Ethically, non toxin clothing

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100% linen dress

The clothes you wear matter. Growing up, I never thought about what I wore. If the shirt was cute, the jeans fit and the shoes were in style, I didn’t think twice. I didn’t think about the material I was putting on my skin. I didn’t think about where those clothes were coming from. I didn’t think about the story behind the purchase. The last year, God’s been slowly helping me realize what it means to live more naturally and more ethically.

At the beginning of this year, I started getting into essential oils and carrier oils. I started making my own bath and beauty recipes as well as homemade household cleaners. It’s no surprise that the Lord starting challenging me on the clothes I was wearing.

Did you know it takes approximately 30 seconds for your skin to absorb

That means, I’m putting all these cancer causing materials onto my skin, sweating in these clothes, and sleeping in them!! Oh my gosh, that is not good!!

Toxins:

1. Polyester is the worst fabric you can buy. It is made from synthetic polymers that are made from esters of dihydric alcohol and terpthalic acid. 

2. Acrylic fabrics are polycrylonitriles and may cause cancer, according to the EPA.

3. Rayon is recycled wood pulp that must be treated with chemicals like caustic soda, ammonia, acetone and sulphuric acid to survive regular washing and wearing.

4. Acetate and Triacetate are made from wood fibers called cellulose and undergo extensive chemical processing to produce the finished product.

5. Nylon is made from petroleum and is often given a permanent chemical finish that can be harmful.

6. Anything static resistant, stain resistant, permanent press, wrinkle-free, stain proof or moth repellant. Many of the stain resistant and wrinkle-free fabrics are treated with perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs), like Teflon.

I don’t know about you but I don’t want any of those chemicals on my body. I look for organic and natural materials. Cotton and linen are my go to. My rule of thumb is: look on the tag on the inside. If it doesn’t have a tag saying what it’s made of; don’t buy it. I’ll never forget cleaning out my closet and seeing 4 tags. All in different languages and overall listing a man made chemical material. No thank you!

There’s so much more I’m still learning. I will say I’ve learned this: what you wear matters. Just because it may be the style that’s in right now, doesn’t mean it’s worth your health. I refuse to live the way I used to live, buying clothes made of toxic materials and supporting industry’s that don’t offer fair trade or treat their employees good.

Some tips:

1. Raid your closet. Go through each piece of clothing. Look at the tag. Is it ethically made? Is it made of toxic materials? (Can you pronounce the name of material it’s made of) is there more then one tag? (Most likely your supporting an industry you probably shouldn’t be- do your research before you buy).

2. Shop secondhand. You can find so many ethically made, beautiful pieces of clothing for cheap!

3. Rule of thumb: if there’s no tag stating the material it’s made of don’t purchase item. Make sure there is a tag stating what the material is. Even if you really like the item, it’s not worth risking your health over.

4. Buy materials made of: Cotton, linen, wool or silk. Cotton and linen are my go to.

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Cutting ties 

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The more and more I don’t talk to people and I stick to myself, the more I see how the world works. For the past few years, I’d struggle with having a presence on social media. I gave up Facebook years ago and never looked back. Instagram was a different story though. You see, I love to write and recently the popularity of posting a photo with a lengthy caption on Instagram took off… especially in Christian  society.

I still remember the first person I ever followed that captioned their photos having something to do with their faith and Jesus. Soon after following that first account, accounts with the same content weren’t hard to find. Content such as perfectly posed pictures of ones legs featuring coffee and bibles opened with notes accompanied with ones arm holding coffee- representing time with Jesus. It wasn’t long until I realized, Instagram was now becoming a tool to connect believers together, and nonbelievers to Christ. I decided since I believe in the Lord and strive to live for Him, why couldn’t I make a difference for the Lord? By sharing my words with pictures on Instagram?

I quickly found myself posting pictures that I liked with my words as the caption. I also accompanied my photos with hashtags. After 8 months of having that Instagram account, I decided I needed a break bad. It was nice posting pictures and writing to an audience. If I’m being honest though, it became too much. I honestly don’t know how all those women do it. I have no idea how they have the time to take such beautiful pictures and constantly update their Instagram stories. I barely have enough time to write. Honestly, I feel like we as a society have lost touch with what real looks like.
Ever since Instagram took off in 2010, people have been becoming famous off of it. We live in the type of society that if your popular enough, noticed enough.. you’ll be successful. How sickening is that?

I  think back to Jesus and how He was often the outcast. He was often rejected by so many religious leaders yet His truth was the only truth worth listening to.

I don’t think we understand anymore just how lost we’ve become. If you think about it, no ones life really looks like their Instagram feed. Yet, we constantly portray our lives to look a certain way, and in reality they are no way as cultivated and beautifully crafted as that. It used to be just comparing yourself to other women on Instagram, by seeing them do yoga poses you haven’t yet mastered, seeing them look the way you want to look, seeing them having fun on vacation at the beach, etc. Now it’s turned into, “hey, let me tell you about my faith.” That’s all good and dandy.

I commend us for sharing our faith with others. What I don’t commend is sharing our faith and our lives in such a way, that only highlights the good and not the bad.

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Maybe a few months from now, I’ll be in a different place where I’ll feel like I have the authority to share something. For now, I’ll continue to write on my blog until I’m at the place I no longer compare or get trapped in endless scrolls of other people’s feeds. Because in the end I don’t need to be like anyone else.

I don’t need to have faith like them, I just need to have faith like Jesus.

As I sit here right now, I’m not so sure I do. I don’t acknowledge people the way Jesus did. I’ve become so closed off and focused on myself that I don’t really care about interacting with people. Listening to everyone around me, all they seem to do is talk about others, constantly. They curse and say nasty words or talk about their accomplishments. I don’t want to be like that.

I want to be the type of person who talks about Jesus, about the freedom I’ve found, about the joy I have in taking care of myself every day, about the grace I’ve found when I don’t beat myself up about everything, about the love I’ve found for the people God has placed in my life.. etc.

I find it hard to do with the people around me. I’ll say hi how are you, and talk about general subjects with others. But it’s been hard to find meaningful relationships, let alone have meaningful conversations with the people around me. And to be honest that doesn’t really bother me because this is just a chapter in my life. 10 months more and I’ll be onto bigger and better things.

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What is one thing you’ve learned from social media? Do you find yourself closed off from others or is it easy for you to interact with people you don’t necessarily relate to?
Love and grace,
Laura

Mental health awareness: I choose freedom 

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In the United States, the month of May is recognized as: mental health awareness month. No one is immune to mental health. Anxiety, depression, anger, sadness… affects us all to some degree or another throughout our lives. I’m not an expert on mental health or anything, I would just like to share my own personal journey with you, in the hopes of spreading some light to the situation.

“But everything exposed by the light becomes visible–and everything that is illuminated becomes a light,” (Ephesians 5:13 NIV).

In high school, I hardly had any friends. I stuck with the same friends throughout those four years. I never really branched out, so I spent high school not really living the normal teenage life. I didn’t go to parties, date boys or get asked to high school dances. None of this affected me but what did affect me was the feeling of anxiety.

During my senior year of high school, I was so consumed with my future. I worried about where I was going to go to school at and how I was going to pay for it. Long story short, I spent the last year of high school extremely stressed out. Before I knew it, that anxiety turned into fear and without realizing it I took that anxiety with me after high school. Long story short, I did not attend the university in Montana that I planned on attending. I hurt a lot of people along the way, including myself. I ended up in a small town in Nevada and enrolled in community college.

During the next few years, God kept showing up in my life. I learned what was important in my life and what was not. I got my heartbroken for the first time, found out some people only want to use me, I lost and gained friends, I learned working was important and so much more. Most importantly, I began to learn that I did not need to spend my life stressed or worried.

With the grace of God, after almost two years of struggling after high school (feeling lost, working a minimum wage job, trying to save money, living on my own, etc.), I got baptized August 23 2015 at a nondenominational church in Reno, NV. Slowly but surely, I felt myself giving God more control over my life which resulted in me feeling less stressed/worried. It was as if the less control I had over life and the more I let The One who was ultimately in control lead/guide me… I more I began to feel at peace.

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Fast forward to three years later, I can say with confidence I hardly stress anymore. I’ve learned that half of the time I’m stressing over something, it’s over something I can control. For instance, recently I spent almost a whole day stressed and worrying about packing. Literally packing was stressing me out so much that I couldn’t think of anything else. As soon as I had the chance I packed what I needed to and immediately felt the weight lifted off of my shoulders. I’m embarrassed writing that but that’s the thing about stress, it affects us all from the stupidest smallest ways to the big ways. Maybe you don’t stress over such minuscule things such as, packing; maybe you stress about the big stuff such as, moving or selling your house… whatever the case may be the reason is the same. I think when we care about things the enemy sees that we do and if we’re not careful, he’ll cause us to stress. One way I’ve learned to overcome unnecessary stress is to, release it to God right away by telling him how I’m feeling and why. Next I’ll take a deep breath and remind myself that all that stuff is still going to be there, it’s not going anywhere, it’s not life or death and it can wait until I’m ready. It’s important for me to do those steps so I can quickly release those feelings before they become a reality. God sees when we are anxious or stressed and He will always provide us with an alternative: releasing it to Him.

The more I know myself, the more I find out how much easier it is to recognize when I’m starting to slip into depression or sadness. For instance, if I’m in my room too much or even if I just go to my room after work and then let the night pass by without doing anything other than homework.. I’ll feel the enemy at work because I’ll start beating myself up and talking in circles, saying things like: I can’t keep doing this. Why am I so lazy? I need to change. So, I immediately get up and get out of my room! I can’t be alone too much, I have to go out and be around people. Sometimes I’ll drive to Target to look around because I love Target. Other times, I’ll grab my yoga mat and stop at the local park, unroll my mat and do some yoga. Most times however, I’ll release my feelings to God, just like I do when I’m stressed. I find that I have to do something to help me be in the light and remind myself I have the power to be happy. I always remind myself when I start to feel low, that I’m in control of my thoughts and my feelings. I can choose happiness and joy no matter what outside circumstances I may face. One of my favorite verses in the Bible states:

“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things,” (Philippians 4:8 ESV).

And it’s so true and powerful because the more we think good thoughts, the happier we become.

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Sometimes there are still moments when I’ll feel my mind just completely plagued by thoughts of guilt. I’ll feel guilty for not doing yoga or doing the things I said I would, i.e. waking up at 0430 in the morning. I’ll start asking myself, God what’s wrong with me? I’m a strong believer that when thoughts like this, especially feelings of guilt start to show up, they are not from God. I choose to believe that feelings of guilt don’t come from God. What I mean by that is, I do still think God is going to make me feel guilty when I sin. However, I don’t think Gods going to make me feel guilty for not doing things that are good for me or the things I want to do. So, when I don’t do yoga, the feelings of guilt I feel stem from being too hard on myself and failing the standards I set for myself. I know at the end of this life the only thing that’s truly going to matter is loving God, myself and others. But that doesn’t mean I want to waste my life by not living. The way I overcome guilt for failing the standards I’ve set for myself is really just by meeting those standards I set for myself but also giving myself grace. I know there are going to be days when I perform better then others and days when I perform worse. However, as long as I always keep trying Gods going to see that and He’s going to commend that.

There are times when anger tries to creep in as well. Most recently, I’ll be in my car driving and there will be a person following so closely from behind and I’ll start to feel stressed sometimes even angry. What I’ve learned though is to: focus on what’s in front of me instead of getting caught up in what’s behind me. Road rage is never worth it. We are all traveling somewhere, trying to get somewhere at the same time and it’s important to acknowledge that without putting others in danger or letting other drivers affect us.

Those are some of the struggles I am faced with in this life and I’m sure you are too. I hope my post helped in realizing you are not alone. I hope it gave you some ideas on how to cope with your own mental health battles. There is freedom to be found in sharing our struggles with others. I want you to know I encourage you in sharing your story, I am walking with you and I commend you.

“For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery,” (Galatians 5:1).

Today and every day I choose freedom from mental health battles. I choose freedom- for my God has set me free. I choose happiness.

With love and kindness,

Laura

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Life distance 

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Sometimes distance is a good thing. A time to allow yourself to get some space to figure out what you truly want. A time for you to grow into who you want to be. A time to figure things out, figure out yourself and figure out your life.

I guess that’s why I haven’t been on here in a while. Writing has always been something I enjoy but sometimes it’s hard to make time for it. It’s been almost 5 months since my last meaningful post.

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I’d like to say that something new has happened since then, but nothing really comes to mind. Lately God has been showing me who I am. I’ve learned that I am worthy of love and that I am enough. Social media used to consume so much of my days, now it doesn’t even consume an hour.


You see, life happens in the moments we don’t see online. Life happens in the in between moments. Life happens when we do yoga outside, instead of caring about what people may think. Life happens when we realize God is in control, even in our relationships. Life happens when we show up everyday, when we show up for ourselves regardless of how we may feel. Life happens when we stop worrying and just let things go.

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My prayer for the rest of this year and really this season of my life is: God I pray that I can trust You throughout this season, that I can make it through the rest of this year and that 2019 will hurry up. I pray that I can endure whatever may come and that I can continue to grow closer to You as well as in my faith.. and that I can continue to love myself, commit to my hobbies and enjoy life. 
-LM

“ I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13  NLT