Friday, July 27, 2012

Sappy, Romantic, Movie-Like Love

I read an amazing post yesterday called 20 Things I Want to Tell Engaged and Newlywed Women.  It is a list of all the Biblically true things that I heard while in marriage counseling and while speaking to married Christian women who I look up to.  Many of the statements discuss topics related to expectations as to what "true love" or "romance" really looks like.

True love is not what you see in the latest romance novel or chick-flick.

True love is not about finding the "perfect" person, because Romans 3:23 tells us otherwise.

True love shows the Gospel (Ephesians 5:22-33).

True love involves sacrifice, commitment, grace, and forgiveness.

Number 11 of the post says that "Real romance is finding that one spot in the crook of his arm to snuggle into, that shared look over the dinner table when the kids are acting crazy, and the way he fixes the leaky sink when he is dog-tired after work."

I couldn't help but smile and remember this quote when I saw the "real romance" in my own marriage yesterday.

Mr. Ketchup went to dinner with a friend of ours who is moving next week.  When he came home, he brought in a cardboard box and told me that he had a surprise.  He opened the box with a big smile on his face to reveal 6 cupcakes from a local gourmet cupcake shop.  He then said, "They are gluten free!"

I am thankful that my marriage is not based on sappy, romantic, movie-like love.  My marriage is based on sappy, romantic, Christ-like love that reflects the Gospel through selflessness, grace, and forgiveness.

I am one lucky woman.

**Just ignore the fact that we ate two cupcakes each.**

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

New Prescription

I have been wearing my glasses a lot over the past week.  Grad school, writing papers, and staring at computers will do that to you.

I took off my glasses to put some lotion on my face this morning.  Panic mode quickly ensued.  You see, I'm not the common-sense, practical person that I may initially appear to be.  Did I take my glasses off in the bathroom where I was putting on the lotion?  Nope...I left them somewhere in the bedroom.

No big deal right?  Tell that to my eyes who probably couldn't even distinguish the frames from a shoe.  I frantically searched for a lifetime few minutes before I found them on the bed.  I blame the lack of common-sense on my grad-school-burnt-out-brain.

I realized that my life has been a lot like this lately.  Even two weeks ago, I was in a blurry fog.  I was emotional, irritable, and found it hard to concentrate or remember things.  I finally decided to take charge of my life and find some glasses.

What's my prescription?
Daily personal time with the Lord.  Routines.  Healthy eating.

Even Mr. Ketchup has noticed a difference in me.

Or maybe he is just saying that so I will keep making yummy chocolate pudding (dairy/gluten free!  recipe here)...

P.S.  I didn't have all the ingredients for the recipe, so I just used 2 avocados, honey, cocoa powder, and vanilla extract.  This is how I will survive my new healthier lifestyle.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Simple Questions

After my quiet time this morning, I found myself reading a few favorite blogs instead of writing a paper for school.  I had seen this challenge several times before, but, as a newlywed, it really hit me.  Instead of always wondering how to please your loved ones, talk to them.  This specific article challenged readers to find out what makes their husbands, children, etc feel loved.

How simple is that?  Yet, how often do we forget to ask what it is that they need?

I know that I have only been married a little over two months, but I thought it would be important to ask Mr. Ketchup this question now, write down his answer, and make an effort to do at least one thing each day.  Hopefully I will make it a practice to ask him frequently, as his answer may change.

Well...what was his response today?  He knows that I love him when...
  • I greet him at the door when he gets home from work
  • I come to him (randomly) and hug him
  • I say "I love you" before he says it
Each and every one of those things is extremely simple and doable.  Yet, each and every one of those things uplifts my husband and shows him love in the ways he needs it.

And speaking of showing him love, we are having steak for dinner (which I found on sale!).  I found a recipe for Steak Dijionaise at the Mom, What's For Dinner? blog.  Score for finding some delicious gluten-free meals!

Friday, July 20, 2012

I Love Food

Day 3 of getting up earlier...Day 2 of actually following through with a morning routine.  I have classes all day Thursday, so I get up earlier than normal.  I had to turn in a few assignments before I left, which meant that I did not have time for my little 15 minute routine. least this morning has been better.

Speaking of this morning, one of my tasks to do today is research a gluten free/paleo style diet.  You see, I have suffered from anxiety and sometimes depression since I was fairly young.  At one point, I was having panic attacks frequently.  Well I have tried counseling, Bible studies specific to this topic, and even medications.  However, the one thing that I have begun to notice being a huge help is my diet (in addition to prayer/Bible study).  Thanks to our college minister's wife, I have been learning about all the ways that your diet can affect you mentally.  In addition, a child psychiatrist spoke in one of my classes about his recommendations to parents concerning gluten free diets for children with most mental disorders.

And...another sigh.

Mr. Ketchup and I love food.  We love our favorite burger joint where we order a mound of absolutely amazing cheese fries, to go along with our burger and side of fries.  I also love chocolate, Nutella, cheesecake.  Cheese bread...yum.  I could go on and on about how much I love food. affects me mentally.

Now don't get me wrong.  I know there are TONS of options for people on gluten free diets.  I know that I can make special chocolate cupcakes with honey and almond flour.  Thanks to my friend mentioned above, I have tried some amazing food that has been cooked this way.  However, we will have to be dedicated to spending the extra time and money (maybe) that this will require.  I can't come home from a 9+ hour day at school and stop by a fast food place.  I have to start planning freezer meals and easy meals that I can throw together quickly.

I have to be organized...


Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Starting the Marathon

This morning I woke up 15 minutes earlier.  I hit snooze when the alarm went off, but thankfully Mr. Ketchup called me and encouraged me to get up and start my new routine.

5 minutes of Bible study/prayer.  5 minutes of exercise.  5 minutes planning my day.

I know that does not sound like much, but it is a start.  Next week I will be waking up an additional 15 minutes earlier and adding time to my routine.

I read Genesis 15 this morning, and initially thought..."This is completely not applicable right now; I just want to go back to bed."

However, the Gospel is ALWAYS applicable.  In Genesis 15 we see God establishing His covenant with Abram (soon to be Abraham).  Here God promises Abram that his descendants will be countless and will be given much land.  Previously (12:2-3), God had told Abram that through his many descendants, all of the families of the earth would be blessed.  This was God's covenant to Abram.

Why do we care?  See Galatians 3:5-9.  The ESV says this:
Does he who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you do so by works
of the law, or by hearing with faith - just as Abraham 'believed God, and it was counted
to him as righteousness?'  Know then that it is those of faith who are the sons of Abraham.
And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith,
preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, 'In you shall all the nations be blessed.'
So then, those who are of faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith.
(emphasis added)

We care because Genesis 15 points us toward the cross.  We can see a glimpse of God's plan of redemption for all nations through Genesis 12-15.  Abram's descendants became the nation of Israel, through whom Christ came.  And "in him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace." (Ephesians 1:7; ESV)

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The Beginning...

I have been married for 2 months and 5 days.  :)

During this time I have attempted to start this blog (50 million times), taken three graduate level summer courses, failed at starting new housekeeping habits, and have slacked off on my quiet time.  :( is a new day.  Today I will start incorporating little habits into my time.  Today I will set goals.  Today I will find people to hold me accountable.  Today I signed up for the HelloMornings Challenge from Inspired to Action.

This challenge begins August 20th and lasts until November 16th.  Each day, before/after you complete your morning routine (Don't know what that is?  Check out the Maximize Your Mornings e-book), you check in with your accountability group via Facebook or Twitter.

Prayer/Bible study.  Exercise.  Plan the day.

My goals:
  1. Have a daily time of prayer
  2. Read the Bible in a year
  3. Be able to run around the block (I am completely out of shape)
  4. Have an organized home/life
What about you?  What are you doing today to change your life?