Christmas 2015 Advent Calendar

Our family LOVES birthdays and celebrations.  In December each year we love to prepare for the birth of our Savior, making memories, and preparing for the ultimate Birthday celebration for the One who matters more than any other.

Each day we read scripture along with either participating in a fun activity or giving to others in some way.

As I was creating our calendar for this year, I realized that it might just be a blessing to someone else.

If you do not already have a tradition like this, I encourage you to start.  If you do – please do share what your traditions are and help inspire and encourage us!

Click here for a free printable version of this calendar:

December 2015 Advent Calendar

December 2015 Advent Calendar

 

 

Live Life

Just a quick post tonight.

When I was in the depths of the most difficult place in my life 16 years ago, I wrote – A Lot!  I journaled, I wrote poetry, and I prayed.  I was scared, I didn’t know east from west, right from left.  I was walking through a space of life that I had never walked through before – making choices that I knew were not wise but afraid of the choices I would make otherwise.  I guess you could call it the valley of death.

I have long lost the original poem I wrote, but below is the essence of the poem that I was just thinking about tonight.  It changed my life.  I recognized in that time that I needed to Live.  To Live meant not giving up to the fear or the loneliness, that I was walking through but to embrace the space I was in.  At times to Live meant to explore, try new things, and be with others.  At times to Live meant embracing tears with a welcomeness.  The tears meant I was alive – but not to remain there – to move beyond the tears and into the joy of the unknown future.

To Live meant to recognize that God, the creator of the universe, the one who counsels, and gave up His life for me knew my future and although I didn’t, I could embrace in His faithfulness, His goodness, and His mercy.  And in the Living, I could step into life without fear and enjoy Living in His creation.

To Live meant that I recognize that I have life and the life I have was meant for a greater purpose than myself.  I could laugh in the face of adversity.  I could stand strong in the face of fear.  I could love in the face of distrust.

In the end, recognizing that to not Live Life was Worse than Death is what brought me back to Life.  It is what brought me out of misery.  And although I didn’t have any more answers than before I wrote the poem, I will never forget, that God’s gift of poetry to me in that night was to forever Live Life. 

Since that time, Life has become synonymous to God and to Live means to Live for Him but at that time, to Live Life meant to move beyond my pity.  I pray that if you are not Living, you would choose to Live Life – never let a day be wasted.  Adventure is everywhere – whether it is a car accident, a grocery store trip, a cleanse, a video game, or traveling to the remotest place on earth, you can choose Adventure at every turn. 

Live Life

5 Day Cleanse

Hi Kindred Friends,

I am attempting a new world of blogging which is not going to marry two worlds easily for a bit, so I apologize for bringing you here to click on another link, but eventually I will get these kinks worked out (like maybe by the New Year).

In the meantime, Ray and I are currently undergoing a 5 Day Cleanse to rid our bodies of toxins, jump start our system, and hopefully find more energy and are journaling each day and sharing what we have chosen to use. 

Read5 Day Detox Course.
all about it at our

Fall and Winter Immunity – Lifestyle and More

Winter can be a difficult season on your physical and emotional health. The days are shorter, it is cold in most parts of the country, and colds and the flu are more prevalent.

During any season there are a few basics that can help to maintain optimal physical and mental health, such as eating healthful foods, drinking lots of water, exercising regularly, and getting enough sleep. However, you may be doing everything “right” and still need a little extra support to get you through those short winter days and long winter nights. This particular post is focusing on those things we should be doing to maintain our optimal health.  Another post will focus on what I recommend for extra support.

essential oils young living health wellnessStress (Lifestyle Action 1)
If you are alive, you have stress.  It is integral and important to our lives.  However, when we live with long-term stress, it is about the worst thing we can do to our bodies.  
There is no substitute for the reliance on God for our strength, prioritization, and carrying our burdens but the reality is, our lifestyle affects our relationship with God, others, and our stress level.  The other lifestyle actions we will be discussing are actually stress-reducers as well as immunity boosters.  Knowing how to reduce stress is of utmost importance to your health and quality of life.

You can see from the picture, that stress places demands on much of our body – it is no wonder that it plays havoc with our immune system too.

Check out the interactive graphic on Healthine.com to learn more.


Go Outside (Lifestyle Action 2)
Young Living Essential Oils Health Wellness Abundance 
Spending time outside reduces stress (among many other benefits) –> reduces the demands on your body — > boosts our immune system and keeps us healthy 😉
Two Important Items are Outside which provide nutrition for our bodies thus boosting our immune system:  Sunlight and Fresh Air

Sunlight:
With less sunlight and cooler temperatures in fall and winter, we all find the reality of time spent outdoors more challenging than in the late spring and summer months.   But sunlight is very important to our bodies.  Sunlight helps to reduce stress, increase energy, increase serotonin levels, and raise Vitamin D levels.
Vitamin D is incredibly important for us and the UVB rays from the sun are the best way for our bodies to receive Vitamin D.  Many people are aware that it helps with the absorption of other minerals but its actual primary job is cell management.  Due to its primary function (cell management), you can understand how Vitamin D affects all these areas:
·      Muscles
·      Bones
·      Nerves
·      Immune system
·      Hormones
So, no matter the temperature, find time to take a walk and absorb some vitamin D this fall and winter! 
Fresh Air:
The outside air is fresh, full of nutrients that our lungs and bodies just crave.  It is “disease-free” because there is just so much of it meaning fewer particles to make you ill.  Allowing that fresh-air to circulate through your body is going to strengthen your immune system because you are not adding as much “debris” which gives your body a break!  A Google search as to “why is fresh air good for me” will give you tons more data 😉
The air inside is recycled and stale – in the fall and winter, we don’t even open the door as often to allow an exchange of air.  It is even more important to change those air filters in our heating systems monthly in the winter as most of the air we breathe is our own recycled air. 

5 Reasons to Spend Time Outdoors Even When It Is Cold Outside

Exercise 
(Lifestyle Action 3)

Exercise requires a bit more planning and commitment in fall and winter with less sunlight, cooler weather, and busier schedules.  Once you lose the momentum that you might have found in the active summer months, the habit to continue is hard to reestablish.  Knowing why and having strategies to have a plan help make it happen!

Exercise is known to reduce stress and increase your immune system, being outside is also known to reduce stress and have many other amazing benefits on your body, so while you are outside, exercise and maximize your time!  Any exercise is good – so if exercising indoors is the right place for you – go for it!
“Doctors have found that exercise can boost your immune system by providing a boost to the cells in your body that are assigned to attack bacteria. These cells appear to work more slowly in people who don’t exercise than in those that do. As a result, if you exercise, your immune system is better equipped to handle bacteria that could cause you to become sick..” Fitday.com

Some strategies for finding “time” to exercise:

    Young Living Essential Oils Health Wellness Abundance

  •  A fall outdoor activity challenge

  • Start off each morning with a stretch and strength routine such as the idea to the left. 
  • A five minute walk soon after waking is known to be a power immune and mood booster. Spend your time in the outdoors walking praying to our Creator and benefit from so much more!
  • Set a timer on your watch or phone:  Just 10 minutes makes a huge difference, especially if you do it 4 times in a day.  Start off your day with a walk, set your time to go off in 3-4 hours and take another one, reset your timer…you get the idea.
  • Take your work upright and/or work outside –
    • On a phone call?  Walk around or better yet, outside to the parking lot, around the neighborhood, or if you are lucky enough, into nature and walk and talk.
    • Spending time in conversation?  Go walk together and converse 
  • On a business trip?  Walk to dinner – my husband just returned from a trip where he asked his co-worker for permission to walk to dinner.  His co-worker benefited as well.  They walked a mile each way – talked, exercised, and both actually made wiser choices in their meals because of it too.
  • Find a buddy – whether you are a person who finds working out alone or together to be of the best benefit for getting a good workout in, a buddy is helpful.  You can meet at a destination and each do your own thing or do it together, but knowing you have someone to meet will keep a date and time on your calendar.

  

Young Living Essential Oils Health Wellness AbundanceWater and Food 
(Lifestyle Action 4) 
Food and water give us nutrients -> nutrients help our body’s functions -> we have a strengthened immune system.
The action item to drink plenty of water and eat healthy food is one of the most difficult actions for most people to follow through with.  
Young Living Essential Oils Health Wellness Abundance
Water is so simple yet so easy to forget.   Your urine should be the very palest of yellow otherwise you are just not drinking enough. Water flushes the toxins out of your body!

Remind yourself to drink lots of water.  Some tricks that work for different people: Fill a gallon jug in the morning and determine to finish it by bedtime; set a timer or alarm to remind you to get a glass of water; drink only water with meals; drink a glass of water in between your “usual” drinks.

Our bodies do not handle all “sugars” the same way.  Here is a quick video to teach about how our bodies react to sugar specifically in regards to the compromised immune system: http://yhoo.it/1Mtt4en

Young Living Essential Oils Health Wellness Abundance
The quality of food that you put in your body DOES matter.  You want nutrient dense foods.  Nutrient dense foods are as close to nature as possible.  In the last 50 years, most of the food in our culture has lost it’s nutrient value.
Here is one example of why much of our food has lost its nutrient density.  When processing wheat, 26 vitamins and minerals are taken out of the wheat in order to make the wheat shelf stable.  This does not matter if it is organic, unbleached, or just plain white wheat.  This process started during the industrial revolution in order to bring wheat into the cities and keep it from going rancid on the shelves.  Americans were getting sick because of the nutrition that had been removed.  Once the source of the lack of nutrition was found, the government required the wheat processors to replace 6 of the vitamins and minerals.  These 6 vitamins and minerals are synthetic which don’t have the same qualities as the original and that still left 20 vitamins and minerals OUT of the wheat.  Unless you buy bread made from fresh ground wheat or grind your own, there is no way of getting the vitamins and minerals in your diet.  
As you can see, the nutrient density of food decreases through processing in order to meet the requirements of shelf stability.  The easiest way to know your food is nutrient dense without growing or raising your own is to read food labels.  If you can’t pronounce the names of products and/or there are more than 8 items listed on the label, you can assume the level of processing done is not the quality you are looking for.
Food Renegade is a great place to learn more about how to get nutrient dense foods into your life.  I highly recommend their nutrition class as you will learn much about what your body needs as well as sources from which to find nutrient dense foods.
Bonus Thoughts on Lifestyle (Lifestyle Action 5)

1.  Sleep allows our body to heal, repair, and rest.  It has been said, “Instead of sleeping in, sleep earlier.”  For most people, going to bed earlier means giving up television, phones, or computers.  The blue light from our phones and computers actually feign us into the belief we are not tired.  A person should expect to fall asleep within 20 minutes of the time you lie down.  This will be harder if you have had the light of a computer or phone.  I have started leaving all electronic equipment out of my bedroom as I was too tempted.  I am literally getting an hour extra sleep a night just by leaving my phone and computer in the living room to be charged while I am in bed.  I did have to go out and purchase a $5.00 alarm clock.

2.  “Laughter is the best medicine.”  I am not actually sure where the quote originally came from but it is so true – when we laugh, the number of T-cells increase and other markers of a healthy immune system increase too.

3.  Whatever the weather, spend more time outdoors and take the opportunity to exercise while you are there.

Three cheers to your healthier fall and winter!