You Inspire Me

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You keep doing it!

Day after day and evening after evening.

You keep facing the challenges of your life.

You keep learning!

You keep acting in love; sometimes it’s the tough kind.

You keep going back to the drawing board and working things out.

You keep looking for ways to find your balance, to lift where you can and let alone that which you don’t have the power to change.

You keep looking for the good and pointing it out!

You keep asking for help when you are weary and graciously accepting your limitations and humanness.

You keep fighting the good fight, keep praying to be changed for the better, keep giving others room to grow too.

For all these things, and so many more, I applaud you!

It is the best that any of us can do to keep moving forward a little step at a time.

Lots of love,

Jacque

 

You Are Needed!!!

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I was reading a newspaper article today about drug addiction. The writer was highlighting a young mother who was getting her life back together after spending most of her 20’s with a serious drug addiction that started after a painful surgery.

He describes the place in a large city where hundreds of arrests have been made recently for the buying and selling of illegal substances. He quotes a police detective as saying, that the war on drugs is’t doing much for the underlying problems in our society that lead to chemical dependency. He goes on to write, “Jails, prisons and medications can only offer temporary fixes. The solution is so long, and so far-reaching, and so revealing about the limitations of our culture that it’s almost hard to believe.  You’ve got to teach people to love each other and be better to each other.  If a person feels connected and safe, they will behave beautifully.”

{I think that’s what the Lundberg’s have been saying for years in their book, I Don’t Have To Make Everything All Better, right?}

It’s what we’ve been talking about in Lioness! Validation is truly the anti-drug! But in order to offer validation to our families, we have to feel it ourselves!

Help! Our society is so mixed up as to what brings validation and happiness and fulfillment and contentment.

It isn’t stuff.

It isn’t a title.

It isn’t being signed-up for more lessons and clubs and groups.

For kids (and everyone else for that matter) it is belonging somewhere. It is being with those who care about them more than they care about life itself. It is in quiet moments when someone is really listening. When children feel that they are of worth, someone really cares and their feelings matter!

And where do those things happen best?

At home.

This means that home is the center of society and ideally, we moms are in the middle of home! And so it follows that we’ve got to get our head’s in the game and guard our thoughts, our time, our attention and our aspirations. If we want a culture that is moving toward positivity and hope, we have to do the ground work. We have to give kids a safe place to be. We have to be healthy in our minds so that we can be a safe place for them. 

No, we can’t create a social program that will give children what a family can give them. That’s what the family is for!

We can’t wave a wand and have the whole world turned into a safe place for our kids.

But by our efforts to bless and encourage the children in our homes or extended families or neighborhoods or cities, our efforts will ripple out and change the world for the better!

What small changes can be made to raise your personal level of health so that you can be most effective in your parenting? Or if you are an Aunt or an Uncle or a Sister, how can you make strides in your life that will help you to contribute positively to the children in your life? And then, how can you make yourself more accessible to the children you love?

I pray that we can see through the smoke and mirrors that are designed to make us feel discontented and or missing out or lacking in wealth or prestige or opportunity or whatever the case may be. In reality, our wealth lies in good health, in growing marriages, in raising or teaching children, learning and developing our skills and talents, in serving our fellowmen and in deepening and strengthening our ties to God. And more than anything else I know of, these aspirations require focus! And dedication! And strength! And endurance! And an abundance of love!

So just for clarity’s sake, if you’re looking out there for your life, you’ll be looking your whole life.

Turn around and look at the small, or not so small, people who are depending on you. The adventures you have with them will be the grandest memories you will ever have. Make this time count.

As I write the words, ‘turn around’, it reminds me of a song that my son sang with a group in high school. To me it was more a song about mentoring and loving a child than a romantic song. Here is a listen for you. {Sorry, apparently this picture isn’t of the guys who really sang this blast from the 60’s!}

Enjoy, and way to go! You’re doing so well! Keep going in your efforts to improve things in your health and at home!

Jacque

 

 

 

Gather Yourself

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What things make up your life? What tasks do you have to do each day, each week, each month?

Step 1 of time-blocking is just making a list! Simply, meaning don’t over think it, dump on paper everything you can think of that requires your attention. Sometimes it is helpful to make categories first such as:

Self-care; children; household jobs; work; education; volunteering, etc.

Then list the things you do within each of those categories. What do you do to care for yourself? What  needs to be done to keep your home running as smoothly as possible? Do you have other responsibilities? What do they require and how often?

Once you have a list, let it sit for awhile and see if anything else comes to mind when you’re not thinking so hard.

Sometimes, I find as I make a list like this, when I get right down to it and see it all on paper, that my desires and expectations would take three people to execute! So this step also can be a time to prune back the ideas you may have, or the time-frame that you may be thinking about giving to each responsibility.  For example, if I realize that I have more I want to do than is humanly possible, I may make a note to myself to remember that I want to pursue x,y or z later in the month or in the year, or maybe even next year! Unloading some of my mental clutter, even though it may consist of worthy and productive ideas, helps me to get back down to earth, slow my thoughts and lighten my load. It is very helpful to take the time to write these things out so that you can get a clear picture of where you are and what you may be expecting of yourself.

A few years ago while doing this exercise, I decided to put goals and hobbies and projects in quarterly increments on my calendar. One chunk of time had “refinish the toy cabinet” and another had “sew crib skirt and quilt for my granddaughter” and another was “get the  learning French lessons at the library!”

If you think about everything you want to do and all you need to do and all it would be nice to do, all at once, it can fry your circuits! So making this list will be instructive. You don’t need to make any decisions at this point, just pour all your thoughts onto your paper.

And that is all for Step 1!

Baby, baby steps will get you there! More later on step 2…

Love,

Jacque

P.S. Even if you don’t “do” it now, write it down if it is something you would like to be doing. (Exercising, date night with your spouse, etc.) You may find that shifting your priorities will help you to fit in the things that are really most important to you. In step 2, when you plug your activities onto a structure of time, they will be added in order of importance! (The big rocks right?) Then the items that are of lesser importance will either fit in more easily or they will drop off your list.

Take care!

 

Reality

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When I sense grounding hope swelling, rising,

 

flowing into spirit-quenching, soul-feeding, compelling,

propelling motion; and

When I am still and know, my

plans are human, but His, vast and grand as

star strewn heavens, are those

I will follow.

When I cast off pain and claim wholeness;

When I am present to hear

innocence beautifully singing- now small,

soon grown.

When heaven’s whispers light on my heart,

and instantly, without pause, are welcomed in.

When the sky reaches down and

lays its colors over me;

When wind brushes

magnetic fingers thru my flying hair,

collecting stiffness, leaving calm.

My mind, in silent praise, sings out,

Glory to God in the highest!

And on earth, and in me,

peace.

 

 

 

 

It’s Theory

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I remember taking music theory in college and hearing something to the effect that you need to learn the rules before you can break them.

I thought of that today as we discussed “time-blocking” in seminar! So many great observations were made and lessons learned from those who have been putting this tool into their lives over this past year.

When you get a schedule plotted out, or when you set a new goal, or get your meal plan made, there will be moments when you will have to decide whether to stick with the plan or not.

That decision will get easier to make as you go along and gain some experience with planning. There are times that it would be best to continue as planned, and use the plan as a boundary for keeping your balance and not over scheduling yourself.  And then there are times when the greater good would be best served by choosing to leave something undone until tomorrow or next week!

See, it is kind of like learning the rules to break them isn’t it?

The point is that the schedule is there to serve you! It is the tool in your hand and you wield it as the intelligent creator that you are!

The best thing about time-blocking is that it allows you greater freedom and more time because you will be functioning on pre-made decisions. All the time it takes to decide where to begin each day isn’t eaten up needlessly, when you can make the decision once (for now) and move on.

More coming up this month on the how’s of making those decisions and setting those boundaries and much more on how to take this idea from theory, into practice and then nuance it into an art.

All my love to you today!

Have a good Sabbath,

Jacque

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