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Monday, October 29, 2012

God's Tests

The quote above says, "When you are going through something hard and you wonder, 'Where is God?' Remember the teacher is always quiet during a test."

Here is why I reject that:

"Let no one say when he is tempted, 'I am being tempted by God,' for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one." James 1:13

"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go." Joshua 1:9

"Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land. For I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you." Genesis 28:15

“If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you." 

"I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Yet a little while and the world will see me no more, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. In that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you. Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him.” John 14:15-21

Sunday, October 28, 2012

My Love Story

     When I was a little girl if you had asked me, "Who are you going to marry?" I would have said, "My best friend." It would have been a silly question. I had seen enough fairy tales and happily ever afters as a young girl to know that you were supposed to grow up and marry your best friend. As an adolescence, the answer to that question would have been the same. I was determined to have my own Disney princess story and I had already dubbed my only constant friend the role of prince charming.

     My best friend was someone who I had known all my life and had always been there for me. As a kid I liked him because he would play with me on the playground and sit by me in Sunday school. What else did I need from a friend? As a teenager he was my confidant because no matter what I was going through I always ran to him and he was there with a shoulder to cry on. He was an all American boy with an all American dream, to be in the Army. It's all he ever talked about and all he ever dreamed of. When he was finally able to pursue that dream I made my feelings on the matter crystal clear. "NO." It was all I ever said. Until the Army rejected him due to medical problems and my reply to the news was a resounding, "YES!" But that wasn't going to stop him. Shorty after realizing his Army dreams were a dead end he became a Marine. 

     I was devastated and scared to death for two reasons: 1. The obvious. It was 2006 and we were still sending troops to Iraq and I just knew he would be gone before I could even process what was happening. 2. I was going to have to find someone else to be my husband.

     He knew me well and before leaving for his first tour in Iraq he said to me, "Sweetheart, you're the kind of girl that needs to be held. You can't do this." At the time I protested, telling him I could do it and I would be brave. Deployment would be fine. But he was right and we both knew it. At that time in my life the very last thing I needed was more abandonment. I had enough issues to land me in counseling for years and I wouldn't have been able to throw deployed husband to the mix. It was bad enough I was facing a deployed best friend.

      I was angry with him for a while, but two years later I met a boy who had no intentions of joining the military. (I checked.) He had once wanted to be a pilot in the Air Force, but learned that he would never be able to due to his color blindness. I watched him become a man and within two years of knowing him, he was my husband.

     Then the strangest thing happened. Suddenly I found myself alone on my second wedding anniversary because my husband was in boot camp. Talk about a surprise twist in life! I was a military wife after all. The difference however was in the man I married.

     You see, for my best friend the military was his dream, but for my husband I am the dream. While my husband loves his job very much and does it extremely well, he ultimately sees it as a means to provide for his family. I know that when he is gone he'd rather be home. He is a dedicated servant of Christ and a fierce servant of one woman, me. Everything he does is with my best interest at heart. It is incredibly easy to submit to a man who I can trust. I trust that in every decision he makes he seeks the Lord's will and then makes the decision he feels will benefit our family the most. 

     I had always expected my best friend to become my husband, but what happened was just the opposite. My husband became my best friend. Fourteen days after briefly meeting at a football game we were in a committed relationship headed straight to marriage. For us it wasn't a slow realization that your friend was becoming to mean more. It was an instant recognition between two souls that were created by the God of the universe to go through this life as one. I didn't meet a boy, get to know him, become his friend, and then fall in love. I met my love, got to know him, and then became his friend.

     So in the end I did get my fairy tale. Christ is my prince who saved me from certain death, and my husband is my compliment who loves me unconditionally. What more could a girl want than a prince to save her life and a love to share that life with?

Friday, October 19, 2012

Measuring Cups = Healthier Me

I'm hesitant to write this post because it is about eating healthy and the weight loss that comes with it. If you know me at all you know that I have a serious addiction and an even more serious lack of self-control. I love all things sweet, especially chocolate, and I do not possess the ability to stop myself from indulging when a craving hits. I also have a real medical problem which does not allow me to have an empty stomach for very long. When I start to feel hungry I have a matter of minutes to eat something before I begin to shake, get dizzy, and eventually pass out. 

It's happened before.
With all that said you'll understand what I mean when I say healthy eating and maintaining a healthy weight have been difficult for me, especially these past 2 years. Sometimes I lose track of time and very suddenly I'm hit with hunger pains. I do not have time to grill some chicken or steam some vegetables. In those moments I typically eat whatever I have handy, no matter how unhealthy it may be.

I have tried dieting, eating healthy, and even exercising, but it never lasts longer than a month and I'll tell you why. 1. I don't see results and I get frustrated. 2. None of my diets have included Nutella, chocolate cake, or cookies. In fact, they usually included a lot of things like apples & bananas which are 2 things I only eat covered in Nutella.

Recently, however, I have been brainstorming for a way to make a healthier lifestyle stick. Crockett and I plan on starting a family within the next few years and I know that I need to be in good health to give my baby the best chance he or she can have at being born as healthy as possible. So I have started over. (Mind you I'm only on day 4.) I have realized two major things that are really helping me this time. 1. I have lost my natural sweet tooth. Meaning, I don't find anything in nature to be sweet. Did you know that an apple is supposed to be a sweet food? (According to Dr. Oz) I have poured countless amounts of sugar, Nesquik powder  Nutella, & syrup on my food and now nothing tastes sweet unless it's drowning in sugar. This is a huge problem!! The second thing I've learned is I have no idea how to proportion my food. Well, I do now, but I wasn't doing it before. If I wanted some Nutella I would grab the jar and a spoon and whatever I was smothering to death that particular day and have a seat on the couch. Do you know what the serving size of Nutella is? Well I didn't know there was a serving size much less that it's only 1 tablespoon. I was eating about 1 tablespoon per bite! Kinda crazy if you think about how many bites there are in an apple...

So my new, handy helper? Measuring spoons & cups!!
I even have these awesome collapsible cups I got from my aunt as a wedding gift. I love them so.

The other tool I'm using is Here's a sample of my profile.

(click to enlarge)

This awesome website is a place that tracks your health. You put in what food you've eaten and any activity you did and it breaks down everything for you. How much of each food group you've had, how many calories, sodium, oils, fats, etc. You can track your weight and it identifies a healthy activity target and you can set goals for yourself. So far, I'm in the middle of day 4 and I've already lost 3.5 lbs. I use this website to plan my meals for the next day that way I can adjust it to make sure I'll get enough of every food group. (Turns out I wasn't getting near enough dairy in my diet.) I'm also limiting my calorie intake and doing at least 30 minutes of Wii sports boxing and Just Dance every day. I've actually had a lot of fun tracking everything,  (That's the super organized nerd in me.) and I'm hoping this will stick because I can have the occasional sweet, just in the appropriate moderation. For example now I have 1 tablespoon of Nutella on my plate with my sliced up banana and the challenge to make it last is pretty exciting. I can also track that tablespoon and see that it is primarily empty calories and offers no nutritional value so I make sure I have it sparingly and on days where I'm eating less empty calories elsewhere in my diet.

I'm actually having a hard time eating everything on my daily list because I'm too full. By the end of every day so far there are at least 2 snacks on my list that I didn't get to. I try to eat a meal every 4 hours and a snack 2 hours after each meal, but I'm finding that I'm often full after only half my allotted amount. Not a normal problem for me! I'm also not allowing myself to stray from the food groups for at least one week. I want to push myself because I've been asking God to help me with my self-control. After one week I will allow myself the occasional sweet, but for now my dessert is 1/2 cup 100% grape juice! (Husband is thoroughly enjoying my daily excitement of, "Guess what time it is! It's snack time! I get 1/4 cup pistachio nuts!!" He's been asked to eat his Oreos away from me.)

If you're looking for a way to track your diet and ensure you are getting healthy amounts of everything I highly recommend this site. It even reports your nutrient intake and has an option for pregnant or breast feeding women. :)

Fill in the Blank Friday

Link up with Lauren @ thelittlethingswedo

1.  One thing I plan on doing to relax this weekend is   watch a movie in my jammies in our brand new movie room. Surround sound, projector screen, popcorn, & a Disney movie. Sounds perfect.

2.  A big pet peeve of mine is   hovering. I strongly dislike when I am doing something (typing in particular) and someone is over my shoulder watching/reading. It drives me nuts.

3.  I am really loving It is this awesome website that helps you track your food and activity. It calculates how much of each food group you've eaten for the day and allows you to set calorie/weight/activity/etc. goals for yourself. It is amazing.

4. The rain is   all I've seen for the past week. Ok, not really, but it feels like it. I've seen the sun once it the last 6 or so days. I like the rain, but the dogs are going stir crazy.

5. My favorite girly indulgence is  Disney princess movies.

6. A song I always get stuck in my head is   Katy Perry's "E.T." Now it's there again, thanks Lauren!

7.  The best cure for stress is  worship & prayer. Nothing makes me feel better about my problems like realizing they aren't actually problems I need to worry about.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Fill in the Blank Friday

I'm a little late, I know.
Link up with Lauren HERE

1.  My favorite flower is   the Calla Lilly. Although it isn't very people friendly and a little expensive.

2.  You should never talk about   nothing. I don't think anything should be off limits in the right environment. I think as Christians we need to embrace every topic including the hard ones like politics. We need to be salt and light in all areas and show the world that Christians aren't cowards (with grace and love, of course). God has a design for every aspect of life.

3.  My favorite discovery as of late is  a home organization blog I found on pinterest. She breaks down how to organize every room in your house. I'm loving it.

4. This fall you will probably find me wearing    my new boots!!

5. I wish I were   done unpacking. Moving = not fun.

6. My favorite TV show currently is    Walking Dead, Once Upon A Time, & Private Practice. My must watches. :)

7.  This weekend I want to  finish unpacking although that's a long shot.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Fill in the Blank Friday

link up with Lauren @ thelittlethingswedo

1.  The last thing I ate was    greek yogurt with strawberries and granola   .

2.  The last time I went to the beach was   in June. Family trip to Galveston, TX!    .

3.  My last vacation was   a month ago. I went on a cruise to Mexico with the lovely ladies in my family. It was amazing.

4. The last place I drove was     home from my errands.

5. The last song I listened to was   "Never Once" by Matt Redman. His latest album is fantastic.

6. The last thing I watched on TV was   Private Practice on demand. :)

7.  The last time I said "I love you" was  this morning when hubs went to work.