Joy Oil {Essential Oils}

I am in love with my essential oil diffuser! Before using oils, I ALWAYS had a candle burning. Always. I think a nice scent in your home makes it feel like, well, home. Since becoming an oily family, I have the diffuser going almost constantly. A home diffuser comes with Young Living’s Premium starter kit, but that just wasn’t enough for me. I also bought this diffuser (Ultrasonic Diffuser) for Maya’s room.
Joy is my favorite oil to diffuse. To me, it is sunshine in a bottle. Such a sweet and happy scent. I also apply it to my wrists every day (usually multiple times a day!).  It is my go-to oil for anxiety. When diffused, it can be refreshing and uplifting. Ready to get started with essential oil? For more information on how to get started with Essentials Oils, CLICK HERE.
-Jenn

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The information in this blog is not intended to diagnose, prescribe, treat or cure any disease, illness or condition and should not be used as a substitute for seeking professional medical advice. I am not a doctor. Statements made on this website have not been evaluated by the FDA. The testimonials provided here are for informational purposes only. You should not stop taking any prescribed medication without consulting your physician. I am simply stating are family’s experiences.

Grace not Perfection {Free Printable}

The week before I got my “grace” tattoo, I filled up our house with grace quotes to confirm my decision. I want grace to be my destination. I mess up all the time, but grace. We live a charmed life. Blessed far beyond what we need and yet I’m still disappointed when I forget something, when dinner doesn’t turn out exactly like I planned, when I can’t fix something, when I can’t be in more than one place at a time. For me, the enemy of a grace-filled life is my constant and impossible search for perfection. If perfection is the standard, I will never be happy. So may this be a reminder to “Hold myself to a standard of grace, not perfection.” It is a simple printable, but if you need it, I hope it gives you the encouragement you need to keep striving to live in grace. I printed it on brown craft paper, but you can use any color.
-Jenn

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Thieves Oil {Essential Oils}

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It is that time of year again! The weather cools off, pumpkin everything, fall colors, boots and the sniffles. Since we became an oily family, we apply or diffuse Thieves almost every day to boost our immune systems (You can see how well used our bottle is!). Thieves was created based on research about thieves in France who covered themselves with cloves, rosemary, and other oils while robbing plague victims. I usually diffuse Thieves as soon as we get home from Maya being at school or church where she was exposed to other children and germs :) At the first sign of a sore throat, we take a drop of Thieves in a spoonful of honey. It is great for numbing a sore throat and fighting infection. Because it is a “spicy” oil, as Maya calls it, we always apply it to the bottom of her feet.
We use it for:
IMMUNE BOOST
DENTAL PAIN
SORE THROAT
EAR INFECTION
COLD/FLU
For more information on how to get started with Essentials Oils, CLICK HERE.

 

The information in this blog is not intended to diagnose, prescribe, treat or cure any disease, illness or condition and should not be used as a substitute for seeking professional medical advice. I am not a doctor. Statements made on this website have not been evaluated by the FDA. The testimonials provided here are for informational purposes only. You should not stop taking any prescribed medication without consulting your physician. I am simply stating are family’s experiences.

Lessons in Grace.

When January comes along in the blogging world, there are lots of posts about everyone’s “word of the year.” I never jumped on the “word” train, not because I didn’t think it was a great idea, but because I had no idea what my word would be.
In February, Maya and I visited my friend Tara Clapper (founder of No.41) in Nashville. Her word for the year is “Seek” and she had it posted all around her totally cute little home. We stayed up late nights having heart-to-hearts (more like me spilling my guts all over her floor!). I admitted all of the ways that I feel like I am falling short. I am never wife enough, mom enough, photographer enough, friend enough, daughter enough, blogger enough for my liking. I can always find a way that I should have tried harder, thought longer, stayed calmer, been smarter. My sweet friend said to me, “But Jenn, what about grace?”
This wasn’t the first time someone pointed out to me that I was definitely lacking in the grace department for myself and for others.  It was the first time that I paused to let it really sink into my soul. It was the first time I realized that “Grace” is my word. Not my word for the year. My word for life. All of the sudden it clicked for me that my struggle in life has always been grace. I had lived every day in the last several years with a cloud of guilt following me around. Not guilt for one thing. It was a different thing all the time. When I was with my family, I felt guilty for not working enough. When I was working on something, I felt guilty for not being with my family.
My father was a very legalistic, controlling parent when I was growing up. Perfection was the only way to be praised, so I sought after perfection and I have never stopped. But perfection is not Jesus’ way. The whole idea of Jesus is that we aren’t perfect. We need help. We need forgiveness. We need second chances. AND THAT IS OK.
Understanding this and living it are two very different things. Each day is a chance to live in the moment, give all I can and be ok with what I cannot do. I know that living in grace is my destination, but that I will probably be chasing it forever. I wanted a  reminder for myself and little notes around the house didn’t quite seem enough. So I did what any girl would do…I got the word tattooed to my wrist. A forever reminder to settle into God’s grace and live each day giving it to everyone around me. I have needed the reminder every day since. It is a battle for me to live in the moment, to give myself grace as I try to be the best wife, mother, friend and daughter that I can be each day.
-Jenn

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Ephesians 2:4-9 But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us…made us alive together with Christ— by grace you have been saved—…so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.

Happy Family Day.

Two years ago at this time, we were in Ethiopia. We had passed Embassy and were waiting for Maya’s visa to be issued. There are so many big days in adoption. The day we received our referral and saw her tiny face in photos for the first time. The day that we traveled to Addis Ababa and held our daughter for the very first time. A couple of days later when we officially went to court to declare that we wanted to be her family and promised to care for her.  Then there was the day that we went to the transition home and Maya came back to the hotel with us, never to live in an orphanage again. So many big days and each day closer to being together as a family. This week, we celebrate the second anniversary of our Family Day. The day that we stepped off the plane in Texas and reunited with Alain. The four of us were together as a family for the first time in our home.
We call this special day “Family Day” for many reasons. For us, adoption is not about getting a child, it is about becoming a family. We became family to Maya and she became family to us. It is also a special time to remember her first family. With as much or as little as you know about your child’s first family, they are so very important. I often visualize Maya’s mom and am almost instantly brought to tears with the thoughts of all she is missing of her sweet, smart and spunky daughter. I wonder how many of the things I adore about our daughter, she gave to her. I imagine that we would all love her so deeply. There is no adoption that comes without loss and that must be remembered. So Family Day it is. Family created and family never forgotten. We are so blessed to be a part of her life and so today, we celebrate.
-Jenn

Note: We very specifically do NOT call this day “Gotcha Day” after hearing adult adoptees share their negative feelings on this term. For more about this, read this article on Red Thread Broken “What’s wrong with Gotcha Day?”

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Meeting Maya.
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Court Day.
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In the hotel in Ethiopia the day we picked her up.
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Family Day.

我是收养 - Thank you so much for remembering your daughter’s first family on your family day. Additionally, thank you for listening to the voices of adult adoptees.

Racheal - i’m Also adopted from Ethiopia. I really Like iT to read this :) And Omg she is so cute!

Xo Rahel

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