Mothering

Inspiration on parenting

Outside The Box

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Today I got to try out a German cafe in our area. I had a delicious kale and sausage soup

and a salad with freshly made bleu cheese and dill dressing. Quite delightful. {My dad got some potato salad that I would love to make! Fresh dill and cucumbers and ham, eggs and potatoes as far as I could tell. Just wonderful!} Then as we were leaving the cafe, we saw a waitress delivering a large piece of layered lemon cake topped with whipped cream and strawberries. Oh, if I could do the gluten, I would have been sorely tempted to order a piece to go!

So, I’m wondering how you’re feeling about trying new foods?

Do you feel like you are eating the same things over and over and over again? And do you think that your kids wouldn’t like new flavors or textures? I am amazed at what kids will eat when they are exposed to it. My little granddaughter for instance loves to sit on my lap and eat Grandma Sunny’s green salad with rice vinegar and olive oil for dressing. She eats all of the ingredients, from celery to craisins showing no pickiness at all. She also eats curry and spicy food and pretty much anything that is prepared. {Would you say that’s right my daughter?} Remember that children need to be exposed to healthy foods at a very early age and more than once! More like ten times! So be sure not to label likes or dislikes after the first taste!!! We grow into many tastes and textures as we have more experience with them, so it is a parent’s job to train the tastes of their kids. And you can!

It seems that sometimes we get into thinking that kids will only eat bland junk food and that we can’t expect them to eat anything really flavorful.

But, what I guess is that many parents have very limited food experience and therefore a short list of things they will eat.

And I can relate. I was 30 before I tasted Thai food for the first time…and then it was love at first bite!

So, I offer you just a nudge: challenge yourself to try something new each day or each week and get used to a broader variety of not only vegetables and fruits but also different taste combinations. It is such a blast! Swap recipes with people you  know that are good cooks. Look up recipes with taste combinations you’ve never tried {coconut milk and cilantro and peanut sauce was a kicker for me!} and have some food adventures!

Life is too short to each mac n’ cheese every day! Besides, it won’t help your health or your palette!

I wish you well.

Love,

Jacque

He Carries Me

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When was the last time you were pushed to your limit?

When you didn’t know if you could keep going and how you would continue to put one foot in front of the other?

When was the last time you were frightened and tempted to despair?

As a friend reminded me today, our natural tendency is to become fearful when traumatic events happen or when we are challenged beyond what we know we can handle. But our choice, in those times, is between faith and hope and despair and fear.

The problem is that sometimes we are so stunned or so pained that all we can do is cry out to God in our hearts.

And what I have come to know is that He hears me, even when I can’t find the words to speak.

I just have to choose Him, again and again and again and to invite Him to help me. To navigate through difficulties, even heartbreak, with His aid.

I am learning to let go of thinking that I need to push through challenges on my own, to be tougher or less needy. Sometimes, I don’t have the strength on my own to choose hope and faith, I have to ask for that too!

With Him, I am able. I can go through the fires of life, with acceptance and stretches of peace, and trust that all of my experiences will be turned to my soul’s good. And I have faith that the things that I truly desire most will be what He helps me to achieve.

And for this knowledge I am forever grateful.

God bless you in your everyday needs, whether they are large or small, public or private.  I pray that you will find solace in ‘dropping your burdens at His feet, and bearing a song away.’

Love,

Jacque 

“Why should this anxious load, press down your weary mind? Haste to your Heavenly Father’s throne, and sweet refreshment find.”
Philip Doddridge 1702-1751

 

If You Build It

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If you build it, much will come!

This family building endeavor is incredibly difficult! Would you say? It really takes everything you’ve got!

That said, it is worth everything you’ve got!

It is worth the sleepless nights caring for little ones; worth the self-discipline a maturing marriage relationship demands; worth cultivating a life-long learning attitude; worth every trip to the doctor; every bill paid; every game you watch and every dance class you support.

Family is worth making tough choices about which passions to pursue, which priorities to put at the top of your list. It’s worth becoming healthier, mind body and spirit and worth giving and receiving apologies and trying again and again and again and again.

If you struggle, you’re not alone. Every relationship has it’s ups and downs. There are no exceptions.

Success comes in humbly doing your best to support, love and encourage one another.

And that success comes one day at a time.

Building means work! It also means measurable progress and a lot of joy along the way!

You can do this. One step, one meal, one story, one outing, one assignment, one nap, one discussion at a time.

Much love to you!

Jacque

 

 

“Spam”

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I am amazed many times when I am putting spam into the virtual trash bin, how disgusting and loathsome it can be. I really feel much better when it is written in a language I can’t read, then I don’t have to concentrate so hard on not reading what new filth has landed in my Lioness box. I mean, if I were actually having to touch it, I would feel the need to wash my hands, or bleach my hands afterward!

I also recently read a book about slavery. The story was real and the people were real, but written, as many stories must be, with fiction filling in the gaps of what we know. The fact that the author has walked through the house where these horrific events took place shot me with the reality of how horrific they really were! Could we imagine pulling up to that house today to see a black slave tied to the kitchen porch post being whipped for stealing a spool of thread from the person who owns her?

How tragically sad some our history is! And yet how much more tragic it is that many still live in a reality full of only objectified bodies, sexual innuendo, and enslaving the innocent! What a hollow, even hellish existence.

Wouldn’t it be nice if everything that has been created to degrade and minimize and objectify people, most often women and children, could somehow be banished from our planet? Wouldn’t that be a great relief?

But today is not that day, today is the day we have to fight. To push back against corruption. To let our voices and our anger be directed toward the preservation and protection of all people.

{If you are surprised at my use of the word anger, understand that I believe it is absolutely the correct word, and I don’t use it lightly. Modern-day abolitionist and founder of Operation Underground Railroad, Tim Ballard sheds light on one of the issues I’m referring to, that of the world wide problem of child slavery and the sex trade. These issues are the fruits of the degradation that I’m talking about. Slavery and corruption are alive and well and require our awareness and attention!}

We must step up and push back.

Here are a few ideas on how to accomplish that.

  1. We develop relationships with those who are in our stewardship. Relationships of honesty and trust.
  2. We become fierce advocates for our family’s physical, spiritual,mental and emotional health and well being. No exceptions on what is allowed in the door of our homes and what is kept out. {Of course today the door most often means the router.} If something is objectifying or devaluing of life, it’s out. Women, fight! So your kids or maybe even your husband at times might think you are over-reacting or that you are too sensitive? I believe that this is an important part of being a woman! If you feel that something isn’t right, let your voice be heard. Kindly, gently, respectfully and firmly lead out. Shine a light on the issue. How we feel about things can be a wonderful compass to the rest of the family. Not something to feel minimized about, but rather, your sensitive feelings are something to own and employ for the benefit of your family. We are called to keep things human and real.
  3. We teach every chance we get. This doesn’t mean we are preaching at people all of the time! It means we are opening up conversations and asking questions and sharing our thoughts and testimony of what is right and what is wrong. We share our stories of the things we have learned and how we came to the understanding we have. It also means that we understand that, our example, how we spend our time, what we think is funny, how we speak of others, in all these acts, we are teaching our children.
  4. We must fill ourselves up with goodness and love every day. Intentionally seek out uplifting music, literature, causes and people. Join forces with others who are fighting a good fight. Work hard but also take breaks and fill-up our proverbial cup. And even though the battle is real and fuels our swift and definite response, we understand that we are not in a state of being angry. Allowing ourselves to feel anger in response to injustice is different than being an angry person or feeling justified in behaving badly toward others, even when our cause is just. Truly, fighting the good fight does not mean becoming combative or ugly. We fight the good fight with goodness and love, and by defending the innocent. {And by sending donations to people who are prepared to fight for the just cause that we feel strongly about fighting!}                                         

 As I write this, I see ways that I want to do better. Are there things that you would like to change in your life, in your virtual viewing diet or in your general mode of operation that might clarify your position or offer greater support to those who are struggling?

I hope the “spam” you receive today will be written in a language you don’t know.

Sending great love to you!

Jacque

You’re The Top!

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I’m so impressed and proud of you young mama’s!

And you grand-mama’s too!

I am witnessing your amazing-ness every day!

I see you taking care of children when you are tired– oftentimes without the help of your spouse, because of work or other commitments.

I see you getting through trying physical issues, all the while remaining your mostly patient self!

I watch you pull yourself up and challenge yourself to keep going.

I sense your strength every time I’m around you.

I say a lot of silent prayers as I watch you, asking God to watch over you and to prosper you. To make your efforts count and to help you to get glimpses of the wonderful work you are doing as a wife, mother, daughter and friend.

I witness the passion you have for your family and I see you overcoming your challenges so that you will be able to give them what they need most; a physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually healthy mother and or grandmother.

In so many ways, you are blessing the world!

I am in awe, and I thank you for your pluck and perseverance, your goodness and your love.

I hope you will take good care of yourself today and tomorrow, because you are needed, and oh, you are loved!

All my best,

Jacque