General

Boundaries For Balance

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Ever feel that you’re not sure if you should be pushing yourself to do more or if you should slow down and do less?

This is a daily question for we women, particularly mothers who are doing their best to cover the every day demands of a family such as planning and preparing meals, taking care of home maintenance, educating and training kids, supporting the development of talents and getting people where they need to be when they need to be there! (It’s a pretty amazing job isn’t it?)

So how’s it going and how do you decide if you’re getting close to a healthy balance?

Do you run, non-stop until you are exhausted and then drop? Or do pace yourself and stay pretty even-keeled? Or do you sometimes feel that you are lacking passion and challenge and need something new in your life?

Most likely, we all fluctuate somewhere on the line between too much to do and not enough going on. {Well, I don’t really know of anyone with not enough to do, but I’d guess it’s a real challenge for some!} Our personalities are unique and are expressed in ways that effect our daily balancing decisions, so there is no one-size-fits-all answer to the question of how to balance best!

Someone told me recently that they are usually deciding what they can be okay with leaving undone, and then using their time and energy to do the rest.

The thing I like about that thought is the calm acceptance tucked into it, the recognition that there are more things needing to be done than my friend can possibly do in a day, and so she doesn’t beat herself up about the fact, or pretend otherwise, but simply prioritizes her to-do list and then does what she can.

I personally want to get better and better at:
saying no to activities that divert my attention away from my most important relationships, goals and learning;
planning my work and working my plan;
keeping a little ahead of deadlines and assignments and
regularly taking breaks to renew myself.

One tried and true practice that gives consistent peace, on crazy days or kicked-back days, {whether you function as a soldier or as a spontaneous gypsy} is doing the most important things as early in the day as possible, particularly those practices that feed your soul. Prayer, scripture reading, journaling and meditating set us up for a day of knowing who we are, what we value most and that we can have heaven’s help in accomplishing the daily things that matter most!

Praying for inspiration to feel what God would have us do throughout our days is the best balancing practice I know.

His will is always for our growth and benefit, and we won’t go wrong in listening for that small voice that guides us in wisdom’s paths.

One day at a time, one prayer at a time. There’s balance.

Love,
Jacque

 

The Strong Center

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I love being married and I love all of the good things that have come as a consequence of the decision we made many years ago to join our lives together to create a family.

Over the last few weeks, we’ve had the pleasure of watching our married children celebrate some special moments in their lives and it has given me great peace to see them working to build a bright future together.

Mostly, it has given me comfort to know that their children will be blessed forever by their efforts to have a firm marriage relationship at the center of their family!

When you become an empty-nester you’ll see what I mean! All of the time you spend nurturing and raising children is crazy and wonderful and demanding and an amazing challenge- but when your children move on to their own stories, you see that all of the time you spent working on your marriage was and is crucial! You still have each other and you get to love your adult children and grandchildren together, and that is the icing on the cake!

If you think about it, what ways can you see that you could make your marriage relationship more of a priority in your life now? How can you strengthen each other and create a bond so tight that the rest of the family can grow on the love they witness in you?

I hope my children can see and know the love and respect I have for their dad. He’s an amazing companion, leader, father, grandpa and friend.

I am so very grateful for our family. Nothing could bless me more.

I hope you are well and I hope that you are finding your way through the challenges of family life and feeling hopeful!

God bless you and yours!

Love,
Jacque

Eat For Balance!

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Sometimes we experience a complete disconnect between what we eat and how we feel. In fact, we can be so unaware at times that we don’t even recognize how we feel or what we ate or how some things effect us. Not just our weight or food allergy symptoms, but also our brain chemistry, gut health, liver function, and general gut health.

Here are a few tips (and maybe a little rant) about simple ways to improve our diets:

1 Try to eat something at each meal that is alive, and snack on living foods too.

Living food comes with it’s own enzymes to help us break them down and digest them well. Living food also comes in it’s own package which makes it enter our bodies in a more balanced way than processed food does. For instance, eating a whole apple gives you fiber at the same time you are getting fruit sugar, so it is absorbed more slowly than say, a fruit drink or even apple juice by itself. Along with enzymes, you could also think in terms of eating good bacteria too, such as un-sugared yogurt or cultured vegetables, grains or natural yeast bread.

2 Eat before you are desperately hungry.

Being proactive about feeding yourself (and your family) pays great dividends. When we are overly hungry we generally don’t make great food choices, and at that point we may have lost the blood sugar balance we need to maintain homeostasis, which can cause a cascade of imbalance in our chemistry. Knowing that meals are coming in a timely way certainly give kids (and adults) comfort, while also making it easier to maintain relationships. If you didn’t have to deal with a super-cranky, overly hungry toddler, or teenager, or your hungry self, wouldn’t that make your house more peaceful?

3 Stay clear of food additives.

Fresh food rots, so if you have a food product that can sit on a shelf for months or years, you know it is not in the realm of real. At that point it really isn’t food in my opinion. Food colorings and flavorings destroy healthy gut bacteria, can cause behavior problems, and are very addictive. Think whole and real and your body will thank you by staying more balanced, headache-free, addiction-free and your guts will be happier! Cucumbers, apples and real peanut butter; delicious salads; raw nuts and seeds; soaked, cooked grains; cultured vegetables; soup made from bone broth and vegetables; simple meats, like cooked, whole chicken; raw vegetables, steamed vegetables; and so on.

4 Decrease sugar intake.

This seems to be such a no-brainer, but the point doesn’t seem to make into our collective behavior. What is that about? Addiction? Most likely. And stupidity. Sorry, I just have to say that. Why are we handing kids candy every time they turn around? If you are struggling with anxiety, depression, weight issues, allergies, headaches, tooth decay, out-of-control kids, it surely would be worth the effort to make this shift. Sugar wreaks havoc on our bodies! It’s that simple. Stay away from it. At least, cut it down by degrees until you can do without it.

5 Drink better water more and more often.

Hydration is so important and so misunderstood. Often hunger, headache, irritability or even lethargy or feeling tired can really be signs that your body is dehydrated. It is estimated that 40% of adults are dehydrated on a regular basis. (Poor kidneys!) It’s a very simple thing to do: drink more water. Not more soda, not more juice, not more milk just clean water. (Chlorinated water kills good gut bacteria.) Get an app on your phone, keep a sticky note on the fridge, or do whatever it takes to remind yourself to drink more water. Every system in your body will work better if you do!

I surely hope you will have a wonderful holiday season and that you will be able to maintain a healthy balance. Here’s to your health! After all it is quite difficult to be our best selves without it.

Love,
Jacque

 

 

Thankful

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Your strength is extraordinary!
Your ability to keep going even when you are hurting.
Your drive to function {even cheerfully} on half a night’s sleep….again.
Your tenacity. Your determination to lead.
To teach.
To train.
In a word, your love makes you as strong as steel even when you may feel weak.
{Even when you feel you’ve failed, you continue to try and try again.}
So, you may not know it but;
You are making all the difference! {Remember, the small things are the big things!}
You are tipping the scales.
You are bringing greater civility, kindness and generosity to the world.
You are creating places of trust, microcosms of safety for growing souls.
I pray that our Father in Heaven will multiply your abilities and give you the simple, daily bread of spiritual strength you desire.
You are of worth. Your feelings do matter. And I care about you!
Be well! Be grateful.
Love,
Jacque

Apache Blessing

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“May the sun bring you new
energy by day,
may the moon
softly restore you by night,
may the rain
wash away your worries,
may the breeze
blow new strength into your being.
May you walk
gently through the world and know
its beauty all the days of your life.”