I’ve been called to write

to share my life and my story on paper.  online.

I don’t take this lightely.

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it’s not about me, but about being obedient to where the lord has called me, and how he wants to use me in the body of christ.

we all have gifts, and we are all part of one body.

Romans 12 tells us we are all individually members one of another -

how beautiful is that?

when we compare of gifts, or our measure of faith – its like slapping god in the face.

you see, because the gifts + faith we have been given is simply GRACE.  

gods grace – the unmerited abundant supply for the need of the moment.

we are the BODY of christ.  we belong to one another!

let’s embrace that, rejoice in that, link our arms together and get back to work.

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when I was at hope spoken a few weeks ago, God spoke some big things in my life.

we started dreaming together again

and it got my heart racing.

I have so much more to process and to share, but the women God led me to pour my heart out to that weekend gave me such a gift.

the gift that says – Wynne, I see you.  I see you recognize God is speaking to you.

Wynne, what you do from here is you saturate yourself in Gods Word.

give your life over everyday.

renew your mind daily in His word

believe that you are who god says you are.

gather people around you to pray and fast.

but seek the Lord daily.

HE is where you are found.

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so here I am, today.

first morning in the new house.

in my chair.  with my bible.  and my coffee.

letting his light renew me.

and putting my pen to paper.

doing what he’s told me to do.

not knowing where it will go, or how He wants to use it.

simply receiving His grace upon grace

and embracing the NOW.

  • Jessa - I love this post! It hit my heart so much! I have been struggling with having grace in my heart and not judging myself too heart.ReplyCancel

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If you aren’t following along on instagram, I share almost daily on @wynnesessentials about our journey with essential oils and young living.  [follow along here]  well, this month is our teams #naturalbeautymonth!  If you don’t know this about me yet, I am a RESEARCHER!  I love to find all the info I can and could spend hours on end googling things in bed on my laptop.  Like I literally googled “what are petro chemicals“..but hey, there are no stupid questions and I’ve learned so much.   So, after I downloaded the “think dirty” app and realized SO MANY of the products in my bathroom were “dirty” it was time to start cleaning out and finding cleaner products.  here’s what I’ve found!

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have I mentioned how much I love thieves?  not only the hand soap + cleaner, but thieves has taken over my oral routine.  toothpaste, mouth wash, and floss rounds out my teeth cleaning each day!  At first it was sort of weird that it didn’t “foam”, but my teeth feel sparkly and clean and I can’t go back.

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my shave gel was for sure “dirty”.  but Dr. Bronners to the rescue!  I love this spearmint/peppermint organic and fair trade shave gel!  I’m just got everything I need to make this DIY body wash with essential oils! I’ll let y’all know how I like it soon!

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as I was researching I realized how harmful dryer sheets were, and so I hopped on amazon and ordered these wool dryer balls.  I put a few drops of joy, lemon, lavender, or purification on them and put 2-3 in the dryer for fresh smelling and SOFT feeling clean laundry! (I’m still working on a laundry detergent…more to come!)

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so I keep hearing my “crunchy friends” [newsflash: i have become that friend too] talk about how deodorant can cause cancer…but I learned that it’s because of the aluminum in it.  so I’m on the hunt for the best natural deodorant and honestly, it’s still sorta weird.  but I’m between using young livings meadow mist + this cream my friend Alison got me off etsy.

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I absolutely LOVE my young living ART skin care line.  The face wash, toner + light moisturizer are perfect for daily use.  Plus, at night I have my coconut oil+ lavender mix in a mason jar for eye make up removal.  then my coconut oil + frankincense in mason jar for night time moisturizer.  This month I also added the wolf berry eye cream and I’m loving it for my dark circles.

IMG_6952makeup:: tarte bb cream/ tarte concealer / tarte eyeliner / beauty counter blush / root pretty mascara   / beauty counter lip sheer / burts bees lip shine / 100% pure cocoa bronzer

I’m still looking for powder + eye shadow;) let me know if you have something you love! I’m also waiting on a few more hair things to come in – so there will be another post!

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I have something fun for you just this month!  For the first THREE people to sign up as a wholesale distributor on my young living team – I’ll send you a root pretty mascara!

 If you have any questions, or want to talk oils – email me!  wynne.elder@gmail.com or click here to learn more about getting your very own young living products!

  • Danielle D. - Loved reading this, Wynne! I started on this same “adventure” 4ish years ago. (As a bonus, many of the chemicals in personal care products that cause the most concern are related to potential hormonal issues and damage to the endocrine system… I have thyroid problems so am particularly keen to avoid that junk!)

    Just a couple recommendations for you– deodorant: I’m currently using the lavender scented Primal Pit Paste and am really happy with it. (My understanding is that there is no such thing as a “natural” antiperspirant because perspiring is a natural form of detoxification and anything that forces your body to not sweat is bad news… BUT… you can totally avoid the stink with natural products.) For eyeshadow: I love Alima, Kjaer Weis (an expensive investment but once you buy any of her make-up, you can keep the beautiful packaging and just buy the replacements which are cheaper), and W3ll People. For mascara and eyeliner I have been super happy with Zuzu Luxe which is very affordable and which I can easily get at Whole Foods. I dig the pencil liner; my little sister is a fan of the liquid liner. I am not a powder girl but know my sister has loved W3ll People’s powders. Favorite blemish-zapper (most effective blemish treatment I have ever found): Osmia Organics Spot Treatment. Favorite very simple, gentle, effective face lotion: CV Skinlabs (which I can buy from amazon – yay! It’s spendy but lasts me a really long time and is the best thing I have found for my skin; CV Skinlabs was founded by a cancer survivor who was totally dismayed that cancer patients with very sensitive skin were forced to use products chock-full of chemicals). Favorite shampoo and conditioner: Acure Organics.

    Other resources: Spirit Beauty Lounge (online store) is my fav for buying make-up and skincare products. You can also check out Eco Diva and Pemberley Jones. A few of my favorite natural beauty blogs: No More Dirty Looks (they also have a great book you should check out!), Genuine Glow, The Green Product Junkie, and Beauty by Britanie.

    Anyway – this is such a long comment but hope some of these suggestions are helpful. :) The natural product world is a fun one– it is growing a lot as people become more concerned about what they are putting on their bodies (our skin is our largest organ and absorbs some amount of anything we put on it!) and also realize that “natural” does not mean “ineffective.” Fun fact: J. Crew’s signature move for giving their models a dewy glow is RMS Living Luminizer, one of my own personal fav products. Have fun!!ReplyCancel

  • Lindsy Wallace - Love following this journey you’re on! When William was diagnosed with cancer several years ago, I trashed almost every toiletry/beauty product in our house! I’m curious how long the shaving gel lasts? It seems like the “clean” shave gels I use don’t last very long at all but I’d love to give that one a try! Also, I haven’t worn deodorant in YEARS. Maybe I’m making this up, but I think once we cleanse our body from all those nasty toxins, we our natural selves aren’t really smelly. Maybe? That’s what I’m going with anyway;-)ReplyCancel

  • Leanne Tilley - Please try blended cutie for your little ones hair, it’s amazingReplyCancel

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Easter has always been of of my favorite “holidays”.  Not because when I was little I got to dress up in a matching easter dresses with my sisters, or go hunt for eggs after church…but I vividly remember in high school a ministry I was involved with did a outdoor live easter demonstration.  They had all the characters in the story present and dressed accordingly. They each shared their part in the story and it made Jesus resurrection come to life!  Ever since that humid April night, I have truly understood why we celebrate easter.

Every year it’s a reminder of new life, resurrection of new dreams, new mercy, new grace, NEW LIFE.

“remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old.  Behold, I am doing a new thing, now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?  I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert” – Isaiah 43:18-19

Why “bunnies” come to mind when we think of Easter really baffles me, but I’m excited to bring you a NEW way you can have bunnies be a part of your kiddos easter celebration.  I hope to bring you something new and fresh the Sara Jane Project seeks to “put a redemptive spin on the bunny obsession that Easter brings.”

Camp + Asher LOVE their bunnies.  Camp loves his “blue bunnie” Silas and Asher’s sweet Lily in her favorite color.  y’all, are these not the cutest?
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When you purchase one of these adorable bunnies, you can rest assured knowing that a woman in Jinja, Uganda [at Tukula!]  made them with her own hands.  She was not only paid a fair wage but also empowered to be all God has called her to be.  Work is so purposeful, and I just delight in thinking about the precious women who made each of these bunnies that now live in my kids room.

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Not only that, but the money you spent purchasing this bunny for your little one will go to help place vulnerable children in safe and loving homes!  20% of every purchase goes back to placing children in families by resettlement and adoption.  How awesome is that?  Each year they chose a family to really bless their socks off and this year it’s the Siegman family adopting domestically.   They are bringing home FIVE precious kiddos NEXT MONTH and y’all, I think we can really bless their socks off.

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so there you have it friends.  a beautiful redemption story.  if you have 3 minutes, watch the sara jane story here.   this is a story that must be told.  such redemption.

buy a bunny.  bless a child.  build a family.

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  http://thesarajaneproject.bigcartel.com

you have until April 24th to order in time for easter, so order one today!

  • Haley - Love the cute pictures of Camp & Asher in front of the amazing brick wall in the new office space! :) xxReplyCancel

  • Marissa Lock - Hi Wynne,
    Just wanted to double check…we have until April 24th to order for Easter 2016…right?
    Thanks! So excited about these! Perfect for my kids and nieces!
    Noonday love,
    MReplyCancel

wow, just wow.  I am constantly amazed at God and how he works.  I have loved reading and responding to your comments from my post last week . thank you for taking time to say hi and tell me a little bit about yourself.  Sometimes it’s easy in the internet-land to sort of forget that people are actually reading my thoughts turned into words.  You are real people, with real life experiences, real stories, and real struggles.  Thank you for opening up your hearts and stories to me.  and thank you for reading along this crazy story God is writing for our lives.

I was listening to a podcast a friend sent me this weekend about hope in the face of hopelessness and I was reminded that GOD IS REAL.  Yes, reminded.  sometimes I’m talking, praying, worshiping, journaling to God and sometimes I just blow right past the fact that HE IS REAL.  He really sent his son to live a blameless life on this earth.  Jesus really died on a cross for MY sin.  He really rose from the grave!  He really is making all things new.

even when I can’t feel him, hear him, see him working..He is there.  Not only is GOD real, but my RELATIONSHIP with him is real.  He really is my heavenly father.  and He really is good.  He is merciful, gracious, compassionate, and more concerned with my soul than my circumstances.  in my waiting, in my desert season I have to REMEMBER constantly that God is real.  I have to get in his word.  even if I have to fight to believe, fight to hope…I will fight.

I know I’m not the only one in a season of waiting.  I know that God has more for me than I could ever imagine.  I know He’s asking me to submit to his full authority and TRUST him.  God is working in my waiting, sanctifying me.  he’s teaching me to trust! in the words of one of my new favorite worship songs “sovereign over us” by Aaron Keys…

 

“your plans are still to prosper / you have not forgotten us

you are with us in the fire and in the flood 

faithful forever, perfect in love

you are sovereign over us.

even what the enemy means for evil, you turn it for our good,

you turn it for our good, and your glory

even in the valley you are faithful

you’re working for our good + for your glory” 

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  • Kiersten DeLong - Oh dear, sweet Wynne. I usually quietly read and sometimes re-post and like your posts. But I want you to know that I always finish reading them encouraged, inspired, challenged. You have such an amazing talent with your words and such beautiful insight into the goodness of our GOD. You have challenged me to change the way I view things, to thirst more for GOD, and to be intentional with how I interact with people. Thank you for sharing your life and story with so many of us. You are a blessing dear sister.ReplyCancel

friends, thank you for your grace.

and your patience we me.  I’ve so missed this space.  and you.

I really would love to know who all is out there reading?  

what stage of life are you in?  what season?  what is your biggest obstacle?  what’s your greatest dream?

what do you come to this space to find? //  encouragement? stories? new places to shop? to know you aren’t alone in adoption or infertility?

I want this space to be a place where you are filled up and I also want it to be a place that gives me LIFE.  and writing does just that.  but before we go on….what would you like to hear about?

this place will still remain a place for me to share my thoughts, my heart, my fears and desires.  a place to record the highs and lows of life.  and the pieces that I share my heart have become my most favorite posts to go back to.  so I’m about to get real.

but please, comment [through wordpress or Facebook!] and tell me who you are and what brings you here.  I really do want to know you!

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the first few weeks here have been hard.  really hard.  like my sweet son Camp, I too apparently really struggle with transitions.  I don’t know if I just was so much of a dreamer that I assumed everything would play out perfectly here.  maybe i have really high expectations.  well, I know I have high expectations.  i look back to our move from austin to midland that was completely different.  then we were just married, no kids, and knew hardly anyone.  that was such a time to find my own identity.

I learned so much those first few years who I was apart from my family and those who knew and loved me.  it was painful, but it was worth it.  we formed amazing relationships in midland, and built an amazing community.  we were serving in local ministries and the church and by the time we left, were pretty connected.  i guess i just assumed in my head that that same thing would happen here overnight.  while last time we didn’t know anyone -this time we’ve been majorly connected to a community.

the people at our church have totally taken us in and for that, we are forever grateful.  we are forming these friendships on a rock.  it might take a while to build the history, but are headed in that direction.

i feel like i haven’t really gotten into any sort of rhythm.  i have no routine.  i want to get back into work, but it seems like i have no motivation.  have all these great ideas and goals but something is holding me back from really going for them.  is it time? am i too tired?  fear? my kids really are taking every ounce of me.  and it’s overwhelming.  but i know that god will give me only what i can handle and there is grace enough for THAT DAY!  

as I’m “wandering in the desert” I can trust that God is with me, He will never leave me and He will give me enough manna for each day.  he’s asking me to TRUST him, and trust him I will.

“you keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you” Isaiah 26:3

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  • jen - hi there,

    i so get this. we moved from austin to florida in september and it still feels hard some days. i have no doubt this was the right move for us and i like our new home/city (having the beach down the road doesn’t hurt!) but i miss our friends/family and that familiar “home” feeling SO much. (also, mexican food. i miss mexican food) we have found a church and i am slowly making connections with friends but it just takes time. i am so wanting to have that instant community that we left in austin but i have to keep remembering that it took years to build that community. i really been asking God to keep my patient and waiting on Him to put people in my path and then give me the boldness to love them well and intentionally as i pursue a new community here. it’s hard sometimes but i feel like on those days when i am especially discouraged, God shows me something encouraging in a new relationship. i will be praying for you as i pray for my own situation too :)ReplyCancel

  • Suzanne - I read along! Would love to hear more about adoption because we are halfway through our home study and/or about infertility because we have been trying {again} for two years and 13 months of fertility treatments + surgery = still so tough! We also move cities about every two years so I resonate with that aspect of your blog too (and also the aspect of seeing the body of Christ totally embrace you and love you immediately!!)
    Bottom line: keep doing what you’re doing! You are an encouragement in my faith journey!ReplyCancel

  • Jessica - ive been reading along for awhile. I too have two little ones from Ethiopia, both toddlers. I would love to hear more about how you are handling these toddler years. what’s working and what’s not. I have no close friends or family who have adopted, so those around me don’t quite get it. They don’t seem to understand that my kids come from hard places, and may not always react as people feel they should. So I like to hear how others are handling things!ReplyCancel

  • Tracey - I have been following your blog for about 6 months, & I can’t remember how I first found it! But I do remember why I came back: your honesty & your cute kids. I have had a heart for adoption since I was 7 years old & I attended a “Gotcha Day” party for twins adopted from Eastern Europe celebrating their first year in their forever family! I’m single & I pray the Lord will bring me a husband with a heart for adoption as well.

    My season of life right now? I’m 23 years old & I live in Southeast Asia (but I’m American, from Georgia) where I’m learning language & culture. I’m just following the Lord wherever He sets my steps… which happens to be on the other side of the world! Read more about the day-to-day on my blog, http://traceyeliz.blogspot.com

    & by the way, I love your ombre-blue hair!ReplyCancel

  • Caroline - I am so sorry it’s been a hard transition, but I love that you were so obedient to the Lord’s calling! I’m so glad you have felt so welcomed!ReplyCancel

  • Elizabeth - I am a long time reader! Currentely a month or two out from a move to Texas actually! My husband and I work at the same company and both of our jobs are relocating. We are also in the midst of a private newborn adoption. We would be further along, but the agency asked us to go on hold until we get settled in our new home. We have no kiddos now, just pups. So much change and transition coming for us soon! I enjoy reading your posts and have been praying for you guys!ReplyCancel

  • Tiffany - Oh, change is so hard! I always admire your transparency and bravery. We are preparing to move to Austin from Memphis for no other reason than God leading us there. I’m thankful others (like you) can relate to this life of crazy faith that we are ALL called to live. It gives me courage when I feel afraid. Also, your honesty re: infertility has made me braver as I share my story with others. The truth drives away the shame! Thankful for you!ReplyCancel

  • Dakota Hurley - My heart aches for you. I too, feel the same “uneasy” since my youngest was born 6 months ago. I still have no routine or motivation and this makes me feel lost most of the time. Thanks for sharing your heart so I’m not feeling alone. Xoxo. Blessings, DakotaReplyCancel

  • Krista Box - My sweet friend. Oh how I love to know what is on your heart. Transition is hard, but transition into something BIG God is calling you into is covered in spiritual warfare… which makes is much harder. I love you and this season you are in right now… it’s not forever and it’s not without purpose. That verse that you quoted is the exact verse God gave me to wrestle with last year. His word is so good. I love that you got some space to write, I know that is therapeutic. : ) Praying for rich time with the Lord and sweet time with your family. To answer your question, I come to this space to read more about what God is doing in and through you. It gives me something to relate to. One day at a time my friend!ReplyCancel

  • Chelsea - Hi,
    Thank you so much for your refreshing honesty and sweet words on your blog. I stumbled onto your blog not long ago and am in the middle of a hard season of waiting. My husband and I are currently on the infant domestic adoption waiting list in the state of Michigan and man, it is difficult to simply “wait around” for an e-mail or phone call that could change your life. Through prayer and blogs like yours though, I am still encouraged and hopeful. Please keep writing and sharing your heart!
    ~ ChelseaReplyCancel

  • Sarah Goldstein Roney - Transitions test and try us like nothing else. Especially transitions with children. I will be praying for you through this time and believing that the goodness of the Lord with bring you peace as you walk the journey ahead. One day you are going to wake up and see the beauty in this new place…. it will feel like home.ReplyCancel

  • Jamie Dayton - I could have written this myself two years ago or even last year, maybe even today. I moved two year ago back to the U.S after living in Kuwait for over 6 years. The Transition was so much harder then I expected because like you I thought it would just happen, I mean, I knew God was leading us back here and I knew we were following Him, but the transition is still in motion two and few months later. I guess because things just don’t look like I expected nor how they did there. I will pray for you through this, it is hard, but it gets easier and PRAISE JESUS you have a good community all ready there welcoming you in. Give yourself time to grieve the loss of your friendships as they change to being long distant and the loss of your lifestyle and just take things one day at a time. Your NEW life is waiting ahead of you, and God has plans that you can’t even imagine.ReplyCancel

  • Suzi E - Hi sweet one,
    I found your blog through follow Fridays on Instagram I think. It clicked with me as one of my daughters, so dear to my heart, lives in College Station! She has so struggled to find a church, community and fellowship. Struggling with infertility has isolated her in most fellowship activities which are focuses for those her age. Unfortunately it seems infertility is a silent struggle especially in many church situations. Anyway they are attending #declarationbcs and are liking it so far …
    Prayers for you as you settle in – SuziReplyCancel

  • paige - always love to see how you pen your heart here in this space…
    you are loved dearly
    i know there are highs & lows right now. you guys have had ALOT on your plate over the last couple years. a LOT. give yourself some grace my friend. this years its so easy to feel like you want to do so much….and YOU do…i encourage you to also enjoy the time that you are taking roots and digging deep…give yourself grace to not do all & be all right now. you are a giver and an encourager…i pray you enjoy being given to & filled up by your new family there!
    see YOU SOON!!!!ReplyCancel

  • Shannon - i’ve followed your blog and IG for about 6 months, I think? Adoptive mama here, with one of my girls from Ethiopia. We moved from TX to NC almost 2 years ago, and I can relate to so much of what you are posting these days. It took awhile for us to find a rhythm as well. It will come, and I’m glad you can see the beginnings of deep friendships forming now. Our church community was a rock for us. I appreciate your honesty and willingness to say that it’s hard. Keep being vulnerable and reaching out. Your people are there and you will find them.ReplyCancel

  • Shelby Meyer - (FINALLY getting around to comment. I’ve been reading this post repeatedly for the last few days with every intention to respond. I feel a little goofy doing it now with your recent post, but I’m doing it anyway!) I totally feel you on the transitions. Every move we’ve made took a solid six months to feel like home. My hubby is in school right now, so each semester brings it’s own transitions of schedules and expectations. I’m so ready to see consistency in my life. I’m glad to hear you have a good community to walk through the time with. That is something precious :) I’m here for encouragement – I’m a year and half into my own secondary infertility journey, and looking for a community of women (especially moms going through it) who can speak God’s sovereignty and love to me when I have trouble believing in it myself. Thanks for sharing your journey so openly. It’s blessed this stranger’s life.ReplyCancel

  • Joanne LaBuda - I read your blog because I love your sweet heart and am inspired by how you walk out your faith. I am a single mom of three who raised my kids in one town. My two oldest kids went to the same state university, but the LORD led my youngest daughter and I to a new state and a new life when it was time for her to go to college. I found a great church and joined a small group that would later become so incredibly precious to me. Four months after we moved here, the LORD brought my oldest daughter home. During those early months of grief, I sensed that He had brought me here, so that He could heal me in the way He intended, because I didn’t know that many people and family and old friends were far away. It was there that I met Him in a BIG way that has changed everything for me. Ever since I “met” you through your blog, I began praying daily for the LORD’s will for you to become pregnant. I also pray every day for your husband. You love BIG and brave and you inspire me to live and love that way, too. Am believing that the LORD has you right where He wants you and that He is doing things during this time that you will look back on and be, oh, so grateful for!!ReplyCancel

  • Jessica Gunn - Hi Wynne! :)

    I have been a “secret reader” of your blog for a couple years now. Okay typing that is embarrassing. :) I never comment on blogs but felt compelled to stop in and drop you a line! I just want to thank you so much for your blog. I come here often to find encouragement, inspiration, and to learn about awesome fair trade and give back companies! I can absolutely relate about the transitioning season! My husband and I (married 4 years, no kiddos yet) just returned home from a year long backpacking trip around the world, serving in missions and outreaches in every country we traveled to. All glory to God and HIS amazing grace and provision, we traveled to 25 countries serving Him last year. It was the best year of my life, without a doubt. I was excited to come home and see my family and friends who I missed so much but I will be honest and say: IT HAS BEEN HARD. So hard to come home from an epic (understatement) year like that. So hard to dive back into a “normal” life and routine. I’ve realized I am scared of routine in a lot of ways. I have always felt called to BIG things and the Nations, yet we feel like we are supposed to have a home base here (we live in Sarasota, FL). Anyways, I could write a book about my transition season but I just wanted to share my heart for a minute and say that I.get.it. You are not alone!! I also want you to know that you have given me great inspiration because I see you as someone who is living out both sides of my calling and life. I deeply admire how you live intentionally with passion in your hometown, yet travel across the world to serve in places like Africa. You have shown me a beautiful of example of how I CAN do both things I feel in my heart that God is calling me to do. Anyways, I will let you go because this comment is getting embarrassingly long, hah! I hope we can be friends! :) I think you are incredible and you have impacted my life more than you will ever know! Be Blessed, girl! :)ReplyCancel