Exciting Changes on the Horizon for Jana’s Three Dresses

About 8 months ago, I began feeling an unrest about the direction Jana’s Three Dresses was going. I felt my writing voice was changing and my blog no longer reflected me as a person, writer, mother, spouse, and spiritual sojourner. I began pondering a new direction and vision for Jana’s Three Dresses.

I began by asking the tough questions:

  • Lord, you called me to write then, are you still calling me to write now?
  • What is my purpose at Jana’s Three Dresses?
  • Who is my audience?
  • Do my written words matter? Are they making an impact?
  • Should I keep writing?
  • If so, about what?

My writing was silent for some time. I only posted every once in a while as I struggled with these questions and pondered these thoughts. I spent a great deal of time in prayer. I did a lot of reading. Books like Freefall to Fly“, by Rebecca Lyons, and Restless“, by Jennie Allen, have helped me to reroute my pursuits and purpose in my writing and my life.

Mentors and friends listened and reflected with me. A sweet group of new blogging friends gave me encouragement and hope when I was finding none. And, a new passion arose in me – a desire to lead, mentor and encourage people toward spiritual and physical wholeness.  In January, I became an Independent Product Consultant for doTERRA Essential Oils. (read more of my Essential Oil story here.)

I am a dreamer. My biggest obstacle to making my dreams come alive is actually following through on the work required. I often stop when the going gets tough, or I share my dream with a nay-sayer and lose my courage. 

 dream girl with balloons

Slowly, a new vision has come forward. A new passion has arisen and a new voice has emerged in my writing. I have gained a confidence and belief in myself that only God can provide. I am deeply humbled by the calling He has placed on my life.

I believe I can serve you well as a coach and advocate steering you towards a life of resilience, passion, and wholeness – both spiritual and physical. In order to achieve my goals, I plan to post three times a week using the following structure.

Mondays | Monday Invitations – Monday posts will be reflections on Scripture and the Gospel of Jesus Christ. My aim is to encourage you in your faith walk and invite you to go deeper in your spiritual journey.

Wednesdays | This Military Life – These posts will be personal reflections (mine and Guest Posts) on Military Life – Such as tips from military spouses, lessons learned, and anecdotal stories about obstacles transformed into opportunities for personal growth. I plan to offer the opportunity for others Bloggers to link up and share their stories as well.

Fridays | Wellness at Jana’s Three Dresses featuring doTERRA Essential Oils - On Fridays I will have a variety of posts available, all promoting wellness from the inside out. I will feature guest posts from fellow bloggers and doTERRA Essential Oils users, DIY projects, and more.

My prayer is that committing to this structure will allow me to pursue my passions and writing in a more targeted fashion, and enable me to move forward with focus and clear purpose.

Of course, this is a work in progress, and some weeks I may not be able to produce three posts for your reading enjoyment. But, it is my goal! I am learning that goal setting is highly motivating for anyone with dreams and aspirations.

dreamer quote

I have collaborated with Satin at My Heart, His Words  who will be producing images for many of my posts. I am so excited about introducing you to her. She is highly talented and uses her creativity and love for Christ to enhance my words by capturing them in her images. Also, I will begin a blog redesign with Ted Barnett at Contemplate Design this summer. I am so excited to present a fresh, new website that will serve and, hopefully, minister to you more richly. I hope to launch my new website in early Fall. Stay tuned!

God is good, All the time. He is ever faithful. I am an ambassador for Christ whether I am sharing an awesome nugget of truth and promise from the Holy Scriptures; encouraging a fellow military spouse in this daily military life we live; or, engaging in relationship with someone to help them achieve their health care goals naturally with doTERRA Essential Oils. I am beyond excited about sharing this journey with you!

Thank you for your continued support and faithfulness to the ministry of Jana’s Three Dresses.

With love and gratitude,

jana

 

Wellness at Jana’s Three Dresses | Give-away! A FREE doTERRA Family Physician Kit ($166 Retail/$125 Wholesale)

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What a treat it is for me to be able to offer You this FREE Give-Away! I am a member of the Empowered Health doTERRA Team.  Between today and April 18th at midnight, you have the chance to Enter to Win a FREE Family Physician Kit. This type of Give-Away is rare. If you have been thinking about incorporating essential oils into your lifestyle, this is the time to do it!

The Family Physician Kit is one of the top kits I recommend to anyone interested in using Essential Oils in their home. Think of it as “Nature’s Medicine Cabinet”. These are the “feel better” essentials that moms and dads need on a daily basis to care for their families and themselves. The single and blended oils provided in the Family Physician Kit will offer you numerous options for improving the quality of your health and your home.

Win a Family Physician Kit ($166 value)

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The Family Physician Kit is one of the most popular doTERRA essential oil  kits available. It’s a wonderful place to start if you are new to the idea of essential oils. The kit includes 5 mL bottles of:

  • Lavender
  • Lemon
  • Peppermint
  • Melaleuca
  • Oregano
  • Frankincense (This oil alone sells for $93 Retail/$69.74 Wholesale – It is often called the “miracle” oil and has an enormous number of therapeutic properties.)
  • Deep Blue® (soothing blend)
  • Breathe (respiratory support blend)
  • DigestZen (digestive support blend)
  • On Guard® (protective blend)

How to Enter for Your Chance to Win:

1. Click here to sign up for email updates from my blog: Join the Conversation! (click here)

(If you are already a subscriber, continue to step 2…)

2. Use the Rafflecopter widget below to confirm these entries and unlock even more entries to increase your chances of winning!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 Giveaway ends April 18th, 2014 at midnight. Winner will be announced here within 72 hours.

(I know there are a lot of entry options–but keep in mind that you do NOT have to complete all of them–just the ones you want!)

Taking the first step towards a more natural, wellness-oriented lifestyle is the hardest part! Let me be your Guide and Wellness Advocate. I would love to have you join me and my amazing team.

Transitioning my family to a toxin-free lifestyle one day at a time!

jana

doTERRA Wellness Advocate, #749334, www.mydoterra.com/janafinch/

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A huge THANK YOU to Mr. Al Garcia, our generous up-line, who donated the prizes for this giveaway!

This Military Life | May God Bless You With Discomfort

May God bless you with discomfort

A reader recently contacted me via email. She shared with me her personal struggles of being a military spouse - Settling into a new community; Finding new friends; Making a home for her children; and Coping with her own private insecurities.

She asked me this question,

“Jana, how do you know God has you right where He wants you?”

This was my response:

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11

Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said,I will never leave you nor forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5 

For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39

Even the sparrow finds a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, at your altars, O Lord of hosts, my King and my God. Psalm 84:3

Why, even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows. Luke 12:7

It wasn’t until my early thirties that I began to understand that contained in the Holy Scriptures are both God’s Truths and Promises. He has Truths and Promises embedded in His Holy Scriptures just for me.

As I began reading the Bible with that new nugget of wisdom in mind, I began to see the Scriptures completely different. They began to speak to me on a very personal level. The words no longer described people and stories that took place long ago. The words jumped off of the page filling specific empty spaces in my soul, touching me more deeply than I ever thought possible.

God’s Truths and Promises. Right there. Tucked in the Holy Scriptures. Just for you.

I would write them down on notecards and tape them to my mirror, over my kitchen sink, or to my kitchen cupboards, so that I could be reminded of His love for me when I felt discouragement. So that I could memorize them and store them in my heart. So that I could feel His love whenever I read the familiar words. It was then that the seeds planted long ago began to Sprout, Blossom and Take Root – developing into the personal relationship with Christ that I longed for.

My relationship with Christ is eternal. It is not limited by time, space, or location. He puts no limits on what He can do in my life for me and through  me for others. I am the one that puts limits on Him. Slowly over time, I have come to understand that where I am physically – where the Air Force sends us to live and root for a season – doesn’t really matter. When I look at it from an eternal perspective, I feel a peace that surpasses all understanding. What really matters is whether I am in personal relationship with God and His Son, Jesus Christ. Because, if I am, then I always feel at home no matter where I am.

Am I certain God has you right where He wants you?

YES!

Seek Him in your current circumstances. Seek Him by reading Scripture, praying, and investing time in building a relationship with Him. God is all around you – in the people that cross your path everyday; in the beauty of nature; even in your trials and struggles. You just have to open your eyes, ears, and minds to see His Presence.  Ask to see Him and He will reveal Himself to you, sometimes in very unexpected ways.

Maybe the reason for your discomfort – not feeling at home where God has you right now – is so that you will run to Him and seek refuge in Him.

This is absolutely my favorite promise in Scripture. It is one I turn to when I feel stuck and don’t really know what I am supposed to be doing. It offers me comfort at times when I feel unsettled with my current situation, not sure what God is doing.

But they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:31

You can count on the fact that God knows your current struggle, your current situation, your current concerns. Seek Him. Wait on Him. He has an answer for you. Often, however, His answers are not as quick as we would like them to be, nor are they what we expect.

Wait for the LORD’s timing and your strength will be renewed! I promise.

Your current discomfort is an opportunity not a roadblock. This world tells us that our discomfort is bad, to be avoided. However, when we choose a life in Christ, we choose to no longer to conform to this world but to be transformed by the renewal of our minds. Discomfort in this life can and will lead to a renewal of your mind if you say Yes! to the opportunity instead of allowing yourself to be diverted by the roadblocks in your way. (Romans 12:2)

I would like to end with a prayer. This was read from our church’s pulpit this past Sunday. It is believed but not confirmed that this prayer was written by Saint Francis of Assisi. It struck me to my core. This is not a prayer of this world. But, a prayer filled with wisdom and a depth of Truth beyond our limited comprehension. Ask God to reveal Himself anew to you today.

May God bless you with discomfort at Easy Answers, Half Truths, and Superficial Relationships, so that you may live deep within your heart.  May God bless you with anger at Injustice, Oppression, and Exploitation of people, so that you may work for Justice, Freedom and Peace.  May God bless you with tears to shed for those who suffer Pain, Rejection, Hunger and War, so that you may reach out your hand to comfort them and to turn their pain to Joy.  And may God bless you with enough foolishness to believe that you can make a difference in the world, so that you can do what others claim cannot be done, to bring Justice and Kindness to All our Children and the Poor. Amen

For further inspiration watch this video: May God Bless You with Discomfort

Immeasurable Blessings,

jana

 

The Uncounted in the Crowd | Linking up with Lisa Jo Baker and Five Minute Friday

Veteran's Day rememberance

CROWD

GO:

You are surrounded. Crowded by Flowers. Hugs. Cards. Banners. American Flags. Yellow Ribbons.

You are surrounded with support and love, but want to flee. This crowd is strangling you. They cannot possibly understand what you are going through, or how you are suffering.

Then, again, the crowd surrounds you.

Although, it is a bit thinner this time. Some don’t come because they don’t know what to say or how to respond. Or worse, they are afraid your sorrow, grief and loss is contagious.

How you ache and wish your life could just be taken away from you. That you could join those you are missing.

The Uncounted

These are the voices that need to be heard. They are getting lost in the crowd. In the crowd of politics, fiscal constraints, theological legalism.

No one knows you. No one knows what to do with you. It seems fear, uncertainty, confusion is all you have to stand on.

You must feel lonely, so lonely. I pray we can speak for you. I pray we can stand up for you and fight for your voices to be heard, so that others can understand that this war continues to rage in our homes.

Children, Siblings, Spouses taking their lives because of suffering they are enduring due to war. No one is counting.

How can you not count, not matter? How can we not see? We will not let you get lost in the crowd of bureaucracy. This is our problem. We as a nation must hold you up, lift you up, support you as you continue to endure this silent pain.

Grief can be a killer if no one notices. If you think we don’t care, that you don’t matter, it will kill you from the inside out. And, the war will go on.

STOP

Five Minute Friday
……………………………………………….

We must stop and take notice.

There is an epidemic in our midst. Children, Spouses, Siblings are committing suicide as a result of the suffering they have endured by loved ones’ involvement in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. This article, while difficult to take in, is absolutely necessary for us to read, watch, and understand. We must know that there are those whose numbers are Not Being Counted.

You will hear from a Marine Spouse who shares her story of wanting to take her own life as she watched her husband suffer in the aftermath of multiple deployments.

A couple whose son was killed in action. Two years later their younger daughter committed suicide when the grief over her brother’s death became too great.

A sister who raised her two brothers in the absence of their mother. Her older brother was killed in action. Her younger brother then took his life as a result of his suffering. She is now all alone and struggling with suicidal ideation herself.

A teenager, afraid of her own father, a war hero. Believing suicide is the only answer for dealing with her pain.

No one is counting the number of parents, children and siblings who are committing suicide after the loss of a loved one due to war. No one is counting. These are the faces of “The Uncounted”. They do matter! And, we must do what we can to give them a voice so that they believe they count, too! Link to the article here:

{The Uncounted}

 

My deepest gratitude,

jana

Lent | Are we idolizing the “giving-up” or the Giver of Life?

Rick WarrenThe 40-days of Lent began a week ago today. I realize I am late with this post. My calendar has been jammed packed with lots of good things. I was hoping to get this out last Wednesday, and was disappointed I had missed my personal goal. However, I believe there is a reason for everything and this post might be timely after all.

We are a week into trying to follow through on our commitment to “give-up” {fill in the blank}. How is it going? Is it getting harder to commit? Have you been tempted? Have others given you a hard time for your diligence? 

It is usually about a week in when I struggle. I crave the chocolate and can’t stand it anymore thinking a little bite won’t hurt. No one will know.

Facebook was very active last week with my friends stating what they planned to give up. Some warned us that they were not going to be on Facebook for the 40-days, and that if we wanted to reach them, we would have to use actual email instead of Messenger. Oh, how times have changed!

I have prayed in preparation for this Lenten Season asking God to show me how I should observe this time. It often becomes a time of silence and reflection, a drawing in and a drawing closer to Christ.

Up until Ash Wednesday, I had been puzzled as to what I should yield In His Name, an emptying of “me” so that I can more fully be filled with Him. Nothing I have seems right. Nothing I crave seems right. Nothing can possibly be enough. He did so much for me. How can I possibly do enough for Him?

But, then I remember. It isn’t about doing anything. He hasn’t asked me to do anything for Him. He has offered me a Gift of His Love and asks me to take His gift with hands extended, knees bowed, and with a repentant heart, mind and spirit.

According to the Scriptures, the 40-days Jesus spent in the desert preceded his 3 years of ministry on Earth. He spent 40-days fasting, praying and intimately connecting with His Father, all the while being tempted to sin by Satan. Jesus had been led to the desert by the Holy Spirit in order to prepare for what was to come.

Ultimately, Jesus knew that his life would end on a cross – denied by those who professed to love him, humiliated and mocked, beaten and spat on. Jesus knew what was coming. Death. His body on a cross for us. For you. For me.

How can my “giving-up” something even compare?

But, you see, we are being asked to give up something not because it can somehow compare to what he gave for us. We are being asked to give up something as a reminder of how the state our hearts, minds and souls should be when we commit to a life in Christ.

Imagine with me for a second the posture you take when giving up something. I see open hands, a leaning into the other person. a letting go, a yielding and acceptance that this thing, person, idea whatever it is, is no longer your own. You have come to a place of acceptance and humility where you can freely give it away.

Are you there? Are you feeling free in your “giving-up” here in this season of Lent? Or, are you begrudging the practice and dreading that moment when you will crave chocolate?

If you are begrudging this time, or gloating about what you are “giving-up” to your friends, then, folks, you are missing the entire point! We are not to gloat about the “sacrifice” we are making. We dishonor Him and the entire purpose of this season when we do this. These 4o days are between you and Him. And, forgive me for saying this, but I do not agree with using Lent as a time to cut out some tempting food in hopes that you will lose some weight.

Let us not dishonor Christ by misusing this time. Giving up a food item, or TV or FB can be very worthwhile, if, when you feel the temptation, you go to the Lord in prayer with a spirit of humility and repentance. We can use those hunger pains as a reminder to draw close to him.

This step, drawing close to Christ in prayer and communion, is crucial and without it we are dishonoring him and idolizing the “giving-up” and not the Giver of Life.

Ask the Lord to lead you to a place of true repentance. Imagine yourself kneeling at His feet, head bowed, hands open and ask Him, “Lord, what do you want me to give up so that I can draw closer to You?”

You might be surprised by His answer!

You see, just like Jesus in the desert, we can utilize this time of Lent to prepare our hearts, minds and souls for what is to come in our own lives. He is calling us to God-sized dreams. He is calling us to use our time, talents, and gifts to serve Him. In order for His light to shine through us, we must become empty of our “selves” and be filled with His Spirit.

I know many of you are being called to do something for Christ that is totally out of your comfort zone. I know, because I am experiencing it and I am talking to many who are right there with me.

If you need encouragement to follow Him and pursue the “God-sized dream” that He is calling you to, you need to go no further than Jennie Allen’s book “Restless”. I am reading it now.

Why not use this season to idolize the Giver or Life, the Giver of God-sized Dreams? Let us be careful that the efforts we put forth to give up something, whatever it is, not become our idol. I would be very easy to focus our attention on the discipline it takes to give something up rather than on the One who gave up everything for us. The practice of giving-up something is a good one if we are diligent in the using it the way it was intended.

May your Lenten season be filled with peace, silent moments with God the Father, and maybe even a few surprises along the way.

With love,

jana

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