Surrounded by Decision

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Hey there my friend, I surely hope you are doing well!

I’ve been working on decision-making in the form of time-blocking.  That’s the Lioness term for time-management because it sounds more like me making decisions about my time vs. trying to adhere to a pre-made management system which would just make me crazy! (I have found that I am not alone when it comes to having some stubbornness present itself when it comes to making a plan.  Even when it is our own plan, often we feel the need to rebel, let alone if we feel that the schedule we have has been put upon us as someone else’s idea!)

My challenge, as always, is that there are so many things I want to do!  But what I’ve learned from doing this for 20 years or so is that when I make a plan, I generally get much more done and get to do many of those things on my long list of interests to pursue, than if I just go with the flow.  Or maybe I could say, if I just let things happen to me and I don’t take the lead in my own life, I don’t make much progress.

Last week I thought, I’d like my home to scream “decisiveness” all over the place, from the cupboards to the flower beds!  (This thought was inspired by a pile of clutter on my counter that was reminding me of my own indecision everytime I walked by it…and the fact that I have been on quarter speed or so for awhile!)

When I set things up so that my environment supports my goals, I don’t have to pull myself up by the bootstraps every day and figure out what needs to be done next!  So really, time-blocking, or making decisions about what you will do when, means needing to make fewer decisions in the long run.  And I am so good with that.

The biggest key for making the most of your time and energy is making a few large decisions first:

What is most important to me?

What do I want to accomplish in the next ______ weeks, months or years?

Knowing the answers to those questions makes the rest of the plan a filling-in-the-blanks exercise.

If I want to have handmade gifts ready for Christmas, I’d better get them identified and broken down into what I’m going to work on when.  (This month it is finishing a granny square afghan.)

If I want to have my closet in the laundry room re-organized, I’d better decide when I’ll do it and how long it may take. (And possibly enlist moral support! Carli!!)

If I want to get back in the groove of making date nights a priority, I’d better get some planned out and start talking about them and enjoying the anticipation!

There is much that we can’t control in our day to days.  The actions and decisions of others for instance.  But when we are doing what we can to direct our own lives, we are much less likely to feel compelled to want to control people and situations that are not ours to control.  Directing my life means doing my best to multiply myself and taking advantage of the opportunities I have to multiply goodness for others.

Are there decisions you can make today that will help you take another step forward?

Sending you my love and best wishes!

Jacque

The Happy Equation

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If I am happy for the

Sunshine, and new leaves and

Blue sky and bright flowers; Or

Happy that I feel healthy

Today, or in love with my

Man, or exuberant about my

Children;

Will my happiness make someone else

Sad?  Is it alright to feel my

Joy even while others are

Suffering?  Yes!  There is a benefit to

The world from a happy life

Tipping the scales

Creating

Producing

Multiplying joy so

All can feel

God’s love-

Dear self; be happy and

Pass it along!

Unfold

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What is your favorite flower?

Think for a moment until you decide.  Then for a few moments, close your eyes and imagine watching that flower unfold, from a bud to becoming it’s most open, reaching, beautiful self!

Isn’t it glorious?  It just knows what to do and it’s blooming is accomplished almost as effortlessly and lazily turning over in bed or running your hands through your hair.  It naturally expands to it’s full blown beauty and just “is.”  It is naturally lovely it doesn’t have to try.  And so often, when I see a bush full of blossoms or a beautiful flower bed bursting with life and color, I imagine that all of nature is glorifying God and shouting Hosanna!

Now for a wild question:

Do you ever feel like a flower that is stuck closed, like you’re trying so hard to do everything right, but your petals won’t budge?

Like you don’t know how to push yourself out? (And are you ever afraid or anxious about actually beaming so much beauty around?)

Today, I challenge you to take 60 seconds to close your eyes and envision yourself while, breathing slowly and deeply, actually being your favorite flower.  Inhaling, envision yourself relaxing your petals, softening your face, then exhaling, see yourself begin to unfold.  You are colorful.  You are fresh.  You are alive.  You are doing what God made you to do; you are standing tall, fully extended, fully aware, with only peace and confidence to be what you already are.

Let peace come out of your smiling eyes and fall upon your children.  Let joy and radiance and adoration beam upon your husband.  In the vortex of your happiness, let the small daily tasks feel rewarding.  Feel the success of simply and naturally being who you were born to be.

Whether you are lily or iris, rose or peony, daffodil or tulip, be.

Effortlessly, be yourself.

Fill your home with color and fragrance and light and YOU.

Lots of love!

Jacque

Be-deviled!

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This is a picture story. Start from the bottom and work up!  Mix in your favorite flavor when you stir in the mayo if you’d like!  (I really like curry and wasabi!) Enjoy!!!

In The Gap

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You know that moment when you really want to do something that you know isn’t good for you, and you feel yourself slipping into that semi-conscious state of not caring and then of not being fully awake in the moment you begin to indulge?

Like when sugar is calling… (Sorry, I realize that this may be a sensitive day for this post!)

But you know it could be one of a hundred things calling.  It could be indulging in despair or self-criticism or chocolate or sadness or *false guilt or narcotics or whatever vice rings especially “helpful” in the moment.

What is a girl to do?  Depending on your chemistry and your thinking habits, spending time in any one of these “pseudo coping options” could mean a loss of precious time and potentially loss of precious health or a loss of trust and intimacy in a relationship.

May I recommend making a list of diversions for such moments?  And when you feel the sliding begin, you know, just an inkling that the quick sand is close by, you can refer to your list and launch yourself out of harms way!  Fast!

It seems that often times, the need to be filled is simply dealing with some kind of boredom.  So giving yourself some productive task or permission to take a break, like a chance to take a walk and breathe fresh air or some other activity you enjoy, really fills in the gap nicely and can make a big difference at the end of the day.

Say the Easter candy is calling to you, (hopefully you didn’t buy a month’s supply and if so, hopefully you really won’t keep it in the house that long) but you realize that what you really need is a big drink of water and a diversion!  You need to put your headphones on and listen to your favorite movie soundtrack while you make dinner.

Or maybe, what you really need to do is tackle some small job that has been hanging over your head and causing you to feel undone in some way.  And just by tackling that you have the liberating feeling you need so that you can move on to something you really want to do!

What about getting that book you’ve been excited to read and giving yourself half an hour to read a bit?  Or what about giving your body a nutrient dense snack that helps you feel satiated and well-fed? (I’ve seen some pretty darn good recipes for peanut butter cups that you freeze! There is a recipe on this site for a whole food version that is very nutritious, but there are some out there with fewer ingredients and therefore easier to whip up!)

Which brings me to the last point which is: have healthy alternatives prepared for yourself and for your family!  Hey, if you have a choice between junk and food and they both are tasty, you can go for the good stuff and not have to chastise yourself later! And oh the joy of self-mastery!

By implementing some of these ideas, you will be creating an environment that supports your best interests, and that supportive environment can be a massively, powerful influence.

I pray for your health and well-being!

Love,

Jacque

P. S. What is *false guilt?  It is feeling guilty for not being perfect.  Not even close to Godly sorrow when you have really done something wrong, but just a time-wasting, miserable funk to jump into that is neither productive nor real.

P. P. S. If you have some luck with creating diversions, please share!

P. P. P. S My favorite diversion lately is a video I took of Garth dancing with and singing to one of our little granddaughters.  I find that I can’t help but smile at that!

P. P. P. P. S “He must reign until he hath put all enemies under His feet.”  He can enable our success.  Ask for His help! Happy Easter!