Do you ever ask yourself this question, “Do things have to be so hard?”

In the Lioness seminar, 7 Steps to Family Wellness, we’ve been working on learning to manage the conversation in our heads.  You know, the constant jabbering that is going on every waking moment and sometimes in the sleepless hours of the night??

So often we are going along and all of a sudden we may feel upset or discouraged or frustrated and wonder why.  Usually if we backtrack a few thoughts we’ll find the culprit: a nasty, negative thought that floated through our mind.  Did you hear it?  Or is it such a common occurrence that it slipped through the door and felt normal, so you invited it in for tea and counsel? Negative thoughts are so sneaky, and, depending on whether or not we’ve created “mental boundaries” they can be constant and unrelenting.

Just becoming aware of our thoughts is difficult!  Then doing something about managing them and setting new boundaries for our thinking is even more challenging!

But,

IT IS SO WORTH IT.

When we begin any worthy endeavor, we find after the first five minutes that it’s going to take a lot more effort and energy and mind-power and often resources than we imagined.  And we have to find ways to remember what it is we set out to do.  And ways to build our motivation.  And we learn to set up junctures where we renew our commitment to our goal. Yeah, all of that is WORK.

But here’s the teaser: do you want to remain where you are?  Do you want your relationships to stay where they are? Do you want your faith to stay where it is?  Do you want your level of peace to stay where it is?

Or do you want to GROW?

You may be tempted to think that if it’s hard, it must not be right.

If your marriage is taking a lot of effort, maybe it was a wrong choice.

If parenting is a huge challenge, maybe you’re not cut out for it.

If cultivating faith seems tedious, maybe you should just let it go.

Those thoughts are part of the smoke and mirrors of this world.  Things of value require our effort.  That is just how it is. The level of difficulty we experience may be more indicative of something being WORTH OUR EFFORT than a sign that it is a waste of our effort. That said, if we’re honest, we can also see that sometimes it’s the negative thoughts that are dragging on us and making things even more difficult than they need to be because they sap our hope and faith that we can follow-through and succeed!

The more our minds are marinating in positive, loving thoughts, the more energy and strength we have to work and to play!  The more we can freely love and be at peace with ourselves and with God.

Hang on to your greatest goals and dreams!  Keep moving forward, take charge of that chatter and soon you’ll be enjoying better health, relationships and greater faith in God, yourself and others.

Now to food!  I have a new recipe for you to try if you’d like!

This Lemon Poppy-seed Bread, based on a recipe from ninamanolson.com, is moist and delicious and you’ll think it’s crazy but it’s made with beans!  (You who require gluten-free food shout Hallelujah!)

lemonpoppyseed bread

I’m calling it bread instead of cake because it is pretty dense and it isn’t sticky sweet.  It makes a good snack and it’s whole food, so you could eat it for breakfast!

In a food processor or high speed blender, mix together:

2 cups cooked white beans (we pulled some out of the freezer and forgot that I had seasoned them with bay leaves and salt and pepper!  The chickens loved that first attempt. ; )

6 eggs

1 dropper liquid whole leaf stevia concentrate

1 1/2 tsp vanilla

1/3 cup honey or coconut sugar

zest of 2 lemons + 2 tsp lemon juice

Then add:

1/4 cup poppy-seeds

1/4 cup coconut oil

1/3 cup coconut or almond flour

1/2 tsp Real salt

1 tsp baking soda

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

Bake in bunt pan or 9×13 greased cake pan at 325º for 45 minutes.  Use a toothpick to test.

You can add a glaze of honey or agave and lemon juice if you’d like a little more zip!  Start with 1/8 cup sweetener with 1 tsp lemon juice, see how it tastes then tweak it for the sweet/sour balance you like.  Pour over cooled cake.

This bread is far better after it has been refrigerated overnight!  The lemon flavor really comes out and the texture improves.

I served this with lightly sweetened real whipped cream and strawberries lightly sweetened with agave.  A little lemon zest in the berries is good too!

I hope you’re well.  I hope you’re taking great care of yourself.

Love,

Jacque

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