Mothering

Inspiration on parenting

Day 17- Time to Be

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Your children are young right now.

They won’t be tomorrow.

They are curious and hungry to learn.

They learn from play and experimentation and discovering the world in their own backyard!

This all happens just once.


Photo by Robert Collins on Unsplash

Mud pies and stink bugs, a curly dog, a sunning cat and a feather blowing in the wind. Children are present so they can enjoy and learn from all of the simplest things.

Yes, they will benefit from developing talents and playing on teams, but they also thrive in free play, in learning to work around the home, from sitting in a tree with a good book.

We only get to be rambunctious, care-free, curious kids once.

Moms and dads might consider scaling back expectations – and their worries about college prospects and future careers to make time for all of the simple, unscheduled joys of living!

When you hear, “Mom, will you watch me do a back flip on the tramp?”

Say, “Yes!”

Your children living in the present moment is a sweet, once-in-a-life-time invitation for you to be present too!

The self-care challenge for today is to follow the lead of your children and practice being present. Just be.

{And we’d all love to hear about the fun you have!}

Love,

Day 16- Overwhelmed by Grace

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Hello my friend! How is your self-care journey coming along?

Thank you for the words of wisdom and experience you have shared in your comments! Please continue!

Something that I believe is crucial to creating a self-caring environment for yourself is learning to create declarations that will support your thinking.


Photo by Artem Kovalev on Unsplash

Years ago, my Granny gave me a book titled, You Can’t Afford the Luxury of a Negative Thought, and it was a massive wake-up call to me! I had no idea how negative my thoughts had become.

Self-cutting, critical, damaging thoughts that I would have been appalled to hear from anyone else! Can you relate? We have to wonder, why do we “take it” from ourselves?

Part of the issue, as I learned in my shock, was that I just didn’t hear it.

I didn’t consciously know how hard I was on myself. Then I started imagining the words I thought as actual physical blows, and it was tough to see that emotionally, I was beating myself bloody on any given day. So I went to work at rewiring my thinking.

I learned, what I call, the art of declaration and it has been such a gift to me! {And yes, if you have been here very long, you’ll know I yammer about it a lot!}

The last few days I have been noticing that currently, the most common self-talk I have now is a voice of encouragement, even saying things like,

“Way to go! You got that job finished!” or “I’m proud of you.” or “It’ll be ok. You’ve done hard things before and you’ll be able to do this one too.”

Do you hear a positive coach in your head? Do you give yourself credit for trying? Do you forgive yourself, even if someone else hasn’t? {Yes, that’s a hard one for me too.}

So here is a declaration I challenge you to hold close to your heart today:

“What I am becoming is more important than what I have been.”

I challenge you to say this aloud every hour today. Write it and hang it on your mirror, your car dashboard, your kitchen window, or wherever you will see it most. Set an alarm on your phone. Invite your children to repeat it with you!

It has all the right stuff to be a powerful declaration! 1 It is spoken in present tense. 2 It is positive. 3 And above all, it is true.

{Remember the idea that we need to close the gap between what we believe and what is actually true? I think that the lack of positives we believe and say about ourselves is evidence of the biggest gap most of us experience between our belief and God’s truth. Here are other declaration ideas, “I speak kindly to myself. I am God’s child. He loves me today and always. I don’t have to be perfect to feel His love for me.”}

“What I am becoming is more important than what I have been.”

Do you have regrets? Even little ones? This phrase will help you let go of those.

Do you have a vision for things you want to change in your life but get hung-up on wondering if you’ll ever be able to change? This sentence gives perspective and hope.

Do you need to free yourself up in some way? To “repent” or turn back to God or to someone you may have offended? Including yourself?

We must do what we need to do to move forward. Ask for the strength to let go of old hurts. Ask for clarity to know what the next step is for recovering our full power.

Step by step. Even tiny steps create meaningful movement. In fact I wonder if baby steps aren’t the most desirable and long lasting?

It has been my experience that we choose what influences us {as much as we possibly can}, the direction we want to go, the spiritual weight we desire and are willing to lose that will free us up, and then God provides the speed He knows we are able and ready to handle.

“What I am becoming is more important than what I have been.”

I pray that you will take very good care of yourself today.
Godspeed.

Much love,

Day 13- Primary Food

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What do you do, that nourishes you?

What do you do that is so interesting and enjoyable that you seem to lose track of time when you’re doing it?

Photo by Bench Accounting on Unsplash

Have something in mind? {Or even something that you want to learn?}

How can you carve out a little time to spend on your “primary food” activities this coming week?

I challenge you to create a win/win situation, asking for and accepting the support and help from your family if need be, to enable your nourishing activity.

I wish you health and happiness and a fun week ahead!

Love,

Speaking Up

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Today I am almost speechless.

Instead of writing about the details of the events happening today in the country that I love, (things that are unconscionable to me!) I will write about what rings true to me as I observe “our” current, collective way of thinking and living.

The greatest physical and spiritual power we have as human beings is to create the life of other human beings. Our children.

Because this creation happens through a physical, sexual act, God our Father is very clear about the parameters governing our sexual behavior. Not because sex is wrong or evil or only for the creating of life, but because the giving and the taking of life is of greatest consequence to our physical and spiritual detriment or progression.

Given the societal norms of our day, the pervading belief that people and their conscious choices are not as strong as their biological urges; that sex is an act of recreation and or part of a courting process; that fulfilling sexual desires with anything or anyone is acceptable, the moral statements written here sound other-worldly, severely out-of-date and overwhelmingly restrictive.

But our current thinking and practices are not leading to greater stability or safety for women or for children. In truth, they have led to greater burdens! Those burdens placed on a vast number of single mothers, or women raising children without the support of their biological counterparts; to the great burden of children living without fathers; to the decline of the nuclear family; to the extermination of millions of unborn children. Are these outcomes deemed good by any definition? Are these outcomes not reason enough to do what it takes to right the errors of our thinking and practice?

As human beings, through sex we are wired with the ability to bond mentally, spiritually, emotionally and physically with another person. That welding experience can be more intensified with commitment, time, living through difficulty and by creating life together.

Children who are born under the love and protection of both of their biological parents have the greatest advantage to become their fully capable and functional selves. Laws or societal norms that would preclude a child from having access to both of his or her parents from birth are wrong.

Because this full and love-filled scenario doesn’t always happen, does not mean that it doesn’t qualify as the most desirable goal! Children have a greater chance at health and happiness when they are raised in a loving, two parent home. Poverty, homelessness, mental illness, disease and untimely death are all moved further away from a child’s experience when they are born to those who have prepared their lives to responsibly nurture a family.

People are best supported by being held accountable for their behavior. They may not like it, they may want some easier way out, but to give them an easy way out does not aid in their growth or empowerment. It aids them in continuing on a mistaken path and weakens their future learning, resolve and confidence. What we can do is support people while they are living out the consequences of their choices, in the most loving and validating way possible!

Feeling pity for people is generally not helpful. I’m not talking about the kind of pity that moves you to lend a hand and be a friend, but the I-feel-sorry-for-you kind of pity that excuses personal responsibility for conscious decisions. It says, “I believe you are weak and witless, and incapable of directing your own life.”

Some facts that seem to be missing in the current dialogue: When a man and a woman have sexual intercourse, they may create a child. This is a fact. To be sexually active or not to be sexually active, this is the point of choice. No contraception is 100% reliable which means that if you have sex and use contraception, if you are a woman, you may become pregnant even if you aren’t trying to become pregnant. That’s how it is.

Besides circumstances created by the sexual violence of rape or incest, women are responsible for their God given power of reproduction. They are responsible for the who’s, why’s, when’s and how’s of their sexual behavior. When they take this responsibility seriously, they will be agents to act for themselves, not victims. They will be respected for their ability to direct their own future outcomes. This is the time to shout to the world that they will not be misled or victimized by the thinking errors of society! This is the way that women become true and powerful leaders and advocates for themselves. And in truth, by claiming this power of choice for their own sexual behavior, they automatically own and advocate for their innocent unborn.

Because women can become pregnant and carry children as the result of their sexual decisions, they must either be extremely selective about their behavior, or else must take responsibility for the unintended life they co-create. This is a decision not to be taken casually! This is the time to be confident and in charge! If a woman feels that in order to keep the man she loves or that to feel accepted in the society of her friends she needs to be sexually promiscuous, and if she is willing to play into this erroneous equation by risking pregnancy even though she has not responsibly prepared for that eventuality, then she has made her choice. A choice that is common in our society and which currently, is potentially lethal to her unborn children.

Women victimize themselves and other women with the belief that it is unfair that they must be more careful and responsible about their sexual behavior choices than their male partners. Thinking this way changes nothing, except to attempt to justify irresponsible sexual behavior. Men and women are different. We have different roles to play. When it comes to sexual behavior and reproduction, that fact is not up for debate. We must accept it.

Adopting the feeling that they are put upon because they will have more dramatic consequences if they become pregnant, as compared to the lack of consequences a male may suffer for the same behavior, is avoidance at best and living in an alternate reality at worst. Being in charge of their future and understanding the facts of their biology and then behaving like an adult is the route that will liberate women on reproductive matters. This is why women need to be more concerned, more fiercely in charge of choosing the direction of the relationships in their adult lives than men. If she will bear the greater consequence, she must have the grit to proactively do something about it. Wishing the responsibility away won’t make it so. Fairness is rarely part of real-life equations. Human biology is a perfect example of that reality.

Women are not victims of pregnancy. Barring the horrible aforementioned situations of sexual violence, women know “the facts of life,” and cannot excuse themselves with ignorance.

Those who have created life at the wrong time or with the wrong person, aren’t bad. They were just wrong. Foregoing the life-changing experience of living through the consequence of that wrong choice by disposing of a child, will not correct the wrong, but add pain, grief and great accountability to the experience.

Children are innocent victims to the practice of abortion.

If a woman does not have the financial ability to care for a child, and becomes pregnant unintentionally, there are thousands of others who are willing to pay great sums of money to have the privilege of doing so in her place. The equation of either living in abject poverty or aborting the child is false.

Abortion may be considered “safe” for a woman, but it is lethal for her child.

When a doctor does an ultrasound of a wanted baby, they say, “Look, there’s your baby!”

When a doctor does an ultrasound of an unwanted baby, they say, “Look, there’s the pregnancy…and it’s not very big.”

When a woman feels guilt when deciding to end the life of her child, it is because she is human and has a conscience. Not because she has been brainwashed, but because she is an intelligent, thinking, feeling human being who came wired with fierce protective feelings for her potential offspring.

I have a friend who was in a life-threatening situation with a pregnancy and had to choose whether to lose her life and leave her other children motherless, or abort her baby. She chose to abort her baby. It was the hardest, most heartbreaking moment of her life. Years later when she shared her experience with me, I felt her pain and grieved with her. These situations are terribly difficult and rare! Those faced with such choices, whose circumstances are not within their control, can only make the choice that they feel will be best for everyone involved and right before God who knows the intent of their hearts.

Considering abortion to be a choice about convenience, or a form of contraception, simply means that our society is very, very sick and has no control over themselves.

Our children need to be taught a different way of thinking and being when it comes to sexuality, far better and thoroughly than we have taught them before! The old mode of operation, that of shaming, hushing or villainizing healthy sexual relationships needs to be abandoned. Communication needs to be open. Honest. Kind. Positive and clean, while educating our children about the responsibility of decision making, of self-direction and the basics of human biology.

We also must do far better at protecting them from the filth of media that degrades, violates, shames and attacks women and children, particularly in sexual ways. Pornography and human slavery must be abolished.

As a woman, I rejoice because of the opportunity I’ve had to carry my children and give them birth! There is nothing I will do in my lifetime more challenging or meaningful than this: to have participated in the whole creation experience with my children’s father! The creation of a family; of each individual child; of a home; of endless possibility.

You who root for the underdog, you who consider yourselves to be forward thinking and always willing to speak for the most vulnerable, yet you who favor the millions of get-me-out-of-this-mistake abortions, and who encourage ending the lives of those millions of the unborn of our nation…you’ve targeted the wrong victim to pity this time. The innocent are not the women who escape a difficult situation, or the men who urge them to do so.

The children. Those who cannot speak for themselves and who will never be able to speak for themselves. They are the ones deserving of our pity. The kind of pity that moves us to action, to speak and to defend them in their innocent silence.

Very Well!

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Just a note to say, “Good work today!”

As you look back on this day, you may wonder if you did enough, or if you handled things well-

You may consider your efforts to keep peace and create order as lacking or you may be tempted to compare yourself to someone you know who seems to have everything together, and you may feel that you come up short when looking through that lens-faulty though it be.

You may wonder if you’ll last beyond sleeplessness, or if you will be able to make it through a challenging stage or growing pains that your child or your work or your marriage may be going through.

But just so you know, you’re not alone!

Many women before you have experienced and wondered the same things, and many women before you have made it beyond the very stage of life you’re in and not only lived to tell, but look back on it with wistful fondness. What an amazing time of personal growth!

I hope you’ll remember to take it just one day at a time. One story at a time. One meal at a time. One nap at a time. One prayer, one laundry day, one walk at a time.

I appreciate your dedication, investing your heart and soul and time and energy into raising well-connected and well-loved children. You amaze me!

I hope you can get some good rest; think about your successes; ask for and feel Heaven’s help and enjoy the time you have with your little ones as much as you possibly can.

You’re doing wonderfully well. Far better than you may know.

Rest well,
Jacque

 

Photo by The HK Photo Company on Unsplash