Homeoprophylaxis: A Guest Post by Cilla Whatcott

MotherBaby- Cilla Whatcott
Recently, most of us, if we have followed the media, have all been made aware of the tremendous focus there has been (within the US as well as areas outside the country) to mandate and more heavily push vaccines. This undoubtedly has left several mothers wondering how much choice they have when it comes to making health decisions for their children. Are there other ways to protect our children from various diseases which may not follow the traditional vaccination schedule? Today, I would like to welcome Cilla Whatcott, HD RHom, CCH, who shares about homeoprophylaxis, a homeopathic approach to immunization. She is a nationally certified classical homeopath, author, and instructor at Normandale Community College in MN, co-founder of Free and Healthy Children International and mentor of homeopathic students. She is the mother of children adopted from China, Russia, Taiwan and has one natural biological child. Author of There Is a Choice and co-author of The Solution, she will be speaking at the upcoming international conference http://www.HPWorldwideChoice.com. I invite you to read what she has to share.

**Please also remember that regardless of where one stands on vaccinations (to fully vaccinate, to vaccinate on a delayed schedule, or to not vaccinate) that this blog is a place of respect and honor for each other as mothers.**
From Cilla…
Thinking like a homeopath requires critical observation. We look below the surface! With all the hype and hysteria about measles lately, there are a few things to remember when being exposed to social and public media.

According to SharylAttkisson, the renowned investigative journalist, she likens propaganda to astroturf, or artificial grass, since it has no roots or depth. She explains by saying, “Astroturf seeks to manipulate you into changing your opinion by making it seem as if you’re an outlier–when you’re not. Hallmarks of astroturf and propaganda include use of inflammatory language such as quack, crank, nutty, pseudo, paranoid and conspiracy. Beware when an interest addresses an issue by controversializing or attacking the people, personalities and organizations surrounding the issue rather than the facts. That could be astroturf” (1).

According to the media, there is no other way to protect your child besides conventional vaccination. Furthermore, you are accused of committing a selfish act by not “protecting the community” unless you vaccinate, regardless of any risks involved. In my opinion, this is not the whole story. Do you have a choice? I am fully convinced that you do.

There is a non-toxic alternative available to parents for disease prevention. It’s called “homeoprophylaxis” or HP. It has been around for 200 years, and it has been used effectively for epidemics and childhood infectious disease. HP is produced exactly like other homeopathic remedies in FDA approved pharmacies. (Did you know that the FDA was formed by a homeopath named Royal Copeland? He actually devised a homeopathic pharmacopoeia to protect the use of remedies.)

Homeopathic nosodes for HP are made from substances of the targeted disease. Biological discharges, such as sputum, or exudates, are used as the original substance. The solution is then serially diluted and potentized to create the homeoprophylaxis remedies.

This process is a type of “attenuation.” Attenuation means to “weaken”; a similar process is used in manufacturing conventional vaccines. With vaccines though, there is still some of the original disease product present after attenuation. This is the “antigen” found in any vaccine. This is just one of a few key differences between HP and vaccination. The most obvious difference is the purity of the homeopathic nosodes compared to conventional vaccines. The homeopathic nosodes contain no additives whatsoever. There are no antibiotics, preservatives, detergents, foreign DNA, or unknown viruses present in HP nosodes.They are not grown on animal tissues, so they carry no foreign DNA. HP is administered by mouth, touching mucous membrane, just like natural disease enters the body, and an individual is only given one nosode of a disease remedy at a time, which is more easily recognized by the body than multiple vaccinations administered at once. Nosodes are available for measles, mumps, whooping cough, meningitis, tetanus, polio and many other infectious and tropical diseases as well.

The goal of HP is to provide education to the developing immune system. According to Dr. Isaac Golden who has completed a 15 year study of HP for childhood disease, “I would suggest that HP remedies stimulate the energetic immune response and this must lead to a maturing of the response in an analogous way that infection with simple diseases can help to mature the physical immune response” (2).

HP has been used for cholera (3), polio (4), meningitis (5), Leptospirosis (6), and many other diseases showing effectiveness rates between 85% – 95%.

While vaccination does provide a variable level of protection against many infectious diseases, its safety is not confirmed with any degree of certainty. In particular, long term health consequences of vaccines have not been adequately researched.

In comparison, homeoprophylaxis has provided 200 years of clinical evidence showing us that it is safe, devoid of any toxic components, and also yields positive long term health effects. Fewer chronic diseases and fewer cases of sore throats, ear infections, eczema, and other inflammatory diseases are some of the benefits over time. In addition, homeoprophylaxis appears from evidence to provide a level of protection which is comparable to or better than vaccines, meaning that parents have genuine choices available when it comes to preventing potentially serious infectious diseases.

If you are interested in talking with me or learning more I, (Cilla), offer a complete HP program including a kit containing all necessary remedies, a booklet for record keeping, initial consultation, and ongoing support and consultation during the program. Costs are determined by the kit size and contents, and number of children in the family. I can be reached through my website: http://www.FamilyHomeopathyCare.com or by email at homeopath2@comcast.net. I look forward to speaking with you!

If you’d like to read more on homeoprophylaxis, two books are available on Amazon (Click on the links below the titles):
1. There is a Choice by Cilla Whatcott, HD (RHom), CCH
2. The Solution by Kate Birch RSHom(NA), CCH, CMT and Contributor Cilla Whatcott, HD (RHom), CCH

1. //ws-na.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/q?ServiceVersion=20070822&OneJS=1&Operation=GetAdHtml&MarketPlace=US&source=ac&ref=qf_sp_asin_til&ad_type=product_link&tracking_id=avocad06-20&marketplace=amazon&region=US&placement=1502460254&asins=1502460254&linkId=TVZ47LHYOZNXJCWH&show_border=true&link_opens_in_new_window=true“>There is a Choice by Cilla Whatcott, HD (RHom), CCH
2. //ws-na.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/q?ServiceVersion=20070822&OneJS=1&Operation=GetAdHtml&MarketPlace=US&source=ac&ref=qf_sp_asin_til&ad_type=product_link&tracking_id=avocad06-20&marketplace=amazon&region=US&placement=1480001910&asins=1480001910&linkId=IJ34RY2R6YMCLPXZ&show_border=true&link_opens_in_new_window=true“>The Solution by Kate Birch RSHom(NA), CCH, CMT and Contributor Cilla Whatcott, HD (RHom), CCH

Resources used in blog post article (Numbers referenced above):
1. Retrieved from: http://sharylattkisson.com/propaganda-and-astrotuf-recognize-it/ February 9, 2015.
2. Golden, Isaac. 2012. The Complete Practitioners Manual of Homeoprophylaxis. Victoria, Australia page 93.
3.VonBoenninghausen,C. Baron. 1984. BoenninghausensKleinemedizinischeSchriften [Lesser Medical Writings], Heidelberg 1984.
4.Eisfelder, HW. Poliomyelitis Immunization: A Final Report. Journal of the American Institute of Homeopathy. V 54, Nov-Dec 1961, pages 166-167.
5.Mroninski,C, et al. Meningococcin, its Protective Effect Against Meningococcal Disease, Homeopathic LINKS, Winter 2001 Vol 14 (4) 230-234.
6.PubMed 2014. Retrieved from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20674839Bracho G1, Varela E, Fernández R, Ordaz B, Marzoa N, Menéndez J, García L, Gilling E, Leyva R, Rufín R, de la Torre R, Solis RL, Batista N, Borrero R, Campa C. Large-scale application of highly-diluted bacteria for Leptospirosis epidemic control.Homeopathy. 2010 Jul;99(3):156-66. doi: 10.1016/j.homp.2010.05.009.

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*Image from istockphoto.com
**Disclaimer: Avocado Mommy does not assume any responsibility for any results of any health program. When beginning any new health program or products, always make sure to check with your health practitioner. Please also remember that this blog is always meant to be a place of encouragement and respect. Avocado Mommy never seeks to push an opinion or to show disrespect for anyone regarding the choices they make for their family.

Momma Bird’s Nest Jewelry (Guest Post by Renee)

What a blessing it is to be able to introduce Renee, the designer of the lovely Momma Bird’s Nest jewelry. She has a wonderful product with beautiful mission and message behind the making of these pieces, a line of jewelry of which I am honored to support. I own a necklace and earrings myself, and I can say that they are some of the most beautiful pieces of jewelry that I have. This may be the perfect gift for your mom for Valentine’s Day! (Make sure you check out the special PROMO at the end!) Enjoy the following guest post by the maker of Momma Bird’s Nest.
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I feel so honored that I have been asked to be a guest on Avocado Mommy. My name is Renee Abraham, and I am the founder and designer of Momma Bird’s Nest Jewelry. I am also, first and foremost, a follower of Christ, a wife, and a stay-at-home momma to 3 little munchkins!

Now that you know a little about me, you are probably asking, “What is Momma Bird’s Nest and why does it exist?” I’m glad you asked. Momma Bird’s Nest is a line of superior quality, nature-inspired jewelry, handcrafted to celebrate Motherhood.
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The background and two-fold vision of Momma Bird’s Nest:
This line of jewelry began after a multitude of compliments which I received as a result of the first nest of pearls I designed and wore as a symbol of my 3 children. To me, the nest is a parallel in many ways to my life as a Momma. It represents the natural instinct to create a safe home in which to nurture my children and the unexplainable “messes” that occur throughout the day but are part of what makes a “beautiful nest” (In fact, a few have occurred as I write this. Don’t worry; no risk to their safety was involved. :)). It also represents the idea that one day my little ones will spread their wings and fly while they will forever remain near to my heart.
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As other Mommas began requesting their nest, I was not prepared for the touching, joy-filled, heart-wrenching, and emotional stories each individual shared. Many were people I had known for years and had no idea the hardships they faced through infertility or miscarriage or even the loss of a child. I also was able to hear stories where individuals talked about their births and/or adoptions of each of their children and even grandchildren. My heart has become personally connected to each nest I design and the stories told through them. Seasons of elated joy to the deepest moments of sorrow, each Momma has a story to share, and yes, they’re significant and beautiful each in their own way. I have added many wings to nests to include a child or children whom they lost through miscarriage, stillbirth, or abortion. It’s a beautiful way to symbolize how her child lives on in her heart and also a way to include babies who may not have been given a birth date. As I hear these stories, I’m more aware of the ministry that is found in women sharing their joys and heart-aches with each other. These stories inspire other mothers who have either faced or are facing those same seasons of life. If you’ve ever watched a Momma bird prepare her nest for her young, it starts out as, what seems to be a messy heap of collected debris, but when it is finished, it becomes an intricate and beautiful masterpiece. God is so gracious to use what seems like a chaotic mess to bring about a beautiful masterpiece, and that is true of each Momma’s story.
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The second part of the vision of Momma Bird’s Nest is to create a means in which to support the sanctity of life and to come alongside those who are on the “front-lines” of this battle every day. As a believer in the life of each unborn child, I feel even more compelled to do my part to preserve the value of life and encourage those around me. A portion of Momma Bird’s Nest proceeds is committed to a featured organization, foundation, or ministry that is fighting to preserve the sanctity of life.

Each nest is handcrafted by me in my home. I use only the finest materials so they can be worn and enjoyed for a lifetime! I love custom orders, creating new designs and even modifying my current designs for extra personalization. It is my goal to provide impeccable customer service!
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You can check out my full line of jewelry in my Etsy shop: http://www.mommabirdsnest.etsy.com
Also, you can follow me on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/beautifulnest
Making a difference in the lives of many, one nest at a time!

Psalm 84:3 “Even the sparrow has found a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may have her young- a place near your altar, O Lord Almighty, my King and my God.”


10% discount on all first-time orders! PLUS Momma Bird’s Nest and Avocado Mommy is teaming up to support New Life Family Services (http://www.nlfs.org) by committing 20% of all Momma Bird’s Nest purchases to their ministry!

To redeem this Promotion, use COUPON CODE: AVOCADOMOMMY in Etsy shop checkout. http://www.mommabirdsnest.etsy.com

FREE SHIPPING on all orders!

Current turnaround time is 7-10 BUSINESS DAYS – If you need an order sooner please contact me.
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“My husband recently purchased me a Momma Bird’s Nest necklace with a stone egg for each of my children. He also added the wing, but not because we lost a child. Recently, our daughter was diagnosed with a bad case of epilepsy. While we were in the hospital my cousins bought us a plague with the Psalms 91:4. It says, “He shall cover thee with His feathers, and under His wings shalt thou trust.” I had two other people call us and encourage us that we needed to run to the Lord and have Him be our covering. I was so blessed to get this necklace and love that the wing is a constant reminder that the Lord is our covering. Nothing it too big for our Heavenly Father! The wing has become a symbol of our trust in the Lord for our daughter.”
-Sarah from Bruce, WI

“When Lexi gave me a Momma Bird’s Nest necklace for Mother’s Day, she didn’t know how perfect it was and how much it meant to my heart.
Being a mother is one of my favorite things in life. In fact when I was a young girl and asked what I wanted to be when I grew up, my reply was “a mother”! I am blessed with 4 beautiful, amazing children; one girl and three boys. Between my third and fourth, in 1999, I had a miscarriage. I wasn’t very far along but far enough that there was a precious little baby that we buried under an oak tree in a beautiful oak grove on our property.
Then on May 10, 2009, Mother’s Day, more devastation came. My youngest son, Jedrek, 8 years old, was killed suddenly and tragically. After Jedrek’s accident, we were trying to find the perfect place for his grave so we went to the oak grove first, because the baby was there, it seemed like the right place. While we were looking around we noticed in one of the oak trees there was a place that had been hollowed out and there was a little bird’s nest inside. Jedrek’s daddy’s first thought was that the oak grove was too far from me; that Jedrek would be too far from me. But when we saw the bird’s nest and because the baby we lost was buried there, we knew it was the right place for our Jedrek’s grave. The comment I made when we discovered the nest was, “Momma’s nest”, and we knew it was the right place for my babies to be together; in Momma’s nest.
So when I got the necklace with the four eggs in the nest it couldn’t have been more perfect.
God is so amazing how He ministers His love and healing to us in meaningful ways when we are hurting.”
-Misty from Raton, NM

“I am so pleased with my Momma Bird’s Nest jewelry! I love that it was tailored just for me and for the story of my journey as a mother. It is so beautifully made and it is evident that it was hand crafted with special care. I love it, and I think it would be a perfect gift for any mother.”
-Grafton, WI

“Love my necklace. I have received alot of compliments on it. It is beautiful! Thank you! Great to deal with.Fast shipping.Would order again!”
-Prairie Farm, WI

“Loved the gift for my mother. When she received it, she was in tears. Thanks for making Mother’s Day so special for us.”
-Grove Town , GA

“Oh Renee~ They ARE SO BEAUTIFUL!!!! They (my daughters) all love them and have brought many tears…many thanks…much love and excitement…the best Christmas! Thank you again and again for such love put into each one of them ….you are precious Renee…Everything arrived beautifully.”
-Lafayette, MN
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Calm Babies & Kids with Lavender Essential Oil (Guest Post by Sue from Pure Home and Body)

Lavender picture
I am so excited to introduce my friend, Sue, from Pure Home and Body! She has wonderful information about essential oils, and I am sure you will find it fascinating! But first, here is a little about Sue…

Sue is the mom of 6 kids ranging in ages from Kindergarten to college, enjoying each season of childhood as her kids grow and change. She looks at each day as a new discovery of what her children are learning and how she can make the world a better place for them by making more natural choices in home and personal care. She loves to color and craft with her kids on their sticky kitchen table and hang out with the teen girls in their church Lifegroup each week. When she’s with friends, she loves to share Green Living Habits and Aromatherapy Tips to help make motherhood less daunting and more joy-filled. You can stop by and say hi at her website http://www.pureHOMEandBODY.com.

Aromatherapy has become a hot topic on blogs all over the internet. Companies are jumping on the bandwagon and adding essential oils to their product assortments, and writers are filling posts with how to use essential oils in pregnancy, with kids and adults. I’ve been studying aromatherapy almost 20 years, the past 6 more intently, and I’ll be the first to admit I even have a lot to learn. I started being a “green, natural” mom when I became pregnant with my first baby 18 years ago, and it has been quite a journey.
Lavender Picture Two

When it comes to topics of health, we often feel overwhelmed. The feeling that we need to be “supermom” kicks in; as mom’s we want to conquer everything overnight, but living a natural life style is a process. Yes, there are situations that require an overhaul, but if we want any natural-living changes to become life-long habits, it is important to ease into the adjustments. Your loved ones will thank you. This is definitely the approach I have taken with adding essential oils into our family’s daily routines.

Over the years I’ve used many green and natural products, but essential oils are by far my favorite resource. I like to think of them as whole foods for your body. Just like you may give your children a raw avocado for a snack, essential oils are some of the “raw materials” for home and personal care. Now, when it comes to the topic of essential oils, be patient with yourself; there is definitely a learning curve when starting on this journey. It may feel foreign, and you may find yourself looking at health and healing in a different perspective, but I am convinced the outcomes will be happier kids, savings on doctor and drug store visits, and the satisfaction knowing you are making good choices for your family.

So where do we begin in our conversation about essential oils? Let’s start by talking about the mainstream products found at our local pharmacies and stores. Our store shelves are packed with products manufactured to improve our lives. Unfortunately, there are products which are filled with toxic chemicals and many are not tested for safety [by the FDA] ( http://www.fda.gov/AboutFDA/Transparency/Basics/ucm262353.htm. Several are even labeled as “Natural” which really doesn’t mean anything in ingredient purity. You can check http://www.EWG.org for the safety of products you already use. When you layer different products on your body and in your home in the form of cleaners, air fresheners and scented personal care products, you are creating a giant chemistry experiment where outcomes can cause adverse side effects to your health. It’s similar to conducting a chemistry experiment where the outcomes are unpredictable. The statistics in our nation’s health, however, do speak loudly: we have greatly increasing numbers of kids with asthma and attention disorders compared to even 10 years ago. Many of the toxic household and personal care items contain synthetic fragrances that are actually passed on to developing babies in utero, which can disrupt hormones and the endocrine system ( http://www.ewg.org/research/body-burden-pollution-newborns).

So where does this leave us? Yes, this can be heavy information, but I believe that our children are our future generation. Adding pure essential oils to your daily routine is a great way to eliminate lot of those toxic chemicals in your home. Just make sure you are purchasing essential oils that are pure. When choosing your essential oils, you have to ask the right questions and know your source. There are no national standards of purity in the essential oil industry. Most oils from the health food store have questionable purity and manufacturers don’t need to disclose any chemical fillers on those essential oil bottles; this of course leaves consumers in the dark. Yet, there are things you can look for. For example, if a bottle says “not for ingestion” this could be a flag that there are additives or fillers in that essential oil, no different than a bottle of perfume. There are several companies who now have developed food grade essential oils to show they are pure enough to ingest.

Yet, what are some other aspects to consider when looking into essential oils that are right for your family? When choosing your oils, it is also important to work with someone who has some training in aromatherapy. It is never prudent to use large amounts of essential oils in any situation, especially ingesting. Even experienced aromatherapists take a very conservative approach to using essential oils for ingestion as do I because these are potent substances. I am really a minimalist when it comes to aromatherapy, especially with babies and children. Their senses are much more heightened than adults and they respond much quicker to the oils than someone with a lot of health history or those on pharmaceutical medications.

Once you have your essential oils, what are some aspects of safety to keep in mind? Essential oils have been used in other cultures for centuries; they are amazing tools when used with common sense and some simple reminders. If you are going to add essential oils to your routine, as well as if anyone in your family is on prescription medication for any chronic condition, talk with your doctor first to make sure there are no contraindications to your current treatment. Here are some other safety precautions:

1. Always dilute essential oils for babies and children: Take one drop in the palm of your hand and pick up some with your pinky on the other hand. The amount on your pinky is just what you’d need for a small child. It is not much.
2. Repeat frequently rather than one large dose. For example, apply 1 diluted drop of lavender essential oil each hour to the soles of your child’s feet for 4 hours, rather than applying 4 diluted drops on the feet once every 4 hours. Essential oils metabolize in the body in about 1 hour.
3. Do not drop essential oils into the eyes, ears or nose. If someone gets an essential oil in their eyes, dilute it with a vegetable oil like jojoba or olive oil, or even milk, but no water as this will make the oil spread.
4. Keep it simple. There are a lot of complicated recipes on the internet for mixing oils. Again, make sure you know who is recommending the blends and that they are thoroughly trained and experienced in aromatherapy as well as oil blending. Babies and children are pretty easy to work with, and they respond pretty quickly to single oils in aromatherapy; they don’t need large quantities or complex blends.

So, now that we have discussed some basics to remember, I’d like to share one of my favorite oils for babies and young children: Lavender. Lavender is one of the most gentle essential oils (and also one of the most filled and adultured, so make sure you have a pure lavender) and can be applied undiluted (called “neat”). It’s safe enough for newborn babies! My favorite kiddo uses for lavender are:
• Massage a drop on momma’s tummy during the last trimester of pregnancy and have a bottle with
you at the hospital so baby has a familiar scent after birth.
• Apply an undiluted drop to the soles of baby or child’s feet to cool the body during a fever.
• Drop on a fresh burn to cool the skin and begin healing tissue. The sooner the better. This has
saved fun at several campfires where a burned hand could have ruined the evening, lavender to
the rescue brings comfort in minutes.
• Place a drop at the foot of baby’s bedding to calm baby at bedtime and to combat the sniffles.
• Apply a drop to small scrapes to start healing skin.
• Mix 1-2 drops of lavender essential oil with 1 tsp of coconut or other vegetable carrier oil and
massage into dry, chapped skin.
• Make your own baby wipes: add 2-3 drops of lavender essential oil to a wipes warmer filled with
1 cup of warm water. Drop in folded flannel cloths or thick paper towels and use to clean baby’s
bottom without chemicals.
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Want more tips on using essential oils? Read more on Lavender as well as other great oils for your home– http://purehomeandbody.com/essential-oils-2/single-and-blended-essential-oils/singleoils/lavender/
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Are you looking for some experienced support in integrating essential oils into your family? I’d love to work with you! Stop on by Pure Home and Body and let’s connect! Email me Susan@pureHOMEandBODY.com or connect with me on Twitter @pureHOMEandBODY.
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*This page contains affiliate links.
*Disclaimer: Avocado Mommy does not assume any responsibility for any results of any health program. This website strictly shares my own personal beliefs as result of what I have experienced and also supports those whose views are consistent with the mission of this website. When beginning any new health program or products, always make sure to check with your health practitioner.

Tisserand, Robert. Lavender is not estrogenic. http://roberttisserand.com/2013/02/lavender-oil-is-not-estrogenic/
Synthetic Fragrance Chemicals: http://www.fleurchem.com/synth.html
Synthetic chemicals used to dilute lavender essential oil : http://www.ebi.ac.uk/chebi/searchId.do?chebiId=CHEBI:6469
Hidden Chemicals in Perfume and Cologne: http://www.ewg.org/research/not-so-sexy
S.F. Van Vuurena, G.P.P. Kamatoub, A.M. Viljoenb, ,. Volatile composition and antimicrobial activity of twenty commercial frankincense essential oil samples. South African Journal of Botany Volume 76, Issue 4, October 2010, Pages 686–691. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0254629910001705. Abstract: Study finds extreme variance in essential oil chemistry of numerous constituents including (a-thujene .3-52%) (myrcene 1.1-22.4%) (β-caryophyllene (0.1–10.5%). Minimum anti-microbial activity varied from 4-16 mg/ml depending on the oil sample.

Precious Mama…You are Okay!


As moms, we are pretty hard on ourselves, aren’t we? We beat ourselves up for not being better mom’s, not spending more time with our kids, not looking a certain way, and not measuring up to what the world around us tells us we need to be. We compare ourselves to others and base our worth by some standard set by Pinterest, parenting magazines, media, the list goes on… I will admit it: I have found myself in this place all too often. Before we know it, the lies become more real, and the truth about who we really are begins to fade. Yet we don’t have to believe those lies anymore, because let me tell you, Sweet Mama, you are okay. You are MORE than okay. In Christ, you are enough, and that is all that you need.

I came across this devotion by Renee Swoope today that was featured on InCourage, and I couldn’t help but share it with you. I know that there are other mama’s out there that struggle with feelings of inadequacy and self-doubt. Let this moment be a fresh start for you where you begin to rest in the truth of all that Jesus says about you. He whispers, “Precious mama, find your rest in Me.” Click on this link to read the great devotion by Renee Swoope of the Proverbs 31 Ministries. Love to you all! 🙂

Just a Little While Longer~ Devotional Reflection #5~ Written on Sept. 25, 2012

I kiss my sweet boy on the forehead, utter the last word of the familiar bedtime song, and then start to make my way toward the door of my son’s bedroom. In my mind, I am already am putting together a “to do” list for what I can accomplish while he is sleeping. I am on a determined mission to accomplish much, to busy myself with all that needs to be done, and to fulfill the expectations which I have set for myself for the day. Yet, as I turn to walk out the door, my son catches my hand and grips it as if to say, “Just a little while longer, mommy.” I stop and turn toward him as he looks up at me, his eyes gleaming with a love that penetrates deep into the depths of my heart. I pull in close to him, and at the same time, he responds with delightful giggles and outstretched hands. He is not ready to drift off to sleep, but rather, he wants a few more moments with the one he loves. This, to him, is of greatest importance. All else fades in comparison.

My heart is touched, for once again, this precious son of mine, has spoken to my heart. He does not teach me by any spoken words, but rather through the simplicity of his life. My life so often is just the opposite of simple; rather it becomes filled. Yes, filled to the brim. Filled with the weight of expectations which I place upon myself–expectations to have the house cleaned, laundry done, bills paid, schedules set, people called, “the good mom” tasks completed, and devotions checked off the list. Yet, the continuous pursuit to somehow base my worth on performance leaves me exhausted, worn down, and feeling like I fall short over and over again.

As I now close the door to his room, I am left with these questions and thoughts that go deep into my soul: What truly is the definition of “simplicity” as it relates to my very being? Could it be that I have not fully grasped onto what it really means? Is my life moving farther from simplicity and becoming more complicated as I seek find satisfaction in all that I can accomplish as a wife, a mother, and a friend? Maybe my life was meant to reflect the same kind of simplicity that my son models for me in these very moments. His life is not defined by what he accomplishes, but rather by the fact that he is cherished, and that is enough for him. He does not try to impress, nor does he seek to accomplish much. He has chosen to simply exist as one who is loved.

Lord, I too, want to choose to live by this kind of simplicity. Instead of focusing on fulfilling expectations, I want to find myself seeking that which is of greatest importance: Your heart. I want to be the one that reaches out to You again and again, and at the end of the day, gaze into your lovely face, just a little while longer.

Baby Kisses~ Devotional Reflections #4~ Written on Sept. 5, 2012

My little one reaches up toward me with arms outstretched. In response, I swoop him into my arms at which he responds by pulling in close, his soft cheeks right next to mine. In the next moment, he turns toward me with a wide smile and proceeds to bring his lips, wet with spit, up to mine. In the only way he knows how, he kisses me once, and then again. Finally he places his arms around my neck and brings his head into my chest.

In recent days, I have found myself reflecting on this interaction between my son and me, and I can’t help but to ponder these moments filled with baby kisses. Oh how beautiful are these times; for when he brings his lips in next to mine, he does so without regret, without shame. There is nothing that causes him to hesitate or to second guess this gesture of love. Further, he knows beyond a shadow of a doubt that I will not neglect his sweet embrace, but rather, I will respond by pulling him in even closer, and kissing him in return. I whisper into his ear sweet songs of adoration and speak truth into his little heart–truth which tells him that there is never any shame in whom God has created him to be. I whisper truth that he is one who reflects the love of His Creator; he is a child that is loved unconditionally, and his heavenly Father loves him with no regrets. In response to hearing my voice and the words that I speak, he rests once more, for he knows that these words are true. His little heart knows.

Could I, too, approach my Savior with my arms outstretched, knowing that He is there to swoop me up into His loving embrace? Could I also pull in close to Him with such confidence, knowing that I never need to feel any shame or regret? Can my trust in Him be so complete that I am able to hear Him whisper sweet songs into my ear and blessed truth into every crevice of my heart? Oh, Lord, may I be like a child again! Let me wrap my arms around your neck as I gaze into your beautiful face. Bring me back to a place of sweet rest upon your chest as you sing over me the words, “My Beloved, you are mine.”

Delight~ Devotional Reflections #3~ Written on August 21, 2012

It is two o’clock in the afternoon, and her feet make their way slowly up the stairway while her five and a half month old snuggles in a little closer. He lays his head upon her chest and listens. He listens to the heartbeat of the mother who loves him. And once again, he is at peace, for he knows that she delights in him.

Together they enter his tiny room where his crib sits firmly tucked against the wall. She holds him a little closer as she whispers into his ear, “It is time to rest my son; it is time to close those eyes and dream ever so sweetly.” He knows that his mommy will not forget him while he sleeps, but that she will indeed watch over him so that he can rest securely. Again he lays his head down on her chest, and he listens. He listens to the voice of the mother whom he trusts. And once again, he is at peace, for he knows that she delights in him.

She places him in his crib, and shortly after he settles, he is looking up into her eyes as she returns his gaze. For a moment, his arms stretch upward as he reaches to touch her hair that has fallen out of the ponytail, once fresh in the early hours of the morning. She chuckles as his little fingers gently swipe her cheek, and then she asks him, ” Shall we sing?”

He doesn’t have to consider her question a moment longer, but instead, in excitement, his arms move rapidly up and down as he waits for the music to start and for her voice to utter its familiar melody. While she sings, he watches intently, sometimes trying to mimic the movement of her lips with his. And while he watches, he listens. He listens to the voice of the mother who sings over him. And once again, he is at peace, for he knows that she delights in him.

In this moment too, his mother is listening to her Savior. He again reminds her of how these cherished times with her son are ones on which she can reflect. He says to her, “Oh my precious child. See how you cherish your son? You love him deeply, passionately, and tenderly. Your heart is filled emotions and feelings that you never knew existed. Yet as deep as your love goes, can you imagine how my love for you is that much greater? And not only do I love you, but I love to spend time with you as you gaze into my eyes and reach out to me. So, my precious child, take time to rest upon my chest and listen to the sweet songs that I sing over you. Be at peace once more, my beloved, for in you, I delight.”

Dear Lord,
Thank you for your promise in Zephaniah 3:17, which says, “…He [the LORD] will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing” (NIV). Thank you that you rejoice over me and that you truly do delight in me. Let my love for my son be an outpouring of the love that you have given me. And let me always be listening to the sweet songs that you sing.

In Jesus’ Name,

Post 1 of 5 in “Tidbits for Birth, Baby, and Growing Child”: Why a Birth Plan?

It is hard to believe that a year ago, I was approaching the birth of our second son. I have been doing a lot of reflecting the last few weeks on a series of posts that I could write in honor of his birthday. 🙂 I have decided to spend a little time sharing what I feel to be some great resources for moms or moms-to-be of a little one. Stay tuned for more blog posts on titles/topics such as “Why I Chose a Doula” and “Why Chiropractic for My Child?”. As a celebration of my little guy’s first birthday, I am also planning to include a brief post on his party and how to plan on a tight budget. Stay tuned!

I am so excited to share a little tidbit with you today on why I chose a birth plan for not only my first child but for my second as well. You may ask, “What is a birth plan?” “Why would I need one?” “If I do need a birth plan, where on earth do I start?” “How do I write one?” I know that several of these questions crossed my mind. In effort to share what I learned, allow me to address each of these questions to the best of my ability. 🙂

1) What is a birth plan? A birth plan is basically a document in writing that lists your desires/wishes for both you and baby during the labor process, the birth, and post birth. It includes things such as how you desire your pain to be managed, how you want to labor, delayed cord cutting, what your wishes are in regards to vaccinations for your baby in the hospital, etc. It is a valuable document for your team of doctors, nurses, and/or midwives to have and to be made aware of (ideally prior to the time you are admitted to the hospital) as it clearly defines your wishes and desires for your ideal birth experience. Please remember that although you desire everything to go as planned, there are also situations where you may need to be flexible if the health of you or baby is at risk. 🙂

2) Why would I need a birth plan? As mentioned above, this document lists your desires and wishes for an ideal birth and post birth. It also gives your medical team an opportunity to be on the same page as they work with you. It is important to talk through your birth plan with your midwife or OB prior to the birth so that they fully understand what your document entails. Understand your rights as the mother and present your plan with confidence, but also be open to talking through any areas that may need to have some flexibility. Understand also that your midwife/OB may present some concerns or areas where he/she disagrees. To best prepare for your presentation of the birth plan, do your research. Know what you are able to ask for. If you can, speak with a doula (Stay tuned for my upcoming post on “Why I Chose a Doula”) or a friend who has found success with a birth plan. Look up sample birth plans that are available online. There are great resources! 🙂

3) How do I write a birth plan? Where do I start? As I thought about my birth plan, I found great support in looking through several birth plans that others had used. Using samples and research as my guide, I formulated a birth plan that I felt quite good about and was able to use for both of my boys’ births. I have decided to include my birth plan in this post for you. Feel free to use this as a sample/guide as you put your document together. 🙂

Birth Protocol Agreement For: Your Name Here

Location: Place where you will be giving birth
Certified Nurse Midwife: Name of your nurse/midwife
Name of Father and Mother: Your name here
Baby Due Date: Your baby’s due date
People Present at Birth: People you wish to have with you in the birthing room

We are pleased with our choice to work with the Certified Nurse Midwifery staff as well as the staff at Name of Your Medical Center. Throughout the pregnancy, we have received excellent care, and we are looking forward to working with you as we give birth naturally to our baby.

We feel that we have educated ourselves well during the pregnancy by attending the Bradley Method classes and have done our best to do everything we can to stay healthy and low risk. As a part of the preparation for a beautiful birthing experience, we have put together the following documents that discuss what we desire for labor, delivery, and postpartum. Since this is a very special event in our lives, we have put much thought and consideration to what we have listed in this document. We respectfully ask that you help us in achieving our birth goals.

Above all, we are looking forward to having a natural and peaceful birth experience. The following is very important to us regarding what we desire and what we would like to avoid:

• Please do not offer us any pain medication, drugs, epidural, or Pitocin at any time.
• Please help us to avoid any induction of labor at any time unless it is absolutely necessary. I would like to try non-medical techniques to help the process of labor start on its own (walking, teas, etc.). We feel very strongly that we would like my water to break on its own. If induction is necessary, please use a minimal dose.
• It is very important to us that I am allowed freedom of movement as is comfortable to me during the laboring process. Therefore, we would like to avoid IV’s. We also do not wish to be hooked up to any fetal heart monitors as these would restrict freedom of movement. As an alternative please only do occasional fetal heart monitoring as necessary (intermittent monitoring). If possible, we would like if you could use a fetoscope to monitor the heart rate and do occasional doptone checks when necessary.
• We strongly desire that vaginal exams are minimized.
• It is important to us that we are allowed privacy during the first stage labor. Please understand that we feel strongly about laboring in a way that seems natural to my body. We do not desire for me to labor on my back. Rather, it is important to us that I am allowed to use alternative methods to work through labor (tub, walking, squatting, sitting, various body positions that are comfortable to me, birth ball, music, etc.). I am looking forward to wearing my own clothing as long as possible during the labor process. My husband and I would like to have our own cooler of food available to us during the labor, delivery, and hospital stay that would contain items such as snack bars, dried fruit, an electrolyte drink, water.
• During second stage labor, it is important to us that we are allowed the freedom to give birth in a position that is comfortable for me, such as squatting or using a bed with a squat bar.
• Please help us to avoid an episiotomy.
• Please allow the placenta to deliver on its own.
• Please understand that we feel very strongly about having skin to skin contact with my newborn right away where I am allowed to start immediate breastfeeding.

In addition to our wishes that we have expressed above, we also have put together our wishes specifically dealing with the care of our baby. We respectfully ask that our informed decisions be honored.

• Please do not give our baby the Vitamin K1 vaccination, the Hepatitis B vaccination, the eye drops, and the sugar water at any time after birth as well as during our entire hospital stay. It is also important to us that no supplementary bottles with formula be given to our baby during our hospital stay.
• It is important to us that there be a delayed cutting/clamping of the umbilical cord until the cord stops pulsing unless there is an emergency where cutting the cord immediately would be necessary.
• Please understand that we feel strongly that the vernix skin not be removed from our baby’s body. Rather we would like this covering to be left to rub in for immune support.
• We are looking forward to and respectfully request that our baby remain in the room with us as much as possible. Please do all weighing, measuring, and any evaluations right in our room.
• If our baby is a boy, we feel strongly about waiting 8-9 days before the circumcision happens.

Please know that we will be flexible on all points listed in this entire Birth Protocol Agreement if an absolute emergency/complication arises. Although we feel confident that everything will go normally, we trust and respectfully ask that you inform us if any problems come up so that my husband, doula, and I can discuss the choices to be made and choose our new plan of action. We take our responsibility of being good parents very seriously and want to do what is best for our baby.

Thank you for your kind attention. We look forward to sharing this, one of life’s most miraculous events, with the very special people on your staff. Again, it is a privilege to be able to work with such a qualified and wonderful team of people.



What about you? Have you used a birth plan? Did you find it valuable? What would you recommend be included on this document?

What a Trip to the Grocery Store and a Child’s Love for Balloons Taught Me…

It is a regular occurrence: the trip to the grocery store. Most often, the trip is made with my two little ones, and I have to admit that I really do enjoy having them with me (Although, I will never argue a trip by myself for some quiet time as well!). Provided we don’t go during a time when naps are approaching or when we are all a bit overtired, the grocery shopping typically is smooth. 🙂

Recently, I have found myself chuckling a bit as my oldest son has started to associate different stores with the specific items we will usually see or purchase at each. He will shout out the name of the store and then immediately after, he will list the associated item. (I have also begun to learn what a creature of habit I truly am! Children teach us a lot, don’t they?) At one particular grocery store (we have one main store in which we shop and then two others where we get the extra odds and ends), he knows that one of the special treats we sometimes take home is a balloon. Oh, how his face lights up when that balloon string is placed gently in his hand with the instruction from the clerk: “Now, hold on tightly. Don’t let it go.”

What the clerk does not realize is that my child’s mind is thinking just the opposite: “I love this balloon because I get to watch it float to the sky when I get home.”

Yes, it is true. 🙂 My son has learned (after losing one of his balloons to the sky accidentally a couple months ago) that he actually loves to watch the helium filled object drift away into an unknown place in the sky. So, now every time we get one of these balloons, it is gone as soon as we get home, and my son is one happy boy.

I have found this quite comical but also very indicative of my boy’s methodical mindset. He is always trying to figure out how things work and why things do what they do. I love it. 🙂 What I didn’t realize is that the regular occurrence of releasing the balloon would teach me something about faith this last week.

We arrived home and, as usual, he couldn’t wait to get out of the car and have me help him let the balloon go into the sky. We quickly positioned ourselves on the garage platform where he asked me, “Mama help?”

Up until now, I would have had him slip it into my hand, and at that point I would have released it for him. Yet, something in my heart told me that on this particular day, I needed to encourage him to try himself to let it go. The next moment, I will remember vividly. Rather than releasing it right away, it was as if his hands couldn’t let it go. So, I proceeded to encourage him and then showed him with my hands how to “release” the balloon. Yet, his precious hand couldn’t release it’s grip. I continued to cheer him on and started to help him by slowly and gently prying his two-year old fingers from their tight grip around the string. Our first attempt just led him to switch hands and continue to hold on all the tighter. It wasn’t that he didn’t want to let go; rather, it was if he wasn’t sure he could do it. (Believe me, he still was insistent that this balloon float to the sky. 🙂 ) Finally, I showed him one more time how to open his fingers, and then I slowly helped his hands make the same motion. At last the balloon began its ascent. The picture next was beautiful: My sweet boy stood there, his face showing sheer delight as he waved and said, “Bye-bye. Bye-bye balloon.” He was so proud.

This moment with my son taught me something about faith that day. Isn’t this just like life? We all have those “balloons” in which we grip onto so tightly. Those balloons can be anything–maybe it’s a fear, or a root of unforgiveness we are holding onto from being wounded so badly by someone close to us. We all have them. We all have a balloon that, when encouraged to let it go, we just can’t do it. Even though we know the release will be freeing, we struggle. We want someone else to do it for us because we are afraid. Yet, what I am learning more and more (and yes, I still struggle with those balloons in my life), is that it is worth it to step out in faith. Even though the release is hard, the rewards of having faith far outweigh the pain of letting go.

This last week taught me a lot. I learned that I want to release those things that I grip onto in my life more easily. I want God to catch those balloons the minute I release them. He is waiting. He is waiting for all of us to let those things go and then to feel the sweetness of waving as we say, “Bye-bye balloon.”

Unafraid and Unashamed- Devotional Reflections #1~ Written August 15, 2012


When my first son was born, I soon realized how the hours in the day seemed to slip out of my fingers more quickly than before I had a little one. 🙂 Along with the many things that I was unable to accomplish during the day, I also realized how hard it was for me to sit for an extended period of time and do my Bible study. And so the “mommy guilt” set in…Was I failing God because there were days in a row where I didn’t open my Bible? Was I a “bad Christian”? Yet, God gently and graciously spoke to my heart: “My Child, I know you are tired, exhausted, and feel badly for not being able to spend uninterrupted time with me each day. I understand! I love you with an everlasting love, and I will meet you where you are at today.” And so He did…While I wasn’t able to open my Bible each day, He gave me priceless moments with my child in which He which He whispered His truth into my heart. I felt prompted to write them down for the purpose of hopefully being able to also encourage other moms as well. I pray they uplift your heart and that they remind you of how much you, precious mama, are loved. This post begins the first of a mini-series called, Devotional Reflections. May you be blessed and feel embraced. :)\

Small hands with tender fingers stroking her face. Piercing blue eyes staring into those of the one who loves him. Arms outstretched and unashamed. It as if he says, “I am your beloved one.”  Oh, how beautiful and free.

It was a morning like any other, and maybe some would still consider it a normal day when all said and done, but for me, it was one that is forever etched in my heart and mind. Little did I know that one interaction would give me a new perspective on what it means to walk freely, forgiven.

Just as a stroked the last of the mascara on my eyelashes, the sounds of my sweet son could be heard from upstairs. As I made my way to him, my heart was again reminded of the tremendous gift that God had given to me by sending him into our lives.  He truly was a miracle. Having found true healing from a past eating disorder that had plagued my mind, body, and soul, I had spent years desperately praying that I would be able to conceive. Pregnancy test after test, I became discouraged by the negative results again and again. Would I ever hold a child that had grown in my womb? Would I ever have the privilege of wiping little tears from rosebud cheeks? Would I ever feel the tender hands in mine as I listened to my little one utter simple, child-like prayers before bed? Yet God knew the deepest desire of my heart; He had not forgotten the cries that poured from my soul. And, in His perfect timing, he sent us our first son, His beautifully created child.

Now my little boy lay awake with anticipation in his eyes. The soft creaking of the floor was a familiar sound for him as I approached, ready to swoop him into my arms. Reaching his bedside, I stopped, and in that moment, our eyes locked. It seemed as if our hearts beat to the same rhythm. And then, in the next instant, my precious boy did something that I will never forget. Without reserve, shame, or fear, he reached with both of his hands and tenderly placed his hands on my cheeks, all the while, never losing eye contact with me. We were one. No one and nothing else mattered in that moment but our relationship. Our souls danced to the same song, never losing step with each other. In words spoken loudly from his heart, he said to me,  “Mama, I am yours. Hold me, and let me rest my head upon your chest as I trust your love for me.”

As I picked him up, I found myself reflecting upon that brief but powerful interaction with my precious child. His heart knew that he could reach for me and that I would respond with unconditional love. He did not have to do anything to prove his worth or his value; rather, he trusted my sweet embrace. The Lord spoke to my heart saying, “Beloved child, I love you. You are mine. Come to me without reserve, without shame, without fear and let me feel your tender hands upon my cheeks. Let me wipe your tears. Let me hold you as you rest upon my chest. I am your loving Savior who will not reject you in your messes, your hurts, your failures, or your pain. Rather, I stand here with open arms ready to swoop you up and carry you through it all. I am full of grace. I am the Lover of your soul, the One who has paid for every one of your sins through my shed blood on the cross. You are forgiven, child.  Oh, how beautiful and free.

“Lord, thank you for what you are teaching me through my children.  You indeed, are the lover of my soul. You are the one that has forgiven me. Help me to come to you as a child today, unashamed. I want to trust your grace.”

In Jesus’ Name,