In Mark 6:31, Jesus tells the disciples, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” They had been working so hard they didn’t have time to eat.  Is your life so busy that you often don’t stop to eat?  No matter what the demands are on you in this season of life, Jesus gently asks you to come to a quiet place and get some rest from Him.  I’ve spent a lot of years trying to put a formula together for my “quiet time” with God.  Reading a daily devotional, 15 minutes reading the Bible, reading a chapter in the Bible, writing in a journal, praying… I’ve tried waking up early in the morning, lunch-time at work and before bed and the list could go on and on. I don’t think Jesus has a perfect formula for spending time with Him and we probably over think what it should look like when all He suggests is to come by yourself to a quiet place and He will give you rest.  Is it five minutes in the morning looking out at His creation, listening to the quiet of your house or the chirping of the birds, watching the sunrise or set, turning your radio off as you drive to work, going for a walk or watching your child sleep?  As you sit quietly alone with Jesus, you will receive His rest and as a result want to spend more time with Him whatever that looks like for you.

Will you seek Jesus for the rest you so desperately need in your busy, demanding life?

I’ve continued to improve at my goal for a healthy lifestyle.  I continue to work on creating replacements that are natural instead of toxic.  I’m in more of a rhythm for cooking, creating and testing my natural creations.  A couple new additions that I will continue to improve are face powder, eye shadow and blush, deodorant, shampoo, body soap and laundry soap that looks better (what I have cleans well but all the ingredients aren’t staying mixed together so I have to shake it up).  Exciting only to me in our house, is that I figured out a formula that gets rid of static and eliminates dryer sheets!  It is hilarious that I’ve been excited to do the laundry.  I was actually out of dirty laundry for my static tests and had to wait a couple days to complete the project! Hahahaha!


XO, Michelle

Be Made Clean

As I reflect today on what I’ve incorporated into my healthier lifestyle, I’m going to share some of the changes I’ve made.  Part of the organizational process I haven’t conquered yet is the research for each step.  Some are logical and common sense. I’m reluctant in listing out exact details of the books I’ve read because there are points I disagree with in each and am not making recommendations for anyone else to read them, but have found positive changes to make from each of them.  I just don’t have the time right now to list out all the morsels that I’ve taken from each one.  I looked through the eyes of my personal experience at the author’s background, personal bias and compare to other studies and sources of information.
This is the order of books I’ve read that started me on the road to taking better care of my body:    The Beauty Detox Solution by Kimberly Snyder, C.N.  She is not a medical doctor and is a vegan who eats mainly raw, whole foods.  I think protein is very important, so I am not following her way of eating. The best take away from her book was to eat green veggies before my meals.  I have celery out to snack on and eat salad before for lunch and before eating dinner.  Those are simple things that my whole family has incorporated as well, except salad for lunch.  Besides getting more vitamins and minerals from the veggies, I eat less and our dinners are hot because I can allow the final cooking to complete while we are eating salad.  I usually would skip salad by filling up on my hot proteins and carbohydrates before they got cold. It’s important to confess that I don’t do this perfectly or 100% of the time.  If I don’t plan in advance when my energy drops and fatigue sets in, my eating habits suffer.  I’ve learned that anything requiring energy doesn’t come easy for me.  It was interesting to learn that most people do not have to mentally gear up for doing things they find fun and enjoy.
I’ll move on to the rest of the “health” books tomorrow since I need to get moving with my day and want to share what I’m focusing on spiritually.
I want my life to have rhythm to it, not just a routine.  I’ve started spending time with God in the morning before I get going with what I need to do that day. My focus has been learning more about my Savior, Jesus.  One part is learning about the Christian Calendar and traditions that focus on seasons in Jesus’ life.  The book I’m reading, more like studying to learn as much as I can, is Living the Christian Year- Time to Inhabit the Story of God by Bobby Gross.  This isn’t just for ritual, but the meaning behind the tradition.  It is a reference, that explains and gives Biblical focus for Advent (the liturgical year begins four weeks before Christmas), Epiphany (Jan. 6th until Lent starts), Lent (starting on Ash Wednesday March 5th and going until the Resurrection of Christ), Easter season (begins after the Resurrection and ends 50 days later with Jesus’ ascension to His heavenly throne and His giving of the Holy Spirit to reside in our hearts), the rest of the year is “Ordinary Time” (which goes until late November when Advent begins again).  Of course, there are many details and focuses within each season to help us focus our days and remember what Jesus did for us.  This quote by Christopher Hill sums it up for me:  “I’m interested in the experience of sacred time, in our ability to feel the intersection of time and eternity at special places in the year…. Sacred time is what makes the Church Year a genuinely transformative practice.”
 It is week four of Epiphany with a focus on healing and forgiveness.  When we look at Jesus healing the sick we can see God’s character and how much He cares for our circumstances and what is happening in our lives.  Although physical healing doesn’t come to everyone who asks, Jesus will always, 100% of the time, heal our hearts, if we ask.  He heals, forgives, cleanses and restores our hearts when we simply ask.  Today I read Psalm 103.
XO, Michelle


Organization of Wellness Day

I’ve spent all morning listing out ways to create a healthier environment for for my body. It is a long list and I got many helpful ideas from Katie’s blog:  It’s a good one to check out because she has done a great deal of research, experimentation and is living out her recommendations.  I put little boxes in front of each item on my list so I can check it off when I follow through.  This is not a dream list!  I am going to accomplish what I’ve set out to do.  I am determined and committed to trying over and over to get things right, family approved and accepted and a quality that I would want to share with others.  This list is long.  Way too long to list in a post, but I will be writing about them when I find what works.

Off to my experience so far with creating natural cleaning products… I’ve been loving cleaning with non-toxic cleaners.  There are so many options that clean well!  I used a store bought chemical cleaner for my stove and was quickly reminded, as I had a reaction affecting my lungs and eyes, why I’m leaving those chemical-filled cleaners in the dust.  I’m in the beginning stages of creating and testing.  This stretches me because when something new doesn’t work, I tend to go back to what works or try something else.  Not this time! I will continue to find chemical free solutions through trial and error.  When I grated my castile soap and melted it to make liquid soap, it turned into a gel that got stuck in the pumps.  I’ve experimented with it and don’t know what the problem is, so I’ve ordered liquid castile soap to use in place of making my own.  I’m anticipating more success with that.  I’m, impatiently, waiting for it to arrive.  I can’t get everything from Amazon!

I fell a bit more organized with my new healthier lifestyle after writing out my list! I already had a great jump on the food part and am feeling good eliminating many of the things that were hurtful to my body.  I’ve replaced them with great, whole foods and have been able to get my husband and boys to incorporate some changes as well.  All that being said, I feel more organized and good about creating a healthier environment.  I’m noticing positive results and will continue to take steps toward better health for my family!

If you want to make some changes, list them out!  Start slowly and move at a pace that works for you!  Replacement habits take time!  If you aren’t a list maker, how do you start to take steps for positive change?  Please do share!

XO, Michelle

I’m Back

It sure has been long time since I’ve posted anything on my blog.  I’ve been thinking about writing again, but haven’t taken the time to put my words down here.  I’ve relearned a lot about myself this past year and continue to work on balance and incorporating habits to my life that stay.   I’m an “all or nothing” kind of gal which isn’t necessarily a bad quality (I’m working on being kinder to myself as well), but I tend to abandon projects that I enjoy and are healthy when life gets hard and eventually move on to something else.  Although I know routines are good, I can’t maintain them for more than two weeks.

I jump in to projects with two feet and everything else falls by the wayside.  That has been an obvious cycle this past year… writing, cooking, reading, food changes, juicing, exercising, yoga and removing chemicals in my home.   The pattern seems to be:

1. “I’m still at about 25% of my physical capacity than I was two years ago.  There has to be a solution to my weakness, fatigue, pain and poor sleep that debilitates me for days or weeks on end.”

2.  Take information I know or have researched and hope this will “fix” me.

3.  Buy everything I need (excessive shopping has always been an issue for me).

4.  Focus on doing that task/project.

5.  My health issues drain me physically and mentally reducing further what I can accomplish.

6.  Brick wall.

7.  Abandon. Even if it was healthy and good for me.

8.  Repeat with a new focus.

Currently, I am incorporating healthy eating habits and trying to reduce the chemicals entering my body every day.  I’ve read some great books and found helpful resources.  It’s just that I’m feeling inundated with all the information and am having a difficult time organizing myself.  One of my goals in writing again is to organize myself.  This will help me with accountability and focus.  I’m letting go of my attempt at perfect writing and the length I think is necessary for a blog post.  I will not read and reread before posting.  Maybe this will encourage others to make healthy lifestyle changes as well.

XO, Michelle