Sunday, April 2, 2017

Greater Joy : Sunday Solitude

What a wonderful reminder this verse is as we start a new week.

Psalm 4:6-8 speaks volumes to me.

Many people say, “Who will show us better times?”
    Let your face smile on us, Lord.
You have given me greater joy
    than those who have abundant harvests of grain and new wine.
In peace I will lie down and sleep,
    for you alone, O Lord, will keep me safe.

The joy we experience from the Lord is truly better than any material possession that we could have. Some days are harder than others, but at the end of the day we can lie down and sleep knowing God is in complete control of whatever we are experiencing.

That is peace my friend!

Peace the world does not understand.

If you are on Facebook, visit my page; Joy Moms. It's my place to encourage moms, share life and hopefully add a little humor to your day on occasion. Motherhood is hard. Motherhood without Jesus is impossible!

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Chemica Free Spring Cleaning! {Free Download}

Here in Texas, the weather is just about perfect. The days are warm, but not too warm. The evenings are cool, but not too cool. I love this time of year!!

This time of year also brings about a desire to clean & toss out! We have been working on minimizing our stuff. Now it's time to start cleaning.

It has become really important to me to pay attention to what we are using in our home for cleaners, body care products and air fresheners. It only made sense to make changes in those areas if we were making diet changes too. What good does it do to eat healthy if I'm coating my body in chemicals?

Did you know that the average person uses at least 300 chemicals a day and 80 of those before breakfast?  The biggest pollutants are fabric softeners, dryer sheets, air freshener plug-ins and candles.  We are literally poisoning our families when we use stuff that we can't pronounce in our home. Your bright blue dish soap doesn't need to be blue to clean your dishes. When I began to read labels I realized that so many of the ingredients used in the cleaners I was using were toxic!  Many of the ingredients are known to cause asthma or they are endocrine disruptors. That just means that they interfere with the way your body produces hormones.

Think about only takes about 26 seconds for these chemicals to reach your blood stream!

I know what it is like to use chemical cleaners in my home. I saw the side effects but didn't realize they were possibly related to the cleaners we were using.  I began researching the ingredients I saw on the labels and did not like what I was learning.

Tossing the chemicals and cleaning with healthier products was a no-brainer for me! I'm not a DIY kind of person. I have a Pinterest board packed full of great DIY recipes, but that is where they sit. If I can't make it super fast I won't do it. But, I have learned to make a few things that have really helped me.

Dyer sheets are super easy. If I don't use these, I use wool dryer balls and add essential oils to them! So easy & work so well! (I buy my essential oils here)

When I went to the store and saw how expensive the "green" cleaners were I thought, there is no way I can afford this.  I tried using Vinegar & baking soda on everything but I cannot stand the smell.

Enter in Thieves Household Cleaner! (I buy mine here.)

Seriously friends! This stuff is the secret to my super powers when it comes to chemical free cleaning! I have learned to use this stuff to clean my house from top to bottom! It doesn't just work really well, but it smells really good. The ingredient list is short! It even has essential oils infused in it.

I love that it is safe. I can mop my floors with it and when Charlie was crawling, he crawled right through it and I didn't worry about him getting it on his skin.

I love that it's cheap. One bottle is so concentrated that it makes over 20 spray bottles of all purpose cleaner. That's less than $1 a bottle! I couldn't buy the "green" cleaners that cheap.  And since it makes so many spray bottles, that means it lasts me a long time. Double win!

I use Thieves cleaner on my windows, floors, counters, walls, doors, dishes, in the laundry. I've cleaned the inside of my car with it. It is safe on granite and tile. 

I don't just use this in a spray bottle. I've learned to make a few other recipes with it. I think this Tub & Sink scrub is my favorite!

It works so well. Like you wouldn't believe it! Our septic system backed up into our bathtub. My husband wouldn't let me get a new bathtub. I thought there was no way we would ever get that tub clean again. I used this scrub and it came so clean you couldn't even tell what had happened.

My kids are playing outside a lot these days! Which is great, but when they come in they have a bit of an odor about them! One of the products we tossed out was plug-in and aerosol room fresheners.  I love to diffuse essential oils.  But I also like to make room sprays. I keep one in each bathroom and I've even kept one in my car for when those stinky boys jump in.

If you want more recipes that you can use in your own home, I have a free download for you.

If you are interested in learning more of how you can incorporate Young Living products into your daily life contact me to check out my website.

If you are on Facebook you may find my page helpful as well.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Her Name is Joy

As a teenager her life was reckless and her heart rebellious.

One wrong decision gave birth to more wrong decisions and eventually she became a statistic. She was pregnant, not married and still in High school.  And then she became another statistic when she saw no other way out and had an abortion. This was nothing she planned or wanted for her life.  But she saw no other way.

The shame she carried was like an over stuffed suitcase, carrying it everywhere she went wondering if others could see it too.

Her life took a turn in the right direction when she met a man who was like none of the others in her past.  She told him her secret and instead of turning away from her he turned toward her and loved her. It was a love she had never experienced before, a love that was full of mercy and grace. His love for her was healing and together they learned the important gift of God's forgiveness.

They married and had 3 children.  Even though she knew she was forgiven for aborting her baby, the pain remained and she rarely spoke of her past.

Years later when her children were grown an opportunity arose to help young women at a local crisis pregnancy center.  Her intentions were to only volunteer at the Center to help keep shelves stocked and to do the jobs no one see's.  She had become very good at doing little things that matter greatly but no one ever saw. Thankfully, the Lord had other plans for her.  Eventually she told her director about her past and offered herself to help young women considering abortion. This was a huge step for her.

Over the span of a few weeks as she worked through a Bible study in preparation to lead others through it she came to find complete healing and freedom from her past.  This freedom she experienced produced a joy in her heart that she could not describe. This joy brought healing from her past. This joy represented the forgiveness she lived in and the grace that covered her.

As she came to the end of the study she was to name the baby she had aborted. She knew exactly what name to choose.

She named her Joy.

How fitting to name this baby in such a beautiful way as if to say, "Through my sorrow, you have brought me joy".

Joy would have been my big sister.  How appropriate is it that as my own mother is walking this spiritual journey with the Lord, I am walking through my own and we are both, though walking separate paths, walking in joy.

Though our paths are different what is the same is the joy of the Lord that comes after the mourning, suffering and trials.  Sometimes it comes while still in the midst of the trials, like I have experienced.  But joy is there for us!

His joy.

This joy that brings healing, protection, causes our heart to sing and our soul to worship.

This joy is ours!

I pray as you walk the path the Lord has laid out for you, whether it is one of difficulty, heartache or ease you will choose his joy to carry you through.

If abortion is part of your past and you still struggle with healing from it, please seek help.  There are many ministries available to counsel and encourage women who once chose abortion. Many towns have Crisis Pregnancy Centers who offer counseling and most churches have resources to share.

Below are a few ministries who offer help to women.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Be Transformed: Keeping our Mind on Jesus

This past week, Romans 12:2 was my verse that I was to pray everyday. And I want to be honest, I didn't do it everyday like I wanted to. I allowed my mornings to be hijacked by other things I lost my quiet mornings. But as soon as I could, I was drawing away for prayer and meditation on this verse.

 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. Romans 12:2

There are several key words that continued to stand out to me, but the phrase, "be transformed by the renewal of your mind" played over and over in my mind all week.

I had to evaluate what I spent my time thinking about, what did I fill my mind with (images, words, etc.) and what did I spend my time worrying about. It all boiled down to my mind and what it is in it.

There are several scriptures where God is telling us what to do with our mind.

Philippians 4:8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

Matthew 22:37, And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.

There are so many more, I'll let you look them up. 

So, what is the big deal with our mind? Why does our mind need to be renewed in order for us to be transformed? I'm so glad you asked!

The  mind is the core of our being. What our mind is filled with, determines what we do, what we say, how we feel, how we respond. Nothing in us can change until our mind is changed.

I love when I find a science connection to Scripture. I did a simple search on YouTube on the science of the mind and found a short, but fascinating video that explains how our brain works. 

Now I understand why I must fill my mind with the truths of scripture.  Now I see why scripture tells us to love the Lord with all of our mind. It matters so much! This is how I can know and discern the Lord's way for me. There is so much of the world blasting untruth that if I do not prepare my mind, I may begin to believe it.

So, what happens when we are transformed by the renewing of our mind.

We can know the will of God.
We know what is right and acceptable in his eyes.
We know God!
We are transformed!

Oh Lord, I know that on this side of Heaven I will never get it right. But help me to fill my mind with the truth that you are faithful, trustworthy and worth of all praise and honor. May I experience the mind of Christ through your promises and be transformed.

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