Healthy Taco Tuesday

If you know me, then you know that I LOVE Mexican food.  We eat some version of Mexican or Southwest food 3 or more times a week.  Usually one of those days is at our favorite place near our house that has the best salsa and freshest Mexican food I have ever had.

I started eating clean and following the 21 Day  Fix meal plan back in January and have been sharing some of the recipes that I have found or created on this blog. But it has been over a month since I have shared anything!

Life had gotten away from me. I was spending too much time on things that are not as important in my life as the things that I was not spending enough time on. I was neglecting my priorities. So this blog took a back burner.

I have been working through a new Bible Study…well, actually, it’s not new, it is Priscilla Shirer’s first study– “He Speaks to Me.”  But it is new to me. It is all about how to hear when God is speaking to you and being open and ready to hear Him when he does speak.  It has been exactly what I needed. Life gets so stressful and we can let so many other things cloud our minds and take over our lives that we forget those things that are most important to us and we can’t even think, much less be open hear.

I have gotten back on track with prepping as many meals for the week as I can on Sunday afternoons so that I can have more quality time with my son and husband during the week.  I’m trying to be more focused on whatever I am actually doing, when I am doing it, rather than trying to do too many things at once and not doing any of them well.

One of the recipes that I cooked this week was recommended by my sister-in-law and I loved it so much that I wanted to share it with all of you too!

21 Day Fix Chicken Taquitos, original recipe found here
Ingredients:

  • 1.25 cup shredded chicken
  • 3/4 cup plain greek yogurt
  • 1 cup mexican shredded cheese
  • 1/3 cup salsa
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 8 corn tortillas
  • salt
  • oil/spray

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line baking sheet with parchment paper
  • In a pan over medium heat, combine shredded chicken, greek yogurt, salsa, Mexican cheese (and hilarious now that I’m reading this, I realize that I forgot the cheese, but it was still delicious!), cumin, garlic powder, and chili powder.  Cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally.

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  • Sprinkle the mixture with salt to your taste and set aside.
  • Place corn tortillas between wet paper towels and microwave 30-40 seconds.
  • Fill each tortilla with 2 tbsps of chicken mixture. Spread out on tortilla and roll up and place on baking sheet.
  • Once all the tortillas are filled, spray each of them with cooking spray or brush with oil
  • Bake taquitos for 12-15 minutes per side or until crisp and golden brown. (I did not flip mine because the tortillas were about to break apart, and they were still deliciously crispy when done).

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21 Day Fix Container: 2 Taquitos= 1 red, 1 yellow, 1 blue.

You can also top with avocado, more cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, salsa.

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I hope you try this recipe and enjoy on your next Taco Tuesday.

 

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Front Door Project

I have been trying to find something for my front door for a while now.  I attempted to make a wreath a few months ago and I did.  But it really wasn’t that cute.  I don’t love the toil fluffy wreaths.  I am not great at adding flowers wreaths without making it look like a 2 year old did it.  This weekend I decided to attempt to make something for the front door that is not a wreath.

So off to A.C. Moore I went.  I wandered up and down the aisles until I came across a cute little blank wooden sign that I figured I could do something with.  What? I wasn’t sure.  So then I grabbed some grey, antique white, and teal paint with no further plans.

After searching on Pinterest for a bit, I found a few pieces of inspiration.

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So then I set off to design my own sign.  While watching one of my all-time favorite shows- “Gilmore Girls.”

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Next step was to figure out my base color.  I started with the grey but it was too solid. So I decided to take a risk and went over it really softly and loosely with the antique white.

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Next was to try my hand at a pretty little daisy– which happens to be my favorite flower and free-handing a pretty little “A.”

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Next was trying to figure out if I should put more- like my full name, year we were married, etc.  After printing off some different fonts and cutting out my own stencils then tracing them. Finding the perfect placement was an interesting process that required approval from my husband and my son!

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Next it was time to paint.  This took a long time.  Including my sweet husband taking a trip to Dollar General for me to get some smaller paint brushes.

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And finally, so the finished product would last after being outside in the elements, a few coats of polyurethane, and it is done and ready to hang!

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I had so much fun!  I challenge you all to find something fun and easy to personalize your home!  And with the paint and the sign, this was a $10 project!!

 

 

My 3 Day Refresh Recap

If you follow me on Facebook, then you may know that I completed the Beachbody 3 Day Refresh on May 31-June 2.  I’m here today to tell you a little more about that experience.

I had several friends from work and from my coaching world who had completed the Refresh and were extremely happy with their results.  I was already curious about trying it and then Beachbody put it on sale!  What?!  About the same time, my sister-in-law was telling me that she wanted to try it.  We decided to do it together– knowing someone else is going through the same thing really makes you stick to it!

3 Day Refresh is a 3 day program of special shakes, snacks, and simple meals designed to help you lose weight and break the cycle of bad eating while helping you improve the way you feel.

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I had been on vacation and while I was still eating clean the majority of the time, I found myself eating a little more than I should and having a few too many treats.  I thought this would be the perfect way to reset my body and get me back on track and ready for continued progress with my 21 Day Fix meal plan and workouts.

I’m sure you have all heard about different clenses or juice fasts and wonder how Beachbody’s 3 Day Refresh is different.  Well here is an explanation direct from the source:

Unlike juice fasts or liquid cleanses that are high in sugar and low in protein (which can leave you feeling weak and sluggish), the 3-Day Refresh is scientifically designed to help support your metabolism while nourishing your vital organs.  Plus, you actually get to eat delicious, real food during this program.
Why Refresh?
  • You need a clean break from a period of unhealthy eating.
  • You used to eat pretty well but have recently fallen off the wagon and need some help getting back on.
  • You want to jump-start healthy eating habits for a new workout program.
  • You want to quickly lose a few pounds for an upcoming event.
  • You’ve never been a healthy eater, but are ready to kick-start better nutrition for the first time.
  • You want your clothes to fit better.
  • You want more energy.
  • You love food and want to be satisfied while you lose weight and get healthier.
  • You’ve tried liquid fasts or other fad diets and they simply don’t work.

Please remember that I am NOT a doctor, nutritionist and nothing I am saying or sharing from Beachbody’s website is intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease!

Now are you ready for my experience??

You can get the 3 Day Refresh with our without Shakeology.  Since I already drink Shakeology on a daily basis, I purchases the pack without Shakeology.  The package comes with:

  • 6 packets of Vanilla Fresh (high-protein shake)
  • 3 packets of Fiber Sweet (digestive drink)
  • 1 Program Guide

The eating plan for the 3 days is extremely simple, but it is crucial that you follow it exactly.  You are on a low calorie diet for those 3 days so you need to space the meals out evenly.

  • Wake up: 8-10 ounces of Water
  • Breakfast: Shakeology and a serving of fruit
    • The first day I had my fruit in my blended Shakeology. But for the second two days, I opted to have it plain so I could eat my fruit and slow that meal down some
  • Morning Tea: 1 cup unsweetened herbal or green tea (I opted for green tea and sweetened with stevia- which is allowed)
  • Late morning: Fiber Sweep.  Now let me tell you.  This is not very good. It just isn’t.  Does the name sound like it would be?  No!  But when you remember that you are only doing this for 3 days and that it is supposed to reset your body and your digestion, you realize you can take one for the team.  It has a really nice, refreshing lemon aroma and flavor which makes it nice.  You mix this with 8 ounces of water and drink IMMEDIATELY.  Read that- immediately.  It thickens as it sits so it is important to drink right away.  I just chugged it in less than a minute and it was over and done with!  I did read somewhere that someone suggested you blend it with ice to make a shake but I just felt that chugging it and getting it done was better.

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  • Lunch: Vanilla Fresh shake plus 1 serving of fruit, 1 serving of vegetables and 1 healthy fat serving.  The program guide tells you exactly what fruits, vegetables and healthy fats to choose from and the specific amounts.  The first day I just considered the little olive oil on my broccoli to be my healthy fat but when I was super hungry later, I realized that I probably should have had something else. So for the next two days, I had almond butter with my fruit.  The Vanilla Fresh shake is really delicious!  It is a different formulation than Shakeology but it has a really nice vanilla flavor and fills you up!

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  • Afternoon Snack: 1 vegetable serving and 1 healthy fat option.  Each day I had cucumbers with hummus.  If you haven’t tried hummus before- you should, it is delicious!!
  • Afternoon tea: 1 cup of unsweetened herbal tea (I didn’t have the afternoon and evening tea)
  • Dinner: Vanilla Fresh shake and 1 Dinner Recipe servings.  The dinner recipes include things like a salad with lemon and olive oil drizzle, stir fry vegetables, asparagus and slivered almonds.  You may also have 1 cup of organic vegetable broth.
  • Evening Tea: 1 cup of unsweetened herbal tea

Throughout the day you need to be drinking a ton of water- half of your body weight in ounces of water on top of the water you are having in your shakes and teas.

Only light exercise is recommended during the 3 days since you are on a reduced calorie diet.  On day 1, I did yoga as soon as I woke up.  By the end of the day, I was pretty hungry and went to sleep with my stomach growling.  On day 2, I did about 10 minutes of yoga and then decided I was just too tired.  Now, full disclosure- I really don’t think this is related to the 3 Day Refresh.  I happened to get strep throat at the same time!!  I was really sore from an intense chiropractic adjustment and my throat hurt from the inside out.  At the end of day 2, I wasn’t as hungry as day 1 but was just pooped out and was ready to eat more food!  Day 3 was about the same as day 2.  I didn’t try to do any exercising and went to the doctor to get on antibiotics for my strep throat.  The fiber sweep was particularly difficult that day because my throat hurt so bad.  But by the end of the day, I was not hungry at all. And then I woke up the next day feeling great!  I slept great, wasn’t hungry at all!  As the day went on, I found myself feeling more satisfied after each meal, not as hungry in between and was able to be more active.

No for my results:

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I lost 4.5 pounds and 1 inch in my belly!!  I didn’t measure my legs and arms before or after so I don’t know if I lost any there or not.  My sister-in-law lost 5.2 pounds and 2.5 inches around her waist!

Now on to the question I know most people are wondering about…..  Would I do it again?

YES.  I would.  Under the right circumstances.

I learned a few things about myself during these 3 days and know that if I ever go off track a little too much that I can take a few days to reset myself, eat smaller and more simple meals, maybe even leave out meat.

But next year after I go on my cruise and indulge a little too much, I definitely see 3 Day Refresh in my future to get me back on track!

If you’re interested in trying 3 Day Refresh, TODAY is the last day that it is on sale!  BUT you can get it at any time just by contacting me or click on the graphic below.  Also, if you want to start a Beachbody Challenge where you complete a full workout and meal plan along with Shakeology and participate in my Challenge group for support and motivation, you can add the 3 Day Refresh to most of the challenge packs as a way to Kickstart your Challenge and set you up for greater success!!

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Healthy Pizza

Last week on Facebook I took a poll to see what was the top pick- Mexican or Pizza. Well Mexican overwhelmingly won.  I LOVE both but definitely eat Mexican-ish food 3-4 times a week!  Macon even loves to go get his cheesy quesadilla.

I prepared some food for Taco Tuesday tomorrow night and will share that with you later this week.  But yesterday, we wanted pizza.  Ooey gooey good old pizza.   Except that I didn’t want to eat all the crust.  We often fix pizzas on whole wheat thin pizza crust or even on low carb, high fiber, whole wheat tortillas.  But I saw something recently that I wanted to give a try.

Do you like cauliflower?  I never really ate it growing up.  It wasn’t until the past couple years that I have even tried it.  I do not like it raw.  But I absolutely LOVE it roasted.  Way less pungent than broccoli but with similar health benefits!  You can even make “rice” out of it and cook with chicken stir fry and you seriously do not even know that you don’t have rice and you are getting in tons of really healthy veggies!

So what about cauliflower pizza crust?  Sounds crazy right?  Nope.  It was totally delicious!!

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Cauliflower Pizza Crust Pizza (original recipe here)

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup riced, then cooked cauliflower
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tsp italian seasonings
  • 1/2 tsp crushed garlic
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (for topping)
  • pizza sauce (I used this Clean Homemade Tomato Sauce) & additional toppings of your choice

Directions:

1. To rice the cauliflower, cut florets into chunks and pulse in a food processor until you see rice-like bits. You could also use a cheese grater to produce the tiny pieces. Do not over process, you don’t want mush.

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2. Microwave the riced cauliflower in a bowl for 5-8 minutes depending on your microwave. No need to add water. After microwaving, transfer riced cauliflower to a fine mesh strainer and drain completely, gently pressing out excess water. Once drained, transfer riced cauliflower to a clean dish towel and wrap the sides around the cauliflower while gently pressing out excess water. This drying process is important!  My cauliflower was pretty dry after I microwaved it but I still was able to squeeze excess water out of the riced cauliflower.

3. One large head of cauliflower will yield about 3 cups of riced cauliflower. Use it to make more pizzas immediately, or store in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.

4. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Spray a cookie sheet with non-stick cooking spray.
In a medium bowl, combine 1 cup riced, cooked cauliflower, 1 egg and your parmesan cheese. Next, add Italian seasonings, crushed garlic and salt. Making sure everything is well mixed, place your “dough” on the cookie sheet and pat out a 9″ round. Be sure not to press it too thin as it’s easy to create holes.

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5. Bake your dough at 450 degrees for 15 minutes.

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6. Remove from oven. Add sauce, mozzarella cheese, and your favorite pre-cooked toppings to your pizza.  We did one with turkey pepperoni and mushrooms (pictured here) and one with turkey pepperoni and fresh parsley.  Also I had cooked my tomato sauce with mixed peppers and onions so I already had that kick added to the sauce! Place pizza under broiler just until cheese is melted, be sure to keep an eye on it!

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Be sure to bake the crust on a sheet that will allow it to get crispy like pizza crust and your dough needs to be thin (but not too thin).

I hope you enjoy it!

Broccoli Cheese Quinoa Bites

Last week, I asked my Facebook friends for food ideas for their toddlers.  My son, Macon, loves green beans and raw carrots.  But those are pretty much the only veggies he eats. He does love avocado, hummus, peanut butter and ketchup on any kind of meat we will give her.

As my husband and I become more and more aware of the types of foods we put in our body, we don’t want to leave our son out of the loop.  We both want to make sure that we are teaching him how to love a variety of clean and healthy foods so that he doesn’t grow up so tied to processed foods.

I find that anything that is easy to pick up and bite-sized is perfect for a toddler.  When I found these Broccoli Cheddar Quinoa Bites, they looked like the perfect thing to try.

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INGREDIENTS
  • ¾ cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed (be sure to rinse thoroughly!)
  • 1½ cups vegetable broth or water (for cooking quinoa)
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 cups broccoli florets, finely diced (I used frozen, thawed them out and then chopped)
  • 1 cup yellow onion, finely diced (I was out of onions and just used dried onion flakes.  Worked out fine, but fresh onion would be better)
  • 1 garlic clove, finely minced
  • 1½ cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • Crushed red pepper (optional) to taste (left out due to a toddler’s pallet!)
DIRECTIONS
  • In a medium sauce pan, combine quinoa and water (or broth) and cook according to package directions. Let cool.

 

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  • In a large bowl, combine cooled quinoa, eggs, broccoli, onion, garlic, cheese and paprika.

 

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  • Preheat oven to 350° F. Spray mini-muffin tins with cooking spray.

 

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  • Put a heaping tablespoonful of quinoa mixture into prepared muffin cups. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until edges turn golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes and then gently remove from pan to cool completely

 

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They were really good!  I hope you will give them a try and let me know what you think!

Ice Cream Cups

A few weeks ago I shared a Chunky Monkey Ice Cream recipe and decided to try something  a little different this time.  I mean, who can have too many different ways to enjoy guilt free ice cream?

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Look at these super cute ice cream cups!

INGREDIENTS:

  • Frozen bananas
  • A dash or two of unsweetened almond milk
  • 2-3 tsp of peanut butter (optional and not included in the above pictures)
  • Mini, Semi-sweet chocolate chips

DIRECTIONS:

  • Slice 3-4 ripe bananas and freeze.
  • Once frozen, add to food processor

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  • Add a few dashes of unsweetened almond milk and peanut butter if using
  • Set to puree/blend until creamy
  • Stir in mini chocolate chips

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  • Scoop into mini muffin tins and freeze

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  • Use a spoon to pop them out. Store extras in a freezer bag ready to serve whenever the whim for ice cream comes calling!

I hope you enjoy this nice little treat!  Please comment if you try it and let me know what you think and share with your friends!

Learning to Say No

My two year old son has a favorite word.  I bet you can guess it…..??  If you guessed “no” then you would be right!  Isn’t it amazing how little ones know what they want and what they don’t want and aren’t afraid to tell you!  Most of the time they will get overruled for whatever they respond “no” to because they don’t often know what is best for them. Like when they get really mad and fussy and we know it is time for bed. They are tired and they know it. But they just want to play longer. We have to tell them “no” so that they can rest.  We have to lead them and give them direction in life so that they can learn how to live happy, productive, and respectful lives.

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I have been studying Priscilla Shirer’s Bible Study- Breathe, Making Room for Sabbath with some women from my church.  I don’t know about you, but when I hear Sabbath, I immediately think of Sundays.  Going to church, coming home and having lunch with family and hanging out around the house.  But most of the time, Sundays are filled with so many other things to get ready for the week.

One thing that I learned in reading this study and learning about the Israelites after they were freed from slavery in Egypt, is that Sabbath is not about any specific day but rather a mindset.

On the seventh day God had finished his work of creation, so he rested from all his work. And God blessed the seventh day and declared it holy, because it was the day when he rested from all his work of creation.

It is clear that the Sabbath was not an accident- God had it in mind from the beginning of creation.  On the seventh day, all of God’s work was done except one little thing.  He created the seventh day. He created that day of rest.  He was intentional about it and called it holy.

But then life happened.  Adam and Eve at the apple and the world was opened up to a life filled with sin and separation from God.  And we forgot to take that time for rest with God. Fast forward hundreds of years.  The Isrealites were in slavery in Egypt and God freed them.  But they weren’t free. They still had a mindset of slavery. They didn’t know how to rest because for generations all they knew was to wake up and work and work and work and sleep and repeat.

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Look, I’m going to rain down food from heaven for you. Each day the people can go out and pick up as much food as they need for that day.  I will test them in this to see whether or not they will follow my instructions. On the sixth day they will gather food, and when they prepare it, there will be twice as much as usual. “Moses said, “Eat this food today, for today is a Sabbath day dedicated to the Lord. There will be no food on the ground today.  You may gather the food for six days, but the seventh day is the Sabbath. There will be no food on the ground that day.” Exodus 16:4-5 and 25-26.

God provided for the Isrealites for the 40 years that they were on their way to the promised land by giving them manna every night to gather the next morning. They were not to keep any food for the next day because God would provide for them again.  And He told them that on the 6th day they would have enough for the next day.  But they didn’t listen to God.  Or maybe they just didn’t trust Him enough.

But some of them didn’t listen and kept some of it until morning. But by then it was full of maggots and had a terrible smell.  Exodus 16:20.

You would think that would have done it. God had told them not to keep any for the next day, that he would provide and when they kept it, look what that had left! YUCK!  Moses reminded them what God had said and that on the 6th day they would gather enough for two days so set it aside.  This time they some listened and trusted but others were skeptical.

So they put some aside until morning, just as Moses had commanded. And in the morning the leftover food was wholesome and good, without maggots or odor.  Moses said, “Eat this food today, for today is a Sabbath day dedicated to the Lord.  Some of the people went out anyway on the seventh day, but they found no food. The Lord asked Moses, How long will these people refuse to obey my commands and instructions? They must realize that the Sabbath is the Lord’s gift to you. That is why he gives you a two-day supply on the sixth day, so there will be enough for two days.” Exodus 16:24-25 and 27-29.

Wow!  Did you catch that?  God said that the Sabbath was a GIFT.  It is not a bad thing. Taking time to rest is a gift that He has given us.

So does this mean we supposed to sit on the couch and do nothing on Sundays? As I have been learning in this study, the Sabbath is not just a day but a mindset.  In Hebrew, Sabbath means rest, but it doesn’t mean that we can’t do anything.  We need to find little bits and pieces of Sabbath margin throughout our days.

Then Jesus said to them, “The Sabbath was made to meet the needs of people, and not people to meet the requirements of the Sabbath.” Mark 2:27.

Jesus then went on to heal a crippled man on the Sabbath.  He didn’t sit there with his hands crossed and say “Hey, today is the Sabbath, I can’t do anything today.”  He did what the needed to do to meet the needs of people.

We need to learn how to make time for rest in our lives so that we are able to enjoy the many gifts God has given us.  The gift of rest is so that we can live abundantly in Him and share His good news in the way we live our lives. And to make that time for rest, we need to learn to say “no.”

There are so many things that take up our time and we fill our days with work, running the kids to and from dance class and soccer games. We help them do homework, play trains. We clean the house, do the laundry, volunteer. But we also sit on the couch and watch tv. We live in a mindset of excess, not just in the things we do but how we think.  We want more. We do more, we buy more.  But God has told us that we need to realize his gift to us.

Sometimes we need to say “no.” What I say “no” to may be completely different than what you need to turn down.  For me, excess food and excess TV have been told “no” lately. Also, multitasking has had to take a back burner at times. I love working on things for my Beachbody Coaching business. But I realized that when I am trying to do that while spending time with my husband and my son, I am not enjoying those gifts to the fullest.

Sundays for my family are spent at church. Then in community with our Life Group. Then preparing meals for the week and then finally family time. Yes- I do prepare my meals on Sundays and that might be considered “working.” But I am making time for rest to cherish the time with my family during the week so that we can enjoy a meal together and have fun playing outside or with trains and balls and cars and whatever else suits my son’s fancy.

I am learning to say “no” to things that keep me from enjoying God’s gift of rest. Some days that may mean wearing my hair up and not fixing it so that I can take time to read my Bible study. Or it could mean that I don’t fix my meals on Sunday one week so that we can serve someone in our community. For many of us, we need to say “no” to late nights at work so that we can get home to our family.  Maybe we need to say “no” to doing laundry so that we jump in the piles and play with our sweet little children and show them how much we love them.

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And sometimes, we parents need to say “no” to our children. Make time to have special date nights and quality time with your spouse.

How will you make time for Sabbath margin in your life?

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