It is SO easy for all of us to look at what is wrong in any situation…being grumpy and complaining takes little effort. It is so easy to complain about the weather, the government, or… More
Where the Spirit of The Lord is, there is Liberty. 2 Corinthians 3:17
Praying that you and I can be a light of Liberty and Freedom to brighten the way for others, wherever we find ourselves a long the journey. Have a Happy and Safe 4th from Honest Aromas!
I have a message burning deep in my heart that I want to share. When darkness closes in all around you and it feels like you are going to suffocate from lack of hope, don’t give up—you are on the edge of a precipice!
The definition of precipice is this:
- a cliff with a vertical, nearly vertical, or overhanging face.
- a situation of great peril: on the precipice of war.
- Go back the way we came and deny it.
- Find other routes to escape it.
- Face and accept the seemingly impossible challenge.
I have tried all three! I can say, without a doubt, facing and accepting our challenges is the only choice we have to growing healthy and moving forward.
I have had situations all my life in which I had to choose not to give up. I was born to overcome; nothing in my life has been easy for me. I was the youngest of five, born into a turbulent time. My mother had given up and over to alcoholism, and my dad was an oft-absent traveling salesman. I got a lot of attention early on for being the “baby”, but that soon lost its luster, and I usually felt like I was just in the way, the third (or fifth) wheel, and definitely not preferred over anyone else in the family. Although I now see everyone was trying to do the best they could, the attachments at home were not secure for me. I was abused in different ways, which further lead me to finding my own ways to detach and protect myself.
Elaine Aron, in her book The Highly Sensitive Person, says:
All childhoods are not equal. Some are truly horrible. And they can differ within the same family. Statistical analyses of the influence of family environment on different children in the same family show no overlap. Your brothers or sisters lived a totally different childhood. You had different positions in the family, different early experiences, even in a sense different parents, given how adults change with circumstances and age.
When I was in middle school and high school, I had the potential and some outside encouragement to really excel in music or writing, but I think the lack of concern at home made me lose motivation to exert any effort. I regret, yet accept not having the wherewithal to take advantage of those opportunities better. I felt unnoticed by my family whether I did something really well or not, so I took the path of ease. There was no support or excitement about what I might become; I only felt the annoyance of others if I asked for help. I have in recent years recognized when those feelings resurface as an adult, and have seen the same scenario play out in my marriage at times.
It has required a lot of dependence on God, prayer, and therapy to work through these deep wounds that have affected my person, marriage, and my own family. First and foremost, I have to believe that I am loved, accepted, pleasing, and forgiven by God. This is where all of my significance lies. I have found Robert McGee’s book Search for Significance to be authoritative on this subject and extremely healing to me.
When you find yourself stuck in life or turning to things you never thought you would engage in to get relief, you owe it to yourself and others to take the time to find out why. We deceive ourselves when we think we can leave one bad situation and move into another one that will magically be healthy without any work. It is a process and a journey that is lived one healing minute and hour at a time.
When you find yourself with your back against the wall, suffocating in the hopelessness, what are you going to do? Remember the three choices from the beginning: we can go back the way we came or stay in the same old ruts and familiarity, but I challenge you that is not the way of healing. We can find other routes and escapes. Again, this is where dependence or addiction to drugs and alcohol, and idolatry of every kind comes in. We can choose it, but it will take us in to a greater bondage than the momentary relief it brings. I have made this choice in a variety of ways, I have been destitute, shed many tears and almost completely lost hope for choosing this way.
The third choice, however, is facing and accepting that our situation is hard and taking that challenge. This is difficult, but healthy, because it is walked out in truth. Of course, I am not suggesting that you should remain in a state of hopelessness or receive any kind of abuse. God came to set the captive free and loose the chains of bondage. We are not living healthy lives if we are enabling others to abuse us and perpetuate the cycle. God calls us out of darkness and into His light, and sometimes it is a bloody battle to get there.
I am saying that when we find ourselves in desperate situations, that is usually an alarm that there is something to address. This alarm contains the perfect opportunity for healthy change. The thing about precipices is that there is something vast waiting on the other side, a lively and healthy adventure that you will never know unless you decide within yourself that this is the way of peace, even if it is difficult.
Whether you are in a circumstance of your own making or have done nothing to deserve your position, do not give up! Take courage! Forgive yourself, love yourself, realize that you are accepted and pleasing to God and that that is more than enough, even if others are rejecting you.
I bought a plaque to hang on my wall. I bought it after I had caused a great disturbance in the lives of many because of some of my behaviors. It says: Let your courage set you free! I still look at it and am strengthened by it. I am weak, but Jesus says, “When you are weak, I am strong in you.” That gives me courage. I do not have to muster something that I do not own, but I can let Him do it through me as I am a container pouring out. He can supernaturally change situations if we are open to Him and have faith in Him to change us and change the situation.
You have to believe that you were created for something greater than you can imagine. Maybe you have been climbing up a sheer cliff for many years; you haven’t reached a plateau or a resting spot in what seems like forever. I understand! My husband and I have gone from one hard or devastating circumstance to the next. Even if I chose to escape for a while, I eventually had to return to the place that I needed to accept the situation and see how I could change or grow while going through it.
It’s like being in labor with a baby; at the point that you think you cannot go on in labor, the baby is just ready to emerge. Every single time I was reaching a precipice, it felt excruciating, like I didn’t have the energy to go on. But every single time, there was freedom and a higher understanding on the other side. Just over the crest is where new life begins; there is no turning back when you keep that perspective.
So, the message that burns within me is this: You are not alone! Do not give up! You are only on the edge of a precipice.
For years my husband and I would sleep in separate rooms for his snoring! When I became a Certified Aromatherapist, he pretty much begged me to develop an essential oil blend that would allow him to stave off snoring and come back into the bedroom!!
I went right to work perusing essential oils that opened up respiratory and were sedating at the same time! I came up with a very effective blend and it has come to be one of Honest Aromas biggest sellers! My report is that…it works!! He used to snore upon hitting the pillow making it impossible for me to fall asleep. He no longer has that issue. He reports that he feels more rested and has more energy at work the next day. He also likes to apply some before he works out or runs as it helps his all over respiratory when he does!
I use a variety of oils in this blend, but Thyme ct. Thymol and Lavender angustifolia are two of the main ingredients. According to Pompeii Organics Thyme also has these amazing properties; Thyme is one of the most potently antiseptic essential oils. Thymol has been extensively documented for its antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-fungal action.
Pompeii also has this to say about their Lavender: Lavender is most useful for it’s SEDATIVE and SKIN-HEALING properties: Cuts, burns (including sunburn), insect bites, inflammation, rashes, nervous conditions, insomnia, dermatitis, and eczema. My favorite use for lavender (lavandula angustifolia) is in a diffuser. If you have restless nights or have stress add a few drops to a diffuser or make a spray to mist over your bedding. Lavender is mood elevating and uplifting while at the same time is calming to the central nervous system.
These two oils, along with the others I have chosen, open respiratory and calm the nervous system allowing a restful nights sleep for all! Have you ever tried our Snore No More Blend? Would you like to? We are Celebrating Father’s day by offering this product for $10 (usually $12.99). Call, write, message or email today- we want to hear from you!
I am sitting here in the sun of my bedroom window, listening to the melody of the birds and taking in the cool, cleansing air of the morning.
I have a lot to do today. I will be going downstairs to my lab to blend oils for an order that was placed by a local store that I would like to ship today. I will also be creating and organizing all of the products I will be taking to my first festival of the season!
When I received my certification in Aromatherapy three years ago, my daughter suggested that we launch out in business by offering my knowledge at one of my favorite Herb Festivals. I blended a bunch of products that I felt were successful through the case studies that I was responsible to conduct while in school, and she went to work on branding my business! I was hoping I would sell something, and was hoping I could engage someone with my interest and passion in holistic health, I was not prepared for what followed!
To date, The Herb Festival in Cook Forest, PA, is one of my most successful festivals! That first festival three years ago showed me that I had something people were interested in investing in, but there is a whole other perspective. I was not just an Aromatherapist, or business owner, I became a fellow vendor! It is an exciting and, at times, exhilarating position. I could not have considered what amazing networking would take place and the friendships that would blossom through this experience. This experience has been a whole new facet and extension of what makes Julia, Julia!
…And the Attendees! I have met so many people, heard so many stories, and connected in ways that have built a caring customer base and vehicle to teach the chemistry of Aromatherapy. I would not be able to sell things that I didn’t believe in, just for the sake of selling. I care about people and I want to help them in ways that I can, and that is the heart behind Honest Aromas.
This particular venue is my favorite. I love the woods, I get grounded in the forest, there is a part of me that awakens and becomes alive! I love the smell of moss and earth, the fragrance of silty creeks and rivers, and the utter calm walking under hemlocks. And many of the people who attend the festivals that I participate in are just my kind of people! They are, by and large, interested in health, natural entrepreneurs and creative souls…my tribe!
So, this morning I have an anxious excitement! I have a lot to prepare for and a transition to make from school mode into festival mode. This season has less accountability and more flexibility, but I need to kick up my self government to get necessary things done! I thank you all for your support and patronage, thank you for contributing to my personal and business growth, and I look forward to seeing and meeting you this summer at the Honest Aromas tent!
Written by my daughter, Hannah, I am in awe and inspired by this<3
The room was filled with people. And the room was huge, so it was a lot of people. Hundreds of us were crammed in the black box room that had a stage and big screens in one corner. Lights in various colors flared. Upbeat music played. The crowd of people became a sea of heads and arms under the clouds of light and music.
It was my first time visiting this church. My best friend invited my husband and I along. He and I had been on an unfortunate streak of non-attendance, not because we didn’t think church was something we should do, and not because we had given up our faith or anything. The reason was simple: we hadn’t found a good church near school. The reason was also complicated: my heart was numb and suspicious.
Around the time Alex and I got married, the church I had grown…
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Every April 2, the world celebrates International Autism Awareness Day. Before I had a child with autism, I used to think it was an over-diagnosed disorder caused by immunizations. However, once our youngest son, who we never immunized, was diagnosed with autism, I began to walk in a different pair of shoes.
In the years since my son’s diagnosis, I’ve done a lot of research. And while I do think immunizations can exacerbate autistic symptoms in children, I now know some more facts about the prevalence of this little-understood condition:
- Autism affects 1 in 68 children.
- Autism prevalence figures are growing, becoming one of the fastest growing developmental disorders in the US.
- Autism costs a family $60,000 a year on average.
- Boys are nearly five times more likely than girls to be on the autistic spectrum.
- There is no medical detection or cure. Research by Autism Speaks
Since we discovered our now thirteen-year-old son’s autism, our family has worked hard to manage and improve the various impacts that autism has. Our son has been in some form of therapy since he was three to four years old. We’ve had some extremely grueling years of day to day therapy at home, including vision therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, and vestibular therapy. We have worked a lot on large and small motor skills through the years. Doing “simple” things like tying shoes or using scissors are not easy for him, but he can do it. He gets overwhelmed very quickly, and moving from one activity to another is extremely hard for him.
All of our children have had food allergies and sensitivities and with the research that has been done in relationship to gluten intolerance and Autism, we just felt it was wise to keep him on a gluten-free diet. We have had extensive tests done through the years regarding the vitamins and minerals he needs as well as pre- and probiotics to keep his system regular. We also found that a very low dose of a stimulant medication helps to support his ADHD. All of these interventions, along with physical activity and heavy structure, have proved to support all over well being and reduce self-injurious behavior.
Behavioral therapy has been an ongoing challenge for all of us. Tools that my husband and I use as parents have to change several times in a course of a day or a week. What worked last week like a charm will not necessarily work today. Obviously, this can lead to strain in our own relationship as we work to adequately parent this child. Nothing has been more difficult in our marriage. We have also attended family therapy, as the tension on the typical siblings have proved to be extremely stressful as well. We have learned ways to communicate better, using common terminology and allowing everyone to share their feelings during meals or family meeting times.
According to Dr. Robert Naseef, Autism in itself doesn’t necessarily cause divorce, but living with a child who has challenges brings out all the weakness in your marriage. We have both wanted to leave the situation out of sheer frustration and exhaustion, and there was a time in our marriage when we were ready to call it quits. In our effort to rebuild our relationship, we knew our number one objective had to be parenting this child with as much unity as humanly possible. We also realize that we hyper focus on the autistic child, by shear virtue of his particular issues. We work very hard at trying to have a positive, strengths oriented atmosphere. We have a black board in our dining room and we will often write positive quotes, mantras or scriptures to encourage and inspire each other.
Socially, our son has a great desire to have friendships, which can be unusual for someone on the autistic spectrum. Unfortunately, his desire for companionship is not often reciprocated by his peers. Because he has remained socially immature, the friends he had when he was younger have moved on to other friendships. We have, however, found a few families who invite our son for play dates or sleepovers, and it is much-needed respite for all of us, including him—he gets tired of us too!
Our son is very bright and extremely creative. He likes to write movie scripts and draw cartoons. He likes gaming, Minecraft and Legos, riding his bike with us on the bike trails, taking hikes and visiting the lakes and creeks in our area.
We have tried our hand at homeschooling and private school, but we have landed at our local public school that has more access to learning supports and accommodations. When we first attended the orientation for high school, we sat down and created a short biography with our son with his picture on it. It reminded teachers that our son did have an IEP and included information about his likes, interests, strengths and vulnerabilities. We gave one to each teacher as we entered the class and they all said that really helped them get to know our son much faster than they would have with out it. We have contacted every teacher through email and keep in touch asking them to notify us as soon as something transpires in their class as opposed to waiting for a slip from the school, which can take up to a few weeks. The opportunity for bullying at school is always present and our son has had his run-ins with it. We call his school case worker and principal right away at the first sign. Our son has not always acted in sound judgement in his behavior and it is met with swift removal of gaming that must be earned back. Teachers, counselors and administrators appreciate our communication and participation in our son’s education and we all have the sense that we are supporting each other to meet the goal of success for our son.
Through the years, we have tried several group sports, some successful and some not such a great idea. He had the most success with flag football this last fall and he just started our school’s track program a few weeks ago! It is his first ever group sport where he has had a strenuous practice every day after school! It is a personal best sport as well as team effort, and he definitely has exceeded his ability since last year at this time, just by showing up for practice. Our son also likes to wrestle and roughhouse with us. I started doing yoga three years ago and working out at the YMCA just so I could be strong enough to handle my fast-growing son. Every day takes an immense amount of mental and physical stamina, and it is all beyond our human capacity.
When I gave birth, we found out that I had a ruptured uterus and that it had been so for some time. He and I really should have died. His name means “gift,” and on our hardest days we choose to remember that. We have spent the last thirteen years trying to readjust and relearn everything we did with our first three, “typical” children. All the while, we keep in mind that this child is exactly who he was meant to be, and as messy as it can be some days, we are all learning and growing together.
Every day is like the movie Groundhog Day here; we get up each morning and start the process all over again. I would like to say that we have no doubt he will grow up to be a self-sufficient human being doing amazing things in the world, but I would be lying to say I was confident. I know he is capable of greatness and deep down that is who he is, but we have so many days that we struggle and feel inadequate.
As parents, we give all the tools, love, and encouragement to our children we can give, and they make their own choices. So we continue to pray, move forward, try new things, grow one minute and one day at a time, and celebrate all the little victories along the way<3