I Used to Despise Women & Femininity


I am almost ashamed to admit this but… there was a time when I did not want to be a woman. Let me clarify this, I didn’t want to be a man or anything. I still wanted to be a female, I just didn’t want to act like a woman. You see, in the house where I grew up, my feminine role model was a bit out of sorts. Maybe you can relate?

My perception as a teenager was that my mother was a childlike, Rx addicted, bipolar mess. She would spend all of our money, blame it on PMS, then throw a pity party and invite us all. I watched her manipulate us with her emotions so many times and hurt us so deeply that I swore I would never be anything like her. For me, that meant no crying, no vulnerability, no emotional attachment. I especially strayed from relationships with women. It seemed as though all of my best girl friends always betrayed me or reminded me of my mother in some way.

I didn’t let men open doors for me. That showed weakness. I told you I was a bit warped. In fact, I used to have a saying that I would use anytime I caught myself being emotional or feminine, I would say, “Ugh, I’m such a girl”. I despised it. It took years of praying and heartfelt repentance to bring me to a new place. But still, it wasn’t easy.

God answered my prayers though. He put two gentlemen in my life who saw what a mess I was and I honestly believe God used them to retrain me. When we were out and about they refused to let me open a door, pump gas, carry heavy things, and all of that other stuff. One of them, in one of the weakest moments of my life when I did cry said to me, “Don’t hide your face when you cry. It’s OK.” He was right. It was OK. The other reminded me constantly that I was indeed a girl and it was more than okay to act like one.

Had these two friends not been in my life I don’t think I ever would have accepted my husband when I met him. He was too much of a gentleman. He does so much for me, carrying in groceries, opening doors, cleans up, makes me ice cream, carries my books, and so much more and I love it! He makes me feel like a woman! This truly is what God meant for our lives as women. We are the soft, gentle, sometimes emotional ones. I embrace that now. I find joy in feminine things.

And my mom, the woman I resisted for so long, is now mom again. A few years God intervened in our life in a mighty way. She developed some health problems that caused her kidneys to almost completely shut down. We thought we were going to lose her. God healed her body and our hearts. Things haven’t been the same since. My self righteous attitude towards her is gone now. I began to see her as a person and not as a reason and excuse for my behavior. She is a wonderful woman with so much to offer. We still have a ways to go in our relationship but it is improving even daily.


I’m also letting other women in. I’ve embraced friendships and accepted the fact that sometimes, we fail but love doesn’t. If I love my friends and they love me then we will make it. I won’t say it’s easy. My protective stance still wants to jump in and push people away but I have found speaking God’s Word, His truth, over our relationships has helped tremendously. I invest in them and they invest in me.

I’ve come a long way. I’m embracing and striving for femininity more and more every day and my friends and I? We’re running this race together. My life is so fulfilled now that I don’t let my fears hinder me.

Sometimes our pasts do mold and shape us. However, it is up to us as to whether or not we allow God, the Potter, to reshape us. His way is better.

How to Make Deodorant – All Natural Deodorant Recipe

deodorant recipe

deodorant recipe

In my quest to lead a healthier, more natural lifestyle, I knew I had to find a new deodorant. There is too much research to suggest that some of the ingredients in commercial deodorants cause cancer or at least create an atmosphere for cancer to grow and thrive. We won’t get into the claims that it may contribute to alzheimer’s. To me, looking at what evidence does exist and the fact that these diseases are on the rise in countries and during our time when these products are readily available (and hardly ever questioned) is enough proof that we should just use something we know is safe.

That’s smart, right? Besides, I hate paying $5 for deodorant. This costs pennies on the dollar.

This is the most basic deodorant recipe. I find it works very well and you only need a little. I had to get used to applying it differently but after a couple of days it didn’t phase me one bit.

deodorant recipe that works

Basic Deodorant

  • 1/4 cup baking soda
  • 1/4 cup arrowroot powder (you can substitute cornstarch but some find that irritating to their skin)
  • 5 Tbsp. coconut oil
  • Essential oils (optional – I used 7 drops of lavender and 4 drops of tea tree)

Mix everything together in a bowl and place in a sterilized, glass container for storage. To use, swipe fingers in mixture and apply to underarms. If you can get past the fact that this isn’t a stick or a spray then you will be in for a treat!

infused coconut oil

If you want something a bit more softening and feminine then I suggest infusing your coconut oil prior to using it in the recipe. It’s super easy and gives the deodorant that added boost. The lavender also helps with irritation from shaving.

To infuse the oil (by the way I infuse so many different things: olive oil, vinegar, you name it!) you will need the following:

  • dried lavender
  • dried chamomile
  • dried calendula
  • coconut oil
  • glass jar

I get my ingredients from Mountain Rose Herbs but you can also find them on Amazon or at your local health food stores.

infused coconut oil for homemade deodorant

Gather your ingredients. Using about 2 cups of oil (melted) and a total of 1 cup of dried flowers (I mix them up) put all ingredients in the glass jar. Set out in the sun or on a window ledge for 4-5 days to allow the flowers to permeate the oil. After a few days, strain the oil using a coffee filter or cheese cloth. Use filtered oil to make deodorant. You’ll LOVE it!

I received several questions about how I filter the oil so here is a video to show you. Here are links to the products I use (affiliate) Japanese dripper and coffee pot.



Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. Purchases made through these links help to support our family and keep this site operating. Thank you!

Coffee Sugar Scrub Recipe – Moisturizing & Energizing!

coffeesugar scrub

I find my hands get really dry from time to time. I’ve used professional exfoliants and expensive moisturizers and though they work for the most part, I don’t know what is really in them and it gets quite costly to buy. So, you know me, I did some research.

I found that using sugar scrubs is one of the best things I can do for my skin. Sugar scrubs rid the skin of dead skin cells, dirt and other leftover products. They make your skin fresh and silky smooth and aids in your skins ability to rehydrate itself.

Let’s make it even better. Add coffee.

coffeesugar scrub

I first saw the idea of adding coffee to sugar scrubs in Stacy Karen’s ebook, Simple Scrubs to Make and Give. I took her idea and adapted it to my recipe. It awakens your senses, softens your hands, and gets you prepped for the day. I use it every morning and I LOVE it.


  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1⁄3 cup jojoba oil (you can substitute apricot, almond, olive or grapeseed)
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil, melted
  • 1/4 cup ground coffee (I like Community Coffee but I may be biased)
  • Vitamin E capsule (clip and squeeze)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp nutmeg


Mix all ingredients together and store in air tight container. Will keep for 6-8 weeks.

How to Use:

  • Wet hands. Apply scrub on hands and gently scrub together and around fingers to exfoliate.  Rinse and pat dry. Lift hands to face and cup nose. Inhale. Good, yes?

Stacy’s book is just ONE of 97 books and ecourses by your favorite bloggers that will be available for sale on Monday, April 29th. If you want full details (trust me you do want full details) come back on Monday and check out this amazing deal. I’ll be offering additional bonuses for everyone who purchases from my blog. Come back Monday, mm,kay?


Home Remedies for the Flu – Elderberry Syrup Recipe

home remedies for flu

I admit it. Until I realized I could make many things myself, I spent way too much money at our local health/whole foods stores. One item I purchased regularly was an immune tonic called Elderberry Syrup. Being of French descent this is something I grew up with. We believe in many homemade, natural concoctions for health benefits and this is one that has proven true over and over again.

We take it daily to boost our immune system and if we do get a cold or flu we take it every 3 hours or so. I also find this makes you have regular bowel movements. Sorry, it’s true. Why waste money on a fiber supplement? Boost your immune system and go regularly with this. You’re welcome.

Unfortunately, over the years the price has gone from $5 for a liter to just plain ridiculous. This stuff can cost $15 for a 4 oz bottle or if you buy the organic version, up to $50 a bottle! We each take at least one tablespoon of this per day. That is a bit pricey. Still, I paid for it because I knew how valuable the benefits were.

Then I found this recipe by Jodi from Granola Mom. I compared her recipe to the bottle of stuff we bought regularly and adjusted it to fit our needs. Now I make my own and save hundreds of dollars. Here is the altered recipe.

home remedies for flu

These are linked to my Amazon affiliate account. You can also purchase from your local health foods store or my favorite place, Mountain Rose Herbs.


I begin by boiling the 4 cups of water in a large, stainless steel pot. While it is coming to a boil I peel and chop the ginger into small pieces. A rough chop is all you need. Discard the peels. Then I cut the tips off of the vanilla and slice it down the center to reveal the precious vanilla caviar. Once it begins to boil I add everything but the honey.


Turn down the heat on low and allow it to simmer for 20-30 minutes. Every ten minutes or so I use a potato smasher and smash the berries and other ingredients to get as much of the goodness out of them as I can.

After it has simmered for at least half an hour, strain it into a bowl or other glass container. Again, smash it to get as much of the liquid out as possible. I sometimes strain it twice to avoid to much pulp being left behind. My kids aren’t fond of it.

natural home remedies

Next, allow it to cool for about 10-15 minutes or put into an ice bath to cool it more quickly. Once it is about room temperature, add the honey and mix well.

honey recipes

Finally pour into a glass jar or other container. Store in the refrigerator for up to 10-12 weeks. The honey will preserve it for about that length of time.

flue home remedies


Take one-two tablespoons every day. For kids (DO NOT give to children under the age of 2) up to 8 I think one tablespoon is fine. For teens and adults 2 tablespoons is a good amount. If you have a cold, infection, or flue, take an additional tablespoon every 3-4 hours.

About Kids:

Most of my kids squirm at the thought of anything “medicinal.” Modern medicine ruined them. Because they don’t like taking it as is, I just add it to their juice (apple or grape) with their breakfast in the morning. They get berry flavored juice and I smile knowing they are getting an extra immunity boost.


Because we live in a ridiculous world that likes to sue for all kinds of nonsense, I am obligated to say that I am not a doctor, pharmacist, or able to treat, diagnose, or offer advice for any ailment. I can only offer my own experience. Please consult your doctor before using this home remedy or any other. This post is for educational and informational purposes only.

Preschool, hospitals, birthdays, and lots of recipes going on…



I know it has been a while since I posted. Aside from the server issues, I’ve really just been spending too much time living life to actually write about it. That is a good thing. :) But, this has also motivated me and given me the opportunity to do so much and I’ve actually taken lots of pictures of my endeavors for use in future posts. Here are some of the highlights of my last couple of months.


Matthias is an inquisitive and eager little boy. I knew months ago when he started spouting off numbers, letters, and trying to read to me that he would need to start preschool soon. As he asked more and more questions and showed more interest I finally caved. I ordered his preschool curriculum, began collecting supplementary material and started redecorating our office into his preschool. He is so excited! These photos are from a couple of weeks ago. I can’t wait to show you what it looks like now.fdp

When I began sharing my natural cleaning recipes a year ago I never dreamed they would go over so well. I knew I loved them but the response from others has been amazing. I even began selling to our community and that did so well my sister and I branched out to sell on Etsy. That was short lived for now since we could not keep up with all of the orders that came in. In one day I had so many orders to make that my microwave and cabinets were covered in orders. This experience got me lots of feedback and so over that time I’ve honed my recipes and added new techniques to improve them. I’ll be sharing that with you soon.


One of the ways I love to serve my community is by providing meals to families who have new babies, are going through illness or injury, or are just having a hard time. Recently while preparing my family recipe of Cajun chicken stew I photographed the entire process to share the recipe you. Even the “how to make a roux” part. :)


I have gained quite a bit of weight since I had Matthias. I knew it was time to get off my behind and do something about it. I purposed to be on the computer no more than one hour total per day, exercise regularly and learn to eat right. I had already moved my family to a real food diet but proportions and eating times were what I needed help with. Also, I just didn’t have time to cook that many meals a day so I decided to go with a pre-packaged food program like NutriSystem. I now call it Nutri-Yuck. Yep, it is that bad. I knew it wouldn’t be anything close to real food but I didn’t think it would be that bad. It was. After a couple of weeks of eating that stuff I had had enough. I was learning much about how to eat and I was losing weight but the food had to go. I decided to make my own pre-packaged food program. It meant I had to spend a good bit of time up front prepping and planning but it was worth it! I’m losing weight and I feel so much better.

Did I mention I am running in my first 5K soon? Oh my.


I have had a lot of time to make, create, and come up with stuff. I’ve made my own deodorant, toothpaste, immunity elixir, lip balm, foot scrub, and so many more things and I took pictures of it all. We’ve also created lots of fun manipulatives and such for Matthias’ preschool.


Grandma has been in and out of the hospital quite a bit lately. It is very hard on her physically and emotionally. She is hanging in there. Prayers would be appreciated.

broke foot

Andrew decided to play football outside, barefoot. He broke said bare foot. Yep. After a week or so of being in a cast we saw it wasn’t healing and so the doctor decided to do surgery. He will now be in a cast for 4-6 more weeks. Barefoot. Am I the only mom who has this problem?


We have had lots of birthdays recently. Andrew turned 12. Matthias turned 3. And me? I’ll have a birthday in a couple of days. I actually had to do math to figure out how old I’ll be. 38. Thirty-eight years old. Didn’t I just turn 35?

bible study

I have been studying His Word a lot lately. I mean I wake up in the morning hungry with hunger pains and it is for His Word. This is all new to me. I’ve desired to study His Word before but this is a whole new level. He is so present with me teaching and guiding me through His Word. It is amazing. I am learning so much!

Finally, I’m getting my house in order spiritually and physically. We’ve been here less than a year but it seems it is taking a while to get settled and organized. I finally just purposed to get it done. I have found so much joy in serving my family in our home. I know it may sound strange but I really feel this way. It is not a “job” it is a “calling” and I am thrilled that I was chosen.

Study to show thyself approved…

Studying God's Word

Lately I’ve just been studying and studying. I feel such a great need to get back to the Word. His Bible. I love reading other books that supplement but goodness, so much of it is milk. I need something meaty (Hebrews 5:12). I want to know more and more about our Lord and Savior and to do that I have to study His Word. After all, He is the Word (1 John 1:1) and He fulfilled the Torah completely (Matthew 5:17).

In all my years of studying I never stopped to consider Jesus’ heritage or His culture. The more I study my own, the more I realize how much a part it has played in the person I am, how I speak, think, and live life. This has led me to know more about Jesus’ heritage and culture; the Jewish and Hebrew.

Studying God's Word

I started by inquiring of a friend who is more knowledgeable in this area than I am. Tracy gave me some resources to look into and shared some posts with me that she had written. After praying and considering what God would have me do I took the first step and read a book called Sitting At the Feet of Rabbi Jesus. It was such an eye opener. The significance of scripture is so much greater now that I understand the cultural implications. I know, love, respect, honor, and and am in awe of my Jesus so much more now than I ever was before.

Now, I am reading a couple of additional books and taking some online courses to have a greater understanding of Jesus’ life and time. Once I am done and can fully recommend it I will provide a link. I just have to filter it all first and make sure it lines up with the Bible. So far, so good. In fact, so far it’s been great!

So tell me, have you ever studied these aspects of Christ?

Bible Study Tools and Supplies


There is so much we will be covering in regards to bible study. Really, it is an ongoing lesson for me too so I’ll share as I go. For starters, let’s look at some of the tools we can use. This is not meant to be an exhaustive list. It is simply meant to be used as a guide to walk you through practical ways you can get the most out of your study time and to find out for yourself the meaning of scripture as well as it’s origin. Over time you will develop your own techniques and style for studying God’s word and that is how it should be!

I am about to embark on some new learning adventures and I’ll definitely share them with you. Before you read anymore here is a short two minute video about all you really need to study the bible.


Helpful tools:
  • Bible (several translations if possible, including the KJV and Amplified) This list is an explanation of the most popular versions. I prefer the NASB and NKJ. For casual reading I still lean towards the NLT translation.
  1. KJV (King James Version) – This is the original English version written in the 1600s. Over time, as Old English was spoken less and less, it became increasingly hard to read and understand this version. It was predominantly written word for word from the original Greek and Hebrew even though English is not spoken using the same word order. It is the most widely accepted version and most all bible study tools use it as a reference which is why it is important to own this translation.
  2. NIV (New International Version) – This translation has tried to balance between emphasis on word-for-word translation and emphasis on meaning. It attempts to preserve the literal text, while bringing forth the concepts and ideas of the message.
  3. NKJ (New King James Version) – This version is similar to the KJV but it was translated putting less emphasis on word order making it somewhat easier to read and understand. It still contains idioms and metaphors which are highly suited for more advanced readers.
  4. NLT (New Living Translation) – This text is clearly written and easy to understand. It is translated thought by thought from the original Greek and Hebrew and places more emphasis on overall meaning instead of word for word translation.
  5. NASB (New American Standard Bible) -  This version translates the original texts as literally as possible, preserving word-for-word equivalency and original sentence structure in English wherever possible.
  6. Amplified Bible – The Amplified Bible captures the full meaning behind the original Greek and Hebrew fully defining the words along the way.
  7. The Message – This vivid meaning by meaning translation provides the reader with an easy to understand and applicable approach to the original language. It is not translated word for word and uses modern slang.
  • Colored pencils (for highlighting in your bible) It is important to note that liquid highlighters leave marks, fade, and bleed so it is typically better to use dry colored pencils on the thin sheets of the bible.
  • Notebook (for recording your findings) – Any notebook will do. JUST GET ONE! There is no greater disappointment than knowing God showed you something about a particular scripture or event in your life but not remembering exactly what it was that He showed you. If you write things down then you will always be able to go back over it.
  • Concordance (preferably Strong’s Concordance) – The Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance is the most complete, easy-to-use, and understandable concordance for studying the original languages of the Bible. Combining the text of the King James Bible with the power of the Greek and Hebrew Lexicons, you can gain a clearer understanding of the Word.
  • Bible dictionary- The  bible dictionary contains a wealth of varied information in an easy-to-find alphabetical arrangement. It cross references scriptures for most translations. It is filled with facts and pictures as well as a guide to the arts, cultures, geography, geology, theologies, philosophies, maps, and lifestyles of biblical times.
  • Bible handbook (preferably Halley’s Bible Handbook) -The bible handbook provides time-tested help for understanding the Bible—not just with the mind, but also with the heart. It includes a concise Bible commentary, important discoveries in archaeology, related historical data, church history, maps, and more.

The basic formula for study could be derived from these key elements:

  1. Choose a book or topic to study.
  2. Pray.
  3. Read and ask who, what, when, where, and why.
  4. Study using tools to discover history, context, and author.
  5. Record findings.
  6. Apply.
  7. Continue to pray.

We will dissect one scripture as a guide. Let’s use John 3:16.

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

1. Read the entire chapter of John to get a greater understanding of the time, place, people spoken to, and relevance.

2. Look it up in a couple of different translations. Do you notice anything different?

3. Look it up in the concordance. We’ll use the word “believeth” as an example. We find that the Strong’s number is G4100 and it is used 248 times in the bible. The original transliterations is pisteuō meaning:

1) to think to be true, to be persuaded of, to credit, place confidence in a) of the thing believed

1) to credit, have confidence b) in a moral or religious reference 1) used in the NT of the conviction and trust to which a man is impelled by a certain inner and higher prerogative and law of soul

2) to trust in Jesus or God as able to aid either in obtaining or in doing something: saving faith

3) mere acknowledgment of some fact or event: intellectual faith 2) to entrust a thing to one, i.e. his fidelity a) to be intrusted with a thing

4. Look up belief in the dictionary. Look at some of the scriptural cross references.

5. Record you findings.

“Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of Truth.”      –2 Tim. 2:15.

What are some ways that you study the word?

I Am A Woman of God


Not too long ago I wrote a post about the women of God speaking up in this world and taking a stand for what God’s word teaches us. I think of women like Mary, Esther, Rahab, Lydia, and Deborah and I can’t help but ask God for that kind of boldness: that kind of faith.

For me, it helps to have life giving reminders in my home and and on my belongings. There is something about it that brings a peace and calm over me and reminding me that I am not alone and that He is always with me.


With that in mind I’d love to introduce you to our new sponsor, I Am A Woman of God. This company carries t-shirts, hoodies (on sale now), bags, wristbands, and other items. I like that they infuse a positive, biblical message on everything. And, if that weren’t enough, if you follow them on Facebook or Twitter, they will bless your socks off with daily bits of the Word, inspiration, and biblical blesesings.

Here is a bit more about I Am A Woman of God:

vbd-black-shirtThe term “I am a Woman of God®” is a concept derived from one of the many passages of the bible, which are pertinent to the virtuous woman. The verse Job 33:4 states, “The Spirit of God has made me; the breath of the Almighty gives me life.” The movement wants women to realize that God abides in them and that they were created with and for a purpose. That the Lord himself has made a mark in their lives. We want women to remember this truth as it will give them the motivation to continue pressing forward in life regardless of the situation they may be facing.

Apparel emblazed with the slogan serve as a reminder for women that God is in their hearts and in their lives. Moreover, if you believe in God and have faith, then it is your duty to serve God unconditionally to your fullest potential and praise his name.

Deep Spiritual Cleaning


Since I began posting about our journey to a spiritually clean home I have received dozens of emails with questions and concerns. Because of that I want to address a few things before we go deeper into the whole home spiritual cleaning series. First, I think the foundation of this is the bible and our belief in what the word of God says. That being the case I want to make sure we all know how to study the bible and think for ourselves.

I know oftentimes we take someone else’s word for what the bible says. That usually doesn’t teach us anything but someone else’s interpretation, understanding, or conviction. It is our responsibility to study for ourselves (2 Timothy 2:15) and not simply listen to the out loud thinking of someone else.


So my question is do you all think it would be beneficial to start with how to study the bible? If so what parts confuse you or do you think you need help with? Do you have any suggestions?

My heart for women is that you would learn to think for yourselves and know why you believe what you believe. The word of God is what changes us, not the word of man.

BY THE WAY: I’m so sorry about any advertising that is coming through my feed. I think I have it fixed now but if you do see another ad please know I am working to have all of that removed.

Some Things I’ve Been Up To Lately


You can find me posting today over at The Better Mom: Special Needs- Reacting to Differences

I had a few posts in queue but I haven’t been feeling well lately so I haven’t quite finished those posts. I’ll get to them just as soon as I feel better. I get to have a root canal tomorrow. It seems I’ve thought all this time that I had sinus infections and headaches but it is more likely because I have an abscessed tooth. Barrel of monkeys, right?

In the meantime I wanted to share a few things with you. My online presence has afforded me some amazing opportunities. Just last week my blog was featured on a Pennsylvania news feature. WFMZ-TV contacted me about offering my site as a reference for natural cleaning products. Of course, I said yes. They were a pleasure to work with and they offered some great facts about natural cleaning. You can view the episode and read the article here: WFMZ Natural Cleaning.

ylywyd-300px-jpgshespeaks-logoThen there is Proverbs 31 Ministries. I was introduced to this ministry a few years ago. I was immediately drawn in by their love for women and their focus on Christ. I asked Lysa TerKeurst to speak at our online conference, A Woman Inspired, and was shocked not only because she said yes but because she called me to chat about it. Lysa TerKeurst called me on the phone to chat!! I was on cloud 9. She was so personable and not at all like some other authors I’d worked with in the past. I attended She Speaks the following year and was able to meet Lysa in person, have breakfast with her, and chat with her about some possible projects for the future.

Here we are 4 or so years later and I am a part of the core team at P31 and this is my second year teaching at She Speaks. This year there will be small groups for platform building, more workshops on blogging (beginner and intermediate), social media, developing and marketing ebooks, and so much more!

I’m so excited to be teaching sessions with Lisa Boyd and Rachel Wojnarowski. And in addition to the Proverbs 31 Ministries ladies, more of my friends will be there teaching too: Jen Schmidt, Sheila Wray Gregoire, Holley Gerth, and Emily Freeman. I hope I get to meet you there. Registration opens February 28th and it sells out fast!

200wideI wrote a book, Pursuit of Proverbs 31, and released it last year about this time. I have sold several thousand copies to date and the feedback has been phenomenal. This has given me the opportunity to pursue a traditionally published book. I’m excited to share this journey with you when the time is right. In the meantime, would you share about the book on your Facebook page, Twitter stream, Pinterest, Google Plus, or blog? I would be so thankful! If you do share it come back here and let me know.

Also, I’d love to have you on my dream team. Check it out.

How about a timeless bible study for the modern Christian woman? Pursuit of Proverbs 31 by @AmyGBayliss http://bit.ly/S1TFxw (Tweet This)

Have you ever wanted to tear the 31st chapter of Proverbs out of your bible? Pursuit of Proverbs 31 by @AmyGBayliss http://bit.ly/S1TFxw (Tweet This)


Finally, the ministry started years ago by Amy Stults and myself will be continuing. After Amy and I decided to divide our endeavors and I took on AWI, my family and I went through some pretty hard things. My boys’ dad died, we moved to a new town, and finding others to help fulfill the vision of A Woman Inspired was daunting. I knew when AWI returned I would be sharing the story of my boys’ dad so I had to make sure it was in God’s timing. And just like Him, when He told me I was ready and to pursue it, within 24 hours he had brought together a team of people that He chose. Not me, Him. I would love for you to meet these amazing women of God who will help me to carry on the ministry of A Woman Inspired. While you are there register for the Extreme Faith conference. It’s free! We’ll be bringing you more conferences throughout the year but this is our main event!

So what have you been up to? Do you have root canals as much as I do?

Laundry Soap Recipe – Borax Free DIY Tutorial

Washing Powder Recipe

Part of being a good steward of this platform we are given online is being able to say that I may not have given the best advice at one time or another. So here goes, I may not have given the best advice in my original post for the Powdered Laundry Detergent Recipe. For that, I apologize.

What I’ve discovered is that it may not be a good idea to use Borax in washing powder. It also isn’t so bad grating soap to make your own laundry powder. I’ll give you my new laundry soap recipe below, complete with a Borax free DIY tutorial, but first let me share the thoughts that brought this about.

During my blog break I had some time to think about it and do more research. I’ve also had lots of time and way too many loads of laundry to let it sink in. In fact, it was while doing the laundry that I realized that whatever you put in that machine is likely to end up in your body. Let me clarify what I’m talking about.

I’ve received lots of emails about the use of Borax with different studies cited as stating Borax is not safe. Let me go on record as saying that I do believe that Borax is safe for some uses. But… please research for yourself. So many people blindly follow the suggestions or opinions of others without investigating for themselves. We should never just take someone’s word for things like this.

I’ve read and seen debates on the Borax topic and with the in-depth help of two friends I trust (SIL is an environmental engineer and a dear friend is a chemistry professor) I have come to the conclusion that Borax is safe for most uses. I won’t cover all of the evidence and contributing factors that brought me to that conclusion (although I may in a future post) but I’ll hit on the main points.

The study some of you mentioned was done in Europe and the reason for it was that many Europeans were ingesting small amounts of Boron daily. That is the first misconception. Borax is not boron. Borax is a compound that contributes to boron. However, Borax, in my opinion and based on what I’ve learned, should not be consumed. I only say that because there is a minute chance that it could cause reproductive issues when orally ingested. Reproductive issues happened in rodents and rabbits that ingested the Borax but tests on humans showed no effects. However, I wouldn’t eat it just to be safe! And, it isn’t the Borax that is the problem but rather the chemical reaction that takes place once it is mixed with internal body acids.

This does not happen on the surface of the skin.

As far as the amount that is absorbed into the skin (it is not easily absorbed), more than 90% is excreted within 24 hours with the remainder soon to follow. But, study after clinical study shows that Borax is very difficult to absorb into the skin. Usually it only happens if there is an open wound.

Borax is not listed as a carcinogen and it does not accumulate in the body.

I also think it is important to note that Borax is considered just as safe table salt and baking soda. In fact, some spices and seasonings we use regularly get a higher warning than Borax. I think it is safe to use but I recommend you go with your knowledge and your gut instinct.

The reason I use Borax in my other natural cleaning recipes is because it allows me to skip a step in cleaning. You can get the same effects without the use of Borax but you will have to add a bit of time and additional product to your routine. Sprinkling an item with washing soda and then hydrogen peroxide will give the same effect as using Borax in the recipe. The difference is that you have to use the HP and WS before washing whereas the Borax can be added during. Both function the same and cause the same chemical reaction. So yes, you can substitute the Borax with hydrogen peroxide and washing soda. Just be sure to use that first and then wash or mop after using a plain water or vinegar solution.

Here is the part where I tell you why I don’t use it in my laundry detergent.

While cleaning my unmentionables that are used for that oh so not the best time of the month (cloth sanitary napkins), my son walked in and asked me what they were. First, yes, embarrassing but a great opportunity to teach him about women and hopefully he’ll have some compassion on his future wife. You’re welcome.

Then he asked why I used those instead of the throw away kind. I told him all about the toxic chemicals and plastics that are used to make the disposable ones and how it is safer to use a washable organic cotton pad instead because of how easily things are absorbed into that area of the body. *lightbulb*

That is when it hit me. Whatever I use to clean could leave residue on underwear, unmentionables, and all other things used “down there”. Why oh why take a chance with using Borax when it is not necessary?

So, I went to work putting together a recipe that not only cleans, whitens, and smells good but it is perfectly safe for unmentionables. I was even able to find a replacement for the Borax that works the same but is safer. Here it is:


  • 1 bar Castile soap or 1/3 bar of Meyer’s soap
  • 1 cup baking soda
  • 1/2 cup natural oxygen cleaner (ignore the name, it does not contain bleach but refers to the act of bleaching/whitening)
  • 1/2 cup Washing Soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon citric acid or 3 packs Real Lemon

Washing Powder Recipe
Start by grating the soap.

laundry soap recipe

Measure out all of the ingredients.

Laundry detergent recipe

In a food processor (I use a Hamilton Beach), layer the ingredients. Put 1/2 dry ingredients in the grated soap then the rest of the dry ingredients. This helps prevent the soap from sticking together and forms a dry powder instead of a goopy mess.

I do think a food processor is a necessary tool for this recipe. I’ve tried the blender and it didn’t work out so well. I’d love to hear if anyone else has found a way to do this without a food processor.

laundry soap tutorial

Pulse to a powder. Add 20-25 drops of essential oils if you want. I prefer Young Living essential oils. Pulse again to combine the essential oils.

washing powder recipe
Use 1/2 tablespoon per load or 1 tablespoon if very dirty. I hardly ever use a tablespoon and I have four boys and a dog. ‘Nuff said.

washing powder recipe


You can find more recipes here: 17 Days of Natural Cleaning

Fulfilling Your Marriage Vows

My sweet friend Amy Stults is partnering with another blogger, Carlie, to bring you 14 Days of Fulfilling Your Vows leading up to Valentine’s Day and the launch of a new site! Many bloggers are participating in this initial 14 days and I must say they have published some really good posts on marriage. Go check them out and enter the contest while you are there!


Ryan and I have been married 5 years already and yet it seems like only yesterday that we dedicated our lives to each other. I call Ryan my eternal husband. That usually gets me some inquisitive looks. I don’t mean for it to but honestly, saying that he is my second husband and the stepfather of my older three children seems so dishonoring to me. When you consider that he chose us, sacrifices for us, and determines everyday to be all he can be for us then giving him that worldly label is so wrong.

Ryan loves us the way God defines it:

4 Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, 5 does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, 6 does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; 7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 8 Love never fails;

1 Corinthians 13:4-8

That verse is full of action items: decisions.

Too often we think we need to feel a certain way in order to do it and then God will honor it but quite the opposite is true. God made us in 3 parts: spirit, soul, and body. When we first go to God in prayer, with a pure heart, for breakthroughs in our marriage, then we act in faith and in love, then we notice something amazing. The feelings follow. We don’t have to feel something to do it, we must do it to feel it.

I hate hearing people say that they fell out of love. No, you just quit trying. “Falling in love” is a feeling that comes from you going into a relationship with pure motives and then acting on them. The feelings follow. Once we are into a marriage we get lazy and want to feel that euphoric love without working to receive it. That isn’t how it works.

Ryan and I are both stubborn, bull headed people. That means we don’t quit. Even on days when it’s hard we still try. We still keep giving to each other. What we have is eternal. He is not just my life partner. He is my eternal husband. The bible tells us we can’t take anything with us but faith, hope, and love. Did you notice that feelings didn’t make the list?


8189155776_d3a9c1d3ddSpeaking of feelings following action, my good friend, Sheila Wray Gregoire wrote a book entitled 31 Days to Great Sex. Here’s what you get:

  • The first few days are devoted to seeing sex in a positive way, and talking through your baggage and insecurities.
  • Then we spend a few days on building emotional intimacy (your friendship),
  • a few days on building physical intimacy (the fireworks, making sex feel wonderful!),
  • a few days on spiritual intimacy (the oneness), and
  • a few days putting habits in place so that you can keep the momentum going once you’re done.


This post is part of 14 Days of Fulfilling Your Vows. Click on over to read more marriage-related posts AND enter to win a big ol’ pile of fantastic marriage-focused books!

fulfilling your vows

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