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Thursday, May 26, 2016

A.Adams Jones ~ The Main Reason I ended up back in Colorado Springs (Part I)



Update: May 26, 2016

In recognition of the author who inspired so many changes in my life three years ago...here's a re-post from 2013 PLUS links to this author's books and video synopsis.





Blind Innocence


 
 
I am once again in a situation where I need to be reminded of all the wonderful, unexpected moments that occur in my life.  These moments of inspiration allow me to grab a rope as I dangle from a precipice so I can pull myself up.  First a little back story:  Two months ago, I announced to my three children that we would go to the park.  It was a Saturday.  My plan was to take them to the playground so they could burn off some excess energy .  My five-year-old, Sebastien, excitedly told me, "Mommy, let's go to that big park by Walmart."  I hadn't thought about going to Tremore Park, but something told me that we should go there. 

I had originally thought we could go to Rhyne Park, closer to home near their school.  It was not meant to happen.  So even as storm clouds threatened to release their burden upon us, I ushered my three pumpkin-headed monkeys (a term of endearment I coined just for them) into our mini-van and proceeded toward our destination.   Minutes later, we pulled into a parking space and I released my little wild ones onto an unsuspecting playground.  Several other parents had the same idea.  We all hoped the rain would wait while the children unleashed their pent up energies. 

As I watched my "free-range" kinder dash from climbing walls to swings to monkey bars, I noticed that the nearby covered picnic pavilion was buzzing with activity.  It looked like a family had reserved the space for a celebration - a birthday perhaps.  Several adults made a path from their cars to the pavilion with large, covered aluminum pans filled with food.  A grill was started and soon the aroma of cooked burgers and hot dogs filled the air.  Someone decorated the pavilion with balloons and posters.   My stomach grumbled.

In my haste to get the children to the park, I had forgotten to eat.  I could handle that.  What I feared was that the heavenly scent of fresh-grilled meat would reach my always-ready-for-more-food children and the whining would ensue.  I held my breath and waited for the moment one of them would come to me and begin the litany of "Mommy I want a Happy Meal, I am hungry, I need something to eat, etc..."  Usually this was released in the style of a Gregorian Chant - only more annoying and much less relaxing.  Anyone who is on a tight budget can attest to the fact that there is nothing happy about a "Happy Meal."  It's way too expensive, not very nutritious, and the toys are usually a starting point for terrific arguments.

Turns out I didn't have to wait very long before one of the kids asked when we could get something to eat.  The drizzle of rain and the requests were simultaneous.  I decided that we'd wait a few minutes since my children wouldn't melt or waste away anytime soon.  During my wait, a young man from the picnic pavilion walked over to me and handed me a post card style invitation.  That buzz of activity wasn't a birthday party.  It was a Book Signing for New Author and Publisher A. Adams Jones for her book "Blind Innocence."  The gentleman invited me and others on the playground to attend the book signing and enjoy free food.  Wow.  I had a choice to make.  Should I go ahead and  meet the author?

I had no money with me that day.  We were between paydays and I needed to take the kids home to cook dinner.  The rain was beginning to come down with more intensity.  I waited to see if anyone else would go first.  But nobody stepped forward.  I am not the most outgoing individual, but I do have three very entertaining and confident children who often "force" me out of my comfort zone to do the unthinkable.  And there was that opportunity to feed them right there.  I took a leap of faith and walked over to the author and introduced myself and my three children.  I learned that her book was based on a true story and I found myself drawn to her kind spirit as we spoke.

A.Adams Jones took time to talk to me and to my children as a videographer documented this stop in her book signing tour.  For some reason, it touched my heart and gave me hope that I too could write about my experiences in a way that might encourage people and help them through rough times in their lives.  She was encouraging and even gave me a signed copy of her book with an offer to call her if I ever needed to talk or pray.  I was especially grateful for the book since I had no funds with me at the time.  My children were so comfortable around everyone that they ended up making friends, eating well, and having another great family moment to add to their history.

That day was significant in many ways.  It jump started my interest in writing about my own trials as I struggle to raise my little family, forgive past transgressions, and move forward spiritually, emotionally, and in my career choices.  I never could have foreseen how that day would impact future decisions. My "inspirations" ultimately caused me to lose my job and end up stranded in another state with my three children.  Yet I am convinced there was a purpose behind the events on that day.  Next posting...Consequences and Resolutions.  You don't want to miss this one!


PARTS I and II Now Available


Tuesday, May 24, 2016

The Reluctant Catholic ~ Here's One Reason Why

The following article was found on my Face Book feed today.  Nothing like ticking off a tired mom of three after a LONG weekend of moving...to a second floor apartment.  That's a lot of physical and emotional work.  So here goes.... 
Catholic Study Fellowship
Thank you Holy Father for your wisdom.


Pope Francis has joined the American College of Pediatricians in denouncing the transgender ideology of fluid sexual identity among children.
Check out at least one article from each site and you can determine on your own if anecdotal references v. research based information is the best method to transmit accurate information.  Best case scenario:  A combination of these modalities is important when encouraging readers to make informed decisions.

Here are a few of the "responses" following this post: (Names edited out for confidentiality.)
 K: None of us are thrilled with the body we are given. May be too tall, or too short, have bad vision or bad hearing, too dark or too pale. It really doesn't matter. We all have what God wanted us to have. So deal with it.


J: What's next? I love to swim, I love to dive, I identify with dolphins? I want to be called Flipper?


C: Funny, there was a South Park where a character had plastic surgery to look like a dolphin.


My Comments as Mary Varville-Rodriguez:
Sad that so many are misinformed regarding the social/emotional/physiological issues surrounding this topic. There are neurological factors involved that are being ignored. Until the church recognizes the medical/biological/neurological reasons for the "LGBTQ" community, there will continue to be a divide and the Catholic Church will continue to struggle with embracing individuals into our church community who might be able to share the meaning of the Pope's "Year of Mercy". 

I grew up Catholic, went to Catholic School, attended Mass every Sunday and Holy Days, and believed that people are made in the image and likeness of God. Do we really think Jesus would condemn those who do not fall into the "traditional" biological bodies we know? I am a heterosexual woman with three children, and I protect them with my entire being. If any of them came to me and expressed concern about their sexual identity, I would do everything possible to help them understand what was happening including medically related baseline testing (blood work to identify hormone levels, neuropsychological testing etc...) and seeking the advice of a therapist specially trained to address this issue.

I would not make decisions based upon generalized assumptions such as the ones depicted in the article by "Catholic Study Fellowship".  How about an article that encourages us to become aware of resources and become the best possible advocates for our children?  THAT is a concept we can embrace as a community as we provide strategies, resources, and insights that might be helpful.

Those who have no training in this topic or refuse to acknowledge how this situation might occur are not acting in a "Christ-like" manner. I want to share my Catholic faith with my children, but I will not condone this type of judgment and dismissal of children who identify as "trans". How would you feel if someone said, "Get over your.......(fill in the illness, worries, concerns, problem of the day)"? If the comments on this feed are representative of the Catholic faith, then we have a long way to go in achieving the type of loving, accepting, and embracing community that the Pope has asked of us for this, the "Year of Mercy". I will be re-posting this article with my comments at http://poetztree.blogspot.com/ (Reflections Beneath the Poetz Tree~Parenting Observations, Insights, and Inspirations)

Personal concerns regarding this article and the tone in which it was presented:
First:  This is supposed to be a "Catholic Study Fellowship" site. Second:  Is this really the purpose of a study group? To belittle, incorrectly inform, and marginalize individuals who are already dealing with a challenge that many people can not (or refuse) to understand? Third:  Where is the research that goes along with this topic?  Not the first time I have posted my concerns regarding the lack of understanding for medically related topics. Fourth: Once again, "Catholic Study Fellowship" has failed to provide appropriate resources, educated recommendations, and realistic plans for what a parent can do when there is a concern, question, or need for advice.   

So, here are a few resources that I researched out of at least 100 sites that I found on line.  Please feel free to add your ideas, insights, personal stories, and inspirations.  If you are a medical professional who is aware of current research in this area, I am interested in acknowledging this on my site and will gladly post what is available.

Challenge to Catholic Study Fellowship Site:  The next time you quote Pope Francis or quote any Catholic Doctrine on this matter, please include resources. To leave people hanging with guilt and shame is...ahem...not very Catholic at all. 




Resources Available to Parents with Concerns 


Site Title




http://www.advocatesforyouth.org/storage/advfy/images/advocates_logo.jpg


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  1. Jan 21, 2014 · Catholic dad: My son "confronted his demons...he realized after a short time on campus that he was gay...he didn't know how he could fix it and he ...
  2. Jan 21, 2014 · Catholic parents of LGBTQ children discuss their journeys in discovering, accepting and affirming their child's sexual orientation and how their faith ... 


     US Catholic Faith in Real Life
     



    FF Logo White
    Those were the days of “tears and fears,” says Mary Ellen Lopata, co-founder of the support group Fortunate Families. “Now parents are reacting with fire and ire. Things have changed dramatically. The church has lost so much in not welcoming our gay and lesbian children. They have left the church in droves because they are not welcomed. They can stay if they’re silent, suppressing a big part of who they are. Now the church is starting to lose their parents as well.” - See more at: http://www.uscatholic.org/church/2012/01/mamas-and-papas-what-its-catholic-parents-glbt-children#sthash.EmFhHaNr.dpuf
    Those were the days of “tears and fears,” says Mary Ellen Lopata, co-founder of the support group Fortunate Families. “Now parents are reacting with fire and ire. Things have changed dramatically. The church has lost so much in not welcoming our gay and lesbian children. They have left the church in droves because they are not welcomed. They can stay if they’re silent, suppressing a big part of who they are. Now the church is starting to lose their parents as well.” - See more at: http://www.uscatholic.org/church/2012/01/mamas-and-papas-what-its-catholic-parents-glbt-children#sthash.EmFhHaNr.dpuf
    "We are Catholic parents of LGBT sons and daughters sharing with others on the same journey our message of hope and unconditional love for our families and fostering respect, friendship and justice for our children."






    Linda and Rob Robertson point out a quote on the headstone of the grave of their son, Ryan, in Issaquah, Wash. The couple, evangelical Christians, brought their son to "reparative therapy" when he came out to them as gay. His sexual orientation didn't change, and he became addicted to drugs and eventually died of an overdose. The Robertsons are now dedicated to helping other evangelical parents accept their gay children.

    "Linda and Rob Robertson point out a quote on the headstone of the grave of their son, Ryan, in Issaquah, Wash. The couple, evangelical Christians, brought their son to "reparative therapy" when he came out to them as gay. His sexual orientation didn't change, and he became addicted to drugs and eventually died of an overdose. The Robertsons are now dedicated to helping other evangelical parents accept their gay children."
    Elaine Thompson, AP
     KidsHealth: Celebrating 20 Years
      
    Scientific Information/Research


     
    http://www.washington.edu/brand/files/2014/09/Signature_Stacked_Purple_Hex.png
    Go to NHS Choices homepage
     


    End of Resource List



    Mary Varville-Rodriguez, Writer/Author
     c.2016 Reflections Beneath The Poetz Tree 
    You are invited to check out my other sites:



Monday, May 16, 2016

What My Children Teach Me



I enjoy teaching.  I think I've enjoyed the concept of sharing information since I was a child. I continue to love collaborative efforts when it comes to research for my blog posts and other writing projects.  So it feels natural for me to want to teach my own children when given the opportunity.  Part of teaching is also allowing them to demonstrate their skills and talents.  It is so important to recognize their capabilities and find opportunities for them to become "subject matter experts" for the family.  Each one of my three children helps me at various times when it comes to technology.  They figure out how to make things work and more importantly, they can explain things to me when question marks continue to dance over my head.  I'm not saying they don't get frustrated with me at times, but for the most part they are extremely patient and encouraging.  When we figure something out together, it's magical!  Writing blog posts for various sites has proven to be quite the challenge for me.  Graphic design and HTML; they're not my strong suits at all.  Much of what I accomplish feels like a "fly by the seat of your panties" type of learning.  When I am able to navigate a site and post pictures, the skies open, the sun shines, and the earth shifts.  Today was as special moment when my 8-year-old son was able to show me how to resize a photo for my new blog site:
http://monkeybarsmudpiesandmovement.blogspot.com/2016/05/activities-for-summer-fun-staying-active.html   Not only was I excited to have that photo for my blog, but I was thrilled that he was the one to show me how.  I then showed him how to post to face book and Google.  He entered the caption to correspond with the post.  Magic.  I love observing how my children think, problem solve, negotiate terms, and demonstrate their creativity.  I've just asked my 13-year-old daughter to consider writing a guest post regarding use of Art - Collage Journaling as a coping strategy to reduce stress and anxiety.  I look forward to seeing what she will come up with and plan to post it on one of my blog sites.  My 11-year-old is also more tech savvy than his mama. I'll figure out a way for him to contribute to my blog sites too.  He loves to draw, so maybe he can help me design some cool pics to go with my writing.  Wherever this summer leads, I am confident we'll find plenty to keep us occupied.  Remember, parenting is a dynamic process; it's ever changing and evolving.  I, for one, love it when my children can teach me something or share their skills.  Each family member brings value and needs to feel like they make a difference.  It's up to me as the parent to ensure those opportunities organically evolve as their interests develop.  Happy Monday Everyone!

Please visit my other sites at: https://dynamicallybalancedparenting.wordpress.com/2016/05/16/national-suicide-prevention-life-line-mondays-inspiration-for-me/

My First Five Chapters (Draft One) of the Novel "Four-Ninety and Holding ~ as the Sparks Fly Upward" can be previewed at: http://fourninetyandholding.blogspot.com/2016/05/four-ninety-and-holding-chapter-one.html