The Penguin

Monday, August 3, 2009
If you haven't already heard enough good things about my sister, let me list a few more: Attorney--indeed. Top of her class and SBA president. Returned missionary--she forged the way for me. Arcadia, California. Truman Scholar---are you kidding? Who does that?. Incredible mother--just ask her son, Jack. "These noodles are incredible, Amy (he calls her by her first name). You are incredible, Amy !" Comedian--you betchya. There are very few people who can launch me into complete hysteria like my sister. And for no reason really. Singer--instilled the singing bug in me at young age with her portrayal of "Molly" in Annie. World traveler--I might be a tad jealous. Thailand, Cambodia, Jordan, Isreal, Europe. Blasted! Oh...and maybe she has run a few marathons. She is a wealth of knowledge on almost any subject.

As we've discussed my upcoming race this Saturday, she has brought up several good points-- Don't get too emotional. Take it easy this final week. Pace yourself. And then she told me about "the penguin" . This guy is a walking miracle. Or should I say running? From sedentary couch potato to world traveling runner. What an inspiring story. Did you read the mantra at the top of his page?

The miracle isn't that I finished. The miracle is that I had the courage to start.

Don't tell me you just didn't get a little teary. It gets me every time. If I'm really taking this seriously, not only do I need the short shorts, the Garmin running watch, and my trusty Brooks running shoes--I need a good mantra. And that's where you come in.

Consider this my first blog contest. The prize? A personal copy of the lullaby cd I recorded for Lucy, along with several other inspirational songs I have recorded over the years. And if you live nearby, I may even take you out for lunch. I'm not sure who would want to hear my singing, but it's the only thing I could think to offer. Lucy's laugh is in one of the songs. And well, that's pretty priceless.

On your mantra, get set, go! Send me your ideas. And then get out and penguinify your life. You'll thank me for it.

And now for a little teaser:


  1. I think I've already shared this with you--but it's all I got...

    While giving birth to my babe, easily the most physically difficult thing I've EVER done {au natural, like you and Peter--so you can relate here} at one point {probably at several points actually} I said "I can't do it...I can't do it!" and let out some sobs of despair. Fully aware of the fact that there was no stopping this labor, I still felt that I couldn't do it. I had no idea what I was going to do instead, but I just knew I couldn't do this. My blessed midwife just said "I know Amy. It's impossible. It's absolutely impossible." I really appreciated that. No pep talks, just a few minutes of empathy. She was basically agreeing that yes, this is a cruel joke from mother nature that we endure this pure emotional and physical agony only to try and conquer the impossible feat of pushing something the size of a small watermelon out something the size of a quarter. Totally and ridiculously impossible.

    She just let that sit there for a minute...then at some point, a while later when I was again insisting that 'I couldn't do it' she said, "Amy you can do this. In fact you're the only one who can."

    Well, I did it. I made it through labor and what I thought was the most difficult thing I ever did. However, what I didn't realize is that my most difficult moment was about to be replaced by the most difficult life transition of motherhood. For me, motherhood was a rough transition and I wanted to quit more than once. The thought that got me through some of those dark days was "You can do this...if fact you're the ONLY ONE who can." My baby was sent to ME. For whatever reason I was to be her mommy. This was my assignment, my test, my trial, my blessing.

    So if you want to borrow my mantra it's yours.

    "You can do this Molly. In fact, you're the only one who can." It's your race, your Lucy, your trial, your tears, your Peter, your family, your Vic, your heart, your life and you are the only one who can do it.

    Good luck.

  2. Adventure is worthwhile.
    -Amelia Earhart

    I don't know if you've seen the movie "Up" but it is BEAUTIFUL. If I could give a grape soda adventure badge to anyone, it would be you. Life is messy, uncertain, gritty and absolutely glorious! Go live it!

  3. I choose to do this, not because it is easy, but because it is hard.

    That's my mantra. And boy, it sure is true.

  4. When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be. - Lao Tzu

    Let go. Let love. Let Lucy.

    I have followed your blog from the beginning (a friend of Leah and Cody Youngs) but never have written. You have silently been an angel and inspiration to me, teaching me to love my kids every day and love what time I have with them.

    I hope you kick some butt out there!

  5. When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be. - Lao Tzu

    Let go. Let love. Let Lucy.

  6. My first one is "Shut up and Dance!" but I don't know if you can use that during a race.

    My second is this, I kept saying this during my first marathon. I got really sick along the way and it was snowing and I just didn't have a lot to give any more. It goes a little something like this, "What is hard for most is, easy for you. Let's go Abs (you can insert your own name there if you want.)"

    Good luck in your race. These types of races break you down to who you really are inside. You will do just fine because what is hard for most is easy for Molly Bice Jackson. Run on sista, Run on.

  7. Not one thing is coming to my mind right now... no advice... just love your open-ness and willingness to try... and go on one day at a time. When you seem to be at the end of your rope... tie a knot and hang on. If by chance you fall... I am sure you have a whole lot of people close by to catch you.


  8. Well mine is not original but it's something I always fall back to. When ever I have struggled with things or even don't want to listen to what that little voice is telling me I remember his words: "I never said it was going to be easy I only said it would be worth it". These things you are going through are not easy but for Lucy it is going to be worth it!

  9. I have been reading your blog since I heard about little Lucy. I used to work with Vic before he left Sovereign Financial. He is a great man! You have a beautiful family! You truly are an amazing woman!

    My little mantra, you can make it work in any situation is.

    "Although you cannot go back and make a brand new start, you can start right now and make a brand new end."

    It has gotten me through many a hard times! I hope it helps you too. I heard it when I was in young womens many many years ago!

  10. "If this is the hardest thing I'll ever do, when I'm done, I will have already done the hardest thing I'll ever do."

    Okay, that's not easily repeatable or anything, but it's a little inspiring in its own clunky way, right?

    Run, girl. Run.

  11. "If God brings you to it, he will bring you through it". I often remind myself of this. You are just an inspiration to so many and Lucy is so on Molly...I'll be thinking about you. Wish I could be so determined to do something like this! Your friend in East Texas, Pam.

  12. "I CAN DO hard things."
    said (sometimes screamed) over and over!

    Go Molly GO!!!

  13. ~Let Go...Let GOD~

    Miss Molly, How often I have thought of you and your incredible strength. Recently my dad was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. While devistated, I have found some joy in the moments of sorrow. Why...maybe because I realize that his testimony is being written and that this is my chance to help others come to know Christ. This mantra has reminded me to seek Him and that he will reign. His plan will take place.

    ~Let Go...Let GOD~
    p.s. That smile of Peter's...
    priceless!! xoxo

  14. Well...I just picked a few words that stuck out in reading about the penguin...
    they might work for a mantra...repeated over and over...

    'patience, persistence, consistence,

    those seem to be some pretty powerful words that could be applied to any goal or moving forward in any endeavor.

    try em out while you take a little run around the block because I would like the cd!

    Move it, Miss Molly! ( the UNABASHED!)

  15. 10 years ago I ran a marathon and Adidas had the most inspirational billboards scattered throughout the course. At the time they meant the world to me, helping me get through the race. Of course I can't remember any of them now...but I googled it and came up with one:

    Pain is temporary and glory is eternal.

    Applicable to more than just running.

  16. Whether or not these constitute a mantra that's right for you, here are a couple of quotes I liked a while back when I was going through a rough time:

    "Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see the shadows." -Helen Keller

    (I don't know if that's completely helpful, because in grief you *do* have to recognize and accept and live through the shadows...)


    "Sometimes you just have to take the leap and build your wings on the way down." -Kobi Yamada

    BEST of luck on your race this weekend! You will be awesome!

  17. How about something like this...I choose not only to survive but to thrive. Light is my guide and hope is my rock. (Lucy means light and Peter means rock. The phrase on your header under your name is what got me thinking that way.)

  18. This may sound silly, but "RUN FORREST RUN"!! is one my mantra's...when there was nothing else for him to do, no where else to find comfort - he RAN. He didn't stop, until he felt it was time to. RUN MOLLY RUN!!! Because I know this is more than a race for you, it is HEALING.

  19. Molly--My OCD is kicking in, and I realized that the way I remember the billboard is, "Pain is temporary. Glory is eternal." No 'and.' You pick whichever you like.

  20. Found your blog some time ago. Not really sure where. Thank you for sharing your trials and life experience. Your words have been a great teacher.

    Our little running motto (taken from a Runner's World Magazine - not sure about the author) is:

    "Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional."

    Good luck on your race!

  21. If you're looking for a rhythmic mantra to repeat to yourself while running, I thought of a couple:

    "Step by step, we come to thee...
    Lucy, Peter, Vic and me."


    "I can't give up; I won't give up.
    I'm Molly, and I DON'T give up."


    "Jacksons, Jacksons running free...
    Lucy, Peter, Vic and me."

    If you're thinking more of a personal mantra for life in general, how about:

    "Step by step, we come to thee;
    thy light is a beacon for all to see."


    "May these feet in thy footsteps be,
    that I might find my way to thee."

    Favorite quotes of mine are:

    "Success is getting up just one more time than you fall down."


    "The man who walks with God always gets to his destination."

    "Years may wrinkle the skin, but to giving up enthusiasm wrinkles the soul."

    "Time flies...whether you're having fun or not."

    "Happiness is not having what you want, it's wanting what you have."

    "Earth has no sorrow that heaven cannot heal." Thomas Moore

    "You may not be able to control the winds, but you can always adjust your sails."

    Philippians 4:11-13: "...I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I now both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: everywhere and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me."

    "Sometimes the Lord calms the storm, and sometimes He lets the storm rage and calms His child." John Groberg

    "The only difference between a mud puddle and a geyser is enthusiasm."

    Anyway...hope some of this is useful!

    Hugs to you and good luck with the run!


  22. "faith and trust, all you need is pixie dust"

    You are a true inspiration and you write so that anyone can relate big or small.

    Run, and never look back!

  23. Molly,
    This is odd, so bear with me but life is like driving a standard transmission vehicle...sometimes to continue you have to shift up and sometimes you have to shift down, re-adjust, and then shift back up.
    I am a runner, a mother, and someone who has experienced loss and I have to shift.

    That's my mantra. One word. Easy to say while running and out of breath. Can mean lots of different things.


    Good luck in your race.

  24. It's not my own quote, but it's my favorite: "And the light shineth in the darkness." So simple, but so powerful. It's by Viktor Frankl, holocaust survivor and author of "Man's Search for Meaning," a book I would highly recommend. It's basically about finding hope in the worst of circumstances.

  25. My mantra is

    Life is a blank canvas. Make yours a masterpiece.

  26. Molly:
    My struggles do not compare to yours, however, the one that I have used for the past two years as I have endured something very challenging is by Wilma Rudolf,

    "the reward is not so great without the struggle".

    When you finally reach the finish line whether in a race or in life the reward will feel exhilarting because you fought the fight and won - good luck. You are often in my thoughts, and always in my prayers.

  27. "Just keep swimming, just keep swimming!" (from Finding Nemo!)

    I have to tell myself this every day in many different contexts.

    Another one I tell myself constantly is "Faith, not Fear!"

    Luv ya!

  28. Molly, it doesn't matter if you run or walk, but just that you are moving FORWARD. You have so many fabulous suggestions, it will hit you when u hear yours. I love that little Peter. love you.

  29. Molly,
    How awesome for you! You can do this. I feel very special to already own said CD and yes it is worth the hype!
    One of my favorite quotes is one my sister shared with me it is by Kurt Cobain of all people (man did he need more motivating quotes in his life!) But I love it because it is short and to the point.....

    "Wanting to be someone else is a waste of the person you are".

    I repeat this to myself daily (mostly at the swimming pool :)

    Love ya and good luck...
    PS- GEEZ you make yourself some cute babies!

  30. Our motto for Chris was/is: You can either count days, or make each day count.
    My personal motto right now is, in Italian: Questo Momento. Easy enough, it's just to remind myself that I am in THIS moment. Past is done. Live now.

    Love you Molly. Maybe I should take up running...yeah right! Run for me!

  31. Wow - I can't compete with all of these wonderful Motto's - all I can say is Molly - you have inspired so many. I have never met you, but have followed your blog for over a year. You are an inspiration to my life as a mother. I think the world of you and your sweet family. Thank you for inspiring me and so many others. You can do this race - and like someone wrote are the only one that can do it - for you.

    Good luck!! We will all be praying for you and your accomplishment.

  32. A few of my fav...

    We cannot go back and make a new start, but we can start now to make a new ending.

    No one can make your dreams come true but you.

    Never let yesterday's disappointments overshadow tomorrow's dreams.

    Good luck with the race!

  33. "Remember who you are, and what you stand for"
    This is something that was repeated over and over while growing up. My great, great grandfather used to say it to his many, many children and it has been lovingly shared with generations. For me when something in my life goes wrong, or is off at all, and I can feel myself crumbling to Satan's mockings, I very calmly and confidently tell myself to remember who I am and what I stand for. I stand for my anscestors who worked so hard to make me who I am today, I stand for the kind of person I want to be in the past, present and future, I stand for the kind of mother my children want and desire to have. Good luck with your aventure Molly, and remember who you are,and what YOU stand for.

  34. Dear Molly, I just wanted to say that your family is BEAUTIFUL. Your children are so precious. Here are 3 of my favorite quotes. "May today their be peace within you, may you trust god that you are exactly where you are meant to be." That particular one I wrote on a card for a friend of mine when I was meeting her for lunch one day, I just had this prompting that I needed to write that particular phrase down for her. I wasn't aware of some difficult things that she and her family were going thru at that moment. It was just what she needed and I have thought of it often that God and Heavenly Father are aware of us and there is a reason for everything. The other ones are: "We aquire the strength we have over come"-Ralph Waldo Emerson and "Success is not final, failure is not fatal; it is the courage to continue that counts"-Winston S. Churchill. Good luck with your marathon.

  35. I don't have a mantra for you, but just wanted to say good luck in choosing a winner! There are some great ones already posted.

  36. Papa Schultz says... When in doubt, work it out." (and I think you know the voice in which you must say this to yourself.

    I also like the multiple uses of the word 'work'.

  37. Thanks Molly for asking for all of those suggestions-it just lifted me up. There are so many good inspirational words in there. I'm excited to find out which one you choose. I'm getting pretty pumped for the race. The training has been such a blessing and I know that it has made us stronger in many ways :) Thanks for being my running buddy!

  38. My body runs, my mind races, my heart lifts...
    All... for my own 3 gifts

    Good luck Molly!! Your "gifts", Vic, Lucy, and Peter will be so very proud!

  39. You don't know me, but I heard about your blog through a friend. You have been through so much, and are so strong to keep going. Here is an idea. "Let love, laughter, and life in" Then breathe in, "Let lonliness, languish, and loss out" Then breathe out. Running is a very clensing thing, good luck! Your strength of character has inspired many - including me. Thanks!

  40. Hope the race went well! I just spent a lovely 4 days with said sister Amy in NYC. I admire her too, and love that she makes me laugh! Wish I could know you as well. Congrats on the running!


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