The Moments

As she glances out the window, she admires and takes in the view.    

Laughter, smiles, bliss, taking it all in – living in the moment.

This moment is what matters.

The boys in her life help her feel full.   Its like eating a fresh baked pie.  Each bite tastes so wonderful so blissful, with each bite she feels full and content.

This moment is what matters.

Time flies.  They tell you time flies when you are younger and you ask yourself – “What do they know?”.  The words touch her heart now, she realizes that the years pass in a matter of minutes.   They were right .   She realizes that this is something learned through experiences as she looks back.

This moment matters.    

She takes in the smells of their rooms when they are sleeping at night.  The smells remind her of the times when she rocked them to sleep, reminds her of the blissful feeling of love in those moments.   As she glances at their faces she is full of so much love in this wonderful life.    A sense of peace overcomes her as she gives gratitude to the moment and the beautiful view.

This moment matters.

The babies grow into young men, and she begins to see that they are becoming so much more than she could ever imagine.   Viewing the world through their eyes, helping them navigate through the rough and smooth – she feels so blessed for them to call her mom.

This moment matters.

More than she could ever imagine – the great gifts in this life are the ones you love and living in every moment.   

This moment matters.

Walking hand in hand in this life with her best friend. Her best friend was an angel sent from above.   Then the blessings she has been given are beyond her wildest dreams.   She gives thanks.   The gift of life –  her two sons – the greatest gifts of all.  Love so deep.        

This moment matters.

The joy experienced in this life always overcomes the sadness.  There are storms in this life but it is through strength and love that shelters us from the rain.   The sun always shines, and she has seen it happen so many times the rainbows that come after the storm.   

This moment matters.

She looks out the window and gives thanks and gratitude to  it all.  She knows He is the source of all of the good.         

This moment matters.

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Mothers – the most beautiful gift given to us

429059_10151400264470987_2109690330_nLast year, I posted the following post in devotion to my beautiful mother.  Since then we have had quite the journey.   She had major surgery, almost lost her life in the recovery process, and then was diagnosed with breast cancer this past fall.  Through it all, she wore a smile.   This post now has come full circle, I feel the same about her but stronger.  I am so blessed to have this amazing woman as my mom.  In addition, I am very thankful for my mother in law who has helped us through these difficulties in our lives – we have helped each other.   Day after day God shows me His gentle hand.  He is always there, and always promises triumph.  Although it may not be on our time, but triumph ALWAYS happens.

John 10:10  The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

We are meant for an abundant life, if we learn that we are not in control – that He is there to lead, lift, carry and hold.  I thank Him every day for the perspective in the pain, and the love that always shows through 🙂

As mother’s day approaches, we all can reflect on how amazing our mothers are.   For those of you that have children, we tend to be hard on ourselves on our ability to “mother”.  We are our worst critics… Remember to always give yourself a basket of grace.   I adore my mother, she is a testament of strength and has a heart full of gold.  She has always put others before herself (sound familiar)??  In dedication to this amazing woman, I thought I would write a poem to capture my thoughts.

A Letter to My Mom

As a babe, I look up at my mom and see her blue eyes.

They are beautiful and bright.

The love radiates and flows.

A love that cannot be explained, unconditional.

A bond that is everlasting and shared by two.

Over the years, the eyes change – brought by love, hope, heart ache and pain.

The lines and creases begin to show.

The lines define the moments in time where there was much happiness and sometimes tears.

She is strength, she is life, she is warm, she is a fighter and she defines love.

She has helped me most to grow.

She has helped me through my life and my “lows”.

She feels my pain when I hurt, and over time as I grow, I feel her hurts too.

We are one; the bond can never be undone.

She healed my wounds when they were deep, she has whispered sweet words as a child to me when I sleep.

We share a bond, that is so strong.

All through the years, I know this much is true,  I have become the woman I am today because of you.

You are my mother – a women of strength, determination, living with your heart and soul.

I adore you.

A video that is so fitting for this wonderful celebratory day is:  http://play.simpletruths.com/movie/heart-of-a-mother?cm_mmc=CheetahMail-_-MO-_-04.30.12-_-HOAMmovie-USCAXX-&utm_source=CheetahMail&utm_campaign=HOAMmovie

Take some time to celebrate the mothers, grandmothers, step mothers that have helped us through our lives.  A remember to celebrate you too when you’re doing it!

Mirror Mirror on the Wall

Mirror, Mirror on the wall who is the fairest of them all?! Do you find yourself falling into a comparison trap sometimes?  Asking yourself this same question?  Looking back in the mirror and feeling like you don’t measure up?

We are a culture of “norms”.  What is considered normal compared to abnormal or not fitting in.   If from day one the comparisons are engrained or programmed into what we believe, how can we then be surprised when we see the competition and comparisions that happens in our everyday lives?    We see it in the workplace, at school, down the block, it is everywhere.  “As preschoolers, boys and girls have already learned the lessons about physical appearance that our society teaches,” explain Thomas Cash, author of What Do You See When You Look in the Mirror? “They know that lovely Cinderella gets the prince; her ugly and mean step sisters do not.   From childhood on…we judge our self-worth by the physical standards we’ve absorbed.”  Standards, competitiveness, judgment and we all are impacted as a result.  Don’t get me wrong, competitiveness can be good in certain situations with a “win-win” attitude, but not when it is at the expense of others.

Often when we compare, someone gets hurt.  Sometimes it can be ourselves.  I understand this very well as a young person I was bullied to from grade 2 grade 12.   Children would call me “dog” and bark at me in the halls.   I often looked in the mirror and wondered if the girl looking back was beautiful.   Self worth can be tied to what others think of us and then in turn that voice in our head that may tell us we are not measuring up.  It is interesting, as I have become a woman who values all people in her life, even the stranger walking down the street, I realize we all are truly perfect.  Each one of us has been created distinctly unique and beautiful.  It has taken me many years to realize this in myself and I am still learning.  Even the other day I caught myself falling back into the “mirror, mirror” struggle…

The morning started out perfect, my two little boys were behaving, eating well and getting along.  I was washing dishes and I thought, “This is just perfect”.  Everything was organized and ready, and everyone was happy.  I had an exam that day, and had the exam at top of mind.   But ten minutes before I was about to leave the house with the kids, everything started falling apart.   My youngest son started crying (he is going through a separation stage with his mama when ever I leave his side), and then my oldest wouldn’t put on his jacket.   I advised my oldest son that he better put on his jacket “or else” .  Then my youngest son fell, and the crying went into full gear!  I took a deep breath, reassured my youngest son and felt like I was talking in an entirely different pitch (like the Walmart greeter).  Then I went to grab my keys… But where were they now?  In my mad rush I had somehow lost my keys.   I began raising my voice  (I am sure I sounded like the wicked witch) at my children saying that if they would listen to me, and we all tried to have our best day – it wouldn’t turn into a mess… Perfect choice of words Vanessa what next (was the voice in my head with the hint of sarcasm).

After 5 minutes of searching, I found my keys in the most unlikely place.  I sat down on the bench and felt awful.   I realized that in my mad rush I lost patience.  I then asked my two searching boys to come inside so I could speak to them.  “Calm and collected” after having my own time out.  We were already late that wasn’t going to change.  It was time to “pause”.   I proceeded to tell my babies that we all need to be part of a team in the morning including mom…. And that listening, not yelling is important.  Me included….My eyes were tearing continually and I then told them that I love them very much and just hope for them to have a good day every day.   My oldest sensitive son then started crying and said that it was his fault the whole mess.   I proceeding in telling him that was not the case, and that none of it was his fault it all happened because of a series of issues.  However, he has to listen when I ask him to do something.  He got me a Kleenex.  And then I told my youngest son that if he doesn’t try harder not to cry when he goes to daycare, he will have to go more often.  This was hard to say but there has to be boundaries and adjustments are part of life.  We then all hugged (our family hug) and got into the vehicle.  I was exhausted and it was only 8:30am.

My mind then began to sort through all the issues, and I began blaming myself.   Words came into my head like “You are a bad mom, you should have never done that, you overreacted, you are not going to do well on the exam, your kids will probably have a complex now”… I felt like a failure mother… But compared to who?   Where are my standards and reference points coming from?  “Mirror, mirror on the wall the fairest mother of all is….”  Who??  We all go through time such as these, even the mothers that you “think” have it all together.

I am human and will make mistakes, and will own up to those mistakes in front of my children. Because everything I do is out of love for my children.  Situations like these are opportunities for all of us to learn from as a family/mother.    Why is it that we are always so hard on ourselves?  There are going to be more than enough people in our lives that will be hard on us, so why not give yourself grace in return?

The bible says, “Not that we dare to classify or compare ourselves with some of those who are commending themselves. But when they measure themselves by one another and compare themselves with one another, they are without understanding.” 2 Corinthians 10:12

This is such a perfect lesson for all of us.

* The is no perfect measuring stick, we are all made uniquely and should not fall into the “mirror mirror” trap.

* We should not compare what we have or who we are to others.

* We should look in the mirror and see the beautiful reflection looking back at us that is unique and one of a kind.

* Being content is much better than feeling like we have to be at 110% in all areas of our life.

* If we have our basic needs in life met, we are better off than a large portion of this world and should give thanks.

In closing, be kind to yourself, and give yourself grace.  Because life is short and is not about the “stuff” but simply about the people and moments.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gXDMoiEkyuQ (Amazing video about gratitude gives much perspective)

A letter to my mom

As mother’s day approaches, we all can reflect on how amazing our mothers are.   For those of you that have children, we tend to be hard on ourselves on our ability to “mother”.  We are our worst critics… Remember to always give yourself a basket of grace.   I adore my mother, she is a testament of strength and has a heart full of gold.  She has always put others before herself (sound familiar)??  In dedication to this amazing woman, I thought I would write a poem to capture my thoughts.

A Letter to My Mom

As a babe, I look up at my mom and see her blue eyes.

They are beautiful and bright.

The love radiates and flows.

A love that cannot be explained, unconditional.

A bond that is everlasting and shared by two.

 Over the years, the eyes change – brought by love, hope, heart ache and pain.

The lines and creases begin to show.

The lines define the moments in time where there was much happiness and sometimes tears.

She is strength, she is life, she is warm, she is a fighter and she defines love.

She has helped me most to grow.

She has helped me through my life and my “lows”.

She feels my pain when I hurt, and over time as I grow, I feel her hurts too.

We are one; the bond can never be undone.

She healed my wounds when they were deep, she has whispered sweet words as a child to me when I sleep.

We share a bond, that is so strong.

All through the years, I know this much is true,  I have become the woman I am today because of you.

You are my mother – a women of strength, determination, living with your heart and soul.

I adore you.

A video that is so fitting for this wonderful celebratory day is:  http://play.simpletruths.com/movie/heart-of-a-mother?cm_mmc=CheetahMail-_-MO-_-04.30.12-_-HOAMmovie-USCAXX-&utm_source=CheetahMail&utm_campaign=HOAMmovie

Take some time to celebrate the mothers, grandmothers, step mothers that have helped us through our lives.  A remember to celebrate you too when your doing it!