Faith

Sandy Hook Elementary Tragedy: What Can WE Be Doing Better As A Society?

Posted by on Dec 16, 2012 in Faith, Family | 2 comments

My heart is heavy with sadness that we all seem to feel for the families that lost little lives way too soon a community that lost leaders, all families loved ones. My daughter is in kindergarten and I sat and pondered as I learned about the news through Facebook. I began to tear up as I could not even imagine, fathom what those parents of those little 5-6 year olds are going through or the thought of “what if” that was us. As we have learned people can snap anywhere at anytime of the day, it doesn’t have to be a school now, it happens in movie theaters. But what can we do better as a society? On Facebook, I keep seeing who is this crazy person that would shoot 5 year olds? What kind of crazy world do we live in? And now I am seeing signs and postings for stricter gun laws. This is NOT about what is going on in this world, it is about what is NOT going on in our hearts and souls. Broken hearts and souls that are suffering and feeling there is NO where to turn is what leads to sad news like today. You see, it is not guns, it is not knives, it is not stricter laws, it is what we are NOT doing as a society to help the broken hearts and souls. They are lost and lonely and this is what causes these sad moments in our lives. We can have all the gun control we want, but it will not solve the issue. Something happened to this young man and got lost in the system. No matter the law, how they got the gun, it is the mental and emotional state of each broken human being who feels like they have NO where to turn. And WHY? Why do they feel there is no where to turn? What are we doing wrong? No body wants to be categorized as being “mentally unfit.” It is still a taboo and still a shameful term in today’s times. Then my mind wonders to how are we raising our kids? I recall being at a birthday party and there was a little boy who was crying, he was about, a little over a year old. His mother said, stop crying like a baby, and little boys don’t cry. I felt sad for the boy, such a stero type, teaching little boys that it is ok to cry and be sensitive is important for them to learn how to express their feelings. Perhaps this young man had suppressed feelings from his parents? I don’t know, but what I do know is our brokenness stems from our childhood.. I am so grateful for my daughter’s school who has the tools in place to help children and parents deal with issues such as depression, anxiety, even how to get though difficult parenting times. A Biblical based school, we just finished a Peacemakers study in teaching kids conflict resolution, a step they define as character building, (raising kids to be Heaven bound, not Harvard bound) as these are skills they will need every day in their lives as they mature into this world. I just finished the adult version too, so even I am convicted in how I resolve conflicts. It helps all of us to make peace and be at peace with all. Speaking of peace, it breaks my heart to see so many that don’t have peace in their hearts. It begins with Him at home and how we raise our kids in...

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As your waist size decreases, is your heart increasing?

Posted by on Oct 1, 2012 in Faith, Healthy Eating | 0 comments

Question? Are you obsessed with the numbers on your scale? Are you so obsessed that you have lost your heart along the way? I ask this because we as women tend to define ourselves by the numbers on the scale, the size of our clothes, but we lose our hearts and souls that is for eternity. Eternity cannot be defined by numbers, we cannot comprehend eternity, but idolizing those numbers as a Woman of God is a sin. Now let me ask this, As your waist size decreases, is your heart increasing? Yes, I too idolized those numbers on the scale and yet caught myself as I weighed myself for the first time in a week hoping to be under a number. Then I shook my head, “Jasmine, but the Lord does not care about those numbers, he cares about your heart and wants your heart to increase in its size.” As I learned in my Mom’s group in our recent study is: The first step in change is….heart. When we are riddled with hatred, guilt, negative emotions, beating ourselves up with negative self talk, our hearts shrink. Those around us feel that shrinkage in our attitudes and behavior. And our souls begin to die 3 John 1:2 states: “Beloved, I pray that in all respects you may prosper and be in good health, just as your soul prospers.” So if our health prospers doesn’t mean we can neglect what is in our hearts, whether it is how we treat others, our families, as they take the brunt of our actions and behaviors, and how we treat ourselves. When we become content in just being healthy vs. being skinny, that is honoring the Lord, being healthy is honoring Him, not being in those skinny jeans. You can’t take those skinny jeans with you to Heaven, when He asks you at the Pearly Gates: “I ask you, did you learn to love?” That is all He cares about, our hearts and HOW we loved. Remember the story of the Grinch? Just like the Grinch’s heart was so small and filled with hatred, it changed, because he learned to love… Romans 14:17: “…for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy...

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Who is on Your “Personal Board of Directors?”

Posted by on Sep 3, 2012 in Faith | 5 comments

Each time this year, I find myself re-newing myself. It is such an odd time of the year. One would think the New Year or spring time would foster this important growth, but the fall does this to me. It reminds me starting fresh with the school year and as the seasons change, the fall is a time for inner reflection as I learned last year. It is timely as my birthday approaches, because to me, that is my new year. So for the next month until my birthday, I am allowing you inside my heart, my past and understanding my broken road to the person I have become today. I am starting light and going to ask you to think about “Who is on Your “Personal Board of Directors?” I can’t take responsibility for this saying. I was sitting at the Leadership Summit of the church we were attending at the time in 2006 when I heard Jim Collins, the author from Good to Great speak to the lead pastor. He began to speak about his “Personal Board of Directors.” After some time, he then asked us: “Who is on Your Personal Board of Directors?” I was fascinated by this idea in just how cool it sounded. He stated you need 7 key players and I began thinking who were the key people in my life that influenced me, helped me to be a better person in my career and in my life. These key players should be of different backgrounds, whether educational, religious or of different origins, where one comes from and their beliefs should vary enough to give you a well-rounded board. They should also stimulate self-renewal, so you don’t get stagnant in your professional life, keep to your core-values and remain true to your goals. As a new Christian, I was like well, duh, of course God, but I did not have a very good understanding on what that meant or how that looked. It took some maturing on my part later in life. I came up with 4 names right away. Besides God, my husband, my Career Coach, my chiropractor, and my bestie from high school who lived out of state. The first four are obvious, but my chiropractor? Yes, she truly inspires me to be great, she is truly one of THE smartest women I know, yes borderline genius. She plants these seeds in my head that forces me to critically think in ways that challenge me, go outside my comfort zone to be a better person. Not only is she good at getting the kinks out of my back, but the mental and emotional component is unique to the service she offers to me. I can email her on a whim and she will get back to me with an answer really fast and she is a busy working mom herself. My bestie from high school who lives out of state. I found it to be important to have someone who is not involved in my community to have the ability to see things from a different perspective. She has a creative eye and I wish she lived closer so we could have a cup of coffee after taking some fitness dance class. I have also added another friend from the east coast since then, who lived in Chicago for a short time as her husband was working on his MBA here in Chicago. Our husbands went to undergrad together, we became awesome friends, and I value her opinion, a lot. She is straight-up honest and doesn’t hold back at all. We...

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My first “F”: How I missed the first (and second) day of kindergarten

Posted by on Aug 24, 2012 in Faith, Family | 7 comments

As I have been enjoying seeing my friend’s Facebook posts on everyones first day of school, I have been scrambling to get ready for my daughter’s first day of kindergarten. I could hardly believe my daughter was going to kindergarten. We decided to put her back in private school and there is comfort knowing that she was going back to a place she already knew. She received her letter from her teacher Wednesday night, how fun! But I didn’t realize I missed her first day of school. This week, my daughter and I created morning and night routines for her to keep all of us on schedule, we went on clip art for pictures to match the activity, ah yes, I am starting off the school year right, dreaming of me being this organized mom (ha, yeah right!). My friend and owner of BellyBum Boutique a sensory store for kids was having a Back to School for Sensory Kids Class. Perfect, I really want to start off her school year off right. While Tamara, the development therapist was talking about the importance of creating routines, helping to get your child involved to foster independence and autonomy, I am patting myself on the back thinking, “Oh yeah, check, did the routine thing” and “check, starting to do small chores such as wiping the table after dinner. Good job me.” Then I get a text from a mom friend from school: “Hi you, we’ve missed Lilly at school. Everything ok?” Me: gulp..wha? First I wasn’t sure who it was since my son decided to try and flush my iPhone down the toilet. I am using my husband’s old Droid which is foreign to me and I have no contacts. My mind started to race..No I thought, school starts next Tuesday, I am sure of it. I have the calendar up on the fridge, I know I missed the picnic but that was for the preschoolers and newcomers. Or was it for everyone? I refuse to be wrong, I cannot miss my daughter’s first day of school. I politely step out and call her. Me: Hi Sarah? What’s going on? Did school start? Sarah: *giggles* yes, it started on Tuesday. Me: No way! Holy Shit! Are you kidding me? (I pause, did I just swear at my fellow Christian mom friend? Crap I did..and f-bombs are going off at myself in my brain) Sarah: *giggles* yeah, but don’t worry about it, it was just a half day on Tuesday and a full day today. Me: But I can’t believe this, I was so sure, I have it on my calendar. It is posted on my fridge! I am at a back to school class for sensory kids. I created a schedule with pictures…I have been trying to figure how to use Google calendar to streamline my husband and mine calendars…(as I am trying to explain myself that I am trying to be a good mom) and oh, don’t need a lecture how I am behind in the google world… Me: “ugh, ok, well um, let me let you go so I can get home, thanks for checking in or else I am sure we would have showed up next week.” Truth be told, we have been traveling quite a bit and going back and forth has been stressful on me and hard to keep it all straight. So, I frantically walk in, tell my friend Ellen who what just happened. She laughs, says it is no biggie. I buy Lilly some sensory stuff for her first day of school as a gift,...

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Weightless Wednesday: My Heavy Soul

Posted by on May 4, 2012 in Single Mom, Teen Mom, The Missonal Mom, Weightless Wednesday | 4 comments

So this post is not on a Wednesday, but I giving myself some grace for how I have been feeling. It has been two weeks since my last post on My Heavy Heart and quite a bit has happened. You see, when God rocks your world, someone else wants to rock it too…I have often heard when He moves your heart to watch out for any spiritual warfare going on in your life. When I stepped off the plane, which was an hour late, I texted my husband that I had landed. He was driving back from Indy with the kids knowing my daughter had to be at school the next day. We discussed getting back by a certain time. When he replied back that he was enroute, I was not pleased, but texted back, “Why so late?” He called me angry yelling that he is doing the best he can, etc. I took a deep breath and chose not to retaliate…Ah, caught that right away. It was another crazy week and a half. I had an anxiety attack on Monday because I was constantly running around non stop, trying to make it here and there. I don’t get them often, only had 3 in my entire life, but I can recognize when I am doing too much and will get it under control. With all the craziness, even I fell off the bandwagon of my own healthy eating patterns, drank too much coffee and was eating foods with cane sugar, which is a no-no for me right now. My son has a ton of food allergies, which affects his behavior. I am seeing it first hand how food does affect the mind and its thought process. Reading food labels, calling companies to find out if they have any hidden sources of corn, gluten is quite a process. Cooking and baking for him constantly is another source of stress, because he has to eat and loves to eat! That Friday night, after a crazy week, my husband and I finally had a moment to talk. I just busted out how this teen mom on this plane moved my heart, but I am being attacked from all angles, my impatience, my relationship with him and not being upfront on how I feel about our son’s food allergies and I really need his support to be on board, the constant running around.. Yep, I just threw up all my emotions on him. (it is fun when we do that, isn’t it?) My husband, gracious and way more mature in his spiritual walk than I am really just helped me to understand, that all was ok in what I was feeling. I just said, I cannot explain the way I am feeling, I want to take ownership of my feelings and actions, but this is so unlike me. I hate that I have been so hard on the kids, my son’s irrational behavior also doesn’t help, 3 tantrums in one day is not like him, but I can’t blame him. I have felt like nothing has gone right. But I made this awesome cake for him…may I share the pic? Since his favorite song is Wheels on the Bus, this is what I made him: I feel like I did something right… Talking with a good friend who “just happened to read my blog” teaches at high school for teen moms where child care is offered so they graduate high school. She teaches health education classes through an organizations he works for called Women’s Health Foundation. She offered for me to teach...

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Weightless Wednesday: My heavy heart

Posted by on Apr 18, 2012 in Faith, Parenting, Single Mom, Teen Mom, The Missonal Mom, Weightless Wednesday | 7 comments

This is not going to be a post about weight issues, but one about what is weighing in my heart. I haven’t spoke much about my faith, I have quite a background actually. I was baptized Muslim due to an agreement with my parents, but when they divorced, I went through the crash course to being converted to Catholic at the age of 15. It wasn’t until I started dating my husband when I began to question faith again and became a Christian in June 2003. I’ll have to share my journey for another time. You see, I have often heard of God speaking and moving in people’s lives. I have felt promptings and “whispers” but never acted on them, purely out of fear and being worried about what “others thought.” It all happened on Monday on my way down to Tampa for work. Here is how my day started: A month ago, I received a twitter invite for Mom Bloggers to experience a morning at the Peninsula Spa in Chicago. Wow! I thought, how in the world did I get picked to do have this fun opportunity? I don’t consider myself an influential person and I just started blogging. I am just someone who purely loves to help folks get healthy and make positive lifestyle changes. I thanked God privately for this invite. It was a wonderful experience. Each service was amazing and the food was made healthy and tasty. I felt relaxed and connected with other local bloggers: Sassy Mom Chicago, Evolving Stacey and Miss Lori (yes from Miss Lori’s campus). I love spas and treatments, I won’t lie, but treating myself is few and far between. I had a rushed and whirl wind day. After the Spa, picked up my daughter, get to Whole Foods, get her to dance class, catch a cab to O’Hare to get on a flight for Tampa for work. Here is where the story unfolds. How often do you hear a church pastor talking about God’s nudges on an airplane? I always had a hard time believing it until I sat next to a single, teen mom of a 15m old boy on the plane. He was adorable and reminded me of my son. Pudgy, blue eyes and a wiggle worm. She apologized profusely for her son’s behavior in which I replied I have two kids, please do not apologize. I opened up my computer to begin working. I tried to help her a bit in calming her son down, I know it can be tough. It was 7pm, understandably he was tired, cranky. She looked at me and asked what did I do for work? I told her as she was giving her son pop and fruit punch juice. It was hard for me to not say a thing about that. It was not my place. Then our conversation began: Her: Are you a single mom? Me: No, but my mom was…and I have great respect for single moms. Her: Me too, I am moving back to Tampa to start a new life and live with my mom. I have seen her twice in 14yrs (if I heard her correctly) Me: Well that is great to be able to start fresh for your son. I bet you are excited Her: Eh, she shrugged her shoulders I closed my computer and listened to her, her story on what happened, her son being a preemie, the baby’s dad, etc. I will not disclose it all to respect her privacy. But as her son was getting more fussy, she was getting more frustrated…...

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