Category Archives: Uncategorized

The Tapestry Unfolds: How a Little Business is Making a Big Impact

It was two and a half years ago when I decided to take a leap of faith and start my “little” Young Living wellness business. Shortly afterward, I had a conversation with my friend and business partner, Christie, in which I told her that I felt at my core that this business was going to be about so much more than oils. She enthusiastically agreed and validated all that my spirit was sensing. I can still see that night. I sat curled on my floor while we chatted via the phone for well over an hour about what we felt like God might be doing now and into the future.

Just a few weeks ago, Christie and her husband packed up their family and their Colorado home and moved to Dubai to realize a dream that was planted years ago. And today, Christie’s YL business is supporting that dream.

Another precious leader of mine has been working with a woman in South Eastern Europe who runs a safe house for girls who have been rescued from sex trafficking. This woman is using essential oils like SARA and RELEASE to help these girls begin the process of recovering from the emotional trauma of their captivity and abuse. These girls, some as young as 12 or 13 years old, are also beginning to learn the essential oils business so they can cultivate an independent income and begin to sustain themselves. This is eternal HOPE and REDEMPTION and RESCUE happening right here within my little essential oils team.

Then there’s another precious leader who just a year ago escaped a violent domestic abuse situation of which we can hardly fathom. She and her children got out with nothing more than the clothes on her back. Her oils business, which worked even when she was incapable of doing the work herself, provided her with the means to crawl out of a pit and begin to rebuild her life.

And still there’s my beautiful Aussie friend, who for years was content to be just a mom. Now she’s traveling the world and building an empire that is empowering other women Down Under and helping them choose natural wellness for their families. She’s “just a mama who got seriously blessed with some of the best things on this side of eternity: incredible friendships and a community that lifts all boats with its tide; abundance in new health; more family time; and, provision beyond belief.”

These are just SOME of the stories of the people on my beautiful team … a tapestry of different personalities and experiences and geographical locations … all woven into the fabric of this Young Living business. This IS about so much more than oils! THIS is literally a PICTURE of that conversation I had two years ago now coming to fruition.

And this is JUST THE START! I cannot wait to see how this tapestry continues to unfold! If you long to be a part of something bigger. If you’re desperate for community, a place to belong. If you’ve been wanting to try essential oils and a natural-health lifestyle but don’t know where to start … then this team of doers and dreamers and life-changers would love to have you! Get started by learning more or grabbing a starter kit here. If you have questions or you’d like to be added to our Facebook group for more information, feel free to leave me a comment.

The tapestry is still being woven, and there’s plenty of room for you.

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Like what you see here? Then you’ll love my first-ever children’s book, Bruce the Brave. Available on Amazon! For more content like this, connect with me on Facebook or Instagram! To receive more encouraging posts AND get a free printable, enter your e mail in the box to the sidebar at the right. Then just click “I want to Follow F&C!” Be sure to check your inbox for the confirmation and the link to your free printable. You can also follow F&C on BlogLovin’

All content is ©Faith&Composition by Shalene Roberts, unless otherwise noted. All rights reserved. If you like F&C content, I’d be tickled pink if you would share. Just please include a link to the original post. Thank you!

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ROOTS AND WINGS – How to Let Go on the First Day of Kindergarten

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Yesterday. You started kindergarten yesterday. You walked into those doors a baby, your hand clinging to mine, my heart clinging to the knowledge that this is the first step in a long process of letting go. Letting you go. Giving you wings and space and freedom. And I pray I’m also giving you roots. 

I look at you, and I wonder if I’ve done enough, said enough, prayed enough, loved enough. It’s only kinder, they say. But I know better; these last five years … they were just a blink. The next will be too. Then you’re 10, then onto 15, and before I know it … you’re 20. All of this unfolds before me in an instant as I prepare to walk you inside. 

You cleave to my hand and whisper that you’re nervous. My heart lurches too, but I don’t tell you. For in that moment you need to muster bravery, and I’ve promised to be brave for the both of us. For when your courage falters, you can borrow mine. You can always borrow mine; because what you don’t know is that you’ve been inspiring courage in me since before you were born. 

So although I don’t tell you I’m nervous, what I do tell you is this.

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You were created for a purpose by a purposeful God, and though my mama heart wants to cloister you away, the world needs you … your creativity, your heart, your light, your goodness.

There may be moments in your day when you feel lonely or sad, a bit lost or scared. Don’t sink into those feelings; instead, allow them to remind you that others are feeling the same. Then go … go to the lonely, the sad, the lost or the scared and befriend them. Muster your courage … the bit you’ve borrowed from me if you feel you’ve misplaced your own … and welcome them into your fold. 

I can’t utter these words as I drop you off, but I whisper them in a prayer. And then I leave … and it feels a bit like parting with my heart.

The hours creep by …

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And then it’s 3; and your blonde braids come streaming down the stairs, your face lit by a smile and the faintest hint of newfound strength. You did it. I did it.

I enfold you in a hug; your small frame melting into mine. This is kindergarten … these roots, those wings and the beautifully brave tension of clinging tight while letting go. You unfold yourself from my grasp and clasp your hand to mine. We did it! And those roots sink a bit deeper as your wings stretch a bit wider. 

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Like what you see here? Then you’ll love my first-ever children’s book, Bruce the Brave. Available on Amazon! For more content like this, connect with me on Facebook or Instagram! To receive more encouraging posts AND get a free printable, enter your e mail in the box to the sidebar at the right. Then just click “I want to Follow F&C!” Be sure to check your inbox for the confirmation and the link to your free printable. You can also follow F&C on BlogLovin’

All content is ©Faith&Composition by Shalene Roberts, unless otherwise noted. All rights reserved. If you like F&C content, I’d be tickled pink if you would share. Just please include a link to the original post. Thank you!

 

The Fellowship of Mama Friendships

She came over the other day for a cup of coffee. Just an average Friday. Two kids in tow, workout clothes and not a stitch of make-up. No mask. No pretense. Real. Authentic. Honest. Her.

We stepped onto the patio where a much-needed cleansing rain was washing away the heat and the grime of 100-degree Texas summers … a tangible expression of what would happen in our hearts. Refreshment, rest, rejuvenation.

The conversation flowed and time slowed while the babies crawled at our feet and the older kids tumbled in and out. Crazy, chaotic, abundant life happening around and below and above while life-giving words hung in the midst of it all.

Our coffee grew cold and our hearts warm as we shared our dreams and our struggles, our victories and our failures. Truth poured forth and bravery broke free on that back patio.

Just two moms, authentic friendship, and a God who whispers “I’m not finished with you yet.” And suddenly, the desert dissipates. The parched heart finds water. The sand-starved eyes glimpse the promised land.

Motherhood can feel isolating. The poured-out moments and the constant demands of little hands can leave a mama’s heart starving and empty.

But there is a feast to be found in the fellowship of a friend. For a burden shared is a burden halved and a lonely heart finds joy in the journey when another joins.

This is the blessing, the beauty, and the necessity of authentic friendship. It is an emotional filling up for an empty spirit, a drenching rain for a drought-tired heart.

C.S. Lewis said, “Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: ‘What! You too? I thought I was the only one.’”

Sometimes we think we’re the only one … tired, discouraged, poured-out and parched dry. Until an unmasked friend in all her authenticity shares a cup of coffee and says, “you too?”. And suddenly those words are like a cleansing rain to your drought-drained heart.

So put on a pot of coffee and call a friend. Be honest about your struggles and transparent about your dreams. Real. Authentic. Honest. You.

Let the babies crawl and the tots tumble. Let your kids see you doing life within the fellowship of friendship, and let your desert-dry heart soak up the cleansing rain. And suddenly, I think you’ll find that your spirit sighs. “You too?,” it says. “I thought I was the only one.”

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Like what you see here? Then you’ll love my first-ever children’s book, Bruce the Brave. Available on Amazon! For more content like this, connect with me on Facebook or Instagram! To receive more encouraging posts AND get a free printable, enter your e mail in the box to the sidebar at the right. Then just click “I want to Follow F&C!” Be sure to check your inbox for the confirmation and the link to your free printable. You can also follow F&C on BlogLovin’

All content is ©Faith&Composition by Shalene Roberts, unless otherwise noted. All rights reserved. If you like F&C content, I’d be tickled pink if you would share. Just please include a link to the original post. Thank you!

A Life Well Lived

On Wednesday, June 20, my grandfather passed away. He was 95. This is in memory of him and the remarkable life he led. 

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There are men who long for wealth and power, men who desire to be memorialized after their days are done with monuments of brass or stone. And then there are men who long to leave a quiet, but eternal legacy forged by service, family, and faith. I’m proud to say that my grandfather was the latter.

Stretching to a height of just a few inches taller than 5 feet, what Grandpa lacked in stature, he made up for in humor and heart. Known as Red for his shock of auburn hair, Grandpa had a spirit to match his fiery head. He lived his life with a contagious joy and a heart of thankfulness, and he passed this spirit onto every single one of us. Even in old age, Grandpa had eyes that twinkled when he laughed. I loved those eyes, and the smile they would elicit from everyone who was invited to share in his joy.

A veteran of WWII, Grandpa was one of the last remaining survivors of the Greatest Generation. He saw both profound horrors and incredible miracles during his lifetime. He couldn’t talk about the war without weeping, yet the experience didn’t harden him. I remember sitting in a restaurant with him and Grandma when the topic of the war arose. He said a few words and then quieted through tears, the memories clearly still rife with emotion.

Grandpa understood the eternal value in a life of humility and grace. He didn’t seek accolades, though they were well-deserved. Instead he ordered his priorities with Christ first, Grandma second, his family third.

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My memories of Grandpa reflect this. Whether it was time spent at the beach or picking grapefruit from his backyard trees, he loved us well, and he was always up for an adventure, even well into old age. Every trip to Florida was packed with action, whether it was a trip to DisneyWorld, Weeki Wachee Springs, or a golf outing while the girls shopped … Grandpa enjoyed being active with his family.

He also loved his sweets, despite being a diabetic, and we all love to tell the story of the DisneyWorld fudge. He bought that fudge and lovingly carried it throughout the entire park, saying we could savor a piece when we finally returned to the car, only to end up dropping it in the parking lot in the pouring rain.

Grandpa’s relationship with Grandma bore a sacred weight, and I’m forever thankful for the legacy of their marriage. They adored one another with an everlasting love, and I know now that they are both fully restored and reunited in the presence of Christ.

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More than anything though and most importantly, the heritage Grandpa leaves behind is one of a lifetime of faith. He showed me what it meant not only to believe in the cross of Christ for grace and salvation, but also to live it out through the generations. My fondest memories of Grandpa, those that will endure through the yet-to-be-written pages of time, are the moments we would gather after breakfast for prayer and Bible reading. He would open his King James and read aloud, while we sat around the table. Then he would fold his hands and bow his head and pray for us with humility and fervency. As I grew older, his faithfulness continued. And every time I would talk with him, he would tell me he was praying for me.

We will not know, this side of heaven, everything that Grandpa’s prayers produced, but the Word tells us that the effectual prayer of a righteous man availeth much. And I have no doubt that Grandpa is now receiving the just reward for his life of faith. God granted him 95 years on this earth, and although the pain of his passing is searing indeed, we rejoice in the truth that he is now restored to full life in the presence of Christ.

Grandpa … you ran the race set before you, you fought the good fight, you faithfully endured till the end. So as you meet your Savior, and we bid our good bye, only one thing remains to be said: well done, good and faithful servant. Thank you for the legacy of your life and the example of your faith. We love you.

P.S. When you sit down at the banquet table, enjoy a big piece of fudge! I’m pretty sure it’s better than the Disney World parking-lot variety.

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Like what you see here? Then you’ll love my first-ever children’s book, Bruce the Brave. Available on Amazon! For more content like this, connect with me on Facebook or Instagram! To receive more encouraging posts AND get a free printable, enter your e mail in the box to the sidebar at the right. Then just click “I want to Follow F&C!” Be sure to check your inbox for the confirmation and the link to your free printable. You can also follow F&C on BlogLovin’

All content is ©Faith&Composition by Shalene Roberts, unless otherwise noted. All rights reserved. If you like F&C content, I’d be tickled pink if you would share. Just please include a link to the original post. Thank you!

Great Expectations and Grace: A Birth Story Part 2

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They laid her atop my chest immediately following the final push, and the midwife ceremoniously handed the scissors to my husband so he could sever the cord that had bound her to me. “Hello Lily,” I whispered. She cried feebly, and I cradled her close, kissing the top of her head and reveling in the raw and beautiful glory of the moment. The perfection of divine creation lay in my arms, and my heart soared at the incredibly sanctity of it all … this tangible nearness of heaven wrapped in the form of our newborn baby girl.

Within minutes though, these soaring emotions gave way to a difficult reality. Her skin was tinged blue, and she didn’t seem to be transitioning to life outside the womb as quickly as she should. Though she was crying, her cries were weak. The nurses took her from me and began rubbing her vigorously. My husband stood by her side … watching, praying. Please yell, I silently pleaded. Her cries strengthened, and her skin tinged pink as oxygen surged through her tiny body. The midwife tended me, and my husband wore a path between our daughter and my side.

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Lily continued to slowly improve, but her pulse ox was low, indicating some respiratory distress. The nurses called NICU and my heart sunk. We’d been through this before; two of our daughters had been sent to the NICU after birth for brief observation due to respiratory issues, but I’d hoped and prayed we might avoid it this time. It was beginning to look like that wouldn’t be the case.

The NICU nurses arrived and began monitoring Lily’s vitals. My husband walked over, his face drawn. “They’re going to take her to NICU,” he said. I was heartsick; I wanted her cradled in my arms, not wheeled down the hall. “We’ve been through this before,” he reminded me. “She’ll be ok.” His words rung true, but logic doesn’t register with the longing of a mother’s heart.

“Go with her,” I urged him. “I’m fine here.” He walked off, following the tiny bassinet as it carried our little girl who had only moments before been tucked tightly inside. With the nurse keeping me company, I awaited his return and relaxed when I heard his footsteps echo outside the door. “How is she?” I asked. His face was solemn. “They’re admitting her,” he said. I don’t remember if I cried at his words; what I do know is I felt the caverns of a yawning emptiness grow.

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Lily was still showing signs of respiratory distress, and the NICU nurses weren’t sure why. Although two of our daughters had shown similar respiratory issues after birth, theirs had remedied within a few hours on their own. This, however, was different. After the nurse finished with me, they transferred me to postpartum, and my husband quickly wheeled me to the NICU unit. He informed me that Lily was on oxygen and had a feeding tube, since it would be difficult for her to nurse. He navigated the maze-like hallways and then pushed me into her room; though it pulsed with light and the incessant rhythm of beeping monitors, it was hushed and sacred.

Lily slept soundly in her bassinet, supported by oxygen and a tiny feeding tube. At 9 pounds, 9 ounces, she was the biggest baby in the room. Her attending nurse came over to introduce herself and then gently told me that I couldn’t hold her just yet because they didn’t want to disturb her tubes. My heart lurched. This was not how I had envisioned this birth, but God had been so faithful; I would trust Him in this too. We stayed by her bassinet for more than an hour before we decided to try to get some rest. At this point it was nearing dawn. We returned to our room and fitfully tried to sleep for a few hours before waking and going straight back to NICU. This pattern of NICU – postparturm – NICU was one we would come to know well.

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Later that morning, the hospital pediatrician made his rounds. He stopped by our room to introduce himself and talk about Lily. It was during that visit we learned that an X-ray had revealed that Lily had a small puncture in one of her lungs that was making it difficult to for her to breathe. As his gentle, patient words poured forth, I worked to catch my own breath and a number of worst-case scenarios and panicked questions passed through my mind. Would she need surgery? How long would she need to stay here? What does this mean for her future?

Her pediatrician graciously explained that the condition, officially called a pneumothorax, is when a bit of air escapes from the lung and gets trapped between the chest wall and the outer tissue of the lungs. Typically the condition heals on its own within a matter of days, and the body reabsorbs the air. Occasionally, babies may need to have the air released by needle aspiration. I was simultaneously shattered and relieved. The diagnosis was frightening, but her pediatrician seemed confidant that Lily’s lung would likely heal on it’s own. Only time could tell.

We returned to the NICU, this time getting to hold Lily, and my heart folded around her as my arms enclosed her. I could have never anticipated this turn of events, but I trusted God would heal her.

My mom arrived a bit later, bringing our younger preschool-aged girls. Having to explain to them that Lily wasn’t in our room shattered my heart again. Our two-year-old wasn’t allowed in the NICU, but my husband brought our four-year-old in to meet her. Shortly after we returned to our room, I pulled the two-year-old into my bed and wrapped my arms around her. Physically and emotionally spent, she and I both fell asleep.

Little by little, Lily seemed to be improving. Later that day, my mom brought all four kids to the hospital, and our oldest two walked reverently into the NICU and met their baby sister for the first time.

The hours passed slowly, and my husband and I made ourselves a permanent fixture by Lily’s bassinet. On Tuesday (just over 24 hours after her birth but what felt like days), the midwife gave me the option of being discharged or staying another day. I couldn’t bear the thought of leaving Lily, and I was feeling confident that she would be released to go home with me on Wednesday, so I requested to stay one more day.

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Later that afternoon, Lily’s pediatrician stopped to inform us that she was progressing slowly, but well. My heart soared. He then asked if we were being discharged on Wednesday. When I replied yes, he very gently said, “I don’t think she’ll be going home with you.”

In that moment, I literally crumbled, and every facade of strength fell away. I couldn’t go home and leave my baby here. Though Lily was right where she needed to be at the time, the thought of walking out of that hospital with empty arms was agonizing. 

To get Lily home, we had to get her off oxygen and the feeding tube, so that became the goal and our prayer. We’d shared Lily’s situation with close friends and family, and we felt buoyed by their prayers. The first time I nursed her, she had a difficult time, but the second time she latched immediately. It was a small victory, but a victory nonetheless. Meanwhile, we had to figure out a plan of action if I happened to be discharged before Lily. I needed to be available around the clock to nurse her, so going home wasn’t feasible. Thankfully, our NICU nurse suggested a room-in option that is reserved for low-risk NICU patients who are nearing discharge. Availability wasn’t guaranteed, but she assured me she would look into it.

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As Wednesday dawned, I felt hopeful. If Lily had a bit longer to stay, there was a good chance we’d be staying with her. That same day, Lily stretched and yanked out her feeding tube. Since she was nursing well, the nurse agreed to leave it out. I was ecstatic; we were making progress! That afternoon, Lily’s NICU nurse confirmed that she was progressing well and they would indeed be moving her to Special Care. It was news worthy of a celebration! We wouldn’t be going home just yet, but we would be allowed to room-in with her!

I was officially discharged that evening, and my husband immediately moved us into Lily’s Special Care wing. They brought Lily up, still hooked up to a heart rate, pulse-ox, and respirations monitor but completely free of both the feeding and oxygen tubes. I could hardly wait to pull her out of her bassinet and sit and rock her in the privacy of our own room for the first time.

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Pleased with Lily’s progress, the pediatrician discharged her on Thursday. The feeling of the warm sun on my face as we exited the hospital, with Lily wrapped snug in my arms is forever etched in my mind. We called ahead to let my mom know we were coming home but asked her not to tell the kids. It was a sweet surprise indeed when we opened the door and finally come home as a family of 7.

To see a video of Lily’s homecoming, click here.
To read part 1 of her birth story, click here.

A FEW NOTES: Three months later, Lily is thriving, and her pediatrician has assured us that although a pneumothoraxrax can reoccur, the chance of that happening is exceptionally low. I pray that her experience of it is nothing more than part of her birth story.  According to my research and conversations with pediatricians, no one really knows why a spontaneous infant pneumothorax occurs in an otherwise healthy infant. In fast deliveries like Lily’s, it is believed that the force of the initial breath causes an air sac to burst. If you have questions or you’d like more information about our experience, feel free to leave a comment.

Looking back, I realize Lily’s NICU stay was short and hers was a relatively low-risk condition (especially compared to other high-risk babies), but it was extremely difficult while we were in the midst of it. The experience gave me a new sense of respect and empathy for anyone who has ever had a child in the NICU, and it made me ever grateful for the tender work that NICU staff employees do day in and day out.

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Like what you see here? Then you’ll love my first-ever children’s book, Bruce the Brave. Available on Amazon! For more content like this, connect with me on Facebook or Instagram! To receive more encouraging posts AND get a free printable, enter your e mail in the box to the sidebar at the right. Then just click “I want to Follow F&C!” Be sure to check your inbox for the confirmation and the link to your free printable. You can also follow F&C on BlogLovin’

All content is ©Faith&Composition by Shalene Roberts, unless otherwise noted. All rights reserved. If you like F&C content, I’d be tickled pink if you would share. Just please include a link to the original post. Thank you!