Widmayer Wellness LLC

Encouragement in Your Wellness Journey

Giving Thanks – 30 Reasons To Be Thankful

2

Psalm 107:1 (NIV) -“Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever.”

November brings thoughts of being thankful. Hopefully, it is more than thoughts, and our hearts really are filled with gratitude for the many blessings in our lives.  I truly try to walk with a thankful heart all year long, but during the Thanksgiving and Christmas seasons, I find my heart welling up with thanks for the overwhelming gifts that God pours out to me on a regular basis.  Today I share 30 reasons to be thankful—one for each day of the month—though this list could be much longer. I encourage you to cultivate gratitude in your life. Focusing on positive things helps to avoid negative energy and depression, which can rob us of life’s little joys.

“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” Philippians 4:8 (NIV)

I am thankful…

  1. That Jesus Christ is my Savior.
  2. That the Holy Spirit guides me each day of my life.
  3. For God’s Word, the Bible, which teaches me all I need.
  4. For a loving husband who is supportive and a true partner in life.
  5. For two beautiful daughters who love the Lord.
  6. For two outstanding sons-in-law, who love my daughters and are good fathers to their children
  7. For five wonderful, awesome, intelligent, handsome grandsons.
  8. That my children and grandchildren live very close to me, and I am able to be involved in their daily lives.
  9. For a happy childhood and parents who loved and nurtured me. And for my in-laws, who have always been second parents.
  10. For siblings and extended family–the love we share and the fun times we enjoy.
  11. For friends who encourage and challenge me.
  12. For my career as a teacher and all who touched my life in those years.
  13. For new visions and tasks to conquer that I may use my gifts and talents unto the Lord.
  14. For the beautiful home God has provided me that keeps me safe, warm, and allows the space to gather family and friends.
  15. For the beauty of God’s creation that is ever changing and the fact that I have a front row seat in my home to the nature that is all around me.
  16. For health and wellness for my family.
  17. For times of relaxation and vacation and travel.
  18. For finances that supply my needs.
  19. That God allows me to participate in His kingdom by giving to others out of what He generously gives to me.
  20. That God helps me to grow, despite my failures, into His plan and purpose for me.
  21. For answered prayers.
  22. For a country where I can freely worship.
  23. For a country where I can vote and have an impact on my world.
  24. For those who give their lives to protect the freedoms I have.
  25. For the many blessings that come with technology that has been gifted to us.
  26. For books to read that I may gain knowledge and wisdom from others’ experiences.
  27. For sleep each night that restores my body.
  28. For the food I eat and the hands that prepare it.
  29. For the gifts that God gives to others that I may be blessed by their talents.
  30. For the gift of writing that I may share with others and for those who share with me by following.

May your heart turn to God in thanksgiving this day and every day. “The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.” (Numbers 6:24-26)

EASY DIY ESSENTIAL OIL GIFT IDEAS

0

It seems I have no sooner put out my fall decorations than my mind turns to Christmas and gift-giving.  When I was growing up, my family was not very crafty.  We were not a family who made gifts for one another.  We were a shopping family, and I have very fond memories of holiday shopping with both my mom and my dad.

Then I met my husband.  His extended family tended to give more hand-made gifts.  Of course, when we first got married, we had a limited income as most young couples do so making gifts seemed like a great idea to my husband.  Even while we were dating, we started a tradition of making hard candy every year.  During our early marriage we continued to make things for extended family members.  One year I crocheted “holiday candles” that fit over a cardboard tube.  Another year, I made yarn wreaths on a coat hanger.  And for a while, my husband made bread to give to family members every year.

I found gift-making somewhat intimidating. Making things was, and still is, a challenge for me. I will only attempt the simplest of projects.  However, over the past few years, as I have begun using essential oils and been exposed to all kinds of DIY recipes, I have found a lot more easy, creative ideas for gift-giving.  I thought I would share a few I have found simple enough to tackle.

I realize that everyone has favorite essential oils, so I will give you a list of suggestions and let you experiment. You may want to make minor adjustments so that each gift you give is as unique as the person receiving it.  For containers, I use decorative Mason jars. Do not use plastic containers if you are using any citrus oils.

SUGAR SCRUB

Directions: You can use white sugar, brown sugar, or a combination of the two.

  • 2 ½ cups of sugar
  • ½ cup of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 T. Honey, optional
  • 1 t. baking soda, optional, add more to achieve desired consistency
  • 10 drops of essential oil of your choice. Choose one or more of the following.
    • Fall scents – Thieves, Clove, Cinnamon, Ginger, Nutmeg, Christmas Spirit, Orange, Northern Lights Black Spruce
    • Citrus scents – Lemon, Orange, Tangerine, Bergamot, Grapefruit
    • Christmas scents – Peppermint, Orange, Juniper, Cinnamon, Clove, Thieves
    • Relaxing scents – Lavender, Stress Away, Valor
    • Muscle soothing scents – Peppermint, Wintergreen, PanAway, Valor, Frankincense
    • Man scents – Shutran, Northern Lights Black Spruce, Frankincense, Cedarwood, Sacred Sandalwood

BODY BUTTER

Directions: You can use any base – cocoa butter, shea butter, coconut oil, kokum butter, or a blend.  You can melt it first or just soften it.  Use a stand mixer to whip butter base to desired consistency.  Add liquid oil slowly. You may not use the whole amount.  Remove from stand and fold in essential oils.  Add to a Mason jar and seal.

  • ½ cup shea butter
  • ½ cup coconut oil
  • ½ cup almond (or grapeseed, safflower, jojoba, olive)
  • 20 drops of essential oil

RICE SOCKS

Directions:  Pour 1 cup of rice into a large bowl.  Stir in essential oils.  Add rice to tube sock.  Fill any remainder of sock with more rice. Close sock with a rubber band.  Shake the sock so the oil-infused rice blends with the plain rice.  Add a bow around the rubber band, if desired.  I personally find the bow is just a pain. Make sure you are using a rubber band or a band that does NOT contain any metal pieces because you are going to warm this up in the microwave.  You can always add more essential oils in the future if needed. These socks are, as far as I am concerned, genius!  I use my rice sock every day.  This would be a great craft for a Scout troop or a Sunday School class.

  • One cotton tube sock
  • 1-2 cups of white rice
  • One heavy duty rubber band
  • 5 – 10 drops essential oil
    • Muscle soothing – Peppermint, Wintergreen, or PanAway
    • Calming – Lavender or Stress Away
  • To heat: Put in microwave 30 seconds at a time to desired temperature, not more than 90 seconds total.
  • Do not apply directly to skin; use a cloth barrier.

SOAP

This is the easiest thing in the world!

Directions:  Melt the soap base.  Stir in essential oils.  Pour in mold.  Cool.  Remove from mold.  I have wrapped these in saran wrap and tied with a bow. I have also put them in small organza bags to give away.

  • Soap base – I have used a shea butter base and a goat’s milk base
  • Silicone Mold
  • Essential oils
  • Option – Dried petals – I tried adding dried rose petals to my soap. Though it worked beautifully, I found they did not hold up well. If I added them in the future, I would store the soap in the refrigerator; or, I would use dried petals in one batch and essential oils in another.

Whatever gifts you choose to give—whether store bought or handmade—may you embrace the spirit of the season, enjoy the preparations, and create lasting memories for the whole family.

Who Ruined October?

0

Who ruined October?  Who decided we needed to start our January resolutions in one of my favorite months of the year?  I have received several invitations to join end of year challenges!  Start the new year early and work on your goals now.  Work on the goals that failed in 2018 because time isn’t up.  Get a head start on the goals for 2019.  Really, it’s a lot of pressure.  And it’s fall. Who wants to think about goals?

I love fall.  I love long pants instead of shorts and heat instead of air conditioning. I love Macintosh apples that are crisp not soggy.  I love cuddling up with a cozy blanket or crocheting without sweating.  I love the smell of campfires and crisp, cool autumn air.  I love football and seasonal movies. And I love socks.  Yes, weird.  But I am happy to put away sandals and be allowed to wear socks, whether anklets, knee highs, or tights. I want to keep my feet warm, and my children forbid me to wear socks with my sandals.

I also love Halloween and Thanksgiving.  And fall holidays lead into Christmas, and the holidays are such a busy time.  So, why would anyone want to think about goals?

It is common to “begin” a new year in September; as a teacher, this is still my mental start of a new year.  And January, despite being the real start of a new year, does seem a somewhat artificial time to begin new things. And yet, some schools start in August, some in September, and some are year round.  So, what’s the point of beginning in October? Why do people offer challenges now?

Because.  We really should be working on the goals we have set continually, and it is easy to lose sight of them in the busyness of students returning to school, schedules getting tighter, and the days get shorter. It gets dark sooner.  The weather begins to cool, and hibernating sounds like a great idea.   But instead of hiding out all fall and winter, we need to re-evaluate goals and make sure we aren’t coasting. We need to find balance. We need to enjoy life and accomplish goals.

So, I encourage you to enjoy October.  But I also encourage you to drag out that January goal list, dust it off, and see if you can finish one or two things you planned to do so they can be checked off as done!

Think about how good it will feel when you are taking a walk at dusk on a cool fall evening to know that your goal list is nearing completion.

There will be time for those new goals in January. . . or next October.

What’s Your Heart Condition?

0

September 29 is World Heart Day! There are many ways to improve your heart health; so, rather than writing about heart health myself, I decided I would point you to the experts.  I hope you will check out some of these links, as I did, to read more about how you can take care of your heart.  Preventing an early death from heart disease will lower the risk of your loved ones being broken-hearted.

Did you know the leading cause of death among women is heart disease?  What are you doing to improve your heart health? Motivate yourself to make some changes by getting involved.  Check out this contest sponsored by Young Living to encourage heart health. Working with others toward a similar goal will help keep you accountable.

What are the symptoms of heart attacks and strokes?  The American Heart Association identifies the main symptoms of a heart attack as

  • Chest discomfort
  • Discomfort in other areas of the upper body
  • Shortness of breath
  • Other signs including cold sweat, nausea, or lightheadedness

How can you prevent heart disease?  You can reduce your risk up to 80% by changing your lifestyle, according to Go Red for Women.  Walking for 30 minutes a day, getting enough sleep, taking control of your eating, and avoiding salty foods and unhealthy fats are some ways to begin.  Check out their website for more details.

Who is at risk?  Check out Health magazine’s “9 Things Every Woman Should Know About Her Heart.

What steps will you take for your heart this month? What changes will you make?  Don’t ignore the warnings. Make a change today.

My heart, your heart! September 29th! I’m going to walk for 30 minutes now.

Consider the Lilies

0

Consider the lilies of the field and learn thoroughly how they grow; they neither toil nor spin. Matthew 6:28 (AMPC)

 Today when I read the above verse in the Classic Amplified Version, the highlighted phrase “learn thoroughly how they grow” caught my attention. How do lilies grow? What can I learn from studying lilies?

Lilies are beautiful.  They don’t work to look like that.  They don’t spin yarn or weave thread to create their own beauty.  They are already beautiful.  We are also beautiful, just as we are.  We are created in God’s own image.  And even though this verse is specifically addressing the concern of clothing, the entire section addresses worrying about things in life that we shouldn’t worry about.  So, when the verse said, Learn how lilies grow, I was curious.  What is important about how lilies grow? What can I learn from studying lilies?

Here is what I found.  Please note I am not a botany expert—not even amateur botanist.  I am just applying what I learn about lilies to draw a deeper understanding of God and His desire for me, His daughter.  Though there is much technical vocabulary I don’t really understand, there are lessons here.

“Lilies…form naked…underground bulbs, which are their organs of perennation.”[i]  I did not know what “perennation” meant, so I looked it up.

Dictionary.com defines perennation this way:  “To survive from season to season for an indefinite number of years.”  Wikepedia.com says, “In botany, perennation is the ability of organisms, particularly plants, to survive from one germinating season to another, especially under unfavorable conditions such as drought or winter. It typically involves development of a perennating organ, which stores enough nutrients to sustain the organism during the unfavorable season, and develops into one or more new plants the following year.”

What does that mean?  A lily has the ability to survive challenging seasons of life by having an organism which sustains it.  This challenging season bring forth new life the following year or season.

How can we be like the lily? When we have challenging seasons in our lives, what will sustain us?  What gets us through the challenge to come out not only whole but also sprouting new growth?  What is our perennating organ? What stores enough “nutrients” for us to survive unfavorable seasons?

I believe it is faith! And how do we store up faith?  Romans 10:17 says, “Faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ.” Therefore, by studying the Word and applying what we learn, we can store up faith for the challenging seasons in our lives when we know God is working, but we cannot see Him working.

Many scriptures encourage us to grow in our faith.

II Peter 3:18 – “But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”

Hebrew 6:1 – “Therefore let us move beyond the elementary teachings about Christ and be taken forward to maturity. . .

Jeremiah 12:2 – “You have planted them and they have taken root; they grow and bear fruit.”

1 Peter 2:2-3 – “Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation.”

Colossians 2:6-7 – “…continue to live your lives in Him, rooted and built up in Him, strengthened in the faith you were taught. . .”

So, what do we learn from lilies?  We learn to increase our faith through study of God’s Word so that when we have struggles and difficult seasons in our lives we can press on in faith, knowing that our struggles will produce new growth and fruit in our lives.

James 1:3-4 – “…the testing of your faith produces perseverance.  Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”

[i][https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lilium]

Essential Oil Personal Care and Diffuser Recipes

0

Have you been outside in the sun and heat a lot this summer?  Your skin may need a little fall TLC.  And as the weather cools and the air conditioner is replaced by the furnace, your skin may need some extra moisture to keep it from drying out.

Here are some skin care recipes sure to put you in the mood for hayrides, campfires, apple cider, baked goods, and long walks.  And as the seasons change, you can change the essential oils you add according to your personal taste. Need essential oils? You can get them here.

SUGAR SCRUBS

 Pumpkin Spice Scented Sugar Scrub

  • 1 ¾ cups brown sugar
  • ¼  cup white sugar
  • 1 drop Cinnamon bark essential oil
  • 1 drop Clove essential oil
  • 1 drop Ginger essential oil
  • 1 drop Nutmeg essential oil
  • ¼ cup almond or jojoba oil
  • 1 T honey
  • Baking soda (optional)

Cinnamon Vanilla Brown Sugar Scrub

  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • ¼ c coconut oil
  • ½ t. vanilla extract
  • 3 drops of Cinnamon Bark

Directions: Combine sugars in a mixing bowl. Mix oils and honey together in a separate container. Combine liquid mixture with sugars in mixing bowl and stir until it reaches desired texture, adding more oil or sugar if necessary. Baking soda may be added to soften consistency. Transfer to Mason jar or other container and enjoy.

BODY BUTTERS

 Pumpkin Pie Body Butter

  • 1 cup shea butter
  • 1 cup coconut oil
  • 1 cup almond oil
  • 20 drops Cinnamon Bark
  • 14 drops Ginger
  • 10 drops Nutmeg
  • 5 drops Clove

Orange Dream Body Butter

  • 1 cup shea butter
  • 1 cup coconut oil
  • 1 cup almond oil
  • 10 drops Orange
  • 10 drops Tangerine
  • 10 drops Citrus Fresh
  • 10 drops Stress Away

Directions: Whip shea butter and coconut oil together with kitchen mixer; then add almond oil, or a carrier oil of your choice, to desired consistency. Add slowly as you may not need toe whole cup.  Fold in essential oils, using a wooden or stainless steel spoon.  Place in a tightly sealed jar.

DIFFUSER RECIPES

And to help get you in the fall mood, here are some fall favorite essential oils to add to your diffuser.  Use them alone, or mix them up.  Create your own favorite blends.

  • Thieves
  • Stress Away
  • Cinnamon Bark
  • Orange
  • Clove
  • Ginger
  • Nutmeg
  • Cardamom
  • Patchouli

And , while you are enjoying the fragrance of these beautiful oils on your skin or in your diffuser, it’s nice to know that they are supporting wellness of your body systems!  May you be blessed with a  healthy and enjoyable fall season.

Changing the Routine for Your Mental Health

0

[Jesus] said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.”        -–Mark  6:31

Summer is winding down. Did you have a chance to escape your normal routine? A vacation should be just that—a break from your normal routine. It doesn’t have to cost a lot; it just needs to be something you enjoy. Getaways are important not only for physical health to rest the body but also for mental health to rest the mind.

I just got back from a week with some of my family. I enjoyed sunshine, sun tanning, and sightseeing. You don’t have to go far away to get rest and relaxation, but getting away from your every day environment helps the brain to slow down.  It is hard to rest at home when there is a heap of laundry on the floor, a stack of dishes in the sink, and a pile of papers on the desk. Breaking your routine allows you to turn off that portion of your mind that is constantly thinking about what needs to happen next.  On a vacation, you don’t have to have a schedule.

Maybe you can’t take the time for a week of vacation.  Psalm 23:2-3 says, “He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul.” Block out a Saturday, Sunday, or weekend to get outside and enjoy nature.  There is something peaceful and calming about considering Creation.  I love when my vacation takes me to a place where I can sit on a beach and view the ocean; however, I find the same calm come over me when I’m on my deck at home viewing a field of corn or the green grass and the trees that surround me.

Really all you need to do to rest your mind is get away from the usual to the unusual.  A family cookout, an hour at the spa, or lunch with a friend can bring refreshment and renewal to help you rest your mind.

As students and parents return to fall schedules and all that comes with them, I encourage you to take advantage of the late summer and fall days.  Get outside. Enjoy nature. Rest your mind. Refresh your soul.  Be renewed in your purpose.  Give your body and your mind the rest they crave. It is important for your mental health.