\It is such a beautiful Wednesday. The weather is a cool 70 degrees, a little overcast and just wonderful. My husband is on a rare business trip, so I am trying to keep myself busy while he's away. We always travel together, so it's been kind of a weird week. Our new neighbors have become good friends of ours and I've been spending time with them, celebrating new jobs and cooler weather. Yesterday morning we walked three miles and this morning we got in another two. Later I am headed to a Fall festival and may catch up with another friend over dessert. So it's been good to get a lot of girl time in.
With me & me Mr. Charming starting our strict fertility diet again when he gets home, it feels good to be getting in some cardio along with the yoga I've been doing. It also helps me sleep better when I'm totally worn out. Aside from working out I've also been cooking some yummy meals for myself. Last night I cooked a huge batch of my Sweet Potato & Broccoli soup to have leftovers for days and today's lunch was a veggie packed pasta dish with a cold glass of blueberry juice because we are cutting out grains again as we move forward with a new fertility path.
Even though it's hard to miss your spouse while they're away, I love being able to celebrate his accomplishments. One of the reasons why we've always worked so well together is that we are both go-getters. Very goal oriented in all areas of our lives. And we both know who we are and exercise our independent paths while working as one. When we have a dream, passion or purpose we work hard at it. Never holding each other back. I believe that's crucial in marriage, letting the other person be uniquely who they are and who God made them to be. When we were first together and totally falling in love, music took me away for a month. It was supposed to be six long months in Europe, but it worked out in our favor that I just did a month in the Caribbean and got to come home. And he supported me. Through every 3,000 a mile away phone call, email and in every dream I've chased since.
In return, I love showing him how I appreciate him. And I take so much joy in it. Whether it's simply caring for our home while he's working, cooking healthy meals for us, planning getaways or buying him special gifts, it's important to make your spouse a priority, always.
When Mr. Charming started his new position, I wanted to gift him with something that he could take with him. Something that kept him connected with God and with me while traveling and at the office. The designer of Knox Thomas Designs helped me to create something really special for him. He usually uses the general plastic collar stays, but I wanted him to have something nicer that he could use that reminded him of God's message for how we should work, and a note to let him know I love him. With us moving up in our careers, something that is such a blessing, it's important for us to always remember from Whom it all comes and to stay grounded in His purpose for us. Remembering it isn't about our position, our growth, our worth, our success, but about His purpose, His Kingdom, His glory.
Colossians 3:23 ||Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters,
I would love to hear the special ways that you appreciate and support your spouse.
It's not just the holidays and anniversaries when it's important to show our love. It's in the every day, the random days and the little moments where it matters most.
One of the ten characteristics of being a Proverbs 31 wife points to health.
Health – A Virtuous Woman cares for her body. She prepares healthy food for her family. (Proverbs 31: 14 – 15, Proverbs 31: 17, 1 Corinthians 6: 19, Genesis 1: 29, Daniel 1, Leviticus 11)
Today, after Mr. Charming and I wrapped two extremely productive but crazy workdays, I went to the kitchen to see what I could prepare for dinner. Excited to kick back and enjoy the evening after staring at a computer screen for what felt like 24 hours, my poor husband walked in from work totally sick. I am thankful, not for his illness, but for the fact this is one of two times he's been sick in almost three years.
We use to catch EV-ER-Y-THING when we were eating the Standard American Diet, but since going primarily Paleo and upping our vitamin, probiotic and fruit and veggie intake our immune system has gotten a much needed boost.
We came to find out that many of those who attended a party we hosted this weekend were sick and he couldn't escape the bug.
So I popped back into the kitchen with a new goal in mind: Healing.
While I always aim for nutritious, when one of us is battling the ills, I always like to find things that are rich, green and full of vitamins. I opted for a large pan of roasted asparagus drizzled in a little olive oil and plenty of minced garlic for its anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties. I had already planned to cook turkey tonight, so I added onions and red & yellow bell pepper for vitamins & of course - more garlic. Normally I cut out grains when fighting germs to let the gut heal, but since he has to take medication this time around, I wanted sustenance in his stomach, so I made some organic brown rice pasta tossed in a healing both broth for flavor.
I served all this up with plenty of fluids & a refreshing bowl of cubed watermelon for dessert. Cool on his sore throat and detoxifying for the kidneys.
What are your go to dinners when you're fighting something? And how do you show your husband and family 'health' as it pertains to Proverbs 31?
There are people. People who come into your life. People you never expect to be lifelong loves. Lifelong friends. People who move your soul. People who rock your core. People who challenge you. People who hold you. The few that you take your walk with through this wonderful and beautiful journey.
My thirties have become such a beautiful chapter thus far. The clarity of relationships, finding my purpose and the purpose of my challenges comes into focus a little clearer. So much to learn still, but so many lessons behind me that help me to appreciate the people that God blesses me with.
Today has been so special in so many ways. I remember, not long ago, Easter was a holiday where we dressed up for church. Hunted for eggs. Ate chocolate. Had a picnic. Prayed a little. And that was it. But, since my heart, soul, mind and whole being decided to follow my Lord and Savior for all my days, Easter has become this amazing, bittersweet, time in my life where I just can't fathom what He did for me. For you. For all of us. Today is Good Friday. And today, He took up the cross to die for our sins. Thousands of years ago, before I ever existed to anyone but Him, He died for me. So that I could live. And it makes me weep. Tears for Him for the pain He endured, tears for the miracle, and tears of joy for gratitude for his love.
Tonight we hosted dinner for some of our dearest friends visiting from Omaha, which is far too far away for my liking, but such is life. My friend Karly & I have known each other for YEARS. Since I was a teen, just getting into music. (You'll know her from her guest blogs where she gives all the amazing healthy mama & kiddo tips) Through years of friendship online, we finally met and became closer. She was going to ASU for PR, and I was working on my demo. After signing with my record label she actually became my publicist and the rest of it is pretty much history. Mr. Charming and I are Godparents to her first born son and I love that little dude more than anything. She went on to marry an amazing man, and for the first time tonight I got to meet her second baby.
Mr. Charming cooked up an AMAZING meatloaf, since we are still on Whole 30, and I fixed a salad and green beans to accompany it. We sat and talked for hours and hours and my heart is full from getting to see and celebrate with our lovely friends.
And continuing my Proverbs 31 series, this month has filled me with so much joy when it comes to homemaking for all the visits God has blessed us with. Proverbs 31 states;
A Virtuous Woman is a homemaker. She creates an inviting atmosphere of warmth and love for her family and guests. She uses hospitality to minister to those around her.
As we continue Holy Week, I'm reflecting on the amazing love we all have access to. If we just open up our hearts to opportunities to truly love & be loved back. For exactly who we are. It's rare to find such people in this busy, crazy world we live in. But it's there.
lady boss - 1 wife - 0
This idea of "doing it all" can be damn hard sometimes. Am I right ladies? My whole life I dreamed that one day I would be the ideal wife. The Proverbs 31 wife we all strive to be. Cooking all the meals, taking care of the house and the future littles. Sweeping & singing, cooking & cleaning and all the while caring for my husband and going above and beyond like I did when we first started dating.
But that's not the only dream I had. I also dreamed of living my dreams. The one's God designed just for me. Touring the world with my music. Running a successful business. Writing anything and everything I could get my little creative hands on. And making designated time for Mr. Charming and I to entertain and spend time with the people we care most about outside of just the two of us.
But somedays, ok, most days, doing both is just. Really hard. I like to think I'm pretty good with time management. On good days I start the day in prayer and focused, taking quiet time with God to set my intentions for the day. Then, I make my lists and my schedule. But then there are the days when the motivation lacks, the jobs take longer to complete, new meetings are scheduled, or the puppy rolls in mud requiring a 20 minute bath before dinner, and the schedule gets 1, 2 or even four hours behind.
I say this because today I've taken on a large freelance client, three social media clients, and had a two-hour lunch meeting and when I got home around 3:30, I realized the dinner we are supposed to eat at 7pm was never put in the crock pot. In fact, it's still in the freezer. Meaning that the dinner menus I so proudly made on Sunday with each meal meticulously planned will be off by a day and tonight we will probably end up eating leftovers. Or a salad. Or gluten-free cereal. Which is why today's score flashed like this in mind, the way a sports scoreboard lights up when team A makes its first point against Team B.
But you know what? That's ok. Because I have God's grace & my husbands loving grace that he extends to me everyday. It humbles one to know that perfection isn't the goal. I have to say that one more time because I was able to finally let that go a few years ago...
Perfection isn't the goal.
The goal is balance. And on some days the scale may tip further one way, but I can rest in the fact that no matter which way it tips, I know I am doing it for the good of my family. Whether its serving up a stew from the crockpot, or booking a job that helps pay for the stew. Whether I am sorting the laundry, or writing this blog, I am doing so with God first and foremost in my heart, and my husband and our family in a very close second.
And, that, that evens the score every time.
The balance is found in forgiving yourself. Knowing that while there are some days that we feel like superwoman, closing the deal, returning the calls, making the meals, picking up the house and having time for a hot bath and a date night, there are other days when our biggest accomplishment may be taking a nap. Finding five minutes for prayer. Or simply just giving your husband a hug and telling him you appreciate his support on your journey. Just continue to get up, dress up and show up, always leaning on God's understanding before your own.
Melissa at A Virtuous Woman posted this lovely list of what it means to be a Proverbs 31 wife. I strive to live this way for my husband and take care of my home, my body and my loved ones the way God intended. I had to include this into Nosh & Nurture because it is He that nurtures us, His children. I pray everyday that I, in return, can love the way He does.
1. Faith - A Virtuous Woman serves God with all of her heart, mind, and soul. She seeks His will for her life and follows His ways. (Proverbs 31: 26, Proverbs 31: 29 – 31, Matthew 22: 37, John 14: 15, Psalm 119: 15
2. Marriage – A Virtuous Woman respects her husband. She does him good all the days of her life. She is trustworthy and a helpmeet. (Proverbs 31: 11- 12, Proverbs 31: 23, Proverbs 31: 28, 1 Peter 3, Ephesians 5, Genesis2: 18)
3. Mothering - A Virtuous Woman teaches her children the ways of her Father in heaven. She nurtures her children with the love of Christ, disciplines them with care and wisdom, and trains them in the way they should go. (Proverbs 31: 28, Proverbs 31: 26, Proverbs 22: 6, Deuteronomy 6, Luke 18: 16)
4. Health – A Virtuous Woman cares for her body. She prepares healthy food for her family. (Proverbs 31: 14 – 15, Proverbs 31: 17, 1 Corinthians 6: 19, Genesis 1: 29, Daniel 1, Leviticus 11)
5. Service - A Virtuous Woman serves her husband, her family, her friends, and her neighbors with a gentle and loving spirit. She is charitable. (Proverbs 31: 12, Proverbs 31: 15, Proverbs 31: 20, 1 Corinthians 13: 13)
6. Finances - A Virtuous Woman seeks her husband’s approval before making purchases and spends money wisely. She is careful to purchase quality items which her family needs. (Proverbs 31: 14, Proverbs 31: 16, Proverbs 31: 18, 1 Timothy 6: 10, Ephesians 5: 23, Deuteronomy 14: 22, Numbers 18: 26)
7. Industry – A Virtuous Woman works willingly with her hands. She sings praises to God and does not grumble while completing her tasks. (Proverbs 31: 13, Proverbs 31: 16, Proverbs 31: 24, Proverbs 31: 31, Philippians 2: 14)
8. Homemaking – A Virtuous Woman is a homemaker. She creates an inviting atmosphere of warmth and love for her family and guests. She uses hospitality to minister to those around her. (Proverbs 31: 15, Proverbs 31: 20 – 22, Proverbs 31: 27, Titus 2: 5, 1 Peter 4: 9, Hebrews 13: 2)
9. Time - A Virtuous Woman uses her time wisely. She works diligently to complete her daily tasks. She does not spend time dwelling on those things that do not please the Lord. (Proverbs 31: 13, Proverbs 31: 19, Proverbs 31: 27, Ecclesiastes 3, Proverbs 16: 9, Philippians 4:8 )
10. Beauty – A Virtuous Woman is a woman of worth and beauty. She has the inner beauty that only comes from Christ. She uses her creativity and sense of style to create beauty in her life and the lives of her loved ones. (Proverbs 31: 10Proverbs 31: 21 – 22, Proverbs 31: 24 -25, Isaiah 61: 10, 1 Timothy 2: 9, 1 Peter 3: 1 – 6)
So, if you're familiar with the concept of being a Proverbs 31 woman/wife/mother, or have read my other posts in this series, you know I've set goals for being the best version of me that I can be, for God and for my husband and future children. I did a spotlight on faith a while back, and today, I want to talk a little about marriage.
Marriage – A Virtuous Woman respects her husband. She does him good all the days of her life. She is trustworthy and a helpmeet. (Proverbs 31: 11- 12, Proverbs 31: 23, Proverbs 31: 28, 1 Peter 3, Ephesians 5, Genesis2: 18)
I know this may sound odd, but from the time I was young I knew I wanted to be a great wife. Every little girl dreams about being a bride, and having a wedding, and of course, I did too (I mean I am the girliest of the girlie girls) but I also knew I wanted to be a great wife. Not simply a wife, but one that would love her husband with all that she is. And that's how I love Mr. Charming. I love him with all that I am, and this Proverbs 31 piece makes my heart glow. I love love. I love seeing couples who truly respect one another. A lot of people in our lives comment on our relationship, and it's humbling.
So much of society today loves drama. People love to hear people talk down about others, friends, family members, and spouses and I just think that is so toxic to marriages. One thing I always do is talk about Mr. Charming in positive, love-affirming ways. Though he makes it easy, I think that even in times of struggle, couples should continue to talk up the positives of the person they vowed to love no matter what.
I have put together a list of things that Mr. Charming and I do that speaks to being in a Christian, God-filled, Proverbs 31 marriage.
1. We are each others priority. God is always #1, and Mr. Charming is always before anything else, and I his. Before work, before friends, before hobbies, he is at the top of the list. This doesn't mean we don't work hard, have social lives, time alone with friends, or hobbies of our own, it just means that our marriage comes first and we wouldn't let those things come in the way, or threaten, our marriage.
2. We are best friends. Mr. Charming and I are so alike, it's been an easy match from the beginning. I'm not saying opposites can't attract one another, and that people who are different can't be as close, but for us, it's our similar life goals, hobbies and loves in life that make the adventure that much better.
3. Genuinely care about the other person, in all circumstances. Mr. Charming and I have been together 8 years and I still want to know how his day was. It's not just empty words. When he comes home from work, I've missed him, and I stop what I'm doing to greet him romantically, whether it be a kiss, or a hug, or dinner, and I ask him how his day was. He's my favorite person to tell all my stories to, big or small, and I always want to be that person for him.
4. Communication. This one is crucial. Mr. Charming and I make it a must that we talk about anything we are going through. I will be completely honest and say this one is a tough one for me. I grew up hating confrontation, (I still don't really care for it, haha) I've suffered from anxiety growing up (although God is helping me through this!) and I've struggled with fear of rejection, so broaching hard topics, or asking for things that may not go my way, has been hard. Mr. Charming is wonderfully patient, and knows sometimes it takes me a while to speak, though I try my hardest. The important part is we eventually ALWAYS talk through things big and small. This keeps things from festering and becoming big problems or causing an unnecessary fight, when it could have been something so simple.
5. Be honest, always. Mr. Charming knows me better than I think I even know myself sometimes. Which makes #4 a little easier, haha, but he is still not a mind reader. I think a lot of spouses expect the other to be a mind-reader in certain situations, which again can lead to messy, unnecessary arguments. And even though there isn't much he doesn't know about me, if there is ever a question or topic that comes up, I will always tell him the truth. This also covers the part of the verse that speaks on trustworthiness. My heart and eyes are focused on my husband, always. I took my vows very seriously that day and will strive everyday to hold myself accountable for those.
6. Remember what made you fall in love. This one is a big topic of conversation with my girlfriends regularly. Some think its odd that Mr. Charming and I still act like we're dating sometimes. Some think its cute. Some I think it bothers, but "courting" my husband is something that I believe is vitally important to keeping a marriage fun. We have been together for 8 years, married for 3, and we still make time for date nights, for big vacations, and for nights away. I still cook him special meals. He still brings me flowers randomly. It's these little things that show that we don't take each other for granted. That we will still go out of our way to say "I'm thinking about you" or "I love you." If he or she the most important person in your life, why would you stop acting as such?
7. Be helpful. Last but not least, touching on the verse, "she is a helpmeet." In today's culture women are working just as hard as men. Up until recently I was working two full time jobs, and Mr. Charming works a demanding full time position in the medical field and goes to school. Though, I wholeheartedly adore my role as "wife", (see #1), and love making our house a home for him. Yes, I've had a couple little breakdowns working out how to balance and juggle all of that, but at the end of the day I hope that I have been helpful to him in making his home life happy, relaxing and enjoyable after a long day of work.
Just remember to always keep God at the center, put love first, and stay respectful and honest while being yourself. If you have those key elements at the center, everything else will fall into place! Many blessings for a happy marriage! Feel free to share your marriage tips or date night ideas in the comments!
And check out my other posts in the Proverbs 31 Spotlight Series: