Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Boundaries in Marriage

God calls us to live a life marked by purity. Purity is the freedom from adulteration and freedom from immorality. To honor God we practice the below boundaries. Why? Because satan hates a happy marriage and will work to destroy it. It is vital to be intentional with your marriage. Work at it. Protect it. Honor each other. I'm not an expert, but these boundaries have protected us. They work for us. Before I share the boundaries we practice, let me give you some Biblical truth behind why we have boundaries in the first place.

1 Corinthians 6:13-20 says "You say, “Food for the stomach and the stomach for food, and God will destroy them both.” The body, however, is not meant for sexual immorality but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. By his power God raised the Lord from the dead, and he will raise us also. Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ himself? Shall I then take the members of Christ and unite them with a prostitute? Never! Do you not know that he who unites himself with a prostitute is one with her in body? For it is said, “The two will become one flesh.”But whoever is united with the Lord is one with him in spirit.
Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body. Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies."

Your body is a temple. You are not your own. You were bought at a price. So we must honor God with our bodies. What does that mean? It means living pure lives and that is what I want to focus on here. As a married woman what does it look like to live a pure life? God is pretty clear it means fleeing from temptation. Not walking in the gray area. Not flirting over the line. Fleeing from sexual immorality. Based on that, G and I have the following boundaries in place to keep us away from sexual immorality. Boundaries we believe make our marriage better and stronger. 

If I could say one more thing before I dive into the boundaries? I don't believe God ever says something just to be mean or to be a buzz kill. God knows so much more than I will ever know and His intentions in telling us to flee are for our protection. For our own good. Are sticking to these boundaries always the easy way? Most certainly not! But it's important and worth it to us because we want to protect our marriage. 

1. Do not travel alone with members of the opposite sex. Emotional affairs start long before the physical affair. Spending one on one time alone in a car is an open invitation to opening up emotionally that may not have been there otherwise. Once you begin to feel emotionally attached it gets more dangerous. It's just better to flee from the temptation all together. Drive separate. Ride with a few more people to keep you accountable.

2. Do not eat alone with members of the opposite sex. This is the most common beginning of affairs from my friends who have gone through it. It starts so innocently with lunch. Then it leads to dinner. Then lunches and dinners more often. Fellowship almost always happens over a meal and you start opening up and he listens so much better and she gets it. Next thing you know it's gone too far and it's hard to turn back. And how do you not let it get too far? By fleeing from the temptation. Also, it just doesn't look great if one of my girlfriends sees G out to eat with a girl that isn't me. Or if G's sister sees me out to eat with another man. To avoid any gossip is another reason we keep this boundary. 

3. Don't confide in or counsel members of the opposite sex. G and I are big on counseling couples together. If things need to be on a one-on-one basis it's natural for G to reach out to the husband and meet with him separate and I would meet with the wife. It's out of respect for each other and it's protecting us from any kind of emotional affair or attachment by confiding with a member of the opposite sex. It's also important for G and I to set boundaries on conversations in the workplace. I used to work with all men and it was important to make sure I didn't get too personal because when you start to get vulnerable you could start looking for validation. You could feel like you gave a piece of yourself away when sharing something so personal. Out of respect for his wife and out of respect for my husband it's best to keep those conversations with G, family and my closest girlfriends. To just flee from temptation so it never becomes an issue. 

4. Surround yourself with people who will keep you accountable. These boundaries can be difficult. It is important to surround yourself with your tribe. The people who have the same beliefs and values as you to do. The people who will call you out if they see behavior they think is unhealthy or disrespecting your spouse. The people you can talk to and wrestle hard issues with. Should I watch that movie or read that book? Can I be disciplined enough to skip the pages I shouldn't read? Disciplined enough to fast forward through that scene in the movie? Keep an open dialogue with your accountability. Often as soon as we confess the issue we are struggling with the issue loses it's power. It's not a secret anymore and you see it for what it is. When we were getting married a coworker told me to surround myself with people who will always tell me to fight for my marriage. That will always tell me that no matter how bad the fight, to go back to your husband and resolve it. That's great advice. Make sure your accountability circle believes in your marriage and believes you should fight for it.

It's worth it. These boundaries have protected G and I for nine years. A happy marriage doesn't just happen. It takes being intentional and these are ways we are intentional to honor God and each other. I would challenge you to talk to your spouse and figure out your own boundaries. I don't have these boundaries because I don't trust G. I have these boundaries because I believe in fleeing from temptation. Every affair story I heard never started with an intent to cheat. The affair happened because boundaries were not in place. 

So protect your marriage. Start the discussions with your spouse now on how you can honor each other and God. Surround yourself with people who support your marriage and will keep you accountable. It is better to be proactive than reactive. It could make all the difference.

Do you agree? What boundaries do you have in your marriage?

Monday, February 20, 2017

Mondays with Manny


Snug as a bug in a rug.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Fit Friday: Week 2 (and an announcement!)

This week was way harder than last week. We had a long weekend with lots of celebrating, wine and eating out. That all makes it super hard to stay on track, especially when the restaurants are not in my WW app. In full disclosure, there are a few meals I didn't even track because I couldn't find anything in the app. But I fully enjoyed my meals, ate until I was satisfied, and moved on. 

Weigh In:



Pounds Lost: 2.3 pounds
Total: 3.3 pounds

I am so happy with that, especially considering I was a bit off track this week. It is a hundred times harder to stay on track when you are eating out. But I enjoyed the heck out of it. We had a lot to celebrate and I still succeeded in losing this week. I think part of it has to do with incorporating running into the mix (see below).

I think I'll mainly be sharing dinners here since my breakfasts and lunches pretty much stay the same. But if anything changes I'll mention it here. And all the meals we ate out can be found here so I won't show pictures of them again.

Workouts:

Saturday - Walked 2.7 miles
Sunday -  Ran/walked 2.6 miles
Monday - Ran/walked 2.8 miles
Tuesday - Walked 3.5 miles
Wednesday - Walked 4.2 miles
Thursday - Kickboxing

Eats:



I'm out of protein powder so I've been drinking the shakes G drinks. It is one cup orange juice (3pp), banana (opp), two cups spinach (0pp), half cup strawberries (0pp), and half cup pineapple (0pp).



My lunches have mostly been leftovers from meals out. I did change it up and have TJ's multi-grain waffles (4pp) and 2T crunchy peanut butter (5pp).


I also am obsessed with TJ's broccoli and cheese quiche. Half of the quiche is only 6pp and it's the perfect amount. It made a great breakfast or lunch!



Saturday night G grilled chicken (4pp)  and veggies (0pp) so we shared that and it hit the spot. I also had a glass of white wine (4pp) and a bit of Skinnypop (4pp) later on that I forgot to snap a picture of.



Sunday night I had wine (4pp), two servings of Triscuits (7pp), and Colby Jack cheese (2pp).



Monday night I had taco bites with cheddar (3pp), 1/2 cup black beans (2pp), 1/2 cup 90/10 beef (5pp) in pieces of a soft tortilla (2pp). YUM!


Tuesday night I had Subway broccoli and cheese soup (7pp) and a red pepper (0pp).


Wednesday evening I had 1/2 cup TJ's qunioa (3pp), and half a package of Tasty Bite Madras Lentils (4pp). It was the perfect quick meal to eat before small group. By the way, small group went so well! Everyone was so nice and we had great conversation. I'm so excited to be back into doing life with people every week.


I saved 8pp for a nice big glass of wine after small group. We were celebrating my accepting a new job! I didn't really talk about my old job, but it wasn't a good fit and I was unhappy. I am so thankful for the experience and I met some amazing girls I will be friends with for life. I'm stepping back into the arena and accepted a position in supply chain at an automotive company that was named a top place to work in 2016. I'm so, so excited for this new adventure!

Thursday was our nine year anniversary and I can't wait to share what we did soon! Check out instagram (@learningtobeawife) to get a sneak peek. Have a great weekend friends!


Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Life Lately


The sunset from my backyard last week was breathtaking. 



G really wanted a fancy shower rod that curved out to give the illusion of a larger shower. My parents got him one for his birthday and he loves it. It looks pretty nice too!



One of my favorite things about winter is cozying up next to the fire with a yummy scented candle reading a good book. Perfection.



G and I are currently obsessed with MAN Family Wine from South Africa. It is seriously so good. I love that the three winemakers decided to name the wine after the first initials of each of their wives. And it's from South Africa and you all know I love everything from South Africa (especially G!). 



On Sunday we went to church. It was a new series on God's promises and it might have been our favorite service yet.



One of the homework assignments this week was to sign up for a Life Group. The groups kick off this week and I'm excited. We joined a young couples group that meets really close to our house. The first meeting is tonight, yay!



We continued our lunch tradition after church. We had a gift card to Outback (thanks mom and dad!) so we decided to go there. G had a burger and I had the Tilapia with crab. Such an amazing meal!



G and I had skin checks so we had a nice long weekend together. Monday we went to one of our favorite cities for lunch. I had a vodka, mint concoction that was pretty darn tasty and G had their take on a French 75 that he enjoyed.



We shared Tomato Basil Bisque which was excellent. So flavorful, creamy and comforting.



The food was some of the BEST. We shared the eggplant, red pepper and goat cheese sandwich on a baguette with vinegar fries and Olive and Feta Fritters. Everything was amazing. So fresh and flavorful and just incredible. I definitely want that meal again.



Tuesday we had our skin checks. What a way to celebrate Valentine's Day, ha! I had to have one mole on my back removed, but I'm glad it was caught now and my doctor doesn't seem too concerned. Afterwards we went to MIMOSA because my mom and I loved it so much. I wanted G to experience it.



Naturally we started with a mimosa flight. YUM.



We started out with the truffle fries and rosemary aioli. SO. GOOD.



I had the Goat Cheese and Bourbon Bacon Mac and Cheese and it was delightful. Creamy, smooth, cheesy and delectable. 



We grabbed Starbucks and walked around to look at all the cute houses downtown. We reminisced on when we used to want to live here and even drove by one of our favorite houses we almost put an offer in on. Good times.



G surprised me with a sweet gift. My favorite wine and roses. He loves me so well!


I am currently obsessed with Madam Secretary on Netflix. It's my new show and I'm loving it. Highly recommend! G and I are watching The People vs. OJ Simpson: American Crime Story on Netflix and ohmigosh it's so amazing. I love it so much! I was only eleven when it all went down so I really don't know much about what happened so I'm hooked and I can't wait to google all the lawyers and learn more about them after the show. Please tell me you are watching! The story. The drama. The acting. It is so good!







Tomorrow is our nine year wedding anniversary. Time flies so fast when you are in love! I can't believe we said I do NINE years ago! It was the best decision I ever made saying I Do to that man. My life would suck without him. He truly is the man of my dreams. He is kind. Hardworking. Loves God and seeks His will. Loves me unconditionally. Supports me and encourages me and sees my potential even when I don't. I love doing life with him!

So that's life lately. South African wine. Celebrating nine years with my South African. Church. Joining a small group. Pretty sunsets. Lots of fun dates out with my love. What's new with you?

Monday, February 13, 2017

Mondays with Manny


It's his world. We are just living in it.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Fit Friday: Week 1

It's back and I am ready to do this thing! The scale keeps slowly creeping up and it has got to stop so here we are. I have gained fourteen pounds since my lowest weigh in last year. UGH. That stinks, but I'm ready to lose those fourteen and get to my goal weight once and for all.

I've been listening to some great podcasts on intuitive eating and positive body image. I have found great success in following Weight Watchers via the iTrackBites app. I also get inspiration from following people on instagram who are also following WW. It helps more than I ever expected.

I know that sharing my week of food here will help keep me motivated and accountable. I'll share what I'm eating and I would love to hear any tips or recipes you are enjoying too. I will weigh in each and every Friday. I will also take progress pics, but I probably won't share those as often. Lets see how I did my first week!

Weigh In:

(via)

Pounds Lost: -1 lb
Total: 1 lb


I'm so happy with that! Considering I've only been tracking everything I ate since Monday and I didn't even weigh in until Tuesday this week to get my starting weight that is great progress. Especially when you put it into perspective of losing a whole guinea pig, ha!

Workouts:

Sunday - Rest day
Monday - Walked 3.4 miles
Tuesday - Walked 3.5 miles
Wednesday - Walked 3.8 miles
Thursday - Walked 2.7 miles (it was so cold!) and 25 minutes of kickboxing

Eats:



My breakfast this week has either been a green smoothie with a 1/2 cup coffee (0pp), 2 cups spinach (0pp), 1 scoop FitMiss Protein Shake Vanilla (2pp), 1 cup light almond milk (0pp), and banana (0pp) with a handful of ice and a dash of cinnamon. YUM!



Or 2 eggs (4pp), 2T feta cheese (1pp), and 1 cup spinach (0pp). So good!



My lunch this week has become an obsession. I toast a mini whole wheat bagel (3pp), add a can of tuna fish (2pp) mixed with Greek yogurt (1pp) and scoop it on top of the toasted bagel. Then I add 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese (2pp) and microwave for 45 seconds and enjoy. It is so good and filling!


I know it's not great to eat too much tuna so I switched it up and had a 1/2 cup TJ's qunioa (3pp), and half a package of Tasty Bite Madras Lentils (4pp) a few times this week. It doesn't look good, but I promise it's amazing.




My afternoon snack is usually steamed green beans or a red pepper (0pp), and an apple and clementines (0pp). 


I'm also pretty obsessed with hot water with lemon (0pp) lately and drink that a lot.



My dinners have been pretty darn good this week too. G grilled up a bunch of chicken for us to eat throughout the week. While he prefers his chicken plain with a side of peppers I like it mixed in to a burrito bowl. I mix one cup TJ's quinoa (7pp), 1/2 cup black beans (2pp), 4 oz chicken (4pp), spinach (0pp) and 2 oz Greek yogurt (1pp). Obsessed!


Wednesday I added a little salsa (0pp) and it took it over the top. Delicious!



Tuesday night I met up with a good friend and I had the best black bean burger (9pp) with fries (5pp). I ate half so the leftovers were a nice treat the next day. 


Thursday night I had salsa (0pp) with a serving of tortilla chips (4pp).


G made lean ground beef for dinner Thursday night for tacos. I had a taco bowl with 1/2 cup of lean beef (3pp), 2 oz Greek yogurt (1pp), spinach (0pp), and a glass of red wine (4pp).


So that is week 1 in a nutshell. This is why I love WW. I can still eat what I love and feel satisfied. I firmly believe the key to success is to love the journey and I can honestly say this week that I have. I've also been eating at a table and truly savoring each and every bite. It makes a difference! 

Stay tuned next week for a weigh in after a full week of following. And in case you are wondering, I like to save my weeklies for the weekend so I have 43pp to enjoy this weekend, woohoo! I'll share my weekend eats as well next week. Thanks for following along as I begin this exciting new journey. Happy weekend, friends!

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Weekend Getaway to South Haven and Holland Part 2

If you missed part 1 of our trip you can read it here.


Saturday started with another fantastic breakfast. This morning was an apple crepe with a side of sausage. I'm not a huge sweets fan, but oh my goodness. This was delectable. Fresh, sweet, tart, and the whipped cream and pecans complimented it so well. 



The yogurt and granola is always a favorite of mine at Martha's. It's fresh and sweet and filling.



I love grapefruit and I think I would eat it more if it was already cut up for me, ha!



After a relaxing, lazy morning we checked out and headed to Saugatuck. We walked around the cute downtown and headed into Fenn Valley for wine tasting. What can we say? We really love their wine!









Next up we walked over to Tabor Hill Winery. The wine was good and it was crowded, but everyone was friendly and fun.



Based on the Yelp reviews and the guests at Tabor Hill we decided to head to The Southern for lunch. Good food and great views? SOLD.



I had a Greyhound. How have I never had this cocktail before? I'm obsessed.



We shared the Famous Fried Chicken with baked beans, sauerkraut, and biscuit. G and I both declared it the best fried chicken we ever had. The chicken was crisp on the outside and so warm and juicy on the inside. We also declared the biscuit with butter the best we ever had. The biscuit was warm, flaky, fresh, and buttery. With the butter it was over the top delicious and felt like a warm hug. 


G had never had sauerkraut before so we had to order it. I love it! And who knew it paired so well with fried chicken? It took the chicken to a whole new level. YUM. I want that meal again!



After lunch we grabbed coffee at Uncommon Coffee Roasters which is always good. The Cafe Miel (honey and cinnamon) has me coming back every time. So delicious.


We headed to Oval Beach (looks a lot different than when we went for my birthday!) and enjoyed our coffee before heading out.




We had originally planned on coming home afterwards, but we couldn't pick Manny up from boarding until Sunday due to weird hours so we looked around and found a great deal and decided to stay one more night. Look at me being spontaneous! We booked City Flats Hotel and headed to Holland. We checked in and G wanted to check our their sports den.




It was a cool theater room with comfy seats that reclined and played sports and then a waiter came and took our order. Fun! 


We had a gift card from checking in so we splurged and G had a French 75 and I had the Cinnamon Sangria.



Then we started our drink/snack tour around Holland like we did last time we were here. Our first stop was Butch's because it was our favorite last time. G had a Cucumber Basil Martini and I had the cosmo. My cosmo was a bit too sweet and too tart and I wished I had G's drink. But it was happy hour and you can't beat a $4 martini!



Our next stop was Mizu Sushi based on Yelp reviews and it was amazing. I'm on such a sushi kick right now and this hit the spot. The Tempura Cali Roll was insane! But I'm getting more daring and have been enjoying rolls with raw salmon and eel in them too. 



Next up we walked over to Hops at 84 because the atmosphere is cool and you get 15% off your bill when you show your City Flats key card. I had a beer flight and G had a chocolate martini.


The homemade pretzels with Gouda beer cheese dip sounded too good not to try. Unfortunately it was not as good as it looked.



Lastly we headed to The Curragh for beer cheese soup to end the fun evening. The soup was probably some of the best I ever ate. It was so flavorful and I swear soup tastes better on a cold day when you have been walking all over downtown Holland.


Sunday morning we slept in on the most comfortable bed ever. Then we walked over to Lemonjello's Coffee for some kick butt coffee. Delightful! G and I shared the caramel and vanilla latte with two shots and it was everything coffee should be. Perfection. 


We checked out and went to Lake Michigan one last time before heading out. We drove straight to my parents house to celebrate G and Eric's birthday before picking up Manny. And that concludes our super fun vacation on the west side.