Sunday, October 30, 2011

How Good It Is!

"How good and pleasant it is
when brothers live together in unity!
It is like precious oil poured on the head,
running down on the beard,
down upon the collar of his robes.
It is as if the dew of Hermon
were falling on Mount Zion.
For there the LORD bestows his blessing,
even life forevermore."
~Psalm 133

photo credit:  Bing images

Abba Father,

This day grant us unity in Your name.  I praise you for the gift of meeting together with brothers and sisters in Christ who love You and love Your Word.

Come.  Walk among us.  Dwell within us.  May Your Holy Spirit burn within us and refine our hearts.  

May we each belong to You alone.  May no other allegiance be found in our hearts, except allegiance to You.  

Thank you for this joy of being connected to the body of Christ, of meeting together with the church and praising Your name corporately.  May we never, never take that for granted or treat it callously.

In the name of Jesus,


Enjoy today,

Friday, October 28, 2011

Three Marbles

Quickly piling into the back seat of the well-worn Jeep, our small group was abuzz with what we had just experienced.

"Did you see that little boy, the one with the red shirt?"

"I know, I know.  It broke my heart, too.  But their smiles, did you see their smiles?"

"Absolutely.  And their love?"


I hear a small voice next to me.  On my right sits my blonde-haired eight-year-old son, my bold man-child named Caleb, whose name itself means courage.  Caleb had wished and hoped and prayed to join us on this short-term mission trip to Colombia, South America, and now here he was, riding beside me in the backseat and hugging and loving everyone in the name of Jesus right along with our group.



I turn to look his way, distracted with all of the stories I am hearing from our friends riding with us.

His small hand, still fresh with youth and innocence, unspeckled of age and worry, holds three marbles.  Their dull glass surfaces are clouded with the grime of the village street.

I would easily toss these in the trash on any given day, along with the miscellaneous Legos, bits of Play-Doh and broken crayons that I find hidden in the nooks and crannies of our home. 

"Where did you get those, Caleb?"

"A little boy gave them to me back at the slum, Mama.  I tried to give them back to him a couple times, but he kept pushing them in my hands and shaking his head and pointing at me and smiling.  Is it okay if I keep them?"

A hush fell over all of us.

Our missionary friend driving the Jeep made eye contact with Caleb in the rearview mirror.

"Caleb, you need to know that those three marbles you hold in your hand were probably the only earthly possession that young boy owned."  Dale explained.  "They are most likely the only manufactured toy that he has ever had.  It is truly a great treasure for him to give them to you."

This story, and others like it, stay with me.  They become a part of the fabric of our hearts, the quilt of the story of our lives.

And the question remains...What do I do with what the Lord has blessed me with?  Am I holding tightly onto my three marbles, fists clenched shut; or like the young boy with open hands and willing heart, will I choose to smile and give it all away for Christ?

For His Glory,


Monday, October 24, 2011

That Sweet Salty Air

This past week, my family and I had the joy of vacationing together for a week in a North Carolina beach house.  It was absolutely glorious.  There is just something about that salty ocean air that never fails to revive the soul and refresh the spirit.

We rode bike trails, played board games, wallowed in the sand and just generally enjoyed one another's company.

It is such a gift to be with the ones you love.  We are not guaranteed anything in this life, except the love of Jesus Christ.

To walk beside the one you love while holding hands and watching dolphins leap and frolic in evening tide; that is a gift.  To prepare another meal for the sweet little faces at your table, and sit and dine with them and hear their stories; that is a gift.  To roll, weak with laughter, again and again down a giant sand dune while playing "King of the Hill" with your husband and children, all of you jelly-legged from the deep gut-wrenching joy; that is a gift.

Thank you, Abba, for all of these gifts and more.  I am forever grateful.

"Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows."  ~James 1:17

Enjoy today,

Thursday, October 20, 2011

7 Easy Steps to a Healthier Home

In our fast-paced society where schedules are ever-filling and stuff is ever-increasing, sometimes we feel like having a healthy home and living at a more natural pace of life is unachievable.  It's easy to feel as if our surroundings are controlling us.

However, it doesn't have to be this way.  It is absolutely possible, and simpler than you may imagine, to begin to attain a healthier home environment.  All it requires of you is putting some teeth to your intentions.

Here is a list of 7 easy steps you can take today on your path toward a healthier home:

My youngest son, Isaac, whose name means "laughter".
1.  Smile.  That's right.  Smile.  There's an old song that says, "You're never fully dressed without a smile."  Smile up to God, smile to yourself, smile to your family and smile at strangers.

Can't think of anything to smile about?  Do you have a roof over your head?  What about running water?  Clothes to wear?  Food to eat?  What about any form of transportation (even access to public)?  According to the book "Radical" by David Platt, if you have these things, you are in the top 15 per cent of the world's weathiest people.  So what do you do with that?  Start by thanking God and smiling.  Stop thinking about what you don't have, and start being grateful for what He has blessed you with.  And then, open your heart and hands and share!  By the way, that's another easy step to healthy living.

The Bible says in Proverbs 17:22 that, "A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones."  So let's wipe those frowns upside down and get on to the process of establishing a healthier home!  

2.  Go for a walk.  Need to clear your brain and get a fresh perspective?  I always find that a walk does it for me.  Preferably somewhere with plenty of green in it.  To listen to the wind blowing, see the changing leaves, possibly even feel a raindrop or two on my upturned face; these are cleansing gifts from God.

3.  Clean up.  Set your timer for 15 minutes at a time in a specific area to clean, and you will be amazed at how much you will accomplish.  Cleaning an area not only provides you and your family with a healthier environment physically, but it also grants your eye and your mind clear space in which to rest.

4.  Add some green.  Bring in the plants!  Acquiring just one or two non-finicky houseplants goes a long way in bringing life to your home.  Plants also work hard to clean the air that you are breathing.  We have all known for quite some time that plants clean the air of carbon dioxide and release oxygen back into it.  New scientific research also shows that many common houseplants also absorb benzene, formaldehyde and trichloroethylene as well.


In a recent two-year NASA study on the benefits of houseplants for air quality, they recommended that it is best to use 15 to 18 good-sized houseplants in six-inch to eight-inch diameter containers to improve air quality in an average 1,800 square foot house.   Read more here.

5.  Eat real food.  Real food nourishes your body.  Processed food doesn't.  It's that simple.  If you can't pronounce the ingredients, chances are you shouldn't be putting it in your body.  Make it a goal to eat food that has as few ingredients as possible.  For example, an apple has one ingredient only:  apple.

6.  Garden.  Start small if you haven't been gardening before now.  Possibly a raised bed, or a small kitchen garden.  Enjoy the daily maintenance of your plot and what it can add to your family dinner table.  It's heading into winter now, so it's a good season to spend some time looking at seed catalogs planning for the spring.
 Fall is also the time to spread some aged manure or fallen leaves onto your beds.  This will allow the nutrients to work their way into your soil all winter long.

Start a small compost bin or pile.  Anything and everything you can put in there, do!  Your kitchen scraps and yard trimmings will be put to good use to feed your soil and thus, feed your family; instead of going out to the weekly trash truck and filling our landfills with needless waste.  All those free vitamins  and nutrients are great nourishment for your garden.

My daughter, Tannah, enjoying a strawberry in our springtime raised beds.
7.  Get a pet.  (or love your pet).   If I could, I would have pet chickens.  Who laid eggs.  Which would be hens.  Unfortunately, it's against my zoning code according to my city ordinances at this I have chicken rain boots.  A girl can dream, can't she?

Animals are just good for the heart and soul.  They are a wonderful good gift of God, and a joy to love and care for.  If you already have animals, show them some love!  Spend time with your children giving that doggy a bath, playing with the hermit crab (don't ask how many we have now...), or playing with the kitten.  And enjoy the natural endorphins God will send your way when you do.
Enjoy today,

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Why all-natural?

Welcome!  Here at lavame clean, we like to keep things all-natural with only the very best ingredients for your skin.  Why, you ask?

Well, we believe that all-natural is the way God intended things.  In creating the world and everything in it, He gave us all we would need to sustain our health and well-being.  We need only look out our front door into nature to find the best remedies for our bodies' health and wellness.  We seek and use only the finest 100 per cent all-natural ingredients in each and every one of our pure, hand-crafted soaps.

Every bar of lavame clean soap contains coconut oil, olive oil and pure water.  If there is any coloring to your beautiful bar of soap, you can rest assured it is from a natural additive able to be found in anyone's kitchen pantry.  We use only essential oils for scent, never any artificial fragrance.  As a result, many of our soaps have mood enhancing qualities to their personalities found in the individual properties of the essential oils. 

I am certainly no doctor, nor a medical practitioner of any kind.  Nonetheless, I have found it to be true over the years that when I make more natural choices for my family and myself, we reap the benefits!  When one of us has a headache, a little lavender or eucalyptus oil usually does the trick to ease the pain.  When I need an energy burst, I put into action some citrus oil for a quick pick-me-up.  When skin needs soothing, a good oat bar usually does the trick.

Did you know that your skin is the largest organ on your body?  In the average adult, it is said that the skin weighs around six pounds and covers approximately 3,000 square inches!  That's a lot of territory!

Many drugs and medicines are administered today through transdermal skin patches.  They have shown to be up to 95 per cent more effective than oral medication.  If our bodies are able to absorb medicines through our skin, what else are we absorbing daily in the way of chemicals from commercial soaps, lotions and cosmetics?

I believe you should be able to recognize and pronounce all of the ingredients in your soap that you are feeding your body through your largest organ, your skin.  You wouldn't take a big bite of  a chemical whose name you don't recognize and have no idea what it is or where it comes from.

When you use a finished cake of our lavender oat for your body, you are nourishing your skin with simply coconut oil, olive oil, pure water, lavender essential oil and oats.  Good for the body, good for the soul.  Happy cleansing!

Enjoy today,