How I use Essential Oils Every Day

If you've been following me on Instagram or Facebook, you may have seen me talking about essential oils. I've absolutely fallen in love.

I recently got sick (well, the whole fam did, thanks work and school!!), and essential oils cut our sickness (no joke) in HALF. Like, this was the kind of sickness that was going to last a looooonnnggg time, and instead, we cracked down on an essential oil regimen, and, thank God, we got better, and quickly.

I am so happy to have found an alternative to support our bodies' natural function to work on healing itself. It's been incredible to see the difference in myself, my husband, and my kiddos.

I really like finding out how people use essential oils and essential oil products throughout the day. So, here's my post on it!

I chose Young Living Essential Oils to use on my family, and I am so happy I did. Here is more info on YL's Seed to Seal Promise.

I bolded every product that comes in the Young Living Starter Kit --->>>

  • 11 of the most popular essential oils
  • room diffuser
  • Ningxia Red samples
  • essential oil samples for sharing or your purse
  • small essential oil bottles for sharing or your purse
  • essential oil booklet to learn more

Find out more information on the Premium Starter Kit and joining my team here.

When I wake, I use Progessence Plus + Peppermint to wake up.

I put a Focus roller blend + Immunity roller blend on my daughters before they head to school.

I start a diffuser with: Stress Away + Lemon.

I drink 2 ounces of Ningxia Red with a drop of Thieves Vitality oil.

Throughout the day, I drop Release on my wrists as well rub it in my hands and smell it.

I also use the Stress Away roller when I'm out and about since it's easily in my purse.

Throughout the day, I use Thieves Dish Soap, Thieves Laundry Soap, Thieves hand soap (here's the whole Thieves starter kit).

I shower with Lavender Mint Shampoo and Conditioner.

When my girls are home, I have a seasonal allergies support blend in the diffuser with Lemon, Peppermint, Lavender.

I drink another 2 ounces of Ninxgia Red for an afternoon wake-up assist.

I give them a bath with the Kidscents Shampoo, Bath Gel, and the Lotion.

After dinner, I give the girls MightyZymes and I take Life 5, Essentialzymes-4.

I start diffusing the sleepy blend: Cedarwood + Lavender.

I wash my face with Satin Facial Scrub: Mint and moisturize with coconut oil + Frankincense.

I roll the sleepy blend on the bottoms of their feet, up their spine, and on their chest.

I roll the sleepy blend on the bottom of my feet and toes and smell it.

And that's it!

It's been an incredible joy to offer these natural and amazing products to my family. 

We no longer have the last minute run to Costco or Target for vitamins, shampoo, conditioner, cleaner, face wash, moisturizer, dish soap, or hand soap.

We get it all from Young Living. With points back, orders sent straight to my door, free products when I purchase, it's a win-win-win. Truly.

Target doesn't love me like that. But Young Living does.

And I'm grateful that I get to offer this beyond-organic options to my family. 

If you're interested in beginning your essential oils journey (and get incredible resources and support along the way), head right here.

Some really awesome video resources:

Want to start on your oily journey? Click the button below:

The Dark Nights of Marriage + Having Hope

I realized just today that my husband recently pieced his life back together.

He no longer is trapped in the cage that is Anxiety, he no longer sleeps quietly with Depression while the rest of the world (including me) moves along.

He no longer is stuck. He no longer is idle.

He recently came back to life. He recently crossed over into the real world, leaving behind the depression and panic that kept him in chains for so long.

My husband recently came alive.

And now, we are navigating new territories yet again.

First, we navigated through four years of him traveling as a drummer in a worship band. Gone for days at a time, leaving me with a baby and one on the way, to live out what he felt called to do. I loved that time of our life -- such whimsy and excitement that seemed to drown out the low funds and the little experience of parenting and marriage. We waded through the seas of long tours and coasted through the times of long breaks, snuggling with our daughter and each other. Soaking in the Lord's steady presence that was provided by my husband constantly being around worship, constantly being held accountable, constantly being around really holy men and women. It was a glorious time, this season of marriage.

Next, we navigated through his leaving the band, our having two daughters, and his sudden onset of an Anxiety Disorder. This unknown and unfamiliar place started to drown us. We were no longer coasting, living in whimsy, praying together, worshipping in the same ways. We were no longer the same people when we looked in the mirror. I soon became a mother to three daughters and went into a state of Postpartum Depression, while he was suffering panic attacks and feeling ashamed of this struggle.

We no longer looked like the people in our wedding album -- the two whimsical humans who danced in the sun and stayed up way too late at bonfires and had random nights of prayer with our wonderful group of friends.

We looked more like isolated roommates -- these two who passed each other in the hallway and didn't even look the other in the eye. These two, suffering apart, not knowing how to cross the chasm into each other's hearts.

In my selfishness, I wanted to leave the suffering of a depressed husband who turned into a disconnected partner and father to our girls. This ache to disengage and be gone ate away at me every. single. day.

I wanted to be anywhere but with the man I made a vow to on November 29, 2008, because the person that I saw every day for those three and a half years was dead inside, and I didn't know how to help him. I didn't know how to save him. I didn't know how to remedy this brokenness.

I didn't know how to be a wife to someone who couldn't be saved.

One day a good friend called me up on the phone, and she expressed her deep concern for our marriage. She loved both of us, deeply. She cared for both of us, deeply. And she knew we were in deep, scary troubling waters. And you know what she said to me?

She said You have to have hope.

You cannot let apathy take over. You cannot let anger take over. You cannot let despair take over. You cannot let the devil rip apart your marriage. 

Because you know why? This marriage is good. This marriage is holy. This marriage matters. It matters to your daughters and to the people you minister to and to your friends and to your family and to your souls.

The devil wants nothing more than to rip apart this good, holy marriage. He wants you disconnected so that nothing in your life feels connected.

You have to have hope, she said.

That the Lord will repair your marriage. 

She asked, Lord come repair this marriage, put life into into this marriage, put hope into these hearts, shower grace on these dry bones and bring life back to your son and your daughter.

She said, You have to have hope.

Because she knew this for sure: I had given up. A long time ago. I gave up after days and days and days of feeling empty that my husband was dead inside. I gave up after panic attacks stole my husband's fire. I gave up after anxiety tore apart his very insides, to his core, making him question everything about himself.

I had given up. And she knew it.

You have to have hope, she said.

And I cried. Tears screaming down my cheeks, grief coming apart at the seams, feelings coming out that I had stifled for three and a half years. I finally allowed myself to feel. I stopped being apathetic, I stifled the desire to give up.

And for the first time, I think, ever, I had hope. I had hope that our marriage would be reconciled. I had hope that our marriage would be united. I had hope that we would one day be those same whimsical kids who threw caution to the wind and gave our complete and utter trust in the Lord, instead of living in fear of the falling out.

For the first time, we hoped. We hoped that my husband would be healed. We hoped that the Lord would restore him and restore our marriage.

My friend gave me the gift of hope, that day, while I sat in my front driveway, paralyzed by the truth that came through on my cellphone.

So here we are, navigating these new waters. Finding our way into each other's arms and each other's hearts after years of spiritual and emotional separation.

Here we are, flipping through our wedding book and once again remembering what it was like to feel wild and free and full of trust and courage.

Here we are, again navigating ministerial life while teaching our daughters about love and laughter and family.

Here we are, in a state of wonder at what the Lord wants for us next, in a state of joy in knowing He is leading the way, in a state of trust that we thought we had lost forever.

Here we are, wading through these waters, finding our way to the Lord, together, restored.

Each and every day is a new one to live this marriage full of hope. And for the first time, I no longer want us to be those kids we see in our wedding album. I am grateful we aren't the whimsically naive couple in that book.

We are navigating peaceful seas after a heavy storm. We are side by side, working together in the quiet of a restful ocean. We are looking to the sun after the dark night. And I wouldn't want to be with any other man in the entire world, on any other boat, in any other time.

You have to have hope, she said.

And I finally do.

Pentecost + Marriage

Pentecost has always been one of my favorite days of the Church year. The whole imagery of the Holy Spirit coming down and consuming, filling, intensely transforming people in a completely uninhibited way -- that imagery has done wonders for my life.

The idea that since the followers of Jesus were open, they were able to receive the fullness of this gift, this presence, this warmth truly coming alive within their souls.

What they must have felt in that incredible moment! 

I picture this great instant, and I can't help but think of the assurance they felt, this great peace they felt, as the beautiful hymn exclaims (and as Audrey beautifully sings), "No storm can shake my inmost calm, while to that refuge clinging; Since Christ is Lord of heaven and earth, how can I keep from singing?"

They left the room, singing. In joy, singing. In strife, singing. In turmoil, singing. In darkness, singing.

In trust. In assurance. In faith. 

They were transformed.

We can be, too. You and me and our families and our friends and our enemies. We can be transformed, if we are only open to how the Holy Spirit wants to move in our lives.

Something I can't help but recognize are the parallels of the Holy Spirit changing and transforming the disciples in the upper room, just as I have been transformed (and am transforming) in my marriage.

I opened up my heart, that beautiful day in November 2008. I tasted vulnerability in a newly profound way, I entered into the room in the willingness of being changed.

And just as the Holy Spirit came upon the disciples in the upper room, the Holy Spirit came upon my groom and me that day.

We left that room, changed. We left that room, transformed. We left that room, new. 

That sacrament changed us. The Holy Spirit changed us. And it is doing it afresh, every single day, if we open ourselves up to it. It takes our willingness, just like the disciples, to be made new.

And though marriage has been difficult at times (we have been trampled with stumbling blocks that seemed to pour down until we weren't able to breathe), we had the peace of this Spirit within us. We had to remember, "No storm can shake my inmost calm, while to that refuge clinging..."

Since that afternoon in the Fall that changed my life, the path has been rocky and it has been unsteady at times, but I hold steadfast to the peace of Christ, and my soul sings out:

"And day by day this pathway smooths, since first I learned to love it, the peace of Christ makes fresh my heart, a fountain ever springing...

How can I keep from singing?"

In joy, singing. In strife, singing. In turmoil, singing. In darkness, singing.

Let us open ourselves up to this peace of the Holy Spirit, just as the disciples did on that day of Pentecost two thousand years ago. Let us be transformed.

I collaborated with Nancy Bandzuch, Laura K Fanucci, and Nell O'Leary to write a scripture study on marriage. Let's pray, together, to continue to be transformed, to continue to be made new, to continue to sing. Get your 4 week lectio divina study here.

Breaking the Rules

Yesterday I read a post by Sarah Bessey that my sweet friend Laura K Fanucci shared, and it was brilliant.

It was an article all about going "off-brand." That you don't have to follow all the rules that you've set for yourself in the past.

Sarah says,

Going off-brand can be terrifying. Daring to change our story when we find our primary identity in that particular story feels like we are losing our own sense of self. It’s more than just changing an opinion or a way of life: it’s changing who we thought we were.

Things can change. Allows things to change.

And it kind of rocked me. 

It rocked me and really reminded me of a couple thoughts I've been ruminating with the past few weeks.

First of all, for a couple years now, while trying to build a ministry slash business, being a mom to three sweet girls, having a miscarriage, working at a hospital and cutting my hours to make space for said ministry slash business, realizing that more hours at home doesn't equal more hours to work on the biz, trying to take all the online courses I could ever take, being obsessed with female entrepreneurs on Periscope, on Snapchat, on all of the media that I could consume... while trying to do ALL OF THAT for a couple of years, I realized I was a little tired.

I was a little tired of being a brand, of trying to perfect my Instagram, of saying the "right" things in my Facebook posts or my Twitter statuses.

I'm a little tired of trying to create, constantly, of trying to deliver, constantly, of trying to answer questions day in and day out.

I'm tired.

My husband is tired.

My kids are tired.

And really, when I made the leap with Blessed is She (the ministry slash biz I've been referring to), I leapt in the hopes that the Lord would take it and do whatever He'd like.

And that is what's happened. None of this is about me. All of this is about Him. All forty writers, all five of us on the administrative side, all of us are doing this with the ultimate goal of growing closer to him, as sisters, in community, together. And He has done that, in a huge way.

But in this time of growth for Blessed is She, I think that I came to realize that while I do want this ministry to grow, it was doing so at the expense of something else.

It was growing, and my kids were watching more Netflix than I'd like. It was growing, and my husband was becoming more and more disconnected because of my work level. It was growing, and my heart was heavy with guilt that although I was the Director of this amazing ministry, I have my own vices. I have my own struggles with daily prayer, I have my own struggles with right speech. I have my own trials.

This ministry has not only increased my faith in Christ and in His Church, but it has held a mirror up to my life. It has shown me every crevice that is incredibly far from excellent:

It was showing me my dirty laundry. 

This ministry has simultaneously pushed me in prayer while also poking holes in the woman that I thought I was.

So, I'm tired. I'm tired of feeling inadequate. I'm tired of my husband feeling neglected. I'm tired of my kids seeming neglected (in my mom-guilt eyes). I'm tired of feeling like I'm neglecting myself, even more so.

Secondly, The other thing the Lord revealed to me in the past few weeks is how much NOISE I am surrounded by.

I always put a podcast in while I'm doing chores, I have the music blaring when the girls and I are in the car, there is always something on when I'm working.

NOISE.

I stopped listening to podcasts as much as I had been. I did the laundry in quiet. I washed the dishes in silence. 

I allowed the Lord to whisper to me in those moments, instead of constantly being surrounded by anything and everything else in the world to talk to me before Him.

So today I walked into the office, the room I've been avoiding with all its unopened books, my Bible sitting there, untouched, my prayer journal, still perfectly unused, the silence.

I grabbed the Bible, and I grabbed my prayer journal. I turned to Psalm 13. 

How long must I carry sorrow in my soul, grief in my heart day after day? How long will my enemy triumph over me?

This is day 1. 

I am recommitted to my husband, to my children, to this ministry being life-giving, to taking care of myself.

I am so excited to work on my vices, with the Lord's strength and mercy, to work on the parts of me that this ministry has shown me I could work on. I'm so excited to creep closer to all-over wellness of my being, with daily devoted prayer time, with eating better, with not drinking, with being healthy from the inside out.

I am so excited to make small adjustments to my daily routine to accomplish this:

  • going to bed earlier (this is where I'm setting myself up for the next day!)
  • waking up to help the girls get ready for school (aka not yell at them to hurry since I'm the one running late)
  • waking up to pray through Scripture and my prayer journal
  • going to work out after I drop the girls off
  • eating at home as opposed to eating out
  • using our essential oils for health and wellness
  • working on Blessed is She during nap times and before bed so as to be engaged with the girls when they're awake
  • making time for Mike as much as possible (going to his football games, being supportive of him when we are both home)

I'm becoming okay with changing up my "brand." I'm okay with evolving, with changing, with allowing the Lord to change me. 

I'm becoming okay with growth.

I'm becoming okay with silence.

I'm becoming okay with going against the grain of expectations I've set on myself.

It's time to become. 

Sometimes the story we tell ourselves about our own lives can become a prison, it can keep us from the real life that is waiting for us. // Sarah Bessey

And me? I'm ready to live.