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We’re Already Crazy. Let’s Just Own It.

It all started four years ago.

I was sitting at my desk, a fresh copy of ‘Interrupted’ in one hand, a highlighter in the other. I had a few minutes before my next staff meeting and my soul was frantically grasping at anything that would stifle the voices in my head. Voices that caused me to doubt the current trajectory my life was taking. Voices that beckoned a response to the following questions, “Is there more to this life? Am I missing the point?” My soul was parched, and for whatever reason, I thought Jen Hatmaker could relate to the inner dialogue I was experiencing and offer me some guidance.

If I wanted the voices in my head to subside, I seriously should have reconsidered my choice in reading material, because little did I know, God was about to take a wrecking ball to my present view of the gospel, the least of these, and my role in His greater story.

After reading a few pages, I bowed my head and prayed, “God, break my heart for the least of these. Grant me the ability to see the poor, the widowed, the fatherless, the homeless the way You see them. Help me to love them as You love them. Raise up in me a pure and holy passion for Your people.” Or something dumb like that. (In all seriousness, be careful what you pray. God just may answer said prayer and wreck your life in the process.) I closed the book and walked out the door to my meeting, not realizing that my life was about to be forever changed.

Raise Up In Me A Holy Passion

 

If ever there were a book that accurately reflected the condition of my soul, it would be this one.

 

One day, while studying John 21,  Jen recalls the following encounter with Jesus:

Nothing could have prepared me for what came next. I told Him, “I thought I was feeding Your sheep, but I’ll try harder.”

And from the depths of heaven, this is what I heard: “You do feed souls, but twenty-four thousand of my sheep will die today because no one fed their bellies; eighteen thousand of them are my youngest lambs, starving today in a world with plenty of food to go around. If you truly love Me, you will feed My lambs. My people are crumbling and dying and starving, and you’re blessing blessed people and dreaming about your next house.”

I couldn’t have been more floored if I’d come home to find Jesus Himself making homemade salsa in my kitchen. I did a little checking, and those statistics are spot-on. It dawned on me that Jesus was asking me not to do more of the same but to engage a different charge altogether. He was enlisting me in the cause of my generation, the mission of God’s true church.

All of a sudden, I saw my exact reflection in Peter: devoted but selfish, committed but misguided. And that is not going to be enough. It won’t suffice to claim good intentions. Saying, “I meant well” is not going to cut it. Not with God screaming, begging, pleading, urging us to love mercy and justice, to feed the poor and the orphaned, to care for the last and least in nearly every book of the Bible. It will not be enough one day to stand before Jesus and say, “Oh? Were You serious about all that?

-Excerpt from ‘Interrupted’ by Jen Hatmarker, emphasis mine.

The statistics are alarming

 

  • Of the six billion people on planet Earth, about 1.2 billion live on twenty-three cents a day.
  • Half of the world lives on less than two dollars and fifty cents a day.
  • The wealthiest one billion people average seventy dollars a day. (This places you and me in the upper, upper, upper percentages of the global population.)
  • If you make thirty-five thousand dollars annually, you are in the top 4 percent.
  • If you make fifty thousand dollars annually, the top 1 percent.
  • Someone dies of hunger every 3.6 seconds.
  • Last year twenty-two million children and adults are trapped in slavery (sex slaves, labor slaves, child soldiers, and child slaves) because of economic crisis. More slaves exist today than ever before in human history.
  • More than 143 million children in the developing world have been orphaned (equivalent to more than half the population of the United States).
  • In the last hour:

-Over 1,625 children are forced to the streets by the death or abuse of an adult.

-Over 115 children become prostitutes

-Over 66 children under the age of fifteen were infected by HIV.

  • Roughly 1 billion people in the world do not have suitable housing, and 100 million are entirely homeless.
  • 780 million people lack basic water sanitation, which results in disease, death, wastewater for drinking, and loss of immunity.

-Americans consume twenty-six billion liters of bottled water a year.

  • We spend more annually on trash bags than nearly half the world spends on all goods combined.
  • Fifty-seven million children worldwide work every day instead of go to school.

-Four out of five Americans are high school graduates.

  • The poorest one-fifth of the world owns 1 percent of the world’s cars.

-The richest one-fifth of the world owns 87 percent of the world’s cars.

  • Roughly forty million people (the equivalent of about seven Jewish Holocausts) die annually from starvation, disease, and malnutrition.

-69 percent of US adults and 18 percent of children and adolescents are overweight or obese.

*If you are interested in the sources behind these statistics, email me at megan.card@gmail.com and I will send them to you. Or better yet, buy Jen’s book.

 

Feed My Lambs

There it was, the source of my spiritual anemia, staring straight at me in the face- I was blessing blessed people and growing apathetic to the condition of the poor and the least of these, not only around the world, but in my own backyard. I came back from my meeting, head swimming, and full of questions. I pulled the door to my office closed, fell to my knees, and wept. I was on staff at a church for crying out loud. How could this possibly happen? I was immersed in Scripture daily. I lead Bible studies. I taught on passages like Luke 18:18-34 (that would be the one where Jesus confronts the rich young ruler and tells the young man that unless he sell all of his possessions, he cannot follow Him.)  How could I have possibly missed something so fundamental to the gospel as tending to the needs of the poor? And not just tending to their souls, but their physical and emotional and economic needs as well.

 I began to talk about what I was discovering with anyone who would listen. Friends, family, co-workers, people at church. Each time I was met with, “You’re crazy, Meg. We’re busy doing enough as it is, and here you are, wanting to add trips downtown to feed the homeless, and orphan care ministries, and mission trips to Africa to our agenda. Can’t we just send them some money instead?” My soul was restless and I knew God was calling me to do more than just teach the latest Beth Moore Bible study (I’m not knocking Beth. I love her and her Bible studies.) He was obviously leading me in a new direction and few were willing to join me on this new journey.

Four Years Later

I’m still met with the same dumbfounded, “You’re crazy, Meg” look when I bring up the concepts behind ‘Interrupted’ and ’7′ with friends and family, and my growing struggle with excessive materialism and the overindulgent lifestyle marked by the majority of Americans. I’m just learning to embrace it.

Here’s the thing- God’s heart beats for the broken, the wounded, the misunderstood. It beats for the outcast, the homeless, the marginalized. It beats for the lonely, the diseased, the helpless. It beats for the hungry, the captives, and those without hope. It beats for the widowed, the fatherless, and the poor. And He was serious when He said that meeting the needs of the least of these is non-negotiable if you are to be counted as one of His followers.

Truly I [Jesus] say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.

Matthew 25: 45, emphasis mine.

We are to care for the least of these out of love for our Savior and obedience to the calling that He has placed on our lives. It’s as simple as that. If I claim to love Jesus, I need care about the marginalized. I need to care about the poor and the afflicted. Because He cares about those things.

 

In closing, Jen, if you should ever read this, I want to thank you for allowing yourself to be used by God to wake me from my slumber. Thank you for not ignoring the restlessness of your heart and for pressing further into the Presence of Christ to ignite a passion for the least of these in our generation. Thank you for wrecking my comfortable Christianity.

Review: ‘Wherever the River Runs’

 

… I sat with my journal the next morning, reminiscing over the journey God had so surprisingly orchestrated. I realized how much serving the poor in the Amazon and in my own community had deepened my understanding of the gospel. It was so simple to me now: When you serve the poor, God changes you. We’re changed because when we enter the lives of the spiritually, physically, relationally, emotionally poor, we find that we are not enough. Our resources are not enough; even our tightly wrapped theologies prove insufficient. The complexities and harshness of poverty force us to either abandon our belief in God or press harder into the Savior, Jesus Christ, the good news of the gospel. If we distance ourselves from the poor, we may be able to maintain a more comfortable, and certainly tidier, existence and theology, but we will miss having a deeper, more abiding, and more fulfilling relationship with Jesus.

I remembered a story John once told me about a time he stayed at the Opryland Hotel in Nashville. The hotel has a glass-enclosed atrium that’s reminiscent of the Amazon rain forest, with walkways through the cascading waterfalls, winding “rivers” with boat rides, tropical plants spilling out of the window boxes. ‘I was crossing this bridge and I saw these fabulous rock pools with these jets of water springing up,’ he explained. ‘And I thought to myself, Just once in my life I wish I could have a suite in this part of the hotel! And then, all of a sudden, God spoke to me really powerfully. ‘But this isn’t real,’ He said. And I remember taking a step back and looking at this shadow of the rain forest as the Lord kept speaking. ‘You live in a bowl; you live in a glass bubble. And there’s hundreds of millions of you in this glass bubble, there’s nations of you in this glass bubble, and you write songs for each other, you write books for each other, you send kids to school together, you to go church together, you worship Me together. And you think that’s the whole world. But if you press your face to the glass, you see another world, and it’s called hopelessness, the abandoned, the diseased, those who have no clean water, those who have no education, the sick, the dying. I sit with them as the die, and if you want to embrace Me, you have to embrace them.” ‘

Excerpt from ‘Wherever the River Runs’ by Kelly Minter. Emphasis mine.

As I prayed and wept through Kelly’s book, one theme continually forced its way to the forefront of my mind: love is costly. It is inconvenient. It’s messy. Sacrificial. And it requires all of you; every fiber of your being– your time, your attention, your resources, your affection, your thoughts, your words, your touch.

I was reminded that if I am to love as Jesus loved… if I am to serve as Jesus served… it’s going to cost me. If I am going to live out the gospel– the good news– I cannot detach myself from the poor. I cannot turn a blind eye from those who are wounded, abandoned, and often forgotten. I can no longer live inside a glass bubble and pretend there isn’t a world out there full of men, women, and children who are helpless and living without hope. And the poor and the least of these not only live oceans a part, but right in front of me. Right in front of my own eyes. I just have to look.

Kelly’s book was a fresh reminder that God’s vision far exceeds my own, and while I am still piecing together what His vision is for my life and how I will be woven into the fabric of His greater story, I know with certainty that it includes the least of these… the wounded… the abandoned… the forgotten. I still don’t know what that looks like, but I am eternally grateful that this book made its way into my hands because of FlyBy Promotions Blogger Network and the team at David C Cook. Kelly’s words renewed my sense of purpose and calling. I pray that God shatters my glass bubble and sends me– wherever that may be.

5 Ways to Wear a Wire Headband + a Giveaway!

Serendipily YOURS giveawayI don’t know about you, but I could use a pick me up. It’s been one of *those* weeks. Really, the last three weeks have been rough and I’m glad it’s over. And that God offers new beginnings each day. Can I get an Amen?!

Anywhoo, I have a sah-weet giveaway for y’all thanks to my dear friend, Gay Vaughn, owner of Serendipily YOURS.

She is known as Ms. Gay in our house, as she taught both of my sons in their first year of preschool. Anytime her name is mentioned, my boys blush and swoon. They absolutely loved her. Greg and I love her. She holds a special place in our hearts. And not only is she the most amazing preschool teacher, she is a creative genius. I wish I had one ounce of the creativity that run through her veins. I’m kicking myself for not having pictures of her classroom or any of her DIY projects to show you how truly gifted she is, because me sitting here trying to describe her talent sans pictures just doesn’t seem to cut it. Trust me. She’s good!

And she wants to bless not one, but TWO of my readers with a Serendipily YOURS headband (of her choosing). As if that were not enough, she is also offering FREE SHIPPING on orders placed through her ETSY shop using the code: SYFREESHIP2U.

Serendipily Yours Collage

 

How the headbands are made:

“First, I cover the ends of the wire in my headbands with tape so as to not leave the raw edge of the wire exposed. Second, I stitch the ends of the wire into the seam of the bands so the wire does not eventually get “lost” inside the wrap. All items in my shop are handmade here in the USA and each are as individual and unique as the person buying it.”  - Gay Vaughn  

After wearing the headband she sent me to review, I appreciate Gay’s attention to detail. I’ve worn headbands purchased from drug stores and boutiques alike and they ALWAYS end up giving me a headache by the end of the way. ALWAYS. These wire headbands are legit. I don’t have to wear a million bobbie pins to keep it in place and they are so light I forget I’m even wearing one. They are the perfect accessory for a woman on the go because they make even messy buns look intentional and put together! Take a look at a few of the headbands she already has in her shop:

Headwrap CollageIf you are a fan of Anthropologie, she also has her own version of their fabric wrap bracelets! Take a look:

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Here are a few more:

Serendipily YOURS fabric wrap bracelets Collage

 

 

 

So who wants to WIN a Serendipily YOURS headband?!!

HOW TO WIN:

1. “Like” Serendipily YOURS on Facebook

2. Leave a comment on Gay’s page telling her you found her page via my blog

3. “Like” my Facebook page

4. Leave a comment on my page telling me which headband on Gay’s etsy site is your favorite

That’s it! Easy Peasy.

All entries will be validated. Must like both Facebook pages to win. Two winners will be randomly selected on August 31st and announced here on my blog September 1st. Don’t forget, you can use the code: SYFREESHIP2U to receive FREE SHIPPING.

I’ve spoken with Gay and she is working on adding even more items to the site throughout the giveaway, so check back frequently.

Have a fabulous weekend, y’all!!

 

Life Lately: Catching Up With the Cards

life lately catching up with the cards

 

My laptop is dying a slow and painful death. It’s agonizing to watch, y’all.

This explains my absence from the blog as of late. I haven’t been able to get my laptop to turn on. After a week and a half I FINALLY got it to work! I have no clue how I did it, as I am not tech savvy by any means, but whatever I did worked and I am praying that this poor old laptop will last me a little while longer.

Pitiful excuse though it may be, the lack of a functioning laptop has allowed me more time to step back and evaluate the direction the blog has taken. For those of you who follow me on Facebook, you may recall that I have been presented with various opportunities to work with brands and begin monetizing my blog, but before I made my choice, I wanted to hear your thoughts on the matter. I value my readers’ opinions and I appreciate those of you who took the time to respond. I was surprised at how well the idea was received, to be honest. Yet, any time I pondered the idea of monetizing the blog, my heart was unsettled… restless, even. For days I couldn’t put my finger on the uneasiness I was feeling, but experience has shown me that the lack of peace is an open invitation to further press into God’s Presence for clarity and vision. So I did.

He reminded me of the reason I started this blog in the first place- to chronicle my faith journey and share with you things the Lord impressed upon my heart along the way. He reminded me that while posts about makeup, current fashion finds, fitness, or favorite hair products are not evil and have a place on this blog, they should not make up the bulk of my content. It was a tough conversation, but much-needed. The temptation to monetize my blog steamed from my temporary lack of trust in His provision. It’s as simple as that.

Please, let me be clear, I am in no way saying that monetizing your blog is evil or that I am somehow holier than thou for choosing not to do so, I am simply stating that this is not the path God has chosen for me. I know many godly women who have made blogging their career and I fully support their decision to do so, it’s just not what He has for me, and coming to grips with that was hard, y’all. Really hard.

So what does that mean moving forward?

 

  • Deeper, more vulnerable posts
  • Occasional product reviews relevant to my readers (with giveaways, duh!)
  • No affiliate links cryptically embedded in my posts
  • I will still host various swaps and giveaways (those are always fun!)
  • More Jesus, less Megan

I hope you will stick around with me on this journey. My goal has never been to become a ‘famous blogger.’ I don’t think I’d do well with lots of notoriety to be honest. I value truth. I value raw authenticity. I value community. If you do too, you will fit right in here. My readers are genuinely the kindest, most compassionate bunch of people I know and if this is the first time you are visiting my blog I do hope to connect with you- it’s my favorite thing about blogging. And because I feel like I’ve been sort of a Debbie Downer today, here is a brief look at what the family has been up to lately :)

 

Hanging out with some of my best friends for a much needed girls' weekend.

Hanging out with some of my best friends for a much needed girls’ weekend.

 

Pool time with Daddy!

Pool time with Daddy!

 

 

4th of July Parade in downtown McKinney

4th of July Parade in downtown McKinney

 

Waiting patiently for the parade to start

Waiting patiently for the parade to start

 

Greg and I at my friend Ashley's wedding. Proof that blogging friendship can blossom into real life friendships.

Greg and I at my friend Ashley’s wedding. Proof that blogging friendship can blossom into real life friendships.

Easy Summer Makeup Using 5 Products or Less

School is out. Temperatures are soaring. And I am spending 95% of my time outdoors trying to keep my rug rats occupied. I don’t have the time nor the energy to put a great deal of effort into my makeup routine, but I also don’t want to leave the house looking like a hot mess either. Y’all are constantly emailing me questions regarding my makeup routine/products, so here are my top 5 summer makeup must haves that will give you the perfect summer glow with little to no effort :)

***This is not sponsored content. I am not receiving compensation for mentioning these companies in this post or providing links to their products. These opinions are entirely my own.

 

Easy Summer Makeup Using 5 Products or Less

 

1.// Estee Lauder Double Wear Powder- I have tired so hard to like other brands when it comes to foundation, especially now that they have increased the cost of their product, but I keep going back to Estee Lauder. They have my heart. I will gladly cut back in other areas of our budget so that I can afford my double wear powder because it really is the best I’ve ever used. For those of you who are like me and get super oily in the summer due to increased heat and or humidity, this is the powder for you! It covers just as well as any liquid foundation I have ever used and because it is a powder, it is easy to throw in your purse or beach bag.

2.// Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess- I apply Bronze Goddess to my cheeks during the summer to give me that much desired sun-kissed glow. Like the powder, it is on the expensive side ($36) but a little goes a long way. I have had mine for about 6 years now and it will probably last me for another year or two. There was one summer when I ran out of foundation while on vacation and got away with using this bronzer until I got home and could get some more.

3.// Younique 3D Fiber Mascara - I cannot say enough good things about this mascara! I mean, can we just talk about these results…

Younique 3D Fiber LashesThese are MY lashes, y’all! I’m in love. The only time I have ever been able to achieve lashes like this has been to use false lashes, and we all know how annoying those can be. They are easy to apply, water resistant and the results are fabulous! I do have a party that you can shop if you so choose, that ends July 4th, but please, do not feel obligated.

4.// Wet-n-Wild Color Icon Eye Liner - Depending on the look you are going for, you can omit this step if you want. To get a very natural look, you can take a smudging brush that still has a little bit of product on it from previous use, and lightly sweep it under your bottom lashes. I like to use a little bit of eye liner in the outer corner of my eyes. It keeps it natural looking but provides a little extra definition. If you are using the Younique 3D Fiber mascara, you don’t need a lot of eye makeup to make your eyes stand out and you can easily get away with no eye liner and still look amazing.

5.// Revlon ColorBurst Lip Butter - I wear either Creme Brulee, Peach Parfait, or Pink Lemonade on a daily basis. This stuff is AH-MAZING y’all! My lips feel so smooth and hydrated when I am wearing it. And there are so many color choices that there really is something for every skin tone. I would probably own one of in every color if Greg would let me :)

Summer MakeUp

 

Ta-Da! Easy peasy, right?!

And I can usually pull this look together in about 5 uninterrupted minutes(all my fellow Mamas know what I’m talking about).

What are some of your favorite summer makeup products?!

12 Weeks to a New Me

This week, I officially begin my half-marathon training.

I’m excited, nervous, slightly scared, and a ball full of energy all rolled into one.

12 Weeks to a NEW me

Completing this half marathon is important to me for a number of personal reasons, but none of them are as important as giving hope to those who also suffer from fibromyalgia.

If you had told me when I was first diagnosed with fibromyalgia that I would one day be training for a half marathon, I would have laughed in your face. My days (and nights) are marked with chronic, widespread pain, that at times, leave me bed-ridden. During flare ups I battle chronic fatigue, restlessness, memory lapses, depression, tension and migraine headaches, and numbness in my hands and feet.

People like me don’t usually run half marathons. It’s too painful. So why am I crazy enough to do it? Because I want to prove to myself that I am not defined by my condition.

For the past four months I have made an effort to workout in some form or fashion at least 5 times a week, especially when my fibromyalgia is acting up. As a result, I have seen a significant decrease in the number of flare ups I have had, and those that I did have were minor and lasted less than 24 hours (this is HUGE for me, y’all!) There were a few weeks when I didn’t get into the gym or go running and those were the weeks I experienced flares. I have absolutely no scientific evidence to back this up, but for me, exercise = no flare ups, while no exercise = flare ups. So maybe this half marathon training isn’t so crazy after all?

half marathon training week 1

 

Every Monday for the next 12 weeks I plan to post my weekly training schedule. This is two-fold. One, I need the accountability– if I post it online, I feel compelled to follow through. Second, it is my hope that this inspires others who suffer from chronic illness to rise up and not be defined by their condition. I know that there will be moments throughout the next 12 weeks where I will want to give up and quit… I will be in pain and try to convince myself that I should never have committed to this– don’t let me. I need you. All of you. When I cross that finish line in September, it will be because of your continued support.

Lastly, if you suffer from a chronic illness and interested in completing a race (any distance) or want to improve your well-being through fitness, I am considering starting a Facebook support group. Leave a comment at the end of this post and let me know you would like to join us . If you do not suffer from a chronic illness but desire to join this group to help provide tips, encouragement and support, you are more than welcome! The more the merrier! Also, if you are interested in helping me LEAD this group, please contact me at megan.card@gmail.com.

 

Congratulations to Ashley V. for winning the 5 mL bottle of doTERRA Balance Facebook giveaway

and to Ashley P. for winning the ‘Favorite Things’ giveaway!!

If you are participating in the ‘Favorite Things’ summer swap, your packages should have been mailed out by this time.  Don’t forget to come back and link up with us on July 7th to show off how incredible your swap partner is! We will be having another swap start back up in a few weeks so stay tuned for more details :) I hope you all have a fantastic week! xoxo

My Not-So-Pinterest-Perfect Life

I have a love-hate relationship with Pinterest… and Facebook… and Instagram… and well, pretty much all forms of social media.

On one hand, I LOVE social media because I have had the opportunity to connect with some AH-MAZ-ING people from all across the United States (and a few Brits as well!) that I otherwise would never have met. They have filled my life with undeserved grace, love, support, and encouragement. I probably would have stopped blogging long ago, but these women have been not only my support network, I consider them dear friends. They have walked me through seasons of joy as well as pain and I consider myself blessed to have them in my life, even if it is long distance.

On the other hand, I HATE social media. Too often, I see it used as the standard by which many live their life. Too often, I see women use it as yet another means to judge each other– and most especially, I see women judge themselves.

As a woman, I will be the first to confess that it’s hard enough not to compare myself with others on a daily basis without the aide of social media. I mean, come on… we all do it. You know you do. Even when you try not to, thoughts of comparison creep into your mind when you least expect it. I can be out on a run and BAM! I’m coveting that house that is up for sale around the corner. I think to myself, “Man… what I wouldn’t give to be able to own a house like that.” And the Christ-follwer in me begins to immediately react to such blatant sin and justify my actions by listing all of the “ministry opportunities” we could have in a house like that, when in reality, I have those same ministry opportunities right smack dab in the middle of the apartment complex where God has planted me. Truth is– I just wanted to live somewhere else– somewhere… better.

Then I take my boys to the park and I look over at the mother of five children all under the age of 10, who has not once raised her voice at them when they’ve made bad choices, and is now feeding them a picnic lunch made up of organic food and bread that she probably baked herself that very morning. As if that’s not enough, her six pack abs are visible underneath that tight-fitting Under Armour shirt she is wearing. Meanwhile, I’ve already lost my cool with my two children, am feeding them Chick-fil-A for lunch, and let’s face it, I am nowhere near having a six-pack any time soon. (((sigh))) I want to be her.

Throw social media into the mix and it’s no wonder I feel like I will never measure up. If I compared my life to what I see day in and day out on Pinterest, then I have failed in every single way as a wife and a mother. My house will never look like this on a normal basis…  my children’s lunches will never be as creative and organized as these…  my wardrobe will never be as perfect as Jillian Harris‘… my hair and makeup only look like this maybe once a week (hahaha who am I kidding?! My makeup never looks this incredible.) and I will most likely never have abs like these because I really, really, really, like food, y’all.

And the sad reality is that, as a blogger, I have probably unintentionally made some other woman out there feel the same way. That she will never measure up. That try as she may, she is not enough… not good enough… will never be good enough… and it breaks my heart. Truly breaks my heart. Because it’s a LIE. My life is far from perfect. It has been my goal from the beginning to express that to you, my dear, precious, readers. And I hope you never, ever, ever leave my blog thinking that you are not good enough, or that I have it all figured out, because I clearly don’t.

So here’s the dealio… let’s be real… this is what my life really looks like.

 

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No matter how many times I beg and plead, their room looks like this by the end of the day. Even if I go in there and make their beds for them, pick up their toys, organize their closet for the 100th time that day; it never fails… it looks like this by bedtime. And it’s exhausting.

013

No matter how many times I wash dishes or run the dishwasher, my kitchen looks like this at least once a week, most likely on either a Friday night or Saturday because by that time I am sooooo done with cooking and cleaning and taking care of my people that I just want a night off. Don’t get me wrong, I take good care of them, and I love it most of the time, but sometimes you just need a night off, am I right?

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Yeah, don’t even get me going about clothes being thrown all over the house. It’s a never-ending battle I face. Clothes never seem to make it to their respective hampers. Ever….

And let’s face it, I live in workout clothes these day, sporting the whole no makeup and a baseball hat “Mom” look.  I’m sure my husband walks in every day from work wondering when I am going to wear something other than Nike shorts and a youth camp t-shirt. But when you have been cooking, and cleaning, and folding laundry, and taking the kids to the park, and walking the dog, and driving to the grocery store for the 10th time that day because you have adult ADD and keep forgetting things on your list, well… you just don’t feel like getting all dressed up.

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The whole purpose of this blog post is this– I feel we are lacking true authenticity on the internet, especially on social media outlets. And if desire to be known as anything as a blogger, it would be authentic.

I’m a human being, y’all, just like you. I make mistakes. I’m flawed. I’m not perfect. I never will be. My life will never resemble any of my Pinterest boards, but you know what, that’s okay. But let’s promise each other something… as hard as it may be… let’s be real with each other. Let’s stop pretending like we’ve got this all figured out. Let’s be vulnerable. Because it is in the vulnerable, raw moments of life that we see the fullness of God’s glory on display.

I don’t know what true authenticity looks like on the internet, but I’m willing to give it a shot.

Now I am in now way suggesting everyone start airing their dirty laundry (literally and figuratively) on the internet; we need to approach this with sensibility and discernment, but I think for starters, let’s show our readers that we are not experts at life. Let’s show our readers that we are in fact, human.

 

 How do you think we should approach authenticity on the internet? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Pet Care Using doTERRA Essential Oils

I just saved our family $500 by using essential oils.

I know, it’s not Thursday- when I typically post my essential oil testimonies, but it was too good not to share!

Meet Max- our loveable, playful, energetic, loyal, and highly intelligent golden retriever.

Max

Max is notorious for his curiosity. And well, last week he turned over the trash can and decided to have a snack that consisted of several used Kleenex.

Normally this isn’t a big deal, but the last time he did this, we ended up in the emergency animal clinic(our children and fur-babies like to get sick on weekends when your only choice is an E-Care clinic or something similar) because he came down with a severe case of bronchitis. I didn’t even know dogs could suffer from bronchitis… That trip alone cost us roughly $500 plus the cost of the antibiotics. Ugh. But he’s our baby and we did what every good parent would do–spent lots of money to get him feeling back to normal.

So sure enough, Max started to exhibit the signs that he had, once again, come down with bronchitis.

At this point we honestly couldn’t afford to spend another $500 in medical expenses because we had recently spent $700 on my mammogram (and that was WITH insurance!) and another $800 to fix my husband’s car. I figured that since I had successfully treated my husband’s bronchitis and my own sinus infection with essential oils, why not give it a shot?

 

Pet Care using doTERRA

 

I grabbed one of my 10 mL glass roller bottles and put 3-5 drops of each On Guard and Breathe, followed by 20 drops of FCO (Fractionated Coconut Oil) and applied it to his paws 3 times a day for 5 days.

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Within a few hours of the first application, Max was smiling again and showing signs of playfulness. His coughing lessened significantly by the end of the day and he was back to normal 3 days later. I kept applying the oils to his paws for 2 more days just for good measure.

Max LOVED the oils. I wish I had thought to have Greg video me applying it to his paws to show you how much he loved the application. All I would have to do is hold up the roller bottle (how on earth he knew it was HIS roller bottle, I have no clue, because I use multiple roller bottles for various reasons all day, every day.) and he would come running. Then he would flop down on the floor and immediately hold out his paw like he was begging me to put the oils on him. It was the craziest thing!

Not only did I save our family $500 by using essential oils, but I did it naturally. And that’s what makes me so passionate about using the oils on my family–including my fur-babies.

And right now doTERRA is offering a 15 mL bottle of On Guard and a 15 mL bottle of Breathe (a $69.34 retail value) by placing any single $200 PV order between now and June 30, 2014. I haven’t been with doTERRA long, but I’m told that promotions this large happen only a few times a year. So if you have been toying around with the idea of using essentials in your home, now is the perfect time to do it!

On Guard Breathe Promo

Father’s Day: An Interview with Hayden and Rylan

Happy Father’s Day, Greg!

“Anyone can be a father but it takes a special man to be a DADDY!”

 

A Few of My Favorite Things: Summer Edition + a Giveaway!

It’s here! It’s here! It’s FINALLY here!

I am quickly approaching 3,000 email subscribers (something I NEVER dreamed of!) and I wanted to say ‘Thank You’ by offering you a chance to win a few of my favorite summer  items.

Y’all… I have been excited about this giveaway for a while because it’s the biggest giveaway I’ve ever hosted– over $100 worth of product!!!

 

favorite things summer giveaway

Don’t forget, the deadline to sign up for my favorite things swap ends TOMORROW. I will contact everyone with their partner for the swap by Monday, so be on the lookout for an email from me :) Also, next week I will be styling one of my favorite items featured right now on Oakleigh Rose. It’s adorable! And you won’t want to miss my review of the Younique 3D fiber lashes.

Hope y’all have a FABULOUS weekend!!

xoxo

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