Archives for February 2013

Parenting Tips: How To Handle Picky Eaters

My children are not difficult to feed. Although there are certain foods that they dislike, they do not give me a hard time during meal times. However, my sister’s toddler is probably the pickiest eater in the entire world. Well, maybe not exactly that, but he is really one tough boy to please at the dining table.

My sister went through a lot of stressful meal times but eventually she was able to figure out exactly how to handle her son’s eating problem. She graciously shared with me some parenting tips that worked for her and I am sharing them so others who have the same dilemma may try them out:

1. Don’t force your child to eat when he is not hungry.

2. Structure your child’s meals–three regular meals a day and two healthy snacks in between meals.

3. Serve meals and snacks at about the same times every day.

4. Introduce new foods along with his favorites.

5. Make mealtime fun.

If you want more helpful parenting tips on how to deal with your finicky eater, here is a helpful post: 11 Best Tips For Picky Eaters.

Jesus Was the Only Perfect Person to Exist

I have heard a number of stories from people who have lost their faith because of unpleasant experiences in the Church or because of the wrong acts that other “Christians” do. These kind of stories make me sad, and I am pretty sure it makes God sad as well.

Although it is right that we take the hand of our fellow believers and help each other grow in faith, we should not forget that our Christian faith should be founded on no one else but on Jesus Christ alone. If we base our faith on other human beings who have the inherent nature to err, we are bound to meet disappointment. As much as it is unavoidable to look at others in our Christian family for guidance and support, we should not lose sight of the reality that all of us are imperfect.

Over the years, I have also experienced discouragement brought about by the acts of other fellow Christians and even Christian leaders. However, I have come to realize that no one is perfect–except Christ. It is his life alone that is worthy of emulation.

As it says in Hebrews 12:2: “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

A wonderful explanation of why we should hold on to our faith even when the people we look up to make mistakes can be read in this post: When Godly People Do Ungodly Things.

Being Consumed By Our Anger Towards Evil

There is no question that the world is filled with an appalling amount of evil and suffering. Aside from the suffering brought about by criminals who wreak havoc into our society, there are other brands of evil that attack our spiritual life. Often they come in the form of atheists who blaspheme God and Christian hypocrites who judge and condemn others like the Pharisees and Sadducees of old times.

Whenever I encounter these kind of people, I often find myself extremely angry. While I have never had any close encounters with cold-blooded criminals (thank God), I have had several heated conversations with non-believers as well as with condemning Christians. I just can’t help but really feel infuriated by all the horrible things that these people are bringing to this world.

All these years, I have always thought that my anger over these things was appropriate and well, approved by God. But reading a blog post entitled, Jesus Used Facebook To Gently Rebuke Me caused me to see my anger towards evil in a new light. It made me re-evaluate the reasons and merits of my actions.

I have been brought into the realization that while my intentions are good, too much anger is dangerous. It is a destructive emotion that does not only destroy our well-being but also consume our good actions.

The Importance Of Correcting Little Problems

Every day, we are faced with different challenges in raising our kids. As one Mom puts it, in her blog post called, Parenting is Challenging, “Everyday, I have to embrace a myriad of issues pertaining to my 3 girls…  Everyday I grapple with old problems and on some days, I get ‘interesting’ issues which really stir my mind..”

Raising children is indeed challenging! (No doubt about that!) As parents, it is our responsibility to provide for our children’s needs–love, a sense of security, food, shelter, clothing, and education. Not only that, we are also responsible for their character formation and development. In other words, we are greatly responsible for how they will turn out when they grow up.

So even though our days are filled with non-stop physical exertion, mental stress, and emotional pressure we cannot afford to ignore the issues that our children are facing–yes, even the littlest ones! We must take notice of their acts of misbehavior, learning difficulties, bad habits, and unpleasant attitudes and find ways to improve them.

Our children need us to guide them to a happy adult life. Let us not fail them!

Are You Doing A Yearly Honeymoon?

A blog entry titled, Honeymooning Every Year — Why It’s So Important from Sheree of Black and Married With Kids prompted me to take a look at my married life. It also lead me to seriously consider having a yearly honeymoon with the man I married!

Although my husband and I make it a point to go on a date (without the kids) at least twice in a month and spend time every night talking with each other after the kids are in bed; I believe that adding a yearly honeymoon to our list of “just us” activities will even strengthen our marriage.

In our busy role as mothers, we must never forget that we are wives too. Our husbands need us to spend time with them too. It is alright that we let our children get the bulk of our attention, but we must always find time for our husbands. When we spend quality time with our spouse, we are bound to keep our married life strong and meet the ongoing demands of our children with a smile on our face.

Dealing With Doubt is a Part of Faith

It is not uncommon for all people, including Catholics, to experience doubt in their lives. I myself have experienced struggle and doubt many times. As a matter of fact, at a point in my life I went through nights of questioning and crying out to God for answers, comfort, and assurance.

Doubt is something that all Catholics are bound to struggle with at some point in our walk with Christ. We may feel uncertain of our faith, of God’s existence, and of his love towards us. Although being in a state of doubt is a very tough place to be, I do not think that it is something that we should be afraid of. Contrary to the common notion, doubt is not the opposite of faith but a part of it instead. See, if we never have any doubts, then maybe we are not exploring our faith and discovering God enough.

Today, if you are going through a trial or temptation that is causing you to doubt God, call unto him and seek answers from his word. As it says in Philippians 4:6-7: “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Let me share with you this uplifting blog post that shows of Jesus’ power to calm our doubts, “When Doubt Rears its Ugly Head.”

Managing Anger: A Critical Skill for Parents

I believe that every parent knows in the depths of their hearts and minds that anger doesn’t do anything good to their children. We must certainly all be aware that uncontrollable outbursts do not help in improving the behavior of our kids, but sadly and embarrassingly for most of us there are just moments when we simply lose ourselves.

While others say that it is very inappropriate and very wrong for any mom or dad to display emotions of anger to their children, I think that every parent knows it is unrealistic to stay calm, cool, and collected all the time. Anger is normal, it cannot be suppressed and most importantly, it is okay to be angry. However, it is important that we do not let anger be the pervading emotion in our households.

If you want to know some tips on how you can strike a balance between anger and calmness in your home, this post may help: 10 Tips To Managing Your Anger.

His Eye Is On The Sparrow: My Favorite Hymn

I read a very inspiring post this morning entitled, “His Divine Power Has Granted To Us All Things.” Its wonderful message of God’s providence and promises reminded me of one of my all-time favorite Christian hymns, which is “His Eye Is on the Sparrow.” This song has been bringing comfort, assurance, and peace to my life for many years now. It reminds me every time that I have no reason to worry for my life as “His eye is on the spar­row, and I know He watches me.”

I am sharing with you the lyrics of the song with hopes that it might bless your life as much as it has been blessing mine for the past years:

Why should I feel discouraged, why should the shadows come,
Why should my heart be lonely, and long for heaven and home,
When Jesus is my portion? My constant friend is He:
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.

I sing because I’m happy,
I sing because I’m free,
For His eye is on the sparrow,
And I know He watches me.

“Let not your heart be troubled,” His tender word I hear,
And resting on His goodness, I lose my doubts and fears;
Though by the path He leadeth, but one step I may see;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.

I sing because I’m happy,
I sing because I’m free,
For His eye is on the sparrow,
And I know He watches me.

Whenever I am tempted, whenever clouds arise,
When songs give place to sighing, when hope within me dies,
I draw the closer to Him, from care He sets me free;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.

I sing because I’m happy,
I sing because I’m free,
For His eye is on the sparrow,
And I know He watches me.

We Are Serving A Great God!

No matter how faithful of a Christian you are, I believe that we have all experienced situations that made us feel incapable, despondent, and helpless. Even people and prophets in the Bible have gone through the toughest times. Take for example the life of Job, Daniel, and even the life of our Savior and his disciples were marred with great trials.

Being a Christian today is not an easy task. We are met with much adversity, but we must hold strong in our beliefs. As it is often said, trials can either separate or draw a Christian closer to God. I certainly hope it will do the latter to all of us.

Yes it can be difficult to remain focused on the goodness and promises of the Lord during tough times, but may we always remember the greatness of the God that we are serving. Help is always available to us–his children. Instead of facing your troubles on your own, put them all in God’s hands. Remember Apostle Paul’s counsel in Philippians 4:7, “Through him, even in the midst of terrible devastating and humiliating experiences we can have the peace, joy, and hope that passes all understanding.”

You can find more Bible verses that show of God’s greatness in this post: But God Can!

The Need For “Mommy Breaks”: Recharge Your Batteries

Do you take “mommy breaks?” I certainly hope you do! Taking regular breaks from the toughest job on earth is a must! Doing so will not only keep you sane but will also help you maintain that loving and caring attitude towards your family.

As mothers, we carry a great deal of the load at home–we are the cook, the cleaner, the chauffeur, the personal shopper, the referee, the banker, the teacher, and much more. It is not hard to see that doing all of these jobs on a daily basis will leave even the most efficient and most dedicated mother feeling stressed, overwhelmed, and tired.

A stressed, overwhelmed, and tired person is very unlikely to do her job well. In terms of being a mother, pushing yourself further even when you are exhausted will lead you to lose sight of the beautiful role that motherhood has in your life and the lives of your children.

That is why it is important that we find time to take a break, take care of ourselves and replenish our emptied-out tanks. So please, don’t be scared to give yourself a well-deserved break. Doing so won’t make you less of a mother. As a matter of fact, by giving yourself a chance to recharge, you are bound to be a better mother. Mommy breaks are crucial to staying fresh and energetic.

If you want to read a wonderful story of how one mom took a mommy break and what it did to her, read Being a Mum Is a Tough Job.