“Even the youths shall faint and be weary, And the young men shall utterly fall, but those who wait on the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.” Isaiah 40: 30-31
Every phase of raising children is a joy and a challenge at the same time: a time for us to grow as parents and people. Many of the lessons we are teaching our children have lessons for us as adults. Each phase allows our children to take one more step away from us and help them discover who they truly are separate from the family fold.
The teenage phase can be fraught with problems and challenges for both parents and teenagers. I often find myself trying to remember what I was like as a teenager, but can I really relate to where my own teenagers are at in this day and age?
My husband and I have felt hugely challenged in recent years, not just by our teenagers, but not helped by moving countries a few times and the emotional turmoil of teenage angst.
Reasons for the problems that have arisen between parents and teenagers vary greatly for each family since each situation is different. However, there are a few common areas I have found, when talking to friends in similar situations, where teenagers and parents find conflict.
Continue reading Raising Teenagers
Our teenagers want to control their own lives and not have parents telling them what to do. But keeping the balance between letting our children make their own choices and keeping them safe is like walking a very long tight rope.
My father is dying. He was diagnosed with an atypical meningioma (Brain Tumour) nearly 9 years ago, and after two operations to remove the tumor and one bout of radiotherapy, the tumor is now inoperable and there is nothing more to be done. He will die; no-one knows when or how long it will take or even what his deterioration will look like. So we wait. It has been a long journey. Originally one of hope, now one of acceptance of the inevitable.
We have known that he may die for some time, but when we heard the finality of the decision from the doctors, it was hard to get our heads around. We cried… we prayed… we cried some more…
My dad is now unable to do many of the things that he loved and enjoyed: gardening, mountaineering, drinking whiskey. He has gone from using a walking stick, to a walker, to a wheelchair. Now he lies in bed unable to sit up. His sight is going. He is confused and disorientated. He is in pain. We feel helpless.
The hardest part for me as a Christian, and as a convert from Church of Scotland to New Church, is that I have no idea whether my dad believes in God or not.
Continue reading Humbly Lord
My parents never seemed to go anywhere, seemingly content with the quiet life they lead at home. Or so I thought. As it turns out my mother would love to have travelled to Canada to see her cousin or to Australia to visit family there. She dreamed of being able to travel to many beautiful places in the world just to be able to breathe it all in. But year by year goes by and still they don’t travel beyond the borders of their home country.
The reason was quite simple: fear. They seem scared of lots of things –spending too much money, the cat left behind at home, going somewhere they don’t speak the language and not being able to communicate, getting sick abroad, etc. Now, sadly, they wont travel anywhere. My father can no longer walk and is confined to a wheelchair due to Brain Cancer and my mother is at home caring for him, unable to go out for too long just in case he needs something. My mother is content, but I know she feels some hidden regrets that they didn’t do more.
Far too many of our own dreams die because of fear. Too many of us let fear stop us from pursuing something the Lord may be leading us to do. I have started to look at my life and at those around me to understand what it is that I’m afraid of…
Continue reading FEAR – What Are You Afraid Of?
I find myself emotionally overwhelmed.
It’s not the first time, but rather than go into the reasons why, I decided to find out what it really means to be emotional and how you then get to the point of overwhelm as well as what to do to let go and free myself from this overwhelm of emotions. So I started out by looking at what ‘Emotions’ and ‘Feelings’ are to help me understand why I become overwhelmed.
Emotions and feelings are words used interchangeably to express more or less the same thing. Feelings or emotions can be defined as how something or someone makes us feel. However, as I have learned over the years, they have some distinct differences.
Emotions are physical and instinctive. Emotions generally prompt the body to react to some kind of stimulus: threats, rewards etc. Emotional reactions to these stimuli are generally the same amongst people although the reaction may vary slightly depending on the individual or the circumstances.
While emotions are associated with bodily reactions to stimuli, feelings are sparked by emotions and coloured by our own personal experiences,beliefs, memories and thoughts linked to that particular emotion. In other words, a feeling is the product of your brain’s perception of an emotion and assigning meaning to it.
Continue reading Moments of Emotional Overwhelm