Faith, Uncategorized

Balance: Five Minute Friday

It’s a chilly Friday night in Ohio and I’m bundled up in my fluffy robe, fuzzy socks, and fleece blanket. This was one of those weeks that lingered beyond its welcome. Tuesday felt like Friday and each day thereafter was salt in the wound. I’m so glad to jump in on this Five Minute Friday because I’m in need of my community of writers tonight. I love plugging in and spending time in this group of encouragers. This week our prompt is Balance (how ironic!).

FMF-Square-Images-Round-4-2

Balance is one of those myths that we tell ourselves so that we believe that we will conquer chaos. Maybe I’m wrong and true balance does exist, but I feel like every time I take a step toward finding that perfect equation I get knocked off course. Part of me wants to believe that at some point I will realize that balance was there all along waiting for me to grasp. Another part of me is skeptical to its existence.

The problem is that I’m trying to balance way too many things.

Faith.

Family.

Friends.

Work.

Exercise.

Writing.

Etc…

The truth is that I cannot balance it all on my own. I go through seasons where I spend more energy in one area of my life than another. That’s the reality of balance. It’s an ever-changing concept. It’s a sliding scale. And the zen version of balance I’ve created in my mind is a pipe dream.

Balance is living each moment according to God’s plan. It’s listening to his direction and following his instruction.

Balance is saying “no” to myself and letting God take the lead. I’ll never achieve balance apart from Christ. Only He is both the Alpha and Omega.

He alone can make it work.

So for now I will rest in the knowledge that my life is in His hands. It isn’t up to me to find that balance. The only way I can overcome the chaos is through surrendering to God.

The Ameri Brit Mom

 

Health

The Essentials

FullSizeRender (6)

Over the past few months I have done some dabbling in the Essential Oil field. A great friend of mine that I met in our church small group encouraged me to educate myself on the benefits and remedies of using Essential Oils. She made my family a few roll on oil blends for helping soothe my daughter to sleep and ease anxiety in our home. Over time, we saw results in using these oils blends. Last week, she helped me to make my first OnGuard cleaner and I wiped down all the surfaces in my house following a pretty nasty illness that my daughter had procured.

Now, I am happy to say that I have bought into the necessities of Essential Oils and made my first real purchase (thanks to my friend and her generous mother). As I researched the needs of my family and matched up those needs to different oils and blends I created a wish list. My first oils are Lavender, OnGuard, and Balance.

Here are some of the benefits that SOLD me on the idea of replacing many pharmaceuticals and harsh chemicals with Essential Oils:

1. Cost- At first, this was my major deterrent in getting my oil collection going. As with anything there is a bit of start-up cost to begin to build up your supplies. However, research has shown me that each individual oil has multiple benefits and uses. This means that in many cases you can use one oil to treat multiple issues. (example: Lavender can be used for anxiety, allergies, depression, dry skin, exhaustion, fever, stress…etc.) So when it came to creating my list of “essentials” for my family I looked at the oils that would treat multiple needs. Also, when you figure the cost of some medications and/or doctor visits that can be minimized, or completely replaced, the oil cost in the long run is exponentially cheaper. Most oils run between $20-$30 if you have a membership with an Essential Oils company.

2. Safe and Organic– Essential oils are extracted from parts of plants and plants themselves. They have natural therapeutic qualities and can be used topically, aromatically, and in some cases internally. They are an organic and natural alternative to some harsh chemicals found in household cleaning, beauty, and skin products. Most oils are also safe for children and pets. I’ve found a lot of information from the book below to be helpful in figuring out how to best use each product.

FullSizeRender (5)

So how am I using my new Essential Oils?

OnGuard: I am using my OnGuard oil to fight bacteria and illness in my home. I put a couple of drops on my air filter. Not only does my house smell clean and fresh, but it also is diffusing the healthy benefits it offers throughout the home.

Lavender: I am using Lavender to combat the dry skin that accompanies winter in Ohio. I have been humidifying my house with water in multiple ways, but skin always seems dry and depleted this time of year. I’ve been taking our already non-toxic moisturizers and adding a drop of Lavender to the moisturizers before application. It adds an aromatic flare and additional dry skin healing. I also use Lavender to break down stress and tension attached to stress for both my husband and myself.

Balance: Both my husband and I battle with back pain regularly. My hope is that in using this oil regularly we can avoid trips to the chiropractor and alleviate other issues associated with back pain. I have applied this oil by massaging it onto trouble areas. Not only is it relaxing to receive a massage, but the aroma is wonderful as well.

Sleepy Time Blend: This is a blend given to me from my friend. It is in a roll-on bottle. I use this to help my family relax before bed time, especially on those nights when Arianna is fighting sleep. I usually apply this oil to the feet and cover with socks. Generally, Ari is out pretty quickly thereafter.

Anxiety Blend: This is another blend given to me from my friend. When I feel tense, and sometimes when I know that day may be particuarly long or stressful I use the roll-on bottle to apply the oil to my temples and gently massage it in.

I’m still fairly new to the Essential Oil scene, so I am in no place to make any calls on the accuracy of the oils, but I can say that what I have been introduced to has pleased me and my family. I will continue to purchase Essential Oils. My wish list contains several more oils and I look forward to getting to know more. I hope to plan a mixology date with some of my “girlfriends” to mix the oils and learn about new ways of use and application. I will keep you updated with anything I learn or find along my journey.

If you use Essential Oils please share some tips and ideas. If you don’t what’s holding you back?