Daily Encourgement, Life in General, Quote of the Day

Anyway

The well known poem from Mother Teresa who says “……anyway”

People are often unreasonable, illogical and self centered;
Forgive them anyway.

If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives;
Be kind anyway.

If you are successful, you will win some false friends and some true enemies;
Succeed anyway.

If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you;
Be honest and frank anyway.

What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight;
Build anyway.

If you find serenity and happiness, they may be jealous;
Be happy anyway.

The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow;
Do good anyway.

Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough;
Give the world the best you’ve got anyway.

You see, in the final analysis, it is between you and your God;
It was never between you and them anyway.

sunset

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Anything Goes, Life in General, Motherhood

Blessings from God

I found this story on FB and when I read it, tears welled in my eyes. Such sweetness. Such goodness. What a wonderful act of kindness to this mother and her child!

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/tony-posnanski/to-the-woman-and-child-who-sat-at-table-9_b_4613722.html?ncid=fcbklnkushpmg00000037

If you haven’t read it, please take a moment to do so. It’s traveling all over FB, but I want to share it anyway because, like the manager, I cannot understand what it’s like to raise a child with autism, but my husband and I have received the very same blessing as he gave, a couple of different times. We have also been given the same looks and heard the same whispers, but we have never been hastled by a manager over it. Fortunately. Both of these experiences are eye-openers. Our family of 10, yes 10 (2 adults, 8 children), for one random supper out on the town (family oriented of course), was blessed by a well-meaning and kind soul. He/she/they (we don’t know who), paid our bill and told the server who delivered that act of kindness from the stranger/s not to divulge his/her/their names/identity. They wanted to remain anonymous. And if you don’t know already, feeding a family of 10 in a restuarant is not cheap. The message delivered with that act of kindness was, “What a beautiful family you have. Your children behaved so well.” These moments, sometimes far and few between, remind me of the goodness that is God, the goodness that surrounds us, many times unrecognized. These acts of kindness are only a token of what God has promised us. It’s these random acts of kindness that come to mind when we encounter the rude comments, the soft whispers (as if we don’t know what they are saying?!?), and the glares from other patrons in different establishments, whether it be a restuarant, a grocery store, or walking through the mall. Remembering the kind acts from others in our wake make the rude/snide comments and otherwise unkind behaviors seem less powerful.

Another reason I wanted to make a post on the above article is because beings that our family is bigger than average, we often encounter praises and judgments from others. The praises are recognized and much appreciated and very well rememebered. For a short while, I began to let the judgements, looks, whispers, and snide/rude comments determine outings with my kids. I felt almost ashamed of the size of my family while in public (at home there was never any shame), but then slowly, my appreciation and the love I feel for my kids re-emerged, surpassing the shame. (**when i say my love for them, I don’t mean I stopped loving them because that’s absolutely NOT possible, I simply meant I let it be bigger, outshine anything anyone else had to say, think, assume, or judge).

And now, I look at my family in the light that God shines upon them with peace. I am in awe because they are the truest blessing from God and He entrusted them to me/ to us. Not those judgemental strangers. Not the kind folks that sing their praises to us about our children. Not our parents or friends or siblings, but US – My Husband and I.

And as the Bible says,

Children are a gift from the Lord;
    they are a reward from him.
 Children born to a young man
    are like arrows in a warrior’s hands.
 How joyful is the man whose quiver is full of them!
    He will not be put to shame when he confronts his accusers at the city gates. – Psalm 127: 3-5

And that is reason enough for me. Who else is there to impress, to prove anything, to strive for other than God?

Nobody really.

Isn’t His judgement of us what matters most?

Yes! Yes it is.

For all the mothers and fathers out there with one kid, 3 kids, 10 kids, autistic or in any other way impaired, not impaired…no matter, if you have kids just remember this:

Each and every child, born and unborn, is a blessing from God. Each and every child is given for reasons that only God will ever know. Thank God for them every day and pray for anyone who has a judgement to throw at you.

Daily Encourgement, Life in General

Happy Anniversary

A special shout-out to my parents on this very unforgettable day for a couple of reasons.

Forty years ago, my parents said their “I Dos”. The relationship, albeit a rocky one, withstood the test of time and I am so very excited and proud to say that they have made their marriage work amid the troubles they faced. To bless their marriage even more, my sister was born the very next year, to the day.

Yes, their one year anniversary gift was the birth of my sister.

Forty years!

I have much faith that my husband and I will one day celebrate our 40th anniversary.

In this life, it’s a blessing to meet someone whom you can spend your life with….growing and learning and changing and falling in love with over and over again.

To my parents, I would like to say how much we learned from yall growing up and how much we continue to learn as adults. Thank you for keeping our family together all of these years. It’s not been a perfect life, but it was always full of love and that’s what matters. We didn’t have the most money, the grandest home, the nicest car…actually, we didn’t have much at all. There were plenty of times we had more on our plates than it seemed we could handle, but nobody gave up. You both kept striving to make our life the best yall could. As an adult, I have never wanted that relationship that ended in divorce because of how heartbreaking it can be for everyone involved. As our parents, you taught us that foundation of marriage, you both taught us to work through the troubles of married life. In my adult years, in my own marriage to a man who was also taught that firm foundation of marriage through his own parents and their beliefs, I have furthered my understanding of marriage now in the biblical sense. I appreciate what yall taught me about  mothering and being a wife. I appreciate my childhood and the love that sustained us which is now carried forward to my own family. As children, we witnessed unfaltering love between a husband and wife. We witnessed forgiveness even when forgiveness was hard to give. We witnessed kindness in times when kindness was not warranted. We witnessed hard work, commitment, and strength. We witnessed sadness and joy. And we witnessed more love. Thank you. I love you both so much. Happy 40th Anniversary! I hope there are many more.

Anything Goes, Daily Encourgement, Life in General

He’s Worthy of Our Praise

Praise be to Jesus Christ, now and forever, Amen

We praise those we love. Right?

Yes, yes we do.

We praise our children when they do a kind act, when they do something correctly or even incorrectly as we want to build the belief within them that they can succeed, and we praise them for a multitude of other things throughout any given day.

The above prayer is the last part of our prayer before meals. We all know the prayer by heart as we say it before every meal. “Praise be to Jesus Christ, now and forever, Amen.”

Simple words that carry the weight of the world.

Through Jesus Christ we were saved. Through Him we find, know, and express love. Through Him we are able to forgive others. Through Him we are able to find the strength to endure the hardships we must face. Everything comes through Him.

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life. – John 3:16

If we have the ability (and we do, a grace afforded to us through Jesus Christ of course, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit) to love our children unconditionally, to praise, to forgive, to have faith….to do everything for them that is good in the world, shouldn’t we be able to love and praise God for that very same reason, with just as much excitement? I mean, He did create us.

I know the stories of evolution. I know that not everyone believes in God, in anything religious at all even. However, I do pray for every soul on this earth when I say my prayers because prayers do get answered.

If you sing your praises to the Lord Almighty, then continue to do so.

If you don’t I say, go ahead and give it a try. If you start to believe even a little bit, if even one piece of your heart opens to His goodness, it will change your life. If nothing happens, try again and again. If nothing changes for you then you will have lost nothing, but if you notice even the smallest of change then believe, have faith that it is God’s presence.

Trust me, He’s worthy of our praise.

Life in General

It’s Not That Easy!

An apology to some can be extremely difficult.

One evening I got into an argument with my oldest son because he refused to apologize for a simple mistake, not on his part, that ended with something that shouldn’t have been said to anyone, let alone his brother. Later on, I found out that he did apologize, but his whole attitude with me was that he had no reason to apologize because what happened was not his fault. He failed to understand that I wasn’t blaming him for what happened, but I was holding him accountable for the words that he used as nobody made him use those words.

Oftentimes, when my husband and I get into disagreement he has a hard time apologizing. I always assume that pride prohibits him from apologizing for what he has said or done that led to the argument. I do not blame him for each argument that we get into, but again, I do blame him for his actions and his words.

One question: why is so hard for one to apologize, but another person can apologize so easily?

I often apologize, profusely even, for things I’ve done that cause hurt for another or cause undue hardship on another. It’s in my nature. I have no problem admitting I am wrong, but for some people it’s like being on the precipice whereas apologizing equals that slight move in the wrong direction resulting in falling over the edge.

I am slowly learning that I can influence those around me to do the right thing by doing the right thing myself. I am slowly learning that I am accountable only for my behaviors. I can’t change someone else’s behaviors, but I can change how I react to the things that cause me to feel angry or hurt.

As they say, lead by example because actions do speak louder than words.

Life in General, Motherhood

Admiring the Abilities of Others

Still in the midst of raising children, I find myself often questioning how I’ve handled something, my response to different things, my actions, my choice of words….whatever it may be. I question, I wonder, I doubt my parenting skills and not because I feel like I’m doing it all wrong, but because I know that I am human. I make mistakes as I am still learning as well. Each child is different. Their actions, their words, their thoughts, their reactions, their priorities….all different. Age is a factor. Mentality is a factor. Personality is a factor. Second-guessing oneself is really the pits.

Recently, I met someone a consider my friend. She’s a really great mom. She always acts so calm and collected. She never seems to lose her temper and has the patience of a saint. I know that we shouldn’t compare ourselves in any facet of our life with anyone else because I realize each on of is created exactly how God intended us to be. Sometimes, when I’m feeling like the worst parent in the world, I admire the kind of parent my friend is. However, I realize that although she may be a good parent to her children, she may have the patience of a saint, she may have it all together, I don’t know her story. I don’t live in her home so comparisons are moot. And I know that God has blessed me with these wonderful children because He knows I am who can give them what they need, which is true for any parent. At the same time, parents must reach their parenting potential with their children.

Below is a list of just a few things I’ve learned over the years:

  • When speaking with children, speak to them on their level (height-wise). For a long while now, when I speak with my kids, I make sure to have their attention by either sitting down so we are face-to-face or standing with them as some are close to my height. The ones that are taller, are teenagers and pay more attention when spoken to.
  • Discern where the problem is exactly before dolling out punishment. For instance, if my girls are pushing one another or screaming at the top of their lungs, the first thing I do is find out where the problem started so I can walk them through solving the problem. For instance, one took a toy from another (let’s face it, this happens constantly) so she who lost the toy slaps the one who took it and chaos ensues. By determining the problem, I can then explain that one shouldn’t take toys, but it’s also not okay to slap or in any other way cause harm to another. Knowing the ‘why’ for the behavior helps to remove the behavior.
  • Redirection works pretty well in most situations. I have found that the more stubborn a child is, the less redirection does work, but with some coaxing it will.
  • A big cause of concern for me over my years of parenting is bribing children. This in no way teaches a child anything. Yes, it does get the behavior that a parent is looking for, but a child walks away learning that he/she only has to act in an unreasonable manner to gain the reward. The child is not learning the behavior is wrong. The child is not learning the proper behavior. The child is not learning self-control.
  • Most of all, it’s not the quantity of time spent with a child, it’s the quality. How a parent engages with their child is much more important than how much time is spent with the child. In a half-hour outing, fully engaged (talking, playing, focused interaction), a parent accomplishes so much more than the parent who sits ideally with their child for a whole afternoon, each focused on their own thing (tv, computer, yard work, etc). Both times spent with child benefit the child, but the more focused a parent is on time spent the better off not only will the child be, but also the parent-child relationship.

Children are blessings from above. A parents’ responsibility to raise these blessings in a way that is pleasing to God is a responsibility placed upon us that He knows we can fulfill.

 

 

Anything Goes, Daily Encourgement, Life in General

To Help Others in Time of Need

How important is it to help others that may or may not be in need?

How important is it to treat someone that is helping you with respect and as an equal rather than as someone who doesn’t matter?

A friend of mine had been helping someone complete a big project recently, but this someone kept treating my friend like crap, constantly yelling at her and fussing about the project itself. Eventually my friend got fed up with the other person who was being so not nice. She walked away from the project and that person, leaving said person to complete the project without my friend’s help.

A while ago, last year some time, I was driving along the highway on my way back home. A lady was pulled over to the side of the road because a deer had run out in front of her. She was trying to get hold of her husband when I got back to her after turning around. Being only a few miles from her home, I offered to give her a ride which she accepted because she had groceries in her car and her husband had been drinking so he didn’t want to be out driving. She offered to pay me, but I said no. She insisted.

A few winter’s ago, my friend and pulled into a place of business and went inside. When I came back out, my car wouldn’t start. My friend and I tried everything we could think of (which isn’t much because we are pretty much clueless about cars) to start the vehicle. To no avail, we went back inside to ask for help. Finally, after about 10 minutes someone grudgingly helped us. Giminy crickets, it was WINTER! Did the other patrons of this place of business not have any reserves about someone being stranded on a cold winter’s night?

Growing up, my parents didn’t teach us to get others back who wronged us, but throughout the years, that’s what we picked up along the way. The Bible teaches to love others even when unlovable, to love always in the face of evil.

If one slaps you on one cheek, turn to him the other cheek….Love your enemy and pray for those who persecute you. – Matthew 5:39, 44

My husband and I teach this to our children through example. It’s not always easy to do the right thing. In the midst of our anger, sometimes, we want to act out and let our anger get the best of us. An example, the first story I mentioned that involved my friend. She was tired of getting treated like crap rather than get the appreciation for the time she was committing to help with the big project.

What I question is: where is the humanity in this life? Why is it so hard to help someone in need when you witness that they need help? Again, with my first story, was my friend right to walk away from the project before it was completed? Remember, when we are asked to show love no matter what, we are only responsible for ourselves, not the actions of others. With that in mind, the question again, was my friend right to walk away before completion of the project? The answer is of no importance because as I stated, she is accountable for her actions and hers alone. It’s merely a thought-provoking question and an example.

My point is being helpful to others is something that many fail to do unless something is in it for them. Other times, people are just to busy to take a time out to help another. One teaching I heard during Mass a few months back consisted of saying yes to God because God comes first. One way to do that is helping others in times of need whatever the need may be such as unloading a truck in a dump yard, giving a ride to someone stranded, or lending a hand in big projects. Rather than watch someone struggle and struggle with something, I mean literally stand and watch, why not step in and offer your assistance?

It’s a hard world we live, one created by the selfishness and the greed of the people who inhabit it. It seems to me that the world as a whole, but also communities everywhere would be much better off if everyone would put others before themselves.

Maybe it’s a little more Leave it to Beaverish kind of thinking than most are used to, but hey, it’s a good hope 🙂

Daily Encourgement, Life in General

Beatitudes Post #8

Alas, we have come to the last Beatitude. Before introducing it, I would first like to say thank you for all who have followed the postings. I hope they have, in some way, helped or encouraged another.

Without further ado, Beatitude #8

Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

By living a life devoted to God and doing His good works, He promises life ever-after in His kingdom. Doing good is not the ticket to heaven, but through belief and faith in Him one wants to do good, feels heavily laden to do right by God and His people. When doing for God just for the sake of doing for God, because He is asking us to do good, He sees that selflessness. He sees the humility, the love that He teaches. Our devotion to Him is present in our actions to, for, and against others. When one is willing to die for belief in God, He will recognize that. As simple, yet hard as that devotion is, that’s really all He’s asking.

As always, comments are encouraged and welcomed. If you follow me, thank you. If you don’t then I hope you start. If you choose to ignore, that’s acceptable, too. However, if you feel lost when reading, don’t worry. The previous links are found below.

As always, I hope you have a wonderful, blessed day.

https://blessedmomentsnmemories.com/2016/07/18/beatitudes-post-7/

https://blessedmomentsnmemories.com/2016/07/11/beatitudes-post-6/

https://blessedmomentsnmemories.com/2016/07/07/beatitudes-5/

https://blessedmomentsnmemories.com/2016/06/27/beatitudes-post-4/

https://blessedmomentsnmemories.com/2016/06/20/beatitudes-post-3/

https://blessedmomentsnmemories.com/2016/06/13/beatitudes-post-2/

https://blessedmomentsnmemories.com/2016/06/06/beatitudes-post-1/

https://blessedmomentsnmemories.com/2016/06/06/upcoming-series-to-start-soon/

 

Daily Encourgement, Life in General, Motherhood, Wifehood

A Sanctuary

When thinking of a sanctuary, what comes to mind?

For me, when I think of sanctuary, I think of a place of safety.

Another place I think of when I hear the word sanctuary is the church.

And coincidentally, one of the places that someone may feel safest is actually in a church. I often go to the church, such a sacred place, a sanctuary that offers peace. It’s a place of solace, a place where one can feel God’s presence. In God’s house, speaking to Him with reverence of course, we can be who we are because He is the only one who knows us throughout. He is the only one that loves us through each and every fault that we have.

He offers us the graces to show kindness, to love others freely, to forgive others as we are forgiven, to have faith in our darkest moments, and to remain hopeful when it seems hopeless. It’s in His presence that we can really delve into ourselves in order to learn of our strengths and weaknesses.

Being here in my home, my sanctuary, life doesn’t stop. It doesn’t slow down. It’s always a bit noisy. Kids are playing with one another, completely engaged in childhood activity that includes board games, bike riding, going for walk, playing in the water…….just being kids. Part of being kids is arguing, disagreeing, and yes, wrestling around with siblings. I love it! When I am not playing referee or gym coach, I pick up the role of cook, dishwasher, janitor and laundress. However, those very important roles cannot be replaced by my devotions of being a teacher, a confidant, a role model, and a religious educator. The role of parent is very diverse and involves much praying, contemplation, patience, and LOVE, always love.

Outside of being a mother, I also have not only obligations to my spouse, but a love for him that pushes me to be the very best I can be. I fail sometimes, I learn, and I keep moving forward –mere centimeters at times, but forward is forward, right. Together, we raise our children and live a life according to what God is asking of us.

My home is my sanctuary.

Anything Goes, Life in General, Wifehood

Marriage

Dazzling thought for the day:

My parents will be celebrating their 40th wedding anniversary this year! Boy, does that put my age into perspective?!? Wow!

My mother- and father-in-law have been married at least 45 years, I believe.

My grandparents, at the time of my grandpa’s death in 2005, would have celebrated their 50th anniversary the following year.

And this paves the way for this particular post topic: Marriage.

The marriages of longevity mentioned above are symbolic of that era: 40+ years ago. The hard life that people who lived during that time-frame endured taught many life values that have since disappeared such as hard work, commitment, putting others before oneself, looking ahead rather than living for the moment (the ‘I want it now, I deserve it now, I will get it now’ attitude that is so prevalent in society these days) and the understanding that the actions of one affect many.

One simple and often overlooked concept I’ve learned over the years, one that covers of multitude of circumstances is: Just because something can be done doesn’t mean it should be done. Sadly, society today operates completely opposite of that concept – again the ‘I want it now, I deserve it now, I will get it now (often at the expense of others)’ attitude.

My husband has often informed me that I carry that very same attitude (I want it now) sometimes.

And you know what?

Much to my dismay, he’s right!

Finally acknowledging that truth will now allow me to reevaluate certain things in my life and to improve those shortcomings through prayer and conscientious change.

I want a marriage of longevity. I want my marriage to last until death do us part. I want a marriage to sustain and thrive through all that life throws at us. I get that you can’t force someone to remain married. It only takes one person in the marriage to file for divorce. I’m not quite certain how it works, but as many divorces that occur each year, I’m under the impression that one is granted even if both parties don’t agree. Put simply, a judge will grant the divorce regardless. Again, I’ve not experienced divorce so I don’t know how it works, just assuming.

Going backwards, though, to marriage and longevity. Again, the premise that just because it can be done doesn’t mean it should be done applies during the times of trouble. Marriage has become commonplace and completely disposable. Couples promise their love and commitment to one another (and all that that entails) only to divorce at the first sign of trouble, ranging anywhere from months to years.

 

What I’ve learned during my marriage is marriage takes more than just husband and wife. It also takes God’s presence and requires husband/wife to trust in Him first. Trusting in God doesn’t eliminate troubles and trials, but He is a source of strength, love, forgiveness and so much more. He affords us many graces during marriage that strengthen the bond between husband and wife.

I pray that our marriage will last our lifetime.