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Some Things Don’t Matter.

I wanted to take a moment, to send out an encouragement.  Maybe you dove into adoption,  just hosted a child, just brought an orphan home, got called to something big.  Listen, you are amazing, but more than that, you know your journey.  You.

You are doing a big, ultimate, real life, good thing.  You are a life changer, a warrior for the good and change in the world.  Most people sit back, and complain, but not you.

People won’t understand, but here is the truth in that– that is kind of awesome.  People will question you, spout out anxiety ridden questions about costs, and your future life, but listen, it’s their anxiety, not yours.  As the great writer Tina Fey wrote;

“Do your thing and don’t care if they like it.” 

Do it.  Do your thing.  Keep going.

We got lots of crazy, crazy off the wall comments when we started adopting, we knew no one who had done it from our same situation–and you know, what?  It was not just fine, but good.  I would smile real big, no teeth, sometimes snake my arm around their necks, look at them and answer their anxiety ridden questions bluntly.  Because you know what they were teaching me?  That maybe it was actually right now, this moment, we were actually living life if it caused them this much grief about stuff.  Messy and real life.  And honestly, most of the best parts of my life, and my own person and character have come from those messiest times.

Jesus does not call me to be comfortable.  He wants lots of things for me, like, abundant living, to act fearless while being gripped with it, to serve others and see them when everyone else in the whole dang world turns a blind eye to this precious person, but comfort from this world?  No.  And that’s ok.  Because what I have learned is, is that all the stuff he talks about, he planned, is so much harder, so much better, so much more abundant and filled with real life, that comfort is a joke compared, a real joke.  I can’t even…  (And just between you and I, I think clutching onto our comfort and stuff out of fears produces much more anxieties than the peace God gives when you decide to just go for it, follow Him–that’s some big lesson I have learned.)

And so when one day, you are at the park, and your precious children are playing out in the sunshine, for the first time being filled up with love and laughter, stretching their bent legs and a woman, shocked, eye brows at the top of her head, alarm in her voice asks, “Why would you do such a thing!!?!” when she finds out about ‘adoption’–

You can smile at her, real easy, gaze into her petrified eyes, and tell her the truth, the truth for your life, but also the truth that will get her to leave you alone, and it’s just one word, “Jesus,” you smile at her, calmly into her face, as she feels sorry for you and walks away in a huff.  Just right ending to that encounter.

When people don’t understand, embrace it, love it.  It may be totally shocking to them.  If someone asks you about ‘your own children,’ you can even kindly remind them that ‘your own children,’ live in the richest country in the richest time frame of human history, and less than I want their happiness I want their hearts to be compassionate with enough room for love, real love which is sacrifice, as they do about the color of plate they have in the morning.  So they can open their lives to others just trying to survive, children just as precious, just as worthy.  Perhaps, I mean, I don’t want to sound too crazy, but maybe it will be good for your little cherubs, it was for mine…. x100.

It’s ok to live life differently, in fact, to quote a man who has changed my life, in every single way, who has brought more abundance and healing and life  into our lives than any other thing,

Jesus told this simple story, but they had no idea what he was talking about. So he tried again. “I’ll be explicit, then. I am the Gate for the sheep. All those others are up to no good—sheep stealers, every one of them. But the sheep didn’t listen to them. I am the Gate. Anyone who goes through me will be cared for—will freely go in and out, and find pasture. A thief is only there to steal and kill and destroy. I came so they can have real and eternal life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of.   John 10: 6-10

Listen, this guy is it.  He knows.  There has never been one time that we have jumped into a situation where he was clearly leading that He didn’t have us, and everything else, and then better.  Life Abundant.

The best/worst news of all?  That his big plan to help those hurting and those in need?  It’s us.

You.  And me.  And anyone willing to take those words literally.  You aren’t on your own, it’s all Him with us just showing up.

Don’t be discouraged.  Vacations will fade, the new furniture won’t keep its sheen.  Dinner parties are soon forgotten, paint your walls bold, then cover it stark white when trends change, new clothes will end up in the thrift store shorty.  Don’t miss out on this.  The thing is God, and His thing is people.  And it’s service, and it’s humility and it’s going forward despite fear.  The fear part is ok, but keep going.  I’d say, “You’ve got this,” but you don’t.  He does, which is all that matters, now and later.

I’m not saying don’t be terrified–in these times joy and fear are real.  But it’s the moments with the hurt and the broken, seeking and loving them despite all that, that we find Him.

“Don’t be afraid,” he says, because it’s him on the other side of that fear.  There he is, waiting for you.

“Don’t be afraid, I’ve redeemed you.
    I’ve called your name. You’re mine.
When you’re in over your head, I’ll be there with you.
    When you’re in rough waters, you will not go down.
When you’re between a rock and a hard place,
    it won’t be a dead end—
Because I am God, your personal God,
    The Holy of Israel, your Savior.
I paid a huge price for you:
    all of Egypt, with rich Cush and Seba thrown in!
That’s how much you mean to me!
    That’s how much I love you!
I’d sell off the whole world to get you back,
    trade the creation just for you.

 “So don’t be afraid: I’m with you.
    I’ll round up all your scattered children,
    pull them in from east and west.
I’ll send orders north and south:
    ‘Send them back.
Return my sons from distant lands,
    my daughters from faraway places.
I want them back, every last one who bears my name,
    every man, woman, and child
Whom I created for my glory,
    yes, personally formed and made each one.’”

Isaiah 43: 2-7   Read it, again

And so my friend, my prayer for you, wherever you are, whatever God has placed before you, whatever feels scary–don’t cope with busyness or things of less worth in the scope of time, but go, in obedience to Him.  You are His, and he is with you.  Go to the ends of the earth, you can trust in him.  He is good, in more than we can even see or experience here and now.  “When you are in over your head, I’ll be there with you.”  It’s perfect.

And if people give you a hard time, it’s not your job to convince them otherwise.  Maybe one day they’ll see what God had on the other side of that and marvel, “Oh my goodness, the world is big, and people are important!”   And maybe they won’t.  Who cares, that end of it doesn’t matter.

Lots of things don’t matter.

And some things do.  Even if they don’t even know it.

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And He is with you when you find it.  Don’t be afraid.

“Whatever the problem, be part of the solution. Don’t just sit around raising questions and pointing out obstacles.” 

-Tina Fey

These hard times are small potatoes compared to the coming good times, the lavish celebration prepared for us. There’s far more here than meets the eye. The things we see now are here today, gone tomorrow. But the things we can’t see now will last forever.

2 Corinthians 4:18

What were your feelings like while you obeyed God?  Were people encouraging or no, how did you feel about that?

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Our Special Gummy Vitamins :)


When I had the opportunity to shoot a video to talk about the kids going back to school and L’il Critters™ Gummy Vites™  Complete, I jumped at the chance.  We’re mega fans–give me a foam finger, that would be us.  We love these things.  We have been eating them for 2 years or more.  They are easily a highlight of our morning, other than the full blown hot breakfast we make each morning including eggs from our own chickens…but somehow, the kids go batty over these vitamins.

 

Kids flinging food?  Not eating the food lovingly created and prepared for them?  Use what I do: “When you’re done you can have your vitamins!” and the good food I lovingly cooked and served is FINISHED!  And voila, here is a vitamin for you, yes, a vitamin.  It fits for us, cause if it’s food they eat, we want it to nourish them.  I mean, obviously, right?  Once, I saw a food logo for chips that read, “Food–just for fun!” and I thought (Picture Grumpy Cat frowning at the behavior altering additives and coloring): “No.”  Why not put into our bodies what makes our bodies feel and do well?  Now that’s food for fun (Happy Cat face).

 

We love that L’il Critters™ is flavored naturally.  We see such a difference for them, say after a good day of good food, verses a day at a party or somewhere where they are eating things that aren’t good for their little bodies (they become wrecks).  Kiss ‘em goodday.

 

We think that if we feed them well now, early and regularly, their little bodies will develop to the best of their abilities, to their fullest potentials and they will develop a taste for good healthy food for the long term.  Making healthy eating just ‘normal eating.’

So, specifically about L’il Critters™, they are easy for my kids to eat. They can’t swallow pills but can chew gummies and these vitamins are sold at the places we shop at (like Target). They are made in the USA and they make nutrition taste good in a gummy.  It’s a small part of our day (the end of breakfast), but it’s a little healthy sweet spot.  

 

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What good habits do you try to teach your kids? Leave an answer in the comments below and you will be entered for a chance to win a $100 Visa gift card! For more information about L’il Critters™ you can visit their website

 *These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

I received free product and payment for this sponsored post. All opinions are 100% mine.

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This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. The notification email will come directly from BlogHer via the sweeps@blogher email address. You will have 72 hours to respond; otherwise a new winner will be selected.

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Amazing Oils

Hi there!

Oils are crazy, that is the subtitle.

I wanted to share with you something that has been rocking our worlds, affecting our lives in crazy and amazing ways, some of which I still can’t even believe.

Since I last wrote about Essential Oils, a few things have happened.

First, I got a few emails from people who purchased and used them for the first time after hearing about them here–and it blew me away.

The first one was when Finley wasn’t feeling well the other morning and I posted on Instagram about how much we love the Breathe Oil, and how it opened his poor, drippy airways and he could breathe and rest.

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Which is great.  I am still always amazed each time I use oils, I just wasn’t raised on them, and it’s still just amazing to me how well they work.  But then, more amazing than that, I got a comment that was one of the best I have ever received,  it made my whole day to know someone else’s life was changed because they tried essential oils, she wrote: “Thank you for your tips on Serenity! We finally tried it and it worked. After 3 years of horrible sleep patterns, our little boy has been sleeping great for two months now!!!”

There is just NOTHING like a well rested child, I feel so honored and blessed to be able to share about essential oils with families. THREE YEARS!?! Oh my, rest well little one! Thank you, Serenity.  I emailed with her a few times since then and asked her about it.  Her message also encouraged other mamas to email about this special oil that helps little ones sleep, rest and feel their best because of it.  I asked her if I could share and she said yes:

Once he went to sleep, he would wake up around 2:30 am and it would take another two hours of putting him back in his room every few minutes to get him back to sleep. Looking back, the only sleep he probably got, was out of pure exhaustion. After seeing a post you had written on essential oils, I was curious, but honestly, I didn’t think it would work for Ryan..nothing else had.  We started using it that night and for the first time in his life, he was asleep by 8:15!!!! He has slept from 8:15pm until 6:30 am every single night since we started using it…almost two months now! The change in his has been amazing. He isn’t a little “monster” any more because he is rested!  Nothing else has changed…the bed time routine is the same, everything is the same…we just added the oil! I’m still in shock.”

Right, that’s how it is, cause ‘oils’ sounds so weird, but then–they work like crazy.  It really is shocking.

This is the kind of thing that sends my heart soaring.  I am the kind of person who so longs for people to be just doing well, feeling well, I’ll go out of my way for that for someone.  I know for us once Elijah started REALLY resting, he had a huge growth spurt physically, but also a big burst in his language, too–sleep is big.  Kids just need their sleep, and moms need them to sleep, too :)

So happy for that little household.

***

Another story, this one about me and my brother.  The other day, 2 weeks ago, on a Saturday I had the WORST stomach ache, I told Andrew I had to go lay down.  I had just heard the OilRN who used to be a nurse, but now helps people with oils, talking about oils and how to use peppermint.  She said that as opposed to something like motrin, which you have to wait many hours in between using it, you can apply oils as often as you like.  So I hoisted my pitiful self up and touched the peppermint oil onto my stomach.  It was better instantly.  So I didn’t believe it.  My skin kind of tingled as you would imagine pure peppermint oil would do, so I just thought I was feeling that and it was masking the pain.  But then I got up, and went into the kitchen.

“Feeling better?”

“Um…yeah, I used that peppermint oil, on my stomach.  And I feel better….”  It was so weird.

15 minutes later it started hurting again, but I remembered about being able to apply it right away.  I did, it went away and the pain never came back.  What. The. Heck.

So, fast forward that same day, my brother was supposed to come over to help Andrew dig a drain under the avocado trees.  He texted us that he was icing his stomach, it hurt so bad.

“COME OVER I HAVE SOMETHING FOR YOU!!!” I told him, yelling in all caps.

He limped in, we put on the oil.  He instantly (you guys….) felt better and worked with Andrew all afternoon and finished the darn drain!!!  He was so into it, he started coating his whole body in it before I batted it away, “I JUST GOT THIS!” I told him, “STOP!!”  I showed everyone all the weird/amazing ways to use the peppermint since I now loved it, and was kind of in awe of it in a new way; like put one drop on the palm of one of your hands, rub your hands together, cover your nose and mouth and take a deep breath.

It dramatically increases the uptake of oxygen into your brain and it’s like a wake up, similar to coffee, but with no stimulants.  It clears your mind and makes you alert.  I have Maria do this ‘self diffusion’ while doing school work.  Or if Andrew is slowly waking up from a power nap, and I want it to be fast, I secretly put the oil on my hand and cover his nose…cause I am super loving.  HAHAHA, and he’s UP!  It’s cool, guys, it’s natural! 

Put a drop in your mouth if you got stank breathe, a drop in your water makes it taste great, and is good for your insides.

Peppermint: Found in Single Oils

***

Lavender:  Lavender is all things skin.  So here’s something that is making me feel real joyful these days, connecting with other adoptive families as a helper.  I love helping people, talking to people (Some would call that an extrovert ; ) and in my little circle of special needs adoptions, it’s been really fun to research with them the best oils for things like open sores, eczema, sleep issues, digestion issues–I can’t get enough.  The thing with oils, as opposed to over the counter items is that all the side effects are good side effects.  The phycological side effects to these oils are powerful and healing.  When your whole body relaxes because you are applying oil in one part of the body, it has an entire, systemic healing.

So, lavender.  My husband rocks his red hair, and sometimes, if we’re not careful, the sun rocks him.  If I am sunburned, it will usually go away the next day.  For him, the burn can last even 2-3 weeks :(  A couple weeks ago, he was burned, and since my confidence in the abilities of these oils has been increasing, I told him I’d put it all over his burned back.  Well, first off, there’s nothing much more relaxing than the scent of lavender, and the connection of human touch that is often overlooked these days, but when he woke up, most of his skin was healed, only a few patchy red spots left, much duller.  My major skeptic of a husband looked at his healed back and couldn’t believe it.

Lavender: Found under Single Oils.

***

I made my very first ‘order!!!’  It was so exciting, I took a picture of it when it came, as you do.

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My friend Savannah was over when it came.  The first one we saw was Elevation, the ‘Joyful Blend.’  We doused it on our wrists, and I literally felt it go straight to my brain, and we were laughing and smiling with each other.  When my kids woke up from their naps, it’s pretty hit or miss on emotions–that delicate witching hour before dinner, when you need to cook and get things moving…we rubbed a drop on their little chests and they were happy, dancing, making music, playing quietly.

We haven’t stopped using this one since that day.  Actually, I am going to go out on a limb and claim this one as my current favorite oil.  And that’s saying a lot.

For instance, during homeschool review of grammar–the one thing that can cause death–I didn’t die.

“I think what makes a good teachers is when if she likes her teacher.”

Me, smiling, high on elevation and not dying, “A good teacher isn’t usually characterized by liking their teacher, lets keep brainstorming!” :)

Oh Elevation, where have you been…

I digress…

I asked my friend Kelly who is my oil friend who is also a doula if she has ever tried Elevation it since it was rocking our worlds over here and she said, “Yes, I diffuse it during births!!  I love it.”  #Genius.  We all need a little joy during birth :)

Elevation: found under Oil Blends

***

I also got Clary Calm–which I have yet to use, will let you know, and Wild Orange, that probably the best smell of the bunch, but I have yet to use it, too.  But the Oil RN said that once a month, her husband will just grab the Clary Calm and hand it to her, and doesn’t need to say much more :)

***

Deep Blue:  I got this one for Andrew, it’s for deep pain within the body.  He has pain in his upper back, forearm and ankle.  Chronic pain and the body is not healing itself through it.  He asks for it to be rubbed everyday, just for the moment of relief.  I rubbed the Deep Blue into his forearm just to see how he would like it.

He said it felt better right away.  He said he felt it doing something inside of his arm, “And it’s way better than Bengay which makes me feel horrible.”  I asked him right now how he thinks those three areas are doing now since we’ve applied it three times, “I think maybe, they are getting a little better…maybe.  Especially my arm, it actually feels a lot better.”

Ok, if you know Andrew, especially if you are in his family, you know that these are big for him to be saying.  If you don’t know him and are reading this, it may not sound like much, and that’s ok, I’ll share more as time goes on and we keep using it longer term.  He is usually such a skeptic, that I feel very encouraged by his response.  We watched a video about it, since we were intrigued and we learned that it works on three levels:

1. It anesthetizes the spot of pain within or on the body.
2.  It is a blend of calming and soothing oils so help your body relax because if someone is in constant pain, usually their whole body is tense.
3.  It is systemic in it’s tissue pain healing, and even when you put it on one spot of your body, people often will feel it effecting pain in other parts of their bodies.
***
So, if you are at my house, and you are not feeling well, just know I will probably be putting oils on you.  You have a headache during our BBQ, I’ll grab the Peppermint and Frankincense and put them on your neck and temples.  Expect to feel relief.
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If you have ever wondered about essential oils, or any ailments that are bugging you, there’s an oil for that, and I would love to help you figure it all out, my joy.  If you have a little one who needs rest, try the Serenity–the name says it all.  It also works to calm a tantrum, to which I can attest.(Serenity -Oil Blends)
An added bonus, all sales go towards our adoption costs of our littlest.  If you’ve always wanted to try them, but are skeptical, I hear you, I’ve been there, but they are worth a shot.  Shoot, just tell yourself they smell amazing at bare minimum and are healthy and good for you, one step more.  You’ll have to see if they work on your own from there :)

What’s good and powerful is that we as consumers today have such better access to research and information, and just aren’t satisfied with putting toxic, strange or synthetic things into our bodies or the bodies of our children.  We want better, and we know there are better options out there.  In this case, the the simplest option, most natural, made from plants.  Some people think that oils are ‘New Age-y’ when in reality, oils for healing have been around for millennia, and are even talked about in the Bible over 300 times.

 

You can look around the shop here: www.mydoterra.com/tinygreenelephants and email me here: amy@tinygreenelephants.com if you want to chat anything oils.  Or adoption, or anything , really :)

 

Thank you for reading, and I hope you try one that will fit your family and have the same crazy and amazing results we have had.
xo,
Amy
So I loved asking last time, what are you favorite oils and why?  Are you someone who uses oils often, what is your experience?  Or have you never used them, what are your thoughts?  Skeptics like us?  Please share!  I learned a lot from your comments last time!

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