Gratefulness

Mother-Daughter Relationships

There is no heart like that of a mother

Cleaning around the house recently I found notes from a Mother Daughter retreat my daughter and I led in 2006. This description of a relationship hit home with me once again. I hope you are touched by it as much as I was reading it.

 

The mother-daughter relationship is at the headwaters of every woman’s health. Our bodies and our beliefs about them were formed in the soil of our mother’s emotions, beliefs an behaviors. Even before birth, our mother provides us with our first experience of nurturing. She is our first and most powerful female role mode. It is from her that we learn what it is to be a woman and care for our bodies.

Our bodies and those of our daughters were created by a seamless web or nature and nurture, by God. Every daughter contains her mother and all the women who came before her. To become optimally healthy and happy, each of us must get clear about the way in which our mother’s history both influenced and continues to inform our state of health, our beliefs and how we live our lives.

No one in your life will ever love you as your mother does. There is no love as pure, unconditional, and strong as a mother’s love. A daughter’s need for her mother is biologic, and it continues throughout her life. Not only was our mother’s body the source of life for us but it was her face that we looked to, to see how we were doing. By gazing into our mother’s eyes and experiencing her response to us, we learned crucial first lessons about our own worth.

The love of a mother…

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Finding Peace

How do we balance this crazy world we live in? With the faith that we have in the Lord!

A Picture of Peace Lily Indoor plant

A Picture of Peace Lily (credit: Wikipedia)

When little children are killed randomly and violently?
When good people tragically and unexpectedly die?
When loved ones battle illness, depression and loneliness?
When a soldier fighting for freedom doesn’t come home?

Faith. It’s the only thing that holds me up. St. Paul tells us “The Lord is near. Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God. Then the peace of God that

surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”

These words and many scripture passages help me keep in balance. It is the only thing that can. When our nation mourns the tragic loss of children in Newtown, Connecticut, we seek answers. There are no answers, there can only be questions. But we also

must realize our questions may not be answered.

I have heard news reporters say “it’s gonna take a long time to heal our wounds.” And it should. We lost children filled with potential, dreams, hopes and love. We should never heal. This nation has a hole in its hearts, for every child lost, for every soldier lost, for every parent lost, for every lost soul. We need to gather and hold each other through it. We need to soften the raw edges of the hole, but it can never be filled with anything but the love of Christ.

The preciousness of life was cracked once again.
The school did everything right procedurally and still great sadness entered the world.
May we find peace in Christ, who is Peace. Because the peace of God surpasses all understanding and will guard our nation’s heart.

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It’s a beautiful day..

It’s a beautiful day…

Today’s a new day, a fresh start to a life anew. Each of us have this opportunity every day. We are given a new day to use it as we see fit. Will we do something worth while or waste it way? Don’t throw this new beginning into the wind. Embrace it as a gift and open it slowly.

Allow the world to wrap its arms around you and leave pieces of peace throughout your day. When you open yourself to positive energy flowing within you, love and happiness spreads to everyone around.

You are in control of how you share the day with others, so,

1.    Be kind. You may not know what the person you meet is dealing with. They need a kind word or smile. It will make a difference in their life.

2.    Build relationships. A true relationship takes time, patience, effort and compromise. Whether a friendship or intimate relationship, treating each other with respect is essential.

3.    Stretch yourself and grow.  Never fear what stretching may do to you, you will always grow from new experiences. The potential is unlimited in what you can achieve.

4.    Be grateful. Grateful for what you have and what you don’t have. There is a reason you do not have everything. Life is about graces that are given us, when we truly appreciate them we are filled with more. If you are grateful for the blessing you will always be happy.

5.    Show appreciation every day – do a daily examen at night. Look at your day and tell a loved one what you appreciated from your day.

6.    Leave a path of goodness behind you – in each situation presented to you throughout your day, try to leave a good thought, good deed or good feeling behind as you leave.

7.    Be open to new opportunities – change allows us to grow

8.    Love yourself – know that you are a loving, caring child of God and accept yourself for who you are and who God is allowing you to become.
So as U2 sings so beautifully…

It’s a beautiful day…don’t let it get away…it’s a beautiful day…

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Getting past the storms to Pure Joy

As I lay in bed, listening to the storms in the early morning, that have finally come to relieve us of our 100 degree July days, i think about the storms of our lives. How do we survive? How do we move forward each day in the storms? I know with each storm comes green grass, flowers and new growth. So here are some of my thoughts for moving past the storm and into the light!

1.  PRAY – only when we begin to awaken do we realize that we were asleep. Sometimes we need to be alone to reflect on life, take time to pray and take care of yourself inside.

2. SMILE – as much as possible, whether life is joyful or not, a smile will lift your day as well as others. You can change someone’s day, as well as your own with a simple smile. You are always free to do what makes you smile because a smile shows the true depth of your soul.

3. ATTITUDE- be positive, never allow a bad day to change your mood. Don’t look at what you’ve lost, look at what you have.

4. GRATEFULNESS- focus your energy on what you have in your life, not what you have lost. Remember there are others with much less than you.

5. SHARE – your happiness with others, through your actions and your words. You will never regret helping someone else’s life.

6. COMMUNICATE – talk to others and release your worries and anxieties so that you can move past anything that is weighing on your heart. Then you will be able to move beyond it to a brighter life.

7. HAPPINESS- can be created in your present, don’t think it’s something you’re planning for your future. The happiness you experience each day is determined by the love you share. Be yourself, it’s the best way to be happy.

8. GOOD FRIENDS & FAMILY- are worth their weight in gold, treasure those healthy relationship and trust in their love for you.

9. FREEDOM- to walk away from negative situations, be in tune with your feelings, don’t question your gut just walk away for your happiness. One of the greatest freedom is not caring what others think. If you worry about what others think of you, they own you. Be your own self.

10. TEMPER – your anger, words can hurt so much deeper than physical pain, stop and think before speaking in anger. You are always in control of your thoughts, be confident and kind, not mad and insecure.

11. CHANGE – something you don’t like, if you can’t change it, change the way you think about it. Let go of the need to always be right and you will change to be happy.  Life does not have to be perfect to be wonderful. Sometimes being open to change will allow a magnificent event to come into your life.

12. DREAM – about what you want to be, then go do it.  Good things come to those you pursue it with happiness and love. What you believe has more power than what you wish or hope for.  You become what you believe. Be open to dreams, hope and joy.

13. FORGIVE – yourself and others, it takes time and patience, but you can heal emotionally to create love in your life.

14.WEALTH – can’t by happiness, it’s nice to have material things, but don’t loose track of the things money can’t by, those are the true treasures in life.

15. LAUGH – because life will never be perfect, but it is wonderful. Don’t try to control everything, relax, breathe, let go, live in the moment and laugh.

16. KNOWING YOURSELF – is truly believing and living as yourself. With so much social conditioning and pressure in our society, we can forget who we are. Stay true to yourself in all situations.

17. BLESSINGS – fill your life, learn to see blessings in everything. The close parking spot, the unexpected call from a friend, the food before you, the smile of a stranger, or the hug of a loved one, embrace every blessings and share them with others. Satisfaction is not always the fulfillment of what you want; it is the realization of how blessed you are for what you have

18. PASSION – in our lives is important, discover what you are passionate about and do it. Whether it be crafting, fishing, dancing, reading, cooking or meditating, discover it and summerge yourself into it to give your life passion

19. EMBRACE – people, situations and life as it comes…storms or bright days. Each day has a lesson for us to learn. Always learn the lesson and grow.

20. LOVE – it’s all you need, time spent on worry and hate sucks your energy. Center in love and know that you are loved, write your own love story every day. John and Paul had it right…the love you take is equal to the love you make.

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Returning to our roots

This past week I was able to drive past the house that I called home for the first 6 years of my life.
The house is just off the corner of 92nd Street and Stony Island on the south-west side of Chicago, so I don’t get there much.
But this week I was driving from the National Shrine of St. Jude at 91st and Commercial Avenue and said to my children who were with me, let’s drive past it…and we did!

Although it’s a very urban area, the small section of three blocks that the house was on was filled with well manicured lawns and up kept homes. My father designed many homes in this area and the area surrounding known long ago as Pill Hill. Pill Hill contained many homes of Michael Reese doctors, one house was even lived in by the infamous Ernie Banks. It was so refreshing to see individual, unique homes where so many city homes are the same one right after the other. It was like a suburb in the city.

Seeing the home brought back memories of the winter of 1967 that buried us deep. But my sister and two brothers found it nothing but exhilarating! I remember digging tunnels through our front yard and forts for boys and girls that protected us from snow ball fights.

The house itself was a multi-level home, with a beautiful entry way. I mostly remember the basement with was finished like a big family room. The large Italian family would gather in the basement and was filled with laughter and love. The backyard filled with all the cousins during these times and we never tired of running in the alley.

I remember sharing a room with my older sister, who I looked up to (still do) and we had the most beautiful white and gold canopy bedroom set. I’m sure everyone thought there were so cool. We felt like such rock stars with the canopy above us while we slept. Okay, maybe we were kooky kids, but I enjoyed those beds!

We moved to the southwest suburbs in the late 60s and discovered much more grass and larger homes, but there will always be something special about the house on 92nd Street.

Memories are treasures that we store of our life and help us to remember the events of life. I hope your memories are filled with grace, happiness and laughter.

Do you remember your first home as a child?
Does it give you good memories?

 

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