Friday, April 14, 2017

2 weeks vegan and some recipes

Tackling something big wont be so overwhelming if we practice a little bit every day. The more and more we do small things, the smaller the task will be, after that... it's just life.
 -from Me... and probably other people-

So last night I had a crazy dream, that I was being chased by a pokemon ball that was spitting strawberries at me, and the only way to make them stop is to throw peas at them, and when the peas touched the pokemon ball it would turn into walnuts and I would eat them. Needless to say, these past two weeks of slowly becoming a vegan has been challenging, but nothing short of learning curves and compromises. 

A couple things I've known to be true, but always try to forget... I (we) have no control over fundamental functions of being a human... 

-You cannot force someone to sleep

-You cannot force someone to eliminate their own personal waste (# 1 nor # 2) 

-You cannot force someone to eat, (unless you interested in jail time for child abuse after gagging it down their throat...)๐Ÿ˜’

If you hadn't already gathered, I'm referring to Husband... haha just kidding, totally talking about our wonderful beautiful children. So after a week of our oldest basically refusing all food, even the food he loves in fear of me possibly sneaking "healthy stuff" in it, (he's so smart).  So we had to make some changes, we had to compromise. First I apologise to them for not respecting them enough to ask them what they'd like to eat, then I took the oldest grocery shopping to pick out some chicken and veggies and fruits of his choosing and some extra "snack foods" (not totally vegan, but still a healthy option). He has also decided to start making his own lunches, in which case I am not complaining. Our youngest is still pretty easy to convince so he's happy and going with the flow. 

Husband seems to be doing well. I'm making most of all the meals, including his lunches. And although it's more work for me in the morning, it is fulfilling to serve my husband and to know that he will be feeling my love in the middle of the day with well thought out vegan meals. While his coworkers make fun of him, of course referring to most of his food as bunny snacks... fitting for Easter, so jokes on them.๐Ÿ˜‰๐Ÿฐ 

As for me, I have found to be completely sensitive to dairy products, specifically cheese. Even the slightest bit makes me bloated and constipated so it's best to just stay away from the stuff. It sucks though because I love greek yogurt on everything, and cheese on a taco or pizza... whats a girl to do?? Well I tried Daiya vegan Cheese; let me tell you, do not try that stuff cold or on its own, but melted in a grilled cheese or over veggies and Naan bread super yummy! I find myself hungry more often, as to be expected. However, instead of mindlessly stuffing my face with whatever, now I have time to really recognize between a craving and what my body is actually needing. What helps is that because I have to prepare and make everything from scratch "fast food" is a thing of the past. So, unless I want a piece of fruit or raw veggies, I'll usually shoot for water. I am finding being intentional and living in each moment is key to growing in this lifestyle. 

I love to cook and put random things together, so this is the most exciting part for me especially because I have so many vibrant colors to work with and don't need to spend an hour defrosting meat or cutting out the white string part of the chicken breast๐Ÿ˜ท. Husband is always both surprised and probably a little scared as to what I'll be making next. But, I am very blessed by his willingness to try everything, his ability to keep his mouth shut in front of the boys when he is disgusted and also his love and support in making this happen for us. I'm so happy to grow old with this guy! 

Here's a couple easy recipes that we love so far: 

Sweet Potato Sliders!
2 sweet potatoes (for two people) 
1 tomato
1 clove of garlic
salt and pepper 

Slice a large sweet potato (wide, to have a large flat surface) Then run the raw tatters under warm water, pat dry. Then put them in toaster, yes, the toaster! on your hottest setting, toast them twice, (pay attention not to burn them). While toasting, cut up fresh garlic, avocados, tomatoes (optional fruit, pears, pineapple, etc). Final step, drizzle EVOO (or oil of your choice) on top of Sweet potato, top with garlic, salt and pepper, then smear avocado, and rest of toppings. 

Taco Tuesday!
1 can of northern white beans
2tbs Cumin (or more to your taste) 
1 tbs of chilli powder
a half a cup of tiny chopped up onions
salt and pepper
2tbs coriander
1 clove of fresh garlic
whatever tortilla you choose
shredded green cabbage

Saute onions and garlic until caramelized, and smells good. In a separate pot, start rehydrating the TVP (see package), and add beans (drained and rinse) to the onions and garlic. Then add TVP. That is basically your "meat", now add your homemade taco seasoning, (all the spices above) maybe also a dash of EVOO and rice wine vinegar. set out "meat" cabbage, and yes regular cheese (remember we are compromising) in separate containers for kids to make their own. The boys ate this all up, huge mess but I didn't care, because my kids ate beans and cabbage with no fuss! I'll take it! ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

We also got a lot of nuts and made trailmix with fresh fruit instead of dried. And made fresh fruit and veggie juices. One of my favorites was my "Beet the Watermelon" root juice:

Beet the Watermelon root juice! 
Juicer or Vitamix... or any other high power blender
a mesh strainer
Beets with greens
carrots (with stems)
2 lemons
water, or coconut water (Adds perfect flavor)

Just blend it all and strain out the pulp enjoy it fresh in the fridge for 4 days or less. Save and freeze the pulp for future fruit smoothie. ❤️

Well this is only the beginning and I have a lot more recipes to share, maybe I will dedicate a whole post to just recipes at some point. As for now, I will end this in saying that I am always being humbled by the three truths I mentioned in the beginning of this post. As an adult I see nothing wrong with just "making things happen", but as a mother, it is my soul job to listen and hear and understand these little gifts I'm raising. I want them to have fond memories of their childhood and to not associate food with trauma nor drama. It is so tough, this parenting thing... we are all growing and trying to figure this all out at the same time. I just hope that when my boys grow up they will see me as an imperfect person constantly trying to do better. 

Saturday, April 1, 2017

A little backed up... Vegan, Day One

I'll make this short, my computer is about to die, and I don't want to give myself any other example of how to get myself out of writing. 

So let's talk constipation. 

Like I said in my previous blog about being a vegetarian back in 2010-2014 as well as throughout the amazing pregnancy of my second son, I was always regular, our whole family was, and it was amazing! but ever since 2014 I have been all kinds of backed up. ๐Ÿ˜ซ
If know one has ever experience this before it's a horrible feeling. Being constipated goes against the nature of your body and really just makes you angry and grouchy. My heart goes out to all of you that have to live with a person tormented by constipation. 

The truth is, these past three years, I have not only been backed up in physically but also emotionally. I feel like since we were out of the military environment and I was trying so hard to please everyone in order to find some friends, with like interests, that I lost part of myself. And when you are meeting new people, you don't want to come off as be picky or high maintenance, you just want to enjoy each other's company and get to know each other without them worrying too much of what Justine eats or doesn't eat. So I started eating anything and everything because I love food and I love good company. But that piece of me that only I can control, was lost. Even despite my husband pleading me to stay vegetarian (because he knows me well and wanted to save me and him from a bunch of whining and complaining about not sticking to anything... which is also why I'm trying to keep writing this blog). Anyway, I made the switch and it caused a downward spiral of my trying to find myself again.  When truth be told we are all always evolving, changing, and growing. And now I want and am ready to make the change for the better, in hopes of elevating both... number two.. and to release the pressure of trying to please everyone else, I think I'm ready to try to just accept myself for who I am. (I am a little weird, oh well, and I like it) Truth is the people that appreciate me for me are worth having as my friend. I am so thankful for the friends that have already proven this to be true.

April First, Vegan... Day One, 

  • Green smoothie (Kale, pinapple, ginger, chia seeds), before coffee (michigan cherry!)
  • veggie skillet (sweet potatoes, red pepper, zuchini, egg substitute) 
  • salad 
  • dinner... not sure I'm a horrible meal and life planner, hoping to get better with this by making this blog my daily food journal. ๐Ÿ˜Ž
As I will always admit that I am not perfect and I love all food... just trying to get back to myself so I can live long and serve others well. 

Thank you for reading. ❤️


Thursday, March 30, 2017

A journey of eating plants...

"You're starting a plant-based diet? What does that mean, you are going to start eating dandelions?!" said, My Mom (after a "help I can't breath", belly laugh). 

Yes, I have decided along with my family that we will start a plant-based diet in April. I had been a vegetarian from 2010-2014, still eating fish and dairy products. However, all of that came to a dead halt after moving to the south and smelling all this amazing BBQ, with pulled pork sandwiches being my weakness.  All that being said, I have felt drastic changes from the inside of my body both physically and emotionally. My husband and I came to this mutual decision after watching a couple great documentaries (on Netflix of course): 
  • Forks over Knives
  • Food Choices
  • Kids Menu
...just to name a few. We also researched a couple websites showing how several athletes also perform at their best on a plant-based diet. Check out this Website: (vegan).

 "I’ve found that a person does not need protein from meat to be a successful athlete. In fact, my best year of track competition was the first year I ate a vegan diet. Moreover, by continuing to eat a vegan diet, my weight is under control, I like the way I look. I know that sounds vain, but all of us want to like the way we look. I enjoy eating more, and I feel great."

— Carl Lewis U.S track 9-time gold medalist 1979-1996 

With Husband's love for fitness and an occupation in the military, this spoke to him, and gave him inspiration to try something new. And I for one love that this is now "his idea" and not just something his crazy crunchy wife decided for the family and is forcing him into. ๐Ÿ’†๐Ÿฝ  

As far as our boys go... they are on board with not killing animals. And for now that is a good start. They agreed to much of what that Kid's menu documentary was about, and asks and reminds us all the time of how much sugar there is in all their cereals. Pretty much right now their diet consists of avocados, chicken strips, fries, honey mustard and ranch; pepperoni pizza, apples, peas, tuna, deli meat, cheese, and kid-friendly protein bars. I am not proud of all the items in this list... and I take full responsibility. In the beginning years, infancy-toddlers, they ate sooo healthy, their first meal was an avocado and I made their baby food from scratch, even steamed and skinned a red pepper... do you know how hard it is to remove the skin from a red pepper? I was dedicated,  I was intentional and I felt so good insuring that our boys were getting a good start to life with a variety of fruits and vegetables in their bellies. But then something awful happened... they turned TWO!! (bu-bu-bum!!!) it was like as soon as that happened their taste buds came alive and they could now tell me in half completed sentences that they no longer like anything I make, so I resorted to a lot of cereal and cheese. In my overwhelmed, stressed out, sleep deprived mommy brain, that's all I felt I could do, so I caved. So like most moms I imagine, I became a short order chef, making something different for everyone, and I am sick of it! I figured I can't be hurting them any worse than I already am by only making dishes with colorful fruits and vegetables, instead of bland tan processed meats and cheeses. Plus, isn't that the right of a parent? Raise the child how you want them to behave, then let them rebel, only to find out that all along "mom and dad were right". 

"Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it."
-Proverbs 22:6

I am not saying this will be easy, especially omitting most sugars and cheese. For one... my husband is 50% greek so feta is very big staple in our household, as is cereal, (cereal has nothing to do with being greek, but has everything to do with my husband). The important thing for us as a family is to realize is that this is not a "quick fix" to anything, this is a journey and a lifestyle. We believe that it is important to be intentional in all aspect of life and when it comes to food it's so easy to be enslaved to the food we eat. We eat when we're bored, sad, happy, depressed and angry. Instead, the direction I want to take is putting food in it's place... I want my food to work for me. Food is a source of energy. We need energy to wake up in the morning, we need energy to work out, and we need energy to help our brains function at full capacity. Again, this will not be easy, simply because we are all very weak humans and temptation lingers in every kitchen... but we will try our best. 

Feel free to leave comments below with any advice if you are also a vegan, how do you handle the na-sayers? Or if you are a "na-sayer" go ahead and leave your comment as well. I'd love to hear your input! 

Husband's Disclaimer: 
We are not activists, nor are trying to force our lifestyle on anyone, we still enjoy hunting and fishing. We are not perfect, and we love Jesus. -much love, Justine and husband

Friday, February 10, 2017

only a friday thing.

 Congratulations! Today is your day. 
You're off to Great Places! 
You're off and away!
-Oh the Places You'll Go! by Dr. Seuss

As I finally sit on my amazing blue sofa couch with my honey whiskey and three ice cubes, I can hear my kids laughing in their bedroom. Making silly voices talking about butt cheeks and ...clapping? They sound adorable in there, I'd love to go play, and lay with them... but I'm exhausted and they are slap happy and it will only prolong the bedtime experience and it is already after 9pm. Honestly, I've done my part as a mom today... and this momma needs some rest, or her head may explode.

Today was the day! I woke up with no alarm clock 6:30 on the dot! (a whole hour after I would have set my alarm for... but hey my body needed sleep... nonetheless, time to get moving! No time for me this morning, everyone needed to wake up, so as my sleepy little ones make it to the kitchen I am just finishing their lunches for school. I love when they rub their eyes and give me a little squeeze while the sun's rays sneak between the blinds. I love having my window above my kitchen sink. I love morning coffee brewing. So normally I try to read my bible or our bible stories before the TV turns on, but no time for that today, so I hear the sound of netflix beaming on the tube. whatever, fine. Breakfast, little bit of playtime, change clothes, and finish homework. Our dog has been sleeping with us and our sheets smelled so gross, so, why not let's also throw in a load of laundry! Then Boy #1 comes in to read his AR (advance reading... although I'd love to say I'm bragging, I'm not, every 1st grader reads AR books) Finished the book. (He's getting to be such a great reader, and it's weird because just 3 months ago, I thought he'd never read on his own.. then WaLA it all just happened like "they" said it would!) Anyway,  after checking Boy #2's math, and several reminders, "get your shoes on".. "where are my shoes??" "wherever you left them!" "get your backpacks, where are your shoes?!" we head out the door for school, 8:16am.

From there, I switched over the laundry, got my coffee and remaining scraps of oatmeal and headed off to Mom's in Prayer group, which is an amazing group of women that get together once a week to intentionally pray for their kids and their schools all over the U.S.  When entering this home full of mommas its as if time stops, we enter in prayer and meditation of praise and gratitude for all that we have, it reminds me that we are equipped with all we need, all the rest are just distractions. ( if you're interested in doing this for your school, you only need to download the paper work and grab some mom's and start praying.) Of course I know I do not have time for this extra thing to do today, but to be intentional to pray for your kids and to connect with God without distractions... sometimes you have to just make time. 10:25am.

As I jump in the car and realize I only have four more hours to drive 25 minutes to get to my friend's home I clean for, and do all her cleaning and then head back home to pick up my place before the kids get home from school. During moments like these,  Jonny Diaz song, Breath, always comes to mind., it's kind of a stressful song, but the title it self helps me to relax a little while I try to go the speed limit, "Breath, just breath". 11:10am.

Cleaning is where and when I do most of my thinking. And sometimes these are positive, humorous, and inspiring thoughts like, "My blessings will always outway what brings me down"; or "Be confident because you are a child of God, and be humble because everyone else is too (Glennon Doyle Melton)"; or even, "Everyone deserves a smile and a hug...but not everyone wants one". But sometimes they get me in deep rage, like: "I get why it's important for women and men to have the right to choose to have an abortion, but what about the child's choice?? What if that child was going to be a voice for all people that have that certain deformity??  Does it make me a hypocrite to have this argument with anyone because I gave Husband the choice to get a vasectomy?" "Or why are all these women mad at President Trump for all the things he said to put down women even though growing up the majority of those women, myself included danced and sang songs of several men demoralizing women and grabbing all sorts of body parts in their music videos??? And are we to believe in the theory of Evolution, like we were taught in our public school biology class or should we only consider the Bible as the true source of how life came to be? Is faith more about politics or is it truly about the action of loving one another as much as you love yourself??? So in the midsts of laundry, vacuuming, toilet bowl scrubbing, there is a lot of thoughts going; on so much so, it makes my head spin, and that of anyone who calls me during this time... WHERE IS THE TRUTH? WILL SOMEONE PLEASE TELL ME ALL THE ANSWERS TO LIFE!! AND AT WHAT AGE WILL I FINALLY FIGURE ALL THIS OUT?!! 1:30pm.

NPR is with me every car ride... well NPR and Dave Ramsey (Dave Ramsey on IHEARTRADIO too) This is the magical place where I get my news, facts, and new music to listen too, check out Lady Lamb, she's an amazing singer songwriter! Thank you Tom Ashbrook with "On Point", traffic... turning... morning turning.. home. 2:45pm.

Run into the house dog looks at me with her sad eyes... "mommy why did to you leave me all day?!! ๐Ÿ˜ญ Leash on, poo bag ready, let's go for a walk.

3:30pm. I sit on my front porch and wait for the boys to get home.
{Side note: I have recently decided not to wait with the other parents.  Is this rude of me? It's not that I don't enjoy the company of the other parents, I just enjoy living to so close the the school, so I try to take advantage of staying in my own space in a little bit of quiet before the boys jump all over me with excitement of their day.} Inside now, they show me all the papers they did, open up plastic Hearts of Candy from their teachers... even though we are not allowed to bring cupcakes in for special occasions, they still get so much candy from their teachers... hmmm, I really don't understand this logic, but whatever. 4pm

I'll spare you the details except for the fact that it was a beautiful afternoon! So warm outside, the boys were able to play in the backyard run around with the dog. And the best part is, that despite the fact that the yard is FULL of do poo... neither of them got any on their shoes. ๐Ÿ˜Ž (happy happy momma!) Dinner made, husband home, we all ate, (carrot/celery turkey burgers, with homemade potato chips) husband went to volunteer at a hockey game, boys and I play pokemon, did 15min of yoga with Betty Rocker, and made Vday cards for their classes, 8:30pm. 

{DIY with Justine: Valentines Cards made from old puzzle pieces! All you need is construction paper, scissors, glue or scrapbooking tape, stickers, and a pencil. Trace the puzzle pieces on to the paper cut, glue, write, and personalize them with stickers! Super fun, at no cost to me, win win!} 

And now here we are... one regretting the whisky, I always seem to forget that ever since I turned 30 my body has slowly been rejecting alcohol... this frustrates me. Either way it's a good thing, because drinking always seems fun at the time until it ruins all your plans for the next day, so better to just stay away from it. 

Enough of the "after school special". I know this was long, and I'm sure only my mom, grandma and mother-in-law and husband will read through its entirety.. but, I just wrote this for me to remind myself that being so busy is not worth the headache and I am happy to tell you that this is only a friday thing, but it used to be an everyday thing for me! Since coming back from Christmas break I decided that it's not worth it, it makes me crazy. I have thoroughly enjoyed slowing down, it makes my "crazy busy days" actually feel crazy and not "normal". 

Thanks for hanging out with me tonight, I've got to go, husbands home, and it is time to get cozy in our nice clean sheets ๐Ÿ˜

11:30pm, good night.

Special Pray requests: 
*Momma Sue, She has to get a complete shoulder reconstruction, pray for a peace of mind, she has to wait two weeks until her surgery date.
*My little brother is headed for CO, and I ask for prayers of safe travels for him and his friends. 
*Pray healing over Husbands back. His sciatic nerve keeps getting pinched and it causes a LOT of pain. 
*Boy #2 performance anxiety. He can do most things very well, he just need the confidence to do it, you got this baby!  
 *City of Detroit lost a great man today, RIP. Mike Ilitch

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Army life; my life.

So a couple months ago, husband, asked me if I wanted to extend our tour here in Tennessee and stay in our cozy little home for one more year, and without a shadow of a doubt, I said, "No Way".

Now wait, before my whole family and all our friends start a riot, here me out. ๐Ÿ™…๐Ÿฝ I believe we have been moved to certain states and cities for certain reasons, and the reasons only come once our stay is complete. Of course the fear of the unknown is very scary, for all parties involved and invested in our lives; however, psalm chapter 27 verse 1 states clearly, " The Lord is my light and my salvation--so why should I be afraid? The Lord protects me from danger--so why should I tremble?" And since I know this in my heart to be true, I move forward without hesitation.

 I figure now may be a good time to let you in on my life and who I am and where I've been both physically and spiritually. Get ready... this covers the span of 11 almost 12 years... keep reading, think of it as life lessons by Justine in the form of "spark notes" ๐Ÿ˜

Kentucky #1 (one year):

  • A place for me to boldly move out into the world on my own, to live in the "gray" and unknown of my faith and world as I ever knew it to be. To rediscover and actually get to know, husband (then boyfriend of 3 years), a man of war, a man of personal rediscovery, a man I had only known through letters and telephone conversations, a man to fall in love with all over again, a man I plan on marrying regardless of it all. It is during this time I learned to think outside of my tiny box I stayed in most of my youth and tried to become an adult at the ripe age of 21. To learn to the strength of a young marriage during a time grieving after losing our first baby (Logan, 7wks)  through a painful, heart wrenching miscarriage. And then finding utmost strength in the Lord, changing my heart from pain to a higher love and respect for God. " For I know the plans I have for you. " says the Lord. "They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and hope." (Jeremiah 29:11 NLT)
Alaska (3 long and mostly cold years๐Ÿ˜‰):
  • With a brand new baby boy#1 (3 wks old) on board we headed west and then north up through the what seem to be the tip top of the Great Rocky Mountains (with no railings). Then up through customs and into the deserted wilderness of British Columbia Canada. We saw some black bear cubs lots of bison, aka "road blocks", and one glorious bull moose running up a grassy mountain side, a sight I will forever save in my memory of pictures. Three or four more days later (that may be completely inaccurate but it did feel like forever) we set our navigation devices for HWY 1: Alaska. I will never forget the first stop we made in Alaska; my hair was a mess, my shirt probably stained with baby goo and breast milk, I had our wee little 5 pound baby in my pouch, and Husband looking like a mountain man (after 17 days of not shaving). We walked through the doors of this little diner and a man sitting down at his own table with his own family and said, "welcome to America." and we were happy to be "home". Well after the initial journey and then after getting settled into our new life outside of the "lower 48" I discover many more life lessons, between the ages of 22-24 years of age. First I learned how to be completely alone, with facebook being my only view of reality during 4am feedings I was quick asking for help, and then realized that thoughtful decisions are often permanent,  "For I will be with you and will take care of you"-Jeremiah 1:7).  It is here where I finished my degree at the university of Alaska Fairbanks while became pregnant with our second little 6 pound baby#2. I learned how to love two people with the same amount of intensity for each. The idea of bringing a second life into the world is very surreal, but I found clarity while both breastfeeding #2 and coloring with #1 at the same time! I know right, I'm super mom, I'll tell you all my secrets on that in another entry ๐Ÿ˜‰ haha.  Moving forward throughout these years of bright and sunny summer nights and WAY below freezing dark days of the winter, I learned how to deal with boredom and how to fill our days with adventure. I learned how to deal with conflict through communication instead of shutting down. I learned That the Army will always take care of our family, financially and through numerous medical procedures. I learned what it means to lean on your friends for support and then also how it feels to loose those same people with just one deployment. I learned more about my faith and connection with Jesus through the art of forgiveness. Lastly, We learned how to purchase our first home online, without ever seeing it in person, and how to move yet again across the country with now two little babies. (let me tell you it is a benefit and a blessing to have friends that live all over the world!)

Kentucky #2 (19 months): 

  • Learned that realty pictures are not always accurate nor truthful. For an example, the 90 degree angle of a driveway we had to climb, carrying two toddlers and all my groceries, because two trips are for wimps ๐Ÿ’ช๐Ÿฝ. Learn experienced depression, and then learned to stand up for myself and regain my self esteem at the fantastic age of 25! Enjoyed being closer to home and all my friends and family that came to visit. Learned about the privileges and blessings of having long and lasting friendships, that stand the test of time and distance. Bought our first family pet, went to several different trade schools, had my own photography business and even made a little money. Found out yet again my weakness for being alone and my struggle with anxiety and acting on impulse, instead of informed decisions. Lastly, of course after finding my rhythm in my new space it was time to pack up and move again.   #armylife #armywife 
Tennessee (3 years): 

  • There are still many lessons to learn from this tour, because I am still living it. So far, this is what I've learned. This is the tour I left the life of sticky toddlers and mickey mouse club house and began my season in life of worldly culture, the bible belt of Jesus, news and two rapidly growing boys. Here is where I started my first job since being a stay at home mom for more than 5 years of my adult life.  I learned how to effectively and ineffectively move our family on our own dime, as well as, met Dave Ramsey and started our journey of becoming debt free thru 2017. I sent our boys to daycare and full time kindergarten I learned to trust strangers with our babies, and then re-learned how much I love to be with them and the extra money is not worth the time I miss without them.  These are the years our whole family met Jesus on a completely different level and invited him deeply into our hearts and home. I've watched my husband become led by the Holy Spirit and enjoy watching our boys follow along willingly asking a lot of great questions along the way. I've Experienced life outside of the Army and we bought and will soon sell our second home. I have Decided with my husband to open our hearts and minds to new place of worship, and found that it has strengthened our faith beyond our human comforts and it has changed the way we choose to live. We discovered our love for helping and serving others. Found out again my "need" to be busy and how it feeds my anxiety. Although this is a continued battle, I have learned tools and healthy boundaries to fight it. I have Found out my compassion and desire to help others is a strength and not a weakness. "It is by our actions that we know we are living in truth" (1 John 4:19).  Throughout these years of self discovery I've put into action,  love being more of a choice, an action, and not just a feeling. If I may be so bold and honest with myself, I feel God breathing life into me, showing me ways to love myself, and to speak out for what is right, and to love my family through intentionality, patience and service. 
Throughout my experience of living the "Army Life" as an army wife, I have found that there is first, what the Army tells us what to do and where to go. Second,  there is what we personally make of where we are and what we do; and third, there is what God reveals to us during the in-between and the after we have left. A beautiful friend once told me, "We are given these tests throughout our lives in order to share our amazing testimony with others" and "We were born to stand out and not fit in." I see these both strong truths throughout my life; hence, my excitement to see what others tests we will face throughout these remaining years of living the Army Life. 

I will end this with the empowering words of St Paul, his letters have gotten me through the best and worst of times, and I hope they will help you on your journey as well, "Do not worry about anything; instead pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. If you do this, you will experience God's peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus." 
(Philippians 4:6-7)   

***Disclosure: I walk my life with Jesus, I do not discriminate anyone who does not walk this same path, in fact some of these people are my best friends. I welcome all sorts of  people into my family of faith, no matter how you address God, it is those people that differ from my walk that help me both, acknowledge my ignorance and strengthen my confidence in my own personal beliefs. You are the people that help me learn and love more deeply. So I thank you for feeling comfortable to speak your mind and also for opening your own tender hearts to hear and encourage me to speak mine.   

#truth, We are all experts in our own opinion. In my opinion, there is no good reason to try and push your opinion onto others in order to persuade them to view the world as you do; this is a personal journey, and the only thing you will accomplish by doing this is to force the ones you love to change the way they feel about you.  -Justine

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Year 30 Life goal... start a blog...wish me luck.

"Dreams without goals are just dreams."
-Denzel Washington

Most dreams come by night which are then washed away by the morning sunrise. If you want to be inspired you need to not only have that dream, that "good idea" but then formulate a plan... the only way you can start your plan is to first have a goal in mind. A finish line. 

I have always aspired to be a writer. I love the art of writing down my thoughts, ideas, as well as sharing it out loud with others. The problem with sharing in person, is that sometimes the meanings and points of the story is lost in translation, our tone, our body language and or how you may personally feel about the person speaking. However, with the written word there is proof and record of what's been said. (the written word can also come back to haunt you... I certainly hope to not do that here.)   My point being is you can always find truth within your dreams and thoughts if you first write them down. 

With this blog I'd like start my plan... a plan to reach my dream of becoming a writer. Maybe I won't write a book, but at least I can reach my ultimate goal of inspiring an audience with my thoughts and other points of interest. 

I feel that in starting this new journey of my life, in which I am calling, "Year 30", I feel that it is both necessary and important to end on the words of St Paul in Philippians chapter 4, 8-9: 

"And now, dear brothers and sisters, let me say one more thing as I close this letter. Fix your thoughts on what is true and honorable and right. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Keep putting into practice all you learned from me and heard from me and saw me doing, and the God of peace will be with you." 

I have enjoyed our first coffee date, thanks for stopping by. :) 

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