One of the fringe benefits of cleaning up your body (ie: ditching toxic ☠️ products) is pretty evident during the summer months. 🌞Sunburns and sun damage (tho they can still happen) usually become a less common occurrence.
Before I began cleaning up my diet, my skin care & personal care products, and our household cleaners and chemicals, it was not uncommon for me to get a decent sunburn a couple times a year. In college (years ago!), I got a few really memorable ones.😳
Sun exposure is super beneficial on many levels, not the least of which is its role in the body’s ability to synthesize Vitamin D. We should strive for daily exposure to the sun, not hide from it! Many people fear going out in the sun because they burn so very easily, and while melanin plays a part in whether or not you are prone to sunburn, the reality is that the risk of sunburn and sun damage rises the more “polluted” the inside of your body is. I’m a blonde haired blue eyed farm girl, and have lived this fact.
There is a second part of this equation tho.
🌞In addition to ditching toxins, seek out foods that are high in antioxidants (like blueberries, wolfberries, kale, dark chocolate, beans, and pecans). These help bind up the damaging free radicals from both toxins and excess sun exposure.
I love that NingXia Red is loaded with both wolfberries and blueberries! It is a daily staple in our home. ( item #3042 for the 2 bottle pack)
🌞You’ll also want to eat foods high in lycopene. Lycopene is an antioxidant AND it also absorbs both UVA and UVB radiation. Reach for watermelon, tomatoes, red bell peppers, asparagus, red cabbage, and mangos as often as you can!
🌞Omega-3 Fatty Acids come into play as well! Does that surprise you? They help maintain our skin’s integrity and aid in a proper inflammatory response. In other words, they help our body cope with a little too much time in the sun. Walnuts, salmon, cod liver oil, flax, hemp and chia seeds are all loaded with Omega-3’s.
I try to get a handful of walnuts in my diet daily, but I ALWAYS take my OmegaGize3 (item #3097)!
🌞Foods high in beta carotene are also important. Beta carotene converts to Vitamin A in our body, and committing to a diet rich in carrots, dark leafy greens, butternut squash, sweet potatoes, cantaloupe, apricots, and red bell peppers over time (10 weeks according to one study) provides natural sunscreen protection.
🌞Green Tea contains a flavanol known as EGCG
(epigallocatechin gallate) which has been found to help reduce skin damage from UVA light and also help support healthy collagen (the protein responsible for our skin’s elasticity).
Young Living’s organic Vanilla Lemongrass green Tea (item # 32205) is just as good iced as it is hot. ☕️ Organic tea (and coffee) is so very important because the traditional non-organic processing methods are loaded with ☠️toxins.
🌿Young Living does have an amazing sunscreen (SPF 50 item #24137) that is toxin free (most on the market are loaded with unhealthy ingredients)…. So this was a welcome addition in our home when it became available a few years back!
Enjoy that sunshine friends! 🌞It’s one of God’s ways of smiling on us and it’s an absolutely free health and wellness tool we all have access to.
(PS: If you would like to share this post with someone outside of our group, you can find it also posted publicly, here: https://www.facebook.com/thewellnessprepper/posts/1655950537895251?__tn__=K-R
5 years and 23 days ago I went into surgery thinking I was going to come out an amputee. Frankly, the fact that I was "only" going to lose my left foot was an emotional relief to me.... it could have been much much worse, and more important body parts could have been damaged if things had gone differently.
I know it may sound strange, but I was at peace with the future of a prosthetic (even before the actual complete removal of my foot had taken place). That may account for my literal disappointment when I woke up from surgery and saw my toes peeking out from a well bandaged lower leg...... I knew I was in for a rocky road ahead. Severed tendons, a broken bone, significant soft tissue and connective tissue damage (along with a statement from my surgeon that I'd probably walk with a limp for the rest of my life) did not give much hope for living pain free.
And yet... here I am 🙌🙌🙌.... 5 years and 23 days later.... doing all the things I did before my run in with the bull. Frankly, I'm even more active than I was. Farm chores 👩🌾 5K's, regular gym Boot Camp workouts 💪 (thank you Fit Body Boot camp), hiking up a glacier, teaching yoga.... ALL these things without pain or impaired flexibility.
Diet, exercise (motion is lotion!), focusing on increased flexibility, clean water intake, toxin free living....... all these are important in recovery and also pain and inflammation management.
The icing on the cake tho..... the special tools in the toolbox.... are these: Agilease or BLM + Sulfurzyme.
Because I had significant bone and ligament damage, I take BLM + Sulfurzyme daily.... every day..... 365 days a year.
I live my life pain free. Yup. Not a day with pain for this gal. 🙌🙌🙌
2 SULFURZYME TWICE A DAY.
1 BLM TWICE A DAY.
👆Game changers for my life 👆.... Because life is too short to spend it sitting on the bench (or on the porch)! 😉
Haven't tried these yet, and you're sitting on the sidelines? What are you waiting for? Life is short friends .... make the most of it!
As a guest writer on Liz's good medicine blog, I, Stephanie Gregory wanted to share what I learned from one of my favorite thinkers. It is in the format of a conversation, which obviously is not exactly how it went down.
Stephanie : I love reading the work of CS Lewis. I’m listening to one of his books on audio with my 5 year old daughter now, and his writings always inspire me and cause me to reflect. So, I was curious… what fear gripped his world when he was alive? How did he recommend they handle it? After reading his essay, I replaced “coronavirus” with “the Atomic bomb” in his article to reveal his wise advice.
C.S. Lewis : “How are we to live in (a coronavirus) age?’ I am tempted to reply: ‘why, as you would have lived in the sixteenth century when the plague visited London almost every year, or as you would have lived in a Viking age when raiders from Scandinavia might land and cut your throat any night; or indeed, as you are already living in an age of cancer, an age of syphilis, an age of paralysis, and age of air raids, an age of railway accidents, an age of motor accidents.’ In other words, do not let us begin by exaggerating the novelty of our situation.”
Stephanie : Truly, this virus is an “unknown”, but there is really nothing new under the sun. All ages have experienced dangers. Did we think ourselves too brilliant to not die or suffer?
C.S. Lewis : “Believe me, dear sir or madam, you and all whom you love were already sentenced to death before (this coronavirus) was invented: and quite a high percentage of us were going to die in unpleasant ways.”
“The first action to be taken is to pull ourselves together.”
Stephanie : OK -remain calm and don’t panic. Pull out “Stress Away” essential oil blend and inhale deeply.🌳 It will help calm the brain and slow down our racing thoughts.
C.S. Lewis : “If we are all going to be destroyed by (this coronavirus), let that (virus) when it comes find us doing sensible and human things-praying, working, teaching, reading, listening to music, bathing the children, playing tennis, chatting to our friends over a pint and a game of darts-not huddled together like frightened sheep and thinking about (this coronavirus). They may break our bodies(a microbe can do that) but they need not dominate our minds.”
Stephanie : Use this time to grow! We are going through this whether we like it or not. How we respond to it is up to us. Peppermint essential oil will help clarify what this looks like for you!
Take time to be quiet and rest. Here is our chance to reevaluate our priorities and take time to think. Take deep breaths and quietly ponder what matters most to us. I’m thinking frankincense here.
Get to know the people that live in our homes or neighborhoods. Social distancing does not have to mean social isolation. Sharing a meal together or just hanging out is an important way to support one another, especially when going through a new hardship. Incorporate lemon 🍋 essential oil in diffusers, roll-ons, or drinks to lighten moods.
CS Lewis suggests that some may panic and kill themselves, while others may decide to live it up and enjoy life while they can. We can do better if we are intentional. If CS Lewis had the knowledge that we have about the power of essential oils, I believe he would have recommended Valor, “Courage” in a bottle.
CS Lewis : “We must resolutely train ourselves to feel that the survival of Man on this Earth, much more of our own nation or culture or class, is not worth having unless it can be had by honourable and merciful means.
The sacrifice is not so great as it seems. Nothing is more likely to destroy a species or a nation than a determination to survive at all costs. Those who care for something else more than civilization are the only people by whom civilization is at all likely to be preserved. Those who want Heaven most have served Earth best. Those who love Man less than God do most for Man.”
Let us do more than just survive! Let us look beyond ourselves and make a difference in our world for eternity!
Ya’ll have a great weekend! It’s been 80+ degrees here this week…. cray cray weather, even for north Texas in February. It’s been a record breaking warm winter and I’m sure hoping there isn’t one more freeze…. my fruit trees are starting to bloom! #oilyfarmsquirrel #prayingmakeslifebetter #henrithesquirrel
Welcome! You've found my first official blog post on the updated website! This has been a work in progress for the past several months, and.... not being exactly technically savvy (give me science or farming any other day!), I've had to call in some excellent tech help to assist in the upgrade. You can finally find ALL you need right here in one place!
The move to the new website put blogging on a little hiatus until we could get everything matched up properly. I think you'll find this venue MUCH easier to navigate. Growing means learning, expanding, and exploring new options, right?
Speaking of growing.... She's now 10 months old, and it's well past time for an Elsa update! Sweet girl shows up on Facebook with some regularity, but I need to update here.... this is kind of her 'baby book' after all. For all my love of animals, I never thought I'd love a cow as much as I love this heifer. I guess that's what might happen when one lives in your bathtub for a few weeks, and syringe feeding around the clock takes control of your life! The cards were certainly stacked against her. Birth during 20 degree weather (which cost her parts of both ears), failure to thrive (because she couldn't suck properly), trips to the vet (because we didn't know any better.. couldn't see the internal cleft palate... and subsequently also missed by the vet).... it did not look good for Elsa. If you scroll back thru my early 2018 posts, you'll find her history scattered throughout.
Nonetheless, she prevailed.
Her story hasn't been without a little work and some modifications in her/our life. Elsa is a permanent mascot on our farm. She is a greeter, social maven, photo bomber, and so much more. As she's grown, we've adapted and risen to the challenge.
Her cleft palate is not easily repairable. According to a couple of vets I've consulted at Texas A&M Veterinary College, the surgery would not be easy on her. Cow mouths do not open very wide, and any repair of this nature would only be manageable by entering thru the side of her face...effectively eliminating the possibility of surgery unless absolutely necessary.
Elsa eats well (albeit messily!), and does not seem to be hindered much by her birth defect. Fairly early on, we discovered that she is also moderately tongue tied, and is only able to stick her tongue out of the right side of her mouth. This really doesn't seem to affect her much, so I'm torn between getting it fixed surgically (rather, putting her thru that surgery), and just letting her carry on as she has been. She doesn't know any differently, and so it seems more like the surgery would be for us moreso than for her.
Cleft palates in calves are not as rare as you'd think. Unfortunately, most calves are birthed fairly unattended, and if they go without nursing for long, they die. As in the case of Elsa, if the cleft palate is undetectable externally, the rancher usually assumes the calf simply died of natural causes. Cleft palate in calves is not a genetic anomaly...it's caused by eating the wrong plant during the first trimester of pregnancy (a similar thing can happen in people if certain medications or products are consumed during the first trimester too). In Honey's case (Elsa's mama)..... she apparently got ahold of a select few plants in the lupine family..... the most common culprit for bovine cleft palates. Honestly, we're blessed. Her deformity could have been much much worse, and her personality more than makes up for the bit of added work that is required for her health and safety.
Just like all babies, Elsa has had her milestones.
Lessons from raising a Cleft Palate Calf
Stay tuned.... Elsa will always be making an appearance here. She's one of us..... part of the 'farmily'.
Thanks for visiting and celebrating our imperfectly perfect life on the farm.
Hugs and Love - Liz
One of the darlings on our farm is sweet Clementine. This old girl is, well, just that…. the granny on our farm. You’ve got to start somewhere when you embark on any journey in life, and she pretty much represents when our raw milk story took the ginormous step from simple consumption to full throttle buy in.
Clementine was my birthday present more than 10 years ago, and our second milk cow. We were still ‘young’ in the learning about all things cow, handmilking, etc. Dairy cow husbandry is equal parts skill, art, instinct, commitment and passion. If you find you lack in any of these areas (as many do), your stint as a dairy cow guardian will likely be short lived. Mistakes, ignorance, or lack of commitment can easily cost a cow her life…. or at the very least, permanent damage to her udder.
In the beginning, I read books, watched videos, talked to everyone who knew anything about handmilking dairy cows. We ‘hired’ a teenage homeschooled young man to teach us hands on rudimentary skills and very basic knowledge of dairy cow care when we bought our first handmilked Jersey from his family. Bonnie (short for Mooey Bonita) was a pretty girl and, by cow standards, pretty patient with our ignorance. We learned much from her. (She was with us for several years before unexpectedly passing away in the middle of the night.)
Owning one dairy cow does not make you an expert. Heck, honestly, it was a few years before I felt like we had ranked up from beginner to novice. It was about that time that we decided to expand our herd of one. This time, we felt like we ‘knew what we were doing’ when we drove 4 hours south to buy a cow which was part of a herd of culled commercial dairy cows. The owner of this herd was a woman who likely recognized that we were blissfully ignorant when it comes to cow shopping (much like a used car salesman probably perceives a first time car buyer…. with a mixture of glee and predatory guile).
Clementine was huge! She is a big Jersey….. but I’m talking about her udder in this case. Not just large… but massive. We commented on how big her udder was, and our cow salesperson told us that the reason for that was because she was still in milk production.
“Notice the large and long teats (a good thing), and the placement of them (also a good thing)….. and only ‘probably’ 5 years old. ” ….. all important amenities of a handmilked cow.
We were told she would be an excellent source of bountiful and copious amounts of milk. Just look at her udder size. Clearly. The poor girl looked like a bovine version of Dolly Parton. Thinking we had just hit the white gold jackpot, we wrote our check, loaded her up, and headed home, really having no idea what we had just bought.
Despite our ignorance, Clementine turned out to be an enormous blessing, and our experience with her has allowed us to rank up from novice to advanced proficiency in all things ‘dairy cow’. An animal raised in a commercial farming industry (as she had been), does not usually receive daily rations of kindness and compassion. They are viewed as a commodity and either an asset or liability. If they fall below the line distinguishing those two, then they are typically sold or destroyed. There is no room for ‘slackers’ in the the factory farming business.
Clementine’s udder was her downfall, AND her saving grace. We found out much later that her enormous udder was a physical defect caused by laxity of the suspensory ligaments. What we thought was a goldmine (her udder) was, in actuality, the reason she was culled from the commercial dairy herd. It was actually a time bomb. The lower an udder hangs, the greater the odds of mastitis due to injury (kicking herself as she walks), and the harder it is for a calf to nurse. Had we not purchased her, she likely would have been sent to the processor.
Like bygone versions of Miss America pagents, dairy cows are given scores on their udders…. only the opposite is true. Bigger is not better, and will, in fact, get you culled. In her case, Clementine had maxed out the scale (a 5 is rated as the worst).
When we bought her (and her defective udder), we only saw a sweet faced cow that looked our way when the other cows in the herd wanted nothing to do with us. We saw a cow that was willing to learn to be handmilked if we were willing to give her a chance. True, we also thought we had a pretty darn special udder attached to that cow….. not knowing that it was ‘special’ in a totally different way.
I’m not even sure when I realized we had been duped, but it was probably a couple of years into our life with her. Just like women have different bra sizes, cow udders are…. well, ‘udderly’ different from one another. Bonnie was an average ‘B’ cup when not in milk, but Clementine…… her udder just seemed to stay ‘DDD’ regardless of the season. The internet is a wonderful thing, and sometimes you just don’t know what to look for until you start looking. Curiosity got the best of me on this topic, and that’s when I found out (and narrowly avoiding a few rounds of mastitis in the process) what her problem was. Secondly, she was also at least a few years older than we had been told at the time of sale.
And yet. Thank God we picked Clementine and her defective udder. She has been the advanced training guide we needed …. life isn’t simple or easy when it comes to cows, and Bonnie had been both of those. We had no issues, and didn’t really have any concept of what warning signs, symptoms, and dysfunction might look like. Experience is a powerful educator. I’ve honed my holistic animal husbandry skills considerably in the last decade (thank goodness for Young Living oils and Animal Scents Ointment!). But in addition to the considerable education that sharing our lives with Clementine has granted us, she has proven to be a remarkable ‘spokescow’ for the family milk cow world. She is beautiful, photogenic, paintably cute, Miss Congeniality, and…. above all else….. kind. She has been a tremendous mother and auntie to calves, and is quite the greeter on our farm.
Last year, it became obvious that her udder simply could not take another pregnancy. One the scale of 1-5, her udder was a 9. By our calculations, her estimated age is around 18 (the average lifespan of a commercial dairy cow is 5-7yrs.)
I’ve posted about the realities of farm life on my blog, but there are times when emotions defy logic and financial prudence. No worries ya’ll…… Clementine is here to stay. She is one of our mascots……. Still ‘aunt-ing’ calves, still greeting, and ready to photobomb whenever she can. We are making her retirement as comfortable as possible for her. A discussion with a vet at Texas A&M rejected the possibility of an ‘udder reduction’ surgery (way too risky). Her udder is pendulous,perilous, and ultimately, it probably will cost her her life someday.
Awhile back, one of our friends jokingly sent me an article on ‘cow cuddling‘, apparently the newest thing in psychotherapy. Believe me, I think there’s merit to it. Clementine, among others, are probably what keep me sane some days! Heck, at an average going rate of $300/ 90minute session (according to the article), maybe she’d be interested in a late in life career change?!?!? It’s never too late to teach an old cow new tricks!
Hugs and Love, Liz (and Clementine)
*Kudos to Kim Guthrie Art for our artwork. (Doesn’t she do amazing custom work?)
My world has come to a standstill…..at least it feels that way. I take my hat off to all those mamas who have (human) babies. The 24/7 is real….. even more real when you’ve got one with a health problem.
Elsa’s entry into the world, while received happily by us has been fraught with issues. The last two days, we’ve been unraveling the problem(s) that have plagued her.
Once we found out she had pneumonia, we upped our game. Frankly, the vet, rather gently attempted to talk me out of saving her, simply by telling me her chances of survival were slim. That news came Wednesday. Today is Friday, and baby girl is doing better. She has been on a round of two antibiotics, and spent about 48 hours in our bathtub. Because we wanted to do everything we could to support proper lung function and boost her immune system, we’ve been diffusing therapeutic grade Frankincense, Copaiba, and Lemon around the clock. Our bathroom became an aroma tent for her. Two days of tube feeding…. and then we tried to teach her to nurse again, with very little success. We were all disappointed. Honey, (her mama) was THRILLED to have her back this morning after two days of absence. Honey’s mourning was heart wrenching. She went into a depressed mood, and didn’t even call for her baby. It was as if she knew she was dead. This picture isn’t so great, but neither one of them would stand still for a photo op.
Tube feeding is time consuming, but so is keeping a calf in the house….Keeping the house clean is a chore all it’s own. I’ve done load after load of towels and blankets. Little girl has proven that both her bladder and her bowels are functioning… this is GREAT news, as it means her organs are working. Her blood oxygen saturation level yesterday afternoon confirmed that….. it had risen to 95%. Because she is so tiny, she needs food every 2-3 hours. Feed. Clean. Repeat.
Honey, Elsa’s mama, can’t be forgotten in all of this…. she has a bag full of milk at any given time, and has pined for her baby. Throughout all of this, Honey has been a trooper. She is young, and has never been milked before…. so, on top of missing her baby, she had a crash course in getting to know me intimately while I milked. You can’t just walk up and start milking a cow. It actually takes time, trust, and a learning curve on the cow’s part. So this… milking….. has to also be added into the equation. Thankfully, because of scheduling at work, I was given a window of 7 days in a row off (Thank you Jesus!)…. but by next Wednesday, I’ll have to come up with a longer term plan.
This brings me to Elsa’s Problem #4: Last night in the wee hours of the morning as I was placing the tube down her throat for yet another feeding, I felt something odd on the roof of her mouth. No wonder the poor thing can’t suckle well…… she has a cleft palate! After feeding her, I promptly did a little research…. what are our options?…..are we looking at surgery, is death the only option…. what’s next? Surprisingly, I found a small group of farmers and ranchers who have successfully raised cleft palate calves. It appears that if you can get past the initial suckling problems (ie: get creative with feeding), they can actually grow up and thrive. I also found that this particular congenital defect is almost always due to ingesting a plant in the lupine family during a certain time of pregnancy. You know I’m going to be stalking those fields in the spring with the intent of destroying that offending plant.
Today is Friday. Technically, she should be dead by now. I won’t say she’s thriving, but I do believe she is at least 85% better than she was on Wednesday. But the “window”, according to the vet, is still 3 days away.
Y'all keep praying for her. She is a cutie, and she’s worth fighting for!
Hugs and love, Liz
T’was the night before New Year’s and all thru the barn,
Not a creature was stirring…….’cause it was dang cold on the farm.
The critters were nestled all snug in their beds,
With visions of warm spring days dancing in their heads.
With Charlie in his long johns and I in my leggings…..
We too bedded down for a year’s calm ending.
The morning came quickly, and someone was missing,
…. A cow named Honey had left without sleeping.
A package she left us half frozen we found…
A little calf so cold on the hard winter ground.
Shivering mightily, she lay there so weak…..
We feared our new year would begin with a valley, not a peak.
Spotted and tiny the little girl lay,
We towel dried & wrapped her in a blanket and prayed.
The temperature kept dropping, a crisis at hand,
So we brought her inside by the fire to mend.
A blanket, a fire, Frank & Myrrh on the (belly) button….
This baby girl was gonna grow up to be somethin’!
Slowly she warmed and began to stir,
And with a small ‘mooo’ we knew the coast was clear.
Two hours later she returned to her Mama,
Who was pacing the stall, clearly glad to be done with the drama.
And so this morning now that she’s well, We’d like to introduce
The star of the day….. Elsa’s her name (just like in “Frozen” they say).
Happy New Year from us…. Honey and Elsa too,
Although in cow language… you might have just heard ‘Moo’!
We hope your 2018 is filled with HEALTH, Happiness, and Prosperity! Thank you for reading my first year of blogging. You are appreciated!
One of my passions in life is pursuing all manners of sustainability. I believe that whatever you are passionate about overflows into all areas of your life.
I was sitting in an airport back in June watching people. Summer is a huge family vacation time. Vacation should be synonymous with Happy, right? And yet…. the vast majority did not appear to be all that happy. Granted, flying isn’t necessarily fun anymore, but still… where was the joy in the journey? During the flight, I had a growing conviction that I needed to do more in life to spread Joy and Happiness to others. I started researching and found that I am not alone in this. Did you know that there are actually college classes now on finding happiness? Seriously. Are we that bankrupt on happiness and joy as a country that college classes are needed to find it?
This month, with the help of some friends, we’ve got a Facebook event called Project Joy and Happiness! If you’d like to join us, feel free to do so. Our goal is to spread holiday cheer this December, and hopefully teach others how to spread both where ever they go year round. Let’s make Joy and Happiness contagious emotions! We’ve got science, psychology, posts that bring a smile to your face, and even weekly giveaways.
But wait, aren’t Joy and Happiness the same thing? Uh….no. Happiness is an emotion reserved for moments in time. Joy is the sustainable emotion…. once you choose Joy, it stays with you as long as you continue to choose it. (You’ll learn all about the nuances of Joy vs Happiness in the Facebook event).
Yesterday, I saw the greatest testimony to the difference between Joy and Happiness. It came in the form of a funeral.
You see, a friend within our Young Living family lost their daughter Layla last month to childhood cancer. Her parents, Bryan & Sara, held her celebration of life service yesterday. It was a true celebration, with balloons, snow cones, fun for the kids that attended, bright colors and happy music.
No, this was not a happy event. Happy is not a word that describes a funeral. Ever. And yet….. the service was filled with smiles, laughter, and many many tears. Tears that were joy filled and sadness filled simultaneously. This is the difference between Happiness and Joy. You can’t be happy and sad simultaneously, but you CAN be joyful and sad simultaneously.
Biblically speaking, deep within Psalm 30 you see the words “….Joy comes with the morning”. Joy also comes TO the mourning when a child of God meets Jesus face to face. I believe that celebrating the beautiful life of a beautiful girl who is now sitting on the lap of Jesus is worthy of Joy. Nobody is happy that she is gone, but thousands of her friends are filled with Joy that she is now in the presence of her heavenly Father and is healed.
I can think of no better example of Joy than this.
In all my researching these last 6 months, I found that one of the things that boosts your happy and joy quotient is giving without respect to what you might receive in return. If you’d like to help Stamp Out Childhood Cancer (a 501c3 nonprofit), please consider donating in memory of Layla Stamp (nothing would bring her parents greater Joy than that). Please visit LaylaStrongFoundation.org for more information. I am 100% in favor of practicing what I teach….. so when donating to LaylaStrongFoundation, please reference The Wellness Prepper (in the message section of your paypal donation), and we (Charlie and I) will match donations up to a cumulative amount of $1000.
Find your Joy today my friends, and celebrate! Joy lasts a lifetime. Happiness comes and goes depending on the situation.
Hugs and Love, Liz
My partner in crime, love of my life, bff, and hubby of 25+ years and I love to give. Over the years we’ve found various organizations that have pulled at our hearts. We’ve also been duped on more than one occasion. (It’s amazing how many organizations and individuals are out there who either improperly manage funds and/or who just want your money so they don’t have to work quite so hard.) Sad but true. We have gotten fairly good at vetting what and who we choose to give our money and our time to…. thank goodness! After all, we have extraordinarily busy lives with jobs, a farm, and a passion that combines all of the above. Ain’t got no time for nonsense, right?
This season is generally a time where hearts grow and giving flows, and I thought I’d give a shout out to one of our favorite international organizations, Reach Out Honduras. ROH was/is the vision of dear friends, Alex & Laura Waits. Not everyone listens when God speaks, and even fewer act on what is being spoken to the heart. You see, Alex and Laura lived the typical American dream….. great jobs, comfortable life in the country, a couple of kids and pets. All was well in their world.
God asked, and Alex and Laura said yes. You can see the result of their ‘yes’ here.
Charlie and I have been closely tied to Reach Out Honduras since day one. You see, Alex and Laura lived in our community and attended our tiny church. We watched their vision grow from a thought to an action and then a movement. We have both been on their Board of Directors (I have since ‘retired’) since day 1. Charlie spends countless hours in the spring each year putting together a benefit golf tournament that raises money to build school buildings. The buildings you see in the video are the result of combined donations of ‘average joe’ people. Ya’ll, this is a grassroots organization with no corporate backing, no one church denomination, no political affiliation. It’s just the result of good people doing good things with the gifts God gave them.
Getting to Puerto Lempira, Honduras is no easy feat. It is in one of the most remote parts of Honduras…. there are no roads to get there, so small plane or small boat is it. Travel generally takes two days to get there.
Charlie and I went down last summer for a week of work projects, and got to meet the kids and teachers at Reach Out Honduras’s school, Vida Abundante. Ya’ll, this region of Honduras is the poorest of the poor. Going to school beyond 6th grade requires payment to the government with money that most don’t have.
No money = No Education = No chance for betterment = The poverty continues.
The vision that God gave Alex is changing all of that. In less than 10 years, the poverty cycle is beginning to show signs of change. We have kids in college who want to come back to their remote home and make a difference for others. There are income producing jobs at the school for those who had none, and there is a spirit of hope that is literally tangible within the gates of the property.
Vida Abundante has become a place of self pride and hope in a region where there was very little of either.
Last weekend ROH had its second fund raising event of the year, the annual banquet. It is humbling to be in a room full of those who are there to give abundantly to a worthy cause expecting nothing in return. Most of the people will never meet the kids they sponsor, and yet they give anyway. They may never step foot in Honduras, and they give anyway. This is love, generosity, and hope’s hands and feet.
While ROH is a Christian based ministry, this organization is supported by all walks of life regardless of politics and religious beliefs, because we all believe in a common thing:
…… and the greatest of these, is Love. (1 Cor 13:13)
If you are looking for an organization to donate to this holiday season, there are over 240 living breathing hope filled individuals who have aspirations in life, and are praying for the opportunity. Please consider showing a little love and making Reach Out Honduras one of your charities of choice!
On Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ReachOutHonduras/
Walking in Faith, Liz
Hey there....thanks for stopping by! This is me (Liz James)... an eclectic mixture of holistic (and organic) farmgirl meets pharmacist. It's a synergy that works well as I speak truths and dissect fact from fiction. If you're looking for healthier living options, you've come to the right place!