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Friday, January 22, 2016

My Daughter's Journey to Health and Wellness

People ask me often what it is like to be the mom to grown daughters.  And I always tell them the same thing... It's amazing. The relationships shift and we become best friends,  and in some ways "peers".... just women trying our best to honor Jesus, love our husbands well and raise our children to the best of our abilities.  Once they are married, there is a transfer of leadership that takes place.  Their husband's are now the ones who lead them and they are their own team now...making decisions together and bearing all the responsibility.   I get to be their cheerleader.  Their encourager. Their sounding board.  And their prayer warrior.  The concern and worry for them never goes away but it does take on a different dynamic.

I love being the mom of daughters.  I love this season we are experiencing together. I love seeing fruit of years of labor as they build their own nests and raise their own families.  I can see some of my victories being emulated as well as some of my struggles in their lives as wives.   But I am also learning so much from them.  They are teaching me many things as well as I watch them in their own callings and roles the Lord has given them.

My oldest daughter is one of the most amazing moms I know. She would never describe herself in that way but she really is.  She will always go the extra mile for anyone in need and she has done that for her own family. When finding herself in a very hard season, she didn't throw in the towel. She struggled at times but she went the extra mile and found the answers to what she needed...what worked for her and her family to help her overcome a season of depression and be the wife and mom God created her to be.   

I asked her to share her journey here.  I've seen with my own eyes the difference her choices have made for her personally and for their family.  She is teaching me so much in the area of health and wellness by choosing natural methods over what I've always known and done.

Maybe you will glean a nugget or two yourself.....

The following words are from Elizabeth as she shares a little of her journey.

I was done.
Feelings of hopelessness, immense inadequacy, worthlessness, and self-hatred plagued my heart.
Most of my days were spent lying in bed while fatigue ruled my life.
Deep sadness would suck me into this deep, dark hole, which I found so much easier to stay in than have to do the extra work to dig myself out.
I would remain there for days..weeks..months even.
My mind and body were continuously at war with one another never in agreement.
I mean, how could they be? I was sick. My mind was sick. My body was sick.
Which obviously only trickled down into every other area of my life.
My walk with the Lord and everyone I loved and cared for suffered, and that genuinely pained my heart above anything else.
I was miserable, and I wanted out.
Something had to change.

I married my high school sweetheart very young, and the Lord graciously (and surprisingly) blessed us with children shortly after. One after the other they came, turning our world upside down and filling our hearts to the brim. Giving our life such joy and purpose, which was truly indescribable. The only problem was my body took a beating. I didn't nurture and take care of it like I should have, so each new pregnancy stripped me of more and more of the nutrients my body needed to function optimally. It was after my precious Julia Rose, that my body started to go down hill. We had just moved to a new state, started serving at a new church, and had a new baby along with a small toddler who was basically still a baby herself. All the change was a bit overwhelming, and I started to spiral quickly. I got pregnant with Nate only 5 months later, and then eventually we moved to another state for Chris to further his education. It all just slowly took its toll on me for several years to follow, and thats when I hit rock bottom. I literally hated the person who had taken up residence in my body.

You see, all I have ever wanted to do is serve the Lord and my family well.
To love and honor my husband, to nurture and care for my children, and to serve Gods people.
And all I felt like was a big fat loser.
Every day I had to carefully choose what I did that particular day fearing if I over-exerted myself, I would reap great consequences in the days to follow.
It took a ridiculous amount of willpower to even muster up the strength to feed my kids daily.
I knew deep down my worth was not bound by how good of a mother I was or not, but the internal struggle I fought deep within made me feel otherwise.

I was on medicine. Had been, on and off, for 3 1/2 years.
I was tired of the way it made me feel. Sure, it helped me. It really did at times. But the side effects were unreal.
I felt crazy, unstable, and out of control. I was tired of the roller coaster I had been riding for too many years. It just wasnt worth it.
It felt like I was just putting a bandaid on a gaping wound. A wound so deep, I feared could never be healed. I wanted to get to the root of the issue.
My greatest fear was this was my new normal. This was going to be the way I was forever.
I was back to square one, and thats when I started searching.

Essential oils had just started to surface more widespread, and I was starting to see oil posts pepper my IG and FB feeds here and there. Im a curious gal, so they intrigued me greatly.
But let me just tell you, I was skeptical of those little boogers. I mean, how could they possibly work like everybody was talking about? I was a true hopeful skeptic. Hopeful that they would work for our family, but totally skeptical they they actually would.
Our kids were constantly sick. I had 3 at the time, and they passed everything between each other. We were struggling financially, and I was the worst Ive ever been in my post-partum journey. Thats when I knew this was THE time to make a change.

I had a strong desire to live more naturally, but I would have never called myself a naturalist.  In fact, I was far from it. I wanted to come off of my medicine, and I knew I needed to eat healthier and exercise, but remember I could barely get out of bed! How was I going to have the energy and stamina to cook healthy meals?
I couldnt.
But I knew I needed to take a step. Even if it was just a baby step.
And essential oils were that next step for our family. I knew I could DO that. It was an easy way to start implementing changes in a small, practical way that could have the potential to produce BIG results.

So out of the blue, I asked my parents for the Young Living Premium Starter Kit for Christmas as our family gift, because I knew it would benefit all of us!
Still skeptical and with Chris thinking I had gone a little crazier than I already was, we took the leap of faith.
We did it.
It was our diving board into a great big pool of health and wellness.

That kit is truly the gift that keeps on giving.
It literally changed our lives.
And I dont take that phrase lightly, but its true. Oils have been life-changing for our family. YL essential oils have set us on a path I promise we would have never been on if we had not taken the plunge with the kit. And I will forever be grateful.

My kids are sick MUCH less. Its very rare that they are, and if they do get sick, its typically pretty short-lived. Because oils are so versatile, we pretty much use them for everything you can think of. You name it Building the immunity, respiratory support, hormonal support, aiding the digestive system, teething, upset tummies, carsickness, anxious feelings, skincare, perfume, lotions, bath salts, dishes, laundry, hand soap, cleaning, and so much more.

But like I always say, oils are just a huge puzzle piece in striving for optimal wellness. And because of being on this journey of wellness, we have been able to eliminate the chemicals and toxins in our home all the way from our cleaning supplies, skincare, laundry, to our toothpaste.

Which has only led us now to taking charge of our nutrition. You remember how I talked about how I barely had the energy to feed my family? Well, we are in the middle of Whole30 right now, and Im feeling better than I have ever felt in my ENTIRE life. Im cooking 3 meals a day from scratch with enough energy to last for days.
Yall, Im literally in tears right now as I type this. Im overwhelmed with gratitude. Did you hear me when I said I am cooking 3 meals a day for my family? This may seem trivial to some, but to me.. its everything.

You see, I remember vividly where I was (broken, tattered, and beaten down), and where I am today.
And that is no coincidence, friends. I dont take for granted how much has changed in our family. Yes, it has taken work, but its been small, simple steps over the course of two years that are going to have life-long lasting effects.

Jesus mostly definitely healed my body, but He used several tools to do it with.
And for that, Im forever grateful.

What are your health goals? What are you struggling with today? Maybe for you your first step is eliminating chemicals? Maybe you start by taking charge of your nutrition? Or maybe you are like I was, and you just dont know where to start, but you want to start somewhere?

The key is to start. Take that step. Even if its a baby step.

One of my favorite quotes lately, is one from Lara Casey, and one I have told myself time and time again the past several weeks doing Whole30 is,
She believed she couldnt, so HE did.

Let me know how I can be praying for you today as we start to seek the Lord on how to honor Him by taking care of our temples. These old bodies are His anyways. Lets get them working the best we can, so that we may glorify and serve HIM with every fiber of our being!

 Amen!  She is such an inspiration to me.  I am rejoicing with her over cooking for her family.  I know what a victory that is for her.  And having all the energy to do it. I am so encouraged and inspired by their commitment to Whole30 and the results they are enjoying from clean eating.  I love that my grand kids are being taught how to fuel their bodies instead of feeding their faces.  I've seen the benefits of essential oils firsthand in their family and I am blessed by Elizabeth's desire to give her family her very best.   

If you have any questions about any of it please send her an email at 

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