Righteous Cause: Laughing

On 8 August, women will gather in central Istanbul to take part in a “laughing protest”  It is an opportunity for women all over the world, Christian/Catholic, and Jew to join in solidarity with our Islamic sisters.  We can spend a few minutes on August 8th, praying for, thinking positively about, sharing a laugh with these our sisters.10257675_10152594206734604_3743966925773483524_n

Brave women. Laughing with them in solidarity.
Hundreds of Turkish women posted pictures of themselves laughing on Twitter on Wednesday to protest against comments by Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc who had urged women not to laugh in public to “protect moral values.”

Melda Onur, a lawmaker from the main opposition party CHP said on Twitter Arinc’s comments portrayed laughing as a dishonourable act and left women exposed to violence.

See the photos now at CBCNews.ca: http://cbc.sh/qTh2pdD
CBC News
Hundreds of Turkish women posted pictures of themselves laughing on Twitter on Wednesday to protest against comments by Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc who had urged women not to laugh in public to “protect moral values.”

Melda Onur, a lawmaker from the main opposition party CHP said on Twitter Arinc’s comments portrayed laughing as a dishonourable act and left women exposed to violence.

See the photos now at CBCNews.ca: http://cbc.sh/qTh2pdD

“Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.”

Mommy Mantra August 4, 2014: MT 14: 27 “Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.”
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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.

Let’s pray that encouragement is always truly genuine.

1491721_634242926660698_2695856782635256221_nI have many friends who are alternative healers and many of them do a wonderful job at helping others, but I have found, and here I am also speaking for myself as a Catholic Spiritual Director, that we, healers of all stripes, can get a little myopic, meaning we have difficulty seeing clearly.   What this means is we imagine that everyone MUST see the world the way we DO!  After all aren’t we helping bring a more positive attitude to the world?!

If we are not careful to remember that there are very wounded people in the world our attempts to encourage will come off as being pompous and elitist.  We throw out these bonne bouche as if everyone will be totally enlighten by them.  Many will.  But it is the others that I worry about, and here is my response to this picture:

“Dear X this kind of statement is great, (meaning the picture above which was on her timeline), but it speaks to adults who have worked to create a more positive attitude for themselves. It speaks more to how we should raise our children [so they are more positive in their outlook], and if we are struggling to have that sort of attitude we should seek help from therapist, spiritual directors, counselors. I work with people who view these types of thing, (the picture above), while very positive, [is]as also quite depressing because they feel inadequate because they are, as they perceive the world around, the ONLY ones who are[n't] doing it right, being positive, being right, not good enough to be positive, or can’t get it right, because they don’t know how to be positive or life situations has sucked the positive out of them.”

What I did not post was something I think is very important, something I myself must remember to do to always include in the post, if you need any help in creating the life you feel God has called you, please seek out a spiritual director, counselor, religious, or therapist.

Let’s pray that encouragement is always truly genuine.

Tom McKay, columnist for PolicyMic, You Missed So Much

psychologists, find, a, surprising, thing, happens, to, kids, who, read, harry, potter, 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.

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I gotch You

10492601_1327090253995267_2899720889284703712_n (1) And I bet God is saying: “I gotch you girl….I don’t even listen to the complaints because I know you’re just blowing off steam!!!!”

From one moment to the next

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Sometimes you have to put the anchor in the water.

Hope
Hope

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.

Here is a post of a mom dealing with the same thing. Elephant dedicated to mindful life.

Today let’s pray for a positive big picture of our lives.

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Really Jesus????!!!! That Guy??!!!

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Invisible Mom

invisible-hidden-mother- Look very closely at this picture.

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.invisible-hidden-mother-photography 1

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.

This is the site where I found this interesting photos.

FYI Wednesday: Prayer and Personality

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

Michelle,

A wonderful question!  Here is a booklet I have written on Prayer and personality.