Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Weekly Menu for Oct. 26th - Nov. 1st

I know this is a day late, but...

This is the Menu Plan for the week of Oct. 26th - Nov. 1st:

Monday- Shrimp and broccoli sautéd in butter, onions, and garlic. Served on top of buttery white rice.

Tuesday- Shrimp and sausage jambalaya. Not from scratch. It's Zataran's with my meat additions. Could that be Semi-homemade? LOL! Sweet corn bread.

Wednesday- Left overs.

Thursday- Family Nite: Chicken & veggie stir-fry with white rice (brown rice for my son).

Friday- Chicken strips, mac n' cheese, and broccoli.

Saturday- Left overs. Might be at a birthday party.

Sunday- Crock pot meal. Undecided.

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Sunday, October 25, 2009

Children's Ministry for October: Faith

Today I completed teaching the October curriculum for our Children's Ministry. I have one more night of recap and prizes for the kids. I can say that I was quite pleased with the outcome. It was my first time putting together a curriculum. I will continue to search out Children's Ministry material and post information and links that I find helpful.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

"Love Dare"- Day 5: Love is Not Rude

He who blesses his friend with a loud voice early in the morning, it will be reckoned a curse to him. —Proverbs 27:14

My thoughts...

This is where I'm choosing to begin again. Right here. Why? Well, because this is where it got difficult. Why? I dunno.

Generally speaking, I don't think I'm a rude person. Not really. Now, if as the book states that being rude is by making it things unpleasant for my spouse then I might be guilty. Not intentionally. But I will admit that I don't go out of my way to make things more comfortable. And I am totally guilty of doing more for others than my husband. And I definitely say things, that are not the nicest or necessary out of frustration. Yes, ok, I'm a little rude.  So I'll work on this.

Here goes nothing... Tomorrow will tell. I'm kinda feeling that it'll be an easy day since he'll be gone for most of it. Maybe I'll check out Day 6 and work on that one too since it requires some introspection and I'll be able to do this without distraction from my husband. Hmmm... Yep, that sounds good to me.

My experience...

So I completed the dare. I only did Day 5 cause once I read the dare it was loaded. As we sat in bed watching t.v. I asked him in a sweet, kind tone. "Babe, I need you to tell me 3 things that I do that annoy or irritate you about myself. I won't say anything back about it. But please don't use this as a moment to attack me."

This is what he said:
1. It seems as if I'm not aware of my surroundings or the things that are happening around me. He used the example of me asking him about a bible that had been thrown in the trash. From my perspective he was vacuuming the house. He throws things away all the time. So I figured maybe he threw it away because our son had torn it up or something. Innocent question. Asked just matter-of-factly. But from his perspective he couldn't understand why I would assume first that he had done it rather than the baby. He even said that it wasnt' my tone or anything, but my assumption that bothered him.

2. I don't seem to be able to maintain my schedule whenever he's home. This is very true. I don't know why it is. It just happens. I guess maybe because I try to take advantage of the fact that he's home and do things with him instead of just cleaning and acting as if he's not there. He says I should be utilizing him being home and being able to help with the kids. That's true, but honestly, he's not that big a help.

Surprisingly, even after 2 days, he didn't have a #3. So I will take the liberty of remembering a conversation we had a while back and give myself the third.

3. I don't initiate intimacy. I could go on and on about why that is. But the fact of the matter is that I don't. I do, but it's so far and few between that the efforts really don't count. All I can say is that I hope that once this journey is complete this fact will have changed.

All in all the challenge wasn't so bad. I was waiting for him to just unload a laundry list of things. But all I got was two.

We did however have a moment of testing. The very next day we got into an argument about clothing. I made the mistake of asking him (innocently) about an outfit he was wearing to church. It was a little dressier than I think he normally goes. He had a fit about the question. Apparently he thinks that he dresses like that all the time. And then it came... #1 was thrown in my face. And to add insult to injury he throws in, "See! That just proves my point!"

I didn't argue really. Did my best to hold my piece and walk away. But then after it set in, my feelings were hurt. So in the car on the way to church I asked him, "Why do you feel like you had to prove a point to something that I never argued you down about or denied?" I told him that I was sorry that the morning had gone the way that it had and that I didn't want this to be the set up for the rest of the day. He said that I always act as if it's just that moment that causes him to blow up. I told him then he needs to stop letting things pile up. It's not fair to me for him to hold on to things until he hits a boiling point. I started to cry a bit, but quickly pulled myself together. Once we got to church I was fine.

I'm hopeful for what the next 35 days hold. It may take longer, but I'm going to complete this journey. I have to. My marriage is desperately needing to take a turn for the better. On the path it's currently on, it isn't going to last.

I look forward to allowing God to make me over again and renew my relationship with Him and my husband.

If you can, come join me on this journey. Leave your comments and let's be there for one another.

Read up for tomorrow:

Day 6: Love is Not Irritable

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Getting My Heart Right

After much consideration and knowing what this Love Dare journey requires, I've decided to go back a few days. I very quickly lost focus on the goal. My heart is no longer in it like it was. I just really need to focus on this. Not be sidetracked or distracted or even discouraged. I no longer want to "give the devil a foothold" in my marriage. (Eph 4:27) 

What I found in the last week is that there was a calm before the storm. My husband and I had gotten along fine for a while. Everything seemed like it was going well. I thought that this challenge was gonna be easy. but I forgot the key word... "Challenge".

I had a conversation with a girlfriend of mine recently. She and I had a major disagreement. She doesn't believe that love is a choice. I do. And I've got to make the choice every day to show up in love for my God, my husband, my marriage, my kids, my family. And maybe somewhere in the end, be able to show up in love for myself.

This has been a very humbling experience thus far. One that I am glad to have decided to take. One that I am glad to not have to do on my own. One that I am glad to share. I'm hoping that the end result will be testimony to what God can do to, as Mrs. Pat Ashley would put it, "resurrect that which is dead."

I'm sure I've said this before, that my marriage is not in jeopardy of being over. But it definitely needs to be revived. And I am committed to doing all that I can to make sure that it lasts. I took a vow and made a covenant with God about my husband. I'm just not willing to go back on my word.

I heard today on Focus on the Family that without the proper resources we will have problems we can't deal with. Without the skills we will be overwhelmed. "If the responsibility is your life is higher than your skill level you'll be overwhelmed." So I'm on a mission to acquire the resources and skill to be able to not just survive the rest of my life in this marriage, but to honor the Lord, bless my spouse and children, and experience life to the fullest intent that God has for us.

In Jesus' Name.

So I'm going back to Day 5. Where I think my heart fell out of the equation.

I'm hopeful for what the next 35 days hold. I look forward to allowing God to make me over again and renew my relationship with Him and my husband.

If you can, come join me on this journey. Please leave your comments, suggestions, and prayers.  Let's be there for one another. Uplift one another as we move forward in God's design for marriage.

This is where I will begin again:

Day 5: Love is Not Rude

Thursday, October 15, 2009

"Love Dare"- Day 4: Love is Thoughtful

How precious also are Your thoughts to me. . . .How vast is the sum of them! If I should count them, they would outnumber the sand. —Psalm 139:17–18

"Love thinks." How true that is. When my husband and I met we were in high school. I was 15 years old. He was 16. I remember how it was before we were in a relationship. Oh my goodness, I was crazy about him. I would've flipped over backwards for him. And as the book says I thought about him constantly. What he wanted, what he thought, needed, liked, didn't like. It was all about him. He very quickly consumed my world.

And unfortunately also like the book says, our burning flames of romance have turned into very gray, very cold ash. And if I was brutally honest then I would have to say that our flames began to dim after the first year of our relationship. That was 11 years ago. It took 5 years fro our relationship to finally come to an end. We spent a little time apart and reunited once again. Talk about flames! Boy, oh boy, we were smokin'. And we eloped! But even then the flames began to dim and now here I am 5 years later without even an ember.

"Thoughtlessness is a silent enemy to a loving relationship." Ouch! In an effort to not point fingers I won't even defend myself here. All I will say is this is absolutely right. I have been incredibly thoughtless. And the sad thing about it is that in most cases I didn't even know it. Here I was thinking that it was all for him. That I was putting him and his needs first and forgetting all about me. What a crock! It's been about me for a long time. Disguised by the my "putting my wants and needs on the back burner". What a mess!

I could keep going, but I won't. What I will do is share what happened to me on this day...

Today's task was relatively easy, again. My husband was home today. He owns a business and was preparing to go set up for an event. So in an effort to complete the challenge I asked him if there was anything that I could do to help. He told me no. So I did my best just to be kind. And that seemed to work to get us through the rest of the day.  Easy peasy!

Now on page 18 of the Love Dare book it asks, "When was the last time you spent a few minutes thinking about how you could better understand and demonstrate love to your spouse? What immediate need can you meet? What the next event (anniversary, birthday, holiday) you could be preparing for? Great marriages come from great thinking." So here is my final thought... This is something that I should be trying to commit to every day. And as I told a good friend of mine recently we have got to learn to do things with no strings attached. That's where the pain lies. So here's a being a thoughtful person. Simply me... no strings attached.

I thank God in all my remembrance of you. - Phillipians 1:3

I'm hopeful for what the next 36 days hold. I look forward to allowing God to make me over again and renew my relationship with Him and my husband.

If you can, come join me on this journey. Leave your comments and let's be there for one another.

Read up for tomorrow:

Day 5: Love is Not Rude

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

"Love Dare"- Day 3: Love is Not Selfish

Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor.—Romans 12:10

Ok, so it's official... I need the "Love Dare" book. I've been using the website for my daily info. Needless to say I was unaware of how much more information the book contains. So after reading Krista's post which shares some of the books content (Thank you Krista), I'm very much aware of how selfish I actually am. Not just as a wife, but as a mom, sister, friend, fill in the blank. I suck! Absolutely and completely.

So now I'm dealing with that revelation what do I do? How do I change the form of thinking I've had for so long? "What about me? Who's gonna take care of me? Me, me, me..."

And here I am on Day 3: Love is not selfish. Ok, so I have to buy my husband something. Well we don't have much money, so what do I do? Well, dispite the fact that I'm sick and all I really want to do is sleep I got up to cook dinner. And let me just say that it was not for me in the least. I haven't had much of an appetite in a while. But then something happened. My husband said I didn't have to cook! I was shocked. I couldn't have agreed any faster. LOL! So off to Mickey D's we went.

Once again my day was rather uneventful. And I must admit that I'm a bit happy that I'm sick otherwise these last few days may not have been as easy as they have.

Now I have to deal with being selfish. Again I say, where does that leave me? Well, I need to stop being selfish. It will have to be a conscious effort for sure. But I need to take the time to give to others. Not things, but my time and effort. I would elaborate on this, but right now I just can't. I will one day.

Thank you Day 3.

I'm hopeful for what the next 37 days hold. I look forward to allowing God to make me over again and renew my relationship with Him and my husband.

If you can, come join me on this journey. Leave your comments and let's be there for one another.

Read up for tomorrow:

Day 3: Love is Thoughtful

P.S. I made good on Day 2. ;-)

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

"Love Dare"- Day 2: Love is Kind

Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor. —Romans 12:10

Thanking God for, yet another, uneventful day. Part of that is because I find my self 6ft deep under the weather.

So today the task was to do an act of kindness on top of the Day 1 Challenge. Well, unfortunately the planned act of kindness just did not work out. At least not yet. The plan was to initiate a night of passion between my husband and myself. He says that it's not something that I do often. He's right, but it's because I'm tired, overworked, and, and, and... You know how that goes.

So needless to say my plans were foiled. No, not by my cold, but by a 10 month old little boy who refused to go to sleep. Ugh! And to think that I didn't even speak the plans to the air for fear of failure! I promise my kids have Lo-Jack or something on my body! They never fail to throw a wrench in the mix. LOL!

You know, I have to share this with you all though... I don't know what's going on over here at my house, if it's the Lord blessing for the intentions behind this journey, but I am so touched to say that today DH cooked for us twice! For lunch he made my special cinnamon & brown sugar pancakes and for dinner we had kielbasa sausage, rice, and corn. Now did he clean up? No, but I appreciate the fact that he cooked. I made sure to say so. Perhaps that was my act of kindness for the day. It is rare that I show appreciation to him for "helping out".

We did have an incident today that was rather touching. Just to give a bit of background: My husband's been off work going on three weeks now. He was suspended (mandatory) for a small fender bender at work. Now, this was only supposed to be 3-5 days, but is still in effect. Apparently their "investigation" is still underway. But when he told me the news today that we were going into the third week I almost cried. This means another month without any income. Don't get me wrong, I know the Lord is my source and shield. But I still felt it. Rather than freaking out or getting angry at him for what was an accident, we prayed. I hugged my husband and we agreed in prayer that everything was gonna work itself out and we had no reason to fear. It was a beautiful moment.

Well, I just wanted to share quickly before I turn in. Now that my son is sleeping maybe I can make good on my challenge. ;-)

I'm hopeful for what the next 38 days hold. I look forward to allowing God to make me over again and renew my relationship with Him and my husband.

If you can, come join me on this journey. Leave your comments and let's be there for one another.

Read up for tomorrow:

Day 3: Love is Not Selfish

Monday, October 12, 2009

"Love Dare"- Day 1: Love is Patient

"Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love."—Ephesians 4:2 NIV

Today was the first day of my "Love Dare" journey. I started this day off nervous. Afraid that I was bound to fail at some point and might have to start over. Fortunately for me, today was not so hard. Actually, I'd have to admit that it was rather easy. We didn't fight, argue, differ in opinion, etc. Nothing. 

The most I had to deal with was my husband acidentally knocking my coffee cup off of my bedside table onto my journal and a few other things. I could've gotten an attitude because he didn't wipe any of it off. But he did wipe up the carpet. And would you believe that I actually considered apologizing for leaving it there?

Well, I thank the Lord for the ease of the day. I remain hopeful for what the next 39 days holds.

If you can, come join us on this journey. Leave your comments and let's be there for one another.

Read up for tomorrow:

Day 2: Love is Kind

Sunday, October 11, 2009

"Love Dare" Journey Begins

Tomorrow is the day I begin this journey to hopefully rekindle the love between my husband and me. Now, don't get me wrong. We still love each other, but I'm praying for us to fall in love again. It's been a long time since I've felt that way. I'm sure it's the same for him.
I haven't told him that I'm doing this. I didn't ask him to participate. For one, I don't think he would, and two, WE wouldn't finish. So I'm flying solo on this journey. Not completely alone though. I do have some of my Twitter friends who have decided to join me. They will also be following this journey on their own and together we will uplift, encourage, and hopefully pray for each other to finish the course, no matter how hard it may get.
I'm hopeful for what the next 40 days hold. I look forward to allowing God to make me over again and renew my relationship with Him and my husband.
If you can, come join me on this journey. Leave your comments and let's be there for one another.
Read up for tomorrow:

Day 1: Love is Patient

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