Sunday, September 28, 2014

Could You Worship with a Broken Heart?

Today in church, the worship team began singing “Our God,” by Chris Tomlin. As we got to the chorus:

“Our God is greater
Our God is stronger
God you are higher than any other
Our God is Healer
Awesome in power
Our God, Our God
and if our God is for us
Then who could ever stop us
And if our God is with us
Then what could stand against”

I raised my hands to the sky praising my God who is stronger and is a healer. Suddenly I was overcome with emotion as I thought about Ethan Hallmark and Kylie Rowand. Ethan Hallmark was a 13-year-old courageous little boy who died two days ago after a 4-year battle with cancer. Kylie Rowand is a two-year-old precious baby girl who has just relapsed and her doctors have given up. My arms fell down and I couldn’t stop the tears from falling onto my shirt. It is so easy for us to stand in church and worship with joy in our hearts. It is so easy for us to clap along to the songs about how good our God is. It is so easy to listen to the pastor share about how we are created in God’s image. It is so easy for us to be inspired to love more and love deeper. But damnit, you know what makes that hard? When you loose your teenager who had a dream to play baseball, a sweet boy who whispered to his mama over and over during his last few days of life, that he loved her. When you are told your two-year-old baby girl is probably not going to live to see her 3rd birthday.

The congregation kept worshiping. I heard voices singing out to Him and praising Him. All I kept thinking was, could I hold my hands high in worship if I was in those circumstances? I don’t think I could. When Kicker was first diagnosed, I felt this deep anger toward God. How could HE let this happen? It took at least a few months for me to begin talking to Him again, trusting Him and crying out to Him. It will be almost 10 months from when Kicker was diagnosed, and I now am confident in the Lord’s calling for our family. I am confident He will heal my son. I have peace and joy as I have seen the incredible healing that has taken place in my son.  Now it is ‘easy’ for me to raise my hands in worship.  

I stood there weak and numb. I couldn’t raise my arms again up if I wanted. I couldn’t even mutter the words to the rest of the worship song. I just cried, as quietly and controlled as I could.  Do you know what Ethan said recently, before he died? He said, “If I do die from this disease, I’m going to kneel before my Savior and hope He says, 'well done, good and faithful servant.'” He was 13. His faith was unmovable. He knew his maker had a plan for his life. I want Ethan’s spirit. I want that peace.

After church, a friend came up to me and said, “How are you doing?” I just wanted to breakdown and fall into her arms and tell her how my heart is literally breaking apart for these children and parents. I wanted to tell her how unfair it was. I wanted to ask her why this loving God of ours would let this happen. But I held it together and I clenched my jaw to keep the tears in. I told her we are great and that I have a busy week ahead planning our first annual KICKcancER Retreat that we are so excited about.

I don’t want anymore kids to die. I don’t think my heart could break into any smaller pieces. Someone asked the other day “how do you have the time and energy to start a foundation to help other kids, you have so much on your plate.” How? Well, if you knew there was something that could possibly help children who are fighting for their life, wouldn’t you find the time? I will do whatever it takes and I won’t stop. I know that it is not I who is able to save children’s lives, but I do know that God can use me to share His truth about how to help these babies heal, and I sure as hell am going to do it. So I  challenge both you and I…in the darkest, deepest pain, will we be able to stand and worship our Savior who IS good? If we knew our end was near, cold we have faith like Ethan and proclaim “If I do die  I’m going to kneel before my Savior and hope He says, 'well done, good and faithful servant.”

Clean & Green Body Products

Your skin, aside from being one of your organs of detoxification, is also the 2nd largest organ in your body. Often times, it appears to be the first to show degeneration or imbalances and the last to heal. It weighs almost twice as much as the brain and it receives one third of the circulation of the blood. Its functions include:

• Works as a protective shield to the body structure
• Helps to regulate body temperature
• Works as a respiratory organ
• Performs absorption activities by assimilating oxygen and other nutrients
• Aids in elimination of toxic wastes from the body

When we apply products to our skin, it is quickly absorbed into the blood stream. In fact, those toxins can get into the blood stream quicker than if we were to eat them. This is why it is just as important to use clean body products as it is to eat clean foods. 

In all honesty, the most difficult body product for me to replace with an all natural, clean product was deodorant. I had tried so many different 'all natural' deodorants out there and none of them worked. For a while, my pride was a bit stronger than my desire to  not continually apply toxic, cancer causing chemicals directly into the lymphatic system near my breasts. Then one day in my research, I was reading this study, and realized that women with breast cancer have higher levels of aluminum in their nipple aspirate fluid (NAF), a fluid present in the breast duct tree. Done and done. I threw my Dove away and immediately began using Primal Pit Paste. You guys…the name is as amazing as the product. IT WORKS! And it is 100% clean.  Quickly, I began sorting through my bathroom cabinets and reading ingredients. Here is a list of the super clean, organic products that I use everyday and am 100% pleased with!

Dr. Rons MSM Moisturizing Shampoo and Conditioner: This leaves my hair feeling soft and shiny without all of the toxic chemicals and synthetic fragrance. Even many organic shampoos and conditioners have fragrance. Fragrance can contain harmful chemicals and unnecessary toxins.

Desert Essence Natural Tea Tree Oil & Neem Toothpaste: It is so important to avoid any toothpaste that has fluoride in it!  Fluoride is a dangerous toxic poison that is ineffective in preventing tooth decay!  You can learn more about the dangers of fluoride by reading this article. 

Coconut Oil: Coconut oil is an incredible product that can be used for cooking, cleaning, diaper rash, and so on.  (Don't worry, I separate the coconut oil into different containers for each use).  In fact, here is a great article about 101 uses for coconut oil!  I use this as face and body lotion, lubricant and for my daily detox routine of oil pulling.  Oil pulling is an incredible way to remove bacteria from the mouth, whiten your teeth and help reverse dental caries.  

doTERRA Essential Oils: The incredible potency and purity of these oils, allows them to penetrate the cell wall!  This is very beneficial for killing bacteria and viruses that can manifest as acne, rashes, etc.  I use the brand new Verage face wash and follow with Immortelle roll on.  Immortelle has been studied for its ability to help reduce inflammation, protect the skin from UV radiation and promote healthy cellar function and proper hydration of the skin. Melaleuca oil is used for any breakouts.  I dab one drop on the spot of concern and its anti fungal and antibacterial properties help clear up skin.

Dry Brush: This is a very effective way to detox the body daily.  Dry Brushing removes dead skin cells, it cleanse the pores, stimulates the hormone and oil-producing glands in the skin, helps keep the skin soft and youthful and assists the body in the removal of toxins. Use a natural vegetable bristle brush, using short strokes in a circular motion.  Brush very lightly over the entire outer surface of the body.  Brush from the head, the tips of the finger, the tips of the toes toward the heart. 

Top 10 Ingredients to Avoid:
This is a great, informative list from this Huffington Post Report with my own commentary added: 

1. Parabens
These are known carcinogens as they mimic estrogen! They are found in lotion, shampoo, conditioner, makeup, etc.

2. Formaldehyde
The following ingredients contain formaldehyde, may release formaldehyde or may break down into formaldehyde:
            Diazolidinyl urea
            DMDM hydantoin
            Imidazolidinyl urea
            Quaternium 15

3. 1,4-dioxane 
1,4-dioxane is produced during manufacturing, the FDA does not require for it to be listed as an ingredient on the labels of products. When you purchase organic products it will not contain 1,4-dioxane

4. Phthalates
This is not usually listed on the label; but it is found in fragrance and other toxic ingredients in your products. A lot of companies are, however, starting to list "phthalate free." So when in doubt always make sure the product says 'phthalate free.'

5. Diethanolamine (DEA), Triethanolamine (TEA), monoethanolamine (MEA)

6. Diazolidinyl Urea, Imidazolidinyl Urea

7. Sodium Lauryl/Laureth Sulfate, and Ammonium laureth sulphate

8. Propylene Glycol and PEG's

9. PVP/VA Copolymer

10. Nano-particles

11. Fragrance
Fragrance can contain harmful chemicals and ingredients, it is always best to avoid products with fragrance unless the fragrance is from the aroma of an essential oil. 

You have spent so much time and effort cleaning up your diet, don't let your efforts be in vein.  Lets do the best we can to make sure we are honoring our body and maintaing real health.  If you are unsure of the integrity of your current body products, head over to the Environmental Working Group and see the current toxicity ratings of your products!  One of my favorite places to find all natural and organic body products at an affordable price is  Just remember…ALWAYS read your labels!