Friday, September 2, 2016

unfading

Baby crying. Spilled milk and cereal on the floor. Leaking poo from a diaper. A corner of the couch that smells like poo. Big kids arguing about who brought the trash in yesterday and quoting funny Disney movies at the same time. Toddler screaming about a toothbrush. A Kids NOW CD blasting in the background. A grumpapotomous of a mom. Familiar? This is what a lot of our mornings look (and sound) like. 

"What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us." -A. W. Tozer

Amidst these "crazy" (a good crazy) and tedious moments, I'm quick in attempting to take control. My flesh wants to simply slap on some Stress Away oil and call it a day. I react out of anger or impatience because I'm being inconvenienced. I'm quick to think of myself rather than the power and completed work of Jesus in our lives. He's everything I'm not, and I've gained an undefiling inheritance that I can rest in. 

For in him all the fulness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross. Colossians 1

For thus says the One who is high and lifted up, who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: "I dwell in a high and holy place, and also with him who is of a contrite and lowly spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly, and to revive the heart of the contrite... I have seen his ways, but I will heal him; I will lead him and restore comfort to him and his mourners, creating the fruit of the lips." Isaiah 57

According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God's power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 1 Peter 1

God is peace. Joy. Comfort. Strength. Forgiveness. Healing. And grace. And more grace. I know God is powerful and faithful, yet this does not always drive my actions or attitudes. 

It has been a year since we moved back to Oklahoma (and maybe nearly that long since I've blogged). It's been several years since Tod and I lived here, so it's fun to look back and see where God has directed our family in different seasons. Last September, Tod lost his job in Texas, so we continued praying (a little more intently...) about what to do. We had already been thinking about moving, so we were oddly grateful (and forced) to begin thinking about it more seriously since losing the job. Some of our best friends from Fort Worth had moved up to Oklahoma a few years ago to help with their family's business and to plant a church. This past year, we've been blessed to serve and grow alongside our brothers and sisters in the church. 

The year flew by and we recently welcomed our fourth kiddo (and first Sooner baby), Evie, into the Narcomey squad. Throughout my pregnancy, I was constantly reminded of God's powerful hand in forming our daughter. He makes life grow in our bodies and it's a wonderful thing. It's an amazing thing. I was still a little anxious about what raising four children would be like. The first couple of weeks were a whirlwind adjusting to a new sleep schedule, or lack thereof, but now it seems like we're finally getting into the swing of things. At least I think so. Amidst crazy days and sleepless nights, it's easy to view motherhood as a tedious and inconvenient task, rather than a rewarding and joyful privilege. Reflecting on God's faithfulness and provision this past year has been such an encouragement though. 

"Even as a mother's hands can be filled with troubles, back-breaking work, and frightening unknowns, she is being guarded by God's power through faith for a salvation to be revealed in the future {1 Peter 1:5}. Because of the gospel, we mothers can rejoice as we find our hands full of blessings in Jesus, because all we know is grace." 

Friday, March 4, 2016

a proven brand

Beautycounter is growing and spreading the mission of getting safer products into the hands of every one. We believe products should not only be beautiful and effective, but safe too. 

Last week, Beautycounter held their 2nd annual Leadership Summit conference in Atlanta. Unfortunately, I couldn't attend, but the beginning of the conference was streamed live to those on the team that couldn't make it. It was encouraging to hear the founder and director of sales share their journeys and their hearts for safer skin-care. They challenged us to think about the mission of Beautycounter and why it's important to share it. It was a privilege to hear these women speak and I'm excited to stand behind a company that values education and change within the skin-care industry.

Information first. Product second. 

I have enjoyed using their products and exploring more skin-care treats, so I thought I'd share a few of the favorites. I've loved using their face cleansers and moisturizers, along with their lightweight make-up. 

Nourishing Cleansing Balm. If there's one 'overall' product I'd recommend, it's the Nourishing Cleansing Balm. It's used on its own, without a multi-step collection. At the end of a long day, you can massage it on and wipe it off for a quick clean. It both hydrates and refreshes your skin in one application. All women have noticed a different in hydration within the first eight hours of using it! After a long day, I usually don't want to go through my cleansing assembly line, so it's lovely to have one product that covers all the bases.

Lustro Face Oil. Another one of my favorite products is the face oil. I've only used No. 2, but the No. 1 oil is pretty popular. This can be used alone as a moisturizer or dropped into a moisturizer you already use to keep your skin more hydrated. It's really helpful pre make-up time, because it leaves your face silky smooth for putting on concealer or eye make-up. A friend of mine thought that it was too oily applying alone on the face, so mixing it with a moisturizer might help it spread easier. I squirt a few drops in my moisturizer in the morning and evening.

Tint Skin Foundation or Dew Skin Tinted Moisturizer. Both are concealers, but the Dew Skin provides SPF20 coverage. I use the Touch-Up Tint Skin and have found that it brightens my skin and isn't a 'heavy' foundation. I don't use foundation all over my face, so it's handy to have something quick, easy and long-lasting.

Explore Concealer Shades
http://www.beautycounter.com/find-your-shade/

Lip Sheer. I'm not a frequent wearer of lip stick, but I've enjoyed wearing the Nude shade. The Nude shade is popular, but my mom has really enjoyed the Scarlet and Currant shades. 

I could ramble on about different products, but I've enjoyed trying them all out. If you're curious about Beautycounter's mission and their tediously strict ingredient process, read more at beautycounter.com or explore more safe products at beautycounter.com/tygrenarcomey.

Monday, February 15, 2016

b e t t e r b e a u t y

Over the years, I've tried to learn more about health and how I can be taking care of my body. It began when I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis several years ago. After a tedious bout with medication, my husband and I began researching more natural ways to go about treating my illness. If eating healthier could drastically (and positively) affect the way I feel, what other changes could I be making? What about those every-day, 'can't live without' products I put onto my body? Did that matter? 
"The average person puts 12-20 products on their body every single day." 

"The European Union has spent the past two decades banning or restricting more than 1,300 ingredients; the US has only banned 11 to date."

"Only about 10% of the 10,000 chemicals commonly found in personal care products have safety data."


"The United States has not passed a federal law to regulate the ingredients used in personal care products since 1938."

These statistics caught my eye. A friend started selling Beautycounter a while back and I was curious to see how the company and it's products were any different from products of A, B or C. No doubt these products work, but are they all safe? (There was a season, er, multiples seasons, where I would be gung-ho about consulting with a skin care company, but it would fall through. Trying to sell something scares me. No way.)

I was already convinced about the "you are what you eat" motto. Eventually, that started to shed more light on the other things I was putting into my body that could be affecting my health.

::insert 'ah-ha' moment::

::insert ALL 10-15 skin, hair, and health care products I use daily::

Beautycounter has banned over 1,500 ingredients from their products. Why? There are more than 80,000 chemicals on the market today and many of them are without safety data. The FDA allows many of these products to be used in skin care and beauty products too - products that are proven harmful. There isn't an efficient way to monitor what goes into products yet.

It's easy to become frustrated and confused about why this would be allowed in a business industry. My experience with medications, doctors, alternative medicines and lack of options in the medical field have definitely fueled these frustrations with health in general too. So, why did I join Beautycounter? 

Walking with the Lord through difficult health issues has made me more passionate about pursuing healthier options. Something I admire about Beautycounter is their dedication to educating people and striving to make a change within the skin care industry. They go to great lengths to screen and research ingredients or chemicals too. The education behind the skin care industry is what intrigues me most, and it's encouraging to see the strides Beautycounter has made in promoting safer products. "Getting safer products into the hands of everyone" is their motto and that was something I could stand behind.



I'm always thrilled to see my friends and family investing in Beautycounter products, but it's not my aim to scare you into throwing everything in your house away and only buying Beautycounter products. I would encourage you to research more about what goes into the products you use and start small in making changes within your own home like I did. (Skin Deep is a handy app you can use to look up information on specific cosmetics and skin care products.) It might be swapping a certain lotion with coconut oil or a natural oil in your hair rather than a harsh conditioner. It might be cleaning out your medicine cabinet and giving essential oils a try. (Thieves and Peppermint do wonders.) Whether it's skin care, cleaning products or food, there are always healthier choices.

I do know that our bodies will fail us. I could be the crunchiest person on earth, but my hope shouldn't be in my doings or my body. We are far from perfect and that's all the more reason to rely on someone greater. I am challenged to be a better steward of the body God has given me though. I'm excited to be learning more about the industry and healthier options I can be making. 

"This is about progress—not perfection. Because every little bit counts." #betterbeauty #beautycounterdoesDC