Friday, December 27, 2013

According to Earl

Yesterday I was working at one of my favorite offices also known as Panera. I have friends who can't stand working from a place that constantly has people coming and going. It's one of my favorite spots to work though. Maybe it's because I love little distractions here and there to get me through? Or perhaps it's because I can get inspired by almost anything? It could very well be a mix of several reasons. I also love people watching and it is a perfect place to do that. At this particular Panera there is an older gentleman, Bill, that I know I have blogged about long ago. Bill is still faithful to his afternoon routine of setting himself up in a comfy chair with a coffee and making new friends. Since the last time I mentioned Bill and the Liars Club, some of his friends have come and gone. There is a new regular that joins Bill most days and his name is Earl. I love watching them start conversations with people and talk about everything and anything.

Well, I had been working for a few hours and I needed a quick restroom break. I asked Earl if he would watch my belongings while they were out of my sight. After a little joking about him taking my computer and running and then confessing he wouldn't know what to do with it, he agreed. After my little break and a beverage refill I got back to my table. I thanked Earl and, of course, that was an open invitation for a conversation to start. Earl started asking me questions, so I walked over and engaged in conversation with Bill and Earl. The conversation lasted for about an hour...possibly more...my phone was at my table and not about to leave until they were done. I loved hearing their stories. We touched on almost every topic out there. And when Earl told me he thought I was 23, I immediately knew he and I were going to be real good friends. Ha!

Earl is a kind man with a sweet face. He owns a Janitorial company that has done well for itself. He loves his family. He told me that the two things that will bring change to any person is from the books we read and the people we meet. Now, I don't totally agree with that statement as I believe change can come from other things, but I listened to him explain. He told me that reading helps you gain knowledge and even if you get one line or objective out of the whole book, it's worth it. He then said the same goes for people...even if you learn one thing from them, it's worth it. He kept it simple and I totally couldn't agree more about the people can bring change in your life (and yes, I agree with the reading one too).

People have such a great impact on our lives...in so many different ways. I know that Bill and Earl have changed me by sharing their lives with me. I love people. I love their stories. I love to hear about their experiences, the places they've been, things they've seen. I always come away with something. Life is short and part of us lives on when we share our lives with others. Changing the world doesn't always have to look like an international missions trip (which I do advocate as well). Many times it's as simple as a smile or conversation. It's being willing to listen. It's stopping for someone...even those you don't know.

I know that part of who I am and what is a strength of mine is to see the individualization of people and why that's important (that is according to Strength Finder and my own personal evaluation). I value who people are and can appreciate what they bring to the world around them. We often lose sight of people. In a world of doing, rushing to get it all done and trying to make something of our own lives we simply forget others. We don't always mean it, but it happens. Even though I was behind on getting things done yesterday because I had an hour delay due to spending time with Bill and Earl I felt good. The work would get done eventually and did, but I won't forget how grateful and kind Earl's words were to me. He thanked me for taking time to talk to them. He expressed that there aren't many people that would do that and with joy. He thanked me for smiling and meaning it. Ahhh, Earl, you did me in with that...meaning it. I was so grateful that I did truly mean in. And slightly convicted for the times that I didn't mean it. As I look at 2014 staring me straight in the face, that might be something I need to consider...keeping a heart that means it.

That reminds me...I need to revise my personal Mission and Vision Statement. What's yours?

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Buggers

I have heard from a few friends that they have a stomach bug. That's all I need to hear, no more details, please. It's not pleasant.

Did you know that there is no such thing as a Stomach Flu? It is a virus and has similarities to the flu, but is not Influenza. It is known as Viral gastroenteritis. And it is ridiculously contagious. It can be spread from person to person or by touching a contaminated surface, but you can also get it by meals made by an infected person (that makes me sick to my stomach to think about!!!) Apparently this type of virus can live for a few days on surfaces. On top of that, a person can be contagious even up to 3 days after having any symptoms.

There are some things you can do to avoid this junk. Prevention is best!
1.) Wash your hands with water water and soap after using a restroom (well, duh!), before and after eating, when in crowded communities or highly visited areas.
2.) Carry some non-alcoholic hand sanitizer (I make my own...and yes, I sell them) around for times when you are running around town.
3.) Build your Immune System. I use On Guard oil every day during cold and flu season. It keeps the germs at bay.
4.) Disinfect highly trafficked surfaces in your home. Simply using Lemon Oil in water works effectively and leaves your home smelling amazing. Or try the On Guard Cleaner Concentrate.

If you do get sick here's some things to do:
1.) Drink lots of sugar-free clear liquids that have electrolytes in them. This will help keep you hydrated. Pedialyte is a good choice.
2.) Stay away from sugary drinks. Electrolytes are a must, then water is next, but even water should not to be over done. When you drink water add Lemon oil. This helps clears out old cells that may be infected. 2 drops of Lemon oil in 8 ounces of water will do the trick and taste oh so good. And lastly some Yogi Stomach Ease Tea is a great option.
3.) Add 4 drops each DigestZen and Frankincense in a capsule and take 2 - 3 times daily. Add 2 drops each of Oregano and Cinnamon (or Melaleuca) to kill the viral properties quickly.
For discomfort associated with Stomach bug: Topically apply 3 - 4 drops DigestZen to the lower stomach area. This can be done every 15 minutes if needed.
4.) Continue using On Guard diluted with Carrier Oil on the bottom of your feet every night before bed.
5.) REST! You can layer Lavender on top of your On Guard on the bottom of your feet.
6.) Take it slow when going back to eating. Small, easy to digest meals are your best option.

Being sick is no fun...do what you can to stop if before it starts. But when you do sick, do what you can naturally to help your body recover quickly. And since antibiotics don't work on viruses, why not try these natural tips. ;)

Stay well, folks!

*Please only use Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade Oils like doTERRA. The advice shared in this site has not been evaluated by the FDA.

Monday, December 2, 2013

"Frankincense To Offer Have I"

Frankincense essential oil is one of the most precious oils and can be yours this month for FREE when you place a 200PV order! An amazing smell and even better effects/health benefits! Read and watch more about Frankincense here. You don't want to miss this once a year opportunity. Want more information? Just send me an email!

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Starry-eyed in love with...

Thanksgiving is such a beautiful holiday! I love that we set aside a day to say thanks. We all could use the reminder. Life is busy and we don't always remember to take the time. This time of year always bring me such joy. I love all holidays, but Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years are my favorites. This time of year can be so magical, yes, magical! Some of you may be laughing at me because you went out shopping on Black Friday and didn't think that was quite magical. And I would probably agree with you on that. That's why I avoid that mess at all costs.

I simply adore this season. I love the chill of the air that makes my cheeks blush with red and breath become visible. I enjoy putting on my coat, scarf and gloves (and most definitely my seat heater) when I go out. I like boots with cozy socks. I love the crackling sound of a real fire...in a fireplace and a fire pit outside...that brings warmth to my body, but also to my heart. I am filled with joy at the sight of lit Christmas trees that twinkle and toppers that glowing bright. My heart melts at the sound of Christmas carols and songs...like 'Oh Holy Night' by Brady Toops...gah, so good...or anything on the Dave Barnes Holiday station on Pandora! All the holiday parties of friends and family getting together to celebrate makes me full of glee...even the ugly sweaters are a pleasure to spy with my eye! The thoughts that get put into gifts picked out for loved ones or gag gifts for Dirty Santa is just so fun. The scent of Christmas sends me back to memories of my childhood drinking hot chocolate and watching every Christmas movie ever made (this may still be happening every year). And oh the delightful scent of Holiday Joy by doTERRA that is new to this year for me...that absolutely smells like Christmas! The laughter, Melted! The smiles, my heart skips a beat. Ahhhh....gosh....I love it all! Old traditions, new memories and so much joy! I feel it in the depths of me.

And don't think I've forgotten...the reason of it all...the celebration of my Savior's birth. His humble and lowly birth that causes me to live rich and eternally today. His birth to virgin Mary in a stable is miraculous. And it reminds me that because of His story being told today it releases the same power for miracles to happen today. It is a season for miracles. I'm just overwhelmed by the goodness of my King and love every part that celebrates the life that I have because of His birth, death and resurrection!

I'm starry-eyed, butterfly fluttering in my stomach, giddy in love with this season. To quote Buddy the Elf: I'm in love, I'm in love, and I don't care who knows it!!!
 
What are some of your favorite memories from this time of year?

**For the record...to add to what probably makes you think I'm crazy....As I was driving home after typing up this post...alone in my car...I yelled out loud "Oooohhh, I love it" when I passed a home with beautiful Christmas lights up on their home. Yep, I did. Too far? Nope.**

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Shoo FLU don't bother me...

It's FLU season. I refuse to get the flu. I refuse for anyone in my household to get the flu. I refuse to let anyone in my family get the flu. Any steps we can take to avoid the flu are in full effect.

I read an interesting article about the Flu today (thanks to a post on Instagram by Jenn Johnson). It comes from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. You can read the full article here, but here's some take aways from the article:
- People with the flu can spread it to others up to 6 feet away!
- You can pass the flu to someone BEFORE you even have any symptoms!
- Symptoms start 1 to 4 days after the virus enters the body
- You are contagious from day 1 up to 5-7 days after getting sick
- Not everyone with the flu will have a fever


Now, personally (and I'm definitely not judging if you don't agree), I do not believe in getting a Flu Vaccine. The shot only works on specific types of the flu, so you can get the flu even after a Flu Shot. I would much rather use natural cures to prevent a cold or flu instead of injecting my body with a strain. Prevention is always the best remedy. How can you prevent it? There are a few simple steps that will help you combat the season:


1. Wash hands regularly with warm water and soap
2. Drink plenty of water! (adding Lemon Oil is always an added benefit)
3. Rest - your body thrives when you get a full nights sleep
4. Eat well and minimize your sugar intake 
5. Build your immune system (Use On Guard products or the Flu Shot in a Bottle recipe)
6. Sanitize furniture and highly touched items in your house including tables, dishware, utensils, door knobs, bathrooms, etc. (Use On Guard products to kills those germs! Laundry detergent, Concentrate, hand wash, etc)


Those all are pretty simple steps and can save you and your family several miserable weeks of passing the flu around.

Here are a couple Immune Building oil recipes and directions that will help you through the Cold and Flu season: (ONLY use Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade Oil like doTERRA)
 
Immune Builder for Children:
For adults double essential oil amounts and then dilute with Carrier Oil.

Recipe 1:
Combine in ⅙ oz. roller bottle:
20 drops OnGuard
5 drops Frankincense
Fill rest with a Carrier Oil . Apply on bottoms of feet or along spine morning and night.

Recipe 2:
In a roller bottle:
5 drops Oregano
5 drops Frankincense
10 drops OnGuard
20 drops Lemon
Fill rest with a Carrier Oil . Apply on bottoms of feet or along spine morning and night.

Recipe 3:
Flu shot in a bottle:
Fill a 1/3 oz. (1/3 oz = 10ml) roller bottle or 15ml bottle with:
18 drops Lemon
14 drops OnGuard
14 drops Melaleuca
10 drops Oregano
Carrier Oil

Roll on bottom of feet (enters the blood stream fastest)
Diffuse in the air (smells amazing)
Take internally in a veggie capsule (capsules are available at any health food or herbal store or on Amazon.com)

Flu Shot in a bottle directions:
For Prevention:
Mix together the 4 essential oils in an empty bottle and either apply several drops to the bottoms of the feet 2 times per day... OR... put 12 drops of recipe in a veggie capsule and take 2 times per day.
Treating the Flu:
Mix together the 4 oils in an empty bottle and apply several drops to the bottoms of the feet every 2-3 hours for the first 24-48 hours while awake. Gradually cut back and use as needed until symptoms are gone.....OR...put 12 drops of recipe in a veggie capsule and take 2 times per day.

Immune Builder directions:
During  cold and flu season many like to do Recipe #1 for two weeks then swap to Recipe #2 or #3 for two weeks then back to Recipe #1 and do this way(2 weeks on and 2 weeks off) until cold and flu season have passed.

**All recipes are solely intended to use doTERRA oils and have not been reviewed by the FDA. **

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Head and Shoulders, hands and throat, hands and throat...

I'm all about using my essential oils. If you haven't noticed...you may live under a rock with the cavemen from the Geico commercials. I get a lot of questions on where to start with essential oils. It's hard to pick a starting point that is the same for everyone. I would definitely suggest the Intro Trio of Lavender, Peppermint and Lemon to everyone because there's at least 101 ways to use them. It's a great way to get used to using them for a variety of needs. But, if you're wanting to protect yourself from the cold and flu season that is here...I would suggest using the On Guard products. Yet if you have specific issues you would like to address (name it and there's probably an oil for it!) I would recommend something else. I do a lot of research online and in my Modern Essential book to find solutions that others have had success using.

Along the way, I've found some pretty awesome recipes and ideas for various needs. Here's two that I will now be selling:

1.) On Guard Hand Sanitizer
On Guard has many uses, but I love it for an immune system booster. Here's a great handout that has lots of additional information on the On Guard blend. Pairing this with alcohol free Witch Hazel and Aloe Vera makes this the perfect immune boosting, germ fighting, safe for all ages, moisturizing hand sanitizer. Just in time for cold and flu season!

Did you know that:
"Most hand sanitizers contain between 60 to 90 percent alcohol, which is enough to cause alcohol poisoning if ingested. According to CNN Health, a 2 ounce bottle of hand sanitizer may contain as much alcohol as four shots of vodka."*

Uhm, my nieces love hand sanitizer...especially the ones with characters on them, but no way do I want them to be using it after reading the report on Livestrong.com.

I've researched several recipes and have come up with one of my own. This is a 5mL bottle with spray top. Available to purchase for $5.
Reuse the glass bottle it comes in and get a $1 off of your refill of the same item.

 *Source: doTERRA blog and LiveStrong.com

2.) Singer's Throat Spray
I don't sing...for all of your sake's, but I live in Music City. I'm surrounded by singers everywhere I go. On top of being full of Country music, Nashville, TN is also Christian music's home. Indie, rock, country, Christian, worship leader, you name it, it's here. It takes a lot to make it big and performing is essential. Some people can perform (don't go all crazy on me with using the word perform if you're a worship leader...it's just the most general word that suits) several times a day over a few day period. That is not easy on your throat or vocal chords. I found a recipe when a local worship leader was asking for some oil for their tea because they were trying to protect their throat after leading several times that week. The recipe was from a vocal coach (can not find their name to give them credit...sorry!) and since then I've altered it a little bit adding a couple drops of other oils that are great for the throat.

This is a 5mL bottle with spray top. It's available to purchase for $10.
Reuse the glass bottle it comes in and get a $1 off your refill of the same item.

If you're a singer here's what I recommend you consistently do to keep your throat ready to belt out those melodies:
1.) Drink lots of water all the time (add Lemon Oil for added value!)
2.) Singer's Throat Spray
3.) On Guard Throat Lozenges (check out the additional benefits of On Guard)
4.) Using Eucalyptus Oil mixed with a carrier oil (coconut, sweet almond, grapeseed) topically on throat and chest
5.) One hour before singing, sip on a small glass of warm water with a drop of lemon oil, peppermint oil and the DigestZen blend.

Have questions? Just let me know. I would love to help you! Want to buy something? Email me by filling in the information to the right.

**The advice shared in this site has not been evaluated by the FDA.**

Most hand sanitizers contain between 60 to 90 percent alcohol, which is enough to cause alcohol poisoning if ingested. According to CNN Health, a 2 ounce bottle of hand sanitizer may contain as much alcohol as four shots of vodka. - See more at: http://doterrablog.com/diy-make-your-own-on-guard-hand-sanitizer#sthash.cOovqT9C.dpuf
hand sanitizers contain between 60 to 90 percent alcohol, which is enough to cause alcohol poisoning if ingested. According to CNN Health, a 2 ounce bottle of hand sanitizer may contain as much alcohol as four shots of vodka. Yikes!
The alcohol in hand sanitizers can also be a fire hazard, cause severe skin and eye irritation, a
- See more at: http://doterrablog.com/diy-make-your-own-on-guard-hand-sanitizer#sthash.cOovqT9C.dpuf
Most hand sanitizers contain between 60 to 90 percent alcohol, which is enough to cause alcohol poisoning if ingested. According to CNN Health, a 2 ounce bottle of hand sanitizer may contain as much alcohol as four shots of vodka. Yikes - See more at: http://doterrablog.com/diy-make-your-own-on-guard-hand-sanitizer#sthash.cOovqT9C.dpuf
Most hand sanitizers contain between 60 to 90 percent alcohol, which is enough to cause alcohol poisoning if ingested. According to CNN Health, a 2 ounce bottle of hand sanitizer may contain as much alcohol as four shots of vodka. Yikes - See more at: http://doterrablog.com/diy-make-your-own-on-guard-hand-sanitizer#sthash.cOovqT9C.dpuf
hand sanitizers contain between 60 to 90 percent alcohol, which is enough to cause alcohol poisoning if ingested. According to CNN Health, a 2 ounce bottle of hand sanitizer may contain as much alcohol as four shots of vodka. Yikes!
The alcohol in hand sanitizers can also be a fire hazard, cause severe skin and eye irritation, a
- See more at: http://doterrablog.com/diy-make-your-own-on-guard-hand-sanitizer#sthash.cOovqT9C.dpuf
Most hand sanitizers contain between 60 to 90 percent alcohol, which is enough to cause alcohol poisoning if ingested. According to CNN Health, a 2 ounce bottle of hand sanitizer may contain as much alcohol as four shots of vodka. Yikes - See more at: http://doterrablog.com/diy-make-your-own-on-guard-hand-sanitizer#sthash.cOovqT9C.dpuf
Most hand sanitizers contain between 60 to 90 percent alcohol, which is enough to cause alcohol poisoning if ingested. According to CNN Health, a 2 ounce bottle of hand sanitizer may contain as much alcohol as four shots of vodka. Yikes! - See more at: http://doterrablog.com/diy-make-your-own-on-guard-hand-sanitizer#sthash.cOovqT9C.dpuf
Most hand sanitizers contain between 60 to 90 percent alcohol, which is enough to cause alcohol poisoning if ingested. According to CNN Health, a 2 ounce bottle of hand sanitizer may contain as much alcohol as four shots of vodka. Yikes! - See more at: http://doterrablog.com/diy-make-your-own-on-guard-hand-sanitizer#sthash.cOovqT9C.dpuf

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Scrub-a-dub-dub the holidays!

We are a couple days away from Halloween. That means Friday is NOVEMBER! November brings on the busyness of the holidays. This time of year can get really busy and overwhelming. Family, shopping, cooking, running from place to place, traveling around the country and even world. Just thinking about it is starting to stress me out and I don't even have to travel this year.

Here's some tips to incorporate in your daily life to help make it a smooth and happy holiday season.
(Please only us CPTG oils like doTERRA oils.)

1.) Hydrate. Drink lots and lots of water. Add a couple drops of Lemon Oil to help keep you hydrated and on track. Want a little more flavor? Use a couple drops of Citrus Bliss Oil Blend. I gave a sample to a friend and she says it's her favorite thing to drink every morning.
*Only use glass bottles if you are adding essential oils especially citrus oils.

2.) Rest. Get plenty of sleep. While traveling take Lavender Oil or Serenity Oil Blend with you. Use to help promote deep, restful sleep.

3.) Stay healthy. The best medicine is prevention. Use On Guard daily to help build your immune system.

4.) Gifts. Have holiday parties where you have to exchange a gift? Make inexpensive, but cute homemade gifts. Over the past few weeks I've had several birthday parties to attend. As much as I love to celebrate others I don't have an unending budget for gifts.

Here's a great gift set that I've made for several friends. Many of these can be made with items you already have in your home. I made a Citrus Bliss Sugar Scrub for hands and feet, a Serenity Bath Salt for an evening bath and a Spiced Chai Sugar Scrub Cubes for the shower. This is a great way to introduce friends and family to natural and healing remedies. It also shows them the endless uses for essential oils.

4 oz. glass sealing jars from TJ Maxx, Organic Sugar, Epsom Salt, Organic Chai Tea, Coconut Oil from local grocery store and doTERRA oils.



Let's face it...the holidays can get stressful, but there are ways to make it so much more enjoyable. Use the tips above and remember the reason for the season and it should be one of the better ones!

I'm placing an order this Friday, November 1st. Let me know if you want to add to my order. This saves on shipping! And don't forget...you can order the new Holiday Joy scent....ahhhh! It smells like Christmas and is amazing!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

The F-Bomb

Both my parents and I have been some sort of sick this past month: Bronchitis, Sinus Infection, Flu. Talk about obnoxious. Obviously, prevention is the best recipe for the Cold Season. But what happens when you start feeling the slightest bit of a bug? You need to F-Bomb it!

The F-Bomb...F for Flu, that is...but I'm pretty sure there are 4 letter words that you want to say if you get the Flu. Yuck! :) Yes, there is an oil recipe called the Flu Bomb. And yes, it works. It's simple and healthy! Rest, Flu Bomb and lots and lots of Water (add Lemon Oil to help speed up the process).

Here's the recipe for the Flu Bomb:
In a capsule, take a capsule every 4 hours up to 4 times a day. Use only 100% CPTG doTERRA oils. These oils/recipe is to help strengthen your immune system.

3 drops Oregano
5 drops On Guard
5 drops Melaleuca
5 drops Lemon
2 drops Frankincense
3 drops Peppermint
(Add 2 drops Lime before bed)
Diffuse the Breathe Blend as much as possible. You can get a deal on a diffuser at Puritan.com. It's on sale and they have Free Shipping often. The Vapor Spa is perfect for average size rooms.
Have a sore throat as well? Try this: Warm water with 2 drops Lemon Oil, 2 drops On Guard, and spoonful of Honey (preferably local honey). There's tons of recipes for sore throats, but if you're taking the Flu Bomb, this should suffice.

Be prepared this Cold and Flu season with the F-Bomb! :)

**The advice shared in this site has not been evaluated by the FDA.**

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Tag, You're It


I was well into my 20s before I knew what a skin tag* was called. I had one but they aren't harmful so I just completely ignore it. A few later, I have a few. Then as I started using doTERRA oils for everything and anything I could think of. It got me thinking that there must be some sort of remedy for getting rid of skin tags. Aaaaannnnd...there is. It was a super easy remedy and I thought it would be to good to be true. All it takes is a drop of Oregano Oil on the tag 3 times a day. Sounds too easy, right? But I had the Oregano Oil, so I was going to at least try it....to prove it wrong if anything. I didn't want to smell like Oregano all day and since skin tags are not a danger to my health,  I just committed to putting it on at night before bed. I was going to test it on my 4 tags. Well, after 2 weeks, 2 of them are completely gone. Huh? How did that happen? Seriously, 1 drop of Oregano Oil on the tag every night made them go away? Yep, they did. The other 2 are progressing and think it'll be just another couple days before those are gone. Amazing! I wouldn't have believed it unless I tested it out for myself...yes, sometimes I'm still skeptical on the power of oils, but that is changing every time they prove their strength on all my experiments. 


Oregano Oil is an antibiotic, anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, antioxidant, anti-parasitic, antiseptic, anti-viral and disinfectant. Oregano Oil is very potent when used for respiratory ailments, such as colds, flu, sore throat, asthma and bronchitis.  It helps to relieve congestion, loosen phlegm and quiet coughs. And you can use it for cooking.

Skin Tag Removal Instructions:
Apply a drop of Oregano oil to the skin tag three times a day.  It may burn for a few minutes because of the strength of the Oregano oil but remember, you want it gone and it will be worth it!  Be careful not to get the Oregano on the skin around the tag but if you do, rub some coconut oil (or a carrier oil) on the area.  You can also mix a little Lavender Oil into the coconut oil to soothe the skin. 
It can take anywhere from 2 weeks to 2 months for the tag to disappear but it will happen.  You may not notice any change at first but then the tag will suddenly be darker and then you will disappear a short time later.

Caution: Make sure you are only using CPTG essential oil. **The advice shared in this site has not been evaluated by the FDA. **


*Skin tags are invariably benign - non cancerous - tumors of the skin which cause no symptoms, unless it is repeatedly rubbed or scratched, as may happen with clothing, jewelry, or when shaving. Very large skin tags may burst under pressure. 

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

FALL LOVE!

It's Fall!!!!! I'm so excited if you can't tell! It's my favorite season. How did I celebrate the week leading up to the first day of Fall? I went to the beach. Haha! I had the incredible privilege of going to Destin, FL with my brother, sis-in-law and my niece and nephew. It was certainly a gift from heaven to be able to go to the beach! It's a place that I can rejuvenate and refresh (and get free exfoliation for my feet when walking on sand). I enjoyed making memories with my family. Ahhh...I just loved everything about it...well, except for the leaving part.

Returning to Tennessee on Saturday to 8-10 degrees lower was not a bad way to return. I love the cooler temperatures. But feeling every bit of the change in season in my face (seasonal allergies) was not so welcomed on Monday. Yep, this is usually when I get a sinus infection....BUT...not this year! As soon as I felt symptoms come up on Monday I went straight to my medicine cabinet and pulled out my doTERRA Essential Oils. I made my little shooter and bam! I felt well.

All it takes is a simple blend of 3 doTERRA oils for a natural, effective, no side effects and cost saving remedy: Lavender, Peppermint, Lemon. These three create a natural anti-histamine and lessen the inflammation that causes the discomfort. There are a few ways to make this Allergy Defeating Concoction aka the Allergy Bomb. If you feel an infection coming on, you can add Melaleuca to the mix.

1.) Add 2-3 drops of each to shot glass (1/4 cup) of juice or water, swish 10-20 seconds in the mouth and swallow.* (For infections: add 2 drops of Melaleuca) Repeat up to 3 times a day as needed.

2.) Add 3 drops of each into an empty Veggie Capsule and take with water or juice.* (For infections: add 2 drops of Melaleuca) Repeat up to 3 times a day as needed.

3.) Add 1 drop each to a spoonful of local honey for children. For adults you can do 2-3 drops each.* Prevention is always the best option when possible.

*Do not ingest oils that are not CPTG doTERRA Oils! The advice shared in this site has not been evaluated by the FDA.

 You can get an Intro Kit with these three oils here. And if the Allergy Bomb is not enough reason to get these oils...read through the 101 uses of these oils here.

So, I am back to fully welcoming Fall. Even though it's 80' today in Nashville, those lows in the 50's are making me smile. I'm so thankful that God made Fall and safe ways for me to enjoy it all the more!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Being Stress-Free is easier than you think!

Have you ever been walking just going along your way, you picked up a scent in the air and it reminded you of a place or person? Usually it's welcomed and good, but sometimes it's not. We can instantly have a positive or negative physical reacting to that smell. It's amazing how our body reacts to differing aromas. A cup of fresh brewed coffee = Simply delightful. Centennial Hospital = Old, urine, disgusting. I have experienced the difference aromas can have. And having a diffuser I can tell you personally how much it can impact me from feeling excited, ready to take on the day to ready for a deep sleep and restful night.
Yet when I watched the video of a Fox17 News report from May 2011 on using Aromatherapy in Vanderbilt's Emergency Room I was still surprised at the results!

Although, it is no surprise that they used doTerra products for this experiment as they are the best quality and safest products out there.

They used various doTerra oils (Wild Orange, Lime, Lemon, Citrus Bliss) in a diffuser throughout the ER. 60% of the staff at Vanderbilt said that they were frustrated while at work before the oils were being dispersed. After they starting using the oil only 6% said they were frustrated while at work! Woah!

41% of the Vanderbilt ER staff said they were stressed prior to oils being used throughout the ER. Only 3% said they felt stress at their job after the use of oils. That can't be coincidence!

Watch the segment below. It's only 3 and a half minutes... see for yourself!

Can you imagine being less frustrated or stressed? Could it be as easy as diffusing oils? The answer is heck YES! It's so worth it. You can do this in your place of work or at home. Imagine customers or clients sensing more at ease and calm. Your ratings will go up just because your surrounding smelled good and they felt less stressed! At home...imagine your household being less stressed and relaxing. You'll feel better and be able to conqueror the world!

You can get a quality diffuser on Amazon.com...I use GreenAir SpaVapor. And depending on what you need you can find an oil or oil blend that is right for you from doTerra. Citrus Bliss, Serenity or Balance are great blends that have stress reducing properties. InTune is a great blend for assisting with focus (we all could benefit from increasing our focus!).

**The advice shared in this site has not been evaluated by the FDA.**

It really is that easy. And don't take my word...these stats don't lie:


Friday, August 30, 2013

Info-mercial

I have gone back and forth on if I wanted to be an Independent Product Consultant or not. But, I finally took the plunge (with a little help from my sweet friend Jill)! I usually get really frustrated at friends who try to exploit friendships when they start their businesses. And I did not want to be that person. I am going to do everything I possibly can to not be that person! I will be available to those who would like to purchase through me, but I will refuse to be that friend.

So....what is the product? It's something I use and have been for some time. It goes against conventional and I realize some think it's "granola" or "hippie" but it's natural and healthy. It's doTerra essential oils. Why doTerra? Because of the level of purity of their products. They are currently the only oils that can be ingested...that's a big deal. No other oil company can say that...not even anything at Whole Foods.

You may or may not use currently use oils. If you do, you know how amazing they are. If you don't, now is a great time to start using them. Remember, oils were the healing solutions used in the Bible (outside of Jesus' power)...check out James 5:14. Have children? Even better reason to go natural.

There are blends and oils to assist with your overall wellness. You name the it, there is an oil or blend that you will benefit from! Here's a list of a couple in different categories:
Physical: Migraines. Blisters. Skin care/Anti-Aging. Joint pain. High blood pressure. Lack of sleep. Allergies. Low immune system. Bed wetting. Digestion problems. Insect bites. Bug repellent. Colic. Diaper Rash.
Emotional: Insecurity. Depression. Tension/Stress.
Mental: Lack of Alertness, Focus and Balance. Grounding.
More: Household Disinfectant (toxic free and cheaper than from the store). Ant repellent. Deodorant. Lip Balm. Sugar Scrubs (no additives and costs less than $5 to make for a mason jar worth!)

Oils can be applied topically, ingested or used in a diffuser. Sometimes just a little sniff from the bottle can have an effect.
Okay. So, after all that, here's just me letting you know that if you use essential oils (or want to start) and want to order the best oils out there...you can through me. Have an issue you want to heal through oils, but don't know which ones? Let me know and I'll help you find the perfect oil or blend.

I can usually get you up to 25% off the prices listed on the site, so place your order with me instead of on my site. And I can then split the tax and shipping between all the orders. I want you to save money too!

I am placing a order early next week. If you have an order you would like to place, I need to know by THIS SATURDAY (August 31st).
Here's the website where you can find out more information on the oils: http://www.mydoterra.com/natashamaciuk/  . Feel free to pass my info along to anyone else you may think would be interested in a healthy alternative and wants to save money doing it.

Again, I have no intention of inundating you with commercials on oils or making this the only thing I talk about. My heart is to make you aware that there are other solutions to drugs or toxic methods and help you get the best.
If you want a once a month reminder a week in advance to when I'm placing an order, let me know and I'll put you on that email list. If not, no hurt feelings here. I'll probably add a solution to common issues like cold and flu, headaches, ear infections, pink eye, etc.
Feel free to contact me with any questions!

**The advice shared in this site has not been evaluated by the FDA.**

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Good Despite...

Sometimes we need a good reminder that it's definitely not about our ability.  It's about our availability. I've needed this reminder a lot recently as I decided to take a step of faith with resigning from my current job...without having another job lined up. Thankfully the Lord knows exactly what we need and He allowed me to read this reminder that I want to share with you.

These excerpts are from Undaunted by Christine Caine:
--
What's the Mission: Impossible you've been declining because you claim you're not up to it? And when will you finally accept that appointment with destiny?

He [God] chooses each of us to do something for him despite our past failures, limitations, and inadequacies. Abraham was old (Genesis 17:1, 24:1), Sarah was impatient (Genesis 16), Noah got drunk (Genesis 9:20-27), Miriam was a gossiper (Numbers 12:1-2), Jacob was a cheater (Genesis 25-27), Jonah ran away (Jonah 1:3), David had an affair (2 Samuel 11-12), Elijah was moody - one minute bold and courageous and the next fearful and on the run (1 Kings 18-19), Peter had a temper (John 18: 10), Paul was a persecutor (Acts 8:3, 9:1-2), Martha was a worrier (Luke 10:40-41), Thomas doubted (John 20:24-26), Zacchaeus was short (Luke 19:3), and Lazarus was dead (John 11:14-44). But God had a purpose for each of these people. He chose them. He qualified them. He called them, just as He is calling you and me - to go and do in His name. And when He calls us, the name He calls us by is the one He used in the very beginning (Genesis 1:26-28; 2:20-23): "Good."
--

That list of people that I admire and glean from are just that, people. They didn't always say yes right away or do it the first time when asked. They didn't always have a cheerful heart or right attitude. They weren't perfect. And yet these people accomplished so much for the Kingdom. They are "good."

We are "good." We have the opportunity to leave a legacy as pioneers, trailblazers, and world changers. When we partner with Christ...we can accomplish anything despite our abilities or lack there of because it's not us who has to do it. We can rest in knowing that God is in control and responsible to complete the work through us. We are only responsible to do what the Holy Spirit asks us to do...He'll do the rest. He gives all that we need to accomplish what He asks us to do.

Did you just feel a ton of weight lift off your shoulders when you read that? You should. His yoke is easy and light. And He's always sooooo good, so He's always going to take care of you! And guess what...He's in a good mood too! It's His pleasure to do it. Phew! I feel reassured. And when I don't, all I have to do is remind myself of who He is and who I am to Him.

Rest. It's a beautiful thing!

Saturday, March 30, 2013

God is in the Details

I had the opportunity to go on a missions trip to Jackson, MS last week. I was needing the approval from my boss and I finally had it mid-day Thursday when I would be leaving Saturday morning. As soon as I got the okay I started the process of preparing to be gone for a week. It was much to my surprise after a couple hours of knowing I was able to go that I had this insistent tug at my heart to check with the Lord if I should go. Up to that point I hadn't even asked Him if I should go. I figured why wouldn't He want me to go...it is Missions after all. And when I did finally ask I felt the sweet words of a kind Abba saying to stay home. I didn't ask why. I knew He knew why and that was enough this time (sadly, most of the time it's not enough). So, Friday, a day after deciding to go, I determined to heed the instruction and stay.

Yesterday when I was reading Joshua 9 verse 14 this stuck out at me "...but they did not consult the Lord." The Israelites didn't inquire of the Lord and they were deceived by the Gibeonites. The Gibeonites made it look like they were telling the truth. It seemed like the right thing for the Israelites to spare their lives. But, as we know, just because it looks one way doesn't mean that it is. It is always in our best interest to inquire of the Lord. And I was gently reminded (as gentle as it was, it was still a little bit of a sting) that I should always ask the Lord first instead of making my own plans.

As the week went on I knew it was the right decision to obey, but couldn't see the exact reason. I knew there would be the chance that I never "saw" or knew the reason. So I didn't even really think about it. And then Wednesday came along. 

The day started like most and I went to work. One thing came up after another at the office and all of a sudden it was 2pm and I hadn't had lunch yet. I had to be back in the office because I knew a contractor was going to stop by that afternoon. So I thought I'd run through the Chick-fil-a drive thru and take it back to the office. When I got there the line was ridiculous for being 2pm. Apparently everyone was on the same schedule as I was that day. I called an audible. McAllister's was right next door and would be even better. I walked in and was pleasantly greeted by no line. I ordered to go and it was a quick process. As I headed out I noticed my friend David* sitting at a table reading. Despite living within 5 miles of each other and having many mutual friends we have not seen each other in a few months.

David and I exchanged pleasantries and talked about March Madness. I'm still not sure how, but the conversation went from being superficial to deep within minutes. We talked about what it looks like to find identity in Christ and the process to get there. We discussed the hardships of conquering the lies and the false responsibilities/labels put on us. And for about an hour we were vulnerable in the middle of Deli. Life shared openly. Encouragement given freely. Truth spoken boldly. Clearly, I stumbled into a divine appointment.

And it was at that moment as I was driving back to the office that I knew that if I stayed in town for that conversation alone that it was so worth it. I got to be part of God's pursuance of David's heart. My heart was full.

I wasn't hungry anymore. My heart remembered when Jesus was at the well speaking with the Samaritan woman as recounted in John 4. The disciples were off in the village to buy food. When they returned they were surprised to see him talking to her, but wouldn't ask why. She left her water jug and ran into town to tell everyone she could about the Messiah that was among them. The disciples urged Rabbi to eat and his response was “I have a kind of food you know nothing about” (John 4:32 NLT). He goes on to explain as the disciples didn't quite get it yet that His "...nourishment comes from doing the will of God, who sent me, and from finishing his work..." (John 4:34 NLT). I bet each of the disciples had their own "ah hah! This is the nourishment that Rabbi talked about" moments. And I had the opportunity to be part of one again. 

I've had these moments before, but this one was a wink from God. He reassured me that I made a decision, even if it was not my initial choice, based on what I heard from Him and because of it I was able to be part of something so beautiful. 

Do I believe that the Lord would have still blessed me if I chose to go to Jackson and use me there? Yes, I do. Do I believe that He would have still pursued David in such a way? Yes, I do. He's a good Abba and He is Redeemer. He can redeem any situation. I'm just thankful that the God that has created this universe will do whatever it takes to let us know how much He loves us...as if sending His Son was not enough. ;) 

And just a side note...I got back to the office at the perfect time to catch the contractor that was dropping something by. I didn't miss a thing...God had all the details covered. It's always an adventure when we do life with God. 

(*Name changed)

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Great Adventure

Life with God is anything but boring. It's always an adventure. 

As some of you read the word adventure your hearts skipped a beat with excitement while others stopped for a beat with anxiety. My favorite type of an adventure is one I have planned and prepared for. Control issues? Nah. Well, maybe a little....okay, okay, it's a daily decision to let go of control. But I am leaps and bounds from where I was and for that I'm thankful! 

It seems like I've stumbled into another adventure. 

For a few months I have been feeling a stirring in my spirit. I knew the Lord was at work in me and I was not really sure what that was going to mean for me in the coming months. I knew change was immanent, but wasn't sure what that would look like this time around.

And then I heard Him say "In order to receive promotion, you have to let go of where you currently are." Oh man! I was rocked. I knew that if I kept my hands so tightly grasped on my current location I would not have the open hands to receive the promotion He wanted to give me.

Now, let's be clear here. The word promotion is highly misunderstood. In this case the Lord was referring to furtherance, moving forward, moving from one season into the next, graduating into the next level. It did not mean that I'm going to get a higher title, with a higher pay, with a company car, etc. I'm not saying it couldn't mean that for others, but I am offering that there is so much more to the meaning of promotion that the typical sense of the word.

As I actively waited on the Lord I had a deeper sense that it was pertaining to my job. My first reaction was complete denial...and immediately followed with the...surely, the Lord wouldn't be asking me to quit my job without me having another job lined up again. Yep, I said again. I've walked that road before. The question of what my family and friends would think of me doing this again haunted me for weeks. I like what I do. I kept praying. I kept trying to convince God that there had to be another way.

I spent some time in dedicated prayer and asked a very few close group of family to pray with  me. Can I just say how thankful I am for family that will pray for me? I literally felt prayers on my behalf. I had an incredible sense of peace and comfort knowing that I had people actively chatting with the Lord about my decision. At the close of the week I knew that I needed to let go of control. Ahhhh! That was not a fun decision. So, the next day I resigned from job. I wanted to be able to finish up a tour that we would have already started if I only gave two weeks notice, so I chose to make my last day April 30th. 

Some days it seems a little unreal. Did I really make that decision? Did I really choose to take such a step of faith? Yep, yep I did. It was not easy telling the people I worked with. And I know that my last day won't be without emotion. But, I am excited. I'm at a place where anything can happen. The possibilities are endless. My God has always and will always take care of me, so I remind myself that promotion is here in those moments where I feel like worrying will help. Let's be honest, when has worry every really made anything better? 

And so for today...promotion looks like a wide open range. I allow my heart to skip a beat with excitement for this new adventure. I trust that He who orders my steps will light up the path even if it's just for the next step.

Life is never boring with God! :)

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

You, Yes, You!

Earlier this week I posted about my feelings on Valentine's Day. If you haven't read it...you can read it here. I truly adore Valentine's Day. It makes me happy...even as a single girl I can say that I absolutely think it's a delightful holiday. I so enjoy seeing people take the time to express their love. You may be the exception to the rule, but as a whole, many of us don't do it quite enough. Telling someone that they are loved can change their life. It's so important to stop for the one. I was at the bank today and as I was leaving I passed an employee that was positioned as a "greeter" next to a table that had a bowl of lollipops on them. As I went to get myself a sucker I looked up at her, smiled and wished her a Happy Valentine's Day. Her demeanor completely changed from a forced smile to a relaxed smile. Now, did I just take away all her problems, issues, worries, fears? No, not at all. Did I let her know that she was worth the 5 seconds it took me to wish her well and a smile? Yes.

Life is tough. It has its many challenges. It has plenty of hurts and hard learned lessons. BUT...and I'm so thankful for that but...we can all make it a little easier by treating each other with grace, mercy and love. After all, you want to be treated that way, don't you?

It is hard to give away something you don't have to give though. If I wrote you a check for $1,000 and I didn't have anything but $0.10 in that account the bank isn't going to give you that $1,000, right? Well, if you have chosen not to receive grace, mercy and love from God than you won't be able to give it away. You can't cash out what you don't have in your account. If you haven't filled up your love bucket with His love, you're not going to have any love to give. Why is it easier for us to believe that God could love others and not accept that He truly, passionately, furiously loves us? Because He does love you with an intensity that go beyond anything our hearts and mind can fully comprehend.

The other day I was listening to an audiobook by Brennan Manning called The Furious Longing of God. He made a statement that stopped me in my tracks. I was in the car and literally said out loud...Stop It! Hit rewind on the phone and played it again and again several times. He said that God loves us as much as He loves Jesus. Now...I know that God loves Jesus and I know that He loves us...but the concept of God loving us as much as He loves Jesus seems not to add up. In John 17:23 Jesus says "...and have loved them as You have loved Me" (NKJV). Wow. It took me aback a little...and to be quite honest, I'm still trying to process that. But it's true. He does. His love does not change and is not more or less because He is LOVE. He loves you as much as He loves me and as much as He loves Jesus. Each day it is our responsibility to accept that love for ourselves. And when we accept that love, we need to freely give it away to everyone around us. It's too good to keep to ourselves. And I'm not quite sure how it works, but the more I choose to give, the more I have. I can never run out of the love of God because He is Love.

What would it look like if we all decided that each morning as we woke up we made the decision to accept the love of God and not actually get out of bed until we received it? What would it look like if we honestly knew that we were so loved and so filled with Love and were never going to run out of Love? Loving others may be easier than loving yourself, but you really can't love others until you love yourself....not in its fullness.

Maybe this Valentine's Day you should focus on letting God be your Valentine (even if you're not single) and let Him tell you how much He loves you (and don't forget to accept it!).

XOXO!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Show Some Love

There are not too many holidays that create such strong opinions as Valentine's Day. Now granted, there are not many holidays that are fully about one of the strongest emotions...LOVE (although, one could argue that all the Christian holidays are about love because they celebrate Love himself). 

I personally adore Valentine's Day! Yes, I am single and yes, I said I adore Valentine's Day. In fact, I got Valentine's Day gifts for my 3 nieces and as of today have given them their gifts because I couldn't wait! The gifts were small and I definitely did not spend much, but their faces lit up as the opened their gifts...each one of them. And, of course, that melted my heart. The only thing that has driven me crazy about this Valentine's Day is all the online dating sites posting an overabundance of ads everywhere. We get it match.com and eharmony, we get it.

You see, it very well may be considered a consumer holiday...but that's because as Americans we've made it that way. There is not much that's actually known about Saint Valentine either so I know that doesn't really help. But what if we chose to look at the holiday as a reminder. Let it be a reminder for you to tell those you love just that...that you love them. We certainly do not do that enough. Life is short and each year it only seems to go by faster. Life is full of stuff. We get busy. We get distracted. We forget. We think that just because we think it that others know it. 

Many of you who are reading this (and I thank you for doing so) have lost a loved one. I know that many of my friends have felt the sting of a life being taken way before we thought appropriate. Last week we commemorated a five year anniversary of losing two of the most amazing people we have ever known. These type of events change us...forever. And one lesson that I hope we take away is to hold and squeeze your loved ones a little tighter, make time for family and friends and tell them that you love them. 

In America we have people that are physically hungry, but even more so than that type of hunger there are emotionally starving human beings. They are deprived from the one thing that they want the most, but don't always know where to find it. People are dying to be loved. They try to fill their lives with whatever they think will satisfy them. Their love buckets are empty. And there are simple things we as fellow human beings can do for each other. One being to actually tell those around us that we love them and that they are loved by God. For such a small word it packs a power punch. It can tear down walls. It can bring life. It has power. And you can never give enough of it away. 

You are furiously loved by Love himself. Accept that love and give it away. Give it freely without strings attached. Give it because the more you give the more you have (strange, but true). So, whatever your feelings are about Valentine's Day choose to let it be a reminder to tell those around you that you love them. After all, we have a holiday to remind us to be thankful, why not then have a holiday that reminds you to tell others that you love them. 

It doesn't have to be about gifts. Some of my favorite gifts ever in my life were homemade cards, drawings/paintings, simple crafts and letters. They are the gifts that were personal...that were made with me in mind. Homemade meals, picnics, quality time with each other, heart conversations...those are just as wonderful as fancy made plans. If you see Valentine's Day as a consumer holiday...don't do gifts...do quality time or a letter expressing the reasons you love them. It's worth more anyway.

Love on some people today and every day....if we did a better job at that maybe we wouldn't need a holiday to remind us to do so. And if it helps, remember how it makes you feel when you are told that you are loved. Embrace the holiday...and show some love!

You are loved!

"Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance."
1 Corinthians 13:4-7

Friday, January 18, 2013

BIG Dreams!

In honor of the birth of the world changer, Martin Luther King, Jr., on Monday I am posting his passionate speech he so eloquently delivered in 1963 when he deviated from his written text. 

I couldn't help but think what if Mahalia Jackson didn't shout and beckon him to tell everyone about his dream that day? We would have been denied this inspirational message. This wasn't what was on the agenda to speak about. This was a heart felt declaration of a God given dream shared with conviction and love. Those words carried so much...they were not just flippant...they came from a place of much travail, anguish, hope, faith. He was prepared, but it took only one person to ask about his dream to move him from calculated words to a passionate heart outpouring. 

Last night I had dinner with a wonderful "newer" friend. I love getting to know people...I love to hear their hearts, their dreams, their passions. She told me about some thoughts of what her next season would hold. She was genuinely happy, but then when she started talking about one specific topic everything within her lit up...and it was evident. I had no question how excited about the opportunity before her. It would be a dream come true. She wasn't just talking about it, she was sharing her heart.

It is important to be prepared, but also be prepared to let the heart lead at times...it could very well have a lasting difference on the world! Don't be afraid to dream...dream big and then dream even bigger....and dream out loud. What's your dream?

I close with MLK Jr.'s dream:

I say to you today, my friends, so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.
I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: 'We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.'
I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.
I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.
I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.
I have a dream today.
I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of interposition and nullification; one day right there in Alabama, little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.
I have a dream today.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Singing Praises Day 12

Before you start reading this blog, if you haven't already done so, take a moment to read the opening blog of this series here.

I have great respect for those who are able to keep up their blog. Some weeks are just full of life that I couldn't even imagine trying to fit one more thing in. But, alas, I will do what I can and give myself grace for the times I can't.

Dave Altizer

Just over a month ago, I wrote a blog singing the praises of the talented and amazing Jason Wain. He is one of my favorite people (especially one of my faves to follow on Twitter since he's so encouraging). I was super excited about him releasing his latest music video "Lonely" for a few reasons; (1) it's Jason Wain, (2) it's the song Lonely which I like a lot, and (3) the video producer was another person that I think is absolutely fantastic. Today I'm singing the praises of Dave Altizer (aka Dave Maze). 

I met Dave on one of the work trips I took last year to coal mining country Grundy, VA (it's not much of a vacation spot just in case you were wondering). Dave joined the trip to get video footage for one of the clients we worked with. He's a magician....no, seriously....he is....and he's Da'mazing...yep, that's right...Da'mazing! He's a great illusionist, but even more than being mysteriously magical he is a masterful video producer. 

His facebook bio states: "I film stuff with my camera and randomly edit it together. Sometimes it comes out kinda nice." This very well could be the understatement of 2013. Dave captures moments in photos and video that can not be classified anything less than art. To believe that he just happens upon these moments and to call it luck is just absurd. He has been blessed with an incredible gift. I truly believe he sees the beauty of creation through the lens of the Creator and puts it out there for the rest of us to see it. There is nothing mediocre or average about his work. This is not just a hobby. 

To my surprise, and a wonderful one at that, he was also part of the trip to Haiti that I took this past summer. I was soooo happy to find out that he would be there. He was commissioned to do a promotional video for myLIFEspeaks (...yep, I wrote a blog about the co-founder of myLIFEspeaks, Missy Warren, that you should read here and find out more about myLIFEspeaks here.). Take a couple minutes and watch the video to see what I mean about the type of work that Dave does...

We Are myLIFEspeaks from Dave Altizer on Vimeo.

I could go on and on about the work he does and the person that he is. I absolutely think he's fabulous. You should get acquainted with him yourself even if its just on social media:

Dave Altizer (Dave Maze)
Facebook: /mrdavealtizer 
Twitter: @DaveMaze 
Vimeo: /davealtizer
   

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Swollen Heart



I'm so thrilled about this year! It's going to be an incredible year and I'm anticipating and expecting great things!

2012 was by far one of the most growing years of my life. I've experienced some really awesome opportunities and encountered some interesting experiences.

High moments included the birth of my first nephew, Silas Gray! He is such a joy. I'm pretty sure a lot of my highs revolve around my nieces and nephew. I love hearing the "Tasha! I LUB YOU!" being screamed at me as I walk in the house. Or when their eyes sparkle when they hear that we are going to go on a one-on-one date. Ahhh...my heart explodes with so much joy with these treasures!

Being able to travel is also one of those lasting memories. Haiti is seared into my heart and mind. I will never be the same...and for that I'm thankful! This world lost one handsome, loving treasure when Jay went to be with His Father. Such a young boy with a old soul. He had the privilege of knowing what true family looks like because of myLIFEspeaks. Can you imagine how great that was for him? He experienced in part of what he is experiencing in fullness now on earth because he was adopted into a family.

I also had the great opportunity to visit family in Canada. I was going up to the Ontario for work and was able to tack on a couple days to spend with my cousins and Aunt and Uncle. This was wonderful. I used to see my dad's side of the family every year growing up, but life got busy and I hadn't been up there in quite some time. Such a beautiful time to connect. I've got awesome people in my family.

There were several work trips in addition to the Canada trip this year including Charlotte, NC, Atlanta, GA and Keller, TX. It's always fun traveling and meeting new people...and seeing some of the people I work with. I think Charlotte was one of my fav's because my mom got to come and visit her friend while I worked. They have been friends for longer than I've been alive...so beautiful!

Family...new and old...made 2012! I am beyond blessed to have my immediate family here in Nashville. I love it! We're all within 10 miles of each other and that means lots of visits. And of course, I already mentioned how much being an Aunt makes my heart swell, so having them close by and seeing them grow makes me rich. I love that our families are ever expanding...both immediate and extended family.

Friendship has been something this year that has been tested, tried and proven (one way or the other). This time last year I walked through one of the toughest times in regards to friendships. I really had to look at what friendship means to me. And losing friends hurt. It hurt to know and feel that some friendships I had were conditional. There is no blame being assigned and there is much grace for others and for me. I cherish the lessons I learned even if it was gut wrenching and at times seemed like it would be better to never have any friends. Yes, I really had moments where I would have rather had no friends. This is absurd and I know that, but there were moments. Friends are a gift from God. And I have some of the most amazing friends. I am thankful for the people who I will always call friend...even if we don't talk much now. Each person has made an impact in my life and I'm grateful for the opportunity to have had that friendship.

I've met some stellar people this past year and developed some friendships that make me a better person. I am surrounded by people that are far smarter than me (in so many different areas and ways). I'm thankful that these people let me hang around...I'm gleaning as much as I can.

This blog entry is already so long, so I won't go into all the lessons I've learned this year. There were many. I'm so glad that each experience is a learning opportunity. I'm so glad that I never, not even for one moment, was alone or left to figure it out on my own. I am so loved by God and words fail when trying to describe it or my thankfulness for it! He is so faithful and so very good! Oh how I adore Him!

So, I end with...Cheers to the New Year!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Thankful for 2012

Over the past few days I've heard more people say that they can't wait for 2012 to be over than I can count. And while, yes, 2012 held many downs it really grieved me every time I heard this. I guess I was so frustrated with hearing that statement over and over again was because of the sincere lack of thankfulness for God's provision and faithfulness in 2012. I am really looking forward to seeing what 2013 holds, but I am so very thankful for 2012. 

I get it...I do. There was circumstances that no one should ever have to walk through that happened over the past 365 days. There were moments when you didn't think you would live to see another day or maybe didn't want to see another day. There were days that were a blur and all ran together. There were days you can't even allow yourself to replay in your head because your heart can't stand it. There were days. And for some there weeks. And yet for some there were months.  I get it. 

And yet I sit here wanting to remind those people of the moments when you laughed so hard you were doubled over. There were days where you lifted your head towards heaven with the sun shining on your face and you breathed a sigh...a sigh of contentment. There were weeks where all you could do was thank Jesus for His blessings. There was a day you couldn't stop smiling. There were days you were stuffed because of the amount of food you ate you couldn't get yourself off the couch. There were more days than not that you didn't go to sleep hungry. There were many days you had shelter over your head while it rained or snowed out. Many times you didn't sleep in the trash dumps. There were countless times you drove yourself to a job, to a coffee shop, to the mall, to see a friend, to a restaurant. You had many, many days were you had money in your bank account. There were times you didn't know where help would come from and at the exact moment you needed it most, it was there. There were moments that you felt so alive. There were moments where you felt like the luckiest person in the world. There were days that you so felt wrapped in the arms of God that you knew you were taken care of. There were times when you looked in the eyes of a friend and felt deep friendship. There were more times than you can count that you felt loved. There were days you swore you would never forget. Moments of encounters. Moments of love. Moments of laughter. Moments of joy. So many, many glorious moments.

You can be happy to be done with a calendar year and excited for the next. But I encourage you to take some time to rejoice in the moments that you were privileged to have over the past year...because after all...you were alive for all those moments. Write those glorious moments out. Make a list of people in your life that you are so graciously blessed with to walk this journey with. Take a day to be so grateful for the lessons and experiences you were afforded. Use what you've walked through this year to help others. Be a good steward of all those glorious moments, so that you may be entrusted with more. 

I'm thankful for 2012 and all the moments (the good, the bad and the ugly) because I encountered Him through it all. And I look forward to 2013 for many more encounters of my Redeemer.

I pray this blessing over YOU for your 2013:
The Lord bless you and keep you; 
The Lord make His face shine upon you,
And be gracious to you;

The Lord lift up His countenance upon you,
And give you peace.