CHANGE THE CONVERSATION
Dinner time varies for most of us… sometimes it’s at the ballgame, going through a drive-in, eating at the grandparents or with friends. Sometimes we are not all together, or even eating that night at the same time… but when we are together and, especially when we are home, dinner time should be a happy time for everyone.
At least, that should be our goal.
CHANGE THE CONVERSATION
ONE OF THE MOST EFFECTIVE WAYS TO CREATE A HAPPY, HEALTHY HOME ENVIRONMENT IS DIRECTING CONVERSATIONS IN A HAPPY, HEALTHY DIRECTION.
Conversations take us places! They make us feel things, see images in our minds, and seemingly force us to draw conclusions. Conversations can cause misunderstandings and conflict, worry, anger or regret! Or, they can bring peace, unity, understanding, compassion & purpose.
Don't Go Silent
Birthdays, anniversaries, graduations and holidays are GREAT OPPORTUNITIES TO MAKE GREAT MEMORIES! Actually, ANY DAY is a great opportunity to celebrate someone!!!
What will our families remember years from now? Yes, the small daily, consistent ways we express our love for one another is huge, but so are the big- effort, once-in-a-lifetime celebrations!
THE EFFORT IT TAKES TO CREATE A MEANINGFUL MOMENT FOR OUR FAMILY IS ALWAYS WORTH IT!
Good news! Sometimes, it really isn’t that difficult to make the Wow Moments, if we think ahead or be spontaneous & creative!!
Let me encourage you to have fun with your kids, teach them to celebrate others, and be intentional about doing something special for the people who are a blessing to your family!!
The options are imitless: Hiding handwritten notes, leaving balloons on someone’s front door, baking cookies and decorating with words of love, drawing hearts and fun words on the sidewalk with chalk, even walking in with a post-it on your forehead with “I’m crazy about…”!
HAVE FUN & MAKE A MEMORY! Do it your style, your “flavor”, your way… but DO IT!! Life gets so routine and mundane so quickly! YOUR KIDS LIKE SURPRISES, so “wage war” on being an ever-predictable parent” Get out-of-the-box and have a meaningful day of expressing love and honoring others!
The Happy Reset Button
DON’T GO SILENT
Some years ago, at a family dinner, I had felt misunderstood, like my input was discounted.
So I just quit talking. I stopped making any comments about anything. Later, DawnChere said “Mom, you can’t just shut down like that!” Thank God for strong daughters! I’m thankful for her loving & wise honesty and concern.
I have had to learn not to “Go silent”, but rather, stay engaged! It’s a temptation at times for all of us.
This going to be short and sweet!!
SOME THINGS WE CANNOT CHANGE. SOME THINGS WE CAN CHANGE!
So, the “shortcut” to peace, joy, and inner strength is refusing to spend our days and years pouting & hurting over things we have no power to change!!
BUT, instead, WE CAN FOCUS ON WHAT WE DO HAVE POWER OVER! I have the power to choose my thoughts, my motives, my actions and my reactions! PERIOD! I am not a victim, I choose to be strong,, and I will not be manipulated. My heart will heal as I forgive, trust God, and move on!
We cannot get “stuck” on any “disconnect” of being sad, mad, hopeless, hurt or shut down for any reason. I have to fight for my peace of mind, and you do too!! But, it is worth the fight!!
THE POWER OF GENTLENESS
Your Inner Dialogue
Sometimes I’m surprised at my thoughts! Lol… it’s like: okay, I’m a patient person, but my thoughts can turn soooo impatient. Or I’m convinced I forgive easily, and then I battle with thoughts of unforgiveness and even thoughts that seem… “how do you say “.. bitter?? Surprise!! Surprise!!”
What we are SAYING TO OURSELVES directly affects our conclusions, emotions, decisions, identity and inner strength! It affects EVERYTHING!!!
We are always involved in “inner dialogue”! Always! But, we can learn to “step back” from our inner flow and actually LISTEN TO WHAT WE HAVE BEEN THINKING!! Be brave… it can be alarming.
Possibly the most thought-altering perspective is simply widening the inner circle in your mind. In other words, BEING AWARE OF SOMEONE ELSE LISTENING TO YOUR THOUGHTS.
I remember loving my mom’s gentle touch!
There were so many times as a little girl watching TV or being in church, I would lay my head in her lap and she would gently stroke my arms. Or when I was sick, I can still feel her cool, soft hand on my forehead, as she prayed for me and reassured me I was going to be fine!
I want my children to remember my touch as gentle.
I have friends whose hug or embrace is so tender that it inspires me to cultivate my own gentle touch!
It’s so natural to hold a baby with a very real, intentional and careful tenderness. In fact, the younger the baby, the greater level of gentleness he or she inspires!
Yet, as our children grow older (and bigger!), we can underestimate the power of a gentle touch.
The fact is, whether a gentle hug or pat on the arm, .. or a kind, soft whisper of encouragement… there is tremendous power in gentleness.
Daily New Beginnings
Here are the bottom-line questions that surface in my mind and my heart when I need a “belief adjustment:” (And we all KNOW when we are struggling on the inside! So glad you understand!)
Do I really believe I will overcome the challenges of my life? Do I truly believe my children will grow up as happy, healthy adults, who enjoy and love one another?
Doubt is so subtle.
Our inner strength is dependent on our beliefs! I have learned to trace most of my overwhelmed, tired-of-the-battle feelings to a lack of belief that things will work out.
Every family needs a new beginning. A New Year seems to give us all just that! But the truth is, YOUR FAMILY GROWTH REQUIRES DAILY NEW BEGINNINGS! What does that really mean? I believe it is “refusing to drag yesterday’s frustrations, hurt feelings and pressures into the ONE DAY you are currently living!”
It is simply “FOCUSING on NOW and finding fulfillment in ONE DAY lived well.”
ENJOY! ENJOY!! ENJOY!!!
Whether it’s preparing to celebrate Christmas or multitasking on any given ordinary day throughout the year…WE CAN CHOOSE TO ENJOY THE MOMENT!
For most of us, the lessons learned from the past always include: “I wish I had stopped worrying and just ENJOYED everything MORE!!!”
“Everything” usually includes the big things, like living in a free country, our health, our family & friends…. as well as what we may call “little“ but really are great things, like sunsets, radiant colors of flowers, loving conversations and laughter!