Archives for February 2013

The Price To Pay For Having Children

Being a parent, and more specifically a mother is hard. For most women the decision to have kids comes with the need to cut back on personal splurges, spend less time hanging out with friends, give up the quiet and organized living space, and at times, even put their professional careers to a halt. Yes the price to pay for deciding to bring kids into this world is high, but I would say from the depths of my heart that it is the best decision I have made in my entire life.

It may sound cliche, but being a parent is truly the most rewarding experience in the entire world. It may have its own share of downsides like sleep deprivation, stress, exhaustion, being in a constant state of worry, a messy home, and a regular pileup of laundry. I think its rewards are numerous and priceless though!

Oh the joy of hearing your baby say “mama” for the first time, seeing him take his first steps, watching him discover new things on his own, having an endless supply of warm hugs and sweet smiles and seeing him grow to become a kind and loving person.

If you have been experiencing a parenting downtime, reading this post, Kids Are Worth It! may help you out.

Failing To Recognize Jesus in Our Lives

A post from the Community of Catholic Bloggers titled, “Anything Can Happen,” prompted me into quite a reflection today. It talked about Jesus’ disciples and their failure to recognize him at certain instances in the Bible. The blog post made me wonder whether it was possible for me to recognize Jesus today when even  his followers–who were constantly with him–had difficulty doing so.

If Jesus were to physically appear in our worship services today, would we recognize him? If you say yes, because you are quite certain of how he looks based on modern pictures of him, then I doubt you would. Taking into account the different instances wherein Jesus’ closest followers failed to distinguish who he was, I would say that recognizing Jesus would require more than physical sight or sensory perception. Instead, spiritual senses are what we need to discern Jesus’ presence in our lives.

It is only with the help of the Holy Spirit that we will be able to possess the senses to see, hear and feel our Savior’s glory.

The Most Important Tip To Successfully Raise A Teenager

Being a parent is one of the happiest, most rewarding, and joyful experience in the world. For me the joy of having children can never be equaled by anything in the world. Along with all these positive emotions that parenthood can create is a great deal of responsibility, stress, headaches, and heartaches–especially during children’s teenage years.

My own parents and majority of my friends would really say that the job of being a parent is most difficult and challenging during children’s teen years. Adolescence ushers in a period of intense growth, not only physically but morally and intellectually. The desire for more and more independence often leads kids to try out different activities, looks, and identities–many of which are not appealing to parents.

Yes dealing with a teenager can evoke a lot of stress, anger, and even feelings of helplessness among parents. But should things really have to go out of control? Definitely not! There are a lot of ways to successfully raise your teen to become a morally upright and kind hearted person. And you know what the most important tip is? Never forget to make Jesus a part of your parenting endeavors.  No one is better able to guide you on how to deal and respond to your teenager.

Be inspired by this article on successfully correcting your teen’s behavior with Jesus’ help: Tuning into Your Teen When They Cross the Line.

The Ultimate Sacrifice Made for Us

I read a post today that reminded me of how much easier it is for me to ask forgiveness for my sins compared to the Israelites of olden times. The post is titled, A Whole Lot of Offerings and it talks about God’s instructions to the Israelites about what do when they sinned. Specifically, it is centered on Leviticus 5:5-7 which says, “So it shall be when he becomes guilty in one of these, that he shall confess that in which he has sinned. He shall also bring his guilt offering to the Lord for his sin which he has committed, a female from he flock, a lamb or a goat as a sin offering. So the priest shall make atonement on his behalf for his sin. But if he cannot afford a lamb, then he shall bring to the Lord his guilt offering for that in which he has sinned, two turtledoves or two young pigeons, one for a sin offering and the other for a burnt offering…”

 The children of God in the time of Moses had to to offer sacrificial animals as atonement for their sins. God required sacrifice for the Israelites in order to remind them of their shortcomings, show them the penalty of sin and ultimately relieve them of the guilt of their sins. Imagine how difficult and awful it must be to bring an animal into church for sacrifice.

Today we no longer have to do such acts and go through such a horrible experiences because Christ has already made the ultimate sacrifice–his death fulfilled all the needs outlined in the Leviticus guidelines. The sacrifice of Jesus Christ was a substitution and atonement for ALL sin. So when we sin, we must remember that Christ has died to save us from the horrible penalty of sin. Let us not crucify him again and devalue his sacrifice by revisiting our old sins over and over again.

Strengthening Our Relationship With Christ

I believe that every Christian in this world is aware of the fact that Jesus Christ came to earth to give mankind salvation. However, only a few Christians understand that not only did Jesus take the punishment for our sins but also allows us to be worthy to have a personal, intimate, living, relationship with the Father.

God wants us to have a close relationship with him so that we can become one with him–take on his character and live like him and with him in heaven when the time comes. It is intimacy with the Lord that will make it possible for us to grow into his image and repel our evil tendencies and the darkness of this world.

Yes the gift of salvation is free but it is up to us to accept or reject this precious present of eternal life. Making the decision to accept Jesus as our Savior means choosing to walk in the path of intimacy with our Heavenly Father.

God does not want us–his children–to get lost in this world of sin and lose sight of our real home. If we do not want to be sinners, we must constantly work on strengthening our relationship with our Lord. If you think you need some help, you will find great tips in this post: Growing in Faith – Practical Suggestions for Thriving Relationship.

Bad Eating Habits Can Be Passed On To Our Children

Our children’s lives are greatly influenced by our own. I have mentioned this numerous times on this blog. Our children will most likely take on our values, principles, beliefs, and our faith in God. However, I don’t think I have ever written anything about how parents can pass on their eating habits to their children.

Given that it is typically parents who choose their meals and provide the type of food that they eat at home, it shouldn’t be too hard to understand how we can influence our children’s attitude towards food. It is through example that they take up our eating habits. Mom and dad are every child’s ultimate role model, so whatever it is that they see from us on a regular basis, they are very likely to imitate and adopt when they grow up.

A post from The New York Times titled Will You Pass Your Junk Food Addictions On? prompted me to evaluate the eating practices we have at home. I certainly do not want my children’s health and well-being to be jeopardized because I was not conscious of my food choices.

Parenting In This Technology Driven Society

There is no doubt in my mind that parenting has always been and will always be the most challenging of all human endeavors. However for modern day parents like you and me, the role of raising and caring for a child is made even  more difficult by the fast development of technology.

A lot of children today are addicted to the internet, TV, or other gadgets like cell phones, gaming consoles, computers, etc. Aside from the fact that addiction to these things causes mental, behavioral, and social problems; the uncontrolled use of thesetechnological innovations pulls children away from their parents and causes families to break apart. Furthermore, the integration of technology has left us with the problems of cyberbullying, stalking, sexting, harassment, embarrassment, online privacy issues, and exposure to a plethora of inappropriate web materials just to name a few.

Some parents hesitate in restricting their children with the use of technology as they do not want their kids to think that they are overbearing, paranoid, and overprotective. However,  I believe that letting my children loose in the perilous world of technology would do far greater harm than having them think of me as overbearing, paranoid and overprotective.

I love my kids and I take it as my duty to protect them, and a large part of this is closely monitoring their use of technology to prevent misuse and overindulgence.

Read more about dangers of technology and what you can do to protect your children from it in this post: The Perils of Present-Day Parenting.

Unexpected Lessons We Get From Our Children

All parents are well aware that we are our children’s teachers and role models. We try to inculcate in our children’s minds and hearts the right values, teach them how to discern right from wrong as well as in inspire them to live a life that is centered in Christ. In short we are responsible for the character formation of our kids, but is the lesson giving and lesson learning meant to only be a one-way street? Certainly not!

A post titled, My Kids Keep Teaching Me How to Pray made me see that parents too can learn valuable lessons from our children. We need to take the time to listen and be in the moment when we are actually with them. Of course, we should do our best in teaching our children the right things so that they will grow up to become happy, good-hearted, and faithful individuals. However, we must not allow ourselves to get so wrapped up in all of our parenting roles and responsibilities. Missing out on great opportunities to become better individuals through our children is something parents should try to avoid.

How To Successfully Handle Sibling Rivalry

Sibling rivalry is a concern for almost all parents of two or more kids. This not only can cause a great deal of stress and feelings of frustration for parents but can also have both immediate and lifelong damage between the kids involved. While I believe that sibling rivalry  is an inevitable part of having children, I definitely think that the degree to which it occurs can be controlled.

I do not think it is possible for me to keep my kids from fighting, teasing and annoying each other. I believe that bickering will always be a part of their relationship. So as a parent my job is not to make sure that fighting doesn’t happen, but to make sure that the banter between them won’t cause them serious harm–physically, emotionally, or mentally. Furthermore, I also feel that it is important to instill in the minds of my children what “being siblings” really means.

If you need more tips on how to reduce sibling rivalry between your kids, here are 6 Successful Secrets to Ending Sibling Rivalry.

Discovering Our Life’s Purpose Through The Bible

A person who does not know their ultimate purpose in this world is bound to live a life of emptiness. This is a fact that a lot of us are aware of. For this very reason, many people turn to professionals such as life coaches, counselors, career advisers, and psychologists to help them figure out what they are meant to do with their lives. Although these “life experts” can offer some help, they are really not the key to discovering why we are here in this world or what can fill the void of emptiness within us.

God–our maker and creator is the only one who can show us our life’s purpose. We don’t need to pay costly fees to receive counsel from Him. We can readily talk to Him in prayer and hear His words by reading the Scriptures. The Bible has all the answers to our questions–why we are here, what will make us happy, and how we can best live our lives.

If you are searching for answers on your life’s purpose,you will find great insights on this post: What Is the Will of God for My Life?