Lifelong Marriage Conference

I am eager to get back into blogging more and wanted to share my heart on this awesome marriage conference I have been connecting to online this week. Ahhh... marriage is something that takes work and I am always so helpful to hear from others and learn from them. This specific session was with one of my favorite authors, Dr. Gary Thomas, who wrote Sacred Marriage. This is a book that I was introduced to early on in our marriage and I have reread it about 3 times already since then. SOO good!

I do encourage you to take 20 minutes to watch this segment with him:


Here are some key takeaways I have heavy on my heart and am praying for my own self and marriage.

"What if God designed marriage to make us more holy than more happy?" And of course in that I know that I will never be truly happy unless I am pursuing Christ and my fulfillment in Him. Quite frankly, I was one of those who believed in fairy tales and happily ever afters. But yall... its not always happy ha! I have seen over and over again how God really designed marriage more for my holiness, molding me to His likeness, than necessarily for my happiness. Of course that brings about happiness as I am molded and changed, but it is not an easy process. I am prideful, honorary, selfish and resilient to change. Seeing JR love me through my yuckiness is what brings us closer together. As he forgives me, just as Christ does, daily. Which brings up the next great point.

"Marriage doesnt make you happy, you make marriage happy." Yall its your mindset! Are you unhappy just because it isnt roses and fairy tales?

"A good marriage isnt something you find, its something you keep making." We are committed to continuing to work on our marriage, grow deeper, learn from each other, etc. You cant ever stop and think you have it all figured out. You have to continue to learn your partner, figure out how yall compliment each other best, work together as a team and stay in the fight with each other. Often times we think of marriage as planting a tree, Gary says. You plant it and water it in the beginning but then its good. No, on the contrary, its more like a brick house. It needs a strong foundation and CONSTANT maintenance. New roof, new floors, new whatever, and you get it fixed. It will not just be okay after you build it forever.

"Dont worry about falling out of love as much as you worry about falling out of repentance." Whew man that hits hard. And so true. When pride sets in, you get set in your ways and always look to the other to make a change and yet you are forgetting your part of repenting.

I plan to continue listening in and will blog again soon. Yall check out all of the videos if you'd like. Rich and powerful, and your marriage will thank you later for investing in it :)



JR and I decided to take on the Whole30 challenge in hopes of creating a better habit of eating and overall healthier lifestyle. We didn't eat terrible before, but doing this now for 16 days we can tell a HUGE difference in our bodies by just "eating clean." So what is whole30? Well there is a whole website called www.whole30.com that can tell you everything you want to know! Basics of no milk, butter, or any dairy products, bread, or processed foods. I am a rule follower and found it very helpful to see "eat this and not that" lists all throughout. I am fortunate to have several good friends who had previously done the challenge as well who have given me fantastic tips! My hope in sharing this blog is to share with you newbies that you TOO can do it.. trust me! If I can, you can! This is coming from a girl who never cooked with recipes and loved her 10pm tortilla chip and salsa snack :)
Here is a little run down of what we have been eating. For breakfast: EGGS! I've been buying tons of them at the store and yes we have eaten them every single day. I pair a fruit and/or veggie with it, add pepper and it fills us up so much! I was typically that girl who HAD to have cheese on her eggs. Come to find out.. nope I really don't!
For lunch we have had either a spinach salad with evoo as dressing or leftovers from dinner before. Snacks throughout the day include cut up veggies (such as cucumber, green peppers, carrots), almonds, a fruit (max of 2 fruits a day so I mix up when I get those), and Larabars. These bars are delish and found at Krogers!

Most of our dinner recipes have come from Pinterest searches or a friends recommendation. Tilapia with mango salsa, steamed broccoli and paleo mashed potatoes.  http://allrecipes.com/recipe/grilled-tilapia-with-mango-salsa/

Grilled burger and veggies (mushroom, peppers, onions)
No the kids aren't doing the full whole30 with us but I have been very surprised at what they have loved. Lexi was a HUGE fan of the kale chips :)
I was REALLY sad to see no pasta on the list but I have been pleasantly surprised with this meal. It will for sure take the place of spaghetti in our weekly menu.
Zuchinni noodles with organic sauce and turkey meatballs
To make the zeghetti noodles we bought the vegetti spiral vegetable maker
salmon crab cakes
one 6 oz can boneless salmon
1/2 med onion
1 tbs coconut flour
2 eggs
1 rib of celery
1 tbs dried dill
1 tsp lemon pepper
1/2 tsp sea salt
3 tbs coconut oil
1. In a bowl break salmon up and add onion, celery and spices.
2. mix in coconut flour and combine thoroughly
3. Add eggs and mix
4. Add coconut oil into skillet
5. shape patties roughly 2"
6. add patties to pan and cook until golden brown and then flip
Almond crusted salmon with asparagus and kale chips
One of the BEST things we did was to use our smoker to get delicious leftovers for lunch. Boston butt smoked it totally whole30.. yay!

Thanks to Jenn Wade we also had a tasty dessert too. Frozen bananas? Who knew!
My biggest suggestion if you want to give this challenge a go is to MEAL PLAN! I typically shop once a month, but now am going every two weeks. I get everything I need for breakfast, lunch and dinner and spend a few hours prepping by slicing everything and portioning it all out. It helps so much when you are ready for a snack and would usually run to the pantry for a bag of chips! Yes it takes time, but you CAN make the time :)
Another huge lifesaver has been this drink diffuser. I put a little fruit inside and let it sit overnight in the fridge and then I have added a little taste to my water. Yes we have only drank water! Besides our morning coffee.

And speaking of coffee. I cant stomach it just black so I've been adding a splash of this coconut milk to take the bitterness edge off. I'll admit its an acquired taste and not my typical creamer but it has grown on me :)
I hope this shed some light on the whole30 for everyone. JR is having to buckle his belt tighter to keep his pants up and I lost 6 lbs in 2 weeks... both of us are just eating better. We do hope to add exercise on a more consistent basis soon, but we already feel so much better just by eating well. Yes it takes more time, and is harder... but its so worth it!! I encourage everyone to try it :)