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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

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.

How do You Thieves?

Thieves Foaming Hand Soap-a family fave

How do you Thieves? When I was first hearing about Young Living I was a working mom going back to school with kids in junior high and high school. We were busy! We had no time to be sick. I also had a Type 1 Diabetic/Celiac kiddo who couldn’t take most over the counter medicines for colds and such. The ones he could take he wouldn’t because he didn’t like the taste.

So when I heard there was an oil blend called Thieves that could help support our immune systems and could be used to help fight off colds I knew I needed that! Then once I became a customer and joined our education groups I found out about all the hidden toxins in our home that might be contributing to asthma issues and guess what? There was a Thieves for that! As we switched out products in our home the respiratory issues gradually disappeared.

I’m so grateful to learn about all the products with Young Living that have changed our life and that’s why I keep sharing about them with you! What if no one had talked about them in my presence and shared their experiences? I might still be clueless! That would be sad.

Hope

Itty bitty bits of green poking up!

You’ve probably seen the memes that remind us we’re closing in on a year of the two weeks to flatten the curve. A year that has many of us shaking our heads. Political upheaval, censorship like we haven’t seen in our time, media craziness, and more. Many have been home with their children for a whole year. Newborns that have rarely seen anyone besides a family member are turning a year. Many are struggling to find hope. Some have given up hope and others say there is no hope.

But this? This green poking out of the mulch? This was buried in two feet of snow a coupe of weeks ago. Now the snow is gone, the air is warmer and the flower under there has awakened. That’s one place you find hope.

Our church had a baptism today and baptized five adults who chose to make that profession of faith in Jesus Christ. Almost a year ago we didn’t know when or if we’d have in person church again. I find hope in that. Even in the darkest of times Jesus never stops working. To quote a popular song, even when we don’t see him working he never stops.

Look to Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, for hope. Shut off the noise. The alarmist posts, the shouting people, the talking heads, the lies, the fear and bury yourself in Jesus. Worship music, church, prayer and most especially God’s Word. I recommend the Psalms. That’s where I found myself in May of last year and that’s where I found hope.

Sunday Takeaways 2-21-21

Hello! I finally attended church again after missing three weeks. It was good to be back. I will say I was very tired after church and took a nap that afternoon though. That still happens sometimes and I’m told that can last a while so I’m being kind to myself.

We started a new series in Sunday School focused on how to share our faith with others in a good way. I’m sure we’ve all experienced someone sharing their faith in a bad way and it’s not comfortable. The series is actually going to cover several tips that can help anyone in any situation. The video series is called “Tactics” and is on the RightNow media app if you are interested.

Sunday’s lesson reminded us that we all can’t be the harvester. Most of us will only ever be gardeners. Those that plant the seed of faith in people’s life. The speaker likes to say that he’s putting a rock in their shoe, something that will make them want to investigate when he has said. I’m really looking forward to it as I have opportunities for conversations often but I freeze as soon as someone says something negative. This week’s tactic is asking questions and I see how just saying, “Tell me more” or “That’s interesting, why do you think that?” can help me learn more about the other person and not jump to conclusions.

For church Pastor Mike has been going through the Fruit of the Spirit that are listed in Galatians 5:22 and this week’s fruit was patience and kindness. Patience is the ability to hold one’s temper or a reflection that we can’t always control our circumstances but we can control our response. Kindness is a helpfulness to others prompted by having experienced God’s love to us.

A couple of points I wrote down:

“Not all fruit comes at the same time. Fruit of the Spirit is a selfless love that comes for others.”

“Church is the locker room – where we develop strategies for how to live life. We draw out the X’s and O’s in church and then go out in the world and live.” I thought that was a very good analogy for church and why people should attend. Would players go out on the field and play without knowing some basic plays? Strategy? Even pickup games have strategy that comes from playing the game before. Everyone has been taught basic offensive and defensive plays and can recognize and execute what the other players are doing. Have you ever been a novice and tried to join a pick up game? How’d that go?

Just like we have to understand the basic set up of the game, plays, and rules we must also have this same understanding to be able to live life according to God’s will. How can we gain this basic understanding? By attending church.

COVID Ups and Downs

Last Sunday I got a horrible headache-thought it was a rebound headache from my PMS migraine on Saturday. Had horrible chills Sunday night and woke up not feeling great on Monday. I was supposed to have hernia surgery on Tuesday so I already had a pre op C test scheduled. I was still shocked to have it come back positive.

Today marks day 7 at home. I’m isolating downstairs or in our bedroom. I guess you would call my symptoms mild. Some body aches and fever and a stuffed up nose. The biggest thing for me is the absolute exhaustion. I was feeling pretty good on Tuesday and I way overdid it. Lesson learned. I’m told day 5-7 can be bad and I did get a headache tonight so maybe?

One thing I’ve been told with this is there isn’t steady improvement. You don’t gradually feel better, you have good days and bad days. You have good moments and bad moments. Good mornings and bad afternoons. I’d say that’s pretty accurate. I’m trying to conserve energy when I feel good but also keep moving enough I don’t lose all my strength. In the bad moments I’m learning to give myself grace.

Mentally, I’m doing good. I’m a homebody that loves being a couch potato so that’s not a hardship for me. I’m also a major introvert so being by myself is grand. I know this is not the case for everyone and if you’re feeling good but still isolating or quarantined that’s gotta be worse. I don’t feel like doing much so I’m not chomping at the bit to get going. Once in a while I’ll feel good enough to do something and I try to do it but it doesn’t last long.

I’m grateful my lungs have not been affected so far-I hear that can happen in these later days too. I’m a side sleeper by nature so I’m sure that helps. I’ve also been putting all the respiratory oils in the diffuser and on my rib cage. We are parents of kids who had asthma and several rounds with nebulizers. We know what to listen for and what to do. So far, so good.

This is just an update on life and what’s happening. Also a look at COVID through a normal person’s eyes.

Sunday Takeaways 1-17-21

My only Sunday takeaway for today is that I strongly dislike meetings. I’m what some people would call an “empath.” My counselor tells me I’m a “perceiver.” Whatever you call it, I’m very sensitive to what is going on around me. I feel the emotions in the room, not only feel them but absorb them. I’m aware of everything happening in the room. Gatherings with lots of people can be very draining for me. Somedays going to church and Sunday school is a lot for me. Add in the annual meeting which is the longest member meeting of the year and I’m so done.

Meetings themselves are fraught with tension as you have differing opinions, thoughts and ideas all in one room. Deciding budget and how the church runs for the year with everyone having a say can be a lot. Luckily, this year’s did not hold any hot button topics and we were able to run through everything pretty quickly, still. I did not get home until 2:15. Ufda.

These meetings are important though for the church to run not only financially but also spiritually. We not only decided on the church’s budget for the year but also who was going to serve in what positions for the next few years. Our sermon this morning was on the importance of church membership and how membership is not something invented to make people do jobs in the church but is actually biblical. Even the first church had to delegate responsibilities and decide on how to disperse funds.

I was not brought up in a church that focused on membership too much so I’ve always underestimated the importance of it. (We have had the experience of being asked when we were going to become members so we could teach Sunday School.) Membership is a lot like baptism, it declares your faith. When we become believers, we are immediately part of the body of Christ. We need to take our place in a local church and become a part of the local body. As pastor is very fond of saying, we need to be a part of the local body to care ad serve one another as Christ commanded us to do.

So, it’s important for me to attend these meetings, especially as I am in a leadership position of the church, i think I’m just feeling meeting burn out. We have started a building committee at the library to look at finishing the lower level of the building. It’s on the 2nd Monday night of the month, regular library board meetings are the 3rd Monday of the month and then I have church leadership meeting on the 4th Monday of the month. Ufda. But in our town, Monday night is just kind of meeting night so it’s what we do.

Sunset through snowy trees