“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”   Jeremiah 29:11

The Lord is taking me on another new adventure.  This blog is an adventure in itself.  I think it has helped me more than anyone else.  I said from the beginning that the size of my audience doesn’t matter.  If I am writing, I am accomplishing the task God has set before me.  Writing about God’s word has helped me to grow in ways I can’t even describe to you.  And now God is teaching me about the healing power of the essential oils He created.  I’m learning about plants and oils and healing and prayer.  God is awesome in the way He brings things into our lives at the perfect time, with the perfect people. . . but I’m getting ahead of myself.

Two years ago, I began feeling like it was time to retire from full-time teaching.  I love teaching, but the demand of the schedule was starting to weigh heavily.  I felt like I didn’t have time to live my life because I always had so much to do for school.  Anyone who has ever taught, or had any kind of demanding job for that matter, knows the struggle it can be to try to balance home life and work life.  But with kids out of the home and five grandchildren nearby, I began praying about what would be next in my life and seeking God’s timetable and direction.

This year it was time.  My final year as a full-time teacher concluded in June.  My official retirement will come October 1, but I won’t be opening my own classroom this fall; I will be filling in wherever there is a need.  September 30 will be my last day.  I’m sure the feelings will be bittersweet; however, God is opening a variety of doors, and one has taken the front seat for the time being—Young Living Essential Oils.

I have been seeking specific leading from God for the last year about what to do when I finish teaching.  I really need something to continue to supplement the household income.  I have looked into a lot of things related to teaching, but I really didn’t want to trade full-time teaching for part-time teaching.  I have also looked into online teaching from home and signed up with a website that allows you to set your own price and hours, but I didn’t get any solid leads.  It seemed to be a closed door.

I also considered being “nanny” as well as “Nana” to two of my grandsons, and I may still do that.  But I would really rather do that part-time and for free. I’d rather not be paid for caring for my own grandchildren.

In the meantime, I have also been personally exploring diet and new recipes to learn more about healthy eating.  My husband and I have always tried to plan wisely, but we are continuing to learn about unsafe and toxic ingredients in foods we had considered “natural and safe.”  For Christmas, I received The Daniel Plan by Rick Warren—a really great book on food, faith, finances, friends, and fitness.  I was learning new things about foods I had never even heard of. . .and let’s be honest. . . some foods I had heard about from my husband (and resident chef) but had been unwilling to try.  I made a commitment to eat whatever my husband cooked—even if it meant trying new things I didn’t think I’d like.  And life continued along, until. . .

One day a friend invited me to learn about, and perhaps purchase, essential oils.  What are essential oils?  They are the aromatic, volatile liquids of plants, which are generally extracted through steam distillation.  They are highly concentrated, which makes them more potent than dried herbs, due to the distillation process.[1]  I had never heard of essential oils, but I did some research and discovered that essential oils have been used by people for hundreds, even thousands of years, to promote health and natural healing.

I continued to research essential oils in general and one company specifically because I wanted to be sure I was spending money wisely.  But I was attracted to the oils designed to relieve pain and promote sleep.  Finally, I attended a class at my friend’s house to learn more specifically how oils work to promote healing and health.  I was pretty close to jumping on board, but attending the class confirmed my decision to move forward, and I made a purchase.

That decision was a good one!  By using essential oils, I have eliminated over-the-counter pain relievers from my daily intake and have been getting solid nights of sleep.  Using these oils was a natural progression from other things I had been learning about eating healthy foods and watching for harmful ingredients on packaging.  All of it is about staying healthy naturally, which is what God designed our bodies to do.

But God wasn’t finished.  Not only did He bring these essential oils into my life for the benefit of my own family.  He also opened a door for me to establish an at-home business.  At first, I was surprised because of all the subjects available for study in school, science was the one that never “clicked” with me.  I guess God decided it is time for me to learn science.  J Seriously, though, God is so awesome!  As He led me to into this new business, I realized that it has all the characteristics I was looking for as a way to supplement income.  I can do much of the work from home, I don’t have to adhere to a regular work schedule, I’m able to interact with people socially, and I’m available to my children and grandchildren, and yet it still allows an outlet for my teaching ability.  I’m teaching people about essential oils!  And if you haven’t noticed it yet, I’m writing about oils as well.  And best of all, as I talk about the oils that God created for our use, I have an opportunity to talk to people about God, the one who created them!

Praise God! His creativity in His plan for my life overwhelms me.  I could never have thought of this myself. God has designed a job that creatively uses all my gifts, but in ways I could never have imagined.  It is exactly what I asked for when I prayed—something that would utilize the variety of talents with which He has blessed me.

When we pray for God’s direction, He leads us in paths He has designed for us, and they are a perfect fit.  I am so excited to see where God takes me on this new journey.  Every day I am learning new things. Every day with God is a new adventure.

[1] “Yesterday’s Wisdom, Tomorrow’s Destiny.” Essential Oils: Pocket Reference. 5th ed. USA: Life Science Pub., 2011. 1. Print.