Category Archives: Monday Motivator

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Chicken Thighs with Carrot Fries

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It was sometime in the afternoon on a weekday. The baby was at home with my husband and I was on my way home from work. Tears were streaming down my face from lack of sleep, a stressful day at work, and the stress of knowing my child wouldn’t leave my side once I got home. As the tears began to turn into one big ugly cry I pulled into a deserted parking lot and it all came pouring out.

“I am just so tired, Lord. Why won’t this baby sleep? Where did the loving and peaceful relationship with my husband go? Why did you put so many dreams and ambitions in my heart only to let them sink to the bottom of this tear filled lake????”

There it was. The sentence that put everything else into perspective. Why did God place these dreams in my heart for me only to fail at trying to achieve them? That is when I realized that God did not push aside the dreams in my heart, but rather molded them into something so beautifully different. God did fulfill his promises to me, but I had to be open minded to see them.

On December 22, 2015 I gave birth to a beautiful healthy 7 lb 14 oz baby boy. That day, without my knowledge, God began to mold me into a mother and adjust my priorities to reflect this innocent baby’s needs. As I thought back on the birth of my son I realized my expectations didn’t reflect reality and was forced to change my priorities. In this season of the church we are celebrating Pentecost. The birth of the church. I am sure that the apostles did not expect to be filled with the Holy Spirit as it is depicted in Acts, but God gave them grace in that season to redirect their priorities and dreams. That is my challenge for you this season. Ask God where you need to redirect your priorities and dreams. My hope is that as a church we make our community and health a priority this season. Obtaining a healthy life style is about setting priorities. Whether letting the laundry sit a little longer while you cook a new recipe or choosing to play at the park with your kids rather than mowing the lawn. While both laundry and mowing your lawn may feel crucial in the moment ultimately by adjusting priorities such as these we can find that we are a bit happier and healthier.

I hope that the recipe included will help make at least one meal this week a little easier and encourage a healthy life style.

Chicken Thighs with Carrot Fries

Serves 6

Time: 30 minutesIMG_2161

Ingredients: 

  • 6 bone in/skin on- chicken thighs
  • 12 Carrots (medium-large)
  • 2 tsp Salt
  • 2 tsp thyme
  • 2 tsp garlic
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • olive oil
  • Mixed greens/salad

Directions: 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Chicken: Rinse and pat dry your chicken thighs. Place on a greased baking sheet. Sprinkle with 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp thyme, 1 tsp garlic, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp ginger and 1-2 TBS olive oil

Carrots: peel carrots. Chop off the top and about 1/2 inch off of the bottom. Cut in half and begin to cut carrots into strips. Try to keep them as uniform as possible. Thin edges will burn quickly. Place all carrots into a large bowl and drizzle with 2-4 TBS olive oil, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp thyme, 1 tsp garlic, 1/4 tsp cayenne. Lay carrots out onto a baking sheet.

Place both carrots and chicken into the oven and cook for 20 minutes.  After the 20 minutes have been completed, make sure the chicken is on the top rack. Turn the oven to broil at 500 degrees. Cook for 2-3 minutes or until the skin is crispy and browned. Remove chicken from oven and continue cooking the carrots until they begin to crisp/brown-about 3 minutes.

Enjoy your chicken and carrots with some fresh mixed greens.

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Redefining “woman”

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Today is International Women’s Day. I have never felt more like a woman today than ever before. My day started at 6 AM by breast feeding my three month old child. From there I ran some errands with him IMG_2036which included my last visit to the lactation specialist office. When I got home I continued to ponder the meaning of international women’s day. I thought about all of the women around the world who have come so far in their independence, and also about the women/societies that haven’t been so lucky. I feel that I have experienced one of the most primal examples of woman-hood within the past few months through becoming a parent. I wish I could say that this experience has made me feel whole as a woman, however a glance in the mirror at my postpartum body left me saddened by what I saw. My body is more saggy and full of stretch marks and cellulite than ever before. Since I have always thought of women to be beautiful, strong, and courageous it was difficult when I stared at the body in the mirror that didn’t fit those descriptions. Insecurity set in. Then I picked up my baby and went back to that same full length mirror. I looked at the body that had naturally delivered a healthy 7 lb 14 oz baby into this crazy world just 11 short weeks ago. Every stretch mark is a reminder of my sweet baby boy. Woman-hood is not defined by the shape and appearance of our curves, skin, hair, eyes, and nails. The word woman simply means a female human. We must determine the definition of the word by ourselves. No one can define who a woman is but us.

I hope that over the next days, months, and years I am able to transform my definition of what a woman is. I want to challenge myself to be strong and courageous and rework my idea of what is means to be beautiful. I hope this definition will grow and change with me. I hope to break free of the societal stereotypes that I assign to myself through my insecurities.

I challenge you to create your own definition of “woman”. Write it down where you can see it often. Challenge yourself to break your own molds and stomp out those insecurities that are screaming “YOU CAN’T BECAUSE YOUR ARE A WOMAN”. Woman is a gender not a disability or deficiency. Be brave. Be courageous. You are beautiful.

 

Living Satisfied

 

To my friends during my pregnancy: An open letter

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Dearest friend,
I’m sorry I have not placed you as a priority in the recent weeks/months. The reality is, I can hardly keep 1920405_10201752990210438_1884537530_nmyself as a priority at this time. Everything in my life changed the day I found out I was expecting my first child and I have been fighting to figure out how to balance it all ever since.

Please forgive me for not being as good of a friend to you during this time. You deserve the world and I would love nothing more than to run around town shopping and laughing with you, however most days the very thought of leaving the house sounds like running a marathon…and we all know I don’t run.

Friend, my body doesn’t feel good and it seems as though once one exhausting pregnancy symptom subsides another pops right up. My dishes are piling up, e-mails have not been checked, and I am doing my best just to shower daily. I hate that I can’t be there for you and it breaks my heart to miss important events in your life. Please know that even though I am not with you, I still think of you often and long for the days when we can watch a movie and eat pints of ice-cream (Hope you don’t mind a baby in the background of that).

I guess my main point is that I’m not sure how to manage myself during this season of life and unfortunately we both know even more will change once the baby comes. So remember dear friend you have not been forgotten. I may not ask for updates as often as I used to, but that doesn’t mean I don’t really want to hear them. Changes are happening everyday for the both of us so please keep me updated with everything going on, big or small. I want to know about it all! I may not be able to physically jump up and down with you, but rest assure I am excited for you and will always be praying for you and all your future endeavors.

I love you friend. Thank you for your understanding during this time.

 

 

Living Satisfied

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Pregnancy Affirmations: First Trimester

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Here is some affirmations I wrote during my 7th week of pregnancy. I hope some of these could help my IMG_2272readers during their first trimester! Writing out affirmations when I was feeling anxious really helped put things into perspective.

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I am 7ish weeks along and full of anxiety. So much is passing through my mind on a daily basis and especially when I am alone. This first trimester is kicking my butt and it has been hard to see past the soda crackers and ginger/peppermint flavored everything.

In the midst of my anxiety I figured I should write out some affirmations for myself. Something that I could tell myself when I am alone and unsettled. I hope some of these affirmations speak to your heart as well.

 

  • I am made by God to make this baby.
  • God brought this into my life so I may be made whole.
  • I am stronger than I think I am.
  • My anxiety is nothing but excitement for the future.
  • In a few months I will be holding my first child.
  • Everything I am feeling is not scary, but new.
  • Women have gone through this for centuries.
  • You have an amazing support team that would do anything for you.
  • Don’t read into each feeling and emotion too much, your body is doing great.
  • The devil is not apart of this pregnancy and in the name of God has no power over you.
  • Though he/she may be but a small fruit in size, talk to him/her.
  • Think of all the amazing things that will happen in a few short months.
  • The first trimester is only 12  weeks and you WILL feel better than you do now.
  • Sickness is a sign that all is well with baby.

 

Thanks for listening!

Living Satisfied

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Anniversary: Expectation Vs. Reality

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When I think of my 3 year anniversary here is what I picture:weddinghug

Wake up in the morning to a lovely breakfast together. We head off to work and text/e-mail each other throughout the day with gross lovey-dovey stuff. Once we both are off work we go home and get ready for a romantic evening together. We get all dressed up and head to Ruth’s Chris for dinner. We order a lot of steak and sides and spend the evening reminiscing over our time together. After dinner we walk to the car, head home to our lovely house and stay up late and hang out. 😉

 

Now, let’s talk about how the anniversary ACTUALLY went…

We woke up. Said happy anniversary and apologized for not having anything prepared for each other. We both understood and therefore were not too upset. Jay heads off to work and I go to my parent’s house since I was feeling quite ill. We spend the day texting about how terribly sick I am. He calls/texts to ask how I am and that is about it. Once we are both home he goes outside to clean his car and mow the lawn and I stay inside eating saltines. Our romantic evening consists of frozen potstickers, water, and episodes of “Friends”. Then we head to bed around 8:30.

 

Jay and I have been married for 3 years and have been friends for a good bit longer. Although I wish I could stomach a big steak and french fries right now I feel very blessed to have a husband who is willing to stay home and take care of his sick wife. I love the time we have together just being normal. I’m happy that our anniversary was spent in PJs, saltine crackers, and old tv show re-runs. I can be on a date with Jay any day I want. A date is simply intentional time spent with another person or a “romantic appointment”. I had a date with Jay that night. We showed our love through our realness. Jay could have stayed inside and sat on his computer, but he chose to be productive and mow the lawn for us. He chose to prepare us dinner and massage my back while I was feeling ill. If this is any sign of what the next years of our marriage will be like, I’m all for it!

This was a great anniversary. While there was no fancy dinner, no presents, and no romantic evening we showed our love by being ourselves and caring for one another. What more could I ask for? I challenge you to think about what truly matters in your relationship. Would you be upset without a fancy dinner, presents, or a romantic evening? OR would you also be happy just being together no matter where you are? Marriage is life-long. Not every important event in your life will be spectacular and not everything will go as planned, but it is important to place your focus on each other and support one another no matter where one another is at.

 

Love your significant other today. Speak kind words and love them no matter what.

 

 

Living Satisfied

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Coping with Anxiety

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I’m not entirely sure why I am posting this, but I opened my dashboard for Living Satisfied to write a draftIMG_0378 or two and I felt that how I cope with my anxiety could be helpful to some of my readers. People write what they know and post what is close to their heart. Dealing with anxiety is close to my heart and I want to write this post not only to motivate others, but to motivate myself.

Anxiety:

I have dealt with anxiety for as long as I can remember and it goes through phases. At times I feel I can conquer the world and other times it takes everything in me to leave the house to run an errand. Anxiety isn’t logical. It doesn’t have a rhythm and can strike at any moment. Anxiety has been a battle that greatly impacts my life and I have become quite good at hiding it in public. I have always felt the need to hide my anxiety because it seems so illogical to me. Why would going out to dinner with close friends bring me anxiety? Why would running out to the grocery store cause me to have a panic attack? I don’t have answers to these questions. It is hard to explain to others why I am hesitant on making plans so I slap on a happy face and either move forward or at times I simply cancel the plans.

At this point let me take a few moments of your time to give you some tips that work for me.

How I overcome:

Self talk: This one is self-explanatory. Sometimes it is best to encourage yourself. At times I just have to tell myself over and over again “You are ok”, “You are strong and courageous”, “God is right beside you”. These words really can work and if you can’t talk yourself into a peaceful place ask someone close to you to encourage you. Sometimes I just give my mom or husband a call or text and ask them for some encouraging words and prayers.

Identifying the Trigger: What about this situation makes you anxious? What can you control about this situation? What can’t you control? Are you being triggered by anything?

Seek help: Seek help through a counselor, family, or friend and talk through what you are feeling.

Find someone who would be able to support or pray for you spur of the moment when you are feeling anxious. For me this is my husband, mother, grandmother, or a close friend. It really varies depending on what I am feeling and what kind of support I am looking for.

Take a step back: Take deep breaths. I know this sounds simple, but sometimes a few deep breaths can help clear your mind and help you restart.

Cold water: You always see on different movies or T.V. shows when someone slaps their friend in the face to snap them back to reality…This is very similar. Sometimes a splash of cold water can help you restart. Sounds weird I know, but has helped me in the past.

Be comfortable with where you are at:

It is OK to feel anxious. At times my anxiety makes me feel that I am not trusting God and am not being a good enough Christian, but that is far from the truth! God knows how we feel and will walk with us through it all. I know that my God is beside me even when I feel I can’t move one more step forward and I know he has grace for me. I don’t have to be perfect and brave all of the time. I am allowed to feel different emotions, but I have to remember that I am in charge of these emotions. I can choose to be happy and excited for life, but I also have to remember it is ok to not be ok and sometimes crying is the best option.

Care for yourself: It is ok to take some time for yourself. If you feel the need to cancel or adjust plans be honest. People may not fully understand, but honesty can go a far way.

Stay in the Word and pray often. Seeking God through your anxiety is the best advice I can give. He understands where you are at and is there to walk through it with you. Allow Him to give you the strength and peace you need.

 

I hope these quick tips encouraged you in your journey.

 

 

Living Satisfied

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Monday Motivator: Fresh Start

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“Every Monday is a fresh start. Take a deep breath, smile and start again.”IMG_3314

-Cody App

I actually like Mondays because I do see it as a fresh start. While it is hard to wake up and sometimes you feel the stress of the week on your shoulders, it is a new week. This week let us focus on taking a deep breath and moving forward.

When I was younger my mother would always tell me to go to my room for 5 minutes and come back in a better mood. I HATED it. I felt that she wasn’t being sensitive to my feelings, but then a couple of days ago I caught myself telling one of my residents at Mercy Ministries something very similar.  It was a great reminder for me that we are in charge of our emotions. We can choose to let those around us affect our mood or choose to let it go.

This week lets take some deep breaths, smile, and start again.

 

 

Living Satisfied

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Monday Motivator: Ok to not be Ok

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“Before you sleep, remember that it is ok to not be ok. We all have our struggles.IMG_0378

God Loves You for who you are, but too much to leave you that way”.

anonymous

 

I love this quote. It is encouraging as you lay your head down at night. I have faith that God will not leave me this way. I know that my path will go through mountains and valleys, but it is good. Life is good. I am meant to cry, get angry, and be upset. I know that I can feel these emotions and I know that they aren’t going to stay for forever.

 

 

Living Satisfied.

Monday Motivator:With a Good Heart

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“Do everything with a good heart and expect nothing in return and

you will never be disappointed”. _DSC0072

 

Phew, that is a hard one for me at times. I’m always inside of my head and with that comes lots of planning and over thinking everything. While giving comes naturally to me, it is so important to give without expecting anything in return. This includes not expecting them to use the gift a certain way. The hardest part for me is not feeling that my gift was appreciated, which is dumb because it is a gift! It isn’t for me! However I feel that I get caught up in the way it makes me feel when I give that I forget the real purpose. This week try to give secretly to others! Do something for a stranger. Give an extra big tip at a meal. Anything… Just be kind to others and ask God to fill your heart with him. God will fulfill you if you ask. Let Him.

 

 

 

Living Satisfied