Road Tripping Necessities

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About a week ago, Brian and I flew out to Utah for Young Living International Grand Convention, and drove back home to Ohio! I enjoyed it much more than flying, but Brian did all the driving (even though I offered to drive a few times). We found some things that were super beneficial along our journey, so we want to share them with you here!

  1. Deep Relief

    Deep Relief is a magical little rollerball blend from Young Living that eases any tension or discomfort you’re feeling anytime. While traveling, this is a common occurrence! The Roll-On makes it easy to swipe along your head or neck with simplicity and gives almost immediate relief.

  2. Get snacks ahead of time

    Gas Station snacks are EXPENSIVE. We stocked up on some of our favorites ahead of time at the grocery store, and we never did have to stop for lunch! We always had a big breakfast, snacked throughout the day, and then stopped for dinner.

  3. Find a hotel with a mini kitchen

    This was SUPER handy since we had a cooler full of food leftover from our groceries for the week. We stayed at two Marriott hotels, and each had a mini kitchen, including a full size fridge/freezer. It was great!

  4. Castille Soap in a Foaming Hand pump

    I don’t know about you, but I find the bar soaps offered at hotels just super annoying to wash your hands with. Plus, we live as toxin-free as possible. So even the name brand soaps offered at our Airbnb wasn’t our top pick. I put a little bit of liquid castille soap in a foaming pump bottle, added my choice of YL essential oils, and then topped it off with water once we got to our destination. This made it super easy and clean to use as a hand soap! Plus, there are MANY OTHER USES for castille soap if needed in a pinch!

  5. Orb Diffuser

    Having this handy dandy Orb Diffuser was perfect for our journey. It runs off a USB input and fits perfectly in the cup holder of the car! We diffused Peppermint and Citrus Fresh often on our car ride to keep up alert and energized! I definitely recommend having some sort of a car diffuser on any long distance trips!

  6. Peppermint Neck Massage

    At one point on our trip, I put some Peppermint on my fingers and gave Brian a neck massage as he drove. Safe to say he loved it, because he asked for it again a couple times on our drive back home, and told me I should share this tip with others! A peppermint neck massage can help keep tension low and energy high!

  7. iExit App

    This app was a LIFESAVER. Anyone else picky about where they have to stop for potty breaks?! This app shows you what is coming up at all the exits ahead on your drive. It shows you gas stations, hotels, restaurants, hospitals, and more. SUPER CONVENIENT, and definitely worth downloading!

  8. BONUS: For all the ladies….

    If you’re lucky like me, Mother Nature decides to let Aunt Flo join you for every trip. Yay… These were an absolute lifesaver. They saved me from embarrassment and having to change clothes. This is one purchase I definitely don’t regret!

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I also found some clever ways to pack my Young Living products for the week, so here are a few tips!

Mirah Shave Oil - Instead of packing the whole bottle, I pumped just enough into an empty 5 ml essential oil bottle, and put a dropper top on it. It was super convenient to just drop into my hand and throw into my bag!

Supplements- I packed several supplements, and I didn’t want to pack all the bulky bottles. So I either put them into little jewelry ziplock baggies, or in pill containers from Walmart, and labeled them for each individual supplement.

Dry Shampoo- I make my own dry shampoo, so I just put some into an empty Savvy Minerals Foundation container and was able to shake it on as needed! Here is my recipe >>> https://www.instagram.com/tv/BuB75uLBW4B/

Prenolone +/Satin Mint Face Scrub- These were a couple of products that I only needed for a few days of our trip, so I just put the amount I needed in small empty containers!

Laundry Soap- I figured I would only need to do one load of laundry, so I poured my Thieves Laundry Soap into a small pill container and was good to go!

You can watch my IGTV episode on my packing tips here >> https://www.instagram.com/tv/Bz_JaODh0bY/

Do you have any travel tips? I would love to know about them, so comment below!

Dollar Date Idea

photo from Pexels

photo from Pexels

We promised to make date night a priority this year, and to take turns planning the date. I came up with this idea, and it was so fun and affordable. The whole date cost less than $15, so it is super budget friendly!

First, we went to 3 different restaurants and chose whatever we wanted off the Dollar Menu. We had 4 items at Taco Bell, 3 items at McDonald's, and Jr frosties at Wendy's 😊 Our 3 stops totalled to only about $10 🙌🙌

Our final stop was the most fun. We went to Walmart, split up, and had to find something for each other that was only $1. It turned into a race, and I won. 😅 It was actually harder than we thought! It was hard to find something that was only $1 that the other person would like. We kept running into each other, and we were both struggling! In the end, I found my gift first, paid for it and met Brian at the door when he found and paid for his. I got him a headlamp to work with, and he got me Dark Chocolate Fudge brownies 😅😋

We had plenty of food, a lot of fun, and stayed within budget easily.

What's your favorite date night ideas?

Bambi is special to me because...

Photo found on Google. I do not own the rights to this photo

Photo found on Google. I do not own the rights to this photo

I grew up in a Christian home.  We went to church three times a week, and basically anytime the doors were open.  Growing up, I knew about Heaven and Hell and knew that I definitely didn’t want to go to Hell! 

When I was four years old, I was sitting on the couch with my mom, who was reading the story of Bambi to me. We came to the part in the book where one of the deer dies, and the layout of the page is still embedded in my memory. It was a fiery red page, and it reminded me of Hell that I had learned so much about.  I asked my mom if that deer went to Heaven or Hell.

As an adult on the verge of having my own kids in a few years, I can only image trying to answer that question from an adorable four year old girl.  I honestly don’t remember how my mom answered the question, I just remember the conversation turning into knowing how I could get to Heaven when I die. 


That night, my mom led me to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.  I can distinctly remember all my sins being washed away- past, present, and future.  It was a glorious feeling, and I couldn’t wait for my daddy to come home so I could tell him all about it!  I even remember my mom standing up during church the following Sunday evening during testimony time to tell my church family of my salvation.

What a glorious day and memory!  And that is why Bambi is special to me!

What’s your salvation story? I would love to hear it in the comments!

3 Simple Tips to a Healthier Life

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Who wouldn’t want to be healthy?  Does anyone actually enjoy being sick?  I know I definitely don’t- so I wanted to share 3 simple steps that are proven to help you live a healthier life!

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1.       Drink More Water

The rule of thumb is to drink half of your body weight in ounces daily.  So, as an easy example, a 100 pound person would need to intake 50 ounces of water daily to stay properly hydrated.

It's important to know that not all bottled water is the same.  According to Dr. Jim Bob Haggerton, Fiji water is one of the best/purest bottled waters available, so we buy ours in bulk at Sam’s Club.

I know, drinking water can get boring...

Thankfully, there are a couple different ways to drink water without it being just plain water!  Tea is a great way to get your water intake, and my all-time favorite tea is Young Living Slique Tea.  When Slique tea is out of stock, I choose Numi, Rishi, or Traditional Medicinals  most often because I know their teas are non-toxic and safe. (Check out this article if you're a tea drinker)

I also love drinking LaCroix sparkling water.  They come in all sorts of flavors, and we usually pick up a variety pack at Sam’s Club or individual flavors at Menard’s. My current favorite flavor is Lime!

Another way to spice up your water intake is to put Young Living Vitality essential oils in your water!  My favorite Vitality oil in my water is Peppermint, and my husband’s is Lemon!  When drinking oils in your water, be sure to use a glass or stainless steel cup. I love Contigo stainless steel cups for drinks on the go, and I have ordered stainless steel cups and straws off of Amazon!! Essential Oils flavor your water while also supporting your body systems, so it’s a win-win situation!

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2.       Go Outside

Fresh air is seriously good for you! Even just the simple task of opening a window to let a fresh breeze into the house can boost your immune system!

Ever heard of grounding/earthing? Walk around barefoot!  Believe it or not, it’s very good for you. By walking barefoot and letting your feet make contact with the ground, earth’s electrons transfer into your body and do amazing things. 

Fresh air aids in ridding of the toxins in your body, and can help you sleep better.

I know it can be hard to go outside and open your windows frequently in the winter.  But if it’s not too cold outside and the sunshine is out, take advantage of that!  Also, keeping live plants in the house is a great way to help purify your air and bring a little bit of the outdoors into your home.  Another fun way to do so is to diffuse essential oils, which are basically “plant juice!” 

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3.       Support Your Body Systems- especially your Immune and Digestive systems

Did you know almost every disease and illness stems from the gut?  Supporting your digestive system will lead to a healthier life!  And of course, our immune systems have a lot to say about how we feel, too. 

By using Young Living Essential Oils, and taking Young Living Supplements, I am supporting every single one of my body systems.  Essential oils also contain some of the highest frequencies of any substance.  Using essential oils can raise our own body frequency and support our health in remarkable ways.

Some of my favorite ways to support my digestive system is through drinking Kombucha (my current favorite brand is Simple Truth Organic), taking Young Living’s probiotic supplement, Life 9,  and drinking Peppermint Vitality essential oil in my water.

Some of my favorite ways to support my Immune System is applying and diffusing Thieves essential oil from Young Living, and using Young Living supplements such as ImmuPro and InnerDefense.  In fact, my Thieves household cleaner also boosts my immune system!

I also love drinking NingXia Red from Young Living every day.  It only takes 1-2 ounces to support every single body system, but I will take more if I need a little boost. It also pairs really well with LaCroix.  It is a delicious super fruit juice that does amazing things for your body.


So there you have it- three simple ways to improve your health.  What step will you take today towards a healthier lifestyle?

If you're interested in learning more about Young Living, a major component of a healthy lifestyle, click here.

I would love to hear how you are supporting your health today!

Touchable Memories

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We live in a visual time.  All of us crazy millennials like to take pictures of everything, but we have a good reason for that.  We like to capture memories as they are happening. 

Take a wedding for instance.  Flowers die, dresses can fade, cake gets eaten eventually, and meals can only be enjoyed once. As a recent bride, the most precious things I have from my wedding (besides my husband, of course) are the photographs and videos taken on my wedding day.  It’s an opportunity to relive the happiest day of my life over and over again, and I can look at those at any time and they will always be there. 

Have you ever found yourself frantically trying to find a picture of a certain place you visited or of you and a loved one only to find you don’t have any pictures of those moments or those people?  Pictures are a gateway to the past that help you relive your most precious moments in the best places with the people you love over and over again. 

Think about it… have you ever actually regretted taking too many pictures?  I mean, sure- you may run out of memory card space and you may have a lot of pictures to sort through.  But, in the end, aren’t you glad you have those pictures?  Each time you touch those photographs it’s a visual time portal for you to have the chance to relive those memories over and over again. 

Photographs allow you to show your memories to friends and family, and even grand-kids and great grand-kids. Look at this adorable picture of my grandparents.  I came across this picture when my grandmother passed away 6 years ago, and it now hangs on the wall of my home. I look forward to showing that picture to my kids someday, and telling them all about my grandparents and the memories I shared with them.

My grandparents!

My grandparents!

 

As a photographer, my favorite pictures to capture are candid pictures, where people are simply enjoying life and the company of their loved ones.  Those pictures will be there for a lifetime for families to revisit and cherish, and even print and hang on their walls as a constant reminder of the people they love and the times they spent with them.  Take a moment to look at the pictures surrounding you in your home.  I can assume that most, if not all of them, bring you joy.  I also can imagine all the memories that are currently flooding through your mind. 

So take those selfies and pictures with your friends and family.  Take pictures of your vacations. Take pictures at church and of special moments in people’s lives.  You won’t regret it, because you are creating touchable memories at every sound of the shutter. 

 

What is your favorite thing about photographs?  Comment below!

Tips from a Bride

Photo by Alexandra Faith Photography

Photo by Alexandra Faith Photography

Our wedding was simply beautiful.  I loved every part of it and wish I could relive the day over and over again.  Plus, I learned a ton from planning my wedding.  So, as a recent bride, I have thought of several tips to share with both brides-to-be, and guests-to-be!  I hope you find this helpful and enlightening.  

FOR THE WEDDING GUEST….

Since I've been a bride, I have come to learn the importance of each of these things and will remember these tips for myself at the next wedding I'm invited to!

1.       Give encouraging words

  So many people make comments about how annoying marriage is, and that is the last thing an engaged couple wants to hear.

2.       Don’t pry too much into the wedding details

  So many people ask how the wedding plans are going and ask about the details.  Keep in mind the bride may want to keep most things a surprise!

3.       If you RSVP, do your best to attend, especially to the reception!

    First of all, RSVP whether you are attending or not by the date they have asked- there’s actually a reason for that date, believe it or not!  And chances are your meal is already paid for if you said you are attending, and it wasn’t cheap.  Most caterers don’t allow the family to take home leftovers either, so your food goes in the trash. That means it was a waste of money.  Bummer!

4.       Stay as long as possible.

  There are probably a lot of fun activities and maybe even surprises that the bride and groom want each of their guests to experience at their wedding and reception.  If you leave early, you’re missing out and it may even be a bit discouraging to the couple to see half of their guests leave before the fun happens.

5.       Take advantage of the food and fun that the bride and groom had planned for you while they are getting pictures taken.

     We know pictures can take a while, but remember that the bride and groom are making memories.  So take advantage of the appetizers and fun things they may have for you to do, and try not to give too many discouraging comments.

 

TIPS FOR THE BRIDE….

These are all things I was either glad I did or wish I would have done!

1.       Get the majority of stuff done early to save stress as the wedding day gets closer!

 Obviously the most important things to get done are the ones that fill up fast.  I found that the top 3 important things are the venue, photographer, and videographer.

2.       Realize it’s about the marriage, not the wedding. 

  You’re preparing for the rest of your life.  Even if something doesn’t go as planned on your wedding day, you will still be married (we hope…)!

3.       If dressing up for your shower, wear a long dress or skirt.

   Opening presents and trying to keep your legs together and lady like the whole time is a bit of a struggle!

4.       Get a good idea of your guest list before picking your venue.

   If you know ahead of time an approximate number of how many guests you will be inviting, that narrows down your venue choices.

5.       Take pictures of all your gifts to remember who they’re from!

   If you love pictures and remembering even the small details, this is an excellent idea.  May even come in handy when writing thank you cards, too!

6.       People will be disappointed if they don’t get an invite.  But you have to draw the line somewhere. 

  Family and close friends are top priority.  If people who aren’t invited get upset, or heaven-forbid angry, that’s their problem and not yours.  Don’t let them steal the joy from your day!

7.       Splurge on a nice photographer and videographer. 

 These 2 things will help you relive your day whenever you want!

   Also, if you don’t know your photographer very well, I’d suggest doing a small engagement session with him/her.  Then you will be more comfortable spending the entire day with them at your wedding! 

8.       Send Thank You cards! 

   You wouldn’t believe how many people don’t do this anymore, and how many people actually do appreciate a thank you note!  Make sure you keep track of all your gifts and mark off when you send their thank you card! 

9.       Don’t be afraid to take a ton of pictures throughout your engagement.

  Take pictures of your planning, showers, parties, rehearsal, and even take some selfies on your wedding day.  I love looking back at all of the memories, and a couple of my favorite wedding pictures are ones that were taken by me or my friends on our phones. 

10.   Don’t be afraid to voice your opinion and desires- within reason.

  Don’t be a demanding bridezilla- but it’s your day and it will only happen once! 

11.   Try the first look!

  We did the first-look, and we are so glad that we did.  We were able to hang out with our entire wedding party right before the ceremony and just enjoy each other’s company.  It was a little less nerve-racking that way too!

12.   Get ready the morning of the wherever it is most convenient.

 We got ready at our houses with our wedding party, and it was a lot less stressful in my opinion!

 

So there ya have it… things I learned, experienced, or wish I would have done! (I'm sure I'll add to this post as I think of more!)  I hope it helped! 

If you’re a bride-to-be reading this, then congratulations!  Soak in every beautiful moment <3

Refer to #9 and #11 :)

Refer to #9 and #11 :)

 

What are some tips you have as a past bride for any bride-to-be?

An Easy Snack for Any Holiday!

This easy snack is transformable to use for any holiday!  All you need is 3 things:

  1. Pretzels (square pretzels work nicely!)
  2. Chocolate 
  3. Small candies (more chocolate is always a good idea!)

So here's what you do!....

  1. Preheat your oven to 200 degrees.  
  2. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Place the pretzels on the lining and top them with your choice of chocolate.  Add some variety depending on the holiday!  For Christmas, you could use peppermint flavored chocolate!  My go-to is almost always dark chocolate. 
  3. Bake for about 6 minutes until the chocolate is shiny and soft, but not melting- they should keep their shape. 
  4. Carefully place your candies in the center of your chocolate and press it down to spread the chocolate onto the pretzel. Have fun with your candy color choices!  For St. Patrick's Day, I went with green and yellow!  For Christmas, you can use green and red.  For Valentine's Day, you can use pink and red.  So many options!
  5. Allow the pretzels to cool completely.  If you need to serve them immediately, let them sit in the fridge for a few minutes and you will be good to go.  Enjoy!!
Step #3

Step #3

Step #4

Step #4

What holiday are you going to make these Pretzel Buttons for?

5 Reasons Why You Should Live Like Your Dog

Now why would I want to be like my dog?  I’m not talking about sleeping all day and having an easy life… although the thought has crossed my mind!

I’m talking about the effects that your dog has on your life.  I have found 5 things to be true in the lives of my two dogs that should be true in my life as well.  Here are five reasons why you should live like your dog.

1.       They make you smile every time you see them

·         Am I right? Every time you walk in the door, they are there to greet you with a tail wag and that cute puppy “smile,” which in turn puts a smile on your face!

·         Do you make people smile when they see you?  Be sure to give people a reason to smile.  Often it’s just as simple as smiling at them and saying “hello!”  Treat people kindly, and compliment someone today!

2.       They’re forgiving

·         My dogs together weigh less than 12 pounds and were both the runts of their litter.  So they have been accidentally stepped on quite a few times in their lifetimes unfortunately.  But they are quick to forgive and want all of your attention again within the next five minutes.

·         We need to be quick to forgive and forget just like our dogs do.  We as humans tend to let things linger in our hearts and grow roots bitterness- but we shouldn’t let that happen.  Sometimes we just have to forgive the wrong, and continue loving that person like nothing ever happened.

3.       They’re loving

·         My dogs love to cuddle and show their love.  Sometimes that means barking uncontrollably until we let them up on the couch, and then they like to crawl up on my dad’s chest and stare at him until he returns the love!

·         Be quick to love others and make sure they know that they are loved.  You wouldn’t believe how many people go through life believing that nobody loves or cares about them.  Show someone the love of Christ today in some way!

4.       They aren’t quick to judge, and give everyone a chance

·         Most dogs want to be friends with humans the moment they see them at the door.  They jump all over them and love on them no matter who they are, where they came from, what they smell like, or what they look like.

·         Why are we as humans so quick to judge others by things we’ve heard about them or their appearance?  Give them the benefit of the doubt, and show them Christ’s compassion immediately! 

5.       They are always there to cheer you up and make you happy

·         Some days when I just have a mental breakdown and I am on the floor crying my eyes out, my dogs are the first to come to me and love on me.  They always seek to love me and cheer me up.

·         We need to be the kind of friend that our friends can come to on rough days.  Love on them through the hard times and let them know that you will always be there for them.

 

I highly recommend the movie, “A Dog’s Purpose.”  I am not a crier during movies, but this one brought tears to my eyes more than once.  The story-line is about one dog that lives the lifetime of several different dogs and always has the same purpose- to please his master.  I have never lost a dog, and I am not looking forward to that day.  But this movie gives you a warm feeling knowing your furry pets are always seeking to make you happy.  So grab some tissues, curl up on the couch with your furry friend, and watch this adorable movie. 

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I also HIGHLY recommend this book, and it is a must-read for everyone, no matter what your opinion is on the matter. 

It was written by a KJV Bible student, teacher, and disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ who has done more than 30,000 hours of personal Bible study. 

He shows us that there is absolutely no where in the Bible where it says that animals will not be in heaven. It actually says the exact opposite! I especially love chapter 6 where he shares several portions of scriptures that prove the Providence and promises that God has for all His creation, including animals. 

I have been mentally preparing for several years for the passing of Whitney, who was my first dog and is currently 15 years old. I'm even crying as I write this LOL I dread having to say goodbye to her, but I like to think that as soon as she gets into heaven she's going to recognize Aaron's face and run right to him, and this book has given me the reassurance that this is probably exactly what will happen the moment she reaches Glory. 

Quite honestly, if you have a very strong, uneducated opinion that animals will not be in heaven, I don't care to hear it, and I hope you will have the courage to read this book and realize what Scripture actually says. And if you're an animal lover like me, you will absolutely love this book! 

So no matter what your opinion is ....
Go get this book on Amazon and read it now!

But more importantly- watch your dog often and learn from your furry friend.  They have more to teach you than you could ever realize.   

What else have you learned from your dog?

Making an Impact

Today makes 11 days until I turn 22.  Today also means I am the exact age that my brother was when he passed away.  He was 11 days short of his 22nd birthday.  That’s crazy…

When I was 9 and my brother was killed in a car accident, I thought 21 was so “old.” You see, we were 13 years apart. My parents kept calling them “kids,” so I did too even though they felt so much older than me.  But now that I am that very same age, I feel so incredibly young.  I’m realizing now just how young Aaron was when the Lord took him home.  He was fresh out of college, and just 1 month shy of his one year anniversary with his wife, who also passed away in the same car accident.

But what amazes me the most is how many lives Aaron impacted in just short of 22 years.  He was a preacher and a singer, and was used by God in many ways.  Pastor Sexton of the Temple Baptist Church in Powell, TN thought he was the greatest “preacher boy” known at the time.  That absolutely amazes me.  Even after his death, his story and testimony has touched thousands- maybe even millions. 

It makes me wonder how many lives I have touched in my 21 years.  I’m not that much different from Aaron, so what is stopping me from making just as much of an impact?  Anyone can make in impact, you just have to be committed to making a difference each and every day in the lives of those around you. 

I challenge you with these things.

1.       Remember that life is quick

   James 4:14- “Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow:  for what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.”

 I’ve known too many young people who have lost their lives way sooner than we believe should even be possible.  But God has a plan for each life, no matter how many years they spend on this earth.  Let Him use you!

2.       Love your family- especially your big brothers

 Family is precious regardless.  Even if you have conflict in your family, I encourage you to reach out to them and love on them like a Christian should.  They may just be waiting for you to take a step towards them so they can return the love. 

Big brothers are so precious.  If you have a big brother who loves on you and protects you as God designed, let him know that you appreciate him.  Hug him, call him, or text him today- because I’d do anything to be able to do that again.

3.       Make an impact

  It’s a daily commitment.  Do everything you can to make a positive impact on those around you.  Encourage others and point them to the cross.

I can only hope and pray that I can impact as many lives in my entire life as my brother did in his 22 years.  

What are you doing today to make an impact?

A Friend That Sticketh Closer Than a Brother

When I was 8 years old, my brother married the love of his life in July of 2003. I was the Jr. Bridesmaid with a gorgeous white dress. On the day of the wedding, I was scared to death that I was going to trip down the aisle. I remember talking to Aaron an hour or so before the ceremony and telling him how nervous I was.  He told me, “Autumn, if you trip and fall, I will walk off the stage, come get you, and walk you to the stage myself.” I felt so much better knowing that my big brother was there and would help me if I fell.

Aaron and I at his wedding

Aaron and I at his wedding

But there’s Someone ever better than my big brother Who will always be there for me.  Aaron is now in heaven and can’t be there for me when I need him. But Jesus never leaves me.

The Bible says that Jesus is the friend who sticks closer than a brother. 

Proverbs 18:24 KJV
… and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.

It may be hard for some to imagine anyone being closer to you than your own family.  But family can fail us from time to time; yet Jesus promises us that if we fall, He will come to us, pick us up in His strong arms, and walk with us back to the right path that we drifted away from.  What an amazing thought is that?  Just the thought of Aaron coming to me if I were to fall and picking me up gave me so much courage and strength at his wedding.  Our God promises He will do the same for us throughout our entire life, and He is always there when we need Him. 

Live today with the courage and knowledge that God is always going to pick you up if you fall.  

Learning to be Bulletproof

Sometimes in life, we have to learn to not let things bother us, and we have to learn to be bulletproof.  Bullets will fly in life and we will get hit; but, with the armor of God, we can make sure the bullets bounce off of us instead of sinking in and slowly killing us. 

Bullets may come in the form of hatred towards you, discouragement, harsh criticism, lies about you, and so much more.

Life gets hard, and people will try to shoot you down.  But be bulletproof, my friend.  Smile, and keep living!  Don’t let Satan get the victory over you, and prove to him and the people and circumstances that he uses as weapons that with God as your armor, you are bulletproof. 

Ephesians 6:10-18
10. Finally, my bretheren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
11. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
12. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
13. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
14. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness.
15. And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
16. Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
17. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
18. Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;

There will always be war on this earth, and we must be brave soldiers in the fight.  Don’t be the coward who gives up and gets defeated.  When we are attacked, we must stand firm. (Eph. 6:13) We have God as our Commander, and we know how our story will end. 

I encourage you today to put on God’s armor and deflect any bullets that fly your way.  

Health Benefits of Himalayan Pink Salt

Himalayan Pink Salt Benefits

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HIMALAYAN PINK TABLE SALT

Some people have made the decision to switch their regular table salt to Himalayan Pink Salt.  Using Himalayan Pink Salt as opposed to regular table salt includes the following benefits:

-          Naturally rich in iodine

o   Iodine is required to ensure proper development and metabolism in humans. Iodine influences the functioning of thyroid glands by assisting in the production of hormones, which are directly responsible for controlling the body's base metabolic rate.

-          Less sodium consumed per serving

-          Full of minerals and elements

-          Create an electrolyte balance

-          Increases hydration

-          Regulate water content both inside and outside of cells

-          Balance pH (alkaline/acidity) and help to reduce acid reflux

-          Prevent muscle cramping

-          Aid in proper metabolism functioning

-          Strengthen bones

-          Lower blood pressure

-          Help the intestines absorb nutrients

-          Prevent goiters

-          Improve circulation

-          Dissolve and eliminate sediment to remove toxins

It is even said to support libido, reduce the signs of aging, and detoxify the body from heavy metals.

 

SALT LAMPS

Recently, Himalayan Pink Salt Lamps have become the latest rage.  Not only do they make a great night light, but they are wonderful for your health!  The benefits of salt lamps include:

-          Emitting negative ions, which has a positive effect on our bodies by creating serotonin, and making us happier and healthier

-          Improving mood and helping with anxiety

-          Neutralizing electromagnetic radiation

o    radiation including visible light, radio waves, gamma rays, and X-rays, in which electric and magnetic fields vary simultaneously.

-          Reducing allergy and asthma symptoms

-          Increasing energy levels

-          Reducing stress and preventing depression

-          Purifying bacteria from the air

-          Relieving migraine headaches

-          Increasing focus and concentration

-          Creating a calm and relaxed environment

-          Allowing better sleep

We are exposed to positive ions every day in many ways from our environment and surroundings which yield the opposite effects on our bodies.  Any size lamp can be beneficial, but the bigger the lamp the stronger the benefits!

 

SALT ROOMS

Salt rooms are not as popular as the lamps and many people have never heard of them.  Salt rooms use halotherapy to improve their client’s health by simply using a generator to disperse therapeutic grade Himalayan pink salt into the air for the clients to breathe in. The term “Halotherapy” comes from “halo”, the Greek word for salt. Simply put, Halotherapy is the use of medicinal salt in aerosol form, to treat respiratory ailments, skin irritations, and combat mental lethargy. For centuries, monks used naturally-occurring salt caverns to treat respiratory ailments.  Men who worked in the salt mines also had noticeably better respiratory systems. 

  By relaxing and breathing in the salt, clients can see an improvement of skin conditions and lung strength.   Salt rooms are great for anyone battling the seasonal cold, chronic lung problems, and serious skin conditions. 

JUST BREATHE SALT ROOMS

            Just Breathe Salt Rooms is located in Bellville, Ohio and they are the first salt room to open in the Richland County area.  Their office is located in the Darr Chiropractic offices on St. Rt. 13 and they have been open since June 2016.  They have 2 rooms to choose from-- one designed for adults, and the others for kids.  The adult room can fit up to seven people in a 45 minute session of relaxation and therapeutic benefits.  The kid’s room is designed like a giant sand box, but with pink salt all over the floor!  The kids play while the adults sit in for free on the 25 minute sessions. 

            Just Breathe Salt Rooms also offer Young Living Essential Oils to every client that comes into their office.  They encourage everyone to sample an oil to enhance their salt room session experience, and give clients the opportunity to purchase their own Young Living essential oils and essential-oil-infused products.  

            Just Breathe Salt Rooms also offer several different sizes and designs of salt lamps to choose from so that you may continue to benefit from the Himalayan Pink salt at home!

 Have you tried any of these?  What are your thoughts?

Sources include:

http://fitlife.tv/12-incredible-things-that-happen-when-you-swap-table-salt-for-himalayan-sea-salt/

https://www.google.com/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&ion=1&espv=2&ie=UTF-8#q=benefits%20of%20iodine

Five Young Living Products for Travel

 

5 Young Living Products for Travel

Young Living is the leading Essential Oil Company in the world.  Not only do they offer the highest grade of essential oils, but they also have over 300 essential-oil infused products. Their Seed-to-Seal Promise gives me confidence that these are the safest essential oils available on the market.

  In my travels, I have found many of their products to be a necessity, but here are five that every traveler must have!!

1.     Peppermint

This essential oil is one of my favorites.  I love it when traveling because of its versatile uses! Peppermint provides energy and supports your digestive system.  Put a drop of Young Living’s Peppermint Essential Oil on the end of a wooden clothes pin and clip it to your car vents.  The vents act as a diffuser, and your car will smell like Peppermint and everyone in the car will receive the therapeutic advantages of this essential oil!  You can also rub a little on your stomach when the driver isn’t exactly trustworthy and you’re starting to feel the effects of their crazy driving---- if you know what I mean!  Another great thing about the Peppermint is that it comes in the Premium Starter Kit with Young Living!

2.     Lavender

Lavender is considered to be the “Swiss-Army-Knife of Essential Oils” because it can be used for practically anything!  This essential oil is very calming, which means it will come in handy when other drivers are getting on your nerves, and when it’s time to wind down and get some sleep!  This oil also comes in Young Living’s Premium Starter Kit!

3.     Purification

Purification is a blend of essential oils including Citronella, Lavandin, Lemongrass, Rosemary, Myrtle, and Tea Tree.  This combination is perfect for fighting odors!  Put a drop in your shoes after a long, sweaty day.  Put a drop on the end of a wooden clothes pin and clip to your car vents to rid of any horrifying smells that have collected through the day.  You can also put a drop on a cotton ball and throw it in whatever piece of luggage is carrying your dirty laundry!  Maybe you’re on a plane and got stuck sitting beside the bathrooms-- or someone who smells like one!  Put a drop on your sleeve or a leather bracelet and just keep on sniffin’!  This amazingly powerful blend also comes in Young Living’s Premium Starter Kit!

4.     PanAway

PanAway is a blend of oils including Wintergreen, Clove, and Peppermint.  This little bottle of oil will become your best friend after being cramped in a car or plane for hours on end.  It is wonderful for any muscular discomforts that you may experience when traveling, or after sleeping in an unfamiliar and uncomfortable hotel bed.  This blend also comes in Young Living’s Premium Starter Kit!

5.     Thieves Spray

Thieves Spray is a must have for any germaphobe, and they should have it with them at all times to avoid any panic attacks.  I have used this on anything that grossed me out from sticky restaurant tables to nasty toilet seats. I sprayedthis on a porta pot seat once, and the bugs literally swarmed out… ew.  This powerful little spray bottle will disinfect the most disgusting things there are.  I even spray it on my hands as a purifier instead of using hand sanitizers that are full of harsh toxins and chemicals.  What I love the most about the Thieves Spray is that it is full of natural-derived and plant-based ingredients that are completely safe.  In fact, I can spray it in my mouth!  It is formulated using the Young Living Essential Oil called Thieves, which is a blend of powerful, immune-boosting and disinfecting essential oils, including Cinnamon, Clove, Lemon, and Peppermint.  Young Living has an entire cleaning product line based off of this one essential oil.  The Thieves Spray, however, is the perfect size to carry in your purse or luggage.  Spray your bathroom counter, phone, alarm, light switches, lamps, and bed sheets before you settle in for the night to help keep things a little more clean and safe!

 

So there you have it-- my top five Young Living products for traveling.  These are easy to carry on any trip, just make sure you put them in a plastic baggie when flying.  I, myself, am a Young Living addict, and I carry anything I can fit in my luggage when traveling, but these are my top picks that I would recommend to you.

 

Check out my website, theautumneffect.com/young-living for more details, and how to get your own Premium Starter Kit!

Five Ways to Simply Share Jesus

Want to share Jesus with others, but not really sure how?  Here are five easy tips to simply share Jesus!

1.       Be Kind, ALWAYS

Some people are just rude. They treat you wrongly and quite frankly, you don’t deserve it.  But let me ask you that same question we’ve heard since we were kids… W.W.J.D? What would Jesus Do?  If we read our Bibles, Jesus was often treated wrongly, and even so much that He was sent to die on the cross for us.  Yet, he treated everyone kindly and forgave them by dying on the cross for them.  Even when we are treated wrongly, we must be kind. 

Most importantly, smile.  Smile even when you don’t feel like it.  Smiling proves that your joy comes from a Higher Power that doesn’t change according to your circumstances.

  “Have courage and be kind.” -Cinderella

2.       Leave a tract

There are so many way to leave tracts.  Leave one with a tip at the table.  Leave one with the employee at the drive thru window.  Leave one with someone you started a conversation with. 

Sometimes, people won’t take the tract.  They may say they aren’t allowed to take it, or they may be rude; however, I’ve had people get very excited about sharing Jesus with them, and I leave them with a smile on their face and a promise to read it.  No matter what, it will say a lot about you when you leave a little piece of paper with them that tells them how they can have an eternal home in heaven. 

3.       Live like a Christian!

It’s our duty as Christians to live like Christ to the best of our abilities. Living like everyone else in the world doesn’t set you apart as a Christian.  Live so that nobody will ever doubt that you are a child of the King of Kings.  Does your life prove that you're different? 

  “Would God be proud to say He knows you?”

4.       Share on social media about what God has done for you

Did God answer a prayer?  Post about it! 

Did God provide for you in a miraculous way?  Tweet about it! 

Did you meet a new friend at a Christian retreat or camp?  Snapchat it! 

Discover something beautiful in your daily devotions?  Instagram it! 

5.       Encourage those who are down

There are so many ways to encourage people. Read my blog post about Encouragement here for ideas of how to daily encourage the people in your life. 

Now that you have five ways to simply share Jesus, which one will you try?  What other ways do you share Jesus?

3 Things You Need to Know About God's Forgiveness

3 Things You Need to Know About God’s Forgiveness

Forgiveness can be defined as “the intentional and voluntary process by which a victim undergoes a change in feelings and attitude regarding an offense, lets go of negative emotions such as vengefulness, with an increased ability to wish the offender well.”

Wow, that sure is hard to do.  I don’t know about you, but when I am hurt by someone, I want to retaliate!  Yet, God forgives every one of us every single day a number of times, and He still loves us just as if we had never sinned.  How can that be? 

Here are 3 things you need to know about God’s forgiveness….

1.       Christ forgives us so that we can have an eternal home in Heaven.

Ephesians 1:7- “In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;”

Christ paid for our sins on the cross of Calvary so that we can live FREELY in Heaven. The Bible tells us that “the wages of sin is DEATH, but the GIFT of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”  We were supposed to die in our sinful nature and spend an eternity in Hell, but God gifts us a life eternal with Him in His Heavenly Paradise.  We just have to accept His gift.

Psalm 130:3-4 reminds us that if God were to look at all of our sins, none of us would deserve to go to Heaven.  “But there is forgiveness with (Him).”  What an amazing thought!

Acts 26:18- “To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.”

Not only do we receive forgiveness, but we receive the inheritance of a Heavenly home from our Father just simply by believing.

2.       He will not remind you of the things you now regret. 

Once you ask God for forgiveness, He will never remember your sin again. How loving is our God? In our sinful, human nature, we tend to remember and sometimes bring up past offenses even after we have forgiven the offender. But God FORGETS FOREVER.  He chooses to let go. 

Psalm 103:12- “As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.”

If you recall a sin from your past and feel the same shame and guilt after asking for God’s forgiveness, God isn’t the one reminding you.  Satan is trying to tell you what a horrible person you are when God has already forgiven and forgotten!

3.       We should forgive others, because Christ forgave us!

Colossians 3:13- “Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.”
Luke 6:35-38- “But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil.  Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.  Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven.”

Sometimes people in our lives can just be plain nasty and our nature is to retaliate and lash back.  The best thing we can do is forgive them!  Forgive them, move forward, and be a good testimony by loving them and praying for them.

 

So now that you know just a few of the many amazing things about God’s forgiveness, is there someone you need to forgive today?  Do you need to ask God for His forgiveness for a sin in your life?  Have you accepted God’s FREE gift of eternal life and forgiveness from all your sins?  Make sure you do that today. 

The Day My Life Changed Forever

On June 4th, 2004, my life was changed forever.  I was only 9 years old, and this is my story….

It was about 10:30 PM on a Friday night when we got the call.  I was in my sleeping bag lying next to my parents bed when the phone rang and my mom got up to answer it.  I remember hearing her call out to my dad, saying that the President of Crown College wanted to speak with him.  I realized that was the college where my brother had just graduated from the month before, and he and his wife were leading a traveling singing group for Crown College that summer.  The men sang, my sister-in-law played piano, and my brother preached. When I walked out into the hallway, I found my mom sitting against the wall on the floor with her face in her hands.  Why was she crying?  As soon as my dad got off the phone, people were knocking on our back door.  I was so confused and scared.  I followed my dad to the bedroom, and I could tell that he was crying.  “Dad, what’s wrong?”  He managed to say the words, “Aaron was in a car accident.”  Scared by his answer, I asked, “Is he okay?”  All my dad could say before he shut his bathroom door was, “No.”  I ran out to the living room to find my Pastor and his wife, along with my youth pastor and his wife in our living room hugging my mom.  My pastor’s wife whispered to my her, “It’s ok, He took Darci too.”  At this point I still had no idea what was going on.  Panicking, I ran to each person in the room and asked what was going on.  Everybody looked scared to tell me anything, and nobody said a word.  Finally, my dad came out and put his arms around me.  He pulled me closer and whispered, “Autumn, Aaron’s dead.”  I hugged my dad tight and stared into our dark kitchen.  I knew this had to be just a dream, so I rolled my eyes and played along for the next hour.  But as people started knocking on our door and coming into our home with tears in their eyes, I started to wonder if this was all real.  I can remember seeing how heartbroken my grandparents were and feeling the painful reality.  I fell asleep that night in the living room in my sleeping bag lying next to my mom.  I woke up the next morning, and realized it hadn’t been a dream.  As people were still coming into my home, I remembered the dream that I did have that night.  It was of my sister-in-law, Darci.  I could see her clear as day in my dream, and she was shining and surrounded by clouds.  She said to me in the sweetest voice, “It’s going to be ok.”  It was so real, and her smile was so peaceful.  That’s when I knew it had really happened, but it would be okay. 

Through the night and the next day, we began to find out the details.  My brother, Aaron, sister-in-law, Darci, and three other young men, Brad, David, and Jonathan, were traveling in Florida on their way to a church to sing and preach.  While they were all up towards the front of the van practicing their songs, a tractor trailer went left of center and struck them head on, killing all five young people instantly.  The truck engine flew into the van, causing an explosion.  Everything was burned and very little remained of the van.  But one thing did remain unharmed and untouched by the flames, and was found lying on the side of the road near the accident.  It was a CD wrapped in plastic, but it hadn’t been burned.  The name of that CD was “God Makes No Mistakes.”

This picture was taken at the scene of the accident when the CD was found

This picture was taken at the scene of the accident when the CD was found

Years later, as I write my story, the pain is still as real as it was years ago.   I can still remember the last time I saw Aaron, hugged Aaron, and talked to him on the phone. But God’s grace still remains.  “God Makes No Mistakes” has been my life motto, and I know that Aaron’s accident was not a mistake. Those five young people lived for the Lord, and died for Lord.  So many lives have been impacted by my brother and sister-in-law’s story, and lives are still being touched. I would not change a thing if I had the chance to, because it was not a mistake.  I miss them every day, and long to have my big brother by my side.  I am now almost as old as he was when he went Home to Glory, and I can only hope that in all the years God grants me here on earth, I can live up to my brother’s reputation that he left behind in his short twenty-one years here on earth. 

Please know that whatever life brings your way, it wasn’t a mistake.  God has a reason for everything.  Let Him use you to impact others. 

And if you don't know for sure where you will spend Eternity, please reach out to me. 

To God be the glory…

In memory of Aaron, Darci, Brad, David, and Jonathan.

I love you Aaron!!

This memorial service includes testimonies from each of the young people recorded in Florida just 2 days prior to the accident, a Piano Solo by Brad Askew, four songs sang by the men and accompanied by Darci Brown, and a 10 minute sermon preached by Aaron Brown

My family at Aaron's wedding in 2003

My family at Aaron's wedding in 2003

Aaron and Darci were planning to start a church in Seattle, WA

Aaron and Darci were planning to start a church in Seattle, WA

I sure did miss my brother on my wedding day on June 10th, 2017. But I made sure I still took a picture with him &lt;3

I sure did miss my brother on my wedding day on June 10th, 2017. But I made sure I still took a picture with him <3

Read one of the original news articles after the accident in 2004 here:

http://www.knoxnews.com/news/local/leading-like-pillar-of-fire-ep-413332150-360405031.htm

Encouraging Others

1 Thessalonians 5:11-14(KJV)
11 Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.
12 And we beseech you, brethren, to know them which labour among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you;
13 And to esteem them very highly in love for their work's sake. And be at peace among yourselves.
14 Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men.

 

Ever had a horrible day, week, or month for that matter, and just thought to yourself, "I could really use some encouragement right now"?  It is our Christian duty to "do unto others as you would have them do unto you."  If you feel this way, so does somebody else!  We are commanded to be an encouragement to other people. 

 

Many times in the Bible, we come across stories of Jesus or His followers helping and encouraging those in need.   Even when some people didn't "deserve" the help they received, it was willingly given.

 In Hebrews 10:24, the Bible reminds us to love each other and do good unto them. 

 

Hebrews 10:24 (KJV)
And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:

 

Have you ever wanted to encourage someone, but weren’t quite sure what to do for them?  Here are a few ideas of ways to encourage someone:

1.    Write them a card or simple note

2.    Give them a hug!

3.    Give them a small gift (I like to make notes when someone mentions something they like)

a.     Their favorite candy, dessert, drink

b.    Something they collect

c.     A gift card to a favorite restaurant or store

d.    Their favorite lotion, perfume, or candle

e.     A fun pen they can use and think of you every time they use it!

f.       A notebook or journal with a note from you in the cover

g.     A magazine or book on a topic they like (Gardening, guns, Christian living, etc.)

4.    Send them a text and tell them you're thinking about them and praying for them!

5.    Treat them to coffee, breakfast, lunch, or dinner

6.    Send them a song or scripture of encouragement to match the situation they are going through.  Below are just a few examples of the thousands of amazing options….

a.     Isaiah 41:10- Dealing with Fear

b.    "I Can Trust Jesus" by the Collingsworth Family

c.     Psalm 145:14- Discouragement

d.    Romans 8:28- Trusting God’s Will

e.     “You Are For Me” and “I Am Not Alone” by Kari Jobe- feeling alone/betrayed

f.      I’d love to hear your suggestions of songs or verses that encourage you in the comment section below!

7.    Post a picture of you and that person on social media and brag about them, letting them and those who see it know how much they mean to you and how amazing they are. (Be careful with this one, as some people wouldn't prefer this method.)

8.    Find something to compliment them on, no matter how small!

 

Here are some good reasons to encourage someone and some ideas of how to encourage them for the occasion:

1.    A loved one passed away, or it is the anniversary of their passing

a.     Send them flowers, cards, Edible Arrangements, or even just a simple text saying that you're praying for them.

2.    Make a big deal about their birthday… it's THEIR day!

a.     Buy them balloons

b.    Buy them a piece of cake

3.    Celebrating an Anniversary

a.     Send them flowers!

b.    Get the couple a gift card to their favorite restaurant or resort

4.    New Home Owners

a.     Get them a gift card to a store with cute decorations (Hobby Lobby, etc.) or to a store to help out with all their renovations (Lowes, Home Depot, etc.)

5.    Friends going on a long awaited, exciting vacation. 

a.     Puzzle books

b.    Books, magazines

c.     A journal to write down the day's memories

 

Here are some examples of people who usually need encouragement on a daily basis:

1.    College Students

a.     Send them a card or care package

b.    Let them know you're praying for them during finals

2.    The sick/elderly

a.     Send them a card or flowers

b.    Pay them a visit!

3.    People who move away from home

a.     Send them items with their "home state" on it to remind them of home

b.    Care packages are so fun!

4.    Missionaries

a.     They constantly need our support and prayers.  Send them a card, or provide for them if you are able.

5.    Pastors

a.     Daily fighting the devil and trying to help people in the church can be exhausting.  Give your pastor a gift card to his favorite restaurant.

b.    Write him a card and let him know you're praying for him.

6.    People in the ministry

a.     Any ministry can be a little tough to deal with sometimes.  Don't hesitate to thank people in the ministries at your church with a card or note of encouragement.

7.    Discouraged/Stressed friends and family

a.     Maybe a friend or family member is going through a particularly stressful or discouraging time. Be there for them when they need you. 

b.    Treat them to coffee or lunch, and be a good listener. 

8.    People who accomplish something big

a.     New job/Promotion

b.    Important part in a production/project

c.     Graduation/Certification

9.    People in our Military or going through Boot Camp

a.     This can be a very trying time for them.  Send them a card with scripture on a regular basis, and send them a care package when able to do so.  They can use all the encouragement they can get!

 

 

You have to remember that you never know what people are going through in life.  Even if you come across someone who is very nasty to you, or doesn't want to smile on a particular day, treat them well and pay them a compliment.  They could be going through a rough time, so be there for them. 

 

Now that you have several ideas on who, when, and how to encourage somebody, I want to conclude this blog post by challenging you to encourage AT LEAST one person a week. Better yet, encourage someone every day!  Hebrews 3:13 says, "But exhort one another daily, while it is called today..."  The easiest people to encourage, but often the most forgotten, are our own family and friends that we see on a regular basis.  So I challenge you to encourage someone today, and someone at least once a week.  You will find that encouraging other people will encourage your heart as well.

 

I would love to hear your ideas for encouraging others in the comment section below!!

Marriage Compared to Christ's Love

It wasn’t until recently that I finally figured out why marriage is compared to the love of Christ.  I never truly understood that.  Now I know why pastors read certain Scriptures at weddings, and compare the newlyweds love to the love of Christ. 

I discovered this a couple months ago when I began to feel completely cared for and loved by my boyfriend, no matter how moody or unloving I was.  After five and a half years of dating, Brian and I have been through so much, and he has loved me through it all.  He has loved me through my mood swings, my crazy emotions, my insanity, my indecisiveness, and my downright nastiness.  He forgives me for everything wrong I have ever said or done.  It amazes me he has stuck around for this long, and that his love for me has increased, and not decreased. He loves me even when I don’t deserve his love.

Christ’s love is unconditional.  He loves us no matter what we do or how we act.  He forgives us for our repetitive sins, and treats us like we never did anything wrong. We don’t deserve His love, but He gives it freely!

Here are some verses that had a great impact on me while thinking about God’s unending love for His children. 

-          Jeremiah 31:3 KJV- “…Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love.” 

o   The dictionary’s definition of “everlasting” is the following: “lasting forever, eternal; lasting or continuing for an indefinitely long time; incessant, constantly recurring.”  God promises us in this verse that His love for us will never end! His love will last for all eternity, which my mind cannot even begin to comprehend!

-          Romans 8:35, 38-39 KJV- “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?  Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?  For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” 

o   How amazing are these verses?! We are reassured that absolutely NOTHING can separate us from God’s love.  His love doesn’t fade over time. His love doesn’t end after hard times.  His love doesn’t even end after our death.  Nothing can tear us away from our Lord and His love for us.

Marriage is a lifetime commitment to love your spouse unconditionally.  Your love is meant to grow with time.  Your love is meant to bring you through hard times and strengthen your relationship. Nothing is meant to tear your marriage apart.  On your wedding day, you promise to love your spouse, and only your spouse, completely for the rest of your life. 

As we approach Valentine’s Day, I am reminded of how blessed I am already, in my dating relationship, to have a boyfriend who loves me unconditionally. I am excited to see how God’s love shines evidently through our future marriage. But it is even more exciting to serve a Savior whose love is absolutely, without a doubt, everlasting.  He our Constant, our Companion, and all we need!  Thank you, Jesus, for loving me even when I don’t deserve your love!

Dedicated to my loving boyfriend of 5 ½ years. Happy Valentine’s Day, Brian!

More Than Just a Business

Although I sell their merchandise, I do not feel like a salesman for Young Living.  Telling people about all of our amazing products and how they have changed lives doesn’t feel like a sales pitch, but a way to help them and their family.  Young Living is so much more than just a company and a business.  To me, it is also a ministry.  Educating people on how to use these amazing oils that God created for our well-being is such a humbling experience.  If I can bless someone by giving them the gift of God’s creation to support their health and emotions, it is all worth it!

Thirty-One Gifts has the mission statement of “Celebrate, Encourage, and Reward.”  Their goal isn’t to sell more bags than any other company in America, but to impact women for the Lord.  They succeed in this by encouraging their consultants to really support our hostesses and continually encourage them, and also by funding many charities that reach out to those in need. As a consultant, I am privileged to interact with many women and do my best to encourage them in Christ.

The founders of Young Living and Thirty-One Gifts give God all the glory for everything they have accomplished.  How many companies in corporate America do you know that do that?  I am surrounded by Godly and encouraging leaders and team members.  It is such a blessing to be a part of two Christian-based companies, and I wouldn’t want it any other way.  Belonging to companies that see their business as a ministry makes you realize it isn’t about the money, but impacting others for Christ. 

If you are looking for Christian companies to work for, try these two out.  You won’t feel like you’re working for them, but with them.  These companies reward you and encourage you throughout your whole journey, and the people you come in contact with through these businesses will bless your heart.  Give God all the glory!

Why I Wear a Purity Ring

My Purity Ring

My Purity Ring

Around Christmas of 2010, my parents took me out to dinner and handed me a letter. In the letter, they reminded me to honor God in everything.  After I had finished reading, they handed me a jewelry box.  I had just begun dating 3 months prior, and they thought this would be the perfect time to give me this special gift.  Inside the box was my purity ring.

As a Christian, I believe that I should remain pure until my wedding night.  This purity ring serves as a reminder to myself to honor my parents, my Lord, and my future husband by waiting until marriage to give my body to a man. It is an important reminder anytime temptation creeps upon me that I have a promise to keep.  

I received this ring a few months after Brian and I started dating.  When I told him about it, I was so thrilled to see his reaction.  I remember him saying, "I think it's great, because I know I don't have to worry."  We both have the same standards, and this ring serves as a reminder to the both of us that the wait will be well worth it.  

Why I wear it on my left hand

Many people assume this is a promise ring, or even an engagement ring because I wear it on my ring finger.  It's placement serves as a symbol.  My purity ring will remain on my ring finger until it is replaced with an engagement ring.  At that point, I will continue to wear it on my opposite hand until my wedding day.  

I have thought about moving my purity ring to another hand to save from confusion, questions, and assumptions, but I think that loses meaning.  It stays on that finger to symbolically remind me it will be worth the wait until that ring is replaced with another.  

I am thankful my parents got me this ring.  It has been a blessing to myself and a great reminder in time of temptation.  I wear it almost every day, and plan to until my wedding day.  

If you are a Christian with a young daughter, I challenge you to think about doing the same for her.  It is important to train our children in Biblical ways, and I plan to give my daughter one someday.  

It is not a promise ring.  It is not an engagement ring.  It is a reminder to trust that the Lord's timing is always best.