Marriage

Marriage help

Fight Sister! Fight!

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How goes the war?

You know, the one that is being waged for your attention, for your sanity, for your confidence, for your focus, for your life?

So who’s winning today?  Are the whisperings you’re hearing those of encouragement and strength?  Are you listening to the voice that says, guard your hope with everything you’ve got?

Or are you attending to the cutting, damaging voice that says, see they don’t like you! What’s the use?  You’ve tried this before and you might as well give up now.

Man, just writing those words brings out the mother bear in me!  How dare those evil words be spoken in the ears of the sweet and the good?

All I can say is that you and I are waging a war and we’d better be determined to win the small, minute to minute battles that happen silently, almost without our realization.  The little, almost imperceptible moments when a shadow crosses our minds and leaves us feeling unsettled and we don’t know why.

Remember, we can go backward from a bad feeling to find the thoughts that preceded it and work them forward again.  Speak the truth about yourself!  Defend yourself!  Defend your spouse and defend your children!

No!  I will not go down that negative, dead end mental road!  I love my life! I love my spouse!  He is human, and so am I.  I am a good person!  I have much to give and God will enable every good effort I make to count for something.  I claim my happiness!  I am true to myself.  I claim my blessings!

Guard your faith and guard your hope like your life depends upon it.  We were born to win!

Sending you much love today.

Jacque

Begin With the End In Mind

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Some years ago, I cut an obituary out of the newspaper because it was so moving to me!  I saved it because I wanted to it have it on hand to be able to be inspired again and again by this woman’s life and by the fact that her children got her and appreciated what she gave to them!

It reminded me of the assignment I did years ago when I read Stephen Covey’s book First Things First.  As per his instructions, I wrote out what I wanted certain people to feel to say at my funeral. How wild is that?  It was an eye opening assignment! I felt very empowered by reading over my responses, as I was beginning to understand what I would need to incorporate into my life to create the outcome and impact that I had envisioned.  And I had a similar feeling when reading in this obituary. May I introduce you to a woman who I consider my new friend and mentor, Constance Faith Geurts Leishman. Her children wrote:

“To do well those things which God ordained to be the common lot of all mankind is the truest greatness.”

“The heart of our family was called back home…Our sweetheart, mother, grandma, sister, and Queen Bee left us to follow in her footsteps of faith.

As the ever-elect lady she was, she cleaved to her covenants as she delighted in serving at the side of her husband as they sought to do the will of the Lord in building the kingdom.  A favorite stewardship was spent as “Mission Mom” to 640 mighty missionaries…Her favorite Monday outing for the last 12 years was spent at Special Needs Primary as the pianist for the children she loved and prayed on.

She loved growing things, particularly flowers and babies.They thrived at her touch.  She refined list making into an art form.  Her greatest talent was that of blessing lives with her trademark thoughtfulness.  She thought of just what you needed even before you knew yourself!

Hobby: “Making Memories”!  Most of her energy was spent in the pursuit of shaping Sun Valleys, birthdays, recitals, baptisms, concerts, and anything her grandchildren did into meaningful moments.  She had a unique sense of the importance of moments.

She believed in miracles.  She believed in us.  And, she believed in the gospel of Jesus Christ.  Her testimony was simple, solid and sure.

“Always leave things and people better than you found them!”  We will, Mom, we will!”

Oh, do you see why I am inspired by this lady? And it’s worth noting, that even though I never met her, she has influenced my life too!

What do you hope your family and friends will feel about you and what will they want to say about you when you are gone? It wouldn’t hurt to write it out and let your brain go to work on creating the life and relationships you want to look back on with joy and contentment.

All my best to you!

Jacque

What He Wants

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He cares less about what you look like to him,  and more about how you look at him.

He wants to please you.  He wants to make you proud.  He wants to feel adored.  He wants his efforts to be appreciated.

He wants you to close some of your mental boxes, ha ha, that one is kind of a joke!

He wants you to feel loved.  He wants to rock your world.  He wants to feel your support.  He wants to be loved.

He wants to be a priority to you.  He wants the respect of his children.  He wants you to grow.  He wants you to be fulfilled.

He wants to see you smile.  He wants to express himself in ways that you’ll understand.  He wants you to be healthy, mind and body.  He wants to be on your team.

He wants the world to see you.  He wants to be admired.  He wants to be your anchor.  He wants to make the world safer.

He is simple.  Don’t make things more complicated than they need to be with your way of thinking.  Just love him and smile at him and be on the lookout for every kind act he performs on your behalf.

Learn how he ticks and you’ll be having a sweet time by and by!

xo

Jacque

P. S. I don’t presume to know what every man thinks, but I do have it on good authority that these desires are pretty right on for a majority.

It Works!

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Last year was a significant time for our family.  It was a milestone honoring our decision to become a family!  The time when I was chosen to be the mother of his children, and of when I chose the man who would become their father (and I really held him up to that heavy calling in my deliberations!). It was the time when our love started to grow and when we were able to clasp hands and jump off a proverbial cliff into the unknown; to make the greatest commitment of our lives.

I learned many things in my looking back to see where we have been and where we have faith that we are going.

And I feel to share with you, the overarching lesson, even the inspired thought that came to me in the middle of our sacred celebratory experiences together;

It is that living, even in our imperfect and faltering way, the gospel of Christ, really does what it proposes to do: it perfects and exalts and grows us; it lifts and carries us as marriage partners, and families, to the working out of our salvation.  Together.

It is the power to forgive and to be forgiven.  It is the undying chain of trying and falling and rising and moving forward.  It is the power to see who your spouse truly is, even when you see his struggles.  It is the power to see your larger self, especially when you are feeling failed and small.

After 30 years, I can say with confidence, that the path of discipleship, the path of submissive learning, the path of commitment, the path of love thy neighbor, the path of letting go of our pain and heartache, and of letting God tutor and teach and succor and heal us, works.

I hope you will be blessed to taste the sweetness of the long-awaited fruits you are working daily to cultivate with your faith.

I for one declare, they are sweet and full of joy!

xoxxoxo

Jacque

Make The Connection

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Time for another rant.  You’ve been warned!  xo

How many times a day do you hear that the world has gone crazy?  That our prisons are full and the government is corrupt and X number of countries are bankrupt and that men are untrustworthy and that the air is unsafe to breathe and….you know the list.

And do you wonder why many of our media sources highlight and dramatize these problems further? And why millions of dollars spent are on creating horror “entertainment”? And why games are created to entice children into virtual spaces where they become objectified and preyed upon by addicted, criminal adults?

Why????

I think the resounding answer, the sun bursting through the clouds and angels singing, (in this case maybe they are singing, “Duh to the world!”) is that:

We have given away our human connections. 

We’ve collectively traded real, living neighbors for virtual pseudo relationships. We’ve gone from home in search of something “out there.” Some greater accomplishment.  Some other life that isn’t as raw and difficult and human.

Some of us need to earn a living, and many who do, do a beautiful job keeping family first amidst daunting challenges of balance.  And some of us, with a little sacrifice can have the luxury of being home and devoting our time and talents and ambition to home and family.

But I’m talking about the epidemic of children being on their own, of a society that has little use for supporting parents in making their children their top poiority.  The idea that children are there to fulfill our dreams and that they can fit neatly into our insane, self-made schedules.  Seems that on a whole, society has bought into the idea that women are of far greater value and their contribution to society is more profound, when they leave home and family and enter the “real” world, where they can be all they want to be.  Fulfilled and equal and respected.

We have foolishly bought into the idea that more and more and more of things equals more and more and more contentment and happiness and peace.  Are we kidding?

What are we thinking?

Well, to be fair, we’re really not thinking, we’re just watching the construed, contrived models that show us, pictures headed straight into our subconscious brains, that when we have x, y or z, we will be vogue and “in” and of course, so much happier and socially acceptable. (Behavioral psychology holds that you don’t have to control a group, you only need to control the model they are watching.)

So what that often this expectation requires women, hurrying and stressed, to drag their children half asleep to the sitter every morning?  So that they can run all day and work under deadlines and get to the gym and then feel oppressed by all that needs to be done at home when they have no energy left to give? I fail to see the wisdom, if you are at liberty to choose a simpler lifestyle, in making  the sacrifice of giving up the role of greatest human impact for lesser things.  And especially if it is simply for the oh-so-fleeting praise and honor of a soul-sick society.

Let me say this: if you find yourself on a regular day like today surrounded by people you love no matter how demanding they can be, who love you and need you and find solace in your being; if you have a roof over your head and food to eat and books to read and music to play and the sun in the sky and birds flying overhead…if you have a place to hear silence and maybe even a piece of earth that you can plant…then you are living in the pinnacle of life.  You have, right now, all the true luxury and sticky kisses and soul-strengthening life that can be found. This is the coveted prize. 

So, go ahead and work your guts out teaching your children to get along.  You keep on keeping order and model again and again that cleanliness reigns.  Continue to watch your tongue and apologize when it runs away without you.  You keep fighting for your marriage and for the real, sweet intimacy you crave, and don’t you quit!  Keep using those relationship strengthening words and phrases that hopefully your mother taught you, “I’m sorry, please forgive me, I love you.” And by all means, keep striving for the balance, wether you are in the home full time or part, that keeps family relationships at the top of your priority list.

Because, society can’t afford the outcome of children being unattached.  Because, at home you are in the real world.  That other photo-shopped, have-it-all, everything’s tidy, what’s-wrong-with-you, gloss-it-over, don’t get your hands dirty, I-just-need-to-be-me world is a fraud.

Home.  That is where real living is happening! And if you think that there is something that you are missing in the way of glam and lights and fame and glory, you’re just understandably mistaken.

So dig in!  Love your life!  Look at your children!  Give them the comfort of your comfort. The peace of your peace.  Let them see your wide-eyed curiosity about the wide, wonderful world of nature, and you see theirs!  Bask in them, love them, connect, connect, connect!  And that connected-ness will go a long way in immunizing their souls against addiction, helplessness and despair. And they will carry your bond wherever they are and literally raise society to a more functional and happy state. And if you must be away from your loved ones, simplify your commitments and spend all of the time you possibly can teaching and loving them.

Do what you need to do, but don’t bases your decisions on a myth. You aren’t missing a thing out there. Unless.  Unless the illusion of what you might be missing is clouding your vision to the point that you are half asleep and unaware of the riches that are yours in this moment. Those little ones and the relationship you have with them and your spouse and extended family and friends, that is the coveted prize.

So a question:

What is one tiny thing you could do right now that would make you more able to connect with yourself, your spouse and your children?  Your parents, your siblings and your neighbors? Are there tasks that are taking dividing your precious family time that could be delegated or let go altogether?

Got something in mind?

Ok, just do that. Just rethink it and use your creative genius to benefit your family.

AND LOVE YOUR LIFE RIGHT NOW.

I love you.

And I wish you strength and vision and more joy than you can hold.

Jacque

“… the act of deserting home in order to shape society is like thoughtlessly removing crucial fingers from an imperiled dike in order to teach people to swim.” Maxwell