One of my passions in life is pursuing all manners of sustainability. I believe that whatever you are passionate about overflows into all areas of your life.
I was sitting in an airport back in June watching people. Summer is a huge family vacation time. Vacation should be synonymous with Happy, right? And yet…. the vast majority did not appear to be all that happy. Granted, flying isn’t necessarily fun anymore, but still… where was the joy in the journey? During the flight, I had a growing conviction that I needed to do more in life to spread Joy and Happiness to others. I started researching and found that I am not alone in this. Did you know that there are actually college classes now on finding happiness? Seriously. Are we that bankrupt on happiness and joy as a country that college classes are needed to find it?
This month, with the help of some friends, we’ve got a Facebook event called Project Joy and Happiness! If you’d like to join us, feel free to do so. Our goal is to spread holiday cheer this December, and hopefully teach others how to spread both where ever they go year round. Let’s make Joy and Happiness contagious emotions! We’ve got science, psychology, posts that bring a smile to your face, and even weekly giveaways.
But wait, aren’t Joy and Happiness the same thing? Uh….no. Happiness is an emotion reserved for moments in time. Joy is the sustainable emotion…. once you choose Joy, it stays with you as long as you continue to choose it. (You’ll learn all about the nuances of Joy vs Happiness in the Facebook event).
Yesterday, I saw the greatest testimony to the difference between Joy and Happiness. It came in the form of a funeral.
You see, a friend within our Young Living family lost their daughter Layla last month to childhood cancer. Her parents, Bryan & Sara, held her celebration of life service yesterday. It was a true celebration, with balloons, snow cones, fun for the kids that attended, bright colors and happy music.
No, this was not a happy event. Happy is not a word that describes a funeral. Ever. And yet….. the service was filled with smiles, laughter, and many many tears. Tears that were joy filled and sadness filled simultaneously. This is the difference between Happiness and Joy. You can’t be happy and sad simultaneously, but you CAN be joyful and sad simultaneously.
Biblically speaking, deep within Psalm 30 you see the words “….Joy comes with the morning”. Joy also comes TO the mourning when a child of God meets Jesus face to face. I believe that celebrating the beautiful life of a beautiful girl who is now sitting on the lap of Jesus is worthy of Joy. Nobody is happy that she is gone, but thousands of her friends are filled with Joy that she is now in the presence of her heavenly Father and is healed.
I can think of no better example of Joy than this.
In all my researching these last 6 months, I found that one of the things that boosts your happy and joy quotient is giving without respect to what you might receive in return. If you’d like to help Stamp Out Childhood Cancer (a 501c3 nonprofit), please consider donating in memory of Layla Stamp (nothing would bring her parents greater Joy than that). Please visit LaylaStrongFoundation.org for more information. I am 100% in favor of practicing what I teach….. so when donating to LaylaStrongFoundation, please reference The Wellness Prepper (in the message section of your paypal donation), and we (Charlie and I) will match donations up to a cumulative amount of $1000.
Find your Joy today my friends, and celebrate! Joy lasts a lifetime. Happiness comes and goes depending on the situation.
Hugs and Love, Liz
My partner in crime, love of my life, bff, and hubby of 25+ years and I love to give. Over the years we’ve found various organizations that have pulled at our hearts. We’ve also been duped on more than one occasion. (It’s amazing how many organizations and individuals are out there who either improperly manage funds and/or who just want your money so they don’t have to work quite so hard.) Sad but true. We have gotten fairly good at vetting what and who we choose to give our money and our time to…. thank goodness! After all, we have extraordinarily busy lives with jobs, a farm, and a passion that combines all of the above. Ain’t got no time for nonsense, right?
This season is generally a time where hearts grow and giving flows, and I thought I’d give a shout out to one of our favorite international organizations, Reach Out Honduras. ROH was/is the vision of dear friends, Alex & Laura Waits. Not everyone listens when God speaks, and even fewer act on what is being spoken to the heart. You see, Alex and Laura lived the typical American dream….. great jobs, comfortable life in the country, a couple of kids and pets. All was well in their world.
God asked, and Alex and Laura said yes. You can see the result of their ‘yes’ here.
Charlie and I have been closely tied to Reach Out Honduras since day one. You see, Alex and Laura lived in our community and attended our tiny church. We watched their vision grow from a thought to an action and then a movement. We have both been on their Board of Directors (I have since ‘retired’) since day 1. Charlie spends countless hours in the spring each year putting together a benefit golf tournament that raises money to build school buildings. The buildings you see in the video are the result of combined donations of ‘average joe’ people. Ya’ll, this is a grassroots organization with no corporate backing, no one church denomination, no political affiliation. It’s just the result of good people doing good things with the gifts God gave them.
Getting to Puerto Lempira, Honduras is no easy feat. It is in one of the most remote parts of Honduras…. there are no roads to get there, so small plane or small boat is it. Travel generally takes two days to get there.
Charlie and I went down last summer for a week of work projects, and got to meet the kids and teachers at Reach Out Honduras’s school, Vida Abundante. Ya’ll, this region of Honduras is the poorest of the poor. Going to school beyond 6th grade requires payment to the government with money that most don’t have.
No money = No Education = No chance for betterment = The poverty continues.
The vision that God gave Alex is changing all of that. In less than 10 years, the poverty cycle is beginning to show signs of change. We have kids in college who want to come back to their remote home and make a difference for others. There are income producing jobs at the school for those who had none, and there is a spirit of hope that is literally tangible within the gates of the property.
Vida Abundante has become a place of self pride and hope in a region where there was very little of either.
Last weekend ROH had its second fund raising event of the year, the annual banquet. It is humbling to be in a room full of those who are there to give abundantly to a worthy cause expecting nothing in return. Most of the people will never meet the kids they sponsor, and yet they give anyway. They may never step foot in Honduras, and they give anyway. This is love, generosity, and hope’s hands and feet.
While ROH is a Christian based ministry, this organization is supported by all walks of life regardless of politics and religious beliefs, because we all believe in a common thing:
…… and the greatest of these, is Love. (1 Cor 13:13)
If you are looking for an organization to donate to this holiday season, there are over 240 living breathing hope filled individuals who have aspirations in life, and are praying for the opportunity. Please consider showing a little love and making Reach Out Honduras one of your charities of choice!
On Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ReachOutHonduras/
Walking in Faith, Liz
I hardly know where to begin. I am so far behind on all the wildly magical things going on in our life that this Summer has somehow morphed into Fall. I can hardly recall a year that has gone so quickly in my adult life.
I’ve always said I could be a professional student if only I was independently wealthy. Well, We’re still not independently wealthy, but we have somehow begun building a life that is allowing me to explore my passions and get paid. I pinch myself occasionally. Is this really me, getting to do this?
Pharmacy has been good to me ya’ll, but it’s no walk in the park. There is a reason it’s listed among the Top 10 Professions most likely to commit suicide. It’s a high stress job with long hours and demands 100% perfection. No surprise that the burnout rate is also remarkable. I am tremendously blessed with a husband who enjoys his job and has encouraged me to pursue what pulls at my heart. It is a gift he has given me this year… and a timely one at that!
At the end of September, I was fortunate enough to attend The 2017 Farm & Food Leadership Conference. Blessedly, this national event was held in nearby McKinney, Texas.
FARFA…. Farm & Ranch Freedom Alliance is a national organization supporting independent family farmers. It works to protect a healthy and productive food supply for American consumers. FARFA is an advocate for independent farmers, ranchers, livestock owners, and homesteaders, as well as the consumers who support them.
Ya’ll, you’d hardly think this organization would be necessary. We all need food and farmers. Shouldn’t it be easy to farm enough nutritious food to feed our huddled masses? Let these statistics sink in:
This AMAZING Conference covered so many facets of Farm to Table Education. There were so many education opportunities, but not nearly enough time to attend each session. I settled on those that pertained directly to our farm and the direction we are headed.
I almost forgot… the most amazing Farm to Table dinner too. This was our first, but it won’t be our last. Dinner for about 150 people at Pure Land Organic Farm , catered by the incredible sustainably (and locally) sourced ingredient restaurant in McKinney: Harvest .
Connecting people with a common bond. Farmers, Ranchers, Nutritionists, Chefs, Sociologists and Anthropologists, Beekeepers, Backyard gardeners with a vision, Inner City gardeners with a plan for their community. This event paid no heed to political affiliation, ethnicity, age, or religious beliefs. Our goal is the same. To learn. To provide sustainable nutritious food for the body, mind, and soul to all walks of life. Breaking bread together never tasted so good.
Finances. Ah…… Debbie Downer…. don’t bring that up. I was having a pretty good day until you mentioned the “F” word.
This is a topic that is such a big one in ALL of our lives, and yet the average person wants to run the opposite direction when “the big F” is mentioned. It is very personal. Some peopleare blessed with stewardship training at a young age. One of my parents greatest gifts was the actual act of teaching us to manage money. I knew how to manage money from a pretty young age, partly from this training, and partly because I’ve worked since I was barely a teenager caring for and supporting my own horse. Squandering money just didn’t happen in my world. Others may have figured it out on their own without training, but by trial and error. My hat is off to you…. not everyone learns from financial mistakes, and consequently there is a wake left that grows to tsunami proportions with each passing year.
The reality in today’s world is this…… no matter what your prior circumstance, unless you are born into wealth, your retirement plan likely looks like one of these scenarios:
Now dream with me a moment. Have you already fallen in love with Young Living products? (If so, you can scratch the whole “dying young plan”off your retirement scenario list, ’cause it ain’t likely that’s gonna happen). Or, have you just stumbled into my website… dazed, confused, and a little rising excitement about what you’ve found regarding natural wellness options…?
I’m not asking you to share Young Living with others… Only about 8% of YL users actively grow a business, so you are in great company by just being a content product user. Thank you!
But I would like to tell you what could happen if you did share your love of YL’s presence in your life with others.
You see, my husband and I have great jobs. We both work very hard on the farm and in our careers. We also only get 2 weeks of vacation a year, and when you have remote family members with health conditions and/or farm events…. choices for vacation days have to be made. There were several years we’ve had to use nearly all our vacation to address very “non vacation” life events, and several times we’ve missed critical moments in life because of this. Residual Income comes from building an asset (your ever growing YL business) that continues to earn you money even if you are not actively building that asset at every given waking moment. Make no mistake… building a business around Young Living IS work, but the freedom to plan….. or to be spontaneous about this work is priceless. If I could have some “do over” moments in my life and not miss some extremely important family events because of work, I would in a heartbeat. Many of you are younger than me…. Don’t be me. Think about this long and hard now, and don’t miss out because you had to “clock in”. Begin working now on freedom.
Secondly, Charlie and I HAVE been saving for retirement. I personally have been saving since I was 23 years old (I am 50 now). There have been times in our lives that we have dumped relatively large amounts of income into retirement plans, and while we are better prepared than most (when we turn 70 1/2!), it’s still not a ton of money in the grand scheme of growing old. It gives me great peace to be at a point in my Young Living journey (after just 3 years) to have residual income we can count on. If Social Security evaporates into thin air before we retire, with our YL income, we will be fine. This is not a pipe dream… this is our reality. Again…. many of you are younger than me. If I’d started growing my YL business at 25 instead of 47, who knows what kind of financial magic would be happening! Remember, this business is an “at your own pace” kinda thing…. but even if you grow slow and steady, in 25 years, you’ll be the rockstar granny (or grandpa) who is enjoying retirement instead of working at Wally World because they have to! What is your current 401K offering you? You can see actual “pedal to the metal” numbers on the 2015 YL Income Dislosure Statement.
Thirdly…. what does your WILL look like? Will your job continue to pay you long after your death? Do you have a spouse, kids, relatives (or a farm full of animals like us!) who rely on the support your income affords? What if it stopped? The cool thing about Young Living is that once you get a YL business off the ground and write a personal will, you can then fill out survivorship paperwork with YL, and guess what….. that residual income becomes a legacy for your family…. (or in our case, our ‘farmily’). You can read more about willing your business in section 3.7.1 of the Policy and Procedure manual. Does your current job offer this perk? I didn’t think so….
If, after reading this… you find yourself interested in learning more, please contact me!
If you’ve never even heard of oils til now AND you’re already nervous about what your retirement does look like, get yourself a premium starter kit here and let’s talk.
If you love oils and are already on my team, but have never even considered these options until now, maybe I’ve planted a seed or two. I am here to help you get started. We are about raising each other up, and I’m more than pleased to help.
If you are on my team or about to be on my team (go get that kit!) and this message has rocked your world, ……………… contact me. If you are truly serious, I will make sure you have the resources you need at your fingertips to be successful. This business is about growing up, locking arms, and thriving together.
A Young Living business will truly offer you a sustainable future.
Hugs and Love, liz
Contact me: firstname.lastname@example.org for more info.
Hey there....thanks for stopping by! This is me (Liz James)... an eclectic mixture of holistic (and organic) farmgirl meets pharmacist. It's a synergy that works well as I speak truths and dissect fact from fiction. If you're looking for healthier living options, you've come to the right place!