Monday, August 2, 2010

Marital Monday + Aug 2 Menu Plan

Marital Monday is when I usually share a silly, serious or sometimes thoughtful thing I've discovered during mine and Nathan's first year of marriage.  I haven't been that great at keeping up with these lately, but I hope to start this up again.

Throughout the first year of marriage (and even into our second), I'm learning a whole lot about controlling my reactions.  It almost makes me cringe just typing those three words.  Why is it sometimes always so hard to control our reactions? 

We're running late, and we react.  We had a bad day, and we react.  We burn supper, and we react.  Our spouse didn't do (fill in the blank) like they promised, and we react.  And, sadly, most of the time my reactions ain't pretty when things don't go as I had planned.

Nathan pointed this out to me not too long ago when something didn't go as I had planned, and I reacted.  I'll just leave it as such.  No need to get into the ugly details of said reaction.  Anyway, he called me out on it.  As a side note, that's one thing I love about our relationship--we call each other out on our "stuff."  In a nice way, of course.  This particular time, I reacted and Nathan looked at me pointedly and said, "You know Rachel . . . you are in control of your reactions.  You don't have to be controlled by them."

It was as if a light bulb went off, and I was standing face-to-face with something about myself that I didn't like at all.  I knew I had a problem controlling my reactions, and I was trying to "work on it" a little.  But, was it that obvious to Nathan that I didn't have control of this area in my life?  

So, that's when I began to live a little more self-controlled.  I prayed to be in more control of my reactions.  Whenever things didn't go my way, I mentally tried to calm myself down.  And if I felt myself about to say something ugly, I just shut my mouth.  It worked.  But only for a few days. 

Then I found myself faced with stuff that was just too hard.  Do you know what I mean?  Things like, we're asked to love someone unlovable, or help someone that doesn't deserve it.  Or, react in kindness to someone who treated us badly.  Things like this are tough, and too hard to live self controlled.  Our flesh is weak, and when we're asked to do things like this, we want to automatically say, "NO WAY!  That's just too hard."  And there goes our self-control . . .

That's when I realized it's not just about living self-controlled.  It's about living Spirit-controlled.  Don't get me wrong, having self-control is a good thing.  But what I'm talking about is when we're asked to do something that is just plain hard.

"Jesus looked at them and said, 'With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible'." -- Matthew 19:26

That's when God started showing me more about His Holy Spirit and how I need to rely on the Spirit more.  Relying on Him for guidance, for power and most certainly for controlling my reactions when it seems impossible.  This must have been what the author of John was referring to when he wrote, "He must become greater, I must become less."(John 3:30)  I'm also super-excited that the pastor of our new church is doing a sermon series this month on the Holy Spirit--it is especially timely for me, and I can't wait to hear/learn more about it.

I'm not saying I've mastered controlling my reactions since God has been showing me more about His Spirit, but I will say, since I've started relying on the Spirit more, that it's been a whole lot easier.  Living Spirit-led and Spirit-filled.  I want to make that my goal.  

Now that our leftovers are gone, our fridge is clean and my eye is much better, I'm happy to be jumping back into the kitchen this week! 

Don't forget to head over to I'm an Organizing Junkie for Menu Plan Monday.  Tons of great menu ideas are posted each week!

Monday: Sweet & Spicy Crockpot Chicken (we'll be taking the meat and wrapping it up in tortillas, Mexican style!)
Tuesday: Honey Mustard Chicken Pasta
Wednesday: Cashew Sweet & Sour Pork w/ Rice
Thursday: Leftover Night
Friday: Hamburgers from the Grill Master (aka Nathan)
Saturday: Italian Tuna Casserole (I'll post this recipe later--It's in my Rachael Ray cookbook)


  1. looks like you have some of your favorites on the menu this week :)

    thanks for also sharing what you've been learning and working on -- it's quite encouraging.

  2. Thanks for reminding me that it is God at work in me - I need to yield to it. Why do I think I have to do it- alone? He is willing and ready to help us when we call out to Him.

    Love you

  3. What a wonderful post :) Thank you for sharing and beautifully written! I think we all can use more self control! I am so proud of you, Rachel and the work you do.

  4. Great to meet you! :D I love your blog!
    So funny you talked about words. I just posted about how easy it is to speak before thinking and a verse to go along with it on Facebook.


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