Wednesday, June 30, 2010

What Can I Do about His Irritating Habits?

After Matt and I were married, I read The Savvy Bride's Answer Guide: an eye-opening look at your first year of marriage.  It's a Focus on the Family book, and did give some great insight into married life, understanding your groom, and a Biblical perspective into being a wife. However, it was a little too "surface", and at times I wished it would have plunged deeper into issues. The chapters are short, and it's a very quick read, but I wish the chapters were a little longer. Although we covered pretty much all of this in our pre-marriage classes, I believe constant reminders of God's role for me as a wife are always welcome! 

I'd like to share a little from a chapter titled "What Can I Do about His Irritating Habits?"  This makes me laugh, because I know Matt is thinking the same about me...we ALL have irritating habits...

Being annoyed by your spouse's habits is normal.  The key is to learn to work together to change the habits that can be changed and learn to accept those that can't. 

First, ask yourself why you want your spouse to change.  Is it for your own good only?  Might the change make you feel better, but cause your mate to feel imprisoned?  Or is the change to help eliminate behaviors that keep your spouse from growing emotionally and spiritually?  In other words, are you helping to set your partner free or just restricting his freedom?

If changing the habit would truly benefit both of you, change may be worth trying.  But keep these guidlines in mind:

1.  Address the problem honestly.  "Honey, it bothers me when you burp at the table.  It teaches the children a bad habit, and it's rude and offensive to guests."

2.  Explain the benefit of the change.  "Eating at the table will be more pleasant for all of us.  The boys will also respect your table manners and you'll be a good testimony to our guests."

3.  Don't command change.  "You're such a slob at the table.  Stop being so messy."  Instead, request change.  Your spouse will respond more favorably.

4.  Don't attack your mate.  "You are a horrible listener.  It's no wonder no one talks to you."  When you attack your spouse, you crush his spirit - and don't get much cooperation.  Confront the problem; don't attack the person.

5.  Discuss ways to bring about change.  Change is hard.  Let your spouse know that you're on his side.  Help him find ways to change those habit patterns.  If the problem is overeating, for instance, go with your spouse to the gym, cook healthy meals, and go out to eat less often.  Be your mate's advocate.

6.  Encourage your spouse's growth.  "You're doing a great job.  I'm really proud of the effort I see.  Thank you for your dedication to making this change."

7.  Recognize that change takes time.  Be patient with your spouse.  Praise little steps that you see.  Everyone wants to feel successful.  So don't discourage your mate with commets like, "This is taking forever.  How many times do we have to deal with this?"  Discouragement stunts growth, but encouragement goes a long way in motivating change.  Let your spouse know you're in this together for the long haul.

8.  Focus on your spouse's good habits, not just the irritating ones.  "John makes me mad," one wife said.  "I have asked him to clean the tub after each use.  He never does.  Last week when I was getting ready for work, I received a call from the hospital.  John was in an accident.  As I quickly dressed to go to the hospital, I noticed the dirt ring in the bathtub.  I began to sob.  The Lord brought to mind all the wonderful qualities of my husband, and I felt so petty for complaining about the ring in the tub.  When John came home several days later, I found myself sitting in the bathroom and thanking the Lord that I would have more time with John and more rings in the tub.  I was reminded of Philippians 4:8: 'Whatever is honorable, pure, just, lovely...think on these things.'  When I see the ring now, I turn my thoughts to the wonderful qualities of my husband and the annyoance of that ring in the tub disappears."

9.  Pray for your spouse.  God is ultimately the one who makes change possible in any of us.  So pray for your mate's efforts.  And since some behaviors may never change, ask God to give you grace to accept the differences between you and your spouse.

10.  Seek to change the habit, not the person.  It's possible to help your spouse drop an irritating habit - as long as it's the habit you're trying to change.  If you're trying to alter your spouse's personality you may be fighting a losing battle that will end in frustration for both of you.

I find these reminders helpful as I learn to embrace the differences between Matt and myself, and bring up the issues that bother me.  I hope they can help you too!

**If the issues at hand in your relationship are more severe (physical or emotional abuse for instance) please seek wise Christian counsel and get some assistance in addressing those issues; they ARE more than an annoying habit and NEED to be addressed with professional help.**

Nowhere in scripture do we find God sanctioning any form of spousal abuse. In Colossians 3:18-19, men are instructed to pattern their love for their wives after Jesus' love for His church. This is described as a sacrificial kind of love; the kind of love that seeks the very best for the one who is loved. Emotional and physical forms of abuse are diametrically opposed to the concept of sacrifice; such behaviors are selfish and self-seeking. 1 Corinthians 13 teaches what genuine love is all about and has much to say about what love is not. According to this passage, love is not self-seeking, is not easily stirred up, and does not behave hatefully. Clearly, abuse is not a demonstration of genuine love. (From www.allaboutlifechallenges.org)

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Tempur-Pedic: My Neck Miracle

I'm in sleeping heaven thanks to my mother-in-law, Momma B. 

I have a few circumstances working against me in regard to neck pain. 

1.  I have scoliosis.  It's not terribly severe, but I do have an S-shaped spine and an extra cervical vertebra (my x-ray is pretty cool!), and have been seeing a chiropractor since high school (I'm on chiro #4 now).
2.  I'm a Denal Hygienist, and neck pain is sort of a given.  Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) are a prevalent problem for RDHs like myself as well as Dental Assistants and Dentists.  60-90% of RDHs report some type of MSD, and ergonomics is essential to the livelihood of my career.
3.  I have purchased three different pillows throughout the last year trying desperately to find one I could sleep on comfortably.  They all fell flat.  Literally. I was getting really tired of waking up with a stiff neck and headaches.

My chiropractor suggested a Tempur-Pedic contour pillow a while ago, and when I brought this up one day while at Momma and Poppa B's house, Momma B said "I have one that I don't use, do you want it?"  YEESSS!  Apparently, Momma B tried it for a few nights and didn't like it, so in the closet it sat.  I have been using the pillow for about two months now and I can't believe how my sleep has improved!  I wake up feeling rested, and my morning headaches have nearly vanished.

They are spendy pillows, so thank you to Momma B!.  If you do not have your own Momma B to give you a Tempur-Pedic pillow, I do recommend the investment.  However, Matt is not a fan of the pillow like his Momma B, so I guess they are not for everyone...but I'm in love.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Bookshelf and Silver Sandals

I have found an awesome way to display the Anda Book Club books!  Scroll down to see my customized bookshelf which will sit on the right side of the page permanently.  You will find a combination of some books I have read, along with books I plan to read.  Books that I have read will (in most cases) have a star rating and a review by myself, and if I have not read the book an editorial review will pop up.  Just scroll your cursor over the book to read my review or see an overview of the book.  If you missed the explanation behind the Anda Book Club, just click on "books" under the "what I write about" tab to the right.

I have finished Forgotten God, and it is on the shelf somewhere with my review.  I need to figure out how to better organize the shelf, and hopefully will find a way to place the most recent books read on the first page of the shelf, as well as the book I am currently reading. 

I have just ordered the next book I will be reading...which is...THE SHACK.  Feel free to read along with me if you haven't read it yet.  I've read mixed reviews about the book, so I'm excited to form my own opinion.  I just realized that, without even doing so on purpose, I'm reading two books back-to-back that have to do with the Trinity.  Wow.  I seriously JUST now realized that...hmmm...

On another note, today's temperature in Seattle reached 77 degrees.  Why is this important, you ask?  It has not been over 75 degrees since last September!  That is 273 days!  Goodness Gracious, it's almost July and I'm ready for summer weather.  Today was a glorious day off running errands...and I got to wear a dress and my new silver sandals!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Blackened Fishwich with Bean and Corn Salad

Well, my hubby gets his wife all to himself now!  Tonight after work, I did not have to drive 45 minutes North on I-5 and sit in class for 2 hours.  Last weekend was my commencement ceremony at Eastern Washington University, and I actually don't feel done for some reason.  I'm guessing that after a couple weekends of no school work it'll feel real...bring it! 

It's recipe time!!  If you want to get literal, I'm a pescatarian and not a vegetarian, since I do eat fish occasionally.  Matt and I like to sing "let's get literal, literal.  I wanna get literal, literal", try it next time you or someone you know gets nit-picky.  It's fun!  Anyway, I'm getting off topic.  I found this recipe in a cookbook I forgot I had until a couple weeks ago.  It's from the Better Homes and Gardens Big Book of 30-Minute Dinners 

- Blackened Fishwich -

What you need:
  • 1 pound fresh or frozen cod, 3/4 to 1 inch think (I used halibut)
  • 2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning
  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil (I used vegetable)
  • Leaf lettuce
  • 4 kaiser rolls, split and toasted
  • 1 small tomato, sliced
  • 1/4 cup guacamole
What you do:
  • Thaw fish if frozen.  Cut into 4 serving-size pieces (I lucked out was able to buy two pieces that were the perfect size).  Rub seasoning onto both sides of fish.
  • In a large skillet heat oil over medium heat until very hot (a drop of water sizzles in skillet).  Carefully cook fish about 6 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork, turning once. 
  • Place lettuce and fish on bottom half of each toasted roll.  Place tomato slices and guacamole  on roll tops.
  • Makes 4 servings.
- Bean and Corn Salad -

This one I threw together all by meeeself, from the test kitchen of Mattanda...
  • 1 can corn, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 7 oz pico de gallo (I bought mine pre-made in the produce area of my friendly local Safeway, saves a bundle of time!)
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Salt to taste
  • I threw in some left over tomato from the above recipe
Happy cooking and happy eating!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

The Last 10 Years

2000:  High School graduation.  I didn't care about my GPA, as long as I passed I was happy.

2000-2002:  Columbia Basin College getting really bad grades (I mean BAD).  Originally thought I would enter into the field of Special Education, but obviously did not take that too seriously, as my grades reflected. 

2002-2003: Met a girl who was a Dental Assistant, and thought that sounded like something I might enjoy, and the program was only 9 months.  I moved to Seattle in August, found a job working at a gym, and started a Dental Assisting program in September.  Nine months later I was a Certified Dental Assistant, found a job in a dental office, and also continued to work at the gym.  I felt I found something that I loved doing, but wanted to continue on.

2004-2006:  Not sure of how "continuing on" to Dental Hygiene school would be possible (mostly financially), I began taking my pre-requisites for the program anyway at night.  While doing so, I continued to work at the dental office, the gym on the weekends, and a couple afternoons (days not at the dental office) working for the Department of Developmental Disabilities in order to pay for my classes. Also, feeling the need to focus on something else other than myself, I volunteered for Community Services for the Blind and Partially Sighted for two years.  I met weekly with a woman and helped her pay bills, run errands, etc.  Wonderful experience!Much different from High School, I applied to Hygiene School with a 3.86 GPA and was SO extremely worried that woudn't be good enough to get in, I even enrolled to retake organic chemistry for a better grade...dang you o-chem for ruining my GPA!  Someone convinced me I would probably be fine, so I decided to apply wihout retaking the class.

2006:  I was accepted to Dental Hygiene school!!! Now how in the world am I going to pay for it plus my bills while not being able to work?  Many scholarships and a loan later...I had what I needed! 

2006-2008: This was a bit of a blur.  Shoreline Dental Hygiene Program was intense!  If you know anyone who is or has been in Dental Hygiene school you can ask them about it if you want. Unable to continue working while in this program, I got a job working every other weekend at the front desk at John L. Scott real estate.  This was perfect for a little while.  I was able to work on schoolwork while there, and I got paid for it! 

2008-2010:  Decided I must continue on with school.  At this point I figure what's another 2 years for my B.S. degree and enrolled in a degree completion program for Dental Hygienists through Eastern Washington University.  I also began temping while trying to find a dental office that was a good fit.  Also, Matt popped THE question right after I graduated, so I wanted to wait until I lived out in suburbia with him to find a permanent job.  So 2008 was a whirlwind of finding my groove as a new hygienist temping in 20+ offices that year, year one of the B.S. program, and planning a wedding.

This Friday, I will be walking across the stage at Eastern Washington University to accept my B.S. degree in dental hygiene.  Although it won't change anything for me currently working in clinical practice, it will open doors for me in the future if I want a change.  Sales, education, research, public health...a B.S. will be helpful.  I also just wanted it, just to have it, just to say I did it.  I did not do it alone, God put so many people in my life to help tremendously along the way.  To perfect work/school situations, to help obtaining scholarships, God continued to open doors I thought would be closed once I reached them. 

My Maverick (Matt) has been with me for most of the journey, as we met in December of 2003.  On Friday, he will be cheering me on (with my family) and taking pictures to help remember the day I've been working toward for 10 years.  Yesterday, he decided to give me my graduation/bday present a little early.  Here it is!!!!!!!

This is what he'll be using to take pictures!  I'm so so SO excited to start playing around with this and have been anxiously waiting the day I could be a proud owner.  I should add the user's manual to my book club list because I have a lot of reading to do in order learn how to work this monster.  I can't wait to start sharing pictures with you!

Thanks for going on that little walk down memory lane with me.  I get asked a lot what I'm in school for, or "I thought you were done with school?", so maybe this cleared some things up.  Ten years for a B.S. degree sounds insanly rediculous, but I'm DONE now! 

The moral of the story? 
1. Work hard for what you want, becasue no one else can do it for you. Unless you're Paris Hilton and you inherit a lot of cash...but where's the satisfaction in that?
2. Reaching a goal isn't always easy, but it is possible!
3. In the big scheme of life that will last (hopefully) about 100 years (that's my goal), 10 years in school is nothing!

I can't wait for what God has in store for the next 10 years!

Much Love,
Amanda, RDH, BS  :)