for me - even though I only have been at it for two weeks :) I love getting to share with you all natural ways to help your bodies to heal and not only that but DoTERRA offers great incentives to their customers who order through them - I also love a good deal :) So this journey continues and I am SO excited to share with you as we go the things that you can try in your own home, on yourselves and with your families. So much good stuff to come, this is exciting and I hope you will join me on this adventure of healing physically, mentally and spiritually!

    Much love to you all and THANK YOU again for stopping by

    p.s. If you ever have any questions please feel free to leave a comment or to message me directly using the box over on this --------> side of the screen :)