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Posts Tagged ‘gift’

     Have you ever noticed how a baby can change the whole environment of a room?  You can be standing in line somewhere thinking that you would rather be anywhere else in the world…frustrated beyond belief; and, a mother or father can walk in with a baby and people just seem to smile a little more.  Babies have the ability to change the world.

        If the baby is old enough to interact with those around them…they can lift the spirits of the grumpiest person nearby.  Everyone is that baby’s friend and while they may not want to leave the safe and secure arms of mom or dad to let a stranger hold them…they will generally smile, coo and try to engage those around them.  That baby has already changed everything about life for both mom and dad; as well as those in the life of mom and dad.

         Every baby is special.  But there is one baby that is even more so; it is baby Jesus.  Today is his birthday and he changed the world more than any other child born.  He was born to bring life and love everlasting to the world.  He loves everyone and wishes for them to live in heaven.  For this to happen…we must accept him as our savior; and, live a life that is worthy of being saved-the bible is our road map…it teaches us the way to live.   We live to be of service to others and to worship God. 

         Babies are a gift from God…just as baby Jesus was a gift.  So this Christmas, please remember him in your celebration.  He is the reason for the whole holiday…celebrating Christmas without celebrating Christ Jesus seems like an empty holiday to me.  May you be blessed this Christmas and in this New Year!  Happy Birthday Jesus!  How do you plan on celebrating Christmas?

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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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       Every year in the United States approximately 2,500 babies die of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome).  Even though those numbers have come down substantially over the years…even one death a year from SIDS is one infant death too many.  So, research on ways of preventing those deaths is very important.

       A new study is suggesting that having a fan, in the room of an infant, can greatly reduce the possibility of death by SIDS by up to 72% according to the Archives of Pediatric & Adolescent Medicine.  Check it out here: http://archpedi.ama-assn.org/   Invited to a baby shower?  Show your love and concern by gifting the new parents with a fan and a printout of the reasons of the importance of the gift regarding the health of their baby!  Educate parents, first time parents or teenaged parents, grandparents of the new research; empower them with the newest safety information. 

        While the understanding of the role of the fan, in the prevention of deaths of infants from SIDS, is not clearly understood…it was found that rooms that were heated to above 69 degrees benefitted by the use of a fan in the prevention of death from SIDS.  It is thought that overly warm temperatures increase the potential of death by SIDS. 

         Another possible benefit of using a fan in the infant’s room is that the fan helps to circulate the air flow around the baby.  Babies who are put to sleep on their backs do better as well, because babies who sleep on their stomachs have less airflow in the early months of life; when their necks are too weak to lift their heads if the airflow is not sufficient for healthy breathing.  There has been a big campaign to educate parents to use the BACK TO SLEEP plan for this reason.  Babies who sleep on their stomachs also have a larger incidence of rebreathing in carbon dioxide that they have exhaled.  A fan can help to circulate the air around babies.  Still, putting an infant to sleep on their back is a better solution to keeping the airflow open around baby.  Important:  Just remember that when using a fan…keep the cords away from small hands that could pull the fan down and cause injury. 

         What else can a parent do to keep their newborn infants safe from SIDS?  First of all, putting a baby to sleep on their backs in a crib with a firm mattress is an important part of the equasion.    The crib must have the side rail bars or slats spaced 2 3/8 inches apart or less; so that a baby does not get trapped between the bars.   Next, comes the idea of dressing the baby with adequate clothing to keep the baby warm; but, not so many articles of clothing as to overheat the baby.  Keep the crib free from toys, from blankets or pillows or even bumper pads that cannot be firmly attached to the side of the crib.  It is important to keep all items away from an infant that doesn’t have the ability to turn it’s head or to push away from anything that can block it’s airflow.

          Never lay an infant to sleep on an adult bed or extremely soft or conforming surface.  Cuddle time is important…but, doing so in an adult bed could allow the adult to fall asleep.  It is not worth the risk of falling asleep with your infant beside you, when you are not awake enough to keep watch over your young infant.  No one wants to live with regrets on a tragedy that could be avoided by remembering that safety comes first regarding your baby.

          If you are leaving your child in the care of a grandparent or a caregiver…it is wise to include this new information on the best way to keep your baby safe.  Take the small fan with you when you are entrusting others to care for your small child.  Make sure that they follow your direction in the way that you wish your child to be cared for.  It may be different than they have previously cared for other young babies…but, it is never too late to learn.  If they wish to care for your child…express the need for them to follow this guideline of using the fan and not bundling your child up with unneccessary blankets and clothing.

           Many years ago, i knew a young family that lost an infant daughter to SIDS.  It was a horrendous event in their family life.   In fact, their marriage didn’t survive more than another couple of years after the death of their child.   I can’t help but wonder, if this information was available then…would their child have lived?  How many babies can be saved with this new information?

          Here is a great site that can offer more tips on infant safety for parents of young infants regarding SIDS prevention:  http://sids.org/nprevent.htm  Did you learn anything new in this blog post that you felt was beneficial to you; or, someone that you know who has a young infant?

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       There is something special and unique about the bonding that takes place when people bond through their shared experiences.  Something that i noticed when my parents each went through their cancer diagnosis and treatment sessions…intense bonding with fellow cancer patients and their families.  That bond in those relationships was a lifeline at times.  The fear of the unknown, the medical traumas, the difficult side effects, the kindness of strangers it all blended to remind us that we were not in the situation alone.

         During hospital stays, during chemo treatments, and doctor appointments; my parents and other patients would share things about their families, about their experiences, their struggles, medical information, tips on how to overcome nausea, or how to cope with some of the side effects of the treatments.   Some patients were alone…they had no family or else their family members lived in distant places.  We would adopt them and visiting and trying to support when we could.   It was all very intense. 

        In what amounts to a, down in the trenches, fight for their lives; cancer patients bond in very intense ways.  When fellow patients would struggle…my parents would ask for prayer for them, from us.  We are blessed with a strong family unit.  We would honor the request …knowing that if we needed the favor returned…it would be given automatically by those same cancer patient friends and their families.   We were all in a fraternity; that none of us wanted to be in….but still, we were in it together.

       The losses hit hard.  The emotions were so deep for my parents and for our family.  Each loss, it was understood, could have been ours as well; but for the grace of God.  Each milestone was celebrated.  Waiting for the results of testing was, and is, filled with anxiety and fear.  It is no less worrisome to hear of others around the world who struggle with the same issues.  http://www.tnbcfoundation.org/tnbcinthenews.htm (more…)

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      There are people who wish to die everywhere around the world…they each have their reasons…some actually make it happen.  Those people are often desperate, sick, experiencing financial, emotional or physical difficulties which can cloud, or influence their decision to take their own life.  My concern is, that in those moments of desperation or depression, having the stamp of approval from people approved by the state legitimizing the option of suicide will only reinforce their hopelessness.

     The state of Washington is trying to get 225,000 valid voter’s signatures before July 3rd so that they can get an initiative on the November ballot called Death with Dignity.  If they can accomplish this goal…in November, voters will have the chance to create a new law condoning suicide in certain circumstances.

        If a person has been diagnosed as having a fatal disease; and has less than 6 months to live, and two seperate doctors are in agreement about that diagnosis; the patient will then have the option of submitting a request to receive a perscription for a medicine combination that will cause their death.  When making their verbal request to receive that medication, they must request it twice, 15 days apart; they must also submit a written request, witnessed by two other people who are not their doctor, family or friends who will not benefit, legally or financially, from the death of that person making the request.  It all seems so logical and thought out; however, it doesn’t take into account the possibly opposing wishes or moral convictions of the patient’s loved ones.   What about religious beliefs…suicide goes against the grain of most religious beliefs…and family members who are left behind struggle with their feelings and emotions at the complex blend of rejection,fear,anger and loss..not to mention guilt about being unable to prevent the suicide.  At the end of that person’s life…offering the option of suicide can cause great distress, at a time when support is what is needed most!  I think great harm can come from this with regards to having emotional conflicts between the patient and the people closest to them.  What do you think about this issue?

       Washington state is and will always be my second adopted home state.  I have many loved ones there; I would hate to think that anyone i loved could choose to leave the world in this way.  Every life has value…and is precious…every day is a gift of time with each other.  http://www.save.org/ or http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/ or http://www.afsp.org/

       

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       Raising children is one of the most important things a person can do.  It not only impacts a family; it impacts communities, businesses, organizations and individuals.  Raising children well; it is an art form.  In our world today, there are many things pulling at a family unit trying to divide it and conquor it.  It’s become the norm to expect families to break up; it is almost extra-ordinary to see a family survive all that life throws at it.

       There are those around us who struggle in ways that we cannot see.  There are stresses that are normal; and then, there are those which have the ability to wreak havoc on our inter-personal relationships. 

        Un-expected pregnancies are one such stressor.  Un-planned pregnancies, no matter the age or marital status of the parents, can overload those involved; due to financial pressures, health issues, as well as, the emotional well-being of the parents. 

        Making a choice to become a parent is an important step; whether you become a parent biologically, or through the adoption process.  Each life that is conceived is precious and full of promise.  A pregnancy should be cause for celebration; however, sometimes circumstances can complicate the miracle of life.  Those type of situations are when the adoption option becomes a lifeline for those affected.

         Organizations such as Bethany Christian Services are just, such a lifeline.  Of course, they offer more than just adoption services; there is counseling, foster care, estate planning, pregnancy counseling, post adoption care, orphan care, infertility ministry and embryo services.  They are all about building, healing, and restoring families here in the United States and around the world.

        If your heart if full of blessings…or if you have a need…go to this link and check them out.  If your heart has been burdened by the complications of life; and, you have been touched by something greater than yourself…can you find a way to give back?  Support Bethany Christian Services either through a financial donation or maybe just by volunteering your time.  Check them out here:  www.bethany.org.  

          Do you see the suffering of those all around the world and feel helpless to do anything about it?  Those who are lonely, without the basic necessities of life, poor, starving, homeless or just without someone to love them; they need help.   Many of us do see the conditions of the world and suffer a sense of guilt at our own good fortune.  Do you feel something within your heart calling you to make a difference?  We all do…don’t turn off that sensitivity to the hurts in the world.  You can make an impact!

          Maybe you already have the gift of making an impact; but, you wish to find ways of increasing that skill…may i suggest a book that will open windows into the system or skill set that will broaden your abilities to impact the world in a positive way?  It was written by Ken McArthur…a man who has felt the need from childhood to impact the world in a positive way.    The world is a big place with lots of needs.   You have a lot to offer, even if you don’t think that you do.  Find out what it is that you were created to do and be.  Read the book, make a commitment to channel positive energy into some kind of a lasting legacy…and make it happen!

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