“people don’t know what’s wrong with their souls..”

“….& what’s wrong with their souls is that their souls have shrunk to the level of their concerns. Their not concerned about the Nations. We were made to get our arms around the Nations with God. When you pray ‘Hallowed by Thy Name, Thy kingdom come’ that’s meant to take your heart & make it as big as history & as large as the globe.”

That’s a healthy heart, it’s a strong, large, healthy heart…..we’re made for this.”

Maybe a 22 pound heart Mr.Piper?

Egypt.

Uprising in Tunisia

Protests in Yemen

A barrage of bombings in Baghdad.

And Egypt. Riots, looting, protests, violence running rampant through the streets. The internet is being blocked through the entire country. The last messages I can see are from Thursday. Police stations are being burned. Thousands break curfew & are met with an overwhelming response from the police – tear gas, rubber bullets & brute force. Mubarak asks the entire cabinet to resign & while refusing to leave his seat pledges democracy & economic opportunity. Neither have been seen in his 30 years of leadership over this key nation.

We have been told that the Muslim’s are a peaceful people. It appears that this is not the case.

The response of our government is stern rebukes followed with “Be peaceful, be peaceful.”

What vague & hopeless advice.

The last flight out of Cairo left this morning. I am confident that my Egyptian friends were not on it. But I can come boldly before the Throne of Grace tonight asking protection for my friends, asking that the word of the Lord would run swiftly & be glorified in the streets of Egypt. And ever asking that the Lamb would receive the reward of His sufferings.

 

 

Night by William Blake

The sun descending in the West,

The evening star does shine;

The birds are silent in their nest,

And I must seek for mine.

 

The moon, like a flower

In heaven’s high bower,

With silent delight

Sits & smiles on the night.

 

Farewell, green fields & happy grove,

Where flocks have ta’en delight;

Where lambs have nibbled, silent move

The feet of angels bright:

Unseen, they pour blessing,

And joy without ceasing,

On each bud & blossom,

On each sleeping bosom.

 

They look in every thoughtless nest,

Where birds are covered warm;

They visit caves of every beast,

To keep them all from harm.

If they see any weeping

That should have been sleeping,

They pour sleep on their head,

And sit down by their bed.

 

When wolves & tigers howl for prey

They pitying stand & weep,

Seeking to drive their thirst away,

And keep them from the sheep.

But, if they rush dreadful,

The angels, most heedful,

Receive each mild spirit

New words to inherit.

 

And there the Lion’s ruddy eyes

Shall flow with tears of gold:

And pitying the tender cries,

And walking round the fold,

Saying: “Wrath by His meekness,

And by His health, sickness,

Are driven away

From our immortal day.

 

“And now beside thee, bleating lamb,

I can lie down & sleep.

Or think on Him who bore thy name,

Gaze after thee, & weep.

For, washed in life’s river,

My bright mane *for ever

Shall shine like the gold,

As I guard o’er the fold.”

 

*Forever. It’s my favorite word. Wrath by Your meekness sweet Jesus, & by Your health sickness is driven away.

Even so Lord, come.

the magic of words

Something happens to me after midnight. The hands on the clock line up & in that single magical moment, emotions & minutes just as suddenly become clear & words flood through my mind. My fingers itch for a  pen or more often these days, a key board.

Today was the March for Life, probably the 20th march I’ve been a participant in, but my first in the Capital. But I’ll not write about that now.

Right now I want to write about my planner. Yes yes, we live in the information/electronic age but I’ve not yet caught up to it, frankly I hope not to. Each year I purchase a paper planner within the first seven days of the new year. A few years back I settled into a rhythm of loving the Moleskin planner, (thank you Matt Lockett for the White People Love link, it’s true) but this year I couldn’t find one. Surprisingly in my search for a second best I struck gold.

Ok maybe you won’t care but I found the 2011 Songbird’s planner. Each week contains a picture of a different songbird. It’s beautiful, its prophetic, it’s animals….. I’m happy 🙂 Tucked away inside the front cover is about 15 pages of mostly useless, random information though, most of which has found itself torn out & happily residing in my recycling bin BUT…. some of it is strangely helpful such as the “Useful Foreign Phrases” page.

So to all of my Japanese readers “Watashi wa rikai shi te i nai” and to my french subscribers “Bonjour!”

Ok that was really just for Annie.

What’s really on my mind tonight is the idea that little changes are the hardest to reconcile & to move past. For example; tonight my sister was reading The Singer. I know because she kept tweeting quotes & I have most of the book written on my heart. This only bothered me because…. we read this book together. Correction, I read this book out loud to her, usually when she has a migraine or during our many Emergency Room Adventures.

The fact that she was reading the book is good, because it is a sure-fire way to stir up the heart of a Styles. But her reading it without me there? Well that hurts. And it stirs up a plethora of memories, because we don’t just read The Singer out loud, I read everything fantastic out loud to her. This list ranges from Miller’s books, the Chronicles of Narnia to excerpts from The Man who was Thursday. I read & get my dramatic out & she listens & gets the books in. So in a minute I was stepping though memories of hundreds of nights, different situations of us reading together.

It’s just what we do. It’s what we’ve always done. But this little life change, the moving half way across the country? Well it changes everything, instantly. I’m not there to read good books out loud to Kat at night & I’m not going to be. And even though everything changed the moment I stepped on the plane, it’s going to take a long time to fully adjust to those changes. I can even feel confident in saying that I won’t hardly have begun to adjust by the time she get’s married & we’ll start the process all over again.

While reading a tear-stained txt from her about missing me while reading that book today, my eyes flooded with tears & my soul whispered “remember”. And I gave that moment back to the Lord.

Everytime it costs to follow You, count it as my worship.

I will continue to set my heart to give every single costly minute, every single costly emotion back to the Lord & ask for Him to write it in His book as done out of a heart of love.

Someday that process might be easier, but maybe not. Since someday hasn’t come yet I really don’t know. But I’m determined to offer my body as a living sacrifice. It is my spiritual act of worship. It is my practical act of worship. The practical side now is calling my mind & heart to remember, & to do it for the glory of God. The spiritual side now is that He actually counts it when I don’t yet believe.

A Beginning of a Crunchy Conservative’s Guidebook

Many of you following me via Facebook or Twitter have recently asked for the recipes  to different household & personal supplies that I make at home. Rather than sending 50 emails I’ve decided to come out a little bit & blog from my hippie side.

There are several reasons that I began to look into the journey towards living naturally, beyond the obvious of wanting to take care of my body for the Biblical & typical “I feel good when I eat well” reasons. To begin with, I spent most of 2007 journaling every detail of my lifestyle that could possibly contribute to chronic migraines (food, products, emotions, activities, sleep) looking for patterns or ingredients. That process helped to bring awareness to what was going into my body & the effects that those things were having on me.

That awareness & concern only increased as my health decreased. I began to do little research projects based off of strange information I was receiving or hearing about specific chemicals & ingredients & their contributions to illness, disease & “bad health”. This required very little background informational work but did require looking at labels & finding alternatives which is inconvenient. The initial ingredients that started the journey for me were High Fructose Corn Syrup, Bleached flour & sugar, “Fragrance”,Sodium Laurly Sulfate  & Aluminum.

Do your own research – those ones are easy. For the sake of the story I’ll mention that some other contributing factors to the journey were;

  • Finances it costs less to live natural & use homemade natural products
  • Chemicals – they’re in most of what we eat, put on our bodies & clean with & pretty much killing the Western world. If the rest of the globe is living without them in their health & beauty products then we have no excuse to not finding out how
  • Crisis – Should a natural disaster or some other crisis hit my house or city, I want to give my attention to important matters & not be found scrambling over details when going to the store is not an option.

That is a vague overview & introduction to my journey & about all you’ll get here 🙂 If you truly want to know more about any of those ask me in person over a cup of coffee. Below you will find the beginning of my rough compiling of  ‘recipe’s’, or a beginning of a Crunchy Conservative‘s guidebook. I welcome thoughts & suggestions!

Some ingredients that are used in the following are:

  • Pure Castille Soap. I use Dr.Bronners.
  • Baking Soda
  • Baking Powder
  • Cornstarch
  • Essential Oils
  • Stevia
  • Pure Tea Tree Oil
  • Borax
  • Washing Soda (Can be substituted with Baking Soda if no washing soda is available. You can probably find it somewhere in your city but it may take some looking)
  • Apple Cider Vinegar

When purchasing ingredients, GO ORGANIC. This will start the process of getting rid of the chemicals & other gnarly stuff that we pour into our bodies.

Homemade Toothpaste

I reference Donielle for a lot of things & this recipe comes straight from her blog (yes you can get over the shock of the name). You can click on her name, above or in my blogroll to take you to her homepage. You can find her tutorial for making toothpaste by clicking HERE.

  • Yeah it’s QUITE different from what you find in a tube.
  • But the truth is it really wasn’t that hard to adjust to.
  • I liked the feel that it left in my mouth, though it was different & I liked the way that my mouth still felt clean hours later, even after eating.
  • I wash my face after brushing my teeth simply to remove any leftover coconut oil from around my mouth. Maybe I’m paranoid because C.O is pretty much good for you in every way but I swapped my routine so that I don’t have to fear clogged pours. Thus far I’ve had no problem.
  • My adjustments to her recipe- I use 4, instead of 5 Tablespoons of Coconut Oil, for a thicker consistency.
  • I use about 8 drops of Tea Tree Oil for the sake of an anti-bacterial in the toothpaste & then probably 15 drops of any assortment of Mint essential oils. I like mint so the stronger the taste, the happier I am, & the easier it was to adjust to but you can adjust that by starting low & adding more if needed.
  • Coconut Oil has a melting point of about 73 degrees so be sure to keep your jar of toothpaste somewhere cool.

Homemade Deodorant

This recipe also comes from Donielle. You can watch her video Tutorial by clicking HERE. Kicking Aluminum & Fragrance basically ruled out 100% of the Antiperspirants & 98% of the Deodorants that you can find on the shelf in anything but a Health Food Store. If you’ve already tried this leg of the journey you’ll probably agree with me;

  • The ‘Crystal’, yeah just doesn’t work. And it’s weird.
  • Natural deodorants leave you feeling smelly
  • Natural deodorants have to be applied 4x a day and who SERIOUSLY has time for that?
  • Natural Deodorants are EXPENSIVE

I’ve been making Donielle’s  recipe for almost a year now & like it more than any other natural option I’ve tried. I like it enough that I actually haven’t looked for another option since the first time I made it! A couple of my thoughts;

  • I keep this in the fridge – again due to the melting point of Coconut Oil. That means that it is cold & hard when I first pull it out so typically I leave it on the counter for a few minutes before applying.
  • After that it is still helpful to hold it against your skin for about 3 seconds before trying to rub it on.
  • Be sure and wash your hands after rubbing it in 😉
  • She uses only Tea Tree Essential oils in her recipe. I find that too strong of a hippie smell. Again I use Tea Tree for about 1/3 of the essential oil called for, simply as an anti-bacterial, and then use Lavender or some other happy smelling essential oil for the other 2/3.

General Household Cleaner

Dr.Bronner’s is a main ingredient in most everything I make at home, simply because I could find it really cheap at a local Freight & Salvage store. Honestly anything similar to that type of Castille soap would work.

As a general cleaner for floors, kitchen, bathroom etc I fill a spray bottle full of water, add 2 squirts of Dr.B’s Tea Tree soap, a couple drops of Tea Tree Oil & gently shake. There you go – that easy & it’s done.  No chemicals, child & pet friendly & the Tea Tree makes it a good disinfectant. It does not foam but is a great cleaner.

Homemade Shampoo

This week was my first Shampoo attempt. Click HERE to go to the website I used. I’ve spent the last 3 months scouring the internet & comparing recipes, reading reviews & different people’s opinions on ingredient combination’s before settling on which one to try first. After making it once & using it twice my thoughts are;

  • The Apple Cider Vinegar has a very strong smell & no, I don’t like it but yes, I got over that & am using it. It does not seem to leave that smell in my hair which is good. Then again my hair is still pretty short so maybe I’m just not noticing it.
  • I left the spray bottle on the bathroom shelf & within a very short period of time my little apartment was permeated with that smell. I have since kept the spray bottle in the fridge stopping the smell.
  • If you go to that website you will see that there are 1o icons at the top, each taking you to a different variation of the recipe. I’m going to use all of the batch that I’ve made & circulate through each recipe, giving myself a break from the vinegar in this particular one & allowing myself the experience to determine which ones I like best & why.
  • The Castille soap seemed to curdle rather than mixing smoothly, probably due to the vinegar. Once in the fridge the whole thing turned a creamy color but did not solidify & still sprayed easy. Once in the shower it melted fully & is now smooth with no curdles. Weird but true.
  • Honestly I hated the way my hair felt the first time I used it, while still in the shower. But when I got out & dried it I completely changed my mind. I didn’t use any products & it still styled great & didn’t feel greasy the way that I thought it would.
  • I’ll give this another week of use & then form a solid opinion.

*10 day’s later… & I like it! I’ve implemented a tip from that site though & have alternated washings 1 using the homemade shampoo & the next time using the organix shampoo I was previously using. I’ll probably do that until the Organix is gone, letting my hair & scalp adjust to using the crazy stuff.*

Homemade Laundry Detergent

Clicking on THIS LINK will take you to a page with 10 different versions of easy to make laundry detergent. I have stuck with Recipe #4 ….. because…. well because 😀 If you try a different one & like it let me know & maybe I’ll give it a shot!

That’s all for now. I’ve tried a few other things this week but haven’t used them enough to suggest them or give any review. I’ll be posting another review with recipe’s next week. If this was helpful let me know & if I can make it more helpful feel free to give me suggestions. If you are interested in a topic that you think I might know about feel free to ask & I’d love to help!