Showing posts with label mothers. Show all posts
Showing posts with label mothers. Show all posts

Thursday, 2 January 2014

Great Quotes About Children

Dr. Seuss, authour
“A person’s a person, no matter how small.”

Nelson Mandela,
We owe our children, the most vulnerable citizens in our society, a life free of violence and fear.”

“There can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul than the way in which it treats its children.”

Albert Einstein -
The pursuit of truth and beauty is a sphere of activity in which we are permitted to remain children all our lives. 
 “Children are great imitators. So give them something great to imitate.”
Barbara Bush, former U.S. first lady
You have to love your children unselfishly.”
English proverb
The soul is healed by being with children.”
                                                                                    John W. Whitehead, founder, Rutherford Institute
“Children are the living messages we send to a time we will not see.”
Frederick Douglass
 It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.

The most interesting information comes from children, for they tell all they know and then stop.
Mark Twain  

Mohandas Gandhi,
If we are to teach real peace in this world, and if we are to carry on a real war against war, we shall have to begin with the children.”
Emma Goldman, author“No one has yet fully realized the wealth of sympathy, kindness and generosity hidden in the soul of a child. The effort of every true education should be to unlock that treasure.”
Lady Bird Johnson, former U.S. first lady
“Children are likely to live up to what you believe of them.”

 Mignon McLaughlin, journalist and author

“Only where children gather is 

there any real chance of fun.

Sunday, 22 December 2013

Shattered and Reborn

I once asked a priest what my life would have been like if I had not suffered, if I had married a well-off dentist, had 1.25 kids and lived in an efficent, modern house. He put on a phony, pious face, with his hands together in prayer and said in a high, mocking voice,
'Oh, you would be a nice Christian lady, praising the Lord.'
What he meant by that amusing bit of acting was that I would be shallow, without depth and strength.
If this is the situation, I say bring on suffering because I want, no Ineed to live in reality. I refuse to simply play games during my time on earth. I can think of no greater tragedy than to die and discover that I had deluded myself, simply living happily on the surface, eating, drinking, doing chores, sleeping yet missing out on the core reality of what it means to be fully alive, fully human, in relationship to other people and to God.
I was just thinking that I had not shared about my pain,the struggle to raise nine kids, with little money on a hobby farm. I only really write about the joy of mothering. I friend also pointed out to me the other day that I never really talk about the long, dark periods in my life. I guess it is because joy always triumphs in the end in my life, I tend to forget about the painful years. The love of little people, strong tea, laughter and the Presence of God in the midst of chaos seems to crack anxiety and stress but yes, I have been shattered by the demands of mothering .
Yet God always manages to use those moments when I am shattered to crack my heart and soul open to more of His presence and healing. It is like childbirth, the pain is forgotten when I hold my newborn but on the other hand if there is no pain, there is no baby or new growth in the Spirit.
For me God speaks through books as well as my spiritual director and the written word has often changed my life, flipped an inner switched by bringing insight and clarity. I realize that each difficult stage in mothering is normal, not a big deal because all mothers go through similar experiences. So I am not going through a dramatic or unusual crisis. I can see each difficult stage as a call from God to change and grow by going deeper, accessing the strength of the Holy Spirit within my own heart.
I want to live in Christ, healed, fully alive and strong enough to serve. I cannot tolerate the idea that my life was spent playing games, pretending to live, unable to love whether as a mother, wife, daughter or friend.

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

The Shock of the Nativity Scene

Credit: ifoodtv
God's vulnerability
The manger scene is a startling image of the vulnerability of God who became an infant.
This season we contemplate the nativity scene and the image of Mary holding the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords in her arms as a tiny, vulnerable infant.
We should be shocked at the extent of His humility when He came to live among as us a man, beginning His time on earth as a baby in a barn, surrounded by unwashed animals and the smell of manure. Mary, as the mother of God, revealed a mother's love as she nursed and cared for Jesus. He was completely dependent on this girl to meet all of His needs. Actually He willingly placed His life in the hands of a thirteen to fifteen-year old kid. Perhaps Jesus's trust was based on the powerful love that God has placed in every mother's heart for her baby.
I am reminded of a quote.
"The loveliest masterpiece of the heart of God is the heart of a mother."- St Therese of Liseux
This Christmas, look at every mother with new eyes and let her remind you of the nativity scene and the One who entrusted His life to the loving care of a teen mum.

    Monday, 3 December 2012

    Let new light shine insight into the role of mothers.

    Raising children is definitely not a default chore for women who were not successful in the world of business, power and wealth.

    A smile
    for the wisdom of mothers
    for the suffering
    necessary to acquire
    not knowledge.
    Painful regret
    for this hectic
    scrambling after
    while pushing
    the wisdom of mothers
    to the fringes of influence.
    Joyful hope
    that mothers
    will reveal
    their unique
    to a jaded
    a world that has forgotten
    that all is fleeting
    except Love.

    Wednesday, 5 September 2012

    A Most Comical, Engaging, Pet.

    Shadow was a slobbery, drooling dog, a big black lab mix with overgrown feet and an overgrown personality.
    An integral part of my children's lives for 13 years. he was the most quirky, amusing and utterly annoying pet we have ever owned. I can only list of his odd and utterly hilarious behaviour because it would take a n entire chapter in a book to really flesh out his exploits.

    1. Shadow grew up with cats.
     They could cuddle up beside him or lay on top of him and he barely raised an eyebrow. He tossed mice and fish around like a cat and sometimes he played more like a cat than a dog.

    2. Shadow could not stand to be left out of any activity.
     Thus the name SHADOW. 
    For example, every week, we collected day old bread, distributed to families in need and of course fed our own family. Any extra went to the pigs. This jealous dog would  dash in to the pigs' feeding trough, grab a bun or long french loaf and dart away as the pigs charged after him. In a perfect doggy manner, he would bury the stolen treasure. Then Shadow would sit, with his back to his stash and guard it. The funniest scene would be in the winter when the french loaf was only half buried, Shadow seemed confident that his bread was invisible. He sat and pretended that he was innocently looking around and enjoying the scenery and not guarding illegal, stolen goods. This little act never failed to make us laugh and shake our heads.

    3.Although Shadow had webbed feet and loved to swim, he was reluctant to get wet.
     The only way to persuade him to swim in the lake and cool off was to cast a bobber with a fishing rod and reel it in as fast as possible. At least once every 20 casts, Shadow would manage to snap up the fishing bobber. It was Hilarius because he would keep diving in after that stupid bobber till he was ready to drop.

    4. Our dog's curiosity caused Many Mishaps
    One night when a porcupine shot 30-40 quills into his face and nose, Shadow could only sleep with his face hanging over the top step in the hall. It took HOURS of patiently sneaking up while he dozed and pulling the quills out ONE AT A TIME. We tried to restrain this monstrous beast numerous times but he always shook us off .

    5.Then there were the few times, a skunk sprayed him at close range and he rolled the stench into the kitchen floor. Have you ever smelled fresh, Strong, skunk spray? Our eyes teared, heads ached and our lungs burned. The entire house REEKED for days after!!! I even tried washing the floor and Shadow with tomato juice. What did work was liquid Tide.

    6.Shadow hated thunder storms.
    If he was alone in the house he would jump through  glass windows and doors or scratch frantically at screen windows or doors smashing, ripping, and destroying wood, frames, what ever prevented him from escaping.
    In 13 years this rampage happened TOO many times and after every incident, Michael would yell
    "That's it!! This dog has to go!!"
    Our older "kids" would shake their heads, smile and say,
    "Dad, really, Shadow is part of the family and you just can't get rid of family no matter how poorly they act."
    Michael, would then glare at the miscreant, and demand,
    " Go lay down, you bad dog."
    Suitably chastised, Shadow would slink away and keep a low profile for a few days.

    7. This dog snuck up and snatched what ever the kids were picking from the garden and eat it- corn on the cob, green beans, strawberries, raspberries.... He could not STAND to be excluded.

    8. Shadow loved to sleep on beds and couches .
    I really do not think he realized that he was not a lap dog! The trouble was when he tried to hop up on the furniture to cuddle, he would inadvertently dislodge people, almost pushing them off the couch. When ordered OFF the furniture, he would slink away with the most pitiful look on his face till one of us laid down beside him on the floor. Then he was content.

    9. It was a mad dash to open the car door and slam it quickly before Shadow could jump in for a ride. He REALLY liked car rides.

    10. Shadow wasn't a great guard dog, even though he barked loudly enough at every tiny mammal  but our resident fox, literally "out foxed" him When Michael spotted our friendly, chicken eating fox trotting towards the barn, he called for his faithful dog. Rather then chase the fox, our dog started running circles around the garage  with his nose right to the ground.  The fox had laid a false trail for Shadow!!
    Michael yelled at the dog again, 
    "Shadow, the fox ran over there."
    Shadow looked up, tore across the yard, dove into the bushes, did a u-turn, ran up the hill  to the barn down again, then raced after the fox. If this dog had used his eyes instead of his nose, he would have headed straight into the corn.That clever fox hadn't even been frightened nor in a  terrible hurry as he laid his scent down because he knew exactly how to fool a dog.

    11. Whenever Shadow caught a glimpse of the gun we were forced to use sometimes to scare away predators, Shadow became excited, agitated and LOUD. The boys  needed their wits to sneak out of the house while other siblings distracted our great hunting dog. It was always very dramatic.

    When I asked my family for Shadow stories, everyone laughed with warm and humour as they remembered their beloved pet. In spite of his annoying habits he WAS a member of our family.

    Thursday, 30 August 2012


     The only thing that will kill you as a mother of  a large family is pairing socks.
    There are solutions.
    I remember a crazy campfire song, that is usually sung in rounds.

     "Black socks, they never get dirty;
    the longer you wear them, the blacker they get.
    Some times, I think I should wash them
    but something keeps telling me
    oh,  not yet, not yet, not yet"

    I did not seriously consider this option, though. After ONE day stuck inside an active child's running shoe, socks NEED to be washed.Oh well, sometimes I did four loads a day and socks really didn't take up that much room.

    Still socks disappeared into mountains of laundry and I could never find them all.
    Socks need to be PAIRED!!!
    Or do they?
    That was the brilliant, out of the box sort of question I asked myself one day.

    New solution
    Buy LOTS of black socks in every size,throw them in a basket
    and hope for the best
    That was the plan.

    I decided to simply toss them into a wicker basket with a three-foot circumference and a height of two and a half feet..
    I must ad
    BUT little girls don't like black socks. They like pink socks. To make matters worse my mother bought cute socks with frills and bows and patterns that the girls really needed and loved.
     NONE of them were the same!

    So although I used the toss and throw method of pairing, some mornings found us frantically searching for some semblance of a pair but it made life exciting.

    Friday, 24 August 2012

    The House That Kids Built

    Picture This scene.

    Five year old Anthony is leaping off the fourth stair wearing his black cape, a purple Batman sweatshirt and his 'Mountie' hat. Three year old Lucy carries a huge, old purse stuffed with cut pieces of paper and fake money and she is trailing behind seven year old Katie who is trying to make a scrapbook.

    Rachel is in the same living room playing "Magic School Bus" on the computer and Emily is upstairs changing her clothes again. Dave and Matt are building a lego plane across the hall in the family room but eighteen year old Matt is the brains behind the construction.

    Mara is on the phone and Melissa is listening to music that is way too loud while leaning over the upstairs railing and complaining about life.
    Michael is tending the animals.

     And me?

    Why I am putting in the fourth load of laundry that day and planning a folding marathon where I sort laundry and literally toss each kid their own clothes to fold
    Guess what?
     I learned to be happy in the chaos. I don't have a living room , I have work and play areas. A table in the living room is covered in a 1,000 piece puzzle that people stop to work on on for a few minutes and the coffee table is Katie's craft station.

     There are goldfish on my too small counter, a huge dog who trips anyone walking through the main door and a cat who thinks she owns the most comfortable chair in the house. I warn you, do not try to move the queen! Sometimes a caged hamster or guinea pig squeaks for attention EVERY time the fridge door opens!

    My kitchen walls, fridge and cupboards are covered with all kinds of art and scribble art and I have too many indoor plants.
    One day my father-in-law tripped over our dog (who did not move, by the way) and he gruffly asked me,

    "What is that dog doing in the house? He should live outside."
    I laughed and said,

    "Welcome to OUR home. We love kids, animals, plants and even y. Just come on in!"

    Friday, 27 July 2012

    MY Obstetrician: A Knight In SHINING Armour

    Our family doctor, who was also my obstetrician, had warned us to come into town immediately with my first labour pains. My eighth child was going to be born quickly. Dr. H met me outside the hospital, helped me out of our old mini-bus, into a wheelchair and literally ran past admitting with a huge grin on his face yelling,
     “Sorry. No time to admit her. I’ll do the paperwork for her after the delivery. See you later!”
    He was still chuckling in the elevator over the shocked expression on the admitting clerk’s face. We moved slowly out of the elevator onto the obstetrical floor and Dr. H peered around the corner to check the nursing station. My doctor sighed happily,
    “Good. The head nurse is on coffee break and no one is in the natural birthing room. Olga is going to have a fit when she sees your stats on the board and that you are in here!”
    He laughed loudly this time as we darted into the softly lit room. Michael walked in a little later, holding 18- month old Katie with her sunsuit on backwards, straps crossed across her chest. A nurse turned to me and said,
    “Let me guess. Daddy dressed her.”
    I smiled weakly in between labour pains because the nurse barely had time to check my vital signs before Anthony was born. Michael had pulled the curtain around my bed partly closed to block Katie’s view of the labour and delivery. Since she refused the cookie bribe offered by a nurse outside at the station, Katie was still with Michael. As soon as Anthony was born, my husband whipped the curtain open and passed Katie to a nurse so he could cut his son’s umbilical cord.
    Michael turned to Dr. H and me as we beamed at each other over the birth of our beautiful baby and yet another successful, humane delivery despite the hospital’s regulations.
    When I was pregnant with my sixth child, I went to my first appointment with our new family doctor and now my new obstetrician. He asked me why I was changing doctors and I sighed,
    “I just can’t face my old obstetrician with a sixth pregnancy.”
    “And who IS this doctor?” He questioned.
    “Actually it was Dr. E.”
    Well, my new doctor threw his head back and started to laugh,
    “She’s a good obstetrician. Her only problem is that she owns a parrot, tropical fish and an expensive horse but doesn’t have any kids. I can understand your problem with her.”
    That was the beginning of a wonderful 24 year friendship with our dedicated health care provider. Two of the next four pregnancies high risk. That meant weekly ultra-sounds and check-ups with the high risk doctor in the hospital. My doctor waited, often after office hours, for me to stop in after hospital appointments to get his weekly update. Dr. H explained,
    “They would LOVE to get their hands on you. Don’t let them TOUCH you without checking in with me first!”
    From my first visit with Dr. H, I no longer had to don protective armour for my emotions before each obstetrical appointment. HE protected my unborn child, my growing children, Michael but most especially me.
    This doctor does not follow common procedure mindlessly but uses commonsense (learned from Newfoundland midwives), intelligence (he is an associate professor at the university, an old-fashioned sense of service (he mentors countless med students and residents and is ALWAYS on call for his obstetrical patients) and compassion (he has an uncanny ability to listen and understand each patient).
    Best of all, this medical knight in shining armour celebrates each birth with incredible joy.