Meal Menu Monday

To start off the week, I have to admit that I slacked a bit. I was CRAZY busy this Monday. Sweets and I got back from Church camp on Sunday night and I had a ton of errands to run Monday morning, as well as starting a new Bible study group early Monday afternoon (11:40-2). in addition I go to language lessons from 4-6pm Monday evenings and then to top it all off this Monday I was also meeting a couple of friends for dinner from 7pm.

So I felt totally insane and on the run the entire day!

Now that you can get a grasp of how I was feeling this week, please cut me some slack with this weeks menu hehe

I also want to note that I do not usually have a breakfast menu, this is because Sweets goes to the gym every morning at 7am, so he gets up before me and always has the exact same thing for breakfast (three eggs, a banana, a smoothie and granola)band I tend to also eat the same thing morning after morning (Honey nut cheerios or raisin toast with butter) So our meals are for lunch and dinner  -only 4 nights a week. (We also eat an ice-cream cup for dessert every night after dinner) Also keep in mind we live in Japan. I prefer to home-cook more western style food but at times it may sound a bit different. I tend not to use  recipes and just throw the things together, but if there is a recipe you would like please ask and Id be happy to send it your way.

Monday Lunch: rice, ginger pork, lightly steamed broccoli, carrots and beans, yogurt, 2 chocolate chip cookies, handful of walnuts.

Dinner: Meeting friends, Had Chicken breast with BBQ sauce and mixed veggies ready for sweets to steam when he got home from work.

Tuesday Lunch: Tuna pasta, pineapple chunks, soybeans, handful of almonds, walnuts and some chocolate covered raisins, yogurt,  granola bar

Dinner: Sauteed thinly sliced steak, green peppers and bamboo in soy sauce mixture with a side of rice and miso soup

Wednesday Lunch: beef, salad, yogurt, rice, granola bar, tangerines

Dinner: (Sweets and I do not eat dinner together this night! No cooking!)

Thursday Lunch: Cream Gratin with chicken and macaroni, soybeans, pineapple, mixed nuts, yogurt and cookie.

Dinner:  Lemon baked Salmon, Avocado and tomato salad, baked potato with salsa

Friday Lunch: Beef Stew with chunky bread, steamed veggies, apple slices, yogurt, granola bar

Dinner: No cooking day!

Saturday Lunch: Left over Beef stew, yogurt, cookie, raw sliced carrots and soy beans

Dinner: Lemon pepper chicken, tossed salad, vegetable soup

Sunday: No Cooking

“Find out who you are, and Do It On Purpose”

A famous quote from a famous country singer. I loved it from the fist time I heard it  ( in A Walk to Remember). I am often reminded of it from day to day and week to week. Not because it was so profound or even that life changing of a quote for me at the time, but because it has a meaning now that I have decided with all my heart to live ON PURPOSE!.

One of the common ideas that seems to permeate most people’s lives these days is happenstance, or in other words allowing life to happen and dealing with it as it comes.

Now, generally this doesn’t seem like a bad way to live. In fact, in some cases it is the best idea! Life will happen! I know it, you know it! We have all been affected by “life” and many things we can’t choose, prevent or even prepare for. In these cases it is of course best to take it one day at a time, and deal with it as is fitting.

However, this is not the case with everything. Nor should it be. Specifically in our marriages. This is a dangerous belief and it is (in my opinion) destroying marriages all around me.

Why would I have this opinion? Because ALL of the stuff I have been reading about for marriage and listening to people talk about, seems to point to this idea. Those marriages in which the couples are so in love and they think they always will be and they are just living on love… tend to me miserable a few yrs down the line. They  think love will take them through anything and everything but they actually are not making any purposeful effort to keep the passionate love alive.

These are the people I hear that think how it is in the first few months or year of marriage is how it will always be. They mistakenly believe as long as you love it will all work out. BUT I don’t hear these people talk about how to KEEP the love alive, how to serve their spouse and how to make sure they are a blessing and not an annoyance or burden to their lover’s life.

These are the people I hear complain that their husband or wife “used to ____”. or they are the ones who say things like “enjoy it while it lasts”. It’s sickening, because so many people assume and live with a reality where the best days and years of their marriages are behind them and “somehow” it all just ended, stopped and is no longer like this anymore.

It made me wonder (and worry!) Why? What makes things change so drastically. Why are people who were once madly in love now resentful and apathetic? It really made me have to look at the big picture of what was going on and the common thing I note is that most of these people let life happen and do not choose to do anything on purpose…especially anything to stop allowing life to suck the love out of their marriages.

So, that brings me back to my theme for the month (maybe year!) Live on purpose. Love on purpose and above everything else choose your attitude on purpose.

Once you (and your significant other)  are making choices, planning for certain expectations and doing things on purpose to demonstrate love, appreciation and service to the other then it is easy to see that life has no chance to creep up and steal the passion out of these relationships. It is easy to see the contrast in people, who are happily married for 10, 20, 30+ years. These people love to talk about marriage! They are worth listening to, and their example is worth following.

I am ever the student, learning as much as I can about my life as a Christian women and now a wife as well. I see lessons in every relationship I come across and take the chance to talk about this with all of them who give me a few minutes to observe and ask.

There are the couples I learn from because it brings fear and worry that I do NOT want to end up like that. and others who are such great examples and it make me look at them and say THAT’S how I imagined marriage to be!

Blessings

Direction over Intention

I am sure that I am not alone when it comes to feeling like a failure as wife, a friend and more importantly as a Christian women.

I frequently do and say things that I am regretful of nearly the second they come out of my mouth. I am constantly ashamed and even surprised by my behaviour or words, even though really I shouldn’t be all that surprised since I did nearly the same thing earlier this week!

I continuously feel frustrated that I am not able to live up to a higher standard and even more frustrated that I am not the women I want to be, let alone hoped to be by this point in my life.

This week Sweets and I had to have some necessary (and some unnecessary) chats about future things, money, and expectations ect..) I know that most of this is due to us living abroad and we constantly need to evaluate and stay on the same page for future hopes, dreams, plans and expectations. Contract discussions are coming up in the next 2-3 months and we both need to be sure and secure in what we agree to with out current companies. (We really want to try our very best to live by “yes be yes” and ” no be no”, we would both hate to agree to a contract only to find that a move to North America was on the radar a few months later.)

I admit that I do not always handle these conversations very gracefully. I am  outspoken and I grew up in a rather harsh, tension filled home much of the time (though not all of the time as I have many great memories, and miss my family  while I’m here) However, our family communication consisted of screaming, yelling and hollering at each other – this was what would be normal conversation in most other peoples homes. So I still have that natural reaction/response in conversations that dig a bit deeper than “whats for dinner?” or talking about our day at work.

I despise this part of me and desperately want to change for both my husband and the Lord especially. A gentle and quiet spirit. I cant even imagine that could be me, but that is the goal! A gentle and quiet spirit, maybe if I say it enough I will start to associate with it! haha

I know that just identifying the problem is not enough, we also need to dig deeper to the root of the issue, and also come up with specific steps and a plan to change and get from where we are to where we want to be.

I am currently reflecting on my own habits, responses and reactions to various parts of life that really disappoint me as a Christian women wanting to serve the Lord and be more and more like Him.

I am realizing that (at least for me) just knowing what is wrong in my personality is not the same as becoming what is right. So my current project is underway. (ME!)

I have decided to start with What/ Who I want to be, and who I think I am. Working backwards to determine steps I can take that would bring me to this desired destination. The problem is that often times the person I think I am is actually not at all what others may experience. They may not see my good intentions through failures if I am consistently offending, raising my voice or any other poor response I likely have. Even though deep within my intention is nice, if my actions do not more often reflect my intention then it doesn’t matter what I intended! The best thing I ever learned (and I may end up posting more about this book later at some point)  is that direction NOT intention determines the destination. (Andy Stanley Principal of the Path)

I can intend as many things as I want but if I am not actively heading in that direction I will never end up there. I actually do not know what my plan of action will look like as of this second. I just know God wrote the end from the beginning and so it may be a good place for me to start. I want to be the kind of wife my husband will not only be proud of but that he can be very thankful for. I want to be the  gift from God to his life. Proverbs 18:22, 19:14, 31:10.

Please pray for me, that I will remember to seek the Lord for strength and help and humble myself before Him frequently instead of trying all the things on my own!

Thank you so much!