Marriage

Marriage help

The World

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“Run away to a village to make it the center of the world.” Jules Renard

What is home if not the familiar, comfortable place where you can enjoy each other’s company and at times find a corner to enjoy a good book? To cook and to eat; to learn and to play.

Isn’t it amazing that there are no two homes just alike? Maybe that is because there are no two people, no two mothers or fathers or children who are just alike.

What we need and what we want and what we create is uniquely “us.”

What concerns me at times is the growing feeling that our places of retreat seem to have to be places for show. That somehow our kitchen needs to be Pinterest worthy…all the time. 

Just wanted to throw out a reminder to you today that life is a bit messy and wonderful and always in flux! You don’t have to have anything in perfection or hold it for show. Cleanliness is good. Order is wonderful! But it happens in spurts! Then things go back into creation mode while homework is being done or a project is being completed or dinner is being cooked.

Life is more about the state of our being than the state of our belongings. We can be in gratitude even in the middle of dinner dishes!

Whatever you have, love it. Embrace it in your mind and give thanks for the chance to learn to flex your creative muscles, and make sense out of the bits and pieces of the world that are yours.

Smile at your children and hold them close, even before all the jobs are done. Tomorrow will bring more choices, more progress and each day will bring times to celebrate the evolution of your unique family.

Let go of your worry and stress about the appearance of things, and breathe in the blessings of the day.

Sending my love to you!

Jacque

P.S. A wise friend once told me that the world is wherever you are.

Kind Anticipation

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I learned a lesson from a friend many years ago that I’ve been grateful for since.

She and her husband and young children came from a long distance to visit us.  As they came in the door, my friend opened a bag she had prepared with snacks for her  kids and started to feed them. It struck me that she hadn’t waited until they started getting cranky or misbehaving before she gave them what she already knew they would need: a timely snack after a long car-ride. Nor did she expect or ask someone else to take over and provide what her family needed in that hour.

It sounds really simple, but it was a mind-shift for me.

How many times do we find ourselves cluing in that someone is having a melt-down because they need something to eat or a nap or some one-on-one attention? And how many of those stressful situations could we alleviate if we had thought ahead and anticipated their basic needs before they arose?

And what about your needs? Do you anticipate that you may need a snack before you start making dinner? Or that you might need a nap the afternoon before a date night with your spouse?

What about after school? Who is going to be hungry? What a perfect opportunity to be prepared with fresh fruits and vegetables! Maybe a simple, healthy cookie recipe? Or a veggie-packed smoothie?

Life doesn’t have to be a sequence of putting out proverbial fires because of the ordinary, everyday needs of a family. The unpredictable, stressful things that happen are enough of a challenge!  Which fact makes it doubly nice to acknowledge what needs we can foresee and then do our best to proactively prepare to care for ourselves and our loved ones.

What recurring situations would be improved by your efforts to plan ahead to meet your family’s needs, before those needs turn into extra stress and strain for everyone?

I’m wishing you rest. And hope. And peace. And a few new plans if need be!

Love,

Jacque

P.S. You mothers of nursing babies: Hang in there and do your best to rest when you possibly can! Worry as little as possible. Ask for help. Mostly, know that the days of better sleep will come again. Bless you for all you are doing in caring for your little ones! I believe your prayers are heard!

A Word About Wealth

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I was reminded again today of the affluent circumstances of many people I know. I refer to those who are able to look back over their lives and count

their many valuable human connections; relationships they have cultivated and honored; support they have given; celebratory moments they have created for others; causes and people they have championed.

How wonderful the harvest is when, over time, sweet relationships and deep connections are made.

As a parent, you’ll look back, if you haven’t already, and know that everything you have given to support and love and teach and train your children is more than worth what joy your relationships with them will return to you.

Be well. Be wealthy in your heart. That is the ultimate affluence!

Love,

Jacque

 

Step Up to Lead Out

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Recently I was asked the question, “Who do you lead?”  My response was, everyone I meet. And I’d say that that is true for you too. Aren’t we all influencing one another in large and small ways, almost constantly? And doesn’t influence also mean leadership?

Every word that comes out of our mouths informs others about what we value, what we have read, who we are and who is influencing us!

I truly believe that we cannot chose whether or not we will be influenced, but only by whom and what we will give enough time and attention to in order to be influenced. So hopefully we’ll be intentional about it.

And it’s not just our words that let others know who we are is it?

Oftentimes, it is the respect we show ourselves by caring for our bodies. Not consistently over-taxing ourselves nor allowing others to unduly burden us either. Stopping when we are tired. Or if you’re a guru at self-care, taking any opportunity you have to rest and recharge.

At times we inform others by our behavior that our needs aren’t that important. We can go without. We will be ok. And yet, we are human too. Yes, we love. Yes, we sacrifice to bring souls here to have a physical experience. Yes, it is very strenuous work! So it is imperative that we keep our reservoirs of emotional, physical, mental and spiritual strength as full as possible.

Mothers, please care for yourselves! Love others but love yourself too. Don’t apologize for needing a break. Or help. Or a healthful diversion.

I’m sending you my best wishes and vote of confidence today! You are enough to do what you were sent here to do.

Love,

Jacque

P.S. I believe we will be strengthened every time we ask for help in doing our special calling in our family life. Our children are God’s children and He wants them to receive the best possible care we can give! If you are feeling constantly overwhelmed, I would challenge you to intermittently ask the question, “Am I feeling overloaded because of my family calling or because I have time-consuming distractions that are keeping me running and too busy to feel happy and successful at home?” I have to constantly ask myself this question and I don’t have little ones at home anymore…there are just so many potential side roads aren’t there?

 

 

 

Ebb and Flow

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Last year this lupine in my garden was thriving. This spring it didn’t come back. I don’t know why, it just didn’t winter well.

We try hard to understand things that happen so that we can learn from the experience and try to influence outcomes in the future.

And sometimes we do.

But sometimes we just have to accept the ebb and flow of life. Sometimes we don’t figure things out.

And that’s ok.

There will be successes tomorrow or the next day.

There will be moments of smooth sailing and high spirits.

And when things are frustrating or hard to understand, we keep walking. Taking rests at times. Relaxing our minds and letting things be for awhile. Sometimes asking for help from a kindly soul nearby.

When it is time, we’ll find the meaning that will give us the experience and understanding that bring wisdom. And empathy. And human kindness.

Please keep on going and don’t you give up.

Much love,

Jacque