So it’s the end of they day and there is not much getting in the way
of my welcoming in the evening.
There are so many things I appreciate about this time of day.
Right now, at 7:19 PM, I appreciate:
1. Being home
2. the good work out I had a little while ago at the gym
3. the quiet I am enjoying before I start cooking (tonight it will be a healthy tofu stir fry)
4. the glass of pinot noir I am sipping as I write this.
5. My husband, daughter, and sweet cat who are close by (but leaving me alone so I can write)
6. The comfortable couch I am sitting on
7. My plush green blanket that is on my lap (it is actually a cool night here in North Florida)
8. The view that I have of my eccentric neighbor’s Christmas tree fully lit outside my back patio window across the pond…(why not Christmas in March, right? I laugh and feel full of love when I see those lights come on at night. This neighbor, by the way, will take the tree down in august sometime… ha!lol)
9. The peace that I feel inside knowing I had a good day.
10. My laptop computer here which faithfully works for me…
What comforts are you thankful for this evening? (feel free to comment and share with us…!)
Much love and peace to all of you. Have a lovely night! It is time I get going with my stir fry…
Twilight drops her curtain down, and pins it with a star. ~ Lucy Maud Montgomery
My journal writing this morning was inspired by something I read from I Declare 31 Promises to Speak Over Your Life by Joel Osteen.
In the page I randomly flipped to (page 89), Osteen talks about how we can be a miracle for others by the actions we take. That really spoke to me this morning. So often, we get caught up in our own lives (our own set of challenges, our own dreams and goals) and forget about what we can do for others.
This morning I invite you to join me in thinking about how we can be a miracle for somebody else?
On the top of your journal page, simply write:
How can be somebody’s miracle?
Then just write away and see what inspiration comes out!
For me, as I wrote this morning, this is a bit of what just flooded out of me on paper…
In daily life in general, I can: smile more, be gentle, encourage others, and work on being more patient.
In service to home
As a wife and mother I have an opportunity to be a leader, a lover, and a healer. I can do my best to provide a beautiful and peaceful home for myself and my family members. I can: plan and prepare delicious and nutritious meals, I can make a conscious effort to enter my home with good energy, and keep our home clean and tidy.
In service to my students and community
As a classroom teacher I have an important opportunity and duty that I don’t take lightly. I will do my best to come to work prepared to give my students a positive and meaningful day of learning and growth. In doing this I am serving my community (I work in my local neighborhood school).
In service to my Warm Milk Journal readers
As the creator of this website, I have the honor to share ideas and hopefully inspire others to live a well-balanced life by day and sleep restfully at night (our mission). I am committed to continue to have my readers’ best interests at heart. I wish to offer a valuable, supportive, and loving space for people to visit. In that effort, I will continue to strive to improve this site in order to fulfill The Warm Milk Journal’s mission.
How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world. ~ Anne Frank
You can learn many things from children. How much patience you have, for instance. ~ Franklin P. Jones
As the adults, we are busy raising and guiding our children much of the time. That is all together right and proper. What, though, can children teach us?
1. instinctively knowing when enough is enough, it is time to take a break from work and play!
2. to not be afraid to say what is on one’s mind.
3. doing things because it interests you and it is fun.
4. dressing with flair
5. being truly genuine
You can call kids a lot of things, but one thing is for sure: they are real. They are not trying to be something they are not. As a result, many of them sleep pretty well (once their parents can get them to go to bed)!
Kids: they dance before they learn there is anything that isn’t music. ~William Stafford
As I settle into this evening, I feel inspired to write in my journal. The prompt is a simple one… what do I believe?
Tonight, at this moment (February 13, 2013 at 7:38 PM)…
1. All storms do pass.
2. I am loved and supported.
3. I believe in The Warm Milk Journal and all the good we are doing in supporting one another…
4. I believe that people are basically good,
5. That my cat, Mew, is the sweetest-
6. And that my husband and daughter are the most precious things in the world to me!
Your turn, friends.
Right now, what do you believe?
I know I sleep well when I feel safe, secure, and loved. I am thankful that I live in a beautiful low-crime neighborhood where neighbors look out for each other. Even in the safest neighborhoods, however, are we really 100% safe?
Due to recent horrific events such as the Aurora, Colorado theater shootings and the Sandy Hook Elementary tragedy in Newton, Connecticut, this question is asked a lot these days.
To keep myself centered and at peace, I tend to limit my media exposure and not dwell on negative news events. As a parent and elementary classroom teacher, however, I recognize I have a responsibility to engage and not completely bury my head under the sand about this issue.
The bottom line for us here at The Warm Milk Journal is:
1. We want our kids to be safe.
2. We want our communities to be safe places to live, work, and go to school…
3. We want to sleep well at night!
Politics aside, it is important to have a civic conversation as a community about how we best go about keeping us all safe (and sleeping restfully at night).
I have had the good fortune to get to know Jesse Csincsak this past year. You may remember him as The Bachelorette season 4 winner, a professional snowboarder, or as an Olympic TV host.
Through the course of several conversations I have gotten to know Jesse best as a husband and father. The issues of violence, gun control, and the ability to protect his family are very dear to him.
Jesse would like to get the word out about a film, Assaulted Civil Rights Under Fire, that invites conversation about this controversial issue.
Here’s an excerpt of my February 4th conversation with Jesse two days ago…
Debra: Hello Jesse!
Jesse: Hi Debra.
Debra: How are you?
Jesse: I am great, just helping Ann with our new Clothing store in Vail Colorado www.CashmereAndCoco.com.
Debra: That sounds fun and exciting!
Jesse: Yes, we are having a lot of fun with it.
Debra: Best of luck and much success to her!
Jesse: Thank you, I will pass that on to Ann.
Debra: Please tell me a little bit about this film, Assaulted, Civil Rights Under Fire?
Jesse: Assaulted is a project I’m very passionate about. The film will look deep into the history of gun control in America through interviews with over 60 experts in all aspects of the debate. The goal is to present audiences with a balanced look at the realities of gun control in America without the misinformation often included in gun control pieces in the media today.
Debra: What is your involvement with this film?
Jesse: The film was brought to my attention about a month ago by one of the producers when I was asked if I would be interested in being interviewed for the film. I was immediately drawn to the subject matter and was happy to help. We are now discussing the possibility of me hosting the project. I believe this is one of the most important debates in America today, and anything I can do to help educate Americans on this topic is time well spent.
Debra: Why is this issue, the 2nd amendment so important to you?
Jesse: The 2nd amendment is important to me for the simple fact that it gives me the right to PROTECT MY FAMILY. The bottom line is that criminals won’t turn in their assault weapons, so I find it silly that the government is going to ask me to turn in mine and deny me the right to defend my family.
Debra: How do you feel about automatic assault weapons?
Jesse: This is the big misunderstanding. AR 15s and AR 10s are not Automatic weapons they are semi automatic weapons just like every hand gun on the planet. The only difference is the capacity of the magazines in which they hold… Any weapon including a normal handgun like a 1911 pistol can be gun smithed into an Automatic weapon but you need a special class 3 gun permit to be in possession of one…
Debra: I have much to learn. When and where will this film be available?
Jesse: The goal is to release the film in March. You can get updates about the film on DeadPatriotfilms.com.
Debra: Will do! I will be honest with you, Jesse. I am a bit of a “girly girl” and guns have always frightened me. I know my husband shares your point of view and I will check out this film when it is released and keep an open mind…
Jesse: That is all anyone can ask, Debra. We just want to get the discussion going.
Debra: Well, we can certainly do that. I will invite my readers to engage in this conversation as well.
Jesse: You’re the best!
Debra: I think you are pretty great too. Stay in touch. I wish you and Ann and little Noah well.
Jesse: Thank you.
Debra: Thank YOU.
Friends, I invite your comments!
Please share how this issue of violence and gun control affects your sense of security and getting a good night sleep. We have a global readership here at The Warm Milk Journal and we would be very interested to hear from citizens from different countries who have different gun control laws than we have here in the United States.
Thank you for looking out for me last night. I am safe. My family is safe. I thank you.
I appreciate so many things right now such as this quiet time I have this morning, my warm cup of coffee, and the comfort of my plush couch
and my favorite bathrobe I have on.
I know in just a short while I will be out there in the world again giving the tasks of the day my all.
Please help me to keep in sight the important things:
taking care of myself and family, being a strong and positive leader to my young students, and an encouraging face for someone who meets me in the hallway or on the street.
May I never get so caught up in the fatigue of the day that I take for granted this beautiful thing that is my life.
It doesn’t matter how comfy your mattress, linens, and pillows are.. or how early you turn in at night, if you are not right with your relationships.
We are social beings. I believe the most important life purpose we have is to be in relationship. If something is not right with our most important relationships, we will not sleep well; guaranteed!
Here at The Warm Milk Journal our wish for you is to sleep well at night!
So, tonight I offer you ideas to get right with your relationships so you can rest peacefully tonight (and every night)!
The important relationships:
1. Relationship with God.
If my faith is wobbly and wavering, I suffer from incredible anxiety and sleepless nights. I think Joel Osteen says it well when he speaks about our faith and our mountains (aka our challenges or “problems). He quotes Jesus in Mark 11:23 (kjv)”Whoever will say to this mountain, be removed, and does not doubt in his heart, he will have whatever he says”. Source: I Declare 31 Promises to Speak Over your Life by Joel Osteen, p.161
2. Relationship with spouse
This is so huge for me. If I go to bed after an argument with my husband John, I am quite literally in hell all night. I can not sleep until I know there is harmony between me and my husband. Our marriages are the most sacred and important relationships we will ever have. Put them first. All else will fall into place.
An absolutely wonderful site is Fawn Weaver’s Happy Wives Club.It’s a blog celebrating loving our husbands. It is very life affirming and I highly recommend it! What is more important than love?
3. Relationship with self
This is another big one. I spent years of my life beating myself up, torturing myself with self doubt and fear and pity. If we are not right with ourselves we are setting ourselves up for anxiety and many sleepless nights. We need to accept and love ourselves. Be gentle. Accept. Love. Know we are doing our best. Forgive and let go of the past. Quit our people pleasing ways… Try imagining your four year old self. Really center on this image. You were this beautiful innocent little person once who just needed to be loved and accepted… guess what? You are still that person!
Begin now to unconditionally love yourself. Self berating and perfectionism and pleasing need to go out with yesterday’s newspaper. Got it?!
4. Relationship with parents
My Jewish background makes it very clear about this: we are to honor our parents. They gave us life. If we are holding onto grudges from the past, it is time to let them go. Our parents did their best raising us (just as we are doing our best raising our own children). Focus on the good they did. The rest? Let it go! Love them. If your parents are getting older and they don’t live near you: call them, write them thank you notes (Facebook and texting don’t count). Visit them. Cherish them now. What a gift they gave us and what a gift life and God has given us if they are still here. If they are not, pray and love them and know they are in a good place!
5. Relationship with community.
Agape, love of all mankind and the world is so important. If we choose to be kind, gentle, and non violent in our society… so much good will come from this. Each individual has great power to influence the whole. Something simple such as letting the car on the highway in your lane or smiling at the stranger in your grocery store… we never really know exactly how our behavior (if centered in love) can affect others. But we can be sure that it does in same way… how do we want to affect others and our community)?
6. Relationship with our children
A few things I will say about this all important relationship… children are our future- they need our unconditional love, support, guidance, firm boundaries and discipline. Our kids don’t need us to be their best friends or to earn trophies that they really did not earn. Our kids need to learn the boost of confidence that comes from hard work and good character. They need the freedom to make mistakes and learn from them. They need to see mom and dad who make their marriage a priority and grow up in secure and solid homes as opposed to stress and (possibly) divorced homes because parents made the kids the entire focus of the home at the expense of the marriage.
7. Relationship with profession: (employer, colleagues, clients, customers).
Integrity! Do what you say you are going to do. Deliver value. Be a problem solver rather than a whiner.
Get these seven relationships right and you will sleep well at night. I promise!
To all of the parents who lose sleep because of the behavior of their teenagers or simply worrying about them…
I offer ten ways to get a good night sleep (despite) having a teenager or teenagers living under your roof.
1. If you are lucky, you were tough on them when they were younger. If you were a softie, now is the your last chance to toughen up. Set up clear boundaries and expectations with them about everything NOW.
2. When they need to talk, listen to them (without judgment).
3. Choose your battles: does it really matter if they choose to wear a tee-shirt and shorts in cold weather?(If they do get uncomfortable or come down with the cold or flu perhaps they will learn from the choices they made).
4. Sit down and have dinner most nights with your kids. Talk. Listen. Eat. Good stuff. Important!
5. Do the above without the smartphones and iPods
6. Get to know their friends.
7. Be clear on when it is to be quiet time in the house (i.e. no laundry, tv, or loud music) after a certain agreed upon time.
8. Find and use your leverage. What does your teen really care about? Use that to your advantage. You are the adult. You are in control. Do not be manipulated. They won’t admit it, but teens feel secure when we are firmly in charge.
9. Love them. If you have to, look in their faces and see the darling babies that they once were… (they’re still there)!
10. Above all else: DO NOT STALK OR TAG OR POST ANYTHING ON THEIR FACEBOOK WALL (that is, if you are lucky enough to have been befriended by them in the first place).
Best of luck. Much love. This too shall pass!
When is the best time to sleep? I posed this question to my sweetest muse, Mew… and he pondered the question at great length.
This is what he came up with (if we truly want to live life The Mew Way we had better pay attention now…)
The best times in the world to sleep are:
1. When the family is watching a movie after dinner. The living room is dark (except for a soothing glow from the television). There is a comfy couch and many more comfy laps to sink into…
2. After breakfast.
3. After lunch.
4. After dinner.
5. After a late night snack.
6. After doing the look out the window at back patio critter meditation.
7. During mommy’s blogging time.
8. During mommy’s coffee and newspaper time.
9. After a good stretch.
10. After a stressful event (such as when a door is slammed too loud or strange people come into the house).
11. At night, after living a full and rich Mew Way life (plenty of naps, eating, observing human life indoors and nature outdoors…)
12. If feeling sleep deprived after applying these eleven rules, then apply the final twelfth rule:
sleeping anytime is the perfect time to sleep!
Thank you, Mew!
Some of my worst nights I have ever had are nights when I have gone to bed upset with my spouse. Thankfully, it hasn’t happened too much recently. I have learned that the most important thing for my “beauty sleep” and over all well being is to have a loving and peaceful marriage. I can handle a lot: ups and downs on the job, challenging world events, etc. But if my husband is upset with me, I will not sleep. That is just a fact.
I have learned to make it a priority to have harmony in our home. One thing I love to do is to focus on what I love about my husband.
What we appreciate, appreciates. What we focus on grows.
Why not focus on what we love about our sweethearts rather than the things that are annoying us?
This makes a wonderful journal writing exercise!
What do I adore about my husband?
1. The way he looks and smiles at me.
4. Even during challenging times, he always stays positive and grounded.
5. His strength.
Love is an act of endless forgiveness, a tender look which becomes a habit. ~Peter Ustinov
What a happy and holy fashion it is that those who love one another should rest on the same pillow. ~Nathaniel Hawthorne
A special thanks to Fawn Weaver over at The Happy Wives Club where she dedicates her site to the importance of love and having a happy marriage. Awesome!