Addiction…I Understand the Struggle.

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I am definitely taking a raw plunge on this blog. I have gently touched on the subject of addiction many times but I think straightforwardness is in order because there  are so many vices, so little time and so many lives being wrecked.

This is from Larry Crabb’s book, Connecting. “God declares that there is no goodness in sex outside the boundaries of a loving relationship with a lifelong mate. When we believe Him and therefore are inclined to do what He says, obedience yields a joy that supports us in what ever frustration may exist. ”

Do you agree with that? I know that I have been spared pain and destruction when I have hidden myself in” the loving marriage relationship”, even when it has been a down right unloving relationship and even when it called for separation.

He goes on to write; “A man (or woman) has a difficult day of meetings and retires early to his hotel room. One press of the button (or call that call or that sext) and pornography will fill the screen.  He calls his wife, gets some work done, and then goes to sleep…never presses the button. The next day, meetings go well, that evening the urges come back, he yields.”

“What ever the complexity might be, it is clear that we are a strange mixture of good and bad urges and they can have a life of their own. With God’s Spirit we can love as Jesus did, but we can also sin like the devil..indwelling sin is a lifelong problem-indwelling goodness is a life long reality awaiting release.” (All wrapped up of course in Romans 7&8 )

“His personal problem is sex addiction. That man senses a voice that yearns to be filled but lacks the sense to realize that he longs for LOVE, not pleasure.” And that is where the wreckage happens. I know, I have experienced it first hand.

Is God’s love enough? That has been my question. That has been my adventure. That has been my pursuit. Can His love surpass anything this world or anyone else has to offer me? Can His love be so tangible and intimate that any other would pale? Is He that interested in my well being and future? Or is what seems a justifiable and reliable provision of pleasure/center of life/lust/control/addiction really soul satisfaction?

In the midst of my addiction behavior I could say; “I can live with out_______, I cannot live without God”- Even though nothing in my flesh wanted to let the addiction go. It is so easy to feel isolated when you are struggling or failing. I would look for anything on the internet that might help relate to me, a Christian woman caught in addictive behaviors. I did find an extremely helpful prayer that seemed to understand the snare and all of the anguish I had been caught in. But more times than not, most Christian articles related to addictions or failures left me feeling more demonized as the guilty party.  I needed to know there was a light at the end of the tunnel, that people had not only come out the other side, but that they were Alive!, Thriving! and were loved and used by God again! I want to be a light like that to someone who is where I have been!

You have to understand that I believe Jesus delivers!! That all power belongs to Him! That nothing is too difficult for Him! That He came to set the captive free, and had when I first came to Him, so why was I in bondage again? I had to understand why I would allow myself to come to such a low place and risk loosing my whole life as I knew it. During the search for that answer, I learned so much about myself and God.

These are the things and people He has used to reveal who I really am in Him and His love toward me. If you are caught in addiction, and really want freedom and health, these are the resources I highly recommend. First, Friends who see the greatness in you. I tightened my circle of friends and unfortunately had to cut off some really significant relationships that couldn’t be that for me (my husband being my best friend  and support  even while dealing with his own issues.) Any of Larry Crabb’s books…I think I have read and re read them all. Henry Cloud’s Changes that Heal and Robert McGee’s Search for Significance.  I had two amazing Licensed Marriage Family Therapists (which are the only  type of counselors that I recommend) who I still reach out to. Through a set of supernatural sequences, I got a hold of The Adulterous Christian Woman; The Lies that got me there, truths that brought me back by Lyndell Holtz, who has become one of my dearest friends since, and continues to be a radiant light ahead of me.  I also immersed myself in watching You Tube videos by Malcom Smith and Sylvia Pearce who’s life mission is to help Christians understand who they really are in Christ.

If I could have left my life and gone some where to figure it all out, I probably would have. But God has been so good to me to send me help while living my day to day life out and I believe He has given me grit and perseverance in the process.  Like I said before, I want to be a compassionate light leading some one else who is navigating their way out of the pit of addiction…I understand the struggle.

 

 

Sweet Marjoram!

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This little sweetie is a new favorite of mine!! It is relaxing and it is great for sore muscles. Of course it has tons of therapeutic value, here are few of the properties listed on Pompeii’s site;

*At a Glance Sweet Marjoram gives us stress relief (calming), loosens tight muscles and cramps (think restless legs), and helps turn down the mind (for insomnia blends), and is warming.

I have been receiving some great recipes from Aromahead’s Andrea Butje and here is what she has to say about this  little bottle of marvelous!

Sweet Marjoram loves to experience the world through its sense of touch.

It likes to wear organic clothing that feels soft on its skin. Its sheets are 600 thread count. It gives itself face mask treatments twice a week, and once a week it either soaks in mineral-rich warm water or does a full-body mud wrap. Sweet Marjoram also loves to feel the weather on its skin—the soft touch of the wind, rain, and sun make Sweet Marjoram happy to be alive.

So Sweet Marjoram goes out of its way to take care of its skin. Its favorite thing about that? Blends that take care of its skin, feel good on its skin!

Here’s a body butter that Sweet Marjoram makes by hand and uses daily to moisturize and protect its precious skin.

Sweet Marjoram’s Sweet n’ Soft Skin Butter

  • 1 oz (28 g) beeswax (Cera alba)
  • 2 oz (60 ml) jojoba (Simmondsia chinensis)
  • 2 oz (56 g) cocoa butter (Theobroma cacao)
  • 2 oz (56 g) coconut oil (Cocos nucifera)
  • 26 drops Sweet Marjoram (Origanum majorana)
  • 16 drops Geranium (Pelargonium × asperum)
  • 32 drops Sweet Orange (Citrus sinensis)

You’ll need four 2 oz (60 ml) glass jars for this blend. It makes 7 oz (210 ml) of body butter, and I find it’s helpful to break it up into smaller jars (the smaller jars are easier to find).

Start by setting up the Stovetop Melting Method. Put a Pyrex measuring cup in a soup pot that’s ¼ full of gently simmering water. Then follow these directions in order:

  1. Melt the beeswax in the Pyrex.
  2. Add the jojoba and remelt. You can stir gently with a glass stirring rod or the handle of a stainless steel spoon.
  3. Add the cocoa butter and melt.
  4. Add the coconut oil and melt.
  5. When all of the ingredients are melted together, remove the blend from heat and add the essential oils, stirring gently.
  6. Pour the blend into the jars.

I hope you love this body butter blend! The base—just the carriers without the essential oils—is the same recipe I use for most of the body butter blends in my book, The Heart of Aromatherapy. (I am so excited, the book has surpassed 100 reviews on Amazon!) You can find the book at Aromatics International.

We are happy to carry Sweet Marjoram at Honest Aromas and we have been experimenting with new custom blends utilizing it’s amazingness! Give us a call we would love to get some into your hands today!

Lime-Mint Lip Balm!

My daughter, and lovely assistant, Gabrielle and I made a new summer Lip Balm! Our Lip Balm is made with Coconut oil, Local Bees wax and Raw honey, blended with pucker-up lime (not photo-sensitive) and a hint of mint to protect those lips of yours this summer!

As you can see, making lip balm is not too difficult at all and is a fun summer activity! But if you would like to save yourself all the expense, we would love for you to try ours…we think you will love it!!

 

What ever is true….

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I had been reading Ann Voskamp’s One Thousand Gifts, so I have been keeping an on going list of 1,000 things that I am thankful for. But recently, while I was on a trip with my son and daughter, I purchased a handy, little book on Mindfulness and Relaxation exercises written by Dr. Arlene Unger. It had a very helpful and stretching recommendation to write a list from a-z just for that day with the first word corresponding with the letter of the alphabet.

Although this was an important and bonding trip for all of us, it also had it’s usual familial tensions!! The particular day that I wrote this list out, I was really dealing with a wide array of emotions. It was not at all difficult for me to list my son and daughter on the list or anything having to do with being together, but other aspects of the list took me more effort. It was a challenge and it forced me to give thanks to God for everything in my day and take the time to really ponder it all.

What a simple but profound routine to pull back and re focus on the positives of the day, and I see how it helped, particularly when my emotions could have run wild! The Bible says to think about what ever is; true, noble, just, pure, lovely, a good report, virtuous or praiseworthy- meditate on these things. (Philippians 4:8) ❤

 

Friends in Time

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Each Day I find, miracles in my life, gifts so great they could only be yours

Friends in time, changes kind, strength from your loving hand

I’m on my way, bearing the new man.

Lord, Here’s my life, heal my heart, heal my soul.

Lord, Here’s my life, as I seek you, make me whole,

Here’s my life, Oh Lord, make me whole.

This is my friend that I met while I was at school for Aromatherapy. God brought us together through our love of holistic health! Her husband and her were with in three hours of our home and we were able to to meet up half way and spend an evening together! I really thought the chances of ever seeing her again were slim to none!

It brought to mind the words of the song that I wrote many years before. Friends in time. I have been so blessed to know so many incredible people, so diverse, so loving, so kind, strong, opinionated, and courageous……always in my heart, even if we do not get to see each other for years.

We all need each other don’t we? And all of my friends make up parts of who I am. I have learned from them all, even (and probably especially) the ones who may have parted my company. Iron sharpens iron and love never truly fades away.

It was actually surreal that I could hold her and see her and talk- which both of us couples did for hours! Listening to each other’s journeys over the last few years and we have both been on some unexpected, adventurous journeys!! Growing in faith and trust, and looking to the future with expectation. I re count it today, and I am very thankful for the opportunity to see each other. ❤

 

 

 

Summertime!

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Summertime and the livin’ is easy

Fish are jumpin’ and the cotton is high

Oh, your daddy’s rich and your ma is good lookin’

So hush little baby don’t you cry….

That is the song I was singing while I started the post! I take voice lessons and  I just finished working on this piece but it happened to coincide with our children having their last day of school yesterday.

Summertime actually can make me a bit anxious with the change in schedule. I will not have the quiet mornings I have had through the school year, many of those mornings in which I take the time to blog. But I did get to take a quick vacation at this very beach in Destin, Florida! It is to date one of the most beautiful and fun beaches I have ever been to. Our son is in the Navy and our daughter, Hannah and I met up with him and spent a few days of Liberty with him.

It was a relationally worthwhile trip and I am very thankful that my two oldest children would want to spend that time with me. We laid on the beach and we played in the waves- it was great! It is easy for me to push myself continually and not rest or make time for recreation- but it is so important for us to do that for ourselves. In this instance, an unforgettable memory was built, which is even more important.

I created an After Sun Spray and took it on the trip, and it was good that I did! It was a mixture of Aloe Vera Juice and Lavender (Lavendula angustifolia). It felt fantastic on hot skin and smelled amazing as well as being very calming! Try it and let us know what you think!

So, Happy Summer and take time to enjoy the season, re creating and singing!!