7 Lessons Learnt from my Daddy.

Photo from Google images…

Today, the world celebrates “Fathers’ Day”. While, I love the idea of the special attention being given to Fathers, I think “Real Dads” should be appreciated every day.

It is a blessing to still have my dad today. He is 83 years and counting. I am thankful to God for my sound biblical upbringing and for my Dad who played a significant role in my development. I am forever grateful.

It is my honour to share with you some of the Lessons learnt from my Dad.

Lesson no. 1
A relationship with God changes you for the better
Dad often spoke of his spiritual transformation when we were kids. He talked about life before when he found pleasure in the things of this world. He was only 24 and was already negatively influenced by the dangerous practices the world had to offer. He told the story of being invited to church and not recalling how he left his seat and found himself at the Alter. He told the story of the prayer of faith that changed his life forever. Since his encounter with God, he has been different. He experienced the power of God and that, he couldn’t fully explain.

As children we witnessed that change, we lived within the moment of the testimony he told. He preached and counseled others within the context of change. He preached from a place of experience. Dad was transformed from a young man who was interested in pleasure and living selfishly to a young man who wanted absolutely nothing to do with his past. He now wanted to learn more about God’s plan for his life.

Lesson no. 2
A Dad must faithfully provide for his Family

I grew up physically poor but spiritually loaded. Despite the fact that we had limited cash circulating, we always had food to eat. My Dad did lots of gardening and still does to an extent. He planted corn, sweet potatoes, yams, string beans, tomatoes, cucumbers, peas, eggplants, cabbages, carrots, bell peppers, seasoning peppers, sugar cane and the list goes on. Our garden and the many fruit trees around our home, were the main source of food for our family. My Dad worked hard to make that possible. Not only did he plant but he maintained the fruit trees. We enjoyed fruits all year round, from mangoes (a wide variety of them), to cherries, guavas, sugar apples, plums, sour sops and more.

We enjoyed modest homes but we were proud of the place we called home. We moved at least four times during my childhood but Dad and Mom did a great job with the selections. It was not enough for Dad to be renting and even though it was late in his life, he built us a home that we were finally able to call ours. Dad did not experience the burden of a home mortgage as many experience today. The building of our home explained grace, kindness, faith and perseverance. Dad lead the way on this Project when it seemed crazy and crazy became our cherished home.

Lesson no. 3
A Dad must be faithful to his wife
I grew up with five brothers. Dad had two sons before marrying mom. We loved them and looked forward to the time when they visited; they lived in St. Vincent. Sometimes we visited them as well. Dad’s two sons from his past life, was all we had to remind us of his past. There was no other woman in his life, he was committed to our Mother. He gave us no reason to wonder or to be fearful of the threat of another woman. Our family felt safe and solid.

Lesson no. 4
A Dad must be a Cheer Leader for his Children

As we grew, we pursued our individual paths, not always a path that Dad would approved of, but we new then, and now that he always wanted the very best for us and believed in our potential. As kids he would often show his disapproval in silence and firm stares, he did not talk a lot. We knew however, when he was proud of us, whether it was our grades at school, performance at sports, our singing or presentations at church, we knew! He expressed it in words and pleasant expressions. He was our cheer leader in a reserved but evident manner and that was powerful. We were always motivated to achieve. Thoughts of not being able to make it or accomplish our dreams were never because of what dad said or did. He showed us how to achieve by pursuing his dreams until they became a reality and we knew we possessed the same tenacity for success.

Lesson no. 5
Discipline and love goes hand in hand

We grew up at a time when parents whipped, used the belt, ruler, and other helps to instil discipline. Dad seemed to have known a little more or maybe it was his spiritual transformation that made the difference. We got “licks” as well but it was not freely given, it was reserved for those times when our disobedience crossed the line. It was reserved for those times when harsher methods were appropriate and a lesson had to be urgently taught. “Licks” and love often went hand in hand. I remember getting “licks” once and I felt so sorry for what I did but yet I was thankful. Strange right? Well, not really, because it was done in Love. “Licks” and Love!

Lesson no. 6
Trust & Space

As we grew older, we enjoyed more freedom. We had received Godly instructions from church, from school and more so from home and then we were trusted to make our own decisions. We were equipped, our life-banks were adequately stocked for good success and then we were expected to be “wise as serpents and harmless as doves”.

I never felt as if I was in bondage or under pressure to do the right thing. We were educated about right and wrong. We knew the difference between wholesome fun and dangerous fun and it came mainly from our parents, what they taught us and how they lived. We had other great examples around us as well. It was then up to us to choose. We were told how to choose and about consequences. As teenagers we were never forced to make choices to please our parents but rather to please God.

Lesson no. 7
Spend valuable time with your family – establish healthy memories

We played quite a bit of table games as a family, Ludo, Life, Checkers, and there was a game that dad invented with various families and we had to exchange cards to complete each family. I loved that game! My favourite family was the “Sharers”.

Dad loved table-tennis and most of us learned the basic idea of the sport. We visited the beach often on Saturdays, something I miss dearly. We had drive-outs and pick-nicks, as well as camp trips. We would help out sometimes roasting breadfruit, corn and potatoes and would often enjoy roasted breadfruit and salt-fish for supper, many times out on the porch under the moonlight. Many of our family meals were enjoyed together around the table, filled with chatter and laughter.

Church life was great as kids. My Dad was a Pastor and we enjoyed the activities of the church, the daily vacation bible schools, special crusades, lovely singing, great Christmas Programmes, Camps and more. We loved Church and our Church family. Things were so different then.

Our primary school education was from the Berean Christian Academy. My elder brother and sister were members of the school band. My sister played the flute and my brother, the trombone. I believe he was introduced to the saxophone at school as well. We enjoyed a number of school concerts as a family. Uplifting music saturated our family, at home, at school and at church. As I think about Dad, I think about the happy home environment he and mom created for us and the many musical records we enjoyed. One of my favourite memories is “Jump back little frog, Jump back”. I searched YouTube hoping to find a recording of that little nursery rhyme but to know avail. Dad bout me my first guitar and I am so happy he did.

Family devotions was led by Dad. They were those times when we were encouraged to reflect on our thoughts and our actions. They were sobering moments of introspection as we were reminded to live in line with God’s principles.

I am writing this article, and I am reminded to keep my articles short and captivating. I think I have already written too much. There is so much I want to share.

To all the Dads out there, please know that your little girls and little boys as well as the big girls and big boys need your attention, your love and your discipline.

We love you. Happy Fathers’ Day!

A safe place for children

I am often saddened when I hear stories of dysfunctional homes, abandoned children, children who are neglected and exposed to danger by their parents and children who are simply lost all because they have not known unconditional love and acceptance.

You see, as parents our role is to provide a safe place for our children to exist, to discover themselves and to develop into independent, sober adults who can make sound decisions that would lead to great quality lives.

What is a “safe place”?

That safe place I am referring to is the HOME. Most children return to a home and the ideal scenario is that they should be very happy to return home.

As a parent myself, I often have to remind myself that I cannot control what takes place outside of our home, whether it is unfair teachers, unreasonable adults who judge all children the same, immature Christians who play holy but take pleasure in destroying the character of others, men and women who prey on innocent children, or advertisements and activities that encourage the use of alcohol, nakedness and irresponsible behaviour.

I have come to terms with the reality of this life. I have also recognised that I have the power to influence my kids positively and I must use the advantage of the Home, the fact that we all live in the same space.

I feel it for parents who are struggling. There are those of us who may not describe ourselves as struggling but our experiences can be described more as challenges. Everyone has to face the struggle/challenge of creating that “safe place” and keeping it safe. There are many negative influences out there, seeking to snatch the opportunity for greatness from our children. I wish to share a few tips with us on how we can create that “safe place” at home so that our children can pursue a meaningful life now and in the future.

  1. As a parent, be present at home as much as possible. Try to cut down the unsupervised times spent at home by your children, even as teenagers. When it is totally necessary for you to be out, provide a structure for them while they are at home, give them tasks to accomplish. It is also necessary to follow-up and monitor them with a phone call or two.
  2. Know your children’s friends. You can get to know them by visiting their school, attending school activities, sending little goodies for them at school, and inviting them out with your children.
  3. Practice self-control as a parent, avoid shouting, yelling, the cold treatment and other immature behaviours. In other words grow up, get help if you need it. These kind of behaviours push children away, creating a dangerous distance. If your children are not ready to chat with you everyday about their experiences at school, check yourself first. Maybe you are to harsh, jumping to conclusions before listening. Remember you were once young and they are not yet grown.
  4. Work-out any problems you may have with your spouse privately, do not allow your children to be negatively affected by any disagreements between yourself and your spouse (for those who are married of course).
  5. Do not leave your children home with strangers or anyone you are uncomfortable with, they are better of home alone, if it is really necessary.
  6. Try as much as possible to serve home-cooked meals. Give them the experience of good, tasty food that is safe and healthy to eat.
  7. Speak only words that are uplifting to your children. Be their biggest Cheer-Leader! Even when they need to be disciplined, let them know that you love them deeply and desire the best for them, that is why discipline is necessary.
  8. Give them a sound spiritual education. Point them to the Scriptures and to beginning a relationship with God, not to religion and a life of pretense and religious formalities. Let them know that there are standards for right and wrong and God is the absolute authority. Introduce them to a God of love who can be trusted with their future because he knows all things. Talk about the Word of God at home and apply it to daily living.
  9. As parents, seek to be good examples, so that your children would not suffer the consequences of your sins. Give them that chance to start life without baggage, they would create their own anyhow.
  10. Finally, build great memories at home, have fun! plan lots of family activities and get the children to contribute their ideas as well.

There is so much more that can be said but, I prefer to keep it short. As short as it may be, let it inspire you to grow as a parent and work towards building a safer place for your children.

Happy New Year!

My new year started off with me chilling with family, Mom, Dad, one of my brothers, my dear husband and my kids. I am amazed how the company of my family can give me so much energy, so much comfort, so much refreshing. Happy New Year to my family!

I slept in late and probably awoke some time after 8:00 a.m.; two hours after I was in the kitchen cooking up a storm. I am always excited about cooking for family; there is nothing so fulfilling as when food is served and there are rich discussions, and hearty laughter all fitting together perfectly with the choice dishes of the day. You later glance at their plates and you are pleased to see that the food you prepared, with such passion, was devoured. Good food, good times.

I love cooking for my family! 🙂

Among the many dishes I prepared, with the help of my kids, was a Lasagna dish. This time I did a few things differently and I really loved the outcome. Usually, I would place a layer of shells first before adding a layer of meat, then cheese. This time, I placed minced meat with the sauce at the bottom, as the first layer. I then applied the first layer of shells followed by a second layer of meat & sauce and another layer of cheese. Another thing I did differently, was to mix chopped celery leaves with the cheese. In all I had three layers of cheese and 4 layers of meat with sauce.

My family really enjoyed my Lasagne!

Later in the evening, I was sitting on my porch in the company of my family and I started to think of how important food is to a family affair. The reality is the big family moments were big because good food was a part of the occasion; it is important that we understand the connection between food and great family moments. Food can make or break the occasion; food makes it better. Or let me correct this statement by saying tasty, attractive, well prepared food, makes it better.

I am sure many of you are right this moment cherishing great moments enjoyed during the Christmas Season and on New Years Day. Cherish those memories and treasure family and friends.

The next time you are having guests over, plan your menu well, cook with heart, passion and love. Be sure to prepare more than enough, honour your guest with good food.

As the New Year unfolds, go all out and do your best for the upcoming birthdays, anniversaries and all those special occasions to come.

My wish for you is that “2019” will be a year when you would invest more into seeing great family moments happen. It may require you to up your game or improve your cooking skills. My desire for you is that you would cherish your family and your friends even more in “2019”.

Happy New Year All!

Work towards creating fulfillment in your marriage! Believe it can happen and it will!

When you believe that your marriage could be better, you are willing to exercise patience with your spouse and you are willing to invest time and money towards seeing your faith come to life.

In my own experience, I have been the victim of boring cycles which are created by life’s rat race; sleep, wake, prepare for work and school, go to work and school, return home and if there is any energy left, prepare for the next day.   If no energy left , well…….we’ll figure it out right?  Something or someone is neglected.

However, the sad truth is that we do get comfortable with those cycles and getting comfortable is not really good or healthy for our marriage or our family.    But the glowing truth is that, deep down, we never stop loving each other and we really desire more.  What happens is that many of us don’t try hard enough or make the effort to ensure that the quality of our marriage improves. We succumb to the pressures of life and rather than see it as an opportunity to become more disciplined, we throw our hands up thinking “I can’t do any better”. “I am so beat”, “He/She understands”.

In this article my aim is to encourage you to constantly work towards a richer, fuller marriage, amidst the rat race.    Take control of your day, your activities and your time and don’t forget that it is ok to have limits.   Decide, when you have put in enough extra hours at work and it is time to head home. Constantly keep in mind, the need for balance and the need to give attention to your spouse. Yes, your spouse needs attention to.

Let’s look at a few practical ways to enrich our marriage even when there are crazy schedules coming at us:

  1. Regularly update your spouse: Every moment, whether you are just calling to say hi or to remind your spouse of an errand, or you are at home in the kitchen fixing something  to eat, update. Maybe the gardener had to postpone his appointment to clean the yard this week-end, update.  Maybe, your sister said she would pass by tomorrow, update.   Maybe your Pastor invited you to attend a meeting at the church on short notice, update.  If you both have a habit of updating each other or mentioning “stuff” through-out the day, you would most likely know the same thing, most times, and it is less likely that either of you would feel left out, or get upset as a result of not being in the know.   This can avoid conflict and clashes of events and activities.   If you practice updating regularly you are actually helping to strengthen bonds and trust between you and your spouse.   Tell him what’s on, all the time; tell her what’s on, all the time. Leave no room for your spouse to wonder “What is she not telling me?” Do you remember when we were younger and we were excited about sharing everything with our best friend? It’s the same thing actually!
  2. Do not alienate your spouse; make him or her part of your work-life as much as possible.    For example, if your Employer is having a staff party and you are allowed to invite your spouse, do not hesitate to do so.   Many employers today are beginning to understand the value of recognising  and showing an interest in the families of their employees.  This would allow you and your spouse to share work-related experiences together, while he or she is allowed to get to meet your co-workers and build an appreciation for the caliber of persons you work with.
  3. You must sacrifice your own personal time for time together.  Put off the beauty regime or the lime with the guys, ignore the phone, the television, the personal projects and just do nothing but chill with your spouse.   If he or she is eating, chill on the chair close by, if he or she is enjoying their favourite TV show, get comfy next to them and enjoy it too.   If he or she decides to read, grab a book and read too.  :).   It does make sense, try it.   Just being in each other’s company is enriching and provides companionship. Companionship in Marriage is always a need to be filled.
  4. Create life and memories around your spouse’s favourite things and people; for example, if your husband loves barbecue, plan a barbecue and invite a few of his close friends, if you wife loves popcorn and movies, select a good movie and get that corn popping. Maybe your husband enjoys walking the dog, join him. There is so much we can do to enrich our lives and our marriage; many of them are also simple activities that cost nothing or very little. Each one of us have the responsibility of creating life, fun, happiness and adventure. Here are some other ideas: prepare a tania-log pot under the moonlight, play table games, go bowling together, go driving, or on a road trip and visit family and shared friends, go to the grocery together, attend events together, yes, get all dressed up and go out. Volunteer to manage the Sunday School Ministry together, or the outreach programme, or the Youth Ministry. The list is endless; I am sure you may have ideas of your own.
  5. Finally, seek to understand where you spouse is at in their development and support efforts to grow, develop or rise to a higher level. The worse thing we could do as married individuals is to discourage our spouses from starting that new project, whether it is to pursue higher education or to learn a new sport or to start a bible study group or reach out to someone in need; whatever it is, if it is pure and healthy, support, support, support.

I hope these few thoughts encourage you to take steps to ensure your marriage exerts life, energy and a healthy positive spirit that would be contagious, giving hope to other married couples, who are desperately in need of it. It takes commitment, discipline and sacrifice but it is doable. Aim for better, richer and for greater. Don’t settle for mediocrity and boredom in your marriage! Be honest and admit that your marriage is not at its best and desire better always.

I love aiming for better, I love aiming for “best”. It is also part of God’s purpose for our lives; he wants us to reflect his character in how we live with our spouse daily. God is an awesome God of life, beauty and joy!

Featured picture taken from Google images.

My son inspires me to exercise.

I think it is really, really important, the way two pieces of bread is necessary for a sandwich, the way two hands must come together to make a clapping sound, the way the wind is needed to disperse the cotton seeds; I think in the same way, family success can only happen if every member of the family sees himself as a key component to making it happen.

I have been struggling to exercise consistently, I would start then stop, start then pause, start then……nothing……:).    But the lovely and interesting fact is, I really love to exercise.  Once I get started, I feel alive, renewed and invincible.  Interestingly, I always feel like the Holy Spirit is nudging me to exercise.  Is he trying to show me that I need to take steps towards a healthier lifestyle?  But he does not have to keep reminding me right?  It just makes sense to exercise; results of research bombards us of that fact.  But still…..I struggle.

Well, I publicly confess, I need to be motivated from time to time to keep doing it.

Today, I am motivated. How come? Why?  Jonathan.    His passion to work out has finally rubbed of on me and when he invited me again to work out with him this week, I finally caved in.

I really appreciate his interest in getting him mama “moving”.  I allowed him to instruct me through the warm up routines, watched him select a suitable work-out set for me and listened to his wise instructions.   God is using my son to get me moving :).

The end result was good!   I did the routine again for a second time this week without him nudging me, and I feel really accomplished.

We really need each other as family. 

As our children grow older, we need not to resist the fact that they are growing very knowledgeable and eager to teach us a thing or two or even three.   They exhibit responsible behaviours that sometimes leaves us as parents with mental confusion :);  “Where did my baby go?”.

Well my babies are still with me, but they no longer need my wet kisses, they need me to respect the fact that they can teach me a thing or two or even three.

So I have decided I would stick with my son as my Keep-fit trainer, at least for now.

Treasure each member of your family as that second hand that is needed to produce the beautiful clapping sound.

 

 

Treasured Lessons from my Mother – Lesson 7

Honour your husband even when you don’t feel like it

There were times when I wished my mom would be more vocal or less patient.   There were those times when I would wonder, how does she do it?   It truly takes grace to serve with a humble and kind spirit consistently.

Mom gave up personal dreams to serve at the side of her husband, who was very active in ministry as a Pastor, for most of their married life. He Pastored three different churches during his days as a Pastor, he was also actively involved in evangelism, teaching bible school and counselling.  His active schedules meant, at times, lonely days and lonely nights for mom.

Being a Pastor is no easy job, especially with a wife and family who needs you.  Mom was often the stabilizer at home from the time Dad accepted the call to serve full-time in Leading local churches, evangelizing, teaching and counselling.  Such a call requires much sacrifice on the part of the wife and of course an understanding spirit.

While my parent’s marriage was an example for me to follow; there were certain aspects of it that I would’ve changed, it was not Perfect!!   Mom desired and still desires more effective communication and intimacy (not speaking of sex here – intimacy is much more). But what stands out to me is her faithfulness in service at home despite how she felt, how big her emotional needs were and how much she disagreed with Dad, at times.    She served so well and is still doing it today at the age of seventy-seven.  She was not known to harbor malice,  unforgiveness or bitterness; she was never one to hit back because she felt hurt, instead she would find herself kneeling at her bedside in prayer.  Having a relationship with her Heavenly Father helped her to cope.

I have a vivid picture of mom preparing meals daily for Dad and serving him his food either at the table or wherever he would prefer.  Those servings were always healthy looking, attractive and tasty.   Meals were hardly late.  I also remember her inquiring about his well-being, firmly discouraging him against overworking or pushing himself too much.  She facilitated his comfort, her unconditional love and support made it possible for him to be effective as he sought to obey God’s calling.

Application:  That we who are married mothers, learn to serve our husbands beyond our feelings, loving our husbands unconditionally.  It is our duty to communicate to our children what a healthy marriage looks like.  It is not easy, and it never will be, but submitting ourselves to God’s biblical instructions makes it possible.  Serve with a pure heart and as you serve, trust God to fix the areas in your marriage that needs fixing.

Thank you so much for reading, it was my pleasure to share these Lessons.  There is much more, but I’ll stop hear for now….:)

Treasured Lessons from My Mother – Lesson 6

You can overcome

My mom’s childhood is very similar to many, instability at home and poverty.   She struggled as she sought to find her identity fighting defeating thoughts about herself, even after turning to God as a teenager.   Through her determination to discover more about God and to trust in his promises, she overcame.   She overcame, and it allowed her to minister effectively to her husband and her children and to many hurting people she met in her journey through life.

Because of her testimony, I have adopted the same attitude, that by pursuing God and his word and by trusting in his promises, I can overcome anything.   I have found that one of the fiercest battles in one’s life can be the battle of the mind.  I have learnt and I am still learning how to guard my mind from destructive thoughts, beliefs and perceptions.  Mom thought us how to preserve our mind and our heart, how to embrace love, joy and peace, how to think only on the things that were just, and lovely, and of good virtue.  She confessed with her mouth, the victory bestowed upon us by God himself; she claimed it, it became her survival mechanism or rather God became her survival mechanism..

Like many others, Mom has won the battle against negative thoughts, a poor self image and fear of speaking up.  She read and memorized scripture passages that renewed her mind, established hope and exposed the real nature of the Evil One, who is fixed towards destroying men.

She really believed that she was valuable to God and that he had a purpose for her even as a stay-at-home Mom and Pastor’s wife; she certainly discovered that she was not a loser or a lost and defeated nobody but rather a Queen, worthy of being considered and thought of by the most powerful being in this earth.   Now that she has overcome, she is living in God’s freedom even in the midst of many who are still trapped in personal bondage.

Application:  We can easily sink into depression and self-pity, if we allow ourselves to focus on the negative experiences of growing up.  Instead look for the lessons to be learnt and embrace them.  Get to know God by reading the Bible regularly and understand what he thinks about you and the wonderful plans he has for you.  Only God can help you understand the correct perception of you.  He describes you as wonderfully made and made in His Image; that’s just awesome!!

Final Lesson on Thursday……

Treasured Lessons from my Mother – Lesson 5

Passionately intercede in prayer for your children daily

No matter, what your children have done, no matter how far they have drifted from God or how long they take to come back home, keep offering those prayers to heaven on their behalf;  something will happen eventually.   I firmly believe that the prayers of a faithful mother accomplishes a lot and it is a commitment all mothers should make.   Praying daily for your children is a necessity and it comes from a mother who deeply loves and cares about the welfare of her children; from the time they are born until the time she leaves this earth.

The Word of God says “Ask and it shall be given”.   Shouldn’t we start asking on behalf of our children, even before they are born.  I am sure it would place them at an advantage.   Ask God to draw them to him at an early age, ask Him to give them a hunger for righteousness, ask Him to bless them with intelligence and wisdom and let them be a beacon to those they meet.   ASK!

Talking to God on the behalf of our children shows that we recognise that they are only gifts to us and it is our God-given awesome responsibility to grow them up to reverence God and that involves lots of praying as well.

Application:    Start praying daily for your children!  Do not be too busy, invest significant time praying for them daily.  Be specific in your prayer, you can pray for anything and everything; for them to excel in school, for them to choose the right career, for them to choose the right spouse and more importantly for them to reverence God!!  In addition to praying daily, sometimes the Holy Spirit alerts you that something is wrong and he urges you to pray “NOW”, don’t hesitate, stop whatever you are doing and obediently pray.

more on Tuesday……

Treasured Lessons from my Mother – Lesson 4

“Greater is He that is in me, than he that is in the World.”

Well, my Mother always spoke to the Devil! “Get thee behind me Satan!”  I learnt at a young age that there is evil and there is good but if I would trust in God, who is more powerful than the Devil, I will be fine.   It was more than just saying “Get thee behind me Satan!”.  I learned as a little girl that my mind was always tossing up good and evil thoughts, seeking to fight back against temptations to be disrespectful or disobedient.   I knew at a young age that there was a special blessing of long life, joy and peace if I choose to obey God and not my feelings.   I learnt that the Devil had no control over me, unless I let him.

There was a little song we learnt at Sunday School, which in my view, was quite popular.

It goes like this:

“Get thee behind me Satan, Get thee away.  I don’t want anything to do with you today.   Get thee Behind me Satan, Get thee away.  I want to be a Christian Soldier and I want to learn to pray”.

My Mom, knew the word of God, so she knew that the one who lived within us was mightier than the evil one. She knew that we (those who truly believe in Christ), through the Holy Spirit, can overcome any temptation, hence we can boldly say “Get thee behind me Satan”!

Application: May we be mothers who read the word of God and seek to understand and believe it.   Part of understanding God’s word is applying it when having discussions with our children, when disciplining and guiding them towards safe living, living outside of the devil’s clutches. Assist your children in memorizing this verse: 1 John 4:4;  “Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the World.

More lessons on Saturday…..

Treasured Lessons from my Mother – Lesson 3

“You are beautiful!”

I must credit my mom for the way I feel about myself.  These words are embedded in my mind forever!

The first place where I understood what beauty was and how beautiful I was, was at home, as the words came from my mother’s lips, “You are beautiful”.  My mom was my greatest admirer, she frequently told me about my beautiful attributes, physically and otherwise; she made me feel good about myself.  Growing-up, Mom was my sanctuary for down times or those times when I needed to be reminded that my beauty was not defined by others.  While I desired acceptance by my peers, deep down, it really did not matter what others thought about me; my mother said, I was beautiful and that is what mattered.

Mom’s words served to build me up, it gave me confidence to face the world.   I look back now, and I see how intentional she was, making a point to instill values of self-acceptance and love of one’s self.  Mother, knew when I was sad and quickly applied a double-portion of her loving words and hugs (even when I did not feel like hearing or feeling them), to brighten my day.

Women often walk the streets and feel uncomfortable (I guess men too these days) when strange men see them and comment about a part of their body they admire and sometimes it could be so embarrassing to hear what comes out of their mouths.  You feel violated just by their lustful expressions.

I remember returning home from school and even from work, as a young adult and sharing these disturbing moments with my mother and she always found a way to get me back on track, feeling awesome and beautiful again.   Today, I am thankful that very early in my life, I was thought that I am beautiful, and subconsciously, even now, as a mother, I am still trying to live up to the standard set for me by my Mother.

Application:   As parents, it is our duty to let our children know how beautiful and how special they are.  Let them know they have beautiful eyes or beautiful teeth, beautiful skin or beautiful smiles; tell them daily.  It is our duty as parents to allow our children to develop a healthy perception of themselves early.  Having a correct perception of one self can lead to that child’s ability to guard him/herself from destructive criticisms.