Vulnerability

forgiveness

I got to pray with some one this weekend. I spoke at a church and sang some songs I have written about my journey of forgiveness. Learning to forgive my self, others, and even God. This woman desperately wanted to forgive a particular person who has caused much pain in her life. I told her God can not bring the fruits of forgiveness until we forgive, even if we do not feel like it.

I have experienced forgiveness only works when you are vulnerable. Vulnerability can be painful. It is easier to be closed off and hard, but the rewards are only no pain (and I don’t really believe there is no pain in that.) But when we are soft and vulnerable, forgiveness and new life can flow, like healthy cells into a wound. Vulnerability in Forgiveness brings healing<3 Have a great weekend.

It’s A Bloody Battle

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I go to the gym three times a week and work out like a fiend to get all the happy hormones I can get in a morning! I listen to my playlist through my headphones, but there are TV monitors in the gym that I can not escape the view of. I have purposely quit watching and listening to news over the last few years to de clutter my mind and allow space for more peace in my life.

I blogged last week about the devastation in Las Vegas and the last few day, news has been about all of the perversion in Hollywood (not surprising there;-( Devastation seems to be on every side. Hurricanes, fires, scandal, the demise of families; this is a hurting world. I have been harmed by people in my life and I have also caused harm because of my selfishness.  I understand pain very acutely and I understand stumbling and making a mess of my life. From here forward, I want to be a healer and a light to others who are in darker places.

I wrote a song last year as part of a healing process that I want to share. I had this deep pain and I had to get it out. God gave me the ability to write this song and music and it was pivotal in facing the trauma and bringing healing. A friend of mine used the term “bloody battle” to describe her journey and I resonated with that. My heart is that I can comfort someone else by the understanding I have received  and the vulnerability to give it away. I believe there is only one face you can look into, one Name that has power to overcome the world, and one voice that you can listen to, to apprehend this healing. His Name is Jesus. You can click here to hear the song on YouTube. Many Blessings and Peace to you<3

Coincidence….

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Alcoholics Anonymous has a saying; Coincidence is God’s way of doing something and still remaining anonymous! I agree with that! When we visited a forest a few weeks ago, it was apparent there had been a significant storm in the park with an amazing amount of trees that had fallen over forest stairways and paths. I was pondering the timing of our trip, comparing  the trees that had fallen over all of the paths against those that had been sawed away for us to get through,maybe even just days before. I said; “it is not coincidence that this storm happened when it did and we chose the weekend that we did. If we had come any earlier, the devastated paths would have made it impossible to navigate.”

I felt a similar thing happened yesterday at a festival I worked, at attending my Honest Aromas booth. God had orchestrated certain people to be there at certain times in my day and I would even say He had prepared me a head of time through a dream the night before and a cell message on my phone from a friend sharing a spiritual insight. It didn’t feel like an orchestration while I was navigating it, it felt like freakish coincidence in the way we all normally define that word. But as I processed the entirety of the scenario through the evening, there was no doubt that HE is at work and that this was another step on the journey I have been on toward Him and His purposes in my life and in the lives of others.

It is easy to react. It takes patience and self-control to say; “God what are you up to? What are you doing in this situation?” But that is exactly what He gives us self-control and patience for!! I am learning (slowly, very slowly!) how not to be over emotional in my emotions! Yes, I have a lot of emotions and I have always been a very caring person, but I do not need to be ruled by my emotions. I can choose how to respond and that is truly all we have power to do. So this set of circumstances gives me and opportunity to feel a broad range of emotions and ask God what He is up to, and sit and rest in His Doing something in the situation! He is up to something in your life as well and it is no coincidence;-) Tell us what’s going on in your life, we want to hear from you today!

 

The Power of Your Thoughts

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Happy Monday….or is it?!! It doesn’t really matter how we feel per say about the day, what matters is what you tell your grey matter to think! We have a lot to do with the out come of our attitude and it is not based on our circumstances.

Dr. Carolyn Leaf, A neuroscientist, has spent a life time studying the brain’s ability to grow and renew itself based on the thoughts we allow ourselves to think and the things we say! I have read a few of her books and watched her You Tube videos (with my autistic son), and she has a lot of compelling data.

Here are a few of her quotes;

  • “You cannot sit back and wait to be happy and healthy and have a great thought life; you have to make the choice to make this happen. …
  • “Frame your world with your words.” …
  • “If you realized how powerful your thoughts are, you would never think a negative thought.

According to her research, your brain will actually grow flourishing “trees”, new neurons/brain cells, or diseased “trees”, abnormal brain tissue, much depending on what we speak and the thoughts we allow ourselves to think! Many years ago, it was taught that you were born with a certain amount of neurons and that it was impossible to grow new ones and this research shows, that just simply isn’t true.

So, this morning, I woke up kind of grumpy! I made a choice when I went to the gym (which is great for adding Happy Hormones!), to reject my stinking thinking and be thankful! I even watched a You Tube video on thankfulness by Malcom Smith. Of course Jesus said; “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” That is a scripture that has motivated me the last few years and that is truth! And Romans 1:21 says; “Because although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts and their foolish hearts were darkened.” (Emphasis added.) I do not want to be dark, or futile in my thoughts, or be conformed to this world! I want to shine exactly how I was created to, with positive life energy beaming out of my eyeballs and out through the words I speak to myself and others! I struggle…I think you may too. Lets choose life changing words and be a positive reflection to all we meet today, especially those who are closest to us<3

You can learn more about Dr. Leaf’s research by  clicking on this link. Mind, Body Connection.

Epsom Salt!

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I am always amazed how many people DO NOT know about the benefits of Epsom Salt! If I would go to my mother with any ailment, she would say; “go soak in Epsom Salt!”. It always seemed rather boring to me and even like a cop out!! But as I have studied and applied health to my own life, Epsom Salt has become a necessary staple in my home.

Epsom salt, named for a bitter saline spring at Epsom in Surrey, England, is not actually salt but a naturally occurring pure mineral compound of magnesium and sulfate.  As the chart shows above, it can reduce stress and all over inflammation! We used it every morning for a few years as a bath for our son who has Autism. It proved to relax him, and get that much needed Magnesium into his system.

Last night, our daughter who runs Cross Country at school, had significant inflammation in her ankle as well as a shin splint ;-( I made her a very warm, teetering on hot bath, of 2 Cups Epsom salt and 10 drops Helichrysum (which is the go-to oil for bruises) for her to soak in.  She came out about one half hour later saying that she felt “so good!” and she continued by icing the leg and ankle. This morning her ankle had completely returned to normal size, as it reduced inflammation with this protocol and resting through the night.

This week I also spoke at an Arthritis Support group and I, again, was amazed to find the participants who had never tried Epsom salt in their repertoire ! It is an inexpensive alternative many times providing more relief, with no side effects, than pain medication ( of course consult with your own Physician if you are on a specific protocol.)

So, I couldn’t let the week go by with out reminding you how great this supplement is and encourage or remind you to try it for what ever ails you! Epsom salt is also The Perfect Carrier for your favorite Essential Oils. Rule of thumb, 1 ounce of Epsom salt to 4-5 drops of Essential Oil. Make sure your Essential oil is not skin irritating if you are going to take a bath in it!! Lavender,Roman Chamomile Rose Absolute or heavier oils like Patchouli and Sandalwood are great oils to blend in Epsom Salt for a calming and relaxing bath.

Have you tried Epsom Salt? We want to hear from you today!

National Autism Conference-Days 2&3

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Can’t believe how fast this week is flying by! Dorian has been doing a great job of sleeping in a little longer than usual, enjoying his super comfy bed! He has been enjoying his “Children’s Institute” class and all of the activities they have been doing. Today, he had to wear his swim trunks to class as they were having out door water activities of all kinds! The grounds and the campus as a whole are extremely beautiful and relaxing.20170731_162813

Yesterday we went to a morning session on, “Using Drugs to Improve the Behavior of People with Autism” by Alan Poling, and learned that there really are not any specific studies for prescription drug use and Autism! Of course many people treat the symptoms of Autism such as ADHD and Anxiety with medication, but there just isn’t the data to show the benefits for Autism. Pediatricians weighed in on the conversation and said at the end of the day, they just have to “try” what is available and see how it works with a particular individual. I guess we were surprised that there isn’t more research or cutting edge information on the use of drugs for this wildly growing disorder, but we are not surprised that drug companies are in business to make a profit, not run studies:-(

In the afternoon, we went to a whirl-wind session given by Jolin Jackson on “Social Skills”. She gave about 6 hours of information in her fast paced 3 hour session!! I guess the biggest take away for George and I on the topic, were the use of  motivational items and reinforcements to encourage social skills and that we need to be consistent. There was SO much information in that session,  I am trying not to get bogged down with technical terms, but trying to take nuggets that I can implement in our daily lives pretty easily.

When we left there, we tried to go to a store before we went to dinner at a Thai Restaurant. Both ideas did not go well and it was very reminiscent of the time we had on  the trip here. George asked me to take over for him for a while, which we are both willing to do for each other, but it didn’t take me long to be in the same mental space as he was. We really were trying to expect too much. We hardly ever go out to eat with Dorian, it is just hard, and not enjoyable for anyone- so we did pretty amazing having several meals out together. The night before we went to the Happy Valley Brewery which is a super cool establishment! The food is excellent, as is the atmosphere, and all in all, it went as well as we could hope.20170731_165353

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Today’s sessions started with Judah Axe giving a lecture on Problem Solving. Excellent! Here is a list to consistantly go over with any child, but especailly important for your Autisitc child. In every situation get them to start asking and answering;
*what is happening?

*What are 3 things I can do?

*What might happen?

*Which one of those 3 things are better?

*How did I feel that it went?

We can see that implementing these questions consistently will get Dorian to start thinking about his actions and can be taken into every situation, eventually when we won’t be around to prompt him.

Our last session was on transitioning out of high school by Jane Thierfeld Brown. We also got alot out of this lecture and panel and are thankful that we heard the information now, while Dorian is starting high school. Jane high lighted how the biggest problem with Autistic children transitioning into college is, their parents having been doing way too much for them and not allowing them to be a part of their IEP’s or appointments. When the student gets to college, they do not even know what their disability is or clearly be able to state what they need their accommodations for! The parents are no longer, by law, able to communicate with school officials and it makes for a train wreck. I was reminded that although there are a few things that Dorian simply cannot do, and we have tried, there are many things we need to make him responsible for. Parents, one simple thing….make your child get up for school by him/herself!! We are doing many disservices to our children when we do too much for them. I have always had our children do their own laundry and make their own appointments when they had the skills to do so. I see that I handle more for Dorian than I did for the older children, but was challenged to change that potentially bad habit. Get more information on that and more from Jane at PaTTAN.

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This evening we went to Mt. Nittany and took a hike. We MOTIVATED Dorian with Pizza if he would do the trek with out any complaining! It worked and we had a great evening walking around parts of the Agriculture campus, eating ice cream at The Creamery and taking a late swim back at the hotel.On the way to the car, Dorian took my hand and said, “I like when you hold my hand, it makes me feel safe.”!! I celebrated that sentiment with him because he would not have been able to communicate that to us before-Praise God! As I am typing this, I am thankful for everything in this week and I am ready for bed;-)

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National Autism Conference-Getting There.

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We are blessed to be able to attend the National (and there are inter-national attendees here as well) Autism Conference at Penn State University this week! I thought I would blog nightly and reflect on the things from each day.

So now, I will back up and start at the beginning of this story :-)We never know how things are going to play out with our son in any given situation.  We have been prepping him all summer about this trip, but we cannot be sure how he is interpreting any thing. He is typically not happy about any plans we make that he hasn’t made, and he always complains, so we are used to that! We have to sell him on any thing we do except anything having to do with eating or playing video games of course!!

About 30 minutes into our trip a few incidents happened that made my husband pull the car over in a fury and make me want to say; “take me back home, I don’t want to go with either of you!” Sometimes it is one thing after another with our son. Things that make sense to him I guess, but drive us absolutely bonkers and add an incredible amount of stress to our marriage. During this frustrating scenario that was going on, my husband bit his own tongue by accident, enough to make it bleed!! It was just all so awful! I was angry and frustrated, they were each angry and frustrated, and then my heart went out to my husband because things like this happen so frequently. There was just nothing to say that was going to be helpful, I could only sit in the salty silence of acceptance. My flesh wanted to go home but I got out my guitar instead and started singing my songs.20170730_200513

We got through unexpected traffic and dinner ,which continued the “ordeal”, and made it to our room. The pool at the hotel is very nice and relaxation came, when we all got in the whirl pool. Peace…

When our son hit the bed, with all of it’s hotel comfyness and pillows, it didn’t take him long to go out! He looks so peaceful when he sleeps, all of that frustration he deals with in a day  fades away and it is well with my soul.20170730_223916