5 Healthy Uses For Coca-Cola

Believe it or not, there are healthy uses for this popular soda. (After you read them, you’ll probably be even more convinced never to drink it.) In our search for alternatives to home products that contain toxic chemicals, we discovered many uses for coca-cola.

1) Keeping sink drains clear.

It works great to get rid of mineral build-up, soap scum or other things that tend to coat pipes and clog drains. Over the summer I was staying with a friend and the sink completely clogged up. I was able to extract a large clump of hair. Then I poured half a liter of coca-cola down the drain, and after that it was perfectly fine!

I try to remember to pour some coca-cola down my sink drain about once a week. I pour it slowly then let it sit for 5-10 minutes before rinsing with warm water. It’s a simple way to maintain clear drains.

2) Getting soap scum off porcelain sinks.

I use a natural coconut oil soap, which tends to build up on the porcelain sink. So I’ve discovered I can pour some coca-cola in the sink, then scrub with an old toothbrush (or whatever you have). Then I rinse the sink with cool water. This works well to remove soap scum, with no toxic exposure for me!

3) Removing toxic chemicals such as pesticide from objects.

Last year we had some really bad toxic exposures. As a result, many of the things in our laundry room and garage were contaminated. My mom figured out if she put coca-cola on a rag and wiped the objects down, it would remove the chemicals.

I’m not sure it works on wood materials, but on plastic, metal, and most things it’s pretty effective and doesn’t harm the item. Just wipe the object down again with water after the coca-cola.

4) Getting chemicals off your hands if necessary.

Yes, I have washed my hands with coca-cola before. If somehow you get chemicals on your hands, perhaps paint-thinner, herbicide, petroleum, etc., just pour coca-cola over your hands. Then wash with soap. It’s amazing how quickly and easily the soda will remove many chemicals. 

5) Getting petroleum or other fumes out of laundry.

A few years ago some of my clothes got contaminated with gasoline fumes. Several washes still didn’t get them clean. Then my mom found a recipe for soaking clothes in coca-cola and baking soda, and it worked! Here’s the recipe. Feel free to adjust it as needed, and learn what works best for you.  

Coca-Cola recipe for soaking clothes –
– put 1-2 cups baking soda and 1 quart (4 cups) of coca-cola in a small water level in the washing machine
– stir mixture (or let the machine agitate for a minute) 
– add the clothes (you can increase the water level after adding the clothes if necessary, just try to keep the load fairly small)
– turn off the machine and soak clothes overnight (or up to 24 hours)
– drain the water; then rinse the load with 1-2 cups of white vinegar added (we use Heinz brand). 
– wash clothes as you normally would (we use Charlie’s Soap for our laundry –
If the fragrance/chemical in the clothes is really persistent, you might need to repeat this process again the next day.
Note: If your laundry room is not air conditioned and you live in a hot, humid place, then after doing this a couple of times you might need to rinse your washing machine with vinegar. 
If you have any questions, please let me know.

Well, there you have it, healthy uses of a popular soda. =) I’m just glad to know there is a good use for it.


He Is Here

So far this year I’m enjoying fun Christmas activities that I missed for several years.

My mom and I actually got a real tree! We ended up decorating it twice because after about ten days it fell down. So we had to start over and decorate it again (with more lights and candy canes this time). =) I’ve had fun wrapping presents while mom had fun putting decorations around the house. We’re planning to attend a Christmas concert this week, and mom even baked cinnamon rolls. =)

These are simple things, yet it’s a huge deal that I’m able to participate in them once again! I’m so grateful and I praise God for all the healing He has brought, especially this year!

I think these little things mean more to me because of all the years of missing them. And I don’t want to forget how far God has brought me. I found an old post from a time when Christmas was anything but fun. I thought I’d re-post it today. I pray it offers encouragement for those of you who are still living with limiting health challenges and hope to remember that God can carry you from where you are today to a better place in the future!

Even in the midst of the fun activities, the thing that still means the most to me about Christmas is this simple truth – Jesus came as Immanuel, God with us. He never leaves us. In the fun or in the pain, He is here. Hallelujah!

No Holidays

Yesterday was Christmas day 2009 – and I had a really bad day. I felt even worse than usual. I got sick every time my mom came in the room with me. (We think I was reacting to a herb she’s been taking. Go figure.) I had a “Christmas dinner” of turkey and peas (mixed with a few tears). It didn’t settle in my stomach very well. 

I was reminded once again that for people with Environmental Illness, there are no holidays.
Most people look forward to the holidays as a break from their normal routine, time to be with family & friends, maybe doing special things like caroling, playing games, etc. Well, with E.I. there is no break from the ‘normal routine’ of being sick. This disease (like most diseases) never takes a day off. Being with family and friends is usually not an option unless they “de-fragrance” themselves radically (which isn’t easy to do, let me tell you). And special activities take more energy than we, as E.I’s usually have. 

I’d like to say that after 5 years of this, I’m used to it and it doesn’t bother me. But that wouldn’t be true. I miss all the ‘normal’ Christmas activities, traditions, and fellowship. For some reason, the holidays are a like a slap in the face for someone with E.I. It’s just another reminder that life as it used to be is gone, at least for now. If we’re not careful, it’s easy to start dreading holidays, simply because they remind of us all we’ve lost, all we miss. 

Well, I imagine you’re good and depressed for me now. =) I just wanted to share the reality of what it’s like. 

On the bright side, even during the difficult holidays, God’s kindness is unfailing. (Ps. 18:50) In the middle of my very bad day yesterday, God sent me a Christmas text message from a friend, a cheering-up phone call from a friend with E.I., and a mom whose smile never ceases to brighten my day. 

I think I’m learning that the secret to managing the holidays for those of us with E.I. (in addition to changing my expectations), is to focus on celebrating them in my heart, with or without all the wonderful things that usually accompany them. 

If you know someone with E.I., remember that something as small as a text message, email or phone call, could make a big difference in helping them see God’s kindness instead of focusing on all they’re missing. 

And may we all learn to be thankful every day that Jesus came to earth as Immanuel – God WITH us!


Joy For Christmas

Happy December 1st! It’s 82 degrees here in Florida and sunny, but it still feels a lot like Christmas! =) I’m looking forward to a wonderful month of celebrating Christmas in various ways. It’s such a gift after all the years of really difficult Christmases.

At the same time, I know many people who are going through incredibly hard things right now – loss, grief, broken hearts, suffering…. It’s strange how life can be great and awful all at the same time. I rejoice with my friends in their happy circumstances; I weep with my friends in their suffering.

In the midst of this crazy life, Christmas is a special reminder that God has given us true JOY – a gift that stays with us through it all.

So I wanted to re-post something I wrote a few years ago. I hope it encourages you as you think about Christmas.

Blessings to you my friends,

Sorrow & Joy 

I’ve been thinking about the strange coexistence of sorrow and joy in this life.

We think of Christmas as a happy time. Yet for many people this Christmas will be anything but happy. And I think we’ve all experienced Christmases that were less than “merry.” Even the first Christmas was not without sadness.

Luke 2:33-35 says, The child’s father and mother marveled at what was said about Him. Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, His mother: “This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel…And a sword will pierce your own soul too.”
The first Christmas was a joyful time, as angels sang and shepherds worshipped. Mary and Joseph marveled at this special event.

And yet, Jesus’ birth was also greeted with this painful prophesy of His future. The child’s life would not be one of ease and comfort. And Mary’s own heart would be pierced with grief.

The joy of Christmas was in a sense shadowed by the sorrow of the cross. Yes, the Savior had come – but He came to die.

At the same time, for those of us who know the whole story, the sorrow of the cross pales in light of Jesus’ resurrection!

After the most painful sorrow, Mary experienced (I believe) the greatest joy! The joy of seeing her son raised to life must have eclipsed even the joy of giving Him birth.

And that same joy is ours today! Regardless of whatever sorrows we experience, the glory of the resurrection is even greater!

The resurrection tells us that there is more than just this life.
It reminds us that in the end God’s goodness will fully triumph over evil.
And it assures us that the God who loved us enough to die for us, is WITH us through every moment.

So even if this isn’t a very merry Christmas for you, I pray it will be a truly Joyful Christmas!



I just wanted to do a quick post today to say, Happy Thanksgiving! I have much to be grateful for today, as I’m sure you do also.

In the midst of the food, football and fun, I hope we’ll all take a few minutes to remember why we celebrate this special holiday. We have a loving God who takes care of us, provides for us and carries us through every season.

I’m so thankful for God’s goodness and grace to us!
I’m thankful for more blessings than I can count!
I’m thankful for you!

And I’m thankful that my new book, Strengthened By Grace–Encouragement For Difficult Seasons, is now available for pre-orders! This book has been through a long, challenging process, but praise God it’s finally here! =)

If you want to pre-order, my publisher is offering a Black Friday sale, only $9 if you use promo code 195.
After Black Friday, there’s still a special pre-order price of $9.50 until Nov. 30th, using promo code 150.

Thanks for rejoicing with me in the completion of this book! I feel like I’m talking about it all the time, but the reason is because I know there are many people who need encouragement and strength these days. They need to know God is faithful and He is with them in trials. My prayer is that God will use this book to reach all the people who truly need it.

Here’s a short video from a friend that shares what it’s all about. 

Thank you for your encouragement and prayers for me! I’m so thankful God is able to take our difficult seasons and turned them into blessings for others. What an amazing God! =)

What are you thanking God for today?


Dream Again

Wow, today is Day 7, the last day of my week of celebration! I’ve certainly enjoyed it. I hope you’ve been encouraged and blessed as well. =) 

On this last day I’m celebrating the gift of dreams. 

When I was a kid there were various things I imagined would be fun or fulfilling to do in my life, but I had one big dream – to be a missionary. God let me live that dream for two amazing years! And then my health collapsed. As year followed year, all my dreams died. 

If you haven’t been in a place like that, I can’t explain to you in words what it’s like. If you’ve been there, you understand. I will say that living with no dreams isn’t really living. 

Looking back, I can see that God had to take me through that valley. He was doing a necessary and mighty work in me. In His eternal ways, often things have to “die” before they can live again. 

How I praise God that the day finally came when He said, “My child, it’s time to dream again!” 

At first my heart was afraid to dream again. Every time another dream had died, it was so painful. I didn’t know if I could face that again. But God gave me courage to take one baby step at a time. He restored hope deep in my soul. I began once again to imagine possibilities and think about the future with anticipation.

In the process, God took my “little” dreams from long ago and transformed them into bigger dreams than I ever could have imagined! And He added new dreams on top of those! 

At this point I feel like I’m overflowing with God-given, God-sized dreams! And I can’t wait to see how He is going to bring them all to pass!

Whatever happens, I’ve learned that the best dream of all is that of drawing closer to my Savior each day. No matter what circumstances I go through, enjoying Jesus is the sweetest dream that I want to live every day. 

God created us with the ability and the longing to dream big dreams. If life has trampled on your dreams, please take heart! Please don’t give up on dreaming. You may go through a dark season, but hold on to hope my friend. God really does have greater dreams for you than anything you’ve imagined! Let Him be your first dream through it all, and trust Him with each step. One day you’ll stand in awe of the awesome dreams He gives you and then fulfills in your life! 

Today will you do something with me? Will you take a few minutes by yourself to do this?

Take a big, deep breath. Exhale slowly. Close your eyes, and dream again…. Little or big dreams, it doesn’t matter. Tell yourself to imagine again. Let yourself smile. Let yourself hope. Let your heart dream again. 

Here’s a song from my heart to yours. I pray it will inspire you.

I love you my friends! I’m so grateful for your prayers and for sharing this journey with me. I pray for God’s abundant blessings in your life! Through every joy or trial may you find His grace sufficient and His love always worth celebrating! 

P.S. Since I’ve been posting so much lately, I won’t be doing my regular post tomorrow, but instead taking the day off. =) Thanks for joining me for this special week of posts!



It’s Day 6 and I’m celebrating the many miracles God has done in my life!

A miracle can be spectacular, something impossible in the natural world, such as parting the Red Sea or multiplying loaves and fishes. Or a miracle can simply be something God does that’s out of the ordinary. I’ve seen both instances in my life.

I praise God for the many miraculous ways He works in our lives!

Here are just a few miracles God has done in my life –

– Multiplying the gas in an empty gas tank in the middle of nowhere, until I reached a gas station.
– Giving me one breath at a time when I felt like I couldn’t breathe (happened several times).  
– Protecting me while driving so many times!
– Providing free plane tickets when I needed them.
– Putting me in the right place at the right time to lead someone to know Jesus.
– Someone sending me a gift I desired but hadn’t told anyone about.  
– Providing places for me to stay during all the months I couldn’t live at home.
– Resurrecting an item that was lost and long gone.
– Healing my heart from past hurts, until there’s no more pain from the memory.
– Speaking through me the exact words someone else needed to hear.
– Suddenly feeling led to pray for someone and later finding out they needed prayer right then.
– Experiencing restoration of health, joy, dreams, hope and so much more!

I’m so thankful that God is always at work in our lives. Sometimes it’s hard to see Him, especially in trials. But with every miracle – little or big – He reminds us that He loves us powerfully, and He is present with us always. His grace is greater than all our challenges, weaknesses and needs. Praise His name!

What’s one miracle God has done for you?

Here’s one of my favorite songs about God’s grace.


Simple Joys

Today on Day 5, I’m celebrating the simple joys in life!

 When we take time to look, we discover there are so many of them…

…getting a card in the mail
…finding something you needed on sale
…enjoying a piece of peppermint chocolate
…flowers blooming
…hearing the birds singing
…children laughing
…time with family and friends
…a rainbow in the clouds
…enjoying a good book
…a song on the radio at just the time you needed to hear it
…a sweet dream that makes you awake with a smile on your face
…and so much more. 

In recent years I’ve learned to appreciate things I used to take for granted. I’ve learned to stop and pay attention more often. I’ve learned that life really is full of precious gifts and simple joys. Even in the trials, God graciously sends us little surprises and daily reminders of His love.

What simple joys are you grateful for today?


Have You Laughed Today?

Hello! Today is Day 4 of my week of celebration, and I’m celebrating the gift of laughter! =)

“A cheerful heart is good medicine…” -Proverbs 17:22a

“…the cheerful heart has a continual feast” -Proverbs 15:15b

“Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy.” -Psalm 126:2a

Laughter is good for our physical health and for our souls, especially when we’re going through trials.

I’m grateful for the many times God helped me to laugh when I didn’t feel like it. 
I’m so thankful that my mom always kept a sense of humor and could make me laugh in the hardest times.
And I’m glad that the gift of laughter is something we can share with others.

So here’s a little video that I hope will make you laugh today. =)

P.S. This post lists some of my favorite laughter-inducing videos. =)


Friends Forever

For Day 3 of my week of celebration, I want to celebrate the gift of friends!

I heartily agree with this quote from a classic philosopher:

“We’ll be friends forever, won’t we Pooh,” asked Piglet.
“Even longer,” Pooh answered.

I’m SO glad that the amazing friendships God has given me will last forever!

I wish I could name every friend who has blessed my life, especially in the last twelve years. Since I can’t, I’ll just post a smattering of photos of some of the wonderful people in my life. 

From life-long friends to new friends, I am so incredibly blessed!!!



Giveaway Winner – Jason!

Thank you Jason for your comment with such encouraging truth about our gracious God! I hope you’ll enjoy Tozer’s book! =)


How Great He Is!

Thanks for joining me for Day 2 of my week of celebration! =) (Don’t miss the Giveaway at the end of this post.)

Celebrating Who God Is!

One of the blessings God gave me through the years of suffering was that He drew me closer to Himself. He showed me more about who He is. He gave me a deeper relationship with Him than I thought possible.

It’s one thing to be taught that God is good or loving, etc. It’s another thing to experience the reality of those truths in the midst of deep pain. That’s when we truly discover how great our God is! 

Today I praise God for who He is! He is –
…and much more!

Whatever we go through, God doesn’t change. He is and always will be far greater than we can comprehend.

God continues increasing my awe of Him and my love for Him. And in spite of the hardships, knowing Jesus fills me with greater joy than words can express! 

Here’s a special song for you today about experiencing the joy of God’s love. =)

The book that dramatically expanded my understanding of God is “Knowledge of the Holy” by A.W. Tozer. I have a well-loved copy of this book to give away today!

To enter, just post a comment sharing a truth about who God is that has been meaningful to you lately. I’ll select one winner from the entries and announce it in tomorrow’s post. =)