Being ready for winter, in our lives and relationships means open conversations about money, if we don’t want money to destroy our families.

Being ready for winter, means open conversations about money in our lives and relationships, if we don't want money to destroy our families.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Most stress is caused by three things: family, money, and family with no money.

Another beautiful week spreads before us. The leaves are turning. Nature in all her splendor is here to be enjoyed before the trees are bare. Unripe tomatoes are still on the vine. How much longer can I leave them there? The squirrels are busy getting ready for winter. There is always winter coming and we must prepare for it. Winter comes not just as a yearly season, but also comes in our lives, hearts, and relationships.

Will we be ready when winter comes should always be top of mind. Does anyone escape winter in their lives even if they escape it in their climate? When you grow up on a farm winter is a bigger thing than it is in the city. Winter in the city is annoying with icy roads but we go to the grocery store and almost the same array of vegetables and fruits are there for the buying. The farmer has to be ready for winter not just for the family, but for all the animals that live on the farm. An unprepared farmer will wreak havoc on the livestock and most might not make it to spring.

They say you can take the girl out of the country but you can’t take the country out of the girl. This is true, we are who we are and where we grew up plays a huge role in that. Some of us may hate that our origins follow us, some of us love it. We are who we are and we need to embrace it, all of it. Whatever trials and tribulations we endured have colored our lives. Some of us have had relatively few trials and tribulations but our life is what it is.  It is ours to make the best of, to grow into the best people we can be. Can we live our lives as a blessing to ourselves and others?

You never suffer from a money problem, you always suffer from an idea problem. Robert H. Schuller

We are all contributing to the tapestry of life and we have choices going forward, we can’t change what is behind us. If we are proud of our past or not, it cannot be changed. There is dignity in going forward a better person regardless of the mistakes we’ve made in the past. There is dignity in being innocent of things we’ve been accused of. There is dignity in addressing wrongs we’ve done, making amends, and going forward better. There is no dignity in being guilty of doing wrong even if we are thought innocent.

We hear stories of people who were power of attorney for someone whose money seems to have disappeared. Upon closer inspection, it may be shown that the power of attorney did not squander the money or use it in any nefarious ways. It might have been invested at a lower rate than it was being spent at and the money was spent on who it should be spent on. If the books are opened the power of attorney may be exonerated, or maybe not.

Money causes a lot of problems in families. Dishonesty causes more. We can be dishonest in many ways. We can be dishonest by not dealing with the finances realistically and expecting they will outlast the person whose finances they are. Many of us put on a good show but if we revealed our finances to each other we might not be as proud of the cold hard facts. As parents age, these cold hard facts have to be faced. If one sibling thinks there is lots of money and another knows there is not, fingers might be unfairly pointed.

It might be best when a power of attorney has to be appointed to look after a parent’s affairs that everyone knows exactly what the situation is at that time. If we are open about the situation there will be fewer problems in the future. Inheritance, the expectation of an inheritance, and being disinherited cause real problems in families. Open, honest discussions and disclosure about money before someone dies sounds like the best way forward. Since we never know when we or anyone else will die we should be open about our finances with those who will be impacted. We should look after what needs to be looked after. We should be, but are we ready for winter?

Money is a tool. Used properly it makes something beautiful; used wrong, it makes a mess. Bradley Vinson

The greatest gifts you can give your children are the roots of responsibility and the wings of independence. Denis Waitley

A man can’t make a place for himself in the sun if he keeps taking refuge under the family tree. Helen Keller

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Cold Hard Truth on Family, Kids and Money by [Kevin O'Leary]

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Secrets and Silence: What if your biggest secret became public? by [Belynda Wilson Thomas]

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Living the good life. Advice to my daughter.

Advice to my daughter. Living the good life.

All of life is peaks and valleys. Don’t let the peaks get too high and the valleys too low. John Wooden

Living the “good life” isn’t that what we all want? Twenty-nine years ago today my wonderful daughter was born and our family was complete. When we bring children into the world we have to be optimistic about the future. We want them to have a great life, opportunity, and experiences. What happens in the world matters more because it matters to our children, grandchildren, and greatgrandchildren.

We may not agree on what better looks like in the short term, what political stripe gets into office, and what laws get passed. In the long term. however, I think we all agree we want our children, grandchildren, and greatgrandchildren to live in peace, prosperity, and a natural world alive with wildlife, fish, trees, and wild places.

When we look at our children and grandchildren (still waiting for that joyous, momentous event) we want so much for them. We want so much for them but we are afraid to watch them go out and take their place in the world. It seems so much less safe than when we went out there. We worry about them getting into the wrong crowd, getting involved with drugs, and depression.

When did we start thinking life should be easy? When I listen to Mom talk about the early days, life was hard. She said she and her first husband had their budget down to the penny. To get her a Christmas present when they agreed not to give each other Christmas presents, he quit smoking for a week to afford the gift.

We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give. Sir Winston Churchill

Housing is a big deal and we are all wringing our hands over how our kids will be able to afford a house. Has it really been that easy for most people to prosper over the decades and centuries? There is a lot of talk about money in the bible. Shakespeare said neither a lender nor a borrower be, and Charles Dickens gave the recipe for a happy life. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen and six, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery.

What advice do I have for my daughter on this birthday? Love and live fully, don’t put off till tomorrow what you can do today. Be grateful for what you have and you’ll get more. Live beneath your means and be kind to those you meet along the way. When you have children they completely take over your life, and will be the biggest blessing, and raising happy healthy kids is your biggest job, and where much of your joy will come from. Make time for your husband amid the chaos and enjoy together what you build together. Walk into the sunset of life arm in arm and enjoy your golden years. Time is the secret of a long marriage, there will be ups and downs, and you have to get through the downs to enjoy the ups. Don’t throw away good trying to get perfect – there is no perfect in relationships. Love is a verb, and happiness is an inside job.

A good life is when you assume nothing, do more, need less, smile often, dream big, laugh a lot, and realize how blessed you are for what you have. Unknown

Create a life that feels good on the inside, not one that just looks good on the outside. Unknown

Life is like a camera… Focus on what’s important, capture the good times, develop from the negatives, and if things don’t work out, take another shot. Unknown

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Secrets and Silence: What if your biggest secret became public? by [Belynda Wilson Thomas]

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Family day should be every day. Love your family while you can.

Love your family while you can. Family day should be every day.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

The bond that links your true family is not one of blood, but of respect and joy in each other’s life. Richard Bach

Yesterday while we made breakfast our friend the humble skunk was in our backyard. He or she slowly ambled to the side yard. I like the idea of non-violence but we have to be able to take care of ourselves and the skunk exemplifies this. I’ll leave you alone if you leave me alone they seem to say as they amble about unhurriedly.

Enjoying meals together as a family is a simple blessing. Being part of a family makes our lives complete. Our circle will grow and shrink depending on who can show up for family dinners, and the circumstances that occur in our lives. Sometimes the empty chair is almost unbearable, but bear it we must. We are left with memories of better times. If the missing person in our life got to the end of their life we can be grateful for the part they played in ours. We can be grateful for all the good times we had. If they are still alive and it is a breach that needs to be healed we can try and become the healer of the breach. Someone has to do it, why not us?

If we don’t try and heal the breaches between us, the breach will forever remain, but at some point, the person is no longer alive and we can never repair it. We will continue to live with the pain of our unhealed relationship. Can we forgive people even if we don’t talk to them? Can we forgive them even after their death? Not all relationships can be fixed, but we have to find some measure of peace, and forgiveness may be the way forward. Forgiveness does not say, we are okay with what was done to us. Forgiveness says we are making peace with what is, and what was, and we are not carrying the vitriol we feel anymore. Pain, hurt and betrayal, are not controlling any more of our life.

What can you do to promote world peace? Go home and love your family. Mother Teresa

Today is Family Day in Canada. It is a day to draw close to each other, talk, laugh and enjoy each other’s company. Family day is not only for those families that look perfect and act perfect. Being part of a family is messy, funny, maddening, empowering, and where we should feel loved, accepted, understood, and encouraged.

Family is important for all of us; it is where we find our first sense of belonging. It is where we learn to relate to others, how to act, how to love and be loved. Our families have in many cases done the best they could throughout time to get their children to adulthood and create families of their own. The fact that we are here is a testament to our families surviving into the next generation.

Our society can only be strong if our families are strong. Building a family is a testament to our faith in the future. It shows our trust that it is worth building a family to take our genes into the next generation.

Of all the things I’ve done in my life building, a family holds the most significance. There is nothing else we can do that can give us what family gives us. It is our responsibility to take our place in society, and help build it, even if we don’t have children ourselves we can strengthen our society by supporting those who do.

Today can we be grateful for those people in our life we call family? Can we hug them a little tighter? Make a call if we can’t see them, to say I love you, and thanks for being in our life?

Nothing in the world can take the place of family. Not all people we consider part of our families are related by blood. Can we continue to build our family, and widen our circle by embracing those we meet along the way?

Love your family. Spend time, be kind and serve one another. Make no room for regrets. Tomorrow is not promised and today is short. Unknown

Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it a family: Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one. Jane Howard

The only rock I know that stays steady, the only institution I know that works, is the family. Lee Iacocca

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The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Families: Building a Beautiful Family by [Covey, Stephen R.]

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by Stephen R. Covey (Author), Sandra M. Covey (Foreword)

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The family circle, we all have a contribution to make. Family. Where life begins, and love never ends.

Family. Where life begins, and love never ends. The family circle, we all have a contribution to make.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

The chances you take, the people you meet, the people you love, the faith that you have. That’s what’s going to define you. Denzel Washington

Having somewhere to go is home. Having someone to love is family. Having both is a blessing. Unknown

A good father is a source of inspiration and self-restraint. A good mother is the root of kindness and humbleness.  Dr. T.P. Chia

Last night we had a simple dinner for my son’s birthday. He went to the Raptor’s game for his birthday. The cake didn’t seem any worse for wear for spending an extra day in the fridge. A simple dinner, we are so blessed when we can have a simple dinner with those we love.

So many people can’t have that simple dinner because a member of the family is no longer here, because of death, distance, or estrangement. To be able to hold hands and our circle be unbroken is a bigger blessing than we realize until one day our circle, is also broken.

When our circle is broken because of death we must accept it, when it is because of distance we may have choices to make, but when it is because of estrangement that seems the saddest reason of all. It seems like it should be as easy as saying, just get over it. Maybe it should, but it isn’t. The estrangement may have nothing to do with us, and we may have no power to fix it.

It is sad when we have opportunities to be with family and the chance to share a meal, laugh, and enjoy each other’s company is marred by drama. Is there drama that has never been addressed? It might be misunderstandings and hurt feelings over what was perceived as preferential treatment from parents, it can be anything but it can ruin special moments and hurt people we didn’t want to hurt.

Do we see slights where there are none? Are we somehow being disrespectful when we aren’t thinking about someone else? Is it possible to be thoughtful and respectful enough if people are looking to be offended? We might be accused of looking at someone the wrong way. We may wonder what was the right way, or if we should have looked at them at all?

Middle children are often the peacemakers, the make peace between their older and younger siblings and sometimes between their siblings and parents. There are many roles we may have had as children and theses roles don’t go away as we move into adulthood.

Life is a balance between what we can control and what we cannot. I am learning to live between effort and surrender. Danielle Orner

Families are often a minefield we have to navigate, and we bring the roles we played in our birth family into our marriages and relationships. If we were the peacemaker there are strengths to the role but also weaknesses, we may not want to deal with things that need to be dealt with, we want peace at any cost.

This is the role I think I have in a blended family with four older sisters from my parent’s first marriages, and four younger siblings from theirs. I am also the oldest of their children.

We are different people with everyone we meet. We are different children, with different parents. We are the type of spouse we are to the spouse we have, but with a different partner, we would also be different.

We are told the oldest child is programmed for excellence and achievement, the middle child is raised to be understanding and conciliatory and the baby seeks attention. As a result, birth order is a powerful variable that affects our personality not just in our original family but throughout our lives.

Can we enjoy the moments we get to spend with each other and not take our time together for granted, because something can happen that changes things forever? If the last words we said to someone were in anger, we may regret those words the rest of our life. When we are offended by the simplest things people may learn to not bother with us, we aren’t worth the effort.

It’s sad that many families don’t enjoy the time they could have together. It makes it difficult for everyone when some members can’t let bygones be bygones. If we aren’t warm and fuzzy can’t we at least be civil so others can enjoy the family circle? The family circle will be broken. Sometimes we can mend it, sometimes we cannot.

Sometimes we need to ask ourselves what is really going on, why are we so offended by something or someone? Is forgiveness what is needed to bring the family circle back together, before it is finally broken for good?

I know that no two children have the same set of parents, even though they live in the same family. Why? Because parents are different with each of their children, and no two children every take the same role. Dr. Gail Cross

All happy families are alike: each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way. Leo Tolstoy

When you assume negative intent, you’re angry. If you take away that anger and assume positive intent, you will be amazed. Indra Nooyi

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The 5 Love Languages Of Your Family (2-In1) Paperback – Mar 13 2015

by Gary Chapman (Author) 4.7 out of 5 stars 16 ratings


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Finding meaning and purpose. Embracing the heavy lifting of life. Masculine and feminine – embracing our differences.

Masculine and feminine - embracing our differences. Finding meaning and purpose. Embracing the heavy lifting of life.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

I always thought that humanity has two wings. The male and the female, and these wings need to be equivalent in strength in order to fly. Justin Baldoni

It’s dark, cold, and raining this morning. Yesterday was beautiful and hot, with a hard rain in the afternoon. Our weather is changing, or is it us that must change with the weather? Sundresses in the rain aren’t much better than rain boots on the beach.

In a four-season climate, we have clothes for every occasion. If variety is the spice of life, then those of us who live in four-season climates have it the best. We get to experience weather in all its glory, and fury.

Women have been likened to the weather. We bring sunshine and rain into the lives of those we touch. Feminine energy is a thing and I’ve always noticed the difference when I’ve entered homes where women live and where they do not live.

The difference between a female dog and a male dog is quite different. I noticed the difference between my children even as babies.

We are free to embrace whatever energy we want. Do we feel different if we wear slacks or a skirt?

Women are marketed to endlessly to become more by buying this cream, that product, this whatever… We are who we are, we may feel better with a new hairstyle and lipstick but we are who we are regardless of our hair, makeup, power suits or dresses.

Both spouses are equal, yet different. One of the most beautiful things about a relationship is that the feminine energy can feed a masculine man’s heart. And, the masculine energy can totally light up the feminine energy. Renee Wade

Jordan Peterson refers to women as nature, nature equals creation and chaos. He refers to the masculine as order. Too much order or too much chaos is not good. This is why if we can balance the feminine and masculine our society is likely to be better.

Have we balanced the feminine and masculine in Western societies, or have we negated the feminine to some degree?

What do we think more feminine energy would look like? Some may think we would have fewer wars? Why would we have fewer wars? Men live in hierarchies more than women do. Women have been the queen of their castle more than men have been king of theirs. Men went to work and in their workplace hierarchies were present. Women who stayed home were the queen of their domain.

The more things change the more they remain the same, this may be true of our search for equality, meaning, and purpose. Is there more meaning to be had in this world than to birth a child, and raise it to take its place? Is there a job on this planet that actually competes with that?

What we think in our twenties, thirties, and forties may be quite different than what we think in our fifties, sixties, seventies, and eighties.

I often say to my husband, I thought achieving goals would look different, and feel different than it does. It feels good to achieve goals; it also feels like next… If we are to find fulfillment in our life we are forever moving forward, but toward what?

The family seems to be where meaning is. We do what we need to do to feed, clothe, provide a home, nurture, educate, and help our children take their place in the world so they can do the same. The circle of life continues and being part of that circle is the power and privilege of being a man or woman.

No matter what else we may achieve in the world giving life to the next generation will likely bring us the greatest joy, meaning, and purpose. If we are lucky enough to have brought forth the next generation it came at a price most of us have gladly paid. If we have not paid this price we need to find meaning and purpose elsewhere.

Have we found meaning and purpose, or are we still looking for it?

Yin and yang, male and female, strong and weak, rigid and tender, heaven and earth, light and darkness, thunder and lightning, cold and warmth, good and evil… the interplay of opposite principles constitutes the universe. Confucius

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The Tao of Womanhood: Ten Lessons for Power and Peace Paperback – Mar 17 1999

by Diane Dreher (Author) 5.0 out of 5 stars 1 rating


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Love at first sight. We build our lives one moment, one thought, and one deed at a time.

We build our lives one moment, one thought, and one deed at a time. Love at first sight.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

I believe in love at first sight because I am a mother. Unknown

Yesterday the sunrise was beautiful. I could see it peeking above the houses and trees. When I got to a spot to take a picture my camera wasn’t capturing what was left of the fleeting sunrise. Today there was no beautiful sunrise on my walk. Sunrises are like life, when we see them we need to enjoy them. We need to put ourselves in the place to enjoy them but they are not on our schedule.

Today my daughter turns twenty-eight. What a wonderful twenty-eight years it has been. Even when I was in the hospital and had a cesarean, and she developed jaundice because I’m an O- blood type, we were doing better than lots of the other mother/baby couples. She had no trouble breastfeeding, it was a real challenge for some and one baby got dehydrated. Easy, happy babies are so easy to look after, and when they turn into happy children. and then happy adults we are blessed.

There are challenges in life for those too easy to get along with and also for the disagreeable types who expect too much. We have to learn to deal with who we are. Whether we are an agreeable or unagreeable type there are advantages. When we learn to harness the advantages we were born with instead of trying to work against them, life usually goes better for us.  

We still have a loving close relationship. The mother/daughter angst we’ve muddled through in large part because she is more like her father than she is like me. If she was more like me maybe we would have a harder time.

Father’s are so important in daughter’s lives. They say mothers teach daughters how to love, and fathers teach daughters who to love. Why we are lucky enough to have easy relationships and what turns them sour we may have a problem putting our finger on. When they sour, turning them back to sweet is a challenge, giving up on relationships is what I think we should never do.

If we are blessed to have children, each one is different, special, with their own talents, challenges, insecurities, gifts, personalities, strengths, and weaknesses. We have to accept our self and them how they are. Why can’t you be like… Is like throwing acid on their spirit. They will never be like anyone else. We can have aspirations for our children, but it is best if we help them develop aspirations for themselves.

It’s the little details that are vital. The little things cause the big things to happen. John Wooden

We build our families and our lives one small moment at a time. Each thing we do, say, and make important will impact our lives. Over a lifetime we have the sum total of what we’ve done, said, and thought.

If for any reason our relationships are not as good as we think they can be, we can change our thoughts, deeds, and words. Can we soften our tone, ask more questions instead of giving advice, offer encouragement, and do it all with kindness. They say respect is love in plain clothes.

Can we be respectful of others? Can we look after the small things that irritate so we can enjoy better relationships? Can we listen more to understand, instead of worrying if we are understood?

Take care of the little things and the big things take care of themselves. Unknown

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Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters: 10 Secrets Every Father Should Know Paperback – Aug 28 2007

by Meg Meeker (Author) 4.1 out of 5 stars 25 customer reviews


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Family and community. They don’t just happen we have to build them.

Family and community don't just happen, we have to build them.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Without a sense of caring, there can be no sense of community. Anthony J. D’Angelo

On Saturday we went to a friend’s house close to the Toronto Jazz Festival and walked up and down the street enjoying the music. A night spent with friends, music, and laughter. We spent part of the evening in a backyard created for entertaining right out of a Better Homes and Gardens design book. When it rained we huddled together in the covered bar.

The rain dampened the evening and everyone left early except four of us and our hosts who sat at the kitchen table and laughed till our sides hurt. Today I will pay the parking ticket we received. I guess that’s the price of admission.

People must spend enormous amounts of time on their front gardens. Our friend’s garden was as beautiful as everyone else’s. If you aren’t a gardener you must not fit in very well. A profusion of blooms and mature trees line the streets. What a beautiful area to live in. A walk to the beach is as easy as a walk to the coffee shop up the street. Quaint shops and restaurants are all within easy walking distance. The fitness level is probably higher because of such a walkable area.

The building block of every community is family. Paul Singer

How do we create that sense of community? Why does it exist in some areas and not in others? Is it because the garages are in the back creating a more inviting path to the front door? Whatever it is, it’s something and a wonderful community has been created. Maybe part of it is being quaint, and old, every house has character. Maybe part of it is money. Maybe part of it is everyone taking pride in their community, and everyone doing their part to keep up their little space resulting in a cohesive whole that shows us what a community can be.

It makes me realize we need to get out more, walk around in various communities and appreciate the special flavor of individual communities. It also shows me I need to get out in the garden and pull the weeds. It takes time to tend to our gardens but without tending we can’t have a beautiful garden. It takes time to build character, gardens, and to grow mature trees.

It is like being around someone’s family that is warm, welcoming, and close. That warmth and closeness didn’t just happen. We have to build our communities and our families. We can’t pick our flowers in someone else’s garden. If we want flowers to pick we’ll have to grow and tend our own garden. If we want a happy family, we have to grow and tend to that too.

Is it finding the best place to live, or is it creating the best place where we are? A happy home filled with love, laughter, belonging, acceptance, and joy is our choice. We can bloom where we are planted. We can plant flowers or weeds. We can tend our gardens, marriages, and relationships or we can let them fall into disrepair and wonder what happened. We happened; we make our choices every day to make things better or to make things worse.  

Home should be an anchor, a port in a storm, a refuge, a happy place in which to dwell, a place where we are loved and where we can love. Marvin J. Ashton

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Love Makes a Family Board book – Dec 24 2018

by Sophie Beer (Author) 5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews


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Focus on the family. The pillar of our communities, the hope of the world.

The pillar of our communities, the hope of the world. Focus on the family.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

The only rock I know that stays steady, the only institution I know that works, is the family. Lee Iacocca

As I walked with my dog this morning I contemplated what to write about. The importance of family popped into my mind. We were having a conversation about family and the importance of it, and how a people who can be manipulated by the Government need weak family units. How a fundamental principle of communism is the abolition of the family unit. This would leave the state in charge of the children. Children brought up by “the system” leads to such good outcomes surely we should embrace it.

My son mentioned how the term toxic masculinity is being thrown around, but that “toxic masculinity” has created a society where women are very free to conduct our affairs in safety.  We don’t live in a society where we can’t be out in the evening. I cringe at the term toxic masculinity.

I don’t believe pitting women against men is helpful; it gives power to groups that want to destroy the cohesiveness we have through the family. By expecting families to always be perfect, are our expectations destroying families that may be struggling? Isn’t a struggling family better for most children than no family?

By creating a society where only perfection is okay, we will create chaos. No one is perfect all the time, says the right things, acts the right way or is always in 100% control of their thoughts and feelings. Expecting mothers and fathers to never get flustered or at their wit’s end when they are dealing with children is not reasonable.

Over vigilance is not better than under vigilance. Making people living good lives, if not perfect ones, feel persecuted does not do anything for our society. Calling reasonable men who only want to create a family and raise their children toxic masculine men is not helpful. Making it seem that throughout history the average man was the rich and powerful man is not correct.

We have always had a few powerful men who were tyrants but their tyranny was visited on both the men and women in their control. We have had women who wielded that power as well. Men and women need to build a society. We don’t have good strong families when only one parent is present. That does not mean single parents don’t do a good job of raising their children. It is not considered optimum, and it is not what most people dream of, and hope for.

Family gives you the roots to stand tall and strong. Unknown

The family is the first essential cell of human society. Pope John XXIII

We have a lot of people fighting in the margins for beliefs that don’t line up with history. Militant feminism is in this camp I believe. We want to feel we have had it bad, and we have, but a lot of it was not because we were treated so badly in our families. Our families were trying to protect us and create the best possible future for us, and make sure we didn’t ruin our lives by poor choices. They were not trying to keep us down. Even if they were misguided they did it out of love, concern, and because of societal norms.

Biology has not been women’s friend. Our monthly cycles, needing protection during pregnancy, rape used as a tactic of war, all of this contributed to how our society was created to protect us. Being protected does not allow the freedom that the protectors enjoy. We were not expected to fight and die for our country. Men fought for the freedom and safety of women and children and still do to this day. Some women throughout history have also fought, but it was not their duty, it was their choice.

It is with gratitude I think of the strong men in my life, my father, husband, son and all the other men that make this a good society. If we really lived in a toxic masculine world, women would be prey all the time. We would have a cat and mouse society not the equal, egalitarian, and working together society we have created.

It is a very good time to be a woman. We probably have as much freedom as we’ve ever had. We need to not just enjoy the freedoms; we also have to take on the responsibilities to build a good society.

The breakdown of the family puts many children in precarious situations and makes them vulnerable to being targeted by nefarious groups and individuals who want to use them, manipulate, and exploit them.

The family is the test of freedom; because the family is the only thing that the free man makes for himself and by himself. Gilbert K. Chesterton

Thank you for reading this post. I hope you enjoyed it. I hope you will come back and read some more. Have a blessed day filled with gratitude, family, and love.

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Amber Alerts. The reports say they are working.

The reports say Amber Alerts are working.

The Amber Alert came into being when the community of Arlington, Texas got together to create the Amber (America’s Missing Broadcast Emergency Response) program following the 1996 kidnapping and murder of nine-year-old Amber Hagerman. Citizens wanted to prevent future abductions and increase children’s safety in their community.

An amber alert woke me at five o’clock. Our hearts go out to the family dealing with abduction. We hope it ends well.

We wonder or maybe some of us know how relationships get so bad, so hurtful that all we want to do is hurt the other person. Seventy-five percent of child abductions are by family members.

Sometimes the parent is accused by the other parent of abducting a child they didn’t abduct. Are they just trying to cause trouble or did they really believe their child was in danger?

Amber alerts are not issued lightly. There are specific guidelines in place in each province that determines when police issue an Amber Alert.

When is an amber alert activated?

The law enforcement agency believes a child under 18 years of age has been abducted.

The law enforcement agency believes the child is in danger.

There is enough descriptive information about one or more of the following – the child, the abductor, and/or the vehicle, which is sufficient to allow the law enforcement agency to believe that an immediate broadcast alert will help in locating the child.

Why do parents abduct their own children? The Polly Klaas Foundation gives four reasons:

To force a reconciliation or continued interaction with the left-behind parent.

To spite or punish the other parent.

Fear of losing custody or visitation rights.

In rare cases to protect the child from a parent who is perceived to molest, abuse, or neglect the child.

These reasons are given when parental child abduction might be a risk.

The other parent has threatened abduction or has actually abducted the child in the past.

Is suspected of abuse, and these suspicions are supported by family and friends.

Is paranoid delusional or severely sociopathic.

Is a citizen of another country and is ending a mixed-culture marriage.

Feels alienated from the legal system, and has family/social support in another community.

Have no strong ties to the child’s home locale.

Has no job, is able to work anywhere, and is not financially tied to the area.

Is planning to quit a job, sell a home, closing bank accounts, applying for passports, obtaining school or medical records.

We wish we could help.

It must be so hard for parents going through these kinds of relationship breakdowns. Every time the child visits the other parent do they worry? How do we not let worry take over our lives?

Most families navigate their separations trying to do the best they can for their children. They continue to make sacrifices for their children and try to keep a good relationship with the other parent. Even though the parent’s relationship with each other is broken they try not to make their children suffer more than they need to.

Did we all felt this morning “What can we do?” at least until we are up and out of our house? They are trying to reach the one person that may be able to make a difference. They are hoping someone recognizes the fleeing pair. Maybe someone will, we all hope this situation ends well. That everyone ends up safe.

If we were in this situation we would want help. We hope the Amber Alert reaches someone who can.

I pray as I write this good news about this abduction is coming soon.

The Amber alert had a good ending. When the mother realised the police were looking for her she turned herself in. There is a story there but we don’t know what it is. The little boy is safe, that’s what matters.

Thank you for reading this post. I hope you enjoyed it. I hope you will come back and read some more. Have a blessed day filled with gratitude, joy, and love.

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Approach, avoid, or attack. What mode are we in?

Which mode are we in? Approach, avoid, or attack?

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

We are afraid to care too much; for fear that the other person does not care at all. Eleanor Roosevelt

Approach, avoid, attack, which mode are we living our life in? We may think we are living in one mode, but the way people react to us may show us we are actually living in a different mode.

We may think we are approachable, our partner may feel otherwise. Is it the tone of our voice, the words we say, or our actions? It may take a bit of detective work on our part to figure things out. It is worth figuring out.

We may feel they are being “way” too sensitive. This may even be true. Have we taught them to be this way? We can’t change other people, but we can change our self. When we change our self other people react to us differently.

Becoming defensive is not good for relationships, being in avoid mode, or attack mode damages our relationships. We need to be vulnerable and approachable if we want good relationships.

When relationships become cold, we may be harboring resentment which makes us act in avoid or attack mode. We may not realize how it happened. We used to be so close. We used to see each other often, laugh, joke and enjoy each other’s company. Now the phone calls are less often, more polite, less intimate, as time goes by that’s just the way it is, we tell our self.

Maybe we need to search our soul to find out if we have hidden resentments. We need to make an effort to rekindle the relationship. Often life carries on, and we don’t even realize how our relationships cool until they are cold.

When we get into a conflict with someone we can ask this question.

If this person pushed my button, which one of their buttons might I (however inadvertently) have pushed?

If we want things to change we will have to change them. We will need to forgive and give up our resentments, and our hurt feelings, holding onto them is hurting our self and others. Even if we decide to no longer have a relationship we still should forgive, so we can go forward in peace.

Many families are fractured over little things, offence was taken, and amends were never made. Sometimes we didn’t realize there was an offence until much later. We perceive things differently, we misread the situation, and our feelings are hurt.

We think someone did something to us, they don’t think they did. It is easy to take offence; it is easy to take things personally when no one meant to hurt us. It wasn’t deliberate; they were living their life, worried about what they were worried about. They were concentrating on themselves and their concerns. We may think we should be the centre of their world, but they are. Everyone is self involved. How else can we build a life if we aren’t looking after our own concerns, our own goals, and our own responsibilities? Should we be more kind and considerate? Yes, but people will not live up to our expectations, all the time. We will not live up to our own expectations all the time. We may not even know what someone else’s expectations are.

We can do the best we can, most of the time. We will not be perfect. We will hurt people’s feelings inadvertently. We need to forgive our self and others. We need to be willing to make the first move when things get awkward. We need to live with people’s imperfections; they might not be what we wish they were. We may want things from them they don’t have or know how to give. We may want a closer relationship than they want with us.

We need to negotiate our relationships; we need to be honest, upfront, approachable, understanding, kind, and forgiving. If we expect too much from people we will be disappointed, we need to deal with that. They aren’t responsible for the expectations they didn’t know about. They aren’t responsible when they are too busy to have time for us.

We are all imperfect; we are all struggling at one thing or another. We need to have some compassion for ourselves and others. We need to meet people where they are and have the relationship they are capable of, not the one of our dreams. If we deal with the relationship we can have, we can do what we can to make them better. If we believe they are deliberately not giving us what we want, how does that serve us? We build up resentments, we don’t heal our relationship.

Dr. Phil says we teach others how to treat us. If we aren’t being treated in the way we think we should be, we need to look at the real issues, theirs and ours. Our relationships with people are what they are, right now, can we make it better, probably, but something will have to change, and it probably starts with us.

Do we need to make the changes we want to see in our relationships? Can we be okay with better, not perfect?

Doctor’s won’t make you healthy. Nutritionists won’t make you slim. Teachers won’t make you smart. Gurus won’t make you calm. Mentors won’t make you rich. Trainers won’t make you fit. Ultimately you have to take responsibility to save yourself. Naval Ravikant

Thank you for reading this post. I hope you enjoyed it. I hope you will come back and read some more. Have a blessed day filled with gratitude, peace, and love.

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