Archives for July 2013

Should We Allow Our Kids To Pursue Their Dreams?

I recently came across a post that I thought was fantastic. Its title is, “Pursuing YOUR Path Is About You.” The post reminded me of one of the most interesting and complex issues that parents are facing nowadays, which is whether they should allow their kids to pursue their passion or guide them towards a stable, good-paying career. Should we allow our kids to pursue their dreams? Well, when put that way it would seem silly to say no.

There is no doubt that every loving parent wants nothing but the best for their child. However, it is often this strong desire to make sure that our kids have the best that can cause rifts in the parent-child relationship. Why? Because children who end up living unfulfilled lives sometimes hold resentment against their parents for forcing them into something that they did not really want to do. There are also numerous cases of children who were given liberty by their parents to follow their passion who ended up living difficult and miserable lives. It goes both ways here. So should we allow our kids to pursue their dreams?

Honestly, I am conflicted on this topic. I know that I should let my kids follow their dreams, but I also want to give them good guidance in life. Just another predicament of parenting I suppose. What do you think about this topic?

The Touch of Jesus Can Change Your Life Forever

We are living in a society where people have become very sensitive of the way they are touched.  Nevertheless, there are still many instances wherein a touch is greatly welcomed. For example, the touch of Jesus can change your life forever in a positive and amazing way.

A lot of fans are willing to pay large amounts of money just to be in the front row of a concert so they could have a chance to touch their favorite celebrity–from sports fans to fans of movie stars and music artists. To be able to shake the hands or simply just touch the garment of their favorite star can bring so much thrill and happiness in some people.

There’s one touch that brings more than just excitement–Jesus’ touch. The touch of Jesus brings pure joy, encouragement, enlightenment, transformation and healing. Take the story of the blind man that was healed by the touch of Jesus or the leper and the woman that had bled for years. The touch of Jesus changed the lives of all these people during his time.

If you need help or healing in your life today, reach out to Jesus. Make no mistake about it. The touch of Jesus can change your life forever, that is for sure.

Read more about the amazing power of Jesus’ touch through this post: “Jesus’ Touch, Blessing, and Joy.”

As Our Kids Grow, We Grow Too

“Whether we feel like a traumatised empty-nester or a woman who finally has her life back, our sense of identity shifts: we do not feel like the same person we were a year ago.” I read these words from a blog post titled, “Motherhood: On Growing Up;” and I believe it perfectly sums up what mothers go through as their kids pass from one developmental milestone to another. Don’t you agree? As our kids grow, we grow too. Our role as a parent changes when our children go from high school to college, and college into adulthood.

I have always been a firm believer that the art of great parenting hinges on lifelong learning. As parents, we  should not only watch our kids grow, but we must strive to gracefully grow with them. As our kids go through every stage in life, we must take each stage with them using everything that we have learned and gained from the previous stages–learning new things and stretching our comfort zones just as our kids are. As our kids grow, we grow too because we are parents and that is our job. Being there for our children is the most important thing we can do.

Get to Know Yourself Better Through Motherhood

On Being A Mother (And The Secret Trait That I never Knew I Had),” inspired this post today. I’ve always believed that you get to know yourself better through motherhood. Today the honest words of fellow mommy blogger Meagan prompted me to think about the things that I discovered about myself through years of being a mother. Here are some of them:

1. The experience of childbirth made me realize that I am capable of enduring such indescribable levels of pain.

2. Being a mom unleashed my creativity and knack for innovation (something which I never had as a youngster).

3. Motherhood made me discover just how big a part of my life Jesus is.

4. Most importantly, the daily adventures of motherhood taught me that I am capable of loving unconditionally, and doing so much for someone else without expecting anything in return.

How did you get to know yourself better through motherhood? What kind of valuable realizations did you have? Please share them with us through the comments section.

Prayer Takes Work: Don’t Become Distracted

I took the title of this entry from the opening statement of a very enlightening blog post titled, “Making a Plan for Prayer.” I’d like to even quote and share with you a few more words from the article which I feel has some great points for reflection:

It’s true that even the youngest child can prattle off a prayer learned by heart, and many adults will mumble through the prayers at Mass while mentally going over their grocery list or thinking about what they’re going to order at Sunday brunch. But real prayer, truthful prayer, the kind of prayer that enriches your soul; that kind of prayer takes effort.

In many ways, that’s the problem with prayer. It’s hard work, and to get anything out of it takes consistent effort on the part of the person praying.

Prayer takes work, not because there is a wrong and right way to pray. God doesn’t desires perfection in our prayers. Prayer takes work because as humans, we are prone to distractions. There is no doubt that we want to have a conversation with God, but like uninvited guests things in our lives overshadow our minds and guide us away from the Lord–often without us even noticing it.

The post I cited above, offers some great tips on how we can be more focused during prayer.

As Shakespeare said, “My words fly up, my thoughts remain below. Words without thoughts never to heaven go.” (Hamlet, Act iii, Scene 3)

Raising Strong Yet Gentle Kids: Our Task as Parents

I came across this statement today from Toughen Up, Encourage or Both?: “As parents, it’s not our job to toughen up our children to face a cruel and heartless world. It is our job to raise children who will make the world a little less cruel and heartless.” These words sure did made me do a lot of thinking. (And I bet it will do the same thing to you now.)

So, what are we supposed to do as parents? Do we help our children toughen up and be ready to face the heartless world, or do we help them to become individuals who make the world less cruel? I say, we do both. We can do that, right? Raising strong yet gentle kids doesn’t seem like too much to ask for. Kids who are not only able to protect themselves from the harms of the world, but are also able to repel evil with kindness and overcome hatred with love.

On our own, this may be a near-to-impossible feat. But with the help of our ultimate parent, up in heaven, sure we can! I pray to God that raising strong yet gentle kids is not a unattainable feat for parents.

God Is Not Finished With You Yet

I started my morning readings with this honest and very inspiring post: “For The Times When You Feel Like You’re Falling To Pieces.” The piece centered on the reassuring words of Philippians 1:6, “I am confident that the Creator, who has begun such a great work among you, will not stop in mid-design but will keep perfecting you until the day Jesus the Anointed, our Liberating King, returns to redeem the world.”

I felt so wonderful starting my day with a reminder that I have a God and Father who is constantly working to make me become the best me that I can be–transforming my mistakes into miracles and using my failures to mold me into a wiser, stronger and more faithful individual. God is not finished with you yet, no matter how despondent you’re feeling.

In my existence, I have questioned God so many times; but he has never forsaken me. He has never gone tired of reminding me that he has great plans in store for me. So for days when you feel like your life is in a mess, be patient, God is not finished with you yet.

God Favors the Humble

Reading Bishop of Rome: A Title of Humility from Rorate Caeli brought my mind to the words of Jesus Christ in this particular verse in the Bible: “But the greatest among you shall be your servant.12“Whoever exalts himself shall be humbled; and whoever humbles himself shall be exalted.” (Matthew 23:12) Does this mean that God favors the humble? I believe it does.

In this power and success-driven society that we are living in, humility isn’t necessarily viewed as a highly valuable trait to possess. In fact, it may even be viewed as a weakness. But in the Bible, humility is given much importance–being reiterated by various authors so many times.

2 Chronicles 7:14
“If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”

Psalms 25:9
“He leads the humble in what is right, and teaches the humble his way.”

1 Peter 5:6
“Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you.”

James 4:6
“God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”

As mere sinners in need of Grace, we ought to humble ourselves in all our ways. Even the son of God humbled himself and took the form of a bond servant, and came in the likeness of men. Furthermore, the Lord delights in those who possess humility. When we humble ourselves, we open our lives to receive God’s grace and blessing. God favors the humble.

May the Lord find us humble today.

I Prefer Loving and Gentle Discipline

I was brought to tears reading this Letter from a Teenage Son to her mom about how he felt about him being spanked as a kid and how her mom having realized it was a mistake no longer does the same to her younger siblings. Personally I prefer loving and gentle discipline as a parent. Although a little hurt, the son had these beautiful words for his mom, “you always forgive me, so I have forgiven you.”

Most traditional parents believe spanking as a necessary part of discipline. While they may certainly have their own reasons, I am firmly against providing discipline to a child through physical punishment. I believe that there are a lot of more effective ways to guide and discipline a child than through corporal punishment. I prefer loving and gentle discipline, even though it isn’t always easy to do.

Let me share these facts from Ask Dr. Sears, the evidence against spanking is overwhelming. Hundreds of studies all come to the same conclusions:

1. The more physical punishment a child receives, the more aggressive he or she will become.

2. The more children are spanked, the more likely they will be abusive toward their own children.

3. Spanking plants seeds for later violent behavior.

4. Spanking doesn’t work.

Even At Our Worst, God Still Loves Us

A post titled, Loved by God at My Worst reminded me today of of God’s amazing love for each one of us–even at our very worst, he never stops loving us. In Romans 5:6-8, the Apostle Paul gave us a few words to make us understand the love God has for us, notwithstanding our characters and conditions. Even at our worst, God still loves us all unconditionally.

For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commends his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

Even in the times when we are at our weakest and worst, the Lord wants us to know that he loves us and is there for us. When we are at our most broken and in the midst of our greatest failures, God’s love for us does not change.

Praise the Lord today for his love you does not depend on what or who you are, but of who he is! Even at our worst, God still loves us all very much!