Fun Weekend Ideas!

Fun Weekend Ideas!

I’ve got some great stuff to share with you today as you prepare for the weekend!  I do a lot of writing for other sites and I forget to share those articles with you because my brain only works at half speed these days.  I think you’ll like these two….they are projects that our family is currently working on.

The two articles I am sharing are about the weekend, how to make the most of our time both and home and at church.  Weekends are such a precious opportunity to step away from the busyness of the work week and it’s so easy to either overload them with activity or spend the entire time staring at the TV and forgetting that there’s a world of rest & relaxation outside our 4 walls.

First, over on The Soul Spa I wrote 10 Ways to Make the Most of Your Saturday.  These are sweet, simple ways to embrace time with your family and connect with God.  It’s something we forget to do most weekends, so taking a look at this list may help find some purposeful ways to add the magic to this special day.

10 ways to make the most of Saturday -

Second, I wrote a post over on FaithGateway about a challenge we created as a family.  We were looking for ways to get to know some of the people at church that we haven’t met, but it can be intimidating.  Every Sunday we file past people that are supposed to be our church family but we don’t even know some of their names.

I came up with this idea for our family and we all absolutely LOVE it!  Even my younger boys have gotten into it and the results have been pretty amazing!  Head over to FaithGateway to read more about our Family Church Challenge!

A game to play with your family that will help you get to know new people at your church! #faithgateway

Don’t forget to check out my Holiday Gift Guide for Women and Holiday Gift Guide for Men!

Have a great weekend and be sure to make the most of this precious time together!

Continue the conversation over on Facebook!

Do You Need a Do-Over?

Do You Need a Do-Over?

This is a great book for moms who need a boost of encouragement to find their joy again!

Well this is the week….my book, Mama Needs a Do-Over, comes out in stores and I am more than a little nervous.

Isn’t it funny how when our vision becomes reality we tend to see only the possible things that can go wrong or be negative?  Or is that just me?  Maybe when you have a dream come true you just think about how wonderful your life is.  I lean the other way….to the dark side.

Darth Vader has nothing on me when it comes to seeing the negative and being kind of a downer to the people around him.  I know why God didn’t give me a light saber.  Or a black helmet.

OK, I see that I have gotten a little off path with this post which is supposed to be a joy-filled sharing of the book release.

This book has been a year and a half of work and through the process my life did some pretty big flips and flops.  Mostly flops.  I know for a fact that God isn’t going to let me get too comfy and He keeps me on the edge of my seat most of the time.  I have never been a person with a big cushion to lean on.  We don’t have a savings account or family we can depend on or even an air-conditioner that works faithfully (you would think that those first two would be what I panic over the most, but really you don’t even want to know what kind of evil overtakes me if I get over-heated).  Every day is a walk of faith, trusting Him to see us through as we learn more and more about His character.

And this book has been no exception.  It was as if He whispered to me, “You’re not going to write this book, I am,” and He proceeded to remove every confidence and thing I really trusted.  Bit by bit He tore my life down to one thing, Him.

And so I wrote.  And I poured out my heart and cried then laughed (before we get too deep…the book is actually funny ‘cuz I can’t write any other way) then pounded my fists against the keyboard and prayed.  He kept coming through for me.  One chapter at a time.

And now it’s out of my hands and into His again.

Recently I was watching the movie Facing the Giants and in the very end a small kicker (if you haven’t seen it, it’s a faith-filled football movie) says to the coach, “I can’t do it….I can’t kick that far!” in the final seconds of the game.  And the coach tells him, “Son, it’s your job to do your best and kick as hard as you can and then let God do the rest.”

And that’s how I feel today.  I am kicking my book out there and letting God do the rest.  May it bless you!  May it speak His words to your heart.  May you buy 3 extras to give to your friends as gifts.  😉


Be sure to follow me on Instagram!

76 Trombones and a Universal Weekend

76 Trombones and a Universal Weekend

Yesterday I somehow got the song, “76 Trombones” stuck in my head and now I am going to have to find myself a support group for people who are tortured by Broadway.  Add to it the fact that I only know the first 2 lines and after that I go into a mumbling sort of hum that makes my brain try to reach back into 4th grade when I may or may not have actually known the words.

And that, my friends, pretty much sums up the way my brain works.  All day everyday.  A song pops into my head for no particular reason, I can’t stop humming it until I am singing it at the top of my lungs around the house except with the wrong words.

This will be SO.MUCH.FUN for the 65 new friends plus their families that get to spend the weekend with me over Labor Day.  Some of my kids and I are heading to Orlando next week where we get to build memories and enjoy meeting some super-cool people.

We’ll be attending the Family Forward Universal Orlando Adventure and it will be a blast!  I know we will have a great time not because of the inevitable rain leftover from Hurricane Erika or the plethora of other Broadway melodies swimming around in my head, but because it is sponsored by some companies that will bring the beauty out of any moment!

This brilliant event is intended to bring bloggers together WITH their families and focuses on not only fun, but working as a team and doing community service.  I can’t wait to see all we will learn together about the Children’s Miracle Network and how to really make the most of our families’ service to others.

Second, we will be staying at…..wait for it….the gorgeous Loews Royal Pacific Resort where I will not only be enjoying the beautiful views, but I may just make the visit complete for other fellow exercisers in the fitness center as I uncontrollably hum songs from The Music Man while on the treadmill.  You’re welcome Loews guests.

My kids will be so proud.

And ashamed.

Which is possibly going to be my favorite part of the whole trip.

We are excited about visiting Universal Studios and seeing what they’ve got going on.  I have been doing my research (aka Pinterest) and learning about Beer Butter and the need for ponchos and how to manage the ride lines.  Of course I have already planned what essential oils to have onhand and how to keep my big thighs from causing a heap o’trouble (which let’s face it, happens when you’re a big girl doing a lot of walking in a humid environment).

And with 4 of the kids going along, we have planned the whole budget for the trip and each of us knows the entire agenda from the moment we leave for the airport until we pull back in the driveway 6 days later.  Sometimes I like to surprise the kids with things when we travel, but this time I thought they would enjoy it more if they got to make most of their own decisions and have control over their spending.  For the few meals that are not provided with the event, I gave them each a budget.  They can spend it any way they want.  And they worked last weekend rebuilding our back deck to earn money for any extras or souvenirs.

My goal for this time we are spending together is to let them make their own decisions, learn, meet new people and oh yes… a few promotions for my book, Mama Needs a Do-Over: Simple Steps to Turning a Hard Day Around, which is being released the day before we go!  Be sure to order your copy!

And if you have any great Universal Studios tips head over to my Facebook page and continue the conversation.

Lastly, please accept my apology for sticking “76 Trombones” in your brain.  Hopefully the adorable Ronnie Howard image from the movie below makes up for the annoying wordless song.

Ain't he cute?!

I’m Trying Not to Be a Mom-Zombie

I’m Trying Not to Be a Mom-Zombie

The Focused Conference in Virginia last weekend was wonderful!  We laughed, we learned, we ate…..pretty much in that order.  I got to meet so many amazing women….it never ceases to amaze me how many brilliant people are out there.

Right now I’m sitting in the airport trying to figure out a way to sum up the past few days.


I would normally do that on Monday morning, all casual and lounging in my recliner with my kids around me chatting me up.  But that won’t be possible since I have to pile my boys in my car tomorrow morning by 8:00 and drive them to their orthodontist appointments in the city.

I really love our ortho, but I do occasionally wonder about the wisdom of choosing one so far away.  Most of the time it’s no big deal, but after flying home from Virginia the day before and getting back after dark….I really don’t much feel like waking up early and leaving home.

But I really DO want to spend some quality time with my boys who I am missing like crazy right now, so I need to look at it as a gift instead of a burden.  I can sleep another time.  Not sure when, but I am confident it will happen someday.

And as a double treat my boys get to go with me after the orthodontist while I get my haircut.  I get it cut at ULTA where there are plenty of makeup and hair products for them to peruse while I am in the chair.  I had to promise them In & Out burgers PLUS a trip to the Lego store to make up for the torture.

Tuesday and Wednesday are turning out to be really full days also.  So I will need to pick up some under eye repair cream while I’m at ULTA tomorrow or I will start to look like a mom-zombie.

Speaking of busy, I will only be home for a few days before heading back to Dallas (by car this time since several of my kids are going with me) for the Young Living International Grand Convention.  It’s no big deal….just 12,000 of my closest friends hanging out together.  The word “madness” comes to mind.  I plan to pack a LOT of food to take with us, not to save money but because I expect the lunch lines at even the fastest food places to be so long you will be ready for dinner by the time you get to eat.

It’s a good thing I like raw fruits and veggies.

If you have tips for packing up food for traveling over a week hop over to my Facebook page and share them with all of us!

Have a great week!

8 Facts About Working with MLMs

8 Facts About Working with MLMs

Before I started working with Young Living I never wanted to run it as a business.  Like never, ever, ever!  I am not a good salesperson, I don’t keep receipts, I can barely maintain my busy life, what do I need another business for?!

Plus, MLM companies have a bad rep….I mean, they are pyramid schemes, right?  The people at the top make millions while the poor saps at the bottom get ripped off?  Who’s got time for that mess?!

That’s what I thought, but then something happened.  I started talking about my love for the Young Living products.  It was nothing but friend-to-friend conversation. Then people started to privately ask me questions about different oils and their specific needs and I would try to help.  They would sign up to get the products.  I was genuine in my love for the oils.  I only wanted to share my passion and help people get healthier and have options for wellness.

Then I started earning a small check every month.  Cool!  I bought more oils.

No one ever pressed me or tried to push me to get more members or promised me great wealth if I would convince others to join….I just loved Thieves and lavender and my diffuser and I had to tell people about it.

After a while, to my surprise, I hit a new “rank” in the company and my checks got bigger and I was still just sharing my love for the oils.  But I heard from several people, “Hey, you’re part of a scam!”

Say wha?!

That concerned me because all I wanted to do was bless others.  So I did some research, spent time working with the company and learned a lot about network marketing that I want to share with you.

MLM's have a bad rep, but this shows some truths about what it's like to really work with them!

1. Young Living is NOT a pyramid scheme! –  In many countries (including the US) pyramid schemes are illegal.  They are a form of fraud.  Pyramid schemes, sometimes called Ponzie schemes, are not based on products and not sustainable for long.  Pyramid schemes are about “get the money and get out”.  Young Living has been around for 20 years and is still going strong.

“I am often asked if Network Marketing is a Pyramid Scheme. My reply is that corporations really are pyramid schemes. A corporation has only one person at the top, generally the CEO, and everyone else below.” — Donald Trump, Entrepreneur and Author

2. We are product based – The old scam was that there was no actual product, but money came from having people pay to join, then that money went to the previous members and as new people joined more money came in and was distributed, etc.  Eventually it would collapse because there were no new members.

Young Living is nothing like that!  It is completely built on incredible products.  These oils and supplements are what get me excited.  When you join, you are not buying air, you are adding value to your life with health and wellness and a support system for your family.  It’s tangible in that small amber bottle of goodness you can hold, smell, enjoy!  Of course you have to actually BUY it….there is money involved.  They can’t give things away for free just like any business!


3. Membership has value – When you join Costco, you pay $50-$100 for the privilege of shopping there.  They bring in products and offer them to you at a somewhat discounted rate.  In the case of Young Living, if you buy their Premium Starter Kit there is no membership fee and you get 24% off on all of your purchases after that.  Like Costco, you pay annually to maintain your membership status.  Except in the case of Young Living you get $50 worth of product for your $50 instead of just paying a fee.  That’s why I feel so confident sharing it.  It’s a terrific value!

4. No ads! – Instead of doing what Coca~Cola does and spend $4,500,000 on a Superbowl ad, a network marketing company (MLM) spends that money on their members.  It’s brilliant actually!  Word of mouth by trusted friends is a great way to promote and sell a well made product.  So Young Living pours their money back into their hard-working members and counts on them to continue to share.

“Home-based businesses are one of the fastest-growing segments in our economy, and that trend will only continue, as the age of the corporation, which began barely a century ago, now gives way to the age of the entrepreneur.” – Paul Zane Pilzer, Author and Nobel Prize Winning Economist

5. A connection between members and corporate – When a company relies so heavily on its members, they have to be willing to listen to them!  Young Living deeply values every single member, no matter whether they ever become business builders or not.  It’s apparent in their customer service, dedication to quality and treatment of the communities where they have their farms.  Every comment or suggestion I have ever made has been heard and valued.  I know this is the same for many of my friends who work with them.  I love that there’s not a huge divide between the members and the guys in the business suits.

Just a few weeks ago I had the blessing of visiting the Young Living farms and corporate offices in Utah.  The company executives were right out there with us answering questions, asking about our families, telling us how they produce the oils, etc.  We are as much a part of Young Living as those who park their cars in their corporate parking lot every morning.

6. You are supported! – This fact really depends on who you join with, but many members give tons of support and encouragement to those who join with them.  You are not left alone to figure it out for yourself.  If you sign up with me, for example, I add you to Facebook groups that support your needs, I send you gifts to help you learn to use your oils and I check on you.  I keep you as up to date as I can on the latest company news and I work to add personal value to your membership.  Believe me, I EARN my income.  I’m not just sitting on a pile of cash and flying to Hawaii while someone under me wonders where their money went.

7. How we really earn – Unlike the pyramid scheme of simply making money buy selling empty memberships, Young Living uses a direct sales model.  They sell directly to the consumer instead of going through a retail outlet.  We, the distributor,  get commission on the purchases of the members we helped join.  I hear people questioning that as if it’s evil.  Why?  I ran a successful etsy shop for years, selling what I made and no one ever said, “You shouldn’t be telling us about your burlap monogrammed table runners because you make money on them!”  Of course I made money on them!  That was how we supported our family!

This is the same thing….I tell you what products I love and hope you will buy them.  But I am not lying to you….I spent my own money to buy those same products and will continue to do so.  They cost me the same amount that they cost you and I happily pay it.  Because I love them and they WORK!

In addition to commission, we earn a portion of the company’s profit each month.  The % earned depends on your level or “rank”. This is not about “passing money to the top”.  It’s that the members are an important part of the business and care about the company.  It can be compared to any business that is partly owned by its employees.  Avis Rental Car and Publix grocery stores, for example are at least partially owned by their employees who own shares.  Those shares are allocated by the work performed (according to Wikipedia). Young Living is not owned by the members, but they do get a share of the profits every month.   Those who work more earn more.  There’s nothing scammy about that!

8. You can earn too! – IF you want (there is absolutely no pressure!) you can earn an income through this wonderful company too.  You can do exactly what I did….tell your friends about your love for the oils and supplements.  Then they tell two friends, and they tell two friends, and so on (anyone here from the 70’s?).  Then before you know it you’re earning a small check every month that you can use to buy more oils or make a car payment or anything else you need!

And the coolest part is that it is available to anyone who puts in the time and effort.  There’s no waiting for your boss to decide to promote you or hoping you will get noticed.  It’s your business to do what you want with, but at the same time you are part of a huge support system.  If you want to stay small and just earn enough to buy more oils, great!  If you want to, like many of my friends have done, bring your spouse home from a job they hate so you can work together in your own business, you can do that too!  It’s completely up to you.  You have all of the power.  And it is as available to you as it is to anyone else.  You reap what you sow.

“Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Believe me, no one is more surprised than I am to discover that network marketing is such a terrific model to work with.  Yes, there is a system of ranking up through the company which can take some getting used to.  But the more I work with it the more I can see how smart it is.  Those people who have built a bigger team work really hard and deserve to make more money than I do.  But if I keep educating myself and encouraging my new friends (and that’s been another huge benefit… the wonderful friendships I’ve built!) as they build their own businesses and continue to educate myself, I can grow as much as I want.

Encouraging others is my favorite part!  I have members living on single incomes who are using their earnings to get their families out of debt, do home repairs, send their kids to college, etc.  I actually get the privilege of being a small part of that!  I care about them because they are my friends….not because I earn an income from it.  That is simply icing on the already delicious cake!

I hope this helps you to see that MLMs are not the evil mastermind that they are portrayed as.  If you’re thinking of joining one, look into the company and if it has been around for a long time, you genuinely love the products and can honestly share about them…GO FOR IT!

(and of course, I would love to have you join me in my amazing journey that God has me on through Young Living!  Click HERE to get started!)

That Day I Made My Own Laundry Pods

That Day I Made My Own Laundry Pods

This post contains affiliate links.

A couple of months ago my friend Susan shared a recipe for laundry pods.  I thought, “Hey!  I should make those!”

So after reading her recipe I immediately opened my Amazon app and ordered some Nellie’s All Natural Laundry Soda and it arrived on my doorstep a few days later.  I carried it to a shelf in my bathroom where it stayed, next to a bottle of hydrogen peroxide, for 2 months where it eventually needed to be dusted.  Thus proving what I already knew….that I am a master procrastinator.

I should make myself a “Master Procrastinator” cape.  And wouldn’t it be great if it rolled up into a pillow like those snuggy blankets so I could use it at naptime?

OK, where were we?  Oh right.  Laundry pods.  I’m starting to see why it took me so long to make them.

You can see Susan’s recipe HERE and I’ll just share with you what I did differently.


First let me say, I was drawn to trying this because of two things.  1. It has essential oils in it and y’all know how I am crazy about those!  2. It includes the Fels-Naptha Laundry Bar which I am a HUGE fan of.  If you have never tried one…run to get it now before you have your next laundry stain.  It’s amazing.  Then, just for fun, have your kids study why it works….simply fascinating.

OK, back to the recipe.  I decided to use Citrus Fresh and Tea Tree.  Susan used Citrus Fresh and StressAway.  Once I saw how hard it was to get those little balls to stick together I realize why she was so brilliant.  I was wishing for some StressAway about 2 minutes into the balling process.  I could NOT get those suckers to hold together.  So I added more vinegar and voila!  It worked.  Each time it got too dry to stay in a ball I added about a tablespoon of vinegar and kept going.  In this Texas heat it still only took a day to firm up enough to put them into the canister.

An easy to make "recipe" for making your own laundry pods that make you clothes so soft and great smelling!

If I decide to make them again, I will switch to the Arm & Hammer Washing Soda because it is less than half the cost of the one I used.  And I’ll definitely try other oils.  I mean, what’s the fun of making your own if you can’t play with the scent?!

I will admit, I cheated and tossed a fresh one into my laundry as I was making them.  I was dying to see if all this effort was really worth it.  And it was!  My laundry smelled divine and the towels were so soft that if I ever do make that cape I will use one of those soft towels.

On second thought, I can simply clothespin the towel to my shirt and be done with it.  Procrastinators unite!

Happy laundering!

If you are interested in getting started using Young Living essential oils, I’d love to be a part of your journey!  You can join HERE and when you order the Premium Starter Kit at the same time as joining (it’s a great kit….11 oils and a fabulous diffuser!) I will send you a book to get you started and some other goodies! 

The Art of Forgiveness

The Art of Forgiveness

Have you struggled with being hurt by someone you trusted?  This is a great way to see how it can be used for your good!  #forgiveness #christianlove

Forgiving can be really hard to do.

But have you ever though of it as art?  Art is enchanting and art is messy and each workmanship is unique. It involves creativity and humanness and mistakes.  You can’t have a quality piece of art without a lot of trial and error and erasing and lessons.

A sculpture starts as a lump of clay.  It gets mashed and twisted and wet and cut and if I were that clay I believe I’d be hoping that part was over soon.  If I were the painter’s canvas I’d be hating the part where I am smeared with wet brushes and then have it all wiped off while the artist stared at me with concern or worse yet….sets me aside for another day.

We all want the ending….the beauty….the admiration….the high praise and worth.  But we don’t really want what it takes to get there.

And what, you may wonder, does any of this have to do with forgiveness?  Just everything!


A girl, Sue, gets hurt by a friend.  Not just “you hurt my feelings” kind of hurt, but deeply betrayed and wounded.  She is cruelly judged and without warning, the friendship is over and the betrayer has cast Sue out like a worthless piece of garbage.  Sue is shocked and devastated.  This is a wound that feels unhealable.  The betrayal shakes her to the core and threatens all of her other relationships.  How can she trust anyone else after this?  And to top it off, the betrayer continues to stab, gossip, lie and attack.  How will poor Sue ever recover?  She is devastated by someone she believed was on her side in life.  She questions her own ability to discern whether someone is a wolf in sheep’s clothing.
She fights the urge to hurt back.

She crawls in the corner of her bedroom (i.e. under the covers with chocolate) and licks her wounds.  She cries to herself then cries to God.  He comforts her, but it’s still so incredibly painful.  She doesn’t lose her faith.  She continues to believe what God tells her….that He will be her defender.  That she can trust Him.  But the betrayer doesn’t leave Sue alone.  Every time Sue thinks she is starting to recover another dart of her now-ex-friend comes flying toward her.  Pain all over again.
More crying.  More chocolate.

Slowly, with time, she begins to heal.  Every day she seeks comfort and every day He gives it to her.  God touches her sad, broken heart with His love and grace and one crack at a time He glues her back together.  But she is changed.  She can’t ever be the same old Sue.  She has found a place in herself that only the wounds could have shown her.  She has experienced a depth of love from God that she never needed before.  Her eyes have been opened and she has a new kind of wisdom.
This wisdom is has been gained through suffering.

The betrayer doesn’t stop and the problem stays unresolved.  But Sue is getting stronger and doesn’t fall quite so hard the next time a dart flies.  She sees it coming.  She ducks just in time for it to only graze her.  The wound is smaller.
The healing comes more quickly. 

But then, the hardest part is yet to come.  Forgiving the betrayer.  Wishing good things for this now-ex-friend who claims to be so grateful for God’s grace but stabs people in the back, is going to be the hardest part of the healing.
Sue isn’t sure if she can do it, but she has come this far. 

She must keep going.

Let’s stop here for a minute.  This story could be about any of us.  We have all been deeply wounded at some point.  By a friend, a spouse, a child, a pastor, a parent.  Recovery is slow but we are His clay, we are His canvas.  The splats and messes and manipulating of the materials….the pounding of the chisel, that is painful!  We can’t become a masterpiece without it.  We can’t have genuine wisdom without having suffered, and wounds from a loved one are the worst kind of suffering.  Give me a broken leg over a broken heart any day!

But we can’t stop at enduring the suffering and coming away with wisdom and joy.  We can’t just pick up our chocolate and go home…we would miss the best part!  The part that is so glorious and gorgeous that it is not even imaginable to us while we are being pounded.

God’s magnificent creation!  That piece of art that only the final, finishing touches can accomplish.

The Forgiveness.

Sue, bit by bit and moment by moment, forgives her betrayer.  Somewhere along the way she decided that each time the bitterness wells up or the pain sears through her heart, she will release it.  She will, even though at first she doesn’t want to, pray for the betrayer and for all of those who took the betrayer’s side.  Those who sent their own darts of ignorant judgment and added to the misery.  Those who believed the betrayer out of their own weakness…..she will pray for their peace.
She will ask for God to heal them too. 

As she makes the shift from hurt to healed, she begins to see bits of her own part in the problem, ways she contributed.  She asks Him to forgive her as well.  She sees her imperfections and lays them at His feet.  “Take my weakness Lord, use them for your glory,” she cries.  She continues to work daily to forgive both herself and her perceived-enemies.

It isn’t instant.  Sue falls back sometimes.  Like the artist who doesn’t quite like the angle of the lines, she has to occasionally erase and try again.  But as she slowly matures and changes, she can see the beauty emerging.  She begins to see how the pain of the situation has shaped her.  When the betrayer lashes out with more accusations, Sue quietly slips back and sadly prays again for the now-ex-friend; half of her sadness stems from the betrayers not knowing how hard Sue is working to give love in return for the hate.  If only the betrayer could see Sue’s heart, but she knows that can’t happen.
More growth.  More lessons.

Others begin to notice the difference in Sue.  Someone tells her how they saw the whole thing from afar….they watched the art being created and are inspired by the beauty of what she is becoming.  Another person tells her how blessed they have been by her gentleness with the situation.  It gives her strength.

She continues to allow herself to be shaped, the forgiveness continues to become easier and easier as she lets it go each time….refusing to let the bitterness have her.  Never giving in to the temptation to hurt back.  Every time she releases the hurt she can feel the shift in who she is.  Sue becomes a woman after God’s own heart.  It is slow, years of pain and trial and error.  But she eventually becomes a work of art, chipped away and shaped into something she could not have created on her own 

She is refined into a work of art so grand, so breathtaking, that she is amazed herself. 

Look what God did!!!


Each with our own betrayal stories, we know that the betrayer might stay the same.  The darts may keep flying.  And certainly there will be more betrayals down the road.  More heartbreak.  But if we allow it to become a work of art, being shaped in God’s hands, then He promises to use it for our good and His glory.

If you are dealing with a betrayer in your life, I want to encourage you to see it as a forming masterpiece in you!  We are each as unique as the snowflakes and I don’t know how you should handle specific situations.  But I do know that even if nothing around you changes and if darts are flying all around your head (believe me…I understand that!) that inside of you there is indescribable beauty being created!  Give it to God and let Him turn you into something that shines with His glory and radiates His love.

Here are a few books that have helped me through my own story of betrayal and hurt:

1. Wounded by God’s People: Discovering How God’s Love Heals Our Hearts by Ann Graham Lotz
2. Between a  Rock and a Grace Place: Divine Surprises in the Tight Spots of Life by Carol Kent
3. Choosing Forgiveness: Your Journey to Freedom by Nancy Leigh DeMoss
4. Total Forgiveness by R.T. Kendall
5. Surviving One Bad Year: 7 Spiritual Strategies to Lead You to a New Beginning by Nancie Carmichael

(these are affiliate links)


Some Practical Oily Help

Some Practical Oily Help

I’m so excited to team up once again with some incredible bloggers to share with you more ways to use your essential oils.

When I first started it was a mystery, like I am sure, to many of you!  I mean, I understood that God gave us plants to help our bodies work and that oils were a great way for us to get those plants into our bodies, but HOW to start?!  How to learn?  What do I do with this stuff?!

The very cool thing is that you can’t really mess it up.  You may try things that don’t seem to work the way you want, but unless you have something extreme going on (which you would know) then you aren’t going to hurt yourself playing with the oils and other great Young Living products (they have a bunch of great supplements too!).

So I want to share with you how I use the oils in the Premium Starter Kit.  I know I have shared this before in step by step information, but I get so, so many questions about these oils that I thought I would give you some more ideas! Instead of breaking it down one by one, let’s just walk through a few typical situations.  I won’t be able to be detailed with naming ailments because the FDA has strict guidelines about what I can say.  But you’re smart…you’ll get it.

Situation 1: Let’s say one morning you and your child both need to WAKE UP.  You have a full few days ahead and don’t have time for slowness.  Well first of all, you may need to slow down anyway if your body is asking for it.  But sometimes we can’t.

Be sure to eat well and drink lots and lots of water, cut out sugar and dairy and stay away from junk food.

NOW….the oils.  Look in your reference book (I always send one to my new members that get the Premium Starter kit) and see what oils you have that might help.  Peppermint, lemon, Thieves, lavender, Purification and Melaleuca are all very helpful and I would try them first.  If you don’t know how to apply, try on the throat, bottoms of your feet, definitely in your diffuser (it’s a great way for everyone in the family to get the benefits!) and you can also try mixing a few drops in 1/4 c Epsom salt and add that to a warm bath, then soak in it.

The trick here is to keep using them.  Once will probably not be enough.  Keep the diffuser going (you can put more than one oil in your diffuser) and apply them several times a day.   Also, I dilute everything for my kids.  Here’s a post where I share how I do that.

What’s so cool is you will likely feel uplifted or strengthened without a jolt and it’s so simple.  I recommend setting them out where they are right in front of you instead of tucking them in a drawer. This is what my bathroom counter looked like for a few days the last time I felt like I needed some extra energy for a few days….

Using oils to help when you get sick!

Situation 2: OK, what if it’s not that kind of issue you’re dealing with?  What if your son just can not sleep?!  (or you either for that matter!)  The oil in your kit that is so great for sleep and relaxation is….you know it….lavender!  Use it on the bottom of his feet, on his wrists, in a diffuser in his room.

Beyond the kit, I love Tranquil, RutaVala, Roman Chamomile and Valerian.  They would be my list of go-to oils for sleep.  And YL also has a great supplement called Sleep Essence that I have found to be very helpful!

Look, I know this is a lot of info and costly too….I am right there with you!  So take it slow.  The great thing is that so many of the oils are good for more than just one thing so you’re getting a lot for your money.  Valerian, for instance, not only helps with sleep, but is calming and grounding.

Years ago I had a friend whose father died suddenly.  I went to visit her a few days later and she was a mess.  She told me that she couldn’t shut her mind off and was feeling tortured by the grief.  Not to mention no sleep.  So I gave her some valerian and told her to use it several times a day on the bottom of her feet and behind her ears (no right or wrong really…just what I thought to tell her at the time).

Her husband called me the next day and profusely thanked me for giving her that.  He said she almost instantly felt calmer after using it and was able to make some hard decisions that she hadn’t felt clear about.  Then she slept.  Which made all of the difference.  I was so glad I had some to give her!

And lavender is amazing!  The last time I traveled I was so thankful I had my lavender with me.  I am a terrible sleeper when I travel and it helps so much!  Between the lavender, my ear plugs and favorite sleep mask I find I sleep well.  (my sleep mask looks like a little bikini top, but I love it because it doesn’t touch my eyes).

oils for sleeping while traveling

Situation 3: You just did some exercises and you need to give a little lovin’ to some muscles that you didn’t even know you had.  Or your husband played soccer with the kids and he had a little fall, like old men do.  PanAway is the oil in the kit that is so great for these issues.  Just grab it (or your diluted bottle of it) and rub it on.  Do it as often as you like.  I would keep the diluted oil right next to my chair and put it on whenever I felt the need.

I have a weak knee….an old football injury.  OK, fine, I never played football in my life.  I just fell down while walking one day.  No kidding.  Fall.  Splat.  Emergency room.  (welcome to my world)  Even though I got medical support, my knee was never the same after that and when I started exercising I was concerned that it would be a problem.  So each morning I rub diluted PanAway on that knee and I have been shocked that it has never bothered me.  I’m not kidding….it used to bother me from just walking across the room!

Outside the kit I love Valor, Helichrysum and Copaiba.  Again, these are all oils I use for lots of other things too!

Well, I hope this didn’t overwhelm you.  Just let the information soak in and come back and bookmark it or Pin it to read again.  You’ll get the hang of it.  That’s how I learned, just a little at a time.



If you’re ready to start using the oils and order your kit, you can click HERE and become a member.  It’s so easy and a great price for so much when you order the Premium Starter Kit.  And when you join through me and get the Premium Starter kit I will send you some extra goodies to help you, including a great book to help you figure out how to use them!

I am just a mom who uses these remedies for my family.  This is not meant to treat or diagnose.  If you have any questions, consult your health care practitioner.

Some Essential Oils You May Not Have Tried!

Some Essential Oils You May Not Have Tried!

Y’all know I love me some Young Living essential oils.  To me it’s a lifestyle choice.  We need help and support in our health and well being.

I use them to help us with attitude, stress, prayer, so many areas!

I start the diffuser each morning with oils that I feel led to use.  Sometimes it’s Thieves (if I want to support our immune systems) or Purification (if we’re needing a good airing out), but most often I use oils that encourage a healthy attitude.

Many of you have asked me, “Is it new age-ish to say that the oils affect your mood?”  To that I say definitely NOT!  When you smell the oils, the airborne molecules interact almost immediately with the brain and the limbic system.  The limbic system is directly connected to those parts of the brain that control heart rate, blood pressure, breathing, memory, stress levels, and hormone balance.  That explains a lot about how they affect your moods and responses.

If we’ve been struggling with attitudes, I love these two oils, Motivation and Harmony, in the diffuser.  I have it going in the living room so everyone can get the benefits.  That’s what is so great about the diffuser…the whole family reaps the benefits!

Great ideas for what essential oils to use to support a healthy home environment

Speaking of harmony….occasionallywe do struggle with getting along.  The younger boys especially tend to get fussy with each other.  So I grab some Humility and Forgiveness and rub it on the back of their necks.  Then we pray together and work on learning to love one another.

Great uses for essential oils in the home

Another important way we use the oils is with our homeschool.  I adore Brain Power and Motivation for diffusing during school.  If we really need that extra boost I will also put it on the bottom of their feet or on their wrists.

Oils you may not have tried before!

The last common way we use the oils that I want to share is specifically for the girls.  With this many women in the house, we need a way to get through those, you know, certain times.  So we lean on our two favorites, Dragon Time and Clary Sage.  We use it topically both on the bottoms of our feet and wherever we are dealing with a womanly issue (i.e. across the abdomen or lower back).

Some tips for using essential oils you might not have tried!


If you are interested in getting started with Young Living oils click HERE to sign up.    I am sending my favorite reference book and an extra goodies that changes every month or so!  My member # is already on the form (just in case, it’s 1386112).  Here’s a post where I share more about the oils in that kit.

10-Day Challenge!

10-Day Challenge!

I am all about being open with y’all, so here goes…..

I have totally gotten derailed with my diet.  It started with grief and dealing with a really hard situation.  Then, in the midst of that I’ve been working on a book so I have been sitting and feeling snacky, THEN we went to Disney World where and ate a lot of lemon ice and chocolate and when I got home I just didn’t seem to be able to muster the strength to care about eating well.

I have gained 7 pounds over the past 2 months.  But I do think some of it is just quick weight and will fall right off again.  But a few of those are hard knocks pounds that I need to work to get off.  In the meantime, I am spending the next 10 days with my head buried in my computer working on my book as the deadline looms.  So this is my plan…..

I am going to challenge myself to stay tightly on my diet plan for the next TEN DAYS.  No crazy, forever thing.  No telling myself I can’t do it or it doesn’t matter.  It’s just 10 days and then I will evaluate the plan and tweak as necessary.


Thankfully I haven’t fallen completely off the wagon, meaning I didn’t start back with soft drinks or fried foods or breads.  So I know I can, with some prayer and determination, get back on my program and have success.  I need a kick in the booty and I am hoping some of you will join me in this challenge!  Let’s do this together!

Here’s the challenge:

1. Make an eating plan and stick to it.
If you know you’re going to a Christmas party (I have several coming up) and want to indulge in the treats there, make a plan.  Say to yourself, “I can have half of a serving of ONE thing for only that night” instead of “I’ll let myself eat whatever I want that whole day and then start again on Monday”.

2. Stock up:
Buy everything you need to eat healthy for ten days.  I already stocked up on the foods that I need to be eating so I don’t have any excuses.  I can’t claim there was nothing else to eat and grab something unhealthy.  And I made sure the kids knew to NOT eat what I got for myself.  There’s nothing wrong with having “Mom-Only” food around.  I keep all of mine on a separate shelf so they know it’s been designated for my diet plan.

3. Keep the Goal in mind:
Don’t get off track by changing the goal in the middle of the challenge.  I will tend to think, “I don’t really care today and tomorrow I can get back to it,” then blow a day.  For the next ten days, don’t do that!

4. Find what motivates you:
Last week I saw a picture of myself from a year and a half ago….whoa!  I didn’t realize how much I had changed!  I took a screenshot and made it my phone wallpaper so I can see it every day.  I can’t believe how much my face has changed in that time and I never want to look or feel like that again.  Find something that will motivate you to stick with it.

5. Keep your perspective:
This is a short term challenge.  It’s not forever, you’re not going to die.  You can do anything for 10 days.

6. Exercise:
Find a way to move your body even if you have limitations.  While I will admit, I haven’t felt like it much, I have kept up with my morning workout.  I am determined to add some new music and a fun DVD to break up the monotony.  Make yourself a workout plan and do it!!!

So, who’s with me?!  Let’s give ourselves the gift of better health and energy for Christmas!!!

There is nothing like waking up and feeling good about who you are and the direction you are headed.  I started this 2 days ago (although I am still going to keep it up for the next 10 days) and already I am feeling more motivated and more like “myself” again…..the good myself not the overeating, depressed version.

You can comment here and tell me your plan or you can join my Facebook group for women trying to get healthy.  It’s not all about losing weight but taking good care of ourselves and respecting what God gave us.  To join the Facebook group you can send me a friend request….just look for “Lisa Pennington (The Pennington Point)” and let me know you’re sending me the request or I won’t know to accept and add you.  If you’re picky about who you are Facebook friends with you can send me your email address that’s attached to Facebook and I can add you that way.

Let’s Do This!!!!

Be sure to follow my page on Facebook too!