Friday, January 1, 2016

Broadcasting Your Life's Messages

I believe we are here to be messengers for God. We are megaphones, created to communicate.

The lives we are living are broadcasting messages to the world around us. Messages to our children, our friends, and everyone we come into contact with. Whether we speak or not, how we choose to experience life sends a message to all those around us about what is possible to experience in this realm.

If we talk about our ideals, but continue on in a state of frustration, closed off, overwhelmed, going from crisis to crisis, with a feeling of "nose to the grindstone"... then we will actually be broadcasting the message to our children that in this life there is no victory, there is no lasting peace, there is no real freedom.

If we continue in a state of sickness, lack of attention to self, unforgiving, just getting by, clutching on, squeezing through, forcing a way... then we will broadcast that God's power doesn't actually exist in this realm, that stewardship of self and others is only idealistic, and that improvement must give way to basic survival.

What we are believing internally will manifest externally. Another way to look at it... what we are actually experiencing in life is a good indicator of what is going on internally.

"Your outer world is an expression of your inner world." ~ Ester Vermillion

So. What are you believing? What is the message? What are you broadcasting? And is the message that everyone around you is feeling and hearing what you want your life to be about?

If not, find out why. As this year begins, take stock. Look deep. Find someone you trust to process with. Acknowledge what's really going on internally. Only then, when you own it, can you move forward and create something different.

Because the truth is... we were created to thrive.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

David and Goliath

You know that thing that feels impossible to overcome?

You're just looking at your Goliath.
And at times it terrifies you because he's mocked you, spit on you, eluded you, and defeated you and many others for 40 days... or perhaps 40 years.

Your Goliath is not actually that "thing" that terrifies you...that great "mountain" in the way. Your Goliath is just a reflection of you. That part of you that hasn't been mastered yet. You are also the David who will be doing the mastering.

How many times have you read the story? Five? Ten? Twenty times? Do you know how it ends? Are you certain? Go back and read it if you need to.

Now that you're certain of who does the mastering...

Imagine you are standing there as David, staring at a before-now undefeated Goliath. He's spitting contempt at you because he's won before. BUT you have now come with the certainty in your eyes of one who has seized a bear and a lion by it's hair and mastered it. Of one who knows the God Who empowers. And of one who is CERTAIN of the end of the story. Certain of the outcome--not necessarily sure of how it would all look. Remember... he took five stones. Unsure of how long, how many throws it would take. But he was CERTAIN of the mastering.

Now, look at your Goliath. He is part of you, ready for you to master him. Haven't you already mastered a lion and a bear in your life? Decide that your Goliath will surrender to defeat. And decide that your David will master. If you are still feel uncertain of the end of this story, then go write it down and read it every single day until you can recite it by memory, feel it's truth inside, and see your Goliath with David's eyes of CERTAINTY.

Then, when your David is ready, step onto the field and DO the mastering.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

The Shifting

My life has taken a big shift. I still care about the same things I always have. But the methods I use have changed so much. My perspective has softened so much. My willingness to allow MORE for myself and others has shifted some of the ways I help.

The way I speak with my children has shifted. The way I engage with the women and children at the domestic abuse shelter in Guatemala has deepened. The way I transverse life with my husband has become more honest and authentic. The number of deep breaths I take during the day has greatly increased... (Ha... "increased"? Did I ever stop and embrace a deep breath before?) The way I pray and the things I say have taken on a greater intensity and confidence. The ease with which I can move through challenges has increased and the resistance to them has decreased.

So, I guess you could say I've changed. Shifted. Grown. Expanded. (Thank God! I thought I was going to be stuck back there for ever.) ;)

I've been reading a lot. I've been listening, learning, and praying a lot. I've been letting go of a lot. And I've been using and sharing the oils a lot. The oils have helped shift me. And it's been a joy to watch them shift those around me. My friend, Jackie, wrote me the other evening and said,

"I know that sometimes, like we are called to pray, we are called to bring people to a healing place. It comes from the same part of our being and it's what we were put here to do. Helping others was always my calling. Funny... until now I never put my medical helping job with this new adventure...makes sense!"

Bring people to a healing place. That's what I've always been about. It's what I love about our missions trips, the marriage groups we've led, and the way we serve others. It's what Jackie has always been about, and what so many of the people I know in my life have been about. But until now, I would have to admit that my previous methods had a missing component to them. Well, thanks to the oils, my methods have just radically deepened. My ability to reach the crevasses in myself has expanded. And my ability to impact others has grown. Everything is back on the table again. Everything that couldn't be, now might be.

As Audrey said, "Nothing is impossible, the word itself says, 'I'm possible'!"

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Essential Oils and Croup: Using both oils and antibiotics

Moriah came home a little sick from VPK on Wednesday. Then woke up with croup at midnight. Suddenly. Scary barking cough, heavy wheezing, fever, crying, kind-of-croup. Not sure what to do, I pulled out my app on my phone. As suggested, Frankincense and Majoram (diluted with fractionated coconut oil) then went on the bottoms of her feet, then all over her chest and back.
Within 60 seconds she stopped coughing. 30 secs later she was calm. 30 more secs and her hoarse wheeze calmed to light wheeze. A minute later she was back asleep. I was IMPRESSED. That routine happened three more times throughout the night. I added Tension Relief blend to reduce the fever. I used The Immune Support blend in the diffuser all night. By morning the croup was gone.
I took her to urgent care clinic in the AM anyway... you know, just in case. He said she looked really good...just had a respiratory infection. Gave us a prescription for Albuterol and an antibiotic. We tried oils for three days (on the bottoms of her feet and over chest and back) to fully help her heal, but that tenacious respiratory infection settled in. No more hard wheezing though, so didn't use the Albuterol. We started the 3-day antibiotic, along with the oils.
Today the antibiotic is done. She is much better but now has a skin rash on her face from the antibiotics.  Back to oils...Lavender is easing the irritation. Respiratory oils still go on her feet and chest daily.
Can't tell you how grateful I was to see those oils help her breathe so quickly that first night! Whew... nearly cried myself. Interesting to note... her sisters, who sleep in the same room and who get the Immune Support blend on their feet every day, didn't get sick. ‪#‎thankful‬ ‪#‎doTERRA‬ ‪#‎Iliketoheal‬ ‪#‎sohappytohaveoils‬

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Hope... seriously. What's up with the oils?

Ok, so let me take the question mark out of it.

Here it is. I am now a Wellness Advocate with doTERRA Essential Oils. (Well, actually... I am also ALL sorts of awesome things, but let's not get carried away, shall we?)

All that means is that I paid $35 to have a wholesale account with doTERRA so that I could regularly order these crazy oils. (Order these phenomenal, internal grade oils and supplements for my family at big discounts, that is.)

Now that our family has experienced these oils for over a year, sharing about how seriously amazing they are just organically happened. Now I can't stop. It's like a geyser of relief bursting out. Sorry if you inadvertently find yourself in the splash zone... don't mean to give you unwanted showers... but I promise you'll smell good.

I tried to resist. Honest. For months. I mean... who WANTS to be "addicted" to something else?

But as soon as we started using them, my girls started healing. No more enormous alergy-reaction bug bites, no more respiratory infection,  colds just fizzled. And for me, there was something about these oils that just.... softened my "I-like-to-white-knuckle-my-way-through-life" approach. They healed and alleviated issues that we thought were just an unavoidable part of life. I held onto my "Everything-has-to-be-difficult" belief as long as I could... and my "It's-always-going-to-be-this-way" attitude for quite a while... but alas *deep sigh*... the oils finally got to me. My rigid patterns were losing their grip and I finally realized there was a lot more goodness available to me and my family.

And now. I. Can't. Stop.

I'd like to say that feeling better, happier, and more energized is terrible. But it's not. I'd like to say that I was better off before, but I wasn't. I'd like to say that I did just fine without them... (and I did...Oh, I rocked it!) Buuuuttt.... :). The truth is that they have shifted our home... they have shifted me. In a phenomenal, healing, grace-embracing, moving-forward kinda way.

So. I just decided to give up the "I-don't-need-it" perspective and embrace the healing and life He had in store for me. My husband did too. And then our girls were like, "Finally! Oils all the time! What took you so long!?" (Sheesh... leave it to the littles to naturally "get it".)

At first, hearing about the oils was all "blah blah, long-word, blah blah, etc."

But when I experienced them, then I finally GOT IT. They are actually the life-blood of the plant, the immune system in true botanical form...  INTERNAL grade supplements. NO side effects. doTERRA's oils are tested seven different ways to ensure they are beyond organic, verified pure, free of fillers, pesticides, and foreign contaminants. Like nothing else. With their Certified Pure Theraputic Grade, doTERRA set a amazing standard for purity and potency. Our bodies love them.

At this point, I wasn't even thinking about sharing or building a business... I just Wanted. These. OILS.

The membership was simple. $35 to join and have a wholesale account (along with free website) and then I could order phenomenal oils at a discounted rate, and even earn points to use for free oils. Right now we order ~ $150 a month (that's excellent essential oil supplements for the whole family, our pain relief, our protein shakes, and our oil "medicine" cabinet for regular life issues.)  And with that, I now get about 45 points back in my account with which I can then get $45 worth of free oils. As I continue to regularly order, the percentage of my points back gets higher. It's such a WIN-WIN for us.

Then people I knew started wanting some. And when they joined through my site, or ordered oils retail off my site, the company paid me a commission. Boom. There you go... the secret is out. I have been getting checks in the mail.

Mystery revealed. Why all the random social media posts about oils?... I really like doTERRA. I really like sharing about it. I AM building a business with them, and it's been a blast for me. This company and these oil feel good to me. I connect with their integrity and international mission as an humanitarian focused organization.

So, go ahead, contact me about them. I'll come teach a class. But beware. I've been known to overload people with a ton of research and information that will personally and specifically help them. Sorry. Just cuz I'm an info junkie doesn't mean everyone else is. I'm trying to keep it simple. ;)

Here's my site:
Here's my email: clark(dot)hope@gmail(dot)com

Explore. Learn. Ask tough questions. Take a risk (it's really not a risk). Come join the party. You'll LOVE it.

Blessings! :)

Friday, August 1, 2014

Personal Inventory: Things that make you go "Ugh"

It feels like my whole system hit reboot.

Since returning from leading our last missions trip 8 days ago, I have slept more in a week than I have since my adolescent years. I have experienced three different forms of sickness, one swollen and painful-ish, one violent and mid-night-runs-to-the-bathroom-ish, and one just plain ugly.

I have had to rely on superbly fabulous friends and family to help care for our girls, since a mom who must tend to herself can't always tend to others. (THANK GOD for each of you! Words cannot express how much I needed you this week!)

But most of all, it's forced me to take inventory. You know...take stock of what's going on physically with my body, what's going on emotionally in my heart, and what kind of thoughts am I having. Since it's all connected, I knew these illnesses weren't random or separate... they were a reflection of the state of being I had placed myself in.

I was exhausted. And I had not been caring for myself. My inside SELF. So, I began to.

The best thing I did this week was to write a Forgiveness List. On this list I put the name of every person I could remember ever having a negative feeling toward. Even the slightest negative interaction or thought that I could still remember having. Even if I still felt justified about that thought or interaction. (Their part in this was was my action, thought, or response that mattered.) God, myself, and my immediate family members were all on there multiple times. Some of the people I had apologized to face-to-face in the past... but for some reason, there was still a memory... still a (nose-scrunch) "ugh" feeling there in my belly.

It was a long list.

Then I took the first name on the list and pretended I, this spirit-person, was sitting face-to-face with this other person's spirit. And I spelled out the moment that I remembered. And I asked for forgiveness. Silence ensued. But deep in me, I finally heard a "yes." Then something occurred to me... I turned to myself and apologized for carrying the shame of that interaction for so many years.  And that's when I began to weep.

I had no idea I had been carrying shame! ...Shame over interactions or thoughts that I thought had "mostly" already been addressed, or had "only" been internal stuttering, or had been justified, or had just been swept under the rug years ago (because who asks forgiveness for EVERYthing??)? As I continued to move down the list, there was more crying, but the asking of forgiveness came easier and easier, and the release of shame from my gut became more and more tangible. Sometimes I didn't hear an answer, but at least I asked. It took me days to get through the list.

I had no idea that little bits of shame could build up in you over the years--until a packed-in pile of it finds a way to send a screaming alarm signal out of your body through illness, vomit, and ugliness.

Thank God He lives and reigns in us. Thank God He made us miraculous and powerful. And THANK GOD He placed within us the creative ability to change, heal, restore, and thrive. We just have to step into it... we just have to OWN IT.

(And P.S., I'm much better. Mending, moving slowly, breathing deeply, and smiling more.) :)

Monday, June 23, 2014

Piggy Banks in Your Belly

Selah: "Why doesn't everyone believe in Jesus?"

Me: "Well, some have never heard of Him. And some have been told that He's not real."

Selah, after pausing and thinking for a moment... "And they believe that?"

Me: "Well, deep down inside I think they know, but they've decided to say that He's not."

Selah thinks for a moment, then nods her head... "Yeah, I think so. Sometimes it's stuck in your belly...down in your piggy bank inside. And you just have to pull the know out of your piggy bank where all the memories live."

How is it that our six year old can verbalize something I've never been able to put into words? Maybe because she hasn't been out of that realm for very long... she's only been here on assignment for six years now.

So...I guess I needed to hear that. Maybe it's time for me to stop and remember where I came from... remember Who we originated from... Who now lives and creates miracles in and through us. Maybe we need to listen more to the "knowing" that is immersed in our very DNA. We have more power in our little fingers, more strength in our spirits, and more knowing deep in our "piggy banks" than we're willing to acknowledge. And by that unwillingness, we suppress Him. What if we lived remembering why we were sent here? How about if we all rose up a little taller, a little more confident in how fabulous we are (and He is in us) and how phenomenal our mission here is? Wow... :)