Saturday, August 11, 2012

Summer Cool Down

If you are like me, you are wondering where this summer has gone. We seemed to have started this summer with high temperatures and highly active kids-with no intentions of slowing down. Although our children or grandchildren may need us to take them to every possible activity or athletic camp, they keep us moving. This summer has been beautiful and has afforded me the perfect start I needed to get outside and staying active. Our Women of Life- health and fitness events have been focused on improving our eating habits and staying physically active. I recently received a letter from a 47 year-old woman who has been attending these sessions and wanted to share of her exciting accomplishments: “ The health information, healthy diet, and exercise sessions were all inspirational and instrumental to helping me focus on my health and stepping up my game concerning my overall health exercise and diet routine. I’m actually running in events and have already accomplished the 1 mile, two 5k events, and one 8k event.” What an awesome achievement! Like many of you, I have been viewing the London-Olympic games; and I can’t help but feel like USA Olympian Allison Felix. I’ve come off the blocks of summer strong but not always with such perfect form. Physical activity is not only beneficial to our bodies but it helps our minds. It has been widely known that aerobic exercise can treat just about anything, from depression to improve memory. As we remove ourselves from the fast-paced summer begin to focus on your summer cool down- and take some time and relax. Before you focus on back-to-school shopping, get a good book for yourself and rest your mind. Meditate on this verse in your quiet time, Hebrews 4:10, “For the one who has entered His rest has himself also rested from his works, as God did from His.” (NASB) Approach the home-stretch with a peaceful summer cool down!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Summer Love

During this time of the year, many are traveling to graduations and weddings and spending moments with family and friends. There is so much love in the air! I just returned from my 31st wedding anniversary, where I spent great moments with the love of my life in the mountains of Phoenix Arizona! We stayed at the Phoenician Spa & Golf Resort in Scottsdale. How refreshing to enjoy a couples massage before attacking the golf course the next day in 111 degree weather! Whew, we were teeing off the top of mountain cliffs- such a spectacular view! I didn't win but it was an experience to behold! We spent moments hanging around the pool and fighting off the ducks and black crows from eating our guacamole, salsa and chips!! Ugh!! We enjoyed traveling to the shops downtown where I discovered a great consignment boutique with some outrageous finds and ate at a great BBQ joint that could have been featured on Food Network's Diners, Drive-ins and Drives. It was such a unique dining experience where after putting our meal in a large crate, we ate our chicken and ribs on white paper- how cool! Overall, my days would not have been complete without spending my moments laughing and screaming with my best friend! My husband has been my best friend over the three decades that we have been married- these moments and countless others are priceless memories I have cataloged in our marriage. The beauty of making memories is that they are not all created or experienced by way of extravagant purchases. Rather in between the frenzy of fighting away ducks and laughing over delicious barbeque, we continued living out pieces of our love together. This is an experience I believe all should have - so this summer find love and joy in the presence of friends and family and guess what? You will discover God is smack in the middle of those moments! Go for it and have a blast!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

The Art of Mothering

As mothers of younger children, we’ve often made the statement, “I can’t wait until they get older!” It’s as if we think our maternal instincts will come to a screeching halt once they reach a certain age. But as time goes by, the realization that this is not the case becomes a permanent reality. We come to the understanding that a mother’s love is a never ending cycle that cannot be replaced and can only be released by a true “mom.” Just recently the devastating news of one of our 19 year old students committing suicide, struck me to the core. My heart grieved for her mother, as my own thoughts about my children entered my mind. Thoughts like, how on earth would I be able to handle such news if it were my own daughter? Or, how did I miss the signs of her reaching out – her cries for help? And then of course, the overwhelming sense of guilt and feeling that perhaps she would still be alive, if only I had……. So you see, through the good and the bad; the ups and the downs; the blood sweat and lord knows those tears, our children need us. In the midst of their cries of “I got this!” or “I’m grown!” they still need what only we can give. Perhaps not in the same way as they grow older and more mature, but always in a way that only a mother can provide by way of touch, healthy listening and constant care that drives them to purpose. Our love cannot be replaced. That’s why, this Mother's Day, after you have received your much deserved honor; your cards, gifts and all those hugs and kisses, you must decide not to ever turn in your “mom’s” badge. Always wear it with pride and with the quiet understanding that you are indeed mastering the art of mothering! Happy Mother’s Day!