Nails, Freedom, Peace


The whole premise of the services, lately, has been “I Was–I Am.”  Exploring who God is, and exploring the stories of people from the congregation.

Today a woman, probably in her sixties, stood up holding a sign that read something like, “I was–driven by fear and obligation.”  Her story played on a video screen above my head, and I saw a survivor, a once broken woman who is now joyful.  And that was her “I Am,” that she is now joyful in her service.  Her story resonated so much with me in my heart of hearts: she was a cancer survivor, who happened to stop going to church around the time that she found out about her illness.  She had been attending a “very conservative” church, in her own words, that did not permit women to serve within the church, or to use their abilities to be leaders.  Hearing her say that because she couldn’t use her natural abilities and talents to serve (something that is seen too much as leadership, apparently, in that particular church from which she came) made me remember my own burden in that specific area.  A wound that I am actively healing, and a wound that I have had from a former church.

Being in a new place, in a Methodist church, I realize why I am so bent on being in an egalitarian church.  Sitting last week in church, I saw a woman playing the bongos, a woman playing the guitar.  A few teen guys singing and playing electric.  The first time I attended a lady was playing bass.  And she was kicking ass!  Another time a woman was gently moving a rainstick–looking completely comfortable.  Over to the side, a group of teenagers worshipped freely–dancing & laughing, using percussion instruments at a whim.  I saw all of this, and saw that it was not “hillsong,”  it was NOT a production.  It was a bunch of people, freely moving & dancing, not feeling like they had to be in any sort of order.  And those instruments I mentioned, bongos, bass–those are not “typical” woman instruments that you see in every church.  It’s funny, but I see that the specific instruments that women play in church usually have to make that woman look “pretty” and “elegant” and are more quiet.  Maybe a background singer, and maybe someone with a tambourine (gently playing).  But who sees women on bongos?  This was the first time for me.  Worship is a wonderful experience, transcendent–and also an opportunity for the sexes to come together before God.  I want that experience to be without leader vs. led.  I want that experience to be without subservient vs. oppressor.  I want that, and I believe that the bible wants that, to be an experience between creator & created–a soul experience.

Another thing I have noticed here, is how the men interact with the women.  I was previously so used to men nearly ignoring me–probably for the sake of chastity and appearance.  But isn’t ignoring a woman because you don’t want to sin also not allowing her to be ministered to?  Put aside the fact that a woman is a sexual being for five minutes–and you will see that she is also a very intellectual one, one who wants to be included in discussions of faith and of consequence.  Of theology, too.  In this church things have been different for me– The first time I attended solo, the pastor and I happened to be walking towards the sanctuary at the same time.  I can describe the pastor as jolly.  As joyful.  As gentle-spirited and kind.  But he doesn’t seem like he would sugar coat anything really, either.  He made a marked point of looking me in the eye, shaking my hand, and also asking if there was anything he could do to help me.  He didn’t shy away from me awkwardly, because I am a woman, and he also didn’t treat me strangely because of it.  He treated me like a normal human–which is how I like it, thanks very much!  He also didn’t seem rushed, hurrying about.  He seemed like he was in the right place and right time.

We did a very interesting exercise at the end of the service, where we got nails, and we nailed our forgiven transgressions to a cross.  We all took nails and hammers, and did this.  And then, after that, we grabbed a nail to take back to our seat.  The pastor then asked us to turn to our neighbor, our brother or sister in Christ, and press that nail into their palm gently, and say, “Sister, (or brother) beloved, you are forgiven by Christ.”  It was a beautiful and peaceful expression of the cross to me.  It felt very healing and uplifting, but also sobering in the fact of what God did for us.

The freedom I feel in a place that embraces women as equals, and as individuals, makes me breathe easy and smile with disarmament.  I can allow my fences, my walls, and my barbed wire exterior (which I can certainly put in place when I feel it is necessary) to be lowered down.  I feel at ease in the fact that I am acknowledged as a sister in Christ, as a beautiful woman who has much to offer both in feminine hospitality, grace, and eloquence, as well as strength, leadership, etc. skills that I may possess.  It is a beautiful thing to partake in.

All my love,

-M

“When Bad Christians Happen”


I’ve been visiting with my family, and it has been a refreshing time for my intellect.  My family has given me a lot to ponder, a lot to discuss, and a lot to throw around with friends in conversation–asking what they think and bouncing ideas off of them.  I believe both of my parents would proudly wear the title of “Serial Reader,” and I also ravenously devour books and search for more.  We have been talking and talking for much of my stay here, and it is wonderful.  We talk about our reading often, and I feel accepted in my nerdiness.

One day, my dad walked into the kitchen toting a book which he held up with a bit of a grimace: “When Bad Christians Happen to Good People,” which I looked at and of course, met with an equal expression of distaste on my face.  I could not get this idea of Bad Christians out of my head, and have been thinking about my perceptions of it since.  I have had many encounters with some I’ve deemed bad christians, and I think a dialogue about them is in order.  Something that I want them to hear, that I want other people who are “good Christians,” to hear (what does it even mean?? We’ve all fallen far short) and those who wish to stay the heck out of that entire conversation because they are anti-religious, religion-wounded, or something else–also to listen to.  To me, a Bad Christian may be anyone.  But what are they doing that makes them so?  It’s not that they are evil people, it’s not a personal jab at their character.  It is, though, a direct statement that they are not representing the Christ of the bible accurately or positively.  This is my own definition.

My “Bad Christian” history
I remember specifically in High School, having friends who would apologize to me when they cursed.  “Damnit!” they would exclaim with animation, and then look over to me with a really guilty and semi-embarrassed expression on their faces.  The response that would come out of my mouth might be something like, “Don’t apologize to me,” with a masked “You should be apologizing to God,” hiding somewhere in the equation & my tone of voice.  Whether those friends understood how I meant this or not, I’m not sure… but I do realize a stark contradiction between my beliefs back then, and my somewhat matured ideas–come from living life a bit more.

Years later, I am known to utter a profanity among close friends or family.  I think that words are very important, but I am not a strict penny-pincher on this one.  Some of my best friends are people who will let fly a few words in my presence, and I love them all the more because of it.  They are comfortable in that, they know that I am not judging them as “lesser Christ-Followers” on account of it, and they are expressing themselves deeply and with feeling with those certain words.  And I will do the same thing.  It’s not often, but it’s not something I’m scared to admit–those people know me, and know that I love God.  They know that I care what he thinks, and know that I am sincere about that.  However, I would be more cautious if I’ve never met someone and don’t know what they think about me, or about God.  I want them to know Christ, and for my words to reflect that I do.  Why would I let curse words be my first expression of who I am, if I can let more kind or, better still, listening words be my first impression?

I want to make a distinction here between my old self, and who I see myself as now through growth and by seeing good examples.  My ideas about God and about behavior and all of that back in highshcool were pretty childish.  You HAVE TO BE GOOD, you HAVE TO DO WHAT’S RIGHT, you HAVE TO LOVE WORSHIP SONGS, and you HAVE TO SPEAK CHRISTIANESE …and so on and so on.. in order to follow Christ.  Essentially, there are a lot of expectations and follow-throughs that you must exceed and perform well on before you are deemed “holy.”  And if I walk into certain churches or within certain circles of people, I immediately cringe at hearing what I remember I was also like: “Oh, let me tell you all about what the Lord spoke directly to me when I was worshipping to hillsong yesterday, for an hour, in my quiet place.”  Okay… Um.  Yes.  I get it, and I am not making fun of anyone who is sincere in this.  AT ALL!  I want to make that clear.  I know that God speaks.  I know that he talks to us, truly.  I have never been one to “hear him speak,” but I have been nearly pushed to actions by him, and I hear him in my heart daily.  But I do also want to say, that I feel a lot of the conversations and outward behaviors that Christians engage in are all about appearing holy, being “good enough” for God’s love, and being the “GOOD Christians.”  They butter up their actions and words, smother them in goodness, righteousness, and a garment of praise, and think that they’re doing juuuuuust fine.  The problem is, so many of these people are not the good Christ-followers they may intend to be.

Words are not Actions
I cannot tell you how many times I have met a person who proclaims very loudly how devoted to Christ they are, speaks highly of Joel, Joyce, and every other popular modern evangelist, and never misses their three church service a week quota–and then turns a deaf ear and a blind eye directly to real suffering and real pain that they could do something about.  Have you met someone like that?  I don’t think that these people mean something intentionally bad in this–they are doing what they believe to be right!  They believe they are serving God.  They believe they are doing their part.  But I do think there is a deeper issue here that encompasses our human condition, and also the church.  We are very, very comfortable “fitting in,” and learning a certain language that only a certain group of people use.  Christianese.  We are very happy to be engulfed in a social appointment that makes us feel like we are the center of the universe.  And I think that a lot of people get those needs, which all humans want, filled through church.  But then they treat non-believers, semi-believers, and on-the-fence open-minded people as though they are dirty, dumb, and perhaps even unpopular!  They use a litany of holy and powerful words or catchphrases throughout the week in their circles, but then they encounter someone on the outside who does not speak the same language, who may not follow Christ at all, and who doesn’t “get” that sort of thing.  This does a number of things to that person who is receiving the “bad Christian” behavior, but here are a few: 1) It makes them feel like an outsider who has no clue about something, and they’re missing out in a negative way.  2) It makes them feel inferior.  3) They are not truly experiencing Christ’s love from mumbo-jumbo scripture and jargon that they are hearing and not receiving.  They simply are not in a place in their life when they can understand it and use it.  Furthermore, many times I feel that fanatically holy and over-religious individuals could care less about the very important (to God) aspect of faith, which is relationship.  It seems they wish to quickly convert and “save” as many as possible, without stopping to get to know their stories.  This matters deeply, I think, and is also an opportunity where that person may grow and have an equal epiphany in their life–by interacting with another person who they never knew deeply before.  Nonbelievers are not trophies to collect, “winning over souls,” by the dozen.  It sickens me to think some people more or less operate in this fashion.  But they are real people who God loves very much.

What does matter? (IMHO)
So here’s my own approach & my response to super-religiosity and hyper-spirituality.  When I say that words are not actions, I am trying to get at a very basic, important psychological principal: Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs.  The graph looks like a triangle, and at the bottom is that person’s absolute basic needs.  Food, shelter, fresh water, and that sort of thing.  Next are emotional needs, and so on, until at the very top is Self Actualization.  This is like being personally enlightened, I believe.  I didn’t go into great detail and I may have gotten a bit of it off, but that’s the basic theory.  Maslow is trying to tell us one thing through this, as Christians: If someone we see has a very basic need, which we can meet, and we are not meeting it, then our holy words are NOT going to do any good–they will be meaningless to that person.  I absolutely believe that people need to hear that God loves them.  I completely know that the message of the Gospel is transformative and it can change lives instantaneously. But most of that sort of thing is very rare, and change takes time.  I  think many of those stories are encouraging, but also they are dramatic and attention-grabbing.  Real life doesn’t usually happen like that.  We need to meet people where they are.  And we need to meet them there with compassion, an earnest gaze in our eyes, and less religiosity and judgment.

Another thing…
I feel like these bad Christian types are also very full of fervor, energy, and are just all around zealots.  Many times, they are so excited and happy that they have found the truth, that they trample upon other people’s feelings and beliefs when it is just not necessary.  For example, lets talk about speaking in tongues.  Perhaps someone has been very weirded out, or even wounded in a church that spoke in tongues, and feels ill emotions towards the whole thing.  To this, some zealot bad Christians may say that they need to fully recognize the gifts of the spirit and that person needs to get this for their faith to be made real.  I disagree–and think that the issue is a fringe issue in the faith, and not a central one anyhow.  Following Christ, the real Christ and not the churchified, Americanized, etc. Jesus that we see often. In their fervor, some of these zealous people may drive others who are on the borders of their faith journey away.

Lets work on loving people more, and worrying about what people think about us less.  Lets be counter-cultural, yet also culture-relevant.  Lets seek truth, follow the Gospel, but also have discernment about when we are supposed to be so outspoken about our certainties in this life.  There are many things I will probably never understand, and many people in whose shoes I have never walked.  I am not going to judge things that are not for me to judge, and I am going to try to focus on the central important things.  Christ died as my replacement.  This world is broken.  He has risen, and with him comes the glorious hope of a new heaven and new earth which will be as they were intended.  Untarnished, fully realized.

All my love,

-M

Stumbling Feet


Once so steady, in rhythm, in line and in tune,

Now unfocused, lacking poise, without coordination.

My path, my journey, my stage.

We never imagine ourselves to be here,

Or over there, or underneath.

We suppose our lives will match our age.

All these words, all these phrases.

Everything I say to you.

Enunciate, elaborate, exaggerate, fabricate.
Will our lives spin around us forever,

Will we walk sideways and backwards always?

Will we find the shoes that fit?

I believed in dreams, in stories, in plots and scripts.

I believed in novels, in prose, in fairytales.

Now I have my shoes,  and I’m walking– and that’s it.

 

Growing Like a Weed


He’s forever changing.  Every day, there’s a new word that he tries, or a handful of them.  Something new that he’s understanding or realizing about the world around him.  He’s a toddler, only a little ways from TWO.  Two.  That doesn’t even seem possible, but it is.  I captured him here, so I won’t forget what he was like at 20 months old.  He’s a handsome, hilarious little soul with compassion and an eagerness to learn and know his surroundings.  I just can’t wait to teach him more and more.  He’s got a love of learning, is picking up new signs all the time (our friend taught us “Help” the other day, so now he asks me for help with things, sometimes. ;) and is really in tune with feelings and emotions.  Smart cookie, what can I say?  I’m smitten.

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Tenacious “Housewives”


Mental hardiness.  Strength.  Tenacity.  (I love that word.  I love how it sounds, and how it rolls off my tongue so deliciously and boldly.) Endurance.  Long-suffering (sometimes).

Things have been falling into a good pattern this new year.  I am happy about that.  A pattern that is more in line with these descriptions.

If you are young, unless you have a close friend who has experienced it themselves or you are currently going through it, you may not know that the transition from singledom to married life to parenthood is not always fluid or glittery like some of hollywood’s fun little portrayals.  Most people seem ill-prepared as I was, for what is to come for them.  Nothing can prepare you.  Nothing.  But I think if we had more people willing to speak of it, that would ease a lot of the heartache.

These actions and life phases are messy, splattered with dirt, grime, and the occasional splatter of heated (truly raging) argument.  Life was extraordinarily hard for us as a newlywed couple (“Newlywed” refers to the first year or so of married life, correct?  Except that’s not always the only definition.  Some people think they’re still newlywed at two years, and others feel the idea has worn off much sooner.  I remember wondering at what point we were no longer considered newlywed.  Now I laugh, because we have an attention-grabbing son and I do not at all think I am newlywed, no hint of it here!) with our getting to understand one another’s patterns and rhythms and communication ways.  With getting to understand what it really means to choose to love someone.  Not just to feel like it.  Because when the cold, hard, scathing reality hits you with a very distinct WHACK on the head, that you are both really screwed up and desperately need to be recreated and redeemed, it will be a choice of staying and loving, or running and running far–hiding away.  I remember very vividly getting into my car and slamming the door, and I’m being vulnerably honest here, having packed a bag of my belongings, and driving to my parents house at least a few times in those early months.  I think once I actually stayed overnight, and I just needed to work things out and get over them.  But many times I just drove partway, and then fickly turned around and we made up and chose to show love to on another.  It was hard–and the difficulties required heartiness in order for us to not continue going back to the same old fights and issues. And things are not that way anymore, they are not all dramatic and painful and ridiculous, misunderstood.  We still have blow ups once in awhile, and this move has been hard on our communication and Troy’s overtime has definitely been an obstacle we’ve had to maneuver around.  And I venture to say it’s more like that picture I just painted for most people than they would like to admit or let on to.  This world is simply too happy to hear the simple, easy version of things, whereas the realities are not so readily boiled down or explained.  People have stories in their marriages that are much more detailed and layered.

There are nuances.  There are crazy realizations.  There are dumb smacks in the face when you start realizing what your spouse actually needed from you (but doesn’t know how to ask for) or what your child had been trying to say in their own (20-month-old) fussy way.

Days can be rough.  The toaster oven can catch fire and the dog can start puking, and you can be just standing there in a tee-shirt and pajama pants, looking as frumpy as can be and as confused and annoyed as the dickens.  Wondering if your life will always be a dog-puke delight.  Wondering if you’ll ever nab a moment to remove that weeks-old chipped nail polish that’s starting to look intentional.  Weeks can be  bone-dry and red-eyed, they can be expletive worthy, they can make you want to just leave everything –but you know what?  They don’t stay like that forever.  It is not an eternal place, as I have seen at least in the last month or so.  I feel there is plenty of hope, even for people who may be emotional, or hormonal, or unstable, or stress-level-through-the-roof individuals as I have been before.  Sometimes you just have to wait it out long enough, I suppose, and get on your knees again.

The hope I am feeling, lately in my journey, is a hearty and steady resilience that is being built up.  Built up by changing dirty diapers, by taking walks in the cold because “dang it, we need to get out!”, by doing load after load of laundry and folding and putting it up, of giving a massage when I want one for myself.  It is channeled through listening when I feel like yelling, by giving another chance when I feel like giving up, by ignoring something irritating when I feel its the last straw.  And as a housewife (I’d rather call myself a house person!  I hate that term.. haha) there is so much to do here, and I think the mental challenge of it all sometimes has gotten me so down.  But instead of even thinking of it, lately, I have just been DOING.  Just do it.  Nike.  So silly.  But really, in just doing things, I have developed some patterns and I think that God is giving me some household tenacity.  Some drive when I was so weary from such little work before.  And I am a hard worker, but giving up yourself and giving up tending to your needs because you have a son and a house to care for, is not for the weak, and I am learning just what it takes to be a “housewife,” as lame and totally boxed-in as that term is.  I have a new respect for those hard working people I know and love, the ones who do the behind-the-scenes marching and grunt-work.  I have a shining admiration for their hearts, for their souls which could so easily turn towards indignation and pride, towards begrudgingly caring for people instead of doing it lovingly, but with Christ’s love and affirmation they selflessly keep going.  They continue to love with the gut-wrenching self sacrifice that is everyday life to them, service to others without complaining.  What does it take to give to others willingly, with no expectations?  That is what Jesus is asking me lately.  And He is telling me that it takes his love.  It takes his heart and his spirit.  Not mine.  Mine could kick everyone to the curb and say “See ya, suckers!”  But His.  His is so amazingly giving and full of delight in it, too.

All this to say, sorry I’ve been away so long, here’s what I’m thinking of.

Just another piece of my life puzzle.  Dark coming into light.

All my love,

-M

Top 8 Reasons I Love Being a “Natural Mama.”


Crunchy.  Natural.  Hippy.  Whatever you call being a tree-hugging, natural remedy loving, excited about ginger and garlic and all things holistic healing–that would be me.  And each day I love learning as much as I can through valuable resources I’ve found (check out my “Health & Food Resources” link at the top of my blog) and feel fondly towards.  But why do I do it?  I’m sure a lot of people I’m acquainted with wonder that.  In fact, Troy & I were having an interesting conversation the other night about my motives.  He asked if part of it is that I like to be different, and do things because they are a “different way.”  I adamantly refused that.  I don’t do this for attention, or just for the sake of being different from the crowd.  Most of the time my own instinctual leanings are simply not that of most people’s.  I feel more comfortable going against the grain than most: meaning, I don’t feel the same compliance pressure when it comes to conforming to the norm.  A lot of people, many of my loved ones included, think natural ideas are great–but when it comes to actually doing them, perhaps getting questions or stares or angry looks, because you do things a little differently–then it’s not worth it.  For me, it IS!  Here are my top reasons why:

1) Above all, I feel that I am created to be a steward.  Maybe not everyone’s calling, but I feel strongly that God put it into my very being from the start.  I love this Earth.  I love how God beautifully interconnected and tied everything together so that it would work symbiotically.  How there is a chain of events, how this animal eats this, and this bacteria helps this, etc. etc.  I love being a steward and feel that I am supposed to learn more and care more for my home and surrounding land.

2) Cancer runs in my family.  I know, we could probably all say this.  But the fact that cancer runs in my family is really a defining aspect of this equation for me.  Three out of four of my grandparents bit the dust from cancer.  Two of which deaths occurred nearly instantaneously before our eyes, and it astonishes me and terrifies me that cancer can get you so quick.  Nearly without your own knowledge.  They were already elderly, so their immune system and body were on the weaker side, but with the knowledge that I may perhaps be genetically predisposed, why on EARTH would I subject myself to radiation, pesticides, and other byproducts of our very processed world (ahem.. high fructose corn syrup, red#40, etc.) without knowing their actions upon the body, and if I can easily just avoid them?  I wouldn’t.  I feel really adamantly about protecting my body against cancer, and no I’m not obsessed with it–I am proactive against it.  I microwave my food a time or two a day–if it needs it.  I don’t use a microwave to cook things really.  I eat conventionally (read: not organically grown) grown produce sometimes because DANG… some of that produce is just WAY too expensive to buy organic.  At the end of the day God knows if I’ll get cancer and pass from it.  But I’m going to fight tooth and nail to keep my body chugging away healthily, while leading a life that is practical.

3) It’s FUN!  On many levels, leading a more natural and unprocessed life is SUPER FUN to me.  I know, I’m a nerdy-nerd! But I don’t mind one bit.  I will talk to anyone who seems a tiny bit interested in it about my latest fermentation project or what have you.  I find researching and learning about new methods, learning about new herbs, learning about whatever I can.. just absolutely thrilling.  I find educating others about simple techniques that may help them and bring them enjoyment absolutely fantastic.  Discussing these things always makes me happy.

4) Often, it can keep money in the bank.  Natural remedies, even organic ones, can be so dang cheap!  I had a HORRIBLE… and I mean horrid… painful sinus infection when August was teensy tiny.  I have never experienced anything like it, and it was just excruciating pain all around for a few days.  Felt like someone took needle nose pliers to my face.  Anyhow, the solution after trying dozens of things to make the pain stop… was inhaling the steam from boiling fresh ginger root & dabbing a paste of ginger powder directly onto the parts of my face that hurt.  How much did that cost?  Probably a buck.  And my sinus infection was gone within a day or two.  Absolutely amazing–and if I had gone to see a PA or whoever else my insurance recommended, they probably would’ve put me on antibiotics and told me to come back in a week.  Lots of money there to be paid out, folks.  Living naturally can save you literally thousands.  Cloth diapers?  They can be nasty.  There’s no bad blowout like a cloth diaper blowout.  But I know we are saving so much money, and saving our little boy’s bum from more exposure to chemicals.  And other things like making my own toothpaste, making deodorant, etc.  People may think I’m crazy when they first hear about it, but let me tell you… I don’t want to pay $8 for a tube of Tom’s in order to have a natural alternative to fluoridating my body.  Which is made by Colgate-Palmolive, just FYI.

5) Self sufficiency. Making my own body care and household products (a diluted vinegar solution for cleaning… everything, lemon rosemary household freshener, etc.) is just really satisfying for me.  I feel empowered by making these things for myself–I feel good about it.  I know every step of the process, and I feel great knowing I did it!  Nothing like that for me.  Which leads to my next point.

6) Freedoms.  I don’t know if you’ve been catching on, or watching tidbits of the news that aren’t making their way to everyone’s homes–but freedoms seem to be stripped little by little from this great republic.  Monsanto now “owns” its seeds, which it has genetically modified and reproduced, so any farmer who has those seeds cannot any longer save them and have “heirloom” varieties that are kept over generations.   My long term dream is to have a homestead.  A place where I can hang my unmentionables on a line freely, because my neighbors won’t be two centimeters away looking at them, and where I may freely save seeds, grow things, make things, and generally be creative with the whole homestead experience.  I don’t want to be told what to do.  I want to drink raw cow’s milk and whatever else I want to if I think it benefits me.  So many things are illegal these days it sickens me.  Really?  You’re not going to allow me to legally buy products I want?  I’ll hunt them out myself & find a loophole, such as “buying a share in a cow,” which is perfectly legal these days.

7) Nutrition.  What would the natural journey be if it weren’t for the nutritious aspect? My own personal path has taken many twists and turns, but seeking out the best nutrients for my family has really been one of the most rewarding things I’ve done so far.  Nutrition, naturally-speaking, is very different from what the American Diet Dictocrats (courtesy of Sally Fallon’s linguistic spin) say we should be eating.  “Eat less fat!  Eat more whole grains!  Eat no red meat!”  I think that an ancestral way of eating, which is nearly timeless, has many different variations that work differently for people.  But I think one commonality is that the nutrition we really need, to help our bodies, is not the one being recommended to us.  The facts just don’t add up.

8) And my personal favorite… It shows me how truly big creation is, and how very small I am.  I feel like if I read and researched my whole entire life, I’d still be learning new things all the time.  It’s quite remarkable. It’s a passion that can last a lifetime and doesn’t seem to grow old for me.

I hope you enjoyed!  What are your reasons for leading a natural lifestyle?

All my love,

-M