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Posts Tagged ‘encouragement’

Mother’s Day is one of those holidays that is bittersweet for many people.  All women aren’t mothers. Some individuals don’t have mothers that they remember fondly or as a mother that deserves kudos for the life she has lived. Their are birth mothers, foster mothers, adoptive mothers and mother like figures.  Some of those mothers are great mothers and natural at nurturing and some mothers have issues like addictions, or emotional problems…

That being said…even those mother’s have something for which to be remembered and that is for bringing their children into the world.  At the most basic level…giving life is something to honor; since not every woman who discovers she is pregnant makes the choice to give birth to her child.  If you had a mother who only functioned at a bare minimum, then I hope you had another woman who filled a mother- like role in your life, encouraging, teaching, praising and loving you; someone to step in and protect you.  Acknowledge that person on mother’s day and don’t let the negative emotions in regards to whether a birth mother was mother of the year or not; choose to celebrate love.

I’ve been blessed and I want to take a moment to celebrate love.  A few years ago, we were told that my mother had an enlarged heart.  This was traumatic as my mother was/is one of those women who loved and encouraged her children as we grew up.  She continues to do this.  Now her medical condition has been treated with medication and close monitoring; we are grateful for that.  However, it got me to thinking about mothers who love deeply.

I thought about the changes that happen when a woman is pregnant.  Her emotions change, her mind changes as she makes decisions that she feels are the best for her and her child.  Hopefully, she has a loving and supportive mate to help her as she parents her child…not everyone does.  A pregnant woman’s spirit changes too…she has to think beyond herself and how the life of the child she carries will be influenced by the choices she makes in life.  Finally, her body changes…oh you know the usual: weight gain, swollen ankles, varicose veins…hemorrhoids…headaches and cravings.  The important change I think for a woman who really wants to be a mother, is that her heart enlarges…it makes room for more love than you can imagine a heart to contain.

That love is what builds a life that can withstand problems, challenges, and negativity that is sure to come their way as they live their lives.  That love is what opens the door to the good things in life that are meant to be enjoyed and nurtured.  That love is what keeps the human race continuing.

I think mothers who chose to love and are loved in return should be celebrated.  If you didn’t get that, from the luck of the draw, at the moment of your conception & birth…you can still find it. Everyone wants and needs that kind of love in their life.  Be sensitive towards those who you know have a hard time at this time of year due to abandonment issues, abuse, neglect or due to the death of their mother figure.  Be a role model and encourage those who are sad or lonely or feeling cheated in the mother department.

This world is full of women who have enlarged hearts and are willing to share them.  Find someone to celebrate the good things in your life with.  Whether it be as a sister, a friend, an auntie, a grandma, a daughter…a teacher, a neighbor or a pen pal; a mother’s heart can be found in a multitude of relationships.  Let yourself love and be loved.  Don’t let a broken biological accident of birth scar you into a negative mother’s day.  Find someone who can share an enlarged heart with you…and give & receive the best that life has to offer…a truly wonderful Mother’s Day!

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Baby Boomers, do you remember the old-time style of witnessing?  You know, standing on the corner or knocking on the doors of strangers and telling them the good news about Jesus, the son of God?  It was truly a commitment to the instruction of scripture, for the children of God, to go into the world and spread good news.

The Good News meaning that Jesus was born the son of God, come into the world to offer hope to a lost and dying world that they might accept him, repent of their sins and grow in their relationship with God the Father and have eternal life with him in Heaven, instead of living a sinful life of destruction and pain.

I have admiration for those who can and have witnessed in that way door to door or on the streets.  It is not for everyone however, and it is not the only way to win souls.  Society has changed and in some ways not for the better.  Personal safety issues are part of the equation.  It simply is not safe to send teens or young people into settings where they are encouraged to step foot into the homes of strangers where they may, or may not, be wanted.  Today’s secular world has little respect for life, or for Christian values.

Today, that type of witnessing still happens on some level…but, times have changed in the way that we deliver the good news.  We still need to honor and perform the great commission (the task of evangelizing) around the world; however, our approach must be different to be considered highly effective.  People’s hearts are hard and their sins are proudly displayed and openly encouraged by the misguided members of our society.

We have to bring the message to where they are; and, many people are online. Continue reading here: Write Where You Are

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     Isn’t it sad to see someone who was once considered beautiful, sexy, popular and much sought after turned into an empty shell?  In other words a hottie turned into a nottie?  One of the big misconceptions that the media portrays on men and women is that all you have to do to be successful is to be attractive, popular and available.  If a person falls into that trap and doesn’t develop some deeper qualities and values in life…eventually, the emptiness turns a person into a sad, shell of a person who seeks attention in the only way they know how; displaying what they consider to be their only value…their body.

        You see this all of the time in the world of celebrities…but everyday people often fall into that trap as well.  Beauty, youth, and popularity all pass away in time…what’s left is the spirit, the mind, and their purpose in life.  If those aren’t developed along the way…the search for meaning is sometimes mis-directed onto meaningless relationships, trendy pseudo-religions, drugs/alcohol abuse, and endless dramatic attempts to seek attention. 

         As a society we need to devalue the attention that the media puts on empty pursuits by public role models.  We need to encourage those sports figures, politicians, and celebrities who are doing positive…purposeful things in life.  Quite giving time and attention to those who are living on the edge and doing nothing more with the gifts in their lives than pursuing selfish and destructive behaviors.  In raising our children, we need to develop character building, self esteem, and goals of reaching out to others. 

          We do this by teaching them to discover how to connect to others, give back to those who are less fortunate in life, teach them spiritual fulfillment, and to value their bodies by encouraging modesty and healthy self- esteem building techniques. 

           I dont like seeing young guys or gals flaunting their bodies or their finances to gain attention; I like it even less when i see a 40-60 year old who talks, acts, spends, and dresses like a teenager…because that is the only way they know to attract members of the opposite sex.   Let’s encourage an attitude of growth, respect, confidence, and personal development as a way of life!

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       Oprah has been discussing her frustration with her recent weight gain over the last two years.  This has been an ongoing problem for Oprah (and many others as well) year after year.  Weight gain/weight loss cycles are hard on the body and even harder on the psyche.  No one needs to pile on the negative comments…because the person going through it beats up on themselves enough!  That is part of the struggle.

        The thing is…the up and down roller coaster ride is not one that most people willingly “decide” to get  on.  One day they have struggled to gain control and lose the weight.  They have focussed on the issues at hand and have overcome the struggle. 

          Then, before they know it…they go on about their daily lives and boom…they find themselves back in a position of being overweight and out of shape.  Because in the course of living…they have gone back to old patterns of lifestyle; because, it is easy to slip back into the comfortable way of doing things, without even realizing that you are doing it.

         The thing is…being overweight is a bit of an addictive problem.  Whether it be smoking, drugs, alcohol or sexual addiction; eating too much is a food addiction…food is tied into holidays and traditions, lifestyle, emotional rewards and punishments; as well as, behavioral patterns. 

            Eating sensibly has to be combined with a proper amount of physical exercise to balance the nurtritional needs equal to the calorie burn to achieve a maintained weight.   If you eat more calories than you burn…the weight accumulates.  Health issues start to arise and you feel less like exercising.  It becomes a vicious cycle…one that must be stopped before serious health issues affect the person in  the quality of their life.

            In reading comments that some posters have left on the news websites that ran with the story about Oprah’s weight issues…there were those who were supportive and those who were not. 

          Those who were not…tended to be supremely over-critical about her weight, her money, her media savy as well as her political alliances.  Those who were supportive expressed compassion for her and her battle.  Many had been through it themselves in the past or were also in an ongoing situation with their weight.  It makes her real and approachable because often times, the public views celebrities as people who have it all at their fingertips…someone people often put on a pedastal.

           It is a bit frustrating when you think about all of the shows that Oprah has done about weight loss, healthy dieting, lifestyle changes, cooking healthy meals and snacks only to still be in the same position years later.  She is not the only person to do so though.   

            It is a bit discouraging to think that someone who has “all the money in the world” to hire chefs, personal assistants, personal shoppers, and dieticians is still unable to keep it all together in the weight loss department.  That makes those viewers who have less money and resources, who struggle with weight management,  feel less able to be in control.  In reality, a person who struggles with weight issues is in the same predictament no matter how much money they have.  Their self confidence and body image play a big part in their ability to control their weight. 

            Like it or not, Oprah has built a following through years of hard work on her television show as well as her movies and publishing ventures.  Oprah has developed what most business people and marketers are dying to figure out how to procure…it is called customer or viewer loyalty.  This is a great tool to help both Oprah and her viewers to encourage one another and motivate one another in reaching their goals and maintaining them.

            There are those critics who say that Oprah overshares information about her life…and maybe that is true and maybe it isn’t…but, when you stop and think about it…Oprah knows herself well.  Maybe by speaking her version of personal truth and honesty about her weight…it is her way of holding herself accountable once again.  I for one, wish her luck and good health!

           

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       It is a new day, the beginning of a new week; and soon, it will be the beginning of a New Year.  It is easy to get caught up in the ugliness in the world.  The financial crisis, the rising cost of food, gas, oil, health benefits…you name it.  Crime is rampant.  Each news day is filled with violence, with fear, with selfishness.  I try to wrap my mind around the possibilities in each new day. 

       Today is a fresh start…a do over…a new beginning.  It is not that the things that went before don’t exist; it is that they do exist, and because they do…things must start anew.  Otherwise, it would be nothing but a downward spiral into a cesspool.  There has to be hope.  There has to be a promise that things will get better.  There has to be a chance to change the course of evil.  Each new day brings an opportunity to break away from the things that try to drag us down.

        So here is to a renewal in the spirit of mankind, a breath of kindness, a balm of healing attitudes, the pursuit of goodness over evil, the heart of a giver over those who express greediness in our cultures, the potential of each step forward…let these areas of opportunities be contagious; and, an encouragement of others to infect every person that comes into contact with the idea of improving the world we live!   

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Have you ever noticed that people who have an attitude of thankfulness in their heart are much more pleasant people to be around?  That fact was brought home yesterday, when I knew that we would be surrounded with family who has that view on life.  It is not so much that life is perfectly happy and content…it is an attitude of grattitude.  Knowing in your heart that things can get better when they are not the way that you wish them to be.  The future has a way of working itself out when living situations are not as you want them to be.

       The point was driven home that it is a choice to experience life to it’s fullness by a phone call.  It was a person who is going through a very difficult thing in life…divorce.  He had called the night before and was very morose and abrupt.  He SAYS that he called to wish us a Happy Thanksgiving.  But it didn’t feel that way; and my husband was not available to talk to him till the next morning… on Thanksgiving.

       So my husband calls him back to return the “good wishes” only to be greeted and treated to the same monotone voice that i heard.  He was filled with despair.  When wished a Happy Thanksgiving…he actually replied; “What is there to be thankful for?”

       Then he said, that is why i called you yesterday; to AVOID the whole Thanksgiving Day thing! Then why call at all?  Did he really mean it that he wished for us to have a Happy Thanksgiving or did he want to let us know, that while we were having a Happy Thanksgiving, he was miserable? 

       I asked him the night before what he was going to do on Thanksgiving after trying to support him through the short conversation; only to become disconnected on the phone.  Or that is what i thought, until the next day when my husband experienced his phone call with this person.  He too experienced a disconnect with him…co-incidence? 

        I don’t think it was…i think he was hanging up in his misery.  That is sad, it is disturbing, it is heart wrenching.  It was also angering; because, he does have much to be thankful for.  He has a job, he has a place to live, he has  children for which to be thankful for.   The phone calls were a blantant bid for sympathy; and, an opportunity to dump his chosen mood of misery on other human beings.  How we choose to live our lives is just that, a choice.  You can “let life happen to you” or you can choose to wring every last joy or pleasure out of it while you have it.

       It isn’t that we don’t care about the misery that he is going through in his divorce.  But the truth is, that no one else can give you happiness or peace.   You can’t put life on hold or it will pass you by…leaving you with a plate full of regrets!

      Now there is more suffering.  It is unavoidable at this point.  There are two choices…to accept the ending and move forward…or wallow in the misery and resentment.  This person still has children to be a parent to; siblings to have relationships with; and, the person is still young enough to learn from their mistakes and rebuild their life with another person, if he so chooses.  This person is a good person.  I wish for him happiness.  I wish for him healing and joy in life.  If i could box it up and give it to him…i would…but i am afraid…he doesn’t know how to accept it. 

       Life is short.  We must approach it with care.  Is life always going to give us what we want, when we want it, the way we want it on a silver platter?  No.  Can we still choose to live joyously and fully?  Yes, i believe we can.  Let’s help each other along by giving encouragement, when we are ALLOWED to!

      Have you ever noticed that people who have an attitude of thankfulness in their heart are much more pleasant people to be around?  That fact was brought home yesterday, when I knew that we would be surrounded with family who has that view on life.  It is not so much that life is perfectly happy and content…it is an attitude of grattitude.  Knowing in your heart that things can get better when they are not the way that you wish them to be.  The future has a way of working itself out when living situations are not as you want them to be.

       The point was driven home that it is a choice to experience life to it’s fullness by a phone call.  It was a person who is going through a very difficult thing in life…divorce.  He had called the night before and was very morose and abrupt.  He SAYS that he called to wish us a Happy Thanksgiving.  But it didn’t feel that way; and my husband was not available to talk to him till the next morning… on Thanksgiving.

       So my husband calls him back to return the “good wishes” only to be greeted and treated to the same monotone voice that i heard.  He was filled with despair.  When wished a Happy Thanksgiving…he actually replied; “What is there to be thankful for?”

       Then he said, that is why i called you yesterday; to AVOID the whole Thanksgiving Day thing! Then why call at all?  Did he really mean it that he wished for us to have a Happy Thanksgiving or did he want to let us know, that while we were having a Happy Thanksgiving, he was miserable? 

       I asked him the night before what he was going to do on Thanksgiving after trying to support him through the short conversation; only to become disconnected on the phone.  Or that is what i thought, until the next day when my husband experienced his phone call with this person.  He too experienced a disconnect with him…co-incidence? 

        I don’t think it was…i think he was hanging up in his misery.  That is sad, it is disturbing, it is heart wrenching.  It was also angering; because, he does have much to be thankful for.  He has a job, he has a place to live, he has  children for which to be thankful for.   The phone calls were a blantant bid for sympathy; and, an opportunity to dump his chosen mood of misery on other human beings.  How we choose to live our lives is just that, a choice.  You can “let life happen to you” or you can choose to wring every last joy or pleasure out of it while you have it.

       It isn’t that we don’t care about the misery that he is going through in his divorce.  But the truth is, that no one else can give you happiness or peace.   You can’t put life on hold or it will pass you by…leaving you with a plate full of regrets!

      Now there is more suffering.  It is unavoidable at this point.  There are two choices…to accept the ending and move forward…or wallow in the misery and resentment.  This person still has children to be a parent to; siblings to have relationships with; and, the person is still young enough to learn from their mistakes and rebuild their life with another person, if he so chooses.  This person is a good person.  I wish for him happiness.  I wish for him healing and joy in life.  If i could box it up and give it to him…i would…but i am afraid…he doesn’t know how to accept it. 

       Life is short.  We must approach it with care.  Is life always going to give us what we want, when we want it, the way we want it on a silver platter?  No.  Can we still choose to live joyously and fully?  Yes, i believe we can.  Let’s help each other along by giving encouragement, when we are ALLOWED to!

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       Baby don’t cry…it is not your fault.  When you are old enough to know your story…know that it is not your fault.  It has happened for generations…people abandon their children.   It is wrong, but they do it for many reasons…all sad reasons, all heartbreaking…but, what it comes down to is a lacking.

        A lacking of something that is required to parent you little one.  Some parents are lacking money, some are lacking appropriate housing or clothing, some are lacking parenting skills.  Even worse, some are lacking a very basic, important connection…a bonding of parent to child; it is called love.  This is not normal.  This is not your fault.  The lacking is theirs and theirs alone; don’t let it define you.  Their failure to provide what you need does not wipe away your right to have those things that children need to grow and be whole.   You deserve to have what every child should have…love and acceptance. 

       There are many who would adopt you; love you and give you everything you need to be successful in life.  It is sad that your birth parents could not for whatever reason of lacking, be the people to give you what you need.  However, when you are able to read and understand it all…hopefully, you will have been adopted and cared for appropriately.  I hope that you received that love; and, now know that you are part of a family who wanted you, and needed you to be part of them.  The parts of you that feel empty or unfulfilled, because of the unknowns about your birth family, probably will never be fully satisfied.  Let it be enough to know that the circumstances that lead to your being abandonned are not a statement of anything that was wrong with you as a person.

         A small newborn child was abandoned in Charlotte, North Carolina in the last few days.  Children are being abandoned all around the world.  There are many who would love these children were they to enter into the foster/adoptive legal system in the right kind of way.  Why are parents dumping their children?

        When you are able to read this, or some other piece that addresses such issues…and  you have learned about your abandonment; don’t try to seek further information.  It will only hurt you more.  There are no answers that will satisfy your heart’s desire to be loved and accepted by the people who gave you up.  For each answer that is given to justify such actions will just trigger another “what if you had done this or that…could you have kept me then” question.  It is a never ending circle of emotional hurt.   

        It is not a reflection upon you…babies and children are easy to love.  You have done nothing wrong to be rejected…it is a fault inside of that person that by some miracle was able to give you life.  Unfortunately, abortion (infant death) is an option in today’s world..so, choosing life was a very positive thing.   Maybe that is the most that they had to give you; LIFE, it IS an important gift. 

       Your true source of life comes from God above.  You are here in this world because he values you…you are here for a purpose.  Discover what your purpose is and live it to the fullest…do not be destroyed by feelings of rejection or inferority.  You are worthy of all the best that life has to give you.   Your beginnings do not have to set a  negative standard for the rest of your life.  Take your gift and all that you have been able to receive and enjoy since the time of your birth and make something of yourself.  Be a giver, be an encourager…be the embodiement of what your birth parents lacked.  Be a giver and a receiver of Love.  Do you think that the impact of your birth can make a positive difference in the world?   I do, every life has value to offer the world.  Reader, do you know someone who has been rejected or abandoned…were they able to turn their difficult beginnings into a positive, productive life?

      

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