My Beloved

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“The core of my faith belongs to the conviction that you and that I and that we are the beloved daughters and sons of God. One of the enormous spiritual tasks we have is to claim that and to live a life based on that knowledge.” henri nouwen

I agree. It is something that I have been trying to wrap my mind around for the last few years, but more than that, asking God Himself to implant that deeply into my mind and my heart. I believe it is the core of living; looking past our “false self”, or our apparent self or circumstances to our “true self” who is the beloved of God to fully live as we were intended.

While meditating on Nouwen’s book, Spiritual Direction and his meditation on The Beloved, I wrote this song.

 

I am your beloved-you made me in eternity

You gave me love-so I could give it out-it will not run out in you

My beloved, my beloved, my beloved-Jesus

 

Here and now-your love is my power for victory- your song and strength to me

You will never leave- though the enemy tries to deceive- I will trust in you

My beloved, my beloved, my beloved-Jesus

 

You know my thoughts afar- you come to where we are- no stones, just nail scarred hands

You put them ’round my face- and sing amazing grace- love divine pouring into man

My beloved, my beloved, my beloved-Jesus

 

I pray that this love pours out of me to others and that I let it’s truth sustain me the rest of my life<3

You Are Precious…

You are precious and are worth dying for. God absolutely delights in you and wants to be in a relationship with you- if that isn’t The God you have heard about, you have only heard religion..which isn’t God. Seek the truth through Jesus and you will find the way, truth and life♥

alabaster flask

Speaking about precious things as it relates to Essential Oils… there is an account in the the gospels of a woman bringing an alabaster flask to Jesus. This is how it reads in Luke 7:37-49;

 A woman in that town who lived a sinful life learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee’s house, so she came there with an alabaster jar of perfume. 38 As she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them.

 When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would know who is touching him and what kind of woman she is—that she is a sinner.”

 Jesus answered him, “Simon, I have something to tell you.”

“Tell me, teacher,” he said.

 “Two people owed money to a certain moneylender. One owed him five hundred denarii,[a] and the other fifty. 42 Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he forgave the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?”

 Simon replied, “I suppose the one who had the bigger debt forgiven.”

“You have judged correctly,” Jesus said.

Then he turned toward the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. 45 You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet. 46 You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet. 47 Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little.”

 Then Jesus said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.”

 The other guests began to say among themselves, “Who is this who even forgives sins?”

The perfume that was in this alabaster flask was Spikenard (which is named in  Mark’s Gospel of this account.) I have always loved and related to this story because I have been  this woman; sinful, transparent, affectionate, misunderstood, judged, loved and forgiven. And when I went to Aromatherapy school, I was so excited that I actually got to work with Spikenard essential oil!

In the other accounts of this story, everyone was “indignant” about what the woman did, in addition to her obvious intimate attention to Jesus, because the perfume that she broke over Him was very costly. They said that it could have been sold and the money given to the poor. So this was a known, rare and  precious perfume to everyone’s knowledge.  But her devotion and out pouring to Him and His love and affection toward her was much more valuable and worthy of her fame throughout generations!

You can read more about Spikenard in a  paper I wrote; Spikenard! A research paper by Julia Allman,  I go into depth about this amazing, ancient oil. But I want to follow up with the fact that YOU are more precious than silver or gold or anything else the world has to offer. You matter, you make a difference and God desires an intimate, healing relationship with you now and forever<3

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.

 

 

What Are You Thinking?

 

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Thinking: we all do it. Some of us are better at hiding it than others, but no matter who you are, the things you think about will affect all of your life choices. We have amazing minds, and I don’t think we can be reminded enough of the benefits of renewing our minds.

I have written a lot of blog posts on this idea over the last year. The following is what I wrote one morning on my Facebook page. Although the focus is on shame, it ultimately goes back to what we think about ourselves:

According to the book Unashamed by Christine Caine, shame-based thinking says, ” I am not ________ enough” (Thin enough, smart enough, victorious enough, successful enough, Christian enough, a good enough parent, a good enough spouse, etc.). But those are constant lies that many of us have believed. It isn’t what God says about us. It isn’t the truth. In Genesis 2:25, “Adam and his wife were naked and they knew no shame.” That was what God created. Jesus took shame on the cross, and His Blood will wash away all of our shame if we let Him work in our lives. Run to Him! He ALWAYS wants to bring wholeness and healing to His children no matter what you have done or where you have been. He loves you so much that He died on a cross for your sin. You ( and I ) are no shock to Him! If you walk around continually defeated, feeling like you are missing the mark, remind yourself of what He says about you. You are completely forgiven, fully pleasing, totally accepted, and complete in Him! He is the one you are living for, so His approval is the only one that matters. He is love. Let Him free you of your shame so you can be the person He created you to be. ❤

Do you walk around continually defeated? Do you question everything about yourself and all the decisions you make? Consider taking time to question what lies you are believing about yourself. It cannot happen overnight, and it cannot happen when you are rushed. But as you take quiet time and reflection and begin to ask yourself hard questions, you can be free from these untruths that have been holding you back in life.

Here are five essential oils that can help clear the mind as well:

  • Rosemary
  • Basil
  • Juniper Berry
  • Peppermint
  • Sage or Clary Sage

As an aromatherapist, I regularly use and carry all five. I am here on this journey with you! You are not alone and you are loved!

Are you interested in trying these five mind-balancing oils? Have you experienced the power of renewing your mind and thought patterns? We want to hear from you today!

 

Choosing Forgiveness

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I’ve been understanding forgiveness on a whole new level over the last year. I’ve dealt with asking for forgiveness, forgiving myself, forgiving others and not being forgiven. One thing I completely agree with James McDonald on: “Christians need to be masters at forgiveness.” This is a challenging thought, but it’s true. And whether you’re a Christian or not, you know forgiveness changes your life and allows things to move in a healthy way that would be impossible otherwise.

The biggest challenge and help to me has been to understand that, “I am completely forgiven and fully pleasing to God. I am totally accepted, deeply loved and absolutely complete in Christ” (Robert McGee, The Search for Significance).

With God’s help in believing this is true, I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength! I want to be rebuilt and energized in that truth, so I can do everything I was created to do in this life and not waste one more second in unbelief.

I want to encourage you that this is possible! You can change your life, your patterns, your habits, your hangups, and your failures. You can take that mustard seed of faith and it can grow into a flourishing tree!

I completely relate to King David when he said, “I would have lost heart unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of The Lord in the land of the living” (Psalm 27:13). Forgiveness is not an easy road, and the battle is mostly in the mind. But unless I believe (without seeing) that forgiveness produces good fruit and leads to a more abundant life, I will give in to hopelessness and despair. I have been there many times, and it does not bear anything good! Not for me or any one else around me.

So, I am encouraging myself even as I write this, and hope I encourage you today!I encourage you to check your heart, investigate the things that weigh you down, and ask yourself if there is an area in your life (or that situation you can’t let go of) in which you really haven’t forgiven a person, or even God. Don’t let this day pass without getting it out in the open, confessing it, and receiving forgiveness for it. Don’t carry it around another minute, day, or year. This is precisely the Reconciliation Jesus Christ provided to us through the cross and what we can meditate on further through this Resurrection weekend. The books of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John can greatly aid us on this journey of forgiveness<3

 

Motivational Monday!!

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Good Morning! Good Week!! It is a beautiful, cold and sunny day here in North West PA! There is a lot of excitement building for Christmas this coming weekend. The kids are antsy and distracted in school with parties and class Christmas movies!

Unfortunately, anxiety can be a big problems this time of year. I have said this before on some blogs,  I do not like all the hype that surrounds “Christmas”. I do not like crowds, parties are actually not my favorite….I would prefer deep, one- on- one conversation. I do not appreciate the expectation that is placed on us this time of year from advertisements and culture and it is hard to ignore.

Christmas, to me, is the birth of Christ. Because of sin, as is evident in the wounds, destruction, disfigurement and marring of people, relationships and the world, God sent His Son into the world! All of the despair that is in the world would be permanent and irreversible except that Jesus came to deliver us from our sin! (Matthew 1:21)

That is Good News Today! There are situations in my own life that seem hopeless, but with God all things are possible. They may be irreversible in human terms, but Not in God’s economy!

God is reaching out to you through the Christmas story and even as you are reading this saying; “I love you, I made a way for you, I want to spend eternity with you because I am madly in love with you.” Bitterness can go, forgiveness can be received and extended.” He lived so He could die for you (and me).

Receive the gift God sent you, It is the greatest gift you can ever receive or give<3

 

 

He’s Always Been Faithful

20161028_084139Morning by morning I wake up to find The power and comfort of God’s hand in mine Season by season, I watch him amazed, In awe of the mystery of his perfect ways

All I have need of his hand will provide He’s always been faithful to me

I can’t remember one single regret In serving God only and trusting his hand I can’t remember a trial or a pain He did not recycle to bring me gain

All I have need of his hand will provide He’s always been faithful to me

This is my anthem, and this is my song The theme of the stories I’ve heard for so long God has been faithful; he will be again His loving compassion – it knows no end

(Chelsea Moon and Uncle Daddy- Hymn Project 1)

A friend sent this to me and I LoVe the song! I love the second verse;

I can’t remember one single regret in serving God only and trusting his hand. I can’t remember a trial or a pain He not recycle to bring me gain. 

The truth is, I remember many regrets of times I tried to serve my self!! But if I look back over my life, even in the most excruciating circumstances, when I followed Him, He only ever produced green ness in my life; fruit, peace of mind, joy and a clean conscious. And the times that I have had pain or trial (usually from some failure on my part), He does not waste anything. He is the ultimate Earth- Day -Celebrator, Recycle er extraordinaire!!! But even so much more when working with souls.

That line gives me the remembrance I need today to move forward in trust, casting all my anxieties on Him. He cares for us, He wants us to succeed more than any other person on the planet….. No the Universe! He is faithful even when I am not.

If you do not know this faithfulness, turn to Him today. No matter if you have been a Christian all your life, part of your life, or you are not a Christian- God, through His Son Jesus is always right there waiting with expectation for you to turn to Him.

Blessings on your week<3