These are a few on my favorite things!

1- Game nights with friends!

We’re always looking for fun & simple games we can 1) play with the kids or 2) doesn’t require a whole lot of thinking so we can freely talk and joke and hang with our company. There’s most definitely a time and a place for strategy/thinking games. But oftentimes a light/fun/quick game is just the thing.

Here are a couple of our favorites: Zombie Dice and Pass the Pig.

 

 

 

2. The local ice cream shop opening near us. A sure sign of Spring!

This, my friends, is a Puppy Chow Hurricane. It’s frozen awesomeness in a cup!

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3. My latest Goodwill find. Love those 50% off Saturdays!

I have a slight obsession with pretty dishes, specifically ones with gold on them. We’ve slowly been adding mismatched China plates from Goodwill to our cupboard. It’s just so fun to eat off pretty plates, isn’t it? (As opposed to the “boring” nondescript off-white Corelle we have.) My hubby insists on using the boring plates. I insist on using fun plates. We compromise and have both in our cupboards. LOL 🙂

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4. Also found this at Goodwill today.

I’ve been slacking on my French studies. (Eeeeek.) Seeing this in the book section today rekindled that passion I have for language learning. Bought it. And hello again DuoLingo.

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5. Daily dose of TRUTH.

“Be better today than you were yesterday” has become my mantra. It’s not about comparing yourself to other people. It’s about comparing yourself to who you were yesterday, and striving to be better. It’s not about perfection. It’s about process. There is no end goal or date in mind. It’s a lifestyle.

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An unconventional coping mechanism

How do you handle: Loss? Pain? Discomfort? Anxiety? Grief? Fear?

Or just an ordinary day that goes from bad to worse?

I am probably going to sound totally off my rocker when I share my thoughts here in a bit. And there’ll probably be several nay-sayers in the crowd. And I must say this “coping mechanism” must definitely be handled with great care. But… then again, what I have to say could be the very thing someone really needs to hear.

So back to the question above. How do you handle stress?

Journaling? Yoga? Meditation? Reading Scripture? Prayer? Working on a hobby? Music? Video games? Essential oils?

Several articles I’ve read suggested common ideas like: limit caffeine, get involved in physical activity/exercise, get more sleep, try relaxation techniques, talk to someone, keep a stress diary, manage your time, learn to say “no”, etc.

These really are fantastic ideas. Probably lifestyle habits we should regularly be investing our time and energy in with or without stress/anxiety/pain. They truly lead to a balanced, happy life.

But may I suggest a little something else that may be just the trick to quickly soothe your frayed nerves and wrecked mind?

This coping mechanism has been SO shamed in the media and by our culture. And it’s really sad that this is so.

Want to know what I think is an excellent and almost immediate calmer of the mind and body? Something you easily have in your home right now this minute? Something most everyone can afford?

I warn you. With this strategy, there is most definitely room for abuse/taking it too far. It needs to be approached with great caution. More on that in a bit.

So what’s a simple, quick way to feel better?

Food.

Ok, here comes gasps and boos and what-have-you.

But I stand by it. I truly think God gave us food to help take the edge off crazed/hurt emotions and mental distress.

When you’re hurt, angry, and overwhelmed, doesn’t it make you feel better to eat a piece of hot, freshly baked bread with a pat of melty butter? Mac-n-cheese? How about a hearty bowl of soup? A bowl of ice cream? Cookies? Donuts? Chocolate?

BUT, quantity is everything here.

1 slice of baked hot bread with butter. Not a whole loaf/stick of butter.
1 bowl of mac-n-cheese. Not the entire pot.
1 bowl of soup. Not the whole pot.
1 dessert bowl of ice cream. Not the entire pint.
1-2 cookies/1 donut. Not a baker’s dozen.
1-2 pieces of chocolate. Not the entire bar.
Moderation is key here! Absolutely key!

Only take a small amount to take the edge off. Go slowly. Savor. Focus on the taste and feel of what you are eating. Experience the nuances of flavor.

They call it comfort food for a reason!

And it’s OK. I’m telling you– it’s ok.

For so long, we’ve been told that using food for comfort is bad, wrong, going to make us fat, etc. Then, when people do turn to food (because it works almost immediately), they instantly feel guilty. Which just adds more fuel to the inner turmoil they’re experiencing.

I’m telling you– it’s false guilt to feel bad about turning to food for a bit of comfort! It’s not real. Shake it off and let it go.

Food is ok! It’s not sinful!

Most can agree with me that after a stressful event/season, a comfort food taken in moderation and savored slowly gives the mind, body, emotions, and soul a “sigh”… a breather… a must needed break and calm. It literally “takes the edge off”. And it does so pretty darn fast.

It allows the body to relax for a moment so that you can think clearly and plan and figure things out, or rest/sleep. It gives you the “ahhhh” needed to make good and right decisions. And it pairs beautifully with the many other coping mechanisms mentioned earlier in this article. No one single strategy is going to be the fix-all. Food alone isn’t going to “fix” the problem. It’s going to have to be done alongside other strategies.

But I want you readers to know that using food is a-ok to take the edge off your hurt. Just use moderation and care. Shake off that unnecessary guilt you may be experiencing. Add to your plate other calming techniques, too.

And remember this: say you *want* to over-do it in the comfort food department because you are REALLY upset about something. Know this: if you decide to binge, you are only punishing yourself and your body. And the problem or stressor hasn’t been solved. It’s still there. And now, the guilt you are feeling IS real. You overdid it. You lost self-control. You abused your body. You are making your body suffer unnecessarily. Even if someone did something horrible to you, and you are SUPER upset– a binge is a punishment on you alone, and not on the other person. This may seem harsh to hear, but it must be said. It’s never ok to overeat or to drown your sorrows with food. It doesn’t make you feel better. It doesn’t clear up the mind. It doesn’t calm the nerves. It hurts you. It makes things worse. The original problem has now been compounded even further. It can also set some people up for a future food addiction if they repeatedly do this to themselves.

So please, when I say “try comfort food to calm down”, I am NOT advocating over-indulgence at all.

Moderation.is.key.

So enjoy that cookie. Enjoy that piece of cake. Enjoy that bowl of mac-n-cheese. Go on and take the edge off. While you’re at it, try some yoga or journaling, too. Take a nap. Go for a walk. Do whatever it is that makes you feel good. And don’t wear that unnecessary guilt associated with using food for comfort. It’s ok.

Hope that helps. Hope you can now try releasing that white-knuckled grip you may be hanging onto that “food for comfort is bad”. It’s not. It’s good. Enjoy it. Feel a little better. Let go of false guilt.


There’s some “food for thought” for ya. 😉

Blessings to you!

~Momma Duck

Reflections upon today

 

1. Find joy in the journey… TRUTH.

Sometimes I find myself so focused on goals and aspirations that I forget to enjoy the actual journey getting to that end. But if we would just take a moment to slow down, walk (not run), savor the “now”, breath in deep the ordinary… there’s so much to see and experience. There’s so much life right here, right now. Let’s not miss it!

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2. Buying decorations for St. Patrick’s Day today.

I’m a sucker for holiday window clings. They’re just so fun! I have them for each of the holidays. They just make me smile. 🙂 And holiday decorations in general– they keep the house fun and happy all throughout the year.


3. My oldest daughter today.

She was (is!) just cute as a button. She brought a smile to my face every time I looked at her. A messy, wavy side ponytail… super round, funky gold sunglasses… a cactus t-shirt… Love this sweet sweet child of mine. So confident. So cool. So sure of who she is and what she likes. So full of life and creativity and passion. Lover of fashion and music. She has my heart and always will.

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4. Off to a Lincoln Day dinner with my hubby!

Been going for years. Wouldn’t miss this one. Lovely dinner. Lovely company. Lovely speakers. Yummy food. Always a blessing to attend each and every year. It also makes a lovely date night with my hunny.

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5. Winning prizes this evening at the Lincoln Day dinner!!!

I swear my hubby is my lucky rabbit’s foot! With him, we almost always win prizes and free food wherever we go. It’s a thing we always laugh about because it happens all.the.time. No joke. I was never so lucky until I married him and we make out like bandits anytime there’s a raffle drawing or prize contest. Or even at drive thru’s/restaurants (can’t even recall how many times we get free or discounted food. It’s unreal.) Tonight’s raffle won us (2) bottles of BioFreeze (LOVE this stuff!), a 5 gallon car cleaning bucket full of car wax/upholstery & glass cleaners/etc. (*not shown: 2 ball caps, as two of our sons took off with them as soon as we walked in the door), and a $65 coupon for a local hair salon. Luck + prizes = :-).

 

Had a fantastic day. Hope your’s was, too. Hope you’re learning to find joy and smiles in all of the odds and ends that happen throughout your day.

Until tomorrow…

Thoughts and Meditations (for birth) Part 5 (final)

#5- God will guide the midwife (or medical staff). RD will support and encourage what is best for baby and I.

a. Ex. 14:14~ The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.
b. Rom. 15:13~ May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

 

*The Lord is my strength and my shield; He will protect me.
*You direct my thoughts, Lord. You show me the way to birth my child.*Lord, You designed me a woman and You direct the way this labor should go according to Your design.
*I rest in You in the days leading up to our baby’s delivery. I rest during and in between all contractions. I am still in Your presence because I know You fight for me.
*Your plans are holy and perfect. I surrender my hopes and plans and desires to follow Your plan for this birth. You make Your presence known and guide every person facilitating this birth. You are glorified and Your name is revered.
*You fill me with joy and peace as I trust in You and continue to do so during labor. What can man do to me? You sift everything through Your perfect fingers and I trust that You will lead the midwife (or medical team). You do not overlook any detail of this labor and have it all planned perfectly. I surrender to Your plan and am protected by Your Holy Spirit against all enemy attack and distraction.

 

… in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us… Rm. 8:37

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Thoughts and Meditations (for birth) Part 4

4.  I have the Lord’s strength and will labor how God designed me to.

a. Ps. 46:1-2~ God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, thought the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea.
b. Is. 40:31~ Those who hope (wait) in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
c. Ps. 28:7~ The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in Him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to Him in song.
d. John 10:3-4~ The watchman opens the gate for Him, and the sheep listen to His voice. He calls His own sheep by name and leads them out… and His sheep follow Him because they know His voice.
e. 1 Chron. 4:10~ Jabez cried out to the God of Israel, “Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let Your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain.” And God granted his request.

 

*God designed women to give birth; God made me a woman. God designed women to give birth; God made me capable of this.
*I hope and wait in You Lord for the perfect timing our baby will enter the world. I do not look ahead to each contraction, but am thankful for each one and focus on the strength You give me.
*You give me strength and You renew my strength when I am weak. As I labor, I will not grow weary. As I labor, I will not grow faint. Together, we soar on wings like eagles; so prevalent is Your peace within me.*My heart leaps for joy at each contraction and I give thanks to You in song. Because I trust in You, You help me. Because I trust in You, You are my shield, protector, and strong tower. My place of rest and refuge.
*You are my Shepherd. You lead and guide me beside still waters and restore my soul. This baby is Your newest little lamb. Baby listens to You and knows Your voice. You open wide the gate of my birth canal. Baby knows Your voice. And as You call to baby, Your little lamb will easily pass through my gate to enter Your world and Your arms.
*Lord, as You blessed Jabez, You have blessed me. You enlarge the territory of my cervix so baby can pass through with ease. You keep me from unnecessary harm and pain as You draw baby out.

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Thoughts and Meditations (for birth) Part 3

3. Contractions will not overwhelm me.

a. Phil. 4:6-8~ Do not be anxious about anything… And the peace of God… will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable– if anything is excellent or praiseworthy– think about such things.
b. Ps. 3:3~ But You are a shield around me, O Lord; You bestow glory on me and lift up my head.
c. Ps. 23:1-3~ The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside quiet waters, He restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.
d. Ps. 29:11~ The Lord gives strength to His people; the Lord blesses His people with peace.
e. Is. 66:9~ “Do I bring to the moment of birth and not give delivery?” says the Lord. “Do I close up the womb when I bring to delivery?” says your God.
f. Is. 26:3-4~ You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You. Trust in the Lord forever, for in… the Lord, is everlasting strength.
g. John 16:21~ A woman giving birth to a child has pain because her time has come; but when her baby is born, she forgets that anguish because of her joy that a child is born into the world.
h. Heb.12:2~ Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfector of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross…
i. Gal. 5:22-23~ But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.j. Is. 41:10~ So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.
k. Neh. 8:10~ … the joy of the Lord is your strength.

 

*Contractions do not overwhelm me. Your strength and power in me allows my body to work according  to Your design.
*When I’m restless, You are rest. When I’m helpless, You are help. When I’m nervous, Your settle me. When I’m empty, You fill me.
*You are my oxygen, I breathe You in, I breathe You out.
*God did not give me a spirit of fear, but of power and love and self-control. God did not give me a spirit of fear, but of peace and joy and hope.
*I thank You for each contraction, Lord, as they bring me closer to meeting this baby. I am not anxious as Your peace guards my heart and mind in Christ Jesus. I allow You to guide my thoughts, to think only what is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, and praiseworthy.
*You are a shield around me. You protect me from all thoughts that have their origin from the enemy. You have placed a hedge of protection around my heart and this baby. Through Your glory, You lift my head and uphold me with Your righteous right hand. These contractions do not overwhelm me because You guide me in paths of righteousness for Your sake and You lead me beside still waters.
*I am Your daughter and You give me strength. You bless me with Your peace.
*I do not fear because You bring the moment of our baby’s birth and sustain me through the delivery. I surrender my body to function as You created it to. Each contraction is productive as You do not close up the womb during delivery.
*My mind and thoughts are on You and You give me perfect peace. Because I trust in You, You give me an everlasting strength and I delight, am thankful for, and even enjoy each blessed contraction.*As You suffered on the cross by looking towards the joy set before You, so do I willingly surrender my body and the method You desire to bring this “joy” (this baby) into the world. When our baby is born, I will forget the pain or discomfort as I hold our little “joy” in our arms.

 

… in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us… ~Rm 8:37

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