What If We Spent the Next 40 Days Cultivating Praise?

“Joy is an outward sign of an inward faith in God’s promises.” Tommy Newberry

What would our lives look like in 40 days if we spent them cultivating PRAISE, GRATITUDE and JOY and not complaints and broken records of failure that often run through our minds?

Praise needs cultivating. Gratitude needs cultivating. Joy needs cultivating. “Could it be that one of Satan’s major strategies is to divert us from praise? After all, he knows that God delights in our praise, and that doesn’t exactly make him happy. He also detests the rich benefits that praise brings to us and others.” Ruth Meyers

I’m a day late and a dollar short for starting Lent on time (February 14th) but isn’t that what Lent is all about? Lent is about offering myself to Him in all my weakness and depending on His strength. When I am weak, He is strong.

I don’t have a set schedule, but every week I will hop on sometime live on my facebook page to share thoughts from these 2 books: 40 Days to a Joy Filled Life and 31 Days of Praise.

“I will bless the Lord at all times, His praise shall continually be in my mouth. My soul shall make its boast in the Lord; the humble shall hear of it and be glad. Oh, magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt His name together.” Psalm 34:1-3

An Invitation to Join Me

 

Philippians 4:8 Printable

Whatever is true printable PDF

My Favorite Essential Oils for Emotional Wellness

**I am not a medical professional nor am I giving medical advice. I am only sharing my personal story and the things that have helped me. Please always, always consult with your medical doctor before trying to wean off of any type of medication.

One of my very favorite benefits of essential oils is the support they have been for my emotional wellness. If you’ve read my blog for long you know that I need all the help I can get. ha! For the first time in many, many years my moods are no longer the roller coaster they used to be on a nearly daily basis. Praise God!

The combination of eating well, exercising, changing my mindset, and using essential oils and supplements has been LIFE CHANGING for me.

I shared earlier this week about the very specific things I did that allowed me to successfully get off my anti-depressants and also lose 42 pounds over the last year.

Today I want to share this list of my favorite essential oils for emotional wellness!

Why do essential oils work so well to support healthy emotions?

Your sense of smell is the only sense that goes STRAIGHT to the part of your brain where all your emotions are stored. You can google limbic system, essential oils and the amygdala, or anything similar and a lot of things will come up! Your emotions, your memory, your hormones are all right in this small part of your brain…so it just makes sense that when you SMELL something it is going to either help or make you frustrated (like when you smell rotten trash!)

Think about a memory that you have that is associated with a smell. Does baking chocolate chip cookies remind you of your grandmother? Does a certain kind of lotion make you think of your aunt? This is your limbic system at work!!

So, instead of smelling and breathing in toxins all day long (candles, air fresheners, room sprays) choose HEALTHY things like essential oils — from God’s pharmacy — to not only make your house smell good but also HELP SUPPORT YOUR EMOTIONS at the same time!

My Favorite Essential Oils for Emotional Wellness

This list shows you my favorite oils and HOW I use them!

My Favorite Oils for Emotional Wellness PDF

If you’re brand new to oils or looking for a team to join, you can read more about my journey with essential oils and sign up as a wholesale member on my team: Love, Mercy, and Oils.

 

3 Years Off of Anti-Depressants

I would love for you to read an update now that I have been off all of my anti-depressants for 3 years and am thriving. God has been so good to me. My mindset has changed. My health has changed. We are never truly hopeless if we have Christ. We have the power of the Holy Spirit living within us giving us the power to make the steps necessary to BE TRANSFORMED.

My Journey Off of Anti-Depressants

My wellness journey & 51 pound weight loss! 

My Journey Off of Anti-Depressants

**I am not a medical professional nor am I giving medical advice. I am only sharing my personal story and the things that have helped me. Please always, always consult with your medical doctor before trying to wean off of any type of medication.

Three babies in three years proved to be a lot for my body. My physical, emotional and spiritual health all went a little haywire. What started as possible post-partum depression spiraled out of control when I didn’t know what was wrong or deal with it for over a year. Eventually, I would visit my doctor who recommended counseling and an introduction to a psychiatrist, all three of which I continued seeing over the course of the next few years.

I was on anti-depressants, anti-anxiety meds, and prescription sleep meds for over 7 years. You can read more about my journey through that season of my life here.   My journey on AND off them was one of the hardest things I’ve faced. I can now say, several years later, that it was WORTH the months of withdrawal symptoms. I feel better TODAY than I ever did ON all the meds. I often say that I feel like anti-depressants, while they helped at first, stole my personality and several years of my life. I wasn’t super low, which was great, but I also didn’t feel excitement or happiness or cry much when I should have cried. God made us with emotions and I don’t think He intended for them to be stifled for years on end. In addition to not experiencing healthy emotions, I also gained 35 pounds, became pre-diabetic, had no energy to live out my calling as a wife & mom and just didn’t have joy.

Everything that was supposed to be helping me feel better was in fact making me feel worse. 

I very, very slowly came off my meds, taking months of smaller amounts each day along with the help and advice of my doctor. The withdrawal symptoms I experienced were horrendous. Since the time I came off of my meds I have found essential oils and began using them to support my emotional well being. However, when I was weaning off of my meds I did NOT have essential oils yet. I deeply wish I would have had them years ago  after I had my babies to help me on this journey!

I am going to share with you the things I have done as far as supplements, lifestyle and essential oils in the last 2 years to regain my health and my joy. My hope and prayer is that something you read will encourage you and bless you on this journey.

I also want to mention that there was not only ONE thing that helped me on this journey. I truly believe it was the combination of things I am listing below that helped me to achieve emotional wellness, weight loss (42 pounds so far,) have more energy and get good sleep.

One last thing before I share the tools I’m using…my journey won’t be your journey. Your journey and your story are just that: yours. I know many of you on this journey are struggling…please know that I am praying for you. But please don’t read anything in this post with condemnation or guilt for being in a different place. Trust that God has a good plan for your life and that may look different than mine!

The Essential Oils I Use

**If you are not yet on an essential oil team I would love to walk with you as you start your journey when you join my team in our group called Love, Mercy and Oils where you will find support, encouragement & education on essential oils. You will also get entrance to the Oily Sisterhood led by Dr. Edie Wadsworth. You can find more information at MercyIsNew.com/EssentialOils    

Frankincense – if you could only use one oil on your journey to emotional wellness I would suggest this one. I use frankincense daily in multiple ways. I put a drop in my face lotion each morning and sometimes again at night. I  put a drop on my thumb and press it to the roof of my mouth. Ingesting this frankincense is going to be the best way to get it in your system quickly. If you are really having a hard time, diffuse frankincense at night beside your bed. (I only recommend ingesting oils that you know the source of. I know and trust Young Living oils and those are the oils I am talking about in this post. Most cheap oils from the grocery store are gong to be adulterated so please be cautious!)

Orange & Bergamot – all citrus oils are REALLY good for mood. I put them in my diffuser daily. Orange and bergamot happen to be my favorites, but you may enjoy other citrus oils and they will be just as helpful.

Progessence Plus – my hormones were really messed up. I used to have very long, terrible cycles. In high school I would often throw up once a month. Progessence Plus has taken away every single PMS symptom I have. I no longer have cramps, my cycles are a regular length, I can now leave my house during my time of the month with no issues.

Joy – many, many people I know have helped their moods significantly by using the Joy oil blend. I did not use this blend right away but I want to mention it because it is a very powerful blend! It is one you should consider trying. If you don’t love the strong smell, I suggest adding orange to make it a little sweeter.

All the oils – Any and all oils MULTIPLE times a day! I truly believe that all high quality essential oils help support our emotions. If you research how our sense of smell works in that it goes straight to the part of our brain where our limbic system, amygdala and the seat of our emotions are located, it begins to make sense that essential oils work so well.

**I would love to help you get started with essential oils and help take the overwhelm out of trying something new. I will also gift you $25 back in February if you decide to try a starter kit and join my team! Head here to order your kit! 

The Supplements I Use

Ningxia – Ningxia is good for so many things, but for me in particular it gives me energy and also helps with stress management feelings of overwhelm. Ningxia is a powerful super fruit juice supplement with a lot of antioxidants, more than we can get in our daily diet. Many people have had great success with Ningxia and inflammation. 

Immupro – I take this at night before bed and for the first time in 15 years I am waking up rested and ready to go for the day! This supplement also has the wolf berry in it as well as melatonin. It helps me fall asleep and then get better quality sleep.

Life 9 – this is Young Living’s probiotic. Being on a good quality pro-biotic is much needed by all of us. So many of our health concerns start in the gut. Even depression. So healing our guts and cleaning up our diet can have a huge impact on our emotions!

Lifestyle Changes I Have Made

Diet – Eliminating grains, sugars and processed foods has been huge for me. When I eat a big plate of pancakes or waffles or biscuits, etc, I can tell the next day I feel poorly. And it isn’t really intolerable at that point, but if I keep eating that way every single day, I will be feeling very irritable, moody, bloated and tired all the time. This leads to a bad spiral for me. I eat meat, fruits, veggies, nuts, cheese, lots of smoothies and also Balance Complete shakes from Young Living with Coconut Milk. Food is medicine and I have learned that HUGE lesson in the last year. (I started off with Whole 30 but don’t follow it 100%.) 

Exercise – so many studies show that regular exercise is more powerful than anti-depressants. I will add that when I added in strength training, it was even more beneficial for my mental health. I handle stress SO much better when I’m exercising regularly. I typically only exercise 2-3 times a week too! I will walk/jog intervals for 30 minutes and then do hand weights and machines for 30-40 minutes each time.

Sleep – not sleeping well can impact so many things. All of these areas of our lives (hormones, sleep, diet, exercise, emotions) they ALL work together. If you aren’t sleeping well, you need to work on fixing that pretty quickly on this journey. For me, going OFF of prescription sleep meds and getting my life HEALTHY has been the BIGGEST help for my sleep. I think because I exercise and have energy to actually live a full life I am probably more tired at night. I’m not eating so many foods that are bad for me and would keep me awake. My hormones are more balanced than they used to be. And I use Immupro from Young Living to help me fall asleep. Some people that don’t have as drastic of sleep issues as I’ve had can use oils (lavender, cedarwood, frankincense) for sleep help, but that wasn’t enough for me when I started this journey.

Mindset & Gods Word

I wanted to end with this because I saved the best for last. Were it not for the grace of God, I would be right back where I was 11 years ago. But I also want you to know that I fully believe that the power of the Holy Spirit living in me has been transforming me from the inside out…I was willing and I was ready.

God’s Word tells us that He will transform us by the renewing of our mind. He tells us we are new creations. He has new mercies for us every morning. He has not given up on you, so why do you give up on yourself?

Part of this whole transformation process was the fact that I had to CHOOSE to BELIEVE that GOD IS ABLE. I had to BELIEVE God and His promises. I had to CHOOSE to change the negative thought train that had been happening in my brain for all of my life up until 2017.

If you struggle with not being able to get the negative thoughts out of your head, I encourage you to begin reading, studying, meditating on the Word of God. Memorize Philippians 4:8. ASK GOD to help you BELIEVE what HE says about you! Focus on what is TRUE, lovely, noble and right.

You are loved.

You are chosen.

You are a new creation in Christ.

Practice Gratitude

Gratitude takes practice.

I recently shared 20 reasons it is good for us to practice gratitude.

Gratitude takes practice. And that’s actually a good thing. Did you know that when we learn to physically stop our mind in the middle of an anxious thought and CHOOSE to think about something we are thankful for it does something inside our brains? We can actually re-train our brains.

This is powerful information, y’all. I’m not saying it will be easy. But God made us to be renewed, changed, transformed…He never created us to leave us as we are. The very act of PRACTICING gratitude can have a powerful impact on our minds, our physical health and our emotions. Practice means a repeated activity to improve some certain skill. Practice doesn’t usually mean “easy” but it will get easier eventually. Start today. When you begin to worry, recognize it and instead make yourself start naming things you are thankful for.

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything, by prayer & petition, WITH THANKSGIVING, take your requests to God, and the PEACE OF GOD, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7.

Stop for a moment. Stop the racing thoughts. Stop the worry. Take a deep breath and start naming (or even writing) your blessings. The big things, the small things.

Gratitude just might change your life.

9 Tips for Managing Stress

Yesterday we discussed everything that stress does to our bodies – both physically and emotionally.

Read Part 1. – What Stress Does to Our Bodies 

Read Part 3 – 10 Verses for the Anxious Heart

Today we are going to discuss some ways we can deal with the stress in HEALTHY ways. Now, I may not be sharing anything monumental today. However, my hope is to INSPIRE and ENCOURAGE you to take a few baby steps TODAY to ensure a HEALTHIER holiday season.

I don’t know about you, but I want to FEEL GOOD and ENERGIZED for the holidays. I don’t want to overeat, stop exercising, lose sleep, feel anxious all the time and be miserable through the next 2 months. I want to enjoy my family and our time together.

9 Tips for Managing Stress

Start with gratitude. Grateful people are happy people. We can choose to be grateful or we can keep on complaining, which leads to bitterness and discontent and chronic negativity. Start keeping a gratitude journal. Today. Right now start writing down daily things you are thankful for. Big things. Little things.

Change your mindset, change your life. You may have heard that said before, just like I have. But until I lived it I didn’t believe it. I didn’t believe I was capable of change. I felt pretty hopeless for many years. But, that hopeless feeling is a lie from the enemy. God’s Word tells us that He is MAKING US NEW. We have to choose DAILY, even moment by moment to believe the TRUTH of God’s Word and do battle with the enemy of our minds. We have to identify the lies, and then replace them with truth. That means we must be in God’s Word. Read more of my story about changing my mindset and how it has very much changed my life. 

Don’t be busy just to be busy. What can you prayerfully eliminate from your busy calendar. Busy does not equal better. Take out your planner now and circle in some “white space.” Let there be moments of peace & quiet in your holiday season.

Spend regular time with God. Go on a walk, pray, give thanks, intercede for others. There is PEACE found in communing with God. Phil. 4:4-6. Read the Word. Write the Word. Pray the Word. Meditate upon TRUTH. To begin to replace all of the lies the enemy whispers to us on a regular basis, we must be feeding our souls with truth.

Exercise no matter how busy you are. Exercise is actually a fabulous stress release. Studies show that adding in regular strength training can be even more powerful than medications.

Food is medicine. What are you putting in your body that is making you irritable and feel bloated and just sick to your stomach. EAT WELL TO FEEL WELL.

Fix your sleep. Our sleep, or lack therof, impacts so many areas of our lives. What do you need to change? For me, getting OFF sleep meds, exercising regularly, eating better and using essential oils with supplements has improved my sleep about 200%. Don’t expect to decide to work on your sleep and have it improve the next day. For me, it took weeks and maybe even a few months to get my sleep changed for the better. I had been taking sleep meds for so many years that it took quite awhile to get it all out of my system. I also use a supplement from Young Living that helps me to sleep WELL and wake up with energy! Sleep is so important!

Use essential oils. Essential oils help with our emotions and stress levels in very powerful ways because they go straight to the parts of our brains where our emotions and memories and hormones are located. If you have essential oils sitting in your house, you are sitting on a gold mine. OPEN THOSE BOTTLES and start smelling in the goodness and taking deep breaths of gratitude. If you need help getting essential oils and want to join my personal team, click here. I’m going to be sharing the top 10 best oils for dealing with stress in a post coming up soon. Read more of my journey with essential oils and how they have helped my emotional well being here. 

Find what helps you relax and MAKE IT HAPPEN. Maybe it’s time alone, maybe it’s reading or praying, maybe it’s nature, maybe it’s time with a friend over coffee. Whatever helps you feel more like yourself and more filled up and more at peace, it is up to YOU to make it happen.

What about you? What fills you up? What brings you joy? What energizes you? How do you care for your body, mind and soul in times of stress?

Tell me in the comments what ONE THING you can do TODAY to be intentional and wise about managing your stress in healthy ways! What can you do today? Go for a walk, schedule a massage, get up 30 minutes earlier to spend time with God, put your kids to bed 30 minutes earlier…

Facebook Live Chat about Managing Stress

Stress Management Series

What Stress Does to Our Bodies (part 1) 

 

3 Years Off of Anti-Depressants

I would love for you to read an update now that I have been off all of my anti-depressants for 3 years and am thriving. God has been so good to me. My mindset has changed. My health has changed. We are never truly hopeless if we have Christ. We have the power of the Holy Spirit living within us giving us the power to make the steps necessary to BE TRANSFORMED.

My Journey Off of Anti-Depressants

My wellness journey & 51 pound weight loss!