Coming Soon . . .

 

I have had so many wonderful changes going on in my world lately.  One of the biggest changes is that I’ve started working from home! I have become an independent fitness and nutrition coach with Beachbody. I know . . . crazy right!?  I am so excited, but the past couple of weeks have been a bit overwhelming. I am loving every minute of it, but there is a lot to adjust to.

Add that to a family vacation coming up, and you will notice this blog will be a bit quiet for the month of May and possibly June, but have no fear! I am still writing and I hope when I am back from my “summer break” to have lots more recipes, herbal information, devotionals, and so much more.

I still plan to post regularly on homeschoolingatjesusfeet.wordpress.com, so don’t forget to check there for homeschool blogs.

Also, this is a great time for me to ask you, what would you like to see more of here on At Jesus’ Feet? I would love to have your feedback and post things that are relevant to you!

No Excuses Just Choices

I remember my band teacher in grade school used to call me “excuse girl”. I hated it at the time as I felt all my excuses for not practicing were legitimate. For some reason the frustration associated with that nickname has remained in my memory bank. Unfortunately so have the behaviors. I can come up with excuses for anything. These excuses have become my chains as they have led my life. “I can’t do that. I’m not _____ enough.” “I don’t want to be too ______” “I don’t have the time.” “I just can’t.”

My boys love to pretend they are firefighters, squelching the flames of a roaring fire. By God’s grace, I’m learning to be an excuse fighter, combating the flames of evasion.

I am reminded of a fire, a flaming bush, with an old shepherd who had countless excuses for why He couldn’t perform the tasks God was calling Him to. “What if they don’t believe me?” (Exodus 4:1) “I am slow of speech and tongue.” (vs 10) “Please send someone else.” (vs 13). It was as if Moses thought God didn’t already know his weakness and limitations.

God spoke to each of Moses’ excuses. He is the ultimate Excuse Fighter. In fact, Through His servant Paul, He has told us: ” I know how to get along with humble means, and I know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” Philippians 4:12-13. 

In the same way I am learning to trust God. I am learning to hear His calling in my life. I am learning to fight the excuses. He has given me a new motto. No excuses; just choices. I am not a victim of my circumstances. By God’s grace I can choose how I spend my time, where I put my effort and what is worth fighting for. And, as long as I’m fighting the battles God calls me to, He WILL give me the strength I need to succeed. 

Car Sick Stick


It’s April. The weather is getting warmer. Warmer weather calls for adventures, road trips, nausea. If you are like me, you will understand insisting on sitting in the front seat, and, under no circumstances reading maps, looking at directions or reading books to entertain passengers. I get car sick. I’ve actually found that since being pregnant, my morning sickness has stuck around in the form of an excessively weak stomach.

I was so excited to stumble on some information about aromatherapy for nausea a couple years ago, and I was eager to try it out.  A road trip to Kentucky confirmed that there, indeed, was something to say for this great little remedy.  (I find it’s more effective to use the car sick stick when I first start to feel nauseated rather than waiting until it’s really bad.) This is the recipe I came up with for a simple inhaler.  I keep one in my purse at all times, and do my best to make sure we have one stowed in the glove box. I haven’t had occasion to try, but I’ve heard from my friends that it also helps with nausea after surgery and morning sickness – hooray!

All you will need is an aromatherapy inhaler (sometimes called an aroma stick) and some essential oils. (If you don’t have an aroma stick, you could add a couple drops of the blend to a diffuser as well, though that doesn’t travel quite so well.)

You can add the essentials to a bowl and then rub the absorbent pad of the inhaler in the oils with tweezers (do not touch oils with your bare hands). Or, you can just pop the absorbent pad into the inhaler and add your drops directly there.

6 drops Red Mandarin
4 drops Ginger
2 drops Coriander (I prefer to use coriander CO2 for this recipe, but the essential oil works just fine too.)

Have fun adventuring!

Dirty Feet and Righteous Humility


I looked down at my horribly dirty foot, covered in a week’s worth of filth. If it looked that bad, I could only imagine how bad it smelled, and suddenly I wanted to be anywhere else, asked to do anything else, yet I knew this was exactly where Christ wanted me. What I didn’t know was how profoundly an act of unselfish grace and humility would change my life forever.

It was a Friday night the summer of 2005 and we were wrapping up staff week at camp Alamisco. It had been a week of training, prayer and preparation as we readied ourselves for the hundreds of kids who would come through our campground over the course of the summer. This was my second year at Alamisco as a counselor and I couldn’t have been happier about the opportunities that lay ahead. This summer was already quite different than the summer before and I had no clue what all God had in store for me to stretch me and work spiritual muscles that I hardly knew existed.

It all started the first day of staff week. I joined up with a group ready to saddle up and hit the trails for a nice, relaxing horse ride. To make a long story short, what started as a basic equestrian excursion ended with this rider and her horse on the ground, rider trapped under a wagon wheel, a chunk missing from my knee, a seriously damaged finger and a trip to the emergency room. I started my first day of camp with a pretty substantial horseback riding accident (don’t worry, aside from a few scrapes, the horse was fine 😉).

I heard of accidents like mine where the ridder ended up with a crushed pelvis and extensive surgeries. We knew my pelvis was fine, but my knee was another issue. A very interesting visit to the ER (that’s a whole other post in itself) revealed that I had no broken bones, torn tendons or ligaments. I had a fairly substantial wound on my knee that would need close supervision and care and I had some tissue damage to both my knee and finger that would require physical therapy. I also had a straight leg brace as well as crutches that would be my companions for several weeks, but all said and done, I was quite fortunate.

After discussing the situation with the camp director, camp nurse, and my parents, we decided I would remain at camp. I could still do my job as a counselor if I had a cabin with no stairs. The first few weeks of camp we expected some older kids as SITs, staff in training. We would be sure I was given a very trustworthy apprentice who could walk with my cabin from event to event. I also had a switch of a secondary job. I was slated to work at the horse barn, but my injury matched with strict orders to remain on even ground made working at the barn totally out of the question. Due to the amount of wound care my leg needed and the rest I was required to take, we decided the best course of action was to make me assistant to the camp nurse (which turned out to be a huge blessing as there was an abnormally high level of accidents that summer.)

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In less than a week after my accident, I had mastered the stairs with my crutches and the staff was doing a great job a catching on to when I would need a lift on the golf cart or four wheeler. Even though I had crutches, I felt unstoppable. The one thing I hadn’t figured out how to do well was wash my foot. Due to my leg brace I couldn’t bend my knee to reach my foot. I would squeeze drops of soap on it and rinse it as well as I could in the shower. Whenever I was at the lake, I would do my best to dip my feet in the water (though this was a challenging task). At times I longed to reach down and brush off the red Alabama dirt. (I wore flip flops for many reasons and in flip flops, it didn’t take long to have dusty feet.)

Yet, here I was. We had just wrapped up a wonderful vespers service and were ending with communion as a symbol of commitment to Christ to give ourselves that He may work through us to let His love reach these kids. The thing is, in our church communion is almost always accompanied by what we call the ordinance of humility. Just as Jesus washed the disciples’ feet in the upper room, we wash one another’s feet as symbol of the humility the disciples must have felt as Christ knelt down to wash their feet in that upper room. For them it was a deeply spiritual moment where Jesus was, in a small way, showing them the cleansing work He would very soon be performing in their hearts.

Humility. I never got it . . . until now. When I had taken part in this ceremony before, my feet had been clean. Sure, there was always the awkwardness of someone touching my feet and wondering if they stunk, but that was NOTHING compared to this. My foot was filthy. I couldn’t get close enough to smell it, but I was sure it stunk. It was swollen and ugly from my accident and I was not thrilled about having it be washed by the girl’s director – my immediate senior at work whom I didn’t know very well.

As Megan worked her way down the line of girl’s counsellors, I began to squirm. Suddenly I wanted to be somewhere else, ANYWHERE else. What would she say? How would she respond? I knew her well enough that she wouldn’t refuse, but would I see pain and horror in her eyes as she saw the task before her?

As she reached me, Megan looked up at me with her genuine smile and began to wash my feet. Both of them. She was oh so ginger and careful with my injured leg and made sure she wasn’t hurting me. I have to admit, the warm water felt good. She didn’t just splash some water on my foot and move on, but she gently rubbed off the gunk and grime that had built up from the week. As she prayed with me and continued working on the other girls, I sat in silence and wept. For the first time I really got it.

Before this experience, I had always come before Christ as I had come to footwashing. I may have felt a little awkward, but my feet were mostly squeaky clean and it wasn’t a big deal. It wasn’t until this experience that I realized what humility was all about. Now, I can’t participate in the ordinance of humility without tears. I imagine Megan kneeling in front of me with her bowl of water, gingerly, lovingly cleaning the filth off my feet. Then, I realize the filth in my heart, the wretched, stinking dirt caked on my soul. This is how I come before Christ. He takes my heart and gingerly, lovingly cleans the filth off, replacing it with peace and love like never before. What a gift. What a sacrifice. What amazing love. Now I get it. Each time I participste in foot washing, I am filled with righteous humility and it is beautiful, oh so beautiful. I am aware of my filth and it makes me ashamed to come before my God, but He never rejects me. Each time he tenderly washes me with a smile on His face and joy in His heart.

The Blog is Expanding

In case you haven’t already discovered them, I wanted to take the time to let you know about some cool new things going on around here.  First of all, there is a new expansion.  I’m going to be writing so much about homeschooling that I’ve made a sister blog.  I thought this would make it much easier to organize, and subsequently find any homeschool related posts I make in the future. You can get to Homeschooling at Jesus’ Feet right here:

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I’ve tried to make it easy to jump back and forth between blogs. I am keeping this blog as a place to continue to share more personal thoughts, ideas, revelations, etc. (some even homeschool related). Just make sure you sign up for updates on my homeschooling blog if you are interested in those topics as new posts won’t come through the At Jesus’ Feet blog feed.

Also, I am working hard and hopefully soon both of these blogs will be ad free. Whooppee!!

Sort of Chicken Seasoning

With all of the food allergies in our house, it’s hard to find a chicken seasoning or soup base mix we can use. When I do happen to find them, they are super expensive. I finally decided to make my own. After reading the ingredients on some of our favorite (but expensive) options, and noting the relative quantities, I busted out our kitchen scale and had some fun. This recipe was the result and we use it for soups, to flavor beans, mashed potatoes, patties – you name it! Basically any time a recipe calls for chicken seasoning or soup base, this is our go to.

You will need a kitchen scale for this recipe. I usually make a double batch each time. To create a soup base or mock chicken broth, add approx 2 tsp of the finished mix per cup of water. You can adjust based on your tastes.

  • 0.075 kg Salt
  • 0.03 kg Nutritional Yeast
  • 0.003 kg Basil (dried)
  • 0.002 kg Parsley (dried)
  • 0.012 kg Onion Powder
  • 0.011 kg Garlic Powder
  • 0.005 kg Tumeric Powder
  • 0.003 kg Celery Seed (ground or powder)
  • 0.001 kg Dill Seed (ground or powder)
  • 0.001 kg Sage Powder

I add all these ingredients to a jar and shake, but you can use a bowl and spoon too.

Have fun with this recipe. Feel free to adjust the amounts according to your tastes. You can use less salt, but I like to keep it in and rarely add additional salt to my recipes. If you like some spice, add pepper or chili powder. I’d love to hear the ways you use this fun seasoning.:)

A Holistic Approach | Herbalism

 One of the things I love about herbalism is that most schools of thought focus not only on herbs, but on full body health. This  includes lifestyle, which is a piece that is so often missed in our culture. We live at breakneck speed and often don’t have time for anything more than popping a pill to mask our symptoms so we can continue on our merry way. By doing this we are destroying our bodies.

In a lecture for one of my classes, Paul Bergner explained that people often feel physical symptoms. These symptoms tell us something is wrong. If the underlying cause is not treated, we begin to see mental and emotional symptoms, and if the cause is still not addressed, our spirits begin to wither and often depression and hopelessness creep in.

Let’s say you have a headache. It could be caused by stress, lack of sleep, dehydration, hunger, or a host of other possibilities. For discussion’s sake we will choose stress. In this case, your headache is telling you slow down, take a break. Get some fresh air and relax.
If you ignore your body’s signals, pop an asprin, carrying on your merry way, you fail to address the true need. If you continue on this path you may begin to see other physical symptoms like upset stomach. This effects your life in a way that only adds to the stress, increasing the problems. However, there is no time to rest, so you keep pushing through. You take Pepto Busmal, which brings relief, and you keep going. Yet you notice a change in your performance at work or home. Your memory starts to decline, your moods begin to swing and things start feeling out of control. Still you don’t rest. You don’t take the time you need to rejuvenate. Over time, you get discouraged. It eventually becomes a challenge to get out of bed in the morning and life becomes too much. The joy you once had is gone and you can’t figure out where it went.

Obviously this is a hypothetical situation. It’s also important to note that this is not a mock against medication, people can try to use herbal remedies in much the same way. The problem lies in covering up the symptoms and not really giving your body what it needs to thrive. And, keep in mind your body is more than just a car your brain gets into to drive. I think in this technical age we forget that our bodies are not machines we can push to the limit with a little oil here and a new battery every 100 miles while the other one charges. Our bodies are way more sophisticated and therefore, require more sophisticated care.  If your body isn’t working properly it affects all of you.

I look forward to learning more of this wholistic approach and understanding how to use herbs to aid the body and help it get what it needs. For instance, in the example above, you may finally decide to block off a full weekend to rest and figure out how to nourish your body but you are so stressed, overwhelmed and burnt out that you can’t settle down. In this case, a nervine herbal tea may be helpful to help you get to a point of relaxation. Also, a good dose of nature and a break from technology might be in order.

I am excited to explore the importance of NEW START and the affects this acronym has on my own body as an intrugal part of wholistic health. I hope to share the journey with you!

  • N – nutrition
  • E – exercise
  • W – water
  • S – sunlight
  • T – temperance
  • A – air, fresh
  • R – rest/sleep
  • T – trust in God