Widmayer Wellness LLC

Encouragement in Your Wellness Journey

The Perfect Father

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I am very fortunate to have been blessed with an earthly father who loved me and poured into me.  I don’t know if he was a “typical” father. Is there is such a thing? There are worldly stereotypes and expectations.  I grew up in a time when the role of dads was a defined differently than in today’s world; it was also a time when dads’ roles were being challenged and changed.  There was the working dad of the 50’s, who came home to the housewife who did all the cooking, cleaning, and child-rearing.  And dad was the disciplinarian.  In the 60’s and 70’s when women were spending more time working and women’s roles were being expanded through the Feminist Movement, more focus was placed on dads helping out in the home.

In that, I believe my dad was a quiet ground breaker.  I grew up seeing my dad pitch in with dishes and cooking.  Of course, this was more in my teenage years. In my early years, my dad traveled for work a lot, and my mom was on her own with my siblings and me.  But in my later childhood, my mom and dad worked at the same place, rode together every day, and shared household and childrearing responsibilities.  My dad was not too expert of a cook in the kitchen, but he rocked at grilling. And he gained skills in the kitchen over the years. He could fry an egg, and he made a mean pot of chili. But generally, he participated in the kitchen by peeling vegetables and washing pots and pans as my mom prepared meals.  He helped with grocery shopping, too; although, he would sometimes come home with the wrong stuff. He also paid the bills and kept up the lawn.  He planted and tended our backyard garden. And he addressed all the Christmas cards. He had gorgeous handwriting.

One of my favorite memories is working with my dad at the beginning of each school year to cover my books. I don’t know that kids do that anymore; however, we were required to cover our books to protect them and make them last longer.  Instead of buying covers, my dad always made them.  A brown paper bag, some scissors, and a marker were all that he needed to make me great covers.  He would cut and fold, and then script the name of the subject on the front of the book with his calligraphy style handwriting.  “It’s all in the wrist,” he’d say. “You have to move the wrist when you write, not just use your fingers.”

However, my dad was not the mechanical type or Mr. Fix-It type. My theory for his less than stellar skills in this area is that he had two older brothers, who were both very good at tinkering and fixing, and as the youngest of five children, he didn’t need to learn these skills.  Or, it may be that his bent was more toward academic things.

I once wrote an article about my dad saying he should have been a college professor.  He had the look, the pipe, and beard, and he loved expounding on topics.  His business experience made him a grammarian, and I believe that is where my obsession with grammar began.

Perhaps you were not as fortunate in your earthly father.  Many grow up with absent fathers, and today it is epidemic.  You may read this and feel cheated in some way.

My father was not perfect. No earthly father is.  But there is a Father who is Perfect and who is a Father to all.  He specifically says He will be a Father to the fatherless. He promises to defend widows and set the lonely into families. (Psalm 68:5-6) When we lack earthly parents through absence or failure, we can depend on God to be Our Father. He provides all we hope for.

We hope for love from a father. Jesus demonstrated that love by dying on the cross for our sins that we might be restored to a relationship with God the Father.  John 15:13 says, Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. 1 John 4:16 adds, God is love.  The love from God is a perfect love. For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16)

We hope for security and stability from a father. For in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling; he will hide me in the shelter of his sacred tent and set me high upon a rock. (Psalm 27:5) He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. (Psalm 91:4)

We hope for provision from a father. God is Our Provider in all things.  He assures us we shouldn’t worry about food or clothes because our heavenly Father knows we have need of all these things. (Matthew 6:26-32) My God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:19)

We hope for guidance and advice from a father. Proverbs 3:5-6 assures us guidance. Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Lean not on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight. And James 1:5 says, If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.

We hope for mentoring and direction. Isaiah 30:21 is one of my favorite verses. It assures us that God is providing direction. Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying,This is the way; walk in it.” And further in Psalm 37:23, The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and he delights in his way.

We hope for teaching. Good teachers give us instruction and then let us try.  God promises to teach us and keep a watch on us.  I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you. (Psalm 32:8)

We hope for gifts. Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights. (James 1:17)

We also should also expect discipline from a loving father. A father’s responsibility is to train children and help them learn as they mature. God has given us His Word, the Bible, and all of it is given to instruct and discipline.  II Timothy 3:16-17 says, All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.

We will make mistakes, but God the Father also forgives. We expect forgiveness from a Father, and God has promised forgiveness.  If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9)

God, the Father is the Ultimate Father.  Regardless of our earthly fathers, we can count on God to provide all we need to grow up in Christ.

Like any loving parent, God has plans for us.  We are allowed to choose our own way, but when we follow our Father’s plans, we are acting with wisdom. God assures our future. For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

 When we follow His plans and His guidance as Our Loving Father, we will flourish. This promise is in Psalm 92:12-14. The righteous will flourish like a palm tree, they will grow like a cedar of Lebanon; planted in the house of the LORD, they will flourish in the courts of our God. They will still bear fruit in old age, they will stay fresh and green.

As we approach another Father’s Day, find joy and gratitude in honoring your earthly father. And if you do not have an earthly father, or even if you do, remember to give thanks and praise for your heavenly Father, the Perfect Father.

 

Gift Ideas for Mother’s Day 2019

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Looking for a gift for mom? You still have time to order something unique and designed especially for her needs and interests.  Here are a few ideas:

  1. Limited-Edition Body Butter Collection!  Fall in love with our new body butters. Relax and let these body butters provide incredible moisture to help revitalize and rejuvenate dry skin. Made from 100 percent plant-based ingredients, they’re the perfect gift for the mom who likes her products purely natural!  https://www.youngliving.com/en_US/products/body-butter-collection
    • Lavender to calm and ease
    • Stress Away™ to relax and unwind
    • Valor® to ground and refocus
    • Vanillamint to soothe and cool
  2. Gentle Mist Personal Diffuser – Whether you’re traveling from home to the gym or from Rome to Milan, the Gentle Mist Personal Diffuser will help keep your skin and space fresh and invigorated. A perfect gift for the mom on the go! https://www.youngliving.com/en_US/products/gentle-mist-personal-diffuser
  3. Lavender soaps – Infused with lavender essential oil, these fragrant plant-based products will help mom relax and de-stress from a busy day at the office.
  4. Essential Brush Set – Silky soft makeup application brushes with a stylish and convenient carrying case, these five essential brushes are the perfect gift for the mom who sets her own style. Each soft makeup application brush is made from high-quality synthetic fibers that are designed to provide easy makeup application and a luxurious feel.  https://www.youngliving.com/en_US/products/essential-brush-set
  5. Bon Voyage Travel Pack – Get set to travel.  The mom who travels for business or pleasure will find the Bon Voyage Pack a great convenience. Offering 10 of your favorite Young Living personal care products in TSA compliant sizes in an attractive, custom bag. https://www.youngliving.com/en_US/products/stress-away-roll-on
  6. Stress Away Roller – Young Living’s proprietary Stress Away Roll-On provides a comforting aroma to create a relaxing moment in everyday life, whether you’re applying it as a personal fragrance or a calming experience.  https://www.youngliving.com/en_US/products/stress-away-roll-on
  7. Oil Case – The oily loving mom can take her ten favorite essential oils on the road with this compact and durable carrying case, available in blue, green, or fuchsia. https://www.youngliving.com/en_US/products/10-oil-case-blue
  8. Active and Fit Kit – Designed with a carabiner for easy attachment to any gym bag, the Active & Fit Kit supports every fitness workout from yoga to the gym and is perfect for the mom who likes to keep in shape. https://www.youngliving.com/en_US/products/active-fit-kit
  9. Relaxation Massage Oil – For the mom who wants to take the power of her massage to a whole new level, try one of Young Living’s unique blends. Our Relaxation Massage Oil combines specifically selected vegetable oils with the soothing essential oil scents of Lavender, Tangerine, Coriander, and Spearmint for maximum relaxation. https://www.youngliving.com/en_US/products/relaxation-massage-oil
  10. Premium Starter Kit – For the mom who has yet to discover the power of essential oils, get her started with her own Premium Starter Kit. She can ENROLL here: https://www.myyl.com/widmayerwellnessllc#enroll

Looking for more great gift ideas?  Check out the whole line of products here: https://www.myyl.com/widmayerwellnessllc

Spring Break is Coming…But Oh, the Packing!

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Travel! We like to get away, but the packing. . . For me, packing takes #alltheoils for focus, courage, and stamina!  I admit it; I am high maintenance, and I like to have all my creature comforts when I am going on a trip.  Computer, phone, books, Kindles, notebooks, pens, coloring books and pencils, calendar, travel journal, crocheting, and snacks…lots of snacks. And let’s not forget oils. Wait, I haven’t packed the clothes yet, and the suitcase is full.

Last fall I took two long weekend trips to Chicago—one by car for business, one by train for pleasure. I took a carry-on suitcase, my purse, my backpack, and on the train trip, my crocheting project.  All the bags were heavy.  Everything I couldn’t fit in a suitcase ended up in my purse. Carrying all of it took some creative lifting and maneuvering.  Lifting my suitcase onto the train, while my shoulders and arms were loaded with my other bags, was impossible. My back was not happy with the weight of my backpack. I returned from those trips stiff, sore, and determined to be a lighter packer. However, wanting to pack lighter and following through on it are two different things.

Our spring break is coming up, and this trip is by car. I will be gone almost a month. The good news is the car holds a lot. The bad news is I still have to load and unload at each new venue.  We will be traveling through various weather zones, so I need outfits for all seasons. Maybe hotels should offer extensive wardrobe collections so people don’t have to pack. 🙂   Or maybe I need a personal assistant to carry all my things.  My husband has resigned from the job permanently.

Short of hiring a personal assistant, I am resolved to taking only few favorite outfits since there will be a washer and dryer available. And some of the creature comforts will have to remain behind.

Toiletries take up a lot of space, too, but I have found a great solution. Young Living’s Bon Voyage Travel Pack.  This little gem is really going to help me. It contains travel sizes of all my favorite things in one little zip up, and it has room to add more.  I am so excited about it.  Though I have tried making my own small containers for my personal items for previous trips, the quality of the bottles discouraged me.  Packing full size bottles of toiletries is not realistic when you are trying to save space.

The Young Living Bon Voyage Travel Pack provides TSA-compliant personal care products. Ten Young Living favorites come in an attractive toiletries bag, including

  • Thieves® AromaBright Toothpaste
  • Thieves Waterless Hand Purifier
  • Thieves Dental Floss
  • Thieves Fresh Essence Plus Mouthwash
  • Young Living Toothbrush
  • Lavender Shampoo
  • Lavender Conditioner
  • Cinnamint Lip Balm
  • Morning Start™ Bath & Shower Gel
  • Genesis™ Hand & Body Lotion
  • ART® Light Moisturizer

Having a great solution for my toiletries is a good start to packing lighter.  For the rest of my packing, I’ve been reading up on tips.  Wish me luck!

Getting to the Heart of It

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Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. Proverbs 4:23

I rarely get a Valentine card. But I’m okay with that. I don’t send many either.  These days my purchases are limited to Valentines for my five grandsons. And let’s be honest—they are not interested in the cards as much as what comes in them or with them.  They are looking for the gifts.

My husband and I rarely exchange Valentine cards, but that is because our anniversary is the first week of February.  Now, if my husband has forgotten my anniversary, I just might get a card or flowers on Valentine’s Day as a makeup.  But in 46 years, I only remember that happening once.  And he didn’t really forget our anniversary; he just didn’t have an opportunity in his schedule to purchase flowers that day. The flowers on Valentine’s Day were a nice surprise.  I don’t need flowers on Valentine’s Day to know I am loved, but taking special opportunities to express our love is important. It’s the heart of the matter.

February is all about hearts. Pink and red paper hearts are displayed in classrooms, homes, and of course, in card racks. Each year over 150 million cards are sent on Valentine’s Day! Some people love sending cards, and others dismiss it as a “Hallmark Holiday.”  Hallmark holiday or not, sending cards to loved ones on Valentine’s Day shows that we care—as long as we don’t forget about them the other 364 days a year. Cards are more meaningful when they are an authentic expression of love that is demonstrated daily.

Let’s face it—relationships take work, whether romantic, familial, or friendly. Special occasions serve as reminders, helping us prioritize and focus, but daily communication is essential to strong relationships. Relationships are built by time spent together sharing, dreaming, and communicating.  Everyone receives love differently, so consider the recipient’s preferences.  The expressions of love you choose can be significant. Have you heard of love languages?  Identifying your love language and the language of your loved ones can increase understanding and communication. Take the love language test and encourage your loved ones to take it, too. Happy relationships make happy hearts; and happy hearts are healthy hearts.

But it takes more than happiness to keep your heart healthy. While emotional heart health might be the focus of Valentine’s Day, the whole month of February is dedicated to physical heart health.  Sponsored by the American Heart Association, this month of awareness is to educate people about the risks of heart disease. Heart disease is the number one killer among both men and women, and nearly half of heart attacks are silent!  My husband was diagnosed with high blood pressure many years ago, and we made changes in our diet and lifestyle to minimize risk.

What are the risk factors? Being overweight is a major risk factor; however, even those who are not overweight can be at risk because of high cholesterol and high blood pressure. Lack of quality sleep and depression can contribute to poor heart health because they affect our state of mind.  And of course, we all know that lack of exercise and poor nutrition put us at risk for many diseases, including heart disease. My September blog has more information and links to resources about physical heart health. Check it out. And then get your heart checked out by a medical professional.

The physical heart can also be damaged by too much worry or stress, but your physical heart health can be supported by a healthy spiritual heart.  No heart check is complete without a spiritual check up. Healthy spiritual hearts are tuned to God. Spiritual heart health determines where we spend eternity.  The Bible has much to say about heart condition, but perhaps the most important is “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” (Matthew 22:37)  Loving God with all your heart may seem challenging, or even impossible, but God helps us. The Psalmist prayed, “Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.” (Psalm 51:10)  Improving our spiritual heart health may be the easiest of all heart areas. All it takes is asking God to live in our hearts and help us each day.  Through prayer, He gives the strength needed to overcome challenges, even those challenges and changes needed to improve physical and relational matters of the heart.

I’m thankful for awareness campaigns and holidays that help us step back from the daily routine and prompt us to think about life.  I encourage you to take a moment in February—the  month of the heart—to evaluate all areas of your heart health, and then, with God’s help, make necessary changes for improvement.

Choosing Health with Young Living

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Back in 2014, I had no idea what awaited me.  I was leaving teaching after 30 years and was looking forward to sleeping past 4:30 a.m., relaxing, traveling, enjoying grandchildren, and writing.  I had actually already written a book that needed some further editing, and I was hoping to find a way to get it published.  And then, OILS!

A good friend of mine introduced me to Young Living Essential Oils, linked her arm in mine, and escorted me into a new business!  I was interested but tentative.  My reservations about starting a new business didn’t last long.  First of all, I love the essential oils. I had always been sensitive to smells—cleaning products, hair sprays, candles, and so many things.  Now I had a diffuser which dispersed beautiful aromas into my home without causing sensitivity issues.  And the bonus is aromatic benefits.  Second, the business aspect grew very quickly. My family fell in love with the oils and the health benefits.  Soon friends and extended family were involved, and I haven’t looked back.

Additionally, this business has expanded my horizons, given me an outlet for writing, taught me many new things, and blessed me with many new friends. Though the financial benefits are there, I believe the health benefits are even more rewarding.  I have purged my home of many chemicals by replacing cleaning products, skin products, food products, and daily supplements.  I live a much more conscious healthy lifestyle because I have been educated.

Essential oil use needs to accompany other healthy lifestyle choices.  My goal when I started was to focus on my health, and I have found essential oils helpful as I increase my exercise routine, improve my eating habits, get an adequate amount of sleep, and reduce the stressors in my life.  For me, this business is about partnering with those who are on a journey to better health and looking for a cheerleader to come along side to provide education and support.

This week, Young Living upgraded their popular Premium Starter Kit.  I’m excited about it because they have re-introduced two popular essential oil blends to the kit. It now includes 12 essential oils, a diffuser, samples of their popular antioxidant boosting drink, Thieves Household cleaner, and more.  With one collection, you can begin your own journey to transforming your home and your health and decrease your exposure to harmful products.

I believe people have an increased awareness of the benefits of choosing a healthy lifestyle. Not only do healthy choices increase your longevity, but also your quality of life, your energy, and your outlook. Health products abound in today’s market, but I believe I have chosen the best ones.  If you have never explored Young Living’s Seed to Seal promise or essential oils, I’d love to share with you what I have discovered on my journey.  Whatever your choices, make them for your health.

Saying Thank You

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Expressing gratitude is a healthy habit that has been shown to increase a person’s life satisfaction.

Thank you—two little words that mean so much. They are among the first words we teach our children. And when we teach our children and grandchildren to express gratitude and appreciation, it reminds us to keep those words active in our own vocabulary.

But what about thank you notes?  It seems in this age of texting and social media, the art of writing has been lost, or at least diminished.  And while thank you notes are special, just remembering to say thank you is key.

Most people acknowledge gifts for weddings, showers, and graduations, but what about Christmas  presents? Are we in the habit of always practicing thanks?

I admit I often fail in this area.  If I receive a gift in the middle of the year or for a birthday, I am usually good about writing thank you notes; however, during the holidays with so many things going on, somehow the gifts that family give, while appreciated, don’t always get the proper thanks. Our immediate family members may not expect a hand-addressed stamped envelope to arrive in the mail, but expressing thanks to our family and extended family builds in us a habit to express thanks to others. A simple note stating thanks for the gift and appreciation at being remembered is adequate.  If the friend or family member is someone you saw at the holidays, expressing pleasure in having seen them is another nice addition to the note.

Writing thank you notes is just one way of expressing gratitude in our daily lives.  The decorations have been put away for another year, and many will return to work on January 7.  That marks the official end of holiday celebrations.  Take time to finish the season by expressing appreciation for the gifts you have received if you haven’t already.  Write a note, or at least take the time to make a phone call.  Be an example to your kids and grandkids.  No matter what their ages, a reminder about those two little important words—thank you—is a good idea.

And while we are on the subject, THANK YOU to my blog followers!  I appreciate you.

Happy 2019!

 

 

 

Did You Have a Good Christmas?

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“I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year. I will live in the Past, the Present, and the Future. The Spirits of all Three shall strive within me. I will not shut out the lessons that they teach!” — (Scrooge)  Charles Dickens

Did you have a good Christmas?  This question is asked from December 26 through mid-January.  But asking people if they had a “good” Christmas or a “good” holiday requires them to evaluate it. And what rubric do we use to measure whether or not our holiday has been “successful”?

Christmas and holiday celebrations focus on traditions and provide the warm fuzzy feelings we associate with the satisfaction of a holiday well spent. We may measure experiences by our past Christmases, comparisons with others, or the perfection of a holiday movie celebration.  And often we come up short by comparison, which can lead to discontentment, disappointment, and depression.

Our disappointment comes from having created in our own minds a picture of what our holiday will or should look like, and when the reality doesn’t match the picture, we are disappointed.  Our emotions are close to the surface.  We may cry, we may argue with family members, or we may withdraw because things are not going the way they were supposed to.

The problem is no matter what picture we may have in our minds about what our holiday should look like, other family members likely have a different picture.  Even siblings have memories that differ or hold varied significance.  One may cherish the memory and smell of fresh baked cookies that are prepared before the holidays. Another may cherish the Christmas Eve candlelight service.  And a third may cherish the gathering of family and the games played around the dining room table after the food was put away.

Going in to the holiday season with an evaluation mindset sets us up for failure.  Our rational minds can process that that attitude is unhealthy, but our childlike wonder of Christmas is still looking for the emotional high, no matter how old we get.

Holidays and the traditions we expect, even when successful, will not remain the same forever.  Loved ones die, children grow; families may be spread out across the country instead of in the same town.  Christmas cannot be celebrated based on external trappings.  It is kept, as Dickens says, in our hearts.

What should we do to spare ourselves disappointment?  First, we should cast off expectations and approach the holiday with a mindset to experience whatever joy and pleasure the season offers.  Second, we should take responsibility for creating whatever traditions we hold dear, and not rely on others to fulfill our expectations.  And finally, and most importantly, we need to focus on the Reason for the Season. Jesus.

The first Christmas was a simple birth. A mother and father, likely tired from travel, disappointed in the lack of accommodations, excited about the birth of their first child, and worried about provisions.  We look at the stable birth and focus on the lack of physical provision.  But do you think Joseph and Mary had emotional needs as well? I certainly do.  They were no doubt at the end of their own strength; and therefore, totally looking to God and trusting Him for their needs. And God did provide.  He provided, among other things, a heavenly, angelic choir!

Jesus, God Incarnate, is available today to meet our needs.  Whether those needs are physical or emotional, He is able to help us.  We can find joy in the simplest expressions of marking a holiday. We can find peace in the Presence of the King of Kings. We can find love in God’s sacrifice of His own Son for us!

God extends forgiveness to all.  And we can extend that same forgiveness to our families and friends.  Our families love us, no matter their expression of that love.  Their love is imperfect.  Their love may disappoint.  But God is love. His love is Perfect.  He can fill those empty places where expectation and disappointment reside.

This year as we approach the week of Christmas, let us set our minds for success. Let us anticipate responding to “How was your Christmas?” with, “Christmas was great!”  It will be great because however we celebrate, Jesus is here. Not just for today, but for eternity.  Let us celebrate all our Christmases past, present, and future with a joyful heart.

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