A Story Worth Telling

A story worth telling

A lot has happened since my last blog post and I figured it was about time I put it into writing.  I have a feeling that the story I am about to tell is going to be one of my favorites.  Actually, I’m sure of it.  I am telling this story for me, for you, but most of all, for my son.  I don’t ever want to forget the details because, after all, they are what make the story. Continue reading

Joy Bringer

joy-bringer

As I continue my quest to find joy among the chaos, I realize that sometimes finding that joy is difficult.  When you’re forced out of your home due to a fire.  When you get a not-so-great report from the doctor.  When your business isn’t growing as quickly as you’d like.  When your child  waits for you halfway across the world.  When the streets are filled with litter.  When someone else ate the last cookie.  I mean it’s *hard* to find joy in those circumstances, right? Continue reading

Crazy

Walk on the wild side

We are a family with wild ideas (or perhaps I’m the one with the wild ideas and the rest of the crew just goes along with it.  No need to split hairs.).  One of these ideas is to see all 50 states with our kids before they graduate high school.  I would like to tell you that this idea came solely out of our desire to show our kids the United States and let them experience all this country has to offer.  That certainly is part of it but then there’s also the fact that we really want to see all 50 states, too! Continue reading

One year ago.

Adoption_rocks

One year ago we got a seemingly “ordinary” piece of mail in our mailbox.  It was the Samaritan’s Purse newsletter.  I always set these to the side and it usually takes me months to read them.  But I read them.  I just so happened to get an opportunity to read this one more quickly than usual and there was an article that I remember to this day.  It was an article about the orphans in Vietnam.  My heart was stirred.  My heart ached.  I assumed it was the mommy in me that was wanting to care for them all.

Then a blog that I follow did a feature on adoption.  This blogger featured stories of building her family through adoption and, again, my heart was stirred.  All things adoption kept on popping up.  Everywhere.  It became laughable when we pulled into a store parking lot and parked next to a van that had an “adoption rocks!” bumper sticker affixed to it.

Josh and I talked.  We prayed.  There we sat with an almost 4 year old and a barely 2 year old and we were feeling called to adopt.  So I did the most “rational” thing I could think to do–I tried to convince God that He had the wrong girl.  My hands were full.  Overflowing, some might say.  Surely He really wasn’t calling us to adopt.  Well, while trying to persuade God that He had it wrong, He convinced me that I was the one who had it all wrong.  I was humbled. God clearly thought a lot more of me than I thought of myself.

God continued to guide our journey as we looked to adopt from China, then Korea, then the Marshall Islands.  One by one, those doors seemed to close.  Then there was Ethiopia.  The door to adopt from Ethiopia was wide open and the fit was perfect.  The funny thing is that from the very beginning I felt like God had placed Africa on my heart.  I couldn’t explain why but there it was.

A year later, here we are.  Waiting.  Waiting for our child from Ethiopia.  Praying that, above all else, God’s will be done.

Oil Feature: Stress Away

Stress AwayExpect the unexpected.  That’s the life philosophy of many.  This past week I made the mistake of NOT expecting the unexpected and, as a result, I felt like life gave me a big high-five in the face.  After about two days of things catching me off guard, I realized now is probably a great time to start carrying Stress Away in my bag.  It’s now a permanent resident along with wipes, snacks, and other necessities of life. It even has its own little spot so I can find it quickly.

Stress Away is, what I like to call, a Premium Starter Kit “bonus oil” because its separate from the 10 other wonderful oils that you get in the collection.  When you order the starter kit, you get this little guy complete with a roller top for easy application.  Since Josh left a few days after I got my kit, Stress Away and I became great friends. Fast. There’s a lot to keep up with in a house with only one parent!  (again, hats off to military wives and single parents!)

This oil smells wonderful and it really does help keep me grounded.  As with every other oil, there is more than one use for Stress Away.  I am always multitasking so the fact that my oil does, too, is a win in my book!

STRESS AWAY v1.1

I would love to hook you up with your own bottle of Stress Away in the Premium Starter Kit and THIS WEEK I’m offering a “celebration special”.  Anyone who purchases a Premium Starter Kit will get their choice of the Essential Oils Pocket Reference (the bible of essential oils) OR Gentle Babies (my go to book for using the oils on my blessings).  Contact me if you want to join in on the celebration!

Oil Feature: Lavender

Lavender

Panic.  The feeling that you are consumed with when your bottle of lavender runs out several days before your new one arrives.  (please note: this is only a slight exaggeration)  This little purple bottle is my friend.  I don’t know how I survived without it.  You’re wondering why, right?

Before having children, I always joked that if I were to ever have a boy, I would need to immediately enroll myself in first aid classes.  My little blessings just so happens to have the most adventurous daddy in the world.  Oh, the stories that man can tell…and oh, the injuries he has to show for them.  I knew a little boy would inevitably mimic his daddy and let’s just say like father, like son.  Lavender is the go to oil for scrapes, cuts, burns and bites.  We have at least one of these occurring on a daily basis in our home and, as a result, lavender is the oil we use the most around here.

Here is the effect of lavender on an ant bite–the picture on the left was taken when the bite happened and the picture on the right was taken less than 2 hours later (you can’t even tell he HAD an ant bite!):

biteYou may not realize how huge this difference is but, without the lavender, Jay’s arm would have gotten redder and the whole area would have gotten swollen.  He tends to have *big* reactions to bites so this is a really big deal!

Not accident prone?  Lavender has so many other different uses as well.  I use it every day to clean my face and it smells wonderful!   There’s more, too:

LAVENDER v1.1 Bottom line: we love lavender and I know that you will too!  Let me know if you want more information on what these oils can do for you!

 

Grace

A mama friend and I were talking the other day and she said something that just made me stop in my tracks.  She said that she was having one of those days where she wondered why God made her a parent because she felt like she was failing at the task.  My response to her was something along the lines of “I feel like that at least once a week but you know what?  You’re NOT failing.  Even when you think you’re doing a zillion and one things wrong and you can’t keep it together, there is a child who thinks that you’re doing a zillion and one things right.”  Those words came out of my mouth (or off my fingers as the case was) quickly but after hitting “send”  I realized that she wasn’t the only one who needs those words.  YOU need those words.  I need those words. 

Josh recently was out of town on business and it was me and my two little blessings for 19 long days.  (I will forever and always tip my hat to single moms and military families)  I love those two little blessings fiercely but when daddy is away…boy do they “play”.  One night, about halfway in to this trip, I found myself completely exhausted.  I wanted to curl up in a ball and cry as I thought of all of the things that I did wrong that day.  The list was longer than even I could remember.  I beat myself up.  I vowed to do better.  I felt completely inadequate.  As I opened my Bible, I heard the pitter patter of little feet running in to my room.  Alivia and Jay came in to say goodnight one more time.  They wanted one more kiss.  They came to tell me that I was the best parent in the world.  WHAT?!  After all of my failures that day they gave me the greatest gift I could have possibly received–grace.  My 3 and 4 year old extended grace to me on a day that I didn’t deserve it.  They still loved me.  They had forgiven me.   They still thought that I hung the moon.  (wow)

We are supposed to be an example of Jesus to our kids but sometimes they are an example of Him to us.  That same grace that my blessings gave me that day is the same grace that God extends to me each and every day.  I screw up.  I do things that I’m sure leave God shaking His head and saying, “Again, Emily?  Really?”  (in my mind, God has the same sense of humor that I do)  But no matter how many times I make the same mistakes, God always extends me grace.  He always comes running at the end of the day to tell me He loves me and that I am the greatest child.  It just so happens that you’re His greatest child, too.

So, mama, next time you’re feeling inadequate, why don’t you extend yourself a little bit of grace?  Our kids do.  God does.  Isn’t it about time we do it, too?  You are loved more than you know. 

Glamorous

photo 2 (2)

I’m up way earlier than I’d like to be and my day starts with demands for my attention, my time, and my service.  Oh, to sleep in past 6:30!  A true luxury in my little kingdom.

Recently, I’ve had to up my game because daddy has been out of town.  My days have been filled with referee-ing the play of two little ones, potty songs (all aboard the pee-pee train!), fishing underwear out of the toilet and cleaning up toilet water from my bathroom floor.  That’s in addition to trying to keep track of it all–where IS that little cat that is 2 inches tall and absolutely must be found before we can sleep!?

My life is truly glamorous.  You see–it would be easy to get frustrated and angry and allow myself to believe that what I’m doing doesn’t matter but I was recently reminded that even when my days are filled with messes and beautiful chaos, what I’m doing is important.

This job has been given to me to do.  Therefore, it is a gift.  Therefore, it is a privilege.  Therefore, it is an offering I may make to God.  Therefore, it is to be done gladly, if it is done for Him.  Here, not somewhere else, I may learn God’s way.  In this job, not in some other, God looks for faithfulness.  -Elizabeth Elliot

Wherever you are today, whatever kind of work you find yourself doing–do it for Him.  This is your act of worship.  Your days may not be so glamorous but your work matters more than you may realize.

You’ll need that reminder from time to time.  I know I will!