A Message for the Lonely: You are Not Alone

Disclaimer: I wasn’t planning to post this. I actually wrote this months ago. I didn’t want it to make people feel awkward or obligated. (You’ll understand as you read). But… I feel like I need to share because this is part of life, and part of my struggles.

Based on a conversation with other moms a few weeks ago, I think many can relate. My hopes are that by sharing our hearts we can help each other reach truth and self acceptance. So please know, I’m not doing this in an attempt to seek attention, I’m doing this in an attempt to seek healing. I’m also posting this for all other women who struggle with feelings of loneliness to know: You are not alone.

You know that saying, “Nothing good every happens after midnight?” Well, in mom terms that translates to “Nothing good every happens after 9:00PM.” This seems especially true tonight.

Scrolling through social media late at night is just not a good idea for me… I felt pretty good about myself right before I opened up my computer, and now I am in tears. (This outcome is also magnified by hormones LoL) All I could see was the success of others that I didn’t have yet, the parties and celebrations that I wasn’t invited to, and the friends and deep connection with others that seemed out of my reach. 

My heart is breaking. I feel like I don’t belong. I feel unwanted. I feel unlovable. I feel forgotten. I feel a deep ache in my heart. I feel a longing in my heart for connection. Real connection. A connection I had with a group of friends in college. We could openly share our struggles, our joys, our awkwardness with each other without any judgement, knowing we’d have unconditional love for each other…. I miss that kind of connection.

So now who do I talk to? I feel like I really don’t have that one girlfriend that I can spill my guts to. (Update: I know this is now a lie, as so many friends have opened up to me in the past few weeks… but alas, this was my thought when I wrote this.) So I’m spilling my guts to my computer screen. At 11PM. On a Monday. God, help me. (Literally).

I am reading the book Uninvited by Lysa Terkeurst right now, and it’s so fitting. I just started and feel like I’ve gotten bits of nuggets from it, but still waiting for my ah-ha! moment to arrive and be fixed… but that doesn’t just happen from reading a book. That happens from intentional prayer, reading multiple books, chewing on the truth (not literally, but mentally), hashing things out with God, waiting, listening, worshiping, and possibly repeating the process multiple times.

What I do know is how I feel, and I recognize these are lies. I feel unwanted… forgotten… unlovable…. maybe I start to believe the lies because I can think of so many events I wasn’t invited to, inside jokes I don’t know, opportunities I wasn’t included in, the times people who I’ve met before literally forgot me. Every time one of these things happen, it’s like a tiny stab in my heart. So I scroll through a Facebook feed and those tiny stabs lead to a gaping hole.

A hole in my heart that people aren’t meant to fill. My feelings of being loved don’t reside in people justifying it. I (should) know I am loved, because I am called Beloved by my Creator and Savior. I belong because He says I belong to Him. I may not belong to every clique or club, but I belong to His kingdom, and that (should be) is enough. I am never forgotten. My God knows my thoughts, my sorrows, my emotions every second of every day… and despite that He still wants me. He longs for my heart. I long for that to be enough.

How do I believe this truth? I know I’m not the only one who has these struggles. Please share your tips and truths below.

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doTERRA BOGO: Frankincense & Jasmine

If we have personally chatted about dōTERRA essential oils before, then you know I have a saying… “When in doubt get your Frankincense out,” because it’s good for SO many things! Well, now is your chance to stock up because dōTERRA’s BOGO is featuring two of their most precious oils.

Today only if you purchase dōTERRA Frankincense Touch roller, you’ll get a Jasmine Touch roller absolutely FREE… and y’all, Jasmine is such a precious oil. Here are a few popular uses of these oils.

FRANKINCENSE:
🌿 Mood support
🌿 Immune Booster
🌿 Promotes healthy cellular response
🌿 Supports your brain health

JASMINE:
🌿 Reduces anxious feelings
🌿 Promotes healthy, glowing skin
🌿 Helps to balance your hormones

Plus use both of these oils together to naturally reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

Excuse me, while I go stock up on these most treasured oils! Do you need help ordering these oils? Simply go to mydoterra.com/amandagerber and just add the items to your cart. You can order 4 BOGOs per account per day. For the BEST price click “Join & Save” to get wholesale pricing for a year. No selling or monthly orders required for this.

PLUS with the purchase of any enrollment kit, you can get a FREE Wild Orange this month only. If your enrollment order is 200PV or more, you can get a FREE Wild Orange and FREE Copaiba! Come on, now. It doesn’t get much better than that! Well… it actually does because then you get my personal welcome gift, a free wellness consultation with yours truly, and I’ll support you every step of the way in your journey towards a healthy and happy life.

What’s your favorite way to use Frankincense?

doTERRA BOGO: Spearmint & Lime AND Tangerine

Y’all… doTERRA is kind of blowing my mind right now. I thought yesterday’s BOGO couldn’t get any better, but they are giving us TWO free oils today. WWWHHHHAAATTT?!?! Ok, let’s get to it! Check out the oily goodness going on right now.

Today only (July 17, 2018) if you purchase doTERRA Spearmint essential oil, you’ll get a free Tangerine and Lime essential oil. Y’all I use this combination for all the things: I diffuse this in the morning to help me wake up before the coffee kicks in, I rub this on my wrist before working out to get me in the zone, and this is a great blend to use internally for any sort of tummy troubles.

Spearmint can used aromatically, topically, and internally for:

  • A more mild option to Peppermint for kiddos
  • Soothe occasional upset stomaches
  • Natural breathe mint
  • Combine with citrus oils for a natural energy boost
  • Uplift the mood in your home
  • Create a sense of focus

Tangerine can be used aromatically, topically, and internally for:

  • Cleansing your body
  • Purifying your home
  • Uplifting your mood
  • Adding to your summer beverages for a sweet and tangy flavor
  • Creating a feeling of confidence and assurance

Lime can be used aromatically, topically, and internally for:

  • Supporting healthy immune function
  • Cleansing your body
  • Promotes emotional balance and well being
  • Removing sticky residue
  • Add to your beverages for antioxidant support

So, how can you take advantage of these BOGOs going on this week? Go to my website mydoterra.com/amandagerber and just add the items to your cart. You can order 4 BOGOs per account per day. For the BEST price click “Join & Save” to get wholesale pricing for a year. No selling or monthly orders required for this. 

PLUS with the purchase of any enrollment kit, you can get a FREE Wild Orange this month only. If your enrollment order is 200PV or more, you can get a FREE Wild Orange and FREE Copaiba! Come on, now. It doesn’t get much better than that! Well… it actually does because then you get my personal welcome gift, a free wellness consultation with yours truly, and I’ll support you every step of the way in your journey towards a healthy and happy life.

How are you looking forward to using these free oils in your home?

doTERRA BOGO: Serenity & Lavender

It’s Christmas in July! Not only is it Amazon Prime Day, but doTERRA has kicked off a week of BOGOs today. I’m gonna keep this super short and sweet, but I wanted to let you know the BOGOs that are happening today.

If you purchase a bottle of doTERRA’s Serenity (Restful Blend), you’ll get a bottle of doTERRA Lavender essential oil for free. Y’all… it doesn’t get much better than this! These are two essential oils that I use every day. Check out some of the benefits.

doTERRA Serenity (Restful Blend) can be used aromatically or topically

  • A good night’s sleep
  • Supports a healthy mood
  • Calm the cranky kids
  • Beautiful aroma for a natural perfume
  • Helps you chill out

doTERRA Lavender can be used aromatically, topically or internally

  • All things soothing
  • Soothes itchy or irritated skin
  • Soothes frazzled emotions
  • Soothes sore and tired muscles
  • Soothes head tension

So, how can you take advantage of these BOGOs going on this week? Go to my website mydoterra.com/amandagerber and just add the items to your cart. You can order 4 BOGOs per account per day. For the BEST price click “Join & Save” to get wholesale pricing for a year. No selling or monthly orders required for this. 

PLUS with the purchase of any enrollment kit, you can get a FREE Wild Orange this month only. If your enrollment order is 200PV or more, you can get a FREE Wild Orange and FREE Copaiba! Come on, now. It doesn’t get much better than that! Well… it actually does because then you get my personal welcome gift, a free wellness consultation with yours truly, and I’ll support you every step of the way in your journey towards a healthy and happy life.

Who else is excited about this BOGO?! I’d love to know, what’s your favorite way to use Lavender essential oil?

Homemade Crunchy Granola

Yogurt for dinner. This is the kind of dinner I have when my husband is gone. I make random dishes that he doesn’t enjoy: lentil soup, rice and beans, vegan chili, and many plant based recipes on my mind. Now, to be fair: my husbands loves his veggies, but he also loves his meat. So, when he’s gone, we pretty much go plant based because that’s my jam. Plus, I finally found a dairy free yogurt that I love: So Delicious. It’s a coconut milk based yogurt. I like to buy plain and then sweeten it myself.

So, one evening we wanted yogurt for dinner. The kids thought it was a fun idea, and I always think of the movie Julie + Julia when I eat this. However, if you’re gonna have yogurt for dinner, you need all the toppings to go with it. (If you give a mouse a cookie…).  We had plenty of berries, honey, chia seeds… but we didn’t have any granola. Now, I’ve made homemade granola in the past, but I’ve never been able to get it “clumpy,” and all clumpy granola recipes I was finding was using egg as the binder. Now, I’m not 100% vegan, but I like to limit the amount of animal products I eat (except honey, there are so many health benefits, I still use it often).

I finally stumbled upon a recipe by COOKIE + kate that promised clumpy granola without using eggs. I tweaked it a little, and my kids and I love it. Today, I’m sharing my version of this recipe with you… but first, look at the “clumpiness!”

 (Then just break it into the size you want!)

Ingredients

  • 4 cups rolled oats
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped nuts (I used pecans and walnuts)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1/2 liquid sweetener (I used half honey and half maple syrup)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup coconut flakes

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the dry ingredients.
  3. Combine the wet ingredients in a small bowl, and add to the dry ingredients.
  4. Mix really well to ensure it’s well incorporated.
  5. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper, and pour granola onto the sheet. Make sure to pack it really tight together to help it clump together.
  6. Bake for a total time of 22 minutes, and stir halfway through.
  7. Allow it to cool completely before breaking it up. This will ensure it clumps.
  8. Store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

Notes

  • I know honey isn’t vegan, but I still use it regularly as it has many health benefits. Feel free to use all maple syrup or agave to make this recipe 100% vegan. You do you.
  • Technically, this is a gluten free recipe, but some oats still contain gluten, so make sure your oats are safe if you have a gluten allergy.
  • Pretty much anything can be substituted or added to this recipe, you may just need to make a few adjustments! Some optional add ins are: dried fruit, seeds, and additional spices.

Enjoy this granola over your yogurt, in your bowl of almond milk (check out my easy homemade recipe), or just on its own as a snack!

Check out the poll I did on Instagram. The amount of people that find it acceptable to eat yogurt for dinner is pretty even, so how about you: Yogurt for dinner?

 

Self Care Series: Sunshine

It’s time for another segment of our Self Care Series: yay! Ok, y’all… First, I have to show you just the awesomeness (yes, it’s a word… in my book! 😉 ) of the timing of this series: 

1. May is Mental Health Awareness Month: Hello?!? Self Care = Self Love.

2. I am currently listening to Tiffany Peterson’s Mindset Makeover Series, which focuses on mindset and self care… you guys.

Ok, now that I got THAT out of the way, let’s continue. Last time, I chatted with y’all about sleep, and today I am going to talk about something that may seem totally opposite of that, but it’s equally important: SUNSHINE. Yep, sunshine!

Now, I’m not going to tell you that you need to spend hours a day soaking up the rays, because, hello: skin cancer. BUT I do think it’s really good for your body to get sunshine every single day. So, I’m going to share my routine with you, and you can cater it to your liking and schedule.

My husband and I have been beginning our day together outside. It’s beautiful, y’all… not my backyard, my backyard is just typical, the beautiful aspect is starting the day together outside. We have no rigid routine set for ourselves, we just sit out there after getting our oldest to the bus stop and the younger three kiddos play outside and eat dirt and whatnot. We’ll drink our coffee, read whatever book we happen to be working on (I am currently reading Uninvited by Lysa Terkeurst), and just hang out for a bit before he has to leave for work.

What I also started doing was literally laying out in the sun. Not for the sake of tanning, because anyone who knows me knows I don’t tan (despite the fact that my mom is Hispanic, therefore making me half Hispanic… still no tan for me). However, I LOVE LOVE LOVE the feeling of the sun on my skin. I don’t know why, I can’t explain it, but I do. 

I remember laying out with my friend Amanda from college on random big rocks the campus had placed throughout the college. There we were laying out on these big rocks right outside of the UCC (I don’t even remember what UCC stands for anymore… I am so old!). The feeling of the sun on my skin is addicting.

I have been laying out for 15 minutes a day for the past couple of months. During nap time when the sun is shining the most, I’ll throw on a tank top and shorts I would never wear in public, and lay out on our outdoor couch. I set my timer so I won’t fall asleep out there, because the heat in South Texas is no joke y’all. This 15 minutes is bliss.

Here are some health benefits from getting sunshine:

– Can help to lower your cholesterol 

– Can help to lower your blood pressure

– Supports your immune system

– Elevate your mood

– Creates Vitamin D in your body

– Improves the appearance of your skin

**Note: We all know that prolonged exposure to the sun can lead to skin cancer, so keep these times brief. If you’re going to be in the sunshine for more than 15 minutes, then you’ll want to protect your skin. Preferably with a natural sun screen!**

I wanna hear from you! Do you enjoy being out in the sun?

Mental Health Awareness Month: Cling to Hope

I didn’t expect this blog post to be so difficult to write. I knew I wanted to write about Mental Health Awareness, but I didn’t know how to approach this article… and not because I feel like I don’t have a voice in this battle. I know I have a voice, a story, and a passion about mental health… but how on earth do I put words to the ache in my heart?

I fought depression on and off from 11 years old to 28 years old. I am only 31 years old. I struggled with anorexia in middle school, late in college, and then briefly after having my second child. Depression has been a part of my life more often than not. Depression is what stole my childhood. Depression is what stole my motherhood for the first 4 years of it. Depression stole my identity for so long. I believed the lies it fed me for far too long. The lies of You’re not good enough. You’re not worthy of (Fill in the blank/literally anything other than pain). You’re not loved.

Y’all I went so long believing these lies were true. It wasn’t until I was about 26 years old and in counseling while I was recounting my thoughts out loud to my counselor. Specific thoughts I had when I debated with the idea of suicide… My counselor was able to help me realize that those thoughts were some dark lies. Many have said suicide is a selfish decision, and I understand that perspective. I also understand the perspective of the one with suicidial ideations… you’ve convinced yourself this is the most selfless thing you can do for your family. You’ve convinced yourself that they are better off without you, that you’re easily replaceable, and that you truly don’t matter. You’ve convinced yourself that the lies are true. **Please note: If you are thinking about suicide, I urge you to stay. Stop listening to the lies in your head. Know that you are LOVED. You matter. You have purpose. Go get professional help.**

This month, and every month, I stand with those of you affected by mental illness: depression, anxiety, eating disorders, bipolar, schizophrenia, you name it. I stand with you, I will fight for you, and I will pray endlessly that you hear God’s truth, and not lies.

Even though I had studied for years about psychology and have a Master’s Degree in Clinical Psychology, it took my husband to convince me to get help. I was in such a dark place after we had our third child… I went to counseling, I took Zoloft for a while, I continued studying and found Dr. Caroline Leaf’s work from my counselor’s suggestion. (If toxic thoughts are running your life, I highly recommend her book Switch on your Brain). Before we got pregnant with Sarah, while working with my doctor, I weaned off of Zoloft. I started using some holistic measures in place of it (and still do), and after having my fourth baby I didn’t struggled with postpartum depression. I don’t know if you can appreciate the magnitude of that sentence… for the first time in YEARS I didn’t have to battle my mind while caring for my children. Sure, I still dealt with those raging hormones the first couple of months, but I felt the JOY of motherhood that I had only heard about from other moms. To this day I don’t have to take Zoloft, and I no longer have to fight the daily fight to chose life and not death. 

I want to provide hope. If you’ve been struggling with mental illness for months, years, or decades… there is hope. I know, please trust me I know, sometimes it feels helpless. I have many memories of crying out to God begging him to just take it away. I am incredibly thankful He provided me with a solution for my body and emotions.  I want to encourage you to continue to seek help and healing. Reach out to your loved ones. Know that you are loved, wanted, valued. Go to counseling. Provide your body with solid nutrition, exercise and supplements. Feed your mind with positive thoughts and emotions. Surround yourself with loving people and influences. Believe in healing. Cling to hope.