What We Can Learn about the Proverbs 31 Woman through Fall

Here we come, all of the basic girls, chattering about scarves, cardis, and our beloved PSL. Every year around this time, videos and memes glorify our favorite time of year and I got to wondering why we love it so much.

Is it the cool and crisp air? Is it the change of the trees? Is it the need to wear our cute coats and boots? …but there’s something more to all of this. I know, I know…a Pumpkin Spice Latte is reason enough, but there’s something else to the fascination with this time of year.

Every year, I fall captive to all of the fall advertising. And it made me think, what makes this girl different? Why am I so drawn to the changing seasons? One of my favorite women to study is the woman of Proverbs 31: A  Wife of Noble Character. And, sister, I see the spirit of her so prevalent this time of year. It’s hard not to wonder if the love for fall is really a posturing of grace and gratitude for the soul God desires to ignite in each of us.  

  1. Trustworthiness (v. 11): This time of year comes around like clock work. We trust that each year, we will get to experience the joy that comes with pumpkins and school and changing of the seasons and sweaters we found online shopping again. More importantly, we see that not only are we trusting of the seasonal change, but we’ve built it into our soul DNA that we trust the Maker of the Universe to supply our every need, even as the seasons change.
  2. Goodness (v. 12, 28): My favorite part of fall is watching the leaves change. Although short-lived here in Texas, there’s something so beautiful about a sky filled with orange, yellow, and red. While we know the leaves change and fall, we often don’t look at ourselves with the same beauty as the leaves change and fall in our own lives. If we know God is faithful, and we know He is good, and we know He will never leave us or forsake us, then we have to trust that the changing of the season is for good and we can give that goodness to others as we lavishly love and serve them out of the splendor of a faithful and trusting heart.
  3. Hard-working (v. 13, 27): I don’t know what it is about Back-to-school and fall, but it seems that the goal getting is fierce and the challenge to finish off the year strong is at an all-time high. There’s something about the change of summer to fall that allows us to see that hard work is good work. No matter what your job description is, “work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord.” (Colossians 3:23)
  4. Giving and Serving (v. 15, 19): With a heart postured for thankfulness and charities gathering up coats, school supplies, and food, it’s hard not to have a spirit of charity. I find myself more often this time of year wanting to freely give and cheerfully allow myself to bestow gifts and love to others. There’s something to be said for the joy we feel when we get to love and serve others well. Sister, our souls are ignited when we get to love, give, and serve others in the way Jesus has.
  5. Investor (v. 16) : This time of year really guides people to start paying down on debt. I also am a HUGE fan of the sales this time of year. More importantly, as an entrepreneur, I see the investments people are making. As you approach this season of opportunity, also approach it with thoughtfulness and prayer. Whether we are investing our time, money, or mind in something, we need to prayerfully approach the Will of God as He guides our steps, as we make choices in the day-to-day and long-term decisions that will effect the rest of our lives.
  6. Fitness (v. 17): I know, I know. Our least favorite thing. We love to eat all of the fall goodness, and snuggle up under the blankets by a fire. BUT, this is also the time to refocus and regroup our diets, our minds, and our bodies for the winter ahead. A fit body often promotes a fit mind and we all owe ourselves the opportunity to feel crisp mentally. What better way to start than to 15 minutes a day soaking up the fall weather?
  7. Joy & Peace (v. 25, 26): Oh this season brings with it the joy and inner warmth that’s unmatchable, but don’t you feel more at ease this time of year? I know that a crazy season is around the corner and while we label it with the same terms, it often doesn’t feel that way. While I’m soaking up this season in particular,  I find myself taking that nap, or saying “no” to things, and I also find that I am at peace. It’s funny that often we are so concerned about what to wear and what the future looks like, but I think peace is something that hangs up too long in our closet, like that dress we are waiting to wear for that special occasion. But we must first clothe ourselves in His righteousness, and put on strength and dignity, to face the tasks He has laid before us. As the earth is blanketed with new colors, may be face the season of joy and peacefulness and coziness with His heart and blanket it on those around us.
  8. God has the last word (v.30): Do you ever notice a difference in your life when you are walking in alignment with God compared to when you aren’t? I do! Girl, I don’t know how I get from day to day without first rising up to meet Jesus. I love a good sweater and boyfriend jean as much as the next girl, and I do love me some fall themed make up, BUT what does any of it do if my soul is suffering? We can only bloom again when we are firmly planted in the promises of the Lord and even with our withered limbs and the bitter cold, awaiting us, we can trust that the fear of the Lord will greet us as praises in the gates and blooming once again. (v. 31)

As we walk into this beloved season, let us walk with hearts open for the possibilities in this season filled with gratitude, an embrace for change, and an attitude filled with living and giving. For further reading reference, see Proverbs 31: 10-31.

Why Finding Friends is Harder Than Finding a Job & What We Can Do About It

Sis, yep. Hi. I know why you’re here.

I am also alone on a Friday night, eating ice cream, and watching the 3rd Hallmark movie with a crazy line up of the Bachelor and Mind Hunter lined up for this weekend.

I also just scrolled through IG and stumbled upon my friend group gathering…without me. It probably wasn’t intentional, but right now…I feel totally left out and purposely not included. And why the heck are friendships so hard? AH!!?!?

As a big lover of Jesus, I think a miracle often overlooked is that he was early 30s and had 12 really close friends. Because I’m 28 and have like 3 and ‘close’ is up for debate.

So why is it so hard? What is up with the world? Why is the suicide rate so high and everyone so dang lonely? Why are friend dates more anxiety-filled than the real ones?

  1. We are finding connection through this shiny little screen filled with instant gratification. We have replaced real friendships with ‘likes’ and ‘memes’ and yet we are still sitting alone on the weekend, wondering what everyone else is doing
  2. Everyone is in a different stage right now. I have some friends who have almost been married for a decade,  with two kids. I have other friends serial dating and changing jobs as if they were clothes in a target dressing room…and there’s me, no marriage, no kids, solid business, and lots of wine.
  3. Vulnerability is hard. It’s hard to admit we are wrong.  It’s hard to be emotionally naked and exposed, just to have someone hurt you again. So,  we are walking around in halfway friendships because we are terrified of getting hurt again.
  4. Some friends are totally for certain things. You have your friend you confide in. You have a friend you go out with. You have a friend you reconnect with once a year. You have the friend who prays for you and encourages you to be your best. You have your friend that you dance with in the car. You have the friend who brings you soup when you’re sick. You have the friend who will go to bat for you. You have the friend who you drink with. And you have the friend that’s like a sister. They are all valuable. They are all needed. And sometimes, we have a hard time wrapping our head around the fact that our drinking friend isn’t our secret-keeping friend. And our sister friend is probably going to hurt us at some point. Remember, every business has a role, and so does every frienship. You can’t expect every person to fulfill every job in your life. Give them some grace and appreciate them for what they are.
  5. We lack discipline. I am so dang tired. I am also what you call the ‘excited canceler’. As an extroverted-introvert, I love nothing more than to resort to a quiet night of reading and snacking and movies. BUT we need fellowship and I find that after too long away from girlfriends, my soul is practically begging for a girls’ trip, too.

So, what can we do about it?

  1. Be the initiator:  I know. I’m always that person too and sometimes, don’t you wish someone else would reach out to you? Oh well…reach out to your friend and tell her you’re thinking about her. Show up with a bottle of your favorite wine and laugh it up with your best friend. Invite your group out for a fun, local event. Or even better, schedule lunch. You have nothing to lose by initiating and everything to gain by investing in the women who are also doing this thing called life alongside you.
  2. Meet new people: I know. I know. I’m the worst. First, I give you more work and now, I’m telling you to go network and meet new people.  Just. Do. It. You have no idea… some girl might need you and your friend group right now.
  3. Pray: I have found in my quiet times with God, I will pray for God to give me a friend during a certain season I’m missing another friend and He always provides…even if she’s only there for  a little while.
  4. Be the friend you want:  We love to hate on our friends, but I’ll be the first to admit I can be a super flaky friend. And that sucks, because I hate it when someone is that way with me. So, let’s challenge ourselves to be better friends to the people we do have and text first, schedule the dinner first, remind her again (because you know she will forget or flake out), and if all else fails, bring the party (or take out and Netflix binge) to her.

Everything in life requires effort and while finding a job is hard, finding people that want to ride out life with you is even tougher. So, appreciate the people you do have and search to fill your life with more of the people you know you need. Sometimes, all it takes is showing up and loving your people hard. Plus, life is too short to go too long without a girls’  trip.

Essential Oils: Where to Start

Oh the taboo little bottles of oils that some swear by and some love to hate on. After years of using them for everything from cuts and burns, sicknesses, cleaning sprays, and everything in between, I feel well-equipped to guide you through the process today for:

  1. Deciding if oils are right for you
  2. Selecting the first ones to try down to the brand and blend

Deciding if oils are right for you:

If you have never used them before, you are most likely totally overwhelmed and a little skeptical. I know I was. To be honest, I started using essential oils because I had reached the end of the road for a medical treatment. Now, let me be clear, I’m not a doctor and as a health coach, I believe that it is my duty to always refer you to your doctor, especially regarding medical diagnosis. But, fortunately, I had a very open-minded medical professional that was all for incorporating new ideas and natural products into my treatment regimen.

My first essential oil was Frankincense. I was suffering from a brain injury and seizures and was having unpleasant side effects from the new medicine I was on. I was desperate. I googled everything and stumbled on frankincense helping to reduce seizures for a young child, so I had to try it.

If you are desperate for some type of relief, I would 1. See a doctor and 2.  Google essential oils + ‘symptoms’. There is absolute nothing to lose by trying and I have seen firsthand the positive benefits of them in my life, as well  as others. Also, there are so many oils that are used in replace of candles, help with mood, help with the ‘time of the month’, help with pain, and I could go on and on. It’s a rabbit hole, and you can get lost in all of the information quickly. So, start slow.

Now, more importantly:

Where should I buy and What kind? :

I am not a distributor of any essential oil brands. I have used several brands, but MY ABSOLUTE FAVORITE IS: YOUNG LIVING. First, they are therapeutic grade oils and second, I feel they last longer than store bought oils and are quick acting because they are real. However, if you are just looking to try, make sure you are getting a high quality oil.  

Young Living has a starter pack, but these are my favorite Must-have oils:

  1. Frankincense I’ve attached the benefits here: https://draxe.com/essential-oils/what-is-frankincense/
  2. Lavender anxiety, calming, cleaning/disinfecting
  3. Digize (Young living Blend) my favorite go-to for any tummy troubles. Whether I’m plagued with a stomach bug or facing some indigestion, digize is the first oil I run to.
  4. Thieves (Young Living Blend) my favorite immunity oil if I’m traveling or beginning to feel sickness come on. This blend is BY FAR the most versatile. They have a whole cleaning line and it truly is the best at helping kick a cold or virus
  5. Peppermint The best at kicking headaches and super helpful with nausea and stomach aches, too.

There are long lists with the popular ones, but these 5 are ones I carry with me on every trip and has saved many of bachelorette parties, date weekends, and trips from being completely ruined.

Chicken Noodle Soup (For the Soul)

As a health coach, I’ve learned a thing a two about the process of being in the kitchen and making a meal made from scratch, but more importantly: made with love.

This all started with a severe cold followed by weeks of severe allergies that left a craving for none other than SOUP, for practically every meal.

Now, there are some restaurants that can make some solid soup recipes, but I was needing this in mass quantities and wasn’t wanting to pay $25/day on 3 cups  of soup.

Cue: Me standing at the grocery store with ingredients for homemade chicken noodle soup.

YALL, I cannot tell you the DIFFERENCE homemade with love soup does to a person.

First, I made the soup for me, since most normal people don’t crave soup in 100 degree weather, but the intoxicating smell had everyone asking for a bowl (Good thing I make plenty for leftovers.)

So what to grab from the grocery store??:

A stalk of Celery

Shaved Carrots

5 cloves of garlic

(You can omit or add more- 1. Garlic is GREAT for your immune system. 2. It adds flavor and heartiness to the taste of your soup. I’ve noticed a HUGE difference when I don’t include this in my soup)

1 white onion

Chicken Broth or Chicken Bouillon (You’ll need 8-10 cups)

1 Rotisserie Chicken (I use half, but if you want a lot of chicken in your soup, use as much as needed) OR 2-3 Chicken breasts (cooked and shredded)

Fettucine Noodles

Fresh Dill

Instructions:

  1. Put 2-3 TBS of olive oil, garlic, celery, and onion in Large pot
  2. Saute’ for 2-3 minutes, until veggies are soft and sweating
  3. Add chicken broth or water and chicken bouillon cubes
  4. Bring to a boil, add carrots, chicken, and noodles. Stir and cover pot
  5. Turn to Lo and allow to cook. Check every 15-20 minutes, stirring each time. Allow to cook for at least 45 minutes-hour
  6. During last 10 minutes, I like to put bread in the oven and top with melted butter and fresh garlic to go with it. (Optional)

Put soup in bowl and top with fresh dill ABSOLUTE GAMECHANGER!