Practically Clean Living Party

Schedule a Practically Clean Living Party for you and your friends today!

What is a PCL Party?
At our parties, we share healthy lifestyle tips and tools based on you and your guests’ specific health goals.  We help you and each of your guests create a Practically Clean Living Plan.  (*Note: We are not doctors.  We encourage each person to consult his/her physician in regards to change in diet or exercise.)

Why should I have a PCL Party?  The goal of a PCL Party is to inspire you in your health journey and share step-by-step changes to improve overall wellness!  It’s FREE!  This is huge!  Health coaches, gym memberships, diet plans and the like are very expensive!  The biggest benefit they provide, versus “going it alone”, is encouragement and accountability.  We provide both for free!

How much does it cost? No, really.  Are you gonna ask me to buy something?  Nope.  Before the party, your job as the host is to ask each guest, “What are your biggest health concerns?”  This allows us to prepare information and tools (includes doTERRA essential oils products) that promote wellness for you and your guests.  We will introduce doTERRA essential oils because we use them on our family’s health journey.  However, we do not hold parties to sell, sell, sell.  We hold them to encourage and serve others.  When an essential oil seems useful to a host or guest, we will gladly share how to purchase it.  However, if someone is interested in doing what we do, we will schedule a time to meet with them about this opportunity.  We do not take up valuable party time to promote a business.  At the end of your party, we will collect a one-question survey from you and your guests.  The survey asks the question, “What top 5 health goals do you have for the next month? The next year?”

Do I get anything out of it?  Absolutely!  First, you will learn about doTERRA essential oils.  We will share how to use these oils for daily common health concerns, cleaning, gardening, and much more.  You and each of your guests will set obtainable health goals for one month and up to one year.  Each person in attendance will receive access to their party event page on Facebook to encourage each other as they strive to meet these goals during the first month.  After the first month, if everyone at the party achieves their health goals, we will have a second party with “freebies” to celebrate their success!  As the host, you will also receive 10% of your party’s total.

Are you ready to jump start your practically clean lifestyle?  E-mail us at practicallycleaneating@gmail.com!  We look forward to encouraging you!

P.S. Why we hold “Practically Clean Living Parties” instead of “doTERRA classes”:  Many doTERRA Welness Advocates hold classes to share these essential oils.  We think that’s great!  However, after many years of walking our own family journey to health, we strongly believe that wellness is an overall process.  We love doTERRA oils!  And, we also strive to eat real food (non-processed), regularly exercise, love God and love others, maintain financial peace, get enough sleep, continue learning, and provide a safe and loving home for our family.  Life has many aspects which require our attention if we want to stay healthy.  We use the oils to promote wellness in each aspect.  For example, we use tea tree oil to help bug bites, clear up acne, and promote clear airways during the winter.  We use lavender to soothe our senses and maintain a calm environment, especially at night.  We do NOT use doTERRA essential oils as a cure-all, magic elixir potion…because, that’s just silly.  They are oils from plants that promote wellness, and we love using them in our home!  We also love encouraging other families on their complete journey toward clean living!

I’m Not Here To Make The World A Better Place

make the world a better place

Have you ever been told you were here to make the world a better place?  Do you feel this overwhelming push (psst Christian, I’m talking to you) to have a hairy audacious ministry goal and strive with all your might (with Jesus, of course) to reach it?  Did you know that God isn’t asking you to do that?

Before you shout “You’re not God and you don’t know what He wants in MY life!”  You are correct.  And, if you truly believe God is telling/asking you to go and do something, then you should pray, seek His Word for truth, and go do it.  This post really isn’t for you.  And, if you go and do that thing and it doesn’t turn out fabulous, please know that’s okay too.

This post is for the woman (or man) who wakes up to pee-soaked sheets, bills, and unending laundry.  The woman who desperately desires to be used by God in a “big way”, but can’t seem to finish the day with a feeling of accomplishment.  This is for me.  And you.

My Church Brain

For some unknown reason, my best ideas happen either in the shower or in the church pew.  Maybe it’s because I’m a pastor’s kid.  By the time the pastor gets to his second point, you can be certain that my wheels are spinning.  This past week was no exception.  My husband is accustomed to receiving a jumbled, scribbled on bulletin with the expectation that he should decipher it and be prepared to discuss it.

“I am not left on this earth to make it better.  I’m not here to improve things in the church or other ministries.  The only One who ‘improves/revives/or betters’ things is God through His Son Jesus.  I am here to serve God and others.  Period.  That is the only ‘worth’ I can find in life.  I can encourage others, love them, and serve them.  But, I can do nothing to make anything better.  That’s God’s job.”

What’s The Point

This “revelation” may seem trivial, but to me it was the answer to over a year-long question.  You see, our family spent a year in full-time ministry at the same camp my brother was directing when he died.  I’ve shared my struggle with anxiety and depression, and obviously this situation complicated it.  That aside, my bigger struggle was due to the overwhelming feeling of failing God.

I spent months asking myself why I wasn’t able to make it work.  Why couldn’t I effectively communicate with the board, volunteers, and other staff in a way that would allow me to successfully do the things I was trained and raised in?  I knew how to work with kids.  I spent years in a non-profit setting for children.  Fundraisers, administrative work, business finances and budgeting, and grant writing were like second nature to me.  The board said they were grateful for my professional view on things.  But, in the end, I quit.

I didn’t quit because I’m a quitter.  My abilities were not lacking.  There was new leadership, and the short version is that we couldn’t work together at that time in that place.  I tried.  He tried.  But, it didn’t work.  And, that is okay.

Dear sister in Christ or brother in Christ, if you have left a ministry that you were passionately involved in and you feel like a failure, please listen.  I am halfway through my “read through the Bible in a year”, and I have found zero times where God looks at one of His own and says, “I expect you to make the world a better place.”  We have to stop lying to ourselves and each other.  We are not left here by God to achieve some mega monstrous ministry.

What I do find, again and again, is God using His leaders to love, encourage and serve others.  Paul could have created the first mega church (And please know I’m not knocking mega churches.  The size of a church is not important.), but he wandered from town to town preaching the gospel.  He was arrested, beaten, pleaded with his government (as a citizen), and was eventually killed.  Sure, he wrote a significant part of the New Testament.  But, in his day, he was just a wandering preacher.

Moses, oh Moses.  He thought God was going to use him “in his prime”.  He was young, educated and able to communicate with the Hebrews and the Egyptian rulers.  He sought justice.  He killed an Egyptian.  Then he tried to be a good leader by breaking up a fight between two Hebrews.  They looked at him and sarcastically asked if he planned to kill them also in order to show he was the boss.  He fled to the wilderness, became a family man, and tried to forget any thoughts of grand leadership.  Then, God said, “I’m ready to use you.”

The Truth

The truth is that God doesn’t need us.  He made it ALL.  He owns it ALL.  He wiped almost all of it away in the flood.  He doesn’t need us to fulfill his hairy audacious goals for this planet and the people on it.  He is glorified when we choose to love Him and others and serve.

Job is my favorite example of what God does to show His glory.  He strips Job of everything except his life and his wife.  Job lays in the dust and picks his ginormous zits while his wife tells him to, “Curse God and die.” (Job 2:9)  Then, his “friends” come for a counseling session.  They tell him all the things he should do to make his life better.  They also share the reasons they believe he’s in this mess.  Job lays there, picks his zits, and says, (paraphrase) “Are you kidding me? I haven’t done anything wrong to deserve this!  I don’t know why God is allowing this to happen to me.  I’m still gonna’ trust Him, but it would sure be nice if He’d tell me what’s up.”

Then God answers, and it gets me every time.  (paraphrase Job 38 – please read it, it’s awesome) “Are you questioning me?  Job, be a man.  I’m going to ask you something.  Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?” Job was defending his innocence and righteousness, and God says, “Who do you think you are?” Do we really believe that we know why God allows what He does in our lives?  He’s the creator of the universe.  And, He desires a relationship with you and me.

One of my favorite verses is Job 38:12, “Have you ever in your life commanded the morning, and caused the dawn to know its place?”  Job answers in chapter 42, verse 2, “I know that You can do all things, and that no purpose of Yours can be thwarted.”  Job humbles himself.  Then, he surrenders to God’s purpose for him, even if that purpose is decay and death.  In the end, God forces the counselors to give Job their property and He restores Job and gives him children.

But, I think it’s important to note that God doesn’t raise Job’s original children from the dead.  This may seem like a silly point, but I think it is valuable.  Part of Job was left broken.  He lived with a daily reminder of something painful that God allowed in his life.  Why did God do that?  Because Job trusted God, and God was glorified through it.  Satan had accused Job of trusting in God only because he was a rich and blessed man.  But, even after everything, Job believed that God had a righteous reason for allowing great pain into his life.  Am I willing to serve, love and encourage others to this degree of loss and pain if it means glorifying God?  I’m not here to make the world a better place.  I’m here to glorify God.

Most Days, I Fight Depression

Most days, I fight depression.  Today was a good day.  This morning I woke up, bathed my six-year-old, removed his peed on bedding, ate breakfast and began to blog.  Today I didn’t open my eyes with a feeling of defeat in my mind.  My heart didn’t ache.  My brain wasn’t scrambled.  For some people, this may sound crazy.  I’ll admit that five years ago it sounded nuts to me too.  Now, it is an everyday concern.

Anxiety and depression have changed how I do everything.  Activities that once took me little thought or physical exertion are now almost unbearable.  I could probably deal with that part of it.  My biggest hurdle is how I perceive other people’s thoughts and attitudes toward me.  I do not want to feel like an inconvenience.  As an adult, I want to be known as dependable, available, and honestly a version of wonder woman.

“Just get over it,” I scream at the top of my lungs inside my mind!  But, even when I eat real food, exercise, use natural products, pray, read my Bible, do everything “right”, I am still broken.  “I don’t want to be broken anymore,” I sob over the phone to the man who has walked this unwanted path with me.  But, I am broken.  My hormones, my brain, and my body are broken.  Will they ever be fixed?  I don’t know.  What I do know is that the things I am doing to promote health are working.  They don’t cure me.  They don’t fix what is broken.  But, they do help me.

Little Steps For A Better Day

The Vitex (chasteberry) that I found over three years ago helps me maintain a monthly cycle.  Frankly, my sex life with my husband of 15+ years is made possible by a normal cycle through Vitex.  That ONE thing is HUGE!  Every Post-Tubal Ligation Syndrome support group I am involved in has numerous posts from women begging for answers to the question, “Is there anything I can do to help my libido and regulate my cycle?”  I have something that works for me!  This means I don’t worry about an uncomfortable or unhealthy marital sex life.  That’s huge!

Again, I have not cured or fixed my illness or symptoms.  But, I have found answers that take my quality of life and exponentially raise it!  Maybe I can encourage you too.  If those two things are all I accomplish, my daily fight with depression will be worth it.  Most days, I fight depression.  Today, I won.

Grandma’s Homemade BBQ Sauce

homemade bbq sauce

My Grandma Lawrence was a wife, mother, cook, gardener, and a teacher.  As her oldest grandchild, I was privileged to listen and learn practical and valuable life lessons from her.  One of my favorite recipes from her kitchen is her homemade BBQ sauce!  Almost every Sunday, my Grandma Lawrence would make fried chicken. What is the perfect condiment for fried chicken? Barbecue sauce…obviously! Her simply homemade recipe is so mouth-watering that my husband and children would rather eat it than any store bought bbq sauce. It is easy and can be adapted (as is the case in our cleaner eating home) to many diets with simple ingredient switches.  The recipe is quick to prepare and requires only four ingredients!

You will need ketchup (I use Aldi organic ketchup), brown sugar (you could use another sweetener, but the molasses flavor of the brown sugar is important), liquid smoke (I prefer hickory flavored), garlic powder and onion powder (you can use minced garlic and minced onion.

Simply mix the five ingredients together and you have a delicious BBQ sauce!  Oh, wait, was that too easy?  Well, if you need it to be a little trickier, you could put the ingredients in a small pot on low heat on the stovetop for five minutes.  It thickens the sauce and allows the powder to really be incorporated into the mixture.  You can also do this in the microwave by cooking it for 30 seconds to 1 minute.  Again, I only add this for those who have a strong desire to remain in the kitchen longer.  Enjoy!  And, thank you Grandma Lawrence!

 

Grandma Lawrence’s Homemade BBQ Sauce

Ingredients

  • 1 cup ketchup (I use organic)
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp liquid smoke
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder

Takes ,
serves 4.

Instructions

  1. Mix ingredients in a bowl with a wire wisk or fork.

When It Comes To Food…I Simmer

If you compare how I fall in love to how you prepare meat, I am a crockpot roast that you prepare early in the morning and wait all day for.  I do not pop.  It is not love at first sight.  I simmer…for a long time.

So, it was only natural for me to take my sweet time educating myself, rethinking meal prep, and finally becoming the real food fanatic that I am today.  In the beginning  (it was February of 2014), I ate whatever I wanted.  I had tried many diets, shakes, changes in breakfast, exercise programs, gym memberships, and eventually decided to eat what I wanted to eat.

I was 32.  I had my fourth and final baby at the end of 2011.  My weight fluctuated but was staying around 160.  That number did not make me happy, but I could deal with it.  Then, it started.  Anxiety.  Depression.  Two months of menstrual bleeding with a day or two of “spotting”.  Something was not okay, but I had no idea where to look first.

The day after the birth of our last baby girl, I had a tubal ligation.  Now, before I share this and get nasty comments about what an uneducated fool I am for thinking that the tubal had anything to do with my list of symptoms.  I ask you to please do some research.  Google “post tubal ligation syndrome” and read the information.  Moving on.  From November 2nd, 2011 until February of 2014, I experienced huge changes in hormones, weight gain, etc.

For the first time in my life, I did not feel healthy.  After bleeding for two months, I sat in our minivan in the Sam’s Club parking lot and asked God to give me an answer.  I had been taking a Medical Terminology class as part of a Court Reporting Certificate.  A whole new world of medical science was suddenly and unexpectedly beginning to make sense.  There was a catch.  I didn’t agree with half the garbage (opinions) my teacher or the Ted Talks she assigned us were feeding me.  One of them, however, was valuable.  It was a young doctor who appeared to be very healthy but who was diagnosed with diabetes.  His discussion and many other factors led me down a path to eating real food.

Back to the Sam’s Club parking lot.  I Googled “how to avoid a hysterectomy”.  In the course of studying the human body, it became clear to me this was the prognosis.  I just refused!  No, I would not be 32 and going through a hysterectomy!  The next steps were: Cod Liver Oil (but it MUST be the Norwegian liquid kind), Vitex (chasteberry), and a diet of real food.