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Cleanse Update And My Favourite Meatless Dinner

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After seven days of drinking delicious green juices for the beginning stages of my cleanse, I started getting night sweats. Like crazy sweat-through-your-clothes night sweats. Part of me thought, “There is no way this can be normal,” but the other part of me wanted to believe that it was just a reaction to my body cleansing. I had decided to embark on this cleansing period after having pre-cancer removed from my colon last August. (You can read more on that here.) I knew I needed time to mentally and physically prep for it, so I decided January 2017 would be the start of my three-month journey of twenty-one days of juicing and two months of high-nutritient food that didn’t contain grains, dairy, alcohol, or sugar. I would be doing this to cleanse my colon, liver, and gall bladder. I know—sounds awesome, right?

 

On day seven of the cleanse—after beating the headaches and having gotten over the fact that wine would not be happening for a while—I was super disappointed to learn that I needed to take a step back from my cleansing. The amazing ladies at the Habit Project had been wonderful at making me the most delicious juices to help me stay focused and get what my body needed, but I’d also enlisted the help of Jackie from Food Works. As I’ve said in previous blog posts, having someone lead you through the cleanse is so very important! During the cleansing period, Jackie does a weekly call to check in, go over what’s happening with your body, work through emotional and physical changes, and teach you amazing recipes to get what your body needs. On my first check-in call, I mentioned the night sweats, and she immediately dug into this.

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You may not know this, but winter months are not the ideal time to cleanse the body, especially for someone with an autoimmune disorder. (I have hypothyroid.) During this time of the year, the body needs to be warmed with foods like root vegetables, starches, and soups to keep it operating well in the cooler temperatures. It turns out that a lack of such things can cause some pretty crazy effects in people with autoimmune disorders, including hormone imbalances, night sweats, racing heart, insomnia, and more. I definitely experienced all of the above! I felt like I was going into pre-menopause ! It was bananas!

I started backing off from the juicing slowly while adding soups and more raw foods and introducing nuts again. We decided to postpone the cleanse until the spring when the body is naturally ready to cleanse, craves more fresh veggies/fruits, and doesn’t have to work so hard to stay warm. After a few days off from the cleanse, I started a twenty-one-day food cleanse, which just realigns the body and helps with kicking some cravings the body is holding onto. It’s also a great way to prep the body for an intense cleanse like the one I’d been getting ready to embark on. I wanted to share this with you because of the importance of having someone like Jackie in your life when you decide to make a huge health shift. Had I not been walking through this with someone who is highly trained, I most likely would have brushed off my symptoms and really hurt my body.

Can you cleanse at all this time of year?

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Yes, most definitely! The three-day cleanse the Habit Project offers is the perfect way to reset the body and kick some cravings you are struggling with. It’s very gentle on the body and is also a great way to start off something like Joy McCarthy’s thirty-day food detox. This type of cleanse causes very little stress on our digestive systems and is the perfect way to introduce the body to cleansing, get a little reset, or prep for that more intense, deeper cleanse.

Although it was super frustrating to have to stop and put off restarting this cleanse (especially because I’d been bitter about even doing it in the first place), I know it was the best decision. Plus, it gives you my readers more time to think about joining me on the cleansing journey in April! 😉

Over the next eighteen days of the final period of my cleanse, you will be seeing lots of recipes that I’m using for every meal of the day. So stay tuned and follow along!

Here is one of my current favorites, which I actually posted about a few years ago—a lentil loaf that my friend Tasha came up with. It’s the perfect meat replacement, it works as a wonderful main course to serve with French fries, and it makes an awesome meatless meatball for any spaghetti dish.

 

Enjoy~~*

Lentil Loaf

Rachel

ingredients:

I purchase all my fresh and organic ingredients from Natures Fare Market.

  • 1 cup uncooked green lentils
  • 1 cup finely chopped almonds or walnuts (I used almonds)
  • 3TB ground flax soaked in 1/2 cup water for at least 10 min
  • 3 garlic cloves finely minced (or 3 tsp garlic powder in a pinch)
  • 1 cup each finely diced onion and celery
  • 1 cup grated carrot
  • 1/2 cup grated apple (no need to peel it first. May also use 1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce in a pinch)
  • 1/2 cup quick oats
  • 3/4 cup almond flour, also known as almond meal
  • 2 tsp fresh thyme (or 1tsp dried thyme in a pinch)
  • 1.5 tsp herbamare (or salt and pepper to your liking)

Tomato Glaze:

  • heaping 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1TB maple syrup
  • 2TB coconut sugar ( I used date sugar as a replacement to fit with my cleanse)
  • 2TB balsamic vinegar (choose a good quality one, it’s worth it!)

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  • Directions:

    Cook the lentils in about 3 cups of water. Bring to a boil first, then set to simmer for about 30 more minutes. The point here is to overcook them so they are a bit sticky and mushy. That may mean adding a bit more water if it seems like they are running out of water. Stir every 5-10 min or so. Once you think they’re cooked and mushy enough, mash them even more with a potato masher. They won’t look pretty right now, but this step is worth it in the end.

    Leave the lentils alone for now and sauté the onion, celery, garlic in a bit of coconut oil. (or your oil or choice) Cook until just a little bit soft, 5-10 min.

    Mix all the ingredients now in a big bowl and mix well. At this point you can taste it and see if you’d like to add more salt, pepper, thyme etc.

    Pour mixture into a loaf pan lined with parchment paper and press down firmly

    Mix all the ingredients of the glaze in a bowl and brush over the top of the loaf covering it completely.

    Bake for 350 degrees for 40 min.

Enjoy with a side of yams and salad~~*

Hello 2017…Hello Cleansing!

 

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I’m not big on New Year’s resolutions, but I am a believer in goal setting and really documenting personal change throughout the year. This year I decided to really focus on my health and just getting some things into alignment after having had some pre-cancer polyps removed from my colon last August. (Read more about that here.)

I decided that the beginning of the year was the perfect time to embark on a pretty extensive cleanse since my clients, friends and husband would also be trying to clean up their diets, significantly lowering the pressure to meet up for drinks or dinners out. Plus, I love the idea of a new year and a clean slate. I love knowing that I have the ability to really make 2017 a huge year of growth for me, no matter what crosses my path. So as of today I’m three days into a three-month cleanse I will be undertaking to really try to reset my body and clear out anything that may be hanging around in my colon or deeper tissues. I want you to know, though, that I’m going into this cleanse with the soft approach. I have a plan for how I want to do things, but if something needs to be added or taken away while I’m on this journey, I do want to be flexible.

I’m not really a fan of cleansing or detoxing due to the limitations it puts on my diet and social life and the headaches that come from my not drinking coffee:( But I really felt this was the best decision for my body and wanted to follow through with this process. I most definitely am already experiencing headaches, and I wish I could eat my food instead of drinking it. Plus, I miss wine! But I’ve had amazing support from my husband (who is also cleansing with me) and the ladies at The Habitat Project , who have been blending up delicious juices for me, assisting with my meal planning, and offering tons of knowledge as I toss questions their way.

I want to share this process, including my ups and downs, to possibly encourage someone who might be on the fence about taking on something like a cleanse. If something doesn’t feel right in your body, give yourself the time and space to research the best options for you. If it turns out that a cleanse might be the solution, I want you to know that you can do this! I will be sharing my week by week schedule once I get the final details of everything nailed down this weekend.

Also…

During this process, I will be sharing recipes, workouts, and photos of my progress. Please feel free to leave comments and e-mail questions and to share your journey as well.

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This delicious soup is currently our nighttime go-to with pure coconut bread.

All my ingredients are organic and purchased at Natures Fare Market.

Enjoy~~*

  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 cup diced carrots
  • 4 cups chopped cabbage
  • 2 cups of yams
  • 1 cup celery, diced
  • 2 whole bell peppers
  • 1 can (28 oz ) low sodium diced tomatoes
  • 6 cups low sodium vegetable broth
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 fresh bay leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon each thyme & basil
  • pink sea salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cups broccoli florets
  • In a large pot cook onions and garlic over medium heat until slightly sorted .
  • Add celery,yams,carrots, and cabbage and cook until slightly soft.
  • Add all additional ingredients and allow to simmer 5-10 minutes or on a lower heat for 1 hour ( I feel this really increases the yummy flavours.)

Sniffle Soup Box

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You can’t open your social media without being hit with the sobering reality of the atrocities which are happening in our world…
It can be overwhelming to try and fathom where we could even begin to help, but the place to start, I’m learning, is much closer to home…the hurting neighbour who lives 20 feet away, or the woman who is juggling 3 kids as a single mom and would love a random act of kindness.
If we can change our communities we can change our city’s. If we change our city’s we can change our province. If we change our province we can change our country…

Here is a small thing we are doing as a family to remind ourselves to look past our own situations and see the pain or need of someone else.

Sniffle soup

Sniffle soup box is something I started this fall when the cold weather and rainy days started to greet us daily in Port Moody. One of my current personal goals is to silence the voice of complaining and not even make room for the voice of negativity. It’s so easy to get wrapped up in our messes, bad attitudes, or complaints instead of choosing joy. Joy doesn’t just show up! It’s something we cultivate through our actions and choose in pivotal moments when the voice of negativity is screaming your name. I’m not going to be one of those bloggers who tells you that things are fricken awesome all the time and that joy greets me the moment I open my eyes. This season has been a tough one. Change brings discomfort and discomfort brings growth, but if we are not careful what is intended to be an amazing season of growth can turn into a season of complaining and not wanting to crawl out of our beds in the morning.

Photography By:Abbie Rose

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It has been harder than ever to choose joy in this season and to look beyond my discomfort to see the pain and needs of others. Rather than just praying this season will leave me as quickly as possible, I have chosen to press in, squirm through the discomfort, and actively allow a space for joy in my days, weeks and months. This is where sniffle soup box came in.

I love gifting people with little items that remind them that someone is praying for them and cares for them and that they are not walking through their days alone. I started collecting little boxes from thrift stores, garage sales, etc., and filling them with items I would come across that I felt reminded me of friends or that I felt would come in handy in a future box.

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Every month I organize a box for a friend or even new acquaintance who is on my heart. For the month I put his or her name up where I can see it as I go through my day and just silently pray for that person. I know what some, but not all, of them are going through. Some people I just want to bless and give a moment of surprised joy. These boxes have positioned my heart to look beyond myself, focus my eyes on the needs of others, and silence my complaining tone. Most importantly, these boxes have brought so much joy to my days! I’m a busy mom, business owner, and wife. I only have so many hours in my day or space for thoughts, actions, and words. Although some days are tougher then others, I know the small decisions like making a box, saying a prayer, and choosing to see someone else are the ones that are landmarks in our journey of growth, maturity, and cultivating a heart of love and compassion.

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Someone out there connected to you needs a box…

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” ― Edmund Burke.

Side Note:

You can’t open your social media without being hit with the sobering reality of the atrocities which are happening in our world…
It can be overwhelming to try and fathom where we could even begin to help, but the place to start, I’m learning, is much closer to home…the hurting neighbour who lives 20 feet away, or the woman who is juggling 3 kids as a single mom and would love a random act of kindness.
If we can change our communities we can change our city’s. If we change our city’s we can change our province. If we change our province we can change our country…

Click the recipe link below for my favourite soup recipe.

Sniffle Soup

With love,

Rachel

My Escape

Ford Escape
 Sponsored by Ford

Our little family’s life has changed so much with our transition to the coast—everything from our daily roles as parents to the vehicles we drive.

I went from being a mom who balanced part-time training, blogging and motherhood to now working to support our family and adding lots of commuting into my week.

I fell in love with the Ford Escape because it made my life safer and simpler. The SYNC features allowed me to easily navigate the city, make calls hands free, and answer Troy’s parenting questions as he entered the world of stay-at-home dad.

When I envisioned parking and navigating a five-seat SUV in the city of Vancouver, I honestly got nervous. I had enough challenges already in my day! The Ford Escape, however, offers an Enhanced Active Park Assist that changed everything for me! When you go from holding your breath while squeezing into parking spots to having your vehicle make parallel parking a breeze, you literally breathe a sigh of relief.

The heated seats, sun roof, extra trunk space, and comfortable interior makes the Ford Escape the perfect vehicle for any family looking to transition from work to family life.

Thanks, Ford, for making our days simpler and safer, and for making our vehicle fun to drive!

A Fresh Look For Dailyroutinefitness

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Just over two years ago I launched Dailyroutinefitness.com. With the support and love of our readers and clients, I have grown not only as a businesswoman but also as a mother, wife, and writer. Your stories and feedback have inspired me to immerse myself in things that really drive my passions and hold on tightly to the integrity of the “why” behind my work.

I initially launched DRF as a fitness company to showcase workouts and food choices that were part of my life. I quickly realized, however, that I was holding back from sharing with my readers a big part of my passion—lifestyle. I wanted to share more of this with you, my readers, because I felt like it would give you a more realistic view of what life really looks like for us and it would show you that we experience successes and failures as parents, friends, and business owners, just like you. The heart of my business as a personal trainer and coach is encouraging woman to press into discomfort and really dig into what’s holding them back from reaching their fullest potential, as well as offering them support to set and achieve their goals. My hope as a lifestyle blogger is that woman and mothers find in my posts encouragement, inspiration, and an authentic touch that will help them feel more fulfilled. The time has now come, however, for me to make some more changes and really use my gifts and passions to connect with you, my readers, in a greater capacity.

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As the website has grown, we have had the amazing opportunity to share and partner with companies that we really believe in and feel would add to your lifestyles. Because of the amazing support of our members and sponsors over the past two years, we have decided to change DRF from a membership site to open access.

What does this mean?

Until today, my workout videos, blog tips, workout plans and sample meal plans have only been available to our paying members.

But as of today, all private content at dailyroutinefitness.com will be available to the public for FREE! I’m so excited about this because it will open up more opportunities to share helpful content with you on a weekly basis.

I will also be adding our videos to YouTube as well in order to give you easy access and sharing options.

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Can you share workouts with friends?

Yes! And I would love for you to be part of helping the community of DRF to grow. The more we grow as a company, the greater resources and variety we can bring to our site and make available to you our readers.

How to share?

Simple click on the URL code at the top of your screen and copy and paste the links from my page that you would like to share. Everything from workouts to recipes to blog posts.

I would also love for you to share your own workouts, thoughts, and inspiration on social media and tag #Dailyroutinefitness. I love hearing your stories and connecting with you!

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I want to say a special thank you again to all the people who believed in, supported, and offered mentorship to me as I stepped into the unknown world of building a website, taking on Instagram, and becoming a blogger.

Thank you to Megan White for the hard work and flexibility she has put into helping me rebrand and rework DRF. You have been such a pleasure to work with, Meg!

Thank you, too, to Abbie Rose, our amazing photographer, for capturing the most beautiful moments of our family’s life through her lens. Abbie, your images inspire so much of my work as a writer. The authenticity of the moments and emotion that you capture is such a gift. Thank you for being a part of the DRF team.

To our members:

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for allowing me to invade your life through my personal posts and become a part of your daily sweat sessions one workout video at a time. Your support and dedicated feedback during my growing pains have made me who I am today.

I’m excited to continue to grow with you…

Rachel

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Adelaide Turns 1

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It has taken me months to finely get around to posting about Adelaide’s first birthday. Maybe I’m secretly hoping my lack of documenting certain moments will slow down her growth process…

Adelaide’s birthday will forever be a memory I hold close to my heart. Days before Adelaide’s birthday we had made our decision to move our little family to the lower mainland. Because our close friends and family would be arriving to celebrate Adelaide’s birthday with us, we decided to tell our family and close friends that weekend about the changes that were coming for us. I remember this day was filled with so many emotions. Our baby girl was turning one, life was changing, and we were not sure what was ahead of us in this next chapter…

As I prepared and planned for Adelaide’s birthday I decided to enlist the help of some ladies whom I knew would lighten my load. If you know me, you know that I love to host parties and make people feel welcomed in our home. Birthdays or any other celebrations are a time for friends, family, and all of your children to cut loose in our home! Because I had so many changes happening all at once, I knew I needed some help in pulling this party off.

Very early on, Adelaide had developed a love for animals of any shape or size. As a previous farm girl and hardcore 4-H member, my heart melted to think we shared this deep love for little creatures. So it only made sense to throw a country-themed birthday complete with mini animals. Now before you decide that inviting a farm to our house means I must have lost my mind, let me remind you that above I mentioned enlisting some “talented ladies” to help me pull this day off.

After booking a few “small animals” from Kelowna’s local Little Rascals petting zoo, I immediately asked my friend Stephanie, from Heather and Gem, for help with pulling off the decor for this event. Stephanie was such a huge help in coming up with little ways to add special touches and details to this day, and I could not have pulled it off without her.

My friend Sarah, from Pinch of Pretty, was also was one my main go-to people for the added details. Sarah provided us with the most amazing signage to pull this country-themed birthday together and also added special pieces we could have as forever keepsakes.

I know it has taken me months to put these photos up, but this day still is so fresh in my heart. Thank you the amazing sponsors who worked so hard to make this day special and to the friends and family who shared in celebration laughter and tears.

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Enjoy the large amounts of photos haha! I couldn’t help myself….

Adelaide,

You’re the light of my life.

xoxo

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Photography By: Rebecca Siewert

Editing By: Abbie Rose

Adelaides Outfit: Nooks

Decor: Heather&Gem

Signage: Pinch of pretty

 

 

Where Is Your Vision?

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How do we survive in the chaos of children, ministry and work? We date…and in the current season we are in, we have made dating more of a priority than ever before. With a lot of new recent learnings, life/role changes and adjustments to the pace of our life, I want to remember to laugh, to intentionally set aside time to hear each other’s heart, and give space to build vision together.

Proverbs 29:18 says…

“Where there is no vision, the people perish.”

Could a lack of vision affect our marriages?

I think now more than ever I have realized that when our marriages lack vision end up lacking purpose, direction and can easily lose site of where we are going. Why did you marry the one you love? Why did you choose to dedicate your life to this one man and what was the vision you where excited to build together? Have we allowed life’s craziness to steal the dream and vision we were once so excited over?

Studies show the following reasons why vision is so important in our lives and marriages:

  1. Vision shows us where we are headed.
  2. Vision provides motivation and inspires us to keep on going
  3. Vision helps to keep us moving forward and move through obstacles
  4. Vision provides focus
  5. Vision gives us meaning and purpose to what we do

In the current season we are in, keeping the vision in front of our eyes is not only important, it’s essential. Let’s face it, some days are easier than others, but when we have the vision clearly in front of us it’s not as easy to get side tracked or lose momentum towards our destination.

What if instead of worrying about what everyone else is doing with their lives we made space to ask our partners where they see their dreams headed? What if instead of giving all of our energy and focus to whether we are good enough, skinny enough or having the best sex of our life, we made time to ask each other how we can help motivate them in their race? What if we stopped running away from our lives, problems and addictions long enough to allow the rest we need to face the mountains that are standing in the way of whole-hearted lives? It’s time to re-focus and reconnect with the purpose that has been placed on your marriage.

Whether it’s a vision walk or an intentional Starbucks coffee date. I want to encourage you to make time to dream dreams that are too big for you to accomplish on your own and create vision for a life filled with purpose, meaning and joy.

Rachel~~*

Photography By: Abbie Rose

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Choosing To Love You

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Troy and I have been experiencing some pretty crazy days of roles changing, schedules being wacky, and having to adjust our family to a new city. I want us to always be the couple that remains transparent and open with people about the journey we are on. I’m pretty sure you are aware that marriage isn’t always perfect, and that at moments we choose to love the one we are with… Let me say that again: You actively, in pain and feeling frustrated when things suck and you don’t even like each other, choose to love the one you are with.

 

So much change for me at once has brought up some crazy emotional things I was not expecting. I went from being a stay-at-home mom 80% of the time—one who had the flexibility to train clients and blog when her babies were sleeping—to being a mom whose work schedule has her leaving the house most mornings at 5:00 a.m. to train clients and invest time in taking her business to the next level. There are mornings my heart hurts that I’m not being woken up by little people calling my name and that this role has now shifted to Daddy. It’s funny that I had so often wanted to escape the chaos of Motherhood in the past, but with this shift of life I find myself missing every crazy second of it. We always want what we don’t have, right?

I do feel very blessed, though, that my work days often end early in the afternoons (due to my early start) so that I can pick the kids up and spend the rest of the day breaking up fights and loving on themJ

 

But let’s talk about marriage…

 

Two months ago I was married to a hard working business man who had tons on his plate. Fast forward to now, and he’s in school, he’s investing time in the local church, and he’s changing. His life has shifted, his goals have changed, and the man he once was is no longer the man I see every day. I have seen him choose to set aside comfort for a goal that is bigger than himself. I have seen him carve out time every day to fit in studying and family time. I have seen his heart grow for me as endure my own lack of comfort with change. But most of all I’ve seen him change…

 

Often we think that when someone changes for the better, we will madly fall in love with him or her and it will really take this marriage thing to the next level. Change is still change, though, for some of us—good or bad. Unpredictability breeds discomfort and often stirs up fears we didn’t even know existed. For some of you I’m sure this may sound crazy. You may even be thinking “It sounds like you are married to superman! Get it together and just love him!”

 

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Lets backtrack:

Two months ago I was married to a man who was amazing at his job and whose job was secure. We owned a beautiful house, and our children were in one of the most amazing schools. We had incredible friends, and to be honest, life was pretty happy go lucky.

 

Life has changed. It is amazing, and we are loving our new life on the coast, but this change has brought up many challenges for us in terms of our place in our marriage and who we are as individuals. We are only nine and a half years into marriage and are really getting our feet wet, but one thing we have learned is to love one another when it hurts. There are going to be things that come your way in marriage that will rock you on many different levels. Maybe it’s a job change, maybe it’s a loved one lost, maybe it’s losing your identity after investing all your time in raising babies…

 

Whatever it may be, life is going to happen, and it’s sometimes going to bring disappointment. With disappointment will come emotions you did not even know existed. When it happens, don’t lose hope. Despite the pain of the moment, press in and stay committed to finding one another in the haze.

 

Having to switch roles and be the working mom whose husband drops her children (our children) off at school and knows more about Adelaide’s napping habits has not been easy for me. This adjustment has brought up anger, resentment, and fear that I’m not enough. In my tired haze of the first month of our changed routine, fear of not showing up as the world’s best trainer, mother and wife totally overtook my daily thoughts, and marriage got rough. When we find ourselves standing on shaky ground instead of the sacred ground of certainty, we get rocked—and so does our marriage.

 

Troy cannot fix me when I find myself in this place, and I doubt your partner will be able to either. (Unless you’re married to Brene Brown. In that case, please tell her I’m a huge fan.)

 

It has only been a month, but it has felt like a year of learning for me! Things are not perfect. Troy’s not perfect , I’m not perfect, and our marriage is not perfect, but one thing I have learned over this past month of discomfort and rediscovering my passion for business and the role of working mom is that pressing into your discomfort and not running away from it really is where you will find the answers. We have pressed in hard over our nine and a half years, and each time we come to one of these interesting points in our marriage, I see more clearly how important it is to battle it out and press into what makes us want to crawl out of our skin…or for some people, makes them want to crawl out of their marriage.

 

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How do you make it through the crawl-out-of your-skin moment?

 

I’m no expert, but for me choosing to put others before myself has helped a lot. We hear a lot of about self care and self love. It’s part of our generation. We are so fixated on loving ourselves that we totally miss the most important thing that really fuels us and what we are made for, which I believe is the love we invest in others.

When I get caught up in my own pain and feeling sorry for myself, I totally miss the moments when I could pause and invest in someone else’s story. Do I believe in taking care of ourselves and making time for personal time? Yes I do, one hundred percent! But I also believe we often go from one extreme to the next…from meditation to walking right back into our craziness and forgetting to see people along the way. These people include the ones we spend the most time with (our partners).

 

Are you struggling to love the one you are with? I want to encourage you today to start small. How does he or she feel, receive, and want to be loved? Maybe today it’s something as small as holding his or her hand or encouraging him or her through reminding your partner that you believe in him or her. Start small, invest in the little things, and make room for positive change in your marriage. This is going to take effort and work, and it won’t feel good for some of you at first. It may even suck, but I promise your investment will be worth it, not only for the health of your marriage but also for your own health. What has nine and a half years of marriage taught me?

 

Life is not about us. It’s about finding ourselves through loving someone more than ourselves…

Destructive to marriage is the self-fulfillment ethic that assumes marriage and the family are primarily institutions of personal fulfillment, necessary for us to become “whole” and happy. The assumption is that there is someone just right for us to marry and that if we look closely enough we will find the right person. This moral assumption overlooks a crucial aspect to marriage. It fails to appreciate the fact that we always marry the wrong person.We never know whom we marry; we just think we do. Or even if we first marry the right person, just give it a while and he or she will change. For marriage, being [the enormous thing it is] means we are not the same person after we have entered it. The primary challenge of marriage is learning how to love and care for the stranger to whom you find yourself married.

Stanley Hauerwas

 

 

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Grow Together

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Seeing beauty in the things others toss or disregard as garbage is one of the things I want to instil in our children at a very young age. I try to find little ways to show them how to love people and put others first, but how does one teach a three- or five-year-old how to see beauty in what society considers not good enough—or garbage?

I’m not very book smart. I learn from hands-on experiences that allow me to taste, touch, and feel either the significance or reality of a situation. I recently was at Ikea and stumbled upon this book “Grow Together“.

It contained simple little suggestions for teaching our children how to use garbage to create beauty. I immediately fell in love with the simplicity and idea behind this concept. I saw it as a great way of teaching the boys to look for beauty in the things we would normally toss aside. We started allowing the boys to search through our garbage bins and pull out things they could paint, plant flowers/vegetables in, and use to build little imaginary homes for creatures. This activity has been so amazing for creating conversations with our children around the people the world would disregard as not good enough, too broken for greatness, or empty with no use to us.
Although this activity doesn’t require a rocket scientist and I know I’m not the first one to make planters out of garbage, it has been so amazing to see our children “seek” out beauty in brokenness and want to invest in people’s lives the way they water their new garden

 

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Ikea