Wednesday, February 5, 2014


Way back in January, Tripp & I attended The Grove church in Bryson City. We were invited to church here by my friend Tab & have gone a few times. We really enjoy the worship here, it is very authentic.

Anyways, in January, the first Sunday that month, there was a guest speaker because of an emergency in the pastors family. The message that was spoken that day was awesome! Sadly, I have lost my notes sheet & have forgotten many things that were said but I will try my best to summarize. The service was about non-negotiables in our lives. The speaker talked about how many people make resolutions at the new year. She doesn't think this is a good habit. She says there are a few areas in our lives that should have some non-negotiable, year round boundaries or ideas to keep us on the track we want to be on.

After this service, Tripp & I spent time discussing what we want as non-negotiable changes in our lives. We thought about what kind of people we want to be. Here are a few goals and the non-negotiable changes we have tried to implement.THIS PART IS NOT WRITTEN TO BRAG OR MAKE US SOUND AWESOME. I WOULD LOVE TO BE HELD ACCOUNTABILITY FOR THIS CHANGES & BY POSTING THIS, LOTS OF PEOPLE CAN HOLD ME ACCOUNTABLE!

We want to be genuine followers of God, which means living out His word on a daily basis. In order to do this, we want to spend more time in His word. We have started various types of Bible time in our day.

  • Currently, we wake up at 5:30 or 5:40 every morning to have 15ish minutes of together Bible study. Right now, we are working through a book called Building a Marriage that Really Works, by Kay Arthur. It is pretty good but we are almost done with it and would love new suggestions! 
  • Anyways, next, we both try to pray on the way to school. I usually listen to 106.9 radio only.
  • The newest thing we are trying (today was the first time) is replacing time when we would watch a TV show on hulu or a movie with listening to a sermon. Skip Heitzig has a sermon series that goes through every verse of the Bible. This kind of combines our desire to read through the Bible again with a message to go with each verse/chapter. These sermons are about an hour long so this will be the trickiest part because we often don't have an hour together. But, we will do the study in bits and pieces if we have to!
  • We end each day with personal God time. I read the daily devotional Jesus Calling by Sarah Young. I try to mediate on these devotionals and spend time in the scripture. Tripp is memorizing whole chapters of the Bible. I really admire him!
  • And lastly, we pray together every night. Tripp usually prays as we believe that God wants the man to be the head of the woman, as Christ is the head of man. When Tripp is obeying God's word, it is my job to be his helper, even though we are both equal. I am really okay with this because it is what God commands.
We want to take care of our bodies and what we put into them, as they are created by God & are a temple for the Spirit. I have shared before how we are changing our eating habits so I'll try to make this brief! 
  • We are trying even more to eat green! Every week, we eat a bushel of kale and a bag of organic spinach. We have added sprouts and red cabbage to our salads. 
  • We start each day with a cup of whole grain puffed corn (found at Ingles for like $2). We put strawberries & 1/4 cup of organic milk in the cereal.
  • We take a blueberry, raspberry, kale smoothie to work each day. It's not a big smoothie but it's something (organic fruit isn't cheap in winter)! 
  • Our lunches haven't changed much. We have added broccoli to our lunches 3 days a week in place of bananas because bananas contain a lot of sugar. Broccoli also has some major health benefits. We also eat oranges sometimes instead of apples, partly because of the cost of organic apples when the farmers market is closed. 
  • We eat 1/4 cup of walnuts & almonds every day now, which I love! If they weren't so expensive, we'd eat more!
  • I've found some really good recipes and alternatives! I found a whole wheat pancake recipe that's good, a chocolate chip/bar recipe, and a decent cookie recipe.
  • We've started using coconut palm sugar when we really want things with sugar. This is still kept at a minimum. We've done some sugar research and do not like what we see about the glycemic index of honey, molasses & maple syrup. They are all natural but so are coconut palm sugar & agave and they are much lower in GI! 
  • I am trying to stick to a 'only two treats a week' plan. Two treats may seem like a lot BUT when we go visit family or have a date night, it is hard to pass up treats. Treats include, milkshakes, regular cookies, brownies, cakes, doughnuts, danishes, etc. If we HAVE to eat fast food because we're on the road or something, I am sticking with a dressing-less salad. My stomach has started to reject fast food and even a lot of restaurant food that is processed.
Lastly, we want to take care of our bodies in an exercise way. Again, our bodies are temples and if we are to use our bodies to do God's work, we must be able. 
  • We are TRYING to implement a four day work out routine, rotating between yoga, cardio (twice), & upper body strength training. I know, if we're trying it, it's not really a non-negotiable because it's changing. But we are at least getting better :) 
  • Every night, we do a 10 minute hand bell, push up, sit up, work out (usually excluding Friday & Saturday nights because we're often not at home). I will follow this up with 5-10 minutes jumping on my exercise trampoline. 
  • We have more planned for this area but it is not possible at the house we are living in. Someday soon hopefully we can implement new ideas here! 
We are also trying to be good stewards of the money God gives us. This has been changing slightly since August, when we started reading Dave Ramsey's book Complete Guide to Money. We have implemented some new things that I really love! I have a crazy expenditure/budget sheet that I love working on! It includes everything! It brings me joy to see what we can do with what God gives us. This is always changing too, however. Just this week, we started discussing the difference between tithing & giving & how that will fit in with our current budget. Lots of pray and talking to other Christians! 

Well, this was kind of a boring blog. I just needed to organize my thoughts & reassure myself that although we have made some major changes, they are for the best. I am really happy with how I feel physically and mentally. I am excited to grow more with God & to grow closer to my husband. I am trying to be more thankful every day. The Happier app has helped with this! You can only post things you are happy about. I enjoy sharing my happy moments & looking at others. There is just so much to be grateful for.