The Real Gifts of Christmas

This time of year brings so many expectations with it. I know this because I keep facing my own expectations day after day. And usually those expectations are met with disappointment.

But, thanks be to God, if we will let Him, the Lord graciously uses those disappointments to remind us of the hope we have in Christ alone. He gently reminds us that He is the Gift. When we are faced with disappointment and unmet expectations, let those point us to The One who will never disappoint. Let our Christmas sadness point us to the eternal HOPE we have in Christ.

Hope was born on Christmas morning. And hope is the reason we can face this earth’s deepest disappointments and even our own failures. We must let the things of this earth fade from our vision by fixing our eyes on the author and perfecter of our faith.

Just think…He is using those unmet expectations and disappointments and failures to write our story…a glorious story with a victorious ending…a story of HOPE and REDEMPTION and ABUNDANT LIFE. Those are the real gifts of Christmas.

No disappointment on earth can compare to the future glory we have as our inheritance as beloved children of God.

“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.  So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:16-18

10 Essential Oils for Stress

Welcome back to our Stress Management for the Holidays series! If you missed the first few posts you can see them here: What Stress Does to Our Bodies, 9 Tips for Managing Stress, and 10 Verses for the Anxious Heart.

10 Oils for Stress

  1. Lavender
  2. Frankincense
  3. Ylang Ylang
  4. Stress Away
  5. Clary Sage
  6. Cedarwood
  7. Vetiver
  8. Orange
  9. Bergamot
  10. Chamomile

How do Essential Oils Help with Stress?

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 take some time and research the limbic lobe or limbic system along with the amygdala, you will see how our SENSE OF SMELL is the only sense that goes STRAIGHT to that part of the brain!! So whatever we are breathing in and smelling has a POWERFUL impact on our emotions!

That is another reason it is so important that we ditch the toxic candles because that is just like air pollution in our homes. Using a diffuser is a great way to make your house smell good AND give your body the amazing benefits as well!

How to Use These Oils

Aromatically – diffuser, carry a bottle with you, diffuser necklace, scarf, leather jewelry. Wear it, smell it, take deep breaths of any of these oils all day long when you are having a rough day!

Topically – rub the oils on your wrists, back of neck, behind ears, put in face lotion or hand lotion.

Ingest – Put a drop in hot tea! I like to add a drop of oil to a spoonful of honey and then mix it in my tea.  I use frankincense daily for anxiety by putting it on my thumb and then pressing to the roof of my mouth as needed.

I talk a lot about essential oils on my Youtube channel, go here to see my videos. 

Getting Started with Essential Oils

The best way to get started with essential oils is similar to the best thing to do with fruits & veggies. Eat a VARIETY and eat them OFTEN. Essential oils can support every system of our bodies. They have particularly helped me with emotional stability, immunity, sleep and more!

The reason Young Living wants you to get started with a starter KIT is that these ELEVEN OILS are the BEST oils to get started with! With the oils in the kit and the household cleaner, you can rid your home of 80-90% of the toxins in your home!!

For THANKSGIVING WEEKEND, I am offering $25 to YOU when you join my team as a wholesale member! You can choose to get $25 as a PayPal payment OR an Amazon Gift Card! 

I’m not enough

I see the phrase, “I am enough” everywhere these days. I get the sentiment behind it. Everywhere we look these days we see our own insufficiencies. We carry the weight of the world on our shoulders. We have enough stress to last a lifetime. Sometimes we need the reminder that we don’t have to do it all. We are loved just as we are.

But may I be honest with you for just a moment? Because when I read “I am enough” I want to cringe and crawl under the nearest chair.

Friends, I am not enough. 

I will never be enough. I will never have enough strength on my own to face what tomorrow brings. I will never have enough patience of my own to mother my children the way God asks of me. I will never have enough love to go out and serve others and love them unconditionally. I will never have enough resources of my own to fulfill the callings God has on my life.

I am not enough.

But, He is.

I think that as believers, this is the message we need to be proclaiming from the rooftops. We don’t even have to try to be enough on our own. We don’t have to feel guilty that we aren’t enough in this area or that.

Even hearing the words “I am enough” causes condemnation to well up within me because deep down in my soul I know I truly am not enough. I will never have enough strength, enough love, enough grace, enough knowledge, enough of anything.

There is freedom in acknowledging that we are not enough. You know what the freedom is, though?

Christ in us is enough. He is always enough.

Christ in us is our hope. Telling ourselves that we are enough will never satisfy the deep holes in our hearts that were created to be filled only by Him.

Telling ourselves that we are enough will not allow us to live victorious lives totally and completely dependent on Christ’s redeeming power.

But, praise God, telling our hearts that Jesus is enough will fill us to overflowing. Because that is what Jesus does when He invades our dry and parched souls.

“Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:8-10.

He is strong in our weakness, not our enough-ness. He is strong for us. His strength in us is more than sufficient.

“He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.” Isaiah 40:29.

“He says, I am the Bread of Life.

He is the Bread of Life. We are not.

He says, I am the Light of the World.

He is the Light. We are not. 

He says, I am the Door.

He is the Door. We are not. 

He says, I am the Way, the Truth. 

We are not. 

He is enough. We are not.” 

Jennie Allen from Nothing to Prove

Friends, for today, let’s rest in the fact that we are not enough. Let’s rest in the freedom that Christ paid it all and is all. Let’s acknowledge that we aren’t enough so that we can loudly proclaim that He is!

If you need more encouragement to remind your heart of His enough-ness, I highly recommend the book Nothing to Prove by Jennie Allen.

Two Steps to Take To Know Truth from False Doctrine

walk-this-way

{Please help me welcome my dear friend, Anne Marie, to the blog today!}

Nothing is new under the sun. Humanity has not changed for the better or for worse. We are still sinners saved by the grace of God through Christ Jesus.

However, the world does seem to change. When you look around, how do you know what is real or false?

When a meme passes by on your Facebook feed, do you fact check before you share it? Magazine models are all air-brushed these days, and the news, liberal or conservative, doesn’t really share the “News” but opinions about what is happening in the world. Even churches today can get caught up with the entertainment factor and forget about the gospel.

The Apostle Paul warned his protege, Timothy, against false teachings. Timothy was the pastor of a church in an environment that included disorder during worship, false doctrine, and materialism. Having a reputation for godliness (Acts 16:2), Timothy was a good leader, but needed the support of a strong mentor. Paul knew that it was vital for Timothy to teach what was false doctrine and real gospel.

Paul reminded Timothy that it was essential for the people to have a good understanding of the law because knowledge of the law brings about a conviction of sin. He knew that once the people were convicted of their sin, then their appreciation for Jesus and grace would sky-rocket!

We have a lot of “junk” that swirls around us every day. How can we know what is sound and what is false? Like Timothy, we want to minister to those around us as well as teach our kids well.

There are TWO ACTIONS you can take to make sure that you know the difference between a true gospel and false doctrine.

Know Scripture

Be proactive and know as much scripture as you can. His Mercy is New has wonderful resources that help you entrench scripture into your heart. And my blog, futureflyingsaucers, offers fun Biblically solid lessons you can use with your children. Dig into your Bible and read it. Meditate on it.

Once you have that scripture planted, once you know the law and what God expects from His people, then the Holy Spirit can do His job and help you remember truth as He guides you throughout life. But if you do not put scripture into your heart, then the Holy Spirit has no material to work with. And that will make you susceptible to lies and false doctrine.

Examine Everything

Friends, we cannot be too careful monitoring what we allow into our homes and hearts. I don’t mean for you to cut yourself off from the world and sing, “kum-ba-ya“. As Christians we are to be IN the world, but not OF the world. This means we must use discernment.

If you know your scripture, then call upon the Spirit to help you know if what you are reading and listening to are edifying to your soul. Are you doing something that is harmful to yourself or to others? Are you *not* doing something you *should* be doing? This might mean we need to be convicted of sin. And this is good because we learn to love the grace of God more.

We also want to be discerning of those from which we learn: preachers, teachers, Bible studies, podcasts…and even blogs. Do these people really share a gospel message?

We are not to give heed to fables and false doctrines that cause arguments. What we are supposed to do is teach gospel doctrine and serve with godly edification. Examine everything with the heart of God through the Holy Spirit.

This sounds hard enough for us, but what about our kids?

Same thing. They need to be soaked in scripture and learn how to examine everything around them.

Be intentional when teaching your children about Jesus. Be intentional when you have them in activities. Help them to think about their choices and how they affect others. Don’t be busy just to be busy. Examine how your family is spending time…then redeem it, no matter the cost. How are you serving people in your community? Faith without works is dead.

Know the scriptures. Examine everything. Then serve those around you as you spread the gospel of Jesus.

Walk This Way

businesscardheadshotAnne Marie Gosnell has a Masters in Education with a focus on developing curriculum and instruction. Her life journey includes over 25 years (so far!) in Children’s Ministry: Sunday School, Puppetry, Vacation Bible School, Children’s Church, Awana, and various outreach ministries. Currently she is an Awana Bible Teacher and loves every moment of it! She is the founder of www.futureflyingsaucers.com where she shares creative, engaging Bible resources so parents and teachers can share Jesus without fear.

She is also the author of the book, Walk This Way: Ethics and Sanctification Lessons for Kids. For more info about the book CLICK HERE. Or check it out on Amazon! If you purchase the paperback version, you get the kindle version for FREE!

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Advent Prayer Journal Ebook 50% off TODAY!

Jesus-Light-of-the-World-cover-5466a6119a073.jpg

TODAY (Black Friday) through CYBER MONDAY, Jesus, Light of the World will be 50% off and selling for $3.50. Yay!! Snatch up a copy and one for a gift!

You can still purchase the PRINT version at Lulu, however the shipping is pretty slow and I doubt you will receive it in time to start on December 1st, just wanted to be sure you realized that. 🙂

NO COUPON CODE needed, it is marked down in the shop.