Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Balancing Your Plate

Like so many things in life that we do automatically, dishing our meal plates up usually has its own routine, which we probably never think about.  Most meals consist of a meat or protein, a starch or carbohydrate (potatoes, rice etc.) and are finished out with some vegetables.  My regular routine is meat first, starch and then vegetables.

If we are health conscious and work toward making healthy food choices, we learn to adapt some.  We may look for leaner meats, whole grains and a greater variety of vegetables,  But as we are trying to improve our eating, one little habit may be holding us back. By arranging food without thought or out of habit, it may cause you to accidentally pack on too much of some foods and too little of others.  When you plate your carbohydrate and protein first, by the time you get to the veggies, there’s little room left on the plate. In a well-rounded meal,  veggies should be the main focus. So you don’t want to plop them on the plate like an afterthought.

Changing the way you view your meal to make the vegetable section your primary focus is so important because they contain all the fiber, vitamins, minerals, and water your body needs.  So what’s the best way to plate your food? Veggies first, then protein, then grains. Making it a mealtime habit is easy. When you dish your plate, you’ll want to aim for your portions to be 50 percent non-starchy vegetables, 25 percent lean protein, and 25 percent carbohydrates. If you plate the classic way (carbs, protein, vegetables) you’re more likely to end up with 50 percent carbs and 25 percent vegetables. To strike the right balance, start by filling about half your plate with vegetables, then add protein and carbohydrates in about equal portions.

This is a great new healthy habit to begin and after some practice at home, eating out, especially at buffets, wont totally derail your healthy eating. Using this trick forces you to look at your meal in a different way. It will be easy to spot the vegetables once we actively look for them and balance portions better.  Every good choice is working toward making good habits!

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Friday Faves..on a Tuesday!

How is it that some weeks go by smoothly with a balanced schedule and other weeks are crammed to overflowing?  

We are still adjusting to the school routine which now includes school pick up, driving son to golf practice, home for a few minutes, the pick up from golf practice. 

This week we added an evening event at work, a leadership conference, a church meeting and a ladies fellowship night.  I've grown used to loving a few evenings at home, this week there were very few!

In fact, "Friday Faves" are coming through on Tuesday! This week is slower and gives some time to breathe.  But here are my 'last Friday' faves!

Sweet of the hardest working men ever.  Up and out very early, long, demanding days at work and this week, he jumped in and did the running around while I was tied up.  He took son to golf practices, FFA meetings, he made sure golf clubs got transferred from one car to another and takes the trash off while he leaves before dark.  What a guy!  

Leadership conference...this was the perfect week to go to a workshop _"How to Make Your Home a Sanctuary".  Learned some great truths about making our home a place of peace, rest and joy.  Practical how to's - speak kindly, laugh often, love generously, work without complaining.  Some special things to hold on to.

Fall decorations...every year I get so excited about fall.  I love to decorate the house with the glorious fall colors and adorable fall decor.  The plan this year was to wait until September to drag the fall decorations out....BUT I noticed the cutest fall things in Wal Mart and on Saturday decided to 'just look through my storage tubs' to see what I had and what I may need.  Well, I just couldn't resist, put the fall decorations up.  But was able to sort through them, organize them better and even give some away.  

Ladies fellowship...delicious finger foods, laughter, fellowship and a wealth of godly wisdom from an older lady who simply oozes the love of God from her.  That was our church ladies fellowship.  A breath of freshness and renewal!

Summer runs....August is HOT here! But a fitness change was needed.  I love a daily walk and a good run a couple times a week.  The early morning walks of summer won't fit in now and the thunderstorms easily cancel out evening walks.  There is some free time in the afternoon while waiting for school to get out, so I began getting a run in then.  OH, it was hot!  But with proper precautions, I got in a couple great runs which got better as the week went on.  Fitness wise, I love how a healthy body responds.  Strength comes from good exercise habits and when you stretch yourself, your body responds!

Monday, August 29, 2016

Marriage Monday- Grow

When we think of marriage, 'growth' usually isn't one thing that comes to mind. Love, patience, passion etc. seem to fit a little better.  
For those who have been married a long time, growth may not seem necessary. You would think we know everything about our spouse that we need to!  But in marriage as in life, change is always in effect.  Seasons of life change, desires and goals change and as we grow older, we change and grow. 
Growth in a marriage means growing closer.  We may think we are as close to them as we want to be (!!!), but growth means newness, excitement, discovery and freshness  What marriage could not use a dose of that? May we be diligent to grow in our marriage, to know them better, to love them more, to connect with their heart.
Here is a beautiful prayer from "Today's Marriage Prayer" that fits perfectly in this area:

Dear Heavenly Father,
We pray for a deeper understanding of each other. We’ve been together for a while, but we’re two different people who do things in two different ways. And so we ask that You’d give us the strength to be flexible when we need to be, and give us the patience to handle our emotions wisely.

Help us to be good listeners who are sensitive to the needs of each other.

May our differences sharpen each other to grow stronger in faith, and challenge each other to consider new things.

Bind us together in unity, and use our differences to strengthen that bond.

In the name of Jesus we pray. Amen.

For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith. For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another. – Romans 12:3-5, KJV

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Braver Living

By nature, I am a very peaceful, calm and passive person. Those are good traits to have and can be a good balance to others who have those traits in a smaller quantity!  But  a key to everything is balance, every trait has its strengths and also tendency for a weakness.  

Sometimes those quiet traits keep our faith quiet..too quiet to stop the voices of fear, timidity and the overwhelming vulnerability when we face trials and hardships. There are times in life and in our faith when we need to rise up and stand bold. 

The great news is that we don't have to rely on our personality, but our strength and boldness comes from God.  His Word is filled with verses to equip us to be bold and courageous. To remind us that in our weakness, His strength can come through us. 

I'm joining in a 31 day challenge to read a verse a day for braver living.  These reminders from the Bible are perfect to put God's promises in our minds and hearts.  What we fill our mind with is so important, our thoughts will become our actions and will develop our character.  Here is a link to the printable challenge if you would like to stand a little bolder with me!
A Verse a Day for Braver Living

Thursday, August 25, 2016

A Life of Love

Last week I picked up an old book.  An old, but timeless book by Evelyn Christenson who writes, "I have discovered through the years that surprising things happen when I pray, 'Lord, change me--don't change my husband, don't change my children, don't change my pastor, change me!, . . . More and more the fact comes into focus that they, and not I, are responsible before God for their actions. But I am responsible for the changes that need to be made in me." 

Since beginning the book and praying the heartfelt prayer of Lord, Change ME, I've been drawn to reality of love.  Love must be genuine if it is to last.  God's love is timeless and perfect and is the equipping I need to truly love.  A recent devotion resonated with that true love I'm looking to receive and to give:

The only way we walk in love – God’s love – is to look to Him to fill us with His love, the kind of love …

… that is an act of the will,

… that takes action rather than being content with mere words,

… that extends itself to the unlovely,

… that gives for the sake of loving, and

… that involves the sacrifice of self.

How to walk in love today:
  • Begin loving the people God puts in your path by first loving those people at home. As the saying goes, “What you are at home is what you are!” So walk in God’s love… at home.
  • Go to God throughout the day for a fresh supply of His love to share. At the first hint of waning love, look to the Lord of love.
  • Remember that your assignment is to serve (Galatians 5:13).
  • Remember Jesus, who “did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many” (Matthew 20:28).
  • As you live out God’s love, be sure to spend time praying to the God of love. And while you are praying about living out God’s love, open yourself up to receive from Him His endless supply of life-giving, life-changing love.
God's love is measureless and freely given that we may walk in it and show it to others.