Widmayer Wellness LLC

Encouragement in Your Wellness Journey

About CKWidmayer

I am a wife, mother, grandmother, and follower of Jesus. I am a teacher, writer, and singer. I am on a journey toward ever increasing health and wellness through spiritual growth, personal growth, and natural, plant-based living solutions such as essential oils. I love to teach people about essential oils, and I love to use my talent for writing to share what I have learned about health. Join me on this healthy journey--even when there are bumps along the way. During my times of relaxing, I enjoy spending time with family, especially the grandkids, as well as reading and crocheting.

Who Ruined October?

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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?

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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

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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

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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

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[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.

 

 

Sorting Hat Devotions

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I’m continually amazed how God speaks to us through His Word.  He uses my particular devotional for a day, which comes from a book I chose from many options, which is prepared well in advance by writers and publishers to speak to my particular need on an exact day and time through a book that thousands of others, who have very different needs, read at the same moment, and it speaks different things to them.  It is beyond comprehension.

I love to try to figure out God by imagining how this happens.  I have imagined a “Harry Potter”-like text, where as the book opens, words appear.  The words are just for you, and when you close the book, they fade.  Can you see it?

You pick up the devotional book; and as you open, it the words on the page appear, shift, change, until text clearly emerges—words that speak directly to your need at the moment.  If you close the book and come back tomorrow, words appear again—different words to meet different needs.  And if your spouse, child, or friend opens the book, the words for you have faded, and new words meant for them have appeared.

And perhaps the book talks to you, like the Hogwart’s Sorting Hat.  It would reveal things that clarified direction in your life or spoke to a specific situation.  Like the Sorting Hat senses student personalities and assigns them to a particular House, the “Sorting Book” points you to a particular path—a path chosen just for you.  Wouldn’t that be cool? A sentient Sorting Devotional book with changing words, meanings for different times and situations, and a perfect path for you to follow in life?  Wow! People would be standing in line to buy a book like that—much like they stood in line to purchase new releases of J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter adventures.

But wait! There IS a Book like that. The pamphlet or book you use for your personal devotions draws from that BOOK! The Bible is that Book!  The book isn’t sentient.  It’s God, the Author of the Book, the Living Word!  Jesus! And God speaks to our hearts, personally, individually, any moment of the day in any situation. When we turn to The Book, we find wisdom and guidance. God’s Holy Spirit helps us see the Word and words in light of our momentary need, providing comfort, encouragement, direction, and insight.  And God’s Holy Spirit provides illumination for our path—our life path.  And God has a complete plan for our lives; His Book has already been written.  We are walking it out. . . not as characters, because we have choice and free will.  But when we use The Book as a guide, we are walking out His Perfect Plan for our lives.

The Hogwart’s Sorting Hat is only for certain times, certain decisions, and certain people.  It is a tool that is locked away except for special occasions.  But God’s Book is never locked up. It’s available always.  The Sorting Hat has occasionally made mistakes, but God never makes a mistake.

You are not a mistake.  Your life is not a mistake.  God has a plan for you. And He will speak that plan and purpose into you if you listen and follow.  And because His Word is living, it may come to you through The Bible, a devotional, a sermon, a word from a friend, a line from a story, or any myriad of ways. You will know because the Holy Spirit will quicken it to your heart. And you will be able to receive that Word and respond accordingly.

Our imaginations are wonderful gifts.  And God has planted in the hearts of many the ideas for stories that carry us off to magical worlds. But nothing compares to God’s plan and His story for us.  “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him.”  NLT  1 Corinthians 2:9

So open The Book or a devotional, and wait with the same anticipation you might if the book you were opening was “magical.”  Because God’s Word is magical and mysterious, in the best possible connotation of those words.

Muffins and Sugar Cookies with Einkorn Flour

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I love baking in the fall.  I love muffins, quick breads, and Christmas cookies!  A “breakfast” muffin or sugar cookie with a light glaze of frosting, accompanied by an early morning cup of coffee, is one of my favorite things cooler weather.  And then my health care professional told me to limit or cut out wheat.  What’s a girl to do?  Just so we are clear, I am not allergic to wheat.  It’s just not the best thing to put in my body.  I had already been experimenting with baking options because I love muffins and have to have sugar cookies at least once a year.  I had tried coconut flour and other types, but I didn’t like the flavor so I gave up.  Then, Young Living introduced Einkorn Flour.  I have been using it ever since.

Containing 1% gluten, this may not be the product for you if you are allergic to all wheat; however, if you are just looking to eat healthier, even when you are eating sweets, Einkorn Flour is a great choice. Einkorn flour is Heirloom wheat that has not been modified. You can read more about that at Gary Young’s blog here.

If you do any research on baking with Einkorn flour, you will find most resources say that it can be used the same as traditional flour and your recipe amounts will not change.  From my experience, this works okay; but muffins, for example, are less dense and occasionally come out a bit gooey in the middle. After a few near misses, I decided to add a bit of extra flour to my recipes.  Typically, if the recipe calls for 1-2 cups of flour, I add an extra 1/8 –¼ cup.  I make muffins frequently, so I am getting pretty good at it; but I only attempt scratch cookies once a year.  I wondered if I could make a decent Christmas cookie with Einkorn.  I decided to try my sugar cookie recipe with Young Living’s Einkorn Flour.

I started out by following the recipe exactly.  I used a basic Traditional Sugar Cookie recipe from Betty Crocker.

I chilled the dough and then took it out.  I was ready to roll!  I spread a generous amount of Einkorn flour on my counter so I could roll out the dough.  What a sticky mess!  I was afraid that this would be the result, but I wasn’t ready to give up.  I scooped up my prepared dough, along with all the flour I had spread on the counter, and kneaded it together.  That made my cookie dough less sticky.  Then, I spread more flour on the counter and tried again.  This time, the dough rolled out perfectly, and I was able to use the cookie cutters to make perfect trees, bells, and stars.  The cookies also tasted great.  Just as I found with the muffins, this cookie recipe needed a little extra flour to make it work.  Next time I make this dough, I will just increase the flour amount in the recipe, probably by ½ cup.

I am no expert baker, and you will have to experiment with your own recipes; but I can tell you this.  Adding a little extra Einkorn flour to your recipes when you are substituting for traditional flour will probably make them turn out a lot more to your liking.  And you don’t have to wait until Christmas to bake these cookies.  Halloween, Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, and Easter are all right great times to eat cookies. Trade your bells and Christmas tree cutters for  pumpkins, hearts, shamrocks, or bunnies. But don’t wait! Start now! Who doesn’t love a round, cut-out sugar cookie in the summer with a glass of sweet tea?  And when you make those summer cookies, try a bit of Lemon Vitality essential oil in your dough.  Yum!