In Everything Give Thanks

In everything give thanks?? What has 2020 been like for you?

I hosted a, “Make a Dream Board” class in January of this year and I have the dream board I created posted in my home office, which by the way, is a corner of my bedroom:) Boy, the dreams we all had for the year, huh?! I really thought the year was going to be different.

“2020 Vision” was touted everywhere at the beginning of the year and my, make a dream board class, was no exception. Wildly enough, almost everything on my dream board has come to pass including a once-in-a-life-time trip to Hawaii that we will be going to if the state continues to stay open.

These are the other things represented on my board…I had a pixie hair cut last year but because I was not able to see my hair dresser for several months it made the grueling process of growing that out much easier- now I have a style that is close to the image on my dream board. I changed up my diet again, started drinking green drinks, that’s represented. Flowers and Coconut Lemon hand soap remind me to tap in to the natural side of my self and indulge in the things that make me, me.

I have been taking guitar lessons because I write songs and, it matters. I have an urn with ivy in it because I think that is an absolutely beautiful addition to any room. I bought a new oven, like the one pictured and I am redoing (get it going) my kitchen one small appliance and cupboard at a time. A Refined French; represents the elegance, artsiness and uniquness that I aspire toward, as well as the words, warm and calm.

The Sunshine or Sadness, The Day is Given, Thank You, Futures So Bright, and Bursting Into Laughter are all reminders of bieng grateful and joyful no matter what! For example, I have have started saying, outloud, what I am thankful for to practice gratitude. And to practice joy, sometimes I listen to comedians, slide accross my wood floor in my socks, break into dance or anything intentionally silly to make myself burst into, head back, snorting laughter. Those are things I have cultivated into my life because i can be too focused, too goal oriented or just downright down.

It Starts with The Bible and Where Jesus Walked, are reminders to start the day with the Word of God and meditation. When we had the first shut down I started an online Bible study for women also, so that routine proved even more important for me to be prepared to share what I was learning.

The cabin(s)on the dream board represent a ginormous dream. I want a cabin in the woods so bad I can smell it in my nostrils and taste it on my tongue. There is movement there, so I will give myself a pat on the back and an, at a’ girl, for pursuing a dream and seeing what it will take to make that a reality.

Now…the word, friend. I originally put that on my board to remind myself to be a good friend.

Basically, if you have won my heart as a friend, you have a deep residence in my heart that no one else can inhabit even after numerous years. It’s still there, open and ready for you to visit no matter the disconnect of time in between. But I have learned in fifty some years of life, that not everyone sees it that way and I have, unintentionally, hurt people by not staying in touch. So, friend, is there to remind me to be intentional about being a good friend.

The word, friend, took on a whole other meaning this year though. Little did I know, that I was going to have some real tragedy with friends. Two of my friends, through covid, realized that divorce was a neccesary course of action. Three other of my friends moved far away.

Two other friends that lived life well and unselfishly, passed away with a set of unique endings to thier lives that no could have forseen or would have expected. Now there are two friends, the spouses left behind, wondering what just hit them and how to move forward in life.

I have another friend whose husband’s health changed so drastically that she is a full time care giver now. And I have another friend whose unsuccedsful hip replacement, almost 2 years ago, has been an unbelievable saga, like that of Job; pain, trauma and dispair leading to a completely different life than they had before.

Last but not least, my little five pound furry friend, my dog, died this fall. Our favorite time spent together was when I was typing at my computer, she loved to lay on my lap and put her head on the crook of my arm, even though I would move her head with each letter that I typed- she was a loyal friend and companion to me.

The pain in these circumstances is almost too much for me to bear sometimes and then I try to put myself in other’s shoes for a moment. How do I be a good friend in these situations?

A dream board seems such a selfish thing to have in light of these tragedies but it is a visual for me to keep going, keep doing the next right thing, keep developing that person that is inside. We all need compassion and we all need hope and my board helps me stay focused on that. If I don’t put the provervial oxygen mask on my face first, I will not be able to take care of those around me and that is very true for me.

We are commanded as Christians to, give thanks in everything (1 Thes. 5:18) and I think this year has proven to make me much more aware of how to do that despite my feelings. There have been so many let downs, changes and things to litterally grieve over. Do you agree?

In our town which was already economically challenged before the pandemic, the small business’ that have really busted thier tails to keep making it work have had to work even harder or close. I have an idea as a busines owner what they are facing, but I do not have the employees and other responsibilites they have to keep families afloat. We do make more of an effort to support those business’ more than ever before and, thankfully, many of them are hanging on.

So, how do we give thanks in everything even when we do not feel like it? We just. do. it.

Give thanks in everything, when you wake up on a safe, soft bed or drive by empty buildings, when you take a walk around your neighborhood or when you home school your child (which I am doing with our 16 year old autisitc son). Give thanks in everything when you have running, warm water to take a shower in or make a meal for your friend. Give thanks when you write your friend, who moved away, a letter instead of taking a walk with her.

Give thanks in everything when you are praying with your divorcing friend who needs the next payment to send to her lawyer or when buying some groceries at the store or paying bills. Give thanks in everything when you can see joy on a cloudy day and when you struggle with anxiety.

Give thanks in little and give thanks in much. Give thanks for the people who have been a part of your life whether it has hurt or healed. Give thanks for the time and years you got to spend with the people, or animals, that you have cared about. Give thanks for having to walk the dog and and for the ability to walk. Give thanks for the breath in your lungs and the ability to think. Give thanks for the red states and for the blue states, for the black lives and the blue, give thanks for your friend and thanks for your frenemy or foe. Give thanks and rejoice that God is in control and you are not.

God knows what He is up to. There is an element of thanksgiving and gratefulness that produces something in us that we need and that we need to give away because others need it to. May we all get better at making ourselves give thanks in all circumstances and situations as we finish this year and head into the next one.

Thank you for reading this, I give thanks for you<3

Together We Can- Good News In Troubled Times

Last week I was a featured story at Wealth Journey! If you need financial coaching and want to make the most of what you earn and save, contact Scott at Wealth Journey- he is a trustworthy advisor and he and Mimi have your best interested in mind.

Here is the story from Weath Journey:

Welcome back to “Good News Friday!” We live in a world where we are constantly bombarded with bad news. At Wealth Journey we decided it’s time for some good news! Today we want to highlight Julia Allman’s story and what she has done during the recent COVID pandemic. Julia is a Certified Christian Life Coach as well as Aromatherapist. She is the CEO and owner of Honest Aromas you can visit her website at: juliaallman.com.

Here’s her story:

A few days after the rioting began taking place across the country in response to George
Floyd’s death, I posted this on Facebook. “So, where do we go from here? How is the murdering, polarizing, hurting, hating and tearing each other down working for us? We are destroying ourselves and each other instead of valuing each life as a gift.


Together We Can
Giving in to the darkness of hate -of anyone- no matter what our political, social, ethnic
or religious background is, is the recipe for demise. We do not have to fear a foreign
enemy or a virus. We are doing an excellent job of destroying our own selves. The
problem starts in the unseen heart of each of us.”

I felt so helpless and at the same time, so passionate about doing something. I asked
myself what I could do in response to all of the violence and hatred going on in our
country. What little part could I play to change things in my community?
We have friends who are police officers and we have friends who are people of color, I
asked myself how I could reach out to both and show that I care. I called my friends of color and I expressed my care and feelings. The wife of this couple said that she had been feeling the same way, but wasn’t sure what to do either. I said, well if you want to have a gathering in the community to show solidarity and stand against hatred and violence, I am in. Within an hour she called me back and said that she had been to the City Manager’s office and requested permission to hold an event for unity!


We named the event, “Together We Can”. We prayed, discussed the parameters, and
began to invite speakers. The parameters we set forth were; faith based, non-political,
non-violent, presuming good will toward the next person, respect toward all and deciding
not to respond to provocation if it should occur. We invited our former and current Chiefs of Police to speak, a pastor whose church is very involved in the community, a retired nurse, a counselor and a county commissioner. We were hoping that at least 25 people would come and we were amazed when over 200 people attended! It was attended by police, the city council, area government representatives, business owners and community leaders as well as concerned citizens. It was peaceful, hope filled and transparent in regards to race and law enforcement issues. After that event, some youth that attended that event asked if we would support them in holding another event geared to youth and schools. When you begin to have conversations like these, many people start to surface to offer their knowledge and expertise.

At the second event we had a local pastor who was the chaplain for a police force in the
mid-west as well as a mediator concerning race for the Native American tribes in the
west. We invited him to speak as well as the former warden of our county jail, students,
faculty and a closing prayer by another pastor of the community. The attendance of this
event surpassed the first one. This event was also attended by many of our local police,
Sheriff, city council, local leaders and many concerned citizens. Our mayor told us,
“Thank you for holding these events.”

It is impossible to do something like this, at such an emotional and tenuous time in our
history without having some honest, uncomfortable conversations. I spoke with a few
wives of police officers and they have expressed what a hard time they have been
experiencing and I am gaining a better understanding of what life is like for them. Many
of them do not feel free to join in, but I engage them in conversations nonetheless. I also
have heard from many people of color of how life has been hard for them at times, simply
because the color of their skin and I have heard the fear that many people, on all sides of
the aisles, are experiencing right now.


While I was planning the second event, a psychologist that I have done seminars with in
the past, asked me if I would help him hold a,”day of peace” seminar in our town. He
works with people every day who are struggling with depression and anxiety because of
all of the uncertainty that is going on in the world right now. So we planned the, “A Day
Of Peace”, seminar at our local YWCA. We will have three Doctors of Psychology and 2
Life Coaches, including myself, offering solutions to the anxiety, depression, racism,
confusion, conflicts and family issues that have been surfacing in our lives during this
time.

While I was writing this story for Wealth Journey, I was also invited to speak at our local
Rotary Club, this week, on the events I helped organize to share ways one can create
peace and to offer strategies to calm our anxieties during these crazy times we live in.
While I am preparing for speaking at the Rotary, my husband and I are brainstorming
ideas to encourage our law enforcement neighbors and the local and state police who are
in our area! We feel an encouraging greeting card and gift cards to local eateries can be a
small but intentional, “thank you for your service to our community”, and make an
impact.

I often ponder lately how it would have been so easy to sit back and do nothing, or to
think that my small effort would have any lasting effect. But through my willingness to,
“do something”, many conversations and connections have been made that make it
apparent that good things are happening! If I had not stepped out, I would never know
what is going on in the lives of my neighbors and I wouldn’t have known how eager
many people are to be a part of positive change. It has been proof to me that one person
can make a difference in their family, community, town, county, state and encourage
others to do the same<3

 Together We CanWe were hoping that at least 25 people would come and we were amazed when over 200 people attended! Our mayor told us,”Thank you for holding these events.”
Everyone AttendedIt was attended by police, the city council, area government representatives, business owners and community leaders as well as concerned citizens.



If you know of an uplifting story for our Good News Friday segment please  reach out to: mimi@wealthjourney

I hope that this story prompts you to make a difference in your sphere. Your life matters, your life affects other lives! We can choose to be a bridge of hope and peace. We can choose to set up a boundary against violence and hate, no matter who it is targeted toward. We can choose to have uncomfortable conversations and grow and learn.

What do you want your life to look like? What do you want your family to look like? What do you want your county, state and country to look like? We can be the change we want to see by being an agent of change…together we can.

So Where Do We Go From Here?

So, where do we go from here? 

Should we keep murdering, polarizing, hurting, hating, and tearing each other down? We are destroying ourselves and each other instead of valuing each life as a gift.

Giving in to the darkness of hate-of anyone- no matter what our political, social, ethnic or religious background is, is the recipe for demise. We do not have to fear a foreign enemy or a virus. We are doing an excellent job of destroying our own selves. The problem starts in the unseen heart of each of us.

So, where do we go from here?

 “Having resentment in your soul is like drinking poison and hoping that your enemy will die”- Nelson Mandela

So, where do we go from here?

“The fastest way to change you is to change me.” -Tony Robbins

So, where do we go from here?

“Three things will last forever- faith, hope and love- and the greatest of these is love.- The apostle, Paul.

Life Is Lived In The Periphery

The Human Genome Project (1990-2003), proved that the life, the activity, the energy of the cell, was ‘lived’ in the cytoplasm of the cell…in the periphery.

As I meditate on that, I think of all of the things in my life where that rings true. Life is lived in the day to day rituals, habits and values I hold as a person, and then in the broader sense, the day to day rituals, habits and values we hold as a family.

What we devote our minds and attention to, when no one is looking, is what is produced, grows and flourishes in our relationships, work and recreation and, in turn, makes us into the best version of ourselves.

I can often bristle against the mundane. The waking up at 5, drinking organic green juice, praying, journaling, listening to Tony Robbins, having prayer with my husband, working out, and practicing guitar for 15 minutes. But that is where my life truly is lived. The out growth of that routine shows up in everything else I do in front of and for others. It is light, it is energy and it is life!

Think about how your life is lived in the periphery? Just like me, if your life doesn’t reflect the values that you have or the way that you want your life to look, maybe you need to change up your habits and routines. It is a bit painful to change and build new ‘muscles’, but you will never regret adding value to yourself by living a better life in the periphery<3

I am walking this journey of wholeness with you and I would love to hear from you today!

>>>>>>>>>Keep Moving>>>>>>>>>>

Just finished my morning workout…..whew!! This isolation and the ending of, “our life as we knew it”, can really take a toll on our physical AND mental health.

My newest habit is to change my motion to change my E-motion! When I was single, I joined a lot of aerobic classes at the gym I had a membership at and I was also in a hip-hop dance band as a singer. I was always exercising and dancing and then I gave my life to motherhood for 22, intense years, not that I would change a thing.

But things have changed, and although I now have a college student home again and a full time high-schooler here, I realized I need some deep and lasting motivation to keep my focus positive and my mind and body in shape! I started taking up aerobic dance and dancing again, in general. What a great, playful, new adventure!

Dancing increases flexibility (make sure you stretch first:), improves posture, increases core strength and is a natural mood lifter/ anxiety dissolver. When I turn on the loud music and start moving, those around me can’t seem to help but join in, which in turn, becomes a fun family activity!

Aroma therapeutic side note: all of the citrus essential oils are really helpful at this historical, uncertain time we have found our selves in. I have made a blend of a few drops of each; lemon, orange, lime, grapefruit and bergamot essential oils in a 2 ounce spray bottle of water and then mist in each room. They naturally invigorate and are intrinsically anti-viral, anti- bacterial and immune system supporters- perfect to help prevent the spread of any virus! This particular blend also has such a tropical aroma to it so it brings back happy thoughts from happier days at the sunny beach.

So, remember to, >>>>>Keep Moving>>>>>>, however you are able and utilize the pure natural aromas God gave us to keep us healthy and living our best life, no matter how quarantined you are atm<3

I am walking this road with you and I would love to hear from you today!

The Best Day Ever!

I know we are all feeling a sense of loss for the traditions we have had on Easter. We can’t get together with loved ones or participate in events that have been meaningful to us they way we once did. Or maybe, holidays in general are difficult for many who may have complex family situations or hurtful memories. But no matter the back stories of our lives, I have heard many times in the last few weeks; “it just doesn’t feel like Easter”.


I have found a renewed sense of purpose in this holiday focusing on the resurrection story and the person, Jesus, who overcame death so that a world could live. The world has never known a man who gave his life in such a brutal way so that we could live eternally…and he still lives.
He did not just die for the whole world. He died and resurrected for each one of us and wants to have an intimate relationship with you and with me. And for that reason, the day that Jesus resurrected was and forever will be, the best day ever!

Maybe church and Christians have turned you off in the past, I completely understand that. Sadly, although we might not like his followers or the houses that claim to worship him, we will find a very different person when we seek Jesus himself and believe him and that in turn gives us more love for all around us. That is all he asks us to do.
Thank you for listening. Much love and many Blessings to each of you today and always♥

#thebestdayever #newlife #forgiveness #relationship #easter

Feed Your Faith, Not Your Fear

Are you feeling a bit afraid? Me too. Sometimes I walk outside and think, holy crap is all of this really going on? Are we really in a pandemic? In a month so many things have changed and, like 9/11, I think they will change, the way we do life, forever.

Well, forever, as pertains to this life anyway. When I was about nineteen years old I became, what Christian’s call, born again. I intentionally gave over the control of my life to Jesus Christ. I knew that I was living a very selfish, self gratifying life with a lot of secrets and well worn roads and I was miserable.

One night when I was driving quite a distance from home after performing some singing telegrams, that was my occupation at the time, I happened upon a Christian radio station. The old-time preacher was calling me out from the front seat of my metallic blue ’78 Mercury Zephyr. He said; “If you died tonight, would you go to heaven?” I said, “No” out loud. He went on to explain that Jesus came to earth, died and rose again and is seated in heaven now to take my sins and the sins of the whole world and there is nothing we can do that will make us a good enough person to get into heaven, but we must surrender our life in Christ. He went on to say, that we must ‘hand over the wheel of our life’ and give Jesus the control over it because He knows what He created us for, where He wants us to go and what He wants us to do. Well I was driving with the steering wheel in my hands and said, out loud, driving down the highway, right there on my white leather seats, “Jesus take the wheel of my life in yours, I hand my life over to you. ( And this was long before Carrie Underwood wrote the song:)

He saw me and He heard me and my life has never been the same. He became my focus and pursuit and a whole new world and possibilities opened up for me. My life was no longer focused on the next self gratifying event, but instead, I became very curious about this King of Kings, and how I fit into His Kingdom.

Today, this moment, it seems to me we are confronted with the same choice. There is an unseen virus that is wreaking havoc in every place of our lives. Our once autonomous lives are becoming less and less autonomous. There is no where to hide. We can’t leave our neighborhood, our county, our state or the country. We cannot meet up with friends like we used to. We cannot shop to get some retail therapy. We can’t get our hair done or go to the gym so we can feel a little better about ourselves. We are being forced to sit with our selves our thoughts and the families that we are bound to.

There is no game to go to tonight, no dinner reservations, no show. Some people are wearing masks and gloves and some are visibly bothered by being around others, even six feet away. Some people have to postpone graduations, weddings and even the mourning of a loved one. It’s easy to see how we can be overwhelmed by fear and panic. What can we do?

We can feed our faith. We can, like Philippians 4:8 says to do, meditate on whatever things are true, noble, pure, lovely, of good report, virtuous and praiseworthy things. Meditate means; to engage in thought or contemplation, reflection, ponder, consider, dream about, purpose, think on. The Bible says that We can transform our minds by the renewing of our minds. I know this is true, for I have spent months doing this very exercise at a time in my life when I forgot what my true identity was as a Christian.

Jesus said that He is the way, the truth and the life. He also called himself the light of the world. He said, whoever follows Me will not stumble around in darkness but have the light that leads to life. We need that light and that life today. Just like the unseen virus that roams around waiting to devour, we have an unseen enemy of our souls and his name is satan or the devil. The virus threatens our lively hood, our education, our health, our society, our world and maybe our very life. But Jesus said in Matthew 10:28, “Don’t be afraid of those who want to kill your body; they cannot touch your soul.

Satan seeks to kill, steal and destroy, just like the virus, but the ramifications are eternal. He seeks to take your soul through deception like lust of the eyes, lust of the flesh and seeking after all the things this life has to offer. His primary focus is to convince you that you are not a child of God and God does not have your best in mind. He is a liar and a thief and loves to use fear as a primary weapon.

Faith in God is eternal safety in this life and the life to come. He invites us in to His Kingdom that is without end and offers us joy and peace that, He says, surpasses all human understanding. As the layers of what we have known as our lives get pealed away, He is there offering supernatural protection, direction and hope.

I chose this image for the blog for it’s majesty, peace, calmness and hope. As an Aromatherapist, I know the value of Lavender for it’s central nervous system calming and sedative properties. It is very effective as a support for people who struggle with anxiety or have a hard time falling asleep. It is beautiful to gaze upon and beautiful to smell. Green is the color of life and being alive.

Purple is the color of royalty and peace, very fitting for The King of Kings. Mountains are majestic and lift our eyes up to something greater than ourselves. During this time of panic and uncertainty, lift up your eyes to where your help comes from, everlasting help comes from The Lord Jesus. Call on His name, give him the wheel of your life and feed on Him as the object of your affection and your faith.

No matter where you are, no matter where you have been, He is warmly and excitedly waiting for you right now.

Blessings<3

Coming Out of The Shadows

Change….it’s hard. There is so much to it. Overriding uncertainty and fear, being courageous, taking a step, acceptance that you may not be where you want to be, but how are you going to get there if you never begin?

I bought myself a curriculum suggetsted by my therapist called, The Artist’s Way. It is written by Julia Cameron, a screen writer, and it is somewhat of a hands-on classic for blocked artists. Cameron suggests writing three large amounts of “pages” everyday to get un stuck. It doesn’t matter if you are a writer, a musician a painter, a dancer, what ever your art form, the writing is a necessary means to a desired end.

The curriculum was suggested because I needed time to, drain my brain, as my therapist said, but it has been so encouraging to me as I have stepped out in many areas of creativity lately- I highly recommend it to anyone who is afraid to develop those deep desired aspirations.

This is what Cameron says to affirm those afraid to take themselves seriously in any realm of creativity.

“In order to move a way from the realm of the shadows into light of creativity, shadow artists must learn to take themselves seriously. With gentle, deliberate effort, they must nurture their artist child. Creativity is play, but for shadow artists, learning to allow themselves to play is hard work.”

This statement is so true of me! On one hand, I take myself way too seriously, on the other, I haven’t taken my desires, gifts and talents serious enough. On one hand, I have spent literal hours and years, alone, practicing, writing, singing, playing, taking lessons to improve, on the other hand, I have so easily hidden in my fear and have not wanted to step onto center stage using the excuse, “someone is always better than I am.”

A lot has changed in my life over the last four years. A cataclysmic event in my life, cloaked in the appearance of a “bad” thing, actually turned out to be an open door of hope and change in my life. I do not want to discount how, in many ways, it was a hurtful event, to many people because it was. But what are we supposed to do with the shadows of our life? Hide in them? Blame them? Avoid them at all costs? I don’t think so. I think we are to, as Henri Nouwen says, in so many ways, embrace the shadows and the light together. Life is full of both and both are intended to be lessons to us.

The event in my life was a glaring signal that something needed to change. Many things infact needed to change…first, me. I was living a false-self life. I had desires and dreams, but I had for years stuffed them so far down to my toes, thinking they were selfish instead of, ‘desires of my heart’, God had perhaps placed there.

Allowing myself to say, I do not want the next 25 years to be the way the first twenty-five were, was very new for me. It was liberating. I didn’t go about it all the right way, for sure. But when we take actions to grow and change, ripples occur and affect those we surround ourselves with.

I have decided I want to take positive actions that affect myself and the ones I love in a positive way- those are my perimeters after trying to change in a destructive way. It is not easy, change never is, but it doesn’t have the negative ramifications surrounding it like bad choices to change, have.

Just one aspect of this change is found in our new hobby of playing as a family band in local venues. My family has played in worship settings for years, and still continue to. But we have recently created a set list of music, that is meaningful to us as a family, and stepped out to share our love of music together with the community.

We play rock classics, pop songs, jazz and originals that give a back story of the things we have been through as a couple and a family and it has been met with encouragement and huge support. I, for many years, was a drummer for bands. Although I would still sing from, ‘behind the band’, even lead or sing my own songs, I always had the comfort of the first layer of musicians in front of me to keep me in the shadows. I couldn’t see the faces of those we were playing to very easily and that was fine with me!

Coming out of the shadows right now for me means, stepping out in the courage that I have been given something important to say and share. That my life counts, that I have a message and that there are others who need comfort from hearing it. Ultimately, Jesus continues to use my life, bring me out of the shadows and in to all that He has destined for me to be and for me to do. In the process, I am empathetic to others and can comfort others with the comfort I have received. Ultimately, that is what I think shadows were created for. When shadows are exposed to light, you see all the beauty, life and detail that was always laying quietly there all along<3