On my birthday, my husband hacked my personal Facebook page and left the most beautiful, uplifting post about me. It was a message that probably gave the impression that I am a perfect woman. Which I am not! Regardless, he went on describing how I am this “superwoman” doing all these amazing things. As I read his post I kept thinking, “How is this me? I am in no way the woman he is describing!” Although his message was sincere and sweet, I had the hardest time reading it. My judgmental radar was up and I began to criticize every word he wrote. I wasn’t looking for any errors on his part, rather it was I who was on the surgery table to be scrutinized.
It’s amazing for me to believe I have been with Juan, my husband, my best friend, the man of my dreams for nearly 19 years. [Side note: You can expect this to be mushy…it’s my love story after all.] To think I’ve spent more of my life with him than anyone else, including my parents, helps me realize the impact he’s made on me. I’m incredibly thankful to God for orchestrating our paths together. We seriously needed one another (and still do) and not in a dependency kind of way, rather in a way to improve and benefit each other’s lives. Although he is hardly the same guy I met back in 1998, I am more in love with him and appreciate who he is today more than ever before.
The other day, I had a conversation with a friend about the challenges children at this present time endure even at a young age. Between the shootings that have occurred at elementary schools, child prostitution, and unlimited, uncensored access to information, without a doubt our children are being raised in a different world than we were.
At any moment, I can put on my Television or go on my phone and see the news of tragedies taking place within or outside of our country. My heart grieves over the catastrophic journeys parents have walked. I’m constantly prayerful and I’ve shed many tears over the sorrow these mothers and fathers have endured. No one deserves the heartache of watching their child suffer or experience a tragedy. In times of sorrow, I’ve often heard the question of “Why do bad things happen?” or “Where is God when bad things occur?”
I believe with both of these questions we can find some direction from the Bible. It was while I was composing my first blog post on How to Conquer Parenting Fears Part I (if you haven’t read my Part I and would like to, click here), I realized these questions come up and they need to be addressed. If you’d like to empower yourself with 5 tools to help you conquer fear, I encourage you to read my first blog. I know it will bless you. In this blog post, I want to answer those questions that enter our minds in the midst of tragedies. I hope to empower parents so they can raise their children without fear.
Throughout my adult life, I’ve made it a priority to be fit in every area of my life. Of course this is easier said than done. Nonetheless, I’m up for the daily challenge and I’m quite determined! I may not be the skinniest girl on the block or the happiest person every second of the day, but I’ve learned to be content, confident and willing to make changes as needed.
As we draw closer to Thanksgiving many of us will be encouraged to reflect on the things for which we are thankful. Although it’s great to count your blessings at the Thanksgiving table, you’ll be pleasantly surprised to read how incredibly beneficial having a thankful attitude can affect your life.
In fact, Dr. P. Murali Doraiswamy, head of the division of biologic psychology at Duke University Medical Center, said “If [thankfulness] were a drug, it would be the world’s best-selling product with a health maintenance indication for every major organ system.” Thankfulness has tremendous advantages that not only affect us biologically, but enhances us psychologically, extrinsically at our work place, in our marriages and our friendships too. Here are 8 major benefits to having an “attitude of gratitude” that can change your life throughout the year:
Both of my children were napping near me while I was folding laundry; and all of a sudden a thought hit me like a ton of bricks…“What would I do if something tragic ever happened to my children?” In that moment my heart sunk into my stomach. Tears begun to fill my eyes and fear tried to grip my soul. In that instant I recalled my first brother.
As I was scanning my Pinterest home feed I came across this quote:
“Based on how you spoke to (or about) your husband, today, what did you teach your son to look for in a wife?” – Matthew L. Jacobson.
After reading it, I immediately stopped and reflected. I honestly in that moment didn’t know if I was happy with the image I’ve been painting for my son, specifically what I wanted him to look for in a wife. Of course, I could go on and on about the characteristics of a good wife and what I’d hope he’d find in his future spouse. Still nothing can outweigh the constant display I’ve put before my son day after day. Whether I like it or not, I’m defining and creating for him a perception of what a wife is and what he may look for when he’s searching for her.
It seems like the ultimate struggle in life is balancing it! Honestly, how can we balance our lives without pulling our hair out? From work responsibilities, house chores, caring for our elderly relatives, parenting our children, being involved in our church and/or community to maintaining our relationships, we have more than enough tasks to occupy every hour of the day without any breaks. God forbid we neglect our health or hygiene along the way! Why does a mother feel like she has to be the Pinterest Queen of all things Martha Stewart, the Supermodel to keep the eyes of her husband, the Rachel Ray in her kitchen because the family gets bored with the same meals, and a walking Google search engine, since we’re expected to know and do everything at home? It’s absurd! We’re inundated with so many responsibilities and we’re pulled in multiple directions. To add to the madness, our society pressures us to look and be a certain way. We experience pressures of being successful, always giving the perception we have everything put-together, appearing prosperous, and ultimately achieving the American dream. There’s judgments about how we do everything! It’s like there’s this vehement water current rushing at you without any mercy. You feel inclined to flow with it, but you’re losing ground and sinking seems inevitable. If you stop, you’ll be overwhelmed by waves and drown. No wonder we deal with such immense emotions of indecision and worry. We feel empty, exhausted, and drained! What can we do? How do we balance everything?