Inspiration

General inspiration

Mantra

by

“I am enough.”“No, actually, I am more than enough!”

How does that feel?

It’s true! I challenge you to rehearse this truth 50 times tomorrow, and watch your energy pick up and your vantage point shift to looking down on your challenges instead of having them looming overhead.

All my love,

Jacque

Putting Second Things First?

by

Do you have guidelines for yourself as far as ordering your day goes?

It always seems that my day comes unraveled pretty quickly if I get things out of turn.  I mean, when I read and pray and shower and dress first thing, everything else goes much better.  I’m not running around trying to play catch up and feeling out of sorts.

Self-care, and then home care, seem to set a foundation for the rest of the day that you can then build upon and feel that you are making progress, that you are gaining traction with the things you want to accomplish.

It seems that society is becoming more and more lax as to personal care and in general, we seem to be making everything more casual.  Of course I’m happy not to be expected to wear heels all day while I clean my house, but there is a lot of personal respect and confidence that comes from daily personal care, especially first thing in the morning.

It’s like setting a stage for the rest of your activities.  A centered mind and spirit and a clean and groomed body sets you up for engaging in life, welcoming in guests, working with others and contributing to your friends and family and community.

Little people also need this care!  They need to be dressed and clean and cared for and ready to go to work, helping to take care of their own spaces as they are able and contributing to the family in simple ways. It is amazing what little ones can do to be helpful and how much they gain from being needed!

Of course our days vary and sometimes we are rocking a sick child or dealing with unforeseen problems.  But for those regular, every days, I hope you will have the joy of meeting your days head on.

Much love to you,

Jacque

I’m Hungry!

by

There are times and seasons in our lives that make eating easier or more difficult right? Like, when you’re a kid and your mom or your grandma are diligent about providing food for you, it’s easy to eat well.  But there are other times, maybe when your family structure changes or when there is illness or maybe when you are just getting your start and you’re living alone, that cooking and eating can become a pretty challenging tasks!

How to make those more intense seasons easier?

First of all, whether you are cooking for one or for ten, the “worthiness” is the same.  You are worth cooking for if you are alone, one child is worth cooking for if you are a single mother, and certainly, a house full of all ages means it’s all the more important to figure out strategies for cooking that can make life a little easier.

Declare it!

“I love providing healthy food for my family!”

“I do what it takes to feed myself well and give my body the nutrition it needs and deserves.”

“I love food and there are so many fun, healthy recipes I want to try!”

“I am committed to treating myself well.”

How do you make cooking as enjoyable as possible at your house?

Here are a few thoughts I’ve had:

When I know what I’m going to cook ahead of time, my stress level goes way, way down. Planning is a big deal.

Making more than I need for one meal is crucial for my mental health. Leftovers feel like manna from heaven, because doing a lot of cooking one day and then having a break the next day really helps me to keep wanting to cook. Even better, is making a good sized batch of something and then dividing it into single servings and freezing them. It makes for real, healthy food that only requires putting it in a saucepan with a lid, on low heat. And there is a meal!

Wash and break up a variety of greens and store in an airtight container.  Then when it’s time for dinner prep, pull out enough to fill up a serving bowl and add the rest of your salad ingredients, just enough for one meal.  Then tomorrow, you can make a different kind of salad using the same greens, with the prep time cut in half.  Better yet, grate carrots and slice celery and peel cucumbers and prepare other vegetables so that they will be easy to add when you need them.

Make some healthy desserts and keep them in the freezer in small portions!!!  And along with that, don’t buy and store anything in your house that doesn’t support your health goals. (Oreos don’t belong in your pantry. T-R-A-N-S-F-A-T-S. They just don’t.)

Cook with a friend one day a week!  You can grocery shop, cook large batches of soups and main dishes and share the results.  It is much more fun to have company, so find someone that wants to be healthy too and support each other and make planning and cooking fun!

Juice your own veggies and fruit and mix them together and freeze them.  Then take them out of the freezer in the morning and put them in the fridge for the next day’s breakfast smoothie or snack.  And hey, smoothies make really good snacks!  Just don’t add sugar to them!  But do add a lot of veggies…

I hope that you will add your ideas in the comments to this post!  What have you done that has made life in the kitchen easier for you?

Take good care!

Love,

Jacque

 

To Save Sanity: Tidy-Up!

by

Isn’t it amazing how quickly the string with no knot at the end can loose all it’s beads? I’m referring to the proverbial string that we are beading every day by doing household chores.  It has no knot because this kind of work doesn’t stay done for long!

I imagine we all go through stages of being very vigilant in maintaining order, and then sometimes we get buried and need to regroup.  One thing to bear in mind is that our domestic engineering has much to do with the environment that we are creating, that leads to the feeling that exists in our home.

It never ceases to amaze me how comforting and peaceful general order can be.  I don’t mean immaculate, all day, every day, no-finger-prints-ever kind of order.  I’m just referring to the movement of light and air and a sense that someone has the reigns!

If you are practicing time-blocking, then you have a pretty good sense that things are getting attention in their turn.  But what about the overall messiness factor of every day?

Tidy, has become a popular word because of some good books that have been in circulation the last few years.  I think that there isn’t anything simpler to do to change your stress level and to enliven family members than a quick renewal of order.

When you want to involve everyone, and that is only right since clutter and messes usually are made by everyone, I’d suggest setting a timer and playing music!  Especially when you are engaging small children, music can be the way they understand that a time limit is being set.  And music makes everything more fun I’d say.  (We used to play a Veggie Tales CD we owned…I think my kids know those songs pretty well and we had fun singing along and being goofy.)

Tidying doesn’t mean deep cleaning, so no one needs to feel overwhelmed.  It’s just like taking wings and gently hovering around putting pillows back in place, returning toys to their proper storage spots, opening blinds, righting a stack of books, etc.

While you’re in hovering fairy mode, you can keep the mood light and simple and have a small reward at the end!  A picture book in the rocking chair, a cup of milk and a cookie, a sticker on a chart or whatever you can think of.

For teens, it may just be time to visit with Mom, or a time to think or a time to put on their earphones and go into auto-pilot.

A note on toys: if your whole house is overrun with toys and children’s books or clothes or stuffed animals, I think it is safe to say you have too many.  

It is important for the different areas of your house to function as they are meant to function.  When you can’t walk through your laundry room because you trip over excess toys and clutter, it isn’t going to serve you very well.  If your bedroom is always covered in children’s items, it may not make the best sanctuary for your marriage.

If you find that keeping order is next to impossible, go for the goal of getting rid of half of everything you own.

Half of the books.  Half of the toys.  Half of the clothes. (Laundry doesn’t need to take over every surface!)  Half of the kitchen do-gadgets.  Maybe even half of the furniture!

Letting in light and air can do so much for our mental health!

I wish you well in creating the spaces you desire, where your family will have room to learn and play and to just…… breathe.

All my best to you! You’re doing great!

Jacque

 

 

On Problems

by

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