The Summit is Like a Big Wad of Toilet Paper

The Summit is Like a Big Wad of Toilet Paper

The Summit….it’s like a big wad of toilet paper.

I mean that in the best kind of way!

Haven’t you been in a public restroom stall and you reach beneath the gray plastic holder hanging on the wall that’s supposed to contain a roll of toilet paper the diameter of an old 33LP (kids, that’s what we used to listen to music on before CDs or ipods were invented) only to discover that there is NO paper?!  There’s someone in the next stall so you tap-tap-tap on the wall and ask timidly, “Um, do you mind giving me some toilet paper?  There’s none over here.”

You hear the rattling of the roll rotating in the plastic holder and from under the divider comes her hand with 2 squares of tissue.  NOOOO!  I NEED MORE!!!!  But you just take it and do the best you can.

This is how so much of our interaction with others goes.  We are right there, next to each other, sharing space and time.  But our relationship is unsatisfactory.  “Hi, how are you?” “Fine, how are you?” “Fine.”  It’s two-squares, not sharing, not caring emptiness.

But then there’s that occasional time when, miraculously, from under the stall wall comes a giant wad of toilet paper so plentiful that you can probably leave enough extra for the next unfortunate soul who comes in.  Thanks to this stranger you have everything you need….she really understood and gave you all she could.

That’s what the Summit is like.  The women there give it all, love, joy, hurt, concern, sympathy, truth, grace.  The masks come off, we share our hearts, we are honest and open, we see each other and for the first time in a long time we feel understood.

Personally, I am terrible at chit chat.  I go to these big events or church or a party and I want to get in a corner with someone and dig into life and its messiness.  I want to laugh hard and cry the ugly cry and pray together and really, I mean really, care about each other.  But people don’t do that.  They hide.  We stay in our comfort zones and think we are safe.  But the truth is, it’s an illusion.  Let’s be real!  Let’s give grace!  I’ll share my toilet paper with you when you need it and make sure you have enough to give to someone else!

Ain’t nobody got time to drip dry.

OK, maybe this analogy is going a bit too far.

But I want you to really get a sense of what happens at the Summit so you will go next year and experience it for yourself!  We worship, we pray together, we let the walls down, we share our pain, we find healing, we get ready to go home changed.  Women last weekend testified that they had been able, for the first time, to let go of bitterness, confess secret sin, fall back in love with their husbands, feel equipped to mother their children, on and on each story humbled me over and over.

There’s a lot of laughing too.  I mean a lot!  In fact, my friends and I did a skit called, “Mrs. Homeschool Universe” and we took it to the extreme.  I can’t tell you the whole thing, but here we are finding out what the winner gets and when we heard that part of our prize was a whole week of uninterrupted showers we pretty much started to cry.

Those other 3 gals in the skit are the funniest people!  I had to keep from cracking up at their every word.

And they each are sharing on their blogs about their Summit experiences from last weekend.  Don’t miss their posts!  I’ll bet none of them even mention toilet paper, so they will be much more interesting.

Kris at Weird, Unsocialized Homeschooler shared her “Top 10 Experiences of the Homeschool Moms’ Winter Summit
Heather at Joyful Socks Mom gives her “Why Finding My Tribe at Winter Summit Makes All the Difference” (Heather’s site is down right now, so check back!)
Connie at Smockity Frocks is sharing about “Winter Summit 2016 ~ Homeschool Moms’ Retreat

I also got to have two of my daughters with me, which was a double blessing!  They came to help serve the moms and I was just so happy to spend some of this time with them!

Aren’t they gorgeous?  Yes, I am blessed.  (and they both have blogs, J. Grace Pennington and The Epic Place)

Next year the Summit will be in Oklahoma Jan 20-21 and in Texas Feb 3-4.  Go register NOW!  You’ll get the best prices AND you can just put it on the calendar and start inviting your friends.  Like one gal told us all during a time of sharing, “I will never miss the Summit again if I can help it.”  She already registered for next year.  What’s stopping YOU?!

And be sure to book your room!  This year the hotel filled up and some of the gals had to stay at a different hotel.  The price is great, the rooms are all suites with plenty of space for at least 3 ladies and that keeps the cost low.

If you have a Summit story to share, hop over to my Facebook page and spread the news!

Do NOT Miss This!

Do NOT Miss This!

The one thing I look most forward to all year is coming up in a few weeks!  The Homeschool Moms’ Winter Summit is everything I need to refill my tank, my worn out mom tank.

I am talking about hundreds of other women in the same place you are….tired, needing encouragement, many in struggling marriages and with hopelessness.  Even though I am a total introvert, I love this event and wouldn’t miss it unless God dropped a 2 ton steel beam in my driveway so I couldn’t get out.  And if it helps, there are lots of prizes all weekend.

The first time I went a few years ago in Oklahoma I was not sure what I was getting into.  I had been invited and decided to check it out.  It was a long drive, 8 hours, but I felt it was something I should do.  I can’t tell you why now….it was instinct.  And the first night I was like, “What IS this thing?!”  There were women from all walks of life, some dressed up, some dressed down, some in heels and others in denim jumpers with sneakers.  There was a sense of excitement and peace at the same time.

Then one by one onstage women in costume marched across being described by the announcer, there was Debbie Drowning and Peggy Perfect and Sara Sporty and Helen Hanging-On.  They were funny, but tapped into deep issues we all face as moms.  After that there was worship and I was hooked.  Women being real, speakers encouraging us, praise and laughter?!?!  SIGN ME UP!

It was that same year I grabbed the founder and told her I had to be a part of this.  I wanted to bring it to Texas and do whatever I could to help.  And here we are now about to host the third Summit in Texas!!!  Hallelujah, isn’t God amazing?!?!

This year we are doing a few new things, including a blogger dinner and time of fellowship.  Connie from Smockity Frocks, Kris from Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers and I will all be there.  We want to meet you and spend time ministering to each other.  You can sign up for the dinner when you register. (the blogger dinner is only in Texas, but I will also be at the Oklahoma event!)

And at the Texas Summit we will also be doing a panel answering your questions.  Are you struggling with something?  Do you wonder how other moms do it all?  Have you reached the end of your rope?  Well, bring on the questions and we will do our best to answer them and let you know you’re not alone.  You can head over to my Facebook page and leave a question there.  We will answer some of your questions here too, so if you can’t come to the Summit, please go ahead and ask anything.

I hope you will consider attending the Summit.  I’d love to see you at either one, but the Texas Summit is near to my heart and I am hoping to bring a bunch of you with me!  And don’t tell me it’s too far because I drive 8 hours each year to go to the one in Oklahoma and I would fly anywhere in the USA to be there.

If you are worried because you don’t know anyone else going then I have a couple of solutions for you.  First, bring a friend (or 2 or 3)!  This is a great girlfriend trip.  Share a room and ride together and have a grand adventure!  Or, if that doesn’t work out you can consider me your friend to hang around with.  Even though I will be moving around a lot, I will make sure you meet some of the other amazing women there and help plug you in.

I have a $10 off code you can use, so be sure you plug that in when you register!  It’s PENNINGTON10

Here is my recap of the 2014 Summit.  You really don’t want to miss this.

Come join us!  January 22-23 in Oklahoma and February 5-6 in TEXAS!!!

 

Have You Finished Your Shopping Yet?

Have You Finished Your Shopping Yet?

The race is on to get Christmas shopping finished up in time to actually enjoy the festivities.  I am down to a few gifts in my Amazon cart…OK 26.  Yes, I have 26 items sitting there while I decide if I want to buy them.  I know I don’t want ALL of them, so I keep sifting through and culling more until I have that perfect stocking for each person.

Last night I sorted through what I already have for my stocking gifts once again, evaluating and making lists of what I need to finish up.  With so many stockings to fill, I have to keep it organized.  I have 5 large elfa mesh baskets in my closet designated for stockings.  These baskets are intended to be used as drawers, but I just set them on the shelf and they are perfect.  I labeled them last week while my friend Becky was here.  I used chalkboard tags from my etsy shop and Chalk Ink markers to put the names on the baskets using wire.  It’s 2 people per basket and I toss the stocking items into the baskets as I buy them.

That makes it easier to keep up with, but I still have to look through it all repeatedly and keep a list on my phone of who I still need a few things for.  I can’t seem to hold that info in my brain anymore.

As I was I looking through it all again (which means using the step ladder to pull each basket out to see what’s in there) I think I can officially say that I am down to needing just a few small things.

Which leads me back to my Amazon list.  That’s the way to go…..no parking lots to drive around in circles looking for a spot to park or inside the store to wait for the world’s slowest cashier, wondering if you should change lines, but you never do, you just stand there.

Yesterday I went into Walmart to pick up a few groceries.  I am a big fan of the self-checkout, no matter how much I am buying.  I like to bag the items myself and watch the prices carefully.  But I was buying gift cards and I wasn’t sure if you could do those in the self-checkout, so I begrudgingly went to a cashier to pay for my things.  It was like torture.  She was slow and careless and uninterested in her job.  I watched her try to scan one of the gift cards over and over and it wasn’t working.  If I am ever captured and someone wants to extract valuable information from me, all they will have to do is threaten to make me go through the checkout at Walmart and I will spill everything I know.

In order to avoid ever doing it again, I thought I would ask the checker if I could buy gift cards in the self-checkout, you know, ‘cuz silly me thought she would know the answer.  But when I asked she literally froze and just stared at me.  No response, no blinking, just staring.  It was like a comedy routine complete with a raspy voiced customer in line behind me yelling, “Hurry up already!”

I couldn’t help but giggle, which really made the scene complete.  I’m laughing, she’s staring blankly and the woman in line behind me is pounding on the conveyer belt telling us to move faster.  The checker finally mumbled something unintelligible and I didn’t press her to clarify.  I just made a metal note to get my gift cards somewhere else.  I will drive to Siberia next time if that is what is necessary to avoid that episode again.  And you can’t drive to Siberia.  At least not from Texas.

I think I will just go ahead and order my last few items from Amazon and be done with it.  There’s really no need to drag this out any longer.  If I get any more crazy ideas to give gift cards I can just give the person money instead because basically a gift card takes money you can spend anywhere and turns it into money you can only spend in one place.

Then I will be finished, although I always have that feeling that I am missing something.  Inevitably, no matter how hard I try, I bring all of the stocking stuff out on Christmas Eve to discover there’s at least one child who has next to nothing and I send James to the grocery store to get whatever he can find.  This is how, many years ago, we ended up giving one of the boys a plastic, fur covered cat that had some kind of battery operated breathing mechanism and when you petted it, its stomach moved up and down like it was taking long, deep breaths.  It was the weirdest thing you ever saw and in a bizarre twist became that child’s favorite Christmas gift of all time.

Thankfully, since we  are only doing stockings for the kids this year, I don’t have to wrap anything.  But if I did I would follow my friend Sara’s tips because she is the gift wrap BOSS!  I will be adding big bows to a few things that don’t quite fit in the stockings (Shhhhh!!!  Do not tell James because that is against the “stocking rules”), but that’s it when it comes to wrapping for me.  2015 will go down as the year I didn’t throw my back out trying to wrap the gifts.

So, how’s your week looking?  Are you finished with your Christmas shopping?  I’d love to hear about you and what you do the last few days before Christmas.  Hop over to Facebook and join in the conversation!

Have a festive week!

 

Sometimes I Fall Asleep at Target?

Sometimes I Fall Asleep at Target?

Last weekend my friend Becky from Organizing Made Fun came for a visit.  I just LOVE getting to see friends who are like-minded and we can have great conversations and challenge each other.  When I say we are like-minded, I don’t mean we agree on everything.  I mean we agree that the Bible is our guide for life and we can have fruitful conversations that will encourage us both to seek God and not the world.

There’s too much of that these days…. people seeking the world.  Man, oh man, it’s like the planet has shifted on its axis and we all got shook crazy.  I mean, the bashing and hating and being SO willing to criticize other people (almost always without the benefit of hearing their side of a situation) is pure cuckoo.

I can’t even watch the news.  It’s just glorified gossip and slander.

But now it’s Christmas time, so there’s a teeny reprise from the ugliness.  Wouldn’t it be awesome if we could be this nice all year ’round?  Although here in Texas it’s just too hot in the summer to be nice.  The cooler temps help.  A lot.

I am wrapping up my shopping this week and I will be so, so glad to have that finished.  In the past I shop all year for sales and I am finished before Thanksgiving.  But this year I did ZIP-NADA and now I am paying for it.  Literally.  The sales are OK, but when you’re forced to get it now and you’re too tired to go digging for a better deal, it’ll cost ya.

I was so tired yesterday that I fell asleep in a rocking chair in the baby section of Target.  I sat down in a very cozy seat for a sec to look over my list.  With this many stockings to fill, I have a hard time shopping for everyone at once, so I have to divide it into groups of 2 people and just think about those when I walk around.  After I’ve found what I can for them, I go back to my list and head all around the store again with a couple of others in mind.  In between rounds I check and see what I need next.  It’s a complicated and lengthy, but effective system.

In Target there are some very comfy chairs for, I assume, new moms since they’re where they sell diapers and car seats.  These chairs are so snuggly that I like to go sit there and check my phone.  So yesterday I laid my head back for a sec and wham…. next thing I knew I snorted and jerked awake.  It was probably only a few seconds, but long enough for me to have what felt like a sweet dream about Chris Hemsworth.

target01

Speaking of Chris, his new movie coming out about a whale attacking him and him getting lost at sea, etc.  Yeah, I have no desire to see that.  Chris is just too pretty to be killed by a whale.

When I woke up in Target I decided to stand up before someone noticed me sleeping and stole my purse or worse…. took a video of me snoring.  Can’t you see it being shared all around by the haters?  I’ll just end the suspense and tell you upfront, it’s not pretty.

Tomorrow begins the task of me taking the kids out to get their Christmas shopping done.  This is the dreaded portion of the season.  They have better taste than their wallets allow and I am constantly tempted to offer to pay for some of their purchases, which my husband is not a fan of.  I know, I know.  They should stick to their budget and no one really cares what the kids buy them and it is a better lesson for them to get what they can afford than me jumping in and giving them money.  But they’re so adorable with those puppy dog eyes trying to find the perfect thing for their big sister.  I can’t stand it.

Our level of activity right now is much more than I like and certainly more than my sleep patterns prefer.  I’m up really early most mornings with errands to run and out every night to church events, parties or get-togethers.  I think I will be home 2 out of the next 9 evenings.

No wonder I am falling asleep at the store.  When else am I gonna get any rest?!

Have a festive week!

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 - TheSoulSpa.net

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.

loewshotels.com/royal-pacific-resort/

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…..do 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.

zombie02

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!

direct02

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.

laundy01

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!