General

On Problems

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I love this quote, but I’ll tell you, to think like this for the first time in the middle of a heavy challenge is almost overwhelming.

I would add to Mr. Peale’s thoughts that it takes practice during times of relative ease to be able to have this kind of mental fortitude when the rain is falling!

Along with practicing this kind of thinking, set up your environment, when you are feeling happy and encouraged, so that when you are struggling, your surroundings will support you in keeping to the positives you want to hold onto.

Where are your declarations?  (Visible I hope!) Where is your vision board?  Who is aware of your goals? (For social support, share them with someone you trust!) Do you reserve any of your physical or mental strength or do you spend every dime?  Do you have rhythms of self-care that are part of your daily habits? These are all examples of environmental supports that can help us get through a challenging stretch.

Now the quote.

“It all lies in how you think about your problems…I attack a problem and shake it to pieces with my mind.  I put all the mental power I have upon it.  Second, I pray about it most sincerely.  Third, I paint a mental picture of success.  Fourth, I always ask myself, “What is the right thing to do?” for, nothing will be right if it is wrong.  Nothing that is wrong will ever come out right.  Fifth, I give it all I’ve got.  But let me emphasize again, if you’re thinking defeat, change your thoughts at once.  Get new and positive thoughts.  That is primary and basic in overcoming difficulties and in achieving.”

The Power of Positive Thinking, by Norman Vincent Peale

Food for thought huh?

Happy Sunday to you.  I wish you peace and strength.

Jacque

Words We Cannot Speak

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Oh, the irony of opposites!

I had a single friend tell me the other day how she had been to a meeting and she was sure the men in the room were speaking a different language. How true that is!

All of us are getting a lot of experience learning to communicate with those guys from Mars, aren’t we? (Maybe you have read, Men are From Mars, Women are From Venus?  If you haven’t, I’d encourage you to find the audio version and listen to it with your spouse! We heard it about 20 years ago and it was enjoyable and very instructive!)

Come to think of it, we have had quite a few opportunities to learn communication skills and have had some relationship coaching through the years.  For which we have been very grateful.

But if you’re like me, sometimes, we don’t even know ourselves what it is we want to say, let alone figure out how to say it so that our spouse will hear and understand.  We may pull out every skill we know, and try in a hundred ways to get a need across and still feel that we aren’t communicating well enough to ensure understanding.

Add to that, the fact that oftentimes I don’t understand myself or a situation I am facing, and it can feel as if there is no win in sight!

So, when I come to the end of what I know, I ask God to say the words I cannot say. And the double blessing is that I don’t even have to understand all of the complexities that are in play, I just have to ask and have faith and be open to seeing His hand in our family’s dynamics.

And He does work miracles.

I think He is so willing to help because we are His children, and His whole heart is involved in loving us and wanting us to be happy.  And because we are striving for success, we love each other and we are committed to our marriage and to our family.

Is there something you long to express, but don’t quite know how?  Is there some part of your marriage relationship or family life that could use a helping, heavenly hand?

I pray that you will keep your hope alive and continue to walk on in all of the efforts you are making to help your spouse and children to live a happy life.  But I’m also hoping that you will invite God to step in to orchestrate and choreograph the situations, conversations and experiences you need that will say what your heart really wants and needs to say.

I pray for your success and happiness!

Love,

Jacque

Summer Feet

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Do you wear sandals a lot in the summer?  Or do you go barefooted?  I’m not much into shoes myself, and wear sandals every chance I get, or better yet have bare feet during the summer months.

But it seems like the less I wear shoes, the more the skin on my feet gets dried out.

Something I stumbled onto is a simple foot soak that really softens cracked or calloused skin.

All you need is warm water and Epsom salts.  Get some kind of shallow pan and fill it with water as warm or as hot as you like it, then add 1/4 – 1/2 of the salt.  Aaaah, soak your feet and enjoy being pampered a bit.

When the water has cooled, or you’ve soaked your feet for at least 10 minutes, dry them off and be amazed at how hydrated your skin will look and feel!

Super simple and inexpensive self-care. Add clay facials and essential oil steaming and it could be fun to invite your daughters or friends to join you to have a fun home spa afternoon!

I hope you have a great summer on the horizon!

Love,

Jacque

P.S. For steaming: Put very hot water in a metal bowl, scatter a few drops of your favorite essential oils or blends on top. Then,, quickly tent your head with a towel and with your face in the rising steam, take deep calming breaths.  Aaaaah.

Take a Break

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What do you like to do for a break?

And, more importantly than that, do you know when you need one?

Here are a few thoughts on that topic:

First of all, who knows first when we are tired and ornery?  Not us!  It’s usually information that settles on us as we see a reflection of our own frustration and confusion in the faces of our spouse and children.  Have you ever experienced that phenomenon only to be delusional enough to think that it’s everyone else that needs help and an attitude change…not you?

So there’s a clue: when it seems that the whole world has gone crazy, maybe we ought to glance in the mirror and see what’s going on with us!  Are we overly tired?  Dare I say, hormonal?  Perhaps grieving for some reason?  Or feeling helpless or distressed?

Sometimes we have a feeling that we can’t understand. Where did it come from?  Why did it surface now?  And what do we do to get back to feeling Ike ourselves?

The best thing that I know is to think backward.  What were you thinking about in the last five minutes? Ten minutes?  Or the last hour?  Have you taken on someone else’s problems or discouragement?  Have you been under the influence of rapid fire negative or evil thinking?  Think back, did you believe what you heard?

Once you identify the genesis or your current state you can correct your thinking errors and replace those negative and ugly lies for beautiful and hopeful truths!  Almost instantly, the light will turn back on in your mind and heart you will be able to move forward again.

Sometimes we can recognize that we need a break by feelings of apathy.  When we’re overly tired, it is hard to care about anything isn’t it?  And that state of mind is no good when it comes to being present with our children and our spouse and friends.  And it feels rotten!

So a break.  What do you do?  Do you have ideas to share?  (Please do!)

My favorites are:

Riding a bike.  Since that day my dad let go of the seat and I rode off down the road balancing myself, I have loved feeling wind in my hair and  and the gentle motion of gliding down the street.  I love it that biking gets me places faster than walking and I love the exercise too.

Reading a good book.  Oh man, isn’t it dreamy to go places and get to know people without ever leaving home?  Reading is such a ticket “out” of our own story and into someone else’s.  And oh the perspective and clarity we can gain by observing our own lives from the vantage point of someone in another time and place.  During the years that I chose to be close to my little ones most of the time, I read biographies of people who inspired me and helped me to dream of the things I would like to accomplish in my life when the time was right.  And who can resist a sweet love story?

Journaling.  Talk about perspective!  Writing out your thoughts can be extremely therapeutic and trans-formative.  (If you’re worried about someone seeing something youv’e written that you think might be disturbing to them, write it on a loose piece of paper and then burn it after you’ve purged your soul!) Most often, we just need the opportunity to look back and get a sense of our own progress.  Journals are therapy in the writing and in the reading later.  Greatest treasure I have in my home is years of my life written in my own hand.

Talking to a friend.  Ever notice how being with friends lifts your spirits and rejuvenates  you without even trying?  I hope you have a few or a lot of connections to people who are positive and moving forward in their lives!  And if for some reason you don’t allow others into your life, those who could be a support and strength for you, maybe talking to a good therapist would be helpful.  (Speaking from experience, there are times when, for good reasons we keep to ourselves and we may need help in resetting our boundaries to allow friends and loved ones “in.” )

Prayer,  Have you ever felt that your soul was parched and dry and after prayer felt that you had been in a gentle spiritual rain?  The spiritual power of prayer can truly change the night to day and restore us physically and emotionally as well.  Pour out your heart to God and let Him lead you along your path with confidence that He will answer your petitions and  help you get your needs met.

Dance in the kitchen.  Tell silly jokes.  Play catch in the backyard.  Jump on the trampoline.  Swing on a park swing.  Make popsicles.  Sit on a garden bench.  Dig in the dirt or weed a garden.

Give of yourself.  Sometimes just turning our minds to think of the needs of someone else is restorative to us.  Going out of our little space to minister to someone who needs help is the greatest balm I know.  Is there an elderly friend who needs a letter or a visit?  Someone who is living far from home that you could reach out to?  Turning outward unlocks the doors of loneliness and overwhelm that can so easily threaten our days.  Imagine a swirling, spiraling line on a paper going in and in and in, getting smaller and smaller, then mentally stopping the pencil, and making it go in the opposite direction, spinning out and out and out, is a good analogy of getting in a rut of self-absorption vs. the liberation of expanding our lives to include others and their wants and needs.

Funny isn’t it, that we can be all about ‘other’s needs’ as we care for our children, and yet still manage to get caught in the trap of isolation when we, as we are caring for others, pity ourselves, thus becoming isolated from the people and places that would give us respite and strength to continue to care for our own?

It’s just one day at a time.  Little by little.  We gain experience and learn how to best spend our strength and live out the days God has given us. Taking breaks as we need them so that we can be happy now.

Much love to you,

Jacque

 

Keep It Handy!

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Don’t you love being able to help your family with simple, natural remedies?  It is quite thrilling to me!

One of my favorites is Redmond clay.  I use it daily for one thing or another, and I think you’ll find it handy if you haven’t discovered it already.

First, I’ve already used it twice today (and it’s still morning).  I used my cream deodorant and then “powdered” with clay.  Then, I put a teaspoon in a shaker cup of 8 oz. water and shook it and drank it about an hour before breakfast.  I continue to do all I can to heal gut issues, and clay is an important tool for accomplishing that.

For burns, there is nothing better, just make sure to keep it wet by putting plastic over it. You don’t want it to dry out over a burn! I have had this bottle in my kitchen for years (as you can see) with clay made into a gel so that I can have it at a moments notice for first aid.  I also keep some in my car.

As a facial mask, it is lovely and only takes about five minutes until it is ready to be wiped off with a warm, wet washcloth.

It makes an amazing, drawing foot soak.  Just put a few tablespoons in a pan of hot water and soak those tired feet!

We use it as a diapering powder.  It works very well for diaper rash!  Better than anything else I know of.

I use clay for making cream deodorant.  And for dry shampoo because it absorbs oil and dirt.  Here’s an easy recipe to try:

Dry Shampoo Recipe

4 Tbs dry clay

1 Tbs cornstarch

15 drops of your favorite essential oil blend

Mix the ingredients together and put in a clean salt shaker.  You can then either shake the powder directly on to your scalp in small amounts, or shake the dry shampoo onto a cotton ball and dab a little on your scalp in sections. After a few minutes, brush it out.

Clay is used for electrolyte replacement, as a mineral supplement, for acid reflux, colitis, bee stings, acne, ulcers, eczema, shingles, sores that won’t heal and has many other uses.

For more information on using clay you can read Our Earth, Our Cure by Raymond Dextreit. You can also get a copy of a booklet called, We Eat Clay, by Neal E. Bosshardt, from Redmond Clay and Salt Company.  It is full of stories and experiences people have had using clay for a myriad of different ailments. Very interesting and inspiring!

I wish you health and happiness!

Jacque

As with any ideas offered at Lioness, you know that I do not intend to prescribe or treat illness in any way. You are in charge of your family’s health and must become confident and educated about any therapies you try. Be well!