Thursday, July 21, 2016

You're Not Like Me

Originally Posted April 2016

I  have a best friend who is totally the “better” friend. You know what I mean right? The kind of friend who is always more there for you than you are for them? The kind of friend who remembers special occasions, surprises you with little blessings and is just generally on your side at all times. They make you feel special and seem to see all the good qualities in you and help you sharpen yourself just by loving you.

I totally took this relationship for granted a few months ago.

We used to talk every day. Without fail I’d hear from my friend and I’d yammer on about my day. Friends like that are really good at listening without judgment or trying to make it about them. Pretty frequently I’d get little unexpected gifts from them, and of course it was usually when I wasn’t even thinking about my friend. It always seemed to magnify how self-centered I could be.

Well, a few months ago I stopped connecting with this person. It wasn’t on them either. In fact, they still reached out every day. I just always seemed to find myself too busy to reconnect. The gifts kept coming, but instead of encouraging me they really just seemed to drive home my selfishness and I sorta pulled away more out of guilt. I sometimes even trashed the gift because of the guilt it brought. I needed a friend more than anything, but I was too overwhelmed to slow down and let someone love on me.

Before I knew it I’d been disconnected for so long I started to wonder if I could ever have the same kind of relationship again. I’d squandered it for sure. I mean, I’m not exactly the most loveable person and I’d definitely proven that. I’m too self-focused and self-centered. I’m not valuable to my friend at all, and I’ve exhausted the “fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me” principle. What about shaming someone dozens, hundreds, thousands of times?

But here’s the thing. I got a little reminder of the joy that relationship brought. I heard someone talking about my friend and a little something in me got stirred up. It made me want to cry, and talk to them, and apologize to them… all at the same time. In hearing about them again, I realized that I was willing to risk being vulnerable for them. The relationship was way too good to avoid out of fear.

So, as I reach out to my friend Jesus again and feel the warm, tangible, comforting presence envelop me, I have to tell him, “you’re not like me… and that’s such a good thing. Thank you for your spirit of forgiveness that meets me like the robe the father gave the prodigal son. Thank you for always chasing me, but being patient when I’m too self absorbed to give you the time of day. Thank you for understanding my “overwhelm” and being my safe place to land. I’m so glad that it’s never too late to grow my relationship with you.”

Monday, July 18, 2016

Sweet Potato Breakfast Hash

The name is a misnomer. This isn’t just for breakfast. I enjoy it even more for dinner. It is savory, lightly sweet and received the seal of approval from every member of the family. I choose to make it all in one pan to save on dishes, but if you are a perfectionist feel free to use more pans for the different elements.

1 onion
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons grass fed butter
2 large paleo sausage links (kielbasa sized, nitrate free)
6 eggs
3 small/medium sweet potatoes grated
1 medium zucchini grated
2 cloves minced garlic
Sea salt
Black pepper
Mixed spices to taste

Dice onion and saute in olive oil over medium heat
Chop sausage and add to sautee pan
Once sausage is cooked through and onion is lightly caramelized, remove from pan and place in bowl
Add grated sweet potato to pan with butter and let it lightly cook for 5 minutes
Add grated zucchini and minced garlic to pan with the sweet potato and let it continue to cook another 10 minutes, stirring every few minutes.
Once grated veggies are nearly cooked through, push them to the side of the pan and crack the eggs into the pan. Stir quickly, as though making scrambled eggs. Allow them to cook through then mix them into the veggies.
Add the sausage and onions back into the hash and turn the heat to low
Add spices and mix well
Remove from heat and enjoy
Serves 4

Coconut Oil: What's the big deal?

   Do you hear about coconut oil all the time? If you are in naturally-minded circles you’d probably think coconut oil flowed from the fountain of eternal life. It’s touted as the cure-all, nutritional necessity for every family. So, if you’re wondering why you are hearing about it everywhere, let’s break it down:

  Types: Coconut oil comes in a few different forms.
   Unrefined or virgin coconut oil smells and tastes heavily of coconut, so you may not choose to use this type if you are not a fan of the smell or taste. It is a solid white mass at room temperature but melts at body temperature.
   Refined coconut oil doesn’t really smell or taste like coconut oil at all and is a great choice for cooking. It has the fibers removed from the oil, making it easier to digest. It also is solid at room temperature and melts at body temperature.
   Fractionated coconut oil has a lipid removed and remains liquid at room temperature. It is still safe to ingest and is optimal for mixing with other ingredients for bodily uses.

   Coconut oil is a saturated fat, which though it has gotten a bad rap in the past, is being proven to be a necessary and beneficial part of a healthy diet. It stimulates the metabolism which helps with overall body heat and in the right pairings can help with fat loss. It consists of medium chain triglycerides which provide quick energy as they bypass the need for bile salts in the gut and can be processed by the liver.
    I use coconut oil when cooking as my primary fat source. I also love adding a spoonful to coffee in the morning!

   Coconut oil will make your stool loose if you use too much as it helps to clean out the gut. In small amounts this is benefical, but ease yourself into use. It also supports the immune system and a normal inflammatory response.
   Coconut oil has similar beneficial characteristics to an essential oil. It has the ability to pass through the cell like essential oils do, carrying the benefits of essential oils with them if applied together. 

   Other uses:
   The primary medium chain triglyceride in coconut oil is lauric acid, which has anti fungal, anti bacterial and anti viral properties. Because of this it is often used as a base for homemade balms and salves. The refined or unrefined coconut oil will provide a solid base, but the fractionated is a feather-light emollient that provides a soothing barrier without clogging pores.
    Fractionated coconut oil is ideal for combining with essential oils before applying them topically to the skin as it completely soluble with them, odorless, colorless and non-staining. It is a great facial moisturizer and can be applied to your hair to condition, detangle or control frizz. Apply topically to hydrate skin without interfering with your perfume or essential oil blends. Mix with calming essentiak oils and massage into neck and shoulders for deeper relaxation. Dilute stronger essential oils with coconut oil before applying topically to lessen sensitivity

   When purchasing coconut oil determine the reason for use and purchase accordingly. I like organic refined coconut oil from amazon for cooking, and for my small amounts of topical use I use doterra’s fractionated coconut oil for topical applications. (If you are not connected with another wellness advocate purchase here:

 *These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease*

Sources:; “How to Heal your Metabolism” by Kate Deering; “Take your education beyond the basics” by aromatools

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Breastmilk Jewelry from Post Bedtime Creations

For many mothers the years spent breastfeeding their babies represent some of the most meaningful of their child rearing years. Breastfeeding can be sweet, difficult, intimate, stressful and ordinary and can mean different things to different people, but most would say it meant something significant. So, is it any surprise some women want to have a keepsake of remembrance for this period of life? 

Enter, breastmilk jewelry. A beautiful and sentimental way to remember the intimate nourishing blessing of breastfeeding.

There are many ways to make breastmilk jewelry, but most artisans dry, shape and then resin coat the final product. The final pearlescent white or yellowish white bead or design is then worn as a necklace, ring or other type of jewelry. In addition, dried placenta, hair or ashes sometimes feature in jewelry.

A few months ago I teamed up with Post Bedtime Creations, one of these well-versed artisans, to try her jewelry. She provided the pieces shown at no cost to me, but I did have to wait a long while due to her extensive customer list and didn’t get my choice of pattern. The final result was beautiful, and she even included an identical copy of the pendant for my daughter.

The ring is breastmilk only. The pendant is breastmilk with a background of placenta ashes.
Check out her other designs on her website here: and follow her facebook page here: 

Monday, July 11, 2016

Parenting with the Holy Spirit

Originally posted November 2, 2014. Edited July 11. 2016.

I have wanted to write on the subject of parenthood/child rearing for a while.
I am not a parenting “expert”, I’m not a “perfect” parent, and I don’t purport to have all the answers; however, God taught me some lessons early on in my parenting experience that I have seen change my children and myself. I hope by sharing these revelations I can simplify someone’s journey towards a peaceful home.

I have a 2 year old daughter and an 8 month old son (at the time of writing). Before they were born I absolutely “knew” how I was going to parent. I had a degree in elementary education, consistent nannying, coaching and babysitting experience, and a love of kids to boot. What could possibly go wrong?

Well, I don’t have to regale you with the tale of my sleepless newborn, post partum depression, food insensitivities, painful breastfeeding or any of the other more sordid events for you to guess how my “have it all figured out” approach went.

I was sinking quickly.

While sitting on my bed one night early on in my parenting journey I was tearfully crying out to God for answers. My daughter wasn’t sleeping, as was typical, and I felt as if I was at the end of my emotional threshold. Some well meaning mothers had coached me to “let her cry it out”. Instinctively it didn’t feel right, but neither did living in sleeplessness. I was at a total loss and felt like a bad parent with either decision I made.

That night as I cried out to God for the answer I felt an overwhelming peace and a distinctly clear response,
“daughter, I am the best parent there is, emulate me. How do I respond when you are crying out?”

That night the answer was clear. My God who had never left me crying alone came yet again, showered me with peace, and solidified the feeling that was already brewing in my heart. I went into my daughter and my presence gave her that same peace.

That one encounter didn’t change the sleepless nights. Sleeplessness is still quite a bear at times. My 8 month old is still not sleeping through the night, and my oldest only began sleeping through the night days before the baby arrived. I haven’t had an uninterrupted night of sleep in over 2 years.

But, something did change that night.

When God’s presence became tangible that night, I was reminded of the simplicity of parenting. Amongst all the debates, discussions and decisions that seem overwhelmingly complicated God cleared it all away and gave me two choices. Do I parent like Him, or do I listen to the world?

Is it always easy to figure out exactly how God would have me respond? Of course not. Even the simple example I gave becomes conflicting when the mother is at a breaking point or the child is older and trying to test boundaries.

But, if we are willing to listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit, to turn to Him rather than another mommy-war argument or guru’s article, then perhaps he will clarify the way he would have us go in even the most complicated decision.

I’ve heard many categories of parenting that seem to somewhat fit my approach. Mindful parenting and peaceful parenting are two of these approaches I most closely emulate. But, I do resist labeling my approach because it really is an actively evolving way of parenting that is based on communication with Holy Spirit first which then overflows into decisions based on relationship prioritization, clear communication and unshakable love towards my children.

Nothing is easy in this journey called parenthood, but with the guidance of the Holy Spirit it certainly is a lot more simple.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Zendocrine Breakdown

Zendocrine: Detoxification blend

This is one of those oils that folks often approach with some confusion. There are so many detoxifying suggestions when using oils, but how does Zendocrine fit in? Think of Zendocrine as the “gentle” detoxer. It is an oil that gently assists your body in the detoxification process without overly stressing the system. After many years of going about detoxifying all wrong, and somehow thinking a crash was a necessary part of detoxing, experiencing the gentle support of Zendocrine shifted my perspective on detoxifying.

I also have found the emotional benefits of Zendocrine to be extremely beneficial when I’m seeking a detoxifying process for my emotional self.

Zendocrine essential oil blend supports the body’s natural ability to rid itself of unwanted substances.* It supports the healthy cleansing and filtering functions of the liver, kidneys, colon, lungs, and skin.* This powerful blend combines Rosemary, Cilantro, and Juniper Berry, known for their detoxifying properties and ability to support healthy liver function, while Tangerine and Geranium have purifying effects against unhealthy substances.* Zendocrine helps cleanse the body of toxins and free radicals that can slow the body’s systems down, leaving a heavy, weighted feeling.*

Directions for Use:
Diffusion: Use three to four drops in the diffuser of your choice.
Internal use: Dilute one drop in 4 fl. oz. of liquid.
Topical use: Apply one to two drops to desired area. Dilute with doTERRA Fractionated Coconut Oil to minimize any skin sensitivity.

Primary Physical Benefits:
Supports the body’s natural ability to rid itself of unwanted substances*
Supports healthy liver function*
Purifying and detoxifying to the body’s systems*

Primary Emotional Benefits:
Clarity, freedom and ability to pursue new things

Negative emotions addressed:
Feeling stuck when doing new things. Addictive, toxic and/or disinterested feelings.

Tangerine Peel, Rosemary Leaf, Geranium Plant, Juniper Berry, Cilantro Herb essential oils.

Aromatic Description:
Herbaceous, pungent, floral

Body Systems addressed:
- Cardiovascular/Circulatory System
- Digestive System
- Integumentary (skin)
- Emotional System

Suggested uses:
If a lifestyle change is one of your New Year’s resolutions, take one drop of Zendocrine daily for a week to kick-start your program.*
Take Zendocrine to support the body’s natural ability to rid itself of unwanted substances.*
Add one to two drops of Zendocrine to citrus drinks, tea, or water to support healthy liver function.*
Purifying and detoxifying to the body’s systems.*
Zendocrine delivers powerful antioxidants.*
Supports healthy liver function.*
Supports healthy cleansing and filtering functions of the liver, kidneys, colon, lungs, and skin.*
Supports normal self-detoxification functions of the cleansing organs.*
Purifying and detoxifying to the body’s systems.

Possible skin sensitivity. Keep out of reach of children. If you are pregnant, nursing, or under a doctor’s care, consult your physician. Avoid contact with eyes, inner ears, and sensitive areas.

Other zendocrine references:
- Ask Dr. Hill: Athlete Tips
- Ask Dr. Hill: Differences in zendocrine supplements
- Detoxification and cleansing
- Colon benefits
To purchase zendocrine connect with the wellness advocate that directed you here, or if you are not currently connected with a wellness advocate visit my sales site at or contact me directly here for an opportunity to get your oil at a discounted price.

Sources:, Emotions and Essentials Oils: A modern resource for healing

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease

Who's in the crosshairs?

Originally posted September 25, 2014

Do you have a gun in your house? 39% of Americans own a firearm so it’s not too much of a stretch. Do you leave that gun laying out on the kitchen counter? Of course not. If you have even an iota of common sense you leave it unloaded, locked away, and out of easy reach, especially if you have children in the home.

Why do we treat guns like that? Because they are powerful weapons. Accidental discharges harm many people each year.

But, did you know that there is an emotional and spiritual equivalent that is often treated with the same foolish attitude as leaving a loaded pistol on your kitchen counter?

This emotional and spiritual weapon is the tongue.

Proverbs 18:21 says, The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.

There are dozens of verses echoing the same thought, but I have always loved the clarity of this verse. No punches are pulled. The tongue has the power of life and death.
You see, for a portion of my life I thought this was more of an abstract illustration. I assumed it was stated with such emphasis merely to get a point across regarding the impact of our speech. I decided that our speech surely couldn’t cause death or bring life directly.

I have since changed my view.

One day I will post the full story, but I had a very real and powerful experience with watching my words negatively affect my health and watching my confession open the door for a healing experience.
My very strong verbal statements about my health and wellness affected my body in a very real way, opening up the door for a spiritual attack.

While I could focus on this aspect of our “life and death” speech. I want rather to address how our choice to speak life or death affects those around us. Do you respond quickly and foolishly when speaking to an emotional situation? Have you left your rifle of speech sitting out in the open with complete disregard for safe use?

If you are a professing Christian you have a profound call and anointing on your life to speak life and love over others. This may be controversial, but I believe you also have more power in your speech because you are not neutral to things of the spirit world. You have accepted Christ and have his very spirit resting in you. Your speech will have the power of Holy Spirit behind it when it is God-led, and your speech will be ripe for destruction when you choose to partner with any other spirit.

The old saying goes, “if you can’t say something nice don’t say anything at all”. This little saying has hit the nail on the head. But, that is merely the surface level understanding of the damage negative words can do. What about the power of the positive?

How about, rather than that little saying we tell ourselves, “If you can’t say anything nice, say something nice anyway”. Simple right?!

It actually is very simple. You have the domain over your speech when you accept Christ. He died to restore everything, including your speech.
If you see a negative situation, one that stirs up any sort of sinful thought, that is actually a very good litmus test. It is indicative of the fact that evil spiritual forces are out to lie, steal and destroy. When this sinful thought is directed towards another person, you know that Satan is doing what he most revels in doing… he is destroying connection… he is seeding bitterness… he is weeding out love and grace in a relationship.

If every time you feel anger towards another person rise up inside of you and your choose not to speak that out loud, but rather grab ahold of that emotion, turn it upside down, and speak the truth, how do you think your life and relationships might change?

It is learning the proper use of your tool. In one regard a gun can be a source of provision for food, in another it can be a weapon that utterly destroys. We take classes to learn to handle guns, buy cases to house guns, have a specific set of instructions to follow before discharging our gun. Speech is your spiritual gun.

Consider the following:
When my husband is watching the kids while I work and I come home to a destroyed house it is easy for my ire to be stirred. But, while my initial (if you haven’t practiced a better way) instinct may be to storm in the bedroom and read him the riot act, that will only serve to distance us and won’t change anything anyway. Instead, I exert my power of will over the situation and I follow my order of operation with my weapon of speech, zeroing in on the correct enemy. I take that emotion, acknowledge it, recognize the evil at work behind it and address it the following way:

“Lord, I am feeling _____ (insert emotion here) angry____ with my husband. I feel disregarded and unimportant to him. I turn this emotion over to you and ask for peace and satisfaction to fill that place. My husband is _______ (insert any and every positive thing you know about your significant other) servant hearted and kind. His heart is to bless me and I will communicate my heart desires and needs calmly and peacefully.”

So, does that seem unrealistic? Why should it? If I retrain myself to withhold words of death and destruction, not to ignore them, but to acknowledge them and release them and request what I need instead, I am speaking life over my situation.

Remembering the power of the tongue and zeroing in on my target before discharging my weapon will help to ensure the right person, or spirit, is in the crosshairs.

Monday, July 4, 2016

Modesty: A refined Christian Perspective


Growing up in a fundamental church modesty in regards to appearance was a huge topic. We read books on modesty, watched videos on modesty, I even led small groups and retreats about modesty. The topic has been stirred back up in my heart and mind as of late, with certain news stories precipitating discussion about attire and how it does or does not affect behavior of self and others. This is geared towards women simply because I am one, and because we are the ones who have faced the bulk of the brunt of ill thought "religious" speak in regards to fashion as of late.

A lot of what I have to say has more to do with what God DOESN’T say about our choice of clothing/fashion than what He does say. This is because, growing up in my evangelical/fundamental circles the number of “rules” for proper attire was indeed long, yet the Biblical backup for the list was short.

So let’s start with a few observations about what God and scripture doesn’t say…

1. God doesn’t say we are responsible for the sins of others.
Let’s be frank. Entirely too many people in the church, and out of it for that matter, have turned to the habit of scapegoating lifestyle choice of the person sinned against as the reason they were sinned against. If you want to see steam come out of my ears just try to go down that road in front of me.

We will deal with the topic of whether wearing certain things is sinful, but putting that aside for now, no choice of clothing makes you responsible for the sins of another. I don’t care if you are walking around stark naked, you do not bear the brunt of another persons choice to sin by lusting after you, touching you without invitation, leering, or anything else sinful. Scripture is full of discussions of personal responsibility for choices. You may indeed be sinning if you willfully set someone else up for sin, but that doesn’t make them any less responsible for their choice. And if someone sins against you (lust, pride, assault etc) without your willful intention to tempt them, and you hold no ill intent in your heart, then you bear no responsibility at all.

It’s simple really. You are responsible for your own actions. Men and women alike.

2. God doesn’t give us a list of appropriate fashion
Sure, scripture references clothing, piercings, tattoos etc, but it is always about the meaning behind the clothing. Don’t get tattoos to worship the dead. Don’t mix fabric types if you live under old testament law. If you are an old testament priest you get a specific uniform baby. If you’ve experienced a certain dedication to God, don’t cut your hair. If your heart is in the wrong don’t wear braids/jewelry etc. But, you’d be hard pressed to find a list of “appropriate” fashion choices for all believers at all times.

As much as we love to live with “lists” and black and white do’s and don’ts, God loves relationship. So, relationship means He will talk to you individually about your choices, and what He tells you may be different than what He tells another, and that doesn’t give you license to make his personal word to you into a law for the whole body of Christ.

So, now that that’s out of the way, what DOES He say?

1. God says we should not worry about what we wear
In Matthew 6 we read that we are not to worry about our provision for clothing, or even to spend too much time in thought about it period, because life is so much more than clothing. Rather than measuring every hem and neckline perhaps we would be better served by treating clothing as the tool it is. It is meant for utility as well as appearance, but how often do you stress over looking perfect before walking out of the house? Are you spending too much on your clothing, jewelry, tattoos, hair etc. out of a fear of what others think of you? Examine your motives for the type of fashion you choose, and be honest with yourself if it is consuming too much of your time and focus.

2. God says our beauty should not come from outer adornment. In other words, don’t be vain.
1 Peter 3 warns us against making the outer appearance our focus. This scripture when taken in context isn’t speaking against a certain fashion style (despite it’s reference to gold jewelry and braids) but rather a heart focus. Are you vain? I’ve known many a modest fundamental believer who was far more vain than the girls I knew who wore seductively cut clothing or dozens of tattoos. I think sometimes we miss the irony of living in a “religious” world with the accepted modest clothing while prancing about with an attitude of vanity and pride about our appearance. This is not rare in Christian circles.

I think God speaks clearly on the intent of the heart because church accepted “modest dress” changes from region to region and time frame to time frame. In some cultures women walk around with bare breasts but cover their ankles. In others the face must be covered to be “modest”. In others earlobes are considered erotic. It is really silly to assume the rules for modesty you or your church may have created are those of God himself. If God didn’t put a list in scripture, I don’t intend to inject my own. We each need to spend personal time with God and ask him to help us identify our motives for certain fashion choices and allow him to help us move in a truly modest fashion… not just in outer appearance but in our heart.

3. God says not to cause a stumbling block for others.
Now I want to be careful with this one. Please read my first point on what God doesn’t say for full context. Without creating a specific list of rules, scripture does say not to make ourselves a stumbling block for others. In laymans terms, don’t purposefully act in a way that you intend to make another sin.

Regardless of the response of someone else, we are responsible for our own actions. If you size yourself up in the mirror and pull your blouse a little lower because your married coworker is cute and you are hoping to draw his attention… it doesn’t matter if he does or doesn’t lust after you, you are the one in sin. Equally, if he does lust after you, it doesn’t make you exempt for your willful decision to set someone up for temptation.

God doesn’t tell us to go around fretting about every item of clothing and jewelry in case it might tempt someone somewhere… burka anyone? But, if you choose an item specifically with the intent in mind to make another jealous, lustful or angry then you are in sin. This is person to person, and no list of “modesty” rules will get you out of this one. You could wear a burlap sack, but if your intention is to draw another into an inappropriate response, you are in error.

4. God says you are a temple
You are His walking representation here on earth! The very home of God! You don't have to walk around frumpy and lumpy because you are scared to be you. If you love sweats and t shirts, rock it with pride. If you love the newest fashion, go be the fashionista. But whatever you wear, do so with godly pride as a daughter of the king. Don't be ashamed of your beautiful body. Do you know how many scriptures elevate the form of the woman? The mothering woman, the young woman, the old woman... scripture is clear that you are a strong and beautiful creature. He even references femininity when describing himself at various points through scripture. You, my sister, never need to live in shame regarding your body.

So, in summary, let God speak to you out of his individual relationship with you. Styles change. Fashions change. Culture expectations change. God doesn’t change. Let him speak to you about your fabulous, beautiful, counter-culteral, modest style in a relational, intimate way. If you feel beautiful, aren't overly preoccupied with drawing attention to yourself, are representing yourself in a way that uplifts you, and you are not intentionally trying to make someone sin... then go! Go be you! Go have fun in a world of fantastic styles, colors and art. Glorify God, going forth as your strong, capable, beautiful self.