Where Contentment is…

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You don’t have to look for long on the internet to find a slew of blog posts about single Christian ladies desperate to find contentment while they wait for God’s perfect man for them to come into their life. One thing I so wish that more ladies would understand is that contentment is not something that you can just work towards.

I was talking to a fellow single Christian young lady about this once and told her that contentment just comes. I attempted for a long time to achieve it. But it was almost as if when I stopped ‘obsessing’ over it that it actually happened. It is almost even hard for me to describe because there is no time in my life where I really noticed that all of a sudden I was happy with where I was; it was gradual until all of the sudden I realized, hey, it’s been so much easier lately. There is one thing that I have to say had the biggest impact for me. And before I go on, please note that I am a wretched sinner saved by grace and I fail daily. I’m painfully far from perfect at this. However, by the mercy of God He has done a work in me and I prayerfully hope that through my experience and words someone might find encouragement in the battle they are facing right now with contentment.

I prayed that God would make me focused on Him, and His Word, and what He wants of me.  And then eventually I noticed that I didn’t have time to think about the fact that there isn’t a tall, dark, handsome cowboy knocking at the door for me just yet.

Because of this many things were laid on my heart to do, work on, and get rid of. I wanted to become passionate about serving. This was the biggest burden on my heart after I graduated high school and has become more important to me ever since. Jesus was a servant (Rom 15:8) when He came to save those who were lost and make a way for salvation to be freely given to all people (Luke 19:10); and that right there tells me that I should know, without a shadow of a doubt, that I ought to be a servant too. If you are focused on serving others, that doesn’t leave much time to think about what you want God to give you – i.e. a boyfriend/husband.

“If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye ought also to wash one another’s feet.” –John 13:14

There have been several times when something as small as a conversation or observation has shown me just how influential the mainstream media is to a young lady; and just how lethal it is to her health – both spiritually and physically. In a culture that fantasizes romance, it is easy for a young lady to get sucked up into the trap of discontentment when she sees how appealing love is. The songs on the radio, stories in books and magazines, and romances portrayed in movies are all things that seem harmless enough. Unfortunately, they are not. If romance through these outlets are what you are feeding yourself, that is all that you are going to think about. Paul knew this, and told the church of Philippi what to think on in stead.

And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.  Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” –Philippians 4:7-8 

It is good to know that there is instruction on what we should fill our minds with instead of the discontentment-inducing fluff provided through the entertainment industry.  Our bodies need wholesome, health-building food and so do our minds.

It’s not fun examining oneself and seeing the things that need to go. But it is crucial in the growing process of putting Christ first in life. This is another huge stepping stone to finding contentment and peace in the Lord.

I believe that true contentment for a young lady can only be found when she is running as fast a she can towards Christ and what He would have her to do. Through time dedicated in God’s Word, in fervent prayer, and in focusing on serving others, I believe that this can be found. If you’re struggling, you’re not alone! I am praying for anyone who may read this and be struggling with finding contentment. You are loved!

Why I Joined the Young Living Essential Oil Team

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This past week I officially signed up as a Young Living Essential Oil Distributor! I am thrilled to get started not only to sell oils and share with you all the wonderful benefits of essential oils, but also to use (more!) oils myself and learn all that I can about something that I have come to love so much!

My mom started on oils over a year ago and told me about what she was starting and how excited she was to try them out. I had become more interested in all-natural health and wellness for a while by then so I was eager to give them a try as well. We both quickly fell in love with the oils and started finding new ways to use the popular oils like Lavender, Lemon, and, of course Thieves! We also liked trying some different ones, like Citrus Fresh and Dill, which I will be glad to write about in a separate post at another time.

I had been asked by my mom and some of her friends if I would want to sign up and start using my own oils sometime, and I knew I did, I just wasn’t sure when I would start. Well, that was about a year ago. Last month, my mom brought up the fact that I should look into becoming a distributor. I already knew that I loved the essential oils and had done a little reading on them through the past year or so, so I was very excited about that prospect.

So here I am! I am praying my way through this process… even through this blog post! Because while I am VERY excited, I also know that it is going to take work to get this party started. Through all things – even selling oils – I need to follow God’s guidance and pray for His will through this very exciting journey.

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 I wanted to go ahead and share with you just a few reasons why I have chosen to become a Young Living Essential Oil Distributor:

I am passionate about living as natural as I can

I do know that there is a time and a place for modern medicine/technology, but for the most part I prefer learning ways to live a chemical-free life. I still have a lot to learn (I will never not have anything to learn) and I thoroughly enjoy incorporating essential oils into every area that I can: health and beauty, cleaning supplies, medicinal uses, and so much more!

 I am confident in Young Living’s genuine 100% pure oils

One thing that I have learned in my short time with Young Living is that the distributors are proud to share about the importance of Young Living’s Seed to Seal promise. They are dedicated to making sure the oils arrive on our doorstep in their purest and most natural form for our benefit and health. I feel I am getting “the best bang for my buck” and getting the most high-quality oils.

 I have seen the benefits in my own life and in others because of essential oils

I don’t think it is fair to believe that essential oils will cure us of some disease or help us lose all the weight we want, etc. We all have different bodies that will react differently to things. However!! I DO believe that essential oils can aid in our health and wellness journey to becoming our healthiest self.

A few examples of this would be…

This cold and flu season (so far) I haven’t caught a bad case – I have had sniffles and a sore throat occasionally, but for the most part I have been steering clear. I have been taking Thieves often, but I also am trying to watch what I eat: low sugar diet and staying away from other unhealthy options like fast food, and I have felt great. I want to have many essential oils in my daily life that compliment the things I do to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

When I was a young teen I struggled many times with staying properly hydrated. Several years ago I started drinking only water with most meals (except milk with breakfast). Within the past year I have tried to make it a goal to drink between half a gallon to a whole gallon of water a day. Some days are better than others… but it is a goal of mine that I try to maintain. To compliment it, I like to always start my day off with my first bottle of water with Citrus Fresh essential oil blend.

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Essential oils are a blessing that I want to learn how to utilize to the best of my ability; and I want to learn and grow in this journey alongside YOU. I will be sharing many essential oil related blog posts on here. I am super excited for this new adventure and I hope that you will enjoy learning with me!

 

 

 

 

 

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Take a Step Back

During “one of those days” (or weeks) when everything seems to go against me, I seem to adopt an “I can never win” attitude. I just want to give up, go to my bedroom with a vat of chocolate, my favorite chick flick, and my yoga pants.

 

Yeah. That has been me before. It’s the truth. And the truth just ain’t pretty sometimes.

 

I wish I had a better nugget of wisdom to give everyone who has ever just wanted to stay in a bad attitude until things were handed to them on a silver platter. But the only thing I can say is this: take a step back for a moment.

 

When I was sitting down to finally get some writing done for my blog the other night, I had blog starters that I was all ready to expand on. But then I opened up my laptop and just started writing this because this is what was on my heart at the moment. I asked myself, what do I need to hear right now? What do I need to tell myself? This is what popped onto the screen: take a step back. Truthfully, I don’t want to hear it. I don’t want to take time to “step back” because that means I have to admit that my attitude probably wasn’t where it should have been. In fact, more often than not that is exactly the case.

What needs to happen, though, is I need step back and realize what the problem is. A lot of the time it is that I am unwilling to let go of something and let God take it; whether it be a difficult situation, a struggle, or a conflict. Sometimes I am surprised at myself at how hard it is to give it up, step back, and allow God to take over. He can take care of me far better than I can. Now, sometimes God chooses to allow me to continue in whatever struggle or situation I am in for a little while. I often find it happens that way. Because my heart it what God is working on changing. My heart hadn’t been filled with much joy because I hadn’t been intentional about it. Joy is intentional. It must be desired … craved for … asked for through Jesus Christ.

 

As soon as I make myself sit, breathe, and “step back” so I can examine things (or even just be silent so I can let God move in me) I soon feel something different come over me. Not that things have completely changed, but that I am realizing what it is that I need to focus on and work on. Half the time I get myself “in trouble”, it is because I haven’t taken the time in several days to sit and focus on intimate time with God. It tends to happen during a busy week. Sometimes through a season of constant on-the-go I will read my Bible and say a prayer, but it is more checking it off my mental list instead of something that I deeply desire to do. I must remember to lean on God and be intentional about finding JOY in Jesus Christ. Both through mountaintop experiences and when I am in the valley I need to pursue that Joy found in Jesus Christ alone.

 

When life becomes a bit more than you want to handle, just remember to step back and ask God to help you renew the joy. It isn’t some magical recipe, but when leaning on the Solid Rock to get through the day, you have an All-Powerful God on your side. Shaking off a bad or stressed attitude isn’t easy, but in order to live fully for Christ it is necessary to actively seek Jesus Christ and His joy.

Four Things I Learned at the Homeschool Convention {HEAV link up}

As I have already told y’all, my family and I attended Home Educators Association of Virginia’s Homeschool convention last month. I honestly learned a lot from my few short days there, and I wrote a fun blog post about a few of them to share with you! I hope you will stop by HEAV’s blog today and check it out! If you like it and have never attended the convention before, stay tuned for next year’s! I am sure it will be a blessing to you!

Here is the link to this month’s HEAV link up,

enjoy!

Four Things I Learned at the Homeschool Convention

What’s Going On?

Hello, readers!

I wanted to give y’all a little update on what’s going on right now! There has been a bit of a lull in my posting this month due to my busy schedule this past June. It’s been a bit hectic, but I am blessed by God’s goodness and grace to me.

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At the beginning of the month my family and I headed to Richmond, VA for a few days to attend HEAV’s homeschool convention, which was an absolutely wonderful time AND my sister graduated from high school! Yay!!! Most of my family and I attended all three days and had an fabulous time participating in things like the chess tournament, different volunteer positions, and on Saturday my sister graduated with nearly 200 other homeschool graduates! Here are a few photos of our weekend:

 

My siblings and I got to take a photo with Andrew Pudewa from IEW, a writing curriculum we’ve been using for a long time.


For some reason my dad isn’t in this picture, but he was there! This was day 2 of the convention. So much fun!

Lily and me after she GRADUATED! Yay!!!

Two of my brothers participated in the chess tournament during the convention. Here is my brother, Joseph (purple shirt) during one of his rounds!

 

Then when we got back it was just about time for us to head back out again, but this time to upstate New York! We went to spend most of the week with lots of family up there – in fact, the first day we went over to my great-grandparent’s house. It was so neat to sit on their back porch and talk and eat and see four generations of our family all together! While we were up there we took a trip to see Niagara Falls! Here are some photos from our day at Niagara Falls:


Niagara Falls! This picture was taken while my family and I were on the Maid of the Mist. Such an exciting experience!

Me and my brother, Isaac, standing in front of the Falls. (with Canada in the background!)

A few of my siblings admiring the Niagara River. The weather was absolutely perfect.

 

There is also another (major) factor as to why I haven’t posted a lot this month and that is actually due to the fact that I have a summer job working for the school my dad works at! It has been a huge adjustment especially time-wise, but I feel it’s been (and will continue to be) a good experience for me. I am happy to say I’m working alongside my sister, which makes it better. Also, having my dad as my boss is nice, too. ;)


So please bear with me this summer as I will probably be slow to post, but I nonetheless still want to share what the Lord lays on my heart with you all when I can. Like I said, it’s been an adjustment, but I think it’s good for me. I look forward to all that lies ahead and pray that I will do everything to the glory of God.

I hope you all are having a spectacular summer!

 

Summertime Refresh and Refocus {HEAV link up}

June is over and that means we are halfway through 2015. I honestly cannot believe that half of this year has passed. It has been a remarkable one. But along the way, as with any given year, I think most of us find we are in need of a refresher – something to help get our focus back to where it needs to be. This month, on the HEAV blog, I have written a few ways I have found that help me do this. It’s not a 100% guarantee-to-work post, but I hope that it gives you some encouragement to enter the second half of the year feeling rejuvenated and finish this year strong.

“…somewhere along the way, we always seem to fall off the horse. Even if it isn’t our yearly goals, it is the everyday monotony that we may feel trapped in. With summertime just arrived, it brings the halfway mark and seems to allow me a “second wind” that rushes through. It feels like a time to refresh myself emotionally and even spiritually and gives me an opportunity to refocus. I want to share with you now some of the things that help me, as well as share things I want to put into practice this summer.”

Click the link below to continue reading on the HEAV blog:

Summertime Refresh and Refocus

 

Summer-Relaxation

 

ENJOY your summer! Have a blessed second half of 2015!

To My Sister on Her High School Graduation

We are well underway in the graduation season of 2015. It is an exciting time for all high schoolers as they get ready to bid farewell to their life in school. As I sit here today thinking about my sister who will graduate in just over a week, I have a flood of thoughts that I want to say to her. I want all graduates to know this, actually.

So here it goes…

Dear-Lily

Dear Lily (and all high school graduates),

 

First off, congratulations!!! Wow, I was where you are just a few short years ago. High school really is no joke and it truly is a huge accomplishment graduating. You deserve a round of applause! Know that I am so proud of you and excited to see what will unfold in your life.

Now, you have probably gotten a slew of people telling you the sky’s the limit. You are free to make your own choices now. You can do whatever it is you want. Follow your heart’s desires and you will be happy in life.

 

But that’s not what I am here to say to you.

 

Following your heart is the last thing you should do. It is filled with earthly desires and will leave you feeling empty (Jer. 17:9). I know, I sound so droll. But I promise you that there is another option that will fill your new chapter in life with more meaning that you can. Follow the Holy Spirit. Yes, “you can do anything you want to do” sounds like a sweet sentiment, but you won’t be able to understand God’s will if you are focusing on your will; because truthfully, much of the time the two don’t match up. Oftentimes it takes us a little while to 1) know His will and 2) desire His will. There have been plenty of times when God changed my heart’s desire to align with His will. There have also been times when I wanted something and then The Lord said “No, that isn’t My plan for you” and I didn’t like it at first. I had to want God’s will and I had to ask Him to change my heart. We don’t want to understand this because we cannot comprehend the fact that only God can see the whole picture – we only have one puzzle piece. So here’s my challenge to you as you graduate and even far beyond through different seasons of life: ask God for Him to make His will your desire. All of the sudden you will start living in a radically different way. A more fulfilling way.

 

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Challenge yourself.

 

If we aren’t careful, we will fall into this mindset of thinking that if it is God’s will it will happen easily. That is a lie. God often asks us to walk difficult paths. What we need to do is ask Him to light our way clearly and purpose to stay close by His side through prayer and devotion to His Word. Never back down from a challenge if you know that this is the Lord’s plan. He will be there right beside you the whole time, all you need to do is acknowledge His presence.

 

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Follow God’s path for your life.

 

Seek His will: I cannot emphasize this enough. Seek. God’s. Will. It is sometimes a very difficult process to go through that takes time and even more waiting, but it is an invaluable part of the Christian walk. After graduating high school you have so many paths available to you. As you know, I took the path that lead me to stay home verses going off to college because that was the Lord’s will for me. However, that doesn’t mean that I don’t do anything. The Lord has lead me to do many, many different things that have stretched me and challenged me and I have the freedom to do that because of where God has placed me in this season of life. I wan that for you: freedom because your are in His will. Often I will read books or articles about girls who chose not to go to college and there is utter contempt for college-goers. “College is such a waste of time” is what I hear said frequently. Honestly, I think that is the worst thing they could say. College is a wonderful option – IF it is God’s will for you. There are many career paths that do require a college degree. However, if we really thought about it, many people do go straight to college simply because it is the next expected step. When, in fact, all they are doing is using up priceless years collecting debt and not serving God where He wants to use them. I think college is a waste of time for those who don’t belong there. I think college is also the best place you can be if it is where God is leading you. Always, always, always seek God’s will for your life – which may or may not include a college education.

 

Lean on Him instead of the opinions of others: I want to impress something on you. Never, ever let the opinion of any human being sit higher in your mind than what God has called you to do. It is absolutely impossible to make everyone you know approve of what you do. It will not happen. You must learn to lean on the Solid Rock and seek His approval rather than any other person, even if it is your best friend or a family member. Pray for guidance. Pray that those who are close to you will encourage and support you. But the most important thing to pray for is that God’s will be done in your life.

 

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Don’t forget that the souls of men and the Word of God is what will last (not money, fame, etc.)

Ultimately, what I want you to understand is that you have the chance to make an impact to further the Kingdom of Heaven. Not that you didn’t in high school or any other stage in your Christian life thus far, because you most certainly did and I hope that you have taken advantage of times to spread God’s love ever since the time of your salvation. But now that you have finished your schooling and are entering a world that will let you do just about anything, I want you to remember that it is even more important now that you hold on to your Bible and God’s teaching. This is the time when you can rest assure twenty different things at any given moment will try to yank you into its (or their) direct and thwart you. A relationship, job, or college opportunity are good things, but only if they are from the Lord. Guard your heart from the temptation to accept any of these things if they are disguised as distractions to keep you from fulfilling God’s plan for your life. Remember that if anything looks enticing, but goes against God’s Word, you need to flee from it. As followers of Christ our ultimate goal should be to see others come to know our Savior, Jesus Christ. Do this by taking every opportunity to tell others about your Heavenly Father and living a life that is so unusual – because it is so full of Joy and Light – that they can’t help but ask what is different about you. Serve the Lord with passion. Rejoice in His name daily. Love others kindly, because by loving them you love the Lord.

 

I love you! I am so proud of all you have accomplished and I truly cannot wait to see what the Lord has in store for you next. Trust in the Lord with all of your heart (Prov. 3:5). Get ready for life after high school – it isn’t what I expected, but it is a wonderful ride when I have Jesus takin’ the wheel. ;)

 

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(To everyone) In closing, dear graduate, I want to tell you how excited I am for you in this ending of one chapter and beginning of another. There are so many emotions that run through us when we graduate – of excitement and worry for the future. Always put your trust in the Lord and you will find the most fulfilling future, even if you don’t understand where it is you are heading at first. If you do know where you are heading next because the Lord has revealed that next step to you, then I am thrilled for you! Do your best and always give everything up to the Lord. Be brave. Be passionate. Be in love with Jesus.

 

Congratulations, graduate!

God bless you as you embark on your new adventure!