Faith Being Tested…Does This Happen?

Well hell yeah it happens!! And it seems the more you get into your faith walk the harder the tests become!  The more I pray the further into debt we go, through no fault of our own, it just seems to get worse and worse and worse.  We have bills come out our butts for crap we don’t even know we have, the power bill is astronomical and I have been very diligent turning everything off, not using heating even when its freezing, not leaving lights on, just all the things and the power bill is the highest it’s ever been!  What on earth is going on? My hubby and I are fighting like crazy, if I had somewhere else to go I would have gone it’s as simple as that!  I prayed this morning and told God THAT IS IT, I am DONE, I cannot do these tests any longer, I am NOT as strong as He thinks I am, until I see some form of hope THAT’S IT!  Lets see how THAT goes!

Look, I do not mean to turn anyone off here, I am just being bloody honest. I want this blog to be truthful not scripted, I want people to understand that when they give their lives to Jesus the crap has just begun.  These times that we go through are bloody tough, and they are tough for a damn good reason, THE REWARD IS SO GREAT!  Scripture says the gate to righteousness and heaven is small and few find it, well I am not surprised!  Today is an almighty bloody test and they are getting more profuse. Every time I turn around is another test and another lesson in obedience, well today I failed!  Luckily I get to start over again tomorrow, I get to repent and ask God for forgiveness to give me yet another chance to start again. Man, this is a tough life, Jesus be near!

It’s A Thrifty Life

One of my favorite things to do was thrift. My mother and I or my daughters and I would go once a week to all the thrift stores, we call them op shops in Australia.  We would pick up all sorts of cool things cheap, my daughter would get clothes for the kids, I would get vintage crockery, sometimes wool, sometimes furniture and always books.  We in the past year funds got tight and I found myself on a very strict budget and not able to do anything but pay bills and eat.

Today I decided I was sick of always being an adult and decided to go op shopping and I am glad I did. Have a look at this good haul!  I buy second hand fabric so I can use it to make girls dresses for summer. I love making upcycled dresses and mums these days are becoming more sustainable and green conscious, opting to buy clothes that are either pre-loved or made from fabric that is pre-loved.  I also LOVE old English china and have quite a collection that has been passed down from my grandmother. I get super excited when I find some in the op shops because what usually happens is the volunteers take all the good stuff before it hits the shelves. Today was an exception and I am really happy with my little, Crown Ducal, Royal Doulton, Lord Nelsons and Staffordshire dishes.  My daughter gets some of the nicest clothes for her kids and we always get some great books for the kids.  I have gotten some lovely handmade blankets for the kids beds and some good blankets for our dogs as well.

I know I used to be too proud to walk into an op shop in case someone saw me buying second had stuff. How bloody pretentious and stupid was my attitude back then.. Now I could care less who sees me. How many good things in life do we miss out on because of our pride and ego?  How many bargains have we missed, how many opportunities have we missed?  Well I can tell you I would have missed my little plates had I been too prideful to go into a used shop, and I would have spent triple the amount of money buying then anywhere else.  The books and fabric we got would have easily cost 3 – 4 times more in a shop and yet we would have once upon a time been happy to pay that.  Money is getting way to hard to come buy and we really need to start looking after what we get and being sensible with our money. Buying second hand doesn’t mean you are some pauper who can’t afford better. Buying second hand means you are an environmentally aware person who believes in sustainable living and less waste in our planet, and that is far more important that buying new, unsustainable products from China!

Essential Oils are they dusted?

I love essential oils, lets get that out of the way straight up. I use essential oils every single day, without them I reckon I would be a hot mess in the corner!  We also haven’t been sick in the 2 years I have been using them, topically and diffusing them. So, with all that being said there are a few areas that I would like to touch on that I feel has somewhat compromised the whole essential oil industry.

I am currently joined up with both Doterra and Young Living, it’s not allowed to be a part of both companies at the same time and technically I’m not, I am not building a business with either company, they both just have really good oils.. Doterra has the most amazing roller blends, you cannot remake them, no one has them, and I love them. Young Living has some of the most beautiful oil blends I have ever smelled, plus they have a whole range of wellness products. The trouble with the Young Living products and oils is that in Australia they are bloody expensive and I can’t afford to buy them and I am pretty sure there are a lot of other people out there who can’t either.  Doterra oils are a little bit cheaper, you get a bigger bottle, but their range is small and their culture is questionable (for me anyway).  I have also used Plant Therapy, Ahisma Oils and a couple of other Australian brand oils.  So I have tried a lot of them in my quest to find the ‘best’ oil.  The truth is they pretty much smell the same with the exception of Young Living Peppermint which is pretty much the best peppermint you will ever use!  The rest of the oils were very similar if not exactly the same.  Ahisma Oils are my go to oils here in Australia because they are affordable, they have a massive range of oils, they have been in business for over 30 years and the owners are more than happy to chat to you about their oils.  The owner told me that a lot of their oils are sourced from small family owned farms, which I love, but also a lot of their oils come from the same place as doterra oils!  Umm hello!!  Young Living have their own farms so their quality control is probably better than most and that is reflected in their oils and certainly the cost of those oils.

This brings me to my thought process the other day……both companies had their annual diamond and above all expenses paid getaway.  Now while I have never really taken any notice of this in the past, for some reason, this year I was really looking at these holidays with a different, more realistic view I think.  Young Living Diamond leaders and above went on an all expenses paid, cruise around Alaska.  The cruise ship was HUGE, everything was laid on thick, everyone received new products, gifts, special treats etc etc, you name it they got it! and it was all FREE!  Doterra went on an all expenses paid trip around Europe, I can’t remember which country, but it was beautiful, very lavish dinners and touristy things, again very expensive and FREE for those concerned.  Now, I am not here to take away and credit from the hard work that goes into building an MLM business and trust me it is hard work, long hours, stressful and exhausting to get to these levels of income but honestly, who pays for all this?  The companies say that it comes out of company profits and they share the wealth, well ok, but that wealth had to come from somewhere!

Women are spending a crap load of money on these MLM opportunities with the promise of making 6 – 7 figures within 2 years or whatever, but, the reality is, that is not going to happen for everyone.  You cannot just be a mum of a hundred kids, nappies up the razoo, husband, cleaning, school crap, all the things, and build this massive business. And while it has been done, those successes are rare.  The reality is, you will spend more than you can afford, you will have an upline leader busting your hump because they want to level up for the month, or you will have an upline that doesn’t give a bugger about you at all!  You will become jaded with the company, hate the product and really miss out on all the good things the essential oils offer!  How do I know all of this? It happened to my daughters, some of their friends and numerous other ladies I have spoken to over time.  Most lost a heap of money, and went back to the chemical life they were so keen to get rid of.   Has part of the market been defiled from unhappy mums who couldn’t cut the hustle, yep, probably and rightly so, they were promised the world and received nothing but a big bill and stash of essential oils that now sit in the cupboard.  I would encourage those ladies to get those oils out and use them, learn to use them properly and don’t waste them.  Essential oils work, just building the business not so much!

So, my next question….is the essential oil market saturated?  Well you would have thought so if you spoke to our local mail delivery lady.  Every second package around here was a doterra one for a long time.  I live in a small area so this type of product can go viral real quick, but can lose it’s edge just as quickly.  However, look at these numbers, according to Transparency Market Research, the global market for essential oils was valued at US$17.36 billion in 2017 and is projected to touch $US27.49 billion by the end of 2022.  So that’s some interesting figures right there and probably a good reason not to quit if you happen to be building a business. Personally I think the private oil market will overtake the MLM’s because consumers are sick of the Network Marketing hustle.

What’s my point in all of this? Don’t give up on essential oils because your upline is crap, or if the company doesn’t suit you. Find another one that does. Buy from a reputable company that isn’t going to bust your chops to join a business and buy a tonne of product every single month if you can’t afford it!  There are some awesome oil companies out there that aren’t MLM so good luck ladies, and make sure whatever oils you use, they are 100% pure, they are sourced ethically and they don’t come with a massive price tag!

Internet Deception

I was taking photos of the farm yesterday afternoon for my blog to show this amazing place we live, and as I was trying to position the camera to get the ‘perfect’ shot it dawned on me, I was adding to the deception of the internet. You see what I was doing was trying to get photos of the farm to make it look like we lived on thousands of acres in the middle of nowhere (which is my dream by the way), and while I think I have done a pretty good job of that, the reality is that is not entirely accurate.  Look at these photos….

Beautiful isn’t it? I took these yesterday. Looks like we are well out in the country doesn’t it, living in the wide expanse of thousands of rural acres.  Here’s the truth….

These 2 tops pictures are from my front verandah, see all the houses that surround us.  Here’s the truth……..we live on an absolutely beautiful, near picture perfect 800 acres, 5 minutes from town, with housing estates popping up all around us.  We don’t own this place we work here, my husband is the manager of this property, yes it’s a cattle property but the owners are turning it into a housing estate. Those houses you can see, were once a part of this property.  Don’t get me wrong the photos I take of this place are real, this place is magical, but it won’t stay like this.  My whole point is that while I only show pictures of the property without the other houses in the background, it’s not showing the whole story.

It’s so easy to get caught up in the lives of other people, who 1. we don’t know, 2. we will probably never know. 3. who probably don’t give a rats about you. 4. who probably have something to sell you. and 5. probably aren’t showing the whole story of their real lives!  Everyone can smile and act online but what is going on in the background.  I gotta tell you the more I am online, the more I want to be offline because of the lies that I see, but I don’t have to be like the vast majority, I don’t have to pretend, if I am having a crap day I’m going to write about it because more often than not, I might be able to help someone else!  So, here is our life, just like the movie, The Good, The Bad and the Ugly!  I will not get caught up in the deception of the internet!

Today’s Effort

So today I decided to bake my grandson a cake. He is my fifth grandchild and he is amazing. He wasn’t without his challenges when he was born, and he still has some to overcome, he has low functioning autism and he just struggled with everyday things. The only place he could handle being at is his nannees house (me) or home.  He has come a long way over the last 12 months and I am so proud of him. He is the sweetest, most caring little boy and I just love him to bits. He is also super protective of his nannee and will not have anyone saying anything bad about me, like nannee you need a hearing aid or nannee put your glasses on hahahahhaha to him, that is not ok and he makes his voice heard LOUD and clear LOL!

Today I have made this butter cake and yes it was a packet mix but super cheap!  I can’t remember the exact amount but it was under $2!  I needed to add 2 eggs, 2/3 cups of milk and 40g butter which makes this cake about $3 to make!  The last time I bought a cake from our local shop cost me $10!!!   Never again!  If any of you live where there is an Aldi supermarket, get their cake mixes they are the best I have eaten and super cheap!

My Walk of Faith

I want to share with you a little about my Faith walk. I feel that these days people are so caught up in offense that they just can’t see past the noses on their face.  Religion has taken over and jaded people against Jesus, hatred has taken over, and the devil has become this cool creature with horns, a spiked tail and a pitch fork that we dress our little kids up in on Halloween.  Nothing could be further from the truth!  Faith has taken a back seat to murder, idolatry, abortion, pornography, hatred, racism, and violence.  Honestly I don’t get it. People live in absolute chaos, their lives are hectic, the kids are in a mess, cancer runs rife in families and yet, they refuse God. God didn’t make all this crap happen to you so why do you blame Him? If you could only see, that if you turn your back on all that garbage and look to God you can achieve peace.  If you can turn your back on what the world does you can have joy and happiness.  Why on earth would you want to continue without Peace? Why would you want to continue worrying about your kids or if your hubby is out fooling around or if your job will be there next week. Why on earth do you want to do that?

Look, I am not saying this path is an easy one, its not, but I have Hope, Joy and a Peace knowing I am not going through this crap alone, that God is watching over me and He will give me the tools I need to get out of the mess I created.  I know my children are taken care of, I know my needs are taken care of.  I know that Heaven is my reality when I die.  I know that every single person on this planet needs Jesus. I remember when I was young thinking, “it’s so not cool to be a Christian you have to be so nerdy, God takes away all the fun, I’m not doing that!”  Well what a mixed up crappy life I have had, what terrible childhoods my kids had (which they don’t remember to the Glory of God, they remember a great childhood), my hubby and I didn’t like each other very much but we stayed together for the kids.  We have been broke our whole lives, slaves to debt, no idea on how to manage money and no idea on how to manage life.  It wasn’t until breaking point when my youngest brother died, in our house, in his sleep, he was 36. It was then that God moved and slowly but surely bought us back to Him which is where we belong.

It’s been 7 years and in that 7 years we have slowly but surely built our trust and Faith in Jesus. It was a hard road and it still is, but so many  victories have happened along the way. I have still made some really stupid mistakes and got us further into debt but the conscious decision has been made now to get out of debt and never do that again.  16 months ago we had a huge answer to prayer, I wanted out of the house we had lived in for 17 years, I was sick of being in town and wanted to be on a farm, my husband was born into that lifestyle and because of kids we moved to town.  After 2 years of prayer, obedience and FAITH, we now live on a farm, no it’s not ours, my hubby got a job managing this place, but it’s a really good job, a lot better than the one he had and he is now in his element with horses and cattle.  We knew it was from God because the owners wanted someone young but decided to give my husband a chance.  ‘Decided’ be buggerd, God intervened and told him he was giving us this job.  So there is a long story to this and I wont get into it now, but I wanted to give you an example of what is possible when you trust God and live the way He wants us to live.

I can hear it now, no way I am doing that, I will look stupid, I like who I am I don’t want to change. Yes change is required but you don’t even know, you notice things that you used to think were super cool are not so much anymore.  I am no nerd I can tell you that, I am not a mamby pamby submissive housewife who has no say or opinion, and I am not in the corner meek and mild, no bloody way!  I am fiestier than I have ever been, I have not changed anything about my appearance, I have not changed too much at all. What has changed is my hard heartedness towards people, my attitude towards people, Jesus said to Love people not hate them, encourage people don’t ignore them. We are here to help each other regardless of race color and creed, the Gospel is one of love not hate and I don’t know how that is misunderstood.

So, my walk of Faith has led me to feel compassion for people, I don’t want the same things, I want nicer things and God has shown me that it’s not His will for me to be broke and struggling.  He wants us to prosper so we always have the means to help others in need. He wants us to have nice things because He understands life is much easier when we have nice surroundings. He wants us to be happy not sad and distressed, He wants us to prosper spiritually so life can be easier for us,  He wants only the best for us and I for one, am receiving that with both hands.

These pictures I have shared with this post is just a small part of where I live.  How can I be anything but grateful to a God who came through for us!

Crochet is Life – Can I Get An Amen

I learned to crochet when I was a small child, probably about 8 or 9 I think, it was my hobby of choice and probably the only thing my mother ever taught me.  As I grew up and became ‘cool’ I stopped crocheting and this craft was lost to me for many many years until recently.  Even then, I felt like a grandma nerd sitting down to crochet and I felt lazy. I felt like I should be up working not sitting down crocheting like an old grandma. Of course I am a grandma, I just don’t like to portray it LOL!

These days, I crochet when I have the chance which is mainly at night after dinner when hubby and I sit and watch the tele.  My most favorite project is the granny square (there’s that word again!) but I also enjoy crocheting fruit.  Crochet is very relaxing, I can unwind while I crochet and it keeps my hands busy so I am not in the kitchen looking for after dinner snacks!  Currently I am working on this granny square blanket in blue, it will go to one of my grandsons as a keepsake.  I have other projects on the go also, which is the sign of a true crafter apparently….I think its the sign of a menopausal woman that can’t make up her mind which project to finish first!

 

Why Essential Oils?

Essential oils have almost become a food group and even though they are cited as the ‘latest’ alternative to modern medicine and natural living they have been around for hundreds, maybe thousands of years.  Essential oil use goes right back to before Christ with ancient writings & traditions indicating that aromatics were used for religious rituals, the treatment of illness & other physical & spiritual needs. Records dating back to 4500 BC describe the use of balsamic substances with aromatic properties for rituals & medical applications while other ancient writings tell of scented barks, resins, spices & aromatic vinegars, wines, beers that were us in temples, astrology, embalming & medicines.  The Egyptians were masters in using essential oils & other aromatics in the embalming process. Many hieroglyphics on the walls of Egyptians temples depict the blending of oils & describe numerous recipes!  Fast forward to modern times and you can see that oils have been around for a lot longer than the past 20 odds years.

Essential oils offer a natural alternative to modern day medicine, that is not only full of sometimes dangerous ingredients with some pretty crappy side effects, but they become addictive and never really get to the root of the problem. Don’t get me wrong we need modern day medicine, but maybe if we took care of our health before we got sick we would be a lot better off.  Essential oils are there to help keep you above the wellness line, they really shouldn’t be used as a ‘cure’ for anything.  Some oils will cure certain diseases, but without the scientific evidence behind that it is really hard to get people to listen, which is a shame.  I use the oils for emotional and hormonal health. Womens wellness issues are always swept under the carpet and they need to be spoken about freely and openly. Women need to know that essential oils will help your moods, they will help your cramping, your muscles, sugar craving and just about every other thing we women have going on.  I literally smother myself in oils on a daily basis and the days I forget, there is a noticeable difference in how I feel.  I diffuse essential oils all day every day, in the 2 years we have been using oils diligently, we have not been sick.  We will get very small bouts of tummy upsets, or a runny nose, but we don’t get proper sick.  All our grandchildren are always sick, picking up bugs and germs from school and spreading them around.

I also use the oils for general cleaning like wiping down the kitchen benches, cleaning the toilet and bathroom cabinets. I always sprinkle oil on my floors right before I steam mop them. For heavy cleaning I still break out the chemical and gas myself while doing so, but to use essential oils to clean the bath for instance is a waste of good oil, especially if you suck at housekeeping like I do and your bath is in need of a giant scrub.  So while these are some uses for essential oils they are by no means the only uses for them.  My life would be so different without them, maybe I would have hurt someone without the calming effects of frankincense and copaiba, or the Progessence plus serum from Young Living, that oil literally saved my sanity and bought me back down to a place of calm and Doterra’s ClaryCalm oil is an amazing oil for women’s hormone health. In saying that not all oils will work for you, you just have to get using them and see which ones DO work for you. Don’t be lead by the voice in your head that says, “well this is another mlm scam” or “oils don’t work”, have an open mind, buy some oils, get the basics first, Peppermint, Lemon, Lavender and use them. Use your own discretion and don’t listen to what the skeptics say. Make your own mind up and then come back here to learn. Have a happy Oily day! x

Eating On A Budget

We are living in really tough times with more and more people being laid off from jobs, no jobs available, skills shortages and a culture where the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.  Until something is done on a governmental level this situation will only get worse. The way I see it we have 2 choices – we can sit around and wait for our world to completely collapse around us OR we can learn to live with what we have and enhance it.

Money is tight in our household as with numerous other households across this country and the world. We have gotten ourselves into so much debt that our finances are heavily fatigued with us beside it.  In our house there is only one income, it’s a good income, but because of our debt factor, times are tough.  It has made me look at things differently.  It has made me sift the needs from the wants, and this had to start with the groceries, forget the health and wellness ‘thing’, because this is a ‘survival thing’.  A lot of people get way too caught up in the “is it healthy” that we ignore “can we afford that” or “do we need that”.  I am not talking to those of you who can afford every single thing you want, I am talking to the people who have very little money left after the bills are paid.

By making a few simple adjustments to the way I do food shopping I have cut our food bill nearly in half. I was shocked at this. I have stopped buying things I can easily make myself, I have stopped buying sweets, treats and expensive meats. I have gone from buying big packs of meat to the small ones and honestly, I think we eat better now and are more fulfilled than we have ever been.  I have halved our meal sizes, because at our age we don’t need to eat as much, we enjoy our food better because we aren’t gorging ourselves. We sit more comfortably, sleep is better and I find my arthritis isn’t anywhere near as bad as it used to be.  We used to eat so much food, a lot of it crap, we used to drink so much Coke and take away, that I think it was literally killing us, like being poisoned to death without knowing it.  In this country eating healthy is very expensive, take away and junk food is far cheaper, but if you plan your meals, and only buy what you need to make those meals, it become more affordable, and the best thing is you are creating minimal waste!  By eating on a budget, we eat good home cooked food, yeah it still has sugar in it and the veges aren’t organic and we eat cheaper cuts of meat that are probably grain fed not grass fed (yes we live on a farm but we don’t kill our own beef) but that’s ok, because at the end of the day this is about eating on a super tight budget, this is about survival in a society that just consumes more and more without consequence.  This is about feeding our families, not feeding our families organic, this is survival of the budget conscience.

It’s easier for me to cook on a budget because I don’t work, but the meals I do are quick and easy and can be cooked in advance.  Baking ( biscuits, cakes, slices etc)  can be done on a Sunday ready for the week. You can send your kids to school with nice home made biscuits or slice instead of store bought muesli bars etc, which cost a fortune!  When you are on a budget convenience goes down the toilet, you can’t afford to think with that mindset, convenience is cutting corners and spending more, budgeting is cutting corners and spending less. So follow along and let me show you how I have saved money in my house and still eat very well.  Let me help you to survive, because I too am surviving.

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Today I am An Overcomer!

I sometimes think that I am the most ungrateful person in the world and really need a good kick in the butt.  I take for granted the amazing lifestyle I have been blessed to live, that it will always be here, that this is just the ways things are and honestly, in a world full of uncertainty that is a really stupid thing to do!  I think that we as humans have been so conditioned to bitch and complain about things that we really don’t even know what it is to be grateful. I know I definitely fall into this category and I have made the conscious decision to stop.  You see, unless we make decisions consciously, they just become more words rattling around in our brains that get pushed to the back, but to make a conscious decision, we are pushing these words to the front and really focusing on what we need to do.

As a woman of Faith I pray everyday, but even so, I get lost in all the daily crap that doesn’t quite ‘suit’ me.  As a praying woman, I should know better, but still we remain human.  Today I am grateful. As I sit in my office overlooking our bull paddock, I am grateful, even if I can see other houses around me, I am grateful, even if this farm isn’t as isolated as I would like, I am grateful, even though our bank balance is less than ordinary, I am grateful.  I make the conscious decision to be grateful for a husband who puts up with SO much crap during my midlife crisis called menopause, who hugs me when I feel like just going to sleep and never waking up, who always tells me it’s going to be ok.  I am grateful that I have fresh water to drink, fresh air in my lungs and food on the table.  We have forgotten the simple things that a tonne of people are so desperate to have.  I am grateful for a job that provides us with this amazing lifestyle and for a country where free expression is still a thing!

This week is going to be a great week, menopause can bite me because I am not going to let it win. This week I am an overcomer! This week I am a soldier and gratitude is my weapon!