Tuesday, June 23, 2009
I switched to tea, yall. All kinds of tea. Green tea, rooibos tea, herbal tea, and black tea (only if decaf). Tea has health benefits that soda does not - it is made from a natural plant and water after all.
This also helped me transition off caffeine. Did you know decaf black tea has about 3 mg of caffeine per cup whereas soda has about 37 per cup? Herbal teas have none. I was tired (sorry for the pun) of my energy level being tied to caffeine.
Honestly, I didn't feel real great for several days during my diet cola/caffeine detox but it wasn't that bad. (Just pray for help and take Tylenol or naps as needed.) I'm really glad I did it.
How this started for me was I saw a book at the start of the year called "The Ultimate Tea Diet." I flipped through it for an hour or so. I learned a lot about tea there and decided to make the switch from cola (I didn't do the tea diet plan). I bought a pretty glass pitcher at World Market and started keeping it in the fridge filled with decaf cold-brewed Lipton tea, lightly sweetened. I got diet cola out of the house.
At restaurants I ordered water with lemon or iced tea instead of cola. I asked for decaf tea if possible and unsweetened if possible. Here in the south they put lots of sugar in tea!! It tastes yum but I knew all that sugar would make me want more sugar. And I wanted to get use to drinking something less sweet than my diet cola.
From there I branched out and tried different teas and sweeteners. Some I've liked, others I didn't - I send those boxes to work with my husband to put in the break room for anyone who wants them. Since you asked, here are some that I like:
If I want a healthy tasting brew, I make Celestial Seasoning's Decaf Green Tea. I like it best with no sweetener, which is a fact that still amazes me.
When I want a more dessert-tasting cup, I brew Celestial Seasoning's Bengal Spice. It's cinnamony good. I put the natural sweeter stevia in it.
Else I make Harvest Herb Company's Chocolate Chai rooibos or Caramel Apple rooibos. By the way, my husband makes caramel apple pancakes using some of this tea and thinly sliced apples.
If I need help unwinding at night, I brew Celestial Seasoning's Sleepy Time herbal tea. I put the natural sweetener Xylitol in it.
At our local tea room I discovered I love organic Kyoto Rose Cherry Festival green tea, and I can buy it there or order it online. It smells terrific and tastes a bit fruity. Meanwhile, I discovered I do not like blueberry or blackberry flavored teas.
Most Sundays at the coffee bar at my church I get a cup of hot water and brew China Mist's Simply Mint tea they have there, which I adore. It's good iced too. Fresh tasting, like gum.
Now I carry a tea bag packet and a sweetener packet in my purse - but not because tea rules me the way diet cola did. :) And when I want a change from teas, I opt for lemonade (I make it fresh with Splenda). I tried making fresh limeade but didn't care for that much.
I've since made additional changes in my diet for the better but I started with breaking my addiction to Diet Coke earlier this year. Oh, and I didn't gain weight as I'd feared. I actually lost a couple lbs. I now pretty much avoid colas and stuff with aspartame. The other day at a picnic I picked up a filled glass with what I thought was water and took a sip. It was actually Sprite and I couldn't believe how (overly) sweet it tasted. After a second sip I didn't want any more.
You might not like any of these tea flavors at all. I assure you, none of them taste like diet soda! But for me it was worth it to keep trying things until I found some I liked. And the best part is I no longer crave cola. Let me know if you try ditching the fizzy stuff and we can encourage each other in the comment section here. Also let me know if you've got any good tea recs for me!
Monday, June 22, 2009
It goes to the cross for you - to free you from sin.
This is the love your God has for you. Grab a hold of it today. It has the power to overcome. In fact, it is the most transformational force in the universe.
With unfailing love I have drawn you to myself."
Insert your name in place of "my people" and memorize this verse this week. When you grab hold of this Love, it changes you. Just like it did the psalmists:
From Jordan depths to Hermon heights, including Mount Mizar.
Chaos calls to chaos, to the tune of whitewater rapids.
Your breaking surf, your thundering breakers crash and crush me.
Then God promises to love me all day, sing songs all through the night!
My life is God's prayer.
Your love, God, is my song, and I'll sing it! I'm forever telling everyone how faithful you are.
I'll never quit telling the story of your love—how you built the cosmos and guaranteed everything in it.
Your love has always been our lives' foundation, your fidelity has been the roof over our world.
Are you looking for someone to sing over you? To unfailingly love you 24/7? To be your solid foundation? To faithfully protect you? Here He is. Your Prince. Your Deliverer.
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Sunday, June 14, 2009
“I am a bald, pudgy middle aged guy whose wife somehow makes me believe after nearly 30 years that I am the only man in the world. I had never thought of it before, but a great deal of my confidence and the success it has driven in my professional career is the desire and respect I get from her. I think you are on to something."
I hope he brings his wife some flowers next week, or surprises her with a nice dinner out this weekend!
Notice he mentioned his physical appearance, and the fact that he is no Paul Newman, or Brad Pitt, or Zac Effron (depending on your age). Yet that doesn’t ultimately matter to her. He wasn’t always bald or middle-aged, he was her beloved - the one who chose her from among the others to be his. And after nearly 30 years of life together, I image she chooses to still see that guy when she looks at him.
I think it's really important to remember why you said, "I do."
This week we'll be talking here about what the men in the research had to say about their wives' appearance. I know you're interested ...
Monday, June 8, 2009
If you missed part one of this series, check it out here or scroll down.
Again I want to start with this quote: "Of the men who cheated, 69% never thought it was even a possibility they would cheat on their wives." In other words, most of these men were in love with the woman they married and never planned to stray.
Let me also begin with the caveat that cheating is a sin - their sin, not their wives' sin. Nonetheless, I think it is helpful to hear what they had to say about going from a guy who never expected to cheat, to one who did.
Forty percent of the men cited sexual dissatisfaction as a reason for their infidelity - though only 8% said that was the main reason they cheated. When asked about the sexual dissatisfaction within their marriage that contributed to their choice to go elsewhere, they're responded like this:
- 48% said Sex with my wife was too infrequent.
- 26% said Sex with my wife was unsatisfying.
- 15% said My wife had significantly neglected her appearance.
- 11% said Other.
Maybe you looked at that "too infrequent" answer topping the list, and thought, "Uh huh, just as I suspected. He is insatiable!" But hang on Bessie, we'll get to that topic for sure. Let's start off looking at the other responses first.26% said sex with their wife was unsatisfying - which is kinda brutal to read, right? Are you wondering if your husband would describe sex with you as "unsatisfying?"
Now, I imagine some of these men may have developed unrealistic ideas about sex -from the media, bragging/lying friends, pornography, etc. That kind of thing can taint a perfectly good sex life. And I would not recommend a wife engage in deviant sexual behavior to please her husband.
But for others, I imagine their frustration was while their wives were tolerant about participating in sex, they weren't really interested. Continual lack of interest - even though it may just be that you are tired - weighs on him. He (like you I suspect) wants to feel desired.
In fact, Shauti Feldman's research with 1000 men revealed that when a husband feels rejected sexually, he not only feels his wife is rejecting him physically, but that she is somehow also rejecting him as a whole - a husband, provider and man. Illogical? Yes! However, as a woman, you know all too well that emotions and insecurities feel real whether they are logical or not.
The flip side of this, according to Jim Burns, is "when men feel their wives desire them sexually, it has a profound effect on the rest of their lives. It gives them an increasing sense of confidence and well-being that carries over into every other area of his life." As I read this I thought, "Wow, that is quite a gift a wife can give - and it benefits her ultimately too." ... not really something we should be totally indifferent about when we've pledged our life before God to be his help-meet. I'm just saying.
Maybe you're protesting, "But he doesn't make it fun for me, and it's hard to get real interested in it. There is no romance to it." I once heard a comedienne comment that she liked to talk during sex. She said she mostly said things like, "Beige ... I think I'll paint the ceiling beige." It was funny, and yet sad.
Chances are, he wants to help you with upping your interest but isn't sure how. Jim and Shaunti both reveal that most men want to romance you and sweep you off your feet but they feel inadequate to do so (they hate to feel inadequate by the way). Jim writes, "Men want to be romantic, but they just doubt their ability to pull it off. They are plagued by internal hesitations, perceiving the risk of humiliation and failure as too high." So maybe we can convince them that their risk of failure is not as high as they think?
And for a percentage of the 26%, I imagine their wives are just uncomfortable sexually. Maybe they really are "bad in bed" as the saying goes. They may feel uneasy, tentative, awkward, unsure of themselves or how to do this. But this is something that can be changed if she is willing to work on it - it's a learning curve. This is something the two can work on together even. There are many helpful books on the subject- look here to find some highly rated ones from Christian authors.
Or, some of these wives may be struggling after experiencing prior sexual abuse - which breaks my heart. The good news is there are churches and counselors available to help a gal sort this awful experience out.
Let me once again put this in perspective, the vast majority of these cheating husbands did not stray because sex with their wives wasn't thrilling. (Only 26% of the 40% of men who cited sexual dissatisfaction said this.) So I do NOT want you to read this and feel you must transform yourself into a Victoria's Secret vixen to keep your man (more on that later this week).
If you're up for discussing this - which means either you are brave, or know how to use the anonymous comment option :) - feel free to post a comment or question.
PS. If you're at the magazine rack, check out the article called "Vanilla Sex" in Best You magazine this month.
PSS. Is that not the coolest looking bed in the photo?!
Saturday, June 6, 2009
Tonight darling daughter was invited to an end-of-school-year party from 4:00 - 8:00 pm and then, surprisingly, a neighbor offered to have our son over and take him to the movies during that time. Which meant a 4 hour window for a spontaneous Saturday night date night! Rick and I were ecstatic.
We stopped in at a gourmet shop we go in from time to time and the owners there recommended a fabu French restaurant to us. Yes, it was a bit pricey. More expensive than we would have gone to on our own had we planned this date night, but we felt obligated to try the place they raved about. Oh, wow. I'm telling you, the food was soooo good I'm considering sending them a thank-you card.
Instead I thanked Rick for the yummy meal and the great conversations we had. Date night + French restaurant + laughter with Rick = super happy girl.
Off to tuck the kids in bed ~ catch y'all a little later.
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
Thank you for opening up about your experiences, and offering your heart-felt advice.
It was truly moving to read. And it made we want to forget my pet peeves, get over my irritations and drop my demanding expectations of them and just throw my arms around my husband and family and hold them close.
I want you to know that I got on my knees in the floor of my office yesterday and prayed for every single marriage represented in those comments and emails. Oh how I wish I could send every one of you the devotional book His Princess Bride: Love Letters from Your Prince. I'll respond to your emails as I can this week - there are a lot of them, and I don't have all the answers, but I will respond.
And I'll be back later with more of the research results from the survey of 25,000 men.
Hugs ~ Rachel
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
So, only 8% of the men strayed just for the sex. Meanwhile, a whopping 80% of cheating husbands said a lack of emotional fulfillment within their relationship with their wife contributed to their decision to stray. Don't miss this - they weren't just looking for sex or excitement elsewhere, they were looking for love ... admiration ... companionship ... appreciation.
Are you surprised?
I'll be back with more from this research by Thursday. Meanwhile, I'm looking forward to your reactions!
Monday, June 1, 2009
I spent my weekend moaning, trying to breathe, sleeping and blowing my nose. My nose is so sore ... I've literally rubbed the top layer of skin off my nostrils with Vick's scented tissues. Don't you hate it when that happens? Don't you hate it even more when people talk about it on their blog? Eww.
Then there was the moment on Saturday when I thought I had swine flu because I read there were 2 confirmed cases of it in my county. And I thought, "Surely chicken soup cannot help with pig flu, maybe I need to be eating bacon?" I was under the influence of decongestants you understand.
Anyway, shutting up now ... going to finalize a batch of devotions for P31. (If you notice any typos in the coming weeks' devotions, you can blame it on swine flu and Sudafed.) Perhaps I'll take yet another nap when I'm done with that. But I'll be back tomorrow with a post you seriously don't want to miss.