Life Updates

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In life we go through many seasons.

Although every journey is different one thing that remains true is that each season has its own ups and downs. For the past several weeks I’ve experienced some of the highest points I can remember, but they’ve been coupled with times of trial. I’ve started new personal projects that thrust me from my comfort zone, and unfortunately, it’s stolen my small supply of energy.

I’ve also been carrying around a weight on my shoulders. For the longest time I tried to ignore the issue because it seemed easier than dealing with it. I tried everything I could to distract myself. I used exercise as a distraction. I listened more and talked less. I used television to fill my free time so that I didn’t have to write. All of this because writing made me vulnerable. The words I write come from my heart, but my heart aches and I am afraid to let it bleed on the page.

Someone I love very dearly is sick. Actually two people. There. I said it.

Over the past seven months my family has been under attack. Cancer snuck its way into the bodies of two people I love very much. It hurts to watch them fight. It hurts to see the messages and to hear the news. It hurts that in a time when we all need one another, that the illness keeps us apart.

Nothing can prepare you for this road, and I feel so helpless. I like to be in control. I like having answers and knowing outcomes. Just like everyone, I like to pray and see results.

So please forgive my absence. Many people tell me how encouraging my posts are, but I have days when being positive doesn’t feel honest.

There are times I rejoice over good news. Recently there have been tears of joy as things seem to be turning around, but as I tread this rocky ground I’ve struggled to find my footing. I’ve tried to keep my eyes on Jesus, but there are days when my strength is weak.

One thing I am sure of despite the battle is that God is good. Just because situations stink and the skies seem cloudy doesn’t change the fact that I trust Him. I know His plans are good and I rely on His strength everyday. I pray for God to lead the doctors. I pray for God to bind up the wounds and heal the sick. I pray for blessings. I pray for miracles. I pray that good will come from all this pain.

Thanks for letting me be honest with you today. Sickness is an ugly thing that can destroy healthy people and spirits. Please join me in prayer for my family, and know that I am praying for you and yours as well.

The Ameri Brit Mom

 

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Five Minute Friday: Joy

This week the topic for the Five Minute Friday link-up post is Joy. What is a link-up? Essentially a link-up is when you join other bloggers and write on a similar topic. You share your blog posts with one another and begin conversations via a host site. You can head over to Kate Motaung’s page to check out other entries from inspired bloggers. Here’s my five minutes of uninterrupted, unedited writing on this week’s topic:

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“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.” (James 1:2-3)

It’s been a week. Not one of those overly productive, exciting, or joyful weeks. It’s been a week of falling behind, hearing bad news, hurting for people I care for, and hurting for myself. At times I’ve been tempted (and even given into) the notion of closing myself off from the rest of the world, shutting off social media, and refusing to face the issues at hand. To be honest, it was absolutely wonderful, that is until my reintroduction to reality when I had to face it all again.

I don’t know if you’ve had a week like me, but I’m sure several of you reading my post have struggled a bit this week. It doesn’t make it easier that everywhere you go you are reminded that this is the “Most Wonderful Time of the Year…”

We’re human and part of that gig is that sometimes we hurt. We get wounded and we have emotions that get triggered. The world can be a place full of hurt, but one thing this world will never be able to take away from us is our joy.

If you click my link to Kate’s page above it will take you to an inspirational Guest post for the link up written by a man named Andrew who is literally on his deathbed writing about having joy in all circumstances. My struggles are nothing compared to this man’s, yet he’s the one who seems to have his perspective aligned. I’m so thankful that he chose to point his readers to James 1:2-3 today.

Joy is all about our perspective. If we choose to wallow in our pain and suffering then our joy will be stolen faster than an unlocked Lamborghini with the keys left in the ignition. Joy is remembering that the fight is not ours. We don’t possess the powers to defeat this world on our own, but when we enlist the power of the Almighty God who formed this world in the palms of his hand then we have the power to conquer the world thousands of times over.

Each time that we face a struggle we should look at it as an opportunity to learn more and grow closer to God. Our attitude should be one that says, “I may not understand right now, God, but please show me why I am going through this and teach me to have joy despite this pain.”

“Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.”(Psalm 30:5)

The Ameri Brit Mom

I’m on the Mend

For over two weeks now at this point I have been battling some type of infection in my gall bladder. I’ve been exhausted at all times, not feeling like myself, and experiencing less than desirable symptoms most of the day. I am happy to say that my ultrasound relayed that things are getting better and I’m on the up and up. I have another test on Tuesday, but I am hopeful that it will be the end of the road for this illness.

I’m overjoyed to regain myself and my energy levels.

I’m not one to take selfies, but I decided since I was feeling better and I absolutely loved my Premier Jewelry set that I would do some classroom selfies yesterday. Enjoy the goofy pictures and be prepared to hear from me more often now that I have enough energy to think clearly enough to write. It’s been too long.

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The Essentials

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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.

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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?

The Man Flu

I vigorously disinfected. I ensured that I was the one touching and taking care of our two year-old daughter as she recovered from her recent illness. I quarantined the germs. All in hopes of not allowing my husband to contract the dreaded Man Flu. The preventative actions were all in vain. This morning I awoke to one helpless victim of the Man Flu.

Some of you may be asking what is this Man Flu illness? I’m not sure how this disease looks in your home, but in the Sisley house the Man Flu is comparable to Ebola. The symptoms are similar to that of the common cold, but beware the infected personnel of this disease may be experiencing near-death. Or so it would appear.

The Symptoms: inability to get out of bed/off the couch, insistance on another to provide food and beverages, fatigue, long naps, dramatic statements such as “I think I’m dying” or “My head may fall off”, low grade fever (at best), viewing five or more consecutive episodes of favorite shows on Netflix, and inability to complete expected chores and responsibilities.

Really, if your man exhibits any of these symptoms or looks like this…he may be in danger of contracting this illness:

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Treatment: the only real way to treat this disease is with compassion and sarcasm. Equal parts of both. Oh, and a gentle reminder for the patient of the pain and agony of child birth. (That’s a quick cure, but only works if the patient is in good spirits…I don’t recommend trying this treatment if your significant other doesn’t show signs of a sense of humor-or if you have not yet had children)

Man Flu is a joke in our house. My husband does not often become ill, but when he does…BEWARE. I think this time around he uttered the phrase, “I think I’m dying” a handful of times. He knows he is guilty of this and even refers to his illness with the same name. To be truthful he told me I should write today’s post about him and the Man Flu so this is not me bad mouthing my husband in any way. It is simply me making light of the fact that I have now spent the past week nursing to health both my daughter and my husband. (And it is not hard to guess which was the better patient)

So a note to mothers out there…BEWARE of the MAN FLU. The struggle is real.

In all seriousness I don’t mind the occasional Man Flu. It gives me the opportunity to serve my husband. I live to help my family and I enjoy the time spent slowing down and resting. However, after a week of being snowed in with both family members sick it may be driving me to insanity. While Sam rested with Arianna on the couch and they bonded over stuffy noses and drinks of water I cleaned my house to help extinguish the apparent germ infestation. I had a fairly productive afternoon and am ready to place a Doterra order to help prevent this family mayhem from occurring again. (I’ve kind of jumped on the Essential Oils bandwagon lately) I am thankful for my kick-butt immune system this time around and am looking forward to the start of a new work week tomorrow.

I will leave you with a photo I stopped to take while cleaning today to prove that little miss Arianna is on the up-and-up. Stay healthy, viewers, followers, and friends!

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