Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Blessedly Busy

It has been far too long since I've been here.  Far too long.
I'll try not to write too long though.  Over the several weeks many things have happened.  I have faced the loss of my first grandparent and walked the sad journey with my amazing family.  The patriarch of our leg of the Hemmer heritage left behind a wife of 67 years, 10 children (and out-laws), 25 grandchildren (and out-laws) and 43 great-grand-children.  There is nothing like a legacy that reaches through the years and across the miles of a long life.  Was he perfect, nope but he was a man that loved, served and cared for all those around him.  He is deeply missed because he touched many people.  I am blessed that all of my children have known him.  Not only the five that walk the earth with me but also the three in heaven that he now gets to laugh with and love on for me.
In the weeks that followed I watched as a family also laid to rest the matriarch of their large family.  The hardest thing is that the week after her passing her son abruptly left this world for his greater heaven and left behind a large gap in this world.  His wife, his children, his siblings, nephews, nieces and friends still stand in shock at the gaping hole he leaves here.
The day after my grandfather passed we were gathered with my grandmother in their home, reminiscing about times past and love shared.  My aunt told a story of my Nana, grandpa's mom that deeply touched me.  When my aunt was little she asked Nana a question of why something happened.  Nana's response was that one day all would make sense.  Quite basically put, Nana told her, 'You'll understand when you die and until then it is as it is.'  In that moment I was struck by the wisdom of such a simple statement.  It's so true, it will all make sense eventually, it will.  A week later, the Sunday of the visitation for the young father that was so abruptly gone the message at church was to vent your anger to the Lord in the tough times but to remember not to be angry with Him.  In this world where things are broken and life doesn't make sense we can be angry, sad and upset.  Cast those things in prayer to Him and ask Him to guide you through.  For no matter what Satan sends your way, Your Father is ALWAYS there to walk with you, even carry you.
It has been a month of thoughts and soul searching - time focusing on devotion.  While there has been much sadness I have found many things to rejoice about.  Daily I am hearing from friends and family that are finding blessings in using Young Living essential oils.  From a friend that has lived with endometriosis for several years, walked through the loss of two babies and is now expecting a baby - completely, shockingly, blessedly expecting.  A friend worried about her sweet little boy and essential oils have calmed the chaos within him, bringing out the blessing of a happy, healthy boy.  Having health in our home that stands in the face of anything sent our way is an amazing blessings in thanks to YLEO and our awesome chiropractor Dr Carl.  YLEO bless many every day in many ways.  The blessings are as simple as helping with snoring, bedwetting and healing burns but these are stories in every day life that are real and true.  There is nothing more powerful that harnessing your own health and having it work WITH you for life than to constantly feel like you're battling something.  I spent many years in that battle, watch people do that battle every day and love learning more about turning it from a battle to a blessed experience.
In the basic of my soul I am a servant.  I LOVE serving and helping others.  Let me feed 50 people, clean up someone's home.  Let me take care of you, put a smile on your face and show you that you are loved.  I do get worn down taking care of things at home and picking up the same socks every morning but in all reality, it is what I was born to do.
Serve others.
This journey I am on is taking me directly down that road.  I am on a very different path in life, one where I am looking for real health, true connections and God centered living.  This is where I'm going and I am loving (almost - let's be honest) every minute of it.  A good life isn't about an easy life, a good life is a blessed life.  Feeling the triumph in the trials, enjoying the rainbow for the rain, and the beauty in the light after the darkness.

Walking into a life devoted to His glory...ever so blessed by His great plans.
#faithfullyessential

Deo Volente
Nicki

Monday, February 10, 2014

Devotion - February

I am not at all very good with posting in a regular manner. Five kids, hubs, too many part-time jobs, seven animals plus all the other stuff I'm helping with at various times, geesh when I put it like that NO WONDER!!
I am enjoying figuring out what this "devotion" thing means to me. I am enjoying seeing where God is going to lead me as I am developing my ability to focus on Him. I am blessed to have His grace and gifts showered around me everywhere I turn.
I am working on being more diligent in my Bible study and devotions times. That's hard only because I don't set it as the priority that I should. I am working on the interactions within my family. I'm really trying to change the patterns that were taught me growing up. They are not healthy, I have known this, I have known this needs changed, I am working on making those changes.
Let me continue to work on this phase of devotion in my life and see it through to success. Let me continue to grow in my life, love and devotion to my Father and my family. Let me continue to search for wisdom and appreciate the grace He has blessed me with. Let me continue to find ways to teach my children the good and important things in this world.

Blessings!
DV-NMV

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Faithfully Essential

Over the last few weeks I've been focusing on devotion in my life.  I have been fasting (only water for beverages, nothing else) and praying (attempting to be diligent in that) for what 2014 holds for me.


Faithfully Essential
Trusting that God is true and constant in providing the very basic, important and necessary needs for my family.

faith·ful - adjective \ˈfāth-fəl\

: having or showing true and constant support or loyalty
: deserving trust : keeping your promises or doing what you are supposed to do

es·sen·tial - adjective \i-ˈsen(t)-shəl\

: extremely important and necessary
: very basic

This is what I have finally put together.  My life in the last few years has been about finding ways to care for my family in natural, healthy ways.  We try to eat real food and truly limit the amount of processed food we consume.  My cleaning, laundry, personal care products are specifically chosen because I know they're toxin free.  When my husband's gingivitis can be managed simply because of the mouthwash I buy, I will continue buying it.  Healing psoriasis that was leaving scabby patches on my daughter's scalp, making her lose hair simply by making sure I buy safe shampoo.
I began the journey looking for options.  'Lord, what do I do?' is exactly what I said.  WHAM!  Melaleuca, in my lap.  Needing help with perimenopause at 30 and seriously all I had to do was remember to take my vitamins.  My doc wanted me on hormone replacement therapy.  Anyone that has dealt with medical issues KNOWS that the list of side effects for medicine far outweighs (I believe) the benefits of the medication.
I came across an article a few weeks ago.  I don't remember where it is now but here's the basic gist.  When you are faced with a health obstacle never rely on your doctor to understand everything about the situation.  Your doctor sees dozens of patients a day, hears about hundreds of health issues in a week and spends 20 minutes a month (every six months, a year) with you to determine a course of action.  Do you honestly think your doc knows enough about your environment, the health issue and how the two react for your case to treat it perfectly?  Please, leave the delusions at the door.  Whatever the health issue, you, the patient should know more about it and how it is affecting you than the doctor.  Go in to him with research, questions, options, options, options and be your best advocate.
Two cases.
Me - hormone imbalance.  I (seriously, truthfully here) researched it for about four years before a doctor would finally believe me and submit for the testing and evaluations I requested.  The doctors response when my results came in?  "In looking over these results I noticed that many of the things you talk about fall under symptoms.  It appears you have been dealing with this for a while then, haven't you."  Then the next step was "here's a prescription" for unnatural, further harmful medication.
My neighbor - prostate health issues.  Approximately six years ago my neighbor started taking prostate medication for the 'typical male, aging health' issues that arise.  Thanksgiving-Christmas 2012 was spent in Russia working on farm equipment.  He came home and just had some general health struggles.  Always tired, chest crud that would not go away and spent three months trying to recover from being in a country where nutritionally and physically he was just worn out.  After watching him struggle and hearing about him being in and out of the hospital I gave him a bottle of vitamins to "try" to see if they would help him rebuild his health.  Slowly he began to regain some of what he lost.  Come to this fall and he begins to question me about the shortness of breath, fluid retention (edema), general tiredness and other things he's dealing with.  Doc sent him to cardiologist, tests, talk of more meds but there's no definitive reason behind any of these issues as he really seems healthy as a horse.  So I start researching this prescription he's on for his prostate.  List of side effects??? Take a guess!  All the things he is dealing with - seriously - dead on the nose.  After six years the meds were catching up with him.  How the prostate meds work is to relax muscles - not only will it relax the appropriate muscles but it cannot discriminate and will diminish the lung muscle capacity.  So, we started researching herbal and natural options.  To my glee I easily found a supplement for him to try.  Within two weeks he was seeing improvements in his health!

So, long story, short point.
Whatever you're facing ask God to guide you.  Maybe He has guided you here so that you can ask me questions.  Maybe you're here so that you can begin researching on your own what you're dealing with and what the options are.  Maybe you're here so that you can have peace in knowing that what you're doing is the right thing.
I asked God for a healthy way to care for my family.  He sent me Melaleuca.
I asked God to further show me essential oils and how they can bless my family.  He sent me Young Living.

Faithfully Essential
Trusting that God is true and constant in providing the very basic, important and necessary needs for my family.
 
Deo Volente my friends.
Nicki

Peppermint and Thieves...How I Love Thee


Monday night, 8pm my 13yo comes to me and says the 10yo "says he feels funny" and I don't think much of it approximately five minutes later the 10yo makes a hasty dash to the bathroom. Ruh-roh!!

Once he is done with round one I roll both thieves and peppermint across his chest and around his belly. I repeat the application of oils 5-10 minutes later just before he jumps in a warm bath.  Post bath I repeat the oils application. (He did end up sick again but just once or twice more.) Around 10:00 he got oiled again and tucked in to the bathroom floor nest. By 10:30 he was passed out.

In the meantime I also applied thieves to all four other kiddos wrists - preventative measures. Around 4:00am the 10yo woke up and moved himself to the couch from the bathroom floor nest. He said he felt much better already. At 7am when all the other kids are getting ready for school he is pretty much back to normal but got the lucky golden ticket to stay home to be safe.

By noon he was fine, eating anything (and everything) including pizza the neighbor brought over for lunch.

Considering no one else caught that tummy bug and that he bounced back in less than 12 hours is something amazing. Especially this year when the viruses have been fierce and miserable.

This is why I believe in Young Living Essential Oils. They amaze me - every single time. I will never regret replacing the junk in my medicine cabinet with these small jars of blessings.


Deo Volente

Nicki



Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Devotion - January

In the three weeks since I've stepped into the "one word" world I'm finding myself becoming more aware of life in general.  It's truly the oddest thing, I think. I chose "devotion" because I knew I need to work on that in many areas of life.  Apparently it was a good choice. In my quest to show more devotion in the things I do, the relationships I have and to my Father I am exploring a world of awareness.
I am off on my own for the next four days, no kids, no husband, no animals, no chores. Me, myself and I. This is a very weird place to be. Sure during the day I will be at post office training for the rural carrier position I now hold but from 4pm to 7am the Tuesday through Thursday nights I am ON MY OWN.
I have spent the last couple hours pondering things. Again, I chose the word devotion but it truly is leading me into awareness. I also stepped into a journey with my LemonDrop Lounge family to do some prayer and fasting. Let me be bluntly honest here, I SUCK at the prayer side of things. Miserably, sadly I will admit it. I have been hit or miss to get my devotion done every morning. Mostly miss on having devoted prayer time throughout my day. Though I have hit this "fast" on the head. I struggled with what to go with and ended up fasting from all beverages beyond water. This is a stretch for me as I LOVE my milk with meals, tea is a great thing to have a cup of some day. When I eat out is generally my only opportunity to treat myself to a soda or some other sweet beverage. I'm eating out for the next three days...and I'm quite okay with not missing out on anything.
While I may be horrible at having devoted prayer times I am pretty great about having a running conversation with God through the day.  It's what works for me.  I am working on adding the prayer time/meditation time to my day and what I am getting done I am really enjoying.
God is set to do great things for any of us if we simply set forth trusting in Him.  Scary honest here, I was so filled with trepidation about getting this post office job.  In my gut it did not feel right.  I was nervous, anxious, seriously questioned if I was doing the right thing.  Early in the process I did turn it over to my Father and told Him that "if it is meant to be then carry me on through the tests, training and work days."  To His credit He has done exactly that.  My husband is home alone with five kids, managing before school, after school, homework, lunch packing and bedtime for the first time ever.  I am here focusing on me.
Exactly what I needed.  I also heard the absolute best news this week that truly shines His amazing love in my life as well.  He is providing for me and my family in amazing ways.  He is stretching me in ways that I never dreamt possible.
Through the scary moments, the beautiful moments, the lonely moments, the joyful moments, through ALL THE MOMENTS this life is sending me, I will show Him my devotion because in all His amazing and grace giving ways, He deserves nothing less.
I'll be back tomorrow - because I can!  It's so GREAT!!

Blessings
DV-NMV

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Prayer and Fasting

It is a season where many are spending 21 days in deep connection with God doing prayer and fasting.  This is something I have never done.  To be bluntly honest I have friends that do this and I have always wondered "How?" while watching them from the sidelines.

I have put much thought into it in the last 24 hours and still don't quite know what I'm doing to do.  I know I am going to devote myself to some serious prayer during this time.  The fasting part is what I have not managed to figure out.

Have you done a time of prayer and fasting?  How did you do it?  What was it like the first time?

This is such a new world for me but I'm definitely feeling called to participate in some way.

Pray for me?  Let me know if you have prayer requests, I would consider myself blessed to serve you in any way that I can.

DV-NMV

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

One Word - 2014

NickiVeenstra
I've been missing this space. Spending my days running ragged, juggling too many things, trying to remember what I'm forgetting. I've really been missing this space, this sanctuary that is here.
Last week, Christmas night a dear friend messaged me to inform me that their baby had passed. Due in May it was to be the first born to this woman and her husband. Christmas 2012 was heartbreaking due to a miscarriage and so many of us were anxiously waiting May and this babe's arrival. Older siblings were excited, extended family and friends were excited, a babe to spoil and love. Christmas 2013 was overshadowed by laying this sweet boy to rest on the 26th. We'll see you someday, baby boy, some wonderful day.
In reflecting over this loss, the chaos of the last few months and knowing that tomorrow can be equally full of surprises I'm wondering what to do with myself. I feel lost, my heart is heavy, my brain is muddled, something needs attention here.
I was reminded that people pick one word to strive for growth in the new year. I am not a resolution maker, never have been. I am a striver, I like to have something to strive, reach and dream for. I am generally pretty sucky at follow through though, so here's where being here comes in. I'm doing this post today to set myself to task. I'd love to say "I'll blog once a week!" when reality is I"ll be blessed to pull one off a month.

So, here's my word - Devotion.

I struggled over what word to choose. Devotion, focus, patience, love, peace, faith...the list of where I can improve is always quite long. In the end I kept coming back to devotion.
Devotion - love, loyalty or enthusiasm for a person, activity or cause
This I do somewhat well anyway. Baby loss, completely devoted to those facing those painful aches. Natural living, totally wrapped up in finding ways to better care for my family. Wifely-ing, been at it for nearly 14 years (yikes) and do a half-decent job, most days. Mommy-ing, manage these five like a momma bear, just don't get me growly and I've been growly more often than not lately.
So I think it's time for some devotion work in my life. Devoting my heart to my Father and letting Him guide me. Like a rushing stream I get all wound up and messy where I need to just follow the path that He has already designed for me. Getting all murky and sullied when the storms arise, losing my footing and sliding down the slippery slope of life. I love to be there for people, love to serve the ones I love but I need to better ground myself and focus this enthusiasm for life.

I look forward to seeing what 2014 holds. In devotion I step into a new year, a new day and anticipate what God will share with me. I look forward to coming back every couple weeks or so and capturing my progress. Devotion, exactly what this frazzled heart needs.

God Bless!!
Deo Volente
Nicki