Thursday, December 11, 2014

6 years



Tomorrow my boy turns 6.  Right now I'm listing to him doing who knows what, in his room waiting for morning. He's so excited he keeps getting out of bed, asking if it's 6:00 yet. I asked him what he wanted for his birthday and his first request, was daddy to stay home from work, but when he learned that couldn't happen he settled for a man's breakfast with Granddad and daddy. They're taking him out for biscuits and gravy. He's been thinking about what he's going to eat at each meal for weeks; breakfast, biscuits and gravy, lunch mini hotdogs and french fries, and dinner grilled cheese and tomato soup. 

I'm not sure he'll be able to eat all that. This week we caught a stomach bug and he hasn't eaten much. Today he felt his best and we're praying and very hopeful that tomorrow we'll all be feeling great. We love the kids to feel special and make their birthday stand out, but we keep things pretty simple.

 This year he wanted a 'bear documentary' party. (I'm not too sure what that entails) Family friends were coming with their three boys to my parents house. We were going to do dinner, gingerbread houses and watch his favorite bear documentary. We cancelled with our friends in hopes of not spreading any sickness, but we'll still watch his movie and make gingerbread houses. He has gifts to open and wants to blow a candle out of ice cream and cookies. He'll sit with me and ask me to read to him stories out of his baby book.

Elijah, I am so grateful for the gift you are to our family. 6 years ago our lives were forever changed. You made us parents and it's been so much more than I imagined. You have a bright mind and we pray daily that you'll use it for God. You love your family and make us all laugh. We love you....happy birthday IE.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Sun Valley


I just finished my first blog book. I've been wanting to make one for a long time, but it was always put at the bottom of the to do list. I'm so glad I finally got around to doing it, I'm thrilled with it and can't wait to get to another one. I have quite a few to catch up on. I used My Publisher, it's not really for blogs, I had to copy and paste the posts I wanted in. It doesn't automatically link to your blog, but the work was worth it. It turned out beautifully. It's also made me want to keep documenting...and I missed a number of things that happened this fall. So, even though it's December I'm going to back track a couple months.

In August we were missing Yiayia pretty bad and she was able to come for a visit. Since, moving picking up Papa and Yiayia from the airport is one of our favorite things to do. I love looking back at these excited blurry pictures and knowing how happy the kids were to see them.




We spent the weekend in Sun Valley. The children ask frequently if we can go back, we all had such a wonderful time. We stayed in an amazing hotel and our suite had two rooms, a living room, and kitchen. The children thought it was amazing and would have been happy to never leave. It was fun making our meals there. We brought games and were right near the pool which we loved playing in. We popped popcorn and watched movies with the kids, and mom got me watching "call the midwife." 

We did venture out though. We took the gondola up the mountain and walked around the old lodge, went on a bike ride, which was kind of crazy. Riding bikes with little ones on big hills might not have been the best choice, but it's a fun memory and gave us lots of laughs. I think it was one of my favorite trips all year and I'm so thankful for the special time with Yiayia. 




















Sunday, December 7, 2014

Do you Believe






The Christmas season is here. I had expectations for how this advent time would look and already, it's gone differently than I planned. I love creating a home and family time that reflects Christmas. My children find so much magic in the decorations that I put around the house and I think it's important to make this time different, special. It's a time to slow down and remember, to dwell on, to consider our Saviors birth. I was too focused on the details though and I was letting circumstances, out of my control, to weigh me down. I was creating a home full of tension and stress, the opposite of what I wanted. 





Thankfully, God in his kindness broke me and showed me what he looks at, what will make the biggest impression on my children, my heart, my attitude as I'm faced with the hard and inconvenient circumstances of life. 


I've started reading, "Come Thou Long Awaited Jesus" it's my favorite book to read during this time and I highly recommend it. It's helped focus my heart on God's glory and all that Jesus did in coming to be born. I'm seeing again, how Christ sets the example for us in all ways. This was in my reading yesterday. It really got me thinking about how I want to protect myself and put walls up, but how that is the opposite way of Christ's love.


"Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable." 
C.S. Lewis

"Christmas tells us that God became breakable and fragile. God became someone we could hurt. Why? To get us back."
Tim Keller

Then I read this and it got me thinking a lot about our belief in Christmas. I heard a little girl the other day say she doesn't believe in Santa and the adult she told acted so sad and said that took away the magic of Christmas. But isn't the magic of Christmas in the miracle of God becoming man? Isn't that more powerful than any imaginary character?

"If you believe in Christmas, that God became a human being...the gift of Christmas gives you a resource, a comfort and consolation for dealing with suffering, because in it we see God's willingness to enter this world of suffering to suffer with us and for us."
Tim Keller






Wednesday, November 19, 2014

God's kindness: part 2



The second part of our oil story, is the way God is using it to help our family financially. Since moving things have been pretty tight, but about a year and a half ago, we had a number of things happen that put us in a very tough spot financially. For months we struggled and looked into a number of different job options, with none of them working. 

This whole time we continually prayed that God would provide the means necessary. Our friend was still graciously sending us some oils, but when she would mention benefits or incentives on ways to get more I just told her we have NO money.
She never once pushed anything on us in a business sense and rarely talked about it with us. 

Pursuing the business side of doTERRA never crossed my mind, until, after a very long day I got an email from my friend. She really didn't know how big our financial problems were, she just knew I said I didn't have money in the budget for oils, but she'd been praying a lot and God continually brought my name to her mind, she was determined to help our family. She explained that when I signed up, she'd put some people underneath me, slowly building a team for us. She said that we'd be getting some residual income from this. It was a very small number, but it felt like we'd won the lottery when I read that. I called Caleb crying and read him the letter. It gave me a lot of hope, God knew our needs and would provide, just like He always had. 

This opened the door for Caleb to look into the company. He wanted to understand exactly how it all worked. The more he looked, the more impressed he was. He explained to me that doTERRA set the compensation plan up different than most direct sales companies, and the more you help other people the more you are compensated. It really pushes you to bless others. There also weren't any 'catches.' We weren't obligated to anything. Even though it sounded good, and was literally dropped in our lap, I said, no. I didn't want to teach classes or have everyone avoid me cause I was always trying to sell them an oil. I don't have a lot of connections where we live and didn't see anyone that I could share the oils with. I was pretty against it. But Caleb wasn't. He thought it was something that we should look into, so I hesitantly, followed. 

Thanksgiving came and we spent it with Caleb's family. I told his mom and sister what we were doing and they were so supportive. (really Caleb's mom is extremely supportive in all we do) but she really got behind us, bought some oils to help out and shared her expertise on selling with us. She is a natural and did very well with Pampered Chief for years. Caleb's sister also got on board and started on the oils for her and her family. This actually got me pretty excited and we went home ready to pursue the business.

I still had my hesitations, but Caleb and I prayed together so much over this and continually asked God to bring the people to us. After praying one morning about who we could possibly talk essential oils to, my phone rang, it was a friend I hadn't talked to in awhile and she said, "do you know anything about doTERRA essential oils?" I was blown away. This has happened countless times.  God has grown our team with very specific people and has blessed it tremendously above what we could have imagined. I was praying, asking him to provide anything to meet our financial needs and he was meeting them in a completely unexpected way; a way that I was saying absolutely no to at the time. 

Every time we think of our business we think of God's gracious provision, our sweet friends kindness, and a means to help others. It has now become the means to help out people physically as well as financially. We see God's hand in all of it and our overwhelmed with gratitude. 

Please email me if you have any questions, busselljn@gmail.com You can also follow me on Instagram @jirehwellness


Thursday, November 13, 2014

God's kindness



I can't tell you how long I've gone back and forth on writing this post. It's such a talked about, and sometimes controversial topic that I want to stay far away from it, but this is really a story of God's kind faithfulness in our lives. I love looking back and being freshly reminded of ways God has worked in our family. And because this is our little space, I'm writing it....and it's kind of long. 

It's no secret that I've struggled with a variety of health problems for the last 11 years. Charles Spurgeon once said, 'I venture to say that the greatest earthly blessing that God can give to any of us is health, with the exception of sickness. Sickness has frequently been of more use to the saints of God than health has.'  This is true of my story. I can't tell you what a gift it would be to wake up feeling good, but poor health has broken my pride, pushed me closer to God, and given me a longing for heaven. 

Almost two years ago a good friend gave me essential oils for Christmas. We used essential oils before, but not extensively. I pretty much didn't trust anything my natural doctor in Southern California hadn't approved and thought these oils would be of little help. Our doctor did get a chance to test the oils and thought they were a good product so it gave me confidence to use them. I still didn't understand how to make them a part of our daily life and didn't see how they would help with health problems I had dealt with for years.

Our friend kept faithfully sharing them with us and we started to like different oils here and there, but it wasn't until we tried them for Elijah's croup that we were sold. Elijah got croup the first time when he was 6 months and suffered with it multiple times a year since. Often it caused us to go to urgent care to get steroids and breathing treatments on a regular basis.

He started coughing one night and I knew it was croup. I know that dry, seal like bark anywhere. I immediately used the oils on him and it turned out to be his most mild case. He actually SLEPT through the night. That had never happened before. We usually spent the night going back and forth from outside's cold air to the bathroom with a steamy shower running. I kept asking Caleb, "do you think the oils actually helped?!" I'm not sure why but each time we've had a success with essential oils my first reaction is to doubt it, but we haven't gone to urgent care for his croup since using essential oils. So, I guess I have to say it's working!

That was what pushed Caleb and I to look more into the company. Caleb is a research king and he went to work looking into this particular oil company, doTERRA. He read a ton from third party doctors and scientists on doTERRA oils. We were pleased with everything we've found.    

In all this research we started to learned about the different oils. We started to understand the many benefits and incorporated them into daily use. I noticed our kids got sick less and less. I was turning to our oils stash to care for headaches, sleep problems, infections, digestive problems, the list goes on and on. I noticed the biggest difference in the kids heath. They were able to fight off sicknesses they were exposed to and rarely get sick at all anymore. Even though I saw my family doing well, I was still struggling and I was discouraged. I really didn't think anything was going to help. I just wanted energy to get through the day and take care of my kids. I text my friend pretty hopeless that anything was going to work and asked if there was anything else I could try. She asked me if I was on any of the supplements and I wasn't. I really hadn't thought of it. She said I should get on them right away, so we put an order in. 

As soon as I got them I started and have taken them consistently ever since, which has been since the beginning of September. I feel amazing. At first I second guessed it like always. I started feeling a little better, having a little more energy, but I didn't even want to say anything, cause what if it didn't last. But days turned to weeks, which have turned into months and I haven't felt this good in years. I am sleeping through the night (unless a kid wakes me) this never happened before. I don't take naps during the day. I'm much more productive. My back pain is more manageable, my headaches are less frequent. I really can't believe it. I'm thrilled. I know that God could take my health away again, but right now I'm thanking him over and over for how good I feel. 

God taught me so much walking through those months. Caleb and I see his hand in all of it, my friend's desire to share and bless us with oils. And God ultimately using them to make me feel better. All I can think is how grateful I am and that I want to share this with other people who I know are suffering. 

I have hesitations in writing though. I've heard so much debate and arguing when it comes to essential oils and natural health care in general. I need to share my thoughts on a couple things. 

Essential oils are not little drops of miracles in a bottle. I clearly think that essential oils are wonderful and there are endless uses, but I've seen people turn to oils to cure all of their problems. I see people wanting to use oils for behavioral problems, and to take away the pain of loosing a family member, and there is an expectation that once you start using oils you will never have pain or be sick again. 

The oils could help aid in all of those areas, but if your child is misbehaved an oil will not fix it. Our bodies are slowly decaying. I know people don't like to think of it, but we are dying and an oil will not save you from that. We will all continue to get sick. Place your trust in Jesus and keep an eternal perspective. Essential oils are a wonderful way to be a good steward of the body God's given you, but it makes me sad when I see believers putting so much of their faith into the gift and not to the Giver. 


I've heard of people getting really ugly with each other over essential oils and natural health care in general. Why? I've heard stories among believers that are causing division with each other over oils....that is CRAZY. In fact, it happens with the whole topic of western medicine vs. homeopathic. There is so much pride and judgement. I never want someone to feel judged by us because we use essential oils and they don't. This is a personal decision that we've come to for our family. We've prayed, researched and are trying to make the best decision for our family. That will look different for different families. This is not a topic to argue about.

I have to say,  I strongly believe that the purity of an oil is extremely important and I cannot speak to the purity of any other oil company. I know of other good oils (our doctor in California had great oils) but there are a lot that aren't pure and could be harmful for  you. Be careful. Do your research. Not all oils are created equally. 

I've also heard that doTERRA will make any claims to sell oils just to make money. As soon as I heard the words, multi level marketing, I said, no! no! no! But Caleb did a lot of research on this front too and he was really impressed with doTERRA's business plan. We've also been surprised with the company as a whole and how they truly love helping others. I want to say that there's no scam here. People are working it like a business and just because people make money selling oils and doing something they love does not mean it's a scam. Or that they're only saying certain things to sell oils. 

The business side of things is another huge way that God blessed our family in a really, really, hard time. I'm going to tell that story next. In the mean time if you have any questions you can email me at busselljn@gmail.com or follow me @jirehwellness on IG. I will share different ways we use the oils and how we've seen them help our family.


Thursday, September 25, 2014

unequal


"Home is a place where we ought to be allowed to be unequal, where everyone knows everyone else's inequalities and knows furthermore, that it is the inequalities that make a home work."
Elisabeth Elliot.



As I close my eyes and images of my children play in my mind I see a hundred different things that make each unique. Elijah, Vanessa, and Amelia, bring an array of gifts to our family, that all leave Caleb and I smiling. We enjoy our children so much and our love for them is equal. But we know how to appreciate the strengths and weaknesses of each. I never want them to feel threatened by what their siblings can do. I want them to work hard and excel in the gifts God's given to them and cheer one another on without feeling like they're not enough. 

I want my children to grow up with wonder and huge imaginations.  I do not want fear to hinder them from trying, but I never want to lead my children to believe that they can do anything. That they will be 'equal' at any task. I believe there are numerable possibilities they can do with their gifts and abilities. But I want them to know the freedom that comes with understanding we can't do it all. We will not be equal at all tasks. I pray, as our children understand this it will push them more towards Christ. Because we are weak, but He is strong, and it's in our weakness that He is glorified. And I pray it makes their bond stronger and causes them to lift one another up, bearing each others burdens. 



Saturday, July 26, 2014

Home


We spent the day yesterday working in the yard. It amazes me how much work this tiny space needs and makes me thankful it's not bigger. As I watched Caleb working on yet another project, I was reminded how hard he's worked wherever we've lived to make them homes. He hasn't always understood my need for fresh paint, but he happily works with me on my ideas. He really cares about taking care of me and giving our family a home. We've made each place we've lived 'ours.' We've put hours of thought and work to create a place that we enjoy. It's a small picture of who Caleb is. He protects us, and cares for us, and he is our safe place. Our home. He is peace and steadiness. I love dreaming and creating along side him. 

We've slowly made this house our home also. I promised more pictures of the changes and here they finally are... if you want to see some before pictures they're here. And other house changes are here

 this is the view when you walk into the house.



the house is pretty open. we turned this living room area into our dining room as we really didn't need two living rooms. 

the walls got a fresh coat of paint along with the fireplace.












 this little breakfast nook is really the kids corner and I'll be doing our homeschooling here...yes, I'm planning on homeschooling Elijah in the fall. I've pretty much figured out what I'm going to do as far as curriculum goes, but I have lots of lesson planning to go. I would love any pointers if you have any...and I'll take pictures of this area once I have it decorated. 

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