Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Rihanna's new song exposes a secret!
Lately I can't get that new Rihanna song "Only Girl" out of my head ... "Want you to make me feel, like I'm the only girl in the world..." I love it! It's got a great beat, and it's fun!

But, besides that, while listening to some of the lyrics, I realized she let the whole world in on a big relationship secret. Are you ready for it?

One of the primary things a woman desires from her partner is to be made to feel like she is the only one in his world. The most important person in his life. That he notices her and that he thinks she is beautiful. That he is grateful for her.

What can a woman do to let her partner know she feels this way?

One surefire way is "to be who you want to be with." If you are a woman reading this article, and you would like your husband to treat you like you are the only girl in the world, start treating him like he is the only man in the world. Be consistent. Stick with it. Give it at least three weeks, then ask your spouse if he noticed anything different. Talk about your experience. See what happens. Keep me posted! I'd love to hear about your experience.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Anger Strikes at Starbucks

I witnessed an incident at Starbucks that inspired me to write. A girl and her friend were sitting outside enjoying some coffee, when the mother of one of them walked up and a fight ensued. The girls were probably right around 20 years old.

I tried not to listen, but it was difficult. The gist of what happened is that the daughter wouldn't tell her mother where she was going, who she was going with or when she was going. She refused to check-in with her mother. Her mother said she wanted to know where the girl was so she didn't have to worry. They were so angry with each other, I could feel the heat.
I felt bad for them both and wished they knew a better way to deal with conflict.

While listening to them, some of the first thoughts that came to my mind were respect and control. Both parties need to have respect for each other -- the daughter, who is presumably living under her mother's roof, and the mother, because her daughter is an adult now.

Both are using control to irritate the other. The mother is being controlling with the way she is demanding to know many details about the daughter's where-a-bouts, and the daughter is being controlling, by purposefully withholding information. It's a power struggle.

I wondered what would happen if each of them put themselves in the other person's shoes. If the daughter could ponder what might be going through her mother's mind, and how her mother might feel with no idea where her daughter is or who she is with. What if the mother could reflect on her younger years when she wanted freedom and flexibility from her parents? Could this be how her daughter is feeling now? 

Even when there are years of resentment built up between people -- as was evident with this mother and daughter -- every one of us has the power to change the course for the better. One day at a time. One interaction at a time.

Let's imagine a new scenario. The mother comes up to the table and vents her frustration to her daughter. Instead of firing back, what if the daughter acknowledges her mother and says, "I love you, mom. I can see you're really upset by this. Can we talk about it later tonight?" No matter what the mother says -- even if she continues to fire back -- the daugher remains calm, loving and consistent in her request to continue the conversation later. Because, the truth is, no good will come out of a volatile conversation where one or both of the people involved are overly emotional and not thinking clearly.

Think it's impossible? It's not. Yes, it takes practice. Yes, it takes self-control. No, it is not easy. But, is the end-result worth it? YES! We can all start healing difficult relationships in our lives by handling difficult conversations like this one in a new manner.

-- Written with prayerful hope for this mother and daughter to heal their relationship.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Living Large! A Celebration for Tyler and Alyssa

We had parent-teacher conferences at Tyler and Alyssa's school yesterday. I left there feeling so fantastic that I knew we had to celebrate!

I keep tabs on the kids' school work, I volunteer in Alyssa's classroom, I try to attend the field trips, and I periodically set up playdates with the kids and their parents. So I feel like I'm aware of how they are doing academically and socially. I have my eye on them! :)

But to sit down face-to-face with the teachers and hear the amazing things they said about how Tyler and Alyssa are doing felt so wonderful!

Especially because of our move. Of course, Paul and I were worried about what would happen if we moved. How would the children adjust? I believe we are getting our answer! They are doing just fine!

It's not magic that they are adjusting well, though. It's because of the conscious efforts of their parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, friends and teachers. Everyone has been so encouraging, welcoming and helpful.

So, yesterday at 3:00 we decided to hop on the train to meet Paul downtown for some Chicago-style fun! We toured the John Hancock Observatory and learned about some of the City's landmarks.

We stepped inside the American Girl store at Water Tower Place for Alyssa. You should have seen the smile on her face!

We grabbed dinner at a really cool-looking Cheesecake Factory at the bottom of the Hancock Building.

Then we walked down the Miracle Mile in awe of how the lights from the buildings twinkle in the clear night sky. The air was crisp ... our steps were light ... it was so much fun ... wow, what a gorgeous night!

--Written with love and gratitude for all of the people encouraging us and helping us adjust to our new home. Thank you!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

What are the Sparrows here to teach me?

Do you believe God uses nature as a tool to communicate with us? I do. Whenever an animal starts making its presence known to me, I try to look it up. It's as easy as typing "spiritual meaning (insert your animal here)" into Google and finding a reputable site.

I've had many an animal to Google in the past couple of years. The most recent one that came to me was the sparrow.

While I was growing up, my Grandmother always fed the sparrows in her driveway. Now that I am living in her home, I am the one feeding the sparrows. The kids and I have been doing it all summer long, but it didn't occur to me to look them up until this week. Why? Probably because they're such an ordinary bird. Nothing exotic.

Well, wouldn't you know it. Those darn sparrows do have a message for me. Because the sparrow is small, part of its spiritual significance is to remind me that I do not need a big house or flashy car to be important.

Very interesting considering we are living in my Grandmother's modest home while we work on selling our Florida home. As the market has continued to decline over time, the price of our home has had to go down right along with it -- making us realize we are not going to be able to buy the Northern home we have been dreaming of. We have had to scale down our expectations quite a bit. We're OK with that and are actually thinking smaller is better, anyway...perhaps it will allow us more of a travel budget to get back to Florida and visit family and friends there!

The sparrow also brings spiritual messages of simplicity, and boy are we enjoying that here at my Grandmother's house. Most of our belongings are still in our Florida home, so we are making do with much less. Guess what!? We are doing more than "making do," we are actually doing very well. Paul loves his job, the kids love their school, and I'm busy with my business and enjoying being near friends and family.

Here's to the sparrow!

-- Written with love and honor for Grandma who always took care of the birds.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Why is it so difficult to live in the moment?

What does it mean to "live in the moment?" To me, it means to try to enjoy each moment of our day. To enjoy each task. To find fun in everything we do. To find the gifts in every experience. To be present with ourselves and with our loved ones.

I was thinking about this yesterday as I was walking to the park with the kids. It is SO easy to get caught up with everything we have to do that we often miss out on life itself.

One of the ways I try to live in my moments is by taking the scenic route to school every day. There is a faster way, but we have found a way that we really enjoy and that provides a view that we love.

I also make stops from time-to-time to look at wildlife or interesting construction projects. One morning this week we stopped at a park that had frost all over the ground.

Tyler and Alyssa have never seen frost before. So I pulled over, parked and sent them running in the field to see what it looked like up touch the grass and see what it felt like. It was a beautiful sight, really, and I realized that we were living in our moment. We took a detour from the road we were headed on for just a couple of minutes to explore and play!

How will you play today?