“I’ll Take a Hug.” “Thanks, and How About a Kiss?”

“Come here,” my daughter Rebekah said this morning.  I knew the drill.  I was trying to hurry and forgetting to put first things first.  Hugs.

And as I wrapped my arms about her good (and soon leaving home) self, I had a revelation, a knowing.  God loves her like this – huglike, all encompassing, embracing Love.  All-is-and-will-be-well Love.

“What’s in a hug?” I pondered.  Beyond what we can imagine, I’m certain.  I know science will bear me out – in hugs are health and well-being and so much more , so that we all want to be on the receiving end of hugs.  Well, that’s not quite right, is it?  Both ends of hugs are receiving ends.  What I mean is that we are glad when someone opens their arms and says to us, “I’ll take a hug.”

“I’ll take a hug,” is a never-forgotten sentence spoken to me years ago by a woman of grace, and when I really needed that hug. 

Give a hug, take a hug.  Especially if it’s from and for one of the beloveds in your house. 

I usually get up before my darlin’ and am more excited about mornings than is he.  So, to wake him properly I always crawl back into bed and hug him.  He pats me on the back in his sleep and says nonsensical things like, “It’s too late.”  More pats and moans.  “I mean early.  It’s too early.”

And then a kiss before I jump back up and get to something lovely like tea all alone on the balcony, where I muse a bit more about hugs.  And kisses.  Sometimes on the cheek from and for people I hardly know.

I, one raised without a lot of hugs and kisses (we all have learned better by now), and kind of shy about the whole thing, especially the kisses, am now a big fan of both. 

Here’s how this came about as regards the kisses:  A fine young man named Gabriel was spending a holiday with us, and because I knew he was missing his mama and vice versa, I tried to be extra nice to him.  Plus, as he was a friend to my son, I felt quite dedicated to his wellbeing and happiness. 

And so, when it came time for his departure, he very sweetly and naturally kissed me on the cheek, and as in this morning’s hug with Rebekah, I got a bit of a knowing:  This is a good thing.  This is a blessing.  This is like being a little baby when people kiss on you non-stop, head to toe without a second thought.  This is grand.

From that day on I often kiss people on the cheek when I hug them.  It’s lovely and I know sometimes they are surprised, and perhaps even displeased.  But for the most part, they are getting a knowing, I’m hoping.  A revelation that they are not only hug-worthy, but kiss-worthy.  Appreciated. 

Loved.

 

“Grammy! Why doesn’t everyone know about essential oils?”

My grandson was amazed at how quickly a tummy-tamer essential oil blend eliminated his pain and nausea.

Essential oils WORK.  As I heard an expert put it, “Essential oils are like herbs on steroids.” 

When my daughter Rebekah wanted to bless her sister Hannah recently, she promised a foot soak in essential oils and Epsom salts, plus a foot rub.  What a deal.  And then she asked me if I’d like to join.  Let’s see.  Would I like to have my entire  body and psyche refreshed, rejuvenated, and restored? 

Yes.  I believe in sniffing the oils and going with the ones that speak to me.  These are the oils I speak back to:  “Aaaaahhh, Yes.”  These are the essential oils whose properties jump out of the bottle and into my nose and promise to do me good.

Hannah and I chose two identical oils, and I wanted one additional.  We both chose Cedarwood and Peppermint oils, and then I added Geranium Essential Oil – I think there should be T-shirts and billboards and books about it.  Just the remembrance of the happiness inherent for me in Geranium . . .

Here is a brief summary of the almost endless benefits, or the “properties” of Geranium essential oil:  astringent, hemostatic, cicatrizant (see definition at post’s end), cytophylactic, diuretic, deodorant, styptic (also see definition at post’s end), tonic, vermifuge (also defined at post’s end), and vulnerary.

Geranium is widely used in aromatherapy to balance hormones, relieve stress, for skin care, in reducing inflammation and irritation, for alleviating the effects of menopause, to improve circulation, benefit dental health and kidney health, and to reduce blood pressure.

While all the above statements and assertions have been proven over many years and in innumerable scientific studies, my experience is what really counts for me.  While Geranium is not the only essential I have used to great effect, it’s one I return to time after time, especially for stress relief and relaxation and just a general feeling of wellbeing.

What exactly is Geranium essential oil and how is it produced?  Geranium essential oil is extracted through steam distillation of stems and leaves of the geranium plant, bearing the scientific name Pelargonium odorantissimum. The main components of this oil are alpha-pinene, myrcene, limonene, menthone, linalool, geranyl acetate, citronellol, geraniol, and geranyl butyrate.

So now you know more than most people about essential oils, and Geranium essential oil in particular, and you’d like to know where to get some.  Simply visit my and Rebekah’s new e-storpree:  http://www.prettyathome.shop and go to our “Apothecary” category!

__________________

Definitions of Spectacularly Impressive Essential Oil Property Words:

Cicatrizant:  Promoting the healing of a wound or the formation of a citatrix (scar).

Styptic:  capable of stopping bleeding.

Vermifuge:  Serving to expel worms or other parasites from the intestines.

“Yep!  I wanna git somma that!  I’m going to prettyathome.shop and then I’ll click on “Apothecary” and then I’ll see what else I can find!” 

 

Bodacious Faith, Roma Downey, Emilie Barnes, Laura Calder, Abigail Adams and More! Friday at 2:00 on The Homefront Show

If you’re like me, sometimes you need a little extra strength.   And a little, no, make that a lot more love.  A little faith, no a lot more faith.  There’s a song about having “a little faith” and it sounds all pious but it’s not.  God is not the god of just a little bit.  No more than we want our kids to sniff the spinach bowl and disdain the roast beef rather than enjoy the entire meal – no more than that does God want us to take just a little bit.

In the secular college where I studied economics, we were taught scarcity of resources, just as Satan intends we all be taught. Rather than being taught to simply create more pie, we are taught about that one measly pie.  By people of greed and lack we are taught greed and lack.  We have limited, scarcity, I’d-better-not-expect-too-much, if-I-prosper-that means-someone-else-can’t (but too bad for them), mentalities.

But God wants to give us all the good and then embellish it! He wants to give us the truck farm of spinach and serve up helpings of it along with the steak from our cattle on a thousand hills and finish it off with key lime pie shared with the neighbors under twinkle lights on our big decks built out over the water.

Livnig water. My nephew’s son has had an intestinal issue lately and they think it may be too much swimming in the river, which is low right now, stagnant.  Folks, we are all putting up with low water, swimming in stagnant water, and completely doing without the readily available living water of Jesus.

We think in lack. Even those of us with money in the bank think in lack.  Always in a defensive, “yeah but, what if” mentality.  And almost guaranteeing that the lack will come (we say what we believe and we have what we say, we get what we expect), and  even if it doesn’t come, we never enjoy what we have and where we are.

So, we need faith. I’m going to talk a little, but say a lot, about faith today, bodacious faith.  And we’ll see how so many things flow out of faith, and flow into faith.  We’ll see a cycle of faith.

So call anyone you know who struggles with doubt, who frets and worries, who has anxiety lines right between her eyes (anyone who is a human, especially a human female) and tell them:

http://www.1360am.co is the place to go, for The Homefront Show.

Also today we’ll talk about the power of posture and poise, about the Inviting Life,`Housekeeping Howevers, baking pineapple for brunch, about being a COI per Krista Dunlap, and from The Founder’s Bible we’ll see how two of our founding parents had great expectations for their children.  I’ll feature Roma Downey’s book, Box of Butterflies, and Emilie Barnes’ Tea Lover’s Devotional.  And we’ll begin today’s show with beauty AND PERHAPS A CORRECTION, from Psalm 19:12.

All this and more today at 2:00 Mountain Time at www.1360am.co

What’s Bothering Me – World Peace, Carpet Lint, or a Need to Fish?

I made a great list of to-do’s this morning, and I began with those things more important than anything on the list, and went from there to what was bothering me, and I think I’m onto something.

The list didn’t include coffee on the balcony with my son, or praying with my husband for a friend, or a long conversation with my daughter who told me that during her very excellent and productive Quiet Time she got “a word” for me.

Let me just stop and say something right here.  If someone has “a word” for you that makes you feel like a worm, and a very disappointing and disapproved worm at that, don’t swallow it hook, line, and sinker (go to the lake and go fishing instead perhaps).

But when “a word” is the very thing for which you were searching and thirsting, when it lifts your heart and drives out fear and chaos in your thinking, now that’s a word.  Rebekah read scriptures to me, which in a nutshell, said, “Be patient and be at peace.  It will all get done, nothing missing, nothing broken.”

I took a deep breath and thanked her and said this, “And you know what?  When you are in His peace, utilizing the power tool that is patience, those things do get done.  But when you’re stressed and frantically trying to make it happen, to make the time, it’s as though you have slippery fingers.  You’re always chasing and grasping, and like little slimy minnows, they keep slipping out of your hands.”

(It really does appear to be an excellent day to take a thermos of tea and some cookies and tuna sandwiches – there we go again – to the lake and go fishing.  No, better yet, let’s go to the creek, where there aren’t many fish.  I’m not interested in dealing with anything slippery.)

It’s just not that important that I catch fish.  But it is important that I do the important.  Time management advice, to a point, agrees with my advice:  Do the important things first.  But where prevailing “wisdom” says that would be write the book, work on the business, balance the checkbook, I say, “Begin with God and take His love to those He’s given you to love.  Now, you’re ready for the day’s dance of rhythm and grace.”

And so, in spite of the wanting to get right to the excellent things on the list and feeling all pumped and prepared, there’s something bothering me that isn’t on the list.  It’s the carpet in my bedroom.  I decide to leave it for later (which is what I did yesterday) because after all vacuuming isn’t important, right?  What’ a little dirt and lint?

But it’s bothering me.  So, I go to get the vacuum, happily anticipating the satisfaction, and therefore the clarity I’ll have for further tasks, after the floor is clean.

But as soon as I put my hand on the handle I know, as my daughter Hannah said when she was a small child, “We must write about this!”

So, the vacuum is at the ready and the floor awaits.  But you, Dear Reader, have this advice:  Do what’s really important today:  Give love as directed, and deal with what’s bothering you, whether or not it’s on “The List”.

Bev

What was the highlight?

mountains

This past weekend my daughters Hannah and Rebekah joined me and nine other ladies from our church at a women’s conference entitled “Women Arise!” held at Charis Bible College (Andrew Wommack Ministries) in Woodland Park, Colorado.

We arrived home Sunday just before my husband, John, arrived from the airport with my mother-in-law.  We all unpacked, chatted and chattered, and it wasn’t until this morning at breakfast that John got a word in edgewise, saying, “What was the highlight?”

Hard question, but I’d given it some thought.  The spiritual highlight was perhaps the final teaching from Audrey Mack, which lit a fire under me that seems to be getting hotter by the minute.

flame

The setting, the weather, the thousand small favors of God on each minute – these were all highlights.  Maybe, as I said to Hannah last night, “Maybe the most important thing was the bonding between the hearts of the women of our church, and no doubt between all the women there.  The revelation of sisterhood in Christ, the shared hilarity and heartache, the love..

John asked me a few more questions this morning, then turned to Rebekah.  “What was the highlight to you, Rebekah?”  Rebekah said she “got new dreams and remembered forgotten ones.”  She didn’t mention that we got to the conference early and feasted on Brat Kolaches and amazing pastries at Woodland Park’s Donut Mill, but perhaps we’d already said enough about that, and about the other culinary delights experienced by all.  If Rebekah was reticent, Hannah could regale her dad on that account at a later date.

Hannah was already gone to work when John asked his question, but she would have had so much to say, so much to praise.

I could say the praise was the highlight, the worship of our good Father.  I could say bringing home a heart full of praise and thanksgiving and joy was the highlight.

But how do you describe the highlights of God?  It’s all highlight.

Certainty.  I came home with certainty.  With peace and power and a new and greater level of dominion, a new revelation of authority in Christ.  More humility, more surrender, greater power.

More.  Always more.  Because His depths are unfathomable, endless, and marvelous.  I marvel at the question, and so enjoy exploring the answer.

How to choose one highlight?  Would it help to eliminate those things that weren’t my favorite parts?  There was a workshop time slated Saturday afternoon that I skipped out on, in favor of walking around the sparkling lake, crossing the high wooden bridge, and making tracks to sit under a pine in the sun, where I whispered to God and He heard me.  That was definitely a highlight.  So, even the parts that weren’t looking like the best parts, became highlights.

“It’s all highlight in Jesus,” I could say to John.  And I remember what I told Rebekah, and then repeated to John last night.  “You know what’s really great,” I said to Rebekah as we ate lunch on the way home yesterday.  “What’s really great is to go somewhere so astoundingly beautiful and have such a wonderfully blessed time, and yet the best part of it all is going home.

english cottage

And so, dearest husband, the highlight of the entire beyond-all-I-asked-or-imagined weekend, was coming home to you.

2:00 Friday! Decluttering My Way to Peace, Patience and Power Today on The Homefront Show

In danger of becoming Clutterblind, I have been to see Jesus, the eye doctor of my soul, and He said I am in need of patience.  If that weren’t enough, He said when I declutter my mind by spending more time with Him, my surroundings will also begin to take shape, and I’ll be cured of “Acquisition Angst” as well as “Hoarder’s Hell.”

He then prescribed SEVERAL scriptures to be taken at least 3X daily, and said to call Him in the morning, and indeed every morning, and also without ceasing throughout the day.  It seemed a bit over the top.

He smiled when I assured Him my symptoms, at least compared with other people I know, are miniscule, if at all existent.

Sigh.

Today on The Homefront Show (go to http://www.1360am.co) I’ll share the ways we clutter our minds, our surroundings, and our relationships, especially the most important relationship of all (and what to do about it!)..

Wise women from the 1940’s will speak to us about messy husbands and “Getting the Most Out of Life” and I’ll talk about how a wise woman today, in my church, has blessed me and helped me declutter my thoughts about the men in our church.

From The Founder’s Bible I”ll share a great home education idea, and I’ll showcase Melissa Michaels’ new and excellent book, Love the Home You Have., as well as Pastor James McDonald’s marvelous book, God Wrote a Book. 

In discussing patience and it’s power-twin, Faith, I’ll tell you where I need them most (hint:  it’s with other Christians).

And as always, much more.  So, get ready to take notes, call a friend who needs  a blessing, and join me today on The Homefront Show!!!!!

At 2:00 p.m Mountain Time simply go to http://www.1360am.co and scroll over the “Live Radio” button.

Thanks!

 

No Reproach, Mrs. Bennett, I Beg You! ESPECIALLY on the 4th of July!

There are potatoes to be chopped and bacon to be crisped to go along with everything else already ready for potato salad.  There is a feast to be shared and great and glorious words to be heard this evening at church before the fireworks.

(No, this is not my potato salad, but I thought it looked appetizing.  Mine has potatoes, celery, dill pickles, green and sweet white onions, mustard, mayo, sea salt, pepper, apple cider vinegar, and bacon)

As usual, there is much to be done!  But first things first, regardless.  Communing with my Maker in His beautiful Word, in prayer. in praise and thanksgiving.

“Thank you, God, for America.  For freedom.  For bringing me from glory to glory, from freedom to freedom.”  A nation is only as free as its people, and people are only as free as they allow Jesus to indwell them.  Free indeed.

I was free this morning to become upset because my breakfast and git-er-done plans weren’t quite panning out.  The raisin bread was generously spread with organic salted butter, the applesauce in the serving bowl, bacon browning nicely in the oven, coffee in the French press, Rooibos in the teapot, milk in the cow creamer and heavy cream in the pitcher.

And then it was time to whip up the eggs for scrambling.  But alas!  It appears that last night someone ate almost all the remaining eggs in the fridge.  Four eggs to feed five people.  I asked a daughter to go after more eggs (in another fridge in another building) so we could have breakfast before another daughter had to leave for work.

But the speed of molasses was quite fast compared to the movements of my tribe this morning, and early-morning logic told my daughter that she had to look ready for a photo shoot in order to go after eggs.

Temptation to sabotage breakfast with my stress and upset set in.  Temptation to reproach my beloved for scrambling not one, not two, not three, but six eggs last night set in.  Temptation was after me, plaguing me – to vent about “slow and lazy” people, to put labels onto my children they need like a hole in the head.

Who has the hole in the head, anyway?  Why didn’t I simply invite the daughter who’s leaving early to join me on the balcony with baked peanut butter on raisin bread and a lovely cup of French roast with heavy cream in the cool and birdsong-blessed morning?

I plugged the hole with praise and prayer and DETERMINATION not to gripe or complain or in anyway ruin the joy and beauty of the morning for my beloveds, and all of a sudden they appeared, smiling, hugging, thanking me for breakfast, eager to partake (perhaps the power of the wafting smell of bacon?)..

So I scrambled those four eggs, and the going-to-work daughter (who doesn’t care for eggs anyway) happily put peanut butter and honey on her raisin toast, and had thick and crispy bacon slices with applesauce and tea and was happy as could be.  Between the other four of us the eggs were plenty.  Where is it written, I asked myself, that we all have to have two or three eggs every morning?  No wonder I’m a bit sluggish after breakfast sometimes!

SO GLAD I DIDN’T REPROACH JOHN FOR EATING THOSE EGGS LAST NIGHT.  I was less tempted by the lack of eggs, than by my disapproval of late-night eating.  Reproach, I know full well, never changed a husband.  Conviction by the Holy Spirit of our Creator, perhaps put in motion by my faith-filled prayers, has often worked wonders in the lives of my beloveds.

Reproach, not so much.  Reproach is very often also disdain, disapproval, censure, judgment, condemnation, and shaming.  Guilt, in other words.  Guilt, as we all know from experience, doesn’t lead to repentance, to a true turning in a new direction.

“Do not reproach your husband,” has been ringing through my mind for weeks now.  I am coming to see, in my forfeiting my “right” to even the slightest of complaints, that I am setting myself free.  I am placing myself in a right position to be in God’s blessing, and out of God’s way!

“No lace, Mrs. Bennett! No lace, I beg you!”  Mr. Bennett (Pride and Prejudice)vehemently commanded Mrs. Bennett to spare him, but she blithely ignored him.  “Respect, Mrs. Bennett,” was his heart’s cry, and silly and foolish woman that she was, she sought her own amusement at his expense.

“The heart of her husband safely trusts her,” about the Proverbs 31 woman, is a verse of continuing revelation for me. “Lord,” I ask, “Can John safely trust me?” Usually, perhaps because of the following line, “He has no lack of gain,” my thoughts turn to money. “How can I do better in this area?”

But as we pass the years together, I see that more and more what John’s heart needs from mine is simply to love him as he is, even as he changes and grows right along with me, unhindered (I pray) by my interference in his relationship with God.

 

Oh, Father, I thank you for your patience with me, and for growing patience in me. And I thank you for this wonderful child of yours, John, whose heart you have entrusted to my care.  May I be ever more skillful in that sacred trust.  Amen.

 

Hooray!  Freedom!  Especially on the 4th of July.