Archives for May 2013

Give Your Family a Gift By De-stressing

I got a very wonderful reminder today in a post titled, “De-stressing Mom is a Gift for the Whole Family.”

Motherhood is an exhausting 24/7 job. Not only does the job drain us physically but also emotionally and mentally. While mothers try their hardest to fulfill their responsibilities and hold everything together all the time, we all have a breaking point. Sadly, a lot of mothers are not able to acknowledge this–or maybe some mothers think that they do not have the luxury to acknowledge this very fact. I believe you should give your family a gift by de-stressing

To give ourselves a break is not a luxury–it is a necessity! No matter how much we want to go on and on with our daily routines and demands of motherhood, the truth is our mind and bodies can only take so much. For this very reason, we should make it a point to give ourselves the chance to relax. You see, the less stressed you are, the happier you will be. And this will have positive effects on your children and family life. Just think about it. De-stressing is not a gift you just give to yourself but to your entire family as well. So give your family a gift by de-stressing, you might just enjoy it too.

As Long as Your Kids are Happy

I read an article on Huffington Post this morning that made me do some thinking. “What Kind Of Parents Were We?,” although a relatively short entry really made a strong impact on me–especially the author’s closing statement read, “I don’t care what you do, darling, as long as you’re happy…” (A statement which is directed to her kids.) As long as your kids are happy, that should make you happy as a parent (at least I believe that).

I believe that every parent has a dream for their children. The intensity of our resolution to have our children realize these aspirations may vary, but I certainly believe that we all have these dreams for our kids–something we want them to be. While it is not a bad thing to have these thoughts for the future of our kids, some of us get so caught up preparing and pushing our kids to these career plans that we forget about their happiness. Forget what you want for a second, as long as your kids are happy that is what matters.

I am not saying that it is wrong to set out a career pathway for our children. All I am saying is that as parents, we should always keep in mind that a wonderful career is not tantamount to happiness.

God’s Presence is Everywhere: Find God in All Things

I felt blessed after reading this post today,”Finding God In All Things.” It reminded me of how I need to not look hard to find God.  I especially loved these words from the post, “God’s presence dwells in everything. God gives life and being and existence to everything, so finding God in all things is just a matter of opening your eyes!” God’s presence is everywhere, and you will come to realize this in time if you haven’t already.

If you recall, the phrase “finding God in all things,” is one of the very core ideals of the Ignatian spirituality. St. Ignatius encouraged Christians to search for and find God in every circumstance of life, and not just in spiritual activities like attending mass, receiving the Eucharist and praying. He counsels that we live each day with “eyes of faith”–eyes that see the Maker in all creation.

Isn’t it wonderful to have a God who desires to be known? A God who makes himself visible in all things so that we do not feel lonely and alienated from him? God’s presence is everywhere in our lives. Take the time today to look around you and experience God’s presence in all of his creations.

Your Best is Good Enough as a Parent

I believe that all parents have had those days when we feel as if we are not good enough–days when we doubt our capacities as parents. While we can’t keep ourselves from feeling this way occasionally, constantly entertaining these thoughts can lead to us becoming self conscious of the way we are raising our kids. Just remembered that your best is good enough as a parent.

As one post says, “You Are a Good Parent,” you should never allow yourself to think otherwise. Yes, you may not be a perfect parent, but you are certainly a good parent. We may commit some mistakes along the way (like any other human), but these mistakes do not mean that you are not a wonderful parent. Being a parent myself, I know that you are giving everything your best–and your best is good enough as a parent!

Remember, that your kids do not need perfection. They just need a parent who thinks and wishes the best for them.

How to Create Lasting Memories for Your Children

I read a blog entry this morning titled “Happiness Is… Creating Memories That Last,” that made me want to share my obsession with creating memories for my children. I believe this obsession of mine sprung up because I have always wished that I remembered more about my years spent growing up. After a little bit of brain storming I came up with how to create lasting memories for you children.

Memories are wonderful. They give us a reason to smile and can even give us strength in difficult times. And with my kids, I want them to have as much source of happiness and strength as they can have. So I make an effort to help them keep pieces of their childhood intact and forever engraved in their minds. Ever wondered how to create lasting memories for your children? Let me share with you what we do as a family:

1. We take lots of pictures.
2. We capture and compile videos.
3. We stick to family traditions.
4. We keep a memory box of all the things that we find special–artwork, toys, gifts and etc.
5. We tell stories.

How about you? What do you do to create and keep memories for your kids?

The Power of Words Should Not Be Overlooked

Words are powerful. It was through God’s word, that all creations came to being–that we came to life. Although our words may not have the power to bring an entire universe to life, they have the power they to bless or curse others. Thus, it is not surprising that the Bible is full of reminders on how we should be cautious with our words. The power of words should not be overlooked.

One of the most powerful texts in the Bible regarding the spoken word can be found in Matthew 12:35-37: “The good person out of his good treasure brings forth good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure brings forth evil. I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak, for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”

When we speak, we should remember that every word that comes out of our mouth have a direct effect on those who hear them. We should be careful as to speak words that can destroy another person’s spirit or bring about hatred, violence and bitterness. Instead, we should strive to use the power of words to bring blessings of happiness, love and inspiration to others.

If you want to know more about what words can do, you might want to read this post: “Why It Matters.”

Smile More During Mass

While I was doing my morning scan at the National Catholic Register, I found myself reading a post titled, “Smile?” Somewhere along the post, I read this sentence, “Catholics certainly don’t smile very much during Mass.” This statement made me pause for a while and recall the picture of a usual Mass in my head. And indeed, the statement was right, my memory of a usual Mass did not include a crowd of smiling faces.

While I agree with the author of the article above that “this non-smiling is not a sign of anything bad.” Not smiling can mean that we are thinking hard, pondering, reflecting and talking to God in the duration of the mass and not just mean that we are sad or worried. Wouldn’t it be more wonderful if we smiled while doing all these things though? Wouldn’t Mass feel more warm and encouraging with a smiling crowd? I want to make a point to smile more during Mass.

Besides, we have all the reason to keep a smile on that face. We are alive, we are loved and we are saved by grace! So smile more during Mass and all the time!

Resting on the Grace of Jesus

The opening statement of the post, “The Finished Work of Christ,” is the center of this entry. It says, “God wants us to rest on the finished work of Christ.” To me this means resting on the grace of Jesus. Let me explain.

Don’t we all worry about our salvation at one point or another? Don’t we all sometimes feel as though what we are doing here on Earth is simply not enough to gain us entrance to heaven? Knowing our doubting nature, Jesus gave us assurance of his grace in Ephesians 2:8, 9: “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of ourselves; it is the gift of God not of works, lest anyone should boast”
Although worrying about our salvation is a good sign that we really want to be with God in Heaven, being obsessed about gaining entrance to heaven is pointless, unhealthy, and possibly even sinful. Salvation is freely offered to all of us. All we have to do is accept this offer of Christ and believe that Jesus has done all that is necessary to provide complete salvation to all of mankind.

Instead of wasting our time worrying on what we can do to gain salvation, we should live our lives for Christ–praising and thanking him for all that he has done. We should also be doing our absolute best to follow his footsteps and live a virtuous life as he did. Resting on the grace of Jesus is making use of the gift God has given us.

Parenting By Intuition: Listening To Your Soul

After reading a handful of blogs offering news and advice on parenting, reading “Parents: Get Out of Your Head & Into Your Soul” was a breath of fresh air. I especially loved this line from the post: “In order to parent from a place of truth, we need to do what feels right for us and listen to our intuition, rather than listening to everyone else’s opinions on what we should or shouldn’t do.

A lot of modern-day parents have this habit of doing everything by the book–basing almost all of their parenting decisions and actions on scientific information about child development. While I admit that I myself turn to Google, parenting books, and other resources for some of my parenting qualms, I often end up getting confused over the opposing advice of “parenting experts” or getting nothing but information that affirms my initial thoughts. I believe that parenting by intuition and listening to your soul is the true way to answer your questions.

Over the years, I have come to realize that although we can get valuable help from other people on how to raise our children, we should not give away all our powers to them. All of us are equipped with the innate capacity to nurture and raise a child. We are not only blessed with conscious, rational minds but also a powerful intuition. So try taking up parenting by intuition and listening to your soul.

Providing Our Kids with Healthy Play

This post is inspired by a blog entry at Moomy Musings titled, “The Joy of Learning Through Play.”

While play is generally synonymous to fun, it actually offers more amusement and recreatioin to kids. When we allow and encourage our children to play, we are also giving them a chance to develop their imagination, creativity, problem-solving abilities and social skills. Providing our kids with healthy play time is something all parents should strive for.

However, in this digital age, it is becoming more and more difficult for kids to have healthy playtime. Kids are playing less as more emphasis is being placed on academics (even among preschools) and if they do play, they spend more time on digital toys (video games, tablets, computers, etc.).

As parents, we must acknowledge the importance of play and know how to promote healthy and valuable playtime. As a basic principle, we must provide our kids a wide variety of play experiences and materials through which they can make use of all their faculties–physical, mental, emotional and social. Providing our kids with healthy play is a good way to help them develop into physically and mentally strong adults.