Fear and Truth

As I look back and reflect on the path that this blog has taken, I can’t help but smile at little at the randomness of it all.

Admittedly, I’m probably not the best blogger because of that. I guess you could consider this a “lifestyle blog” but most days it just seems like a peek at the inside of my brain – random, discombobulated thoughts floating around with no true sense of focus or direction. Okay, that might be an exaggeration, but still.

Community, Rhythms, and Other Thoughts on Moving

I’m not entirely sure when the shift happened, but there was one. In 2015/2016 as my faith and my relationship with the Lord planted roots and grew deeper, a lot of my posts reflected that. When I go back and re-read them, I remember how I felt the Holy Spirit giving me all of those words and just feeling like I needed to share them. I remember being in the days and weeks after my grandmother and aunt were called home to Heaven less than 48 hours apart from each other and just feeling like I needed to write down the things that were being revealed to me in the wake of all of that. The words that the Holy Spirit gave to me would serve as a beautiful piece of my story – a story marked, yes, by grief and loss but also of tremendous hope and healing.

But at some point, the journey shifts from grieving and into healing. And in my case, when I began to enter that phase, I realized that I didn’t feel led to write near as often. It’s been an adjustment and honestly a bit of an “identity crisis” of sorts.

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Friday Feels // Vol. 5

Anyone else feel like their bodies are playing “catch-up” after losing that hour of sleep on Sunday? While it is nice to have more daylight hours, I also just really enjoy sleep.

It’s hard to believe that the official start of Spring is next week! It doesn’t even feel like we’ve had a legit Winter here in North Carolina. The one time we got snow, it was in mid-December and technically still Fall! Not to mention the weather’s been pretty mild for this time of year and SUPER rainy. I think we’ve hit a bunch of records for the amount of rainfall we’ve gotten for this time of year. I grabbed these gorgeous tulips from Trader Joe’s, though, in an attempt to bring some brightness to our kitchen and try and counter the rain and the clouds.

I recently tried the Roasted Garlic Chicken Sausage from Trader Joe’s and I seriously don’t know how I’ve gone this long without it! I’ve made it with my favorite Brussels sprouts and also with the spinach tortellini from TJ’s, tossed in their vegan pesto. It’s so good!

I also recently tried Califia Farms’ Barista Blend almondmilk in my at-home lattes and it is so good! We have the Aeroccino milk frother and this blend foams really well in it. I think I like this brand better than New Barn’s Barista blend – plus, it’s cheaper.

I also joined the rest of the world – or at least the world according to Instagram – and picked up this rose quartz face roller. I want to try some DIY facial serums with some of my essential oils soon so this will be a good tool to have on hand!

This weekend (tomorrow), I’ll be going to my cousin’s wife’s baby shower! There’s a decent age range from my oldest cousin down to me (I’m the youngest grandchild) so our cousin Matthew is one of the first of the younger cousins to have a baby. We’re all so excited for this new addition to join us in May!

Also, any other teachers currently just trying to make it until Spring Break? The struggle is real. Counting down to April 12 like whoa.

Happy Friday!

March Essential Rewards Haul

Can you believe we are already on the downward slope to April? So crazy!

Today I’m sharing my March Essential Rewards order! Last month, when I invested in my Premium Starter Kit, I also decided to join Young Living’s Essential Rewards program. This month’s box is just my second one but I’m really liking the program so far! I also opted into the YL Go program, which offers 13 months of free shipping on ER orders which definitely came in handy this month.

Young Living Essential Rewards

If you’re interested in trying out Young Living, just shoot me an email or DM me on Instagram and I can help you get connected to a fantastic Facebook group for support and tons of DIY recipes!

Here’s a closer look at what I got this month!

Endoflex Vitality-5ml // I’m excited to start using this oil for support with endocrine and hormonal wellness. I’ve done a lot of reading on Endoflex as well as Progessence Plus and I’m super interested in how these oils, along with a cleaner diet and consistent exercise routine, can help support and balance my hormone levels.

Young Living Endoflex

Thieves Household Cleaner // Just ask anyone about this Thieves cleaner and they’ll tell you how versatile and effective it is! There are so many DIY recipes out there for how to use this cleaner for basically every area of your home you can think of. I can’t wait to start using it!

Young Living Thieves Household Cleaner

Frankincense Vitality and Lavender // I quickly realized as I began to explore my starter kit that I was probably going to go through Lavender like water, especially since sleep support is a predominant need for me right now. I started off using lavender, valor, and peace & calming as my sleep blend – which was lovely – but when I mixed lavender and frankincense? OH MAN. So so good. I swear it had me falling asleep quicker and sleeping all the way through the night with little to know tossing and turning. These two oils are my two holy grail items now so I definitely made sure to grab more of them.

Young Living Frankincense and Lavender Essential Oils

Lemon Vitality, Lime Vitality, and Orange Vitality // Lots of citrus-y goodness! The orange vitality is the 100PV promo item for the month of March which is fantastic because I am literally obsessed with the smell of orange. Like, I will just stand there all day smelling the bottle. You might notice the different labels for “Vitality” oils versus other oils. Vitality oils are just oils that have been approved for dietary consumption. Same oils, just a different label so you can still use vitality oils for topical use or in the diffuser.

Young Living Vitality Oils

Essential Oil Bottle Labels // Lastly, I grabbed these handle bottle labels! These go on the caps of the bottles, and fit both the 5ml and 15ml varieties. Super helpful for organization!

Young Living Essential Oil Bottle Labels

Can’t wait to share more about how I put these products to use!

Hopeful Expectation

“Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed – that exhilarating finish in and with God – he could put up with anything along the way: cross, shame, whatever. And now he’s there, in the place of honor, right alongside God. When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls!” Hebrews 12:1-3, MSG

It’s been seven months now since I moved away from home. Not that Earth-shattering in the grand scheme of things considering that I just moved 2.5 hours away and I’m at least in the same state but hey, for me, these seven months have been jam-packed.

This move has been easy. It’s been smooth and natural and in many ways, it was a long time coming. But it’s also been hard. Difficult in ways that I don’t even fully know how to articulate to another person. This journey has been rocky and revealing and messy but I’ve been stretched in some ways and strengthened in others and so this journey also feels holy to me.

Hard and holy.

Two words that have been a recurring theme in my mind lately when I think of my life and the soul work that God has been doing in this season.

This time last year, I was going through Blue Letter Bible’s Chronological Bible plan and was reading of the Israelites’ journey through the wilderness towards the promised land. I resonated with the story, I thought. I had been journeying through a season of preparation for 2.5 years and felt like I was like the Israelites in a way and moving closer and closer to the “promised land” that I had been envisioning.

Admittedly, there is a slight sense of grieving over the story that didn’t come to fruition. But what I know of God and this life that we are doing together is that my grief for what could have been doesn’t negate the feelings of hopeful expectation for what is to come in this new story. And on this Ash Wednesday, that is what I am clinging to.

Hopeful expectation.

Lent is a season that is becoming increasingly precious to me with every year that goes by. It’s more than just 40 days of giving up candy or soda – as it so often was when I was a child. It’s an opportunity for reflection, fasting, and prayer. A chance to draw near to Jesus in the days leading up to His ultimate sacrifice. The words in the verses above – “Because he never lost sight of where he was headed” – stick out to me, especially today on Ash Wednesday. How many times have we lost sight of where we were doing and what we are working towards?

It is my prayer that this Lenten season would be an opportunity to re-orient myself and lean further into Him. That it would be a sweet reminder to not lose sight of where I’m headed. For me, the Lord is leading me to fast from sleeping in so that I can reestablish margin and space for spending time with Him in the mornings. And although the decision of what I’m fasting from didn’t really come until yesterday, I think it’s been a long time coming and a beautiful continuation of what the Lord has already been doing in my heart this past month.

And so I am here at Ash Wednesday in hopeful expectation and eager longing for what is to come and what the Lord is going to do through this season.

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