this glorious maze

because life is full of twists and turns

Month: August 2015 (page 1 of 3)

When I Wasn’t At Church.

Yesterday we went to church.

It was the first time that I had been in months.

It was never intentional, this skipping church.  At least, it wasn’t in the beginning.  Before my husband deployed we went regularly as a family as I had for my entire life.  Then he left and things started to fall apart.  It began with my default reaction when things are hard: hiding.

The Sunday after he left I didn’t want to see anyone.  I didn’t want to talk to anyone.  I didn’t want people to ask me how I was doing.  I needed time to sort out my feelings, privately.  I wanted space.

The next week it was a snowstorm.  The next, sickness.  Then picking up a visitor at the airport smack dab in the middle of church services, on the opposite side of town.

It went on like that for awhile.  Life honestly just got in the way.

Then a shift happened.  Somewhere in those long six months I just decided not to go.

The Evangelical-guilt began to grow.  In my (then) 27 years of living, I’d never gone that long without setting foot in a church.  I knew all the things that people would say to me, the same things that I might have said to someone else who started feeling wishy-washy giving up their Sunday mornings.

But still, I didn’t go.

Instead I enjoyed the lazy Sunday mornings with my boy.  We went to parks, we cuddled in bed, we shopped.  Once we went on a breakfast date.

Sunday mornings coincided with Caleb’s day off, at an hour that he could actually talk.  So lots of Sundays we would sleep in and then wake up just as he was available.  Skype would ‘ping’ alive and we would spend time as a family, Hadden and me from my comfy queen-sized bed in Nebraska, and Caleb from a tiny cement room on the other side of the world.

Then we moved to Ohio and I chose to wait until Caleb was home to visit churches.

And since he’s home now, we went to church.

I suppose that that isn’t the whole story though.  Mixed into this narrative are some pretty complicated feelings about church.  I cycle through feelings of anger, love, sadness, disappointment, excitement, confusion, and hope.  And even though I’m back in church, those feelings haven’t left.

But this is what I want you to hear:

When I wasn’t at church, I still was the Church. 

I prayed, for myself and for others.

I attended our small group regularly.

I was convicted and so I confessed.

I was involved in the lives of Christian friends.

I read my bible and I studied theology and church history.

I worshipped.

But still I didn’t go to church.

It was the kind of faith that I would have ridiculed ten years ago.  I would have been suspicious of someone who claimed Christ, yet didn’t attend to church.

Even now I can’t bring myself to recommend it to someone else.  I can’t claim that it’s good practice for a Christian to avoid church.

But, as strange as this sounds, when I went to God with my guilt over skipping church, God came back to me with grace.  Grace for skipping church.  Grace for needing space.  Grace for being where I am.

It comes down to this:

I am the Church whether or not I am there.  Whether or not I like it.  Whether or not I am feeling and believing all the right things that day.  I am the Church on my best days and I am the Church when I’m at my very worst.

I am the Church when I consume Christ’s body and blood and when I drive through Starbucks.  I am the Church when I sing out my faith alongside other Christians, but also when a secular song shakes me to my core.

I am the Church.

Are you okay with that?

When I Wasn't At Church

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Frivolous Friday: Hiring Help

It’s FRIDAY and as a reward for making it through the week, we’re going to talk about something frivolous.

Today’s topic comes courtesy of a conversation I had with my husband yesterday about hiring help for our household.  The conversation was hypothetical – we’re decidedly not in a place where hiring help is an option (or even a need).  But it was still fun to talk about which household tasks we’d pass off to someone else.

Here are the options that we discussed:

Cook
Housecleaner
Nanny
Gardener
Personal Assistant

(Technically a Personal Assistant could perform multiple duties on this list, but for this list we narrowed down the meaning to be someone who runs errands for you and does administrative tasks.  Make sense?)

My husband couldn’t decide between hiring a gardener or a cleaner.  Since he does most all of our yard work, I’m not surprised that he wants to hire it out.  I wasn’t expecting him to say that he wanted a cleaner though.

I was on the fence about whether I’d prefer a nanny or a cleaner.  But since our son entered preschool this week, I hopped the fence and landed solidly in the “hire a cleaner” camp.  I’m pretty good at keeping our house tidy and picked up, but it would be nice to hand off the bigger tasks (like cleaning windows!) to someone else.

Okay, it’s YOUR TURN!  If you could hire someone to help with your household tasks, what type of professional would you pick?

Feel free to answer on Facebook or Twitter if you don’t feel like signing in to leave a comment here! 🙂

Frivolous Friday-

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how to use an essential oil diffuser

**Disclosure: Any links to doTERRA are links to my personal doTERRA website.  Thank you for supporting This Glorious Maze!

When I’m feeling stressed or overwhelmed in our home I know what I need to do to regain control:

I open the windows to bring natural light in.

I clean up, restoring order to our living areas.

And I turn on my oil diffuser.

I’m a big believer in the importance of good smells because I know how much they improve my mood.  In the past, I used candles or simmered orange peels with a bit of cinnamon.  I use incense sometimes because both my husband and I enjoy the smoky, smoldering undertones.  But my favorite way to spread aromas is with an essential oil diffuser.

Last year I slowly started using essential oils.  Once when Hadden was congested and couldn’t sleep, my friend gave me the end of a bottle of Breathe.  Not only did it help him sleep, it smelled amazing.

A few months later my good friend, Rachyl, started selling doTERRA essential oils so I started, slowly, buying a few oils from her.  Soon I had a list of two or three oils that I was buying every couple of months when I ran out because I loved them so much that I just kept using them.  Rachyl introduced me to Past Tense, a roll-on bottle that has been absolutely life-changing in helping with my migraines.  I keep at least two bottles on hand at a time so that I can have one in my purse at all times and one in the kitchen.  (I’ve also gotten several other people hooked on it, but that’s another story)

When we moved to Ohio, I decided to start selling oils, mostly so I could buy my favorites at a discounted price and so friends and family could order through me and save money on shipping. (Here’s a link to my doTERRA page if you’re interested in browsing it — no pressure to buy!)

Today I thought I’d share a quick explanation of how to use an oil diffuser, complete with several pictures.

how to use diffuser

I diffuse oils every day in our house, once or twice a day in the kitchen/living room area and every night to help me sleep.  I also put a diffuser in my son’s room some nights if he’s sick or having a rough time getting to sleep.  Diffusing is an easy way to use essential oils and it’s my favorite way to boost my mood and cleanse the house.

WHAT YOU NEED FOR AN OIL DIFFUSER

Although doTERRA sells diffusers, I started out with the Samyo 100mL diffuser because it was a lot cheaper than the ones doTERRA sells.  It worked well for me so I now own two of them and have recommended them to several family members and friends.

As far as the actual oils go, I only ever use doTERRA.  There is lots of debate about different brands and people online feel VERY STRONGLY about it.  These work for me.  Enough said.

The diffuser comes with instructions to use distilled water, but since we have a water purifier in this house, I use that and call it good.  (Truth be told, in Nebraska I usually used tap water).

Fill diffuser with distilled water

Start by filling the diffuser with water.  I always fill mine to 100mL since I usually run it for the longest amount of time.

3 drops doTERRA Wild Orange1 drop doTERRA

Decide what oil(s) you want to diffuse.  My current favorite is a combination of Wild Orange and Cinnamon Bark.  It smells enough like autumn to actually get me excited about cold weather and make our entire house smell amazing.

Add 3-4 drops of your chosen essential oil

The diffuser recommends that you use 2-3 drops of oil.  I usually put more in, but since different oils have different strengths, you should play around with the ones that you regularly use to find what works for you.

MIST button

My diffuser has been used so much that the words on the buttons have worn off!  But on this particular diffuser, you turn it on by holding down the MIST button until a light turns on by the 30 min mark.  Then you keep pressing to move it down to select how long you want it to run before it turns off.  This diffuser can glow in eight different colors so you can select those by pressing the LIGHT button.

3-4 drops of Vetiver

And this is what it looks like when it’s running!  A cool mist flows out the top and spread the amazing aroma of essential oils around your house.

CLEANING INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Empty the diffuser using the DRAIN side (opposite the air vent)
  2. Add enough rubbing alcohol to cover the bottom of the diffuser completely
  3. Diffuse for 3-5 minutes
  4. Empty the excess rubbing alcohol
  5. Wipe out the inside of the diffuser with a paper towel

And that’s it!

Once you start using a diffuser regularly, this process becomes second-nature.  I wanted to type it out and show pictures of each step to send to someone who is just beginning to use essential oils, but I promise, it’s not as complicated as it looks!

To find out more about essential oils, feel free to visit my doTERRA website or connect with me on Facebook!

  • Have you used essential oils before?
  • What’s your favorite oil combination?
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