Wednesday, March 1, 2017

What I've Learned This Winter

Today I'm linking up with fellow blogger, Emily P. Freeman.
 She started a link up on her blog a couple of years ago that entailed writing every month what we learn. She's made that more of a quarterly event now, so today I link up with her to share with you some things that I have learned this winter.

 2017 has been sort of a chaotic start for our family, but we are managing to navigate the bumps that come our way. And along the way, I am always learning new and interesting things. Here are a few:

 1. I love Essential Oils

 A year ago I had a friend tell me about essential oils, and while I deeply respected her, I sort of thought it was quacky. (Sorry , Lori... though you know I've come around)  I just didn't understand how an oil could help me feel better.
 Well, let me tell you, I am a believer. And if others want to call me quacky now, that is ok with me. Because they work. There is an oil for everything. Literally. And you can combine oils to make remedies for any malady you may experience. Now, this little discovery can be an expensive hobby. Lucky for me I have some very kind friends who are sharing a lot of their oils with me.  I am not a big spender, but if I can go natural, it will be worth the pennies spent.
  A couple of examples: I just had my wisdom teeth out (not a pretty experience.)   but the oil cloves is recommended to help with mouth pain. So I added a drop of cloves to my mouthwash that was prescribed and I was able to stop taking the pain meds!
  Another example would be stress away. Yes, there is an oil called that. I put that in my diffuser. I also wear it in a little locket and guess what? I have reduced my anxiety meds in half. Perhaps eventually I can go off them. Time will tell.
 Lastly, my son, who laughed at me about this, has been experiencing a cold. DayQuil isn't helping him, but I put some oils in the diffuser. Today he came home from school and immediately turned the diffuser on. It's helped him greatly.
 I once was a skeptic. I now really enjoy these oils.

 2. Fast Girl

 I loved this book. I could not put it down. It's a true story about an Olympic runner who was bipolar. She lived a crazy lifestyle for a while until she discovered that was her issue. Now she speaks in public about the illness and shares her story with everyone. I applaud her courage. Everyone has a story. When she shares hers, I think it should inspire more of us to tell ours.

 3. The Roman Road

 This semester I am in a history class and a computer class. In the history class, we studied a few chapters on ancient Rome. I loved this because it intertwined all the Bible stories I have read with the historical accounts of life during that time. While there was a familiarity with it, I gained a new appreciation of what is taught in the Bible by learning more about the Roman history.

 There are a series of verses in the book of Romans often called the Roman Road. The verses in the book used in this reference are all in regards to salvation. I have heard this term my whole life. But I got a new spin on the term when studying history in my class. The Romans were the first society to ultimately begin building roads. While initially designed for military purposes, they obviously came to serve many other purposes. But one thing my history book said was the that roman roads provided the gospel to be more easily spread because the apostles could make it more easily from area to area. I had never heard that. And while it wasn't the reference I was used to, really they tied together.
There were many other fascinating facts  I took in while studying those couple of chapters. I love that this class does not eliminate the Christian beliefs from the history.

 4. Minimalism is Fun!
 I have begun listening to the podcasts of The Minimalists, as well as reading their writings and practicing some of their "challenges" that they put out. Their concept is not new, but I have begun embracing it and I so enjoy it. Getting rid of "stuff" I really don't need is freeing. It makes me really evaluate what I need, if a purchase is necessary and things along those lines. I am having fun going through all of my cabinets and getting rid of things. When Spring comes around, I am excited to tackle my shed... which is something I never would have thought would make me excited. You can take their concepts and apply them as it fits your life. It's really interesting how all of these things play together and make a healthier version of me. It sounds crazy, but... it's pretty wonderful.

 5. Change...

 It takes change to often drop our lives into a new place of growth. I want to be honest with you. I am typically very open and vulnerable on my blog, but I protect certain areas. Michael doesn't particularly get into the world of blogging, and he isn't an extrovert like I am. So I leave a lot of the lessons that are learned through the world of marriage out of the blog so often. But in the midst of this winter, that has been a center piece of growth for me. I am not going to elaborate on details here, but I will share that we experienced some total chaos in the world of work in his job. Which ultimately led to his loss of a job. We knew it was coming, and I believe God was using the time of rest he has forced me into (in His ever so gentle way) to prepare us for what was to come. Through many trials, conversations, tears, dreaming, sharing, and praying.... he did lose his job in the early weeks of February. But that same week, God provided a new one.  I give Michael some great credit in how hard he looked to find one. He didn't miss a beat. And we are confident somehow God has a better plan laid out with all of this.
 But it has taken time to adjust to the changing winds. And in the process I have been refined.  He has used my fears to test the waters of my faith and has taught me lessons so great that perhaps I can expand on that at another time.
  Change is part of life. At times I deal well and other times, I go kicking and screaming, only to later become the calm child, realizing how ridiculous my tantrum (even if quiet) was. I have struggled through some of this change, and yet it also has become one of the most beautiful times for God to make me sit still and know that he is God. He is in charge. He is in control. And not one ounce of worry or fear or frustration I shed gets me closer to an answer. But sitting still and trusting Him carries me in a way that is unexplainable. Easy? No way. But worth it? 100% yes.

 6. My  new favorite song....

  I am confident there are probably one hundred more lessons I have learned this winter, but that encompasses a lot. Thank you, Emily, for creating this idea and letting me link up! Life is full of interesting moments.

1 comment:

  1. Rachel,
    So glad the oils are helping you and that God provided a new job for your husband ...thanks for sharing what you've learned and how God took care of you and your family :-)