Parents Forever

Shared parenting is hard work. Two people that were together for only a short while end up having a child together are supposed to be able to co-parent after breaking up. It’s difficult to separate the emotional impact of the relationship and break-up from the responsibility of raising a child together. It’s hard to put aside the pain and the hurt to focus on the best needs of the child. Even when a parent thinks he/she is operating on the best interest of the child, those hurts and fears are still present. With all the issues and disagreements my ex and I have over our son, I decided to enroll in a Parents Forever course to be completed online within 60 days. This course is supposed to help with understanding and teach parents the skills that can reduce the impact of the emotional turmoil of parents that are not living together, but are raising a child together.

What are some problems that separated or divorced couples face when raising a child?

  • communication becomes an issue
  • rules at mom’s house versus rules at dad’s house
  • games parents play that have detrimental effects on the child
  • one parent not being involved
  • one parent being overly obsessed with every little detail which results in much unneeded stress on all parties, in essence, trying to make it as hard as possible on the other parent
  • one parent trying to turn the child against the other parent
  • small disagreements becoming BIG issues.

He and I haven’t been together since before I found out I was pregnant. When he finally decided he wanted to be part of Mr. D’s life, it was hard for me and continues to be hard. I am hoping that this course will alleviate some of the stress. One thing we have to do as co-parenters of our child is set aside our own fears, hurts, and anxieties to focus on the well-being of Mr. D. He’s a wonderful kid and we both love him to the moon. We both want what’s best for him and we both want all the time in the world with him.

It’s a hard road, but it’s possible.

Anyway, if you are going through such an ordeal with an ex and a child, then take a gander at this course. It might work for you.

Our Circus

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Every year, the circus comes to Bismarck. Almost every year, we pack up the kids, supplies for the day, and make that drive to attend that circus.

Just recently, we packed up the kids, supplies needed for the day and made that drive, but we weren’t attending a circus. We took our children to the zoo.

Zoos and circuses have some things in common, such as

  • animals
  • people
  • animals’ antics or acrobatics
  • and expense!

These two places always make me think of my own home where six children live. It gets to be quite chaotic at times. It gets to be almost like living in a zoo or putting together a circus.

We all perform our duties that help our home to run smoothly. At any given time, you might see my children climbing the door frames, you know because that’s fun, much like you would see the circus or zoo animals walking their planks and footbridges. It’s not surprising to walk into a child’s bedroom in my house to see that their beds have become tents such as the tent that houses the circus. And, if I were you, I would totally expect to see kids in my yard, our neighborhood, doing bike stunts much like that of the motorbike circling inside the metal ball. You know what I’m talking about, right? Also, it wouldn’t be a complete circus experience if you didn’t see the kids swinging from the trees such as the ladies that dance on the ropes suspended from the ceiling at the circus.

Trust me, it’s an enjoyable experience had by all. You are welcome to visit my circus anytime 🙂

Playlist of My Life

I love music.

I am not a singer by any means. I can’t carry a tune or hold a note to save my life, but that doesn’t stop me. I sing along with the radio anyway, no matter where I am or what I’m doing. If I know the song, then it’s guaranteed you’ll hear me singing.

Music is a source of relaxation for me. For just about anything in my life, I can find a song that relates to the situation. I was raised up on country music and gospel, two of the best genres of music.

So, here’s an 11 song playlist that about sums of my life, which, by the way, was harder to put together than one would think:

Thank God For Kids by the Oak Ridge Boys

  • I chose this song because, well, my parents were pretty thankful that I was born and I guess I am too.

Beautiful Texas by Willie Nelson

  • This one was chosen because on a very special day 36 years ago, my parents welcomed me into this world in our home state of beautiful Texas

On the Road Again by Willie Nelson

  • We moved around so much during my life before I moved out of my parents home that this song just fits perfectly.

Roll On by Alabama

  • This is a song that brings tears to my eyes every time I hear and fits quite nicely in my life because my daddy was a truck driver, long haul.

There Goes My Life By Kenny Chesney

  • Like the two kids in this song, I became a young parent. I was a year or so older than the ones featured in this song, but I was still in high-school. This song tells the story very well. My life wasn’t over when I became pregnant. My life was just beginning.

Watching Airplanes by Gary Allan

  • Here’s the tale of a break-up which works wonderfully for my own circumstances. The relationship with the man that fathered my child from the previous song ended after a four year and two kids stint.

All My Rowdy Friends by Hank Williams Jr.

  • This song represents the stage of my life after the break-up from the previous song took place. One Big Party!

He Didn’t Have to Be by Brad Paisley

  • This song touches my heart so much because my current husband has been a father to my three older children before he became a father to ours. It’s a special kind of person that willingly accepts that responsibility.

Once in a Lifetime by Keith Urban

  • This is our song, the song we danced to at our wedding. It represents the love that he and I feel for one another, the love that everyone searches for.

Amazing Grace

  • At this point in my life I have found God and this song represents His great love for us. He is with me all day, every day. All I have to do is call upon Him in prayer and let Him do His work in me.

Hot Mama by Trace Adkins

  • This is so me! With a house full of children, a husband that works 40+ hours a week, and me (who works only part-time for the last 10 months but prior to that was a full time wife and stay home mother).

Each of these songs represent a bigger portion of my life. There are certainly more that fit perfectly for every day living, but these are the biggest events in my life that have shaped all facets of who I am.

Go ahead! Now you try. It’s challenging and fun! Pingback to me so I can read your stories 🙂

 

Blank

Blank means nothing at all.

Emptiness.

Spotless.

White.

Bare.

There are any number of words that could have the same connotation as blank.

However, the blank that comes to mind is…..

Blank check.

There a million and one things I could do if someone handed me a blank check and said, “Here, use as you have mind to.”

Wouldn’t we all love that?

So, what would you do with a blank?

Build a mansion on the hill to entertain hundreds with from, hundreds from all around?

Take a vacation to some remote island where you could sunbathe nude, drink free pineapple juice and coconut milk, where you see nothing but water for miles, and feel the sand in your toes?

Travel to an impoverished country in hopes of building it and creating safe havens for its’ inhabitants?

The possibilities are endless and the dreams are big. Who doesn’t imagine what he/she could do with a blank check.

The struggle is real people.

We could choose to do something to glorify God or we could do something to glorify ourselves.

What would you use it for?

Blank.

Memorial Day Tribute

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This day goes out to every man and woman of the military who died as a result of their service – before or after their service concluded. The war that these brave men and women fought does not end if they do make it back home. It’s one that will probably rage inside them for whatever life they have left aka shell shock, combat fatigue, combat disorder, PTSD….whatever you choose to call it, the effect is pretty much the same and almost always guarantees that these soldiers are not the same person.

To the families, you probably couldn’t tell it now based on the attitude of society in our country today, but there are still a few proud Americans that respect and appreciate the sacrifice made by you and your families. While many use this day as just another day to drink, party, and stay out of work, but to thousands of Americans it’s remembering the ones lost to the tragedy of war.

Men and women, young and old, committed themselves to this country to fight the fight. Their legacy?

Freedom.

Freedom for the haters to stomp the American flag – and expect this senseless act to be okay.

Freedom to go fishing without getting into a trouble.

Freedom for the women who choose to take the life of an unborn child for whatever reason she sees fit.

Freedom to choose where you live and what job you have.

Freedom to choose your religion and practice your beliefs – no matter anyone else’s opinion so long as you aren’t violating the rights of others or the laws of the land

Our country is chock full of freedoms that we take advantage of, freedoms we have in which there’s not a thought to be had because they’re almost second nature.

To the families remembering their loved ones today, the ones who gave their all – I hope you know your loved ones are heroes. This country is indebted to them for their sacrifice.

Personally, I have not experienced this loss, but some someone’s who I love have. To this someone who sacrificed, I hope you know up there in Heaven that these someone’s I love think about you all the time. They loved you very much, still do. You came into their life and loved them with your whole heart. They will never forget that. They will never forget you. I’m not sure if I ever told you, but I’d like you to know I appreciated how you loved them. I appreciate that you heart made room for them. Thank you for that.

Love Language

I’ve been reading this book called The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman. The title is a dead give away 😉 as the book does explain five different love languages. So, yeah, I’ve been reading it in hopes of discovering the secret to a 40+ year marriage.

And, actually, it’s pretty interesting. Here’s a brief synopsis:

As I said, the author describes five different loves languages in detail. Although each language is self-explanatory, they are explained below:

  • Receiving Gifts: I’m sure we all know what receiving gifts is all about. It doesn’t matter the kind of gift as long as it’s a token of one’s love. It could be home-made, store-bought, grown, found, recreated, dreamed up…which gift or token of appreciation you want to surprise your honey-bunny with will definitely be appreciated if your honey-bunny speaks this love language.
  • Words of Affirmation: This love language promotes kind, loving words that build your honey-bunny up. Even if you aren’t the type that gets all lovey-dovey with words, you will surely win her over even if you have to fake it. This type just wants to hear words of encouragement, humility and kindness. This is in no way suggesting to bribe your honey-bunny with these kind words. That’s not nice. The whole point of this type of language is to make your partner feel loved.
  • Quality of Time: There is never enough time in a day, especially for all the working adults that have children at home and a million other daily responsibilities to meet. However, if your honey-bunny speaks this language, setting aside time specifically to focus on said honey-bunny then your relationship will surely blossom.
  • Acts of Service:  Every one likes a helping hand sometimes, but for this type of language, their love exceeds expectations when acts of service are committed by the mate. Taking out the trash without being asked, picking up the part that your spouse ordered, or making the bed are examples of the types of seeds a person of this love language needs for the relationship to grow. If you’re partner is out working all day and you know he loves a clean kitchen when he gets home, then clean the kitchen to foster and grow your love, your relationship.
  • Physical Touch: This one is pretty simple. If you notice that your partner is a feely-feely kind of person then chances are, this is her love language. Hand-holding, your arm around her waist or shoulders, snuggling on the couch, sitting close to you in the vehicle are all ways that she feels most loved. This is where his heart feels a contentment not otherwise found. And then, of course, this type of love language adds more spice to the bedroom. And who doesn’t want that?

Now, as I said, the above is only a brief synopsis and it probably doesn’t do it justice, but maybe it’s enticing enough for you to buy the book if you are looking for ways to grow your relationship. You can actually buy it here if you are so inclined. By the way, I do not benefit in any way if you choose to buy it, I just think it’s a good book and want to make it easy for you to find.

As for me, I am uncertain as to whether or not a person can have a combination of love languages, but I am inclined to say yes just for the reason that I can identify with each one of them. However, I am going to say that there’s a three way tie between Quality of Time, Acts of Service, and Words of Affirmation. For instance, I want to spend as much time as possible with my honey-bunny, but I also feel super loved when I get home from work to a clean house and bathed children while also feeling loved when his first words upon my entrance into the house are “I missed you today, babe. How was your day?” as he wraps his arms around me and pulls me close.

However, what I need to focus on is his love language because my job is to love him first. It’s taken me awhile, but I have finally learned that he speaks Acts of Kindness. He would rather me do something helpful and unexpected than for me to buy him a gift of some sort. Don’t get me wrong, he would be ecstatic about a gift – especially if it belongs in a garage – but he primarily feels loved when he knows I am sharing in, not only the daily responsibilities, but also spur-of-the-moment, out-of-nowhere errands that arise at any given moment. He feels more loved when I can stop what I’m doing, or at least add it to my list, to do what he needs done, but can’t get to yet. He equates my actions toward him, my acts of service toward him as love or lack thereof when my actions are not up to par. For instance, if he asks me to pick up that part at Napa and I hee-haw around….he takes that as something less than love, if that makes any sense. He knows that I love him, but he doesn’t see it or feel it when I’m not willing to help him out.

So, what happens now?

From this point forward, I have to word hard every day at speaking his love language. There’s a lot more to this marriage business that I ever fathomed, but I got this 🙂

However, nothing says it better than Ephesians 5:22-33

22 Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. 25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— 30 for we are members of his body. 31 “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” 32This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. 33 However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.

So go, wives love your husbands and husbands love your wives. Build your relationships with God and with one another ♥

 

 

I Love Walking In

That’s what I love about Sunday
Sing along as the choir sways
Every verse of Amazin’ Grace
And then we shake the Preacher’s hand (Craig Morgan)

I love when Sunday rolls around. I love walking into our church, to kneel in our pew *giggling to myself right now* because yes, we have ‘our’ pew 🙂 Any-whoo, kneeling in a pew to have our own conversations with God. We are in God’s house now. Time just automatically seems to slow down upon our entrance.Here, we take our tired, weary souls to get cleansed, to get revamped so-to-speak. I completely understand that God listens to us All The Time. He hears every prayer we send and He’s with us everywhere, but I know He’s there with me, He’s sitting right next to me on the pew, guiding me, teaching me, reminding me of His presence in my life, lives everywhere who choose to believe:

And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. – Matthew 16:18

I love walking into our church, to see the other parishioners, to know that Father is waiting in the confessional for any one who might want to come in to relinquish their sins, to turn them over to the Lord. Being in the house of God is comforting. We are forgiven when we sincerely asked for forgiveness. We are loved, Always. We are alone, Never. One common conversation that I’ve heard many, many times is: Why do I need to confess my sins to another person? He doesn’t forgive me my sins, only God can do that. My response is always the same:

Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. – James 5:16

I love walking into our church, knowing we will be singing our praises to the Lord. As I sit, quietly, trying to keep my children behaved, I listen to the words that God has chosen for that specific day. I silently let the words in the homily soak into my heart and spread through my whole body. And I know that the other parishioners are doing the same, for God is there, leading us.There, in God’s house, we are no longer one person, but a complete ‘body’ of believers.

So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the  apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being  the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit. – Ephesians 2:19-22

I love walking into our church, ready for the Lord to feed my soul such as Jesus fed the 5000. How many times do groups of people get together over food? BBQs, birthday parties, holiday celebrations, work luncheons or meetings over pizza, or simply meals in the home: The Dinner Table. Food brings people together so it’s only right that the food for our souls be found in the sanctuary of God’s house while in the midst of others.

But, more importantly, I love walking into the church with a servants heart, doing all that I can to please Him and to spread His goodness.

and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “This is My body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” – 1 Corinthians 11:24

It was revealed to them that they were serving not themselves but you, in the things that have now been announced to you through those who preached the good news to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven, things into which angels long to look. -1 Peter 1:12

I love walking into God’s house for I know that He will cleanse my soul, He will provide nourishment for my body, and He will provide strength and rest for our heavy laden hearts. I am there to know, love, and serve the Lord.

Happy Sunday to all ♥