The World

by

“Run away to a village to make it the center of the world.” Jules Renard

What is home if not the familiar, comfortable place where you can enjoy each other’s company and at times find a corner to enjoy a good book? To cook and to eat; to learn and to play.

Isn’t it amazing that there are no two homes just alike? Maybe that is because there are no two people, no two mothers or fathers or children who are just alike.

What we need and what we want and what we create is uniquely “us.”

What concerns me at times is the growing feeling that our places of retreat seem to have to be places for show. That somehow our kitchen needs to be Pinterest worthy…all the time. 

Just wanted to throw out a reminder to you today that life is a bit messy and wonderful and always in flux! You don’t have to have anything in perfection or hold it for show. Cleanliness is good. Order is wonderful! But it happens in spurts! Then things go back into creation mode while homework is being done or a project is being completed or dinner is being cooked.

Life is more about the state of our being than the state of our belongings. We can be in gratitude even in the middle of dinner dishes!

Whatever you have, love it. Embrace it in your mind and give thanks for the chance to learn to flex your creative muscles, and make sense out of the bits and pieces of the world that are yours.

Smile at your children and hold them close, even before all the jobs are done. Tomorrow will bring more choices, more progress and each day will bring times to celebrate the evolution of your unique family.

Let go of your worry and stress about the appearance of things, and breathe in the blessings of the day.

Sending my love to you!

Jacque

P.S. A wise friend once told me that the world is wherever you are.

Eat It Up!

by

Lately, I’ve started a few new projects that require steep learning curves! Consequently, I am in the middle of making many, many mistakes as I learn and practice. {I am so grateful for patient, and loving teachers.}

So, I’ve been thinking about making mistakes and about how many times in life, and most particularly in parenting, we get served a large portion of humble pie, and we have a choice to make: we can chose to stop trying or use our energy to dodge responsibility or graciously eat up that serving of pie and learn to learn.

A simple example today: I did some weeding in my flower bed before I came in to make dinner. I worked in the kitchen for awhile, and had a meal mostly prepared when the dog was let in the house. When I looked down to greet him, I saw mud all over the floor where he was excited and dancing around to greet me. “Argg,” I thought, “He’s been digging in the flower bed again and his paws must be full of mud!” I pointed the situation out to my son who is responsible for the dog.

Fast forward ten minutes: we were sitting down to eat, but I quickly got back up to get something I had forgotten. As I was returning to my chair, what did I see? I saw pieces of mud under my chair…no one else’s chair….just mine. Oh! The flower bed! The mud I had attributed to the dog was my own.

How many times do we realize that a problem or difficult situation has arisen because we misjudged or incorrectly perceived something only to find out that it was within our power to have prevented or remedied things, but didn’t? {And sometimes it’s so much more than muddy feet!}

For me, many.

It’s good to remember that it’s ok to make mistakes. We all do.

And when we recognize our part, we can apologize when needed, do our best to make things right and keep moving forward.

When the light came on and I said to my son, “Oh! It was my shoes that were muddy!” and “Sorry for thinking it was you boy”…to the dog, my son just said, “Yep.”

I’m wishing you bright fall days full of patience for yourself and your loved ones.

Be well!

Jacque

 

Big Girl!

by

Do you ever feel anxious about starting a difficult task? Maybe you just moved and there is a lot to be put away; maybe you just had a baby and you’re feeling that you don’t have enough hands for everyone; or maybe you just have a lot of laundry to do or a closet to clean…

Whatever the scary thing is, remember to pray for strength and wisdom, then pull out the declaration that will take the fangs and claws out of the situation:

“I am bigger than this _____.” (task, problem, challenge, stage, etc.) and, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” (Philippians 4:13) Yes, sometimes we even need to be strengthened to start the laundry!

If you feel paralyzed by an issue, learn to dissect it, unwind it, break it down, make a game plan and tackle it, understanding that part of that plan may be to enlist and or to accept help.

You can handle the challenge that is before you.

Be well!

Love,

Jacque

 

Kind Anticipation

by

I learned a lesson from a friend many years ago that I’ve been grateful for since.

She and her husband and young children came from a long distance to visit us.  As they came in the door, my friend opened a bag she had prepared with snacks for her  kids and started to feed them. It struck me that she hadn’t waited until they started getting cranky or misbehaving before she gave them what she already knew they would need: a timely snack after a long car-ride. Nor did she expect or ask someone else to take over and provide what her family needed in that hour.

It sounds really simple, but it was a mind-shift for me.

How many times do we find ourselves cluing in that someone is having a melt-down because they need something to eat or a nap or some one-on-one attention? And how many of those stressful situations could we alleviate if we had thought ahead and anticipated their basic needs before they arose?

And what about your needs? Do you anticipate that you may need a snack before you start making dinner? Or that you might need a nap the afternoon before a date night with your spouse?

What about after school? Who is going to be hungry? What a perfect opportunity to be prepared with fresh fruits and vegetables! Maybe a simple, healthy cookie recipe? Or a veggie-packed smoothie?

Life doesn’t have to be a sequence of putting out proverbial fires because of the ordinary, everyday needs of a family. The unpredictable, stressful things that happen are enough of a challenge!  Which fact makes it doubly nice to acknowledge what needs we can foresee and then do our best to proactively prepare to care for ourselves and our loved ones.

What recurring situations would be improved by your efforts to plan ahead to meet your family’s needs, before those needs turn into extra stress and strain for everyone?

I’m wishing you rest. And hope. And peace. And a few new plans if need be!

Love,

Jacque

P.S. You mothers of nursing babies: Hang in there and do your best to rest when you possibly can! Worry as little as possible. Ask for help. Mostly, know that the days of better sleep will come again. Bless you for all you are doing in caring for your little ones! I believe your prayers are heard!

Quiet Comparison; Hush Contention

by

As friends, wives, mothers, aunts and daughters, women can be amazing!

When insecurity, comparing and critical self talk are allowed to run rampant, women can be scary.

One more reason to build and bolster your awareness of who you are; what is most important in your life; how to love and accept yourself as you are; how to love and accept others as they are.

Today, I hope you will speak kindly to yourself and to all the women in your life.

You are loved. They are loved. Today and always!

Jacque

“I like myself, I love myself.”
“I am at peace with God.”
“I love my life.”
“I am in love.”