Integrity Should Show in the Way We Talk to Each Other

A Devotional By Donna Tobin Smith

It was Sunday morning and my husband and I were getting ready for church when I heard him call me to the television. “They’re showing a girdle on this shopping show. You’ll probably want to see this.”

Did he say “girdle”? For a split second, I fought the urge to run to the kitchen and fetch my frying pan. I glanced down at the skirt that I was wearing. Surely he wasn’t suggesting what it sounded like he was suggesting. Surely after 37 years of marriage he knew better than that.

The truth was, he did know better. The problem was, after all these years, I should have known better myself. He would never hurt my feelings on purpose. But sometimes, I didn’t hear him right. And sometimes, even when it wasn’t on purpose, he didn’t say things right.

I had noticed the same thing several times that week. It had happened at school. It had happened at church. It had happened at my sister’s house. My brother and I had gotten into a lively discussion about a “he said, she said” issue. I was adamant that the “she” side of the issue was right. He insisted that it really didn’t matter what the “she” side of the issue was, because the “he” side of this particular issue had the final say in the matter anyway.

It was only after I arrived home that night and started thinking about our conversation did I realize that I had fallen into the tangled web of miscommunication. Since it certainly wasn’t the first time I had noticed people having trouble communicating appropriately that week, I had even prepared a lesson for my Sunday school class at church about how important it is for Christians to communicate in a Christian way. I was pretty sure that “bossy big sister” was not on the “Nice Christian Communication Checklist” that I had planned to discuss in class.

Unfortunately, I had heard people who claimed to be Christians say some pretty un-Christian things. My brother assured me that my bossy tone had not hurt his feelings. In fact, he admitted, he had teased me just to see if he could aggravate me. It had obviously worked because I had taken my little brother’s bait and bit; hook, line, and sinker.

In spite of the bad taste it left in my mouth, our conversation had been mild compared to other conversations I had heard earlier in the week. Among hateful, unnecessary comments, I had also heard sarcasm, profanity, rumors, gossip, slander, angry outbursts, complaints, resentment, bitterness, negativity, and bold-faced lies. Whew! And where were the Christians? Behind every single word, that’s where.

It is obviously not a new problem. The third chapter of the book of James addresses our unbridled tongues.

“With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be.” (James 3:9-10)

That’s right, Brother, this should not be. Everything I say, whether it is to a sister or a brother, a colleague, a student, or a friend, should reflect the fruit of the spirit that lives in me; fruit like gentleness, faithfulness, kindness and self-control. (Colossians 5)

I haven’t changed my mind on the “he-she” issue that my brother and I discussed at my sister’s house the other night. But I’m glad the Lord still convicts me of how I express my opinion to others.

I hope He always will.



How To Get Started With Essential Oils – Business Spotlight

By Susan Hilton MSN, RN & Certified Aromatherapist

Essential oils are becoming extremely popular worldwide, but what in the world are they? In short, essential oils are concentrated, liquid plant extracts used for therapeutic and medicinal purposes. They are called “essential” because they contain the essence of a plant, including its aroma and health properties. Since essential oils can be taken from virtually all plants, essential oils come from various sources, including flowers, grasses, fruits, roots, trees, and leaves.

Have you ever thought about using essential oils? Every day, more people are turning to a holistic approach to life. We’re just not satisfied with the ordinary level of care or pat answers anymore. For those of you searching and embarking on a quest to learn more about pure essential oils and how to incorporate them in your everyday life, this article is for you!

essential-oilsThere’s nothing new about the medicinal use of plants. Our ancestors have used plants, seeds, wood, and resins from nature to care for themselves and their families since the beginning of time. Happily, in more modern times we don’t have to forage in the forest anymore because we’re blessed with the convenience of a little glass bottle brimming with pure, healing essential oils. Essential oils are not a cure-all, but you’ll be surprised at just how many issues can be taken care of with high quality, pure essential oils.

From cooking and cleaning to pet care and home remedies, essential oils provide many alternatives to harsh chemical products, allowing you to create the healthy environment your family deserves. They can be used in homemade skincare, bath, and body products to help you radiate beauty naturally. Essential oils also have the unique ability to help relax the body, mind, and spirit, thereby making your life feel more balanced and at peace. Use the right oil, and it can also boost your energy, supplement your diet, or help manage your weight. Essential oils are 50 – 75% more powerful than the herb or plant themselves, so a little goes a long way.

Many people start using essential oils after purchasing a diffuser. Who doesn’t love a fragrant home? When you learn that you can scent your home with something organic and purify the air we breathe or help another health issue, you’re on your way to using essential oils. If you do nothing but diffuse, you can improve your health and your environment.

spavapor2-0To get started, I recommend a short list of essential oils that are the most versatile. They are the oils in The Nature Cottage’s Starter Kit: Lavender, Lemon, Orange, Peppermint, and Tea Tree.  Once you start using oils every day and enjoy the benefits of how they make you feel, you’ll soon wonder how you ever got through a day without them. Adding more oils to your natural health kit can quickly become a new obsession.

Did you know that essential oils only stay in your system for about 24 hours? Once they have “done” what they need to do, the body eliminates them. Essential oils are miniscule in molecular size, which means they are absorbed well by the skin – making them perfect ingredients in personal care items intended to heal, soften, and nourish.

Not all oils are created equal though. Just like the food you eat, the oils you use should be as pure and free from extra “stuff” as possible.  If there is an ingredient included other than the essential oil, it is not pure. At The Nature Cottage we only use 100% Pure Therapeutic Grade essential oils and they are also certified organic. We also have an RN and certified aromatherapist who can guide you in your desire to start using essential oils. Buying a few good essential oils can save you a lot of time and money, plus they can help you avoid the use of chemicals and other unsavory ingredients in your home and with your family.

Let us help you begin or continue this journey at The Nature Cottage. We’re located at 208 E. Center St in Lexington.