For Myself

This morning I woke with an aching back and a desire to spend the day in bed. I put on a favorite skirt, pushed through the morning, made it through work. Today I stepped out of my box. I did two things for myself that were new and foreign and simply put my mind and body first. While sitting down nervously and anxiously waiting for the first of my two caring activities to begin I opened my book: Tiny Buddha’s 365 Tiny Love Challenges.

I opened to this week’s passage and it was a reflection on humility and how difficult it can be to ask for help. The writer was reminded of a time she was force to ask for help. She shares how uncomfortable and foreign this simple act can be. As a culture we are valued when we can do it all- multi task to the max! We find technology and tools that help ourselves achieve this goal. Often a person who appears to not have it all together is looked down upon.

Well today, I humbly say, I needed some help, both in mind and body. And after the overwhelming feeling that I wasn’t good enough or didn’t deserve it I realized that it was ok. Truthfully it felt oh so good to allow myself a pass, to recognize that I don’t need to shy away from the fact that I am far from perfect and that I can find way to receive help. So this afternoon/evening I opened up, I became in tuned to my own inner voice and said I need this. I enlisted two women and spent 90 minutes in my small quest for balance.  I have to say this was an incredible  and eye opening thing! I spent time on me. I stepped out of my role as mother, worker, wife, community member and simply was just Jessica. It felt good and I think I may work to incorporate a bit more to say that:

No, I cannot do it all.

Yes, I do need help.

And that it is alright!

Advertisements

Peace and Politics

This is not the blog I planned to write today. This week’s post was planned to honor strong female characters throughout children’s literature. But, today that’s not what’s on my mind. (Come back for some great suggestions in the weeks to come!)

I sat in Church this morning and realized I HAD to write about this today. The sermon led by a lay leader and chair of worship committee was titled A Stranger at The Table. During the part of the service she called upon the congregation to share any joys or concerns. An older woman stood and shared a concern with a shaky and heavy tone. She brought forth a memory of when she was a child during world war 2 and was listening to the radio with her father. The program was filled with the strong and hateful words of Hitler. His desire to rule by force and demolish any who did not fit into his mold. Tears could be heard in her voice as she shared how concerned she is during this political race and how much she feels the similarity to the words of a current candidate and Hitler.

Now I am not one to vocalize my political opinions and I often shy away from any type of debate. I am a strong believer of everyone’s right to their opinion. I don’t like to rock the boat or put someone off by sharing what I think. However today I apologize in advance if I have done so to you.

Shortly after her comment we started into the first hymn- “Our World is One World”

20160320_103635.jpg

 

The words of the hymn so perfectly melded into what the woman shared in her fear. The idea that the world in which we live is a shared place. We all own a piece and not one person is greater, stronger, or more right than another. As the service continued my mind went to a few children’s books that remind me exactly what she and the lay leader was preaching.

First is by Dr. Seuss- The Butter Battle Book

If you haven’t read this great book it’s a MUST. Seuss highlights the battle of two groups that don’t see eye to eye. They build a wall (sound familiar?) to keep the other out and away. One side brings a gun to the wall, then the other outmatches with a larger more dangerous weapon, and so forth. And what do these two sides decide and could parish over…. which side to butter their bread!

I know in our day we’re not battling over butter but sometimes it feels like it could become that petty.

Last night confidently my youngest picked out One as his bedtime story.

This is what I would wish upon the world and especially our dear men and women who are hoping to be the commander in chief. If anyone has connections we should send each one of them a copy of this book! This book falls under many lists relating to bullying. Honestly I’m feeling that politicians take a look at themselves and how it may be seen as bullying.

So again, I am sorry if I have created cause for offence. My heart is concerned and I really believe politicians and votes should take a bit more guidance from children’s literature as the fight for control.

Peace ~ Love

Seasons Change With Laughter

 

I was out for a walk with my family this weekend and in Southern New Hampshire winter is fading into spring. I was talking with my Dad as we prepare for my youngest sister to move down south where they don’t experience such drastic changes in weather. She is very excited to be away from some of the wrath of winter. For me, I love the change of the seasons.

Each season it is exciting to anticipate the weather and natural changes. Right now it’s so exciting to see little shoots of plants breaking through the brown grass. I am energized as the sun stays out longer and the sun warms our skin at the brink of summer. The cool breeze and colorful fall is something to look forward to and there’s such a childlike bliss of the first snowfall. I really couldn’t image what it would be like to have similar weather year round.

Last week while scouring the library I found an aptly titled book Winter Woes.

This lyrical book brings light and laughter to the end of winter. I wasn’t surprised to find out the author is from New Hampshire. Marty Kelley highlights the things that most of us dislike about winter- especially as some years it continues into April. I love witty books and this is one that I believe I enjoyed just as much as the kids. In reading more about the author we found that he has several other seasonal books that we have put on our to read list. They include:

                                      

I have yet to check these out but I am thinking I have found yet another fantastic author that I will have to surly check out all of his literary works.

Check out his website:

http://www.martykelley.com/all-about-me.html

 

Keep laughing, reading children’s lit with wit and as always…

Happy Reading!

 

More than listening

Today I’d like to share one of my favorite new-ish authors Herve Tullet.

I have been lucky raising readers for the most part. But hey, not every time I suggest that it’s book time they jump for joy. My youngest I doubt would choose to pick up a book in his spare time and prefers to active play. So today I want to talk about some interactive books. Herve Tullet is an author/artist from Normandy who has published some great fun picture and board books that encourage the reader to do more than listen. I first picked up these fantastic book-

Press Here

This is a fun and colorful book that invites young hands to touch and make magic out of the circles. I remember opening this book with my boys and they were amazed that when they touched a circle on one page that it made new and exciting things happen on the next.

Readers will not only be pressing here but turning the book upside down, shaking it, pushing soft and hard. Such hands on fun with this bright book!

Some of his other fantastic books I would recommend checking out include:

Mix It Up!

The Game of Tops and Tails

So while you’re making sure to get in your book time remember that to reach little busy bodies try something different, check out these interactive books that invite diversity  in participation… a little more than listening.

Happy Reading!

#FridayFinds me in a whirlwhind

This week has been blustery busy, almost to the point where I’ve felt blown away. Unexpected challenges thrown in my path ready to push me down. At one point during the week I was so overwhelmed that my eyes flooded with tears.

Related image

Frustration began to brim over through my mind, tension pulsated through my muscles. Patience became a fleeting memory. I realized, or should I say I found that I had a choice.

I realized that I could continue to feel sad and overwhelmed by the hurdles of life or I could think of all that I have rather than dwell on what I do not. There is a difference between ignoring what surrounds you and working through it. Part of me wanted to pretend and crawl under a rock.

But I won’t! That’s not who I am, nor who I want to be. I am the girl who is able to see the best in things. I am the girl who can smile and say, we’ll figure it out, and does! It’s seeing the small blessings, picking up on the little amazing gifts that occur all around us. For me, I’m not going to tell you the struggles but the beautiful finds.

This week I found some fantastic strength in exercise. I was able to make it to two great classes and ran 4.5 hilly miles that challenged my body.

I colleague brought me a personal development book that I’ve been waiting to read- such perfect timing!

And to kick off a weekend filled with travelling hockey games I started it at Story Time at the local library and caught up with some of my favorite mom friends.

So today for my #FridayFinds I have found that when it feels like nothing is going your way that it important to make a choice to not just focus on the things that aren’t going right (because hey, they are real too) but intentionally notice what IS around you. That no matter what, there is beauty that surrounds us all and it is a choice to either close our eyes or to open them.

As I try and keep my eyes open may yours be as well.