Remember to Keep Going!

20160207_222308.jpg

If you have been reading my blog, you know I have been on a personal journey the last few years. Through that time, my husband and I were separated and every thing in the fabric of my life seemed to be pulling apart.

The way we parented, or did not parent our youngest, autistic, son together, was a definite strain on our marriage. You have these imperfections in marriage and parenting, but you can slough them off easier, I think, with “typical” children. But these inconsistencies will glare in the face of a special needs child and cause you to grow together or apart.

So, as we came to the bottom of everything we thought we had, and I personally was in the lowest place a person could be- I relinquished control. I told God, if He cared about me, and about this Holy Union He named Marriage, He was going to have to make something out of broken pieces. It has been a painful process, dying to self usually is! For if we are going to make something beautiful out of broken, it has to be sorted out, cleaned out, rebuilt and it won’t happen with resistance.

In the process, I approach my children differently. I am approaching my special needs son slower. I am more conscious of my being just a “vessel”, and I can pour out love to him, or frustration. I am in his life (and everyone’s for that matter) to pour out love, power and a sound mind. This is a work of The Holy Spirit- I do not have this kind of supernatural-ness!

Last night he asked me to pray for him and read the Bible to him, he was troubled in his mind. I was so blessed that he would even ask me to do that! At one point, he started kissing my hand, I asked him why he was doing that and he said; “your awesome”. Taken aback, I asked, “why?” He said; “because you are trying to help me!” How beautiful, how simple, how divine.

I was reminded of my friend buying me this Keep Going mug and how I would use it every morning and read it’s truth. When you  bottom out in life, it is not the time to quit and give up! It is the time to ask for supernatural help and run with endurance. There are Always second, third, tenth, hundredth chances. God NEVER gives up on you! Even if others do, and they will, you are there to be awesome for some one else. Keep Going- I am right here with you cheering you on!!

It Takes A Little Time…

20170515_123806

Beautiful things do not happen by chance! There is a process…a seed, a sprout, and eventually a flower. I planted this Clematis last year, and it was so small and spindly, I didn’t know if it would make it. I was so presently surprised to find this flower blooming on the arch of my patio yesterday!!

It reminds me of the journey I have been on over the last few years. Broken relationships, little life and then, slow-but-sure, signs of life here and there. Giving my self up to God’s will, soaking in the truth of who I am in Him, letting His Spirit water me, lead me, and guide me and watching it grow and reach out to others.  It has taken time, but some deep, beautiful things are blooming.

There are so many wide and shallow….it takes time to be deeply beautiful- and then turn and give that beauty away to some one else! I am right here with you on the journey and would love to hear from you today<3

 

What “Weeds” Do You Have In Your Back Yard?

20170503_083333.jpg

The other day, in Do The Next Thing, I touched on using local “weeds” for medicinal purposes. I found a great article about  Creeping Charlie written by Connie Korstens that goes into detail on that very subject!

Many people hate the sight of Creeping Charlie (Glechoma hederacea) will do anything to try to eradicate it. It is often considered an invasive weed that runs amok. But when I see this low growing plant with kidney-shaped leaves and beautiful, funnel-shaped, bluish-violet flowers in the spring, it makes me think of all the amazing medicinal uses it has.

European settlers intentionally brought Creeping Charlie to America for its culinary and medicinal uses. A member of the mint family, the herb forms long trailing stems that create a dense mat over the ground. Another common name for this plant is Ground Ivy.

Historically, it has a rich background and was even used in beer making as a clarifying agent to improve flavor before hops were used. It was also used by painters as a remedy for lead colic. Mostly, it was used as a tonic. Since Creeping Charlie is extremely rich in vitamin C, it was often made into a tea and used to prevent scurvy.

Parts used: Flowers, stems, leaves.

Medicinal Uses: Both Internal and external.

*Soothes inflamed mucous membranes

*Sinusitis

*used for inner and middle ear remedy

*tinnitus (ringing in the ears

*kidney and lung disorder

*head colds, especially with congestion in ear tubes

*bronchitis and viral pneumonia

*cough remedy

*bladder infections

*indigestion

*may be useful for heavy metal detoxification (lead, mercury, aluminum)

*traditional cancer remedy

*Externally used as a wash or poultice for sores, cuts, bruises and ear or nasal infections

*Systems Supported: Kidney, bladder, respiratory, lymphatic, and digestive.

*Plant Preparations: Infusion (tea), tincture, poultice.

*Minerals/Vitamins: Iron, copper, iodine, phosphorus, potassium. Rich in Vitamin C.

*Herbal Actions: Anti-catarrhal – Anti-inflammatory – Antiviral – Astringent – Diaphoretic – Diuretic – Expectorant

RECIPE: Creeping Charlie Tea.

Because this plant runs so rampant, one way to embrace and use Creeping Charlie is to make an herbal infusion. It has a pleasantly subtle mint-like flavor.

Infusions are a great way to build health. Just think of them as a gentle tonic for the body. Tonic herbs are beneficial to the body and they can either increase or decrease the activity of a system, as needed. Some tonic herbs have an overall affect on several bodily systems, while others address a narrow range of processes. Herbal teas are easy to prepare and nurturing to sip.

How To Make It…

Pick enough plant material to loosely fill a quart jar. Thoroughly wash the Creeping Charlie. Place the plant material in a quart jar. Fill to top with boiling water. Cover jar and steep for one hour. Remove plant material and drink either hot or cold. Optional: Add lemon or lime slices with a sprig of fresh mint

Reading this article re energizes me to gain some more knowledge on my back yard “weeds”! When our older children were younger, I often dug up dandy lion roots or clipped other leaves and flowers for medicinal teas. It is all right there, free for the taking! I went out side this morning and collected some of this lovely plant, and I am making this tea as I type!!

20170503_084941

What “weeds” do you have in your back yard? Identify them on the internet, or buy a book on the subject. I am right here, learning along, and becoming holistically healthier with you:-)

Lettres, Ladies, and Libraries

 

bells lets.jpg

This past weekend Honest Aromas was a vendor at the Oil City Belles Lettres Club bazaar. It occurred to me that I didn’t know why the Belles Lettres started. I mean, I used to take my children to their building downtown to perform for the Jr. Schubert club, and my husband and I held formal youth group dinners there, but I was not sure what the ladies at the Belles Lettres actually did.

Well as it turns out, the founders of this club were amazing!

The Belles Lettres Club was formed for the purpose of studying literature and maintaining a library (the name Belles Lettres comes from a French phrase for fine writing, and is a general term for a type of well-crafted literature). An active member of Belles Lettres, Cora Hull Ramage, began corresponding with Andrew Carnegie of Pittsburgh. She requested that Mr. Carnegie donate money for a library. He agreed to donate $44,000 to build the library, provided that the citizens provide a site and guarantee $3,000 annually to maintain it.

Andrew Carnegie once said, “A library outranks any other thing a community can do to benefit its people. It is a never failing spring in the desert.” Over his lifetime, Mr. Carnegie contributed an estimated 150 million dollars to nearly three thousand libraries in the United States and Great Britain. Oil City was fortunate to be one of the recipients, but the library hasn’t received any Carnegie money since.

CarnegieLibrary-300x199The women of the Belles Lettres Club went to work and raised over $11,000 to purchase the present site at the corner of Central Avenue and West Front Street.

On July 6, 1904, the Carnegie Library of Oil City opened its doors with five thousand books that were donated by the Belles Lettres Club.*

WOW! You go ladies!

 

*Information from http://www.oilcitylibrary.org/index.php/information/history/

Perspective

autism quote

I think this is a great reminder for all of us, not just how we see the people in our lives, but in how we look at ourselves! Perspective matters.

I’ve been meditating on the fact that I am deeply loved, fully accepted, completely forgiven, and fully pleasing to God. I can often forget that when I see myself through the filter of my mistakes. But if I look at myself through that truthful perspective, I tend to see others through it as well.

Perspective and perception have even more to do with holistic health than what supplements and essential oils you use. You can be literally “transformed by the renewing of your mind” (Romans 12:2).

So today, take some time to encourage those around you in their strengths. Think about people’s strengths and tell them about it! We all get encouraged when we hear those things.

What are your strengths? What are your loved ones’ strengths? We want to hear from you today!

Arrow Root, Healthy Tummies and Weight Loss.

arrowrootinfo-700x525

 

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:-)

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.)