Tag Archive | family

The Shack

Last night, I curled up on the couch after eating a warm bowl of homemade chicken soup that I had made for my family yesterday while the temperatures dropped into the single digits outside.  Cuddled under a big, fluffy, warm blanket, almost falling asleep, instead I turned on the movie The Shack.  Years ago, I remember reading the book which I found confusing.  So as the movie began, there were parts that I remembered from the book and much that I had forgotten.

I’ve told you about a few movies which I’ve found to be keepers – ones which touched me spiritually and this one, I need to add to that list for you and for me to watch again.  You see, after I finished watching it and dried my tears, I knew I would have to sleep on all that I’d just experienced along with the lead character in order to absorb what I could.  I also know that I will need to watch it again to absorb more, but that I will know when to watch it again – when my mind and body are receptive.

Click here or on the photo of the book to check it out on Amazon.

Have you ever read the book The Shack or seen the movie version?  The book came out in 2007 and the movie in March of 2017.  I would love to hear from you if you’ve already read the book or seen the movie.  I admit that it can be confusing at times and one needs to keep an open mind.

It’s the reminder of God’s presence in all of our lives healing us in a storytelling way.  The theme of love and letting go of the past are such strong universal truths that those are the additional reasons why I recommend reading and watching The Shack. 

Forgiveness is part of letting go of the past and as the end of 2017 is upon us, perhaps it’s time to let go of 2017 in order to begin again, our next year, with a clean slate and love in our hearts, minds and souls for all.

Shine your heartlights dear friends.

The time is now to heal our wounds and to be at peace.

Shine On!

xo

 

The Magical Allure of Balsam

themagicalallureofbalsam

I am still thanking Pedro, even days later and probably will until the tree comes down.  After all, that delicious smell of a fresh Christmas tree greets me every morning when I get my coffee and immediately, it puts a smile on my face!  For me, that balsam smell is associated with the thrill and child-like anticipation that comes during the Christmas season, most specifically for me on Christmas morn.  Even as a parent, there is a thrill of anticipation upon waking Christmas morning!  It’s that joy of giving.  That joy of family and love that permeates every moment.  It’s just being grateful for all of the blessings in our lives.  It’s the magic in the spirit of Christmas!

I’m grateful for being here every day, but especially upon waking on Christmas morning with my children.  It’s innate within me.  I am like a child, fully excited when it comes to Christmas.  I’ve always been this way, ever since I was little.

The smell of a fresh tree immediately brings me back to being a little girl, waking up on Christmas morning and seeing those presents under the tree.  If I sit quietly, I can easily remember that joyful feeling along with the thrill and magic of how Santa brought us presents while we were sleeping.  It wasn’t ever a lot of presents, but just the right amount.  It was in the excitement of anticipation of what’s inside the prettily decorated wrappings that charged me up!  It was also, as I got older, the happy anticipation of giving special presents to those whom I loved.  Finding that special trinket or sweater or special toy that couldn’t be found anywhere and delivering it to my loved ones with joy for knowing that they would be happy!

Christmas is about family being together on Christmas morning.  Waking up, sleepy with joyful anticipation for what Santa (ahem Mom) brought and what thoughtful gifts each of us in turn have gotten each other.  It doesn’t have to be a big deal.  It’s about giving the Presents of Presence to each other.  Being there, in that priceless moment of glee that’s filled with love and family.

What about you?  Does the smell of a fresh cut tree bring back memories of childhood Christmases and the anticipation of presents magically appearing under the tree for you too?

Shine On!

xo

 

Elevate Your Relationship With Your Child

elevateyourrelationshipwithyourchild

Dear Parents,

As a former teacher, I’m writing to you from the heart.  As a parent myself, and a former teacher and as a humanitarian, yes, I’m going to suggest how you parent your sweet children.  You may choose to tune out here and click off my letter or maybe you just might want to read what I have to say to see if it resonates with you.

Let me begin by telling you I am not the perfect parent, teacher nor humanitarian.  Not by a long shot am I perfect.  But I feel the need to tell you honestly what I’m seeing and it’s not pretty dear friends.  You may or may not be aware of it, but it’s there – that wounded spot between you and your child.  You know the one I mean.  You sense it because you know that he’s mad with you and you feel guilty for whatever you’ve not done.  Or maybe you’re really as clueless about it as you seem.  But I don’t buy it.  I think you know, but you’re afraid to touch that wounded part of your child and yourself.

Example:  You are busy with work, your family, your life and all that’s around you.  You live in a tizzy of busy because you are doing the best you can to provide for your family, to work at your career, to be a good wife/husband, to parent, to raise your family and maybe even take care of your own parents as well.  You’re stressed beyond words and everyone knows it.  You are doing the best you can and I applaud you.  But I know you’re not happy because that wound rears its ugly head when it comes to your child.

You feel guilty because your child is wounded by you.  There, let’s speak plainly.  What you say, how you react, what you don’t say or don’t do, has built up a laundry list in your child’s mind to feel wounded by you.  What’s worse is that you think that what he holds against you may be true and if you had more time, if you weren’t working, if you didn’t have so many children, etc., you’d not have made those mistakes.  You’ve got a litany of excuses and guilt that he doesn’t want to hear.  But you’re not telling him that anyway.  You’re living with the wound yourself and it’s festering in your daily interactions with him.  It’s like a runaway train which at every non-stop at a station, gets worse and the momentum of hurt builds.

You must be willing to change in order for you and your child to begin to rebuild your relationship.  I’ve found that honesty works well here as it almost always does when it comes to communication between people, be it parent/child relationships or for that matter, any relationship between people.  Open communication is key.  Taking the quiet opportunity when there’s not a lot of stress involved between you, makes it easier for each person to hear what the other person is saying.  Blame is not an option here so don’t bring it into the conversation.  Explain clearly what you expect from your child and what he can expect from you.  Show examples of when he was successful and when you were as well and highlight the times when you worked together and succeeded at a common goal.  Remind him of the fun times together and let him know how you miss that connection with him.  Tell him plainly how you miss that connection and how you would like to reconnect and ask him for advice.  Let him tell you what he needs from you and you can do the same.  Be on the same page as a team.  Keep the dialogue open and be ready to hear how he feels even if it’s hard.  It may take a few conversations before he will open up, but most teenagers want to reconnect because they need you as much as you need them.  But you need to set the example for that give and take trusting conversation and not react to anything he says that you may not like.  You need to be the grownup and own how what’s happened makes him feel, especially when you may find it hitting too close to home.  It’s hard to accept when your teenager tells you the truth as he sees it and you may have to accept that he’s right and not give excuses as to why you did whatever it is that you did.  This is not to say that you need to take all the blame and guilt here either, for it’s a two way street in any relationship.  But in giving your child the opportunity to speak his mind respectfully, just as it will be when you are given the same opportunity, allows for healing to begin.

It takes time to repair wounds for anyone, but especially that parent/child relationship as it sets the stage for his future relationships.  Even the most wounded of us wants peace and forgiveness and to feel loved and respected.  I don’t think it’s ever too late to try, for you never know when you may succeed.

Relationships fall apart over time and don’t always heal quickly.  But with patience and kindness we can repair and reconnect with others in the most miraculous of ways.  It takes a commitment to reconnect, but I’ve found that it’s so well-worth it when we do!

Work on making your home a safe and loving environment where family means that we love each other and that we work together for the common good and love that binds us.  You role model that in your home – peace, love, kindness – so foster it in every moment!

Be kind to yourself, dear parent.  Sometimes life just happens the way it does, but that doesn’t mean we can’t improve our relationships with effort on both parts.  If you really feel disconnected from your child, make the effort and if it’s not too late, you may be surprised at the amazing relationship that comes out of your opening up the conversation to reconnect in the first place!

Shine On!

xo

 

 

 

 

Connecting The Dots

ConnectingthedotsConnecting The Dots

Connection is one of my favorite words because I know that connections are important in this life.  To make connections with other sentient beings, with ideas and philosophies and through the heart, mind and soul, for me, is connecting the dots of being.

Over twenty years ago when chatting on the internet was just starting for me, I met a woman named Jeanne in a cat chat room.  I was newly married and we had just gotten a rescue kitten.  Jeanne was a seasoned cat owner and when I had asked a question on the forum, she answered.  By sharing her knowledge and with me hungry for answers, we began to write back and forth and our friendship blossomed via email.  We talked about life and love and friendship and family….and of course, cats!

Fast forward 20 years and we are Facebook friends, having found each other again on the internet highway.  Occasional likes and messages have kept us in contact even though we had lost touch for many years.  When I asked a cat question on Facebook and quickly Jeanne answered, thus began our re-connection.  As we were messaging on Facebook, and then moved to emails, it was as if no time had passed.  We began catching up over the past years, quickly and easily.  The best part was that we knew what a blessing it was to reconnect again.

We’ve never met in person, yet Jeanne and I have been friends for years.  Life is so different from when we were children, as back then, our friends were limited to those we knew in person.  Much like modern-day pen pals, I guess life has evolved to internet friendships.

So today, I’m grateful for all of our connections, internet and otherwise.  I love how blogging has expanded our friendships globally.  I can now count friendships with all of you, in many different countries and across the USA.  We are gratefully united through friendship and caring.

Have you felt that instant connection with someone whom you’ve never met except on the internet?  Was it through blogging?  Please share!

Shine On!

xo

 

 

Thanksgiving Blessings

thanksgivingblessings

“Not what we say about our blessings,
but how we use them,
is the true measure
of our thanksgiving.”
~ W.T. Purkiser

On this Thanksgiving morning, let me reach out to wish you all a day filled with love, with blessings, with gratitude and with being surrounded by loved ones.  Be more patient today.  Be kinder today.  Be loving today.  Be grateful for all the goodness in your life – from the biggest to the smallest of blessings!

Happy Blessed Thanksgiving to all!

Shine On!

xo

 

A Giggle Before Thanksgiving

agigglebeforethanksgiving

If you’re anything like me, you’re stressed out now with the start of the holiday season.  Thanksgiving is a tough holiday to prepare for and even though this year, I’m not cooking the bird, I have a few dishes to prepare for the meal at my sister’s house.  It should be fun this year as our Mom is going to be with us too which just makes me smile.  I want to take lots of photos and videos of her with all of us.  As our parents get older, it’s important to do that you know.  Every single moment and memory is precious and sometimes it’s only after, in hindsight, that we regret we didn’t do more.  So, I’m working hard to live with no regrets!

Anyway, I was thinking about decorating for Christmas because I always began after the Thanksgiving dinner was put away.  I started slowly at first, but often, I was well on my way by Sunday.  I can’t help myself!  I LOVE CHRISTMAS!

I came across the clever video below and laughed my way through it.  What a great stress reliever and giggle maker!  If you like animals, please click below and get into the Christmas mood.  You know, it’s almost time to Deck The Halls!

Shine On!

xo

 

Home Is The Nest You Make Yourself

homeisthenest

I love the quote:  Home is where the heart is because it’s simple and direct.  Home is anywhere you find yourself comfortably surrounded by love.  Be it a hovel, an old drafty farmhouse, a small nest or a McMansion.  It’s home because your loved ones are with you.

It’s about being together and being able to be YOU with all of your goodness, your quirks and your insecurities, knowing you are loved for who you are.  Home is the comfort in being accepted for yourself.  Home is knowing you are safe in being vulnerable there.  Home is knowing there are arms to hold you in a strong hug with support and kindness, gentle kisses and soothing words.

There’s no place like home dear friends.  May you remember with gratitude the home and loved ones with whom you share your life.  No matter where you travel, near or far, may you always have a home filled with love and kindness.

Shine On!

xo