The Spirit of Offense

David and caleah

I cried when I saw this picture of my new niece and her daddy. A new life in the world is so beautiful but God revealed something more to me when I looked at this picture that broke me.

See recently I have been slightly persecuted by friends, colleagues and even family for my over zealous “selling” of a program that changed my life. “Shut up already”,  “I don’t want to hear about it”,  “it’s not for me”,  “it’s not the only good program out there”. Have you ever been rejected, called names, or even lost friendships over something you believed in strongly? It can hurt and it can shut you down.

Several years ago we had one interaction with a colleague that hurt my husband so badly that he literally quit that “selling” part of his job for many, many years. This person was irritated by what we were “selling” and verbally made it known. My husband was wounded and he allowed pride to take on a SPIRIT OF OFFENSE.

The Spirit of Offense is a tool by Satan to trap and hold you from all that God wants you to do and to be. It stops you from serving others, helping, or selling something you know is proven to change people’s lives.  The words of one person shut him down from helping hundreds and probably thousands of people.

The Definition of Offenses: From the Greek “to put a stumbling block in the way, cause to be caught (or) fall away, be led into sin, offend, anger, shock”.

Offense is like an automatic weapon. Once you pull the trigger, it keeps firing. – Kathy DeGraw

Offense are seeds that once planted are fertilized by ego and pride and grow into some horrific weeds in our lives including fear, doubt, anger, resentment, distrust, and blanket opinions.

The reality is we are not going to stop offenses coming our way but we must know what to do when they do happen:

1. Recognize the seeds that was planted

2. Forgive right away: The harboring of unforgiveness in our lives can cut off our connections to the Holy Spirit and can delay God’s perfect plan for our lives.

3. Search your heart: Seeds of Offense can turn into deep roots that we may not even be conscious of.  Searching your heart for areas of offense, unforgiveness, ego and pride can turn up these deep roots.

4. Turn to God’s Word: Ask God to reveal scripture, verses, or prayers to pray over these hidden GIANTS in your life. Ask Him to uproot these monsters with the Spirit of FORGIVENESS that He gave us and you freely give to others. “Forgive us our debts as we forgive others.”

5. Heal: In some cases you may find complete deliverance and freedom after an act of true forgiveness and other times healing will be a process.

After attending one of those programs I like to sell I found out I had been harboring some deep seeded anger and resentment against some leaders who crookedly embezzled a company I love.  It had been 9 years and I thought I had forgiven them and moved on.  But apparently I hadn’t and during this seminar God ordained an awakening to the fact that I hadn’t forgiven them.

When I truly forgave them this newfound freedom and lightness came over me and I still have it weeks later. Oddly I became more comfortable, outgoing, and self-assured in group settings too. It was really weird and showed me how unforgiveness and the Spirit of Offense can affect so many areas of our life.


So back to my original story. See this picture of my brother in law and his beautiful family.  When you watch the video below you will hear all the changes that happened for David after attending that program I “sell” too much. One of which was how God moved his heart from never wanting any more children to seeking God’s plan for his family. When this video was taken, little did we know that his beautiful wife Samantha was already pregnant.

The program is called First Steps to Success and recently my “selling” has caused some backlash to point where I considered backing down and not sharing so much.  I have had a lot of opportunity for the Spirit of Offense to take hold of me…  but I won’t let it.  Because it’s not about me… it’s about the peoples’ lives that will be changed because I share.

No one leaves a First Steps to Success without being changed. They offer a full money back guarantee if you aren’t satisfied. So how about you? Are you ready to experience a change? Are you ready to learn more about things that are holding you back? I feel blessed if you made it to the end of the article and didn’t shut down or walk away from something that could literally transform your life like it did for David. Please consider it. I have 1 ticket left to the next First Steps to success training, and possibly the only ticket if it’s sold out by the time you read this. Give me a call 315-836-2014 ext. 1. Let’s learn and grow together.

God Bless you my friend,
Mary Starr Carter

A message from David

Skin time caleah and david

Caleah is such a blessing to us and we’re doing great (I guess after 4 babies you start to know what to do!).  I attached a picture of her and I have our first skin on skin time last night 🙂 As I had everyone gathered around last night at the house for dinner I was recounting the story of how I was so against another child and Samantha’s longing for one.

Whenever people used to ask me about more children I was adamant that the only way we were having another child is if God himself changed my mind…. funny how God works isn’t it?  So for the past 9 months I have been faithful to give God the glory and now I have an opportunity to explain how much God has done in my life and how he has changed me from the inside out to give me a heart for another little blessing.

Actionable Faith: Do You Have It?


Have you ever had God bring a new friendship into your life right when you needed it?

Have you ever followed God’s intuitive nudge to go do something or go somewhere and it ended up being the perfect thing you needed to experience, see or hear?

Or have you ever gotten those perfect words of encouragement just when you needed them?

Here are 3 stories of 3 experiences that have really impacted me and given me direction and tools for my future parenting. I hope they bless you too.

My dear friend and I hadn’t chatted in months but one night out of blue she texted, “Hope you are doing well and God is doing amazing things for you and your family? You are always on my heart and in my prayers.” The next 20 minutes of texting would encourage my soul and remind me of the tools I have as a mom in Christ.

Rebekah is one of the most positive and encouraging people you could meet. She is beautiful on the inside and out. On top of her many responsibilities, a newborn, a 3 year old, a 6 year old, a husband who works long hours and goes to school, she struggles with some painful health challenges. Although she has all that going on, she stays positive. I often think how does she do it? But I am reminded in our text chat how she does it… It is her ACTIONABLE FAITH.

What is Actionable Faith? I don’t know the official definition but here is what I believe it is; Putting your Faith into Action. An example would be when a difficulty comes up you go to the Word and remember who you are in Christ and you ACT and LIVE like that.

I wrote Rebekah how I was struggling with homeschooling she is a year or so ahead of me in the journey and she writes back, “Ahh yes school! It sure is challenging but nothing you can’t handle!

Her simple reminder helped me realize the POWER I have because Christ is in me. When I try to understand how Rebekah with all these great stressors in her life does it… quite simply she doesn’t but Christ that lives in her DOES. When you take the stress and striving off of your shoulders and trust in the One who made you and is in you and then ACT on that, your life just gets a whole lot easier. And that is how Rebekah can be so positive even on her worst days. ACTIONABLE FAITH.

My next story I hope encourages all you moms who are pouring into your children, Grooming the Next Generation. I got up early one morning to have quiet time before the big First Steps to Success seminar. When I was done it was still the very early hours of morning so I thought I’d catch a few more winks before I got ready for my day. But God gently nudged me saying go downstairs and get in line there is something waiting for you there.

So I trudged off pouting a little bit but went and got my place in line. I sat down next to this pretty younger woman and after a few minutes started a conversation. In the following 30 minutes I would be in tears when I realized what God was showing me.

See those weeks prior to that event my biggest worry was about my children and my adequacy of homeschooling them. This beautiful young woman was 17 years old and for the past 8 years her parents had been Grooming and homeschooling her and her 2 sisters for success in life. See her parents had gotten plugged into First Steps to Success 8 years prior and started studying Grooming the Next Generation for Success. Grooming the Next Generation for Success is based on Biblical Principals and is techniques and tools for raising successful children who mature into successful adults. Again ACTIONABLE FAITH this young woman’s parents took their faith based training and put it into their lives.

As I listened to this mature 17 year old woman share all her wonderful experiences over the past 8 years, her kind nature, her giving spirit, and purity shined through. Her homeschooling was just a piece of her Grooming. Her parents gave their children real life experiences even living and working in a foreign country for a year and taking care of orphans. They got to explore their hobbies and even apprentice with local artisans. I was brought to tears because in those minutes with this young woman God was reassuring me that I was on the right track and had the tools to Groom my children for success too in life.

Here is a link to one of those tools, Grooming the Next Generation for Success. They are a series of trainings that shares grooming techniques to raise up successful kids that mature into successful adults.

grooming the next generation
My last story also comes from one of those God nudges. To make a long story short I wanted to do one thing but God nudged me again to do another… so I did it but with a bad attitude until I realized that my obedience to obey Divinely ordained an amazing new friendship and people into our lives.

Recently I spent the afternoon with my new friend Amanda and her two teenage girls. Right away we were impressed with the two girls. They were polite, respectful, well spoken and loved kids. They engaged in conversations and were the exact opposite of most teenagers I knew. They never even looked at a cell phone, they knew how to have conversations, and their hobbies weren’t video games. And did I mention these girls loved God and weren’t embarrassed to tell you. Wow how can I raise my kids up to be this pleasant? So later that day I asked Amanda and this is what she said.

“I wasn’t raised with these principals of success.” So the first thing Amanda did was work on her. 10 years ago she got her life right with God. She was introduced to Dani Johnson’s Spiritual Equipping Trainings and just started to plug into them day and night. She changed her life and her marriage. Then she got exposed to those same Grooming the Next Generation for success trainings.

She would have the audios playing in the background every day for 1-2 hours. Every week she, her husband, and her 2 girls would sit and watch 15-20 minutes of the training together and talk about it. They literally would have an appointment in their calendar to do this. And then they would practice what they learned. 10 years of practicing and grooming in all the different seasons of their family’s growth and struggles. It wasn’t easy. For the past 10 years she has worked nights as a nurse and would many times have to make sacrifices of sleep and more to invest in her children and marriage, but her sacrifices have paid off and her children are incredible. ACTIONABLE FAITH.

What about you? Are you ready to take your Faith and putting it into the Actions of your life? Maybe this is your nudge to invest into your personal development by getting some Spiritual Equipping training or your Parenting Training with Grooming the Next Generation for Success?

I know I will be following this direction. We only get a short period of time with our kids. Why not get the training to groom them for success? Why not start with changing our lives and taking ACTIONABLE FAITH? I know you can make a change no matter where you are in life or what season you are in. I believe in you. YOU CAN DO THIS.  Remember Romans 8:11.

Tips for your Stressful Weeks

tips to better sleep
It’s 4 am and I can’t sleep. It’s been a full couple of days and I have a lot on my mind. My husband and I have worked as a powerhouse team in life and business these last 4 days. It is amazing what we can do and handle when we have too.

In the last 4 days we spent hours doing client care and leadership development, made it to the last stages of hiring a new staff member, prepped and launched a class, recorded a business training review, which resulted in our home business growing by 15% ending October with a new record month in sales.

In our full time job at home where we are grooming, schooling and raising kids. We also enjoyed going to the pumpkin corn maize farm, hair cuts, cooking, cleaning and grocery shopping, volunteering, setting our monthly budget, paying the bills which resulted in another personal debt demolished.

Having a full and busy life might be your normal routine but add in 2 kids who also came down with an intense stomach bug and the last 4 days were also spent taking turns cleaning up poopy messes and monitoring temperatures every other hour. We are on the tail end of it and although it was a tough 4 days, we made it through.

How do you get through Tough Times? Here are of my helpful hints:

Tips for your Stressful Weeks
1. Team Work
This is our number ONE strategy in getting through stressful times. Together you make a list and prioritize what needs to get done and who will do it. Make sure one partner is not getting stuck all day with no sleep and cleaning up messes.  This may require a spouse to take a day off, cancel an appointment or activities, and most likely sacrifice regular routines.

2. Use your Essential Oils
When you are stressed it is so important to use your essential oils day in and day out. My favorites through tough times are Stress Away, Idaho Black Spruce or Idaho Balsam Fir, Joy and Peace and Calming all by Young Living Essential Oils.

I try to wear them as perfume during the day, at night for bed, and even put them on sore muscles. I recommend applying them at least 2-3 times a day topically and inhaling them from the bottle or tissue 10 times a day. Long deep breaths for 30 seconds to a minute really help lower your stress.

3. Pray
STRESS and WORRY can be hard to avoid when you go through a tough time. Whether it is days or weeks. I recently watched some family members totally rely on Christ when they were given some difficult news about their health. In the end it was God who pulled through with a positive outcome. Worry robs your own health. Relying on Christ doesn’t mean you don’t monitor things or use medical intervention when needed it just means you know where your source and strength comes from.

4. Energy Support
During challenging times it’s easy to go for the carbs, cookies, and coffee. NingXia Red, NingXia Zyng, and NingXia Nitro are 3 products can help your body during stressful times. NingXia Red is our overall nutritional supplement juice it’s delicious and nutritious for all ages. NingXia Zyng is my go to drink when I need a little kick. I love the refreshing taste and I instantly feel more alert and focused.

But on my longest days with little sleep I add NingXia Nitro to my routine. It’s a much safer energy shot with lots of vitamins and nutrition and very little caffeine. None of these NingXia products give you a crash and burn like those other energy products and during my hardest days NingXia Red helps me keep my energy up, stay positive, and have more patience.

Tips for your Stressful Weeks Image Credit: Young Living

5. Diffusing
When you have stress, diffusing essential oils is important. When you have sick smell throughout your house from diarrhea, diffusing essential oils is a necessity. Diffusing Young Living essential oils are a much safer solution to freshen the air than chemical sprays, plug ins and even candles. Toxin free blends like Purification or RC essential oils are some of my favorite ways to freshen the air. You can get a set of 10 different essential oils and a diffuser in our Premium Start Living kit.

Lack of sleep is the one thing that can destroy your patience, health, and happiness during tough times. When we get very little sleep because of a little one being sick or our work schedule we will take turns giving each other some rest time. This means that one spouse might take care of the kids when they come home from work so the other can take a nap.  It may mean instead of working during the kids naptime we sleep too. Or in the worse times it means we take turns, one spouse will take care of the kids while the other sleeps.  You must find strategies for getting rest.

7. Hire Help
You may think you can’t afford it but you can’t afford not too. Getting a helper for a few hours a week so you can take a nap, go to an exercise class, get the grocery shopping done quickly, or simply have them help with preparing meals, do dishes or laundry can mean the difference between your health and happiness.

I started with hiring some responsible high school students for a couple hours a week and eventually moved to get help daily with childcare and home responsibilities. Even trading with another mom, getting a grandparent to help, and simply asking for help will help your situation. You are not less of a mom or parent just because you can’t do it all, and sometimes you actually may be able to do it better than anyone you hire, but just because you can doesn’t mean you should. Letting go is one of the hardest thing you can do, but it also allows you to become your best.

So I hope you will make your health a priority especially during difficult times.  Use some of these simple tips and techniques to take some of the stress off.  Let me know how it goes.

I Will Never Homeschool My Kid

I Will Never Homeschool My Kid

I remember God nudging me to click the Yes, Going box on the Facebook Invite for Mom’s Night Out for local homeschool moms. I saw that one of my acquaintance moms was going so I got the courage to click YES. But as the days grew closer I felt more and more intimidated about going. It’s ironic that I can attend huge Chamber events where I have to speak in front of 200 plus business owners, but to attend this moms group I had sweaty palms and butterflies.

Why is it I feel intimidated by other parents?

Maybe it’s their Facebook pictures of their amazingly decorated homeschool rooms. Maybe I feel inadequate because I consider them SUPERMOMs because they stay at home, manage their houses, and homeschool their kids and I have a home helper that helps with household chores and watches my kids everyday.

But mostly I think I was intimidated because I know my son isn’t like all the other kids. He is unique, very active, amazing and socially and developmentally slower than others his age. He can memorize things in minutes, carry a tune and stick with a beat better than his 40 old mother but if you ask him to sit in a chair for 20 minutes you are lucky if you get 5 minutes.

I Said I Would Never Homeschool My Kids   

At the Homeschool Moms night out I was shocked to hear how many moms said that they would never homeschool. Some fell into it because of circumstances like mine where one of their children had unique challenges which needed more one on one support than public or private schools could provide. Some fell into it because of their lifestyle in the military and moving all the time. Some were called by God to homeschool their kids and some just knew it was right. Ironically out of this group of 14 women none had been homeschooled growing up yet all had made the decision to homeschool.

Not All Homeschooled Kids Are Brilliant  

Prior to this night most of my exposure with homeschooled kids was that they are incredibly talented, top of their classes, Ivy League material. Just last week the, homeschooled 5 year old kid in my son’s Awana’s class was giving me a biology lesson on flowers. And the last homeschooled family I had to my house, well the 9 year old girls drew me pictures like this in 5 minutes FREE hand out of their imagination. I have a stack of 12 pictures like this one below. Who wouldn’t want their kids to be homeschooled if they are going to be this talented? Right? (Did I mention they also didn’t watch any TV.)

I Will Never Homeschool My Kid

But that night I learned it’s a MYTH. Although statistically, homeschooled kids do out perform public and private school kids on things like SATs and ACTs (or at least the HC curriculum I use), these women shared with me that it’s a myth that homeschooled kids are brilliant at everything. Each child is unique and struggles and excels at different things. And sometimes a D in Algebra in a sea of As in other subjects is okay. Note my son’s coloring job below… not sure if artist is in his future.

I Will Never Homeschool My Kid

Home Schooling Is Character Building For Both Parents And Kids

Your child and their behavior is a mirror to your own behavior and character.  “Do I really sound like that?” Through this close daily personal one on one time with our kids, we learn about our own character flaws and hopefully learn to improve them.

So far in the few weeks of homeschooling my kids we have learned about attentiveness, faith, giving, honesty, and obedience… now do they really understand what they are saying… maybe some but I know I have been blessed by the reminder of these character traits and am working on living them more fully in my life.

Deeper Relationships

Many of the moms shared that although the teenage years might be the most difficult in the homeschool journey they are also the most crucial for solidifying relationships amongst parents and kids and siblings. In fact several moms shared how much deeper relationships are because you have to learn to communicate with, understand, and love each other daily.  Feelings and issues come to the surface and can be dealt with now rather than them turning into relationship problems later on in their adulthood.  Although difficult at times it is a blessing to have this strong connections amongst children and parents.

It’s Okay To Get Help

I think one of my biggest fears is labeling my child. I have watched parents and family I love label their child that then becomes part of that child’s speech and label of themselves… in some ways giving themselves permission to be less. I don’t want that for my child. I got to see Kyle Maynard a man born without legs or hands this summer. I was so impressed with how his parents never enabled him to be less than his full potential. His story is incredible. But it made me realize I was doing too much for my son and that he needed to grow and learn to do more things on his own.

But after this meeting and listening to some moms who had challenges with their unique sons I realize that getting some more help might be helpful in the sense that an outside person may be able to push Joshua to his full potential in ways that I can’t. It doesn’t have to be about labeling but rather about helping my son learn and grow.

So all in all I am so glad that I went to learn more about homeschooling from veteran moms and moms just starting like me. They were an incredibly special group of women who made me feel very welcomed, encouraged me, and are helping me navigate this new journey of homeschooling. Now I wonder how many of them reading this will pick out all my grammar and spelling mistakes… LOL!


Mary Starr Carter
the Total Wellness Doc and now Homeschooling Mom


Disclaimer: This information is not meant to diagnose, prescribe, treat or cure any illness or disease. It’s strictly for informational, educational, or entertainment purposes ONLY. The products I talk about are not meant to diagnose, prescribe, treat or cure any illness or disease. Any information I give you about them is for informational or entertainment purposes only. They have not been evaluated or approved by the FDA. Please seek the qualified health professional of your choice when making health decisions for yourself, your family and your pets.

Don’t Wait For the Lottery to Change your Life: Think About Starting a Home Business

The stewardess on the plane was an amazing woman with many talents. She was originally from the Philippines and moved to this country, having had several degrees and different careers during her life.  She loved people and just had a caring heart.  She and her husband recently adopted a Philippines’ baby girl and he was living in the Philippines with their daughter and she was flying the skies. They had a home in Texas too and I didn’t ask but I just felt that her heart was with her family. Maybe her husband could not get citizenship, maybe there were legalities of leaving the country with their baby, maybe they had more help from their family there, I don’t know.  But I just knew that although she was a phenomenal stewardess and seemed to love her job, if money didn’t matter she would probably be with her family creatively making money another way.

I was checking out at the grocery store and I heard the two clerks talking about the upcoming BIG Lotto drawing. The one cashier said, “if I win I am paying off my school loans and paying cash for Law School.” The other cashier said… “I don’t know what I would do… Maybe build a new house, but I really could have any house I wanted.” I asked, “Are you all talking about winning the Lottery?” They said yes. And then I proceeded to question them. Sue, the one cashier in her late 40’s tells me that really she doesn’t want to win the lottery she just wants to BE COMFORTABLE. Be able to pay all her bills. Get away for the winter where it is warm.  And be able to take weekends and holidays off and not be stuck working the upcoming Easter Sunday Holiday like she is this year.

My heart hurts for both the stewardess and the cashier, not because of the situations they are in but because they don’t see a way out of their situation. BUT I DO.

It’s called a Home Based Business and simply it’s a small business that you can run from your home or from your smart phone and iPad anywhere in the world.  In 1999 I was introduced to the concept and in 2001 I started getting serious and partnered with Young Living Essential Oils to distribute and market their products all over the world.  Today myself and 35 other associates in our team work 2-20 hours a week sharing, teaching and marketing about Young Living products to more than 2500 people all over the world.

What’s the earning potential on that? COMFORTABLE. It allowed for comfort when my husband suddenly lost his job in 2006.  It allowed for comfort and a consistent residual income when I wanted to take almost a year away from my business when I had my first son.  It allows for us to create jobs. It allows for us to make investments in real estate.  It has allowed for me to pay off over $200,000 in debt.

So if you think you want a little comfort in your life, or you want to be able to work from home, or you want to just have enough money to do a few extra things this summer, watch this message.

How do you know if a Home Business is right for you? 

1. You have to have a strong desire for change.

This is a commitment and unless you have a strong WHY you are doing it, then you could quit when times get tough.   Don’t start a home business unless you have a strong why.

2. You have the capital to invest – Company & Training

This is a business and it will require an investment.  Most home businesses initial investment range from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand.  A much littler investment than starting your own restaurant or store front business.  In addition, you will need monthly capital for training, product, and marketing expenses.

3. You have time – 18 months of 5-10 hours a week minimum

A true lasting business will require consistent work weekly  (5-10 hours minimum, 10-20 hours maximum) for no less than 18 months.  You may see results before this but to created lasting residual income, give yourself a time commitment of 18 -24 months.  (I also recommend not working more than 20 hours a week consistently or you will end up in burnout.)

4. You are teachable and willing to learn new things

Even if you have a background in sales and business, make sure you keep a teachable mind and heart.  In this industry you must constantly learn new things.  You will need to learn to communicate in new ways like through social media, email, video, etc.

5. Self motivated- hold yourself accountable

Unlike a job, a home business doesn’t have anyone telling you to work or not.  No one will fire you if you don’t show up for 2 weeks, but you won’t see the results.  Self motivation will pay you huge profits!

6. You have a product that is consumable or gets used up

A consumable type product based home business creates for re-orders and loyal clients.  This is the foundation of any good and long term home based business.  This creates an income that is residual, meaning you get paid every month because they client re-orders every month.

7. You have some passion or excitement for what you are doing

Don’t try to start something you don’t have any excitement for. Passion will fuel your profits.

8. You are okay making mistakes

Every business owner makes mistakes.  Don’t be afraid to. It’s not about perfection it’s about results.

9. You’ve come to an agreement with your spouse and children about your business

This is very very very important to do.  Have a serious talk with your family.  Let your spouse or significant person in your life learn how you did about your business. Decide together when you will work your business and how you will.  (Wednesday nights mommy is not home, every Tuesday and Thursday Daddy works on his home business from 5:00-7:30)

10.  You have to be willing to work harder on you than anything else.  Personal development.

It may sound strange but if you have ever watched seasons of the Biggest Loser you will see the most successful individuals in lasting weight loss work harder on their own issues and improving themselves then anyone else.  It’s the same in this industry.  The long lasting top earners are the ones who have worked harder on themselves.  Their people skills, their issues and challenges, their STUFF.

So what do you think?  Do you think owning a home business is right for you? If you are serious and ready to take the next step this month we are interviewing for Associate Home Business owners with our company. 

Call our office to set up a pre-screening interview to see if what we have might be a match for what you are looking for and if your skills, goals and talents are a match for us.  Call our StarrHealth office at 315-836-2014 ext 7004.

We publish newsletters and blogposts twice a week for our readers for general education purposes only. We cover topics that are related to achieving and maintaining total wellness which includes our emotional, physical, spiritual and financial health.

A Deep Connection


Have you ever had a deep connection with a friend or sibling? You know the kind of connection when you are thinking about that person and all of a sudden they call you? My dad and I have had that connection. I have had times where I would be going to pick up the phone to call him and the phone would ring and there he would be.

As a kid I didn’t grow up with my dad. I may have seen him every other weekend when I was little but then as an adolescent it might have been every few weekends.  He became a ”snowbird” (a retired person who lives the winter months in Florida) while I was in college and with the demands of running a business and family, our visits are now down to a few times a year. But there is still that deep connection there.


Like the winter I was pregnant with my son and my dad was on my mind quite a bit.  Somewhere inside I knew something wasn’t right.  When he got back from Florida that spring he told me he had had Prostate Cancer and had undergone Radiation Therapy during the winter. He didn’t want me worrying while being pregnant… but somehow I knew something was wrong.


A Parent-Child bond is deep. I am not talking about the worry, stress and fear that a parent feels when a child takes a new step in this world. I am talking about something deeper.

MeandJoshieWeird Experience

Recently at a kids’ church function my 5 year old son ran blindly into a metal railing that immediately put  a huge goose egg on his forehead. The cries and tears were an indicator this was a serious OWEEEE.

We got him checked out and used our natural remedies and he went back to playing.  Slower than usual with a little less vibrancy. About 15 minutes later I started getting a bad headache on one side of my head. I thought it was a result of tight muscles and joints that needed a Chiropractic adjustment. We got home and my head was HURTING….  My son also appeared to still be in a little discomfort, touching his bump on his head.  We used some more natural remedies and put him to bed.

I went and took an Epsom Salt bath with essential oils to see if it would alleviate my discomfort. My headache didn’t stop and increased some in pain. I finally went upstairs to go bed only to see my son was still awake. I went over to ask him if he was okay and if his head hurt. He said yes. So I started to anoint and pray over my son. Instantly my headache stopped. I pulled my hands away and I could feel it come back some…  WEIRD… I anointed and prayed over him again and my headache stopped.  I did this several times and then I felt as if God was showing me the connection that a Child and Parent have. It was the strangest thing, but I believe at a deep level that we are connected to our children.

Have you ever experienced these deep connections with your children or loved ones? I would love to hear about them. Please share with me below.

God Bless you and your family,

Mary Starr Carter
the Total Wellness Doc and Mom



Disclaimer: This information is not meant to diagnose, prescribe, treat or cure any illness or disease. It’s strictly for informational, educational, or entertainment purposes ONLY. The products I talk about are not meant to diagnose, prescribe, treat or cure any illness or disease. Any information I give you about them is for informational or entertainment purposes only. They have not been evaluated or approved by the FDA. Please seek the qualified health professional of your choice when making health decisions for yourself, your family and your pets.

How Important The Mom Is

I live between two worlds: The world of Stay At Home Mom and the World of Working Mom. I am self employed working varying hours from 25-35 hours a week.  I have an amazing Home Helper, which I guess I should call Nanny but there is such guilt with that word.

When we choose to work and have someone else take care of our kids it’s hard on the mom especially. You pray for someone who will love your kids with their whole heart, that will have your value system, honor your parenting rules and just be a great person.

And then when you get it you struggle with watching your kids love someone that isn’t you. When your kids are little you may even have to hear them call their Sitter Mama… that’s hard. If you work too much then you will be exhausted when you get home and your kids will see you as the boring old mom and your daycare or Sitter as the fun one.

I’ve learned over the past 5 years it’s all a balance. I have had periods where I have had no help and periods where I had a ton of help. You learn to be a parent by default or design no matter what your circumstance. Default just lets life happen, design understands God’s intention for your work.

Whether you are a single parent, working parent, or stay at home parent you can be a parent by design. God has given you this responsibility of grooming your children, and caring for their needs. We cannot have guilt or compare ourselves to other moms who might stay at home. We are all different and we all have different strengths.

Keeping your family as a higher priority over your work doesn’t necessarily mean you are a stay at home mom. For working moms you can design your life so that you can be valuable in your work and valuable at home.

I think it starts with the journey of being our BEST SELF. God has given us a great PURPOSE… and that is Grooming our Children for Success. Raising strong, caring, independent, self disciplined children into young adults. In order to do this we must be our own strong independent, self disciplined, responsible, caring BEST SELVES. This may start with taking a strong look at our own stuff.

I was blessed this past weekend to get an AWAKENING of areas I needed to work on.  I attended If you are looking for help in getting your life in order, being a better you and a better parent I highly encourage you to check it out.

Remember, being the best mom doesn’t equate to how many school events you went to, or how many gifts you gave your children. Being the best mom starts with being the best you so that you can love, honor and help to grow children who can be their best selves too.

God Bless you MOM.

I am rooting for you!

P.S. Here is a little comic relief with a Statistical WAKE UP CALL to How Important the Mom Is.



Note to Family:

Mommy’s leaving for a little bit but don’t worry I have hired the following crew to take my place while I am gone:

Dietitian – to menu plan healthy and delicious meals
Cook – to prepare and cook all those meals
Nutritionist – to fill in all the gaps in your nutrition with the right supplements
Nurse – to assess and bandage when someone gets hurt, bit, bumped or bruised but you seem to get hurt daily these days
Kisser – to kiss all your Boo Boos
Essential oil expert – to make sure you have the right oils for all your ailments
Massage Therapist – to rub down your sore muscles and massage oils on your feet and back at night
Driver – to take you to your classes and fun events
Dish Doer – because at 2 and 5 your dish doing still has a lot to be desired
Laundry Helper – a must helper because we know Joshua you have this thing for clean pajamas
Cleaning Lady – so mommy doesn’t come home to a disaster
Grocery Shopper – with the amount of food this family eats this position is primary
Stylist – because we can’t have you going out with mismatched and backwards clothes
Singer – to sing your favorite songs to you
Bathroom Patrol – to make sure toilet seats don’t have pee on them, teeth get brushed and hands and faces get cleaned
Librarian – to pick the best books and read to you daily
Teacher – to continue your learning and school work
TV Monitor – to make sure we aren’t watching more TV than we should
Seamstress – to mend and sew your clothes… not that mommy does that now
Gardner – to have fresh foods daily


Disclaimer: This information is not meant to diagnose, prescribe, treat or cure any illness or disease. It’s strictly for informational, educational, or entertainment purposes ONLY. The products I talk about are not meant to diagnose, prescribe, treat or cure any illness or disease. Any information I give you about them is for informational or entertainment purposes only. They have not been evaluated or approved by the FDA. Please seek the qualified health professional of your choice when making health decisions for yourself, your family and your pets.

Happy 5th Birthday Joshua Truman Carter


Dear my son Joshua Truman Carter,

Today you turn 5 years old and I want to write you a special note of memory about your past year so we never lose it. I am not one for scrapbooks but I can write so this is what I will do.

You have grown into a little man this past year. At least 5 inches, you tower over others your same age and it appears you will be tall like your Uncle Starr, but not if you don’t start eating more vegetables.


You are still as loving as you were when you were a baby and toddler. You love to snuggle in the morning, you still like to be carried like Sissy at 40 pounds but our backs only allow that once in a while. You grow more and more handsome everyday.


We have always known you were brilliant but that you like to do things in your own timing. Right after your 4th birthday you started talking all the time, sentences and then more. You had not been much of a talker prior to that and now you communicate very well telling us what you want, your opinions, and concerns.

You still like peace and quiet but your Sissy doesn’t give you a lot of that always loving on you calling you JoshJosh. You love her very much and sometimes call her KAKA as her pet name.


After your 4th birthday you finally started “Pooping on the Potty” THANK YOU GOD.  You definitely made us patiently wait for that, but the Potty Chart along with Nana’s promise if you started pooping on the Potty we would go to see Mickey Mouse seemed to motivate you to new levels of Full Potty Training. I still have the voicemail of you excitedly telling me, “I Poopied on the Potty” when I was away. We and others who loved us prayed for your Potty Training and it worked. THANK YOU GOD.


June, July and August you spent your first summer in the Florida heat. We had a little blow up pool for you and you loved playing in it and going to the park with water spouts everywhere. You get so sad when we go to the park and there are no kids there, you love playing with friends.


This is a picture of a special friend of yours Arianna. Arianna spent 10 months away from her mommy and daddy because they were deployed. And now she will go to live in Japan and you may never see her again so I thought I would post this picture of her for you. So you can always remember and pray for her.


You got to play with your cousins more this year. You had a lot of fun with Will and you two love to wrestle. Although it is nerve racking to watch, I am understanding the importance of letting you be “Wild at Heart” and not suppressing your boy or manhood.


We got to go on our first official family vacation to Orlando this year and it was so much fun! We stayed at a time share with a pool right outside our window and a park. We went to our first costume party and you had a blast dancing and having fun. You are such a sweet and loving boy. Nana came and spent the day at Disney World with us. You got to see Mickey Mouse but I think your favorites were the Epcot Aquarium and the Epcot laser lights show and fireworks.


We all loved seeing your face light up throughout the day. What fun! After Disney World your imagination took off. You love to play act stories and have fun.


Speaking of play, your favorite things to do in your playroom this year was to cook food for us. You would set these elaborate tables of food up for us and it was so neat to see you cook. Your dad and I think you may have culinary arts in your future. As you almost turn 5 years old your play is changing some and cars and different obstacles.


In February we went to see Nana and the manatees. You loved that special day even though it was so simple and no money spent. You still Thank God almost every night for the manatees, Nana, swimming and Grandma and Grandpa. I am learning and am thankful that simple things make you happy. Going for walks, riding the cart with MawMaw, picking up sticks with dad. Moving to Florida and living in the country has been really great for your development.


Grandpa Starr gave you your first Dr. Seuss books this year and you loved them. We read them just a couple of times and now you can almost read them by yourself. You have an extremely good memory like your daddy and we both suspect your intelligence is quite high. Many nights you fall asleep with your books.


We made the decision that our family is going to home school and we picked Sonlight books to start your path. You don’t like to sit very long but a good book can keep you engaged well. I decided based on Grandpa’s Starr’s advice from 30 plus years teaching boys, my research and mom intuition to start your schooling a little bit later. Make it fun, not to long and not too structured at first. I want you to fall in love with learning and so far it’s been great.


It’s hard to do things differently then everyone else. It’s hard to see other kids already writing and reading but then I remember that God’s calling on our lives and our children is to be set apart. You are set apart Joshua don’t forget you are the firstborn. Your sister follows you, friends will follow you and some day many people will follow your example. It will be hard to be different then the crowds but you are and will be a GREAT MAN. Here is a picture of you and daddy when you were 2 years old.


After Thanksgiving your daddy and mommy got pretty sick and your baby brother Gabriel Daniel went back to heaven. You have 2 brothers and 2 sisters in heaven now Rachel, Jesse, Lauren Elise, and Gabriel. Gabriel’s passing was the hardest on all of us and you showed your sadness through acting out some and breaking out in an eczema on your face and nose. We also realize foods affect you and giving you Omega’s, NingXia Red and a protein shake daily seems to make a world of difference in your behavior.


This past fall your daddy made a very brave and important decision for our family. He decided that he needed to be here for us and for you, much more than he had been.  He made the hard decision to leave cooperate America. It was very difficult for him but you are a main reason he did.

God has called him to groom you into an amazing man. To be very active in your life, to guide you and direct you toward Jesus. God had to take your daddy to place where he could understand that to be a good provider for this family he doesn’t have to kill himself to do it working late hours and sacrificing his health. There is so much more peace in our home. You are daddy’s favorite alarm clock. You waking him up in the morning saying okay daddy let’s pray. He loves spending the morning breakfast time with you and Sissy, taking you to gymnastics twice a week, and having you help in the yard.


We hope to raise you to have a spirit of an entrepreneur but always put God first and then your spouse and family. With those priorities your life will have great meaning and purpose.  Because of daddy’s obedience to God he was blessed to replace his previous cooperate America income where he worked 60-80 hours. In 3 months our Home Business grew and replaced his income. Now daddy works only 30-40 hours a week and has lots more time to spend with you and us.

Joshua I don’t know what this next year will bring you. My hope and prayers for you are that God will give your Dad and I grace and knowledge in teaching and grooming you.  That you will grow stronger in your understanding and love for Jesus and grow joy in your heart. That you will be kind, helpful, encouraging, and blessing to others. That we all can grow in our discipline for learning and better health.

And most of all Numbers 6 :24-26. Hebrews 13:16 and Exodus 20:12.

We love you Joshua Truman Carter. Happy 5th Birthday!


6 Quick and Easy Tips for a Happy, Healthy Family

6 Quick and Easy Tips for a Happy, Healthy Family

One of the privileges of doing Young Living business is the opportunity to meet people from all walks of life. I learn so much…and I’m always reminded and encouraged to share more about living a healthy lifestyle.

Today’s article is written by my friend, Golda, a single mom, living a healthy lifestyle with 2 children in Brooklyn NY. I met Golda in one business seminar several years ago. She is a health coach, a personal trainer and also an essential oil user.

Let’s learn from Golda 6 Quick and Easy Tips for a Happy Healthy Family. If you have any healthy tips please share on my Facebook wall. I look forward to hearing and learning from you too.

To your health,

Mary Starr Carter

the Total Wellness Doc and Mom


6 Quick and Easy Tips for a Happy, Healthy Family

By Golda Smith

It really blows my mind sometimes when I sit and realize that my babies are no longer babies. Yes they will always be MY babies but they are no longer those helpless little cuddly beings needing to be nursed every few hours. Now they are walking to school without momma, washing their own clothes and other tasks.

The last few years have been a learning process for all of us but as the head of the household, for me especially. Earlier this year I began leading a fitness group for moms because I wanted to encourage them to take care of themselves. Let me say that I am not perfect nor do I want to come off as having it all figured out because I don’t. However, I have figured out what works for my family and I do have to say that we are a beautiful happy, healthy family.

If you are struggling with bringing balance into your home please allow me to share my six quick tips to creating your happy healthy family.

Daily prayer time- It starts with self, taking time preferably before the daily hustle begins to sit still and talk with God which is what I define prayer to be. Something else that we do as a family is to pray before we head out the door.

Sit down for a meal together- In today’s hectic world, it’s almost impossible to sit down and enjoy a meal for one much less as a family but pick one and stick to it. Research shows that families that eat at least one meal together tend to be closer knit, have more conversations and eat healthier.

Make exercise play time- No matter how old your children are, you can always turn exercise into play time. When my children were toddlers, we made a game out of tidying up their room. Now on the playground we do pull ups and push-ups, we squat with the laundry basket. Just have fun with it and don’t use your children as an excuse. Let them be your reason for being happy and healthy.

Get everyone on board with meal planning- People often ask me if my children eat what I eat and the answer is yes. They may not love everything I prepare and that’s all right but I do get their agreement as to the upcoming weekly meal plan. Planning ahead saves me from stressing over what to prepare and making unhealthy choices.

Keep healthy tasty snacks on deck- “Preparation is the key to success.” -Alexander Graham Bell. If you want you and your children to eat healthy then there really is a simple solution…don’t buy crap! You as the head of the household hold the purse strings. Keep some fruits (dry or fresh) on deck. There are some healthy snack choices as well, one of my favorites are Whey Thins. Perfect for the late nights when I want to crunch on something a little salty and I feel great giving it to my children as well.

Praise 10x more than you criticize- Certainly if you have children you know that sometimes they can try your patience and you may have found yourself in constant correction mode where you are constantly criticizing them. It’s sometimes done unconsciously but it happens. What I want to suggest is that for every criticism, you look for ten ways to praise your child. It could be as simple as letting them know how much you appreciate the fact that they close the door quietly, that they are caring and compassionate. Look for ways to lift them up and watch them rise to the level of your expectations.

Now comes the fun part…it’s your turn. Tell us how these tips are sitting with you and how you are creating a happy healthy family.

golda smithGolda Smith is a mom, health coach and certified personal trainer through the National Academy of Sports Medicine. She has a passion for helping moms look and feel their best through a balance between faith, food and fitness.



Disclaimer: This information is not meant to diagnose, prescribe, treat or cure any illness or disease. It’s strictly for informational, educational, or entertainment purposes ONLY. The products I talk about are not meant to diagnose, prescribe, treat or cure any illness or disease. Any information I give you about them is for informational or entertainment purposes only. They have not been evaluated or approved by the FDA. Please seek the qualified health professional of your choice when making health decisions for yourself, your family and your pets.

Back to School Tips: Soda, Kids’ Health and Behavioral Problems

Back to School Tips: Soda, Kids’ Health and Behavioral Problems

“If you want kids to be less violent, stop giving them this,” said the headline on Twitter. To find out more, I clicked on the link and found an article titled “Soda drinking tied to violent behavior in kids” by the Daily News.

The news said that children consuming four or more servings of soda per day are likely to display bad behavior. Studies show that these kids may have withdrawal and attention problems, destroy other people’s belongings and get into fights and physical attacks.
Here are six more problems related to drinking soda and sugar drinks:
Sugar overload
A 20 oz. Mountain Dew contains 77g. of sugar and a 7 Eleven 64 oz. Double Gulp Coke contains 186g of sugar. Dr. Mercola has an article on What Happens to Your Body Within an Hour of Drinking a Coke.

He said within the first 10 minutes, you get 10 teaspoons of sugar in your system, within 20 minutes your blood sugar spikes and your liver responds and turns the sugar overload into fat. By 40 minutes, your blood pressure rises and your liver dumps more sugar into your bloodstream. After an hour you’ll start to have a sugar crash. (Read more here.)

The Truth about Sugar Addiction
The nine benefits of drinking water

Additives and artificial color
A question, “Do you use additives in Coca-Cola?” was posted on Coca Cola Britain’s site. The answer was “We do use additives in some of our drinks, including Coca Cola.”

What are the additives found in your soda drink and why are they harmful? The Consumer Report said caramel color is added to many soft drinks to turn them brown and some of these contain carcinogenic chemical called 4-methylimidazole (4-MeI). They tested the 12-ounce samples of Pepsi One and Malta Goya to have 29 micrograms per can or bottle of 4-MeI. They tested on 81 cans and bottles of popular soda brands from five manufacturers.

Read more about 4-MeI on FDA’s website.

Bad for the teeth
PubMed’s report on “Dental erosion and severe tooth decay related to soft drinks: a case report and literature review” said that the acids and sugars in soft drinks have both acidogenic and cariogenic potential. In layman’s term, it will result in potential tooth decay and enamel erosion.

The publication said sugar-free soft drinks have the same erosive potential as sugar-containing soft drinks. So those with artificial sweeteners will pose the same problems.

We may have come to the assumption that any form of liquid will help hydrate our body. Soda and sugar water may give us an immediate quench of thirst but the reality is the sugar and caffeine inside will speed up dehydration.

Dehydration will then lead to tiredness and mood swings.

Increase obesity and diabetes
“If a child drinks just one soda a day, it will lead to 15.6 pounds of weight a year,” said UCSF. These are empty calories loaded with sugar, additives and caffeine. If a child drinks one soda and two glasses of Kool-Aid each day, he or she would have consumed 390 calories a day.

One pound of fat is 3,500 calories. If the child drinks that amount every day, he or she would potentially increase 40 pounds of weight from drinking soda and sugar drink.

Are sugary drinks the major contributor to obesity in America?

To Harvard School of Public Health the answer is YES. The study is poignant and here are some highlights of why sugary drinks including soda are dangerous to our children’s health:

1. The standard size soft drinks before 1950s was 6.5 ounces.
2. By the 1960s 12-ounce cans were introduced.
3. Early 1990s, 20-ounce plastic bottles were normal.
4. 2011 the 1.25-liter (42-ounce) bottle was introduced.
5. In the 1970s, sugary drinks made up about 4% of US daily calorie intake
6. 2001 risen to 9% and by 1999 to 2004 the average was 224 calories (11% of daily calorie intake) per day from sugary drinks.

Kids ages 6 to 11 consume 130 to 209 calories per day by 2008. (Source: Harvard School of Public Health)

It is not surprising when I saw the chart on CDC showing:

Between 1976-1980 and 2007-2008 obesity among children ages 6 to 11 rose from 6.5% to 19.6%.

Bad behavior
The Journal of Pediatrics reported on August 16, 2013 “Soft drinks and behavioral problems in young children.” In the study, the journal finds that aggression, attention problems, and withdrawal behavior are all associated with soft drink consumption in young children.

This study assessed about 3,000 5-year-old children from 20 large U.S. cities, and 43% of children consumed at least one serving of soft drinks per day, 4% consumed four or more.

Poor diet, obesity, bad behavior, dental problems, type 2 diabetes and poor health have been linked to sugar drinks and soda.

Are your kids drinking soda or sugar drinks?
What are the alternatives to soda and sugar drinks for your kids as they are heading back to school?

Surprisingly more soda and sugar drinks are being consumed at home than outside.  I found a Math Project by an elementary school in Waikele Hawaii. The Math Project showed on average the 464 families consumed four cans of soda per family per day. A total of 1,856 per day, 12,992 per week, 55,680 per month and 668,160 per year.

The average cost per can of soda was 31 cents. The 464 families spent $575.36 per day, $4,027.52 per week, $17,260.80 per month and $207,129.60 per year. That’s almost a quarter of a million dollars on soda for an average size elementary school with 464 families.

That’s just one case study. How about your kids’ school?

What would happen if they drank pure water, added a drop or two of pure 100% therapeutic grade
·  Lemon
·  Orange
·  Tangerine
·  Slique
·  Peppermint essential oils to the pure water or

NingXia Red to the water?
I would love to hear your thoughts. Please leave me a comment below.


Disclaimer: This information is not meant to diagnose, prescribe, treat or cure any illness or disease. It’s strictly for informational, educational, or entertainment purposes ONLY. The products I talk about are not meant to diagnose, prescribe, treat or cure any illness or disease. Any information I give you about them is for informational or entertainment purposes only. They have not been evaluated or approved by the FDA. Please seek the qualified health professional of your choice when making health decisions for yourself, your family and your pets.

Create a Mason Jar Soap Dispenser in Two Easy Steps (Plus a Recipe for Thieves Foaming Hand Soap)


Studies show that anti-bacterial soap may be harmful. Yet many schools, hospitals and homes are still using this harmful product. A recent article by The Atlantic stated that antimicrobial chemicals, which are supposed to kill bacteria and other microorganisms, aren’t always effective.

Quoting directly from the article: “Even if you don’t buy the products, you’ll be exposed in public places and in restaurants.” Read more here.

Did you know that you can make your own natural Foaming Hand Soap and soap dispenser? Let Stephanie show you how. If you don’t have the time, get Young Living’s Thieves Foaming Hand Soap.

Read Stephanie Warnock’s article on how to create a soap dispenser and recipe for making Thieves Foaming Hand Soap below.

For your total wellness,

Dr. Mary Starr Carter
the Total Wellness Doc and Mom


Create a Mason Jar Soap Dispenser in Two Easy Steps (Plus a Recipe for Thieves Foaming Hand Soap)

By: Stephanie Warnock

I have a problem. It’s called wishful thinking. I am the kind of person who gets all these crazy ideas and will have a thousand projects going and no end in sight. You can imagine what sort of trouble I ran in to when I discovered Pinterest a few years ago. I have a love-hate relationship with that site. (If you haven’t already, head over to my profile and follow me!)

Within this realm of wishful thinking and never-ending projects, I decided I was going to make my own mason jar soap dispensers. As a canning and preserving addict, I have an entire basement of beautiful glass jars just begging to be used (unless it’s canning season, then I never seem to have enough). The past few months I have also been saving hoarding old soap pumps. It seemed silly to purchase pumps new when I could recycle old ones for free.

It just so happens our last bottle of store-bought soap ran out this past week. I decided it was time to finally make those fantastic soap dispensers I have been dreaming about for months. I have to tell you… easiest… project… ever! I’m not sure why it took me so long to crack down and do it. It literally took me less than five minutes to make and cost me nothing.

So how does one make a mason jar soap dispenser? I’ll tell you.

Mason Jar (I used a wide mouth)
Rim and Lid
Soap pump (foaming or regular)
Screw Driver
Embellishments (optional)

1. Using the screwdriver and hammer, create a hole large enough to fit your soap pump. Create the hole small enough to hold the pump snug. (If you make it too big, try again with a new lid, or use hot glue to hold your pump in place.)

2. Add soap, screw on the lid and decorate to your liking. I used a simple piece of twine for mine.

That’s it! You’re done. I told you it was easy.

Now on to the soap…

As a Young Living Essential Oils Independent Distributor, I sell a lot of Thieves foaming hand soap. This soap will cleanse, defend, and condition the skin with essential oils without all the harmful chemicals found in conventional hand soaps. I considered purchasing some for our own personal use but as we have small children who like to empty soap bottles at each hand washing, we simply cannot afford to purchase it quite yet. Since I had all my supplies on hand from my first attempt at making hand soap, I thought, why not try to make my own Thieves soap? I always keep a bottle of Thieves oil on hand. How hard could it be?

Create a Mason Jar Soap Dispenser in Two Easy Steps (Plus a Recipe for Thieves Foaming Hand Soap)

photo via Young Living Essential Oils

Instead of trying to come up with my own formulation, I checked out Pinterest to see if it had been done before. Sure enough, it has! I simply followed the directions at Baby Steps to Essential Oils to make my own Thieves foaming hand soap. Going one step further, I decided to do a cost comparison to see how much I was spending to make my own versus purchasing it through Young Living.

Now if you’re a Young Living Independent Distributor, don’t hate me for sharing a hack that could be making me more money in the long run. First and foremost, I have to spend my husband’s hard earned money well and that means passing up on a product in order to spend less money.

So how much did it cost me to make 16 oz. of Thieves foaming hand soap? $1.14! That’s cheaper than purchasing chemical-laden soap from the store! If you don’t mind spending a little more, you can use Vitamin E oil instead of the vegetable glycerine. I was looking for the cheapest though, so I went with the latter.

I like to avoid using plastics whenever I mix essential oils so my homemade mason jar soap dispenser was a perfect fit for this new soap recipe. It adds just enough creative flair to our otherwise boring bathroom sink and I can have confidence in knowing not only are our hands being cleaned, we’re also avoiding the harmful toxins of conventional soaps.

With less than ten minutes of effort and only $1.14 spent, I call today’s project a complete win! Now it’s your turn, go try it and tell me what you think!

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

My name is Stephanie Warnock and I am the creator of Abundant Living. I am 26 years old and have been married to my man, Ryan for six years. We have three young children and one on the way. Life in our home is busy and blessed!

I share thoughts, ideas, tips, and tricks on living a healthy, natural, and frugal lifestyle as well as encouragement to seek the Lord in the areas of motherhood and being a wife. It is a work by which I am being refined and sanctified day by day. It isn’t always easy but it is always worth it. Connect with me at


Disclaimer: This information is not meant to diagnose, prescribe, treat or cure any illness or disease. It’s strictly for informational, educational, or entertainment purposes ONLY. The products I talk about are not meant to diagnose, prescribe, treat or cure any illness or disease. Any information I give you about them is for informational or entertainment purposes only. They have not been evaluated or approved by the FDA. Please seek the qualified health professional of your choice when making health decisions for yourself, your family and your pets.

7 Back to School Safety Tips

7 Back to School Safety Tips

Whether your kids are homeschooled or going to pre-school, elementary, middle, high school or college, there are many things to help them prepare for the exciting new school year. It is also a time when some parents have to cope with going back to school anxiety and safety issues.

From school violence to finding after school programs to head lice to common cold and flu to overscheduling- the list of concerns for parents and kids can be overwhelming. So to help you look through some of the concerns, here are our 7 back to school safety tips:

One: Backpack
The cute backpacks with kids’ favorite TV characters are usually hard to resist. To some kids, a backpack is a self-expression, a way to make a statement and to show off their favorite character or shows.

Did you know that backpack might be the cause of back pain, muscle aches and headaches?

Here are two articles I’ve written:
Back to School: Backpacks and back pain
Is Your Kid’s Backpack Hurting Them?

Two: School bullying
Bullying Statistics stated that about 30% of students in the United States are involved in bullying on a regular basis, either as a victim, bully or both. This bullying includes physical, verbal and cyber, which may also happen outside of the school property.

It is disturbing to read that 77% of all students being bullied verbally include mental bullying, verbal abuse, spreading rumors, yelling obscenities or other derogatory terms. These may eventually lead to poor self-esteem, depression, anxiety about going to school and even suicidal thoughts. (Source: Bullying Statitics)

How would you know if your child is a victim or is bullying others at school?

Here is what one parent said about making sure her kids were safe in middle and high school:
1. Get involved in the school activities at least twice a month. These activities could be school picture day, helping out in the library or getting involved in the Parent Teacher Association (PTA).
2. Spend time talking to kids about their friends and school every day. This was not easy but possible.
3. Pray for discernment and pray for her kids in school. She was involved in a Moms in Prayer local group that met each week to pray for their middle and high schoolers.

Encouraging book about bullying:
Stand Strong: You Can Overcome Bullying (and Other Stuff That Keeps You Down) by Nick Vijucic. The author, Nick was born without arms and legs. He was once the bullies’ target. This book will give kids strategies for developing a “bully defense system” and more.


Three: Playground
Every year over 200,000 children are treated in emergency rooms due to playground injuries.

Swings, seesaw, monkey bars, exercise rings, swinging ropes and trampolines are made for kids of different age groups. Some younger kids like to test their limits and wander off to the ‘big kid’ swings and exercise rings.

Find out if your kids’ school has different play areas for different age groups. Playgrounds in schools with asphalt, soil or asphalt are unsafe for kids.

Here is a playground safety checklist:
Public Playground Safety Checklist from US Consumer Product Safety Commission

To heal and soothe minor bumps and bruises, read:
How to Heal and Soothe Bumps and Bruises with Natural Remedies

Four: Traveling to school
Parents may have sleepless nights thinking about their teens driving, taking the school bus or public transportation, walking or cycling to school.

Unfortunately the reality is car crashes are the leading cause of death for teens. More than half of teens killed in car crashes did not wear a seat belt. And a study by The Allstate Foundation showed 80% of teens cite their parents as having the most influence over teens’ driving habits.

If your kids are taking the school bus, here are some tips.

Make sure your kid is wearing a helmet and knows the route and traffic rules if they are cycling to school.

Five: Caretaker and after school program
The reality is when mom and dad work full time outside of home, they have to find a caretaker or an after school programs to accommodate the kids after school. It could be from 3 pm to 8 pm for some families.

How do you know who is the right caretaker or which is the best after school program for your kids?

For a comprehensive checklist on what to look for when hiring a caretaker for your kids, please read Dr. Phil’s article on Protecting Your Child- Even from Caretakers.

The article shows ways to conduct a background check, how to look for red flags, tips to interview and a way to monitor your caretaker without installing nanny cams. I thank God for my kids’ caretaker. She is an amazing woman of God and she loves my kids.

Note: If you are a mom wanting a way to transition from a workplace to working at home to be with your kids, please read this article:


Six: Schedule and staying sane
Being under scheduled or overscheduled are both threatening problems for kids and families. How do you manage your time and stay sane?

For this section on scheduling and staying sane please read the following articles.

Time Management Tips for Busy Moms
Natural Health Remedies: Ocotea and Lemongrass Essential Oils
Stress Relief for the Whole Family
Tips for Staying Sane When Kids Leave for College

Seven: Lunchbox
I couldn’t agree more with the phrase “you are what you eat!” A recent article on FoxNews reported that too much sugar can cause cold, cough allergies, croup, acid reflux and weakened immunity in kids.

What’s in your kid’s lunchbox or school cafeteria tray each day?

Have you seen the beautifully packed, all-done-for-you lunches for kids called Lunchables of mini hot dogs, a sugared drink and a chocolate bar filled with sugar? Or the kiddie yogurts, fruit juice boxes with puzzles, riddles and your kid’s favorite TV characters or the 100% fruit-infused fruit candy?

You can read The Atlantic on The Candification of Our Food: The Case of the Fruit-less Fruit Snack.

For teens these days there are the Lunchables teen version called Uploaded. According to Ad Age, Uploaded is higher in calories, sodium and saturated fat.

Here are some articles related to healthy lunches and snacks you can improvise:
Healthy Smoothies and Snacks Kids and Parents Love Without the Extra Sugars
7 Day Sugar Fast Menu Plan by Kayla Howard
Recipes from Stephanie of Abundant Living

Back to school marks a new milestone. It is a season of changes…

Jim Rohn said “Your life does not get better by chance, it get better by change.”

If you are a mom looking for ways to transition from workplace to home based, I would like to speak to you. Check out my Upcoming Events Page for a class or a free consultation on location.


Disclaimer: This information is not meant to diagnose, prescribe, treat or cure any illness or disease. It’s strictly for informational, educational, or entertainment purposes ONLY. The products I talk about are not meant to diagnose, prescribe, treat or cure any illness or disease. Any information I give you about them is for informational or entertainment purposes only. They have not been evaluated or approved by the FDA. Please seek the qualified health professional of your choice when making health decisions for yourself, your family and your pets.

The Fringe

the fringe

It is hard to believe 13 years ago the Twin Towers vanished. That incident led to much grief and loss. To some of us, it was also a period of awakening and readjusting on life priorities.

As we remember that awful day I felt that there are more dreadful things that happen every single day in the world that are not reported or resolved. It is child abuse. Tennyson Center of Child Abuse wrote:

● A report of child abuse is made every ten seconds
● More than five children die every day as a result of child abuse.
● Approximately 80% of children that die from abuse are under the age of 4.
● It is estimated that between 50-60% of child fatalities due to maltreatment are not recorded as such on death certificates.
● More than 90% of juvenile sexual abuse victims know their perpetrator in some way.

The list continues. To find out more head over to Tennyson’s website.

Today I would like to share an encouraging story from Beth Tolliver of She was one of the statistics. However she is a beacon of light today and is ready to be a voice for those who have lost their voice.

For your total wellness,

Dr. Mary Starr Carter
the Total Wellness Doc and Mom


The Fringe

By: Beth Tolliver

I was always part of “the fringe.” My family wasn’t like other families, even though it took me a few years to figure that out. My experiences have been quite different from the majority of people I’ve come to know throughout life. Hey, even my blog is “fringe!” I don’t write about homeschooling (mainly because my child is 3), I don’t have an all-organic “crunchy” life, and I certainly am not qualified to write about anything related to style (seriously). So, I do want to write about the things I know and have experienced, good and bad.

The other night, I was talking to my husband about the desire of my heart: to reach out to the fringe, the abused, neglected and disregarded of the world. The ones who sit on church pews every Sunday hiding secrets. The ones who just can’t trust enough to try going to church anymore. The ones who want to experience God’s love, but don’t know how and feel scared and far away. I know these people because I AM one of those people.

I was relaying to my husband how abuse within Christian families is, in my experience, never talked about. In fact, in preparing to write this post, I did quite a bit of research looking for statistics and information regarding abuse within Christian families. The results were disturbing: clergy abusing church parishioners and parents who abuse children due to child training advice. These are terrible, terrible wrongs that are done to children. But even here, I don’t quite fit.

You see, our Christian family was at church “every time the doors were open,” as it was deemed an appropriate way to express one’s love and devotion to God. But behind closed doors, the truth was grossly different than the facade. I’m the child of a parent who struggled with mental illness, was haunted by their own past of child abuse, and had serious physical issues that caused further emotional trauma and inner turmoil. I can still see this parent sitting in the chair, reading their Bible every night before bed, listening to preaching tapes during the day and watching Christian TV programs. But when the anger quickly became rage, and the eyes darkened and air was too heavy to breathe, us children were beaten, bruised, berated, bullied and thrown into walls. All this while the other parent looked away with the full knowledge of what was happening to us. There were other types of abuse I suffered at the hand of other relatives, most of them devoted Christians, as well.

We weren’t bad children, just imperfect kids, you know. Kids who needed to be lovingly disciplined and shown the love of God. We weren’t wrong, we weren’t born with “an evil presence.” We were born in the image and likeness of God, like everyone on this earth.

I know what it’s like to live two different lives; the church life and the real life. I’ve gone in my Sunday best only to have the police and social services at my house during the week – because the neighbors could hear us screaming. Yeah, I remember toeing the line between two worlds, always on the fringe. I’ve experienced the withholding of love, acceptance and approval; the bullying, manipulation and shame. I’ve lived through not being protected by His own, being given lots of reasons and excuses for why horrible things happened to us. Being told that I should just “get over it” when what I really needed was to go through a healing process.

In summary, the point is this: I know what it’s like to suffer at the hands of Christians who made it clear by their actions that they cared more about their reputation and their good works for the church/God, but were horrible to their own family members. I’ve experienced that a lot. The reason I write about any of this is because I KNOW there is help. I’m walking in a level of freedom today that I never thought possible 20 years ago. There’s a way out and you don’t have to live with secrets and the shame of what was done to you. You don’t have to keep carrying secrets to protect others while you die inside. I haven’t “arrived;” I still have struggles and set backs. The healing process is like peeling an onion – there is layer after layer to work through. But if you’ll stick in there and cling to God, it will get better and better.

I’ve spent years going through intensive healing with God through all types of help: books, personal therapy, trauma recovery therapy, prayer, writing and music. I’m in a good place now and I want to help YOU get there, too. If you’ve ever been the victim of physical, sexual, verbal and/or emotional abuse, I can empathize as I have walked through those experiences. I’ll be devoting a whole portion of this website to inner healing as it relates to:

  • overcoming past abuse and trauma
  • forgiving God’s people and the ones who have abused you
  • abuse of spiritual authority
  • setting healthy boundaries within relationships
  • renewing your mind and emotions to the truth of the loving nature of God
  • how to handle post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • dealing with relationships with others who don’t understand your distinctive challenges
  • the unique challenges adult child abuse survivors face when they become parents, and
  • whatever else God impresses upon me to write about inner healing.

If you could use some help and encouragement in these areas, please join me! I’ll be writing about resources that I believe will be a great source of help to you. You are loved and welcomed here!



moms of faith beth tolliverI’m Beth Tolliver and I’m blessed to be the wife of Dean for 14 years, and mom to a precious 3.5 year old son. I’m passionate about not just surviving, but thriving in life, and I want to encourage other people to do the same, just the way God intended us to live. I’ve seen God rebuild my own life out of the rubble of past trauma, poor health and well-being. No matter where you began in life, what obstacles you have faced, I know that NOTHING is impossible with God! I hope to encourage you on your journey to a renewed mind and body. Connect with me at




Disclaimer: This information is not meant to diagnose, prescribe, treat or cure any illness or disease. It’s strictly for informational, educational, or entertainment purposes ONLY. The products I talk about are not meant to diagnose, prescribe, treat or cure any illness or disease. Any information I give you about them is for informational or entertainment purposes only. They have not been evaluated or approved by the FDA. Please seek the qualified health professional of your choice when making health decisions for yourself, your family and your pets.

Recipe For Organic Beef, Broccoli & Brown Rice Casserole


September brings in a new season for most families. Some of us have kids going to a new grade level or new school, some are going to school for the first time and yet others find themselves empty-nesters with kids going off to college.

Busy mommas are always looking for ways to get things done faster without compromising on wellness. This month, I will be highlighting some of the mommy bloggers I’ve been following. These blog posts will include recipes, overcoming challenges and encouragement written by busy mommas who work from home. They partner with Young Living and share their stories through their blog and social media platforms.

Today I would like to introduce you to Catherine Slezinger of She is known as the organic momma to her community, an oiler and mom of young children. I’ve selected a recipe she shared on her website on how to create a one dish meal with beef, broccoli and brown rice.

For your total wellness,

Mary Starr Carter
the Total Wellness Doc and Mom

Recipe For Organic Beef, Broccoli & Brown Rice Casserole

By: Catherine Slezinger

In case you need something easy, nutritious and filling to make tonight, here’s a yummy recipe for a delicious comfort food dish- organic beef and rice casserole. (This is my adaptation of all the beef & rice casserole recipes I looked up that called for cream of mushroom soup) 🙂

This is also an excellent recipe to make and freeze a double batch for later!


2 tbsp organic butter

2 lbs organic grass fed beef

1 organic onion, cut into strips

1 head organic broccoli, cut into florets

1 organic bell pepper, cut into strips

1 cup cooked organic brown rice (I use my Vita Clay)

2 cups organic sour cream

1 can organic diced tomatoes, such as the Bionaturae Organic brand

1 teaspoon sea salt, such as Real Salt or Himalayan Salt

2-3 teaspoons organic dried parsley

Shredded organic raw cheddar cheese


Saute the onions in butter until soft and translucent, then add peppers. Saute the peppers until soft.

Add the ground beef and brown until just browned. Don’t overcook because it will be going in the oven 🙂 Season with the salt.

Add the sour cream and diced tomatoes and mix well. Add the parsley.

Transfer to a large bowl, and add the cooked rice and mix well.

Layer the broccoli on a large baking dish, and scoop the beef & rice mixture over the top.

Top with the shredded cheese, and bake in a 350 degree oven for 20-30 minutes, covered.

Sprinkle some more parsley on top before serving and ENJOY! 🙂

With lots of love,

Catherine Slezinger


Catherine Slezinger is thankful to be a wife to Mark, for 7 years, and a happy organic Mommy to three precious children- Nathaniel, almost 4, Micah, almost 2, and Grace, 8 months.

After battling a chronic digestive illness at the young age of 19, Catherine found a health plan that revolutionized her life and restored her health, giving her a newfound hope for the future. Because of this dramatic turnaround, she is passionate about seeing others experience the optimal health that she has attained.

For a free guide “How to Eat Organic On A Budget” go to Catherine’s website, The Organic Momma, at



Disclaimer: This information is not meant to diagnose, prescribe, treat or cure any illness or disease. It’s strictly for informational, educational, or entertainment purposes ONLY. The products I talk about are not meant to diagnose, prescribe, treat or cure any illness or disease. Any information I give you about them is for informational or entertainment purposes only. They have not been evaluated or approved by the FDA. Please seek the qualified health professional of your choice when making health decisions for yourself, your family and your pets.

Moms of Faith: Beth Tolliver’s Story on Living a Life of Faith, PTSD and the Rubbles of Child Abuse

moms of faith

I had first started trying to commit suicide at the age of 8. I told one of my parents and was blown off. At 17 I became emotionally non-functioning. I had lived most of my childhood in states of deep dark depression and anxiety with no one to talk to or get help. I began meeting with a counselor and asked her if there was somewhere she could send me so I could get away from the madness. I spent a month, at my request, in a treatment facility for emotionally troubled youth. I was no longer the weirdo outcast living some odd life.

Beth Tolliver was abused as a child and suffered silently. Until she took matters into her own hands and checked into a treatment facility at the age of 17. Though she attended church, sadly the pastors were not trained to handle severe traumatic issues and recovery.

She said, “There were times that I received great help from reading Scripture, and there have been times that I hurt so badly I couldn’t even touch my Bible. I humbly asked God to understand and for grace. The most help I got was from reading Christian “self-help” books. This became, and still is, a huge part of my healing journey. The first book I read as a teenager, that I bought with my own money from my first job, was called Search for Significance.”

It was hard to read the Bible and being close with God while witnessing her church-going Christian abusive parent and compliant parent reading the Bible every day and watching Christian TV. It caused a lot of caution and apprehension in her about God.

Could you imagine a child seeing an abusive parent reading the Bible at night, then inflicting terrible abuse on the kids? Wouldn’t this cause a lot of confusion, caution and apprehension about God?

It was difficult for Beth to understand. She was very scared of God and thought He put her there to be punished for being a ‘bad person.’

When asked what caused the paradigm shift in her life, Beth said there have been a few paradigm shifts in her life but the first was at age 17 when she was with a group of peers who were all dealing with troubled backgrounds in the treatment center.

Some of these kids had it worse than she did and some had parents who didn’t even want to visit them and didn’t want them back. Most were sexually and verbally abused.

At the treatment facility Beth had an eye opening experience and was able to process the years of repressed emotions. Most importantly she was told she didn’t deserve the abuse she suffered. She had a heart to heart encounter with God, a place where she was free to talk to God, not being judged or told to get over it. She received the assurance that there is a better future for her life.

Though the pain didn’t disappear right away, her faith and relationship with God gave her hope. Her parents were divorced by this time, but she was still having consistent contact with her abusive parent and that made healing virtually impossible.

She said, “I was living with the compliant/co-dependent parent; not being physically abused anymore, and not being sexually abused by another relative anymore, but still living with someone I consider guilty by association for letting the abuse happen and, at times, participating in it. It was a very suffocating environment where that parent just wanted to move on like nothing happened.“

Another huge paradigm shift was after she got married. Her husband was responsible in helping her see how unhealthy her relationship was with some family members. She learned to set boundaries. Living with boundaries had helped her discover peace and an emotionally healthier lifestyle.

Beth said, “At some point you have to realize that it is them, and not you. You are only responsible for your own health and well-being. You are not responsible for everyone’s feelings or making everyone happy or making everyone understand you.”

It was freeing. She realized the importance of placing her husband, son and her own well-being as her priorities.

moms of faith beth tolliver

Our conversation continues…

How does a faith-filled life look like for Beth now?

A faith filled life now looks good, but broken at times. I have found my own voice. I no longer have to keep silent about what happened to me to protect the images of the responsible parties.

I now know that God never wants people to be abused, violated, manipulated and controlled.

I stop putting so much pressure on myself, but have slip ups with that. I can never be perfect enough to make God happy or to fix everything, which is great because HE NEVER ASKED THAT OF ME!

If I could do it on my own, if it was all about me, then Christ would be completely unnecessary.

I still have continued struggles with fear that God will abandon and forsake me. I still have fears that God will not help me, particularly when I’m having a panic attack or severe anxiety (things I still deal with now in my late 30’s).

I used to have terrible fear that if I weren’t perfect, God would take everything and everyone away from me.

How does she get through these ‘struggles’?  

Keep putting one foot in front of the other. I choose to trust, especially when it’s hard.

Do you still suffer from the lack of faith? If yes, what areas of your life?

Here’s the truth: I don’t know how to parent correctly because I wasn’t parented correctly.

I rely heavily on God especially when it comes to anger and fear. I struggled deeply with fear and anxiety of being a parent when I was pregnant and for the first year of my son’s life.

I was terrified of messing him up and hurting him. I had nightmares and PTSD that was exacerbated from a church we attended for a while. I still have my moments with that but it really gets better with time and walking through it with God’s help.

When I have a rough day, I give myself extra grace and self-care.  There are days I have to get my husband on the phone and just talk it out.

Sometimes I sit and read, or I watch a TV show that is calming or uplifting. One of the best ways to combat fear is to focus fully on the present moment and find a way to laugh!

A faith-filled life means I don’t pretend that I’ve never walked through hell in my life. Being healed doesn’t mean pretending you’ve never suffered. It means you use what the enemy meant for evil and turn it around for God’s good!

It means writing about my life on the blog, sharing my testimony with those who need it. I find more healing by helping others to heal; by pointing them to the peace they can have in Christ. Opening up the dark places of my life is extremely hard, but I feel so much peace when I do it.

Being silent will keep you struggling and unwell. I finally found a church that I know is where I belong and that I am thriving in. It is a place of faith and freedom. I can feel myself getting healthier every time I go to service. I’ve come to know that healing is a choice to receive a gift offered from God.

Here are Beth’s thoughts on how to speak life into a negative situation:

I am a singer and love to worship, so I literally worship my way through negative circumstances. I speak life into those things and into myself as I worship.  When you keep focusing on yourself, your problems and shortcomings, you can become immobilized with fear and panic.

During worship, I focus on Him as the answer to all things. He is everything I never had – it makes me cry just thinking about that.

When I sing, all I see is me and Him together, in a garden of peace. A couple of years ago I went through terrible trauma when what I call my main abusive parent was found dead. There was never an apology offered for the abuse and I had spent my whole life having to parent this parent.

My body began to have uncontrollable panic attacks. During this horrible time, I would keep sermons playing in the house and literally walk back and forth in the living room screaming out that I am not garbage, God loves me, the enemy will not have my life.

God will give you victory but girl you have to fight!!!  

You are not destined to repeat your past.  You are not destined to be an abusive parent.  You are not destined for torture. There are so many days I have put my son down for a nap, or just take a break and go to my bedroom and speak out loud that I am not where I came from. I tell my son I love him all the time and I know he will never grown up not having heard that he was loved.

I was grown and married before either of my parents told me they loved me. Loving my son intentionally is life giving to everyone.

Beth’s mission is to encourage those who have gone through the rubble of child abuse and poor health to rebuild a life that is thriving and not just surviving.

Here are 5 helpful tips from Beth to help you build your faith and banish fear-

1. If you need help, there is no shame in getting it. It’s the strong who get help, not the weak. You are not weak for having problems! I know what it’s like to have to put on that church face. Please hear me when I say God is waiting to help you.

2. You are not living in the past because the past still hurts you! These are all lies of the enemy. The church world in general is very uncomfortable with abuse and trauma. And are generally ill-equipped in helping in those areas.

3. Find a certified counselor who is trained in trauma and abuse recovery, do what you can to utilize their services. I NEVER counsel with pastors anymore and will not unless they are trained to help in this area. I’ve gotten more hurt than help by getting poor, but well-intentioned church counsel.

4. If you are struggling with depression, anxiety or panic, there is no shame in taking medication if you need it. I can tell you there are essential oils that have helped me with anxiety. The emotional stress you’re under is depleting your body of nutrients. Make sure you’re getting lots of B vitamins and magnesium. That has helped me a lot, as does a good cardio workout.

5. Whatever help you need, whatever help works for you, do it!  You owe it to yourself and your family.

Beth Tolliver has been married to Dean for 14 years and is a mom to a precious 3.5-year-old son. Beth’s mission is to encourage those who have gone through the rubble of child abuse and poor health to rebuild a life that is thriving and not just surviving.

Connect with Beth Tolliver at


Disclaimer: This information is not meant to diagnose, prescribe, treat or cure any illness or disease. It’s strictly for informational, educational, or entertainment purposes ONLY. The products I talk about are not meant to diagnose, prescribe, treat or cure any illness or disease. Any information I give you about them is for informational or entertainment purposes only. They have not been evaluated or approved by the FDA. Please seek the qualified health professional of your choice when making health decisions for yourself, your family and your pets.

Back To School Homework Assignment for Parents

Back To School Homework Assignment for Parents

I know I am different. I am not normal, traditional, or conventional. Not in my career, how I act, how I parent, my marriage, my health care practices, and how I live overall.

I guess I have always been different. When I was in my teens and in high school it’s not so enjoyable being different, you get picked on, talked about, and or you just don’t feel like you belong. Later in life you can see the irony of life when those who picked on you, you no longer feel angry at but you feel sorry for how their lives have turned out.

In your 20s you have a choice to embrace your uniqueness or not. Some of us have to wait until our 30s to grow up and grow into a better person. Some of us our 40s and 50s and I have even seen some amazing transformations of family and friends in their 50s and 60s.  

Being all you can be involves finding what it is you love, working on yourself, and finding and honing the gifts and tools God gave you.

We send our children to school for an education but educational system is missing some fundamentals of personal development and grooming our children for success. Schools focus on reading, writing and arithmetic with add ons of arts, music, and sports if funding is good at that school.

I had great loving parents but they didn’t know how to GROOM me for success. They taught me about hard work ethic, which I am grateful for but how to direct that work ethic into healthy positive things I had to learn later in life.

Recently a close friend told me, “I thought I was a retard until I was a sophomore in High School. I struggled and even failed the second grade. I was told I was stupid and retarded by trusted adults in my life so I believed it. Then one day a science professor saw something in me that changed my life. He saw how much I was interested in the subject matter, challenged me, encouraged me and from then on my life changed and I was actually smart.”

This friend later found out that his IQ testing was that of a genius. Today my friend is in a great marriage, has a high level career earning more than 90% of his former high school classmates.  Can you imagine if this one teacher hadn’t seen the potential in my friend? What would he be doing today?

So as our children go back to school over the next couple of weeks I have a homework assignment for all my parents out there. I encourage you to encourage them 10 times or more a day. “Great job setting the table.” ” I really like how you have been finishing your homework on time.” ” I am proud to see you reading so much.” “Way to go being ready for school on time.”

If you are not used to this type of language or you think that this type of encouragement will cause your children to not be HUMBLE, well get over it. Studies have proven it is much easier to motivate children with positive reinforcement then negative.

And your second homework assignment is to encourage your child’s teacher. They have a really challenging and difficult job. They in most cases are doing the best with what they have to work with. They are for the most part underpaid and overworked. Send your child’s teacher notes of encouragement, positive reinforcement, or even ask them how can I best help you by helping my child at home. You might get some good feedback from a person who spends 30 hours a week with your child.

My intention for this post was different when I started but I think if we all can just remember to ENCOURAGE in every environment we are in with people or even online, we could see more positive and productive changes in the world. Just my 2 cents.


Disclaimer: This information is not meant to diagnose, prescribe, treat or cure any illness or disease. It’s strictly for informational, educational, or entertainment purposes ONLY. The products I talk about are not meant to diagnose, prescribe, treat or cure any illness or disease. Any information I give you about them is for informational or entertainment purposes only. They have not been evaluated or approved by the FDA. Please seek the qualified health professional of your choice when making health decisions for yourself, your family and your pets.

Could Zyto Compass Be The Answer to Your Parenting Needs?

Parenting is tough. I didn’t grow up with my brother and sister. I was my mom’s only child. I did babysit but I have to admit I wasn’t that good. It was exhausting to me and I used to count the minutes until the parents got home.

Then I had kids and I really understood what EXHAUSTED meant.  Parenting isn’t easy if you want to do a good job. It takes Physical Stamina, Mental Clarity, and a whole lot of Holy Spirit Help.

Becoming frustrated and even ANGRY at our children can become a daily experience. Especially for moms with the stress of being at home by themselves with the kids all day (in my opinion the hardest working job there is — is STAY AT HOME MOM).

You can kind of go batty. I was really distressed when I heard about a mom screaming and swearing at her kid every morning. At first I was shocked but then I thought about it and realized this is a single mom who has no one to help her no one to talk to, NO BREAK, no peace… I can’t judge. I know what a difficult day with lack of sleep does to my mood… sadly so does my family.

Anger, frustration, moodiness they all can have a nutritional imbalance. Lack of B Vitamins can not only throw our energy down the drain but can cause our hormones to be whacky. Eating sugar daily, not eating regularly, or overeating can cause blood sugar imbalances that translate to a DRAGON like behavior. Mineral deficiency can cause havoc on the body but also our energy and moods. And constipation… well if you are constipated let’s just say you will most likely have a crappy attitude because of all those toxins stuck in your body.

zyto compass

It’s important to see where your body is out of balance. I like to use my ZYTO COMPASS to see where I am at in my health or my family’s health.

Lastly I just wanted to share about being an ANGRY MOM. This came in my inbox from my friend and Mommy Blogger, the Thriving Mom. It’s worth a read if you struggle with parenting, feel alone sometimes, or just need some encouragement:

You are not in this alone. God’s got your back and we are praying for you.

Mary Starr Carter

the Total Wellness Doc and Mom


Disclaimer: This information is not meant to diagnose, prescribe, treat or cure any illness or disease. It’s strictly for informational, educational, or entertainment purposes ONLY. The products I talk about are not meant to diagnose, prescribe, treat or cure any illness or disease. Any information I give you about them is for informational or entertainment purposes only. They have not been evaluated or approved by the FDA. Please seek the qualified health professional of your choice when making health decisions for yourself, your family and your pets.

The Power of Prayer, Praise and Potty Training

potty training

My life has been radically blessed in the last 25 days. Not only have I achieved a 14 year goal in my career but my 4 year old son has finally become Potty Trained.

When you have a baby you expect the next 2 years of your life to be spent cleaning up dirty diapers and poopy messes, but I didn’t realize I would be spending an additional 2 years after that in poopy detail too. I will spare you all the grossness but you can imagine my son is a big healthy eater who is very regular but never went in the toilet. I am very, very grateful for Young Living’s Thieves Cleaner which I needed to use just about daily.

But all that changed about 2 weeks ago when all of a sudden my son was potty trained. On further analysis I realize that it wasn’t all of a sudden and that there were some key things that led to his change of heart. I also realize that some of these same principals can be applied to other difficult situations in our lives too.

So here is my list of Tips for Potty Training and Life:

1) Expectations – Joshua was my first child so I really didn’t know what to expect so I didn’t set any expectations until recently. I also was told “boys” take longer to potty train and I guess I set that in my mind as an expectation.

2) Create Urgency – Because both my husband and I work from home and have a decent income that we could “afford” spending money on diapers there was no urgency to get him out of them. Many moms who I talked to in different financial and work situations had their kids potty trained by 2 years old.

3) Consistency – I admit I wasn’t consistent myself in getting my son potty trained. I would “train” one day and then not the next. Or one week and then let it go the next. I am sure he was a bit confused too with that kind of schedule.

Also downstairs he had a small portable potty but then upstairs he had a little potty seat that goes over the big potty. I found both of these a hassle to clean and they were just gross. So literally the day after I got rid of them he started being fully potty trained.

4) PRAISE PRAISE PRAISE – After reading this quote by Michelle Duggar, mom of the famous 19 Kids and Counting in her discussion about changing and molding a child’s good behavior “praise 10 times more than you correct”.

So I started doing that in a lot of things with my son and wow it really works. When he did have an accident I would do the clean up, make him help clean up and take him out of “fun” for at least 10 minutes so he understood this wasn’t good behavior. I didn’t use words like BAD BOY but rather kept saying where do we go pee pee and poopy on the potty… when you do this it’s no FUN and lots of work for MOMMY which is no FUN…

A side note on this one… some parents told me they spanked their kids when they messed their pants and that seemed to correct the behavior. The reason I didn’t go down that path fully is because I once had a patient who was chronically constipated her whole life. After doing some serious Neuro Emotional work with another doc friend of mine we found a root of that issue was when she was pretty young she had pooped her pants and been severely spanked because of it. Her system always took “pooping” as bad and held it in most of her life, which led to some pretty bad outcomes.

5) Accountability – We started using a potty chart where Joshua would get a star on the chart every time he went pee pee on the potty. Then after he was pee pee trained we moved to poopy stars. It was a visual reminder of his success and progress

6) Reward – At first we did the M&M reward every time he went peepPee on the potty and I quickly had my son addicted to candy after 4 years of avoiding that. Then I moved to SunChips, a little healthier type of M&M and I ended up getting into them… (not good). Then we moved to stickers, and finally now we do a toy prize at the end of a week when we poopy on the potty everyday for a week.

7) Prayer – When my Mommy Helper came down from New York to live here in Florida and work for us, she got more than she bargained for when it came to clean up duty. At least 2 times a week she would get the brunt of poopy clean up mess. So being the prayerful woman she is she started bringing her request to God along with her prayer team. I don’t think it’s any coincidence that Joshua was potty trained after that either. Prayer is one of the most powerful tools we have.

So how can you apply these principals to your own life or maybe your own behavior changes?

1) Expect MORE- Don’t use excuses about age, environment, finances, or the fact that most people do _______. Make your own destiny and throw away excuses.

2) Create Urgency – If you are comfortable in your life or situation there is no urgency to achieve a goal. Cut up the credit card, get real about your weight or health condition and do whatever you need to do to create urgency. The most successful entrepreneurs and home business owners were usually desperate to succeed.

3) Consistency is the KEY… – I have an amazing distributor on my team named Kim. She is successful at whatever she puts her mind too and Young Living has been a part of her life since 2006. Her commissions could easily be 10 times what they are now but her pattern of working in her YL business is inconsistent.

She will share it consistently for a little while and then move on to the next best thing then 6 months or a year later come back to it. She loves the product and continues to use them all these years but because she never stays focused on the business for more than a couple months, she loses opportunities and income. Consistency is the key to success.

4) PRAISE PRAISE PRAISE – It works in all areas of life. It’s like watering a new plant. You must praise your progress daily. Even little “sprouts” we call them… they need to be watered everyday.

5) Accountability – Dave Ramsey suggests having an accountability partner in his Financial Peace University and I would suggest it in any long term goal. Someone or a group of ‘someones’ who help lift you up and also tell you like it is. I would also suggest tracking your work and progress will help you stay accountable too.

6) REWARD – All the hard work won’t be worth it if we don’t get the REWARDS too. Set reward system for yourself so you have things to look forward to weekly even. Maybe if you work your home business in the evenings every night you get to watch all your favorite recorded shows on Saturday night. Or if you achieve a new rank in your home business you get to purchase your favorite essential oil with your REWARDS points.

7) PRAYER – The most powerful tool you have. Combined with the 6 positive actions above, it can change your life.

So I hope my son’s Potty Training Success can help you in achieving your hard goals too. Remember, it’s a process. It takes time and it may not turn out exactly as your thought because God’s plan might be different from your plan.


Disclaimer: This information is not meant to diagnose, prescribe, treat or cure any illness or disease. It’s strictly for informational, educational, or entertainment purposes ONLY. The products I talk about are not meant to diagnose, prescribe, treat or cure any illness or disease. Any information I give you about them is for informational or entertainment purposes only. They have not been evaluated or approved by the FDA. Please seek the qualified health professional of your choice when making health decisions for yourself, your family and your pets.

Moms of Faith: Penny LeClair

moms of faith

From going homeless to being able to have her own home…this is a journey of a mom of faith who believed and walked through the fire. She is now debt free and is able to provide for her two children and live with a ‘kingdom mindset’.

Change can be difficult but a change that includes uncertainty and the possibility of being homeless with two children is unimaginable. Why did she leave? For her children and her safety and sanity.

Penny LeClair left a very destructive marriage with her two children feeling depressed, full of fear, angry, broke and…was homeless. She went from living in a three-bedroom two-bath home, with two cars, hot tub, and camper kind of life to living in a 9X10 room in her parents’ house.

With only clothes and a set of bunk beds for her children Penny had no money and worked only 12 hours part-time to support her children and herself.

What does it take to switch things around?

According to National Alliance, to End Homelessness:

Domestic violence is the immediate cause of homelessness for many women. Survivors of domestic violence are often isolated from support networks and financial resources by their abusers, which puts them at risk of becoming homeless. As a result, they may lack steady income, employment history, credit history, and landlord references. They also often suffer from anxiety, panic disorder, major depression, and substance abuse.

What makes Penny different from the statistics?

Before Penny left her home, the spirit of fear was lying and tormenting her. She felt unworthy, useless and that she would never amount to anything. Fear was taking a hold of her life.

Until one day being led by the Holy Spirit…

She started reading, confessing and meditating on scriptures that the Holy Spirit had prompted her to print out. Penny used the Word of God to fight the spirit of fear. She started confessing who she is in Christ. The Word of God caused her to believe and had the courage to leave her home and venture into the new.

penny leclair

I asked Penny to describe what a faith-filled life looks like and to describe fear.

She said:

A faith filled life is… knowing and believing what God’s word says is true with confidence and then acting on it. 

Fear is something I have dealt with most of my life.
Fear is the root to every problem a person can have.
Fear is a spirit that brings torment and the only antidote is to allow God to perfect us in his love through the truth of His Word.

When we know that God loves us with every fiber of our being fear cannot step foot in our lives. (1 John 4:18)

Is it always perfect?

NO, but I finally have recognized when the torment of stress, anxiety, depression, sickness and lack are at my door, I have allowed the spirit of fear to come in through my thoughts and I have forgotten how much God loves me.

Does she still struggle with the lack of faith?

I do not believe I lack faith. What I believe happens is that I have not strengthened myself in an area with full confidence in God’s Word. This leaves me to have unbelief and faith mixed, making me a double-minded person and the Bible says such a person is unstable in all their ways.

The antidote for a double-minded person is to strengthen their faith daily in the Word of God. Faith comes by hearing of the Word of God, and building confidence in the Word of God instead of Satan’s lies. 

Penny told a story of the father of the boy who was demon possessed in Mark 9 who said I believe, but Lord help me with my unbelief. 

Do you struggle with unbelief?

Penny spent two years trying to find a place for her children and herself. It seemed hopeless. She was told she needed to get help from welfare. During that period of her life she was spending time renewing her mind – declaring “who she is in Christ and about her finances”.

The Word of God changed her mind and life. Going on welfare was not the answer to her problems and she refused to give in or give up. Instead she chose to believe in the Word of God and follow the lead of the Holy Spirit.

One day while praying, during her homeless situation Penny was led by the Holy Spirit to place an ad in the newspaper looking for a house to rent. The Lord specifically had her wrote everything down – what she wanted and needed in the house. Including the furnishing, kitchen appliances and the amount needed to pay for everything in a month.

At that time she had nothing but $1,000. Would that be enough to pay for the deposit and her list of things? God in his unique ways prompted Penny to give half of the only money she had to a mission trip at her local church.

She faced a huge battle. What if she didn’t have enough money to pay her rent and purchase everything in the list? Until God spoke, “Really, Penny? Are you going to get a house and everything you need with that $1,000?”

Penny realized $1,000 was not going to pay for all her needs and she had to believe in God’s provision. She finally gave in and gave half of the money away.

She said:

We need to ask God for his grace to help us with unbelief, we are not perfect beings, but Jesus is and has completed it all for us.

One week after the placement of the ad, she received a call from her current landlord. He said, “I wasn’t going to rent this house, but I saw your ad!” (God’s favor!) Long story short, they made arrangements for her to see the place, she gave him the deposit and the place was hers.

A month later she received more favors when the landlord remodeled the bathroom, put in all new windows and carpets. She moved into a home on a little over an acre of land surrounded by woods, pine trees and enough room for her children to run and play, exactly what she had written down.

The good news is when she took a step of faith, God opened doors and more doors where opened when she obeyed and relied on his strength and provision.

Imagine this: the day after she paid the deposit, Penny received a promotion at work!

She had more favor!

Now her job gave her the provision to pay her monthly bills with some leftover. She was given everything she needed. Her new home is even better than the old. After five months of sleeping on a fold out couch in her living room, a friend she had not seen for 20 years heard about her situation and gave her a pillow top bed.
Penny recalled:

When I needed something I would go out to the garage or attic and I would find what I needed. God knew everything I would need before I did. Did I do it in perfection, no, but Jesus did. I just kept my eyes, and heart on what His Word said and it happened.

God continues to bless Penny and her two children. After three years of living in her rented home she listed the following blessings:
● I have seen God supply my needs over and over
● We have never gone without, even when it looked like we would.
● He never let us down.
● I am now debt free by using God’s principles on debt cancellation
● And have been given the opportunity by my landlord to purchase my home with him holding the mortgage.

Praise God for his favor, grace and provision. At the midst of chaos and confusion Penny found Young Living Essential Oils. Today her business with Young Living provides another source of income for her and her family.

I asked Penny to give us tips on how to live a life of faith instead of fear. Here are 8 tips:
1. When fear tries to rear its ugly head, boldly cast it out until you have the peace of God that surpasses all understanding
2. Use the Word of God meditating and confessing the truth submitting yourself to God first, resisting the devil, so that HE HAS TO FLEE! In other words, come into agreement with God’s Word over Satan’s lies and when that happens, powerful things happen.
3. Renew your mind to God’s word in the areas you are lacking, meditate on those scriptures until they become a revelation to you.
4. Learn the principles of reaping and sowing, tithing and giving
5. Get into a good Bible faith teaching church
6. Find one person who believes as you do and pray in agreement for what you are needing
7. Follow the leading of the Holy Spirit and build your confidence in God’s Word DAILY knowing it will not return void.
8. He is truly the source of everything we need!

Penny has gone from homeless to a homeowner. She is passionate about equipping, encouraging and helping others transform in spirit, soul and body. Faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. (Hebrews 11:1) Are you struggling with fear? Connect with Penny today and be blessed by her article on Powerful FREQUENCY Combination for Healing


Disclaimer: This information is not meant to diagnose, prescribe, treat or cure any illness or disease. It’s strictly for informational, educational, or entertainment purposes ONLY. The products I talk about are not meant to diagnose, prescribe, treat or cure any illness or disease. Any information I give you about them is for informational or entertainment purposes only. They have not been evaluated or approved by the FDA. Please seek the qualified health professional of your choice when making health decisions for yourself, your family and your pets.

Moms of Faith: Lisa Buske

This year marks the 20th year Heidi M. Allen disappeared while working alone at D&W Convenience Store in New Haven NY. Her last transaction before the kidnapping was at 7:42 a.m. She was 18, set to graduate from high school with honors in May 1994 and had job interviews all lined up.

Heidi has not been found. Where is Heidi? That’s the question that tormented Lisa Buske for years until she found ways to live by Faith and rely on the One True God who loves and gives hope.

How does one cope with a missing family member – losing a sister, child, spouse, mom, dad or best friend? Does one embrace a life of fear, hate, blame or faith, love and hope while coping with the unanswered question?

When Heidi was kidnapped on April 3, 1994, Lisa turned her back on God completely with no plans to trust God again. She started blaming and went on to believe in psychics and the lies of the enemy. She buried her feelings so deep that it began to show up in many areas of her life.

She was wallowing in the dark relying on no one for 10 years until one day a student said, “Mrs. Buske, you need Jesus. Will you come to church on Sunday?”

Lisa told me, “I needed to hear with such compassion and boldness…the healing began. God started to tear down the barrier preventing anyone (especially God) in. Since realizing God didn’t take my sister and the number of ways He worked to help the investigation in those first few moments, my trust, hope and faith have increased.”

Lisa is a woman, mom and wife of faith. She chooses to run to God when the going gets tough. Instead of seeing the negative and evil she lets God work through her to make a difference in the life of others and to share positive, beautiful and encouraging random acts of kindness to those who are in need.

I asked Lisa how does a faith filled life look like and this is what she said:

A faith-filled life is one that reflects the higher power a person believes in. I personally believe in God as the One, True God, so to live a faith-filled life, I must think, speak, write, and live a life God will find pleasing.

A favorite verse that illustrates this is from 1 Corinthians: “Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous, it does not brag, and it is not proud. Love is not rude, it is not selfish, and it cannot be made angry easily. Love does not remember wrongs done against it. Love is never happy when others do wrong, but it is always happy with the truth. Love never gives up on people. It never stops trusting, never loses hope, and never quits. Love will never end…So these three things continue: faith, hope, and love. And the greatest of these is love.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-8a, 13

After all, a faith filled life is one full of love for God, others and finally yourself. Depending on your gifts, how this is expressed will vary. I tend to share my faith a lot through the written word: personal notes, cards, messages, and even a text to let someone know I’m thinking of them or share a Bible verse God placed on my heart for them. A faith-filled life doesn’t hide one’s faith but incorporates it into all aspects on our day.

Lisa still misses her sister every day and prays this is the day she is found. Instead of running to darkness, she opens the blinds and her Bible each day and seeks The Light and Son.

Living a life of faith doesn’t mean fear does not exist. Fear and negative voices are always ready to derail us and send us back to “fear-full world.” No matter what situation we are in, fear is always present. Fear robs clarity and focus. Fear will slow us down and worst yet- stops us from doing what we are called to do.

To Lisa, fear is usually disguised as doubt or contemplation when faced with decisions and or situations that require 100% full trust in God. Fear is not of God, it is an attack by the enemy and we waste time focused on the fear itself instead of the One with the power to free us from its snare.

Her greatest fear pertains to her daughter. Since her only sister was kidnapped at the age of 18 and remains missing today- this traffic loss affects and intensifies the fear of letting her daughter grow up.

An example given by Lisa:
Our daughter went to her first amusement park in seventh grade. Rather than facing my fear, I always had an excuse of why we couldn’t go or why she couldn’t go with a friend’s family. Finally, with us as chaperones, she went to SeaBreeze with the band and chorus.

I spent two weeks sick to my stomach because of what might happen to her while at the park. Each time the fear attacked, I went to my Bible and found a new verse to counter. I wrote each one down on an index card and bound them together for the trip.

While at the park, I paced and walked the park to check on the students we were chaperoning but specifically making sure our daughter was with her group.

It came time for lunch and her group returned without her.

I asked, “Where’s Mary?” None of them knew, they went on a ride she didn’t want to so she waited at the end of the line but wasn’t there when they got off. They didn’t look for her, apologize for breaking their group up, or appear nervous.

I sprinted from the picnic area to search the park while swallowing vomit the entire time.

The Scripture verses I had written for two weeks came flooding into my head as I prayed “Lord keep her safe” and then a verse until… I saw her. I ran up to her, hugged her, and asked if she was okay.

She looked at me like I had three heads with a, “I don’t know where my group went. They were on that ride. While I waited I went on that ride (pointed across the walkway) but when I got off they didn’t wait. Whoever got off first was supposed to wait for the other. I didn’t come back by myself because you would flip out.”

She was right. We talked on our way back to the pavilion. Long story short, she wasn’t nervous at all, just hurt and annoyed her friends didn’t care enough to look for her. No one in our group knew where she was BUT God did and He surrounded her with His angels and calmness.

Hundreds of teens walk the amusement parks daily without adult supervision and return home safely, yet the fear connected to my life’s tragedy prevents my daughter from this luxury. We’ve been to a few amusement parks and even traveled out of state on field trips since then and each one gets a little easier to endure. I still spend time reading my Bible, writing verses that touch my heart, and in prayer before we travel but the peace that passes understanding is always evident.


Now one of Lisa Buske’s values in life is, “Not to take a day for granted!”

When asked if she is worried about her daughter’s future, she shared the following:

● I pray for the young man God has for her husband to be a God-fearing, loving, respectful, hardworking, and caring man and father to their children.
● As the preparations for college start, I pray she isn’t struggling with student loan debt like I am today so I try to share mistakes I made to prevent her from financial struggles later in life.
● I pray she chooses the profession God has called her to and that she will enjoy it so it’s not work.

I don’t worry about her future but I do pray for it daily. If I focus on her leaving too much, anxiety creeps in and I find myself searching for a verse to remind that God is Omnipresent and will be with her wherever she goes. I must trust and rest in this truth. With God in her life and heart, combined with the parenting she’s received, the foundation for success is in place.

Another of Lisa’s values is “I try to take each day as it comes because tomorrow has enough worry of its own, the Bible reminds of this a few times. “

These days Lisa is a busy paraprofessional at her local school district where she encourages, inspires and educates kiddos during their foundational years. While offering academic support, she prays for opportunities to share Jesus with them through her actions and words.

wheres heidi book

She is an author and has written several books, namely Where’s Heidi? One Sister’s Journey, When the Waves Subside: There is Hope, Encourage Others: One Day at a Time and her newest release No More Pain: I Can Fly. Her books are inspirational, encouraging and empowering and offer the message of hope, love and faith. She also blogs regularly at so others will hopefully see it’s possible to survive, thrive, and be alive after tragedy.

I asked Lisa for suggestions and advice for women who are struggling with fear and lack of faith. Here are Lisa Buske’s eight steps to fight fear:

One: First and foremost, you need to admit you have fear. When we ignore or attempt to hide our fears, this is when the devil gains a foothold into our heart. The only way to eliminate his control over your life is to admit and face your fear.

As you face your fear, remember you aren’t alone nor were you designed to live life in this way. “For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.” 2 Timothy 1:7 ESV

Two: My advice to help you flip the focus on your faith instead of your fears is to write a list of your fears. Start at the top of a clean piece of paper, listing each fear on its own line, leaving three to four lines before listing the next.

Three: Once your list is complete, grab your Bible, and open to the concordance or dictionary. Look up the words you’ve written down. On the lines you’ve left empty, write down the verses that relate to the fear you’ve listed. Don’t look up the verses yet, right now you are only compiling a list of verses that might relate and help you keep your eyes focused on God and not the issue.

Four: The next step is to count how many different verses that can possibly help you face and overcome your fears.

Five: This will empower you, because God provides far more solutions than you can list problems.

Six: Now the fun begins. Once a day, pick no more than three fears and start looking up verses about each.

Seven: In a one subject notebook, hand write (no typing) the Bible verse and its location. If you want to step it up a little, develop a paraphrase for this same verse and hear how God speaks to you when it’s His Word spoken in your voice.

Eight: During this process, your fears are replaced with Truth, Hope, Power, and Love as your faith is strengthened, renewed, and enhanced. Don’t give up, the old is gone and the new is here! “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” 2 Corinthians 5:17

Her book, When the Waves Subside: There is Hope was written to illustrate the strength and beauty she saw in her parents after suffering their greatest loss, the abduction and presumed death of their youngest daughter. Lisa had heard from parents who’ve lost a child to disease, suicide and accidents that this book brought healing and encouragement.

No More Pain: I Can Fly is also written to encourage the grieving parent or friend after the loss of a loved one before it was their time, usually the young.

Lisa wrote on her website, though she may not have her sister in her life, she has a loving and faithful God who strengthens and helps her through each day with joy and hope. Please visit her website at


Disclaimer: This information is not meant to diagnose, prescribe, treat or cure any illness or disease. It’s strictly for informational, educational, or entertainment purposes ONLY. The products I talk about are not meant to diagnose, prescribe, treat or cure any illness or disease. Any information I give you about them is for informational or entertainment purposes only. They have not been evaluated or approved by the FDA. Please seek the qualified health professional of your choice when making health decisions for yourself, your family and your pets.

Moms of Faith: Mary Anne Zani

moms of faith

How does one survive the darkest moments of life and find ways to live again? Mary Anne Zani weathered many tragic and traumatic incidences and has emerged with a new sense of purpose and zest for living. She is a single mom, a fibromyalgia and cancer survivor, has a loved one still in the Missing Person list, experienced death of her mother, mother-in-law and aunt – all within a year.

How did she rediscover life?

I asked Mary Anne this question and this is what she said:

I learned not to take any part of life for granted. It is important to tell my family and friends that I love them. Each person’s life is a gift from God. There are blessings in life no matter how grave a circumstance is.

I also believe that our experiences benefit and help others going through similar hardships. I have learned to live one day at a time and that it is okay to have days where I feel grief. I get in touch with it, pray and let it go. My family’s lives have been turned inside out and through it all God is with us.

Mary Anne is a mom of faith. She has raised two wonderful children who have also discovered their own purpose in life. Her son Andrew is a fitness and personal trainer and her daughter, Angela Marie is a senior in high school.


As a mom I know living by faith is easier said than done. So how does a faith filled life look like for Mary Anne?

Mary Anne said:

Living everyday to the best of my ability as God would have me live is how I look at a faith filled life. In the course of a day, I am in communication with God. I start my day with meditating on a daily spiritual reading that includes scripture passages to reflect upon. Sarah James’ book, Jesus Calling consists of daily devotions.

The themes are focused on thankfulness and trust. Making the best possible choices throughout the day and realizing, I do not have to necessarily like what I must do, take care of or what is in front of me in any given situation.

I need to just do the next right thing. I turn to God and say, “I don’t like this or that, please help me to accept things as exactly how they are in this moment. “

The practice of acceptance is applied through reading a little booklet, Acceptance, the Way to Serenity and Peace of Mind by author Vincent Paul Collins.

The Bible, books and stories of overcomers are ways most moms of faith fight the good fight of faith and live a positive lifestyle. Of course oppositions like fear would always like to derail us.

Mary Anne still suffers at times with the lack of faith especially when there is a lesson. She continued:

I may withdraw and tend to isolate. I go within my head. The mind can be my best friend or my worst enemy. There is a process for letting go and letting God. Life flows when I surrender to God’s ways.

My mind can go to lower frequencies meaning any feelings of anger, frustration, jealousy, hopelessness, and fear can be debilitating. Although these feelings are part of the human condition, it is what I choose to do with them, and how long I choose to stay there. I do have to feel the feelings and let them go. The times I feel like I cannot pray, I realize I do have a prayer; one word, “Jesus.” I call upon the name of Jesus.

We have to admit that life is not always a bed of roses. How do we speak life to a negative situation? Mary Anne’s answer to this question:

This question is based on how an individual perceives a situation. We all have biased perceptions. God is in each situation, both negative and positive. I cannot come up with a perfect solution to a negative situation. God has perfect solutions in God’s timing.

I do what I can and God takes care of the rest. The answers will come through prayer and patience. The importance of being gentle with ourselves and with others is compassionate and loving. The Saint Francis prayer speaks to the contrast in life.

Mary Anne’s life was dramatically changed from working in an administrative position in an Ivy League University to becoming a divorced single mother financially bereft and physically disabled. When she was diagnosed with Stage III colon cancer, her children were just nine and eleven years old. Her ex-husband went missing the day after her 21 days in the hospital. His car was found abandoned in another county.

She experienced tremendous health and financial challenges – from one tragic incident after another and the moment she had to tell her young children that their dad was missing. To this day, he has not been found. It was during the six months of aggressive chemo treatments that she found Young Living Essential Oils.

In her own words:

One day a dear friend anointed me with Frankincense oil and immediately I felt the presence of the Holy Spirit. I intuitively knew that the oils would be life saving and life giving. She visited with her son who was a support to my children. My children also used the oils that raised their frequencies.

I asked Mary Anne if she could give a few suggestions to moms who are struggling with health, emotional and mental issues. Here are Mary Anne’s tips for living a life of faith:

1. Each person has his or her own path. I encourage women to find their voice within their bodies, mind and spirit connecting to creation. Many of us have been told what to think and how to feel.
2. Find your truths. I am divinely created in the image and likeness of God. Dr. Wayne Dyer’s book, A Spiritual Solution to Every Problem, assists in looking at the self and moving from an ego consciousness and group consciousness to a global consciousness.
3. The idea to look at him, her or them without judgment moves us toward love. We are all created in the image and likeness of God. Honor each life even if you see a person who doesn’t dress as you dress, talk as you talk, live as you live.
4. Love everyone and hate no one. An example is my children have tattoos. Many young people have tattoos. I used to cringe when I would see them on other people. I acquainted tattoos with the dark side of life. I did not know much about them. I have come to the understanding that tattoos are an expression and an art form. Without expression we have depression. The message and gift for me is to express myself, otherwise the outcome is depression.
5. In the past few years I am learning more about life than I ever expected to know.  I consider myself an observer. I tell myself. Just observe. See how I feel, and ask myself, is there a lesson in this for me? What is the gift? The gift is the process of the letting go and letting God.
Each of us, including each child has a Higher Power. Children need to have their own experiences and find their own truths. I have guided my children and now release them as young adults.

Please listen to this 50 minute recorded interview to find out more about Mary Anne Zani’s passion and future endeavors. Mary Anne is passionate about helping others find hope:

You can connect with Mary Anne at


Disclaimer: This information is not meant to diagnose, prescribe, treat or cure any illness or disease. It’s strictly for informational, educational, or entertainment purposes ONLY. The products I talk about are not meant to diagnose, prescribe, treat or cure any illness or disease. Any information I give you about them is for informational or entertainment purposes only. They have not been evaluated or approved by the FDA. Please seek the qualified health professional of your choice when making health decisions for yourself, your family and your pets.

Moms of Faith: Meggan Larson

Have you ever met someone whose story just makes you want to cry tears of joy? Whose story truly is a miracle? Whose life is a LIGHT ON A HILL? Well that is Meggan Larson. I first met Meggan at a First Steps to Success Training with Dani Johnson. Over the 3 years we trained together I saw a wonderful woman turn into an extraordinary human being. She and her husband Rob Larson have so many fabulous testimonials of what God has done in their lives and how they have blessed others.

Meggan and Rob have a 3 ½ year old daughter and a son just over 2 years old. When her youngest was just 3 months old she was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive form of cancer called choriocarsinoma. It’s a cancer that mimics a pregnancy. The pregnancy hormone duplicates cancer cells at a rate of a pregnancy and carries it through the body. When she was diagnosed, she had tumors in her lungs, spleen and uterus. VERY, VERY SERIOUS.

Through medical intervention and POWERFUL, POWERFUL PRAYER by hundreds and hundreds of people Meggan recovered from cancer. And even though she had 5 months of chemotherapy, she was able to conceive again.  That was a miracle in itself. At 5-6 weeks Meggan started bleeding from a sub-choronic bleed, which in many cases causes miscarriages. Miraculously again the blood bled off and no longer was a threat to the growing baby.  BUT they discovered that her placenta was growing into the wall of her uterus, which is dangerous for mommy and baby and will require a C-Section for baby and hysterectomy for mommy.

On February 19th Meggan started bleeding and the doctors decided to take the baby at 33 weeks. Here is little Nathaniel Ethan Alexander Larson at 4.1 lbs.

What a miracle! But I am going to ask you to continue to pray for this amazing woman of faith. Please pray mightily for her recovery, her new little baby, her family and husband.

Here is a picture of her family.

moms of faith

Lastly I want to share with you Meggan’s Blog so you can continue to follow her progress and baby Larson’s progress. I hope that their story inspires you to Trust God, Have Faith and Believe in Miracles:


Disclaimer: This information is not meant to diagnose, prescribe, treat or cure any illness or disease. It’s strictly for informational, educational, or entertainment purposes ONLY. The products I talk about are not meant to diagnose, prescribe, treat or cure any illness or disease. Any information I give you about them is for informational or entertainment purposes only. They have not been evaluated or approved by the FDA. Please seek the qualified health professional of your choice when making health decisions for yourself, your family and your pets.

How I Got in the Best Shape of My Life

How I Got in the Best Shape of My Life

By: Christine Parton

For the past two years I have been on a journey to better health. I have always been of a “health conscious” mindset and knew the importance of eating well and exercising, yet more often than not, LIFE got in the way. It’s such an irony that often on our quest to live a good LIFE, a healthy LIFE, many of us are derailed by everyday LIFE. The long workdays, kids and family commitments, etc. that we are left feeling defeated, exhausted and frustrated to the point that we start to accept the unhealthiness of our LIFE and feel trapped.

Fortunately, with enough determination, support and commitment, we can all find our path on the road to a healthy LIFE. As I previously mentioned, I have been a health conscious person most of my adult life. I knew I had a terrible family history of heart disease, cancer and obesity, among others that if I didn’t take control of, I would soon become another statistic. There have been periods of time in my life when I was more “in shape” than others, when I ate a healthier diet and took long daily walks. I worked in a job once where all I did was promote organic, natural food to the community in which I lived. Yet again, LIFE took over. I had two babies in two years, worked stressful corporate jobs and commuted long hours. I did what I could to be healthy. I exercised when I could, I tried to eat right but most importantly, I never gave up and I knew that a time would come when the “stars would align” so to speak and I would finally get onboard the express train to the “me” I always dreamed of.

For me that time came when, mostly out of necessity, I became a stay at home mom. The cost of daycare for two children was astronomical and we had no local family support to provide childcare. Don’t get me wrong, I was very excited and wanted to stay home with my kids and spend time with them. I was on the verge of a nervous breakdown working and commuting for 12-14 hours a day, nursing my youngest (and all that goes with that commitment-pumping while at work, transporting breast milk, etc.), taking care of the home chores, finances, and everything else that happens in LIFE. Fitting time to exercise into my daily routine was almost impossible for this time in my life, yet I never gave up hope that one day, my circumstances would change and I would take hold of the reigns. I did just that in February 2012.

One of the first tasks on my “list” once I quit my job was to find a good gym. I had belonged to other gyms in the past but never stuck to it and would eventually cancel my membership. I researched and visited several local gyms, comparing my criteria and meeting the staff. I eventually settled on an amazing gym, BodyPlex. The have a wonderful staff in the kids’ area whom I felt comfortable caring for my children while I exercised. This was key to my commitment to go almost daily. Again, without family and friends near us to provide childcare, finding a gym with childcare was a non-negotiable. I spent the first few weeks trying various classes and seeing where I fit in and what resonated with me. I also met with the fitness director for what I knew was a sales pitch to join personal training sessions, but for a reason that eventually became clear, I talked to him anyway. I will never forget the words that rang truest to me, “a trainer will push you farther than you will push yourself. They hold you accountable when no one else will.”

It was a stretch financially with only one income however, my ultra supportive husband knew I was committed and encouraged me to go for it. Having a trainer has made ALL the difference in my journey. I decided to meet a trainer once a week and supplement my time with her by taking classes at the gym taught by the trainers. I now work out 5-6 days a week, two days high intensity cardio and 3-4 days weight training. Lifting weights burns more calories than cardio alone. Weight training helps develop lean muscle mass that cardio alone will never achieve. A body with more muscle mass will always burn calories faster. There are just so many reasons to ensure weight training is part of your “get fit” lifestyle.

Working with my trainer has also provided so much insight into diet and how the foods I consume directly impact my ability feel stronger and more successful at the gym. We have all heard it but a high protein, low carb diet rich in fruits and vegetables will do more for you than any fad diet. I rarely stray from my tried and true staples for breakfast, lunch and dinner but I will also add that I never make myself feel “guilty” if I want a special treat once in awhile. I teach this to my kids, a special treat is just that, a treat, it’s not an everyday occurrence.

On my two year journey, I let go of 30 extra pounds of weight that were holding me back from living the LIFE I always wanted. In the process, I discovered a body I had never known before, I am in the best shape of my life as I enter my last year in the 30’s. I didn’t look this good as a twenty-something. My husband, family and friends are incredibly proud and I am too. I made the commitment to make this my new LIFEstyle and eating right and exercising are my new norms.

If there is a day I don’t make it to the gym, the first thing I do is not feel guilty, but then get right back on track the next day. We live in a busy world, there is no doubt about it, but taking time now to make changes will only benefit you down the road for so many reasons. I think of the positive role model I try to be for my children, especially my daughter. I pray she learns healthy living tips from me that she can carry through adolescence and into her teenage years and beyond. I pray that I inspire my family and friends who have been struggling on their own journey to get fit. I strive to share my tips for success and encourage others to discover what works for them.

It’s important to realize what works for one person isn’t necessarily going to work for someone else. The key is perseverance and determination, push forward, cultivate your destiny and take the path that your are drawn to. As a result of getting healthier I have gained so much confidence. I can now go clothes shopping without the tears that once accompanied me. I am also finally teaching yoga, a path I first embarked on 7 years ago yet never felt confident enough to be in front of a class. I am excited to see where my path, my journey continues to take me in life.

If I were to sum up my experience in 5 tips that really “clicked,” I would say:

1. First and foremost getting a personal trainer was the single more successful venture I embarked on. My trainer has become a great friend. She pushed me when I wanted to quit. I cried during our first meeting recalling how much I wanted my life to change. I cried and screamed during our workouts and the countless wall balls, kettle bells swings, push ups and pull ups she coached me through. She also analyzed my diet and continues to give me recipe ideas to stay on track. Words cannot express how I feel about her support, she is the best.

2. Decide when the time is right and when you can really stick to your plans and until it’s the right time, incorporate little things like cutting out one crutch food or taking one walk a week, something is better than nothing. I have always said, “to get anywhere you need to start somewhere.”

I also read recently how crushing New Year’s Resolutions can be to a person. Resolutions are so black and white, you succeed or, more often you fail. In my yoga class, we set “intentions” to start our practice. An intention is something you are focusing on, something you are working towards. You may take one step forward and two steps back but your intention is still set on that idea, that goal.

3. Because I have children, I had to find a way to include them in my lifestyle change. I made sure the kids’ area at the gym was clean, safe, and the staff attentive. I also recently invested in a double stroller. When my son was an infant I put him in a baby carrier on my back, my two year old was in a single jogger and the dog was on a leash. I garnered many raised eyebrows from the neighbors but I just said, “We all needed to get out of the house!” Whether you have children our not, if there is something you may feel inclined to use as an excuse not to exercise, find a way to deal with it. I often think my house might be cleaner if I used my gym time for house chores instead. But in the end, what is more important, a spotless home or your health.

4. I am incredibly blessed to have a loving, supportive husband and my wish for everyone is the same support from home. But, I have also developed some friendships at the gym. Not necessarily people I would see outside the gym but people who I interact with at class and enjoy being around. We talk about our sessions at the gym, we sweat through tough classes together and wish each other well as we depart. I found a great community at my gym and this was key for me.

5. Most importantly, I know that I am human and I am not perfect. I do not strive to be something I am not. I strive to be healthy, to be a role model and live the life I was born to live. I try to practice compassion and forgiveness and know that if I want to eat pizza today, it’s okay. I just don’t eat it everyday. I think we have all fallen victim to the notion that once you “fall off the wagon” you are doomed and you failed. It’s important to get right back on and know that temporary setbacks are part of life and to learn from the experience.

I sincerely hope my stories inspire others and ignite that spark necessary to begin a journey to a better LIFE.


Disclaimer: This information is not meant to diagnose, prescribe, treat or cure any illness or disease. It’s strictly for informational, educational, or entertainment purposes ONLY. The products I talk about are not meant to diagnose, prescribe, treat or cure any illness or disease. Any information I give you about them is for informational or entertainment purposes only. They have not been evaluated or approved by the FDA. Please seek the qualified health professional of your choice when making health decisions for yourself, your family and your pets.

Moms Without Faith

Before I had children up to 2007, I lived a very different life. I lived a life that didn’t include walking with God although I believed in God I hadn’t given my life to Him. In November 2007 I gave my whole heart to God and accepted Jesus as my personal Lord and Savior… ironically at a business conference of all things but hey God knew the only way to get my attention was through the current idol in my life… WORK.

From that day forward my life changed in BIG WAYS. God opened doors, He closed others, He taught me how to use His Word to live my life, He opened up a world of Spiritual Gifts, He brought great blessing and people into my life to bless and He walked me through tragedies and heartbreaks. In December of 2009 I was anointed with the Holy Spirit. See, God is God the Father God the Son (Jesus) and when Jesus died He Left the Holy Spirit to be with us. Most people miss this tip, but it is HUGE. Reflecting back on these past 7 years I can just be overwhelmed by what I call, Holy Spirit miracles and DIVINE God leadings.

When most people think of miracles, they think of terminal illness being cured or something big like that. But I am telling you the Holy Spirit is a miracle in itself and can help bring you peace when you have none, give you a direction when you are lost and give you vision when you have none. But we first need to accept Jesus and the Son of God who died for us for our crap, to renew us, and then we ask for the anointing of the Holy Spirit.

My point in this note today is that the Holy Spirit is one of the greatest blessings we have, yet so many moms live their life without this Divine Source. Here is what I observe when Moms and Women live without access to Jesus or the Holy Spirit.

1. The weight of the world on their shoulders. 
Many times I see women with humanistic faith or women who don’t know what God gives them have the weight of the world on their shoulders. Everything is a problem they must solve, income they must earn, children they must fix, careers that they are unhappy in.

2. Idols
Idols are just carved out figures. In today’s society they are everything from our TV to our children. Women who don’t KNOW God and KNOW His Word (and when I say KNOW I mean apply it) can fall very easily down traps of making their career, body, children, entertainment, Facebook and social media their WORLDS.

This leads to problems like poor health, addiction, freaking out when your TV or Internet goes out and worse… raising children who think that they are center of the universe and not GOD. (My opinions, remember.)

3. Drama
Everyone knows a DRAMA MOMMA. No matter what, there is always drama in her life. It’s like she may just attract problems or something. My opinion again is it’s a lack of close connection and walk with God.

4. Co-dependency
Our children will grow up, our loved ones will pass on, looking to other people for our source of joy and happiness can be very dangerous. This doesn’t mean don’t love our children and our spouses with our whole heart, it just means learn to put GOD as your CENTER, God as your ROCK, God as your #1. I guarantee you putting other people as those things will and can be BIG TROUBLE in your future.

5. A Mediocre life
Greatness comes in all different ways but when we can look at things through God’s eyes and call out to His Helper, the Holy Spirit when we are making day to day decisions or more important ones or Follow Him with all that we have… our lives are no longer mediocre but a REAL WALK OF FAITH and a BLESSING TO THE WORLD.

It is my prayer that you will open up your heart to Jesus, accept Him as your everything, be anointed in the Holy Spirit and partner with God on this glorious path that is your life.

Mary Starr Carter
the Total Wellness Doc and Mom

P.S. Don’t know where to get started? Start with this prayer: “Oh God in Heaven, I believe with all of my heart that Jesus has been raised from the dead. I receive your Word and I repent of sin. I renounce the past. Come into my heart, Lord Jesus. I receive my forgiveness. I receive the new birth, cleansed and washed in the Word and in the precious blood of Jesus. Fill me with Your Spirit, in Jesus’ name. Amen.”


Disclaimer: This information is not meant to diagnose, prescribe, treat or cure any illness or disease. It’s strictly for informational, educational, or entertainment purposes ONLY. The products I talk about are not meant to diagnose, prescribe, treat or cure any illness or disease. Any information I give you about them is for informational or entertainment purposes only. They have not been evaluated or approved by the FDA. Please seek the qualified health professional of your choice when making health decisions for yourself, your family and your pets.

Truths About Kids Using Electronic Devices

Truths About Kids Using Electronic Devices

Children’s toys did not appear in the market until the 19th century. Prior to factory-made toys, kids were playing with homemade toys and anything they could find in the woods.

Tin toys and clockwork toys went on sale and only rich children had a choice of train sets, toy soldiers, rocking horses, dolls, doll houses, tea-sets, toy shops with toy fruits, vegetables, meat, hats and medicines. (Source: BBC)

Interestingly in the article written by BBC it said, “In many homes, children were not allowed toys on Sundays – except Noah’s Ark because that was in the Bible.”.

Isn’t that interesting?

Through the years the toy world added more things into the market. Kids have options. Toys became affordable and everyone- poor or rich have plenty of toys to purchase at different price points.

Time has changed since then….

Instead of playing toy cars or Barbie alone, toy companies started introducing toys that were battery operated- with light, sound and some even talk back to your kids. Toys from LeapFrog and vTech were some of those toys. Then there were the Gameboy, Wii and Xbox.

Some of these little kid devices even come with WiFi like this vTech device below (photo taken from Amazon).

Now there is another revolution…the world of tablets like Kindle and iPad.

Recently I posted the following question on Facebook that took off like fire:

I am looking at a Kindle Fire for Joshie, after seeing my friends kindles for their kids. They had screen time monitors, and different activities and even some movies on there. I don’t need the latest and greatest, but does anyone have any comments on their Kindles for their kids?

Is there a right or wrong for kids using electronic devices? Are electronic devices like iPad and Kindle Fire harmful to kids’ health and learning abilities?

What are the truths about kids using electronic devices?

I like the answers given by intouchtablets. Children love to touch things! A touch screen in tablets give children the ‘action-reaction’ that creates anticipation and keeps them interested. It also helps developing hand-eye coordination. (Source: intouchtablets)

Another angle to look at is to treat tablets (iPad and Kindle) just like another toy. It should not replace traditional toys like puzzles, Legos, crayons and colored pencils.

I believe there are many educational games and entertainment programs in the tablets but it should not be the only toy a child has. Children still need to touch a physical shape and texture of toys, hear the sound made by physical drums or the softness of a stuffed animal.

A reader, Vicki W commented:

In my opinion, all things in moderation. Harley has been computer savvy since 3. Every teacher he’s ever had has said that he is the smartest in their class. He’s always had his time restricted and it can be a good time management tool in these busy times.

I never had to really punish him for anything, just restrict computer time when his behavior got out of hand. By the same token, Mary, I know this doesn’t apply to you and Josh with such a young age but my sister who works in the high school has said how detrimental she thinks “game mentality” is.

Games always have a way to win, sometimes many, children learn that there is a way to win and winning becomes more important than cooperation or compassion. Kids learn that if they go around this or through that or try something different they will find a way to win. Also my son has asked to go to friend’s houses to play their Wii or whatever the game system is and he’s played things that other parents allow that I don’t, no guns, no violence, etc. By the same token, we live in a world where cyberspace has great presence, lets face it, we’re all here, right?

Leaving kids illiterate of this realm can be crippling moving forward with the rest of the world. Harley loves his Kindle since last Christmas, you can set up time frames for kids easily. If you choose that I would recommend getting a power charger for it, charging can take a long time.

According to recent national survey, 50% of American kids spend four hours or more per day on computers and electronic devices.

The reported that Dr. Mark Borchert from the Children’s Hospital Los Angeles believes that children can develop blurred vision, headaches and other problems when focusing too long on one object, such as a computer screen and those long video game sessions will not permanently damage a child’s eye.

However extensive use of electronic devices will reduce social interactions or less time doing homework.

I recommend an article written in Bits New York Times, The Child, the Tablet and the Developing Mind. The article talks about kids using tablets at the dinner table and how parents use electronic devices to keep their children quiet while dining out. Is it wrong? And the next question sets me thinking:

So will a child who plays with crayons at dinner rather than a coloring application on an iPad be a more socialized person?

Also read Matt Peckham article “Should toddlers use tablets and smartphones after all?” on Time Magazine Tech online section.

Quoting the article:
New research suggests that using screens may in fact yield slight benefits to very young children when it comes to learning.

Whether we like it or not, technology is here to stay. Our society has changed and just like the toys that have evolved since the 19th century, these toys called Kindle Fire, Nooks, Samsung tablet or iPad are now available for purchase and use. If used wisely and correctly I think these are toys that I may have to look into for my children’s education and development.

Since last year, school districts in Florida, Michigan and Alabama are requiring students to take at least one online course to graduate. The online world and the use of electronic devices are necessary for work, business and every day living.

Oscar Wilde said “Everything in moderation, including moderation.”

What are your thoughts? Please share.


Disclaimer: This information is not meant to diagnose, prescribe, treat or cure any illness or disease. It’s strictly for informational, educational, or entertainment purposes ONLY. The products I talk about are not meant to diagnose, prescribe, treat or cure any illness or disease. Any information I give you about them is for informational or entertainment purposes only. They have not been evaluated or approved by the FDA. Please seek the qualified health professional of your choice when making health decisions for yourself, your family and your pets.

Happy Thanksgiving

Yesterday I wrote an email talking about the reasons I moved to Florida and I got a lot of feedback on it already. I am thankful for that. I was a little nervous pouring out my heart and truth and I appreciate your feedback.

Today I just want you to know how thankful I am for you and your journey. You share with me your comments on my Facebook page and blogs and it means a lot to hear your stories. I am encouraged and I learn from many of you.

Tomorrow we celebrate Thanksgiving here in the United States. I will not be eating turkey but Southern Ribs with my family. I am sure they will be just as good if not better than my cooking. But I can’t help thinking about the little miracle that joins us for her first Turkey day. SARAH GRACE!

Sarah is a miracle baby. After 2 miscarriages and thinking we had lost her after just 10 weeks in my belly, God showed us a true miracle. So today and every day I am very grateful for my daughter.

I know many of you are praying for a miracle too. Maybe you are trying to get pregnant, or need a job, or maybe you are trying to recover from a disease, I am here to tell you that MIRACLES DO HAPPEN. I have seen them not in my own life but also in many friends, clients and acquaintances.

We would love to pray for you and your miracle. Please shoot us an email at and myself and our staff would love to pray for you. Or come over to our Facebook page and share on our page so all our community can pray for you.

Lastly we are appreciating you by discounting some of my favorite programs I did with Dr. Lavonne Atnip from the Encouragement Center. She has been a blessing and encouragement to so many of our clients and community we hope her gifts help you too:

Appreciating you,

Mary Starr Carter and your StarrHealth Support Team

the Total Wellness Doc and Mom



Disclaimer: This information is not meant to diagnose, prescribe, treat or cure any illness or disease. It’s strictly for informational, educational, or entertainment purposes ONLY. The products I talk about are not meant to diagnose, prescribe, treat or cure any illness or disease. Any information I give you about them is for informational or entertainment purposes only. They have not been evaluated or approved by the FDA. Please seek the qualified health professional of your choice when making health decisions for yourself, your family and your pets.

Moms of Faith: Annette Filmer Landers

moms of faith

I am worn out from my groaning. All night long I flood my bed with weeping and drench my couch with tears. – Psalms 6:6

Has God heard your voice, moms? Or are we being deceived, entertaining faithless, negative and desperate thoughts every hour and moment of our lives? Recently I started a series on Moms of Faith and will be featuring one mom each month on faith and how they live a life of faith.

Annette Filmer Landers is a mom and I’ve known her for many years- I’ve seen her walk through challenges, turn it around and embrace a life of faith. I asked Annette “How does a faith filled life look like to you?”

A faith filled life is one in which you live your life trusting God for all things in life… health, provision, family, needs and wants, guidance about direction and decisions big and small. Faith is putting your hope in Him and is the opposite of fear. They can’t co-exist.

God’s Word is where she finds the antidote for fear. Here are 5 tips we can learn from Annette about faith and fear:

1. Apply and believe in TRUTH written in God’s Word.
2. God knows we are struggling with fear and he said it 365 times “fear not” and “do not be afraid”. So fear is present in the world and He has given us tools to conquer fear.
3. Fear can stop you in your tracks or paralyze you. So we need to move forward despite our fears.
4. The more you train yourself for battle, the better you master the fighting techniques when encountering fear.
5. Rely on God’s wisdom, guidance, assurance and peace to cope with each day.

Just like many moms who take care of kids of all ages, sickness, disease and injury can be a scary situation or a long lasting problem. Coping with our own problems and our kids’ health issues require endurance and faith. Annette goes to the Word of God to feed her mind and spirit with TRUTH. As the Bible says,

“By Jesus stripes we are healed and made whole, nothing missing, nothing broken.”

My next question for Annette was: Do you suffer from the lack of faith? If yes, which areas of your life?

Annette continues…

Sometimes it seems as though my faith has diminished, is totally gone or is just plain dry as toast. It seems like nothing good is happening and everywhere I turn is a brick wall stopping my progress in all areas of life.

However, I know enough to know that this is

1-just temporary
2- all a matter of perspective

My mother’s words often ring in my ears, “this too shall pass.” That isn’t scripture, but it does contain some truth to it.

We must know in the scriptures of Ecclesiastes, there is a time for everything under heaven. A time to be born, a time to die, a time to laugh, a time to cry…

And on it goes.

The cycles of life! Just because we doubt our faith or feel down and not at all spiritual, we must remember it’s ok, and it will pass.

New seasons come, old seasons that no longer serve us, go…(even though we may want to cling to the old because it’s familiar and we are creatures of habit). We must trust God and His direction knowing everything happens for a reason. Often we do not know what that reason is at the time, but we can know that God knows.

There is great comfort in this knowledge. God has our back. He loves us too much to keep us from growing and stretching. It says in His Word that “we will face troubles of many kinds”, but this is Divinely designed for the development and maturity of ourselves.

Growth can be painful. But growth is part of life and fully living out our lives of purpose. If we really can grasp this concept, it is what makes life exciting and adventure at every turn!!

It’s a perspective that can help us find joy in all situations.

What about worry or feeling “worried sick” about our situations and our children’s future?

Worry is fear. Period.

There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ. I want to make that plain first of all. I don’t want this to weigh heavily like guilt on top of your shoulders; I want you to be free!!

Free from that lower energy and way of living in fear. However, having said that, we also must learn the Truth that worry is the same as fear.

When we are “worried sick” we are not trusting God. It took me YEARS to figure out that we can have moments of worry, and that is TOTALLY normal. It is when we live a life FILLED with worry everyday about everything with questions like,

Will it rain today and ruin our family picnic plans?
What will we do then??
How will the kids adjust to the new school?
Will my husband ever find a new job he likes?
How are we going to pay the bills this month?
Where will our next meal come from?
Will I ever get better from this chronic disease?
Are they going to repossess the cars tonight?

Worried sick questions will KILL you! And those around you that you have influence over!!

Stop the worrying! Seek God’s Word! See what His promises hold for you. His Words are life and light. Let’s cast ALL our cares in Him for He cares for us affectionately and watchfully. We have God, the powerful blood of Jesus shed for our freedom, and all His angels protecting us and our family!

That is the good news from my friend Annette. We are to cast away those worrisome cares and the Word tells us to make our requests known to God.

Making our requests known to God or prayer can take several forms. Prayer can be kneeling by your bedside at night and saying thanks for good things, asking for other things… but that is not all there is.

A relationship with our Heavenly Father and personal relationship with Jesus Christ is the key to faith-filled living.

Communication is key in a healthy relationship. Our relationship with the Father is no different. He wants us to come to Him in prayer. Just talking to Him all day long. And listening.

Listening is a skill that most of us are not exactly taught. We just learn it. Practice it. And allow God to speak to us as well.

This means creating a priority of time everyday to be quiet. Quietly listen for His still small voice to show us where we should go.

moms of faith

Annette’s action plan for a faith-filled life:

1. To have faith is to expect a good outcome, positive and a blessing or opportunity.

2. Roll the TRUTH from the Word over and over and over in our minds until we act on it with expectation.

3. Do not quit!! No matter how long it takes. No matter what it looks like.

4. Keep believing. That is faith. That pleases God!!

5. Trust Him on His Word and promises for YOU!!

6.  Speaking Life to negative situations is how we can do our part to turn things around.

7. God’s Word is light and life. It is a lamp unto my feet, a light into my path. As we speak, we expel energy into the atmosphere.

Sounds have various frequencies at which they vibrate. This is not just a theory, it is scientifically proven. There have been studies shown by Dr. Emoto, “the Hidden Messages in the Water” that when various positive or negative words with concentrated thoughts are spoken into the water and frozen, they form orderly, beautiful, perfectly coherent patterns.

Conversely, when negative, angry, or hostile words were spoken into frozen water, they would form disorderly or chaotic, random, misshapen forms.

As she spoke these words Annette felt the power over some negative situations and circumstances. She said,

“Whew!!! I’m getting happy already! We must regularly speak Truth, Gods Word over our family, finances, health & bodies, neighborhoods, jobs, businesses, spouse, food, pets… You name it!!

Here is one example from Annette:

There was a time in my life when I was completely disabled. I had fallen ill and became bedridden for several months. Doctors could not help me. We had no idea medically what was wrong.

I HAD to rely on Gods Word as medicine. It was all I had. That and some essential oils. I would cover my feet, back, neck, hands with those oils and confess Gods word over my body… “By Jesus Stripes, I am healed!” “I speak order to my body. I command my body to line up with Gods word!” “No weapon formed against me shall prosper” “my body prospers, even as my soul prospers” and I have booklets I would read out loud… Over and over and over…

I memorized those little books. When I was too exhausted to read them… I played CD’s all day and all night. They were just scriptures being confessed throughout the atmosphere, throughout my home. Those days were the darkest days of my life.

I wouldn’t see changes at all for DAYS… even weeks sometimes, or months… Talk about enduring the race put before you! Ugh! And all this time my body felt like it was dying.

It had manifested all kinds of signs of aging, aches and pains before my time. I was only in my mid-late 30’s!

I continued to confess. I continued to seek after answers and pray for guidance. God has brought answers and help all along the journey. We never did go without one meal.  You see, God is all sovereign and can do all things. He could have just reached down and touched my body in one single instant! BOOM!!

I could have been healed like that. A miracle. And I kept expecting the day for that to happen. I would envision it from my bed. I thought about all the things I would do when I was well.

Remembering the time my body was pain free.
Easily moving.
Sleeping restfully.
Having energy.
Playing outside with my kids.

I would think about those things. I would say prayers of thankfulness about when I would enjoy those things once again. I planted seeds of faith. Confessed words of healing truth. Spoke about my body as if it were already healed.

I never owned this disease… I didn’t like to say, “I have___” instead I would phrase it.” I’m overcoming __” or “I’m healing from ___” it’s not mine. Disease doesn’t belong to this body. I’m NOT staying here in this place. I’m conquering this even though the medical community says it “incurable”!! My God is bigger and stronger than any earthly dis-ease.

That’s one example from Annette. You can apply those tips and ways she used to conquer fear, worry, negativity, sickness and pain.

Lastly Annette said, it has been over seven years since her health decline really compromised the quality of her life and her family’s lives.

She is indeed more than a conqueror and overcomer. Please connect with Annette Landers and here is her information:

Annette Filmer Landers is a woman of extraordinary courage, faith and conviction for Total Wellness. Suffering devastating health challenges she sought diligently for answers.  She has researched, traveled and invested countless hours and tens of thousands of dollars into her education and health recovery. She not only discovered how to recover but how she became so sick and debilitated.  Her discoveries have not only enabled her own health recovery but today she helps hundreds of others in her private phone coaching, encouraging teleclasses, and her weekly radio show soon to be launched.  If you are looking for answers Annette Filmer Landers may be able to help.

Visit Annette at her Facebook link at
Or website:


Disclaimer: This information is not meant to diagnose, prescribe, treat or cure any illness or disease. It’s strictly for informational, educational, or entertainment purposes ONLY. The products I talk about are not meant to diagnose, prescribe, treat or cure any illness or disease. Any information I give you about them is for informational or entertainment purposes only. They have not been evaluated or approved by the FDA. Please seek the qualified health professional of your choice when making health decisions for yourself, your family and your pets.

Moms of Faith: Who Else Wants a Faith Filled Life?

moms of faith

How does a faith filled life look like to you? What we say, think and do each day will determine whether we live in fear or faith. defines faith as complete trust or confidence in someone or something.

Joe and Sue had their eyes fixed on adopting a sibling group of two girls and two boys between the ages of 6-11. These children from the same mother and two different fathers were abandoned about two years ago and had been transferred from home to home either together in one family or in separate homes.

Initially the children were skeptical of this new relationship when Joe and Sue visited them at their foster homes. As days went by their trust and confidence began to take hold of their fears. The fear of being rejected again, being turned down in good homes, fear of being separated from each other, fear of being abandoned again or fear of being crushed because the adoption would not go through were some of the realities they had faced in their young life.

The children started the relationship with fear. Fear is the opposite of faith. Joe and Sue took on the role of the redeemer and were able to bring love and trust to crush their fears after several months of building a relationship with the children. They spoke potential into their lives and words of encouragement whenever they met up or talked on the phone. Words had the power to ensure, encourage and transform the children’s mindset and confidence.

We heard that perfect love casts out fear. There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. (1 John 4:18)

The good news is these four children are now legally Joe and Sue’s children. They are settling well into a new environment where there is a loving mom and dad. The love from their new parents has given them a chance to practice their childlike faith again.

Do you suffer from the lack of faith?

The opposite of faith is fear. The classic example of men and women of faith is found in Hebrews 11. It starts out with:

Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.

The whole chapter in Hebrews 11 has stories of men and women who chose to step out in faith and take action. They conquered doubt and fear in the most ridiculous and challenging situations.

Are you a mom who is worried sick thinking about your children’s future, your future, your finances, health or job? Is there a light at the end of the tunnel? Are you speaking life or death into your situations?

One woman that stands out in the Bible with faith and courage is Esther. Esther was an orphan raised by her cousin Mordecai. She faithfully obeyed Mordecai’s instructions and left the comfort of her home to the palace. What were the odds for a simple girl of becoming a Queen? God had his plans for Esther in the most critical moment. I’m sure she was clueless at that time.

When faced with life-threatening moments she prayed, fasted and stepped forward again. This time it was to help Mordecai and the Jews. She had to plot out a plan and approach the king. The king had issued a decree where no one could enter his courts without being invited. Was she going to risk her life for the sake of Mordecai and the Jews? Did she learn about faith and thinking the right thoughts while growing up in Mordecai’s home? Esther was a motherless and fatherless child raised by her cousin.

Nothing was said about Mordecai’s wife or a woman influencing Esther. Mordecai could have been a single ‘dad’ who had the faith to raise up a child of faith and honor.

Esther was the catalyst for redemption of the Jewish people because of the act of faith in the midst of fear and uncertainty. She might have gone through many sleepless nights before coming up with a decision and action plan.

Dani Johnson the author of Grooming the Next Generation for Success said:

It’s IMPOSSIBLE to succeed without FAITH. Someone who BELIEVES works DILIGENTLY towards their goal…FAITH is stepping out & taking RISKS where there is no guarantee of a return.

What do you need to step into today or this season of your life?

Young children are the best examples of seeing faith at work. My son is not worried whether there is enough food on the table. There is no doubt in their mind when you toss them in the air. There is no fear of falling or being injured. They have childlike faith. They are enthusiastic, adventurous and have trust and hope.

However, negative influences and environments have stolen our childlike faith. We have a Redeemer who has purchased our sins with His blood and made it possible for us to live in grace, hope and possibility in the midst of challenges and negativities. He already promised to be with us and in Hebrews 11:6, the Bible says:

And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.

Faith does require action. Just like the four children that Joe and Sue adopted. They were willing to give the relationship a try. As a result they are now living in a happy and safe environment where their future is being designed by the adopted parents with the help of the Almighty God. Because of Esther’s actions, the whole Jewish community survived the threat of their enemies.

Moms of faith, let’s choose faith instead of fear. Our children are watching us each day to demonstrate the steps of faith.


Disclaimer: This information is not meant to diagnose, prescribe, treat or cure any illness or disease. It’s strictly for informational, educational, or entertainment purposes ONLY. The products I talk about are not meant to diagnose, prescribe, treat or cure any illness or disease. Any information I give you about them is for informational or entertainment purposes only. They have not been evaluated or approved by the FDA. Please seek the qualified health professional of your choice when making health decisions for yourself, your family and your pets.

5 Tips That Help Me Keep The Witch Momma Away


Do you know about the Witch Momma? You know, the mom who is all calm and cool one minute and the next is screaming at the kids. Or maybe the mom who constantly is yelling for children and husband to help her do this or do that. Or the mother who has NO PATIENCE and the family feels like they are walking on eggshells around her. Do you know this mom?

Well I know this WITCH Momma all too well lately. I AM her lately. She seems to come out during stressful times of the day. When we are getting ready to go somewhere and are late, when 3pm rolls around and I have kids who won’t take their nap or at the end of the day when I have a mountain of dishes and 2 more hours of work to do. I can feel my blood pressure rise, my heart race and my mood SWITCH.

How about you, do you know this Momma?


Well I am sorry if you know her personally, but I have learned some simple tips that will help you keep the Witch Momma away.

1. Balance Hormones: I suspected that the Witch Momma had to do with hormones fluctuating since I saw her a lot while I was pregnant and then after my baby was 5 months old and I started getting my period again. A helpful article on Hormone Balance. I got on Progessence Plus Serum and it really started to make a difference in my mood immediately. It does take some time to get yourself balanced but it is very important and worth it.

2. Exercise 30 plus minutes a day: Walking on my treadmill in the morning for 30 minutes helps me stay positive and happy throughout the day. I am more patient with my children, nicer to my husband, focused when I am working, energized and overall happier. I did find that 15-20 minutes was good if I didn’t have time but 30 minutes at a pace of 2.8-3.5 seems to create the most happy hormones, energy and endurance for me.

3. Chiropractic makes a huge difference in my clarity and mood. Because of my work, babies and life, getting a spinal adjustment every 3 weeks helps me the most. I notice that after an adjustment, my pain is reduced, my breathing and mental clarity improved and happiness increased. It may sound weird but I know from all the years of studying the anatomy and physiology of our body that a Chiropractic adjustment can produce “happy hormones” and positively affect our nervous system.

4. Stress Reduction Sessions: How we deal with stress is SOOOO important. Everyone has it in their life but how we deal with it can be life giving or life taking. Stress reduction can include exercise, a massage, a walk, sitting in nature, a drive or a quiet trip to the bathroom. My favorite stress reducer is something called “Total Relaxation Session” with Jeannie Poyneer.

Women have to realize that taking time for themselves and exercise is so important. It is not only good for your health but it is a stress reliever.  I have suffered from multiple stress related conditions including Bell’s Palsy. I have a stressful job and life and Zumba and exercise helped me feel the best I have felt. – Dawn T

5. Aromatherapy: When we smell a smell, it goes directly to the part of our brain called the limbic center or the emotional center. Research shows smells can have a direct effect on our moods, including calming, mood elevating and alertness.

Peppermint has been found to increase alertness. Lavender has been used for its calming affects. And citrus oils have been used to help elevate moods.

My favorite oil to calm the Witch Momma is Stress Away oil. It is an essential oil blend by Young Living Essential Oils with lime, vanilla and other great essential oils. I just roll it on my wrists, chest and neck and it calms me almost instantly.

I know what you are going to say now… you are going to give me EXCUSES. I don’t have time. I don’t have the money. I can’t. I am not too tired…

I know I had all those excuses myself. But we have to put those excuses away and start making the time, finding the money and pushing ourselves to make time for SELF CARE. Because really that is what it is. When we make time, budget monies for and find help for our babies so we can have SELF CARE, it is AMAZING how much better we feel, how much more we can accomplish and how more healthy we are.

In my house I had to enlist my husband to partner with me so that I could have time in the mornings to work out. I ask my grandma or even pay for a sitter so I can go to the Chiropractor or relaxation session kids free. Most of my essential oils like Stress Away I can get FREE every month with my Young Living membership and rewards program.

I am not saying it’s easy. My husband saw almost immediately that giving me that time in the morning made me happier and better throughout the day. That made him want to help me more and encourage me to get a sitter or help when I needed it for self care. And of course essential oils are diffusing throughout our home all day long making everyone’s moods better.

If you want to keep the WITCH MOMMA away, follow the 5 tips above. If you would like to know more about Progessence Plus Serum or getting Stress Away essential oil or my other favorite essential oils at wholesale prices email I look forward to helping you get healthy and happier.

For you Total Wellness,

Dr. Mary Starr Carter


Disclaimer: This information is not meant to diagnose, prescribe, treat or cure any illness or disease. It’s strictly for informational, educational, or entertainment purposes ONLY. The products I talk about are not meant to diagnose, prescribe, treat or cure any illness or disease. Any information I give you about them is for informational or entertainment purposes only. They have not been evaluated or approved by the FDA. Please seek the qualified health professional of your choice when making health decisions for yourself, your family and your pets.

How To Use Cloth Diapers

cloth diapers

Cloth Diapers. I tried them once before with my son Joshua. I purchased a brand from a friend without doing any research and it ended up being not so good. I passed them on to a girlfriend with twins and she did use them.

I met the business owner Lisa Emmons of Mother Earth baby store and Diaper Service during my 2nd trimester of pregnancy with Sarah Grace. Lisa helped me realize how easy this service would be. And she was right. Using cloth diapers and cloth wipes with a diaper service is not only easy, but really good for my baby.

I am a bit of an environmentalist but really it’s my health advocate that makes me like these cloth diapers so much. Have you ever smelled a baby diaper before? They smell like baby powder and perfume. Talc is very bad for us. It is not healthy to have all that artificial stuff next to our very sensitive and private areas. I believe (this is my opinion) that perfumes and talc are adding to increases in infection, endometriosis and cancers or our sex organs. So I am going to do my best to avoid those things for my children especially my daughter.

I am a busy momma so I admit I don’t use the cloth diapers all the time. And when I use the organic disposable diapers, I find that Sarah has more redness and irritation versus the cloth diapers. And I LOVE THE CLOTH WIPES. I just moisten them with warm water and wipe her with just water or sometimes a little Young Living KidScents Bath Gel added and then just put the diaper and the wipes right in the bin. The diaper service washes them both.

So really I love my cloth diapers with a Diaper Service because of convenience, savings, health benefits and environment benefits.

If you know someone who has babies, who will be having a baby, or thinking about having a baby please pass on this blog and videos below. Please enjoy the videos of Lisa from Mother Earth Baby below and let us know your experiences in the comment section below.

Mother Earth Baby Diaper Service

How to Use a Cloth Diaper

How To Fold a Cloth Diaper for a boy or a girl

How to Take Care of the Diaper for a formula fed baby

How to Travel Using Cloth Diapers

Disclaimer: This information is not meant to diagnose, prescribe, treat or cure any illness or disease. It’s strictly for informational, educational, or entertainment purposes ONLY. The products I talk about are not meant to diagnose, prescribe, treat or cure any illness or disease. Any information I give you about them is for informational or entertainment purposes only. They have not been evaluated or approved by the FDA. Please seek the qualified health professional of your choice when making health decisions for yourself, your family and your pets.

Parenting My NingXia Teenage Son: His Vision His Passion His Goals

Parenting My NingXia Teenage Son: His Vision His Passion His Goals

By: Claudia Looi

I like to think he was the cutest when he was little even with snot coming out from his nose. My son was always getting sick when he was little. His life as a toddler evolved around going to the doctor, emergency rooms, bruises and runny noses.

He had gone through an emergency hernia operation, scratched eye emergency observations, high fever emergency visits and many more. But he was a happy child.

When he was five, we realized he couldn’t speak well. The teachers couldn’t understand him and his voice was low. After some testing we found out he had a little speech problem, too little that the school would not pay for therapy sessions. My husband and I bartered with a friend to work with him on his voice and speech. And I gave her son free piano lessons.

It worked out well. Both boys are great teens today. My son speaks clearly and with great intonation and her son is a great musician and I believe both boys who had been great friends since five are going to impact the world.

When he was in fourth grade, his English teacher gave him a 2 out of 6 for writing in the beginning of the school year. That meant he would fail writing, his most important subject in fourth grade. We immediately hired a writing coach and got him to work hard. That hard work turned his writing into a 4 and 5 out of 6.

Today he is an excellent writer. He is a straight A student in his virtual school. You can explore his writing at The Travel Gear Reviews (his website). He is also my graphic designer and Google Adsense guy. He knows a lot about WordPress and builds and designs his own website.

Being a parent is not easy…every stage poses a set of challenges but none can compare with the challenges of raising a teen. Time and time again, I’ve seen teens getting into trouble because of one thing. Can you guess what it is?


Boredom in school, at home or just plain bored. If a child say, “I’m bored!” there must be a reason to that complaint. It could be school is too easy, too difficult or he or she is just trying to find an excuse. Boredom in teens can lead to mediocrity, passiveness, uninspired work or trouble.

Boredom is a real thing. My son was totally bored when he was in public school. His boredom and complaints about being bored stems from three things: his giftedness, fast pace work and excuses. When he was in middle school we had to deal with these constant complaints. So we placed him in virtual high school from home. Did he complain?

Yes, initially. Not now after he saw the benefits. He is only human.

Here are three observations and steps my husband and I took to raise a purpose-driven, focus and sensible teen. Remember we are not perfect and are not there yet. He is still learning and growing.

One: We are his mentors: lead by example
We have no credibility with our teens if we are not willing to do the things expected of them. Many times I have to check my own attitude, words, work ethic and teachable spirit before I could point my finger to my son. Nothing warms my heart more than to hear my son said the other day, “Wow, mom you are so coachable!”

My husband and I don’t know everything. When the time is right we will be looking for a mentor for him to increase his skills in areas that we lack. I have to admit that in order to raise teens that are purpose-driven and focused, we have to be walking in that path too.

Many times I make mistake and have very bad attitude and I fall short regularly. My son has the freedom to tell me so.

Two: Give opportunities to explore and make mistakes
My son likes online shopping and loves to ‘beat the system’ as he calls it. About a year ago he watched and bid for a Wii game for days. He was so excited when he finally out bid everyone else. When the package came, he realized the CD was broken probably due to shipping.

He was crushed. Although he is not a spender, he is one who gets disappointed easily when things don’t turn out as expected. When he was 12 he wanted a game so badly. He begged me for the game for days and I warned him it might not be the same as he anticipated. Sure enough, he was totally disappointed with the purchase.

These are just two examples of the disappointments and ‘mistakes’ he had. If we didn’t allow him to explore he may never have known the outcome. However during our travels here in South America there are many dangerous paths that he wanted to take. We had to stop him from doing so and not let him risk his life. One example would be our trekking trip. Jonathan can jump high and climb fast even in high altitudes. When he gets excited he forgets the dangers.

We have to sit him down and tell him the reasons. He is one who will not take ‘no’ for an answer easily.

Three: Honoring our words and freedom to express himself
Jonathan loves sports, especially soccer. His favorite team is an English team called Chelsea FC. One of the reasons we are going to England next year is because we have promised Jonathan since he was 12 that we would bring him to a live Chelsea game in England if he agrees to cutting the cable (which means no more watching TV).

It is not convenient to bring Jonathan to England and we have been to England two times already but a promise is a promise. It takes money and time to bring a promise to past.

In other words we have to mean what we say and stick to our promises. Jonathan is given freedom to do the things he likes to do. We have also invested money and time so he could pursue his interest and passion.

Raising kids just like building a business requires time and money investment. There is no free ride. If we want the best for our children, we have to invest time, money and energy into them including their health. Jonathan is a NingXia Red teen. For nutritional guides, we used Dr. Mary’s article Teen Boy’s Nutritional Guide. It is crucial that we pay attention to their health and teach them to take care of their body.

We have to invest into ourselves too, to be the best that we are called to be, not perfect but the best.

I’m not a perfect mom, my teens will tell you that instantly. They are who they are today because of their faith in God and their parents. The Bible says, train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it (Proverbs 22:6).

Jonathan is 15 and a sophomore in Florida Virtual School and is scheduled to graduate one and half years earlier than his peers. He splits his time between schoolwork, working on his website, watching soccer and traveling with his parents and sister. He creates widgets, Facebook and WordPress headers and other website graphic design work. You can find him at You can find Claudia Looi at


Disclaimer: This information is not meant to diagnose, prescribe, treat or cure any illness or disease. It’s strictly for informational, educational, or entertainment purposes ONLY. The products I talk about are not meant to diagnose, prescribe, treat or cure any illness or disease. Any information I give you about them is for informational or entertainment purposes only. They have not been evaluated or approved by the FDA. Please seek the qualified health professional of your choice when making health decisions for yourself, your family and your pets.

Is Your Kid’s Backpack Hurting Them?


Mom my back hurts, Mom I have a headache, Mom my shoulder hurts… these are not statements that are normal for kids to say. In fact most kids shouldn’t be in pain. So anytime there is a problem, it’s important to figure out what is causing it.

The three mentioned above all could be due to your child’s backpack. Please watch this quick informative video by Chiropractor and Kids Spinal Health Specialist, Dr. Beth Dubois:


Backpack Safety Guide Checklist

backpack sizes


Disclaimer: This information is not meant to diagnose, prescribe, treat or cure any illness or disease. It’s strictly for informational, educational, or entertainment purposes ONLY. The products I talk about are not meant to diagnose, prescribe, treat or cure any illness or disease. Any information I give you about them is for informational or entertainment purposes only. They have not been evaluated or approved by the FDA. Please seek the qualified health professional of your choice when making health decisions for yourself, your family and your pets.

Royal Baby Birth Is Cheaper Than An Average U.S. Birth

royal baby birth

What’s wrong with this picture? The Washington Post reported that the royal birth only cost $15,000 and the average American birth is billed at $30,000.

United States childbirth cost is one of the most expensive in the western world. Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge gave birth to the royal baby boy at St. Mary’s Hospital for less than you and I if we were to give birth in many of the hospitals in America. What’s worse is our own prince or princess will not be treated like royalty and could just be a number in the newborn unit.

To top off the differences, the Duchess received royalty treatment in a private suite with gourmet food and comprehensive wine list including champagne for three days. Did your pregnancy and childbirth cost more than $15,000? Even if it cost $10,000 did you get royalty treatment or gourmet meals with wine selections in an average American hospital?

Recently I gave birth to my baby girl at home and not at the hospital. My own home birth with 2 RN midwives present and all my pregnancy care and follow up was $4000. Many would have second thoughts because in the last 30 years the popularity of hospital birth has taken over home birth because of many fears and myths. I chose home birth instead of the conventional hospital birth with excellent care from two qualified RN midwives. You have to do your own research and know your health conditions when making decisions about your type of childbirth.

It isn’t always expensive to give birth in America. The cost has increased rapidly in the last 30 years in hospital births. Many of my readers have voiced their opinions about the cost of childbirth in America.

Here are a few of them:

Childbirth about 30 years ago
Cheryl M:
In 1979 and 1980 mine was like $600 with a lay midwife. What is wrong? There is a book The Immaculate Deception. I read it and of course Ina May’s when I was pregnant.

Donna H:
28 years ago my daughter’s birth cost us $150.

Maryellen L.
In 1972 ours was $3000, and the doctor was not even there. We were in the labor room and called him in to cut the cord.

Home birth
Melissa B.
My birth at a birthing center with a certified midwife was around $2,800 and my oily (Young Living essential oils) birth kit should have cost around $340+ but because of my essential rewards points, I paid $11

Courtney S.
$4,000 was the most we ever paid out of all 5 home births and last time we got a 2 (twins) for 1 deal! Frugal & fertile insurance helped with 3 of our 5 back in the early days too. When I was 21 I wrote them a cost comparison letter and miraculously they approved it!

Sandra W.
When i had my home births-I had some of the best care that I’d ever had! Everything was preventative. They watched my growth, my ph balances, my keytones, my blood sugar, my hemoglobin, my diet. When I went the medical route, I would ask about all those things & they wouldn’t know anything because they wouldn’t check it!

AND there are going to be bad births anywhere. The hospital or home. I loved my home births. AND it was about a 1/3 of the cost to us.

In the United Kingdom’s hospitals most uncomplicated births and non high risk  births are being led by midwives with doctors on call. They manage all prenatal, birth and after birth care.

Some of my readers have this to say about the cost of childbirth and my opinion on the differences between royal birth and average American childbirth:

Ray L.
I just don’t understand the royals anyway. The Brits have a higher rate of homeless yet they are willing to spend multi-millions on supporting the royal family…DUH!!!! I can be royal, now and then.

Christin H.
15,000 or £15,000 (pounds)? The healthcare in England is free so how is the delivery cost calculated?

Jihan T.
Don’t get me started, Mary. Christin, I believe they used a private, non-covered wing of the hospital.

Jane R.
Where did you get your numbers from? I do not think that 30,000 is what CNY is. I don’t believe it is “greed” as much as it is our sue happy culture. As a neonatal NP, I only see the bad side of home births…when something goes wrong. Not everyone should have a home birth.

Dawn H
US spends more than ten other countries combined on healthcare but thanks second lowest in live expectancy!

I love how we all can have different opinions and view points and still honor each other. An astounding figure I found out was C Section births cost is around $50,000 billed out. The insurance companies in America are being billed ridiculous amounts by hospitals and doctors. Average Americans may have to pay the differences of what is not being paid by insurance even if they pay hefty sums monthly to insurance companies.

It all adds up!

Jamie P who is one of our readers said “which is exactly why i harassed our insurance company for a year and a half to shell out for a cheap homebirth!!!! and they did!”

AND Diana D. said “I had to have an emergency c-section and my preemie had a 5 week hospital NICU stay. Thank goodness our health insurance covered 100%.”

But for some who has pre-existing conditions like Candyce P
“There is NO way they would ever let me have a home birth. I am a type 1 diabetic with high blood pressure. Wish it could happen…BUT its just not possible for everyone during pregnancy.”

We can argue about the cost and types of childbirth all day long and would not get anywhere because we have choices and we are all different. We have to know our health conditions and our total wellness. Some of the most active and healthiest women I know had c-section hospital birth because of the size of the baby and their body type.

Childbirth is a personal thing. You have to know your body type and watch your diet and total wellness. The old adage ‘you are what you eat’ still holds true today. Are you investing into your health and total wellness (body, mind and spirit)?

Are you giving your body a royalty treatment?

Don’t abuse your body with bad diets, junk food and synthetic nutritional supplements.

Ashleigh G. said:
Our short life span is due to our diets, not the health care system. Monsanto, artificial food dyes, processed crap foods, McDonald’s, etc. You are what you eat.

The Duchess’ birthing room may have included a birthing pool, WiFi, newspapers, private staff and gourmet meals and paid less than average American childbirth, however you and I can do our own research, educate ourselves and prepare our body for our own ‘royalty’ childbirth.

Watch out for a series of my blog posts with Dr. Leanne Deardeuff on how to use essential oils and Young Living’s nutritional supplements for pre-natal care, childbirth and a healthy baby.

What is your opinion of the cost of childbirth in America? Let us know. Please comment below.


Disclaimer: This information is not meant to diagnose, prescribe, treat or cure any illness or disease. It’s strictly for informational, educational, or entertainment purposes ONLY. The products I talk about are not meant to diagnose, prescribe, treat or cure any illness or disease. Any information I give you about them is for informational or entertainment purposes only. They have not been evaluated or approved by the FDA. Please seek the qualified health professional of your choice when making health decisions for yourself, your family and your pets.