I was the one whose cup needed to be filled today. We had our monthly ladies gathering and usually I'm most comfortable in the hostess role, serving others, filling others cups. Today I didn't feel up to it. I couldn't really put my finger on it. I even hesitated on committing to the date for weeks and couldn't figure out why it was so hard for me to just settle on a date which usually takes only a few minutes to pick.
After sort of floating through the day, I got home I realized that it's the anniversary of when I got diagnosed with Crohn's disease. The body remembers even when the thinking brain doesn't. That was a tough day, a tough procedure, pain and starving for weeks, and ultimately getting really hard news.
It's been 4 years. I've done a LOT of emotional work to process so much of what led to my disease and the effects the disease had on my family. I am in a really good place. But trauma and painful memories are like layers of an onion. You can heal and then another layer becomes exposed to teach you something new.
To be raw with you for a second, the theme emerging from this layer of healing is vulnerability and openness to receive. I've always aimed to be self-sufficient, never needing help, never inconveniencing anyone, never appearing weak. That's a huge factor of what got me so deep into the sickness to begin with.
The Lord has been revealing this to me over the past few weeks that it's time to start allowing people in and not being so hard of heart towards receiving love and help from others. It seems like literally every time I've been in mass over the last few weeks they sing The Servant Song. It brings me to tears every time I hear it and I know the Holy Spirit is working hard on me right now. The kicker of the song is not only about serving others, but "Pray that I might have the grace to let you be my servant too."
That day there was an angel nurse who spoke so much life into me. I was crying about my diagnosis (only about 15 minutes out of anesthesia, which is also such a cruel time to be given such news!) I have no idea what she said, but she gave me apple juice and she poured light all over the darkness that I was fighting. She was right, whatever she said. I survived it all and I am feeling amazing and I am healed. I claim that healing. I also claim the healing that is still happening today and tomorrow and every single day within me, my family, and right now with my willingness to show others that I need them and I can't keep trying to have it all together all the time.
I write as part of my healing. When I sat down I thought this post was going to be about forgiveness. Forgiving myself for the pain that we all went through. Allowing my body to forgive. Finding peace. But this lesson that's been knocking at my door for the past month just seemed to emerge as I sat at the keyboard. The Holy Spirit is so amazing and literally pursues you with loving hugs and signs and encouragement while carrying you through the next transformation -- if you're open to it. It feels so insane sometimes how personalized the messages can feel and how they can just come out of nowhere. This is life in the Holy Spirit and I love every second of it.
Do you know the children’s story “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie”? It’s such a masterful circle story that starts and ends…with a cookie! Our lives are full of circle stories and scenarios where one choice leads to a result which leads…in a circle (and let’s say the cookie represents our well-being!). Healthy sleep and a healthy body go hand-in-hand. One thing leads to another. Conversely, lack of adequate rest can make a big impact on our overall health and wellness.
There are many scenarios that make sleep disregulation wreak havoc on our well being. The first comes from self-sabotage. You know, leaning on a venti latte to get going, for instance, or snatching a late-night snack just because you’re awake. Perhaps it’s skipping the gym because you’re just too tired. These scenarios can become vicious cycles that sabotage your systems and lead further down the path of wellness breakdown.
Unhealthy choices breed unhealthy habits. Too little sleep translates to disregulation of vital whole body repair and toxin flush that occurs in a normal sleep cycle. A rested body helps lead to a properly functioning body.
A sleepy brain is inefficient and dull. Insomnia may cause a person to make poor decisions and to have poor impulse control. One can also crave junk food when over tired. Sleep is to the brain as nutrition is to the body.
The stress hormone, cortisol, spikes up on too little sleep, causing a body to keep hold of, or hoard, fat.
Adequate sleep sets up your body for your day - gives you a better perspective to face what’s in front of you. Allows you to have the energy stores you need to get your move on - which in turn returns your cycle to again get good rest for the night. It’s a beautiful circle story!
When you have inadequate sleep, you are setting your metabolic system up for being as groggy as you are! In sleep debt, your grumpy fat cells, instead of carrying fatty acids and lipids from the blood stream, do just the opposite, allowing excess insulin to have it’s heyday. Fat gets stored in all the wrong places, like liver tissue. Dare I say this is a sad circle story?
Too much sugar, causing blood sugar imbalance, in turn causes wakefulness and restlessness. Too much screen time negatively affects the body’s ability to regulate a quieted system. Caffeine on board ramps one up. All of these can stir up adrenal fatigue and imbalance
How can we make sleep a priority and set our systems up to work more optimally? It only takes a quick search through the very reliable anecdotal testimonials in oil chat groups to produce a myriad of helpful options. There are a whole host of Young Living products used to support our bodies to have the best rest. Here I’ve compiled a list from one such search. Don’t let the list overwhelm you, or get bogged down with the details. Just quickly scroll through to get a sense for the fact that many oils and products can help with one & many things!
What did you do to get your best nights sleep? Here is a compilation of answers:
* 2 valor, 1 cedar wood in diffuser + 2 valor on spine
* Cedarwood, lavender and peace & calming
* Diffuse lavender
* Rutavala or cedarwood, vetiver and lavender
* Lavender under big toes + valor on ears and toes
* Nutmeg and lavender on wrists
* Valor, lavender and cedarwood on big toes, tranquil on forearms and temples
* Lavender and cedarwood, lavender bath gel in shower and Ylang Ylang
* Diffuse lavender, cedar wood and stress away + roller of lavender, patchouli, vetiver, valor and stress away used on wrists and under big toes
* Peace and calming on feet + vetiver on big toe
* Diffuse lavender, valor and vetiver
* Vetiver on big toes and behind ears, diffuse sleepyize
* Stress away, cedarwood and vetiver in diffuser
* Cedarwood and tangerine on feet
* Lavender, cedar wood and marjoram - 2 each, diffused
* Rutavala + diffuse lavender, cedar wood, stress away, yang yang and clary sage
* Tranquil roll-on
* Tangerine and valor on feet
* “I can’t do lavender for anything sleep”…try cedarwood, valor, bergamot, diffused + cedarwood on big toes
* Tranquil or white Angelica on brainstem, wrists and behind ears, + diffuse: sacred mountain or peace and calming
* Tranquil and lavender lotion
* Valor and cedarwood, topically
* Valor, vetiver and peace and calming with carrier on bottom of feet
* Cedarwood across forehead
* Frankincense and sacred mountain in diffuser
* Cedarwood/sacred mountain or lavender/Northern Lights black spruce diffused + cedarwood on bottom of toes
* Cedarwood and geranium diffused
* Lavender and vetiver in spray bottle with water - spray on pillow
* Tranquil, gentle baby, norther lights black spruce, aroma life
* Diffuse: roman chamomile and lavender
* Vetiver, frankincense, lavender and cedarwood
* Lavender, cedarwood and stress away
* Northern lights black spruce and orange
* Vetiver on wrists and behind ears
* Sacred mountain and tangerine
* Peace and calming and lavender and tangerine
* Clove and orange
* 2 sacred mountain + 5 orange in diffuser
* Mix equal parts and use neat (25 drops or so each): stress away, lavender, cedarwood, valor, frank - over heart, back of neck, big toes, under/behind ears, wrists, under nose
* Dream catcher
* Peace & Calming and lavender in diffuser + tranquil on spine and bottom of feet
* Peace and calming
* 3 valor and 2 lavender
* Vetiver, cedarwood and bergamot in roller with carrier
* Release and forgiveness
* Layer stress away, vetiver, rutavala or peace & calming, valor and rutavala
* “Sweet dreams” roller, applied behind ears and on big toes: 10 drops each of lavender, valor, cedarwood, orange, vetiver, frankincense and ylang yang
* “Sweet sleep” roller: 20 lavender + 7 vetiver
* Diffuse: 4 cedarwood and 4 white Angelica
* Sleep Essence
* Thyromin and Tranquil roll-on
Note the variations. Diffusing, applying topically, ingesting - the options vary and are as unique as the people recommending. The oils are as versatile as people are. Everyone is unique and different. We can all use different oils and get along, haha!! Really…what works for one may not work for another, but there is something that will work for you. You may just need to go through the process to find your ideal option. The promise lies in the fact that there is a YL oil or supplement (or combination) that will work to bring balance to your rest needs.
You see there are commonalities throughout this list. Lavender and cedarwood come up A LOT. Those may be good starting points for a newcomer to this process. There are many differences, too. Who knew bergamot could help support sleep, and how did she discover that combined with vetiver and cedarwood in the diffuser could send one to lalaland? As Dr. Jim Bob Haggerton says, “Everybody’s body is different”. I didn’t even see Cortistop on the comments. I saw a major improvement in the quality of my sleep after doing the recommended 2 months of Cortistop supplement. And I love to diffuse Sacred Mountain, Stress Away and Pine at bedtime which also aren't in the list!
There are many things that can lead to poor sleep patterns. As you pinpoint your own unique needs you can hone in on the best support for those needs.
As you get your sleep regulated you can better your circle story: get the right amount of sleep for your body and you will be better set up for whole-body wellness. If you are in wellness, you can think better, move better, and make healthier choices. And the cycle continues! You are writing your circle story to raise your wellness level, and that is way better than giving a mouse a cookie!
There are so many fun things you can do with essential oils, and Fall makes it even more fun! Create fall-themed body-care items with these DIY recipes and enjoy the scents of the season while they benefit your wellness as well! I use Young Living Essential oils because they are pure, undiluted and safe. The high quality of the oils gives therapeutic effects to me when I use them on and around my body which is a much-preferred alternative to harsh chemicals in conventional beauty and air-freshening products.
Check out the fun fall food recipes too!
Fall is a great time for all the yummy things! You can do a lot of fun flavoring naturally with essential oils. Now, I wouldn't ingest just any brand of essential oils, but I trust Young Living, which has a Vitality line of essential oils that are safe for ingestion and do not have any other additives in the bottle, making it safe to take internally. Essential oils can give a powerful flavor and add to your wellness at this festive time of year! Check out these fun and easy fall recipes!
Yield – 8 mini loaves (6 inch by 3 inch)
Preparation Time – 10 minutes
Cooking Time – 43 minutes
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 3/4 cups sugar
1/2 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
1 (15 oz) can pumpkin puree, not flavored pie filling
4 large eggs
1/3 cup water
1 cup plain yogurt
2 drops Cinnamon Bark Vitality essential oil
1 drop Clove Vitality essential oil
2 drops Nutmeg essential oil
1 drop Ginger Vitality essential oil
4 drops Lemon Vitality essential oil
Heat oven to 325 degrees. Spray pans with non-stick cooking spray.
In a small bowl, combine flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, and sugar. Stir and set aside.
In a mixing bowl, combine the coconut oil, butter, pumpkin puree, eggs, water, yogurt, and all essential oils.
Blend until combined.
With the mixer on low, slowly add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Scrape the sides often to make sure all the ingredients get blended in.
When they’re combined, switch mixer to medium and blend for two minutes on medium until the mixture is light and fluffy.
Divide the batter evenly among the loaf pans.
Place the filled mini pans on a large cookie sheet to make it easier to transfer them to and from the oven.
Bake for 43 – 48 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean from the middle of the bread.
DIY Thieves Caramel Apples Favors!
1 cup of sugar
1 cup of brown sugar
1 cup of corn syrup
1 (14 oz) can of sweetened condensed milk
1 stick of butter
10 drops of Thieves essential oil
8 to 10 apples
Add your sugar, brown sugar, corn syrup, sweetened condensed milk, and butter to a medium-low heated pot.
Stir to prevent burning on the bottom of the pot.
Once your caramel has reached 225 degrees.
Let the caramel cool for 5 minutes.
Add in the 10 drops of Thieves essential oils.
Cleaning your apples. If you haven’t tried the Thieves fruit and veggie wash, this could be a perfect time to try it.
Push a popsicle stick or lollipop stick in the middle of your apples.
Dip your apples in the caramel.
Place on parchment paper and place in fridge.
Once the apples are cooled, you can drizzle chocolate, nuts, or whatever you want on top. I wrap the apples in a clear bag and use them as party favors. I have also cut the apples into slices or balls with a melon baller and dipped them in the caramel sauce. I use the leftover caramel sauce on just about everything.
Taking kids to church is hard.
Taking a sensory-sensitive kid to church is no exception. The music and echoes are just so overwhelming. Not to mention the big statues and crowd of people. We had tried the family room -- the speaker was louder than the main area! It was crowded and messy and not comfortable. So we resigned ourselves to limiting his attendance to the main holidays when we HAD to go as a family, but hubby had to go out with him almost right away. We were anxious parents. No one wants to make a scene in church. It was just a hard situation.
I confess-- it was a battle I had stopped fighting. For the sake of our family sanity, I have been just going by myself. It was just less stressful that way. I need church to fill me up for the week and a whole ordeal with an overwhelmed child was not cup-filling. I just tried to bring enough grace home each week for the whole family.
A visiting family member recently asked why I don't take him with me. "It's complicated," I said.
But I know that was a prompting. I had even recently given encouragement to another person in a similar situation about bringing their special-needs child to church. It is funny how sometimes we resist taking our own advice even if we hand it out so easily.
I used to go to church and sit with my Grandma. Some of the most tender memories I have of my grandma were from sitting next to her holding her hand in church. She'd give me a piece of candy -- Werther's -- during the sermon which I thought was so special, but realize now was so I would stay quiet, lol. At this past Sunday's mass I witnessed a young girl and her Grandma and memories came flooding back to me. The closing hymn was also her favorite hymn. Another prompting.
Last night there was an evening healing mass and I am so in awe of that and I wanted to be there. It was at a time of day where I wouldn't easily be able to do a handoff to hubby to watch my son and I felt called to try anyway.
He did so great being quiet. Since it was the "daily mass" format, there was no singing and he commented that he was okay with it because there was no singing. When the priest sang the Alleluia he said "when will he be done singing?" lol. He had an iPad and sat on my lap and kept himself as calm as he could which I know was a gift from God. He was starting to get restless after the homily and I said "this is the important part coming up: when they turn that bread and wine into Jesus" You guys! You should have seen the wonder in his eyes. He sure did pay attention. And when they rang the bells I told him, "It's becoming Jesus." He focused right in on that trying to get that wonderful mystery figured out, along with the rest of us. ❤️
He started getting wiggly; there's a lot of up and down and crowd responses during this point in the Mass. Then we started the Lord's prayer and I just watched this peace come over him as he began to recognize the familiar words and he beamed as he told me "Mama this is OUR prayer!"
We were probably disruptive with our whispering and his game music (which we negotiated to keep at level 1 so he could still hear it). He didn't sit perfectly and politely next to me and rise and fall with the motions of the crowd the way I see other 5 year-olds do in Sunday Mass. It was not perfect from the outside, but to me, it was perfect. He received the wonder and grace and joy of the presence of the Eucharist--probably to a greater extent that night than most of the parishioners who habitually do the motions. He gained confidence in his ability to handle an unfamiliar and uncomfortable situation. And so did I.
Not sure if you're the same as me but I get caught thinking it has to be a certain way. That people think something about me. That if I can't do it the RIGHT WAY, then I should be ashamed, or that I shouldn't try because we don't fit.
But the truth is, Jesus is for everyone. I know this but sometimes I get tricked into not believing that to be true for my circumstances. The readings yesterday and today happen to be about children, the faith of a child. Of course they were! Because Jesus wanted us there! He wanted us to receive the gifts that He had waiting for us last night.
There is no shame in bringing children to church. It is hard, no matter what, but it is so good. It is so important. I have a renewed courage to make this a priority. It's definitely not Jesus who makes us feel shame or embarrassment or fear about our children's behavior in church-- it is the enemy. Even though I know the scriptures and know that we will receive grace, it can just feel so heavy and hard to fight that spiritual battle. But He makes a way for us if we seek it. I am so grateful that way was made for us last night and that I could tell you about it so that I may encourage others of you who can identify with this. Tuesday night mass might just be our new routine. See you there?
I'm Lisa Yau, thanks for stopping by!