One Thing I Do…

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This picture was taken at one of my favorite parks in Pennsylvania, during an anniversary weekend with my husband this past fall. The picture paints a thousand words in my mind.

It was a significant weekend for us, because we had been separated prior to this trip. When we went there the year before, we did not think we would ever return there as a couple, and I did not even want to take any pictures to document our time there.

We have been through a lot in the last several years. Many things had taken a toll on our marriage and we both reached points where we really didn’t want to work at it any more.

When you are weak and tired and other seemingly exciting opportunities present themselves to you, it is almost impossible to resist (but it is not impossible). I made a lot of poor decisions during that flat time in our marriage.The ramifications could have been so much worse, but the consequences will never go away. I can only thank and praise God for His mercy and unfailing love to me.

When I look at this picture of the road in the woods, I can’t help but think of the words of Dan Fogelberg’s song, “Along the Road”:

Along the road
Your steps may tumble
Your thoughts may start to stray
But through it all a heart held humble
Levels and lights your way.

The Bible calls God’s Word “a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.” This is true, and this is how I got back onto the road.

Another exceptional truth is that, as long as we are looking back when we are trying to move forward, we will stumble. The apostle Paul had something transforming to say about this.

He was born a Roman and a Hebrew. Both those qualities gave him many rights, much authority and power. He lived during the time when the Christian church was just emerging, and by Jewish and civil law, he was zealous in the murders of people following Jesus. He then had a life-changing encounter with Christ and began to defend the faith. He now had great understanding and knowledge concerning both sides of the argument. He also had great understanding of forgiveness and mercy, and most Christians would look at him as a man who had “attained it” who had “made it,” who “got this”.

However, he saw it differently. In his letter to the Philippian church, he said, “Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected … I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead” (Phil 3:13 NKJV).

One thing I do: forget what is behind and reach for those things that are ahead! This is easier said than done. It is not easy to forget what you have done, especially when it has caused a great disturbance, not just in your life but in the lives of others as well. I think it is human nature to wallow in self-condemnation until we feel we’ve reached a sufficient penance. And some religions teach this. But this is not the way God deals with us; that is the way we humans deal with ourselves.

God is instantaneous in His forgiveness when we ask. God, through Jesus Christ, answers us with “Neither do I condemn you, go and sin no more” (John 8:11), “Though you sins are as scarlet, They shall be as white as snow”( Is. 1:18), “If he sins against you seven times in a day, and … returns to you, saying, ‘I repent’, you shall forgive him” (Luke 17:4), “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (I John 1:9).

God is outlandish and lavish in His forgiveness toward us, as proved through Jesus’ death on the cross!

This amazing forgiveness is what I have been experiencing both personally and with my husband. It is not from this world. It is supernatural! Forgiveness is a beautiful, precious gift, and it’s Christianity’s pinnacle!

When doubts and thoughts clamor at the door of your mind, deal with them! Have you asked God to forgive you, or do you just keep thinking about them? If you haven’t asked for forgiveness, do it now. If you have, meditate on the scriptures I listed above and look up more of them. I don’t know anyone who does not need to hear this good news! I hope it has been challenging and renewing to you today.

What are your thoughts on forgetting what is behind?  We want to hear from you today!

“O-O-O”

Hello everyone! Hannah here. Today’s post is about the essential oil that scarred me for life: Oregano (Origanum vulgare).

I say this a little tongue in cheek, but it’s a little true too. When my siblings and I were little, Mom (Julia), in an effort to do the best for our health, would put oil of oregano in our orange juice, and then proceed to pretend it was normal.

Little six-year-old me would look at the oily film over the surface of my juice and refuse to drink it. I knew what she’d done, and I knew that oily, pizza-smelling orange juice wasn’t normal.

But oregano’s health benefits overruled my palate, and Mom made me drink the pungent juice every morning. I grew to hate oil of oregano, so much that I hated to even hear the name. I insisted that everyone refer to it as “o-o-o” in my presence.

One day I gagged while trying to force my orange juice down. After that Mom never made me drink it again, and my thought was “wow, I should’ve started gagging a lot sooner!” I was a devious little thing.

Now we joke about it with Mom, who is a little embarrassed that she made her children take such a strong oil internally! Knowing what she does now, she does not recommend ingesting oils, with a small exception (which I’ll get to later).

Humorous childhood stories aside, there are many health benefits to oregano. According to Pompeii Organics’ information on the essential oil, oregano is a disinfectant, antiviral and antibacterial, making it helpful for wounds.

It’s also an effective pain reliever, warming and numbing to the skin. It’s great to stimulate the digestive system and boost the immune system.

This last property is why Mom sneaked oregano into our orange juice all those years ago – in her defense, we never got sick! Of course, given the chance she’d do it a bit differently.

Ingestion of essential oils can be extremely dangerous for children. Many in the field of aromatherapy advise against it for adults, too, and here is where Mom (as an aromatherapist) will make a small exception. She’s found that for herself, ingesting a few drops of oregano essential oil in a capsule can totally eradicate the first signs of cold or flu. Any time sickness is going around and she starts to feel off, she takes a capsule and is back to normal in no time.

Of course, it’s important to do your research and find what will work best for you. If you are sensitive or have an allergy to oregano, this will most likely not work! This is where a consultation with an aromatherapist (I know a great one ;)) can help: she can get an overview of your health and tailor a remedy to fit your particular needs!

Have you ever tried “o-o-o”? Do you have ever tried it in orange juice? (don’t, it’s disgusting 🙂 ) Happy weekend to you all!

In addition to writing for Honest Aromas, Hannah blogs at .hannahallmankennedy.wordpress.com  while she works on her Master’s in English.

Arrow Root, Healthy Tummies and Weight Loss.

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Here are some healthy ideas to help you continue on your health journey! As I told you a while ago, I have been on an ongoing detox to help re build my liver. Some of the recipes I have come across, include arrow root. As I started eating these recipes….I realized that it immediately increased my elimination! Since that is a definite benefit, especially while on a detox diet, I decided to check out this little wonder!

Here are some facts from Organic Facts;

Arrowroot

Arrowroot is not technically a plant in itself, but rather a type of starch that can be readily obtained from the roots of numerous different plants and rhizomes. This high nutrient density starch has been very valuable to a number of indigenous cultures dating back more than 7,000 years, but despite the fact that so many herbal remedies have been disproven or have gone out of use, arrowroot remains an important and effective remedy for many different health conditions. It can be used as a replacement in many foods, rather than flour or corn. Essentially arrowroot powder can be a healthier alternative to the more common cooking ingredients for breads, pastas, and cakes. Arrowroot is also gluten-free, which makes it all the more valuable today with the rising incidence of Celiac disease in many countries.

Stomach Concerns: Celiac disease seems to be the new global pandemic, and as the numbers continue to climb around the world, people are seeking gluten-free alternative to traditional starches and wheat. Arrowroot is a gluten-free substance, making it very popular in recent years, as it can prevent the gastrointestinal discomfort, pain, and danger that those handling a gluten intolerance must face every day.

Weight Loss Concerns: Arrowroot is extremely low in calories as compared to other starches like yams, potatoes, or cassava. For this reason, people trying to remain on a diet can get complex carbohydrates and a wealth of nutrients, as well as a healthy dose of dietary fiber, and eliminate the desire to snack between meals. Arrowroot fills you up and gives you the minerals and vitamins your body needs.

Digestion: Dietary fiber is one of the most important parts of our digestive process, as it helps move food through the bowels in an efficient manner, while also stimulating the uptake of nutrients. It can eliminate issues of constipation and diarrhea, and manage blood sugar levels to prevent the onset of diabetes. Finally, dietary fiber can help to clear out excess cholesterol, further promoting cardiovascular health.

So, replacing flour with arrowroot would be one significant health benefit! Gut health is KEY to overall health. There are so many other benefits and it is a great thickener (can be used in place of eggs if your sensitive.)

Diet, Exercise, Mental health, Faith, Supplements and Aromatherapy all help support as we travel through this life…it is a holistic approach. I am right here with you walking it out and would love to hear from you today:-)

Classes!!

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Are you interested in learning more about Aromatherapy and Essential Oils? Do you own some essential oils, but you are really not sure what to do with them? Do you live in North West Pennsylvania? If so, the afternoon of April 1st  from 12-2:30,  at the Oil City YWCA, is your day!!

The class, taught by Certified Aromatherapist, Julia Allman, starts with a brief history of Aromatherapy.It will then move into Essential Oil safety concerns and dilution rates, and finish with blending three products to take home!! Julia has worked hard to make sure this is a class that will challenge those who already are familiar with use of essential oils, as well as keep the information simple for those who are new to it. Everyone will come away feeling they have learned something!

The cost of the class is $25 upon arrival and participants will receive their class packets loaded with information that will be a valuable reference for creating blends at home!

Class space is limited to 12 participants, so secure your seat with your name and phone number, and we look forward to seeing you!!

You can also call the YWCA at 814-676-6528 to register. Email Julia at honestaromatherapy.com with any questions you may have! We want to hear from you today!!

Who Gets Over a Love Like This?

20170115_120032 (1)Photo by Gabrielle Allman

 

I’ve been vulnerable.

I’ve entered temptation.

I’ve been caught in an iron snare.

I’ve been tormented and been refused.

I’ve been naked.

I’ve taken bullets and I’ve been rejected.

And there was a Man who stepped in.

My intimate Lover,

The One who I ran away from.

He has taken my guilt and shame.

He has stood in between me and the pointing fingers.

He knew what I was caught in and had compassion.

He told me all of my brokenness and all of my shame,

My guilt and my lack,

Is being  made into something beautiful and abundant.

…I am starting to believe Him.

Who gets over a love like this?

 

(thoughts collected after reading Ann Voskamp’s book; The Broken Way.)

 

 

Hold That Thought…..

Honest Aromas

The other day, I was in the middle of a discussion with my teenage daughter when I had to interrupt the conversation with a “hold that thought”. She put her pinched fingers up in the air and said, “ok, I’m holding that thought!” A few seconds later she spotted some chocolate on the counter that I had just purchased. As her eyes grew wide, she continued…”but I put it (the thought) down for the chocolate!”

Oh, we laughed-Which is good medicine! A girl after my own heart!! A lover of chocolate and a little squirrel like in her attention!!

There are a lot of different oil blend ideas out there for focus and clarity and it is good investigate what works best for your specific needs, but many times the Essential Oil that is the stand out in these blends is ….Vetiver.  We use Vetiver in our ADHD Blend!

Do…

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