It's everyday. The same as yesterday, the day before, and the day before that... and it will remain this way tomorrow and all the days after; it's life. The existence of good and evil is infinite. There's always been a part of the human population that desires to do things that harm, maim, and/or defile others and it will be this way until the end. With that in mind, there is absolutely no reason to give up on living life to the fullest and striving to make a difference. Although the idea of changing this world is daunting, we have to remember we are not here to change it, but to plant the seeds of love, nurture them, and then let them grow. Some seeds grow faster than others and some seeds are ravaged by animals. Take heart, we simply sow them again. I know we all want to be a shining warrior for God, but I am convinced that love is the way not judgement. Simply because we are commanded to behave otherwise:
"Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. 2 For you will be treated as you treat others.[a]The standard you use in judging is the standard by which you will be judged.[b]3 “And why worry about a speck in your friend’s eye[c] when you have a log in your own? 4 How can you think of saying to your friend,[d] ‘Let me help you get rid of that speck in your eye,’ when you can’t see past the log in your own eye? 5 Hypocrite! First get rid of the log in your own eye; then you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend’s eye." Matthew 7:1-5 NIV
See how God has commanded us to not judge, but to examine ourselves. For to illicit change, we must first be the example of change. Then people find themselves asking, what do they have that I don't have? Plant the seeds; directly and indirectly and they will grow.
The news media lately is filled with one horrific tragedy after another, reports of threats from inside and outside of our country, and the inner turmoil of our country; from basic rights of food, shelter, and healthcare to protection of our people and our borders to the rights of the individual to choose their way of living. The opportunities to teach our children how to react are endless, and trust me
THEY ARE WATCHING and LISTENING more than you think!
We are the best example for our children. So are the people we entrust them to, so be aware of who is influencing your children. They watch us and listen to us discuss hot topics like gun control, marriage, gay/lesbian issues, the safety of our country, and then our individual family plights about communication, finances, jobs, and education. What are they hearing from their rooms, the kitchen as they quietly prepare their stuff so they can hear, or while they appear to be busy reading, studying, playing, gaming, or any number of things that we might assume has their attention? I can give you an idea.... it's whatever they repeat! They will repeat their own version of how they interpret what they hear at school, church, in activities, when conversing with family and friends, and eventually it will come back to you and you will wonder where on earth did they hear something like that!!! From you. I say this confidently, because I am increasingly aware of the fact that what comes out of mine and my husband's mouth during heated (and not heated) discussions I have heard repeated. Some make me proud and other's stop me in my tracks, shame me, and make me question if we are solely responsible for the corruption of our children's views of this world. And if so, am I failing as a parent? So, I've been spending time working on myself and trying to do a better job.
It's been a little new for me (and I am practicing what I preach for those eyes and ears), but I've been desperately trying to teach our children to do a few things before they react to something:
1. Try to make sure you understand what is going on. Ask an authoritative figure for some kind of confirmation if possible and/or research it for accuracy. Be responsible. We do not want to be guilty of spreading gossip!
2. Do not react! Make yourself take it for face value and ask yourself WWJD?
4. Take what you know, what you've been told, the discussions you have about it, and then dive into the Word of God. Pray. Seek out guidance. God will meet you anywhere.
5. Do your very best to put yourself in another's shoes and never judge them for their actions. Trust me, there's plenty to judge you about so let's don't go around like the "pot calling the kettle black." :)
6. When all else fails, remember this one VERY important old saying, "If you can't say anything nice (or supportive, or compassionate, or Christ-like) then don't say anything at all."
I don't have all the answers and I can't make anyone say or do what I think they should, but I can do my very best to raise children that are Christ-aware and as a result, hopefully, they are compassionate human beings with a desire to reach the world with the good news that Jesus has overcome and we do not have to destroy one another in an attempt of survival of the fittest. We are all fit, we are all loved, we are all His children, and He desires for each and every one of us to know Him and be able to live in the assurance that there will come a day!
A Message to our little seedlings:
A Message to our little seedlings:
As your parents our job is to love you, protect you, teach you, and nurture you into Godly men and women empowered with the tools to be and do whatever is God's calling on your life and to do so in a loving, prayerful, and praise-full way! Doing unto others as you would have them do unto you is not merely a suggestion it is the Biblical foundation from which you should derive your behavior now and always. As you grow, please read the Bible for yourselves, God will give you great insight to the teachings that we strive so hard to instill inside each one of you daily. Remember, you are wonderfully and fearfully made and we love you!
Tuesday, April 16, 2013
God can use anything; even blogging and Facebook to enlighten wayward thinking...
Well, it is for me anyway. My day stared normal. Up, coffee, rush around, now relax for bit a do my classwork while the babies play. But the ultimate distraction comes in... Facebook! Grrr! Why do I have it? AND it's on my laptop, my phone, and my tablet. So, I look... but it doesn't end there. I see my blogs that I subscribe to and think to myself, "I just can't keep up with the demands of blogging or I'd do it more often." Either I am schizo or the Holy Spirit whispers something to me at this point that makes me stop in the middle of the baby gate with my coffee. What demands? My droves of fans awaiting my daily reports? Hmmmm.... I wanted to blog just to do it, so why does it matter how often? Because I see other people doing it better, at least better on my terms. But it's not my terms that matter, it's God's. I blog to share life experiences and since life experiences take up so much of my time, it seems as though I am destined to be a casual blogger. Anyone that reads this already knows it's true and that's okay with me. I hope when I do post something that God can use it to bless someone. Maybe someone who just needs to hear and see that they are not the only ones going through this thing called life. We were never meant to do it alone, we were given each other for love and support. To infinity, and blog on! :)
Now, I sat here scrolling though the posts. I see people sharing pictures, stories, prayer requests, scripture, and words of encouragement... I wish I could block almost everything else because then there are the twisted versions of news stories, viral pics and videos of horrible things that make you wish you hadn't clicked on them, and more. I don't know have the answers as to what to do about them, I just know they are there and they are the reason for blogging today; at least, indirectly.
Today, there were pics of the President with a book making claims about his faith, reading choices, and then drawing conclusions about his intentions in the presidency from it. I rolled my eyes. I guess we don't have anything better to do, right?
Boston's tragedy during the marathon, No wait..... it's not just their tragedy, it ours! But it's blown up and people are sharing posts with twisted versions of the events, drawing conclusions about terrorist attacks, and then government conspiracies ... then the pics of Sandy Hook started rolling in.... claims that it didn't really happen and that this is all Obama's plot to disarm the country and make us slaves to his personal ideas.
Do you know what my initial reaction to the breaking news about the bombs going off during the marathon? It was a simple desperate prayer. Dear Jesus, PLEASE comfort the lives that are affected by this horrific event. Guide the authorities in finding out who is responsible for it.
It's easy to start demanding that Jesus return and take this all away, but we are here and there are people here with us that need Jesus. So I pray for the ability to see things clearly for what they are, to not be clouded by the news media or social media, and to be empowered with the knowledge and compassion to reach this world for Jesus!! We are subject to this world that we live in, we can't change it, but we can and are called to be light in the darkness. That, through us- the body of Christ, Jesus can reach everyone! We are the hands, feet, arms, voices, and hearts of God.... the very tools necessary to do the job.
We are called to be courageous! To stand out from the crowd. Don't fall for these pictures and conspiracies. Share things responsibly, so that we don't find ourselves guilty of gossip. Don't hate or blame our President or government, instead ..... Pray for our country's leaders! They have no power that God did not give them, so pray for their guidance. Jesus told Pilate, " You would have no power over me at all unless it were given to you from above." John 19:11 NIV
Sunday, March 17, 2013
Strong enough to stand in His love
I thought we'd made the best decision for our family; after all, we needed established children's programs right? I loved Encounter Life completely, but church had become a WWF wrestling match to get the kids to behave because they were bored out in the sanctuary with me, but no kids classes or nursery available every other week (which seemed to be the weeks we managed to get there). So we went back to our old church. Everyone was excited and we fell right back into swing as if we'd never been gone. The babies were new to the teachers because they'd stepped up a class since we'd been last, so I didn't get all "righteous Mommy" over Cassie being soaked through to her clothes. I just made a gentle reminder that not all 3 year olds are potty trained yet, and could they please remember to check her. I got smiles and promises in return.
So, we trucked along and began to make commitments in the church and it began to feel like home again. Then, my oldest daughter said to me that they didn't treat Cassie well and she didn't want to go back there ever again. WHAT?!?!?!?!? This is news to me, I had completely trusted they were treating all of our kids well, what do you mean "they don't treat her well"? She proceeded to preach at me with that "righteous big sister" tone complete with the body language and told me that HER sister was NOT going back in there without her EVER again. I assured her that (surely) she had misinterpreted the situation somehow. She huffed. It was decided to not pursue anyone without further information, I mean, I don't even know who was in there that day.
Fast forward to today, it's a big day with a major celebration tonight and everyone's in our house is a little high strung including me. lol First thing, we get called back to get Charly because they think he has pink eye. Well the boy's been crying since we walked away and now his eyes are red, so they freak out over the possibility of pink eye knowing darn good and well he was fine before we plunked him down on the other side of the baby gate and went to class. Or so you'd think.... but here we go and, of course, he's fine only now he's not going to stay without a serious fight so we agree to take him with us this Sunday. No big deal so long as it's every once in a while.
Then I spy Cassie's teacher at the back door motioning for someone to open the door for her and the class (looks like they've been outside playing. I open the door and crane my neck around to lay eyes on her, but she's not there. So, I inquire, "Where's Cassie?" This woman wrinkles up her nose and says to me Cassie's Mother, "Oh SHE wasn't allowed to come outside she's in there!" "Where?" I say. "In there." and she points her finger. So, I say to her, "Oooookay, are you going to tell me why she wasn't allowed to go outside with everyone else?" "Oh," she says. "She's awful, she wouldn't listen to me and wouldn't sit down with the rest of the class for the lesson. She's disruptive." ..... WHAT?!?!?!?! My mind is reeling and for the first time ever I want to smack someone in church! Take heart, I gathered my composure and said to her, "I'm Cassie's Mom and you shouldn't label children like that." She gives me this look like whatever says "Oh sorry." So, I march off with a purpose to locate my child because she never told me where to find her. My distraught face caught someone's attention and while fighting back tears of absolute hurt and confusion I say "I want my Cassie right now!" God bless this woman who says, "Absolutely, come with me she is with this lady right here in the room."
I get Cassie in my arms, but she likes where she is because they are being wonderful to her and she begs to go back and play so I let her. I search for the lady, but she's too busy for me." I feel myself losing it in the middle of church. How can I leave her back there? Can I trust them? Are they being mean to her? Neglecting her? What on earth is going on here? I feel like I'm spinning when my sweet hubby touches my arm and says, "I love you!" Words that should calm me down, but instead I meet his eyes and tears well up in mine. I explain and he says we can leave, but we go searching for the lady in charge for some answers and help. We run into another wonderful person who tries desperately to calm my Mommy nerves. She assures us that it will be addressed and she will personally oversee the rooms Cassie is in to determine what is going on. She begs for us to give her the chance to correct the situation. We go back to services with Charly.
Only, I can't think about anything except what's going on back there with Cassie. I prayed and begged for peace, I even demanded peace, but it did not come. I kept fighting back tears of worry and hurt, so I went to check on her. She was a little rambunctious, but so very happy a good sign for me. Cassie is herself when she's in a trusting environment, so this tells me she feels safe and happy. I stay to help reign her in a little. I stay out in the hallway when they go back to the classroom and I watch from a distance. I don't see what her Sunday School teacher is claiming. Cassie sits when she is asked to sit. She is actively listening.... granted, a little distracted, but they steer her back to the task at hand. They color a sheet and Cassie gets up a few times and approaches someone, asks a question, they answer her, and say let's sit back down and she says, "Ok" and sits back down. So where's the disruptive child from Sunday School that was singled out and not allowed to go outside with everyone else because I don't see that and neither do the ones in charge of this class.
Again, we speak to the lady who assures us she can identify the problem in the classroom. She says Cassie's been a normal 3 year old for them and doesn't see what the problem is, but she wonders if it's because this lady and her, now grown, boys were always quiet. So maybe, she reasons, she just doesn't know how to relate to Cassie's high energy personality. Before I can stop myself, I inform her bluntly that the lady shouldn't be teaching a class if she couldn't relate to and take care of children any better than that. I tell her that we may not come back to Calvary because this is huge. She, again, begs for the chance to mend the situation and we regress.
Is it wrong of me to not feel optimistic about it? In the car, my sweet, supportive hubby says that we can go back to Encounter Life. I tell him I don't want to keep running from one church to another over our kids. I cry that our children are as fearfully and wonderfully made as everyone else's and that we shouldn't have to fear how they are treated while we are at church. He says sweetly, well, what if we go back and volunteer on the other Sundays. That way, we are filling a need in ministry. I calm down and realize that no matter how awful the kids were at church no one at Encounter EVER said or even hinted at anything other than love and acceptance there. Cassie was horrible a few times and they just loved on her and told her she was beautiful. So, what was I running from really? I hate what happened today, but perhaps my sweet, loving husband is correct. Why run from where we are accepted to somewhere where we feel judged by anyone in the congregation?
I know this, God's Cassie (and all the rest of us) are wonderfully and fearfully made and perfect in his love. God has used the Jennifer Knapp song that I am performing this evening to speak truth into my heart and soul. She is strong enough to stand in His love. So, here it is for you to enjoy and I'll try to video and post my performance for later.
Hold Me Know by Jennifer Knapp
Tuesday, March 5, 2013
Jesus Calms the Storm
This last Sunday was week two in Sunday School for Charly and Cassie. They absolutely adore singing praise songs and they are now actively learning about our Savior they are singing so excitedly about. The Sunday before last, Cassie learned about how Jesus calmed the storm. She talked about it all week long. Then on the way to church her emotions were completely out of control as she tried to sort through that she had wanted to stay with Mimi and Papa and wanted to go to church, but couldn't get to that happy place where it was time to move from one to the other. So,..... she cried, she screamed, she begged, she pleaded, then suddenly I said to her. "Hey Cassie?"
She says, while heaving, "Yeah, Mama?"
I say, "What did you learn about Jesus last Sunday?"
"Je...suh,....us.... calms... the....
So I suggest calmly, " Did you ask Him to calm the storm baby?"
So Cassie sits in her car seat alternating between screaming and crying the following,
"Jesus calm the storm, JESUS CALM THE STORM, Jesus calm the storm, JESUS CALM THE STORM, Jesus calm the storm.... Jesus........ silence."
"Cassie? Did He make it better?" silence.... "Cassie?" ....
*pouting with tears in those baby blues*
"Yeah, but I'm still sad, Mama."
"It's okay to still be sad baby, just let Jesus help you calm down so you can still be happy, baby. okay?"
She smiled.... and suddenly clapped and yelled at me:
"Yay, Jesus calms the storm Mama!"
and just like that, Cassie's storm was over and she was happy to move on. Still not happy that she didn't get her way, but happy that things were going to be okay regardless.
Isn't it funny how a three year old can help you see simplicity in God's word that, as adults, we seriously over think?
So, remember the next time any storm comes your way that if Jesus can calm Cassie's storm on emotions that you can ask Him to calm your storm, too. It may not be over, but He will definitely calm your storm.
Saturday, March 2, 2013
Cassie (and Daddy) firsts.... a sleepover!
THIS .... IS..... EPIC! We went to Mimi & Papas to spend some time with them this evening. Charly and Cassie ran around SO happy. They always have such a great time. Me, too, because we get to chat about this, that , and the other or show each other the latest discoveries on our tablets while they giggle and squeal with each other and Honey boo-boo (their puppy- a Yorki-Pom)!
We were gathering items,... well I was gathering items, so we could get ready to go. When it happened... Cassie crossed her arms and said, "No, I am not going wif you Mama. I'm going to sleep over wif my Mimi!"
The world stopped.
You.... What? Who are you and what have you done with my Cassie-frass? You know, the one who wants to stay with us always, no matter what, else you think you will surely die.
Well, apparently, our little leech is growing up and taking a shot at making her own decisions, but I'm not sure Daddy was ready for this. In fact, I was a little more than hesitant to call and tell him she wasn't coming home with us. It went something like this:
Me: "Hey Sweetie, we are on the way home."
D: "Allright. I'll see you guys in a minute."
Me: "Well, ummmm..... that is to say Charly and I are on the way home. Cassie demanded to spend the night." ( I kinda shuttered awaiting a response)
D: "Really?! She wanted to stay? Well, okay I guess so."
Me: (Completely shocked he didn't demand I go back for her) She cried because she thought I was going to make her come home with me... she said, "No Mama, I don't want to go home with you. I want to sleep wif my Mimi!" I took a video of her saying goodnight to you.
D: "Well I guess she is growing up... we'll see if she really stays."
Back at home, I show him one of the cutest videos EVER! The house is eerily quiet and for the first time, Charly is the only child in the house. It feels weird.
I called to check on her and she wouldn't come to the phone. She yelled, " I love you Mama, I love you Daddy, I love you Charly! BYEEE See you tomorrow " When Mimi asked did she want to talk to us, she said, "No! I don't want Mama to come get me!"
I'm so proud of her for making such an epic decision and sticking with it. David said he's not sure he's ready, but if she is then he supposes he can get through it.
I've got her church clothes ready for in the morning, so we can swing by and get her on the way to Sunday School. She was excited about that, too. She told Mimi, "Jesus calms the storm, Mimi."
So, when we wake up in the middle of the night and are still in the half-sleep stupor and freak out that she's not here,... we'll have to remind ourselves that Jesus calms the storm and she just over at Mimi and Papas house about 30 seconds away.
Monday, February 25, 2013
"Crazy Sundays and Lazy Mondays"
I work Sunday night, so, at this house, Monday's are lazy. I enjoy lying on the couch or one of the beds with the kids and watching videos, listening to music, reading books, and snuggling until nap time. Then at 1030 or 11 we enjoy a great snooze! Although working nights has it's challenges, I love the flexibility it provides our family.
Yesterday, we went back to Calvary Baptist. It was difficult getting all three kids up and out the door on time and, this time, we had a lofty goal of making Sunday School. What was I thinking? Poor David had pink eye and was really down, so we left him in a quiet house to rest and infect the rest of the bedding. LOL (A little wife humor never hurt anyone) Even though we have tried really hard to become part of a local church, we are not happy at any of them; even David. I told him years ago that we have to love it as a family. We have to all feel part of the church and like we belong there; otherwise, we can worship at home because I'm not having our choice of a church relationship drive up stakes of arguments from unhappiness. That defeats the purpose But, then there's Calvary. We love it there and it's completely worth the drive to attend. We nearly made it to Sunday School on time, but at least we tried. Plus, the kids got introduced to their teachers.
If you grew up in church, then I know you remember that feeling when you walked in the doors. It felt like home and it didn't matter how long you were gone, when you came back, it still felt like you'd never left and that you were home. Calvary feels that way and even though we've been gone for months, when we walked in... it felt that way again! We were flooded with, "Where have you been," "how is everyone? We heard the little ones have been so sick this year? Are you doing Calvary's Got Talent again this year?" and this was all in the first few minutes we were in the lobby outside the sanctuary! *sigh*
Service was great and worship service was stellar! I've been singing Chris Tomlin's worship song "Whom Shall I Fear" since we left the building. It's crazy how God leads you where he wants you even when you are busy taking all the side roads on the map looking for it somewhere else. God has the master plan and, trust me, there are times I can't decide if it's God leading me to do something or if it's the Devil driving me away from God... either way, as a human being, it usually takes a while before I catch on either way.
I thank God daily for my wonderful, supportive, loving, Christian parents they are generous, patient, and full of wisdom that I neglected to take advantage of when I was younger. After David and I talk, the next place is Mom. Sometimes, just a quick outside influence's opinion is enough to shed the light you are seeking. I am blessed in so many ways!
Thankful for the life You've given me God including the Crazy Sundays and Lazy Mondays! :)
Saturday, February 23, 2013
"Chuck E. Cheese: A place where God can meet you"
I guess I never really considered the fact that God could meet me anywhere.... not until He met me at Chuck E. Cheese today.
We took the kids for some long overdue, crazy fun. They all three had an absolute blast once we got there. However, the drive was not so pleasant. I think we were all thankful for the entertainment system playing Umi Zoomi to keep them somewhat preoccupied with that and not our argument... well, to be fair it was several arguments. It was very silly, but at the time we were each pretty angry and quite justified, it's just too bad we couldn't stop being oversensitive to one another. I think the only reason we didn't keep picking at one another is simply because we had arrived at Chuck E. Cheese, so we put on our happy faces. The minute I did, I realized I'd been an oversensitive fool and we apologized to one another.
Inside we ordered and let the kids being playing games and spending coins. The cacophony of games, giggles, squeals, screams, cries, chatting and more was insane. It's a wonder anyone could hear anything specifically, but I heard Cassie yell, "Mommy, Look!" So, I supposed it was possible somehow. That's when I looked over and saw a couple coming over to let their toddler play in Toddler Town. Any other day, I probably wouldn't have noticed what happened, but today..... my heart had been opened for the purpose of noticing something. The Dad took the toddler by the arm, both smiling from ear to ear, and started walking towards the games. The Mom was standing there with the stroller and got a stern look on her face, she yelled something I couldn't understand, but it got the Dad's attention. She then proceeded to talk at him with this stern "Mommy" look on her face and the more she talked the more defeated and like he wanted to run away the Dad came to look. She pointed at the games and at the toddler. I don't know what she was saying, but I can take a pretty good educated guess. Why? Because I'm guilty and that was the point. For me to get it.
I've done it plenty of times. I guess it's just hard to not be "Mommy" to everyone in your little nest, but my husband is not one of the kids. He's my husband. It's so disrespectful to talk to him that way and I don't why women tend to do it. It looked awful and disgusting.... and to think, I've been that woman. I pray that God can help me change that. I don't EVER want to be that woman again.
I owe him a big apology and although I've apologized for stuff, I have no idea how to approach him. I'm giving it over to God, letting him read my blog post, and trying my very best to not be his mother, but to be the wife he deserves.
Thursday, February 21, 2013
"Busy Bees: Spring Fever"
I'm very excited about all the changes going on in our lives right now. I think Spring simply MUST be in the air or is it just "Spring Fever?"
The kids pull the blinds and beg to go outside and I can't wait to take them hiking, to the park, for a walk around the neighborhood, and more. My mind is buzzing with ideas from packing lunches, to teaching opportunities, and I can't wait to see their reaction to different things.
The winter lazies are coming out of me stretching and yawing and looking around for things to do. It's going to be hard to complete this semester even though it's all online. Suddenly, the sunshine is calling me to play with the kids and not worry so much about History and Sociology papers, Math work, and Spanish class. By the way, "La Primavera" is Spanish for Spring. Persistence is key and I'll schedule study time for evening. I am waiting to hear back from a local private duty company on some hours. This is SO exciting for me. I loved working for them and the hours and flexibility are grand for an aspiring SAHM! And, let's don't forget that it is a very, very, very UN-stressful job. Super-bonus! If they have weekends available, I see even more change in the near future.
La Primavera cleaning is on the horizon. I keep noticing things we need to put in storage or just get rid of which makes me think about posting a community swap opportunity. For instance, I need a round kitchen table and I have a rectangle shape. How nice if someone just wants to trade, right? Comment if interested.
La Primavera cleaning is also in our souls. Even Cassie, our 3 year old, has practically demanded that I take her back to church. We passed Encounter Life Church this morning and she said, "Hey Mommy?" I said, "Yes, baby. What is it?" She throws her head back and yells, "Take me back to church!" LOL Oh, how my family has my heart. I have missed the fellowship and I long to return as much as they do.
As Spring approaches, we are all busy little bees making our preparations for the season change. Our journey is full of life, love, kisses, giggles, and our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. I am so glad to share it with all of you!
So, in the ever faithful words of Dora the explorer, " Come on, Vamonos! Everybody let's go!"
Wednesday, February 20, 2013
Our children will never understand that everything we do is seriously in their best interest. Even when it hurts, we are simply doing our very best to do the very best job possible in protecting you while you grow; and sometimes it hurt us more! I "know" this because I was a kid once, too. It was through having my own children that I began to realize this truth. Freedoms and privileges are given and taken for the purpose of teaching, molding, and shaping character. To teach about money, we have to be a stickler for the amount given and refuse to pay for overage. We also have to refuse to give extra for poor choices. This promotes good stewardship and decision making skills. To teach about responsibility, we refuse to bring textbooks to school after leaving them at home and we refuse to return to school to get something that was a known necessity to complete homework. This promotes preparedness. But today, it was a reminder in choosing friends wisely.
Social networking is a privilege, not a right. We have the password and monitor the accounts, deny and even sever connections. See, I feel a great responsibility to teach them to choose wisely, but in the event they are not capable; it is our job to intervene and either take away the privilege or eliminate the actual problem. It wasn't her. It was her friends and we do not have to allow a poisonous friendship to remain intact. We had a shorter than expected discussion. I thought it would be more difficult. I laid out the details and said with absolute certainty that the friendship must be ended. I was initially met with pleading to allow a change. I explained all that I knew of the one sided friendship and advised, with great conviction of personal experience, that a choice to be around friends that share beliefs and behave similarly instead of being bossy, eclipsing, and judgmental would benefit in the long run. I explained that friends should complement one another and it should be a give and take.
The next thing I knew I was watching a transformation as my little girl realized she didn't have to stay friends with someone who wasn't good to her, for her, didn't really like her, and she didn't really like, that disappointed her all the time, and made her feel like they always had to do what that girl wanted. She said she thought she was helping, but it was killing her to do so. I promised her that she would find good, enriching, and supportive friends if she kept looking. She said she missed our church, Calvary Baptist, and I promised we could return. She said she'd like that and that way she can makes friends. I want that for her sooo badly. Don't settle, I told her, and always, always, always know that I love you more than anything and want the very best for you and that you can tell me anything.
She said, "Trust me, I know Mama. I love you, too!"
Tuesday, February 19, 2013
"Tipping the Scales"
Is it just me or is their something in the air? I woke up today and breathed in wet, stormy, sunshiny morning air and I was flooded with peace and happiness. I firmly believe it's the fruit of studying God's word and letting it take root in my heart. Through study, my eyes have been opened to some deceptively destructive behaviors; meaning that, the things I tend to do as a woman are just an excuse for not really taking a moment to appreciate how I affect those I love. Well, they are just an excuse now that I am aware of it and I intend to nurture that awareness to produce a better wife, mother, daughter, friend, and co-worker in myself.
It seems I'd fallen into a little trap over the last weeks. Our lives have been stressful with work, school, illness, and more illness. In fact, our house has been sick for most of 2013. I read that it's not life's circumstances, but how you react that decides how it affects you. I really thought I was in the right, but that's how the devil works, guys. He whispers absolute insanity into your ears, but makes you believe it! He has that power because it's given to him when you even allow him to whisper to you.
For example: If you said to me "Hey tell your husband he's mean to you all the time." I'd tell you to take yourself somewhere and have a heart to heart with God because I'm not sure what your problem is, but it needs attention. However, when my husband and I are in a little disagreement our opportunistic fiend whispers, "Why is he always so mean about stuff?" and then out came the words,... poison! It doesn't stop there, then we leave the disagreement bitter and unresolved because no one apologizes... we are both right and therefore it's a stand off.... divided, defeated.
Then we are doing our own thing and the kids are running like crazy. Happy, beautiful, wonderful noises... stomping, giggling, and squealing, but the seed has been planted so we only hear noise. I yell at the kids," why can't you just be quiet!" They look shocked, sad, misunderstood, hurt, and completely unsure what is going on and why there is a problem... because there isn't a problem with them... it's me.
The scales are tipped in the wrong direction and I was justified in my feelings because I was stressed out, trying to make changes, working nights, tired all the time, and unappreciated..... but it wasn't really accurate. It's true they might not understand what's going on in my mind, heart, and soul,... but it's beyond ridiculous for me to give way to the devil's whispers that it's their fault in any way, that they deserve some kind of punishment, or to believe that they don't love or appreciate me. It's like the fear-dar in The League of Incredible Vegetables, he sure knows what I fear the most and he uses it and he does it well.
As my study opened my eyes, I began to pray for God's help and leading. "Oh, Lord continue to open my eyes and lead me to the anti-venom of this poison in my life. Renew your Spirit in me so that I am prepared to battle that ludicrous whisper the next time he thinks he has an opportunity. Help me to repair all the weak spots I have caused. You alone can do this! In Jesus name, A-men!"
"If God be for us, then who can be against us. We can win the battle if for God we stand," lyrics from one of my favorite hymns and they are applicable daily! Through studying God's word and making His word what I feed my heart, I am tipping the scales the right way:
Jesus-All / Devil-0
Sunday, February 17, 2013
Tuesday, February 12, 2013
"The Importance of just being Mommy "
I know many women struggle with their individual identity and careers after having children and you are not alone. We have three wonderfully and fearfully made children that are 11 years old, 3 years old and 20 months. When I was pregnant with our youngest, we made the decision for me to go ahead and go back to school. Reasoning that childcare would be more than sufficient for the 2 years it would take to bridge from my LPN to my RN and that, surely, we could make it through that time. I could still have a career. It's important as a women to maintain a career, right? Our society demands it, else we are considered lazy housewives right? The stigma.... my goodness.
Let me remind you now, that our plans are not God's plans and if you want to hear Him laugh then tell him what you are going to do. Somehow, I often fail to consider His opinion, leading, calling, and omnipotence. Knowing all the while that he can see the big picture while I cannot, I proceeded with our ideas.
I was mid semester (Summer 2011) when I had him and I was so caught up in adoring him, that I failed a class. No big deal, I retook it the next semester and prevailed! :) In fall 2012, I began the RN program. I was so excited for myself. As the semester raced on, life at home began to show signs of falling apart. One sickness after another, fights over everything, the kids screaming "I want to stay home with Mommy," guilt, guilt, and more guilt. After a mere 3 weeks into the program, my husband and I discussed withdrawal options. It was decided we could do this! However, as the first semester neared it end, we passed around one sickness after another. I went two weeks and didn't attend lecture because of the kids being so sick they weren't allowed to return to school. That was a bad exam. The semester finally came to an end and not soon enough for us.
During, the long Christmas break I struggled with knowing that I needed to leave the program and not wanting to drop out! I, finally, told my husband that I knew it was the right thing to do and that I'd researched online options to stay in school in an effort to not waste the time and resources invested in further my education. I withdrew.
The increase in time with my family was an immediate reward; however, my work schedule was still preventing me from being Mommy. Our middle child began to throw tantrums and beg me not to go to work. They were going to school without seeing me, I'd pick them up at 3 in the afternoon, then go to work at 620pm. They were never getting to see me. I changed my schedule at work and began to allow them to stay home with me all day.
It quickly became obvious that my kids needed me to "just be Mommy."
Thoughts began to run through my head and I questioned many things. I began to wonder, "Who's raising my kids? Me? No, the teachers are getting the best time with them. The teachers are instructing them, nurturing their creativity, teaching them, nursing them when they are hurt, and..... they are also the models my children are watching everyday all day. They see how the teachers interact with others, they watch how they react to situations, they are disciplined or not disciplined according to that teachers beliefs and the schools policies, they are watching the teachers interact outside the classroom and when they are on break. They are learning who to be from them, not me and my husband.
The teachers are raising my children, now there's something wrong with that!
Now we are in the process of reducing my hours to weekends only so that I can stay home with our beautiful wonderful children. I'm going to be with them, teaching them, nurturing them, showing them how to react and interact, and being the example of the fruits of the Spirit I long to instill in them. If only I could keep them in mind so that they see a good example to follow. lol
I am SO excited to join this elite movement, the League of Extraordinary Women, the Few, the Proud,.... Stay at home Mommies!