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Hi, welcome to our blog! We are newlyweds living in Memphis, TN. We love life, adventure and of course each other. We're starting a blog to keep track of any and 'all things Jacques' so we can look back and cherish memories from our first year of marriage. We'll be sharing memories, I'm sure a lot of our dog Bella, favorite recipes, books, trips, spiritual thoughts, home projects, and anything we're enjoying in life at the moment! We hope you enjoy as well. Much love, Michael and Rachel Jacques

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Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Simply Be

It has been quite some time since I have posted on the ole blog... about a month to be exact. Where has the time gone? It seems like I am always so busy running from point A to point B, checking off things on the "to-do" list, making sure Michael and Bella have food to eat so they don't starve... okay that was a little dramatic but you know what I mean. It seems like our culture is all about doing more and being more and that the busier we are, the more successful or productive we will be and feel. I am 100% guilty of this as I suffer from the "can't say no" over-commitment complex. I stay busy because I don't know how to simply just be.

I recently took a trip to Palm Springs, CA to see my brother. It was absolutely gorgeous. Stunning mountain views, palm trees, and the breeze was incredible. Here's a picture of my view each morning. Here's a picture of my brother, Jake, and I. Trust me, the coffee tasted better with this view. :)

They say the mountains that surround Palm Springs provide a sense of spiritual healing. The energy there is hard to describe. The way of life even more indescribable. I wasn't over concerned with checking emails, running errands and planning out our vacation for 2014... I simply enjoyed what God had given me... what was right in front of me. And everyone there seemed to be doing the same thing! I had a bit of culture shock. Although, I've been to California before it felt different this time. Maybe I noticed the smaller things or maybe God was pointing them out to me. Let me show you what I mean.

While we were visiting Laguna Beach for the day, I watched this lady (in the 2nd picture above) stroll along the street wit her dog and come up to this little shop to get her gourmet cheeses and perhaps dinner for the night. (I was enjoying my gelato in the same shopping complex that she came into... I have a weird obsession with gelato and people-watching for that matter). She brought her adorable dog with her because, well, they all bring their dogs everywhere. He sat there and patiently waited on his owner to come out from the shop. Not tied to a leash, or anything. I thought this was pretty cool so I snapped a picture. I liked sitting there and picturing what her life must be like. Even if she did the same things I did during a normal week (which I can bet she doesn't), she sure looked like she was enjoying her day and living in the moment. And even the dog seemed different. He seemed at peace and enjoying his life too. We saw more dogs on the beach and they had the same look. Relaxed and taking it all in. Wouldn't it be neat if we could do this every day? Here are a couple more pictures from Laguna.

Next is our experience at the Mexican restaurant. See below!

This is a picture from a fabulous Mexican Restaurant off the main strip in Palm Springs. It was a neat Mexican restaurant that seemed like it was inside but although it had walls, it was all open sky. And the live music put everyone in a great mood. I SO WISH I would have snapped a picture of the lady I'm about to tell you about. She seemed to be in her 70's... maybe even early 80's. She had white hair, a thin frame and wore a smile that made you want to know more about her. She was dancing with a tall, thin, young guy with dark black hair. He was Hispanic. My brother, my mom and I couldn't stop watching them. At first we thought maybe he worked there and was being nice to dance with her. But then they went back to a table and proceeded to talk and laugh before getting up to dance to the next song. We couldn't figure out the situation but it didn't matter. What mattered is that she was having a night to remember. She was enjoying every bit of it. The air, the music and her gentleman. How often do I take my nights for granted? Too often to count. This lady left a lasting impression on me.

And last is Jaclyn - the ranch owner from Morango Valley. Jaclyn moved out West after a divorce in 1986. She raised her kids in the dessert of Morango Valley and has built herself a lovely place with mountains and desserts as her scenery. But let's not forget the 30+ horses, 50+ chickens, 3 dogs and cat that she feeds every single day. She runs the entire ranch by herself. On top of that, she gives horse rides for tourists (like us) where she welcomes them into her world for 3 hours of bliss. This was no tourist adventure, let me tell you. As we rode along the mountainside it was so peaceful and I couldn't help to think what her life was like either. Simple. Beautiful. And more than anything enjoyable. She loves what she does and truly lives life to the fullest each day. What an inspiration! Here are so more pictures of us riding horses. This was incredible!

These 3 women, among other moments I experienced while in California, got me thinking about how I don't take the time to truly enjoy life like they did. Whether it be culture thing or a personal thing, there are no excuses. We control what we control and I know that what I can control is my priorities and my schedule for the most part. A great friend of mine left me with an email ending in this quote below.

“What you are in love with, what seizes your imagination, will affect everything. It will decide what gets you out of bed in the mornings, what you do with your evenings, how you spend your weekends, what you read, who you know, what breaks your heart, and what amazes you. Fall in love, stay in love, and it will decide everything.”
Pedro Arrupe (1907-1991)

I don't think I need to add anything to this beautiful quote. I'll simply say this...

I think this is something we all struggle with today. From elaborate weddings, showers and events that we feel like we have to plan, trips we feel like we need to take, constant home improvement projects, striving to keep up with trends in clothing, social media, and the like... what are we living for? I don't know about you, but I'm really kind of tired of it. I feel that I'm in my happiest place when I have time to sit on the back porch with Michael and Bella and feel the wind and sun on my face, when there is nothing on the "to-do" list and I've had time to mediate on things that are most important in my life. Most importantly, when I've spend time in God's word and he is teaching me what pure joy and peace truly looks like. It's then that I can really seize the day and really live.

My happy place. :)

I am determined to simply be and I hope you all can find time to do the same.