Marriage: The Creation

30 June 2013

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth – on the sixth day he created the animals, he created man and he created woman. More than just creating a man and a woman that day God created a union called marriage. In case you missed it and you believe that Adam and Eve did not have an actual wedding let’s look at those verses in Genesis chapter 2.

21 So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep. While the man slept, the Lord God took out one of the man’s ribs and closed up the opening. 22 Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib, and he brought her to the man.

23 At last!” the man exclaimed.
“This one is bone from my bone,
    and flesh from my flesh!       
She will be called ‘woman,’
    because she was taken from ‘man.’”

24 This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.

In verse 22 God brings Eve to Adam, symbolically walking her down the aisle. As her Father he is giving her to Adam in marriage. In verse 23 Adam sees Eve for the first time and is clearly overwhelmed by her existence and possibly her beauty, so he exclaims “at last” and proceeds to say his vows. In verse 24 we see that the wedding is concluded, Adam and Eve are now joined as husband and wife.

So there you have it, the first wedding ordained by God – one man, one woman joined in marriage.

God designed marriage because he declared that it was not good for man to be alone (Genesis 2:18). He saw that Adam was alone, and unlike all his other creations Adam had no counterpart. When God created Eve he decided to take the rib from Adam’s side to show that Eve would be equal to Adam – yet different. Man and Woman are both designed by God in his image, while we are made to be equally valuable we are still equally different. God created man to be the head of a marriage to protect and shield his wife – to care for her. Woman was created to be man’s helper – not just in household duties but to help man reach his potential and understand his purpose. Even though it is said that woman is the weaker of the two sexes our weakness exudes beauty – because a man can value his wife for all the characteristics that God has given exclusively to her (1 Peter 3:7).

God knew that we would have needs so he created spouses to help in fulfilling those needs, but our spouse cannot do everything. Like God is a trinity (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) so are humans, we exist in mind body and soul. All three parts of us have needs – our body, sexual needs to be fulfilled by our spouse, our soul needs a soul mate also to be fulfilled by our spouse – but our mind/spirit needs God. Spouses are made to be good for us but not God to us. Even though our spouses compliment us, bring us joy, and make us happy they cannot satisfy our every need. We cannot expect our spouses to satisfy us to the point of wholeness – only God can do that (Psalm 90:14). In order to be whole and have our spiritual needs fulfilled we need to pursue God and have a relationship with him exclusive to marriage.

Marriage is designed to be fun and lasting, it was meant to bring us great joy. In marriage we are called to mutually submit and love one another out of reverence for God (Ephesians 5:21). Mutual submission is needed to bring on a deeper intimacy in marriage that will strengthen the bond. While some marriages do experience pain God’s idea is that the bond between husband and wife would be so strong that nothing but death could break it. We know that in this world people divorce and sever their marital bonds but that was not in God’s plan.

God‘s plan for marriage is a man and woman, united together in Holy Matrimony – serving him while living and weathering life together until they part ways in death. It is a holy and unbreakable covenant to God and to each other.  A happy marriage begins with two people that are satisfied and complete in God. We should challenge ourselves to live out God’s plan for our marriage – to focus less on the wedding day and more making marriage work.

With God at the center his plan for marriage can still be accomplished in this world.

This post was originally featured on : Blog By Christian Women

Be sure to check out the previous installment to this series – Singleness: The Gift

I hope you will join me for the next installment in this series posting next week  Marriage: The Calling.

"A lover of country music (love it like a religion), an elementary school teacher, a semi-math nerd, and a BIG fan of: summer, jeans, and tans." 
Read more from Sharlee's blog:

Blog How To's!

28 June 2013

I am in no way a blog authority but I pride myself in being resourceful. I am resourceful enough to find people that are even more resourceful. Ha. I like doing things myself and I like sprucing up my blog to make it look better, but I can't take credit for the small changes you see happening on this blog. So if you desire to make some quick cosmetic fixes to your blog here are a few of my favorite tips for doing that.

1. Have you grown tired of your seeing powered by blogger at the bottom of your blog? Check out Meg's cure for this blog ailment.

2. Are you in need of a snazzy button for your blog? Well Rekita can give you all the details on how to do that and I promise you it was super easy. Rekita also has other nifty tips on her blog outlined here.

3. Have you ever wanted to put a clickable link in your reply to someone else's blog post? Well with this tip from Rebecca you can do just that.

4. Are you interested in having your own set of social media icons? Check out Carrie's post, she offers tons of social media icons in different colors to help you jazz up your space.....for FREE! 

5. Would you like to add a pin it button to the photos on your blog? Visit Kevin & Amanda's blog for a how to on that.

Bonus Tip: Do you want to stay abreast on your favorite blogs but have no idea how to switch the blogs you read from Google reader to bloglovin? Well there is a quick cure for that here? Google Reader will be shutting down after this weekend. So be sure to follow me on Bloglovin if you have not done so already. I have a handy little link below my signature.

Do you have any favorite tips for sprucing up your blog? If so share them with me in the comments below.

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Cinnamon Rolls

26 June 2013

Today I was supposed to be sharing another recipe with you all but this recipe was highly requested and I figured I would share it now instead of in two weeks time. 
So there is a story behind these cinnamon rolls. My husband loves cinnamon rolls and any time we go to a bakery, Panera bread, or the grocery store he always tries to get some. As most of you know I am embarking on trying to live more simply and trying to become more frugal. So as he continued to purchase cinnamon rolls I secretly added up the cost. A single cinnamon roll at Panera Bread was $2.69 each, and a 5 count can of cinnamon rolls from Whole Foods is $3.99. In one month while he was with me he bought 3 cans of cinnamon rolls and 4 single rolls from Panera bread - totaling up to $22.66 without tax. That's too much to spend on cinnamon rolls. I mean they are good but not good enough to spend nearly $25 bucks on.

 After searching the web I compiled two recipes to adapt my own from, here and here. I combined them and  "veganized" them - in the recipe below when I say butter I mean vegan earth balance butter, milk is almond milk and cream cheese is tofutti cream cheese. I will experiment next time with using a coconut milk because I know fatter milks make the dough softer. It cost me only the price of flour to make these cinnamon rolls which was $4 for 16 rolls because I had everything else in the house already. 

I also have to tell you that even though this recipe looks really complicated its not. Most of the time is spent waiting and waiting for the dough to rise. So if you really want to boast about your baking prowess follow the detailed instructions below and try it out for yourself. I promise you will not be disappointed.

So lets get to it.
 Cinnamon Rolls

What you'll Need...

¼ tsp of Dry Yeast
¾ cup of Milk
¼ cup of Granulated Sugar
¼ cup of Water
¼ tsp of Vanilla Extract
1 Egg (Replacer)
1 tsp of Salt
¼ cup of Butter, melted
4 cups of All Purpose Flour
¼ cup of Melted Butter, to brush over the top before baking

1/3 cup of Butter
½ Tbsp of Ground Cinnamon
¾ cup of Brown Sugar
¼ cup of Granulated Sugar

6 oz cup of Cream Cheese
2 cups of Powdered Sugar
1 tsp of Vanilla Extract
½ cup Butter

What You'll Do...

In a bowl pour 115 degree warm water over your yeast and sugar. Allow yeast to bubble for 5 minutes. Do not skip this step its very important for your dough to rise properly.
To make the dough mix the egg (egg replacer), milk, remaining sugar, butter and salt. Add your flour to the mixture 1-2 cups at a time. Before adding your last cup of flour add the yeast you mixed previously and the vanilla. Then add your last cup of flour and mix on low. You need to knead the dough for 6 minutes. I did this in a stand mixer on 2 speed.
While the dough is kneading oil a metal or glass bowl. You will use this to allow the dough to rise. When you take the dough out of the mixer it may be a little tacky but form it into a ball with your hands and put it in the oiled bowl. Roll the dough in the boil so both the top and bottom of the dough is covered with a little oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow the dough to rise for 120 minutes somewhere warm. I used my oven.
For the filling mix the brown sugar, granulated sugar, and cinnamon together. 
After your dough has risen it should be about double the size it was before. On a floured surface punch the dough down and then roll it out into a 9X15 rectangle. Once you have it flattened spread your room temperature butter over it. Then sprinkle your cinnamon sugar mixture over the top until its covered. Now starting from one end of the longest side roll tightly to form a log. Cut evenly into 16 rolls and place into a buttered 9X13 baking dish. Cover the rolls again and allow them to rise for 90 minutes in a warm place.
Preheat your oven to 350 degree when the rolls have about 10 minutes to rise.
When they have risen again brush them with softened butter and baked for 25-30 minutes. My hubby likes his a little gooey so we did less time.

As the rolls bake for the last 10 minutes mix your frosting. To mix your frosting sift in the powdered sugar so its not lumpy and add in all the other ingredients without the milk. Add in the milk slowly until you get a glaze that spreads easy. You do not want it too runny as it will melt when put on the cinnamon rolls. Cool the rolls for about 5-7 minutes, glaze and enjoy.

MWIP 06.24.13

25 June 2013

Here is my week in pictures. I still haven't been out much but I have been baking up a storm. Promise to get some more interesting stuff in the next up coming post. But for now I have been doing a lot of baking because I am working on a personal cooking book. Maybe if it works out well I will sell it to the world.

Decided to have an indoor BBQ for my hubby but I didn't have any buns, so I whipped some up myself it took less than an hour. These were vegan and the best buns I ever had.

I also had the hubby doing some handy work around our apartment. I have had this kitchen wall decor for a year plus. Now that its on the wall I think it needs some interesting paint maybe in orange.

And lastly my luck has improved since writing this blog. I won the chance to experience Kidecals. They make decals and stickers for just about anything. Thanks for the chance to win Meg.

What was your week like?

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Five Faves: Blogs, Vlogs, & Things

24 June 2013

While I was recovering I took some time to indulge in a few of the things I really like. I love reading and while I have not gotten deeper in my book I have been reading new blogs, watching new vlogs, and just doing a bunch of stuff to make recovering fun. I have listed five of my favorites from each category for you below, maybe you'll find we have some things in common.

Favorite New Blogs

 I thoroughly enjoy this blog for photos and vegan recipes. Bonnie is a sweetheart and very inspiring. She and her husband live the simple life in California, Bonnie designs and makes wonderful recipes. They are also expecting their first baby in a few months. Bonnie also gives out desktop and cellphone wallpaper calenders every month and they are super cute. Can't you see the beauty oozing from her?

This family is living off the grid, they have their own farm and make their own cheese.  Camille the mama of the blog is actually wanting to learn how to make her own tofu and I can't wait until she does. She also bakes in her BBQ grill. If you'd love a look into the farm life check them out.

 I love this blog specifically because its photography and food oriented - those are two of my favorite things. Meg also shares many tips on how to spruce up your blog space and she designs blogs.

 Not a new blog but always a new adventure with this family. They love Christ and are always trying to figure out ways to help their children grow the same love. Ashley is a photographer too and does lots of DIY project like a chicken coop, and garden beds all with her five children in tow.

 Drea's journey is an incredible one, a must read. She is also a vegan and a small business owner that I cannot wait to support. Drea shares her travels, cooking, and family life via this blog. She also lives in Florida a little ways away from where I moved, so I am reading her blog from her very first post - we are already friends in my head.

 Favorite Vlogs

Chase GodTV - a mans perspective on his walk with Jesus. Joe is hilarious and very talented. He shares his faith and makes all his content relevant to his viewers in modern times.

Unveiled Wife - Jenn is a wife and mom who vlog's and blogs about just being a wife who is seeking after God and striving to love her husband they way God requires. 

It'sJudy'sLife - a family vlog. This family vlogs everyday just sharing their lives with us. Judy and Benji share healthy eating tips, makeup tips, and how they raise their sweet baby girl.

LefloofTv - also a family vlog. Insanely hilarious, and these folks live across the globe in Ireland. Their love for each other is so beautiful - if you do decide to check them out start from the beginning and watch as their love builds up.

DearNaptural85 - another family vlog. I just love watching how differently people live their lives from me. Whitney and her husband share their life as Felipe goes to school to be a nurse and Whitney is a hair guru and graphic designer.

Favorite Things

iPhone - "You know why!' if you have seen What happens in Vegas that quote should be relevant you.

Vitamix Blender - It's really helped me to claim my healthy eating all the way. I am making my own vegan everything in this blender. I also save tons of money because I am not buying frappucinos, smoothies, soups and sorbet like I used to. If you would like a full fledged review I'd be happy to do one later.

Stand Mixer - gosh this week I have baked three loaves of bread. All vegan of course. I am just so inspired to be baking all types of goodies for my family. Not inspired enough to start a business - but inspired enough to bake almost everyday and to make tubs of ice cream.

Nook Color - When I am actually reading this device is awesome. On the other hand I found it works out really well for watching Netflix in the kitchen when I am cooking. It also does wonders for listening to music and watching YouTube. If only they'd come up with a spotify app.

Cuppow - I talked about this little device before but it essentially turns any mason jar into an adult sized sippy cup. Ha! Seriously though I just love using my cuppow in and out of the home. I like traveling my drinks around in it knowing that its not leeching chemicals from the bottle.

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Singleness: A Gift

23 June 2013

That title may throw you off a bit but I assure you that if you stick with me this will all start to make more sense. There are many milestones that we look forward to as women - whether it is careers, marriage, or children. All of which help us feel as though we have a higher purpose. Sometimes these milestones can cloud our vision so much that we forget to experience the “now”. I can raise my hand on that one as I desire to be a mother and sometimes I catch myself allowing that desire to overtake the “now”. One of the many things we lose sight of when looking ahead is our singleness. Often times because of this oversight we fail to maximize our singleness or to see it as a gift. I say this as a woman married at the peak of my singleness, I can look back and see so many lost opportunities in my singleness because I did not see it as a gift.

Not only is singleness a gift, but it bares gifts – here are some of the gifts singleness brings:

The Gift of Development:

As the bible begins in Genesis it tells the story of how God created the heavens, the earth, and Adam. It later tells of how God did not feel man should be alone therefore he created Eve. One thing many people miss during all this creation is the moment that God shared with Adam and Eve before they ever laid eyes on each other. God was the first person they knew, first person they spoke to, and the first person to ever love them. Seriously, when God made Adam, Eve did not exist (Gen 2:7) – when God made Eve, Adam was unconscious (Gen 2:21). It was in this single moment that they had their first relationship, with God. Singleness allow us to develop relationships with God, family, and friends in different ways then when we are married.

A developed relationship with God enhances who we are as people and it helps us to gain identity. We learn that our identity is not tied to a husband but instead it is tied to God. As Christians before we are any other role in life we are first daughters of the King (John 1:12). In this newly found identity we can then allow God to develop us in ways that we are underdeveloped: we may be self serving, unkind, envious, impatient, angry, or proud. When we find our identity in God and remember that we were made in his image, the Holy Spirit helps us to make the needed change.

Along with developing in who we are in Christ we are also given the chance to develop in our expectations. During singleness we are able to develop and understand our material, emotional, and physical expectations before marriage. In Christianity we have to realize that our expectations are not always in God’s plans.

Through a healthy understanding of our expectations our faith in God grows. Sometimes as women we want so badly to see miracles in our lives but we lack the faith. We have to believe in the things that we do not see (Heb 11:1) and trust that God has a plan for our lives (Jer 29:11). His will is worked out for our good whether it is to be single or married, a mother or not, a housewife or a careered woman. We can rest assured that God will use us where we are called.

The Gift of Discipline:

Singleness is sometimes thought to be one of the most carefree times of our lives. While that is partially true because we have no obligation to a partner – we still have obligations to God. In our Singleness and even in Marriage it is important to remain pure. We are blessed for being pure in our hearts, minds, bodies and souls (Matt 5:8). Purity does not only pertain to ourselves – we must help others remain pure by being mindful of how we dress, speak, and the subtle messages we convey.  To remain pure we have to be aware of surrounding influences in the media, friendships and relationships that can either bring us closer or move us further from Christ.

While there is a large amount of freedom in singleness our choices still matter and we should still be accountable. Decisions that we make in our singleness can affect a future marriage. For example the choice to not remain pure in singleness can result in a child or even relationship baggage that can cause negative experiences in your marriage. I am not saying to be single as if you were already marriage to a future husband – but instead in singleness be married to Christ(2 Cor 11:2). Even if you have struggled in remaining pure remember that in Christ you are made anew - you can have a fresh start today. With the Holy Spirit’s help we can be disciplined to make good choices and to show accountability for the mistakes that we make.

The Gift of the Moment:

According to Paul singleness can be maximized by committing our time, energy, and special gifts into serving Christ (1 Cor 7:7). Oh what fun it would be to travel on a whim on mission trips in service to God without feeling sorry for leaving a spouse behind. There are so many opportunities for service in singleness to grow, learn, and experience.

Singleness is not a layover or a time of waiting. It is a season where God cultivates us for future work. Our experiences in singleness help us to be the people God created us to be whether as wives, mothers, doctors, teachers, or missionaries. It’s a season that is no less wonderful than marriage, it’s just different. Neither marriage or singleness are endpoints, instead they are both specks on the large map of our lives and we experience them for a reason.

Until God calls us to enter the covenant of marriage we should remember that we also have a covenant with him. We are to believe that every single moment in our lives is planned and not happenstance. With our focus and faith in God the plan for our life will be better than we could have imagined (Psalm 37:4).

What I will tell you is that marriage is a beautiful union. Its design is purely to teach the world about Christ and his love for us, the church. It’s a Holy union, and the first institution ordained by God. What I won’t tell you is that marriage is more important than singleness or vice versa. Both marriage and singleness can be hard – because they both call for us to be committed to God. Marriage has its purpose – and guess what? The purpose of marriage and of singleness is the same. That purpose is to glorify God and enjoy him forever.

So maximize your season, trust God and believe in his beautiful plan for your life – see your singleness as “the Gift”.

This post was originally featured on: Blogs By Christian Women

I hope you will join me for the next installment in this series posting next week  Marriage: The Creation. 

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Faithful Friday: The Truth

21 June 2013

So last week I missed posting for Faithful Friday all together. I was in my bed thinking of how I could inspire my readers, and then my husband brought me my medicine and I went to lalaland! So my apologies but thank you all for your patience with me and for your kind thoughts and prayers for my healing.

The week before I had to go to the ER I allowed my pain to build up. I knew that something was wrong, and I could feel the problem as it became worst and worst. My hope was that one day I would wake up and feel 100% better, but I didn't. I finally went to the doctor at the point where I could no longer handle the pain and the fix was simple, and after days of suffering I am feeling more like myself. I have been experiencing something similar in my spiritual life these days. In late April I noticed that I was not feeling the same connection that I once felt with God. That problem has been snowballing since my husband and I were unable to start our IVF process. Don't get me wrong I have pushed through it in prayer and in quiet time. But even in doing all that I still feel off kilter, I still feel a slight disconnect or a change in the connection that I had to God. 

My connection to him is not and never has been based on answered prayers. What I do know is that many times our human emotion can get in the way - and I refused to let that happen after getting bad news. So I threw myself into reading, praying, and studying and I did not take time to confront all that had transpired. So I am doing that now. The truth is I know that God is mighty and powerful and that his will always prevails. But I am disappointed in the journey that I am on, I am saddened by the fact that my husband and I have not conceived naturally in nearly 8 years of marriage. I am sad that our one hope of conceiving caused us to move 1300 miles from our home in Florida, only to discover later that there was another problem. I am angry with my doctors in Florida who didn't take me seriously because of my age and caused us to waste extreme amounts of money on procedures that they believed would not work. I am confused as to why my body is not working properly when I take good care of it. More than anything I am some what fearful of living a future and not being able to share the one thing with my husband that he desires most out side of God - children. 

My husband and I have gone through so much in our short marriage we have battled finances, disappointments, family problems, and now the biggest of them all - infertility. It's ugly, scary, heartbreaking, and lonely road to face. Absolutely no one in my family or my husband's have ever dealt with anything like this - so often times we feel completely isolated from everyone. I assumed that we would live a fairy tale - get married, move into a nice home, get a dog, and raise a few kids. The latter part of that has yet to happen. We still get so many questions about when we will start a family and or if we want kids, some people even say really hurtful things to us without realizing what we are going through. We have feelings but we also have our faith and we believe in God's plans.

I know God's will always prevails, but I need to face my emotions head on. And putting them out here in this blog world will help me do just that. Today I reaffirmed that in life we have to face many ugly things so that we can identify the beautiful ones. Something in life must die so that new things can be born, I still do not know what part of me is dying but I sure cannot wait to see which part lives. I refuse to let my emotions guide me but sweeping them under the rug does not work. I am telling God today that I am scared, worried, and disappointed with all that has transpired, it might sound ungrateful but it's the truth. God loves our honesty, and why not be transparent with the only one who knows my thoughts. I really don't know where we are headed on this journey, or where we will end up, but today I am declaring that my future is not in my own hands. I need to rest in God's promises and to stop trying so hard to do everything on my own, I'm tired and I am weary. The disconnect that I am feeling is the result of trying to do things in my own strength. There is nothing that I can do for myself because Jesus already did it all - he died in my place so my soul will live. Today I am resting in the Truth, God is faithful, trustworthy and loving - he has never failed me. I know that these bumps, and rough patches are apart of the journey and sometimes it takes a painful situations to make us change (Proverbs 20:30), so I am embracing that today.

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