Ladies and Gentlemen we are in the midst of the Corona Virus (COVID-19) pandemic. And we are being told to stay indoors to flatten the curve. And people left and right are panicking because of the quarantine and the lack of testing kits, and shortage of medical supplies, and things look really bleak, and…. and… Well, your host finds it all a bit overwhelming and a tiny bit scary, but rest assured, she presents to you a positive perspective on this… because even THIS insanity will end. This week we are on Genesis 8: Noah’s time in the ark, and…. I could not have planned the timing on this better *facepalm*
The “flower” of the week is the Orange fruit. Find out about the amazing properties of this lovely essential oil and how the Orange essential oil and the fruit can come in handy for you and your family. Praying for you all during this uncertain times. If you need to get in touch for whatever reason, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, follow me on Instagram @feelsandflowerspodcast and on Twitter @feelsandflowers. Finally, Don’t forget to subscribe to the show and tell others about it. Rate, Review, Subscribe! Love you all!
It’s March 14, 2020–a Saturday evening.
This is the sound of our local supermarket. That beep–beep–beep sound is the cashiers ringing in products as people check out their purchases. Common, ordinary sound.
Unfortunately my recording can’t convey the crazy all around me. There is no fighting, but there is a palpable tension in the air as people circle around each other and try to get past others on their way of picking up a product before someone else does.
I dump cans of veggie meat into my shopping cart because that’s all the canned, dry, frozen, or fresh protein I can find at this point. Sighing, I look around for my mom to see if she’s found other essentials: Wheat flour and corn flour. Sugar.
But there is nothing. And nothing I say can convey the prickle of anxiety one gets when you see aisles and aisles that have been cleared out of essentials: canned food, baby products, powdered formula, milk, meat, flour, sugar, cleaning products, and–most baffling of all–toilet paper.
Ladies and Gentlemen, this is what Coronavirus panic looks like.
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Hi, this is Paula. Welcome to Feels and Flowers, a Christian podcast that celebrates beauty in all its forms, and simply focuses on love: Love God, love yourself, love others. Full stop. Also: flower trivia and essential oil use…because why not.
I DO NOT mean to make you feel more despondent about the situation we are all living at the moment. I want you to feel better going out of this 20-ish minute episode than you felt going in.
However, I can’t really ignore the COVID-19 thing, can I? I have to address it because we are all in this together and whether we like it or not it is affecting our lives on so many different levels.
For example this week. I am one of the lucky ones that gets to work from home. But many people, depending on their career, still have to go out and work despite the dangers and warnings and orders to stay indoors as much as possible.
Thoughts and prayers for all of you, especially with all our healthcare workers: Doctors, nurses, pharmacists, lab technicians, hospital staff. To all of you who are in the front lines either in hospitals or working in essential industries necessary for us to continue to have a semblance of a normal life. Thank you. To the grocery store workers pulling in extra hours, post office workers, bank tellers and clerks, migrant workers out in the fields so the produce gets to our markets, and to the teachers who had to scramble to make sure that their students would still get an education online. To all of you I mentioned and those I missed….all you guys are heroes. Thank you and God Bless you.
This week’s podcast is based on Genesis 8: The great flood and Noah’s time inside the ark. And because there is so much about Genesis 8 worth talking about, I am 99% sure that this will probably be another two-parter.
But before we go all in, let’s do the essential oil of the week…. Orange!
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Orange essential oil, also known as “sweet orange oil” or “orange sweet essential oil” is an essential oil extracted from the orange peel. It can be extracted via steam distillation or through cold pressing. Is there a difference between steam distilled and cold pressed EO? Yes. Particularly the scent and the phytotoxicity, which makes it risky to use a citrus essential oil on skin that’s exposed to the sun’s UV rays. However for the most part the therapeutic properties are similar.
Anyway. The orange originated in China. The fruit we know and love today is actually a hybrid fruit, derived from the mandarin and a kind of pomelo.
Oranges were introduced to East Africa, the entirety of the Middle East, and to Spain by Arab and Moor traders. But they took a while to get to Europe and the Americas.
While citruses of different kinds were introduced into Europe sometime in the 9th century, and indeed I found evidence that shows the ancient Romans enjoyed oranges, historians credit Portuguese and Italian merchants as the ones that sometime in the Middle Ages introduced the sweet orange in Europe. The orange was a luxury item accessible to the rich who kept private Orange Groves for their consumption. For example Louis XIV of France had a great love of orange trees, and built the grandest of all royal Orangeries at the Palace of Versailles. At Versailles potted orange trees in solid silver tubs were placed throughout the rooms of the palace.
However, oranges became extremely important during the age of conquest when they were introduced to the Americas. Columbus, that scoundrel, was said to have brought Orange seeds with him which he planted in Hispanola. And because they are rich in vitamin C and do not spoil easily, European sailors planted citrus trees along trade routes to prevent scurvy.
Today there are dozens, maybe hundreds of orange varieties, with the largest producers being Brazil, the US, and China. It is a fruit we all know to help our immune system when fighting a cold or a flu. Oranges are an excellent source of vitamin C. One orange offers 116.2 per cent of the daily value for vitamin C and are rich in antioxidants. So feel free to eat as many oranges as you need.
The essential oil is also very beneficial. Additionally, it is very affordable and it also makes you feel so good and happy, helping ease depression. There are many ways you can use this oil, and I will share my favorite way to use it at the end of the show. But for now, let’s go back to Genesis 8.
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It was the six-hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, on the seventeenth day of the month when it all happened: all the underground springs erupted and all the windows of Heaven were thrown open. Rain poured for forty days and forty nights.
Noah was 600 years old when the floodwaters covered the Earth. Noah and his wife and sons and their wives had boarded the ship to escape the flood. With them were all kinds of animals: Clean and unclean animals, birds, reptiles, mammals–they all had come in pairs so that their species could be preserved.
The waters rose and lifted the ship high over the Earth. The waters kept rising, the flood deepened on the Earth, the ship floated on the surface. The flood got worse until all the highest mountains were covered—the high-water mark reached twenty feet above the crest of the mountains. Everything died. Anything that moved—dead. Birds, farm animals, wild animals, the entire teeming exuberance of life—dead. And all people—dead.
Then God turned his attention to Noah and all the wild animals and farm animals with him on the ship. God caused the wind to blow and the floodwaters began to go down. The underground springs were shut off, the windows of Heaven closed and the rain quit. Inch by inch the water lowered. After 150 days the worst was over.
In the six-hundred-first year of Noah’s life, on the first day of the first month, Noah opened the hatch of the ship and saw dry ground. By the twenty-seventh day of the second month, the Earth was completely dry.
God spoke to Noah: “Leave the ship, you and your wife and your sons and your sons’ wives. And take all the animals with you so they can reproduce and flourish on the Earth.”
Noah disembarked with his sons and wife and his sons’ wives. Then all the animals, crawling creatures, birds—every creature on the face of the Earth—left the ship family by family.
If you think that going out and buying enough stuff that will see you and your family through at least two weeks is crazy, imagine Noah. He had to gather enough provisions for himself and his family as well as for all the animals he had in that boat: All the zebras and the gazelles, the monkeys, the hippos, the Pandas. Good God, the Elephants! And of course he had to make sure the Lions and Tigers were well fed because otherwise one by one the animals would begin to disappear from the ark.
And so, thanks to having hoarded up enough supplies to last out the great flood, the humans and all the creatures made it safely through after being cooped up in the ark for about a year! A FREAKING YEAR!
The thing about this all is that Noah had God’s directive. God himself told him how to build an Ark, God herded all the animals into the ark when the time came, God sealed the door of the ark shut before the storm came. So if God oversaw these aspects of Noah’s preparation, he for sure directed Noah about how much food to stockpile for his floating zoo.
The thing about OUR situation is that we don’t know how BAD things are going to get, and how LONG this is going to take. I’ll put it in the bleakest terms possible: We don’t even know if we and all our family and friends will live through this. And that’s why a bunch of people are going absolutely bonkers as they prepare for this crisis.
I am being entirely honest here. I am a little scared.
The one time I remember there being such a crisis was back in Y2K. Do you, my millenial comrades, remember that? The world, we were sure, was going to come to an end–technologically speaking. As the year 2000 drew nigh, a bunch of people stockpiled food, water, medicine and all kinds of supplies because of the uncertain times ahead. In my family we kinda laughed it off. The end of the world wasn’t going to happen. Still, right on the last day of the year I saw my mom hauling down from the storage this massive plastic container. She was going to clean it and then fill it with as much water as possible. Halfway down the stairs, as she got to the landing, my dad asked her what she was doing. She said, you know, just in case. He said “Nothing is going to happen. You can put it back.” And, well, she did. Up the stairs she went again hauling her plastic container.
And I, having witnessed this curious exchange, shrugged and went back to watching Nickelodeon. Dad had said it would be fine, after all. And so, the year 2000 came and the end didn’t take place.
Far less amusing was the crisis of 2008. Industries collapsed and whole companies went under. BOTH my parents were among the millions caught up in the rounds of massive layoffs. Our life changed dramatically. We couldn’t afford the rent to our cozy townhome anymore. The rent in our city was too expensive for us to pay, and so we had to move to a tiny–and I mean TINY–house in a much cheaper county. I was still in college, getting ready to transfer to University, but HOW? How could I ever afford it? Still, the grownups had it all in hand. They made the best decisions they could, and because somehow I figured that I couldn’t do anything about it, left it to them, and kept doing my thing which was to study and get the best grades possible. And somehow we made it. Everything worked out in the end.
But see, this time, it is different. This time, as a head of household, I am the grownup, well one of the grownups at least. Both my sister and I are responsible for the wellbeing of our elderly parents and we both take on the financial responsibility to keep our home afloat, get the bills paid, etc.
This time there is no one to tell me that everything is going to be alright. No one to assure me that the world isn’t going to end and that neither one of my parents will fall sick during this pandemic. This time I have to have faith that we will be alright and look back to the past crises of my life and see how God’s hand directed us, saved us, and shielded us from harm.
I have to remember that back in 2009 when things looked so bleak, I still transferred to University and everything from the tuition fees to the exorbitantly priced textbooks were covered entirely by scholarship money. My parents never had to pay a dime out of pocket. In fact when I graduated I still had a little bit of money left. In this wicked day and age, lots of kids end up in deep debt after they get their degree. For my graduation present, I was given a check…the balance of the scholarship money… all that I hadn’t used up. And if this happens to you and you don’t think it’s a miracle–I don’t see how else you are going to see God’s hand in your life. You know how else I see God’s hand in my life? I see it in the story my mom told me about our time living in that tiny home. There came a day when our pantry looked mighty empty. My parents were, of course, still unemployed and the family funds were dangerously low. Yet before they could fret and worry about how we were going to get by, a friend came over to visit us, and she had brought with her all kinds of things. A family from church had heard about our hardship and they had put together a stock of food and household supplies for us. And you know what? It’s been 11 years since that time, and mom tells me that even now she still has a little box of powdered laundry detergent from that time. We haven’t even gotten around to using THAT up.
These are only two things I can tell you about seeing God’s hand in hard times. I would need days and days to tell you about the many times that things got tough and we saw God’s hand.
Stories that vividly remind me of miracles of the Bible, like when God sent ravens with food for Elijah while he was in hiding in the desert, or when God sent down manna each and every morning for the Israelites to eat while they were in the desert.
So yes, I AM a little scared for the things I can’t control. I am afraid that I have gotten exposed to the virus and I’ll get sick and then I’ll get MY parents sick. But this time around because I am a grownup I have to get past my fear and do what needs to be done. And the only way I can handle my fear is to close my eyes and remember not just the promises of the Bible that assure us that we’ll be OK but draw comfort from my own personal stockpile of experiences and remember how God has seen us through in the past and how he will us through THIS time too.
Despite how bad things are now, or get in the future, this is not the end. It isn’t. Sooner or later things will go back to normal, people will return to work, restaurants and bars will welcome customers back in, there will be socializing, and parties, and church, and outings.
The thing is… will you go back to how you were before? What will you have done during this time that strengthens and prepares you for the next crisis–because believe me there WILL be more ahead.
More than food and toilet paper, hand sanitizer and soap. More than guns and ammunition, We need to hoard things that will strengthen our mind and spirit. During this time of “social distancing” a lot of us are being forced to stay indoors and while away the hours. What will you be doing with your time?
May I make a humble suggestion? I promise you it’s not going to take much.
Hoard up for the uncertain future. Make some time at the beginning or at the end of your day and open that Bible and start filling the storerooms of your mind with its bounty and wisdom.
In the book of Matthew chapter 25, Jesus is in the middle of a discourse on the signs of the end of times. He stresses the importance of individuals being ready for when it IS INDEED the end.
The kingdom of heaven, Jesus said, will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Five were silly and five were smart. The silly virgins took lamps, but no extra oil. The smart virgins took jars of oil to feed their lamps. The bridegroom didn’t show up when they expected him, and they all fell asleep. In the middle of the night someone yelled out, ‘He’s here! The bride-groom’s here! Go out and greet him!’
The ten virgins got up and got their lamps ready. The silly virgins said to the smart ones, ‘Our lamps are going out; lend us some of your oil.’
They answered, ‘There might not be enough to go around; go buy your own.’
They did, but while they were out buying oil, the bridegroom arrived. When everyone who was there to greet him had gone into the wedding feast, the door was locked.
Much later, the other virgins, the silly ones, showed up and knocked on the door, saying, ‘Master, we’re here. Let us in.’
He answered, ‘Do I know you? I don’t think I know you.’
So stay alert. You have no idea when he might arrive.
The oil is symbolic of the Holy Spirit. It is by his power alone that we will be able to face the greatest of crises which await us, and each one of us is responsible for stockpiling the oil while we wait for the arrival of the groom. We all have been told to be in wait for him and yet we are all still slumbering.
That is why I know this crisis is not the end. It is a wake up call to prepare for the real trials when the end time comes. I hope that we all have the sense to prepare for it.
If you’ve reached this far, thank you for listening.
Like I promised, my favorite use for Sweet Orange Essential Oil: I love to diffuse it anytime I feel anxious or sad. However, I have also found that it helps my digestive system whenever I feel all bloated. It relieves gas, cramps, and spasms in the intestines. Because it helps improve circulation and stimulates the lymphatic system, it is very good for detoxing. Drink a lot of water, massage Sweet Orange Essential Oil in the direction of lymphatic flow, and voila. You’ll feel it. I promise you. One of the reasons why I covered this oil is because I gifted it to a friend of mine and I want her to know how to use it.
My dear! Thanks for flooding me with love notes in past few weeks! You have noticed how I make a point of pointing out if an oil has aphrodisiac properties or has been historically used an aphrodisiac. Great! I’m glad you noticed! #notashamed
I think sex, pheromones, and all those interesting tidbits about the things that stir up our chemicals are all important and natural and worth mentioning. I mean, how is using essential oils any different than using expensive perfumes? Perfume makers know about these properties, so rather than paying a bunch of $ for a bottle, why not explore and see what works for you? Natural is always best! So, you’re very welcome, my friend. Bake that pumpkin pie and light those lavender candles, girl! You deserve someone as amazing as you are.
If you’d like a shoutout or you just want to say hi, you can reach me at email@example.com or you can also follow me on IG: @feelsandflowerspodcast and Twitter @feelsandflowers. If you enjoy Feels and Flowers please be sure to leave a rating on and subscribe on Apple podcasts or whatever podcast platform you use. That would really help a lot.
Oh! Also. Go to the website.
Feelsandflowers.com has blends, recipes, and instructions for using Sweet Orange and other essential oils. You can also find show transcripts and other extras on the episode posts, so do go in there and check out the website.
Until next time… please remember that you are beautiful, you are loved, and you were made with a purpose. I usually say go on out there and live like you believe this is true, but for now, DON’T go out there. Stay indoors, stay safe, and healthy.
Love you! God Bless!
— [THEME MUSIC FADE OUT] —