Daily Encourgement, Life in General, Motherhood

Answered Prayers

Therefore I tell you, all that you ask for in prayer, believe that you will receive it and it shall be yours. āˆ¼ Mark 11:24

us

Many of you know that we found out our oldest daughter has a hole in her heart. We began the process of getting her to Mayo for a procedure to repair it as that procedure cannot be done in the state we reside in. We have been worrying, praying, and waiting since August when we found out about her diagnosis: Atrial Septal Defect.

But….

Today, I received the best news in all the world. She finally got approved for the procedure and it is scheduled for the end of January. I just want to send out our appreciation for all the prayers on her behalf. It means a great deal to us and I cannot express how grateful we are. Much love to everyone for any and all prayers, past, present, and/or future.

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Life in General

Generous: The Goodness from Within

Generous:Ā freely giving or sharing money and other valuable things;Ā providing more than the amount that is needed or normal : abundant or ample;Ā showing kindness and concern for others (Merriam-Webster Dictionary).

So often in this life, Ā generosity seems to get lost in the jumble. Families. Jobs. Responsibilities. Unforeseen expenses. Loss of loved ones. Changes in living. And the list goes on.

Life. It just happens.

Before we know it, our worlds can be turned upside down and inside out without ever asking us what we think.

So….

How do remain humble? How do we remain positive? Loving? Supportive? How do we continue to spread the goodness of the Lord?

Through generosity. Through simple acts of kindness.

As has been posted a few different times, my oldest daughter was recently diagnosed with a medical condition that can be repaired through surgery. I ask that you take a moment to read through her story in the following posts and then consider making a donation to the GoFundMe account that is set up for her to aid inĀ costs of medical care and travel expense. The following links provide the details of her ‘condition’ plus her story. My husband and I are grateful for all the prayers that have been offered and will appreciate any donation that is made. You will remain in our prayers for a lifetime. You can find her storyĀ here,Ā here,Ā hereĀ andĀ here.

If you are willing to make a donation, you can do that with the following link:

https://www.gofundme.com/2t4c5ec

My husband and I normally don’t do this sort of thing. We are the kind of people who find our way and don’t ask for much from others. My husband is a hardworking, reliable, giving person. He keeps his word. He fulfills his promises. He is always willing to help others no matter what. I am a stay home mother who focuses on family and God. We love the Lord and we want to see our children grow into good, God-focused, giving adults. In our efforts to help our daughter, we are reaching out to friends, family, and strangers who are willing to help.

Thank you for taking the time to read this blog and to my followers I thank you for your continued support and encouragement in building my blog.

May you all have a blessed dayĀ ā™„

Anything Goes, Life in General, Motherhood

Blessings from God

I found this story on FB and when I read it, tears welled in my eyes. Such sweetness. Such goodness. What a wonderful act of kindness to this mother and her child!

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/tony-posnanski/to-the-woman-and-child-who-sat-at-table-9_b_4613722.html?ncid=fcbklnkushpmg00000037

If you haven’t read it, please take a moment to do so. It’s traveling all over FB, but I want to share it anyway because, like the manager, I cannot understand what it’s like to raise a child with autism, but my husband and I have received the very same blessing as he gave, a couple of different times. We have also been given the same looks and heard the same whispers, but we have never been hastled by a manager over it. Fortunately. Both of these experiences are eye-openers. Our family of 10, yes 10 (2 adults, 8 children), forĀ one random supper out on the town (family orientedĀ of course), was blessed by a well-meaning and kind soul. He/she/they (we don’t know who), paid our bill and told the server who delivered that act of kindness from the stranger/s not to divulge his/her/their names/identity. They wanted to remain anonymous. And if you don’t know already, feeding a family of 10 in a restuarant is not cheap. The message delivered with that act of kindness was, “What a beautiful family you have. Your children behaved so well.” These moments, sometimes far and few between, remind me of the goodness that is God, the goodness that surrounds us, many times unrecognized. These acts of kindness areĀ only a token of what God has promised us. It’s these random acts of kindness that come to mind when we encounter the rude comments, the soft whispers (as if we don’t know what they are saying?!?), and the glares from other patrons in different establishments, whether it be a restuarant, a grocery store, or walking through the mall. Remembering the kind acts from others in our wake make the rude/snide comments and otherwise unkind behaviors seem less powerful.

Another reason I wanted to make a post on the above article is because beings that our family is bigger than average, we often encounter praises and judgments from others. The praises are recognized and much appreciated and very well rememebered. For a short while, I began to let the judgements, looks, whispers, and snide/rude comments determine outings with my kids. I felt almost ashamed of the size of my family while in public (at home there was never any shame), but then slowly, my appreciation and the love I feel for my kids re-emerged, surpassing the shame. (**when i say my love for them, I don’t mean I stopped loving them because that’s absolutely NOT possible, I simply meant I let it be bigger, outshine anything anyone else had to say, think, assume, or judge).

And now, I look at my family in the light that God shines upon them with peace. I am in awe because they are the truest blessing from God and He entrusted them to me/ to us. Not those judgemental strangers. Not the kind folks that sing their praises to us about our children. Not our parents or friends or siblings, but US – My Husband and I.

And as the Bible says,

Children are a gift from the Lord;
Ā Ā Ā Ā they are a reward from him.
Ā Children born to a young man
Ā Ā Ā Ā are like arrows in a warriorā€™s hands.
Ā How joyful is the man whose quiver is full of them!
Ā Ā Ā Ā He will not be put to shame when he confronts his accusers at the city gates. – Psalm 127: 3-5

And that is reason enough for me. Who else is there to impress, to prove anything, to strive for other than God?

Nobody really.

Isn’t His judgement of us what matters most?

Yes! Yes it is.

For all the mothers and fathers out there with one kid, 3 kids, 10 kids, autistic or in any other way impaired, not impaired…no matter, if you have kids just remember this:

Each and every child, born and unborn, is a blessing from God. Each and every child is given for reasons that only God will ever know. Thank God for them every day and pray for anyone who has a judgement to throw at you.

Daily Encourgement, Life in General, Motherhood

Oh Yes, Now I Remember

One popular comment I hear when I tell people about the number of children we have is:

“Oh, you must be so busy.”

For a very long time my conclusion was this:

“If you have more than one child, the number doesn’t really matter. A mother with only two kids can be just as or even more busy than me with 8 children.”

Pretty much all my time is spent with my children, taking care of my home, or doing something family oriented. Times away from them include date nights with my hunny, trips mu husband and I have taken, or visits with friends or family when my hubby is home. Then there’s the times that my hubby takes the children with him which is something that happened most recently. He took five of the eight kiddos with him for the day to the county fair. I knew it was going to be a long day with no rest time or reprieve for the young ones so I decided to stay home with them.

Turns out that two kids for the day was very simple. I reached a new conclusion:

Yes, I am busier with 8 children than I would be with 2, 3, etc. etc.

And that got me to thinkin’…..

I have grown so used to having all the kids with me pretty much all the time because that’s what my husband and I have decided is best for our children. And I love it! I am so very thankful that I am able to stay home with them. The day he had most of the kids with him, I felt……I didn’t quite know what to do. The girls and I enjoyed that time together. Reading, coloring, playing, going for a couple of walks, visiting my sisters….it was a great day. It wasn’t different than our run-of-the-mill days except there were only two kids and I realized how much quieter it was in the house. Less arguing, less door slams from running in and out, less food to prepare……just less work in general and this brought to mind my early motherhood years when I had my first child.

I enjoyed that day when it was just the two girls and I, but I appreciate having all my kids. I wouldn’t change it for all the gold in the world. For anything. I would have each and every one of them all over again if I was given a re-do.

Anything Goes, Daily Encourgement, Life in General, Motherhood, Wifehood

I Am Exactly That Girl……

Who I am now is not exactly who I used to be, but I Am Exactly That Girl.

I am exactly that girlĀ who will stand up and take the side of the little guy even when the little guy is wrong just because he/she is the little guy. And everyone picks on the little guy!

I am exactly that girlĀ who will fight for what I believe in even when it means proving that I am in the wrong because admitting our faults is (or at least should be) commendable.

I am exactly that girlĀ who will love another with all my heart and soul through most anything. I say most because I haven’t been through everything that one can go through.

I am exactly that girlĀ who will admit that I’m wrong after fighting for minutes or hours just to proveĀ otherwise.

I am exactly that girlĀ who will say what I think because thinking comes later although I am getting better at thinking first and controlling the urge to say exactly that.

I am exactly that girlĀ who forgives over and over and over again only to forgive again. I can’t fathom a life in which forgiveness is withheld. They say to grant forgiveness to another is to make oneself feel better, more at peace. But (and it could be skewed), in my way of thinking, I forgive another not only because God forgives me, but also because –in some small way — it gives the other person the ability to grow the relationship. For instance, if I wrong my husband in some way for him to grant forgiveness to me, he is opening his heart to the Lord, but it also opens my heart to him again as well as to the Lord. Does that make sense?

I am exactly that girlĀ who may not offer the most eloquent advice to another in times of need, but I will offer the kindest piece of advice that I can in hopes of making said person feel better. I am not knowledgeable in the ways of the world so my advice will seem like the small state of Rhode Island as akin to the large state of Alaska, totally dwarfed by more worldly people than myself, but you can bet whatever I do say comes from deep within my heart meant to make the other person feel better and aren’t just words to fill the void.

I am exactly that girlĀ who will argue over absolutely nothing if I feel that another is trying to pacify me, but is not really hearing me. Oooh, that’s so frustrating.

I am exactly that girlĀ who will get the stupidest grin/blank stare on my face, or just giggle at another in moments whenĀ I don’t know what to say in response because no matter what I say, it’s not going to do any good. Ask my husband, he will tell you. And it drives him nuts!

I am exactly that girlĀ who will cry with happiness, laugh with nervousness, and get angry with hurt feelings. It’s all backwards!

I am exactly that girlĀ who enjoys dancing in the rain, sitting outside in 90 degree heat, or listening to country music. All. Day. Long.

I am exactly that girlĀ who looks at my children in awe that God blessed me as their mother. To explain, they are the blessing that I received.

I am exactly that girlĀ who looks at the world with a child’s innocence, seeing everything with excitement for the first time. For example, my husband and I traveled to St. Louis a few years ago for a short stay and during this trip, I got to see Denver for the first time (a quick layover). And I was like a child in a candy store! Being in a city that size was exhilarating and eye-opening.

I am exactly that girlĀ who makes a hasty decision which often times goes bust and is considered strike 1, or 2, or 10 until lesson learned. 10 may seem like a lot, and it very well may be, but sometimes, 10 is needed. No examples right off handĀ though šŸ™‚

I am exactly that girlĀ who carries more in my heart than anyone close to me will ever really know. What I am saying out loud is probably not even half of what is actually in my heart (feelings, thoughts, dreams, hopes, etc).

I am exactly that girlĀ who may say a whole lot at times, but not really be saying anything at all or vice versa.

I am exactly that girlĀ who will try to avoid confrontation with others (this doesn’t always pertain to family — I’m more mouthy with them).

I am exactly that girlĀ who is shy until I get to know you then you can’t get me to shut-up.

I am exactly that girlĀ who can be silly and weird, but serious and stern when needed.

I am exactly that girlĀ who thinks the push, the fight for women’s rights has taken or forgotten the very heart of what makes us women, the very heart of what separates us from the male species to make us the equal of that same population. We are not meant to be a man’s equal in the way that it’s pushed. Women and men were created differently because the roles each sex fills requires the strengths or weaknesses of the sex it applies to. God created all humans equally in terms of His likeness, but He created male and female in order to populate the earth andĀ to live the relationship of and as such as that of Christ and the Church. Quite simply, the two roles are not and not meant to be interchangeable. Appreciate God’s wisdom and gladly accept the role you’ve been given as you are the only one that can fulfill the duties of that role. Women are not less, women are not more than their male counterparts. They simply fulfill the demands of their given roles, as do men. If male and female roles were meant to be interchangeable then God wouldn’t have seen to it to create a male and a female.

I am exactly that girlĀ who, through devotional readings and daily prayers, strives daily to be the kind of person that God created me to be, the very best version of myself.

I am exactly that girlĀ who digs in her heels at the most inopportune moments for reasons that make no sense to another, but make all the sense in the world to me.

I am exactly that girlĀ who is easy to get along with but just as hard to deal with once in a disagreement with.

I am exactly that girlĀ who lives every aspect of life with the same gusto: emotionally charged and mentally relaxed. I am an intelligent person who can hold my own when needed, but excitement of me is not found so much in my intelligence as it is in my emotions. There are few things in this life that get me riled and most all of them stem from my relationships with others (the more important I consider the relationship, the more riled I get).

I am exactly that girlĀ who is loyal to those closest to me. If you are someone I hold close to my heart (friend, family or even foe depending on nature of being foe), I am loyal to you regardless of how loyal you may be to me. My loyalty stems from my own beliefs of you, my faith in God, and of myself. Your loyalty to me has no bearing on that.

I am exactly that girlĀ who keeps most, if not all, commitments that I make. I hate to let people down and I hate not following through on my word. If I have any doubt as to whether or not I can or will do something, rest assured I will not say that I can or will.

I am exactly that girlĀ who will take what is said to me with a grain of salt from someone who doesn’t know me. I firmly believe that those who matter don’t mind and those who mind don’t matter, but more importantly, God matters at all times so what He minds always counts.

I am exactly that girl:Ā that woman with all them kids, that friend who shows up unannounced just to make you feel better, that wife who is not perfect in any way but loves her husband with all her heart, that daughter who needs her mother during moments of heartbreak, that sister who will tell it like it is because sometimes that’s how it needs to be said, that child of God constantly asking for His forgiveness while seeking His love, and that girl who appreciates kind words, big hugs, and quiet time.

Yes, I am exactly that girl.

 

 

 

 

Daily Encourgement, Life in General, Motherhood, Wifehood

Happiness – 101 Simple Things

Happiness is what we all search for. We look for it in everything we do, everyone we meet, and everywhere we go.Ā Scale SimpleĀ created her own and is asking for other bloggers to create their own lists of 101 happiness’s in their lives.

Happiness 101 Simple Things Challenge rulesā€¦

  • Write 101 Simple things that make you happy

  • Tag 5 bloggers who you would like to invite to take part in this challenge

  • Mention ScaleSimple in your post!


101 Simple things that bring me happinessā€¦Pretty much everything under the sun, but I shall credit each one individually šŸ™‚

  1. Happiness isā€¦Sunday Mass
  2. Happiness isā€¦Wednesday Mass
  3. Happiness isā€¦ONLY the very first fresh fallen snow of the year (i hate winter, but that first snowfall is beautiful)
  4. Happiness isā€¦the first cries of a newborn baby
  5. Happiness isā€¦glasses that help me to see the world clearly
  6. Happiness isā€¦cool, crisp Dr. PepperĀ 
  7. Happiness isā€¦smell of bacon in the morning
  8. Happiness isā€¦squeals of a happy toddler
  9. Happiness isā€¦mutters of an aggravated teenager
  10. Happiness isā€¦the smell of my husbandĀ 
  11. Happiness isā€¦curling up with a good love story minus the in-depth sexual details….Nicholas Sparks is my fav!
  12. Happiness isā€¦the first rays of the morning sun….such a peace it brings
  13. Happiness isā€¦loud crashes of thunder
  14. Happiness is…the smell of lilacs
  15. Happiness isā€¦whines and complaints of my pre-teen boys
  16. Happiness isā€¦watching my little girlsĀ conversate with one another….it’s quite entertaining.
  17. Happiness isā€¦sleeping with my fan. every night.
  18. Happiness isā€¦camping in a tent on a stormy night.
  19. Happiness isā€¦the neighbor kids over to play in the sprinkler.
  20. Happiness is….noticeable improvements in myself and my loved ones.
  21. Happiness isā€¦my daddy’s devilish grin.
  22. Happiness isā€¦my mama’s cooking.
  23. Happiness isā€¦getting together with my sisters, feeling almost like kids again.
  24. Happiness isā€¦snuggling with my hunny bunny.
  25. Happiness isā€¦my hair straightener on date nights.
  26. Happiness isā€¦hosting a social gathering of friends/family in the backyard.
  27. Happiness isā€¦my neighbors.
  28. Happiness isā€¦God’s presence in our home.
  29. Happiness isā€¦my husband being able to get home each night versus the once-a-week that it used to be.
  30. Happiness isā€¦soft breezes.
  31. Happiness isā€¦chirping grasshoppers.
  32. Happiness isā€¦singing birds.
  33. Happiness isā€¦croaking frogs.
  34. Happiness isā€¦my favorite flip-flops.
  35. Happiness isā€¦creating a quilt.
  36. Happiness isā€¦putting the last stitch in the quilt.
  37. Happiness isā€¦being on the water, near the water, or in the water (bathtub excluded)
  38. Happiness isā€¦a 5-10 minute soak in the hottest bath I can stand.
  39. Happiness isā€¦watching reruns of my favorite romantic movies.
  40. Happiness isā€¦memories of my children as babies.
  41. Happiness isā€¦memories of family vacays as well as the stolen getaways with just my hubby.
  42. Happiness isā€¦the sights of a horse (wild or not) running freely, its’ mane flowing carelessly in the wind.
  43. Happiness isā€¦having conversation with the pastor at my church.
  44. Happiness isā€¦listening to stories of older generations.
  45. Happiness isā€¦snuggling all night with a sick child. if you’re a mom then you will understand the reasoning behind this one.
  46. Happiness isā€¦childhood memories.
  47. Happiness isā€¦traveling.
  48. Happiness isā€¦the beautiful flowers blooming in my yard.
  49. Happiness isā€¦celebrations of any kind.
  50. Happiness isā€¦giving to others without expectation of a return.
  51. Happiness isā€¦lots and lots of laughter from adult and child alike.
  52. Happiness isā€¦encouraging others in their own lives.
  53. Happiness isā€¦Christmas, Easter, and the 4th of July.
  54. Happiness isā€¦red hair dye.
  55. Happiness isā€¦getting all dolled up for a night out with my favorite guy.
  56. Happiness is…one on one time with each of my children.
  57. Happiness isā€¦Red Lobster.
  58. Happiness isā€¦the color purple.
  59. Happiness isā€¦witnessing someone in their enjoyments.
  60. Happiness isā€¦the colors of summer.
  61. Happiness isā€¦the feels of summer.
  62. Happiness isā€¦the sounds of summer.
  63. Happiness isā€¦the smells of summer.
  64. Happiness isā€¦summer.
  65. Happiness isā€¦freeze pops on a super hot day.
  66. Happiness isā€¦capturing life’s joys through my photo lens.
  67. Happiness isā€¦walking barefoot through a mud puddle after a heavy rain.
  68. Happiness isā€¦falling asleep in the car as my husband drives down the road.
  69. Happiness isā€¦to watch my children try and try and try until they succeed.
  70. Happiness isā€¦seeing my husband pull into the drive in the evenings, even more so if he’s home early.
  71. Happiness isā€¦heart to heart conversations with my loved ones.
  72. Happiness isā€¦watching my children grow and change.
  73. Happiness isā€¦the sauciness and know-it-all attitude of my 4 year old (once they reach 10+ that same attitude is aggravating).
  74. Happiness isā€¦watching my son interact with his girlfriend.
  75. Happiness isā€¦the day my son gets back home from his dad’s.
  76. Happiness isā€¦playing backyard games with my kiddos.
  77. Happiness isā€¦working together as family to accomplish our goals.
  78. Happiness isā€¦sleeping in.
  79. Happiness isā€¦writing in my journal or on my blog.
  80. Happiness isā€¦the smells of rain.
  81. Happiness isā€¦putting together a puzzle.
  82. Happiness isā€¦perusing the fabrics in a fabric store.
  83. Happiness isā€¦meaningfulĀ tattoos.
  84. Happiness isā€¦sitting in peaceful silence every so often.
  85. Happiness isā€¦watching the sun rise or set.
  86. Happiness isā€¦catching a fish.
  87. Happiness isā€¦winning at pull-tabs.
  88. Happiness isā€¦chances to be creative.
  89. Happiness isā€¦adding something new to or making a change in decor.
  90. Happiness isā€¦the smell of clean laundry.
  91. Happiness isā€¦reading my girls their favorite story.
  92. Happiness isā€¦saying nighttime prayers with all the kids.
  93. Happiness isā€¦singing my girls their only, most favorite, not anything else but this one song: Down in the Valley.
  94. Happiness isā€¦George Strait on the radio/cd player
  95. Happiness isā€¦thoughts of love, kindness, and encouragement.
  96. Happiness isā€¦reading my daily devotionals.
  97. Happiness isā€¦family prayer time.
  98. Happiness isā€¦prayer by myself.
  99. Happiness isā€¦taking the kids to the waterpark.
  100. Happiness isā€¦relaxing on a blanket under my favorite shade tree watching my children play.
  101. Happiness isā€¦babies, babies, babies.

 

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Can you name 101 simple things that bring you happiness in your life?

I challengeā€¦

  1. The Richness of a Simple Life
  2. Shell’s Shizzle
  3. From Emma With Love
  4. Miss Mae’s Days
  5. Just Add Grace
Daily Encourgement, Life in General, Motherhood, Wifehood

Week Two Kindness Challenge in Review

So, this week’s kindness challenge had me observing kindnesses around me. Please forgive my repetitiveness with words. I am rather weakĀ in the word department. I used to play Scrabble religiously, but I don’t think it helped much because , yeah, my vocabulary is pretty small. Anywhoo, maybe I should do Ā more reading šŸ™‚

Buuut, back to kindness, we could all use a little more kindness. Honestly, I was very unobservant this week. I don’t fail to recognize the kindness in my midst or to practice kindness, but locking it into my memory (or lack thereof) is my downfall. So, would it still be considered true kindness?

Do I fail to remember it because I am too busy to really think about it or because I am so used to it that it has become second nature (like breathing–it happens all on its’ own without any help from me)?

Hmmmm?

Anyway, as I said, I was either unobservant or I just can’t remember every act of kindness I observed. Either way, I think I have a problem. Weeell, not a problem, more like a hiccup.

Let me think for a moment…….

and a moment more…..

and still…a moment more……

That’s not actually true and I will start with being at work…..I did notice one co-worker being a ton more helpful than normal. One kindness that sticks out so well in my mind is my bosses’ reaction to my resignation. She took it so well that I felt incredibly guilty about leaving, not her intentions of course. She was just so understanding and forgiving. I felt like a heel. I spent days and days going back and forth about the resignation, trying to find a way to stay working without it affecting my home life. No such luck. Schedule-wise, I just couldn’t get it to work out.

Outside of work, my neighbor brought me over some freshly caught and fried fish that tasted deli-licious!

Man, I just don’t know. Again, the observant quandary! I either didn’t notice or I didn’t leave my house and trust me, it could be both šŸ™‚ Could be that being observant is not my greatest strength!

I’d like to believe, though, that I am so attuned to kindness that it’s presence is so normal in my life that I don’t ever see anything less. Taking part in this kindness challenge was one more step for me toward improving whoĀ I am as a child of God, a wife, and a mother as well as any other role I fill, working toward being the kind of person that God has asked me to be. I have always had a more positive outlook on life (I think) so maybe kindness is already all around me because that’s how I choose to see it.

Heck if I know!

But, it’s been a good week for me and I’ve tried to make it that way for others around me and that’s all that matters.

Right?

Oh yes, acts of kindness are a wonderful thing in this life. It adds to the beauty of living.

As always, feel free to comment because each one is welcome. All I ask if that you do choose to respond, please respond withĀ kindnessĀ even in disagreement or challenge.

I hope you all have a wonderful day.

Thanks for stopping by šŸ™‚

Daily Encourgement, Life in General, Motherhood

Co-Parenting

There’s a new way to parent for parents that are not together. It’s called co-parenting and as with anything, there are some disadvantages and advantages that come with it. I am not here to give an opinion either way or to sway anyone else’s opinion. This is simply my own experience.

There’s a couple of songs that portray shared parenting. And of course, they are country songs. If you know me, then you know that I am a country fan. The rock and pop stuff just doesn’t bode well with me. Okay, maybe some šŸ˜‰

Anywhoo…….

These song titles are:

Highway 20 Ride – Zac Brown Band (My fav)

Every Other Friday at Five – Trace Adkins

If you don’t know these two songs, they talk about getting every other weekend visits with dad. Now, if you are parent that goes through this then you know how hard it is for all parties involved.

So, from my own experience, I have two children that come to me only on weekends and summer visitations and one child that goes to his dad every other weekend plus summer visitation. For this first two children, these two songs apply weekly, but for the one child, it applies to me for 6 weeks in the summer and it’s hard. Every two weeks he comes home for the weekend and when he goes back to his dad’s, I cry every time (not within his presence of course because I know it’s hard for him to and he doesn’t need to carry the burden of my feelings). At the same time, I carry the burden of his feelings because well…..that’s what mothers do. I look at him on these weekends that he’s home whenĀ it rolls around to Sunday and I can see the tears threatening to fall from his pretty blue eyes and it breaks my heart. It breaks my heart because I can’t stop it. I breaks my heart because I don’t have a choice. It just breaks my heart because I want to shield him, shield all of my children, from the heartbreak in the world.

But I can’t and…..it breaks my heart.

When these Sunday’s roll around, I can sense the change in his mood. I can see the anxiety written all across his face. He tries to be strong. He tries to hide those feelings. But, I’m his mom and any mom understands that we are one with our children, even when they grow old. Every Sunday (on his weekends home), it’s the same. He gets quiet. He gets sad. He gets short with his brothers and he a bit clingier than normal.

However, I put on my big-girl panties, I hug him close and tell him it’s gonna be alright. We’re gonna miss him a ton and can’t wait to see him again, but we hope he has lots of fun with his dad because we know he loves his dad and his dad loves him. And I reassure him that through those two weeks that he’s gone, we can talk every night and say a prayer with him, because at home, that’s what we do.

To all the parents that know this struggle:

I can do all things through him who strengthens me. -Philippians 4:13

 

Motherhood

To My Girls

me and girls

The world is not a nice place, most of the time. People can and will be judgmental, mean, hateful, but they can also be nice, loving, accepting, and supportive. The world is not full of only bad people. There are still good people around.

The world is full of its’ own expectations of women: in how they look, in how they dress, in how they act, talk etc. It is not our job to live up to these expectations.

But remember:

People will judge, no matter what kind of life you live.

Society’s image of a woman is not the image that matters.

What you think of yourself outweighs what anyone else thinks of you.

With that, I’d like my girls to know the following:

  1. Love God first. No matter what your friends say, your boyfriend, the neighbor, anyone. Love God first and you will have an enriching life. You will have a life of ups and downs but with the Lord as your constant, you will get through anything.
  2. Love yourself. Who you are is what God made you. For that reason alone, you are good enough. You are loved enough. You are pretty enough. You are nice enough. You are exactly what God made you and as hard as it is sometimes, it’s only God’s opinion of you that matters. God doesn’t make mistakes so just be You.
  3. You CAN say no. Say no to sex. Say no to drugs. Say no to alcohol. Say no to anything that makes you uncomfortable. There will be many times in this life that you will be influenced, prodded, maybe even coerced into saying yes, but stand for what you know is right.
  4. Laugh. Laughter is healing. Laugh at yourself. Laugh at silliness. Laugh or smile when all you want to do is holler. Laugh at your failures. Why? Because one can learn and if you can laugh at yourself then you will also have the ability to learn from the mistakes. Life is to serious sometimes and just needs a little more laughter. So laugh. A lot!
  5. Learn to cook. Help in the kitchen, use recipe books, create your own genius foods, but learn to cook. Eating out all the time costs tons of money.
  6. Have a dream: to be an artist, a doctor, an actress, or even a mother and wife. Having a dream gives you something to strive for. Your dreams will change throughout the course of your life, so look inside yourself and hold onto your beliefs no matter where you are or which phase of life you are in.
  7. You will get mad. You will get hurt. You will be happy. You will feel a million and one feelings in your life, but the key to moving forward is forgiving. Forgive whatever is done to you, remember how it made you feel, but learn from it as well. Forgiveness is going to help you to live and enjoy a happier life. Holding onto your pain and anger only hurts you.
  8. Find a hobby. Be passionate. Something you can do to relax and step outside of the world around you for just a little while (once a day, once a week, once a month, whenever you feel the need for alone time). Allowing yourself to delve into your own space helps you to re-energize yourself, to revamp so you can be back in the world and not go comepletly psycho.
  9. The right man in your life will love you, not hinder you. He will accept you as you are rather than try to make you what he wants. He will love you simply because he loves you.
  10. Having sex is a BIG deal and should not be taken lightly. It’s giving a part of yourself to someone else. I mean something emotional, not just physical.
  11. If the man you are interested in doesn’t have any ambition then move on. More than likely, if he doesn’t have it when you meet him he’s probably not going to find it along the way.
  12. Don’t let society shape your idea of the perfect life. Live. Experience. Dream. Travel. Get this out of your system before you take a husband and create children. Otherwise, you might regret what you didn’t get to do. But remember, #’s 1, 2, & 3.
  13. Take care of your body and your body will take care of you. Don’t over-indulge everyday. Don’t starve yourself. Be active, eat right, and you will be healthy.
  14. Money is nice, but it’s not everything. Keep your values at heart. Don’t let money be your driving force.
  15. Put more value into the kind of person someone is rather than how cool or fun he/she is. Believe it or not, we can choose our friends. Choose wisely.
  16. Family is important. Love them. Forgive them. Help them. Hate them. But never completely cut them out of your life.
  17. You can always to talk to me. About anything. If you believe it’s goint to anger me, chances are it will, but I will love you anyway. If you believe it’s going to hurt me or disappoint me, you are probably right, but I will love you anyway. We all make mistakes in this life, but the key is what we walk away with. Did you learn from it?
  18. Despite what society teaches you, there is a woman’s role and a man’s role. Fighting to be in a man’s world is fine, but you then have to accept the same attitude given to that of a man. You can’t be in a man’s world and expect to be treated like a lady.
  19. Always listen to your heart because it does not lie. If you are unhappy in career, in a relationship, in a friendship, in a social situation, then get out of it. Now for marriage, if you are not being physically abused in your marriage, then find a way to work it out.
  20. As God teaches us, turn the other cheek when someone hurts you, angers you but you shouldn’t lower yourself to that level. Always hold yourself to a higher standard and never intentionally hurt another. Not because you are better or worse, but because God expects more of you.
  21. Learn and Love. Every. Single. Day. Learn something. Love others.
  22. Be wary of change, because it’s not always good. Therefore, be informed as well. Read the newspaper, watch the news…stay informed.
  23. Never! Never give up on your marriage. Marriage is hard. It takes work. It takes commitment. To fall in love is easy. To stay in love takes more than love itself. It’s a choice you make every day. When things are hard, you make the choice to continue to love. To love another means to give of yourself even when you don’t want to give (when angry, hurt, tired, etc. etc) See #19

These things, my dear girls, are what I want you to know. Do not be fooled though because there is so much more. Some things I can teach you, but other things you will have learn for yourself. The world is happy and sad and angering and hurtful but it doesn’t have to define you. Look to your dad and I for direction, but more importantly, look to God.