It’s Almost Here! – 2014 Young Living Grand Convention & 20th Anniversary Celebration

WoooHooo! Only a few more days until the 2014 Young Living International Grand Convention and 20th Anniversary Celebration! Darren and I are SO excited to see you at Convention… especially those we have not met in person yet. Come find us in the Diamond seating section in the General Session to take a selfie or a group photo! :)

GROUP PICTURES – At the Farm on Friday at 1:00pm

While we have nearly 800 people from our Young Living team going to Convention, I know it will be impossible to get a huge group picture in. HOWEVER, we will try to get smaller group pics during the Farm Day on Friday at 1:00 pm. We have a favorite hill that has worked great for pics in the past. While not all 800 of us can get together at once with many people coming and going at different times, we would still like to try several smaller group pics starting at 1:00pm.

So if you will be at the Farm at 1:00pm, our group will be taking pictures near the bridge that goes over the paddle boat pond. From the main visitor center building, go across the bridge over the pond and you will see us gathering for a picture with the mountains and the visitor center behind us… like you see in this picture taken last year and the year before.

DSC_7188

2013 Young Living International Grand Convention Farm Day

2012 YLC - group pic

2012 YL IGC Farm Day

Here is a map I made zoomed in to the main visitor portion of the YL Mona Farm, so you can see where to meet… “X” marks the spot! :)

2014 Farm Day Map

RECOGNITION

So many in our group will be recognized for their outstanding achievement including my parents, Max and Karen Hopkins, who achieved the rank of Royal Crown Diamond. Plus, Darren and I and several others will be recognized as new Diamonds. There will be several new Platinums, Golds and MANY new Silvers in our group as well! So make sure to cheer extra loud as they are recognized on stage. :) 

WHAT TO WEAR

During Convention for the general sessions and break-out sessions, you will see people wearing all sorts of things from jeans and t-shirts to business casual and business dressy. So you can wear what best suits you. It might be a bit chilly in the convention center, so a light sweater or jacket can help. We will do LOTS of walking, so you will see people wearing tennis shoes with their slacks or skirts.

As for me, I like to dress up, so I usually either go business casual or more likely business dress with a dress or skirt… and some added bling… but that’s just me.  :) And I will usually wear comfy shoes (flip flops or tennis shoes) when walking to the convention center and then put on my “cute” shoes once in the general sessions room… but again, that’s just me.  :)

For Farm Day, BE COMFORTABLE! It will be HOT, and you will do a lot of walking around. Capri pants or shorts or whatever you feel most comfy in will work. Most people will be in t-shirts and shorts or capris. Bring a hat and your natural sunscreen if necessary.

If you are a Silver or above and are attending the Leader Awards Gala Wednesday night or have gotten an invitation only ticket, it is a black tie event, and you will see everything from Sunday dress clothes to formal gowns (mostly formal gowns)…. and a handful of women dressed up “Miss America”-style. :) As for me, I will wearing a floor length formal dress, and Darren is stepping up his “game” this year with a tuxedo. Oooo la la! ;)

Remember to bring your walking/running shoes and workout clothes if you are attending the special D. Gary Young Foundation Walk a Mile for a Child. Darren and I will be there! Click here for more information or go to www.dgaryyoungfoundation.org.

WHAT TO BRING

When you register, you will receive some sort of carrying bag, notebook, pen and other items. So you won’t have to bring a notebook. But here are some things to make sure to bring along with you…

  • Comfy shoes
  • Light sweater or jacket
  • Camera
  • Light snacks and bottled water for during the sessions – concession stands are pricey and might not have your desired healthy snacks available.
  • Money for food – there should be some healthy vendors there for lunch to choose from or you may visit one of the many nearby restaurants. Salt Lake City has a LOT of healthy choices! And at the YL Lifestyle Expo there at the convention center, they will have a NingXia Red bar set-up so that you may purchase NingXia Red shots and even NingXia Red slushies! (my favorite!)
  • Cash for food and specialty items at the YL Farm – They will have lunch vendors and snack vendors there (dinner is provided), so bring CASH! Yes, they have an ATM at the farm, but last year, it ran out of cash pretty quick.
  • Extra empty suitcase – You will probably go home with a LOT more than you came with, so unless you are shipping everything back home, bring an extra bag!
    • NEW PRODUCTS – Young Living will be announcing NEW products that convention attendees will be able to purchase AT Convention.
    • ANY YL PRODUCTS – PLUS, at the Young Living Expo, there are sampling booths and also ordering kiosks and a live ordering/Will Call area so that you may purchase product and pick it up. They will also offer free shipping with a minimum order of some sort if you would like to order from the entire catalog.
    • YL Swag – ONLY at Convention will you be able to purchase all sorts of Young Living t-shirts, hats, key chains, bags, etc.
    • Young Living tools – Life Science Publishing and Sound Concepts will also have stores set up so you may purchase any of their books, brochures and sharing tools. They usually have a BOGO offer OR free shipping.
    • YL Farm Specialty Items – There will be a LOT of specialty items to purchase at the YL Farm store! And PLEASE NOTE that they might not accept credit or debit cards in the YL Farm store! So bring cash. PLUS, note that they will have some of our YL essential oils in the farm store. These products will NOT count for your PV! So I usually just purchase items that Young Living does not sell online.

WHAT TO EXPECT

Lots of PHENOMENAL education and information and lots of FUN!!!

To see the YL Convention agenda, click here. And to see a list of break-out session speakers and topics, click 2014_workshops_0614_kdy_WEB.

FACEBOOK UPDATES

I will be doing LIVE updates to our Choosing Healthy Life Facebook page. Make sure to “Like” our page and feel free to post your pics and positive comments from YL Convention there!  :)

We hope to see you there!!!

Sera

Debra Raybern’s Testimony: “The Widowed Mother”

Enjoy and be encouraged by this success testimony by my dear friend and essential oil/nutrition mentor (and co-author of “Nutrition 101: Choose Life!”) Debra Raybern. I am SO thankful that the Lord connected me to Debra 8 years ago as an answer to prayer. She has impacted my family’s lives in so many ways. I am blessed to be her friend and in her Young Living team. I love her BIG heart to help others, AND I am so thankful that God is using her on a worldwide stage in the world of network marketing to give HIM glory!

Cardamom YLEO: My Sinus Saver!

CardamomI LOVE Cardamom YLEO (Young Living Essential Oil)!!! It TOTALLY helped clear up a stubborn sinus infection that wasn’t responding as fast as I had wanted with my regular go-to YLEOs! The Essential Oils Desk Reference (EODR) actually states sinus infections as one of the main uses… I had Cardamom YLEO for YEARS and had never used it… but it will now be my first go-to oil if I ever have a sinus infection again. :)

Oh… and I rubbed a few drops over my sinuses, under my nose and even a bit inside my nostrils every 15-30 minutes until my nose started clearing up, then every hour or so… and a few drops under my tongue several times throughout the day.

Here’s a post from Debra Raybern… our upline Royal Crown Diamond if you are in my YL team.

Enjoy your Cardamom! :)

Debra Raybern’s Oil of the Week: CARDAMOM

Properties: Antibacterial, anti-infectious, anti-inflammatory, anti-septic, antispasmodic, aphrodisiac, digestive, diuretic, stomach, and tonic.

Historical Uses: Cardamom was used for epilepsy, spasms, paralysis, rheumatism, cardiac disorders, all intestinal illnesses, pulmonary disease, fever, and digestive and urinary complaints. It is also said to neutralize the odor of garlic, which might come in handy when cooking or doing the 5 Day Cleanse.

Possible Uses: Loss of appetite, nausea, heartburn, halitosis, (one drop on tongue and swallow); colic, coughs, debility, dyspepsia, flatulence, headaches, mental fatigue, sciatica, (apply topically over area of concern) and vomiting (one drop on clean finger and swab inner cheeks). It may also help with menstrual periods, menopause, and nervous indigestion (oral or topical applications).
Cardamom has the same properties as ginger, but is less of an irritant.

Body Systems Affected: Digestive System

Application: Vita Flex and direct to area, massage over stomach, ingest, and add to baths with carrier oil or epsom salt.

Blends With: Bergamot, cedarwood, cinnamon bark, cistus, clove, neroli, orange, rose, and ylang ylang.

YL Products that contain Cardamom: Clarity and Transformation.

Cardamon # 3080 5ml $ 24.00

Being BOLD about Birth and Discovering God’s Tools for a Joyous Childbirth

I have always been BOLD about birth even from the age of 10 years old as I would always share with others my mother’s home birth experience with my baby sister. I was taught and knew that bringing forth life into this world was meant to be a joyous experience as designed by a loving Father God.

But as I grew older, I realized that not every woman had the same view of childbirth as I did.

MANY women are terrified to give birth due to all the negative horror stories shared by their mothers, grandmothers, aunts and other females in their lives… or because of the horrible images of birth portrayed in movies and television.

When I was first married, I came across the most WONDERFUL book called Supernatural Childbirth by Jackie Mize that completely solidified WHY I believed what I believed about birth… that it could be beautiful and joyous and not torturous and horrific. I LOVE that book and all of its scriptural basis in the Word of God regarding God’s promises concerning conception and delivery. I have given out DOZENS of the books in the past 17 years.

Supernatural Childbirth - Jackie Mize

Then, when we conceived our first baby I discovered my second favorite book regarding childbirth… Husband-Coached Childbirth: The Bradley Method of Natural Childbirth by Robert A. Bradley. It was actually the same book my mother had used when she was pregnant with my sister Hannah. I LOVED learning all about how my body was designed to give birth and how to work WITH my body and not against it during childbirth. Darren and I attended Bradley Method classes and loved gaining so much knowledge about birth and even what to do and how to handle all sorts of different scenarios. I found that the more knowledge and training I had, the less room I had for fear. 

Bradley Method

These two tools truly helped us have such PHENOMENAL and even SUPERNATURAL birth experiences with our first three children! The first two girls were born in hospitals, naturally with no meds. Then, came our first son who was born in a birthing tub at a birthing center with a midwife… and, yes, my husband got to deliver him… AMAZING!!!!!! All three of these birthing experiences were different and filled with so much joy. They were a LOT of hard work… well, not as much with our baby boy as he was born about 30 minutes after arriving at the birthing center… but I really didn’t feel much pain with any of the babies… HARD, INTENSE work, but not really painful. Glory to God!

By the time we conceived our fourth baby… another boy… we were already using our Young Living essential oils for natural first aid, illness prevention and to treat family health issues such as ear infections, strep, coughs, colds, flu, etc. I was ECSTATIC to get to have an oily pregnancy, labor and deliver AND an oil baby AND to compare the fourth pregnancy and birth with the first three. Well, let me just tell you that it was THE MOST FABULOUS pregnancy, labor and delivery! I was using the Young Living essential oils quite extensively to help with stretch marks, ease itchy skin, to help reduce morning sickness (and all-day morning sickness), to naturally and quickly fight a cold, for de-stressing and for relaxing during labor, for advancing labor once it had begun, to help focus during transition, for post-delivery care, to clean the air in the delivery room and to clean the birthing tub with NO toxins, and to anoint my brand new baby boy head-to-toe with Frankincense and Myrrh essential oils and dedicate him to the Lord… among so many other uses! The oils helped me bond with my son and experience the full extent of the joy of child birthing. And, of course, after our baby was born, we were able to safely use the Young Living essential oils for so many things that newborns deal with such as helping the umbilical stump dry up and fall off in a record 2 and a half days, for clogged tear ducts, cradle cap, and to help calm and soothe when fussy. And did I say bonding? I loved breathing in the Young Living essential oil blend called Gentle Baby as I wore it on my neck while nursing my newborn.

I LOVE helping other women discover these wonderful gifts from God – His medicines – essential oils. And I LOVE that the Young Living essential oils are so safe and versatile for pregnant and nursing mothers and their children.

EO with booklet - larger

And, now, there is a WONDERFUL book about using the Young Living essential oils for moms and babies. It is called Gentle Babies: Natural Remedies and Essential Oils for Pregnancy, Childbirth, Infants and Young Children by Debra Raybern, ND, MH, CNC, ICA. Debra is my essential oil and nutrition mentor and is also a featured speaker for the Association of Texas Midwives. Her book has sold thousands of copies around the world over the past nearly 6 years and is yet another great resource and tool for all mothers and their families. There are a lot of testimonials in the book (including several of my own) PLUS it contains an A-Z Symptoms Guide as well as recommendations for a complete birth kit with, specifically, Young Living essential oils.

Gentle BabiesAnd, yes, that is me with my “oil baby” in the lower right corner. :)

So now, I have the perfect set of tools to share with women to empower them to overcome their fears and embrace this beautiful experience of BIRTH that God has gifted us with in bringing forth life into this world.

#1 – Prepare Spiritually – Supernatural Childbirth

#2 – Prepare Physically and Mentally – Husband-Coached Childbirth: The Bradley Method of Natural Childbirth

#3 – Prepare Spiritually, Physically and Mentally – Young Living Essential Oils  and the book Gentle Babies: Natural Remedies and Essential Oils for Pregnancy, Childbirth, Infants and Young Children

Oh wait! … well, there IS a fourth tool now, and that is the textbook/curriculum/resource book I co-authored Nutrition 101: Choose Life! by Debra Raybern, Sera Johnson (me), Laura Hopkins and Karen Hopkins that combines nutrition and anatomy to teach all the body systems, how God designed them to function and what foods help those systems and what foods hurt those body systems. The PERFECT tool to help moms and families learn how to support health through whole food nutrition.

N101 Second Edition - Front Cover - smaller file

So there you have it!

Be Prepared!

Be Bold about Birth!!!

 – Sera Johnson, Young Living Diamond Member, author, researcher and health educator

If you would like to learn more about Young Living essential oils or would like to host an educational event in your area, please contact me at sera@choosinghealthylife.com.

And for those who found out about me and my Website from the “BIRTH” event in Houston March 8-9, 2014 and choose to get your own Young Living essential oils through me and my Young Living Website here or by emailing me and letting me help you get your oils, you will get a FREE Gentle Babies book.

OBLIGATORY DISCLAIMER: The oils listed in the testimony above were ONLY Young Living essential oils. Do not expect the same results with any other essential oils. These statements were not evaluated by the FDA and were not intended to diagnose, prescribe or treat. Please seek the advice of your chosen health practitioner.

It’s official!

Well, it is official. My brother Jonathan resigned his job as a highschool basketball coach to join my sister-in-love, Laura Collins Hopkins (Young Living Platinums), full-time in their Young Living business. Wow…. just wow…. what one drop of oil can do to change your life and the life of others…

I am totally crying right now as this is so bitter-sweet as my brother is such a great man of God and coaching basketball (and teaching high school math) was never just a job to him. He has truly been a mentor to those young men in so many ways. He left a successful career with great pay at a big school in Houston 7 years ago to follow the Lord’s calling to a much smaller school in a small east Texas town to coach basketball and teach math with less pay to mentor young men to greatness… a ministry and calling… and now God has called him to join Laura in ministry to others in their physical, emotional and spiritual health… setting the captives free… together. Wow… I love you both!!! And I am SO excited to see what the Lord has planned for you and for those you minister to… may the love of God and the power of the blood of Jesus flow through you and impact lives around the world for His glory in BIG ways that you could never ask or imagine!!!

And for those of you sharing Young Living essential oils with family members who are VERY skeptical (like my brother was)… never give up… trust the Lord… because someday, they might be VERY oily and healthy and speaking to hundreds and hundreds of people and helping others learn how to use their YLEOs and grow successful Young Living businesses! :)

http://thrivensity.com/2014/02/23/a-heavy-heart/

Hopkins Family Pic

Congratulations, to the Hawaii Drive to Win Winners in our Young Living Group!

Congratulations to our Young Living Team Members who won the Young Living Drive to Win Hawaii promotion and are going to Hawaii with Young Living next week!

Jessica Gianelloni – 3rd Place

Bradley and Stephanie Holdcroft – 16th Place

Jennifer Webster – 26th Place

Danielle Keen – 33rd Place

Emily Anderson – 52nd Place

I’m so proud of you all! Have fun in Hawaii!

And I have to share a story about Jessica that most people don’t know. Jessica Gianelloni was the 3rd Place winner in Young Living’s Drive to Win Hawaii promotion and won a trip for two to Hawaii with Young Living AND won $7500.00! What most people don’t know is that she didn’t even know there was a contest going on until October when she was already in the top 10! She was so busy helping others learn about God’s medicines and helping them in their health. God is SOOO good! Enjoy her story! :)

Jessica Gianelloni – Gold

I signed up to become a Young Living distributor in January 2013. Those of my sisters had been telling me about the oils for quite some time. They were both distributors and loving the oils. Their testimonies about the oils were never ending and I started witnessing how often they were using the oils and how well they worked. At the time, we were going through an international adoption and soon to be leaving for Uganda to adopt our son, so I decided to become a distributor and purchased my first starter kit to bring to Africa.

When I first signed up, I was hesitant about how effective these oils were going to be during our time in Africa and back home with our 5 young children (ages 3,4,5,6, & 8). We have always been a holistic minded family, so we were already using herbs and homeopathics and our children were healthy and rarely sick. We were already a vaccine-free family and did not use over the counter medicine or pharmaceuticals for our family. I honestly thought I knew everything there was to know about natural health and healing and did not think the oils were going to play that big of a role in our home “medicine cabinet”. But I trusted my sisters enough to know that they would not share about a product they didn’t wholeheartedly believe in. I’m so glad I trusted them. Young Living oils are now the main thing in our home medicine cabinet and we use them daily.

When we arrived back from Uganda at the beginning of the summer, I knew I wanted to learn more. I loved having the oils in Africa and loved how versatile they were towards treating everything from stress/anxiety (international adoptions are not easy in a foreign country) to sickness and bug bites and sleep issues. I loved how simple, fast, and effective they were and how there was an oil for everything! The more I researched and learned, the more I knew this was a product I really truly believed in. I am someone who researches things with a fine tooth comb, and everything I researched about Young Living essential oils proved them to be best.

One of my sisters had been using the oils at her doula births and was pursuing the business side, so she encouraged me to pursue the business side as well. I really had no ida what the business side entailed, but decided to give it a try. So I decided to start sharing about the oils on my blog. I have been writing a blog for years on everything from family life to natural health and healing. 8 years ago when I was pregnant with my first child, I began this journey towards educating, encouraging, inspiring, and empowering other mothers to follow their instincts and towards treating their children through natural health. It has been amazing watching where this journey has led me through the years.

The very first time I wrote a blog about the oils and shared how to sign up for Young Living was in August 2013. That same month I decided to get on Essential Rewards for the first time. Between August and December I went from a distributor who had never placed an order outside of the starter kit, to achieving Silver in 6 and then Gold. It was a fast & furious 4 months.

I was not aware of the Young Living Drive to Win promotion until October. When I learned that I was in the Top 10 with only 2 months left in the promotion, I became more focused on the business side. But what I found was that the oils really just sold themselves. And that’s why I love Young Living oils. You don’t have to “sell” them. These amazing oils sell themselves. They are God’s original medicine in a bottle and if you use the oils, you witness their amazing abilities. My sister & I did host and teach quite a few Oil “parties” and informational meetings during this time. The oils quickly took off in our local area primarily based off of personal testimonies.

To have gone from the rank of Distributor to Gold in only 4 months and finish the Drive to Win promotion in 3rd place is a testimony to a God-given passion towards natural health and healing and years of writing a blog to help others, which placed me in a position to have a platform to grow quickly in the Young Living business.

God is faithful.

I still consider myself brand new in this business and I look forward to learning and growing more with this company.

Jessica Gianelloni

Gianelloni family

2014 Winter Harvest Update and Idaho Balsam Fir Benefits

Young Living’s Winter Harvest Going on Now

As many of you know, last year, I was able to go up to the Young Living Farm and Distillery in northern Idaho to help with Winter Harvest and the harvesting and distillation of Idaho Balsam Fir and Idaho Blue Spruce essential oils. The picture above is one I took while there, and below is a pic of me with several other Young Living distributors last year including Debra Raybern and her daughter Sharon, my parents Max and Karen and also from our group Chip and Carrie Shepard.

And here is a link to the Webinar I did last year after Winter Harvest.

This week, my husband, Darren, went up to help with Winter Harvest along with my dad Max Hopkins, my father-in-law Eddy Johnson, and Justin Park, Joanna Stewart and her brother Marty (all from our YL team) to be a part of Young Living’s Seed to Seal process in producing the world’s finest essential oils and see first hand, yet again, the unmatched quality of essential oils and integrity of Young Living.

Darren has been working side by side the founder and CEO Gary Young just like I did last year (Gary personally taught him how to drive the front loader in the picture below). What other international company CEO not only gets his hands dirty all the time but does the toughest, hardest jobs in his company and constantly invents and improves on processes himself while he works… and loves it?

This is the real deal, folks. The Young Living essential oils not only WORK AMAZINGLY for improving our health and wellness, the company provides an amazing opportunity to appreciate God’s awesome Creation that HE made for us to enjoy and benefit from… up close and personal. Because of these experiences at the farms, Darren and I have such a deeper appreciation for what God has provided for our health and wellness and enjoyment since the beginning of time… HIS plants… HIS essential oils… HIS medicines.

Here’s my handsome hubby running a front end loader taking a load of Idaho Balsam Fir trees to the giant chipper to be chipped and then taken to the new distillery at the farm to be distilled, tested and bottled for us… lots of hard work and love being put into every bottle… from Farm to Bottle all in one place and ONLY Young Living does that! And it’s so cool that Darren gets to be a part of making an essential oil that has helped thousands of people around the world in their health!

Idaho Balsam Fir Essential Oil

What is Young Living’s Idaho Balsam Fir essential oil used for? Well, the “Essential Oils Desk Reference” says that it has a lot of wonderful anti-inflammatory properties in it. Our family has used it to help with sore backs, muscles and joints, sinus infections and general inflammation. Other uses as listed in the “Essential Oils Desk Reference” include for throat and lung infections and also arthritis, urinary tract infections and fatigue.*

What an AWESOME essential oil from a beautiful tree that God made for OUR benefit… in more ways than one!  AND this essential oil is also part of Young Living’s January promotion… so today’s the last day. Click here for details.

And click here for an AWESOME Webinar from Young Living that further teaches about the health benefits of Idaho Balsam Fir.

*Disclaimer: This statement has not been evaluated by the FDA and is not intended to diagnose, prescribe or cure.

Crohn’s Inflammation Testimony

My dear friend Liz shared her daughter Emily’s testimony with me and WOW!!! Glory to God!!!!

Enjoy!

Emily writes:

Dear Friends,

I recently had the most amazing oil testimony I’ve had since I starting using Young Living. I’ve written it out and had it published on www.oil-testimonials.com. I wanted to share it with you. So here you go!

I’ve had crohn’s disease for the last 7 years. With Young Living essential oils and other natural practices I’ve been able to it in a pretty stable remission for the last 3 years, but I still have regular lab work done to make sure everything’s in check.

One of my lab’s my doctor and I keep a close eye on is my C- Reactive Protein (CRP). This is an inflammation marker. It is a very sensitive marker, and if you have any sort of inflammation anywhere in your body it will be high. Normal is less than zero. Whenever my crohn’s flairs, it will shoot up anywhere from 10 to 35.

Despite being in a good remission, my CRP started climbing about two years ago. It wasn’t terrible high, but my doctor was pretty puzzled, so we tried multiple things to get it down. We tried restricting all grains, sugar, and starches, taking fish oil, turmeric, and other anti-inflammatory supplements. Nothing worked, and it continued to climb.

In January of 2013, I had a routine colonoscopy to make sure I was staying in remission. Everything looked great. Then we had my labs drawn. Everything look great except my CRP. It was 22. My doctor was extremely concerned. Since we’d tried everything to get it down without success, he decided it was time to try steroids. I’d been on them many times before and always hated it, but I gave in, to satisfy my doctor. So I started Prednisone, and stayed on it for three months.

I didn’t end up getting my labs drawn again until next August. But instead of my CRP going down, it went up to 44! At that point I got really scared. Miraculously my doctor was in the middle of switching offices, and so never saw the labs! I saw this as God giving me one last chance to get my CPR down.

Soon after, I was reading about Copaiba oil, and how Gary Young thinks it may be the most anti-inflammatory substance on the planet. So I started taking one full capsule a day, which is about 15-16 drops. Eight weeks after starting the Copaiba I had my labs drawn again. To my utter amazement, my CRP went down from 44.00 to 0.56! I couldn’t believe it! I started jumping around shouting for joy.

As amazed as I was then, it really doesn’t surprise me now that God’s medicine would work far better than mans. I’m so thankful for my Young Living oils!

- Emily Jaeger

OBLIGATORY DISCLAIMER: The oils listed in the testimony above were ONLY Young Living essential oils. Do not expect the same results with any other essential oils. These statements were not evaluated by the FDA and were not intended to diagnose, prescribe or treat. Please seek the advice of your chosen health practitioner.

If I can do it, you can, too!

Nine years ago this month, I came to a point in my life when I was fed up with barely getting by living paycheck to paycheck, over $45,000 in credit card debt and often having to pay for groceries with credit cards (some of you know my hairbrush story).

I told the Lord how I felt and had reassurance from Him that it was just a season and that with a giving, thankful and obedient heart, He was going to deliver us out of debt and bring us abundance in a big way to be able to bless others financially. I didn’t know what that would look like or when it would happen, but I knew it would.

It was 1.5 years later that the Lord brought Young Living into our lives. We initially thought it was just an answer to our prayers for healing from chronic health issues, but it was SO much more! 7 years ago, I would have never imagined that God would use the same company that made our beloved essential oils that He used to bring us “therapeuo” healing in our bodies to also bring us financial freedom.

And here we are now as Young Living Diamonds who are debt free with Darren retired early and working our Young Living business/ministry full-time while homeschooling our children together and walking in WELLNESS with a passionate PURPOSE to help others find physical, emotional, spiritual and financial health and experiencing ABUNDANCE to be a blessing to others.

This is part of our story… I am simply a stay-at-home, homeschooling mother who has a passion to help others and won’t stop sharing my Young Living essential oils… no matter what tries to stand in my way… and if I can do it, you can, too!!!

And with God… well, ALL things are POSSIBLE!!! (Matthew 19:26)

Blessings, Sera Johnson – Young Living Diamond

“Sera, how do you do it?”

People often ask me how I do what I do… being a wife, raising and homeschooling four children, driving them to activities, church, educating on Young Living essential oils, being a Young Living leader, training leaders, writing newsletters and posts, answering emails and phone calls, traveling for work, traveling for fun, keeping house and finances, cooking, writing a curriculum, did I say homeschooling already?… well, first of all, I have an awesome hubby who has done an amazing job supporting me and now helps me with most of those things since joining me full-time at home, but even before July 10, 2013 when he “retired”, things got done… not all at once… and not all in MY timing… but the most important stuff got done. How? Well, that’s a great question.

Most of the time I didn’t know how as I just kept doing what I had to do while keeping my head above water. So my answer has always been and always will be “by the grace of God!”

I haven’t always had a clean and organized house, and we haven’t always stayed on track with our homeschooling schedule (have we ever?), and some appointments were made late, and some things lower on the priority list just became undone until later (sometimes much later). And there have been times when I haven’t been the very best with answering emails and returning phone calls in a timely manner (though I do try pretty hard with those). So it might look like I have it ALL together, but the truth is I have to rely on the Lord… a LOT!!!

My Father God is who I have to run to constantly and lean on when I get a bit stressed out or when my schedule seems to be unraveling. I find solace in His words that He will never leave nor forsake me… especially when I feel like I am all alone in my efforts (Deuteronomy 31:8)… and that I can cast all my cares on Him for He cares for me (1 Peter 5:7). I know that He has equipped me with the tools and gifts to carry out the calling He has placed on my life as a wife, mother, minister, educator, business owner, leader, servant, encourager… so I know that I need to dig deep and find those hidden tools He has placed inside of me to get the job done… such as being able to prioritize, make time with Him first and then my family and then my ministry/business. And when I don’t feel like I can find those tools and I feel weak, I remind myself that in my weakness, He is strong (2 Corinthians 12:9).

A VERY important thing that gets me through is being in His presence. And how do I get into His presence? Through worship (Psalm 100)! I LOVE to worship and get lost in His presence! This is my BIGGEST re-charger, especially when I am constantly giving myself to others. I worship and I run to His Word. And then when I put Him first, everything else starts to fall into place (Matthew 6:33, Psalm 37:4, Proverbs 3:5-6).

Also, I have to give myself grace and permission not to be perfect. Because if I were perfect, then I wouldn’t need the Lord. And I TOTALLY need Him!

As for more tips on how I do what I do, well, we have been making sure to set aside family time with nothing else on the schedule but us as a family. That is such a HUGE re-charger to keep on keeping on, especially when school and work get so busy and seem to start taking over. Connecting with my FIRST ministry as a wife and mother and having just plain old fun all together really helps give me/us a boost whether on a family vacation or even if just with a family movie night or game night. And Darren and I like to plan at least once a week date nights (doesn’t ALWAYS happen each week but we try to at least get out of the house together to run an errand without the kiddos) to keep our relationship fresh and grounded (which actually helps our children feel grounded and secure). And I do set a bit of time aside for me… even if it is me going grocery shopping BY MYSELF (which is one of my favorite parts of my week)… or getting my hair done once every 4-6 weeks… or watching some of my favorite cooking shows by myself after everyone has gone to bed.

So if you ever ask me, “Sera, how do you do it?” I will still answer, “only by the grace of God!” as I probably will feel like there are things still to be done and won’t always feel as put together as I look, and I will DEFINITELY be relying on my Father God, His grace which is sufficient for me and His strength when I feel weak (2 Corinthians 12:9). But give me a second, and I will share some of these great tips and reminders from the Word of God… or feel free to just come back and re-read this post. :)

Love, hugs, and prayers that you will run to your Father God when you feel like you just can’t do it. :) – Sera