Saturday, January 24, 2009

Pure Gesture of Love

written: 1/1/09

Often times, our children ponder out loud and ask the most revealing questions. Example: If you could touch God, would your arms be wide enough to hug Him?

Goodness, with all these years studying the Bible and holding to the promise of God's word, it would be at that moment that I'd have to share His endowment with a beautifully inquisitive 4year old. It's as though God gives us these sporadic pop quizzes garnered through our humble children to help us reaffirm of our faith. Parenthood has its perks.
The right answer, seemingly, is what He gives when your mind's in perfect peace. Imagine missing the blessing in that moment by focusing on the strife and uncertainty of the day. And without notice, we could disregard the purity in the desire to embrace God.

It's been a blessing and growing experience to acknowledge needing God as a daily requirement to constantly help keep peace of mind.
Has there been a pure gesture of love you've missed this year? Let's remember to keep our minds in perfect peace as we enter this coming year. We're going to need it!

Love, Love & ENDURE
Ms. M

Mommy's Memory Lane with Luther

There's Nothing Better Than Love
More than Easy Listening

written: 12/10/08

Though both Luther Vandross and Gregory Hines are gone. They aren't forgotten. Gently, they croon love into my heart everytime I'm privileged to hear this specific song, There's Nothing Better than Love.
"Listen to love and always give love to me the way you want to be loved"...there's nothing better than love. What in the world could you ever be thinkin' of?"
Almost twenty years ago these lyrics did not reflect the attention they do today, for me. Now, as a well seasoned woman in this world, with clearer decisive thinking, listening to love has been one of the major surviving mechanisms in my life. However, rationale was sometimes more complicated in those previous chapters of life. It was so easy to say no when I meant to say yes and vise versa. All of that emotional arobics left no room to listen to love.
Ultimately, time ticks enough to remind every aspect of the body and mind of its affects on humanity. Maturity and healing have been 2 welcomed affects. They revealed my need to wake up and put a hault on relatioship woes. Eagerly, one mid Summer morning after a crazy breakup with a guy whose name I can't pronounce well this very day, I'd stop turning a deaf ear to love.
I remember listening to what I wanted to hear and not tuning into who needed to hear me. "Wasted time", as my mother would say. Friendships began to take on a whole new meaning. No longer were people itemized for frivolous reasons. Those youthful battle scars help today, as they give direction in motherhood. They allow me a sense of humility. This memory lane visit is one of my greatest ah haa moments.
The decsion to listen has been a gift from God.

Pray, hope & ENDURE
Ms. M

Memories of Dad

written: 12/14/08, 1/24/09

There are many studies about family well being. However, this 9year old Father Daughter Relationship study causes me to take note of my daughterly inventory. For instance, how my affection towards my father affected how I dated, who I dated, if I dated effectively, did I get enough fatherly attention, what communication skills did my dad share with me, and if trust was primal. Though many in number, these questions paused a few of my routine activities and gave way to my current reality. I am who I am today, partly, because of the primary foundation in my life and the gift of growth.

Undoubtedly, after pausing I was moved to examine 5 to 10 accomplishments and failures in my life. This list aided the need to gain clarity about who's influenced my path. This 5 to 10 lead me confront my personal well being. How well am I being as a friend, mother or to my self? My answers lead me back to a pivotal and necessary source in my development, my dad.

Although my last memory of my dad was his last breath. It is a sad place for me to venture. I'm still recuperating from that blow to my heart. However, I now have 2 wonderful daughters of my own who have bond well with their father, my dear love.

They experience the joy of preparing for their daughter's date night out with there dad or fun lunch outings. Our eldest's eyes are always filled with happiness as she prepares for her time with dad. And most commonly with compassion she asks, "Hi, daddy what's your day been like?" as he unwinds from work. It's wonderful to see them fully engaged in their own relationship. There's a precious appeal about a father's role in a girls life.

I've earned a few childhood battle scars, as a daughter. In spite of them, I stand proud. Motherhood offers an awesome opportunity to advocate awareness about good and challenging issues fathers impose.
Vanderbilt Univ. researchers study below.

Pray, hope & ENDURE
Ms. M

ScienceDaily (Sep. 27, 1999) — A young girl's relationship with her family, especially with her father, may influence at what age she enters puberty, according to Vanderbilt University researchers.
Girls with close, supportive relationships with their parents tend to develop later, while girls with cold or distant relationships with their parents develop at an earlier age.
The research is published in the most recent edition of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. The research was conducted by Bruce Ellis, a postdoctoral fellow at Vanderbilt (now at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand); Stephen McFadyen-Ketchum, adjunct assistant professor of psychology at Vanderbilt; Kenneth Dodge, professor of psychology and psychiatry at Vanderbilt (now at Duke University); Gregory Pettit of Auburn University; and John E. Bates of Indiana University.
The study looked at 173 girls and their families from Nashville and Knoxville, Tenn. and Bloomington, Ind. from the time the girls were in pre-kindergarten until they were in the seventh grade.
Girls who had close, positive relationships with their parents during the first five years of life tended to experience relatively late puberty, compared to girls who had more distant relationships with their parents. More specifically, the researchers found that the quality of fathers' involvement with daughters was the most important feature of the early family environment in relation to the timing of the daughters' puberty.
Girls who enter puberty later generally had fathers who were active participants in care-giving; had fathers who were supportive to the girls' mothers; and had positive relationships with their mothers. But it's the fathers' involvement, rather than the mothers', which seems to be paramount to the age of the girls' development. The researchers believe that girls have evolved to experience early socialization, with their "antennae" tuned to the fathers' role in the family (both in terms of father-daughter and father-mother relationships) and that girls may unconsciously adjust their timing of puberty based on their fathers' behavior.
The researchers found that girls raised in father-absent homes or dysfunctional father-present homes experienced relatively early pubertal timing.
They present several theories as to why this occurs. One biological explanation is that girls whose fathers are not present in the home may be exposed to other adult males - stepfathers or their mothers' boyfriends - and that exposure to pheromones produced by unrelated adult males accelerates female pubertal development. The flip side of that theory is that girls who live with their biological fathers in a positive environment are exposed to his pheromones and are inhibited from puberty, perhaps as a natural incest avoidance mechanism.
Girls who live with their fathers but have a cold or distant relationship with them would not be exposed to their fathers' pheromones as much as girls who have more interaction with their fathers, therefore causing the girls in the distant relationship to reach puberty earlier, the researchers hypothesize.
Perhaps most notable, the researchers say, is the important role fathers seem to play in their daughters' development, given that the quality of mothering is generally more closely associated with how children turn out than is the quality of fathering.
The research was funded by National Institute of Mental Health and the National Institute of Child Health and Development.

The Seedling by Paul Laurence Dunbar

written: 11/30/08
I was inspired by this beautiful classic poetry. It speeks volumes of imagery. As a matter of fact, there's enough creative pontification offered in this poem to frame and place in a well received location- children's room or added to the old fair thee well off to college, proud of you note.

it's so relative, it portable...
Hense, this is why it's shared.

The Seedling
Paul Laurence Dunbar

AS a quiet little seedling lay within its darksome bed,
to itself it fell a-talking,
And this is what it said: "I am not so very robust,
But I'll do the best I can;"
And the seedling from that moment, its work of life began

So it pushed a little leaflet up into the light of day,
To examine the surroundings and show the rest the way.
The leaflet liked the prospect, so it called its brother, Stem;
Then two other leaflets heard it, and quickly followed them
To be sure, the haste and hurry made the seedling sweat and pant; but almost before it knew it, It found itself a plant

The sunshine poured upon it, and the clouds they gave a shower; And the little plant kept growing 'till it found itself a flower

Little folks, be like the seedling
Always do the best you can; Every child must share life's labor
Just as well as every man
And the sun and showers will help you through the lonesome, struggling hours 'Till you raise to light and beauty Virtue's fair, unfading flowers

Humor as an Assistant

original post date: 10/30/08

The events of the season coupled with the politics of our day are sending me in every direction. Our 4 children are relying on me for specific Mommy support in varied departments of their lives. Lately, humor has assisted me through some tough explanations. Situation, why one item can't be purchased over another. It was more of a turnoff for our ten year old who understands what exlax is in contrast to hershey's chocolate. But our 4year old couldn't grasp the idea until the 7 year old graphicly elaborated the outcome of exlax. What do you do? Give a big smile and say, that's absolutely right man. I've embraced their staunch desire to individually shine. My own childhood is forced to memory when I see their motives in motion. Despite the different directions I'm sometimes forced to go, mandatory laughter makes this journey well worth the trip.

Pray, hope and LAUGH
Much Love, Ms. M
Bobby McFerrin - Dont Worry, Be Happy