Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Prayers Answered?

I asked the Lord today if I could have just one day that would be stress free. Before the words actually left my lips I changed my mind and asked, "How about a week that is stress free?" But before he could answer my heartfelt request, I got a little greedy and in a humorous sort of way said, "Actually, how about a year that is stress free?"  
It didn't take long for him to answer. I think he felt He had to be quick this time in case I changed my prayer again:).
His answer was this, " You have kids...."
I had to laugh out loud as I'm sure He is wondering why I would even consider asking such a thing knowing that He purposely gave me five children and what in the world did I expect to go along with the joy and happiness they give me; of course there has to be a balance!

It's good to know He has an endearing sense of humor:)

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

A Prayer

Raising small children through the teen years was actually much easier than dealing with the things they encounter as young adults.  I often wish someone would have told me that or at least attempted to. Even so, would it have made a difference; would I have done anything differently?

I always believed that in trying to be be a good role model by being encouraging, optimistic and compassionate would certainly give them the tools they would need to make positive decisions in their lives. I still believe that, as opposed to parenting the opposite way. However, I am learning that there are no guarantees in who they will become, the decisions they will make, the moral choices they will decide to embrace or how they will leave their mark in the world.

I use to think of peer pressure and bullying episodes occurring in their childhood & teen years, yet that is not where it ends. I am finding that the challenging tests happen as they go out into the real world. It is who they meet, who they become friends with, who they work with, who they date and eventually even who they marry, which appears to be the major influenced on who they will become.

As a parent I can hope and pray that they will be able to hold their own and stand up for what they have been taught as right and wrong.  It is even more wonderful if others can influence them in affirming ways; but not in ways that cause sadness, anger, conflict and negativity. In my times of doubt and worry I have often prayed that it would be them  making a positive difference in the lives of others; of them being an example of what is good, kind and right.

Of course I am not a perfect parent nor are they perfect children; but they certainly have been raised with love, laughter and kindness to others. They have been raised to look at the glass as being half full instead of half empty. Above all, they have been raised to believe and trust in God.

Perhaps it is their idealistic view of life as young adults that leads them on a path of discovering and believing in other avenues. Maybe we all did that at one point in our lives...
I want to believe that as they grow and have families, raising their own children, that they will draw guidance from how they were brought up and see the possibility that it was the "positives" that they were raised with that became the best part of who they really are.  That is my prayer...

Proverbs 22:6King James Version (KJV)

Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

The Ultimate Compliment

Compliments are always nice to hear, don't you think?  They don't have to be major earth shattering ones. The little ones when a person notices your new hair cut etc..should make you feel that you are important enough for someone takes the time to really pay attention to you! That is pretty much what it is all about..knowing someone cares enough to notice.

Many years ago, when I was a child, parents were told that your child would get a big head if you complimented them too much. Roll forward 40 years later when it became acceptable to compliment your child on everything in order to build their self esteem. Personally I think both are a bit extreme. I tend to think a person should compliment when it comes from the heart.  That becomes an individual thing as some people just aren't observant while others notice everything!

When we raised our kids we  received many compliments about our children. They weren't all because of their school accolades  in academics, sports, or extra curricular but also because of their kind hearts, thoughtful and caring ways and just being "a good kid" (as my mom would say:). 

I have to give credit in a large part to them being exposed to the virtues of living in a Christian atmosphere; not only in our home but in the church and among their friends with similar backgrounds. All of which lends to a big support system when kids have to be confronted with major temptations and choices while growing up. It makes a BIG difference to have that firm base to stand on in their lives (a compliment to God for how he influences ones life!).

While as parents we have these proud moments, there are also times when we wonder if we are handling things right or what did we do wrong?  Those can be tough times and perhaps those are the times we need to hear compliments the most, to remind us not to let these doubting episodes overshadow all the right moments.

Today I heard Matt Lauer from the TODAY SHOW make an observation after one of his interviews that just tugged at my heart. It was not only a compliment to the young man he interviewed but to his mother and father.
He said to his colleagues afterward, " Those are some wonderful parents!"
To me, that would be the ultimate compliment,:)

Monday, June 29, 2015

June 28, 2015- A True Happening

Oh my!  I have felt this before. I have been here before...years ago when my children are little.

As I sit on the edge of my bed and look out the window I feel myself whirling back in time.
Suddenly the sounds, sights and smells of the late evening air embrace me and hold me tight in a place and time I have lived before.

This is a familiar and typical hot, humid, summer night when the air is heavy and damp with a slight breeze pushing through the screened in windows.  In the distance I hear the muffled sounds of  crickets and frogs chirping and croaking in random chorus. The faint rustling of the leaves on the oak and maple trees whisper quietly and gently in the evening air which carries a faint wisp of freshly cut grass.

In my darkened bedroom the double hung window looks as if it is framing the dim, shadowy outline of the swing set in the back yard. It sits quietly and undisturbed after a busy day of the children climbing, sliding, hanging and swinging on its steel body.

I sit frozen; afraid and hesitant to move for fear of losing this familiar, comfortable moment that I had thought was forever physically lost in time.  Is it even remotely possible that I am suddenly able to embody that time  from the past which I had lived so routinely on those evenings for so many summers? I am overwhelmed with emotion as tears start to slip effortlessly down my cheeks.

 I sense my children asleep in their beds, laying on top of the covers with whirling, rattling fans blowing in their windows. I feel myself in the room checking on them; the boys hair damp from the warmth of the evening and their pajama tops thrown off in an effort to stay cool. Each have a relaxed grip on their worn thin sock monkeys which dangle listlessly over the edge of the bed.  I attend to the little girls with their dollies and ni-ni blankets tucked securely under the crook of their arms. So very gently my warm hand slides across their foreheads to lift the random hair strands off their faces in an effort to let the breeze touch and cool their dewy, rosy faces.

My whole body melts with emotion as I literally relive this familiar time. What is this miracle that has enabled me to go back in time?  I will myself to relax as I soak up as much as I can without disturbing it. It feels as though a light is beaming down on me and leading me gently back in to the folds of being a young mother with my sweet, precious children.  The air around me allows this to happen and I feel as though this must be a dream!

As I rise from my sitting position, the sensation starts to gradually fade and withdraw. I now step slowly in to the hallway and grip the door-frame as I peer in to their now quiet,dark and shadowy empty rooms. There is very little evidence that once their little feet raced and jumped on these floors or their little hands smudged up these windows.  These walls will never experience the return of those same voices that once recited nightly, "Now I lay me down to sleep..."

I take a deep breath but instead a sob escapes my lips and my chest shakes with muffled crying.  Tears of gratefulness flow from my soul in response to the gift that I was given tonight; the chance to go back and be reminded how amazingly beautiful being a mother is for me.
I lift my eyes upward and whisper, "Thank you."

Friday, May 1, 2015

Kindness Matters

I found this in our church bulletin insert and thought it worth passing on!

~A teacher once asked a group of students to jot down in thirty seconds, the initials of the people they disliked.  Some of the students could think of only one person. Others listed as many as fourteen.
The interesting fact that came out of this research was-- 
Those who disliked the largest number of people were themselves the most widely disliked.~


Friday, August 22, 2014

A Complimentary Reflection

I have often said that a person's greatest emotional need is to feel appreciated.
When you see others doing good, working hard and trying to do the best they can do we need to let them know that we notice and appreciate it.
Who doesn't try even harder when given recognition and a pat on the back? On the contrary, who wants to put in any effort when all they get is criticism and sarcastic remarks?
Perfect examples of this is to watch the hurt and humiliation on a child's face as they are being put down and bullied.  Then watch a child's expression when they are being complimented and praised.  Their whole demeanor changes as they sit taller with more confidence.

Along that same line, a person needs to stand up to injustice.  A lot of terrible things happen when good people say nothing! If you see an injustice happening you must stand up to it even if you are in the minority. Trust me, it is not always easy when you feel as though you are standing alone; but it is the right thing to do. That does not mean blurting out every thought that comes in to your head; you need to weigh your words and tone carefully if you choose to stand up for what you feel is an injustice.

I am not a perfect person. We are not a perfect people.  However, that does not mean that we give up trying to do what is right and just. As adults we need to work hard and live our lives so that when our children and grandchildren think of fairness, caring and integrity they will hopefully think of us.
What better compliment is there than that.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

A Message Shared

Yesterday morning my almost 4 year old grandson was helping me make a cake; doing all the typical things little guys do and asking a ton of questions a long the way.  We all know at that age (or any age perhaps:) that the best part of making a cake is licking the beaters after the batter is finally poured in the cake pan. Once he was sitting at the counter with his treat, the conversation continued like so:

Me- " My mom use to give me the beaters to lick off too when I was a little girl."

Alecthinking about this between licks, "Grandma did your ma-ma died?"

Me-"Yes she did Alec."

Alec- "How come?"

Me-  "She was very sick and the Dr's couldn't make her better so she had to go to heaven. You see Alec, when the Dr's couldn't make her better, God said that he would take care of her in heaven and she would be all better there."

Alec- with a little pause and, a thoughtful look " Did you ma-ma beed better then?"

Me-"Yes, she wasn't sick anymore."

Alec-stopped his licking of the beaters and looking up at me with great concern and stated, "But now your ma-ma not coming here. "

Me-"No she isn't, but that is okay as someday when Grandma gets real old it will be my turn to go to heaven and she will be waiting to see me and I will be so happy to see her again!"

And with that, he finished his treat and off he went.:)

Later that afternoon I got an email from a dear childhood friend telling me that her mother had just passed away at the age of 98.  I felt such sadness for her and her family as I tried to send words of comfort back to her. I thought to myself how timely my conversation had been with Alec just that very morning!
 It wasn't until I got up from the computer that I noticed the date on the calendar, June 4th; the very day my mom passed away forty-five years ago...
I don't believe in coincidences as I know that with each incident comes a message to any who open their  hearts and minds to hear it. I feel that the message was an affirmation that my mom is still with me, a part of me; and today I was able to share her spirit with not only my grandson, but with my dear friend.