Sunday, September 12, 2010

"Screaming Children Will NOT Be Tolerated!"

"Screaming Children Will NOT Be Tolerated" reads the sign hanging in the window of the Olde Salty diner in North Carolina. The owner states simply, patrons want to enjoy their dinner without having to listen to kids scream. She isn't saying children aren't welcome, but if your little one begins to fuss and flail take him/her outside, deal with the issue, and then you, and your now placated little one are welcome to return.
The story about this diner owner and her controversial sign broke last week on every major news channel, morning show, and news blog- and there were quite a few folks who were, well, basically outraged.
One mother, of an autistic child, even claimed the sign was downright discriminatory to those with disabilities.
Of course, legally the diner owner can put up any sign she wants, as long as it in no way interferes with the constitutional rights of others, but I want to know how you mothers out there feel about this issue: Would you find the sign offensive and avoid eating at any establishment with the audacity to post it? Or do you agree- if your child acts up, take them out?
Let me know, then I'll tell you what I think!

Monday, August 2, 2010


Times are tough! From bankers to beauticians, dentists to delivery men, it seems almost everyone is struggling financially right now. Our economy is not the worst it has ever been , but we can all, no doubt, feel the current recession taking its toll on our lifestyles.
During these times of economic strain there are two crucial things to remember: First, teach children responsibility without passing on your own financial worry to them, and second, always continue to honor God with your giving.
Children have a limited time during which they can live life free of adult anxiety- their time to pay bills and fret the rising cost of dairy is rapidly approaching. So, its important to teach them to save and spend responsibly with a consistent allowance, and by setting a good example with your own spending habits (this one is tough for me, especially when Macy's is having a sale.)
Sharing too much about the family's economic state and potential financial difficulties (i.e. 'I hope I don't lose my job,' or 'I hope we can make the house payment') may cause children to feel anxiety and worry that is unnecessary and definitely out of their control. Make them aware of any necessary financial changes the family must make as a whole, (like only ordering out for pizza once a month instead of once a week,) but continue to also make them aware that God is in control and He will always provide for His children. Share your faith in God, (Jehovah-Jireh, our provider) with them and help them use this faith to overcome any doubt and anxiety. Do this by consistently thanking Him for what He has done for you and your family, focusing on the things you do have and by recognizing Him as the ultimate Provider for all things great and small!
"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink... Is not life more important than food? Look at the birds of the air; Your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?" (Matthew 6:25a, 26-27)
Also, no matter what, always give. Tithing is not something to do when there is extra money at the end of the month or just on special 'religious' holidays, it is something we do because God instructs us to tithe and we show Him our love and honor by obeying His commands.
"Be sure to set aside a tenth of all that your fields produce each year." (Deuteronomy 14:22) Being charitable sets a good example for our children and allows us to share God' love and compassion with others!

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Quotes For Today

"Discovering an ability to love uncritically and totally has been exhilarating. It's the sort of love that calls upon my whole being, bringing all of my potential to life."
-Ronnie Friedland

"Forgiveness is the answer to the child's dream of a miracle by which what is broken is made whole again, what is soiled is made clean."
-Dag Hammarskjold

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Welcome 2010!

As the new year begins we often find ourselves with a long list of 'resolutions,' or, as I like to call them, 'things I should be doing anyway,' like, eat healthy, exercise, choose happiness. . . You know, great intentions for a great year. But as I said, most of the things that end up on my list are really simple things that I should have been doing all along!
So, my only resolution this year? No more resolutions! By the time 2011 rolls in I truly hope to be implementing all those things in my life already, and doing what I know I should be doing!
But I still love to hear what others have vowed to do in this wondrous new year. So please share with all the other mothers out there, and of course, yours truly, what you plan on doing better, differently, more of, or less of in 2010. It can be anything- it doesn't have to be about parenting- but please share your resolutions with us! It could inspire someone else, you never know!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The True Meaning of Christmas

December has always been my favorite month of the year. As soon as candy canes and chocolate Santas begin to appear on drugstore shelves and fabulously decorated Christmas trees light up department stores, I get that commercially-fueled warm and fuzzy feeling. You know- where the stress of the seasonal to-do list blends flawlessly with that inner, timeless childhood excitement and creates a sweet moment of holiday anticipatory bliss, causing even the most dedicated Scrooge to get a little taste for some eggnog and fruitcake.
This is the time of year we spend countless hours wrapping presents, baking heartfelt goodies, waiting in line and thoroughly reviewing our children's letters to Santa ensuring their Christmas dreams come true. And although these things, including each and every beautifully wrapped gift, are an integral part of the holidays, this Christmas season I challenge you to give your family the gift that transcends everything else that the season brings by focusing on the one true meaning of the holiday.
I know it has become a redundant cliche we see on sweaters, bumper stickers and buttons, but Jesus really is the reason for the season!
"The angel said to them, 'Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; He is the Messiah, the Lord." (Luke 2: 10-12)
Take time this year to celebrate the birth of Jesus. Start a new and lasting tradition by having each family member read a verse or two of the real Christmas story every night in December. Or take the time to tell the Nativity story to your children as you set out your manger this year. Let them know the significance and actual meaning behind certain decorations, like the star or angel atop the tree representing the symbols God used to herald the good news of the birth of His Son.
It is easy to get lost in the commercial whirlwind and gingerbread cookie buzz and forget this is the time of year designated for us to rejoice and celebrate the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ. I encourage you to make it a priority during this busy time to slow down, re-connect with your family and loved ones, and thank our Heavenly Father for the ultimate sacrifice- the best gift ever- eternal life through His Son!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

A Mother's Love

"Loving a child doesn't mean giving into all his whims; to love is to bring out the best in him, to teach him to love what is difficult." -Nadia Boulanger

"Mother's love is peace. It need not be acquired, it need not be deserved."
-Erich Fromm

"Mother's love is the fuel that enables a normal human being to do the impossible."
-Marion C. Garretty

"The heart of a mother is a deep abyss at the bottom of which you will always find forgiveness."
-Honore De Balzac

"True love begins when nothing is asked for in return." -Antoine De Saint-Exupery

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Watching Our Children Grow

As my son continues to grow and gain Independence, I have only one choice: sit back and watch nature take its course. As time passes our relationship evolves. The baby that needed constant coddling, feeding, and nurturing is now the little boy that still needs constant feeding, less conspicuous nurturing, and intermittent coddling. His needs change- mostly with him needing me less and needing to exercise his autonomy more.
In the moments when this metamorphosis, showcasing his self-sufficiency, stare me in the eye, daring me to challenge the natural order of growing up, all I can do is relent and marvel at the amazing young man slowly forming in front of me. Strong cheekbones replace the once chubby, ever-pinchable cheeks and short, straight, dark layers take the place of his bouncing, caramel colored ringlets.
Now, don't get me wrong, as he gets older I discover new joys every day, and I feel an overwhelming sense of excitement thinking about the man he will become.
But there are a few things I really miss! Like the times when he is happy, tired, frightened by the thunder, or sad, and it seemed the only thing his little arms could do was just cling to me- knowing that in my arms he will find safety, rest, familiarity, and most of all, love. Part of growing up is him relying less on that familiar physical comfort to soothe his tears and him beginning to work things out for himself. And although he still comes to me often baring his emotions, those times when he just clung to me, like I was the only thing in his world that could sufficiently offer him peace, are fewer and farther between.
Thinking about this made me think about my own relationship with my Heavenly Father, my 'Abba' God. How often do I cling to Him, taking peace and comfort in His safety and unconditional love?
When I was a 'young' Christian I ran to Him often, sharing excitement, offering praise, and seeking solace. Now, I seem to take His strength and ever-open arms for granted.
I know God takes pleasure in watching His children grow, becoming stronger and more mature. But just as we, as parents, will always cherish those moments when our children still surrender to their innate, overwhelming need to find reprieve and peace solely in our arms, I can only imagine how much more our Father cherishes the moments we cling to Him with complete faith and utter abandon.
"The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms" (Deuteronomy 33:27.)