Monthly Archives: March 2015

All of a sudden we are having grown up discussions

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My baby is growing up; Like for really real grown-up. I noticed the baby fat was slowly getting harder and harder to see. She is growing out of clothes and shoes faster than I can buy them.Really I had adjusted to this kind of growth. On the one hand, logically I knew her brain was growing too. On the other hand, emotionally I was not ready. It seems all of a sudden we are having real grown-up conversations. The simplest answer is no longer enough. She is asking questions about the answers I give. I want to prepare her and at the same time protect her. I want to say, “you don’t need to worry about that.”  The sad truth is, she does.I would love to put her in a bubble and keep her safe physically and emotionally. I used to think of parenting as molding a lump of clay, now not so much. Now I just want to expose her to as much of the world as possible but in a gentle way. In hopes that maybe she won’t struggle as much as I did to find herself. Her true self. A bit naive but still, a goal.

She has come into my room about seven-thirty and cuddling. Mostly on nights when my husband works. It is kind of our unwind and just chill out time. We have had some really serious talks then. I guess because she feels relaxed and comfortable to tell me things. I still have the desire to just pull her all up in my arms and cradle her, protect her from anything that would tarnish her innocence. I am sure she likes it for some of the same reasons. Not to mention all the science that is behind the boost snuggling cuddling and hugs give you mentally and emotionally.

This is just one of those sneaky ways that parenting catches me off guard. Is my brain the most effective and active at seven-thirty at night. That would be a big fat no. Most of the time whatever she brings up instills an instant panic and a why in the hell do we have to talk about it NOW?  What does she bring up at these times? Oh just small things like: When can I wear a training bra?No. You don’t need one. Why do you need a “training” bra? I really don’t know, when you have boobs there will be no training you will just need it.  What does it mean to be gay? It is just a way of classifying what kind of person you find attractive. Why is it a big deal? It’s really not but some people think it is. Why do people say that is so gay? (OMG IS THAT WHAT YOU MEANT THIS WHOLE TIME) I am glad that police don’t act like they did in Selma now a days(if you burst that bubble I may have to hunt you down and kill you myself) Why did those people lie about that black man in the movie? Sometimes people lie when something is really new and it scares them. Why didn’t they see him just as a person? I am not sure, that is just how some people are.  The movie she was referring to was To Kill A Mockingbird.

I have to admit, I am starting to look forward to our talks. They are not always deep. Sometimes we just talk about food. I am glad she feels comfortable enough to discuss ANY of this with me. It is also one of those things in parenting where you realize hey, I am doing something right. If she is coming to me about this stuff, then as long as I continue to foster this kind of relationship, hopefully she will continue to come to me.For now though I will just keep watching her sleep. She often falls asleep in my bed and when my husband comes home moves to her bed. It is still so comforting to me to fall asleep with my hand on her back feeling her slow rhythmic breathing and the steady beat of her heart.

Ten things of thankful seeing progress edition

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Sometimes we think we have fully dealt with an issue, then a harmless conversation comes up. For hours later my mind was a tangled mangled dark and dreary mess. Things were fresh and hurting and pulsing again. I really felt I had dealt with most of it. I knew there was more work to do but, I didn’t expect it to do this. Anger that they could still hurt me. Frustration that I even let them hurt me again. I can write it now and it seems so clear but it really wasn’t that clear. It was like a thunderstorm approaching and its not until it was right upon me that I realized it was a duck and take cover kind of storm. Some medication, some meditation, some loving-kindness and self-forgiveness and I felt like the storm at the very least calmed to a light drizzle.  The next day I let myself stay in bed and pout a little, then went with a friend to the beach. I mean really what better way to clear the storm than the beach? Like after a storm the ground is still wet and it still feels raw but its better, no longer building and pulsing, just drained and spent.

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Ten things of thankful is about looking for the silver lining; Looking for the positive that did happen. What did happen was pretty fantastic when I look back and study my week.

1. That I have friends who can just get away for a few hours and know that sometimes talking is over-rated.

2. That I have a husband and  kid that mean the world to me.

3. That I get these kinds of views first thing in the morning.

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4. That I still have a walking partner and I was still able to walk with squish, even if it seems like spring is already gone.

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5. That I can actually see the progress I have made emotionally, spiritually and physically.

6. I am pretty sure number five counts as three.

7. That I still have two months left of school, which means I still have time to plan out the summer.

8. That I have a job that allows me to just pack him up in the car and take him places so that I can still keep my kid entertained this summer. Did you follow all that?

9. New Juicer. Never realized how inefficient my other one was. This one is pretty amazing!

10. That between my bookshelves, my friends bookshelves and all the wonderful authors I know and have met through blogging, I am never without reading material for more than a few seconds.

I don’t like it, but I do it.

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It started in an attempt to make sure my husband ate healthier. At the time he had been eating oatmeal for breakfast and often ramen noodles for lunch and dinner. I had a genius idea to cook a lot at once and portion it out and freeze it for him to have better meals with all the work he has been doing to support our family.  Then one night I got home and I was just done. There was nothing in me to cook. We were out of milk so cereal wasn’t an option. I used two of his freezer meals and felt better about what my daughter and I ate for dinner. Soon after this I started working part-time. When I picked up my daughter she had been fed. I just had to feed myself. Cooking for one just does not appeal to me. Some weeks I go really crazy and prep lunches for my daughter and me plus the freezer dinners. One week was going to be really really busy so I even prepped breakfast.

Chronic illness takes so much from us, taking back my nutrition has been one way to fight back. True I do have to plan for most of the day to be spent cooking and prepping and resting. It really does take a lot out of me however, I have found it’s value far out weighs the energy spent doing it. When I first started doing it took me a lot longer. The more I have done it the more efficient I have gotten at it. This is what works for me. When I first started this was almost a six hour process for me.  I really don’t cook using exact measurements. The food you will have to use your sense of judgement of how much your family would eat. Some I know the amounts only because I was able to dig up Farmers market receipts and find the amounts I got. So if you are looking for exact measurements, this is not for you.  However, I do know that the more nutritious meals I can eat the more my body will thank me for it. The easier I can make it to get veggies and fruit in my diet the better I function. When I have complete meals like this ready,the less likely I am to resort to cereal for dinner or other crap, like pizza.

Here is how I do my food prep/cook days.

Grocery store list:

8 pounds of chicken

one head of cauliflower

1/2 lbs Green beans

Baby Carrots

Two sweet potatoes

1 lbs Parsnips

Quinoa

Brown Rice

 1 head of Broccoli

about 1/2 a lbs Sugar snap peas

2-3 Squash(whatever is in season) I normally stay with acorn or butternut squash as they will hold up the best.

Eggplant- I often get the baby eggplants as they are easier. I get between six to nine

Tin foil

Olive oil

If you don’t already have them Ziploc or Glad entree containers (this normally does about 12-14 individual dinners)

So then I come home and clean all the veggies. Turn the oven on to 350

Line two trays and two baking pans with tinfoil(this makes clean up simple) (and by the time I am done I need simple)

Place your chicken in one of the foil lined baking pans. Add olive oil and seasonings to your liking. I have found the best combo is garlic rosemary and sea salt.

 Toss the chicken in the oven and set the timer for an hour. It does best on a top rack.

Then in the other baking pan I place the cauliflower and baby eggplants  and sweet potatoes. Cover well with olive oil. We like to use garlic and dill on the cauliflower and garlic and salt on the eggplant. The sweet potatoes I individually wrap in foil and just toss a splash of olive oil and salt in with it.  This normally takes me about fifteen minutes and I toss it in with the chicken.

Next up are the parsnips and carrots. Peel and place on baking sheet. coat in olive oil and season. Again we tend to do garlic rosemary basil and salt.

Toss that baking sheet in.

Half the squash and de-seed it. sprinkle some cinnamon nutmeg and clove on it.  Slap it face down on the baking sheet lined with tinfoil and a bit of olive oil. Toss that baking sheet in.

Now go lay down. There should be about twenty minutes to thirty minutes left on the timer.  I sometimes cheat and just sit down and snip green beans.

The timer goes off.

Take out the parsnips and carrots first and set aside. The cauliflower and eggplants are also normally done. The sweet potatoes if the very center is still firm that is fine. Remember you will be microwaving them so they will finish cooking.

Check the chicken. Most of the time it is done but it could need a bit more.

On the stove you will need four pots.  In one you will mix brown rice and quinoa and set it to boiling. I normally save the kale and spinach pulp in my juices and toss that in with it. I make quite a bit but as usual I don’t normally measure it. I would approximate a cup of each. It will make a lot which is what you want.

Then the green beans and sugar snap peas and broccoli in the others. Cook them to just shy of being done.  This way when you microwave them later they finish cooking the last little bit and are perfect.

Now you can line up the gladware or ziplock containers. I throw about a tablespoon of quinoa rice mix in all of them. A chicken breast. Then two veggies. Mix how you wish.

Quinoa rice spinach and kale mix

Quinoa rice spinach and kale mix

Quinoa mix, chicken sweet potato and green beans

Quinoa mix, chicken sweet potato and green beans

Quinoa mix chicken and caulflower. I believe the carrots got lost under the caulflower

Quinoa mix chicken and caulflower. I believe the carrots got lost under the caulflower

Sugar snap peas caulflower chicken.

Sugar snap peas caulflower chicken.

Quinoa rice mix, parsnips and carrots and chicken.

Quinoa rice mix, parsnips and carrots and chicken.

Top and toss in the freezer.

Take out as needed.

For lunches I normally do a salad with some cubed ham or turkey shredded cheese, hard boiled egg and mandarin oranges. In ziplock bag, fried noodles  or a seed mix(pumpkin and Sunflower) then in small containers dish out a squirt or two of dressing. This keeps it from getting soggy.

For breakfasts we like to do a layer of greek yogurt a layer of granola a layer of fruit drizzled with honey sprinkle on some ground chia and then a shake of cinnamon. These stay good for about three to four days. For the other days I normally portion out oatmeal and mix in ground flaxseed, wheat germ and some cinnamon. Then all I have to do is add water.

Another meal I normally toss in the oven after all the food prep is brussel sprouts mushrooms onions baby carrots, minced garlic a  little lemon zest and olive oil then season with whatever you wish. Toss that all in some tinfoil and wrap closed. Toss THAT in the oven for about thirty minutes or so. Most of the time I just turn the oven off after thirty minutes and leave it in the oven. I normally have a bit of quinoa rice mix left over so I spread that on plates and top with the brussel sprouts mix.

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Just some random babbling

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Chronic Illness invaded our lives several years ago. When it came down to me not working, my husband really stepped up. It is really not an easy thing to realize that working is making things worse. It is even harder to see your spouse working twice as hard. I try to remember how lucky I really am.  Chronic illness often brings depression, for someone who already suffers from depression-well you get the idea. It is easy for me to fall into the poor me thought process. I try and take time to remember our story and how it is evolving.

Fourteen years and I still see him as the only one. He has changed since that first time we met. I have changed since that first time we met. He has become more and more family oriented.When we first met it was fast and loud cars, Dungeons and Dragons, and sleep. I was more about reading, reading all the things, to the point it started arguments. He introduced me to mangoes and rutabaga. I introduced him to coffee and sandwiches with no mayo. Now we both look forward to family time, hikes and bike rides and even some camping. We both have gone through some serious self analysis times, where we were questioning everything. Of course we did not go through this at the same time. It brought loads of frustration to our relationship. It was hard to remember we needed to focus on communication. There were times that communication was completely forgotten, too wrapped up in our own brains. Even still, he understands me on a level that even words cannot describe.That is the hardest thing to do, love someone even as they change. He is my sanctuary when reality gets to be too much. There is so much talk about what men are not doing, it is time for there to be talk about what they are doing. I may have to ask him to take over for the night, but he does. He does the homework, dinner and shower routine with our daughter. He tucks her in and kisses her goodnight.We balance, and that is a rare thing in this world. Some days she is insistent on one on one time with him, and they go for a bike ride together. I love watching their relationship develop and evolve. The thing is, my love for him is also evolving. Sometimes it is hard to remember that, to find yourself wishing for how things were. Mostly wishing for when things were much less complicated.

I still remember hearing those words over the phone.

“There has been an accident. The helicopter is taking him to the trauma hospital.”

The feeling of the floor going out from under me. I was a senior in high school. He was late coming to pick me up so I could cut the last class of the day. I barely remember turning to see my English teacher standing next to me. I blurted out, “He can’t die. I am supposed to marry him.”

There is just something about seeing a person on life-support. It makes you wake up; realize what you do have. Love. It ripped through me and I just knew. There was no one else. He was in a coma. He was battling a brain injury. I, however, just knew he was going to be okay. Two weeks of trips to the hospital forty-five minutes away. He walked out of the hospital. Yes, walked. We made it through that. We made it through that after only knowing each other for three weeks. Two and a half years later we got married. It is not a scene that is easily erased from your memory. I can’t tell you how many times that scene flashes before my eyes. It has a startling ability to snap you back to reality.

It would take us almost four and half years to have a baby. A well worth the wait baby. I thought then I couldn’t possibly love him anymore than I did seeing him with our newborn daughter. Here we were, in awe of our daughter. We created this beautiful child together.He falls asleep with her on his chest and my heart melts. He holds her hand as she tries out this walking thing. Love exploding.

Years go by, and suddenly I am seeing my husband through my daughter. Things I fell in love with that he does, she does. They both have an ability to notice the smallest things. She has definitely picked up a good mix of both our sense of sarcasm.They are both negotiators, never wanting someone to be upset. Peacemakers. There it is again. That feeling that I couldn’t possibly love our little family more. This feeling happens over and over, year after year. During the most mundane family times. Ah yes, but there is the other side. The other side, some of the things he does that irritates me, she does. Oh yes, there is irritation, there is annoyance, but it doesn’t cancel out the love. There are times I feel all I do is complain. Then I realize, it only irritates me because I do love them. The more I sit here trying to think of an example of an irritation, I can’t. Love blots it out. The irritations are fleeting and really once you see someone on life support, the dishes really aren’t that big of a deal. He has worked so very hard to support our family. I found myself this holiday season treasuring him even more.

Ten Things of Thankful number…..um…I forget.

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Somehow I only thought about doing this post yesterday. So Ten Things Of Thankful Blog hop is going on and here is mine.

Ten things…ten things that I am thankful for. …….

Sleeping in is definitely high on my list today. I didn’t get out of bed until after nine thirty. The kid actually fed herself and kept quite. Unheard of.

Thankful that I caught it early that I had missed two doses of my prozac.

Thankful that even though I am utterly and completely exhausted I managed four days of work in a row. It is really still quite hard for me to do this but, I did it. I also made my four and half mile walk twice this week too. So very thankful I was able to sleep in this morning.

Thankful that I pushed through last night and went to the store. This was how I was able to sleep in. There was plenty of food for the kid to pick from. Thankful we had the money to do so as well.

Thankful for a hubby that works so hard for us.

Thankful for friends who take such good care of our kid while we are working.

Thankful we are getting a new power cord for the laptop this weekend. I am in serious withdrawal at home.

Thankful that I feel somewhat able to sit at the computer desk to write this post.

Lastly, I think this might be an extra, I am so thankful to be part of #1000speak and am simply blown away by the posts I have read thus far.

I have compassion, but not for them? #1000speak

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When I watch T.V. I rarely just watch T.V. mindlessly. Recently I was watching a re-run of Criminal minds where Aaron Hodgner has a parent teacher conference about his son, Jack. He finds out the child his son has referred to as a friend and wanting this kid to come over and all the fifty million other requests that a child makes when they like someone, is actually picking on Jack. Jack has chosen to be the peacemaker and is set on making friends with this bully. I keep thinking about this. Every-time I read about bullying or hear about it, or see it! I am so thankful that 1000 speak compassion theme this month is on bullying.

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One of the principles of Unitarian Universalism is that every person has inherent worth and dignity. I keep thinking about this and how it applies to bullies. Are we telling our kids that everyone has inherent worth and dignity, except bullies.  Really that except part, you can tack anything on. Is this really what we WANT to teach our children? Probably not. The fact is though, in many ways we are. Just sit with that a minute. Really turn over the words in your head and really think about it. It is a hard concept to wrap our brains around. When we look at why people bully; attention, power, to fit in we can perhaps wrap our mind around that. In my mind, once I accept that a person who is considered a bully does have inherent worth and dignity; it opens a door. A door to compassion. A door of seeing that person for a person. I fully understand there is a difference in bullying child to another child and a bullying adult to another adult. However the more I think about it the more I circle back that the best teacher my daughter has is me. What am I modeling to her? Am I modeling that I truly believe that every person has inherent worth and dignity or am I teaching her that there is an except (insert stereotype).

Let’s look at what does this mean exactly? What is inherent worth? Dictionary.com says that inherent means: existing in someone or something as a permanent and inseparable element, quality, or attribute. It says it is an adjective, a describing word. What does worth mean? Here again I went to Dictionary.com for a definition. This one was a bit more detailed. It can have a few different meanings.

preposition

1.good or important enough to justify (what is specified):

advice worth taking; a place worth visiting.   2.  having a value of, or equal in value to, as in money: This vase is worth 12 dollars.
3.having property to the value or amount of:They are worth millions.
noun

4.excellence of character or quality as commanding esteem:

women of worth. 5.usefulness or importance, as to the world, to a person, or for purpose:
Your worth to the world is inestimable. 6.value, as in money.  7.a quantity of something of a specified value:
ten cents’ worth of candy. 8.wealth; riches; property or possessions:net worth.
No where in there does it say that it is dependent on that person or even thing, to be good, nice, pleasant.  We could even go on to say that we are talking about; each person has an inseparable element,quality or attribute useful and important to the world.
When you take this and apply it to someone who is a bully. WOW. Mind blown! We have to stop and really look at that person as a person. They have some(or a lot) not so great aspects, but what about the good things? At first I was thinking, Well they are really good at being mean. So lets look at Toy Story, at the neighborhood kid Sid.  We could say he is really good at blowing up toys. He is really good at problem solving how to blow up toys. He is really good at deconstructing toys. How do we then apply that to real world things? Well repairmen have to be really good at deconstructing things. Chances are if you are really good at deconstructing you also understand how it is constructed. There is always something somewhere being constructed. Often we think of blowing things up as only bad.  The fact is though, there are plenty of things that require that kind of knowledge. We often blow up buildings to take them down when they have become a hazard or a danger to others. This is not even to mention all the science behind it, that can be applied in other areas.

Let me spin off here and tell you a little story:

Recently my daughter told me that one of her friends was not really treating her as a friend should. It was mostly mild things. Let’s call this friend, Ruth. Ruth was not letting Maggie play the game she wanted. The way she wanted. She would play with Maggie in before care but only until another friend came then they went off and played. There were a myriad of other little things like this. I discussed with Maggie that she needed to tell Ruth how she was feeling. That she needed to stand up for herself and say,” hey wait a minute, this isn’t right.” I told her Ruth may not like it. Ruth may say not nice things back to her. I then told her she didn’t need to believe any of those things. I reminded her that as long as Maggie was happy with Maggie then just let it roll off her. For days when I picked Maggie up I asked her did you talk to Ruth? No. Which led to more conversations about it being okay to be scared. It is a hard thing to do. However once you do stand up for yourself, you will feel so much better. I let it go. Her solution seemed to be to just go play somewhere else.

When our kids are younger we tell them to use their words. We then turn around and tell them if they don’t like how someone is playing to go play somewhere else. There is a missing link here. We would like to think all problems will be that easy. They are only three or four, they will have other friends, but is that really teaching them the best thing to do?Yes there does come a point and time where you do have to walk away. However we should be telling them to use their words first. Tell that other kid that you don’t like how they are playing. This is an essential tool they are going to need later in elementary and even beyond.

It happened one day. I think it was about a week after it first came up. Maggie got in the car and said.

” I did it! I told Ruth she was not being a friend to me. I feel really good about it Mommy! “

She was beaming from ear to ear. I responded with :

“I am so proud of you. What did Ruth say?”

Maggie says “Well at first she just kind of rolled her eyes and said whatever and walked away. But she came back a little later and said. I am sorry I have not been a nice friend. How can I make it better?”

Now this may not be typical in mainstream schools, as much as I wish it was. Maggie and Ruth are at a Montessori school. This is what they spent a whole semester in Kindergarten working on.

” See aren’t you glad you said something? Stood up for yourself?” I asked.

“Yes! and it was hard! It was really hard because I was afraid she would depart from me. I didn’t want to lose her as a friend but I decided to say something. And it worked!”

” So maybe tomorrow you can go to Ruth and ask her if there is anything she needs that you can help her with.”

This lead to more discussion. I explained to her that often bullies are bullies for attention or to feel better about themselves or even to fit in with others. We have to look beyond their behavior and see if we can find out why. I related it to when she gets over tired she gets sassy and cries easily. She is not a sassy girl but the underlying problem is that she was overly tired. To which she responded ” or when I have sugar and am all crazy and you say I am bouncing off the walls. ” Exactly. We can’t always do something about the underlying problem, like a sugar rush, but we can have compassion and show that. We discussed that if Ruth had said ” I am not being mean, I am a great friend.” that it would be time to walk away. It wouldn’t mean that Maggie didn’t care about Ruth anymore. We sometimes have people that we care about but are not really friends with anymore.

Now, it is also true that this is a very mild case of bullying. However if we are discussing this with our kids and actively helping them problem solve the little things. If we are demonstrating that we also do this in our lives with the people we interact with. I truly believe they will have the confidence to tackle the bigger things like showing compassion to bullies.

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SCRIPT!

Are you ready for a flood?

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A flood of good that is! Friday will be here before you know it and 1000 voices speak for compassion is at it again. Flooding the interwebs with good positive posts.

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Not only flooding the internet with good and talking about compassion but, the difficult subject of compassion and bullying in a positive light.

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Is that even possible? I promise you it is. It may hurt your brain a bit but I promise you it is worth your time.

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There will be plenty to read about and it’s going to be a monthly thing so stay tuned.

Ten things of thankful from my phone

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I really hate doing it this way. However my back is just not going to let me sit at the computer desk. Sadly earlier in the week the powercord to the laptop died a sad tragic death. Withdrawals started immediately.

Thankful friends let me use theirs while I was at their house.

Thankful that I can participate through my phone.

Thankful for just us family time we had this morning…I kind of blew up instagram with pictures.

Thankful for a husband that works so hard to provide for our family and gives up sleep to have family time.

Thankful for zyrtec. Yes that’s right…oak trees are in full bloom as well as a few other things….being allergic to over half the plants outside. Thankful I have zyrtec so I can enjoy beautiful weather.

Thankful spring break is over. I just have to survive until Monday morning.

Thankful I feel I had the perfect balance of keeping the kid fresh for school but also plenty of relax time.

Thankful that despite questioning myself…..I took the kid to see To Kill A Mockingbird. I would love to protect her but I can’t. That’s also on instagram.

Thankful for ultracur. Natural remedies are amazing and this one just blows me away. See previous posts…I am not linking because phone. There will also be another amazing fantastic astounding post about it in August. Maybe.

Thankful I got all this done and under three hundred words. Typing this much on a phone is hard,yo.

Mess free Popsicles

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Recently I had coffee with a friend. It was not just any coffee. They have like liquid gold coffee. Hand ground slow drip brewed, in other words the best coffee.

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We had a nice chat about so many things. She then showed me something her husband had been working on. It was a device to catch the drips from popsicles. There are some other ones out there however, this one seemed to be more aesthetically pleasing than the others I had seen. It also appeared to be quite a bit more durable. I took it home with me with a promise to try it out.

My daughter is nine and half and while I knew it would appeal to her, I also wanted some age variety. We went off and scooped up Snickerdoodle because really if it can hold up to a two year old it can hold up to pretty much anything. Plus it was a great day to go to the park and eat popsicles. Is there really ever a wrong time to eat popsicles? Not in my book there isn’t.

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While my daughter at nine and a half could stick the popsicle in, we put Snickerdoodle’s in for her. Her two year old dexterity is not quite there yet. However the Popzgrip’s sturdiness did allow her to quickly figure out how to keep her popsicle upright, well for the most part. She is two after all.   It caught the drips and was easy to switch out for new popsicles!

After the park we took it home and I tossed it in the dishwasher. That is right, it is dishwasher safe as well.

Want to know more about this?

Check out :

The website here

The kickstarter here

The Facebook page here

A common theme of kindness

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The more involved in #1000speak , the more my mind has opened. I want to write some posts that cover some of the common areas of compassion that have been talked about. Compassion covers such a broad area. I love that we will be continuing this on a monthly basis. I love that we have gotten sub-topics for each month yet, still under the wing of compassion. However, sometimes the words just need to come out and this is one of those times.

Religion can be such a touchy topic. We often look at the differences. We often make judgement based on the religion as a whole. There are extremest and I would even go so far as to say terrorist in every religion. It does not and should not mean they represent the entire religion. The only way to really find out what a religion is about is to learn. The biggest hurdle is actually wanting to learn; wanting to leave behind judgement and assumptions and learn. The more I have done this the more I have seen similarities. The more I have seen religion mostly talks about kindness and love. It is the general theme that runs through them all. This Sunday our sermon was about Radical Hospitality, that seems like a great place to start.

 As someone who not only loves to read but also loves to research questions like this, I can tell you I got lost in Google. Before I knew it, I had twenty tabs open.Generally I find these kinds of stories fascinating to begin with. Stories that tell a story but also teach a value.  I can safely tell you there is not a lack of stories that talk about being kind, showing hospitality, having compassion. As is often the case in life, not one of these stories teach only one lesson. Really they could be deconstructed to teach quite a bit more than just one lesson. However, I kept my searches to hospitality. I searched for stories of hospitality in Islam, Jewish,Christian Buddhism, Hinduism, Wicca as well as just God’s and Goddess’s in general. I was really aiming for leaving no one religion out. However, I am sure there are many more than just these. Seriously, I had to keep some perspective or I could easily still be lost in the search three days later.

I think the first step is to know what does the word hospitality really mean. Dictionary.com states it is a noun and an adjective; 1.the friendly reception and treatment of guests or strangers. 2. the quality or disposition of receiving and treating guests and strangers in a warm, friendly, generous way. I wanted more though and then I stumbled upon the synonyms. Kindness, warmth, generosity, and even more into those words heart,love and compassion show up. Something I noticed is it doesn’t say anything about “the golden rule” treat others as you expect to be treated or treat others as you would treat yourself. The Minister today made a good point that how we treat ourselves is really not a good place to start from. I know I don’t always treat myself with compassion and kindness. I can be down right mean and overly critical of myself.

Islam speaks of how the Profit Muhammad showed hospitality,whether the guest was expected or not. There are many references to hospitality in the qu’ran and it often references the story The Honored Guests of Abraham. A story of entertaining angels. While this can also show that sometimes it feels awkward for the host as well, it also shows not to make judgments. Abraham thought they were odd but still he showed them hospitality.  Hospitality is also heavily through the Christian Bible as well. In Hebrews 13:2 it also states to always show hospitality as many have entertained angels unaware. 1 Peter 4:9 also states to do so without grumbling. This is a great reminder that hospitality should be given without complaining.  Even the Buddha stated that hospitality should be shown to all, whatever their caste, religious affiliation or status.  There is also a great Buddhist story about one way hospitality.  It falls along the lines of selfless service; You must give to receive,which can again be linked back to the bible as well.  Even in Hinduism there is the thought that everyone and everything is god. Therefore the act of hospitality is also an act of worship. They also have a story of God as a guest. I stumbled upon a great Jewish story of A Rich Man’s Hospitality. This one also shows the lesson of seeing people for their own value, not measured by what they have and can give. I especially love the stories of the God’s and Goddess’s. Over and over they show that kindness and selfless acts and true genuine hospitality is the way. From Hestia to Vesta to Empanada and even Zeus was concerned about showing hospitality to anyone and everyone. Wicca celebrates hospitality in the second harvest also known as Mabon.

There are so many things I could say. I could really write about each one of theses stories and religions. However, what I wanted you to see is that it all ties together. It doesn’t matter who you worship or don’t worship, who you believe in or don’t believe in, they are all saying the same thing. In a very broad general term, they are saying to love. Love doesn’t judge, or hate, or assume anything. Love doesn’t care what it does or doesn’t have it gives anyway. This is what they are all saying and I can see that just by zeroing in on one topic. It runs that rampant through all religions.

References:

http://www.islamreligion.com/articles/10662/

 http://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/312880/jewish/A-Rich-Mans-Hospitality.htm

http://learningtogive.org/resources/folktales/Calabash.asp

 http://www.buddhisma2z.com/content.php?id=178

 http://vedanta.org/2012/monthly-readings/god-as-guest-hospitality-in-hindu-culture/

http://www.openbible.info/topics/hospitality

http://paganwiccan.about.com/od/greekdeities/p/HestiaProfile.htm

http://www.thaliatook.com/OGOD/empanada.html

http://www.lib.unb.ca/Texts/QWERTY/Qweb/qwerte/mic_mal/visit.htm

http://www.comp.leeds.ac.uk/nora/html/51-24.html

  http://www.anglicantheologicalreview.org/static/pdf/articles/snodgrass.pdf

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/hospitality