holiday love from a child If one searches for the word nurturing in a dictionary it means things like cherish, support, care for, look after, and take care of.

Bringing up children goes beyond our wildest thoughts about what parenthood means. If the funds are low it is essential to find ways to make save and use our income frugally. Competing for our children’s love by purchasing toys is never a good solution for any parent. Toys should never be used manipulatively as a way to apologize for our anger or obtain our children’s love or attention. Our children’s love cannot be bought.

The gift of time should never be underestimated. When children look back on their childhood, they remember how they spent their time with us not what prizes we gave to them.

 Counting our physical presence in the home with the child is not meaningful time. At breakfast answer a child’s questions but admit it when you do not have the answers. Sending them into another room or handing them a toy to play with is not an answer. We are dismissing them.

After school children have a hundred thoughts running through their heads about the day’s events. They need to release these streams of consciousness. Encourage them to talk. We will become privy to a bullying situation, school work problem, friendship issue, fighting incident, fear or anxiety problem that shamed them, fears of insecurity, worthlessness, hopelessness and helplessness to name a few. It is kind of like how we encounter many of our own days. How awesome for a child to realize that mom or dad face the same things each day and understand how they feel.

Ignoring our children because we have had a bad day or we are tired, enhances our child’s frustrations. They must wait until we are feeling good about ourselves. This compounds their difficulties and encourages our children to turn to others in their need. Listening to the happy stories they want to express is as important as hearing their tribulations. Children want their parents to be proud of them. They do not always think that we are proud of them, especially when we spend a lot of time criticizing them, or putting them off.

It is essential to listen to our child’s story even if it is time spent with the other parent.

VIGNETTE

“Sometimes the people whom we've known for only a short amount of time have a bigger impact on us than those we've known forever.” Maya Angelou

One young girl and boy were very good friends. The young girl, named Tanya was extremely efficient and confident and always willing to speak for another child. The boy, named Tom, was rather quiet and reserved. At school Tanya spoke for Tom most of the time with Tom’s permission. Although Tanya was always efficient in all areas of her school life, she was unaware of her own body’s needs.

Tanya was burdened with a mother in jail and a father without a job. Tanya’s father attempted to get a job but was defeated with every attempt. It often appeared that Tanya was taking care of him instead of the other way around. Although the teacher had to admit he tried and he did love Tanya very much.

One day when Tom and Tanya were working together on a project at school, the teacher overheard them talking. “Tanya, how come you always smell bad?” asked Tom innocently. Tanya wide eyed and muddled answered, “I don’t know Tom.” The next day Tanya came to school with clean clothes and a freshly scrubbed body. She smiled at Tom who always smiled back in return. Nothing was said but a tremendous amount of knowledge had transpired between them.

Tom received the help most of the time in any given situation. Intuitively, on that particular day, Tom was the giver of aid. He will never know what a tremendous gift he .gave to his young friend Tanya. Before the Holiday break at school, Tanya came into the classroom with a crumpled brown bag decorated in many colors. It was folded down and sealed with a crinkled piece of tape which was also holding a small candy cane. She immediately gave it to Tom whose entire face lit up with the surprise. Inside was a small car which Tom turned over and over in his hands. “I got it from my cereal box,” she explained. Tom flung his arms around Tanya and screeched, “You are the bestest friend anyone could ever have.” Tanya looked as happy as Tom. The power of love subdued the class and filled the teacher’s eyes with tears. We may never know how much warmth and love we have given another by a simple gesture of thought and kindness. The ripples from such an act infinitely spread throughout eternity.

arrogance humility"The one-a-day vitamin for the soul is helping another person." Stephen Post

The other day someone asked me about my definition of humility. That was tough. I thought and thought for days and kept trying to come up with something that made sense to me. I know what it isn't but it is hard to describe what it is. When you get a compliment don't say I never really do look this good, or this dress has been hanging in my closet for twenty years. That is not humility as some of us might think. It almost seems the opposite.

A simple thank you is enough. At times people really do mean it and other times they want to be nice so either way it is a complement. Humility is not taking the last piece or end piece or constantly letting others take the best chair or place. That is portraying more of a martyr type of individual. People notice martyrs but they don't notice someone who is humble. I had the notion a humble person was a wilting flower. To the contrary I discovered a person of humility has learned to let go be themselves having a quiet confidence and understanding that in the end winning and losing doesn't count. Life is truly simple when we peel all of the layers back. Life is about lessons of the heart. When we are not forgiven we learn how important forgiveness is.

When we have felt inferior we learn the importance or respecting everyone's individuality. We are basically on the road to humility. In life there are never any winners, losers, superiors or inferiors. We can feel that way ourselves or allow others to make us feel that way. Taking control of ourselves and our own lives is about confidence and humility. We are safe in the knowledge that we are learning with the heart and open to the vibrational feelings of others and ourselves. At that point we come to terms with everyone's feelings of inadequacy.

Humility is a step above those feelings because when you are humble you are flaunting respect for everyone's journey and are willing to boost all that you can along the way as well as accepting of the help from others. That is my take of humility. The will to trek towards a greater awareness beyond what we see.

"Today see if you can stretch your heart and expand your love so that it touches not only those to whom you can give it easily but also to those who need it so much." Daphne Rose Kingma

gratitude"Life's not about waiting for the storms to pass... It's about learning to dance in the rain." BJ Gallagher/Mac Anderson

It has been a while since I last wrote a post. I have been extremely busy with fear and worry. My daughter whose sons were one and two at the  time, was diagnosed with breast cancer. She is doing fantastic now and will finish her infusions in May. She will have her reconstruction soon. She  and I and the rest of the family are embracing a full recovery and we attribute it to God and the power of prayer. As much as we all like to think of prayer as  hocus pocus, I have come to a full circle with God.

I now know he is here walking beside me every step of the way. I am enlightened to be aware of his presence and glory and power. I believe in miracles and I thank God for my miracle. It has been a long grind which is hard to explain to anyone. All of us have someone we know in a similar situation. some are better and some are worse. It is really hard to put a measurement on love so I won't try. I don't blame those who run away from it or try to hide and ignore  it because after all if it were something contagious we would all be hiding.

Nobody wants it to enter their lives in any  way or form. It entered mine a few times along  the way with two aunts, one sister, my mother-in-law brother and friends. When it came to my daughter I was devastated to say the least. Somehow our kids are an extension of us and the better part of us. We spend a lifetime protecting them nurturing them even when they don't need it anymore. It is natural that their hurt is ours. To be so helpless regarding the ability to take suffering away is one of the most challenging things a parent can endure. I survived with God's help but the fear remains and I try to keep it at bay but sometimes it creeps in and on those days I pray.

For those who don't understand that's  okay it is impossible to understand because your mind doesn't want to go  on that route for fear of jinxing yourself. It is okay, just about all of us would do the same in similar situations. It is good to attempt to be a comfort to those who need it. I know the number of angels who came to my daughter's support and thus to mine were angels in my book. Their efforts of time meals flowers and visits will never be underestimated.

 I know we can't always pay back to those who helped us but we can all pay it forward which my daughter has already started to do. Being a light for each other is what god wants. I know this in my heart. He doesn't want us to live in  fear and I am working on that one as is my daughter. Fear immobilizes and cripples the  present. We worry about things that may never come to pass. I know that I will have a strong faith when I can let go of my fears, give them to God and trust that all is well. If we let go and let God as I heard one person put it, we will be calm enough to do his work.

"Gratitude bestows reverence, allowing us to encounter everyday epiphanies, those transcendent moments of awe that change forever how we experience life and the world." John Milton

May God Bless all of you. My Best