Mothering

Inspiration on parenting

Leadership

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It seems that at times, we don’t quite understand that we are ALL in a position of leadership. Who you are leading may change as you grow and mature and make commitments, but all of us are leading and influencing someone!

In parenting, we want to help our children navigate the choices and learning opportunites before them, but what kind of leadership is most helpful?

Is it the kind of pseudo leadership that stands behind

someone and yells, “Get your stuff done, now! “Or is it leading to say, “You do what I say and don’t ask questions!”?

I think we all know that the leadership that is most beneficial and respect-worthy and effective is the kind that leads out, walks ahead, fights their battles, shows others how by their example, climbs to higher ground and reaches back to offer a hand-up, shouts words of encouragement and pours on the praise to those who are coming behind them, struggling to find their footing in their growing challenges.

I challenge you to put aside your frustration {in trying to push others from behind}, and step forward! Decide what it is you need and want to learn or to change, and do that. Share your learning journey as you go. Talk about what mountain you’re currently climbing and share you determination to reach the summit.

Share your moments of pause or fear and how you chose to replace it with the faith to keep moving.

This is how we lead.

We allow others to see us on our learning journey, maybe only a few steps ahead, and we model how a person encounters detours and blisters and fatigue while keeping their vision clear and bright.

“I am a good leader.”
“I am learning how to become better.”
“I am grateful for those who have gone before me, who love me and champion my growth by continuing to change and grow themselves.”

Much love to you today!

Jacque

Spam

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Nope, not in a tin can. The kind that comes to your inbox! A parable if you will…

I’ve been amazed, as I’ve mentioned before, at the immoral sludge that lands in my spam folder. Who spends their lives writing or producing this stuff? Why? What is the point? I don’t understand it, but I’ve spent time deleting each one, ignoring them while getting them gone.

So, imagine my delight, when one day a while ago, I discovered that I could select a “bulk-action” to delete all of the garbley-gook from each “author” and see 20 messages disappear at once! Now it takes a short time for me to clean that file out in comparison to deleting each one individually. What used to consume five precious minutes, now only requires less than one!

So I ask you, what other time might be spent cleaning the proverbial house that could be shortened and far less painful?

How do you tesseract beyond the temptation to become discouraged or hateful or resentful and angry?

We fold the fabric of time and leap over the distance by declaring that we choose to handle the difficulty with God’s help and in His way. The moment that declaration and petition is made, heaven rushes in to aid and bless us! Negativity melts away and peace comes in. The desire to be defensive or contentious leaves and in it’s place a true sense of our own ownership in the creation of the challenging situation…and strength to bear the truth of our responsibility! No one person is to blame for any interpersonal struggle. We are co-creating and evolving our relationships in every moment, so much so that the end result cannot be cut apart, the bad divvied to one party and the good to another.

By being open to God’s way of seeing and by leaving judgement to Him, we can “delete 20 negatives” in one flail swoop, by cutting down the time we spend arguing or contending with ourselves or others!

May we look to His power, in those critical moments, to heal our thinking errors and our spiritual ailments.

We are here to have joy. We claim it in part by learning to defer our judgement of a situation by asking for divine guidance instead of putting up our defenses and our fists.

I send you my love and confidence that you are capable of moving forward in your life and of steadily growing into more and more light and goodness.

One subtle choice at a time.

Be well.

Jacque

P.S. Maybe some of the inspiration you receive will be to seek out someone who can help you see your life and relationships more clearly. I am so grateful for those gifted folks who have and are filling that role for me!

 

Who Wins?

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The press is on! It’s big and it’s real!

There are so many people, causes, things and machines all vying for your attention! And who will win it, today and tomorrow?

In an article I read, and I think I’ve mentioned before, the designers of some of the most influential social media sites, actually disable the dings and red dots and exclamation points that appear on their devices because they know that those attention-grabbers are almost psychologically impossible for a human brain to ignore…and they don’t want their family to be living a life of pseudo reality! {The very life that they helped create for millions of other families. According to the article, it sounds like they didn’t mean to make something that is so very good at grabbing people’s attention, or maybe they didn’t realize what the fallout would really be when people were glued to their devices instead of engaging with their family and friends…except, whether they knew it or not, they did. I could be clearer, but my husband just got home early and I want to see him, so I hope you get what I’m trying to say!}

What else and who else is competing for your attention? And how are you choosing where to give it? No really, the answer to that question is vital because it will bring you wisdom and direction. {Pause and think and answer if you will.}

I declare that you are brave and tough and crazy-good to be living the dedicated life you have chosen in the topsy-turvy world we’re in. I have no doubt that you are or can:
Choose your thoughts {do those declarations every day!!}
Choose your attitude
Claim your blessings
Learn new ways of being that will bring you greater peace
Get better and better at choosing where you will place your attention throughout each day

All my best to you!

Love,

Jacque

 

Banana Split Smoothie

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1 cup of almond or coconut milk
1 cup of water
a handful of frozen blueberries
1 frozen banana
2-3 Tablespoons Adam’s peanut butter
a handful of flax seeds
1 Tablespoon cocoa powder
a large handful of frozen spinach (or other greens)
1 teaspoon Great Lakes unflavored gelatin

This combination lights up my mouth and is a good morning starter. I usually have some raw cashews or pecans on the side.

I heard someone say that smoothies aren’t a big deal nutritionally. Seems to me they must have been talking about something you can buy at the grocery store that has been sitting for days or worse, has be pasteurized.

Fresh juice and fresh smoothies are packed with nutrition and are supportive of healthy digestion. {Beware of recipes that call for additional sugar such as sweetened yogurt or other refined carbohydrates. Hopefully you downloaded the kids smoothie booklet when you subscribed to this blog! There are some wonderful recipes there that the whole family will like!}

I hope this day finds you well.

Take good care of yourself!

Jacque

Six Thrifty Hacks

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Are you a thrift shopper? I didn’t know that I was until I needed shirts to wear when I was employed at a paint store. The first time I walked through racks of second-hand clothes, I have to admit I felt a little embarrassed and self-conscious. {Bear in mind, this was long before thrifting was “in” as it seems to be now.}

Since that first experience, looking for t-shirts that would become paint splattered, I have grown to love thrift-shopping and I’ve learned a lot about the art in the intervening years.

So, I thought I’d share a few things to consider if you need to stretch your family’s budget or if you just like the thrill of a hunt and a good deal!

1 Look for quality. Items from clothes to furniture are going to serve you better and longer if they are high quality. Cameras have so many clicks, fabric has so much wear, zippers have so many zips and then things wear out. It’s unfortunate if you buy something second hand and then have it wear out too quickly.

Look for quality in the weight and wear {is it already worn out?} of fabric; make sure that buttons and zippers are all there and function well; inspect things inside and out and make sure there are no damaged places beyond what you are capable and or willing to repair. I’m pretty scrappy and I often don’t mind scrubbing or polishing or sewing or sometimes even, sanding and staining or repainting, but if you’re not into doing those things, or if it would take an inordinate amount of time to get your purchase in working order, you’re probably better off leaving it at the store.

2 More is not necessarily more. Just because they have 10 of something you like doesn’t mean that it would be beneficial for you to buy and have 10 of anything! It’s easy to become a “collector” and that seems to defeat the purpose of thrifting in order to have a nice home or office or wardrobe. On occasion, you may run into something you feel is such a great item for a great price that you decide you’ll store it away until you need it, and that’s ok. But certainly be picky about what you buy, especially if you don’t have an immediate need or use for it.

3 Look for a good fit, when buying clothes. Particularly for growing kids, you don’t need to sacrifice well-fitting clothing even if they’re sporting hand-me-downs or second hand purchases. Paper boxes work well as storage containers for clothes that are too small or not fitting yet. Mark the boxes with the size and keep them in the top of a closet or under a bed. Then if you find something that is high quality and a great price, you can stash it away in the appropriate box, and have it easily accessible when you need it in the future. Or, if there are younger siblings coming up, you can find the clothes the older children have worn that have stayed clean and in good repair when you need them.

{And just a note about cleanliness– it counts! Kids of course need clean clothing, but also, they need to be clean as well. It speaks volumes to children to know that their bodies are respected and cared for. How wonderful for a child to feel the care of a parent when they respectfully wash and groom them. How wonderful for a child to greet the world with a clean face and combed hair and clean and well-fitting clothes. I don’t think our kids need to be in name brand clothing or dressed so nicely that they can’t play and have fun, but having the basics of cleanliness and clothing goes a long way in instilling confidence and self-respect in a growing mind and heart.}

4 Think flow. When you are decorating or working on a functioning wardrobe, consider taking something “out” every time or often times when you buy something “new” to keep things rotating, uncluttered and in good repair. There isn’t much that is as energy- sapping as piles of stuff that are no longer needed or no longer fits or works for whatever reason. And there isn’t much that is as energy-giving as airy spaces in rooms and closets and cupboards! It’s a heady thing, not to mention, restful. Employing some kind of rotation process means the difference between becoming a collector-of-stuff and being a super-savvy shopper.

5 Give back. Get into the habit of regularly giving to the thrift store of your choice. Take a few minutes to put an elastic band around shoes so that they stay mated; wash clothing before donating; put jewelry into ziploc bags so that they stay together and don’t get lost in bigger items; volunteer at clothing and food banks and support efforts to send goods and necessities to places where people are in need. Nothing brings perspective like participating in relief efforts for those who are less fortunate or in harms way.

6 Give thanks. Even in our leanest times, raising a family on one income, we have been abundantly blessed! Focusing on what we have {though some moments that is a real challenge isn’t it?} versus what we don’t have, makes a massive difference in how we feel about our lives. Which in turn makes a massive difference in how we treat ourselves and others and ultimately how we function in all our relationships. Also, allow yourself to appreciate and count the bounty and beauty of nature as part of your wealth!

I hope that you are feeling blessed today and that you will enjoy your home making efforts! Whatever your style or budget, being able to make a beautiful, clean and happy environment for your loved ones is a great privilege. 

Love to you,

Jacque

P.S. Sometimes I write a blog in my mind throughout the day, and then when I sit down and write it out, it feels like I’ve written it before…but today I’m really not sure if I have already actually written on this topic and posted it before or not or if it’s just been simmering in my head for awhile!? If I am repeating myself, I hope you were able to get some inspiration out of this post too!

Oh and P.P.S. It’s wonderful to make a list of the items you need before you thrift shop! Know the measurements and general dimensions of the window or room or person you are trying to dress. This preparation helps you to adjust your eyes to recognize the item you need when you see it and then to be able to make an informed decision about buying it.

Also, to go along with planning, having an understanding of what styles and colors you like best makes shopping so much faster and easier, especially if you are looking through racks of clothing that are stuffed! Knowing what you and your family each prefer cuts out a lot of time trying things on or buying and then regretting your purchase!

P.P.P.S. As soon as I hit “publish” I’ll probably think of one more thing I want to say on this fun topic! But I will refrain, unless someone let’s me know they’d like to read more. {You know you’re passionate about something when you can’t stop talking….!}