Thursday, November 16, 2017

Scents for the Holidays from Mrs. Meyer's and Grove Collaborative

This post contains affiliate links. I only promote products and companies that I personally use and enjoy. I am proud to be an Influencer for Grove Collaborative. Purchases made through my links earn me a commission at no extra cost to you, so thank you for helping support my family!

It's that time of year again: the holidays!

I'm not a fan of that term, honestly, because I'd much rather say "Merry Christmas" or "Happy Thanksgiving" instead of "happy holidays," but it does mean "holy days" which is what this season is really all about.

Once again, it's also time for Mrs. Meyer's seasonal scents from Grove Collaborative! These limited-time fall and winter scents are my favorite, especially the Orange Clove.

(This less-than-professional photo comes to you with love from my very own kitchen counter. :) )

The smell makes me so happy! It's fresh and clean and lingers pleasantly on my hands after I wash them or do dishes, but it's not overpowering. The other seasonal scents are Iowa Pine-- which smells just like a Christmas tree-- and Peppermint, which is so perfect for this time of year.

One thing I've noticed lately is that my hands don't get as dry when I'm using Mrs. Meyer's products, compared to using other brands. During the fall and winter my hands get painfully dry to the point where they sometimes even crack and bleed, but it's not nearly as bad when they're not exposed to harsh chemicals. Mrs. Meyer's products contain aloe, essential oils, and other good-for-you ingredients, which is just another reason I love them. And if your hands need a little more protection, Grove just came out with their own beautiful dishwashing gloves! I just added some to my next shipment and I'm looking forward to using them.

Now you can experience the magic of Mrs. Meyer’s for free with this Holiday Set from my friends at Grove Collaborative.
When you place your first order of $20 using my link, you'll get:
  • Free Holiday Mrs. Meyer’s hand soap
  • Free Holiday Mrs. Meyer’s dish soap
  • Free Holiday Mrs. Meyer’s multi surface spray
  • Free Grove seasonal kitchen towel
  • Free Shipping & 60 Day VIP Trial

Existing customers will get a free set of Grove walnut scrubber sponges (click here). They make tackling holiday pots and pans so much easier!

This Grove kitchen towel is so nice to use, too. It's perfect for streamlining a busy kitchen, since you can use it to dry dishes, drape it over bread dough while it's rising, and even grab hot cookie sheets out of the oven. It also works like a charm with Mrs. Meyer's multi-surface spray for cleaning up messes on the stove or counter.
Using Grove Collaborative helps relieve stress over the holidays by eliminating the need to run to the store for cleaners, paper products, diapers, and a lot of other things! Schedule your shipments to arrive exactly when you need them, and enjoy more time at home with your family and less time going to the store. Plus, with your free VIP trial, you'll get totally free shipping for the next two months which will carry you into the new year!
Once you submit your first Grove order using my link, you'll also be signed up for the free 60 day VIP trial. For 60 days, you'll save even more with free shipping, free gifts, price matching, exclusive sales and personal service — perfect if you're trying to stretch your holiday budget! 
I should warn you that last year, Mrs. Meyer's seasonal scents sold out quickly. This offer is only available through Sunday, November 19, 2017, or until the sets are gone, so don't miss out! Here's how it works:
  1. Sign up for Grove Collaborative here. You will receive the Holiday Set for free when you sign up!
  2. To receive this offer, your order needs to be a minimum of $20. Choose the combination of products and scents you love and receive your first box within a few days.
  3. You made it! Click Finish & Pay and place your order.
I hope you love Grove Collaborative-- and Mrs. Meyer's-- as much as I do!

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

The Self-Denial of Motherhood

It happens every day.

I sit down to do my Bible study, attempt to catch up with email, drink a cup of tea while it’s still hot, or (God forbid!) go to the bathroom by myself, and I get interrupted. One or the other, or sometimes both, of the sweet, precious little humans I helped make needs something, and once again, my needs get pushed aside.

So often I let myself get frustrated easily. Can’t I ever get five minutes to myself? I grumble silently. I never get any alone time. If somebody wakes up early in the morning or from naptime, my first reaction is disappointment for not getting time to do what I want or need to do.

But a recent discussion at the moms’ Bible study I attend gave me some much-needed perspective. First of all, I do get time to myself, at least a little bit every day (and it’s almost always much more than five minutes!). Sometimes I don’t use that time very well (looking at you, Facebook), but I do get it.

Second, motherhood is all about setting aside my own needs for the needs of my children. That doesn’t mean that my needs don’t get met, of course; I do get sleep, food, showers, and a chance to go to the bathroom! But my needs are rarely met according to my terms or my timeline. That’s just part of life as a mom of small children.

More importantly, though, that’s part of life as a Christian. Our Bible study discussion centered on Luke chapter 9, where Jesus taught his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it” (Luke 9:23-24). As a Christian, all my actions, words and attitudes should reflect those of Jesus. Everything he did, he did for others, and nowhere was that selflessness demonstrated more vividly than on the cross. He literally “took up his cross,” carrying it to Calvary, and was willingly nailed on it, in order to pay for my sins and the sins of the whole world.

That grumbling and complaining I do when my kids “interrupt” my plans? Jesus took care of those sins. Those nasty words I snap at my husband when I’m short on patience and sleep? Gone, paid for on the cross. That bad attitude I get when naptime ends or morning starts too soon? Erased by Jesus’ blood.

By making me a mother, Jesus has given me a perfect opportunity to learn how to be more like him. No other role in my life requires as much self-sacrifice and selfless love as that of mommy. No other vocation requires me to “deny myself and take up my cross daily.” My children are amazing, loving, precious, sweet little boys, but like me they are sinners, and they are small children with lots of little but immediate needs throughout the day. Meeting those needs requires me to put my children first, and deny my natural, sinful tendencies towards selfishness, laziness, pride, unkindness, and impatience.

Despite its challenges, motherhood is an immense privilege and joy, and if I remember to look at this role with an eternal mindset, it becomes a vocation with eternal significance. Changing diapers, nursing babies, fixing snacks, tucking small boys into bed, all become little acts of worship to my heavenly Father, little expressions of my love for him expressed in my love for my children. As Jesus denied himself for my sake, I am privileged to mimic that in a small way for the sake of the little ones entrusted to me.

This time of mothering tiny, needy people is short. Soon I’ll be able to take an hour for Bible study, drink my tea hot, and go to the bathroom unaccompanied. But in every season of motherhood I know God will use new ways to continue to mold and shape me to be more like him.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

A new beginning

Since I blogged last (at a site which is now defunct... long story), life has changed a bit.

We own a home (since December 2016). We own two cars (God is good!). And, best of all, I am now a mother to TWO beautiful little boys. Jonathan was born May 5 of this year. He is such a gift!

I stopped blogging because I was forced to, when my blog was hacked and ruined with malware that I had not the skills nor funds to remove. But taking a break from blogging was good for me. I had been trying to make blogging into a business and I just don't think that that's for me, because it wasn't working very well. I am a Norwex consultant, which I love, and I'm an Influencer for Grove Collaborative. Both of these ventures are blessings for our family and I will be talking about both things from time to time. As a stay-at-home mom I do want to help contribute to our family income, and I support 100% the products and companies I promote. But I don't want this blog to be all about money-making. That's not me.

I'm learning more every day who "me" is, and realizing that although I am unique and special, my experiences, struggles, lessons, joys, are similar to those of many other people. In a number of ways lately God's been reminding me that I'm not alone-- in wifehood, motherhood, my personal struggles, anything. There are other people who know what I'm going through and more than that, God knows and understands everything I experience. He has blessed me through the words of others, using them to encourage and inspire me.

That's what I hope to do here, in gratitude for the ways God has lifted me up through other people. I want you to know that whatever you're going through, you're not alone. Other people understand. And even though I can't possibly understand everyone else's experiences, God can and does and he is there for you.

My new blog title is "Living the Dream: Wife, Mom, Homemaker." This life really is a dream come true for me, because as long as I can remember I wanted to be a wife and mother more than anything. God in his grace has made those dreams come true and I cannot thank him enough for the vocations he's given me. You might not be any of those things, but I hope that, Lord willing, something in my life can encourage you in some small way. I think that we all have something in common in this human experience, and we all need encouragement. It is my prayer that I may provide a little of that for you.