Friday, September 19, 2014

{Guest Post} How To Tangibly Support Friends in Times of Need

Happy Friday!!!  Today is my first full day in Hawaii so I'm probably sitting on the beach having a Mai Tai right now.  While I'm gone, some of my lovely blog friends are going to be posting here at A Deeper Joy and I'm so happy to have them.  We're starting off with my dear friend Cassie from Sage.  If you don't know her, GO CHECK HER OUT NOW!  Her faith blows my socks off.  I love her story about coming to know Jesus!  It's what first intrigued me when I starting reading her blog.  I know you'll love it too!

Hello lovely friends. I am so excited to be here with you all today while Kelli is off enjoying her MUCH deserved vacation! My name is Cassie and I blog over at Sage where I ramble about life as a newlywed, my faith, and lots of the in between! I have a passion for community and fitness. If you follow my Instagram you will also notice I am totally a crazy cat lady and I AM NOT ASHAMED. I hope you will stop by and say hello or connect with me on social media!

Cassie Sage the Blog

I mentioned that I have a love for community. Our church does what are called "missional communities" each week where we gather around a meal and live out the gospel together. Recently, a couple from our missional community (or MC) has been going through a really hard time. I immediately began to pray for them. However, do you ever feel like prayer isn't enough? Like you should also be moving in their lives instead of just expecting God to? I'm completely guilty of this. So, in praying for them, I began to ask God how I could tangibly support and encourage them during this trying time. While praying this prayer, I began to wonder how many other people also wonder how they might be able to support their friends in tangible ways during times of need. With that in mind, I have created a list of ten ways to provide tangible support.

1. Send a card, text, or e-mail. Sometimes people can have a hard time letting others help (I know I do). Sending something simple like a card, text, or e-mail to let the person know you are thinking of them and praying for them is a simple way to bring some light into their day. ASK them how you can tangibly help, send them an encouraging verse, a funny photo, or tell them how much you miss them! Sometimes they just need to be reminded that people care.

2. Send a care package. Often times self-care is low on the list of priorities when life gets crazy. Send a care package with a thoughtful note, new nail polish, or a good book you read recently. You can also nominate you friend for Happy Heart Box, a great service created to simply remind those in need how much they are loved, valued, and cared for by the Lord.

3. Treat them to a pedicure. I mean, you ladies know how quickly a pedicure can make you feel refreshed and confident. Doesn't everyone just deserve to feel like this every once and a while?

4. Bring them a meal. My church uses a website called Take Them A Meal to create food rotations for new mothers, people struggling with their health, or just because we want to show them we love them. It can be a great way to help as everyone needs to eat and often times during hard times, cooking and eating can be the last thing on someone's mind.

5. Grocery shop for them. Similar to above, having food in the house can be someone's last priority when they are really struggling. Simply running to the grocery store for them, or picking up a few things while shopping for yourself can be an immense help.

6. Give them a hug. Sometimes there are no right words to say in a situation and sometimes all anyone really needs is a hug anyways.

7. Take them out for coffee or drinks. Get them OUT of the house. Distraction can be one of the best things for someone that is really struggling. Offer to talk to them about what is going on or simply just listen. Make sure to let them know that if they don't want to talk about it that is perfectly OK too.

8. Offer to watch their children. Trying times can be exhausting and I can imagine even more so when you have little people that depend on you. Give your friend a break and offer to take the kids for a day or stay after they are put down for bed so that they do not have to worry about it. Give them some time to take care of themselves.

9. Pray with them. There's something about others praying over you that can bring light to even the darkest of days. Be intentional about making time to pray with them.

10.  Be consistent. Don't just drop a care package and assume it made all of their problems away. Continue being intentional about checking up on them and asking if you can do anything else for them.

Would you add anything to this list? I'd love for you to leave suggestions in the comments.

A huge thank you to Kelli for having me today. I hope this encourages you to go seek out your friends that might really need you and provide some tangible support!

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Thursday, September 18, 2014

I'm headed to Hawaii!

Aloha From Hawaii Girl Graphic

Hey friends!  I'm heading to Hawaii today for a nice, relaxing vacation so I'll be away from the blog for a little bit.  I have some very lovely ladies that will be guest posting through next week so make sure you come back to read their posts!

Aloha, my friends!!
Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Essential oils that help with stress, cancer, etc...

Happy Hump Day, friends!

So a while back, I shared my 5 favorite essential oils with you that come in the Premium Starter Kit with Young Living.  They were lavender, lemon, peppermint, Pan Away and Peace & Calming.

Today I want to share about the other 5 oils that come in the starter kit as well as the bonus oil...StressAway!

If you don't know much about essential oils and want to catch up a bit, read my posts about WHAT THEY ARE and HOW TO GET THEM.


Frankincense is considered one of the most valuable essential oils.  Remember when Jesus received it as a gift from the wise men??  It was considered more valuable than gold.  It is the "holy anointing oil in the Middle East".

These are reason that people use Frankincense essential oil:

* It's a valuable ingredient in skin care products for aging and dry skin.  People say that it helps get rid of wrinkles and evens out discoloration in your face (sun spots, acne, age spots).

* Can help overcoming stress and despair.

* Can strengthen gums and teeth when added to toothpaste.

* Helps get rid of inflammation.

* Can help with depression.

* Used for getting rid of warts and cysts

* Helps blisters to go away

* There have been cases where Frankincense helped treat cancer.  I've heard some awesome stories about this!


Valor is also one of my favorite oils!  It's a blend made with spruce, rosewood, blue tansy and frankincense.  It got it's name because men going into battle would use this oil to give them courage and empowerment.  I love the way this one smells!

Uses for Valor:

* TMJ/Jaw Clenching - this is my favorite use for it!  I clench my teeth at night which gives me headaches but when I use Valor on my jawline, it stays loose and I don't clench!

* Helps reduce snoring

* Helps tremendously with pain - I mostly hear about it used for back pain.  Mixed with Pan Away, it's the perfect concoction!  I know people who use it for Rheumatoid Arthritis, Fibromyalgia, etc.  My stepdad's horse fell on his leg so it was bruised and in pain.  He rubbed some Valor and Pan Away on it and the pain and inflammation went away.

* Helps calm down hyperactive children.

* Is known to give you confidence and courage

* Helps with bone/joint related pain.


Purification smells very fresh and clean!  Ways that I've used Purification:

* Put a few drops in a smelly dishwasher

* Diffuse to make the air smell clean - take away any bad odors in the air.

* Deters bugs/flies/mosquitos and also takes the itch away if you do get bit

* Diffuse with Thieves during flu season or when someone is the house is sick - purifies the air!

* Freshens up laundry when used in the washing machine

* Helps smelly shoes to not be so smelly!


Ok, another favorite!!!  Thieves is probably one of the most useful, amazing oils!  It smells like Christmas because of the cinnamon and clove in it.  It's a blend of clove, lemon, cinnamon, eucalyptus radiata and rosemary.


* Boosting your immune system!

* Use to fight an oncoming infection - this has SO worked for me!  When I feel like I'm getting a sinus infection, I put some Thieves on my feet or ingest it and I feel better.  It nips the infection in the bud.

* Antiviral AND antibacterial!

* Press a drop on the roof of your mouth to take away a headache.

* Use a drop with your toothpaste to keep gums healthy.  I've know people with gum disease that use Thieves and the pain goes away and it heals!

* Numbs a sore throat and helps it to heal.

* Use as an antibacterial hand cleaner.

* Eliminates mold spores

* Use on kids to prevent them getting sicknesses from school!


Joy is an exotic blend that has uplifting overtones (bergamot, ylang ylang, geranium, lemon, coriander, tangerine, jasmine, roman chamomile, palmarosa, rose).  It smells pretty flowery so some people like to use it as a perfume!

Other uses:

* Diffuse to uplift everyone's spirits and create joyful mood.

* Use as a perfume behind your ears or on the wrists.

* Helps overcome depression and grief.



I absolutely love the smell of Stress Away!  It's a blend of copaiba, lime, cedarwood, vanilla, ocotea and lavender.  It really does take stress away for me! I don't know if it's because I just love the smell or what but it works!

It can also be used to help itching bug bites stop itching.  I've seen it work immediately!

If you decide to purchase the Premium Starter Kit from Young Living, you'll get all 6 of these oils plus the 5 that I mentioned in THIS post.  To learn how to do that, read THIS post or just email me at

I just love teaching others about oils because I love using them!  Never be afraid to ask me any questions about them.

Have a fabulous rest of your week!
Friday, September 12, 2014

Oh Hey Friday!

Hey friends!  Thank you for still loving me through this craziness! I know I have not been a great blogger and I apologize.  I haven't been able to keep up with all of my blog reading so I haven't been commenting on all of your blogs.  Please forgive me.  I live with a friend right now, at work we're meeting a September 15 deadline and I'm applying for jobs in San Antonio.  Life will still be crazy for the next few months as we're in transition but eventually it'll slow down.  You friends mean so much to me so thank you for being patient!


I have a confession.  I had never had a macaroon before last weekend!  I know...crazy!  Nina probably can't believe it with all of her macaroon/outfit matching.  Well I went to a local market with my friend last weekend and there was a local bakery there called Bisous Bisous Patisserie that was selling French macaroons.  I got a mix of flavors - caramel apple, salted caramel and chocolate.  OH MY GOODNESS they were amazing!  I had some with a glass of wine that night!


So we moved out of our house last weekend and are now officially without a place to call home.  My sweet friend is letting me stay with her and the hubs is spending time with his grandpa.  I miss him a ton!  I will's been kind of fun to be girly, manicures, late night talks, etc.

We had to take some "last photos" of the house that we'll always remember as our first home as a married couple!  It was sad though we're excited about the future!

And HOW did we fill this thing up even after giving away and selling a bunch of stuff!  We are motivated to get rid of even more now!!


Last Friday, I got to hang out with my friends that I introduced that later got married and have a sweet little girl now.  We got burgers from my favorite burger place in town - Twisted Root Burger Co.  AMAZING!  They have adult milkshakes so I had to try one!  It was butterscotch schnapps with vanilla ice cream - I don't think I can explain how amazing it was!


So apparently I win things in twos!!!  A couple weeks ago, I won Lily's Blogiversary Giveaway!  It was a ton of makeup/facial products in a cute Clique makeup bag.  I was so excited to win!

I think Lily has convinced me to like red lipstick after trying that Revlon Colorburst Lip Butter in Berry Smoothie.  Can you believe it?!  I'm so not a red lipstick person and I love this!  I talked about it in my August Favorites.  

Something else I talked about in my August Faves was the NYX Butter Gloss in Creme Brulee.  LOVE!

I've also tried the Sation Nail Lacquer and Simple Cleansing Wipes and like both of them! I have the pink nail polish on my toes now.  I can't wait to try the other stuff.

THEN, I won Jaelan's eShakti giveaway!  Woo hoo!  Lucky streak! I haven't ordered anything yet with my credit but need to get on it!  I really need some better work clothes.  New job soon!!!  Here is the eShakti dress that I reviewed on Monday...


While the hubby was away this week, I got some awesome girl time!  It was pretty fun!

I went to a farmer's market, Whole Foods and Sam's with Sonja...

Y'all, I am going to miss her so much when I move!  We met in our newly wed small group and we've gotten close fast!

I did manicures with my friend, Laura, and her sweet friend...

Thank you everyone for helping me pick my color on Instagram!  I'm going to miss Laura!

And I also went to a friend's house for dinner this week but I forgot to take photos.  She made us biscuits and gravy....breakfast for dinner!  Yum!!!  I'm going to miss her and her husband a ton too!

This hanging out with friends thing is making the move harder!

I hope you have a fabulous weekend!!!

Linking up with The Farmers Wife and September Farm today!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Euro Trip: Germany

It has been AGES since I did a travel post!  I have so many trips that I still want to share with you.  Today I'll continue with the study abroad trip that I took in college to Europe.  You can catch up on my Euro Trip posts here:

Next up....Germany!  Summer 2004.  On our way to Munich, we stopped at the Neuschwanstein Castle.  Two fun facts about this castle:

1 // Walt Disney based Cinderella's Castle on the Neuschwanstein Castle.

2 // Tiffany at A Touch of Grace got engaged there!

Then we headed to Munich for some sight-seeing...

German beer at the Hofbrau Haus...

We might have had too much fun at the laundromat...

This was really tough for me...I couldn't make it through the whole thing.

And because it was a study abroad trip, we did a tour at the largest BMW manufacturing facility in the world and had to write a paper about it.

Thanks for joining me on that little walk down memory lane!

Monday, September 8, 2014

Fun in my new blue dress!

*eShakti sent me this dress for free to review but the opinions are honest and my own!*

I was thrilled when eShakti contacted me about reviewing a piece of their clothing!  I first heard about eShakti on Jaelan's blog and I won her giveaway....more to come on that.  Ironically, they contacted me about a review and I was happy to do it.  I was excited to test it out before I spent my giveaway $ on some clothing.  I still can't make up my mind on what to get because so many dresses look cute!

My favorite part about eShakti is that they allow you to customize your piece of clothing.  I have been wanting some cute dresses that I can wear to work AND for fun on the weekend.  I chose a fun, blue dress...

Dress: eShakti / Necklace: Kendra Scott / Wedges: Target (on sale)

First off, I am NOT a model and I feel super awkward posing for photos by myself! Haha!

Isn't that dress cute though?!  

How eShakti works:

1 // Pick a dress

2 // Pick a size based on your measurements

3 // Select your height

4 // Select sleeve type, dress length and neckline

5 // Pockets or not pockets

Things I love about my eShakti experience:

I love that you get to customize your dress!  I love sleeveless dresses in the summer, the wide deep scoop neckline, above the knee length (totally work appropriate) and the waist line.  The cotton material is very nice as well.

I also love the pockets!!!  Perfect for carrying my lip gloss!

Things I would change about my eShakti experience:

Because I am so small up top, the chest is quite roomy for me.  If I had more "up there" I suppose I'd fill it in.  Next time, I would order a size down since the bottom of the dress is loose.  Seriously y'all, I'm like a 4 up top and a 8 or 10 on bottom.  I've got junk in the trunk! 

I may try to get it altered down on the top.

Check out eShakti if you're looking for some cute custom clothing.  It's affordable!  Thank you, eShakti for the dress!  I'm still loving it!!!
Friday, September 5, 2014

Big Changes in Life!!

Happy Friday, friends!!!  Today is not my typical Friday post and it has fewer pictures.  Please just stick with me!  I'm sharing my heart and my life with you today.

There has been SO MUCH going on in my life right now that I haven't been able to fully talk about but now I can!  Today I want to share with you about what God has been doing in mine and my hubby's lives.

Where do I start?

I guess I should start with priorities.  Kevin and I have been evaluating our priorities before we were even married.  We both agree that God is first - His calling is what matters most.  We also agree the family is up there right after God.  Our little two person family is the bomb and we're excited to add to it someday!  In fact, we would like to in the near future, but want to be closer to my family when we do that.  Here are some of our requirements for raising children:

1 // Be surrounded by family - grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc.  We want our children to have great relationships with their families and it's possible to do from far away but difficult.  We'd much prefer to be closer!

2 // Have some land for our children to play and roam freely.  I grew up with this.  My siblings and I made forts in the woods, threw rocks and sticks, hiked with my dad, went camping, and pretty much had to keep ourselves busy instead of watching TV.  I want my children to have this as well.

3 //  Live in a laid back culture.  Specifically, we love the Texas Hill Country.

4 // Live in an area with great schools so that we have that option if we choose to not homeschool our kids.

I understand that we don't always get what we want or have that opportunity but we've been praying about what that means for us.

We have felt the Lord nudging us to consider moving away from the Dallas/Fort Worth area.  We always thought we'd end up in the Texas Hill Country where my family is but thought it would be many years from now.

don't hate me, Dallas friends ;-)

A few serious events have made us consider doing it sooner: our home selling super fast, my hubby wanting to leave his job and us wanting to start trying for children.  We were so surprised that our house sold so quickly!  We thought, "oh, we'll have plenty of time to think about what's next" but oh no no, 2 days on the market and we were in contract!  We also hated leaving our brother-in-law and sister-in-law here but now they are moving!  Perfect timing!

After lots of prayer and time with the Lord, we feel a peace about moving down to the Texas Hill Country - specifically the San Antonio area.  We need a slower pace of life and love the feel down there.  We want to be outside of the city.

Can I just tell you something???  We can stress and stress and stress about our lives but it does us absolutely NO good.  God has reminded me not to stress and I'll admit, it's been really difficult.  We just sold our house after selling my condo one year before.  I had just gotten settled in the house AND marriage!  We're only 10 months in, folks! :)

On Monday evening, I spent some time in the Word while doing my No Other Gods study that I'm doing remotely with Kendra and Kayla.  I read Numbers 13 about the Israelites still wandering in the desert, hoping to eventually make it to the Promised Land - the Middle Eastern Hill Country, Scripture says.  Moses sends some of the leaders ahead to check out this Promised Land to get the scoop.  They definitely find a land flowing with milk and honey - full of abundance - but it's occupied by "giants" and a large number of people.  They come back afraid and discouraged.  The Israelites start complaining and groaning and saying they wish they were back in Egypt where they were slaves.  Really?!

The Lord PROMISED them this land, yet they let fear get in the way.  They were choosing slavery over God's promises.  I am SO guilty of this!  In this whole process of moving to San Antonio, I've let fear drive me.  I'm afraid to leave my friends here, I'm afraid of leaving our church, our small group, my great job, our little neighborhood.  I see milk and honey ahead yet I fear what it takes to get there.

It was in this moment that God told me to stop worrying and to be at peace about moving to San Antonio.  HE would provide, HE would get us jobs, HE would give us friends.

So after 9 years of living in the DFW area and Kevin being here all of his life, we're stepping out on faith and moving 5 hours south!  I'll be continuing work in Dallas until October 3 (with a little vacation in the middle) and Kevin will be spending time with his awesome grandpa up in Oklahoma.  It'll be tough to be away from him but it makes the most sense right now. Kevin quit his job this week and feels such a relief!  I'm excited for him!

We have financially prepared for this and are 100% debt free now that the house is sold!  Woo hoo!!!  We have AMAZING friends that are letting us live with them in this time of transition.

We're sad to leave the DFW area as we have so many amazing friends up here and the most amazing church ever.  Gosh I hope there's a church like IBC down in San Antonio!  Shoot...Kevin and I met at life would be very different without it.

I ask for your prayers in finding jobs down there - we're already searching though we won't be down there until mid-October.  Once we do that, we'll find a place to live.

This is one of the biggest changes in my life besides becoming a Christian and getting married.  I'm anxious but so excited about what God is planning!  Thank you for your prayers and encouraging words!!!

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