Archive for the ‘Mothers and Daughters’ Category

Miss you.

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Ladies, have you thought about leaving a legacy for your children? May I suggest a journal that you’ve hand written. I came across this idea a few years ago and I’ve been recording things about my life for awhile now. I think it’ll be treasured by my girls when I gift it to them.  Why not start yours today?  Don’t worry about picking one up, create your own.

Here are a few questions you can answer to get you started:

– what was a fad when you were in school?

– what is one special Christmas celebration you recall?

– who was you favorite teacher and why?

– what is a sound that reminds you of your childhood?

– did you ever go camping with your family? If so, describe one trip?

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I’m so blessed to have time with my girls without distractions.  This time is not something I’ve stumbled or drifted into, but something I’ve been intentional about creating and I’ve cultivated over the years. I created environments where I would be available for them to talk. For example, when they were young and we drove to recreational activities, the music was seldom on in the vehicle. When they were teenagers, I began to stay at the table after our evening meal with a cup of tea – being available. These were times my girls talked with me about life, times when there was no noise and no distractions. My girls are adults now, but I still make peaceful time. Today, Lindsey and I have about ½ hour before and after our weekly fitness class to get caught up. We also like to spend a few weekends together per year. With Erin, we now have our best talks while waking Beni, her dog.  I still sit at the kitchen table after a meal with a tea and Erin often joins me to talk about life.  Ladies, have you created a time for your children to talk with you? I sure hope so, if not, that’s okay too – just start today.

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This month I’ve been keeping a secret list of things I love about my husband and each of my girls.  Every few days, I take the time to think of what I admire most about them, which I then record in a journal.  Come Christmas day, I’ll include the list in a personal card addressed to each.   Why don’t you do the same for those who are special to you. A kind word penetrates the heart – forever, I think.   Merry Christmas, Linda

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It is so important to express gratitude to your mother (or mother in law or a woman of influence).  If your relationship with your mom is a little turbulent now, it’s vital you get the pen out right away.  As I was sorting through my moms belongings, I came across a few notes that I had written to her over the years. They were notes that expressed the gratitude I was feeling towards her.  For example, here are the words I wrote during a very difficult time in her life and on her 71 birthday:

Hi Mom,

This year is a year of new beginnings for you. Thanks for all the sacrificesyou made for all of us throughout your life. You endured a lot of hardship when we were young in order to keep our family together. I wish you happiness like you have not had before in all your years. Love you, Linda

I found this note, and others like it, in her top dresser drawer. I like to think they brought her comfort over and over again.  Ladies please, write your mom a note today.  I can’t think of a richer gift really.

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I was quite surprised today, when I came to realize that I’ve been focusing more on ‘having’ than ‘being’. I, myself, really strive to be and move away from the mindset of having things. At some point,  I drifted and  I’ve not been this way with my daughters.  I really want the best for my girls but I’ve been a little confused in my thinking. You see, I’ve been valuing their success more by what they accomplish or conquer rather than by their unique personalities – compassionate, caring, hard working.  I am going to turn from this wrong thinking today because my girls are worth far more to me than their efforts.  My desire is really to build them up by first accepting them for their being and secondly celebrating accomplishments.  What about you? Are you putting more attention on having rather than being?

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Yesterday, I came across an older prayer journal that I created several years ago.  As I looked through the pages, I came upon this prayer that I’d cut out and taped next to photos of my girls. As I read the prayer again, I remembered the many times I prayed this when my girls were younger. Maybe you’ll be blessed by it today.

Watch O’ver My Flock (Ruth Bell Graham)

Like other Shepherds
help me keep
watch o’er my flock by night,       
mindful of each need,
each hurt, which might
lead one to stray –
each weakness
and each ill –
while others sleep
teach me to pray.
At night the wolves and leopards,
hungry and clever, prowl
in search of strays
and wounded, when they howl,
Lord, still
my anxious heart
to calm delight –
for the Great Shepherd watches with me
over my flock
by night.

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You know ladies, I have been thinking about my relationship with my mother. I am very happy for the gift of her life and the years that I had with her. I wanted to write about something that has been troubling my mind lately but could not seem to put it down eloquently.  I decided just to be transparent and share part of my journal entry June 15, 2010.

The more I think about mom and the more I have reviewed her personal things and her affairs, I realize that many negative things I thought about her were untrue. When I try to determine where these opinions/beliefs came from, I realize they were things that people in my family told me – going back to my childhood years.  I really wish my relationship with mom could have began on a clean slate. I am very saddened to now know that some of my notions about her originated by the untruths of others – wrong perceptions.  My relationship with her could have been far richer – for both of us.  I am going to try very hard to never influence someone’s opinion of another by my comments. I will strive to allow relationships to grow organically. I hope to never poison something that could otherwise be more beautiful.

Ladies, I hope you will contemplate my words and strive for the same. Please guard your mind with regards to what people are saying about others and don’t contribute negative things. Linda

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The other day, I was reminded of how important it is to say something kind to someone else. I was talking with my youngest daughter  Erin about growing old.  During our conversation, she said ‘Don’t worry mom, when you are old I’ll help you in the bath and if I can’t, then I will hire someone to help you’.  Her kind words really meant a lot to me and I quickly wrote them down in my ‘pleasant things’  journal. The next day, we (Erin, Gerry and I) went out for breakfast to a very busy restaurant. The server was amazing. She was very pleasant;  wore a non stop smile; and knew the menu well enough to make a good suggestion from each page. I said to her ‘you are a fantastic waitress’. She seemed quite surprised and also flattered by my compliment. You know,  a kind word, or a compliment, is a free gift you can give that has tremendous impact on the receiver.  Give someone a compliment today. Then work on getting better at giving compliments, that’s what I’m trying to do.

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Today I was reminded of a very special gift that I have – my girlfriends.  My friend, of 24 years, and I went to aquasize and yoga this morning. Afterwards, we went for coffee and chatted about things on our heart.  Visiting with friends is an important part of keeping my life balanced.  I really want to encourage you, ladies, to create and nurture a few ‘soul mate’ type friendships. Remember that a healthy friendship never takes priority over your marriage or children.  If you do not have a female friendship right now, I urge you to develop one, then two and so on. There was a time when I was lonely for a girlfriend.  My children were young and I was a busy stay at home mom and wife. I met a woman, about my age, in my neighborhood and invited her for coffee.  Our children played while we visited. We made it a habit of getting together regularly to talk ‘girl talk’.  She moved away to another city after about one year. I really missed her at first.  Since that time, 25 years ago, I continue to create, maintain and nurture friendships. Some friendships last longer than others; it depends on the season of our lives. Ladies, I hope you take the time to be a friend and have a friend. Your life will be richer.

(Originally written December 24, 2009)

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Ladies, please do not fill your life up so much that you are rarely available for a friend or family member.  Pay attention when someone occassionally needs a listening ear, assistance or a visit. Recently my daughter asked me to meet her at a store to shop together. She seemed to be a little lonely that day. Well, I was not looking for anything at that particular store; it was in an area that I am not familiar with; and I was also a little hesitant to drive that day. Regardless, I went to meet her. I really enjoyed the drive into the unfamiliar area. The shopping was great too. Afterward, we had lunch together – what a bonus. My daughter  needed companionship that day. Sometimes as women, we just have to put the wellbeing of others first. We all need someone to call from time to time. You too can be that ‘call’ person. Make yourself available now and then – you will be blessed for it.

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One thing I like to keep beside my bed is my ‘Pleasant Things’ journal. Before I go to sleep, and when I remember, I like to recall something pleasant from the day and write one or two lines that describe it.  Sometimes, when life seems is a little gloomy, I will read my ‘Pleasant Things’ journal. This reflection helps keep life in perspective. Other times, I just read it and remember wonderful things I have forgotten.  Ladies why not start your own ‘Pleasant Things’ journal.

Here are a few entries from my journal:

August 30, 1998 – Erin drawing funny pictures and writing funny notes to me in church.

January 28, 2003 – Peacefulness, Lindsey painting, Erin making a CD, Gerry puttering around the house, Mojo snoozing.

October 1, 2007 – Watching my funny birds, walking in fall leaves, making a meal for a friend.

January 25, 2010 – Gerry’s warm smile.

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Hello Ladies, I hope you are having a wonderful day.  While shopping, I often see nifty utensils and such in the kitchen area. I am referring to items like: decorative stir sticks; attractive coasters; brightly colored pots, measuring cups & peelers; silicone tea infusers; colored popcorn; etc.  I am sure you know what I am talking about.  Some items are retro looking. I often think ‘this is nice- but is it practical?’ Last week I was speaking on the phone with my daughter, Lindsey. She was so cheery. She said she was feeling so happy because she was cooking using her neon spatulas. For her, colored spatulas just make the experience fun.  Now, I understand one purpose for these clever items – enjoyment. I’ve decided they make great gifts. Color appears  to enhance the cooking/serving/hosting experience. If you are not already using something like this, I hope you give it a try. Come to think of it, my favorite roaster is red, my favorite casserole dish is green and I do like my colored spatulas.  Thanks for reading my blog today. Have a great week. Linda.

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As we start the New Year , I thought you might like to read this poem.  It is one of my favorite pieces of wisdom. I hope you are inspired by it also.

by Erma Bombeck

The following was written by the late Erma Bombeck
after she found out she had a fatal disease.

If I had my life to live over, I would have talked less and listened more.

I would have invited friends over to dinner even if the carpet was stained and the sofa faded.

I would have eaten the popcorn in the ‘good’ living room and worried much less about the dirt when someone wanted to light a fire in the fireplace.

I would have taken the time to listen to my grandfather ramble about his youth.

I would never have insisted the car windows be rolled up on a summer day because my hair had just been teased and sprayed.

I would have burned the pink candle sculpted like a rose before it melted in storage.

I would have sat on the lawn with my children and not worried about grass stains.

I would have cried and laughed less while watching television – and more while watching life.

I would have shared more of the responsibility carried by my husband.

I would have gone to bed when I was sick instead of pretending the earth would go into a holding pattern if I weren’t there for the day.

I would never have bought anything just because it was practical, wouldn’t show soil or was guaranteed to last a lifetime.

Instead of wishing away nine months of pregnancy, I’d have cherished every moment and realized that the wonderment growing inside me was the only chance in life to assist God in a miracle.

When my kids kissed me impetuously, I would never have said, “Later. Now go get washed up for dinner.”

There would have been more “I love you’s”.. More “I’m sorrys” …

But mostly, given another shot at life, I would seize every minute… look at it and really see it … live it…and never give it back.

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You know ladies, I can not stress enough how important it is for us to be peace keepers.  Please know this is an area that I often do not do so well in, but I do strive to keep harmony in my home.  I know of so many women who have challenges within their family and extended family who are not willing to forgive.  For me, life is so much better if I just let off and move on.  I am referring to relationships within your family that need to be mended –  caused by common misunderstandings.  Life is so much better for everyone when there is reconciliation rather than bitterness.  It is so much nicer and healthier to live in peace.  With everyday misunderstandings/miscommunications  the issue will most likely be resolved sometime, so why not just make it right – now. I was recently reminded of how important it is for me to overlook or resolve issues with my daughters. The other day we were just sitting around chatting and I realized that I am truly blessed by their presence. A calm relationship comes from the love we have for each other and the desire to keep peace.   Why not initiate healing today?

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I really like to create and uphold traditions (enjoyable activities). I think it is a good idea to review our traditions now and then.  When our family was very young, I decided to have a close look at our family’s traditions. I looked at the things we did and why we did them. I asked ‘why are we doing this and do we want to do this?’ I did notice that most of the traditions came from my side of the family. Mainly because I am the woman and my husbands family is in another province.  I asked my husband what traditions he wanted to include in our family from his childhood.  We then worked on building our own traditions based on our values.  We ended some things and we started new things. Some of our Christmas traditions include: advent; decorating the tree; holiday baking; Christmas light sightseeing; and other activities. It has been wonderful creating our own traditions and seeing our girls embrace these.

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