Let me begin this post by saying I do not sell essential oils and I’m not writing with the purpose of persuading you to buy anything. This is simply my story of how essential oils help my family.
In 2010 Russ and I went on a cruise with his parents and siblings. In addition to the time we enjoyed together, we often had dinner with other folks on the ship. One dinner remains in my mind.
I began talking with the woman next to me about our lives, children, and shared faith. As I talked about my kids, I mentioned one was struggling with deep depression. We were considering medication and lifestyle changes to help but we were scared and overwhelmed.
Her teen daughter suffered from depression and in addition to other supports, she was using something I’d never heard of, an oil with properties to lift a person’s mood. It was called Wild Orange. It sounded a bit odd, but something about it made sense.
After dinner, we strolled to their cabin where she showed me a wooden box filled with small bottles of oils. She generously gave me a small bottle of Wild Orange and I nearly cried. I was curious about how my child would receive it and if it would help. I knew it smelled good and I liked opening the bottle just to breathe it in.
Following her instructions, I rubbed this oil on my teen’s feet at night and encouraged my child to wear small amounts so the uplifting scent could be inhaled. Together with other changes, it helped.
Years passed, and as many of you know, in 2014 we were in a tragic car accident that injured Russ and me and took the life of our precious daughter, Kalkidan.
We were in great emotional and physical pain. Russ’ sister brought us a nearly magical lotion called Deep Blue that we rubbed on each other’s aching shoulders, necks, and hips as we cried nearly every night. She also brought an oil called Elevation for us to rub on our hands and inhale the scent. I bought a simple diffuser and at night we diffused Serenity blend into our room. The scent became a comfort to us and we began looking forward to it.
Another friend brought a Lavender spray we spritzed on our pillows at bedtime. We grew to love that scent so much, we still use it most nights four years later.
That was a season of many tears; the oils brought us comfort and alleviated some of our physical pain.
In the midst of this trying time, one of my kids wanted to try oils too. I bought a simple diffuser and an experiment with oils began. Different ones were tried, with the final conclusion that Lavender was perfect for sleep and calming.
Even before the accident, sleep was challenging for me, so I created an intentional sleep hygiene routine. I go to bed early, wear a sleep mask, and diffuse the oils that help me most. This routine has made a huge difference in my life and health.
We ran out of Serenity for a while and in the swirl of my life, it took me a while to get more. The night I finally had more to diffuse, Russ came into our room, immediately walked to the diffuser on his nightstand, cupped his hands around the water vapor coming out of it and inhaled deeply. He looked up, relaxed his shoulders and said, “I’m so happy you got more of this.”
Our kids need a lot of support, but trust me when I say, moms and dads need it just as much.
Under the stress of parenting kids with early trauma, we stop sleeping, we become anxious and depressed, we can’t focus, we grieve. This is just what our kids are often experiencing too.
Medication is a gift when we need it, and many of us do at times. Additionally, we can care for ourselves every day using simple supports: drinking water, taking a walk, diffusing oils that lift our moods or help us sleep. These are powerful tools for my family and yours.
Lastly, Isaiah got me a new diffuser for Christmas (the one pictured above) and I love it. This morning my family room smells like fresh lemons and it makes me feel happy – I can always use more of that.
Do you use essential oils for your family? Leave a comment!
With courage, hope, and love,
Disclaimer: This post doesn’t contain scientific or medical advice. I’m not a medical provider; this is simply my story.