November Virtue Celebrating Friendship

Standard

November Virtue Celebrating Friendship
By Bernadette A. Moyer

Friendship-Nov.png

Through the years I have often told my children, “in order to have a friend, you must first be a friend.” What does it take to make, manage and maintain a friendship?

“Let us ask the Lord for the grace not to speak badly of others, not to criticize, not to gossip, but rather to love everyone.” Pope Francis

How can we celebrate our friendships? What might we do to be a better friend? So much of keeping a relationship going points back to acceptance and tolerance. We make the time for the people that matter the most to us. We show them by our actions how important they are to us.

Today we are living in a country divided; our politics shows us this as we are trying to find our identity, what better time than now to take to heart the words above from Pope Francis?

“A friend is one that knows you as you are, understands where you have been, accepts what you have become, and still, gently allows you to grow.” William Shakespeare

This November, won’t you join me and celebrate friendship?

Bernadette on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/bernadetteamoyer

Books by Bernadette on Amazon and Barnes & Noble

Chocolate Cake and the Gym

Standard

Chocolate Cake and the Gym
By Bernadette A. Moyer

cake.jpg

Chocolate cake and the gym is pretty much my life where I enjoy moving from the sweet melty chocolate cake experience to the hot sweaty and salty work out experience at the gym. It is one extreme to the other and plenty of good and bad stuff in the middle.

Like life it can be sweet and easy or hard and rough. But it is also a testament to a rich and full life filled with a variety of experiences. Maybe the chocolate cake makes the gym more tolerable? Or does the gym make the chocolate cake more worthy of consumption?

Yesterday I literally baked a pumpkin pie and chocolate chip/walnut cookies before I headed out to the gym for an hour swim and a 15-minute sauna. I met my steps goal with more than 10,000 steps and I enjoyed two cookies! It felt great! It felt like balance! It felt rich!

In the deeper sense when life is tough and we are experiencing a rough patch we need to remind ourselves that whatever it is, it is only one part of the total picture. Nothing is all good or all bad.

“The very purpose of life is happiness, which is sustained by hope. We have no guarantee about the future, but we exist in the hope of something better. Hope means keeping going, thinking “I can do this.” It brings inner strength, self-confidence, the ability to do whatever we do honestly, truthfully and transparently.” – Dalai Lama

More and more I try to enjoy the extremes in life the rich experience of a really fierce workout at the gym along with that full sensory experience of enjoying a piece of homemade chocolate cake.

Now for the really serious stuff, the best chocolate cake by far is the Classic Hershey cocoa cake. It includes 11 ingredients and certainly is a lot more work than a box cake but it stays moist long and is so good it really does not need any icing. Powdered sugar on top looks great; add some sliced berries and if that cake isn’t enough chocolate for you, the Hershey cocoa cans also include their chocolate icing recipe too. It’s really good and really rich.

What does a rich life look like for you?
What does it include?
Where do you draw a balance?
What do you work toward?

How do you treat yourself?

“None of us are getting out of here alive, so please stop treating yourself like an after- thought. Eat the delicious food. Walk in the sunshine. Jump in the ocean. Say the truth that you’re carrying around in your heart like a hidden treasure. Be silly. Be kind. Be weird. There’s no time for anything else.” Richard Gere

Bernadette on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/bernadetteamoyer

Books by Bernadette A Moyer on Amazon and Barnes and Noble

Early Morning Magic

Standard

Early Morning Magic
By Bernadette A. Moyer

morning

It is the wonder
It is the possibilities
It is the morning
It is magic

Early morning magic
When all things are possible
With an upbeat attitude
And a heart filled with gratitude

Another morning
Another day
I think I ponder and I pray
What will enter, remain and stay

So much to do
So much to say
It’s another blessing
A brand new day

In the early morning
Just before the sun rises
The possibilities are endless
Relish in the early morning magic

Bernadette on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/bernadetteamoyer
Books by Bernadette on Amazon and Barnes & Noble

This Too Shall Pass

Standard

This Too Shall Pass
By Bernadette A. Moyer

shallpass

The beauty of life is that nothing lasts forever, and when you have some life experience you begin to understand that no matter what is going on, it won’t last. This too shall pass. Good things and bad things, they pass. Nothing stays the same, everything changes and no one thing or person lasts forever.

So what would I tell young people and my younger self? Hang on because as challenging as life can be at times, it will change, things do shift and in time everything passes. Take the lessons and the life  experience and let the rest go …

2 Corinthians 4:17-18 “For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever. So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now, rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but see will last forever.”

Bernadette on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/bernadetteamoyer
Books by Bernadette on Amazon and Barnes & Noble

Our Health Our Responsibility

Standard

Our Health Our Responsibility
By Bernadette A. Moyer

health

You can be as ill as you want to be or in many circumstances, as healthy as you will yourself to be! My mother was a Masters educated nurse who always encouraged us to be healthy. Often she made statements like, “sick people are in the hospital and you are not one of them.” She worked for more than 30 years in hospitals from pediatrics to critical care units and later assisted living. The bulk of her career was in a Catholic hospital where all life was valued. She never wanted her children to be ill or require any truly unnecessary hospitalization.

I used to joke that “I wasn’t allowed to be sick!” Not in her eyes and in many ways it served me well. If you ever find me admitted to the hospital, I am ill, very, very ill. People die in hospitals and I don’t want to die and certainly not there.

And yes there are procedures and hospital stays that have turned people lives and health from bad to good, but it NEVER happens without the patient being part of the wellness practices. And YES there are hospital stays that have turned patient’s health from bad to worse. Just ask any medical malpractice attorney. A patient has to want to get healthy; they have to be willing to be a part of the process. If the patient is a child the parent has the responsibility. But there is no hospital or no doctor or no pill that will make us healthy if we don’t want to become healthy.

Since July of this year I witnessed our adult son admitted to the hospital for at least 6 different hospital stays. Most often he was escorted there by a “crisis team” after shocking public displays of odd and assorted behaviors. He is an adult and he alone is responsible for his care. I have come to believe that he likes being admitted and enjoys all the attention he receives at the hospital. It has been communicated to us that since July he has spent the better part of two months in a psych unit of a hospital.

Most people in the hospital can’t wait to get out, he loves going in. I am so sad and conflicted because I believe he does not fully appreciate what he is doing and the long and short term ramifications of his behaviors. I also believe he has all the power and that he will not become healthy until or unless he alone decides to become healthy. There is no magic pill, there is no magic doctor and there is no magic hospital that will bring us to good health if we don’t do the work necessary to be part of the process it takes to heal ourselves.

What I have witnessed is well-intentioned social workers, doctors and nurses that think they are helping him. What I have also witnessed is a slow and steady decline since they have all come together to help him. In many ways his attitude and his behaviors are far worse than they have ever been. The magic doctor, the magic pills and the magic hospital are not helping him at all. He needs to help himself and he is not doing that.

As a small child if he fell and skinned his knee and you babied him and coddled him his screams would become longer and louder and more dramatic. But if you addressed the wound and comforted him and eventually said okay now knock it off he would gently respond with “okay” it was almost like he took all his cues from how you addressed him. I learned early on how to manage him. Not a single one of his “crisis unit” like episodes ever happened inside our home.

The last day that he was admitted, he walked himself into the hospital and as he was waiting to be admitted he posted a video of himself on social media about where he was and what he was doing in the hospital. He clearly was NOT in any distress. And he also seemed to enjoy the camera being on him. If I had any lingering feelings about what to do seeing that post drove home for me that if and when he wants to get well he will and if he doesn’t want to he won’t. It is pretty clear.

Everyone is different some people are born with disabilities and illnesses that do require treatments and hospital stays. What I am referring to here is someone who has displayed an ability to be fully functioning and manage a full life. I am talking about mental health and seeing in the past what someone is capable of and knowing that if they alone decide, they will once again be capable of a fully functioning life. They may also decide not to be fully functioning. So much of the quality of our life is all about the decisions that we alone make for our lives.

Once we become an adult, our health is; our responsibility … and good health can only come about if we want it.

Bernadette on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/bernadetteamoyer

All books by Bernadette on Amazon and Barnes & Noble

The Heart and Head Conflict of a Parent

Standard

The Heart and Head Conflict of a Parent
By Bernadette A. Moyer

mom_dad-1024x722

My husband and I have often lead with our hearts, when in retrospect it might have been better to lead with our head. When it comes to raising children it can be a real challenge making decisions for our children when our heart is telling us one thing but our head is saying another.

It has been said that “bigger kids means bigger problems.” Our kids enjoyed a certain amount of success while under our care. When we made all the decisions they were all doing well and set for success. Each child looked and acted fit. Each child was encouraged to do their best and to lead with their own unique talents. We wanted them to be happy but we also wanted then to be successful in life. We knew that our job in being “in control” would end one day and they would transition from child to adult.

As I read through social media earlier today a friend wrote this statement:

“I feel that the toughest part about parenthood – once our kids are adults is that we lose control. We have no control any longer, like we did when they were under our watch as toddlers and teens. We lose control of the five W’s:
– Where they go/Where they live
– What they do
– Who they choose to be/Who’s attracted into their lives
– When we get to be together
– Why they want/do/pick/think/decide
We are forced to trust our babies to themselves, to others, and to the world … and that’s a LOT to ask of a parent. We hope we did our jobs okay when we did have control.

So now we want to, have to, and do … trust our precious beings to God and to the universe … and we pray for the best outcomes possible. While we sit here and watch. Out of control. Cheers to all of us parents. The most emotional, challenging — and rewarding — job on Earth.” S.S. 10/12/16

Only a seasoned parent with years and years of parenting under their belts could/would fully appreciate the quote above. Kids are so ready to call us “controlling” yet those “controls” often were what was necessary to avoid further hurts and conflicts.

As we become those “mature parents” with our own rich history in parenting, it doesn’t take much thought to think back to all the times we challenged our own parents as we also needed to transition from child to adult.

“A parents job is to give a kid what they need and not what they want.” Dr. R.

One of the hardest decisions any parent will make is in the letting go. We think we know what is best and even if we are right, they still need to learn and to grow and to see and experience it all for themselves. Even if we are “right” we don’t get to decide when our children are adults.

Prayers up for all the parents of adult children who are learning to let them go, and doing so with grace and love.

Prayers up for all the adult children that are exercising their adult status and making their own decisions.

Bernadette on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/bernadetteamoyer

All books by Bernadette A. Moyer on Amazon and Barnes and Noble

The Process

Standard

The Process
By Bernadette A. Moyer

process

We give so little credit to “the process” as we tend to think more about the end result. However the more life experience that I attain I tend to give more and more attention and respect for “the process.”

Our most thoughtful and best decisions are often derived as we complete the process. We learn about what we like and what we dislike we learn about what fits and feels right for us. I used to give all the credit to the end result to success to coming to the conclusion and completion but now I am giving so much more credit for the process that we go through until we arrive at our destination.

What advice would I give to my 20 year old self?

“Don’t be in such a hurry, stop, reflect and thoroughly enjoy the process!”

As someone who was always a high achiever I was always completely focused on the end result, looking back I can see where I rushed through much and could have enjoyed more with a better understanding of the value that is held in the process.

process2

It doesn’t matter if they are personal goals or professional goals, some much is attained when we take the time to not only go through “the process” but revel in it. I have also come to know that my best responses may not be my first responses but the ones where I took the time to reflect on all sides and took the time to process as much information as I could so that I could then arrive at the very best decisions.

Gathering information and educating ourselves should not be rushed but should be treated with respect and understanding as to the value of allowing for the process to unfold and the answers to revealing themselves.

So here is to placing more value and time and attention on “the process” …

Bernadette on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/bernadetteamoyer

Books by Bernadette A. Moyer on Amazon and Barnes and Noble