Pouring Out My Oil: {Guest Post by Kerry Ann Todd}

{*Today’s post is written by my blogger/instagram friend Kerry. Sh is a woman of God, wife, mother, writer, and essential oils enthusiast and educator. I hope you enjoy her words here today, and if you do, head to her blog to read more or her Instagram to connect with a little bit of her day to day life. Be blessed, Alesha}

I’m selfish and ambitious all at the same time. I have ideas that keep me up at night and wake me up in the morning but then I’m scared to share those ideas because they might not be good enough. I’m scared to share them and voice them because it might be my last one. It might be my last good idea. Another one may never come. Such is the life of a creative, I’m learning.

  <img src="https://images.squarespace-cdn.com/content/v1/55c38a57e4b00989028332c9/1563219491829-5WOS51CQDRCUYBYYP386/ke17ZwdGBToddI8pDm48kEpVg-ILAPna1wRh-xAJ9fRZw-zPPgdn4jUwVcJE1ZvWQUxwkmyExglNqGp0IvTJZUJFbgE-7XRK3dMEBRBhUpwEv36x-EUL2-BSQ5feDhwGCbXuJBFqZ-erYzVouT8yOb9TwqchglLQOCYTRn7ZGxI/KerryToddGuestPost.jpg?format=original" alt=""/>

I have these ideas for essential oils classes, and gifts I want to send, and cards and letters I want to mail, meals I want to serve to my friends and neighbors, books and articles I want to write. And they come into my brain and then there is this mechanism in there, this program, that stops them.

The cycle usually goes like this:

The thought comes in. I think in words and so I just hear or see a bunch of words. I get really excited about it because I am easily excitable and ideas are my jam. I love hearing them, thinking about them and dreaming about them. I start thinking about the audience. I think of people in my real life who represent people everywhere and how this new idea could help them. I can literally think of nothing else at this moment. Because I love pictures, I start to think of graphics and pretty pictures to accompany the idea. I’m almost obsessing at this point, I’m sure if you took my blood pressure it would be elevated because I’m that excited. And this is where the enemy comes in. This is where the critical voice tells me that I’ve tried something similar before and never finished it. The critical voice tells me that I don’t have a huge enough audience. It reminds me of that IG superstar who did something similar months ago and how much of a success it was because of her huge following and her amazing graphic design skills. This is where my idea literally starts to wheeze but instead of saving it, instead of helping it to breathe by fanning some oxygen its way. Instead of taking its hand, I usually walk away because I’m scared.

I was listening to a youtube interview with Les Brown and he said this:

Imagine if you will being on your death bed- And standing around your bed- the ghosts of the ideas, the dreams, the abilities, the talents given to you by life. And that you for whatever reason, you never acted on those ideas, you never pursued that dream, you never used those talents, we never saw your leadership, you never used your voice, you never wrote that book. And there they are standing around your bed looking at you with large angry eyes saying we came to you, and only you could have given us life! Now we must die with you forever. The question is- if you die today what ideas, what dreams, what abilities, what talents, what gifts, would die with you?

This is not what I want for my life. These dreams, these talents, these abilities. They may not be the greatest, but they are mine. They are what I’ve been entrusted with. And this audience, these people in my life, they may not be the largest. But they are what I have been entrusted with. I’m reminded of the story of the widow in the Bible, who owed a lot of money. You can find it in 2 Kings 4:1-7. It’s a short story but it in the woman has to exercise great faith to listen to Elijah. She goes into more debt borrowing jars from her neighbors but obeys and pours out her little oil and miraculously fills up all of the jars she borrowed. Not one is left empty. Then she sells all the oil and pays off her debts and saves her sons. Her neighbors entrusted her with their jars and she went into her house, shut the door and filled them up with her little bit of oil.

I feel like that woman. I have all of these jars I’ve been entrusted with. I have these talents and these gifts and these passions. And I have a little bit of oil. A little bit of love and experience and desire. And Jesus is trusting me to pour it out. He is trusting me to take the ideas, the book ideas, the blog ideas and the business ideas and run with them. They may never be perfect but the obedience and the lessons from trying, from working something, from writing something, will be worth it.

So here I am, Lord. Here are these words and this space and these people you have given me the privilege of speaking to. Take it, use it, make something of it. Make something of me and of these stories. Make something of the pain and the beauty. It can’t be all about me. It has to be all about you.

You can connect with Kerry on her blog or on Instagram.

All The Little Blessings

He said it so clearly. Whispered it into my heart in that moment…

“Don’t get so hung up on waiting for the answers to the big things you are praying for, that you forget to stop and worship Me for all the little blessings I’m sending in the meantime.”

  <img src="https://images.squarespace-cdn.com/content/v1/55c38a57e4b00989028332c9/1558380803031-BFOPQV6TZSFQ80QYR6KR/ke17ZwdGBToddI8pDm48kDCPJx5CXgnCxGyfZrDVw8J7gQa3H78H3Y0txjaiv_0fDoOvxcdMmMKkDsyUqMSsMWxHk725yiiHCCLfrh8O1z4YTzHvnKhyp6Da-NYroOW3ZGjoBKy3azqku80C789l0pmy3nA_zcH46jcY3zQ1h8g_FNYzQB9C1g4oEzntxIUvwy5WtNg-YWltkTaCEnH3xg/IMG_4427.JPG?format=original" alt=""/>

We were simply trying to get two new keys made for our van.

THE van.

The one from a short list of things my husband had been faithfully praying for every day for nearly two years.

God had answered.

He’d answered that big prayer and two weeks later, we were still overjoyed and in awe. Still thanking God for it every single day.

But deep down, a part of my heart was also starting to look ahead at the next big thing we’d been praying for.

Almost as if that one answered prayer sparked more discontent in me, rather than ushering me into the eternal gratitude and trust I thought it would.

{To read the rest of this post go visit my friend Kerry’s blog. She graciously asked me to write this post to share with her readers, but I wanted to make sure I shared it here with you all as well.}

Be blessed

Yes and No: The Main Reason We Don’t Attain Our Goals

{Hello friends. A few days ago my husband, Travis, and I were talking. I was sharing my frustration with myself and my failure to follow through on some goals. The result of this conversation was this post. He wanted me to write it, but he said it so well that I told him to instead. I think you will be truly challenged, encouraged, and blessed by it.}

It’s the end of Feburary. Many of us have quit our new year resolutions, while others of us have drastically cut back on our ambitious goals. What is it that keeps us from fultfilling our well-intentioned plans?

  <img src="https://images.squarespace-cdn.com/content/v1/55c38a57e4b00989028332c9/1456508822694-8SF168UAC5IO2JE1SHZH/ke17ZwdGBToddI8pDm48kB80eW4KK5wgMfkTp6SjTNtZw-zPPgdn4jUwVcJE1ZvWQUxwkmyExglNqGp0IvTJZUJFbgE-7XRK3dMEBRBhUpxkEDnlqEYEiGVDb0kl5jpOJsm5iyfgdjNZyk67t96-U_4JMfIDDY8RGcVnRlrKExA/image-asset.jpeg?format=original" alt=""/>

I’ve heard many good reasons in the past:

We don’t write them down…

We don’t create action steps…

We don’t have accountability…

We don’t set time to review…

And the list goes on.

But is there one thing we can do differently that would drastically increase our success rate? I believe there is.

Recently, Alesha and I were talking about the goals we set earlier in the year. Some of them are so far successful, while others are not. As we talked, Alesha said something very interesting:

“I know what I have to do. I need to stop going on social media in the morning before I do my morning routine. If I did that then most of my goals would be going great.”

When she said that, it made me think of a post I’d written last October on waking up earlier. In the post I talked about how I think that if you want to wake up earlier, the discipline you need isn’t so much in waking up at a specific time, but in choosing to go to bed earlier.

I think the same is true for goal-setting.

When we set goals, we tend to focus on what we need to do to fulfill them. I think…

We should spend just as much time choosing what not to do as we do choosing what to do.

Think about it this way:

You have 24 hours in a day. Currently, you are spending those 24 hours whichever way you want. Then comes a goal you want to achieve. You focus on adding a new habit, or rhythm into your life, but you never once think about the fact that you day is already full of 24 hours worth of activity.

In order for us to do anything new, we have to remove something else. It is literally impossible for us to add any new habit or goal into our lives without subtracting something else first.

Today is already filled with 24 hours of activity. For many of us, these activities will include things such as:


Meal prep


Meal clean-up





Social Media


Reading a blog (at least this one)

And much much more!

But not all these things are worthwhile. Some of them add value. But maybe even the ones that ”add value” don’t drive us in the direction we want our lives to go. We can’t fix that by simply setting new goals.

We need to choose what we will remove from our busy lives just as much as we need to choose what habits and goals we wish to add.

Otherwise, we’ll continue to fail.

We’ll continue to have unmet goals and ambitions.

So what goals have you set recently? Have you thought about what habits and things in your life have to be removed in order to add these new things in?

What will you quit doing, in order to start doing something else better?

And as the saying goes:

“Say NO to good things, so you can say YES to great things.”

May we all learn how to say “no”, so that we can begin to say “yes” more frequently.

{be blessed}

Messages From a Mountain: {Part 1}

 {This the first in a five part series that my husband, Travis, wrote for our church’s blog. I enjoyed the simple, clear message of these posts and wanted to share the first one with you. You can find links to the rest of the series at the end of this post.}

Matthew 6 is a chapter FULL of assumptions. By assumptions, I mean that when Jesus is teaching, He is not saying that giving, praying, fasting, spending, and living are optional. Far from it! He is assuming that you will do all of these things, and then He tells you how to do them well.

  <img src="https://images.squarespace-cdn.com/content/v1/55c38a57e4b00989028332c9/1440514966255-7MHD9WI557SI0PQ9EPBP/ke17ZwdGBToddI8pDm48kJFjiAAEKQOxhtR6kyGixEZZw-zPPgdn4jUwVcJE1ZvWQUxwkmyExglNqGp0IvTJZamWLI2zvYWH8K3-s_4yszcp2ryTI0HqTOaaUohrI8PI12Xv1MuLgQ9zkl8N7Hhw2whP68k-4drIwE6p6xubmbcKMshLAGzx4R3EDFOm1kBS/image.jpg?format=original" alt=""/>

The first of these assumptions is found in verses 1-4.

“Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven. Thus, when you give to the needy, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.”

Jesus ASSUMES that you will give. He assumes that you will give generously. He assumes that you will give to the church, to family, to friends, and to complete strangers. The question isn’t if you should, but HOW you should. Jesus starts with a summary of the problem:

“Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven.” -Matthew 6:1

Jesus does not condemn us for wanting a reward for our giving. However, He is saying that you only get a reward from either God or man, but not both.

So often people think that doing something for the reward or result is wrong, but Jesus doesn’t say that. When His disciples argued over who was the greatest, He didn’t rebuke them for desiring to be great. Far from it! He instead told them how to be great in God’s Kingdom. (Luke 22:24-30).

We see the same concept here: Jesus isn’t upset at our desire for reward, but He warns us that to gain a heavenly reward, we need to remove our desire for early ones.

When we give, we need to have the mindset of showing God’s love to others. When we give, we need the priority of doing God’s work on earth. When we give, we need a heart of gratitude for all that God has first given to us.

On the flip side, an extreme view of “giving in secret” can be damaging to many Christians. They take this passage to mean that if anyone finds out you gave, then all rewards from God are gone. This leads to people who are constantly in fear of their reward being stolen away and are trying to cover up their tracks in order to preserve their reward. Was this the kind of obsession Jesus meant to create?

I think not.

Jesus emphasized that the problem comes when people give in order that “they may be praised by others.” People in His day, and ours as well, would give with trumpets sounding before them and with other large demonstrations. This was all to gain the praise of men.

The issue isn’t if someone finds out, but what the motivation is. You could have a heart of desiring someone to catch you putting money in the tithe box, but then no one does. The Bible teaches that your reward in heaven can be taken away even if no one sees you give, because it’s a matter of the heart.

So what do we need to take away from this?

1) We are expected to give.

2) We only get a reward in heaven if our motives and desires reflect the heart of God.

3) With all of these expectations we are given by Jesus, we need to remember that they all require the power and working of the Holy Spirit in our lives. Money is naturally a snare because it feeds our sinful hearts in whatever way we desire. Power. Pleasure. Security. Fame. Popularity. Etc. When reflecting on what God would desire you to do with the money He’s given you and how He would desire you to use it, make sure you leave time to pray and seek God’s wisdom, guidance, and power to act in a way that will glorify Him.

Part 2: As You Pray 

Part 3: As You Fast

Part 4: As You Spend 

Part 5: As You Live

 {I hope these posts encourage and challenge you as much as they did me.}

Be Blessed

Goals with Grace

As the last days of the old year count down and the first few days of the new year begin, I feel the air abuzz with possibly and hope. The world feels fresh and full of possibility.
But despite the feelings, I lost hope and somewhere in high school I quit New Years Resolutions. And I stuck with it until two years ago.

I don’t quite remember how, but I learned two things that changed how I looked at goals, and why I set them…


{continue reading on The Creative Home Keeper}

I am so privileged to be sharing today’s post over on The Creative Home Keeper blog. I’ve really enjoyed getting to know this community and I hope you’ll hop over there to read the rest and maybe stick around to read about Victoria’s sweet new baby boy!

Be blessed

Subscribe To The Blog

Subscribe To The Blog And Get My “Perspective Reset Devotional" For FREE

Congratulations! You Are Subscribed To The Blog And Your Devotional Is Being Sent Right Now.

Pin It on Pinterest