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words really do fail me to completely express to you the feeling and atmosphere at IF:Austin.  2,000 women gathered from all over the country in one room.  it truly feels like one body…like the church, and we HAD church here last night as Melinda Dolittle led us in “break every chain”.  The spirit was tangible, like we could reach out and feel the living God among us.

We are at war, and chains were beginning to fall last night.  there is indeed an ARMY rising up, and it starts with us.  with you, and with me.

“We are at war and the prize is faith.” -Jennie Allen 

this is my personal biggest take away:  faith is something I’ve struggled to understand this year.  amidst hard things in my own life.  what is my faith really in?  what is faith?  how do I get more faith? how do I make sure my faith is built on something real?

I’ve been trying to muster up enough faith to receive the promises of God.

I’ve had somewhat of a “crisis of faith” this year time and time again – waiting on the promises of God, believing and hoping IN HIM, but also in what he can give me.  if I’m being honest.

Last night when Jen said “faith is not the formula to get the good stuff, it IS the good stuff” it wrecked me.  FAITH IS THE PRIZE.  Even if I go through this whole life journey and never reach the “other side” of healing or the things I’m believing for….HE IS ENOUGH.  the journey to grow my faith IS ENOUGH.  it’s worth it.

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so faith, it “doesn’t demand that God explains himself”.

There have been times this weekend that we pause, turn to our neighbors and go through some great discussion questions.  one of those questions for our little tribe last night was “what is faith mean to you” and as I was unpacking my friend Emily said something that also wrecked me.  She asked, “so what happens if God does what you want him to, then what?”

quite honestly, I’ve thought through what happens if He doesn’t…He’s taken me on this journey the past 5+ years, but beyond thinking that He would get all the glory in my story, I hadn’t thought through what happens to my faith IF God decides to heal my body this side of heaven.  

It makes me think about faith being the prize even more.  It makes me want to know the character of God more.  It makes me want HIM more, and not the “stuff” He can give me.

I’ve done a lot of confessing this weekend, and I know it was going on around the world last night with women dropping to our knees, raising our hands, and giving ourselves fully to the one who created us, the good father who loves us, and is sovereign over it all. 

infertility may always be a part my story.  I didn’t choose this path, and at times (like last night) I grieve it, and how it’s made my life look so different than I would have ever imagined.  but God….BUT GOD!  His plans for me are good, He is a good good father.  my faith is becoming stronger, and that is my prize.

what about you?  what is faith to you?  

 some other amazing nuggets I’ve taken away from this weekend:

“surround yourself with the people who speak what they see in you” – Bob Goff

“the broken place is also the breaking free place”- Ann Voskamp 

“Somebody is looking at you – and someone needs to see you walk this journey of following God’s calling.”- Shauna Niequist

“Being faithful doesn’t mean you are fearless. It just means that your faith is greater than your fear.” – Christine Caine 

“The call of God IS inconvenient” – Christine Caine 

#ifgathering [follow the hashtag for more amazing nuggets]

 

  • Allison h. - I’ve been watching the conference from my computer screen at home a little lonely if I’m honest but love seeing everyone’s experiences lived out on instagram/twitter/blogs. Hope you are feeling energized and filled to the brim!!!ReplyCancel

    • Courtney L. - I, too, am watching from home! So many awesome women sharing such powerful words and truth… I can literally feel the energy through the computer screen. Would love to experience IF:Gathering in person one day! :)ReplyCancel

  • Lisa - Yes, yes, and yes! I felt so compelled to pray for you and all the other infertility girls this weekend. What a powerful weekend! God was with us in a big way all over the world! I’m still processing.ReplyCancel

  • Allison Ramsing - I’m watching the conference online and I love reading how God’s growing your faith through it as well! Praying for you beautiful friend!ReplyCancel

  • Hannah Bunker - I’m slowly processing this weekend hoping to stream some words together in a blog post soon about all the feels. IF truly facilitated a raw encounter with God and I’m so thankful for that in this season.

    Would love a chance to sit and talk someday but glad we got the opportunity to exchange quick hellos. :)ReplyCancel

  • Kiersten - I started watching the livestream on Saturday night and then ended up buying the session downloads because I didn’t get through them all before they expired. I had gotten through seesion 1 and half of session 2. I took a break just before Ann Voskamp started speaking (had to head to youthgroup). And let me tell you I haven’t had that many goosebumps or cried that much in a long time. I am still processing and JEN’s words were ones that I so needed to hear and need to write on my heart. I hope I can make it to one of the Gatherings in person in the next year or two. Would love to be able to sit with this community of women and soak in God’s Spirit as one body.ReplyCancel

  • Paige Leverette Knudsen - it’s been so special for me to be your big sis ( not yo mama, hear that? i’m not yo mama. wink) these last couple years and see all that HE is doing in and through you wynnie. your heart for people. your heart for the world. your heart for stephen asher & camp. i love you & love watching you become all that he has for you <3ReplyCancel

  • Tiffany - Oh I do wish I could have been there. Our family is moving to Austin this summer (God willing..), so next year I am so there!!ReplyCancel

  • Natalie - ” faith doesn’t demand that God explains himself”. – So true! Thanks for sharing this post!ReplyCancel

  • Libby Wendland - Wynne this post WRECKED me to my soul…. Thank you!!!ReplyCancel

hey there friends.  so here’s the deal – when I started really using Essential Oils back in late August, I wasn’t really blogging that much.  or I had a lot of other things going on?  I’m not sure, but I never really blogged about how I started this whole journey with essential oils.    SO!  I’m sharing that story here with you! Last week I posted a quick chat I had with my oil mentor, Casey, but here’s some more in depth resources, books, and info for you. If you are interested in becoming an “oiler”, visit my essential oils page here.

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I’ll tell you a little about our oil journey – I’ve used a few oils here and there for about a year, as friends have given them to me and instructed me on how to use them, but honestly y’all – it felt so overwhelming.  I kept saying “next time I have $150 I’m going to go ALL IN on this…” but it took a while.  I’ve heard so many great things about how to use essential oils in your home and with your children, to prevent sickness and keep everyone well, and while as a mom that is SUPER important to me, it still felt overwhelming to overhaul my whole “medicine cabinet”.  Enter my good friend of 10+ years, Casey Wiegand.  She opened my eyes to a whole other benefit of essential oils – using them for ME, and for my health and my womanly needs – oh the dreaded hormones!

 

She sent me to listen to this amazing webinar called The Dragon Slayer – addressing women’s health and hormones naturally  [email me for password if you want to listen! ] and after listening to that, I got on the phone with her the next day and ordered not only my starter kit but a few other oils that were mentioned in this webinar, which is based on a book I’ve read called Taming the Dragon Within.  I also have being doing research on infertility, which is something we have been struggling with for over 5 years, on this website and am also reading Inner Transformations Using Essential Oils  Also by recommendation am reading another book along the same lines called Woman Code.   I am so early in my research process, but finding it very interesting how our hormones [estrogen and progesterone], adrenals, thyroid, liver, colon etc affect EVERYTHING for us women.

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I feel like I need some sort of disclaimer here, but there are a few Young Living oils that use for hormone balance + that time of the month- dragon time, joy, valor, clary sage, ylang ylang, progessense plus, and sclar essence.  I think the thing I’m learning, is you have to be consistent.  These oils aren’t like medicine, where you take them when you are sick – we have to be more preventative and proactive with them!  I may be confessing to be an oil addict already…

I have just been so AMAZED at the power of the oils with my kids too!  With them in school, and Camp + Asher being around lots of kids, it’s easy to worry about getting the first of the season cold come on.  There are some really amazing resources for how to effectively and efficiently use oils for your kids – I’ve loved dog-earing so many pages of Gentle Babies .  I put thieves on their feet in the mornings to help ward off this flu season.  I ordered these awesome roller’s that I’ve mixed a “allergy bomb” and a “cold bomb” mixture to have on hand for Camp + Asher to rub on their feet and chest daily.IMG_4413

Ultimately  y’all, there are SO MANY RESOURCES!  If you are reading this and you are all, what the heck?  I don’t even know what an essential oil is?  Well Casey + Kristen have awesome classes you should check out starting with Intro to Oils.  Casey also has a Facebook group, Casey Leigh Essentials you can join, and the Baby Steps website has some great content!  You can visit me on instagram @wynnesessentials. My handy-dandy pocket reference guide goes with me pretty much everywhere.  You have to do your own research, and make sure you know exactly how to apply the oils.  I promise, once you get into it, it’s not overwhelming anymore – but somewhat addicting.  It’s a LIFESTYLE change, and one we are so happy and encouraged to be on.

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If you have any questions, feel free to comment, or email me [wynne.elder@gmail.com] or would like to sign up and join our team visit this link here!

  • Caroline - Love me some Prog Plus!!!!!!!ReplyCancel

  • Elizabeth - So, I’m totally a DoTerra lady, BUT I will say, isn’t it wonderful to have the knowledge and gift of these oils to use on our kids?! I use them for fertility, but I REALLY use them on the kids and am so grateful for something so natural, pure and from GOD to use on them for all kinds of stuff! :)ReplyCancel

  • Ashley Flores - …sharing this. xoxoReplyCancel

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
Marianne Williamson

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it’s really refreshing to be around people who OWN THEIR STORY.

this past weekend I spent 5 days with women from around the country who are fearlessly owning their stories, and devoting time and energy to speak on behalf of the vunerable.  Yes, I’m talking about my Noonday Collection tribe.  I love these women – women from all seasons of life who are passionate, humble, gracious, and fierce!  Our leader, Jessica, speaks to my heart so much.  She’s a dear friend and sister and her freedom over the years has trickled down to on me.

I see her living her ONE life wild + free on fire for Jesus and I want that.  I don’t want to live in this shame that I so often live in, but I want to OWN MY STORY and truly live alive.

One of my favorite things Jess said over the weekend was “When each of us owns our true story, we exude the type of gracious confidence that other women want to be around.”

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Yes, let’s be those kind of women.  “Women who’s identity does not depend on depriving others of theirs.”  Instead of feeling shameful that I am a work-from-home studio mama, I am going to own the fact that God gave me this passion, drive, connection, influence, and vision to be a self starter and creative!  I am going to [so many Jessica quotes!] “understand my limitations and reach out and ask for help,”  I am going to own the fact that when we move, I might need some extra help on non-school days from a sweet college girl.  I am going to own this opportunity as a chance to pour into a college student, give my kids a valuable experience, and give myself grace and permission to do what God has created me to do!

this is vunerability.  this is living alive.  this is owning my story.

** also, never thought I’d be the “infertility girl” but thankful God can use my story to bring Him glory.  read more on the carry camp here.**

what’s your story? how has God created YOU to be?  Because the amazing thing is, He doesn’t create us all the same.  He created me to be creative-dreamer-connector-story teller-visionary-writer-influencer-advocate-traveler-high capacity starter!  How did He create you?

own it and be free.

let’s stop comparing ourselves to each other, and run our own race with humility and tenacity.  let’s speak life into our friends – lets call out the goodness we see in them.  let’s give them words that they can cling to.  so many of my words came from truth spoken into me by someone who knows and loves me.  sometimes they can see things in me that I can’t see in me.  lets speak up!

“lets practice vunerability and connection a lot more, and comparison and perfectionism a lot less.”

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love how my friend Megan so vulnerably put it…

“I’m not going to be afraid to do what I’m good at doing, and I encourage you to do the same. We are all playing a vital part in this story, and we all need each other to make the best version of this story, this story that is changing the world. So let’s stop being preoccupied with shrinking back, with looking inward, with being afraid of what others will think…let’s stand and claim the freedom that is already afforded to us. Let’s take action to shine, not for us, but for others. Let’s get over ourselves and be free.”

  • Paige Leverette Knudsen - beautiful!! love you sister <3ReplyCancel

  • Hannah Bunker - First, this was a timely word for me. Thank you. Second, that first pic of you is gorgeous! :)ReplyCancel

  • Andrea Worley - oh i just love this so much. this is my heart right here as well. people owning their stories but also being willing to dig deep into the hearts of others. beautiful Wynne!ReplyCancel

  • Cara Hudson Coleman - reminds me so much of our conversation the other day { which I loved by the way}. That sometimes we shrink back from our gifts, callings and visions because they don’t look “holy” or “churchy” or “post worthy”. Yes! Let us pulllleeaasseee “get over ourselves and be free”! much love sisterReplyCancel

  • Aligna Bluhm - Love this!!!!!!!!!!!❤️ReplyCancel

  • Rebeka Brooks - Thank you! Its what I needed to hear and always need reminded of!ReplyCancel

  • Mimi - This just hit the nail on the head! Thank you for the great reminder to think less of what the world thinks and just SHINE my brightest! <3 <3 <3

    Mimi
    http://thisdomesticateddiva.comReplyCancel

It was so much to to connect with my good friend Casey and talk all things oily with her!  We’ve been friends for over a decade and it’s been the sweetest to get to walk this journey with her.  As you’ll hear, it really was Casey who helped me jump into this oily journey!  I’ll stop giving it all away….join in our little 12 min chat HERE!

 simply click HERE and enter your name + email.  

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just goes to show AGAIN, how you have to speak your dreams out loud!  and better yet – tell them to a friend!  So so glad I got to chat with Casey.  I am such a visual person AND verbal processor, that I think hearing/seeing someone talking about something can be way easier and more effective than typing it all up!

++Stay tuned, I have some other fun friends lined up to talk about other things I am passionate about + that I get emails frequently about!

 To learn more about our oily team, check out my info here.

caseyleighessentials// facebook.  instagram.

baby steps [our upline]

join our team! 

 

 

  • Ashley Danielle Flores - Loved this!ReplyCancel

  • start the journey. » Gloriously Ruined - […] with essential oils.    SO!  I’m sharing that story here with you! Last week I posted a quick chat I had with my oil mentor, Casey, but here’s some more in depth resources, books, and info for […]ReplyCancel

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Yall, I can’t believe it’s been 6 months since I got on a plane and traveled half a world away to my beloved Rwanda, on a dream of a trip with Noonday Collection + International Justice Mission.  Just this very week last year, I was surprised with the news that I would get to join these incredible women/bloggers/writers/artists on this trip and the thought of that makes me want to start bawling in front of 130 people again.  no, not really.  I still feel like I haven’t fully processed the hugeness of the #styleforjustice trip.  It was huge on so many levels – going back to Rwanda after being there years ago with Jessica as they met their son Jack + being in the room as the dream of this sewing co-op was started.  Being back with the two women who fearlessly and courageously spoke their dreams out loud and then got to watch those dreams COME TRUE.  [speak your dreams out loud people!]

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While in Rwanda, I feel more in love with my Noonday family knowing that these are in fact “my people”.  I was empowered by our artisans, encouraged by my fellow ambassadors, and rejuvenated to go home and continue to tell their stories [while styling my friends] and changing the world.  I fell in love with my sweet friend Grace all over again, as I heard once again the story of empowerment and courage she is living in Kigali.  Taking care of her family, providing for them, and despite all odds living a life of hope!  

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The thing that maybe surprised me the most, was what I learned about true FREEDOM.  

Every morning when we got to the co-op, sweet Mary Sunshine would welcome us with the words “be free”.  Every single morning she would say this in her beautiful accent and perfect english.  All these months later that phrase has stuck with me, the opportunity and choice we have everyday to chose freedom.  The freedom to be me, the freedom to own my gifts and my challenges, freedom to be the mom and wife I was meant to be, freedom to run with my dreams with wild abandon.  It’s for freedom that Christ set us free.

The sad truth is, there are millions around the globe who do not have the choice to be free on a daily basis.  That’s why the work that IJM does to rescue thousands, protect millions, and prove that justice for the poor is possible is SO IMPORTANT.  It’s #humantrafficking awareness month and it’s my hope that we would chose to not look away.  Read more about how you can get involved, and become a freedom partner with IJM here.  You will fall in love with them and the work they are doing to eradicate the everyday violence that is relentlessly threatening the poor.

I’m so proud of this #styleforjsutice line.  I’m so proud to have been part of the creative process, but mostly I’m proud of these women.  I’m proud of the opportunity they have through Noonday, I’m proud of the opportunity for freedom, I’m proud of them.  Their hands were on every single vibrant tote and fierce clutch that will leave our home office in Austin, Texas and travel across the country to your home.  So when you grab that tote on the way out the door to the store, or you pack that clutch up with lipstick for a fun night out – think about these women.  Think about the opportunity you have then given THEM through simply adding another beautiful item to your bag collection. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

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SFJ Products - Simple Flyer

 

click the link to shop + support #styleforjustice! 

  • Paige Leverette Knudsen - in my top favorite memories bank!! love you and loved being there with my wynnie girl xoReplyCancel

  • Allison Ramsing - This is so lovely! It’s my dream to go to Africa one day!ReplyCancel