General inspiration

No Defense Needed


Have you ever been in the position of having someone blame you for some event that is now ancient history?

Did you feel the need to explain and justify and defend yourself?

As we’re discussing the rules of validation, this is an important scenario to mention.

It is human nature, I think, to want to defend ourselves when we feel misunderstood or accused. But if we are trying to validate and not argue, that line of thinking won’t work.

As an example, let’s say that an adult child comes to you with an old hurt.  And they let you know, either timidly or boldly, how badly they feel because you did or didn’t do something to help them.  Could have been that they were hurt by someone and you didn’t know about it and couldn’t have defended them, but they expected you to be their protection. Or, maybe they felt unsupported or even unappreciated and now they want to have it out and get beyond it.

The temptation for us as caring parents is to state our own defense.
“But I didn’t know.”
“That’s not true.”
“I had no choice and you know that.”
Or worse,
“You think you had it bad, I was working two jobs to make ends meet!”

Besides, you may be thinking, why bring it up? It’s in the past and there is nothing I can do to fix this now!

But this train of thought and defensive response will lead to more of the same and the child will still feel unheard and will most likely hold on to their need until another day when they feel to try again.

What does work, is letting them talk while you listen.  Their goal is not to be reimbursed or somehow magically have it all made right!  All they need is for you to hear them. So, your validating response may sound like,
“Wow, I’ll bet that was hard.”
“I’m so sorry I didn’t know that happened.”
“I can hear that you had a hard time with that, please forgive me.”

It is truly a miraculous moment when the message gets through and the validation is felt. And most often, that is the end of it.

The tools of validation are a great, great gift and can make all the difference in creating and maintaining healthy relationships.

I hope you are having success in your practicing!

Much love,









Note to Self


I learned something new and enlightening this week.

It’s about leadership, and could be applied to a family leadership role beautifully.

The truth is this:

When leading, it isn’t as important to know how to direct and lead others as it is important for us to learn to be led by heaven.

To gain an understanding of what God would have us do on any given day, to have inspiration about what to do next to solve a problem or come to know what principle or skill on which to focus our attention in order to continue to learn.

Being led and inspired puts us in the best position to lead and inspire our families.

It is the humble and teachable and positive way to show our children by example how to be taught, or how to learn.

Can you think of someone who leads in this way? By example and by their ability to be led themselves?

Beautifully, this approach also helps us to keep within our realm of power. One, we can only chose to change ourselves, and two, it is by gaining greater control of ourselves that we lose our desire or compulsive need to control others.

I believe that God is waiting to assist us in this most important role of parenthood.  All we need do is ask for His help and then be willing and ready to hear and to follow the inspiration we receive.

Life is good when we chose to see the good!

Sending you my love and best wishes,



Living In Color



Note: This is a four-year-old post! Hope it gives you some good things to consider. Take care! xo

Summer is winding down, and I hope it has been a good one for you!  I can feel the energy growing for school shopping, sign-ups for football and piano lessons and, and, and…! While you’re in the midst of this gear shifting, please consider these words, profoundly placed on a bumper sticker I saw probably 20 years ago…“The problem with life is that it’s so daily.”

What does this have to do with fall time?  It seems to me (from my personal experience) that when we think of a new schedule or about what time our children have for extra activities or what time we have to accomplish x, y or z, sometimes we forget that what it takes to live healthfully, takes time too!

By this I mean, we were created to need to eat multiple times a day, right?  (Did I just hear someone with dishpan hands moaning?  I know, I know, dishes are soooo “daily”!) Not only that but we were created to need regular rest periods, light, exercise, connections with others, belonging to a family culture, etc.

The problem that seems to eventually throw a stick in the spokes of our finely tuned schedules is that we really didn’t factor in these realities of living….that we have to eat, rest, play, move, breathe fresh air and belong.

So we’ve usually planned in the lessons and the work hours and the school hours and the sports hours, but how about the cooking hours?  The planning-the-menu and the resting time?  When we don’t plan to take time to do the basics (cooking, shopping, eating, resting, cleaning etc.) we set ourselves up for serious frustration!  And contention.  And malnutrition.

And as we see in our country, obesity and ill-health.

There’s a secret you learn after so many years of being a mom: It is that all of the things that we do to keep ourselves healthy and enjoying life can actually be enjoyable and health-promoting in and of themselves if we have given ourselves the time to do them.

I mean, growing your own vegetables is a treat…when you have the time to do it and it’s not an annoying job crammed in the holes of an already over-scheduled day.  There is something so renewing about  being in the dirt, pulling weeds, watching plants maturing, breathing in fresh air and feeling the sun.  Then there’s the feeling of feeding your family produce that is free of pesticides!  It is amazing!

As a young mom I just couldn’t resist taking pictures of freshly baked bread (probably because it took me so very long to make a decent looking loaf!) or of beautiful orange and pink peaches in jars.  Nature is so beautiful and being a part of it is rewarding beyond anything I know.

Maybe the biggest issue with all of this “daily living” centers on what you believe is worthy of your time. What validates you as a person and as a mother?  What influences are weighing most heavily on you that may keep you from feeling that the art of living a rich and full life with your family may not be enough?  That YOU may not be enough if you don’t have more to report about your afternoon than, “today I taught my three-year-old to pull weeds and we ate fresh tomatoes on the back steps for lunch?”

There is so much pressure to be all and do it all…and deceptively, all at once!

I want to encourage you to weed out the pressures and influences that may be causing you frustration and discouragement.  There is nothing you will do in this life that trumps the meaning and fulfillment of being a mother.  If you can, why not slow down, UNDER schedule, and love the things that living requires?

Yep, we can live on frozen food and adrenaline pumping schedules…but not for long and not well.
And we miss so much during a moment in time that we won’t be able to call back later. After all, life is a long time, God-willing, and there will be time for many other pursuits…

Mothers, you are needed.  Your role in the family and in society is crucial.  You cannot be replaced by anyone else.  Your love, your smile, your time, your face, your laugh…make up the memories of home, of belonging and of being loved.  Is there really something more important than that? Within the array of choice that you have in your life, about how and where you spend your time, is there room for slowing things down, breathing a little easier and living a little more?

My hope for all of us is that when we turn and look back over the years of our lives, we will see the fruit of our family labors and have great joy in the harvest!

I send you my vote of confidence that you are enough.  And you can do this.


You Gotta Love It!


How is it that we, who live in this crazily abundant place, where we have access to any number of

meats and herbs and grains and vegetables and fruits and recipes and information about people all over the world, live primarily on refined junk?

Why, why, why? Why do we keep things so small?

What do you think would happen if a mom decided to branch out; to try different dishes from different cultures; to use different herbs and different vegetables, way more than the few overused and “normal” ones?

Might her children grow up to be curious about cultures and new food experiences? Might they widen their horizons and gain flexibility?

I hear women say that the most difficult person to cook for in their house is their husband- simply because he is used to the same few things and has no tolerance for anything new.

Man, that is as sad as it is frustrating. Which makes me question: why are we feeding our kids mac n cheese when we could be feeding them from the top of the food chain, so to speak. and they could be gaining greater variety, greater health and greater flexibility?

Here’s a thought:

You know how some people have a very narrow range of temperatures in which they feel comfortable? As in, one degree hotter or one degree colder and they are miserable? It seems that same idea goes for food. To someone with a narrow comfort zone food-wise, unless you serve the one and only white pancakes they are used to, they flip out! Or if you have pasta and it isn’t exactly the same bottle of sauce that they are accustomed to, they tend to throw a fit.

How about, instead of trying to please our little bunchkins so much and constantly maintain the status quo, what if we slowly help them stretch out their adventurous side and teach them, through their taste buds, that there’s a whole world out there! That indeed, there are blueberry pancakes and oatmeal pancakes and pumpkin pancakes and buckwheat pancakes and teff pancakes! They may learn to eat far better by learning to loosen up their taste bud expectations!

The time to teach them is when they are very young! It is a myth that kids need special “kid” food.  Kids just need real food. And when they become accustomed to it from the beginning, they are light years ahead of the game later on, flexibility-wise and nutrition-wise.

And that may mean that when they get married, there’s a better likelihood that they will have the mature taste buds of mature eaters.  And the world would be a much better place for the girl in charge of the food.



P.S. Is it YOU that is having a hard time branching out of your food comfort zone? I challenge you to try something new every day or every week! Food is one of the most wonderful experiences on the planet and variety is the name of the game! Go for it!  Your family will be blessed by your growth.



Food for Thought


Well, food for lunch!

This is a slice of Tillamook Swiss cheese, leftover, shredded herbed chicken from a crockpot meal, easy guacamole, sliced tomatoes and fresh basil on a slice

of toasted homemade bread.


For the guacamole, simply mash a ripe avocado in a bowl with a fork and sprinkle with granulated garlic and salt.

I broke the basil into small pieces and ate it on the sandwich. Pure heaven.

Sometimes it’s just fun to be able to see new combinations of things isn’t it? If you’re like me, it’s easy to get stuck in a pattern of only being able to think of the same old things to eat.

Happy harvest season coming up!

I wish you health and happiness today and always.