Whole 30 Challenge? It Really Does Start With Food

Oh man! ok so I thought I would post on here about my journey on starting this lifestyle change with my eating habits. I have started my Whole 30 challenge with a friend and its only been 4 full days and today is my 5th…

So I prepped, got my habit foods that I eat just to eat hidden, and printed out recipes that I will need. And Whole 30 has a nice timeline as to what to expect during your 30 days emotionally. It has helped me understand why I’ve been so up and down these last few days.

You see on this 30 days you are not allowed to have sugar or sweetener of any kind unless it is from the whole fruit (you have to eat the orange not buy the orange juice), no grains of any type including quinoa, no dairy of any kind except eggs and clarified butter or ghee (because regular butter still has proteins from the milk) , and no legumes (beans) of any kind which includes peanuts, because we are all learning that peanuts are a bean type not a nut. That means I have cut pastas, breads, candies, creamers, refried beans and shells for my tacos (which I LOOOOVVVVEEEE). I also have to be careful with the types of oils I buy because most are highly processed. Most people would think this is a low carb diet but I can have potatoes, fruits, and things of that nature. Honestly I still eat alot of food and actually feel full longer than I used to. But it is the psychological stuff and the and addictions that this is changing. And boy have I been feeling the ups and downs!!

The first day was easy as pie and was like this isn’t so bad except for a nagging headache. But day 2 and 3 was bad headaches, cravings, really tired was hitting but stuck to it.(so glad to be doing this with a friend because I would not have made it through the day) Day 4 was no headaches any longer but was still really tired. Most likely due to my body relying on sugar for energy all the time instead of fat that its withdrawling.

Well today I was expecting (as said on the timeline) the “kill everything” emotions where you just feel snappy and angry for no reason. But instead I have been tearing up over EVERYTHING!!! Literally! Normal everyday things that I don’t even think about have been putting me into a crying mode. That was unexpected and I know it will pass as everything else has but its difficult for the time being. Just being honest.

So not even a full 5 days in and it has been a journey already. But the food is good and I like feeling full after eating and not gorging myself because I can’t get enough… (also a side affect of sugar overconsumption).

So I just wanted to do something a little different today and if anyone has questions or comments I would love to hear! If you have been on the Whole 30 Challenge already please comment and let me know what the hardest thing for you was. Or if you are thinking of doing this yourself join me!

Thanks for letting me rant and release! 🙂

 

Christina Smith

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God Loves Us But That’s Not The End

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So I went to coffee with a special friend of mine who is my sister in Christ, spiritual mentor, and just all around loving person and of course we talked about our marriages, our children, where we sometimes feel we’ve failed and then encouraged each other that we aren’t done yet.
But we got onto the subject of “God loves us just the way we are” and if that’s all we teach how does the sinner repent?
It’s been on my mind since and just can’t get it out of my mind so thought I’d put it in writing and see how it goes 😉

So many years ago the churches and religious leaders used to teach mostly fire and brimstone and basically hoped to scare the “hell” out of you and you’d stay scared straight. It worked but not for long. Because when we sinned there wasn’t a consequence right away too often so the scared feeling went away alittle more each time since it’s only a feeling and the feeling won’t keep us from turning away from our sin continually.

So as time passed people were walking away from churches because they felt that they were always condemned and there was no way that they can be better due to only partially teaching what God says.

Then in comes the just say this prayer this way and you’ll be saved… Well this was a start but now we have confusion in the unsaved thinking they are bound for hell because they can’t get anything right because they don’t know how or what prayers to say. So churches are seeing that this isn’t working any longer so let’s change it up a bit…

The last 10 years it’s been about offending people so churches and spiritual leaders have been worried about losing people due to offending them… For instance God clearly says just in the 10 Commandments that lying, stealing, coveting (wanting what someone else has… and this includes spouses or girlfriends/boyfriends) is just as bad as adultery, worshiping idols (includes money, sex, a PhD and any addiction that is placed higher than God), and not loving your neighbor (this reference is to anyone whom is near to you in any way not just your house). Jesus said that the greatest of all commandments is to love God with all your heart, soul, mind and he goes on to say that as important as the first is to love your neighbor(others) the same as you love yourself. Matthew 22:36-40 When we love fiercely, we see people are worth much more whether they are in sin or not so we want to protect them.

The problem today is that now many of us are afraid to tell people that even though God fiercely loves them for who they are that we think that this will save them but ultimately this leads people to believe that even though they are still in sin that they do not need to change or repent since God loves them already. We have forgotten to include the part that God loves them so much that He gave a way out of sin but the only way is to repent (ask for forgiveness), confess and turn away from the things that cause you to sin.

You see if we only preach about parts of the Truth we will only see parts of freedom. We need to preach about how God loves you right where you at so you will come to Him then preach about how He made a way to be truly happy through Jesus and can have real freedom from sin so we don’t return and when we do He is there to help us through it. We can’t be afraid of letting someone know that their behavior is causing/will cause them harm or will not fill the void that they will always have that was only made for Jesus because of the separation from God while in sin.

Yes God loves us just the way we are and right where we are at but to me that makes me want to be a better person and not stay in the low place and make excuses to live in sin just because He loves me. I want to be a better me because He loves me. Sin is a terrible place to be because it slowly tears us down little by little until we don’t even recognize ourselves anymore.

Tell the world that God loves them but also tell them their sin will not make them happy for long and in the end it loses its flare and that the real risk is trusting in the Lord but you get so much more!
He doesn’t promise a perfect life but He promises a full and abundant life that is complete!
How about you? We would love to hear your comments!

Christina
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Love Is Not a Feeling. Sex and Love

Me and my husband are ones that believes that sex before marriage puts too many unknowns and hurts into play whether you know it or not… We are all faced with the inevitable decision to have or to not have sex at some point in our lives because as humans we crave affection and pleasure. And it can be extremely hard to say no when everything in you is saying yes. But men you have to know that that woman is someones daughter and the parents invest their whole lives into this girl that is now a woman and won’t stand for mistreatment. And when you have sex before marriage this is a mistreatment in a parents eyes. You need to treat her like this jewel that has extreme value. And there will always be times when she doesn’t see her value and that’s when you need to stand up and show her that value by keeping her pure! We have teenagers and have started to come into contact with our girl that feels her value is what she has to give and not who she is dispite giving her a foundation and lots of prayer. And a boy that has not been taught how to value a woman that isn’t sexual. This series is more personal for us as me and my husband didn’t have anyone to show us honor, respect, value and so we were teen parents. I hope this goes out to anyone who doesn’t think that sex is a big deal. Please share this with anyone who needs this message.
We all need Jesus but we have to choose Him and thats the hardest part.

Blessings to all parents! The job is not easy!

Christina
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Are You Ready for Marriage?

I LOVE Focus on the Family and here’s why, its another great article!

Enjoy!

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Are You Ready to Wed?

By Greg Smalley

Article About:

Preparing for Marriage

My wife, Erin, will never forget the call she took one day at her parents’ house in Phoenix when we were midway through our engagement. We had only to endure a few more months until our wedding day, and I was on the other end of the telephone line — euphoric with great news for my bride-to-be.

After I asked Erin to sit down and brace herself, I proudly announced that I had received something in the mail that was very exciting. I told her that she was preparing to marry a very rich man. I had received official notification in the mail that I had won the big sweepstakes. I was in the running for a new car, a free luxury trip or $1 million!

Erin sat stunned on the other end of the phone. Surely this would be any soon-to-be-bride’s dream come true — starting marriage with no financial worries. Her joy, however, was clouded with suspicion and doubt. Erin had actually laughed out loud when I went on about what we would do with the money, how we would spend it and what I was going to buy her. She had worked in the psychiatric hospital during nursing school, and this call must have seemed eerily similar to many conversations she had engaged in with patients there.

To make a long (and embarrassing) story short, those sweepstake crooks had done a great job. The “winner” notification looked legitimate with all the authentic legal jargon — it even had a wax seal!

I felt humiliated. Not only had I believed I was a millionaire, I had told my entire family and all of my graduate school friends. That day, without reading and understanding the fine print, I had fallen for a scam.

When it comes to cultural messages about marriage, we are being scammed as well. We are being sold ideas that contain “fine print,” setting up couples for failure long before they walk down the aisle. Here are some of the popular marriage messages (scams) that have saturated our culture:

Marriage is easy when you find “the one.”
Conflict is a sign of a troubled relationship.
Your spouse should automatically know what you need.
Living together is a great way to see if you’re compatible.
Your spouse will “complete” you.
Marriage is about being happy.

As wonderful as those messages may sound, the faulty beliefs create unrealistic expectations that undermine the foundation of a marriage relationship.

I want to focus on one myth in particular that I wish I’d understood before I married — I’m convinced it would have saved Erin and me a lot of heartache during the early years of our marriage. This myth is best summed up by French novelist George Sand, who said, “There is only one happiness in this life, to love and be loved.”

Sand’s quote is partially true. The myth is that you need to find someone who will love you. The truth is that this need to be loved has already been 100 percent met by God. There’s not a single verse in the Bible that says you need to find a spouse to love you. God doesn’t warn that if you fail to find your “soul mate,” then a massive “love hole” will remain in your heart. The Word never implies that you will spend the rest of your life weeping and gnashing your teeth until you find someone who will give you the love that you crave.
Loved and loving

One of the greatest truths I’ve learned about marriage is that I don’t need my wife to love me. I know that sounds counterintuitive — maybe even opposite of what you have been taught about relationships. The truth is that your need to be loved has already been satisfied by the right source — your heavenly Father. A spouse will never be the source of love in your life. That’s God’s role exclusively! Throughout the Bible, we are constantly reminded of God’s love. Consider Jeremiah 31:3 where God tells His people, “I have loved you with an everlasting love”; Ephesians 5:1 addresses us as “Beloved children”; and Romans 8:39 promises that “nothing in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God.”

Therefore, instead of spending time, effort and energy trying to get a spouse to love you, your job will be to learn to love your spouse. This truth is a significant shift from the cultural message that is scamming you into believing that your greatest need is to be loved. 1 John 4:11 tells us, “Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.” Note that the verse begins by calling us beloved. This is a great phrase that means “much loved.” Then, before the main point is even made, we get a quick reminder that God loves us. Finally, our job is defined: love others. Apparently, before we can love others, we need reassurance that we are loved.

In spite of all the cultural scams and myths about marriage, the real job your heavenly Father has asked of you can be summed up in John 13:34: “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.” To love your spouse is your destiny in married life.
Serving and sacrifice

So, what will loving your spouse truly look like? Focus on the Family just released a book called Ready To Wed, and while I was doing some final edits on the 10-session video curriculum that will complement the book, I noticed something amazing. We had filmed approximately 20 of the best Christian marriage experts, asking them what advice they’d offer engaged couples. There was no script, and we received some powerful biblical counsel. But when I watched all 10 sessions consecutively, I was amazed by the fact that the experts repeated a particular theme. One word kept coming up: sacrifice. This same message is expressed in John 15:13 when Jesus says, “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.”

Now, let me clarify that sacrifice is different than service. I believe that serving means to perform a duty, to assist or to do something helpful for your spouse. It’s similar to the word helper found in Genesis 2:18, “The Lord God said, ‘It is not good that the man should be alone. I will make him a helper fit for him.’ ” Adam wasn’t lonely, but God recognized his need for help. So God created Eve. Serving each other will be an important part of married life.

Sacrifice, on the other hand, requires giving up something that you value (that is, your time, money, comfort, desire, etc.). Applied to marriage, this implies giving up something for the sake of someone else who you consider to have a greater value.

I’ve found it’s easier to serve, to help out or to assist, than it is to sacrifice. At my house, it’s a whole different story when serving Erin actually costs me something. I’ve found two passages in the Bible that instruct us to do something every day. One is found in Hebrews 3:13 where we’re told to “exhort one another every day,” and the other is found in Luke 9:23 where Jesus tells us to “take up [your] cross daily.” “Taking up my cross” refers to laying down my life — my selfish desires — to serve my wife. Daily sacrifice for Erin is the evidence that I love her.

If you think about it, the very act of getting married is a selfless decision. As a husband or a wife, you voluntarily commit to abide by very clear instructions given by God. Husbands are instructed to love their wife just as Christ loved the church (Ephesians 5:25). And wives are asked to voluntarily submit to their husband’s leadership as they do to the Lord (Ephesians 5:22). Both spouses are being asked to make great sacrifices.

Engaged couples often ask me how they will know they are ready to get married. I think you’ll know you are ready to wed if, first and foremost, God is your true source of love and fulfillment. Then you’ll know that you are ready for marriage if you are willing to wholeheartedly love your fiancé(e) by sacrificing for him or her every day.

So you tell me, are you ready to wed?

Dr. Greg Smalley is vice president of Family Ministries at Focus on the Family and the general editor of Ready to Wed.

Read a free sample chapter of the book, Ready to Wed Download Now

Hear more practical advice from Dr. Greg and Erin Smalley on preparing for marriage Listen Now

© 2015 Focus on the Family.

Taking Steps To Improve Your Marriage

Ok so I know that I haven’t blogged in a while but I have a good one today 🙂

"Esposas de Matrimonio" ("Weddi...

   Have you been thinking lately that your marriage is lacking something?

   Or it has become so routine that it seems you and your spouse have a plan/list/time setup for everything including sex and it has just not become fun anymore?

   Have you been praying for something different to come along or some change that might spark it up but nothing has come about?

 

Lets consider something today shall we? What if God what YOU to step out and do something instead of sitting and waiting for something to happen?

Don’t get me wrong here, praying is a top priority but are you listening when you are praying?? Are you stopping to hear what God is telling you to do or are you toning Him out because it is something that is out of your comfort zone or other excuses?

God didn’t make men visual creatures just because He was being funny… There is a reason… And we as women have to be mindful of that. His Word gives us the guidelines to live by, but for the most part many things we question in our relationship is what is great for one marriage might not work for another…. Meaning if I buy a very risque nighty for my hubby thats ok for us but you and your spouse my not want to do that and thats OK!

 

The point I am trying to make here is that if you and your spouse have decent communication you should have an idea of what he or she likes and dislikes. When it comes to “out of the box” thinking just make sure that whatever you do it isn’t making them feel demeaned or ashamed and honors them….. If you aren’t sure about something, talk to them and pray about it. Sometimes me and my husband when we have something planned but don’t want to let the cat out of the bag so to speak, we ask general questions to see how they feel about it. 

What attracted us to our spouses in the first place?? Learning about them, exploring their thoughts, finding out things about them… The whole newness and mysteriousness, trekking out to discover everything about them. When you’ve been together for 20,30,50, 70 years you have to find new things to keep other guessing sometimes. It doesn’t have to be every night or even once a month.

Take time to really listen to what God is saying to you. Read His Word and get the guidelines that He says not to cross, He will tell you. Let Him be your guide in your relationship and marriage. And HAVE FUN! There will always be awkward times where something may not have come out as envisioned so laugh about it and don’t take it too seriously. Don’t be too hard on yourself or your spouse, marriage is a learning journey enjoy the ride!  I have also learned not to focus on my physical flaws so much (it can be a total turn off to mention them all the time) and starting to focus on the things I do like. Of course I am working on improving my health to be better for God and my husband.

Have fun and have a blessed day, in Jesus Name!!

Christina, Three Passions