Sweet Potato Curry!

by

I hope you will love this soup as much as I do!  (I don’t know how many times I have made it in the last two months!)  It was inspired by Pathway to Wellness and I’m so grateful to have it in my recipe book!

Besides being flavorful and nutritious, you’ll also be amazed at how easy it is to make!

Simply, saute´ a few cloves of garlic and a chopped onion lightly in olive oil or butter, and then add 5 cups of water and two vegetable bouillon cubes (I like Edward and Sons brand) and two large sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped.

Let it slowly simmer for about 30 minutes and then add:

1 Tbs curry powder

1/2 tsp cayenne (or less if you’re sensitive to heat, but don’t omit altogether because it makes the flavor pop, besides being very good for you!)

1/2 cup natural peanut butter

and salt and pepper to taste if you prefer.

Then, using an immersion blender, blend until smooth.  (Or, of course you can let your soup cool a bit and put it in your regular blender and puree until smooth.)

To top it off, I like to wilt spinach and lightly saute´ mushrooms in olive oil.  You could also add thin slices of Havarti cheese or grated sharp cheddar or Parmesan.  Be creative and try different things!

While I was serving this to my mom and my daughter yesterday for lunch, we thought it would be yummy to top with raw peanuts and chopped cilantro!

Remember that gathering for dinner is one of the best things you can do for your family on many levels!  It’s worth the effort it takes.

Love,

Jacque

Excellence, Not Perfection!

by

Do you ever stop and realize that you are being critical of yourself?  You make a simple mistake and feel all is lost?

Do you hear critical, cutting comments in your head?  Some that you would be appalled to hear if someone else had said them?  Why do you expect perfection here and now?

Perfectionism: “a personal standard, attitude, or philosophy that demands perfection and rejects anything less.”  So, where is the grace needed to learn from life’s experiences if one is constantly going up and down on the teeter totter of either completely perfect or completely failed?  Doesn’t that sound crazy, and familiar? 

What if we gave up perfectionism?  And replaced that expectation with a goal to excel?  Would that lighten our loads and make the disappointing moments less of a worry?

When I think of excellence, I think of doing something, small or large, with my full attention and with care.  And I can do that.

On the flip side, the expectation of perfectionistic thinking is an eventual, no inevitable fall, a disappointment waiting to happen.  And the anticipation sets me up for a greater misery when it finally happens.

This year, a focus on excellence is one of my goals.  I expect to make mistakes, to correct them and to learn.  To get into life, to enjoy the challenges and work and people in my life and live without the fear of disappointing myself by being human.

“Human” is where we learn!

Here’s to a learning year, full of grace, for ourselves, and for each other. 

Love,

Jacque

Visual Aid

by

Guess what?  Sometimes we don’t know exactly what influence we have, in fact we may never really know.

But there are two things we do know.

One, is that our kids learn from everything that we say and do, our facial expressions, our likes and dislikes, and even from our thoughts.

And two, that knowing this, our love for them is the motivation we have to become better and better.  More honest.  More clear.  More communicative.  More humble and teachable.  In some cases more firm.  In others, more gentle. But always striving because we know,

they’re watching and learning and crafting a life from what they observe in us.

“In all events, a mother can exert an influence unequaled by any other person in any other relationship.  By the power of her example and teaching, her sons learn to respect womanhood and to incorporate discipline and high moral standard in their own lives.

Her daughters learn to cultivate their own virtue and to stand up for what is right, again and again, however unpopular. A mother’s love and high expectations lead her children to act responsibly without excuses, to be serious about education and personal development, and to make ongoing contributions to the well-being of all around them.”          D. Todd Christofferson

What habits would you like to cultivate for their sake?  Can you see how your love for them works for your benefit and blessing when used as the motivation for change?

When you look back (as some of us can now) you will see that the only time you will fail is when you stop trying.

Baby steps, baby steps to the best you!

Love,

Jacque

Gotta Have Heart

by

Isn’t it kind of crazy that long before you accomplish a goal,

you have to work on each broken down piece of it,

and before that you have to divide it up and schedule it,

and before that you must have a concrete idea,

and before that you have to know what you want,

and before that you have to have the hope that you just might be able to succeed,

and before that you had to have

HEART!

 

To Risk or Not To Risk

by

I don’t know who wrote this, but it’s been hanging in my kitchen for a long time.

Dare To Risk

To laugh is to risk appearing the fool.

To weep is to risk appearing sentimental.

To reach for another is to risk involvement.

To expose your ideas or your dreams before a crowd is to risk their loss.

To love is to risk not being loved in return.

To live is to risk dying.

To believe is to risk failure.

But risks must be taken, because the greatest hazard in life is to risk nothing.

The people who risk nothing, do nothing, have nothing, are nothing.

They may avoid suffering and sorrow, but they cannot learn, feel, change, grow, love, live.

Chained by their attitudes, they are slaves: They have forfeited their freedom.

Only a person who risks is free.

 

Those sentiments also line-up with a profound thought I heard the other day, which is:

When the pain of staying the same becomes greater than the fear of change, we will take the risks that will help us to move forward.

Is there anything that you’d like to learn or experience that you’re not doing because of fear?

I can think of several!  Here’s to having the courage to take the next baby step…shall we?

Be well!

Jacque