Mommy Mantra August 4, 2014: MT 14: 27 “Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.” a
Need I say more. This is for all moms with prayers that need answering, and for prayers that have been answered. For moms who need the courage to stay strong.
Mommy Mantra August 3, 2014: MT 14:13-21 The five loaves and two fishes.
Ever have an unexpected guest come to your house for dinner, maybe a friend of your children’s, or neighbour, family member? FHB, means family hold back taking as much as you want for dinner so our guest can have enough.
Well, of course Jesus invited the five thousand plus to stay for dinner, so he didn’t hold back. Instead he gave until everyone was satisfied.
Let’s pray in support of those who must hold back, that one day they will have enough to be satisfied.
A Lansing Michigan Organization helping the poor Loaves and Fishes, an overnight shelter
Tom McKay wrote of the success of the Harry Potter books in “teaching young people around the world to battle prejudice.”
But he missed so much more. Our eldest twin girl has issues she battles everyday: issues of self worth, anxiety, and others. As she was growing up reading the books, watching the movies, (what am I saying, she memorized the books and movies), there were so many positive images and attitudes than just defeating prejudice. Unless you think of the prejudice we have for ourselves. The prejudice of not feeling worthy in who we are or what we do, or how we look, think and feel.
Defeating the Dementors who come to suck the souls of the books characters was an excellent way to help teen age girls see how depression can suck out their own soul = joy of life, and leave them feeling depressed and isolated by self hatred, self harm and self abuse. Defeating those Dementors means learning to trust or relearning to trust in parents, teachers, counselors, religious, who can help them find their way back. By using an everyday version of the Patronus charm: for us it was prayer, remembering three good things about the day, three good things you, she, did that day, and three people you, she, could trust to help her, you; she began to to build a better view of herself and her world.
Than there are the positive images of intelligent likable girls like Luna and Hermione who don’t see themselves as oddities. These girls helped our daughter but can also help our teen girls, tween girls and young girls to that confidence is built not given. Luna and Hermione seek solutions, don’t wait for the boys to do it for them, work hard for goals they want to achieve.
Than there are the other major themes that help our tween/teen girls see the world, understand their issues, feelings and difficulties.
There are themes of self reliance: Bad things happen, but I can and will survive.
The book deals with larger questions of life: who am I, what is my purpose in life?
The characters wrestle with issues of responsibility: Was it my fault that such and such happened, (the death in the maze), how do I deal with strong emotions, deaths of loved ones, harm that came to loved ones because of my actions/inactions.
These are major life issues that many tweens/teens can find difficult to face, or impossible to understand; and when a beloved character faces them and does well, it gives hope and shows our children they can as well. Our girls can analyze how the characters did what things and find out what happens when things are worked out, and see a brighter future when there is success. The girls can also see that success often comes from failure, or unexpected situations, and that it is alright that there is no prefect plan.
From my Facebook time line this morning, written by a mom of teens: “When do the growing pains of your children stop hurting and stressing you?”
My response to her was: Sweetheart. I am with you. Trust. Trust in your mothering instinct. Trust in your gut. Trust in love and grace. Trust in hope. Trust in the strength of your mothering. Trust in the larger positive picture. Trust that you know when to reach out, when to hold back, when to lovingly confront.
As with all things God connects us one to the other. Earlier this week there was an incident with our eldest twinnie, and the wisdom of her sister gave me more insight into parenting. It was an “Aha” moment, a God inspired comment from someone that is directed to you, God speaking directly to you: She said it was time to put the anchor into the water. How apt that image is.
The anchor became a key Christian symbol during the period of Roman persecution. As Michael Card observes in his recent album, Soul Anchor: “The first century symbol wasn’t the cross; it was the anchor. If I’m a first century Christian and I’m hiding in the catacombs and three of my best friends have just been thrown to the lions or burned at the stake, or crucified and set ablaze as torches at one of [Emperor] Nero’s garden parties, the symbol that most encourages me in my faith is the anchor. When I see it, I’m reminded that Jesus is my anchor.” ~Christian History
Jesus calmed the seas, Peter tries to walk on the water to Jesus, Jesus tells the apostles to haul in their nets when they were sure they weren’t going to get any fish; how much like parenting situations these are. My friend has teens, but this is just as fitting for any mother of any age child. We often find ourselves in rocky, turbulent waters of life.
We try to have faith to walk out in trust onto those churning waters of troubled parenting waters. We try to stay strong, to keep our eyes on the parenting prize: having children who are what God calls them to be., but there is always that rogue wave that knocks us off our stride. we begin to sink, and find Jesus’ firm, steady hand reaching out to us.
He asks us why we have little faith? Faith in our own instincts as mothers, faith in trusting God. Faith in our judgement that when and what resources we need we will get.
Jesus doesn’t chide us for our mistakes, fears, doubts, he just asks us to cast out our net again, to try again, to keep going, keep trying. He knows that positive emotional movement forward is the best way to help turn everything around.
We are the anchors in our children’s lives. We are the secure link between the fear they have of becoming adults and the roaring need they have to be adults. We need to be stable, secure, strong and calm in the face of their uncertainty about life, who they are and how to live life.
Jesus is our anchor, our strong link, so we may be all our children need.
Always look to the big picture, the pain will lessen as long as we are anchors, anchored to Christ.
This doleful little girl isn’t standing by a chair but she is in a formal with her mother. I have no idea how this became the fashion, or what the thought was behind the fashion.
These pictures came to mind when I read the Gospel this morning. As moms we can become someone invisible, someone so familiar, someone routinely there.
MATTHEW Chapter 13: 58:“A prophet is not without honor except in is native place and in his own house.” Speaks of how Jesus in his own hometown, just that kid Jesus, no-one quite sees him as the healer, teacher, worker of miracles; he is just Jesus.
In exasperation I know I have said: “OK, no-one ______________, I am JUST a mom.
Maybe we would should flip this on it’s head. God sees us and what we do for our family, or work, our community. Maybe it is also a reminder that we should look at the everyday to see God in the invisible.
It’s FYI Wednesday and I have asked fellow Catholic moms for questions that they might have on such topics as motherhood and spirituality, children’s spiritual development, finding time for yourself, or just to learn more about Spiritual Direction; here is the latest question asked by Michelle:
I would like to know more about prayer and personality
A wonderful question! Here is a booklet I have written on Prayer and personality.
Mommy Mantra July 30, 2014: JER 15:10, 16-21, MT 13:44-46 A
Jeremiah is lamenting the birth of Israel, but there is also relief if Israel seeks out God and works to better. In the Gospel we hear a shorten version of Sunday’s Gospel. A
I see a link between the two readings. The Gospel speaks of the Kingdom of God and how wonderful it will be, so wonderful that we will want to do anything, pay anything, work in anyway for that Kingdom. A
But flip it on its head and think of it as this: Jesus loves us so much that he will do anything, preach, teach, heal; pay anything, the ultimate price of dying on the cross, and work in anyway to bring us to God, show us how much he loves us and how special we are to him. A
Jeremiah’s first verses: Woe to me, mother, that you gave me birth! A man of strife and contention to all the land! Haven’t we often said something like this at times, especially when things go wrong, when circumstances change drastically, or life “just happens”. “This is so ___________, why I am even here!” “This sucks ___________, why am I always ___________!” I hate ___________, I wish __________________, never happened!” A
In the scripture the Lord answers and says that if there was grace to be had through repentance. The Lord than says: “If you bring forth the precious without the vile, you shall be my mouthpiece.” I hear something mothering here, something that helps us with our own calling and with our role of Priest, Prophet and Queen, something that can give us perspective. A
Do we need to remove the vile to bring out the precious by:
Repenting for something: unloving acts, thoughts, words and deeds?
Ask for healing?
Working toward justice?
Finding resources that will help us learn, work, or create a better life, better health, better living?
Letting go and letting God?
Bringing in the Gospel we can see that Jesus thinks of us as that great pearl, buried treasure, and that is important; because if we stay as we see in Jeremiah: hidden in fear, sorrow, anger; we become buried, yet our great price still shines. A
Today, let’s pray that we find our great price, understand how we are the treasure Jesus will do anything to get.