Keepers Of The Covenant [Book In Review]


I thoroughly enjoyed this book! It is a page turner. Lynn Austin does an amazing job weaving the Old Testament verses concerning Ezra and Queen Ester with a fictional recount of how those events may have played out in the lives of the Jewish captives. She moves the timeline fast enough that the reader does not get bored with the details. At the end of the book, she mentions the Jewish customs of marriage and it parallels the relationship we have with Christ as His bridegroom so beautifully.
I have read some of her other published works of fiction and this one lives up to her standard of quality writing. I highly recommend her books.

Conquering the Sugar Cravings

SUGAR!!! Oh, it’s been quite the journey friends. First, I want to say that we didn’t follow any specific program and we are not 100% free of cravings. Up front honesty is good right? Since August we have been living a “sugar free” lifestyle. Everyone has their standards as to how much sugar they will allow in their diet, so let me explain what this means for us.
     We basically started out wanting to fast it for a month, and then after 3 weeks into the fast decided, why go back? We could see the results in how we felt and they were good. ***Fair warning, you will be detoxing sugar, and there’s definitely detox symptoms that accompany this.*** Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
     We started with a gentle colon cleanse in our first couple of weeks, just to allow the bowels to move all of the toxins that we were detoxing from out of the body rapidly. You just don’t want anything stuck, when your body is releasing toxins. Also, I don’t recommend  detoxing while breastfeeding.  
                                                                                                                                     There are a couple products from Young Living that we used.               3204
ComfortTone supports the health of the digestive system by eliminating residues from the colon and enhancing its natural ability to function optimally. Because it supports normal peristalsis (the wave-like contractions that move food through the intestines), ComforTone is ideal for strengthening the system that delivers nutrients to the rest of the body.
ICP™ helps keep your colon clean with an advanced mix of fibers that scour out residues.3208Essentialzyme are enzymes that balance digestive health and to stimulate overall enzyme activity to combat the modern diet. 3272 They help your body digest the good nutrients you are giving it to utilize the vitamins and minerals it needs.
     Then we just went cold turkey- together. I couldn’t have done it without Jesse, and he was strong when I was weak… and vice versa.
     We started by just getting rid of processed sugar, and the blatant, blaring things like desserts. We didn’t worry about all of the little places it gets snuck into our foods.
Desserts were my biggest challenge because there was an emotional tie to them. I grew up with my grandparents- that’s how they show love. It was our tradition after dinner every night and I’ve carried that pattern into my own children’s lives. It was quite emotional. After some introspection, I realized I felt like I wasn’t rewarding myself after a long days worth of work if I deprived myself of sugar.
     You have to do the emotional work alongside the physical discipline and treat your body as a whole.
     Also, I read a lot of chapters, or rather, they popped up in my One Year Study Bible about the body being a temple of the Holy Spirit. Places where Paul talks about eating what is beneficial for the body. It really lined up well with what I was trying to accomplish physically. (We started in August if you have one of those Bibles, so just read each day’s passage and you will see what I mean.)
     As I started gaining some ground, I gave myself alternatives to snack on when the cravings were intense, like dried fruit. Sprouts makes mangoes without added sugar and that’s the key to eating dried fruit. Most have added sugar so check the label. My husband liked honey on some toast when he craved sugar. We let ourselves eat the natural sugars, like stevia in our tea so that it wasn’t totally unachievable.
      We had the overall goal in mind, while giving ourselves some wiggle room to avoid quitting altogether. The goal is to wean slowly and remove the glaring ones first and then weed out the small hidden sugars later.
     I also gave myself permission to eat sugar on special occasions- birthdays, Christmas ect. I had a dreaded thought that I was never going to enjoy life again one night early on, so I gave myself some grace. I figured those special days only happen roughly 25 times out of the year, so it’s still a small percentage compared to the bulk of the year. 14%  if you want to be exact.  A cheat day of sorts that doesn’t come very often. Honestly, the only thing that’s getting me through October is that my birthday is coming and I get to have cake! HA
     I’m not craving free by any means, and the social pressures when we are in a group are hard, but not impossible. The benefits we’ve seen thus far are:
  • less gas and bloating  (I even ate some milk based soup last weekend that traditionally would have blown up my stomach, but I digested it just fine.) Most of the processed desserts have a load of soy, gluten, and artificial dairy in them.

$10 Great Dates [Book In Review]

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This book ended up to be exactly as I expected it to be; lots of ideas that are a little bit out of the ordinary for dating. The pages are filled with 52 different themed ideas ranging from Adventure dates to At-home dates. What I liked about it is that they give you the overall big picture first, and then break it down into strategies on how to prepare, and some points of conversation to go along with the theme. Some of the dates take a bit more preparation than others.
A bonus in the back of the book covers how to deal with the cost of babysitting. There are some really great ideas in that part. Overall, I thought this book was well written and creative!

Men’s Cologne

I made Jesse some new cologne today using my essential oils. Here’s the recipe:

I found this recipe on the Young Living blog, as a suggestion for Hong Kuai. hong-kuaiWhen I order oils, I always want to have at least two uses for the oil.
Ainsley ended up scanning for this oil, and as I was researching it to find more ways to use it, I found cologne.  Hong Kuai can be used as an emotional tool to boost confidence. Ylang ylang balances the male and female energy in the body and Idaho Blue Spruce can help boost testosterone in men. Not a bad trio to use as a cologne!

Killing Lice With Essential Oils

You know that dreaded feeling; the moment you realize your child has a head full of bugs. Ahhhh! I secretly wished that we would be able to dodge that bullet as a family, like entirely. I mean, I wash my kids’ hair for goodness sake! How did this happen? 10526046_10154347633425273_9106666046235257587_n
Well, regardless of how clean we think we scrub their heads, it turns out lice like a clean head. Go figure. This is what I found crawling through my four year old’s head. I could see it as I sat next to him eating my dinner. Nice right? In traditional mamma monkey fashion, I instinctively picked it off his head and started combing for more. When I found the second and third one, I started freaking out which led to a swift buzz cut.12485_10154347645530273_6653311468769641878_n
After we removed all of the live adults, I felt a bit better, but then it dawned on me that they lay eggs. Oh geeze! I didn’t have the first clue how microscopic those little devils could be, or how long it would take to kill them. (Lice newbie here.) As my husband turned to Facebook for advice, I turned to my Essential Oils Desk Reference; the encyclopedia of oils. Thankfully, there is a lice protocol and I had most of the oils listed for killing nits and eggs. That’s when I started feeling some relief. I didn’t have to run to the store and buy a special shampoo, I already had an arsenal on my counter-top. AND, I didn’t have to worry that I was soaking my four year old’s brain with hazardous pesticides.

Welcome Home, Hopkins Family!

Three weeks ago, we closed on our very own house! This is the second time we’ve ventured into this process of mortgages and commitment, and even though it’s a huge debt, I have an abundant amount of peace this time around. It feels like a gift from Jesus, straight from his heart. Have you ever just been blown away by how He loves you? Here’s the story behind the bricks….photo 2

Acne: My journey

It’s no secret that I’ve struggled with acne my entire adult life. Here’s my first post where I outed myself back in 2011 when I decided to journal my journey. It stinks to be a 33 year old woman who still deals with it. I had some high hopes I would be done with acne after the teen years! Here is an accumulative list of everything natural I’ve tried so far:

How to Earn Free Products from Young Living

This month in my Young Living order I received $186.75 worth of free product! Yep- And that number is conservative because it’s the discounted price. Retail is probably $200. How do you ask? By joining the Essential Rewards (ER) program. When you join you can earn free products two different ways.photo-2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Face To Face With Jesus [Book In Review]

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WHOA!
This book is a MUST read for anyone who has a relationship with Jesus. It will rock your world. Growing up in America, I’ve never experienced persecution for my faith, but Samaa Habib has. She writes her autobiography for the reader almost like a diary; sharing every profound thought and feeling. Growing up Muslim, she gives a chronicled story of her childhood, and young adult life. The suspense begins in the first chapter when she recalls her death; a bomb explodes in her Christian church and she is inches away from it. From that point on, you will be hooked! I had to find out how she survived the explosion, and lived to tell about it. She literally died and was resuscitated by the power of the Holy Spirit. You will not be disappointed by this book.