“An Undeserved Love” #MomBlogger

I watched the sippy cup leave my hands and had an “out of body” moment. Out-of-body me stood there looking at sippy-cup-thrower me with that judgy-side-eye thinking “Really, you’ve stooped this low?” The sippy of juice splattered across the kitchen wall and my kids stood there as dumbfounded as I was when I realized I had just lost my ever-lovin-junk in front of them. Everyone was afraid to blink, breathe, cry, or laugh. Because what do you REALLY do in those moments? If you don’t laugh, you just cry.

Oh, motherhood. You bring out the best and unfortunately, the worst in all of us. I can’t remember what it was that made me lose my temper, throw that cup, and probably scare my children half to death. But what I do remember? My three-year-old walking up to me not moments later, hugging my leg (as I was sobbing on the kitchen counter at this point) and saying “I love you, Mommy.”

That, my friends, is a picture of grace and unconditional love. If we learn anything from our children, it’s forgiveness, grace, and love. I was hitting rock bottom, exhausted with three children under the age of three and losing it every second. But a little squeeze from a three-year-old reminded me of God’s love for me in those moments. He whispers to us through our children, “I love you.”

In our weakest, ugliest moments – He embraces us. When we have sore throats from yelling at our kids, when we can barely put a sentence together to talk to our husband because we’ve let our marriage fall apart. When the loneliness takes over because we’ve broken every relationship in our lives.

His grace, His love covers every inch of us – especially the ugly, weak parts. Redemption is such a gift, and every part of our life can be redeemed because He showed us that when He gave His life for us. He could walk away, and leave us crazy people to our cup-throwing ways – but He always welcomes us in and shows us His love.

Thank you, God, for not throwing our sippy cups against the wall and going to the cross for us instead.

Romans 5: 1-11

From a Devotional Study. By Thrive Moms.

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WHEN HYPOCHRISY DISCOURAGES HIGH MORAL VALUES #momblogger

How many people in social networks do not preach through their posts, ideas completely contrary to their daily behavior? Many people talk about solidarity, but they refuse to provide any kind of help. Many people claim to value character and intelligence, but only relate to physically wonderful people. Many speak passionately about God and the importance of serving people, but they live in their small groups of friends, shutting themselves out for all other people who differ a thousandfold from their lifestyle, judging and hurting without mercy or pity.

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Who has never been hypocritical at least once in their life who please throw the first stone. Yes, it seems to be part of human nature to hide your real intentions and feelings to better fit into social life. Who has never pretended not to have some sort of prejudice so as not to be judged by the social group? Who has never omitted a personality trait or a socially unheard of habit to keep a job, a friendship, a love relationship?

Yes, sometimes people act in a hypocritical way, that is, by contradicting their way of life, their way of thinking, their belief system and values to defend themselves against judgments, social ostracism and other punishments. What really seems to me problematic is when a person uses moral values to destroy or try to destroy someone’s image out of sheer jealousy or totally petty personal interests.

Omitting, for example, smoking in a politically correct group is simply a defense. Not admitting homosexuals in an environment marked by homophobia is also a means of protecting oneself. Avoiding opinions on religious themes in groups that border on fundamentalism is also a strategy to avoid unnecessary wear and tear. In short, the person stops expressing himself, fails to tell what he really is or thinks not to destabilize his own life.

But going back to the case of people who take advantage of morals to harm those who obfuscate them socially is a very serious question and deserves a deep reflection. Is it at any point in our lives, out of envy, out of greed, to defend personal interests, not to disturb a person’s life, do we not deeply hurt someone?

How many people do not socially isolate colleagues, for example, because they are more fun, more talented, more promising in their careers? How often do we avoid certain social contacts simply because these people somehow stand out more than we? How many times do we go hunting for defects to justify a free antipathy we feel? Instead of admitting that we dislike each other gratuitously, for no apparent reason, we prefer to seek a concrete reason to justify our hostile behavior.

How many people in social networks do not preach through their posts, ideas completely contrary to their daily behavior? Many people talk about solidarity, but they refuse to provide any kind of help. Many people claim to value character and intelligence, but only relate to physically wonderful people. Many speak about the law of return, but they judge and discriminate people simply because they are different from them, as if they were an ideal of character. Many speak passionately of God and the importance of serving people, but they live in their small groups of friends, shutting themselves down to all the other people who differ a thousandfold from their way of life.

How many people do not pass themselves off as friends, but strives to sabotage the love relationship of the members of your group because deep down they want their friends just for themselves? Because they themselves cannot live a happy relationship, they need their friends always available. How many bosses do not cut the wings of very competent professionals, who in the future can stay in their place? How many people refuse invitations to develop professional projects with certain contacts because they know less creative, less expressive, less interesting?

Yes, hypocrisy often puts us in a comfort zone. In some cases, we omit attitudes and opinions simply so as not to be dismissed, criticized, ironically, socially isolated. But in many others, we could avoid certain attitudes that only reiterate our inability to accept the merit of the other.

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TRANSLATED  FROM ORIGINAL PUBLISHED BY SÍLVIA MARQUES

4 things to never tell a mother who has lost a child

You probably mean well when you are trying to comfort a grieving mother, but you can end up hurting her even more.

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  • Losing a child is one of the worst pains a mother can ever experience. In the middle of grief, many friends and family members try to help and offer comfort, but sometimes well-meaning people say things that end up really hurting. Provide real comfort by being sensitive and loving in this terrible time. Here are four things to never say to a mother who has lost a child, and some suggestions of things you can say instead that might be more helpful.
  • 1. You can have another child

    Just because a mother can have another child – or already has other children still alive – doesn’t mean that the pain ever goes away. Every child is unique and that loss is deeply felt. That particular child can’t ever be replaced, no matter how many other children there are in the family.

    Try saying this instead: Can I help you care for your other children? I want to help in any way I can.

  • 2. Everything will be okay

    This generalized statement isn’t helpful, and it undermines the importance of the mother’s feelings. This statement says that you don’t really care about present pain because you think the pain will go away in the future.

    Try saying this instead: What is something healing I can do for you today?

  • 3. Time heals all wounds

    This grieving mother shares her thoughts from her blog about that phrase: “To an extent PART of this is true, but it doesn’t ever help to hear, and it’s not a typical wound that eventually heals up completely…Please don’t use this one on us. It isn’t at all helpful, just cliché.”

    Try saying this instead: I’m glad your child got to spend some time on Earth with your family. What were some of your favorite moments with him/her?

     

  • 4. Just have faith

    When a tragic event happens, such as losing a child, the mother’s faith is already being tested. Saying “just have faith” is very simple to say but is very hard to do. Phrasing a trial so casually does not leave room for you or the mother to develop a deeper relationship with God through this time of tested faith. Faith is a personal matter, and it’s not something for you to interfere with.

    Try saying this instead: I’d like to pray for you. What are some specific things you would like me to pray for?

    By avoiding these four things and stepping in with loving and helpful phrases, you can prevent further heartache for the grieving mother. During times like this, love and support are most needed – not more sadness.

Article by Hannah Chudleigh

Gilt Hollow By Lorie Langdon #momblogger

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Willow and Ashton best friends that will do anything for each other.
Living in a small town called Gilt Hollow, where everyone knows everyone.
Willow’s life involved around her best friend and her trying to prove his innocence to the murder charges of one of his good friend Daniel.
Unfortunately the ones blaming him and testifying against him were all his friends who hanged out with him almost everyday.

After he is released from prison, he goes back to his town to try and clear his name.
Someone is trying to frame him to get him sent back to prison. Willow is still convinced Ashton is innocent and together they work to find out who did kill Daniel.

Each time I picked up this book, I was sucked into the story. I honestly couldn’t put it down.
I needed to find out what happened at the end.
To be honest the resolution is quite unexpected.

Book Review:
Willow Lamott’s best friend is a convicted killer, and no one in the small town of Gilt Hollow will let her forget it. Over four long years, she’s tried to fade into the background—but none of that matters when Ashton Keller comes striding into school, fresh out of juvie and fueled by revenge. The moment their eyes meet, Willow no longer feels invisible. Drawn to the vulnerability behind Ashton’s mask of rage, she sinks deeper into his sinister world and begins to question whether he’s a villain, a savior, or both.
Ashton thought he wanted vengeance, until Willow Lamott stepped back into his life. Now he longs to clear his name and become the person she sees in him. But the closer they get to uncovering the truth, the darker the secrets become, and Ashton wonders if his return to Gilt Hollow will destroy everyone he loves.

Books published under the Blink imprint are intended for a general readership without being overtly Christian.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <http://booklookbloggers.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

6 things to do when you’re losing a wayward child #parenting

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  • They may be your literal flesh and blood, but that doesn’t mean your children will embrace your values or your rules. Finding yourself challenged with a wayward child can be heart-wrenching, and often makes you second-guess not only yourself but your parenting strategies as well. If you want to get your child back, it’s important not to lose hope. You can do more than you think.
  • Don’t blame yourself

    From acting up in kindergarten to sneaking out in high school, parents have a tendency to blame their children’s behavior on themselves. But taking on that kind of guilt won’t help your child find the right path, and nor will it help you deal healthily with the situation at hand. Not only does blaming yourself make you feel bad, but it also sends your child the message that he doesn’t need to be accountable for his actions. According to Empower Parents, when a parent blames himself, “the child gets the message that he’s not responsible for his own behavior and choices-his parents are. Unfortunately, this can lead to a lifetime pattern of blaming others and refusing to take responsibility. It will always be his spouse’s fault, the boss’s fault, the police officer’s fault, or the legal system’s fault.”

  • Stick to your values

    When you’re a parent, you’re charged with the responsibility of teaching your child morals and ethics, however you view them. But when your child becomes wayward, she will challenge these values to the very core. Whether these morals come from a religious or secular place, it’s critical that you show your child consistency in what you view as acceptable and unacceptable behavior. For example, if you’ve taught your child that underage drinking is wrong, don’t try to mitigate the risks of the behavior by allowing him to drink in your presence.

  • Love unconditionally

    It goes without saying that parents love their children unconditionally, but when you’ve got a wayward child, she can definitely try those feelings. While practicing unconditional love is easier in theory than in practice, it’s important if you’re trying to lead a wayward child back to the family fold. According to Aha! Parenting, “unconditional love is like a muscle. It needs a daily workout. Compassion is the heavy lifting of life.” If you don’t feel like you’re in the habit of loving your child unconditionally, don’t worry, it’s still possible to achieve it.

  • Let them be them

    When you see your child going down an undesirable path, your first reflex might be to take control. For example, when your son begins hanging out with a less-than-reputable crowd, it might be tempting to force him into soccer or football to keep him occupied after school and help him meet new friends. Psychology Todayadvises:

    “When we do that – that is, parent our children according to our own requirements, desires, or standards of how things ‘should be’ – we often deprive them of developing a solid sense of self. We stifle their innate creativity and urges. What’s more, we may subconsciously deliver the message that they will only earn our love by being just like us.”

  • Fight with them

    Fighting with them doesn’t mean you should go around arguing, screaming or bickering at your child. The fact of the matter is, many wayward children are facing some difficult demons, whether those are substance abuse, addictions, eating disorders, bullying or abuse. Any of those issues could be making your child feel isolated and hopeless. As parents, you’ll do anything to help your child find happiness and peace, and that will likely require a fight. Your child may not have the strength to face her demons, but when you join in the fight, your whole family will be stronger for it. And it will show your child that you’re in this with them, which may help bolster their hope and motivation.

  • Invade their space

    Giving your child his space and hoping he’ll make the right decisions on his own might sound enlightened in theory, but in practice, a laissez-faire parenting approach rarely works. That’s why it’s so important to monitor your child’s behavior and correct it when it needs correcting. For example, don’t allow your wayward child carte blanche access to the internet or social media when you think she’s sending or receiving explicit posts. Monitoring your child’s behaviorisn’t an invasion of privacy. It’s your duty.

    If you want to become more involved in your child’s life, WebSafety offers an easy-to-use app that helps you keep tabs on your children’s online and cellular activity.

 

 

 

https://www.websafety.com

“Oh, How He Loves Us” 


“Oh, How He Loves Us” 

You’ve always heard that we are created in the image of God. But what does that really mean, and why did God create us in His image? When you hear that, you probably are reminded of your worth – that if the God of the universe created you like Him – you are worth something. But it can also be a little scary, because we can get a “God complex,” thinking we are equal with Him because we are made in His image. 
Let’s take a look at the beginning – to see where God fell deeply in love with us. Take a trip with me back to the Garden of Eden. I imagine it must have been the most beautiful sight. Vast with greenery, sprouting with life, and glowing with perfection. It was perfect. God created our world and had us in mind. He knew he wanted to bring us into this world to love in a way our minds cannot fathom. So, He created us in His image. 
The Hebrew meaning of the phrase image of God is imago Dei meaning “image, shadow or likeness of God.” I like to think of us as a snapshot, or a replication of Him. And that’s where it gets tricky because we begin to think we are in charge. We can easily confuse our God-likeness to being gods. God did place us in the highest order of His creations, because we are the only creations made in his image. It’s when we begin to become more like Him that we are truly his image bearers. We will be the most whole when we develop into who God made us to be. 
If this in itself isn’t a beautiful picture of God’s love for us, He gave us an entire love story in His Word. Story after story of His love, His faithfulness and His unrelenting passion for us. When we are ready to realize we are not God, we are of Him and His love for us is deeper than anything we can fully grasp – that’s when we will truly be an imago Dei of Him.
{ Genesis 1  }