ESSENTIAL OILS FOR A NEW YEAR

New Year’s Resolutions, do you make them or not?  I suspect we all make some mental resolutions, whether we call them that or not.  But making a mental resolution usually doesn’t produce results.  No matter what your goals for 2018, I encourage you to do some things to make it more likely you’ll achieve them.

  1. Write down your goals. A dream without a plan is just a wish. Fail to plan, plan to fail.   We’ve all heard these quotes/proverbs, and they are ubiquitous on the web at this time of year. But they are true.  People who write down their goals are 80% more likely to achieve them.
  2. Make them specific and measurable. Don’t just say I’m going to exercise more.  Say, I will exercise 3 days a week on Monday, Wednesdays, and Fridays at 4:00 p.m. for 30 minutes each time.  Then, WRITE IT ON YOUR CALENDAR as a non-negotiable.
  3. Share your goals with someone. We all need to be held accountable.  If we never tell anyone our goals, then we can easily make excuses when we don’t work on them or don’t achieve them.  If you can share them with one or two specific people who will be your accountability partners, that’s even better.
  4. Stay positive. Negative self-talk will defeat you.  There is power in words, so keep your words positive.  Say, “I will achieve this goal,” not “I don’t know if I can do it, but I’ll try.”  Doesn’t that bring to mind another saying. . . “Do. Or do not. There is no try.”  (Yoda)
  5. Choose #onelittleword – Once you have written down your 2018 goals, see if you can find commonality. And then choose One Little Word.  Use one little word as a way to encapsulate all your goals and keep them in the forefront of your mind.
  6. OIL UP! Essential oils definitely affect your mood, emotions, energy, and overall wellness.  Use them as tools to help you accomplish your goals.  Did you know Young Living has a number of blends to assist you in accomplishing your goals and achieving your dreams?

Here are 11 Young Living essential oil blends to help promote your energy and support your endeavors.  Which one(s) will you choose? Use these oils in your diffuser or rub a drop on your hands and then inhale.

BELIEVE contains Idaho Blue Spruce, Idaho Balsam Fir, Frankincense, and other essential oils that may encourage feelings of strength and faith when used aromatically. Use this oil as you make positive self-affirming statements.

MOTIVATION BLEND -The powerful scent of Motivation (Roman chamomile, Black spruce, Ylang ylang, Lavender may promote feelings of action and accomplishment when diffused. Use this oil on those days when you are having trouble getting started.

BUILD YOUR DREAM – Combining essential oils chosen by D. Gary Young for their connections to our history, Build Your Dream™ empowers and clarifies to help you find the way to achieve your dreams when used aromatically. Use this oil when you are brainstorming!

AWAKEN is a blend of five other blends. Expertly formulated to help you become aware of limitless potential when used aromatically, Awaken is the first step toward making positive life changes. Use this oil to help you overcome feelings of discouragement and keep you on track.

ENVISION contains scents that stimulate feelings of creativity and resourcefulness, encouraging renewed faith in the future and the strength necessary to achieve your dreams. Diffuse this essential blend while working on your VISION board.

HIGHEST POTENTIAL harnesses the uplifting and inspiring power of Blue Cypress and other pure essential oil scents. Apply this oil as a perfume or diffuse it daily in your office to help you accomplish all you desire for the day.

INSPIRATION is a blend of pure essential oils that were traditionally used by native people of Arabia, India, and North America for enhancing spirituality and meditation.  Apply this oil during quiet times of prayer, meditation, or relaxation.

MAGNIFY YOUR PURPOSE The aroma of our Magnify Your Purpose™ essential oil blend stimulates creativity, desire, focus, and motivation, encouraging you to seize initiative when used aromatically. Choose this oil when brainstorming, meeting with colleagues, or starting a new project!

INTO THE FUTURE  is an inspirational blend of essential oils that creates an invigorating aromatic companion as you look toward your life’s goals and dreams.

FULFILL YOUR DESTINY Sweet, fresh, and spicy, Young Living’s Fulfill Your Destiny™ blend encompasses the complex and beautiful journey that leads to achieving your goals and highest potential. With nine carefully selected essential oils—Tangerine, Frankincense, Nutmeg, Cassia, Cardamom, Clary Sage, Black Pepper, Idaho Blue Spruce, and Neroli—this proprietary blend will help you create an atmosphere of focus and clarity no matter where your path to fulfilling your destiny takes you.

BRAIN POWER is a blend of essential oils high in sesquiterpenes—like Royal Hawaiian Sandalwood, Blue Cypress, and Frankincense—to promote a sense of clarity and focus when used aromatically.

Whatever your New Year’s goals and dreams, take some time out to create some steps to make those dreams come true.

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Beginning the Search for Gluten-Free Pumpkin Bread

Today, I tried two gluten-free recipes for pumpkin bread.

The first one was from Dr. Axe. The only thing I changed in this recipe was I substituted safflower oil for the melted coconut oil.  I didn’t want my pumpkin bread to have a coconut taste.  Since it already had a bit of coconut flour, I opted to use something else for coconut oil.  I didn’t substitute another kind of flour for the coconut flour because the reading I have done suggests you need at least some of that for texture. I used 3 eggs, and I omitted the pumpkin spice.

When you mix this together, it is a very heavy/dense liquid, not like my typical recipe.

The good:

  • It doesn’t taste “gluten-free”
  • The loaf is solid and baked evenly
  • It was easy to make
  • It came out of the pan easily after about 10 minutes. (I sprayed with PAM.)

The less than good:

  • It was slightly overdone. I baked it at 350 for 45 minutes. (I used Pampered Chef stoneware loaf pans.) I think I could have baked it less than the 45 minutes at a lower temperature (325,) but that could just be my oven.  Every oven is different.  I will try 50 minutes at 325 next time I make it.
  • With only ¼ cup of maple syrup for flavoring, this bread is less sweet than I am used to. While that might be good for my diet, I think I would prefer it a little sweeter.  I’m not sure how that would affect the consistency.  It requires experimentation. I might try ½ cup of brown sugar or ¼ maple syrup with ¼ brown sugar.  I like mixing sugars.

The second recipe is from Sweet Phi.

The good:

  • It tastes good. It is just sweet enough.  Having said that, my own original, flour recipe called for a mix of white and brown sugar, and I think I’ll do that with this recipe next time.
  • The loaf is baked evenly and rose higher.
  • It came out of the pan easily.
  • It was easy to make.

The less than good:

  • This loaf tastes undercooked even though the sweetness and pumpkin taste are good. It is much too soft and mushy. I don’t know if this is because it needs to cook more slowly, like I suggested for the above recipe, or because it needs more flour.  Based on my previous experience in using Einkorn Flour to bake, I will add an extra ¼ cup of almond flour the next time I make this. I will also reduce the temperature to 325 when baking.

Both of these are edible and so, overall, my experiment was a success.  I will probably try both recipes again the next time, making the adjustments I mentioned.

Now, here’s hoping the gluten-free sugar cookies I am baking tomorrow turn out as well.

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The Gift of Hospitality

img_3897Hospitality is listed in the Bible as a spiritual gift.  But anyone can become better at hospitality if they just practice.  Essentially, hospitality is making people feel welcome; and when you open your home for a dinner, a business meeting, a holiday party, or a one to one conversation, you can offer hospitality and make your guests feel welcome.

I learned hospitality first at home.  My mom and dad often had people over after work, especially in the summer, for a backyard cookout.  It wasn’t anything special, really.  It was just burgers on the grill and a lounge chair seat.  But people liked to come, and we had a few single people who became regulars—almost part of the family.  My father always made people had something to drink—even when I returned home as a “guest” after I married, he was caring and attentive to my needs.

When I met first met my husband and began joining his family for Sunday and holiday dinners, I learned more from my mother-in-law.  She always had a beautifully set table, serving dishes, and frequently, little favors at each table setting.  She silently taught me about the little “extras.”  I learned through observing.

When my husband and I had been married for quite a while, we began to host Easter breakfasts at our home when our church stopped having them.  We lived near to the church during those years, and it was convenient for our friends to have breakfast at our house.  This is when I learned that my husband had also picked up some things from his mom, and probably his grandmother, too.  He was the cook at these breakfasts, as he had previously been at church.  His little extras included warming the plates so the food would stay hot, warming the syrup for the pancakes, choosing attractive serving dishes.  This is where I took on the role of table setting.  Fortunately, we had received some lovely things as gifts when we were married, and this was an opportunity to pull those things out of storage and use them.  This home had more storage in the kitchen than our first home, and I was able to keep those items in an accessible place.  One of the little extras I used was individual salt and pepper shakers—one at each place setting.  Extravagant? Maybe.  But I had them, so why not use them?

Wimg_3900hen we moved again to an older home and began hosting our families for Thanksgiving and Christmas, I began to hone my skills as a table setter.  My goal was for my guests to feel that the holiday was special and they were special.  I wanted them to be filled with delight at the setting, even if they only experienced it at a subconscious level.

I am not always good about planning ahead, and I would sometimes get bursts of creativity at the last minute, forcing me to rush around and sometimes improvise.  But over the years, I have gathered a lot of things for my collection for table settings:  my mom’s silver table service, cloth napkins, napkin rings, colorful tablecloths and placemats, water goblets, a varied collection of creamer and sugar sets, butter dishes, gravy boats, platters, a punch bowl (for larger crowds, which I bought at an auction for $2.00 and it included the cups), centerpieces, handmade name cards, holiday dishes, and figurines.  One year, I took a Christmas poem I had written (but you could use any appropriate poem), and I printed it, pasted it on a colorful construction paper background, and set it at each place setting.

As the family grew, I hosted wedding and baby showers. Now here is where I gathered some help.  I am not great at the gift favors, and I recently enlisted my sister-in-law to help with those for a shower I was hosting.  There is nothing wrong with enlisting the gifts and talents with others to assist you in your hospitality.

Nimg_4143ow, I have a home business, and I sometimes host gatherings in my home.  Though not as elaborate, I try to take the same approach so my guests will feel comfortable and special.  Everyone wants to feel special, and the little extras show that you have taken the time to care.

I recently hosted a customer event at my home.  I learned from others who had shared and then modeled my event after those. I purchased what I needed to make my customer event uniquely mine.  And I bought everything at the dollar store, so I didn’t need to break the bank to pull this off. I didn’t have a specific plan when I went into the store.  It developed as I found what was available.  I found silver (plastic) trays and silver frames, so I had a theme going.  I had already purchased gold and white dispensers I needed, and I thought those colors would work well together.  When I went out to buy more frames, I ended up with black ones.  Okay, still works.  I just went with what’s available and made it work.  I chose a coordinating color tablecloth, and I was ready.

Maybe you don’t feel table setting is your gift, but you can still be hospitable.  Perhaps you are a great cook.  You notice I don’t talk about the food for any of my events.  My husband does the cooking.  I make some things, but I stick to the few dishes I’ve mastered and don’t try to get too wild with new things.  And when it’s a business meeting or a make and take, food isn’t the focus so simple is best.  Or maybe decorating cakes and cookies or making desserts is your specialty.  Make a dish that makes your guests feel special.

And it doesn’t have to be formal to be hospitable.  I admit, I used to use the good china for every occasion, but I finally figured out that smoked ribs in the summer don’t require a china plate for a picnic setting.  I’ve succumbed to paper—but I always buy Chinet plates.  Thick and heavy-duty so the plates don’t sag in the middle when loaded with food.  You can also find lots of fun and colorful, seasonal, tableware at a dollar store to spice things up, even if it is just a centerpiece.

Each of us has something unique to offer when we invite guests into our home for a dinner, an event, or a meeting.  If hospitality is your gift, this is your chance to shine.  And if it isn’t, you can take one or two ideas to add something special for your own guests.

The most important thing is to be there to greet them, introduce them to people they don’t know, and then, relax and enjoy them.  They came to see you.

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What’s Your Fragrance?

II Corinthians 2:14-17

I am a distributor for essential oils and use oils daily as a part of my wellness routine.  I carry oils in my purse and share them with anyone and everyone I meet who has a need.  I believe they are effective in keeping me healthy.

People will frequently say, “You smell good,” or “What is that smell?”  Generally, it is peppermint oil, my favorite.  But today, my heart was challenged by the verses in II Corinthians.  Do those who cross my daily path also detect another fragrance, a fragrance sweeter than any essential oil I could choose?  Do they detect in me the fragrance of Christ, the Savior and Redeemer of souls? Do they detect the aroma of kindness, goodness, and unconditional love?

As an ambassador or representative of an essential oil company, it is part of my job to “put on” oils and display their qualities.  But even more, I am an ambassador for God; and as His representative, I should display His qualities.  On my own, I could never achieve this.  My shortcomings are many.  But fortunately, I do not have to rely on my own strength.  “Not that we are competent in ourselves. . . but our competence comes from God.  He has made us competent as ministers. . . ” (II Corinthians 3:5-6)

My prayer is that through the power of the Holy Spirit, the primary fragrance emanating from me will be that most compelling of sweet aromas—the Aroma of Christ–that people might, through me, be drawn to Him.

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A Virtuous Husband [redux]

A strong, sensitive, and spiritual husband—who is she that can find him?

He is far more precious than solid bars of gold, and his value is far above the wealth of Wall Street.

The heart of his wife trusts implicitly in his priesthood of their home, confidently relying in his spiritual wisdom.

He comforts, cares for, supports, and partners her in all their endeavors, and supports her and their offspring as long as there is life within him.

He spends quality time with each child in his family, learning the child’s bent and seeking to develop his or her potential to its fullest.

He finds joy in the accomplishments of his family.  He rises while it is early to study and seek God’s will for his life and the life of his loved ones, and stays up late praying for the growth and safety of his children.

He works diligently to provide for his family.  He considers business decisions in Godly context and does all things with integrity, ensuring his family’s future and well-being to the best of his God-given abilities.

He does not worry over his children’s futures for he has provided a solid spiritual and economic foundation from which to launch them.

He looks well to the care of his home and property and gives excellent care to those material things which God has provided.

He manages the family finances, giving tithes to the Lord and contributing to the needs of the poor and lost.

He is a leader among men and an example to all who know him, and provides whatever help he can to his neighbor.

He opens his hand to his friends and neighbors and shares the fruits of God’s bounty wherever he can.

He speaks words of Godly wisdom and is a father and spiritual guide to all whom the Lord brings across his path.

His children honor him and respect his advice, and he is blessed with grandchildren in his latter years.

He knows the importance of rest and relationships and takes time to celebrate the Lord’s Day and family events.

He takes time to acknowledge his wife—his life partner—and is sensitive to her needs.  He is rewarded with a solid bond, lasting through golden years.

Many sons have done virtuously, but you exceed them all. Brains and good looks are deceptive, and physical strength is vain, but a man who lives with God as Lord of his life shall be praised.

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Change

My husband always buys white tennis shoes.  In over forty years of marriage, he’s never bought another color—until this time.  This time, he bought gray tennis shoes.  I like them.  But every time I see them sitting by his chair or our bed, I’m confused.  For a split second, I wonder, “Whose shoes are those?”

We are creatures of habit, and change is hard.  Even when a change has no impact on what we do—like a new pair of shoes—it takes the brain a while to process.  If such an insignificant change can be so difficult to grasp, how can we ever change things in our lives that are of great significance?  How do we change bad habits into good ones?  How do we change prejudice into acceptance?  How do we change hate into love?

The short answer is, “We can’t.”  We often don’t have the strength, desire, or will power we need to make changes like that on our own.  No matter how much we determine we will power through, it takes very little to slip back into old, comfortable habits or mindsets.  That’s why I’m thankful for Jesus.  Jesus, Who came to earth and died for our sins, Who forgave us, and Who is the only One who can transform us into the image of God.  In Christ, all things are possible.  In Christ, changes can happen.  Thank God that in Him we “are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.”  2 Corinthians 3:18

Do you need to make a change in your life?  Ask God to help you.  The biggest change He ever makes is when He cleanses us from our sins when we ask Him for forgiveness and put our lives in His hands. From that point forward, He helps us make the other changes we need, whether it’s something big like transforming an attitude or prejudice, or something personal, like changing our lifestyles to healthier ones.

And speaking of healthier lifestyles, I believe I will go find my own tennis shoes and take a walk.

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A Prayer

Strengthen me, Lord; I am tired.

Strengthen me, Lord; I need rest.

Strengthen me, Lord; I’m your child.

Strengthen me, Lord. I am blessed.

 

Teach me, O Lord, how to love you.

Teach me, O Lord, how to pray.

Keep me, O Lord, in Your bosom.

Hold me, so I will not stray.

 

Hear me, O Lord, when I worship.

Hear me, O Lord, when I pray.

Hear me, O Lord, when I’m joyful.

Near you, O Lord, I will stay.

 

Yesterday’s gone now forever.

Tomorrow I never may know.

Today is the day that is promised.

I’ll rest in the Life-giving flow.

 

Jesus, the Lord, is my Savior.

Jesus, the Lord, is my Friend.

Jesus will love me forever.

Eternity means, there’s no end.

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