General

You’re Beautiful!

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At the close of this day, may I offer these few words:

Life is wonderful.
Love is amazing.
Nature is stunning.
Music is inspiring.
Poetry is transcending.
Growth is encouraging.
And our pain is instructive.
And you, you are beautiful and making the world and all it’s possibilities come alive for your loved ones.
Now, take care of that beauty! Maintain your sense of awe at all creation! Cultivate your sense of humor, relax into the love in your life and continue to turn your face upward in gratitude and outward to those around you!

All is well.
Tomorrow will have it’s own cares.
For now, your efforts for today are enough. You are enough.

Rest my friend.

Love,

Jacque

Love Today

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Through the ages the wise ones, the sages
Remind us; remind us

To love where we are,
what we have.

When young and alive,
Full of hope and ambition
We look to the time when we’ll take to our wings!

In looking out forward,
We miss the fleet moments
As carefree, light days pass away on a breeze.

In times that come later,
With risks and hard working
We look back to childhood
And wish to be there.

Being present with loved ones
The sages remind us,
Is key to life’s grandeur
enjoyment and bliss!

Glance forward and plan things,
But don’t lose your balance
Lest looking away, takes your eye
Off the now.

Glance backward for learning,
But just for a moment
So living right now we can savor and own
All the gifts that life gives when we fully attend.

Forgive all the past,
Nod with hope to tomorrow
While living, heart open,
In the stark-standing now.

 

 

 

Behavior IS Communication

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One thing that is sometimes difficult for me to wrap my head around, is the observation that our children’s behavior is a form of communication.

Particularly true of small children who are doing their best to communicate their needs to us, while not always having the words they need and or a regular dose of our full attention.

So, just a word to the wise, as I have learned the hard way many times, if a child is acting outoften it is a plea for your attention and your help.

You might ask yourself, “Am I preoccupied most of the time, or even a good portion of the day? Or am I pretty present in the time that I spend with my children throughout the day?”

You might look for signs of your own preoccupation with projects you’re excited about or work or even something as simple as your phone. Those signs might be that you don’t consistently look into your child’s face when they are speaking to you. You may have to ask them to repeat themselves multiple times before you really hear what they are trying to tell you. You may not realize that your child hasn’t been dressed for the day until after lunchtime or that they haven’t had their hair combed in a week. Or you may find that your frustration level is skyrocketing as you are trying to do several things at once and your kids seem to be blocking your progress.

My friend, as C.S. Lewis beautifully said, “Children are not distractions from more important work. They are the most important work.”

As we grow-up more ourselves, we realize that:

1 Babies and children are not trying to sabotage our efforts, they are simply trying to get their needs met.
2 When kids receive our freely given, undivided attention on a regular basis, the more they trust that their needs will be met, and oftentimes, as a result, their behavior magically calms down. They may be striving with all they’ve got to get you to notice them! And giving them regular attention is much more rewarding for both of you than cleaning up crazy messes made from radical behavior! The deal is, one way or another they will turn your head, now or in the future.
3 Children feel loved by being cared for, such as being clean, brushed, groomed and clothed. It doesn’t take much time, but it makes a big difference!
4 As a caregiver, having your needs met is equally important! But you are the one in charge of that care too. It’s part of growing up to learn to care for yourself.

I hope that these thoughts offer a little insight to those of you who are in the trench right now! Keep moving forward and take life a day at a time…and slow it down to an hour at a time when you are sleep deprived!

Much love,

Jacque

P.S. If you are an intense person like I am, know that your intensity can totally overwhelm a small person who doesn’t go at your speed! They are going to be listening for your vibe maybe more than your words (as a friend kindly pointed out to me!) so practice calming yourself down instead of getting more intense when you seem to be at odds with your child. That little piece of advice is golden if you’ll give it a try.

 

Make It Tasty!

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Real food is amazing!

If you or your children are used to bland, processed food, you are missing out on one of life’s greatest joys!

Be creative, add fresh herbs for flavor, make things from scratch and fall in love with food again!

Home is where things taste good, and where cooking is love made visible.

Best wishes!

Jacque

 

Oatmeal with fresh/frozen peaches
Fresh apple pie
Homemade vanilla pudding
Pasta with basil
Pumpkin muffins

Shout out to my daughter for the beautiful pie (her forte) and her wonderful pasta dish!

Decaying Compost (and other uplifting thoughts)

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Granny and Grandpa used to do the crossword puzzle every day because they wanted to retain mental sharpness. And it surely didn’t hurt! They were both sharp when they passed away at 80 and 94. And not long ago, I saw a man in the news who was in his 90’s who wanted to be part of a commemoration and so he went to a physical therapist for several months to strengthen his body so that he could make the trip and join occasion. Isn’t that impressive!?

Those generations ahead of me, were hard working people. They weren’t afraid of work (I think most considered it a privilege that offered them dignity versus the derogatory way some people view it today) and it showed in the things they were able to accomplish and the legacy they have left for us.

I hope to follow their tracks and continue to learn and set goals. Because we know what happens when we let things go! When we stop working on learning to play the piano (uh-hem, that hurts) or that second language; If we sit down and don’t get up much or if we stop bathing or eating well.

What happens is we get weak.

Weak in the mind, weak in our abilities and talents, weak in our families and weak in our bodies.

The deal is, if left to itself, nature rots like the garden compost pile. If we don’t move, our muscles atrophy. If we don’t bathe, bacteria eats our flesh. If a house is left empty, it deteriorates. If left unattended, our thoughts get blown about. If neglected and abandoned, our faith dies.

There is rehabilitation and healing for physical, mental, emotional and spiritual weakness. And it begins with desire and ends with blessed work.

Do you sometimes feel that it shouldn’t take so much effort to maintain a positive mental outlook? Or a feeling of spiritual strength and resolve? Well, those states of being are no different than a muscle that has atrophied. We must move and exercise our minds and our faith to make them stronger, just as we would do pull-ups to strengthen our arms.

Because they take effort does not mean that they contrived. It means that we live in the law of the harvest in this world and we must practice pushing back!

Push back those negative thoughts. Push back the doubt and fear. Push back the sluggishness. Push back the darkness.

Decide what you want to do. Decide who you want to serve. Decide what you want to learn. Decide when you will practice and lift and exercise and study and build and pray.

Then use your hunger for happiness and hope and joyfully move beyond where you were today.

Be well! Be you! The world needs you! Most importantly, your family (present and future) needs you.

Love,

Jacque