Three Opinions

Alright, y’all. A lot of people have been asking me my opinions about the abortion bills being passed, the controversies going on in our nation, and where my faith stands.

As a disclaimer, I am completely aware that not all of you will agree with what I have to say. I, for one, get the fact that there is absolutely no way every single person in our country will be able to agree with each other because we all have differing opinions. We all want what we deem is best, and that will change from person to person simply because we have experiences that vary drastically.

Therefore, please be considerate and take note that I do NOT claim to understand what you have been through. Maybe I’ve gone through similar things, maybe not. I am not judging anyone here because I know I do not have the right to do so. I believe that only God can judge, so I am leaving that part up to Him. I serve a gracious, understanding, and loving God who knows exactly what every human being in the world has been through. He’s seen your heartache and listened to your heart shatter into a thousand tiny pieces.

So with that, let’s dig in.

1. I Am Pro-Circumstances

I want to start off with the statement that for a long time I didn’t believe in abortions, and for the most part, I still don’t. However, I understand that circumstances may make a world of a difference. For those who have gotten pregnant from rape or sexual abuse, I am so incredibly sorry for what you have been through. I cannot imagine the pain you must have felt when you received that positive test. NO ONE should have to go through that. Just know that I hear your argument, whatever it may be. Know that you’re not alone in your grief, and you have hundreds of thousands of men and women rooting for you to stand up for what you believe. I stand with you.

2. I Am Pro-Life

The second statement I want to bring to the table is that I also understand the “conservative” perspective that if a woman doesn’t want to get pregnant, she shouldn’t be having sex. However, I think this is almost more controversial because God gives us free will to live our lives according to what we think is best. Of course, He definitely wants us to believe in Him and live according to His purposes, but I get the fact that not everyone is going to do this. Therefore, I also believe that we shouldn’t be imposing our ideas and thought processes on people who don’t believe. We are called to love every person regardless of who they are and where they stand. So yes, I do stand with abstinence. But I also stand with free will.

3. I Am Pro-Freedom

Now for my third and final point. This is especially hard for me to write, so if you would like to hear more about my story, you can ask me in person.

When I was in college, I experienced a lot of abuse. From five different people to be exact. It was gut-wrenching, manipulative, and for a long time, held me captive. I felt as though soul ties were connecting me to my past and there was nothing I could do to free myself from them. I would pray, seek counsel, read books; I did everything I could. It wasn’t until I learned to forgive myself that those chains finally broke. Comprehending the fact that what happened wasn’t my fault, I didn’t have control over the situations, and I did the best I could with the knowledge I had then, really helped me wrap my head around what I like to call “personal grace”. We already receive grace from God, but from a psychological perspective, it doesn’t matter to our imperfect minds how much someone else forgives us. If we don’t learn to forgive ourselves, our pasts will keep haunting us.

I have two reasons why I share this with you. I am one of those women who stayed silent and regrets it. I am one of those women who should have said #MeToo but didn’t. I am one of those women who felt like she was alone for three years because I was continually being told that my story was “too graphic”, it was labeled as a farce, or that everything was my fault.

I am also adopted. For those of you who don’t know, my mother gave birth to me when she was about forty-five years old. She knew she couldn’t give me a good life and actively pursued providing for me in another way. She had children of her own already, but couldn’t manage having another at her age. She debated getting an abortion but met my parents instead. You have no idea how thankful I am that she made the decision she did.

So after all this, I guess I don’t know which side I stand on. But does it really matter? Shouldn’t we be willing to hear what everyone has to say instead of putting our own opinions up on a pedestal and ignoring everyone else who doesn’t agree?

My challenge to you all is this: to my Christian readers, dig deep into the Word and pray about how the Lord is convicting you in this subject. Be open-minded and open-hearted; understand that God has never called you to push your faith on others and that you are called to live at peace with as many people as possible. Listen to others’ perspectives. Offer love, forgiveness if needed, and compassion. Try to be like Jesus this week.

To my non-Christian readers, please bear with the unforgiving, rude, selfish, and frustrating people who try to shove their opinions on you. Many of them haven’t experienced what you have, and you need to know that. Forgive them because they don’t come from the same background as you. Realize that not everyone is going to agree with you, but DO stand up for yourself. There are many of us who can’t stand up for ourselves, and take it from me: we REALLY appreciate you being strong when others can’t.

To both sides: don’t push others down when they don’t see eye-to-eye with you because they can’t. Live by one of the golden rules: treat others as you want to be treated.

You’ll Never Influence the World By…

There’s a quote that says the following:

You’ll never influence the world by trying to be like it.

I think sayings like that can be severely brushed over, but isn’t that a temptation for all of us? That we listen to the world and try to pretend we can be just like everybody else and we will fit in, be happy, and everything will be okay?

I’ll tell you what, that has been one of the BIGGEST struggles of my life, especially growing up in school!

As a middle schooler, all you want is to fit in. You want to have friends, be liked, and have everybody think you’re pretty. You put the “popular girls” up on this stage because they have what you want, but is it really all it’s cracked up to be?

In high school, sports are everything. The popular people are the football stars, the lacrosse players, and sometimes even the swimmers. They are viewed as “extra-talented” and everyone wants to be like them. But what about the pressures they’re under? Just because you’re popular doesn’t mean your invincible to critiquing.

My point in all this is those people (regardless of what they do) are following what the world is telling them to do. The world presents us with a checklist, and if we can mark off all the boxes, we get a gold star. If not, ridicule follows. But when you get to adulthood, what does that really mean?

When I graduated college, I got a rude awakening when I entered the workforce. I had been interning for years and had worked multiple jobs, but it was nothing compared to what I experienced when I turned 23. The expectations never end, the checklists are updated, and you’re thrown to the wolves.

Doesn’t this sound like a MAJOR discouragement? Doesn’t it sound like it’s impossible to find peace and settle down?

Friends, that’s because it IS! We can never please the world because it’s ever-changing, and we can never find peace and joy from something finite because by definition, peace and joy aren’t finite themselves. Our cavity that calls to be filled can only be filled by Christ (Psalms 42), so why are we trying so hard?

This week, start thinking about how you can distinguish yourself. Push away from the pressures from the rest of the world and recognize that it’s totally okay to be yourself! You are not responsible for how others’ react to what you’re doing; therefore live in the freedom that God made you, your talents, your ambitions, and your interests exactly the way it was meant to be.

Being Vulnerable in the Now

Hey everyone!

This past Sunday, our pastor at church preached on Jesus’ resistance to being controlled by the fear of man. He didn’t fear rejection, being judged by friends and family, or by being tossed as an outcast. At the end of the sermon, our pastor touched on a bunch of questions that challenged us to let the Holy Spirit convict us of our tendencies to be controlled by the fear of man.

One of these questions that really hit home to me was the following:

Are you afraid of making mistakes (or decisions) that may make people think less of you?

Friends, this has been the terror of my heart for so many years that I practically broke down right then and there. I have been so concerned with how other people think of me that I didn’t give any room for Jesus to speak truth to me. I blocked out His voice and tuned my heart to the world’s channel.

So, in light of all this, I thought I would share something that has been changing my life for a little over a year now. It may turn a lot of people away. It might make people huff and puff because they won’t believe me. But that’s okay! I’m not looking for praise, recognition, or immense amounts of support. I just want to share something with y’all that’s been on my heart: Young Living Essential Oils (YLEO).

Now, I know what you’re thinking… ugh, is she just trying to sell us something that’s probably way too expensive? I bet she’ll start to get pushy about it and never let it go. Guess I’m moving on.

Oh friends, this is far from the truth! If I’m being honest, that’s exactly what I thought when I first learned about YLEO. Doubt crept up in my heart and I pushed away from it for years (you can even ask one of my besties Alaina, it took her forever to finally convince me!).

Today I’m not asking you to purchase anything. I’m not asking you to go all in and change your lifestyle right away. In fact, I’ll be doing just the opposite.

I love YLEO because of how much it’s changed my life. Like many of you, I have issues dealing with insomnia, anxiety, depression, and a bunch of other issues. I’ve tried medications over the counter, behind the counter, whatever you wanna call it! It wasn’t until I found YLEO and truly became invested that I started to see results.

While YLEO never claims to cure any diseases, mental illnesses, or even sicknesses, they are incredible for supplementing products we already use in our home. They promote a sense of well-being, support the immune system, help boost moods, and create an overall space for incredible emotional healing! And if you know me, that has been SUPER important in my life lately!

Anyways, let’s get down to some awesome details. I’m going to give three reasons why I absolutely adore YLEO, along with examples of blends I’ve either diffused or products to help in the day-to-day!

1) I was sick and tired of being sick…

Okay friends, this is one of the BIGGEST things I have been struggling with recently. From June 2017 all the way up until the beginning of April 2019, I fought cold after cold after stomach bug. I pumped myself full of OTC medications like Mucinex, Sudafed PE, and Vicks Cough Syrup (amongst many others!), and while they would make me feel better for a few weeks, whatever I had kept coming back. I visited urgent cares and talked to nurses and doctors, but they couldn’t seem to figure out what was going on. I was put on steroids, z-pack’s, and other medications, only to find the same thing returning again and again.

It wasn’t until I finally tried ImmuPro from Young Living that I finally started to find relief. As a disclaimer, I am still taking Advil and Tylenol as needed for aches and pains here and there, but I was finally able to get control of my common colds with this puppy! It is a fantastic blend of strawberry, wolfberry, raspberry, reishi mushroom, orange, and many other naturally-occurring ingredients that help promote immune system strength. While no product is perfect, I was able to find relief from something I’ve been battling for years! You can find more info here!

2) …and tired.

Let’s get real here. How many of us fight our pillows, begging for sleep at night? I know my hand is raised waaayyy up in the air!

The past two months have pretty much been awful for me when it comes to the rest category. Going to bed at 9:30pm, only to wake up literally every hour crying because I couldn’t hit that REM cycle. I didn’t want to try sleep aids because I knew how addictive many of them could be, and I had visited the doctor so I knew I didn’t have sleep apnea or anything severe. I just simply couldn’t get to sleep!

Maybe it was from stress, maybe it was from travel, maybe it was from our dog sleeping in our bed now. I still don’t know, but what I do know is how incredible this sleep blend works that I discovered by doing a little research into what essential oils help best with sleep!

Just add two drops of each to a diffuser and enjoy for up to eight hours!

I like to call this blend Peaceful Dreaming because every night I start diffusing it ten minutes before bed and pretty much pass out after that! It gets me through just about seven hours now, in comparison to the barely two hours I was getting beforehand! Even though this may not work for everyone, I love being able to share things that anyone can try at home! You can find more information on Cedarwood here, Lavender here and here, and Peace & Calming here!

3) I was sick and tired of having too many chemicals in my house.

One of the most eye-opening moments for me was discovering the website/app Think Dirty (you can download it here!). It ranks products in your home from cleaning to beauty to pretty much anything on how dangerous it actually is for your health and for those living in your home. I used to use products like Mrs. Meyers, Clorox, and Tide but when I tested them against the app, I was shocked! I had no idea there were so many things in products we use every day that might be damaging our health!

My point in all this is I wanted to switch. I wanted to completely clean out all the nastiness in our home and replace them with good, honest, natural products that also didn’t break the bank (because hello, organic and “all-natural” product prices are through the roof!).

When I asked one of my friends who enrolled me in Young Living what she suggested, she immediately pointed me to Young Living’s line of Thieves cleaning products. All the ingredients in their supplies are naturally occurring, and as an added bonus, practically all of them are safe for pets too, which was a HUGE worry of mine!

Fun Fact: Essential oils don’t eat through amber glass like they do plastics or metal.

I decided to give YLEO’s Thieves Household Cleaner a try when I received a 2oz sample pouch of it in my starter kit. All you have to do is follow the directions for dilution on the back of the pouch, adding however much water you need for the uses it gives! I filled two 16-ounce amber glass spray bottles (I use these ones!) with just that one pouch, and those bottles lasted me almost an entire year! Friends, this saved me soooo much money because it went so far and lasted so long! It works on every surface in your home (I even use it on carpet when our dog has accidents) so you can imagine how happy I am, having a product I can use for pretty much everything!

The point I wanted to make in sharing all this is I truly believe Young Living has helped point me in the right direction of a healthier lifestyle, and I want to focus on sharing that with others instead of pushing people to buy something!

This week I’d like to challenge y’all to share something you’re excited about. It doesn’t matter if other people might think it’s stupid. It doesn’t matter if not everyone shares the same excitement you do about whatever it is that makes your heart beat. What matters is you put yourself out there and are starting the process of changing your mind to no longer rely on the approval of others. Because when we start to shift our gaze from the ones who yell to the One who calls, it makes all the difference.

“For God has not given us a spirit of fearfulness, but one of power, love, and sound judgment.”

2 Timothy 1:7 (HCSB)