Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Oh what a year.

I don't feel the urge to recap the past 12 months.

It's been a very big year.

I feel that our faith has been taken to a whole new level.

Like we have our boots pulled up and we aren't wavering when fears or problems arise.

 Our God is BIGGER than them all.

We've learned that quite well in many different ways in 2015.

We've also learned that God is incredibly faithful and He has good in every single circumstance.

I see life through a new lens.

Perspective. Attitude. Gratitude. 

When you change your perspective and look at things with a positive attitude, you find gratitude....no matter what comes your way.

We've been taken deep into the waters and put back on a mountain top.

We've gone down to the waters to be with dear friends and climbed back up on the mountain to rejoice.

You see, sometimes down deep in the water is right where we're supposed to be.

Completely and totally dependent on the Lord. He won't ever let us go under, but He will take us deep. And you know what? You'll never forget treading those waters, and those waters will become sacred once you're back on the mountain top.

It was in those deep waters we found ourselves completely emerged with the Lord.

Treading hand in hand.....saying where you lead us Lord, we will follow..

While I don't miss being in the water,
I am incredibly grateful for what we learned while we were there.

Makes this mountain top so much sweeter.

So 2015 in a nutshell.

FAITH
GROWTH
GRATITUDE

I never want to forget the highs and lows of 2015.

More dreams came to fruition.
More dreams have been dreamt.

But most of all, God is just as faithful tonight as He was the morning 2015 arrived.

I dream of 2016 and all that awaits.

I want to be more intentional, put my phone down more and just enjoy the moments, I want to explore more, be more generous, make more time for quiet time with the Lord, be a friend to the friendless. My heart is bursting with desires and secret prayers that God knows.

We wait with great joy to see the new chapter the Lord is about to write for us.

And are incredibly grateful for all He has done in 2015.

My prayer as we wrap this year up is for each one of you who come across this post to know you are loved.

 Not just loved, but adored, by your Maker Himself.
 The King of all Kings, Jesus.

Put it at the top of your list for this coming year to dig a little deeper and discover the Lord.

He's waiting for you to call on His ever so faithful and loving name.

I love y'all and am grateful for every precious encouraging word and prayer sent our way this year.

Thanks for keeping up with us in 2015.

Love, hugs and kisses from Tennessee.






Thursday, September 3, 2015

The hills are alive........

Spring has come and gone. Summer came and is quickly slipping away. So many times I have come to sit down in my little white chair at the desk to come and blog but wasn't quite ready. There were parts in me that were so raw and I was afraid to sit and run my mouth. But I was here...in my white chair, silently still. Asking the Lord to quiet my heart and zip my lips because He was and is taking me deeper....still.

These past 4 months have been an incredible blessing. It was hard to see the blessing of having my husband home without a job most days. Thoughts of fear and frustrations were trying to take over. I think anything and everything that was negative flew through my mind one day or another. They were all lies from the enemy. Every single one of them. There were days where I would literally be on the floor in tears, I was living in fear. That is where the devil wants us. To make us think and believe that God does not have good for us, that He doesn't hear the cries of our hearts, that we have been forgotten. L. I. E. S. every one of them.

Once I finally got my act together and realized that where we were in that very moment was exactly where God wanted us, there was freedom. It was if a layer had been stripped away and I could see again. It was all clear. God did have good for us! Those four months with no income or health insurance brought us to our knees, deeper in our faith and completely dependent on Jesus. That's where He wanted us. With our heads lifted and our eyes on Him. Since that July day, my steak has been in the ground...claiming God's goodness, thanking Him for all that we DO have and living for today and the joys that it brought.


How foolish we are to look ahead and worry about all the what if's. It's like driving down a long windy back road and being so concerned about what's a mile or two ahead and losing track of what is in front of us in that very moment. Missing all the beauty that is right there and wondering and worrying about what is ahead. Let us not miss out on the JOYS and BLESSINGS that today is full of because we're worrying about tomorrow or next month. I learned a huge lesson.


 God's plans are so much better. How good we are at trying to change the route and handle things on our own. Another lesson learned, keep your heart open and be flexible.

More joys and answered prayers that happened during Chris' time off of work:

My sister got married!!!
We flew out to California for 10 days + got to spend time with so many of our friends + family!


Mason James turned ONE!


My parents and sister and brother in law all moved to Tennessee in July!
 Instead of being 2,000 miles apart, we're only 7 miles down the road now. 



We snuck in a little family vacation to Georgia before Chris started work + the kids started school


All of these beautiful blessings and joys and I was discouraged and grumpy! 
Do not fall into that trap sweet friends. 
Keep going, keep moving, keep believing, keep smiling..
just keep going!!!

Do you have a dream that feels too big? Keep dreaming! Keep it alive!
 The Lord does not put dreams in our hearts to discourage us but to bring us to a place of faith and dependence on Him!  Keep moving. Keep your head up! That molehill that you feel trapped in? He wants to make that a mountain and put you on top of it. You have a problem? Or a fear? Of course you do, we're all human! But guess what, our God is greater that it all!!!!

Keeping moving y'all. 
I feel like I'm running on the top of the greenest highest hill
{you know, Sound of Music style}
We got to this place but the goodness and graciousness of God.
I want to soak it all up.
Another molehill will come, and that's ok.
Because He is taking me deeper, still.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Walkin' on water..

Spring has arrived in Tennessee.. it's more beautiful than I could have imagined. I've been here in the spring and thought it was amazing but nothing compares to living in it day in and day out. Incredible.


I find myself driving the back roads daily for some quiet, clear my mind, praying out loud kind of moments. In those quiet moments I do a ton of thinking and the one thing that has been on my heart and my mind everyday is this simple question..
 Why do we keep quiet and try to get through struggles on our own? 
There is also the other extreme where people air every thought and emotion on social media and that is not necessary. But the tough things in life that may come our way at once point or another; infertility, miscarriages, sickness, job loss, heartbreak..Why don't we talk about them more? It's almost as if speaking about any of those shows weakness of some sort. That is a LIE!

Heck, I had a miscarriage almost 7 years ago and I tried keeping it quiet until every thing I watched on TV had something to do with a baby and I lost it. I finally talked about my loss and my heartache...and you know what happened? Healing. Friends and family gathered around and lifted me up in prayer. They were the wind beneath my wings when I forgot how to fly.

We are in a different season now, one that may seem "embarrassing" to others to talk about publicly but that's the last thing we or anyone else walking in the same shoes should feel. My husband is currently unemployed. ::gasp:: Yes, we are aware that we have three children, a dog and a home which we are responsible for. Yes, in our flesh it is terrifying to "think" about and it would be really nice to have a glimpse into the near future but then why would we need God? The truth is, we don't have this. He does.
You want to hear something ever crazier? We are grateful that he lost his job. So many prayers have been answered through this that we are blown away. I'm not here to bash on the company or the dude who let him go but I will tell you that he was let go for "cultural differences", for going to church on Sunday mornings and not going into the office until noon on Sundays. We just came out of tax season where Chris worked 7 days a week from January 20th to April 15th. There was no break, no rest, no relief until 8pm on April 15th. Praise the Lord!


So there's that... fast forward to now, it's almost been a month and I would be absolutely lying if I said that I haven't been stressed out or worried. Those thoughts come in my mind daily, almost hourly and it's a constant battle between my mind and my spirit. If there is one thing I DO know it's that we serve a God who is unchanging, even when our circumstances change. We serve a God who is faithful! Who provides for our every need even though we are so undeserving. This is an extremely humbling, not embarrassing place to be. This is our season of rest, to enjoy being together as a family in our new home in our new state. It is a time to remember that everything we own is from God, and how quickly He can give and take away. He doesn't take away to punish but to bring us to our knees with our eyes completely fixed on Him and His will for our life. It's a walk of faith... a chance to grow and blossom. It is not easy but either is this life and I cannot imagine going about it without God's peace and strength and joy that is only possible through Him!

And can I just say that even with no money coming in, we have never felt more free or more joy than waking up as a family each day and basking in the sweet blessings that just being together brings. That alone is a gift straight from Heaven!!



Is there something that you're going through that has you stressed, worried, heartbroken or feeling lost? You are absolutely not alone. We are not to go through these sort of trials alone. We can't fix it on our own nor should we even try to. Start with reaching out to someone you trust. If you don't know God or even straight up don't believe in Him, find someone who you do know that is a believer. You don't have to ask for prayer but get your burden off your heart so healing can begin...and know that you will be covered in prayer. It's the safest place to be. There have been days when I don't even have the words to get out but the silent prayers and knowing that others are next to us lifting us up have gotten us through. Don't go another day doing this alone. May we be a people who others know they can come to, may that turn into a community and a community that spreads across the world, hands help up and out for our brother and sisters who are hurting, who need to know they will taken care of, to be reminded that their joy will be restored, that their suffering will turn into strength. May we be those kind of people.

I want to end this by thanking each one of you who reached out on Instagram, facebook, text messages and emails after I shared about this walk of faith that we are on. Your encouraging words made my heart leap! It's as if my bones were strengthened which lead to me being able to uplift my husband. And as I said the other day....my stake is in the ground. We are staying focused on all the joys and blessings, because fear and worry are not from the Lord, they only equal lack of faith and my God moves mountains!! So onward we go!!!

We be walkin on water.
Faith, faith...baby.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

.seasons.

Well, we survived our first real winter. It was definitely an adjustment from the 80 degrees and sunshine everyday I had for the past almost 30 years. But it wasn't thaaaaat bad. I don't know what I had in mind but to be honest the inside and hibernation time was sort of nice. Some days I went crazy and tried to convince myself that it was 5 o'clock somewhere and poured myself a glass of wine but most days were pretty good. I think my heart is just so happy and content being where we are that I didn't let the weather get to me. The ice storm was pretty...insane. We were stuck in our house for 6 days straight, thanks to our awesome long driveway. Apparently this was a rare winter....whew. 

Spring has arrived in Nashville. The grass is starting to turn green again!!! New leaves have started sprouting on our trees!!!! The birds are singing!!! The sun has been shining!!! And we just started planting our garden!!! I don't even know what I am going to do with myself when Spring is in full force and everything has popped! 


You know that verse..
 "to every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven.." Ecclesiastes 3:1 

I understand that a bit more now. And it's beautiful. We've experienced the fall when the air turns crisp and the leaves change from green to reds, yellows and orange...to the start of winter with that first freeze and everything dies. The trees are bare, the grass is brown, the air is freezing and the nights are cozy. We are now awaiting a new season that is full of life, and color and incredible beauty.. 

That's sort of where we are in life at this very moment. I'd be lying if I said life has been great recently. Considering what most of the world is facing it has been. In our "bubble" its been stretching. We are learning what true dependence on God is, learning to fully trust Him and let go of the grasp we have or try to have on our life and how it should look. We've been in a very rough place this past month and the Lord quickly brought us to our knees at our darkest hour and showed us that He's got this. It took getting to our lowest to get us back to church. And that was probably the biggest blessing that could have happened to us! We are going to an incredible church out in the country filled with people and a pastor who know how to LOVE. Chris and I haven't been excited to go to church since our Pastor Chuck passed away nearly 10 years ago. It's like our souls have been craving the truth, and the love, and the encouragement and the JOY so much that we can't get enough of it. And the series right now is called "Hallelujah, anyway!" Yes, life is hard. It's filled with disappointment, stress, sadness and so on but "hallelujah anyway" because we have a God who is full of LOVE, and MERCY and we are choosing to be joyful in the midst of our trials because that is what we are called to do! We are growing! And apparently growing is painful! But hallelujah anyway! He will make something beautiful out of this mess..


Our pastor started the sermon on Sunday with the story of  Horatio Spafford, a wealthy Chicago lawyer with a thriving legal practice, a beautiful home, a wife, four daughters and a son. At the very height of his financial and professional success, Horatio and his wife Anna suffered the tragic lost of their young son. Shortly after in 1871, the Great Chicago Fire destroyed almost real estate investment that Spafford had. 

In 1873, Spafford scheduled a boat trip to Europe in order to give his wife and daughters a much needed vacation and time to recover from the tragedy. He sent them ahead of him while he remained in Chicago to wrap up business and several days later he received word that his family's ship encountered a collision. All four of his daughters drowned; only his wife survived. With a heavy heart, Spafford boarded a boat that would take him to his grieving Anna in England
. It was on this trip that he penned those now famous words, When sorrow like sea billows roll; it is well, it is well with my soul..

A man and wife who had it all, lost it all
And yet, they had a "hallelujah anyway" attitude through the deep dark sorrow and grief..


When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say,
It is well, it is well with my soul.

Refrain:
It is well (it is well),
with my soul (with my soul),
It is well, it is well with my soul.

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ hath regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.

Refrain
My sin, oh the bliss of this glorious thought!
My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to His cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!

Refrain
For me, be it Christ, be it Christ hence to live:
If Jordan above me shall roll,
No pang shall be mine, for in death as in life
Thou wilt whisper Thy peace to my soul.

Refrain
And Lord haste the day, when my faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
Even so, it is well with my soul.


Amen somebody. 
I wanna live like that. 

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Oh hey, we live in Tennessee now.

It's been almost F I V E whole months since I've peeked at my blog.
I do have a good excuse for being away but I have missed sitting down, gathering my thoughts and writing here.

Since I last wrote my husband and dad drove 2,000 miles and moved our cars and everything we own from California to Tennessee. My mom and I flew for 4 VERY LONG hours with the 3 kids. I was ready for a martini before we even got on the plane. It was crazy and so was the next month.


We arrived and boxes upon boxes upon boxes were everywhere. We had an amazing crew here and had everything unpacked in the first 3 days. I made countless trips to Target and the grocery store to fill our house with all the everyday essentials. I'm pretty sure the credit card company thought we bought the entire Target corporation after all my trips there. Yikes.
 I'll never forget though, waking up on our first morning after maybe 3 hours of sleep and answering our door at 7:30am to our next door neighbor. She made us a warm homemade coffee cake to welcome us to the neighborhood. Southern hospitality at it's finest and a gesture my heart will never forget.



Three days after we moved Chris and I celebrated our 7th wedding anniversary. We worked on our new house all day and celebrated with Sonic cheeseburgers and dessert in downtown Franklin. It was perfect.
The next day we celebrated our sweet Kate's 5th birthday. 
This girl loves her new house and loves living in Tennessee.

Chris started his new job two weeks after the move and it's been a challenge. He travels all over so often which is rough on him, on me and the kids. He's been to more states in the past two months than he's been in his 33 years. It's crazy. I'm trying to get in a routine when hes gone and make things as easy on myself as possible. Which only means one thing, back away from the kitchen! No cooking for mommy when daddy is out of town. Which also means his travel better slow down or I'm going to be a fatty my fat fat in no time. 

A month afer we moved we added a new member to the Andrews family. 
If you follow me on Instagram you've seen her face plastered all over my photo squares. 
We're all crazy over our mini reindeer. 
People of the internet, meet Dixie Belle.



She's a golden retriever and is about 2 years old. 
We rescued her from Middle Tennessee Golden Retriever Rescue 
She is the most precious girl. She was found out in the country and had just had puppies. 
She was completely starved and between her foster family and now with us she is to a healthy weight and has put on 15 pounds! Oh how we love this girl. And the stuff she puts up with is pretty amazing. 



One of the highlights for the kids so far was our first snow. 
I'm not even sure it can be classified as actual snow but to us Southern California people, it was snow!


 And who knew Dixie Belle was so good at snow angels?!
Girlfriend loves snow.

Our house has been full every month with visitors, and for that we are grateful!




One thing I have been trying to work on since our move is slowing down a bit. I just laughed out loud as I typed that because with 3 young kids, slowing down is like an oxymoron. So maybe what I'm really trying to work on is giving myself more grace. Letting things go and not worrying about the little things. It's ok that there are toys everywhere, that my kitchen isn't always sparkling and the beds aren't always made. 

This move has been been exciting, filled with joy, endless smiles and laughter. It has also been stressful, exhausting, trying and lonely. I knew that it would all catch up with me, and it has. The lack of sunshine and warm weather that my bones are used to, my best friends now 2,000 miles away who I miss doing life with so much, being able to run over to my parents house for dinner...and so on. 

I'm the new girl in town. I still have California plates on my car. I'm not part of all the "circles" here. It's a completely new normal for me and has me completely out of my comfort zone. If you know me, you know I'm pretty outgoing and social. I laugh probably too much and love to have a good time. You might not know that I don't like making new friends. {that sounds so bad} I don't know if I don't like putting in the effort to get to know new people or what my problem is. All of my girlfriends in CA are probably laughing at this because they knew it was my biggest fear with moving.  I've finally come to terms that I need to get better at letting new people in my life. My newest girlfriend lives right behind my house and she is seriously my southern sister. How have I lived life without her? She made me realize that making new friends IS fun! 

I drive down back country roads nearly everyday, sometimes without a place to go....just to drive and I have to stop myself and thank God for bringing us here. These dreams that were always wishes are now real life. It's not a fairytale by any means, just living proof that the Lord does hear the cries of our hearts and WILL answer them all in His timing. 

This is a new season for us.
 One of Faith, Growth, Branching out & learning to see the beauty in the mess. 
We're getting there. Every day we are learning a little bit more about God's grace.
When my feet hit the floor each morning, I thank Him that His mercies are new. 
And because of that, we will soar. 




{I started this post in Dec, finally posting it in February!}

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

So you want to learn about all these oils?!












You may have seen me post about Essential Oils this past year. I've slowly been getting my feet wet learning about them and adding them into our life. I've been asked by many what is the best way to learn about essential oils. The beauty of oils is that you can learn as you go and as things come up. 

Want to know how I got started? 

The Young Living Premium Starter Kit. It's a beautiful introduction to oils and is filled with 10 different oils that will get you going! Plus, it comes with a diffuser so you can diffuse them in your home or at work! 

 Right now Young Living is offering an incredible deal if you sign up this month:
  • Oil samples and brochures with all you need to know about oils
  • A home diffuser 
  • 10 essential oils plus a free bottle of Citrus Bliss
  • -Pan Away, Joy, Purification, Thieves, Peppermint, Lavender, Melaleuca, Lemon, Stress Away and Frankincense
That is product worth over $300, available right now for $150!

That is a GREAT deal and discount! I'm not a good salesperson. I'm a busy mama whos been using oils for a year and have had great success. I LOVE essential oils! I am under an amazing team of women who are leaning and growing their knowledge of essential oils to be able to use them more effectively in their homes. If you are interested in being part of my Young Living team you can email me at CandNAndrews@aol.com! When you decide you'd like to start using Essential Oils head on over and sign up! Click on my link right here to get started! Becoming a wholesale member allows you to save 24% on oils and products! You'll see they ask for your Social when signing up. That is in case you decide you want to become a distributor after falling in love with your new oils! :)

 The majority of the uses which I am listing I only recommended for Young Living essential oils. Why? Because 90% of the essential oils on the market contain chemicals, pesticide byproducts, or are purposefully cut with other ingredients. Due to poor labeling laws, these bottles can actually have the words "pure" on the title. It is so important to know who your essential oils are coming from so that you can trust you are getting a high quality product.

 If you want to learn more about Young Living and the Premium Starter Kit please visit About Essential Oils

Listed Below are the oils and some of their suggested uses...

 Lavender
This is one of the essential oils that I use the most so of course we are going to talk about it first! It's one of those things that you can just use for everything. My friend Lindsay and I joke that the first rule of essential oil use is "When in doubt, always use lavender".

1. Sleep and Relaxation
How to use Lavender Young Living Essential OilI will diffuse lavender, rub it on my feet, put a few drops on my pillow, or take a relaxing lavender bath with epsom salts before bed to get a good night's sleep.

2. Bug Bites
 For Bug Bites I have a 1 oz salve jar full of coconut oil and I've added 25-35 drops of lavender. I apply a small amount of this to the effected area and feel instant relief

3. Itchy or Puffy Eyes
This is an amazing trick, but adding some lavender to coconut oil and rubbing it around your eyes (not in your eyes) can help decrease puffiness! If you get essential oil in your eyes, wash it out with carrier oil-- not water!

4. Butterflies/Nerves
In research, it has been demonstrated that Lavender may be a good substitute for anti-anxiety medication. In a study, they found that if you diffuse lavender for 20 minutes at least 3 times a day, patients reported decreases nervousness.

  If you want more ways to use lavender, here's 20 ways to use lavender, but trust me there are many, many more!!

How to use Joy essential oil Young Living
Joy
Joy is a blend of essential oils that creates a sense of happiness. It contains Lemon, Mandarin, Rose, Roman Chamomile, Palmarosa, Jasmine, Rosewood, Geranium, Ylang Ylang, and Bergamot essential oils. It's a beautiful floral scent and so many people enjoy diffusing it, but they are unaware of all the different ways it can be used.

1. Sadness or negative emotions
Joy is a very uplifting essential oil which can be used to help support mood. My favorite way is to diffuse joy and simply by inhaling the scent, my mood improves. But you can also rub a drop of Joy oil over the heart and on the bottom of each foot to relieve feelings of frustration
 2. Entertaining 
If you're throwing a party, you probably want everyone to have a good time, so why not help the mood with a little joy? Diffusing this while you're entertaining helps to keep everyone's spirits uplifted.
 3. DIY Perfume
I have yet to make my own but word is that Joy is one of the best stand alone essential oils for a signature scent! If only I was that "crafty!"
4. Laundry
Joy is one of my favorite scents to use in the dryer to scent my clothing. I use dryer balls, but you can also use 1-2 drops on an old rag that you toss into the dryer with your clothing.

 How to use Young Living Purification essential oil

Purification
Purification is a blend of essential oils that smells so amazing! It contains Lemongrass, Citronella, Rosemary, Lavandin, Myrtle, and Melaleuca essential oils and it's so gentle on the skin. This is one of my mom's favorite essential oils to wear as a perfume and the bonus is that it doubles as a bug deterrent! You can't find many perfume smelling bug sprays at Walmart. Just sayin'

1. Odor Removal
This is a big deal in my house because I live 3 stinky boys, and a dog. Odors are everywhere! Several of my friends are using some sort of medium (baking soda in a sock, cotton balls) with a couple drops of purification to place inside of stinky shoes to remove the odors.

 2. Summer Time Spray
I love using purification in the summer! Not only does it smell so fresh and clean, but it can work with citronella to help keep away our bothersome buzzing party crashers. Check out some DIY recipes on Pinterest!

 3. Deodorant 
Since Purification is so good at removing odors, lots of people are using it as an extra boost to homemade deodorant recipes. Again, I have yet to make any of this but maybe one day when I have free time again!? Other people simply mix purification with water and spray their pits. They swear it works, but I'm not that brave.

4. Hotel Disinfectant 
I admit that I may have a paranoia about traveling. When I travel, I always take a 1 oz spray bottle full of distilled water that I've added 1/4 tsp of salt which has soaked in 15 drops of purification. I'll spray it on the bed as soon as I get to the hotel to kill all the little critters that may be lurking between the sheets.

How to use Lemon Essential Oil Young Living Premium Starter Kit Lemon
Lemon is one of the biggest powerhouses in the essential oil world when it comes to cleaning both your house and your body! It also tastes great in water or baked goods!

1. Cleaning Cabinets
  I have been using lemon mixed with a little olive oil to clean my cabinets. It really makes them shine and look like new!

2. Adhesive Remover
1–2 drops to remove gum, oil, grease spots, glue or adhesive, and crayon from most surfaces.
 3. Flavor your drink
 I like adding a drop or two to a glass of water

4. Diffuse!! 
 Because HELLO so fresh and so clean clean. Yum!

How to use Peppermint Essential Oil Young Living Premium Starter Kit  Peppermint
Peppermint seems to be one of the favorite essential oils because it's good for so many things! Did you know that peppermint can help improve energy, but also help to ease headaches, and stomachaches, too?

1. Minor Aches
Peppermint is my go to for daily aches. I put 1-2 drops of peppermint directly on my body when I feel achey.

2. Energy
I find that when I'm dragging that all I need to do is take several deep inhalations of peppermint directly from the bottle! Within seconds, I have more energy and I'm ready to work! It can also be diffused or rub onto the feet as well.

3. Hair Care
I love using essential oils for hair care! My hair has become much more healthier now that I incorporate different essential oils into my hair care routine. Peppermint can help support a healthy scalp scalp.



How to use PanAway Essential Oil from the Premium Starter Kit from Young LivingPanAway
To be honest, I wasn't crazy about PanAway at first (it smells like Vicks Vapor Rub), but it was the first essential oil that I used and I've grown to really enjoy it. It really helps after long days of picking up and carrying my babies around.

1. Supports a Healthy Muscular System
This is great for all sorts of minor muscular discomfort of daily life-- just make sure you read the instructions on the bottle for proper dilutions!

2. Post Workout Relief
  Who loves a good massage? A PanAway massage. I add 2-4 drops to 1 TBSP of coconut oil and give a back rub. It can also be applied to achy, sore, or tired muscles. No massage needed!  You can also take a soothing epsom salt bath with PanAway: 1 cup of epsom salt with 4 drops of essential oil.

3. Bumps
PanAway is great for reducing bruising. I just apply it directly to the bump. For more serious injuries, you should always see a doctor, but you can use PanAway to help support normal, natural soreness.

How to use Frankincense essential oil from the Premium Starter Kit Young Living Frankincense 
This is one of the most famous and oldest essential oils. I remember hearing about it as a child in church and it being mentioned frequently around Christmas. However, I didn't have my first experience with Frankincense until this year. It was love at first sniff! Seriously, this stuff is ahhhhh-maz-ing!

1. Skin Care
Frankincense is know as one of the best natural ways to support healthy skin. In my opinion, Frankincense and Lavender are pretty much the power house of skin care and help to keep that fantastic complexion.

 2. Healthy Nails
You can take Frankincense internally for both anxiety and for it's anti-cancerous effects. However, a fantastic side effect was stronger, healthier nails. You can also apply frankincense directly to the nail making sure to fully coat the entire surface of the nail.

3. Stretch Marks
Use Frankincense and Lavender together to help reduce the appearance of stretch marks and scars.

4. Relaxation
I diffuse frankincense when I need to relax. There is nothing like it!


How to use Thieves essential oil premium starter kit from young living Thieves 
Thieves may be the most well known of all the Young Living essential oil blends. It's being used in hospitals as a cleaner, but yet it's gentle enough that it can be used safely on children.

1. Foaming Hand Soap
 I have an obsession with clean hands, but the traditional soaps tend to make my hands dry and cracked. There are so many great DIY hand soaps you can make with this!

2. Cleaning Spray
This disinfectant spray is one of my absolute favorite things! I carry a small vial in my purse to spray on door knobs, tables, carts and even as a hand sanitizer spray. The best part is that this is so gentle that it can also be used as a breath freshener or a spray for sore throats.

 3. Immune Boost
When I'm sick, the first essential oil I reach for is Thieves. I can diffuse when I feel a little down and I can do an immune boosting foot rub to help support a healthy immune system.

You can make your own toothpaste, mouthwash and so much more! This is also an awesome oil to diffuse!!

How to use Stress Away essential oil  Stress Away
Stress Away isn't part of the Every Day Oil kit, but it is a bonus in the Premium Starter Kit. Normally you can purchase it two ways: The bottle or the Roll-on. The Premium Starter Kit comes with a roller filament so you can change your bottle to a roll-on!

1. Stress Buster
The Premium Starter Kit comes with one Roller Filament to make an essential oils a roll-on application. I love putting it on stress away! I keep this in my purse and I will roll it on my wrists, neck, or behind my ears when I need a little Stress Busting power.

2. Add to the bath
Add a few drops to your bath, you can even make your own salt scrubs!


Introducing the {NEW} Essential Oils of the Premium Starter Kit!!!!


Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree)

Melaleuca alternifolia is highly regarded for its wide range of uses. It supports the immune system and is beneficial for the skin. Commonly known as Tea Tree Oil.
1. Helps support Healthy Skin 
I like to use Tea Tree to help support healthy skin by using it diluted in some carrier oil at 50%. I just dab a little bit on any imperfections.

2. Helps to support a Healthy Scalp

You can use tea tree in DIY hair products to help promote a healthy scalp. You don't even need a lot-- just a few drops!

 3. Supports a Healthy Immune System
 Diffusing Melaleuca is a great way to help boost your immune system.


 
Citrus Fresh
Citrus Fresh™ is a relaxing, calming blend loved by children and adults alike. It is a blend of Orange, tangerine, mandarin, grapefruit, lemon, and spearmint.

1. Removes Odors
This is one of my favorites to diffuser because it smells so amazing! It helps to freshening air from environmental impurities.

2. Uplifting
Citrus scents are very cheerful and Citrus Fresh has been known to help support a good mood! Diffuse it when you're feeling sad or lonely.

3. Boosts Creativity
When I'm writing my blog I often diffuse Citrus Fresh to help boost my creativity, I also love having it in the diffuser in the morning to get me going!

5. Flavored Water
Many people like to add 1 drop to a glass of water for some extra taste!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Provision

Looking back at my last post to what I am about to write as I sit here with my iced coffee and tears in my eyes is... astounding. 

 Chris and I have been so desperate for the Lord's continued provision, peace, joy and wisdom and I can't help but laugh and shake my head at the very thought of doubting He wouldn't come through. 
We set out on this journey a year and a half ago. That is when we decided we were going to sell our sweet little cottage and make the move across the country and settle ourselves in Tennessee. 

This whole journey has been amazing and confirmations with every decision that have been made has made it very clear that Tennessee would one day be home. We had our whole "plan" figured out and very quickly caught on that God had other plans in place. There have been so many instances but the most recent one flying back to Tennessee for a job interview that ended up getting postponed and buying our house. (which was not what we had in mind at all! We were sure we were going to have a job before we bought). Man, I love how God works. 

Two months to the day we put an offer in on our home, Chris received an incredible job offer. I spilled the beans... CHRIS GOT A JOB IN TENNESSEE!!!! WE'RE REALLY MOVING!!!! I feel like I could shout it from a mountain top and still not believe that it's true. Oh me, such little faith. I'm not sure it's that I doubted that God would provide or that Chris wouldn't be able to find an awesome job, it's hard to me to believe that we are actually moving to the place my heart has been for the past 18 years. I literally fell off the lounge chair when I found out, and then went running and screaming around the house. 

This seed that was planted in my heart when I was 10 years old is blossoming. The dream that Chris had long before he met me when he moved down to California and wanting to leave asap is bursting forth. We are about to live out the dreams and desires that have been burning in our heart together for years! I always felt like that dream was too big to attain, because how on earth would I be able to marry a man who loves Tennessee as much as I do, pack up our entire life in California and find a good job and get out there? Sounds a lot easier than it is. God has gone before us and has covered EVERY detail and more! I was going back through my journal and found this list of prayer requests from September 14th, 2013..

Every one of these prayers have been answered, we are waiting for the right timing and a job for my dad so my parents can eventually make the move (along with my sister!) but seriously, I am blown away.

He got us through grad school, He blessed Chris a job on the last day of summer, our (beyond) dream home is in Franklin which is about 10 minutes from family and 25 minutes from his new job. We grew our family with our sweet Mason James and have already been connecting with such great families in the Franklin area. And something in my soul is telling me that this is just the beginning..

Oh family, friends and people of the internet, let me shout it again. GOD IS SO GOOD! 
My heart is overwhelmed and you'll most likely catch me with tears in my eyes from here on out for a while. The joy is incredible but there is also a really really big heartache that comes with packing up our life here and saying goodbyes. They aren't forever goodbyes, just see you laters but they still hurt. This is the only life I've ever known nestled here in Southern California. It has been my home, but every single memory is packed up and heading to the south in my heart. I will always cherish the time that I have had here, these past almost 29 years have shaped me and molded me into the woman who is setting off on a new journey across the country. I know there will be days my heart longs to be back home in California and there will be far too many days where we will feel the miles that we are apart but we know that where we are headed is right where we're supposed to be. It's oh so bittersweet. 

It's time to wipe the tears from my eyes and log off for now. My man is off to Walt Disney World this week to meet his new company, hang out and play with all of them, I have tons of packing to finish and the truck arrives in 7 days to be packed and then the boys are hitting the road to Tennessee. Our one way tickets have been purchased and that flight leaves in 11 very short days. 

God's timing is so perfect. Our house will be ready at the end of this week and we arrive just in time to celebrate so many incredible things. 

Thank you Lord for going before us and blessing us with far more than we deserve! 

See y'all in Nashville. 
{ps. if you want to keep up with us on the move you can find me on Instagram @southernatheart with #andrewsmovetotennessee. I sort of update that a lot!}


Friday, September 12, 2014

oh, hi there..

It's been so long since I've last posted. 

Escrow has closed, we are now homeowners in Franklin, Tennessee! {still can't believe I'm saying that!} Let me say for the record, buying a home across the country and having it remodeled while you're still across the country is...something I probably wouldn't do again! And it's a good thing we don't ever plan on doing again so there's that. 

We've contracted a gardener to take care of the land until Chris gets his own riding lawn mower :::Santa has already taken note::: Two of the bathrooms have been remodeled, the wood floors are almost done being re finished and carpet goes in next week! We are doing the rest of the remodel ourselves, because with 3 small kids we obviously have all the extra time.

We are literally counting down the days until we get to pack up the truck and say adios to California. We don't have an exact date nailed down but hoping and praying we have a date come next week. If you catch my drift, please be praying for the job! :) Things are looking good. 

 It's been a rough couple of weeks, we are so ready to be in our own home and own space again as a family. I'm struggling big time with that. I'm continuing to learn a lot about myself as we wind down on this adventure that we've been on for over a year. A lot of them aren't pretty but God is showing me things about my heart and my attitude that I need to work on. One thing I take comfort in is we are all a work in progress and none of us are ever going to have it all together.

I have to daily pray and ask the Lord to take the burdens, frustrations, stress and overwhelming feeling I carry around from me, sometimes multiple times a day. Trying to pack with three small kids, stay on top of the contractors, help my man with finding a job and plan a cross country move on top of keeping everything else in life going is a lot and I find myself constantly frustrated. Did I mention I'm sleep deprived? Why does Starbucks not have a home delivery truck yet?! 

Yes, these days are long. Yes, I feel like I'm sinking half the time and playing catch up. But God's grace has saved me and I'm reminded daily of that and all of the incredible blessings He has bestowed upon us, I am so unworthy. God is so faithful and I'm grateful that He has a way of reminding us of that.

JOY. I want it... all day, everyday.... no matter what comes our way.
 
So there's my heart, spilled out for y'all to read. 
It's real and may you be encouraged knowing you aren't alone in whatever trial, frustration and circumstance you're in. 

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Sneak Peek...

Here are a few shots of our new home.

Part of the front of the house

the view out our front door

our neighborhood
 the mountain of trees is what we see out our front door

view from the living room into the family room

the dining room

the breakfast nook off the kitchen

 the kids play room
{with built in toy boxes!!}

There is a whole separate living area downstairs that includes a master suite with a huge walk in closet, bathroom, a family room, kitchen area, a movie theater room and a tornado shelter room. 
That alone is bigger than our little So Cal cottage. 
We're so excited about this area, it's the perfect spot for guests!

The backyard




We had a long list of things we wanted in our Southern home. 
5 bedrooms, a bonus room, laundry room, all of the bedrooms on the same floor, a 3 car garage, a big yard for the kids...This house has all of that and more.
 It feels like this home was built for us. 

I'm going to need to stock up on cleaning supplies, over 5,000 square feet to clean and 5 bathrooms to scrub. Is it too soon to make the kids start scrubbing toilets?? 

Chris' fantasy of having a riding lawn mower is about to come true. Pretty sure I will never see him with his big long list of things to do on the house and mowing the lawn.

We are having all of the wood floors re finished to a darker wood, new carpet put in upstairs and some painting done before we move in.
 We have 4 bathrooms to re model and a simi kitchen remodel ahead of us.

The best part? It's our forever house so we're going to take our time.

I hope our visitors don't mind sitting on the floor because ummm, furniture! 

Now y'all know why there is no sleep going on around here any more between the baby and laying awake at night designing the house and envisioning how to arrange all of the rooms.

I'll update more as things progress.

So thankful for this home.