Monday, January 1, 2018

Happy New Year! Running into 2018 with open arms and an open heart.

Goodbye 2017. I am not going to miss you at all. What I am going to do (try really hard) is to leave all of the negative energy behind. Today starts a New Year. A year filled with new and exciting opportunities. Every day is a new beginning. A new offering. What you do with it is up to you.

I am not going to make any resolutions. I have said it before but time hop can be really depressing. It is a great way to see patterns. Every NYE over the past 12 years I have made the same resolutions. I have not made any advances on either one.

  1. Lose Weight
  2. Find Love
It is very sad and discouraging to see that pattern year after year of making resolutions and not keeping them. So this year instead I am going to leave things behind in 2017. I am not going to make a list because some of it is really personal and I haven't shared with anyone.

So instead of making promises, you might not keep, let go of the negative that is holding you back. You may be surprised to see that the one thing holding you back is yourself. You can do anything you want to do if you really set your mind to it. I have this issue that I keep myself from succeeding. It's as if I don't believe that I deserve happiness and success.

2018 is going to be the year that I put behind that self-defeat and finally achieve the freedom that exists outside of the prison of my own mind. I pray that you start this year with the same clarity that I have found. Look for the patterns and discern what or who is holding you back from moving forward and escaping the bondage. Shake off the old and embrace the new.


Job 11:14-18King James Version (KJV)

14 If iniquity be in thine hand, put it far away, and let not wickedness dwell in thy tabernacles.
15 For then shalt thou lift up thy face without spot; yea, thou shalt be stedfast, and shalt not fear:
16 Because thou shalt forget thy misery, and remember it as waters that pass away:
17 And thine age shall be clearer than the noonday: thou shalt shine forth, thou shalt be as the morning.
18 And thou shalt be secure, because there is hope; yea, thou shalt dig about thee, and thou shalt take thy rest in safety.


Sunday, October 8, 2017

Plant therapy Q and A with an Aromatherapist

I have always wanted to try essential oils. Being a single Mom on a tight budget, essential oils always seemed out of reach. I have been plagued with chronic migraines since 2011. My dive into essential oils was really a last-ditch effort to find some relief. I fell into the lies that MLM Essential Oil companies were the only authentic essential oil producers. Their oils are so expensive and I believed it was because they were pure and therapeutic grade.

After doing some research and seeing friends using other oils that were not MLM, I decided to take the leap. I bought some oils and found relief almost immediately. I still have migraines but I am not having them every day. I went from taking 800mg prescription ibuprofen twice a day and Excedrin migraine twice a day to just once or twice a week. So for me, it is nothing short of a miracle.

I am still extremely new to essential oils so I reached out to Plant Therapy's resident Aromatherapist for some Q and A. It took no time for her to get back to me and she was very helpful and willing to answer all my questions. Even my really weird ones. Please don't think that you can't afford essential oils and don't let anyone make you feel bad if you are not using major brand essential oils. Do your own research. As for me and my house, we are loving our essential oils and right now as I am typing this I have Plant Therapy's Sleep Aid running in my diffuser. It helps me to relax. I also just put my own mix of oils on my son for his allergies. He was a skeptic and called it hippy vegetable oil, but now he comes to me when he has a cut for lavender.

DISCLAIMER: I was not compensated for this blog. I bought my oils with my own money. I am just a very satisfied customer hoping to help educate others about essential oils. I also want to help others who have bought into the deception of MLM brands. You CAN afford pure essential oils!

  1. I am just starting out in my essential oil journey. It is very overwhelming looking at all the oils. What five oils do you recommend to someone new to this world? The top 5 singles I would recommend are Lavender, Peppermint, Lemon, Frankincense Serrata, and Eucalyptus Globulus. These are some of our most popular selling oils and they have many different therapeutic properties that give them a wide range of uses. I know some people like starting out with singles so they can really get to know each individual oil. However, I like starting out with some synergies too. Just because they are easy to know exactly what they can be used for. So if I was going to include synergies in my top 5 list, this would be my top 5: Lavender, Germ Fighter/KidSafe Germ Destroyer, Immune Aid/KidSafe Immune Boom, Respir Aid/KidSafe Sniffle Stopper, Eucalyptus Globulus/Rosalina (KidSafe oil that can be substituted for Eucalyptus).
  2. I learned the hard way not to use peppermint oil undiluted close to your eyes. I actually got some in my eyes and it was a painful experience. I used coconut oil. What is the best way to get oil out of your eyes? This is tough. You can use a carrier oil or like half and half (anything high in cream). But I would also immediately contact a doctor. You don't want to mess with essential oils in the eye. That can be very dangerous!
  3. How important is diluting oils before use? Where can I find this information? Very important. Not only are there safety precautions when using essential oils undiluted on the skin (some are high skin irritants, some are very hot and can literally burn the skin, etc.) but essential oils are also very volatile. If you put them on your skin, they become very drying to your skin because they are so volatile. 
  4. Can you overdose on oils? Yes, you can. Not even discussing using oils internally, your body can become overwhelmed with simply diffusing or using the oils topically. In some scenarios, it is called sensitization. 
  5. Can you get high on oils? I only ask because I diffused sleep aid and put tension relief and let's just say I felt pretty relaxed. This is a good question. I don't know if high is the correct word, but as discussed above, your body can be overwhelmed with essential oils and each body reacts differently to this. 
  6. What does kidsafe mean? Do I need to worry about using oils near my niece's and nephew who are all under 6? What could happen? Plant Therapy's KidSafe means the oils that are labeled KidSafe are safe to use around children ages 2-10 when diluted corrected. The oils we mark as KidSafe and the KidSafe synergies are the absolute safest oils for children. However, if used incorrectly, any oil could become unsafe. We have very specific usage instructions on each of our KidSafe products so parents not only know what products are KidSafe, but how to use them safely with their children.
  7. Which is better topical or diffusing? What is the difference? It depends. If you have a topical concern like a skin rash, you have to use the oils topically. If you are wanting to use essential oils for emotional or mental concerns, diffusion is usually best but you can use them topically near your face and that works too. 
  8. Can you use too much oil in a diffuser? Yes, you can. The truth is you truly don't need too much to get amazing benefits of the oils. Often less is more so why not save the oil and money! 
  9. Is it dangerous to mix oils? I currently use germ fighter and sleep aid at night. It is not dangerous. If it is two different concerns like a Germ Fighter and Sleep Aid would be, it can be fine. We just recommend using oils only when needed. However, we don't recommend using two synergies for one purpose. For example, using Sleep Aid and Relax at the same time to help you sleep. The reason we do not recommend this is because one of them might work just as well by itself and if you continue to use both, it might be a waste. 
  10. My son is 12 and he is a skeptic. Is there medical proof that essential oils work? How do essential oils work?There are some research and studies that show the amazing benefits of essential oils. This is a newer thing that so much research is being done on essential oils and the more and more we learn the more and more amazing we are with these essential oils. Lavender has been proven to help with sleep. Rosemary has been proven to help with memory. These are just a couple where scientific research and studies have been done to show the amazing properties of these oils!
  11. There is so much confusion about oil brands. What is the difference between plant therapy and MLM Brands? The major difference is the price. It is hard for me to speak about another company's products because I don't know the whole process of their quality control, etc. I can speak to the quality of Plant Therapy though. 
  12.  Are your oils therapeutic grade? Therapeutic grade is a marketing term. Any and every company can use this term and it means nothing of the actual quality of the product. Because essential oils are not regulated in the United States, any company can claim anything. Instead of looking for Therapeutic Grade, I recommend looking at the experts who work with that company. Look at the company's quality control measures. Is the company doing batch testing? What kind of testing? Is the testing done in house or a third party? Is the testing available to look at? Does the company list important information such as country of origin, extraction method, botanical name, etc.? The answer to these questions will tell you what quality of oils the company is selling. Therapeutic Grade will not. 


photo
Retha Nesmith
CMO & Certified Aromatherapist, Plant Therapy Inc.
510 2nd Ave S. Twin Falls, ID 83301
P 800-917-6577 F 208-969-9959 E retha@planttherapy.com W www.planttherapy.com

Friday, September 1, 2017

I am participating in a 23 and me research project...here's my predictions.

I was excited when I saw an ad wanting research participants for 23 and me. I have looked at the kits only and have coveted them for quite some time. I've wanted to do a DNA test ever since Ancestry.com came out with theirs. I yearn to know the answers to my past. I've made the family trees and researched as far as I can to no avail. So when the little box came in the mail it was like I was being given a key to my past.


This is everything that came in my little box. You have to wait thirty minutes after you eat or drink to provide a specimen. I wanted a good clean sample so I waited till I woke up the next morning. Funny story. My mouth was dry and spitting into a vial to get up to a certain line is quite a challenge. I did what any fat girl would do. I got on YouTube and looked up videos of yummy spicy food (my favorite). It worked! I got my sample and I closed the lid which added some sort of liquid to the sample. I then used a cap to seal the tube and placed it into the specimen bad. No postage was necessary so I sealed it back in the box it came in and took it to the post office.


I mailed this off yesterday and I don't expect results for six to eight weeks.  I am taking surveys and doing study sessions as part of the medical research. I wrote them today to see if they had any research studies for Elijah's illnesses. I would love for him to have his genetics tested and so he can learn more about his ancestry since he has zero contact with his biological fathers side of the family. I really like what 23 and me is doing with their research and I hope it can further research into illnesses that is currently plaguing Americans.


I thought it would be fun to make a guess into what my DNA Ancestry will show. I have identified all my life as German and Irish. My maiden name is Heinz and it comes from Germany. I have red hair and believe I have Irish ancestors. It is believed that I have Cherokee on both sides of my family. So following the graph above my guess is 80% European, German the highest percentage and Irish a lower percentage and 20% Native American. I would be shocked to see Asian or African. I am so excited to get these results and I hope I get them before Oktoberfest so I can celebrate and know it is my heritage! It would be the best Oktoberfest ever. 
BLEIB DRAN!



Wednesday, August 23, 2017

A letter to my drug addicted self

DISCLAIMER: DRUG AND ALCOHOL CONTENT. This post will contain several photos from days in my youth where I was using drugs quite heavily and how God orchestrated events to save my life. I don't recommend reading for minors. I want parents most of all to read. 

I was 18 in this picture. I had been smoking marijuana since eighth grade. Using prescription drugs and drinking since sixth grade. No one knew. My parents never suspected. My mom worked long hours and I found my way into my step dads liquor cabinet when I was 12. I would steal caffeine pills out of her purse and I had an adult friend that would offer me Xanax and speed. I was regularly smoking cigarettes when I turned fifteen. When I turned 18 and came on the club scene I was a drug pusher at local clubs. I would be the go between for buyers and dealers. This is how I got free or discounted acid and ecstasy. I was spiralling out of control. When you are doing drugs that mess with your mind on that level you are always searching for the next greatest thing and for me that was cocaine. The first time I tried cocaine was in the bathroom of "the boiler room" it was an after hours club aka drug den located beneath "Fiction". I was with a creepy middle aged man. Here I was trusting "uncle mike" who I only knew from the club scene. Here he is handing me a key with cocaine on it. I had no idea what to expect. What I didn't expect was the cravings that came afterward. Not just for the cocaine but for the thrill. My parents were completely oblivious that their Angel was standing in a bathroom doing cocaine with someone they could have went to high school with. When we weren't at the clubs, we progressed to going over to our friends houses. It's amazing how easy it was for 18 year old to get their hands on these drugs. I was new to the club scene. It took one month of going before I knew who the players were.


I wish I could tell you that you matter. I know God feels so far away and your new friends seem like they are taking care of you, but they only care about what you can provide them. They are caught in their own downward spiral. The moment your life falls apart you will only have one friend who will stick by your side.



This is me when I was 20 years old, in a bar drinking. My family started to catch on a little. It was a few months before a night that would change my life. I wish I could tell you that you are loved and your family is worried to death about you. 


I wish I could tell you that the drugs that make you feel better, will end up being your undoing. As soon as the high is gone you will feel emptier than you have ever felt. Dark thoughts will creep into your mind. You will wonder how a God like him could ever love a soul as dark and ruined as yours. Only God and you will ever know the depths you've gone to punish yourself for things that weren't your fault. I wish I could tell you that one night you will be partying with your friends and you will do too much cocaine and your heart will go out of rhythm. Your life will never be the same. You will be plagued with panic attacks and cardiologist appointments for the rest of your life. You will have to take heart medicine and anxiety medicine that will make you gain weight for the rest of your life and your heart will worsen over time. You're lucky you are even alive. This beautiful body you take for granted will never be the same. Your mind will never be the same. I truly believe that God works in mysterious ways and I know that everything happens for a reason. Because of what happens to me that one night, I was forever changed. I quit cold turkey. I had withdrawals but the fear of dying from the panic attacks and my heart rhythm issue woke me up. Drugs ruined my life. They ruined my mind, my body, but they did not ruin my soul. I thought I was ruined. Irredeemable. I thought I would do years of penance for my sins and still God could not ever look upon me in favour. I had been told that God could never love someone like me. I am here to tell you that is wrong. You can never be too far gone for God. He will meet you in your mess. He will reach down into the miry clay and pluck you out. I am living proof of his grace. I am a much better person today because of everything I've been through. We go through trials to strengthen us and prepare us to help others. 


This is me last year in Haiti. My happy place. I still have panic attacks and a heart rhythm problem, but I am alive and I am so happy. I am the happiest when I am serving others. I have plans to go back to Haiti and serve. I still struggle, but I am much stronger for everything I have been through because Christ has been by my side. Please don't give up hope. God has plans for you, even you who thinks there is no redemption for you. I am redeemed. You too can be redeemed. It's never too late and you're never too far gone. 

www.facebook.com/thissinglemomneedsgrace 


Luke 21:28

And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.

Romans 3:24

Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: 

Romans 8:23

And not only [they], but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, [to wit], the redemption of our body. 

Corinthians-1 1:30

But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:

Ephesians 1:7

In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace





Saturday, May 13, 2017

Sinus Sugery and my experience

I have neglected my blog and I am sorry. My New Years Resolution was to have a schedule and at least three posts a week. This year threw me and everyone else around me some things we were not expecting so there will be posts about that. The post I am writing about now is something fresh. I had surgery on May 8, 2017 at Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center. I had a Septoplasty, SMR, Antromities, Turbinates, a polyp removed from my sinuses, etc.

I had been dealing with a chronic sinus infection since May of 2016. I remember because it was right before I was supposed to go to Haiti on a missions trip. The sinus infection never went away even with several rounds of antibiotics and steroids. a CT scan at my allergist revealed that I had a polyp in my sinus cavity. These can go away with steroid nasal sprays but mine did not. Even my polyps are stubborn.

With my sinus infections I had major migraines. I am prone to migraines anyways but these were always in the front and very painful causing me to take high amounts of pain relievers including Excedrin migraine. These would only dull the pain and the aura of a migraine was always there. So after I had reached maximum treatment with antibiotics I was sent to an ENT who prescribed surgery. He also said I had a deviated septum which can cause sleep apnea, trouble breathing, headaches, etc. He would also fix this during the surgery.

I will openly admit that I am a HUGE scaredy cat when it comes to being put to sleep. I always think I am not going to wake up. In preparation for my surgery I was not allowed to use advil or aspirin for three weeks. Or anything natural or chemical that would thin my blood. I did also stop eating my chia seeds.

The week before surgery my head all of the sudden started splitting and I was running a fever and had been all weekend. I had to have my sister take my to the ER. I was afraid I had meningitis which is a complication of  severe sinus infection since the bone separating the brain and the sinuses is a thin bone. I will never go back to Ft. Sanders ER. I waited three hours to be treated. When I finally had a Dr. look at me he gave me fluids and a migraine cocktail (benedryl, toradol, promethazine) which usually helps my migraines but this did nothing for me. They gave me Rocephin which is a strong IV antibiotic and stronger pain killers. My CT just showed how bad my sinuses were and I was allowed to go home.  It took days but I finally started to feel better. I think the Rocephin helped most of all.

I was scared and excited for the day of my surgery to come. I was ready to get back to normal. I had been in bed a lot. Sleeing a lot, and taking medicine around the clock. My sinuses were so bad I had a rash around my eyes where the sinus infection was seeping out of my eyes and basically burning my face. something I had never seen before and made me feel like a leper.



DAY OF SURGERY

I woke up and went to my Mom's and picked her up since she would be driving me home. We got checked in at FSRMC at 10:30 am. We had a little wait before they sent us upstairs and I went into pre op. I had to give a urine sample, blood draw, vitals. My blood pressure was skyrocketed because I was so nervous and I was running a low grade fever. We waited in pre op until 12:30 then they took me back into this other communal room where I would receive my anesthesia before being taken back.

I loved my nurse she comforted me when I told her how scared I was. She told me I was definitely going to wake up. I let her know about my panic disorder and that I was having a panic attack. MY IV was the best IV I had ever received. They numbed it with some kind of lotion before they stuck in the numbing shot and I barely felt the iv go in. After I saw my dr she gave me some versaid (sp?) for my anxiety which did nothing to me. I made sure to let them know. I was VERY awake when they wheeled me into the operating room which I did not like at all. I could see every instrument.I got on the stretcher myself. Watched them strap my arms down. At this point I was going to tell them NOPE, NOT TODAY! The really cute anesthesiologist put a mask over my face and told me to take some deep breaths of oxygen. Then they switched to anesthesia and I only took three breaths before I was out.

WAKING UP

My pre op experience was heaven compared to post op. The first thing I noticed was that something was wrong with my throat. Flash back to tonsillectomy. It hurt bad. I let the nurse know and she was not concerned at all and could care less. Her job was basically to tell me to breathe and quickly became the most annoying person I have ever met. Why do I need to remember to breathe all of the sudden? Maybe if my throat didn't feel like it had been violated with burning embers I could breathe. They do not want you to sleep either. Every time I closed my eyes there she was. Candice you need to breathe. When I complained about my throat for the umpteenth time she brought me ice chips and said I could have pain medicine when I brought my oxygen level up.

They basically bribed me with pain medicine to breathe. I have also never realized how hard it is to be forced to be a mouth breather. I find it extremely uncomfortable. I noticed the throat pain before I noticed the nose pain. The face pain came soon after. The wheeled me into recovery and my Mom and Elijah were allowed to come back. I could have gotten stronger medicine for my pain but that would have meant staying longer and at this point I was ready to be somewhere that I could just sleep. We finally left the hospital around 5 pm. 

This was taken the morning after my surgery. I was in immense pain.


The First Night

The first night was all about learning to breathe through the mouth and trying to fit my huge nose into my full face C-Pap mask. I should have talked to them about it and maybe they could have offered a better solution. My nose swelled up to about the size of the old mans from UP. I woke up often from pain and took pain medicine every 4 hours.

Eating was weird and unexpected. When you don't have your nose your taste really changes. the best thing was popsicles because it helped soothe my throat which was still in pain and now extremely dry from sleeping with the cpap. This would be a good time to try healthy stuff you normally wouldn't eat. I had some spinach yogurt and since I couldn't smell it I really didn't have an opinion on the taste. 

I lost a lot of blood during surgery and had a lot of post surgery bleeding that my Doctor put off removing my packing for a while. When he did remove my packing it wasn't as bad as I thought. The most painful part of that experience was when he sprayed something in my nose. Tears sprung to my eyes. It felt like acid. I saw stars and I couldn't stand on my own so I had to sit in the room for ten minutes until I could leave. I had to come back to have the splints taken out and they were a little painful coming out, but my pain decreased a lot after my packing and splints came out.

It's been two months since I had the surgery. I can breathe better, but unfortunately I'm still having sinus trouble. I am back on allergy shots and I am experimenting with essential oils. I don't recommend the surgery for everyone. I had a deviated septum and I do notice a difference since it was repaired. I also had to have the surgery because my infection was so bad. I would only recommend it as a last option after you have tried everything else. 

This picture was after I had my splints removed. I got a lot of relief after that.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

REVIEW: Kwik Stix Thin Stix by The Pencil Grip, Inc.

When I got the email asking me to review Kwik Stix Thin Stix I was beyond excited and thankful! I teach pre-k at our homeschool co-op. My preschoolers always ask to use the Kwik Stix. It is all the creativity and fun of paint, but without the mess. I don't have to worry about these rambunctious 2-4 year olds spilling water or getting paint everywhere. Parents can rest easy too because Kwik Stix are AP certified, meaning they are non toxic and perfectly safe for young children.



Clean up

Clean up is a breeze with the Kwik Stix brand. On our school tables we don't have to scrub. The paint wipes away quickly with one wipe on the whole table. Another amazing thing is that the paint dries in 90 seconds so we don't have to worry about the paint drying by the time our day is done. We can stack the paintings after the kids are done, which saves us space. One of our moms was a little upset when her daughter got some paint on her shirt but she let us know the next week that the paint came out in the wash. 

Uses

We use the Kwik Stix on everything. Literally. Drawing paper, because you don't have to worry about the paper tearing by getting soggy. Heavy paper, cardboard, canvas, and wood! This past Christmas we were painting wooden ornaments. After seeing the trouble one kid was having with the acrylic paint, I handed her a Kwik Stix and she finished her ornament faster and more effortlessly than the rest of the class. She didn't have to wait for one color to dry to use another color, her colors didn't mix and become yucky, and the way these babies glide onto wood has given me idea for some home projects for myself.



Thin Stix

The Thin Stix are a little easier to grasp and the smaller point is perfect for writing or drawing. I always tell my preschoolers to not roll it up too far and make sure you put the lid on. Treat it like a glue stick. If you don't put the lid on it will dry out. If this happens there is no need to worry. Just cut the top off that is dry and you're good to go. You don't use water with these. They are ready to go. I find they are a lot less messy than paint and markers. 

I used these with all ages. From 2 years old to 54. Everyone loves these. My step dad even used them in his home furnishing business on wood. I can't wait to see what The Pencil Grip, Inc. comes out with next.



Where can you purchase Kwik Stix and Thin Stix?

You can find this great product online at Amazon.com. They are available in 6, 12, and 24 packs of assorted, neon, and metallic colors.


Be sure to check out some of their other amazing products. I really, genuinely, love this company and recommend it to all of my friends. They put out great products. If you have a child with fine motor problems you really ought to check out their pencil grips. My son uses them and they help him maintain control over his pencil better.


DISCLAIMER:  I was sent this product free to review. I was not compensated in any other way and was not asked to give a positive opinion. Out of loyalty to my readers my opinion will always be honest and my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with FCC regulations.



Sunday, January 15, 2017

The loss of a Pastor larger than life

I fell away from God in my teenage years. When I became pregnant with my son I decided that I wanted to raise him in church. I knew of a small church that my some of my family went to and the Pastor was a wonderful man who had been around my family for a long time. So over 12 years ago I started going to Dante Missionary Baptist Church. I fell in love with the church and the people who made up that church. It's one of those churches where everyone is related somehow or another. It felt like home. I was so excited to have Phillip do Elijah's dedication. 

 
My Pastor didn't ever meet a stranger. He loved you as you were. He didn't care if you wore a fancy suit and tie or busted jeans and a t shirt, as long as you were praising the Lord. He was so accepting and loving. He made you feel at home. That is how Dante feels to me. It feels like home and a big part of that was Phillip. He cared so much for his church and everyone in it. 

He was a working Pastor. He worked full time running a company and doing manual labor and worked full time for the Lord. I honestly don't know when that man slept. When he wasn't working he was at the hospital with someone's loved one. I can't count how many times he has been there for my family praying with us before surgeries or when our loved ones were dying, no matter what time of the night, Phillip was always there. I remember when my Mom had her heart attack and we didn't know if she was going to make it through surgery, Phillip walked in and he prayed with us and comforted us. He has preached many of my loved ones funerals. 



Phillip made me feel safe. I live below Phillip and Jackie. I had been in a domestic violence situation before and when I got out of that I no longer felt safe where I lived. When I moved in here I felt so safe. Not only was my Pastor my neighbor, but he was an avid hunter. So knowing he was near and if he had to he could serve, protect, and bring the perpetrators to the Lord at the same time. 

He was a large man. He had these huge hands. I made the mistake of standing next to him in a prayer circle once. He crushed my hand. By the end of the prayer I was in tears and it wasn't because I was overcome with the spirit. He gave the BEST hugs. I am going to miss those big hugs. The ones where he just pulls you in and beats on you for a minute. Especially when it seemed like he always knew when you really needed a hug.



I am so thankful this past Wednesday I was able to get one of those hugs. He thanked me for bringing him food that past weekend. I wish I had hugged him longer. When I came down out of the choir he grabbed my hand and held it for a minute. I never thought that this could be the last time I saw him. He sat in front of us during the service. I told him he looked good and he just smiled at me. He sat attentively and listened to my friend Shawn preach. I am so thankful that the church was full for that Wednesday service and that the Youth were there. 

He was so proud of our men who had been called to preach. He sat there and listened to Shawn's message with so much pride. Our Pastor was our number one supporter in anything we did. When we went to Haiti he was behind us 100% and he donated so much of his own money for that trip and for a lot of other things we did as a church. He supported our dance team and stood beside us when other people were unsure about it. He was also a huge supported of the Youth. He loved our Youth so much. He was so proud of the way they were stepping out and worshipping. He loved and encouraged everyone. 



Tonight was his funeral. We had his service at our church. Traffic was backed up. The line for the receiving of friends was out the door and the wait was an hour and a half. His family stood up there for four and a half hours. Every one who came loved Phillip. He had touched their lives in some way or another. He helped so many people. So many people loved him. We all loved him. 

I streamed his funeral on fb for his family and friends who couldn't make it. We had 160 people watching the service live. On any given Sunday we have around 13 people who watch our fb live. As of this post 15,000 people have watched his service. It is a testament to what kind of person our Pastor was.




Where do we go from here? I am feeling lost. My heart feels like it is broken in a million pieces. I am grieving for his family. I can't imagine what they are feeling. His grand children were his greatest treasures and he loved them so much and they loved their Papaw. All I can do is offer my prayers and love. I still needed him to be my Pastor. To explain things in a way that only Phillip was good at. Some of his sermons I could swear were just for me. He had a way of speaking directly to your heart. He let the Spirit lead him. We are a church without a Pastor, and it will be a while before we find one and vote on one. No one will be able to replace Phillip. He was family. 

Going forward without him is going to be so hard. He had a great vision for his church. I pray that we are able to honor him and continue on with what he set forth. There are a lot of uncertainties. Please pray for us during this time! The only thing that gives me comfort is know that I am saved and I will see him again in heaven and in the meantime he is up there with all of our loved ones who has passed. God is good all the time.