Posts Tagged With: Family

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…

Categories: Balance, Family, Gratefulness | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

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?

 

Categories: Family, Gratefulness | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Hold my hand

holding hands - age 10, and age 8

holding hands – age 10, and age 8 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

IntimacyI remember someone asking my husband and I during the first few years of our marriage what is Intimacy? The definition we both first conjured up in our minds was mostly physical. But as we matured and grew, our understanding of intimacy grew also. Our relationship has grown throughout our 27 years of marriage. Like most couples we began with a physical attraction that grows into a deep love that was never imagined when the “I do’s” were exchanged.

We have raised babies, bought homes, owned a business together. We have survived arguments, financial challenges, unemployment, loss of our fathers, and much more in our years together.

We have learned to communicate

We have learned to listen

We have learned when to hold each other

We have learned to just “be” with each other

My children think we are too affectionate towards each other, because we truly enjoy each others company (and like to kiss and hold hands). But when you get either of them alone, they admit they like the fact that their parents are still attracted to each other and still are in love with each other. My expressive Italian husband is very passionate about life. When he laughs, its genuine and heartfelt. When he enjoys a good meal, he soaks it all in, from the smells to the presentation to the taste. He is passionate about his family – giving, kind and loving. Passionate is the word I would use to describe him.

He is not perfect, but he is perfect for me.

I love the way he holds my hand in his, I feel so safe, so loved.  I can spend all day just hand in hand with him.

I pray every person could experience the trueness of love from someone else. I know there is a lot of hardship in the world, but sometime we just need someone to reach out and hold our hand. Recently, I received some hard news, and the person who explained everything to me, sat next to me and held my hand. I remember looking at her hands and thinking, it’s exactly what I needed, I needed human touch as I was told this. Then I prayed for all the people who live days, weeks, months and even longer without human touch, without the intimacy of someone knowing them and being present for them. I felt sad, but not for me, for all those without another presence in their life.

My life is blessed in so many ways. I will survive my hardship no matter how thin the rope I’m hanging on to becomes…because I have a loving family always ready below to catch me and carry me until I can walk upright again.

As a youth minister, I have helped many people through churches, retreats and worktours. But when this caregiver held my hand, I realized the importance of always, continually, without ceasing, reaching out to touch others.

May your day open your eyes to the opportunities to hold the hand of another and know the true meaning of intimacy.

Categories: Balance | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Giggles galore

Laugh!

Laughter...

Laughter… (Photo credit: leodelrosa…)

Laughter is the best medicine. Author unknown.
Maybe the author is unknown because it’s too big of statement to be credited to one person. Everyone in their heart knows this statement to be true.

Laughter can change a mood instantly, laughter can change a heart forever and laughter can heal physically.

Psychology Today tells us that: “Now comes hard new evidence that laughter helps your blood vessels function better. It acts on the inner lining of blood vessels, called the endothelium, causing vessels to relax and expand, increasing blood flow. In other words, it’s good for your heart and brain, two organs that require the steady flow of oxygen carried in the blood”

God gifted us with this amazing way to positively affect our lives, we need to embrace it more often.
How can you watch this and not see pure joy?

Baby Giggling

We need laughter in our lives to help us lighten our loads.

Our family would much rather watch a Comedy than a Police drama. We do like most genre of shows and movies, but the memorable ones are Comedies.

Can you watch Modern Family  this week and not feel better afterwards?
Did you know “road trip” and “food fight” was made well-known because of Animal House?

Laughter is important in a home. One of the first things that attracted me to my husband was his smile and laugh. He knew how to have a good time, sometimes maybe too good with his high school friends ( but that’s another post). He laughed and he allowed me to be the silly girl I did so well.  Boy did we have great time with friends, lots of silly stories,many that my children have heard over and over.

We laugh with our children. Family vacations were always Road trips with hours in the car. But they were filled with car games, sing a longs and silly conversations.  I don’t know how many times I was asked if I was a fruit, what type of fruit would I be?  We laughed and laughed. Now that are children are older, we are very close and the now a sense of humor helped to foster those relationships. Aren’t you attracted to people in the room that are having the most fun?

One of my favorite picture of Jesus http://www.jesuslaughing.com/paper-prints.html – I love the image of him as my best friend laughing with me. I think you will too.

Giggle and laugh everyday. It will make you healthy and happy!

How do you live with laughter in your life? Who is your favorite comedian? What makes you giggle like crazy?

Categories: Balance, Gratefulness | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

What are we running to?

Oh My! Has it been that long, I actually started this blog post 10 days ago and got side tracked…sorry.

I was fortunate to watch a movie last week called “Race to Nowhere”.

It was eye-opening, it was reassuring and it was sad all at the same time.

When my daughter and son were in grade school and high school, it was a priority in our home to eat meals together and have down time. I remember my daughter’s fifth grade teacher response when I questioned why she never seemed to send work home. She said, I work them hard enough when they are here, they need to relax and play when they are at home. What a wonderful and wise teacher!

Our children do need to express their creativity – they need to unwind – they need to de-stress.

A Race to Nowhere talked about all the academic and athletic pressures our young children feel today. One parent said “These children are losing 7th through 11th grade years” – WOW! What kind of society are we creating, what are we teaching our children. If we put pressure on them in grade school and middle school to “keep up with the Jones” they will learn that they have to fit into the model of what society expects of them. Not everyone is an AP, honor roll student with three sports and music lessons to boot. And not every parent is Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt look-alike. And we shouldn’t be. We are each uniquely created by God and we have to teach our children to embrace that!

I’m sad because I don’t want our children to learn the pressures of the world and unravel. Our children need flexibility and creativity and non-judgmental opportunities to be themselves. We should be accepting of them where they are. Should we encourage and give them support to be their best – YES, absolutely. But not to the point of anxiety, lack of sleep, stomach disorders, etc.

My son qualified for three AP classes his freshman year and my husband and I said, choose one and one sport. It’s more important that he was well-rounded and socially balanced. We wanted him to adjust and enjoy his high school years.

And guess what – he did incredible in high school and was accepted at a great college. My daughter had the same high school experiences, balance – with faith activities, golf and academics. Again, wonderful college experience too!

And guess what else, they both were offered great jobs before graduation and are contributing members of society. My daughter teaches 8th grade social studies and is an amazing teacher, (SO PROUD OF HER). My son is a computer software developer and loves working with his clients.

The stress of 6 hours of homework, maximum sport overload, activity craziness did not bring them to this point. A loving, accepting, nurturing family and friends did.

As adults we know how time goes by too quickly.
We know that one day are babies become children and our children become adults.
Why do we want to add to the rush?

I recommend watching Race to Nowhere and really contemplating how you are raising your children.

Then take them out to the park and throw a Frisbee with them! Enjoy the beautiful spring!!

Categories: Balance, Family, Movies | Tags: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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