Monday, September 28, 2015

The choice to worship freely

I normally don't talk about religion. It's an incredibly personal experience and choice, but I had to shout my pride for the city of Philadelphia after this weekend's spectacular papal visit. Pope Francis began his East Coast tour in Washington D.C. traveling to New York and then to Philadelphia for the glorious outside mass on the Parkway in Philadelphia.

I was born and raised a Catholic. Baptized, schooled, and married in the Catholic church. My children are baptized Catholic, however, I choose a non-denominational church to worship and raise my children. My break from the Catholic tradition did not stop my love of seeing the people's pope. For me, it was a moving experience I'll never forget. I've been fortunate to see two popes in my lifetime. Seeing and hearing Pope Francis' message of love and compassion in the city of brotherly love left many a spectator, including local broadcasters, moved to tears.

Many believed Philadelphia could not deliver the magnitude of hosting such an auspicious event in its city. Philadelphia served its community and then some! With over 300,000 in attendance, people were respectful, compassionate, helpful and loving. Not only was Pope Francis' message uplifting and universal but the city of Philadelphia was as well! People from all over the world attended. Seeing those gold and white umbrellas enter the streets to administer communion to almost half a million souls was breathtaking. I had a difficult time holding back tears. Sharing the kiss of peace with strangers on the street who were united with a common goal of love and support, regardless of faith or religion, reverberated in the truest essence of yourself. People of many faiths came to hear the Pope's message. And in so doing, reminded us all of the power and freedom we have in choice.

This weekend's Festival of Families wasn't just for the Catholic faith. Regardless of your belief or faith Pope Francis' message was universal, love and take care of your family. Evil will never have the last word.

Monday, September 21, 2015

The choice to be courageous!


    Courage isn't something you're born with. Motivation, determination, prayer and as Mom-Mom Rose would say, a good dose of moxie is the spirit that forges courage. Courage runs parallel with fear. Being courageous is feeling the fear and doing it anyway. I've told my three lovelies this since they could speak.

     Number two discovered that feeling the fear can be empowering and dangerous if not done thoughtfully.

     Number two enjoyed a sleep-over with a few friends and received a distressing call from a neighbor at about three a.m. when the friends and the family were sound asleep. Number two's friend was in a dire situation. Being the child number two is, number two trudged through a four-foot snowstorm in the blackness of night walking a mile through our development to reach out to our neighbor. My husband and I didn't discover this nugget of information until early next morning when my neighbor arrived to thank number two for saving their child's life. Now, this is where as a parent you're torn between wanting to throttle your child or call the media. As proud as I was of number two's insanely heroic effort, the lecture ensued of the importance of reaching out for help when things were overwhelming and remembering never to endanger yourself. Once the reminder of making smart choices ended, number two simply said, "But he wasn't making smart choices, and if I weren't making smart choices, I'd want someone to help me. I was scared, but I knew in my heart I was making the choice to do the right thing. There wasn't time to let my fear control my decision, and it all worked out in the end." Does it get any more courageous than that? From the mouths of babes.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

The choice to be empowered

Making choices is valuable in a person's life. Feeling empowered by them? Creates a force that attracts opportunities and people. Embrace your choices and delight in the fact that you have the capability and freedom to make them. Not everyone has the luxury to choose for themselves. When you have the opportunity to make a choice, feel empowered by it, embrace it, own it. Standing behind your choices, good or bad, strengthens your spirit and creates an indelible mark on your soul, imprinting upon your inner core power and dignity. Your choices are unique, creating the strong and fortified individual you are. Feeling empowered by your choices frees your mind and soul. Thank you, I'll take some of that please to go!


Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Not making a choice is a choice, too

Have a hard time making decisions? Don't we all from time to time, but opting out of choosing on a consistent basis is making a choice, too. Huh? It's a choice not to take the time to care for ourselves. Choosing not to make a decision sends a message to ourselves that other people's priorities and commitments are more important than the stuff swirling and congealing on our plates directly in front of us at the dinner table. Do yourself a huge solid and take the time to make the choice. Ask a few close friends, you don't need to involve Aunt Bessy from Minneapolis, but solicit advice from people you trust. Next make sure you compare apples to apples, write a list of pros and cons, but most importantly make the choice and take the time to take care of yourself. If you don't, people learn from your actions that their priorities and choices are paramount and yours are not. Is that a very good choice?