The “terrific twos”!

People often like to refer to this stage in life as the “terrible twos“.

I will not.  I dislike this label, and will never use it when referring to a two-year old child.

Oh sure, they can have their moments, but let’s be honest, we all do from time to time.

A two-year old is curious.  They are expressive, and yes, they are challenging.  They are learning, and they are sponges…and like a sponge, they are soaking in everything that is sent their way.

But what they are not, is terrible.  I think that they are amazing!

Just think about what is going on.  They have learned the major skills of walking, running and climbing, and now they are in the process of fine tuning those skills, as well as working on their fine motor skills.

They have gone from being totally dependent, to a limited form of independence. They are able to move around and do things on their own.  More importantly, and I think probably one of the most amazing things that they are doing, is learning to communicate with words!

Think about the freedom this brings! Who wouldn’t get a little crazy once in a while?

It really is pretty exciting when you stop and think about it, and I think that’s probably what every healthy two-year old child is doing.

Expressing their excitement in their new-found freedom! It’s time to do the “happy dance”!

Yes, it can be frustrating when we don’t understand them, and when they don’t understand us. But when he looks up in to my eyes, and reaches out his hand to me and says “hold hand“, my heart simply melts.

In moments like this, and in so many others, I’m reminded just how special this little life is, and that it really is…”terrific to be two”!

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Wordless Wednesday: Never Forget

Freedom

In memory of…

In memory of those who have given their lives for our freedom…

the price of freedom

gold star wall

because freedom isn’t free.

wreath at the wall

We set aside this day to reflect and honor the men and women who have paid the ultimate price for our freedom.
To say “thank-you” is really not enough, but still, it is something that should be said today and every day.

Thank you for giving your life for our freedom.  We honor, love and respect you!

Since our inception, we’ve been free
Praise those brave who’ve kept this to be

America, how blessed we are
By those who dare fight, each bright star

Our brave do not dodge, love bears pride
When called to move out, how they stride

They show they’re our absolute plus
They’ll not send mixed signals to us

They keep our strong freedom alive
In a world where it’s tough to survive

All who proudly marched in our past
Their deeds helped this nation to last

To the brave war has taken away
Hold Solemn Memorial Day

Honor each with love and respect
Take time to feel sorrow, reflect

Pray to God as our young march on
Leading liberty through each dawn

Show thankfulness, wholehearted care
They stand for us, with pride, sincere

©2006Roger J. Robicheau

Flip flop feet

I would rather be barefoot.

When that’s not acceptable, flip flops are my shoe of choice!

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I realize flip flops won’t work for every occasion, so yes…I have some “gown-up” shoes!

But for today, my feet are enjoying the freedom of flip flops! 🙂

The peace of forgiving

“Forgiving does not erase the bitter past. A healed memory is not a deleted memory. Instead, forgiving what we cannot forget creates a new way to remember. We change the memory of our past into a hope for our future.”
― Lewis B. Smedes

Forgive and Forget: Healing the Hurts we Don’t Deserve” by Lewis B Smedes, is probably the best book I’ve ever read on the subject of forgiveness.

The impact it had on my life was a sense of freedom and release from the bondage of the inability to forgive.  I knew that it was the right thing to do, and I would often get to the point where I thought I could forgive, and then I would stop.

Nope! in my mind, I didn’t want to give the other person the privilege of my forgiveness.  I wanted them to feel the pain that I had felt! Maybe even more!

The reality of it is this, it just doesn’t work like that.

Anyone who is cruel enough to cause pain and not ask for forgiveness after the fact, does not feel any guilt or pain by our resistance to forgive them.  Their life goes on, and they probably continue in the same vein of hurting others.

They are not even giving a second thought to the deed done to me. But my life becomes consumed by unhealthy emotions.  I become conflicted with my own guilt over the unwillingness to forgive, and the bitterness and anger caused by the hurt and the pain.

I learned that the act of forgiveness does not mean that I can or should forget, nor is it required of me to forget. However, forgiveness is still required. It doesn’t mean that I never experienced the pain and the hurt, and it doesn’t mean that I will never remember it again. What it means is that I have made the choice to forgive.

And in choosing to forgive, I move forward with new hope and peace in my heart. I can’t excuse, tolerate or forget, I can only forgive.  And in forgiving, I am released from the bondage of guilt and bitterness.

(Interesting note, Lewis B Smedes died on this day in 2002.  I had no knowledge of this until today.  I am thankful for his insight into a very painful subject.  He certainly had an impact on my life.)