Wistful Thoughts and Reflective Moments

I guess I have two sides to my personality; the one that is content with life, and goes about the tasks of each day doing the necessary things.

Then there is the emotional, wistful part of me who while content in general, has feelings deep inside about issues which I sometimes have no control over, and for which in the quietness of the day or evening these reflective moments come. During the busyness of each day, these feelings are pushed to the recesses of my mind, only to resurface each day.

 

I feel that I should keep these thoughts to myself most times, although I do on occasion share how I’m feeling. This can be anything from wondering if we’re ever going to feel well, to wondering if we should move again, or to our family and the various issues facing them and us.  Our children of course are adults as are our grandchildren for the most part. Two of them are teens but the others are in their twenties or thirties. Our influence in our children’s lives was done during the years of raising them, but now we can only look on and while we would sometimes like to see them with more of an emphasis on the spiritual side of life, we can only pray. They are so busy ‘living life’ …. work and then the social aspects.  I’m not saying that they don’t think about God, but He is kind of on a shelf right now, to be taken down when there is a specific need.

Did we act somewhat the same way when we were younger? Yes of course we did, but we were perhaps more aware of  the realities of life earlier than seems to be the case with this generation.

Why do we have to be older before we think less of the sometimes superficial things of living and concentrating on ‘things’, instead of what is perhaps most important…. our spiritual being. I’m not suggesting for a moment that we don’t have fun or be interested in other things… just to have our priorities in the right order. There is a reason we are in this world; a purpose for each of us but so often we don’t really think of that during those very busy years.

The one blessing we have in this, is that God is very patient with us …….He watches, I’m sure shakes His head at some of what we do, but He waits until that time when we finally acknowledge Him, and then He smiles !!!

Will You Be My Friend ?

This past week one of our large television stations in Ontario, did a story on the predators that surf the social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and others.

While I knew this type of situation occurred I didn’t realize the enormity of it.

I am familiar with Facebook and not so much with the other ones. I know that weekly I receive requests from someone wanting to be my ‘friend’. However, if I don’t recognize the name of the person, I will go to their profile page just to ensure that for some reason I perhaps do know them but have forgotten because it was a long time ago that we had contact. If I find that I do not know them I of course ‘decline’ their invitation.

Unfortunately young people do not bother for the most part to do that. They blatantly accept any request. I think somehow it’s like a status symbol for many in that the more friends the better. When I checked three of my grand children’s sites, one had over 300, one over 500 and one over 800 ‘friends’.

In the story the mother of a 12 year old boy became suspicious when her son’s behavior became different than normal and so one day she decided to check his Facebook site, and questioned one of his ‘friends’. It seemed the conversation that had been going on was too explicit, and decided to call the police. She told her son and he was adamant that this friend was a 14 year old girl, and thought his mother was wrong in her belief.

When the police looked at his site, they knew that they were dealing with a predator right away and proceeded to ‘take over’ the boy’s account for the next month or so. They finally arranged so the other person wanted to meet the ‘boy’ and proceeded to do so. The investigation finally came to a conclusion and it was found that it was a 38 year old man who happened to be a teacher at the school that the boy attended. It also happened that several other students at the school were also interacting with the same teacher on Facebook.

I won’t go into all the facts, only that at the home of this man they found 18 computer hard drives, 9500 pictures and 2000 movies, many pornographic, of young people lured into compromising photos and videos. According to this special task force of the police department there are over 750,000 predators surfing the web in the various media sources.

The reason I wrote this was to just say that if you have children or know any young people, that perhaps it is a good idea to talk to them and monitor the information they provide to others on the computer.

My grandchildren are all young adults now, and so not quite so vulnerable but in any case I think I’ll have a conversation or two about the number of  ‘friends’ they have on Facebook!

Through the Eyes of A Child

Rylee Feb. 12, 2014I saw this picture today of my great-granddaughter and immediately I looked at her eyes and saw such innocence. Then I thought about the children that lose that innocence through abuse of adults who take advantage of them. I wonder what I would do if I found out that someone….anyone, ever did that to my precious great- granddaughter. Yet there are many, even those who I blog with who suffered such abuse from their parent or somebody else. They are trying to and ‘are’ healing through the grace of God but the scars remain, and rear their ugly head from time to time.

We all must be so vigilant in protecting children, whether they be family or neighbors or any child at all, and keep watch over them.  If something does not seem to be as it should be, we need to be that child’s advocate and not be afraid to do so, in case we are wrong. It is much better to be wrong, than to do nothing in case we are right………

Through the eyes of a child

The world is many things

We hope it’s joy it brings

Dolls and trucks to play

And oh so much to say

They have such innocence

No one should ever take

Or cause tears or ever make

That child to ever think

The world a scary place

It is such a disgrace

To take that innocence away

Oh God we need to love

Protect and guide the little child

Never never to defile

We need to be alert

Make sure and be aware

That all around do care

The child must always know

Where they can always go

If help they ever need

To tell someone they must

Someone that they can trust

Let that someone be ‘me’

The Sum Total Equals Who We Are

I have wondered lately more-so than usual, what makes me the way I am. I know that we are the sum total of our experiences in our childhood and our adulthood, however what gives us our predominant personalities?

I have always believed that I emanated my mother and yet she ‘seemed’ was much stronger than I. She was able to raise ten children, work when necessary to help support them, and had a strength that was beyond what I could imagine. She loved each child as though they were the only child, inasmuch as each felt special for who they were, and not compared to the others. I was the last of the ten and regardless of the somewhat dysfunction during the years I was growing up,  I believe I thrived because of her love and devotion.

My father lived in the home until shortly before I was born, but he was not really part of the family, because he chose not to be. He had an addiction to alcohol, among other issues, and should not have been a father, but in those years (1920-1940′s +) circumstances were different. Once you were married you stayed married regardless of difficulties and just went about your life. It was only when it became apparent that there were physical abuses beginning, that he was not allowed back in the home. So he was not part of my life at all.

I sometimes wonder how many times my mother secretly thought that she couldn’t go on. I only wonder, because it was never evident that she felt that way. I’m not saying that she didn’t ever have difficulties, only that I didn’t witness them until later in my life. Because she was so strong, I think I have gauged my life against hers’ and believed that I have fallen short.

I do have an outlook on life and family that she had, in that her family was the most important thing to her, and she was like a mother bear, always looking out for us whether we were two years old or thirty-two. She seemed to always be able to sort things out for her children, and between her children, regardless of their ages. She was respected by them all.

So here I sit, thinking about her and how she would have handled the situation that has happened within our family, and wonder how I might have done or said things differently that would have resulted in a better outcome.

I know, we should not second-guess ourselves and we should not compare ourselves with others. I only sit here and wonder. It is a new year and it sometimes causes thoughts to drift to the year (s) previously, and think about the year (s) facing us. Nothing can change or alter the past but we can choose how to face the future. I can’t control the future, but I can control my attitude toward it.

I will be honest and say that while I want to believe it will be optimistically, because that is my intention, it is not guaranteed that it will be without problems. And I do not always feel optimistic.

And so I sit here and think, ‘what would my Mother do or think, just about now?’

DP Challenge – Show and Tell – A Message to Children

Prompt: You’ve been asked to do a five-minute presentation to a group of young schoolchildren on the topic of your choice. Describe your presentation.

If I had a chance to speak to young schoolchildren on a specific topic I would choose ‘kindness’.

I chose this instead of the extension of kindness, ‘compassion’ because I thought that they would understand that word better. This is what I would say.

“Today I would like to speak to you on the topic of being ‘kind’ to others. I’m sure your parents and others that care for you have taught you about being kind but I’d like to give you some examples of when that might be very important to do.

The place to start being kind is of course where you live and to the people who also are in the home. It might be your parents. Sometimes it is easy to think of your parents as pretty well, the ones who look after you and give you a home, food to eat, clothes to wear, who take you where your need to go and the ones who protect you and care for you when you are sick. What you might forget is that they need you to be kind to them and that might be shown in how you cooperate with them when they ask you to do something without giving them trouble or arguing that you don’t really want to do it. An example of this might be cleaning your bedroom, or picking up your toys in the living room, or even to go and wash your hands for dinner. You would make them so happy if you could do these types of things willingly. This is being kind to them.

Another example of who you might be kind to are perhaps older people such as your grandparents or other people that you know, perhaps a neighbor. When a person gets older sometimes they get lonely because they don’t have a lot of visitors or people to make them feel important still. By talking with them and even perhaps taking some flowers from your garden, with permission from your parents of course, or maybe some cookies, would I believe bring some joy and happiness into their lives.

One more example of the importance of being kind, is to your friends but even more importantly maybe someone who is not your friend because they don’t make friends easily. Perhaps they are very shy, or perhaps they are different in some way so that some children don’t make friends with them. It may be that they don’t dress like everyone else, or they don’t speak like you do or maybe they are a different size than most children your age. They most especially need someone like you to be kind to them and to invite them to play with you and to have fun just like everyone else.

If we all showed ‘kindness’ to each other then we wouldn’t have a problem with ‘bullying’ and I think most of you know what that is. That’s when some children pick on others because of the reasons I spoke of because they are different maybe in some way.

So today, maybe you could think of this special word ‘kindness’ and look for people and ways that you could show it to.”

A Touching Story

I received this via email from a friend of mine and thought it worth sharing…..Diane

 

This was written for Children/Families of the tragedy last week ,

By Cameo Smith,Mt. Wolf. Pa. 
                           

It was 11 days before Christmas around 9.38am, when 20 beautiful children stormed through Heavens gate.

Their smiles were contagious, their laughter filled the air. They could hardly believe all the beauty that they saw there, They were filled with such joy, they did not know what to say. They did not remember, nothing of what happened earlier that day.

Where are we asked a little girl in a very low voice. This is Heaven declared a small boy. This is Gods house.

When, what to their wondering eyes did appear. But Jesus their savior. The children gathered near. He looked at them and smiled, and they smile just the same. Then He opened his arms and called them by name. And in Jesus with Children

that moment was joy, that only Heaven can bring. Those children all flew into the arms of the King. And as they lingered in the warmth of his embrace. One small girl turned and looked at Jesus face. He could read all the questions she had. He gently whispered to her, Ill take care of Mom and Dad.

Then He looked down on earth, the world far below. He saw all of the hurt, the sorrow, and woe.Then He closed his eyes and out stretched his hand. Let my power and presence re-enter this land! May this country be delivered from the hands of fools. I’m taking back my nation. I’m taking back my schools.

Then He and the children stood up without a sound. Come now my children, let me show you around. Excitement filled the space, some skipped, some ran, all displaying enthusiasm that only a small child can, and I heard Him proclaim, as he walked out of sight. In the middle of the darkness. I am the light.

Written by Cameo Smith, Mt. Wolf, PA


How Hard is it to Love Thy Neighbour?

I was thinking today of all the turmoil in our world and thought that if we all just treated each other as we would want to be, it wouldn’t be so difficult to change how the world is today at least in part!

What if we really were concerned about the people who lived next door or on the street where we lived? What if we didn’t just shake our head and think there was nothing WE can do about the fact that their house is in disrepair or the kids look shabby when they walk to school? What if we did something without damaging their pride like anonymously leaving some groceries at their door, or anonymously sending a little cash in their mailbox, or asking if they would like some help with their gardening or snow shoveling?

We also can’t forget our ‘neighbours’ in far off lands. I know it’s a struggle to sometimes keep up with our own needs and expenses, but what if we somehow could put some money in a jar until there was enough to send to a trusted organization that helps those in those people in countries that do not even have the bare necessities. What if we made this a ‘family’ project so that our children were encouraged to put just a little of their allowances or money they have into that jar as well.

Let’s think now about teaching our children how to befriend those of their class at school that don’t have a friend, maybe because they are not like everyone else….maybe they don’t have designer jeans, maybe they are overweight or shy or don’t have I phones or some other reason. Perhaps their home life is not as it should be…even abuse.  Let’s teach them when they are young about ‘bullying’ and why it is an awful thing to do to someone…and what to do if they are the one being bullied. If we get them early in their lives it is much easier to reach them.

Okay, now we can tackle the workplace. It’s easy to get caught up with the close friends that we have there and not notice how one person seems to sit by themselves when it’s breaktime or lunchtime. We may think they prefer that, so we ignore them. But let’s think differently….let’s think that they just don’t know how to approach those that seem to group together and they feel like they’re intruding, or will be thought of that way if they try to join them. Let’s invite them to join us, and get to know them. And if they’re hesitant to do so, we can try again and not write them off as not wanting to come.

What about those we come in contact with every day or week and who maybe just need a kind word from us such as the busy cashier in a grocery store or mall. Let’s remember they meet so many people every day and some are impatient and don’t treat them very nice.  A smile and a kind word or comment can go a long way in changing their day.

Last but not least let’s think about those in our own family. Let’s not allow incidents that occur in every family, to separate us by distance or by emotions. We need to talk through these disagreements or misunderstandings as families are one of the strongest bond we have in life. I’m not talking of serious issues that sometimes occur within families such as abuse …either physical or mental….I’m talking about general incidents.

There are other places of course to try to make the world a better place for others such as the Church and even the Blogosphere but the point is that we can make a difference.

So, I ask you… “How hard is it to love thy Neighbour? Maybe not all that hard!

DP Challenge http://dailypost.wordpress.com/ Forever Young

Prompt: If there were a real Fountain of Youth, would you drink the water?

The simple and easy answer is ‘no’, I would not drink the water.

Although the question doesn’t specify to what age, drinking the water would take you, I still would not do so. The early years of my life were full of uncertainties and insecurity. My early teen years were stressful and I did not have friends  who made me feel accepted. I empathize with young people today who are in the same situation and even face bullying.

My years as a young wife and mother were mind-boggling. I was very young (19) when I had my first child and the second 16 months later. The third was then about 3 1/2 years after that. Those years when all were very young were difficult years and yet I felt were good also and sometimes though not wanting to re-do those years, I do like to recall them and often look at pictures to bring back the memories.

My middle years raising a family, working full-time outside of the home but having the ever-present darkness of depression pop in and out of my life, was to me the most tumultuous time of my life. So I definitely would not want to return there.

Having said all of that, I learned in each stage of my life, things that would eventually make me who and what I am today. I feel deeply for those suffering from any kind of mental illness. I would like to encourage them in order that they too might find the peace and freedom from oppression.

I’m in a place now in my life where things have settled down…even though there was the recent move we have gone through. I am happy and just want to enjoy life, but also to do what we can, to help others do the same.

I don’t believe it is wise to want to return to the past even though we’d be younger again, we’d still have new (or the same) challenges to face. Let’s live for ‘today’!

DP Challenge http://dailypost.wordpress.com/ Dear Mom

Prompt: Write a letter to your mom. Tell her something you’ve always wanted to say, but haven’t been able to.

Dear Mom,

Mom and I on my Wedding Day

Mom and I on my Wedding Day

I don’t think I ever told you how much of an influence you were in my life. I was the last of your children and I watched you as you loved and helped so many of us in so many ways.  Even though you were not rich in the material sense, I noticed when you would get a call from one of your children who were in a financial bind, and yet somehow you would get the money…from where I don’t know except that you probably got a loan to do it.

The times that you would look after my children and others as well, and babysit them for a night or week …whatever was needed. The time you took M.’s 3 children for a year and looked after them because she had problems and couldn’t.

Then there was the two jobs that you worked… the daytime clerical work and then you would go to the Royal York hotel downtown at night checking coats….from 6pm until you would arrive home at 1 am in the My Mommorning. I remember one time when my, and D. my brothers’ 2 goldfish …the only ‘pets’ that we had….were floating in the water , and you changed the water and then proceeded to keep stirring the water and revived them. You did this because you knew how upset my brother D. and I would be if they had died because we had them for such a long time and you did it when you got home at 1 am in the morning, knowing you had to get up at 6 am the next day for work. Do you realize how much we loved you for this?

I recall that whenever one of us was sick even when we were married and left home, you would come over and do whatever you could, whether it was cleaning the house or looking after the kids. When my sister C. was depressed and the doctors suggested a procedure be done on my sister, you were there speaking for her because her husband was out-of-town, and she needed an advocate.

How you taught our children about nature by taking them for walks when we would visit you at your home where there was trees and flowers and trails to investigate. You took them early in the morning so we could sleep in at bit.

There was that trip that you and I took out to British Columbia when I was 16 and it was so beautiful and we had such a great time.

The most important thing I suppose that I would want to say to you is that I am so sorry that we couldn’t continue to look after you when you had the aneurysm and the operation and your health began to decline.  Some of your other children and I wanted to look after you and did as long as we could. The seizures that you occasionally had and your ability to be left alone and the deterioration of your body and mind left us with the decision that you needed to be placed in a nursing home.

You weren’t aware of how difficult it was for us to leave you that day for the first time and every time I went to see you thereafter. You were such a vital person in our lives and many others’.  We were reminded how special you were in putting other people first even after you were living in the home….because you broke your hip trying to catch someone else that was falling, and they fell on you.

I someday thought I would write a book about you and our family. You wouldn’t have know that. Because it’s what I felt about you,  I was going to call it “The Age of Grace’….because that’s how you lived out the rest of your life….under God’s grace and I am sure that you were ministered to during those years by loving ‘Angels’.

And one last thing in case you don’t know….I miss you very much!

Your loving daughter Diane xoxoxoxo

Tongues are Wagging

It is said that the most harmful organ in the human body is the tongue. I never really thought about the tongue being an organ, but yes that’s what it is. The tongue’s purpose is to to help us eat, to make funny faces but most of all it is used to help us speak.

We can use it for speaking affirming and encouraging words to help those around us feel better about themselves. It is evident when we do this that good things happen. For example, let’s start when a child is very young. Children can be very trying and cause us dismay in a myriad of ways. They quarrel among themselves and need to be corrected. They run out into the street without looking for cars or we find them sneaking cookies before dinner.  There is so many things that cause us to lose our patience and sometimes our temper. When correcting a small child we must remember that their knowledge is not the same as ours is. They don’t realize the repercussions of their bad choices. How we speak to them when disciplining them can make a difference in how they view themselves as ‘bad’ or just ‘naughty’. They are two separate feelings. A child who views himself as ‘bad’ because of a severe tongue lashing perhaps with calling them names such as ‘stupid’ or ‘idiot’ or ‘bad’ or words such as those, will start thinking of themselves in that way and start believing it, especially if this is a frequent occurrence. Whereas if a child is given an explanation of why their action was not a right or good thing to do, they will be able to separate the action from themselves….so what they did was really wrong but their self-esteem is not damaged.

When children reach their teenage years, it is very important to keep validating them and not being critical in a demeaning kind of way.  If we can only realize that the teenager’s brain is not fully developed as far as their reasoning skills. That’s why they often do things that seem so obviously wrong to us as adults, but to them it’s not. Examples, like driving too fast, or text-ting while walking across streets or even driving, or staying out too late. They don’t (can’t) always follow the consequences of doing these things, so calling them dumb, stupid, inconsiderate and on and on does nothing constructive.

Now as adults we perhaps do the most grievous things with our tongues. We gossip, tell lies, talk ‘down’ to those we think don’t live up to our standards and worse. We can cripple another human being with what we negatively say and swearing and cursing is another way we do damage.

Now having said that the tongue is used in many wrong ways, we can use it n good ways.  We can lift people up with our words, we can make people feel better about themselves, we can encourage someone who is feeling downhearted. A person may need just some kind words to brighten their day and by thus doing we perhaps make them in turn do the same for someone else.

So the next time you let your temper flare and maybe explode into a barrage of words that accomplish nothing except to bring another person ‘down’ try and catch yourself, take a deep breath and if you need a few minutes to collect your thoughts, take them and then voice your concern, disappointment or anger in a more constructive way with words that don’t harm the spirit.

 Titus 3:2

To speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people.

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