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New Path

I have loved Facebook from the moment my sister introduced me to it. Twitter I never understood (then I listened to a Reply All podcast that basically said I never would) and Instagram I have love/hate relationship with.

I began this blog as an alternative to social media platforms. I know that any browser can shut me out or bury me but it feels a little more free than some other sites right now and I want to be my authentic self at all times and not hide behind emojis and bad spelling to escape the censors.

I’m taking my Facebook back to private and will let this be my public face.

My life is not monochrome and I don’t have the photo talent Instagram takes so I’m not going to try so hard there. I still love IG stories but most of my posts will probably just direct people here. I’m a writer at heart and I needed to do that. Not stress about my grid or my 9 or if I’m using the right filter to be attractive to others. I don’t take enough selfies either.

So I’m moving on to a platform where I can be more myself. Where I don’t have to worry (as much) about being shutdown because I want to talk about what worked for me the last time I got sick. Where I can use the gifts and talents God gave me and not try to fit a square peg in a round hole.

I know I already kind of did an intro post but I felt this gave a little more of the why. It gives you more of an idea of where I’m coming from.

Little Devil’s Tower Trail in Custer State Park

I was Locked Out of My IG Account for 36 Hours and Here’s What I Learned

I was recently performing some housekeeping on my IG account and unfollowed one too many people. IG thought I was a robot or a third party company that helps people gain followers and it shut me out. It gave me the opportunity to change my password but then it didn’t. It told me to click a link and reset my password but that didn’t work either. Knowing this happens I decided to wait it out. Not that big of a deal right? Guys, I was locked out of my IG account for 36 hours and here’s what I learned.

I look at Instagram all the time. When I’m bored. When I’m waiting for something to load on the computer. When I pick up my phone. When I click out of Facebook I automatically go to Instagram. I was forever clicking on IG only to be reminded I can’t look at anything.

I missed Instagram. Like, I wanted to be scrolling through stories. I missed the entertainment of Reels and actually considered downloading TikTok just for the same effect.

Facebook stories are clunky. Stories are definitely Instagram’s thing. Switching to Facebook stories is like switching from a PS4 to an Atari. And they cut you off at 15 seconds-actually less. It felt like you got about 7 seconds.-

I’ll admit I was shook by several of these realizations. I did not realize how reliant on Instagram I was – dare I say addicted? I started Instagram to simply follow some Young Living people as I realized they shared more on Instagram than Facebook. I was never going to post there. But I did. I started to see how others were expanding their business through Instagram and understood the potential. What I now realize is that I forgot to keep using it as a business tool. I got sucked in. Even when I was unfollowing people I would be like, “ Oh, I can’t unfollow them! I’d miss them!” These are complete strangers that I rarely engage with! Crazy.

This break from Instagram might have been God ordained. It was definitely a wake up call. Ive made some changes. I’ve got the screen time notice set up now to remind me to stop checking IG and I have a better plan on how to use it for my business now. I don’t want to get so sucked in again.

Have you ever taken a break from Instagram? What did you realize?

Great is Thy Faithfulness

Whew! It’s been a while. May turned into a whirlwind month and so far June hasn’t been any better.

We recently moved our middle son six hours away to his new home and job and it turned into quite an adventure! Here’s my post from Facebook:

“Well, yesterday turned into another adventure while moving your kids. My car started overheating outside of Elba. We babied it along trying to get to Ord but it decided it was done just past North Loup.

Because I had covered this week in prayer I was able to be grateful for so many things:
-my car enthusiast was along who actually knew what car parts Dad was telling him to look at.
-friends in Ord that own car trailers and could get mine off the side of the road.
-said friend was not at the lake this weekend
-because of the crazy week, packing was scattered and we had three vehicles
-we were able to get everything but a TV, some boots, and a few miscellaneous items crammed into two vehicles
-incident free the rest of the trip
-Aaron’s new home is spacious, clean, and well maintained
-his landlord looked at me and said, “He’s now my son too. I’ll look out for him.” 😭😭
-brother and sister-in-law plus boys that helped unload

You never know why God prompts you to draw closer to Him until you are in the situation He’s been preparing you for. I’ve been through enough life to know that when I feel that prompting to draw near to Him I better dive in and prepare because something big is coming and I need to make sure my foundation is rock solid.”

I wrote that Sunday morning after I woke up. Then this happened Sunday night:

“Okay, so I need prayers to keep the positive attitude going. We are stopped at Elm Creek with a major oil leak in the pickup. Philip is coming to get us. It’ll be 10 before he gets here. I’ve had a migraine all day and just need to sleep. This pickup is not conducive to that.”

I’ll admit I broke down crying in the truck stop bathroom when my sister called. You know how it is when you’re overtired, not feeling good and emotionally spent. If anyone is nice to you you lose it. When Philip did get there I threw my pillow in the backseat and crashed the rest of the way home.

Turns out, it may not have been a migraine. None of my usual tricks were really working and I dealt with headaches and nausea off and on until about Wednesday. Tuesday, our youngest son had the same thing. Lasted about 24 hours for him but he was able to go home and sleep. I had not planned on time off so kept pushing through – which probably didn’t help. It probably didn’t help that I’d drove my parents to Omaha on Thursday, worked Friday and then went to Lincoln for a wedding Friday night. What was I thinking??

Through it all and even now, a week later, I’ve had peace. We are not bothering to fix the pickup. We had already been looking for a replacement but because of the high prices right now had decided to wait. Guess we’re not waiting anymore! The Sequioa turned out to be an easy and fairly easy fix and we have it back. We’re even headed back out to see our son and deliver a few things that were forgotten!

This is so long! I just want to give God all the glory. For the two weeks prior to this I had really felt Him calling to lean into Him. Listen carefully to his Word. Pray diligently. Commit my ways to Him. Remember that He is always with us. That He goes before is and is our rear guard. So many truths I felt like I needed to soak in. I’ve lived enough life to know that when God is calling me to lean into Him something big is coming and I need to make sure I’m standing on a firm foundation so that the storm doesn’t knock me down. I’m so grateful to Him and that He provided over and over agin last weekend and is still sustaining us even now.

The Difference

Don’t think the ingredients in your personal products matter? Read on.

Non-toxic ingredients make a difference.
Unfortunately, we came into the natural health world when our boys were in their teen and preteen years. Meaning, they didn’t always appreciate all the different things we were doing. I was even told at one point that I was making things “too healthy.”

Back in the day my college kids would buy their own soap at college, but use whatever was in the shower when they were at home. One summer one of my boys learned that there is a difference in the products we use.

As he did every summer he packed up everything to go to camp and was gone for a week. When he returned home he kept using his usual college soap for some reason. He had always struggled with back acne and one night, after he’d been home about a week, he had his shirt off and it was SO much worse. Not necessarily more but what was there was just…worse.

I immediately thought of the soap and asked him if he’d been using it before camp – no. But you used it at camp and since you got home? Yes.
Two weeks and his body really noticed a difference. He could also notice the difference. I suggested he not use it again and I would make sure he had good soap from Young Living from now on.

Personal care products like soap, shampoos, makeup, lotions and so much more contain many ingredients that are harmful to our bodies. Many are known carcinogens and hormone disrupters. The 1976 Toxic Substances Control Act grandfathered in thousands upon thousands of ingredients on the assumption that they were safe.

The biggest culprit is the ingredient, “fragrance.” Companies claim that their fragrance is proprietary information and therefore they don’t have to disclose the toxic substances they use to perfume your cleaners, lotions, soap, etc.

My suggestion is to get rid of all things “fragrance” in your home. Start reading labels religiously and switch to plant based products you can trust. I buy as much as I can from Young Living. It’s my one stop shop and it delivers right to your door. Yes, there are other companies that do this for much less but read the labels. You’ll see “fragrance” on almost every one. That’s why I only trust Young Living.

Want to get started with Young Living? Head to youngliving.com, click “become a member” and choose a starter pack. Use my referral number, 2244609, and you’ll be on my team! That means I share more education with you and help you do what’s best for you and your family. Drop me a message to let me know you’ve done this and I’ll send you an awesome welcome pack!

Menu Planning

Do you menu plan? I’ve been doing it for 24 years!! I was asked how I do it so many times I finally wrote a book for a few family and friends many years ago. (I was a SAHM at the time and would type 5 recipes every nap time. My plan was just a Christmas gift for family but then friends wanted a copy so I actually sold them to people for about 3 years. Gave them as wedding and shower gifts too.)

I have menu planned for so long I don’t know how to function without it now. I plan my menus and completely base my grocery list off of that. I don’t know how to buy groceries without a menu. I can necessities and things I know we use every two weeks but beyond that, nope. Menu planning is not only a time saver but a money saver because you’re not running to the store all the time. The first month I tried it I cut our grocery bill in half!

If you’ve never done menu planning I have some tips to help you get started:

-You don’t have to plan the whole month, start with a week, then maybe two. I base ours around when paychecks come in.

-You are not tied to the plan. Don’t feel like what’s on the menu for tonight? Make something else you planned for that’s the beauty of having the plan and groceries on hand.

-Look at your schedule and plan accordingly. It’s okay to write down, “sandwiches” if you have a game or practice.

-If your family likes pizza every Saturday or tacos every Tuesday then put them in there. Go easy on yourself.

– Repeat menus are time savers. I use to know that if we had lasagna one month we’d have spaghetti the next month. Tacos this month? Nachos next month. Runzas one month, pizza pockets the next month. (Spread out that workload!) Can you tell I don’t like the same thing all the time? If you’re family likes the same five things each week you do you boo.

Do you menu plan? Does this make you want to start? Drop a comment and let me know any questions you might have!

My well loved cookbook from 2004.

Sunday Takeaways 5-2-21

In Sunday School and church we are studying our church’s doctrinal statement. Why we believe what we believe. We are doing this for a few reasons; first, we have a number of new members, second, it’s always good to have a refresher, third, you need to be able to explain what you believe when asked.

This Sunday we were focusing on God but what really became clear to me was the subject of prayer. Have you ever wondered why we need to pray if God knows what we need anyway? Ever felt like you simply can’t pray about the same thing again? Ever wondered if your prayers sounded selfish to God? I have. I felt like Pastor Mike explained things in a way that no one else ever had Sunday and I won’t feel like that again.

Why do we pray if God knows what we need? Because God desires a relationship with us. He wants us to come to him with our needs and requests. You can’t have a relationship if you never talk to someone. So, even if you feel silly taking your most simple requests to God, he doesn’t see it that way.

Prayer is also a way to acknowledge God’s power over our lives. We can do nothing without him. Prayer acknowledges that. Prayer humbles us before God as we lay our burdens down at His feet. We are reminded that we may not be able to solve our troubles, our trials, our worries, but He can. James 1:17 says, “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.”

We are also called to be persistent in prayer. The parable of the persistent widow in Luke 18 shows us that. Verse 1 says, “Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up.”

Pastor gave another illustration that helped me see this another way. Matthew 7:7 says, ““Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” Look at the action words; ask, seek, knock. He saw these as increasing in intensity. First, you ask, like when I ask my husband to go get something out of the kitchen for me. I ask knowing he’ll do it. I’m sure of the answer. When you seek, you’re seeking wisdom or knowledge. Maybe there is something happening in your life you don’t understand or don’t know how to deal with. You go to God and ask for wisdom or guidance or understanding. When you knock you are facing a closed door. Something you can’t open. Only God can. It’s the time when we need the most help.

What do you do if you need desperate help and you’re knocking on the neighbors door? You know they are home and you really need them. Do you stop after trying once? Or do you keep knocking until someone answers and helps you? Are you persistent in knocking until you get an answer?

For some reason all of this just really clicked for me and solved a lot of unanswered questions I’ve had for quite some time. I could really have listened to a whole sermon focused on prayer with answers like this.

What about when God doesn’t answer our prayer? When we are persistent in prayer, we are asking and seeking? God doesn’t always answer our prayers in the way we think He should and that can be disappointing but trust that God knows what He is doing. Trust that the answer is the best thing for you. Rest in all the other promises of scripture that tell you He has your best interests at heart. Ask Him why he didn’t answer. Seek Him with all of your heart. Keep asking him why until you understand.

One Year Bible

I’ve been reading this One Year Bible since January. 

I’ve never read the Bible in a year. I always thought, nah, that’s not for me. I think it was the fact that I had to wade through Leviticus and Numbers that put me off. (God, you put those books there just to teach us patience, didn’t you?) Whatever the reason, I never considered it.

Then I had a conversation with a lady in our church that made me think maybe I could do it. I knew my in-laws had given us this Bible for Christmas sometime ago and miracle of miracles we could find it after the move. 

What I’m liking is how reading a little bit of the Old Testament and a little bit of the New Testament reinforces the continuity of the Bible. It keeps bringing to mind facts my boys learned many years ago in AWANA. Facts Pastor reiterated yesterday as we studied why we believe the Bible is true.

The Bible was written by 40 different authors over a course of 1600 years. There are 66 books in the Bible, 39 Old Testament books and 27 New Testament books. And yet, there’s continuity. The story the Bible tells is continuous and connected because it was inspired by God. He allowed for the authors to put their own stamp on it due to their personalities but God inspired the message. 

When you read it all together in a year you see this. You marvel at it. So his is why people read the Bible in a year! 

There’s so much more I could point out but then I’m just repeating Pastor. Go watch the Stromsburg Baptist Church YouTube channel for this week and hear it for yourself!

Anthro Diffuser Blend

1 drop Ylang Ylang 

2 drops Orange

2 drops Idaho Blue Spruce

2 drops Grapefruit 

Adjust these drops as needed for your preference. You can substitute Geranium for Ylang Ylang and Northern Lights Black Spruce for the Idaho.

This blend has power! Total power to calm me down when I feel like my emotions are taking control. The citrus is uplifting and calming. Tree oils ground you but the Idaho Blue Spruce has this warm mellow smell that doesn’t overpower you. And flower oils are joyous and uplifting. Think of blooms popping open. 

You can run around the house finding all the oils or triple the recipe and put them in a dropper bottle by your diffuser. Then it’s ready to go when you need it. Just add 5-6 drops to your diffuser, add water and ahhhh.

Check out my diffuser highlight on Instagram and watch my stories for more recipes.

Easter Sunday Takeaways

Whew! What a week! Was Easter just this Sunday?? I had a short revelation on Sunday and Pastor brought out a verse that I’ve never reflected on before.

First, my revelation. Before we can understand the gift of salvation we have to understand that we have a need for a Savior. Now, you might think, “Well duh, Monica” but hold on for the rest. If we don’t understand the severity of our sin, we don’t understand the need. Again, hang on. In a culture that is making everything all right and letting “you do you” how do we come to understand this?

I’ve never thought of it in quite that way before. As the world gets farther and farther away from using the Bible as a guiding moral compass how do we understand right and wrong? How do we know good and evil? How do we see how far from God we are if we don’t even acknowledge He exists?

Then the verse, or actually verses, Hebrews 2:1-4

“We must, therefore, pay even more attention to what we have heard, so that we will not drift away. For if the message spoken through angels was legally binding and every transgression and disobedience received a just punishment, how will we escape if we neglect such a great salvation? It was first spoken by the Lord and was confirmed to us by those who heard Him. At the same time, God also testified by signs and wonders, various miracles, and distributions of gifts from the Holy Spirit according to His will.”
‭‭Hebrews‬ ‭2:4‬ ‭HCSB‬‬
https://www.bible.com/72/heb.2.4.hcsb

The Truth has not only been spoken by Jesus, but the disciples witnessed it, the angels proclaimed it and if that wasn’t enough God used signs, wonders, miracles and gifts of the Holy Spirit to shout it. And I still have friends who believe this is all a fairytale. But with all this evidence we have no excuse for neglecting or rejecting the gift of salvation. We will not escape punishment if we do. F

Friend, have you received the gift of God’s salvation? Do you understand your need? If you are not sure, let’s talk.

Cortistop

When you experience stress in your life your body produces cortisol. If you are under stress for long periods of time you can overproduce cortisol which can lead to fatigue, weight gain and even cardiovascular problems. Cortistop from You g Living is designed to help bring a balance back to the body. Cortistop contains Fennel, Clary Sage, Canadian Fleabane, Frankincense, and Peppermint essential oils plus other essential herbs and nutrients that are known to help with this balance.

This past year we bought and sold a house the first week of shutdown, our two college boys came home from spring break and never left, I shut the library doors for 9 weeks and changed library computer systems. By June when we were living in temporary housing for six weeks I was done. I had no reserves to tap into. I’ve dealt with many hard circumstances in life and pushed through but this time it felt like I just couldn’t push through. When I talked to my counselor about how I was feeling she said all the stress had depleted my body. I needed something to calm down my stress response and give my body time to catch up. She recommended a antidepressant but was okay with me trying the natural route first. I started using Cortistop and it began helping me the very first month.

It’s recommended with Cortistop that you use it for 8 weeks and then stop for two weeks to assess how you’re doing. This is one of those supplements that’s not designed for you to take forever. The two week break helps you assess how you are feeling and if more time is needed. For me, I couldn’t make it without it for those two weeks at first-a sure sign my body not only needed it but that it was helping. I think I did three rounds total to help me level out.

After I told my counselor I had this horrible craving for potato chips and couldn’t not eat them every day she also suggested getting some electrolytes in my system. My insatiable craving was another indication of how bad my body was depleted. I immediately thought of the Vitality Drops from Young Living that contain electrolytes, but I didn’t have any on hand. My husband looked up electrolytes in a reference guide and saw that Citrus Fresh Vitality taken in a capsule was recommended. I tried it and felt so much better! My brain fog disappeared and my energy levels started coming back. I also stopped craving potato chips. Mmmm, Wavy Lay’s.

Please talk with healthcare professional if you are feeling overwhelmed, drained, run down, or depressed. Listen to them. I’m not prescribing anything here, but sharing what worked for me.

Need help getting started with Young Living? You can message me your questions and I’ll gladly answer them. Follow my stories on Instagram for daily tips on using Young Living products. Instagram.com/mrstidyman

Sunday Takeaways 2-28-21

I wanted to finish up the fruits of the Spirit as I can never remember any sermons preached on each of the fruits as Pastor Mike has.

Let’s pick up with fruit of goodness. Pastor Mike defined it as courage to do the right thing even though it is the hard thing. To speak the truth in love even though I may be criticized for it. King Hezekiah from 2 Chronicles 29:2; 31:20 was used as an example. King Hezekiah lived in a time when the children of Israel had forgotten God and worshipped other gods. King Hezekiah destroyed all those other worship places and called the people back to God. That couldn’t have been easy but he chose to do what is right in the face of much poppy.

Faithfulness. There wasn’t a definition for faithfulness, but a call to be faithful as God is faithful to us. Does your spiritual relationship dry up when things are good? Do you bail on God when things are bad? Does he bail on us? Faithfulness also involves being faithful to one another. That others can count on us when things aren’t easy. Acts 2:42 references that when it talks about the early church being faithful to one another and in prayer.

All of the other fruits of the spirit are dependent on the fruit of self-control. If we can’t control ourselves will we be faithful? Good? Loving? patient?

Gentleness is the refusal to use your power to hurt anyone. That’s not just physical. It also includes not being critical or trying to ridicule others. Being careful to not be mean. An unwillingness to act in a way that cuts others.

As a final challenge for the fruits of the spirit Pastor Mike challenged us to examine ourselves. Where are we lacking in any of these fruits? How can we do better? How can the Spirit help us? We are not intended to fight the battle against our fleshly ways and desires in our own strength. When you accept Christ as your Savior the Holy Spirit enters our lives as a Helper. When people tell you to listen to that still, small voice that’s the Spirit helping you live a life that honors God.