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Grumpy mommies train grumpy kids. When we feel run down, it’s very difficult to have a cheerful, energetic attitude; and, as unfair as it seems, it will affect those you care for and train.
In addition, a moody mama is going to find it difficult (if not downright impossible!) to stay on top of the housework, to consistently train the children (without losing it), and to keep a productive, industrious household. Ask me how I know.
A few years ago, I found myself realizing that our family had been under well over a year of constant, major stress. We had remained on emergency mode non-stop, running four full time businesses (tea room, gift shop, online bookstore, and publishing an international magazine). In addition, we traveled around the country with our children, speaking at homeschool conferences, all while writing books, having babies, and pastoring a church (yes, this tends to be a family venture).
This was all supposed to be temporary (until we could hire more help); but, until we moved from Houston to Illinois and sold the businesses, things just seemed to get more and more out of control and consuming.
Fight or Flight
We had too much going on, with very little rest or focus on our health. Are you familiar with the fight or flight response? It’s a response mechanism that God gave us to help us to escape danger. Our brain produces a rush of adrenaline, we get a blast of energy, and all our senses go into overdrive. Which is good if you’re trying to run from a bear, but we’re not meant to live in emergency mode non-stop. This stresses our adrenals, and messes with our endocrine system as a whole.
Because of the snowball effect of constant stress, I had no energy, I was moody, and everything seemed to be going wrong. I thought it was just age and that was just how life was going to be; I didn’t realize it didn’t have to stay that way.
All the body systems work synergistically; so, when one thing is off, it affects everything else. That’s why it’s important to do what we can to keep our body at optimum health.
Years later, even after the crazy-life began to slowly dissipate, what I discovered was that my body had already suffered the consequences. The damage was done and it was going to take time to correct it and get back on track. But, for me, it would get worse before it got better. My husband and I had to learn to let things go.
The photo of me to the right was taken in 2005 during an interview for a documentary and right after the birth of our youngest son. Recently, when reviewing this video, my husband and I were startled to see how ill I looked. I was only 39 years old.
Our Move to the Midwest
In 2006, during the week of my 40th birthday, we moved from Southeast Texas to Central Illinois and settled into a quiet place in the country where my husband had accepted a pastorate. But, while we were relieved to have the burden of multiple businesses lifted, there were parts of ministry life that continued to be very stressful to us both.
Just a couple of months after we moved, our oldest daughter, Christa, got married. Having lived in temporary housing for a month, wedding planning took place in the midst of boxes and getting to know our new surroundings. In addition, finances were tight, so eating healthy was sometimes achallenge, and the stress of paying bills weighed heavily upon us both.
Over the next year, I wrote a book that turned out to be quite controversial (controversy is stressful!), continued my speaking engagements, homeschooled my children, and supported my husband’s ministry at our church. Life was full.
Between 2006-2013, three more children were married and ministry life was beginning to take a toll on the health of our family as a whole. The photo of my husband and I above was taken between 2007-2008. I was tired. My husband was tired too; but, as the eternal optimist, it took him a while to notice. This was when I first started to realize something would eventually have to change.
Starting to Notice
While I knew I didn’t feel good, it was so gradual that I figured it was just the aging process, and this was how life would have to be.
I had dark circles under my eyes, my skin was pale, my hair was thinning and dry, and note how tired my eyes look. I couldn’t even read to my kids without falling asleep. But as sleepy as I was, I felt like my nerves were on the outside of my skin. I began to avoid driving because I was so jumpy. I could go on, but I think you get the picture.
Often, we don’t pay attention to our health until we become afraid of losing it. We accept that slow decline way too early in life because we don’t pay enough attention to the red flags. We are negligent about what we eat, the stress load we accept, and the toxins with which we fill our lives.
Energy for the Good Fight!
Personally, as a Christian, I want to be as healthy and full of life as I can be, so that I have the energy and emotional stability to impact my family and others for Christ. Obviously, our spiritual health is the basis for it all, but I have found that it makes perfect Christian sense to reduce stress when possible and keep my body nourished and well balanced. And, as a mom, when I feel better, I am not as tempted to sin with my tongue or my attitude.
When I’m exhausted or emotionally “buzzed” from fatigue and roller coaster emotions, I find it much more difficult to work hard, avoid sinful responses, be faithful with what I’m called to do, or even to read my Bible!
In February 2010, I found an integrative doctor who helped me find answers. One month later, a dear friend introduced me to Young Living and I joined.
The Young Living Journey Begins
This is when I began my slow journey to wellness. Since then, I’ve had a chance to study, clear my head, and get a little further down the road. So I thought I’d share a bit with you some of the lifestyle changes I made.
In addition to eliminating gluten from my diet, which blood tests revealed I was highly sensitive to, I made some major lifestyle changes. I also got serious about detoxing my home and my body. I switched to all-natural cleaning products (I am in love with my Thieves Household Cleaner). I started using Young Living’s beauty/skin products, and I found a more natural brand of makeup.
[Update: In June 2017, Young Living introduce their all-natural makeup line, Savvy Minerals!].
Part of my daily regiment began to include two to six ounces of NingXia Red, an immune system-supporting antioxidant beverage loaded with nutrition, and natural energy for my tired body!
A whole food diet, sunshine, deliberate stress reduction, supplements, essential oils, NingXia Red, the Psalms, financial relief, some healthy “down time,” and a focus on the simpler things in life were all part of the changes that finally helped direct me to a healthier lifestyle! And what a difference it has made!
I chose essential oils that helped to support a healthy endocrine system, digestive system, immune system, and central nervous system. I diffused them, inhaled them on my hands, rubbed them into my temples and the bottoms of my feet, and I even ingested my vitality oils in a capsule or a spoonful of honey. Our home smelled amazing and our whole family began to feel more relaxed…and energized. It was a great combination!
With my head cleared and my energy restored, I began to realize that what we put in and on our bodies matters. What we inhale, eat, drink, and slather all of our bodies makes a difference one way or the other. Stress drains us. A lack of sunshine effects us – Vitamin D is important! Many people are all into their supplements, daily exercise, and even essential oils, but they still use toxic chemicals on their skin and in their homes, eat their junk food, smoke, and work themselves silly.
What I discovered, is that Young Living isn’t just about essential oils; it’s a lifestyle change. It caused me to pay more attention to my health and the health of my family. It encouraged me to study and then to start teaching other women all that I was learning about health, diet, wellness,and essential oils. It caused me to realize the importance of the Christian’s response to God’s gift of oils – gifts straight from His hand at Creation.
Our family is healthier because of it. We’ve been able to get out of debt, work together as a family again, reduce stress, and for the very first time, truly relax and vacation together!
God used Young Living to equip our family with the products and the income we needed to enjoy our health and to spend more time together.
And, perhaps, that was the biggest blessing of all.
I recommend using the following Young Living essential oils, supplements, and products while on your journey to vibrant health!
Starter Kit Oils:
- Stress Away
Other Important Oils:
- Ylang Ylang
- True Source
- Essentialzyme- 4
- Life 9
- NingXia Red (2-6 oz. per day)
- Super B
- Super C
- Progessence Plus*
- Lady Sclereol*
*Helps to maintain radiant skin and a healthy emotional attitude!