Posted in Being a Mom, Faith, Family, Inspiration, Uncategorized

The Secret

I’ll let you all in on a little secret that I’ve been carrying around with me for about the last 16 years. It’s difficult to share, but it is something I feel the need to get off my chest. So here goes. My secret is this. I’m a mom and I’m not doing it perfectly.

I know it’s hard to believe, but despite what my Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat feeds might depict, our family is far from ideal. While it pains me to admit it openly, our kids aren’t exactly faultless either. In fact, they are sometimes lazy, messy, selfish, disrespectful, ungrateful, judgemental, complaining, angry, — the list could go on and on. Here’s the worst part of my secret. Do you know who they learned some of these awful behaviors from? Yep, you guessed it. It was me. Now there’s a slice of humble pie that doesn’t look so appetizing.

Ever since they could walk and talk, our kids have been watching me. When I think of them, I hear the gravelly voice of Roz from Monsters Inc. in my head, “I’m watching you, always watching.” As their mom, my kids have seen me at my very best and my very worst. They’ve heard me say to them “Don’t judge,” and watched me do just that. They’ve listened to me say, “Stop complaining,” and have witnessed me grumbling with my very next breath. Unfortunately, they have seen a whole string of these unsightly behaviors over the years; and sadly, they’ve even repeated them.

It’s easy to point fingers at society, at their teachers, their friends, or various other worldly influences, but when I look at myself as one of their primary role models, I realize quite humbly, that what they’ve been watching over the years, is not necessarily what I always wanted them to see. I didn’t always do parenting the “right” way. I screamed, I yelled, I made poor choices, and my kids have seen it all.

Some parents will find failure in that admission, wagging their fingers or their tongues about the quality of my parenting skills. I have to admit, I’ve spent plenty of time in my life beating myself up over that very fact. As of late though, I’ve also found great freedom in the admission as well. Freedom in knowing that while my kids are quite familiar with my mistakes, they have also seen me at my brighter moments. They were watching when I chose to give of my time at church. They saw me take dinner to an ailing friend in need. They’ve seen moments of patience with the grocery clerk when there was a glitch in the system that was holding up the entire line. Just as often as they’ve witnessed the bad, they’ve undoubtedly also seen the good. I see that good reflected in them when they practice forgiveness, kindness, patience, love, compassion, generosity, unselfishness, hope, faith, honesty, and so much more.

More importantly, I believe God sees it too. When He does, I like to think He celebrates. Not that I’ve adequately done my parenting duty or that that they’ve done another good deed, but that we’re all growing. While I am not the perfect parent, He has created me as the perfect example for my children, that through His grace and mercy He is molding us all into the people He wants us to be.

I would offer this advice to my fellow parents and guardians out there today. Be kind and supportive to one another and to yourselves. Allow yourself to experience the freedom of knowing that in even in our imperfection, He is using both the unsightly and the good in all of us. While He did not create evil, He can control it. As Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

Today I pray that as parents and guardians, instead of criticizing one another, we would all strive together to remind each other of this fact. It’s okay to admit you’re not the perfect parent and that you’ve made mistakes. It’s okay to admit that your kids aren’t completely blameless too. If we all were willing to make this admission, I think parenting would be a whole lot less lonely and wildly more productive. God bless and easy breathing! 0DC59459-3729-477E-BB5F-D1C1742CFB3E

 

 

 

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Posted in Being a Mom, Faith, Family, Inspiration, Uncategorized

This One’s Just For You

Recently, Meghan, our high school freshman, came home from school with the news that her Journalism teacher had decided to guest publish an article she had written in the school newspaper. After co…

Source: This One’s Just For You

Posted in Being a Mom, Faith, Family, Uncategorized

In Prayer There is Rest

About a week and a half ago our eight year old, Jake, started having nightmares. I remember the first time I heard his little feet scurrying across the wooden floor in our kitchen and then feeling him leap onto our bed in the wee hours of the morning. He shook Bob awake and I heard him whisper rather loudly, “Dad, I’m scared!” I vaguely remember Bob getting back into bed a bit later and me asking if Jake had settled down when I heard the now familiar thud of feet on the kitchen floor. I heard Jake scurrying back into our bedroom, now to my side of the bed, saying, “Mom, I’m still really scared and I can’t go back to sleep.” It happened multiple times that night and continued on for the next several nights much to mine and Bob’s dismay. After several continuous nights of very little sleep, both Bob and I realized our patience was quickly wearing thin. By the fourth night, we were at our wits end, both hoping that this would be the night we would all gain a good night’s sleep. After conducting closet and under-the-bed checks, putting the dog in Jake’s room, giving him a few special stuffed animals to cuddle with and talking at length about what was bothering him, I finally came up with a new solution that we probably should have started with in the first place, prayer.

That night when we were tucking Jake into bed, I told him that I thought we should tell Jesus how scared he was and ask that He take the fear out of Jake’s heart and mind so that he could get a good night’s rest. We said the prayer together, and whether it was a direct result of that prayer or the dose of Benadryl that we happened to give that evening for a flare-up of his itchy eczema, I give the good Lord two big thumbs up for hearing us.

Jake slept that night and has been sleeping soundly every night since. Each night at bedtime it’s been the same routine, adding a prayer thanking God for the rest He provided the night before and asking for him to watch over Jake through the night. Last night as we were tucking both kids into bed, Jake and I had prayed “the prayer” and then he said so innocently, “Mom, we’ve been saying that prayer every night now, do you think God is getting tired of hearing it?”

It was nice for once, to know a definite answer to his question. I smiled and said, “No honey, He never tires of our prayers. He may not always give us an answer right away or even the answer we want, but He never tires of hearing from us. Jesus is our friend and we can always confide in Him.”

Later that evening, after the kids had been asleep for a few hours, I thought some more about Jake’s question. I recalled how tired I had been when Bob and I were facing our late-night interruptions, yet it occurred to me that as often as we come before God with our own requests and interruptions, He never tires of us; our words never fall on deaf ears. I remembered something from Psalms talking about how God listens to and answers prayer so I looked it up. In Psalm 116, it says 1 I love the LORD because he hears and answers my prayers. 2 Because he bends down and listens, I will pray as long as I have breath! 3 Death had its hands around my throat; the terrors of the grave overtook me. I saw only trouble and sorrow. 4 Then I called on the name of the LORD: “Please, LORD, save me!” 5 How kind the LORD is! How good he is! So merciful, this God of ours! 6 The LORD protects those of childlike faith; I was facing death, and then he saved me. 7 Now I can rest again, for the LORD has been so good to me.

After reading those words, they only reemphasized what I had thought of earlier that evening that we should have put Jake’s nightmares to prayer from the very beginning. These verses are excellent reminders that God hears and answers our prayers, especially when we come to Him in child-like belief. In prayer there is rest; of that I have no doubt.

 

  

 

Posted in Being a Mom, Faith, Family, Inspiration, Uncategorized

Daisy Mae

TODAY’S FORECAST: Cuddly

Some of you have inquired about my absence on the blog and were worried that something had happened with my health that had not allowed me to write. Thank you so much for your concern and I’m so sorry for worrying you; I should have posted something much sooner than today. I am here and actually feeling quite good for as much as Ohio weather has been on a roller coaster the last few weeks. We’ve been fluctuating anywhere from the 40 degree (Fahrenheit) range to the 80 degree range in a single day! Let me tell you, I’m still convinced I could make BIG BUCKS in the meteorology field. These old bones and joints can feel those cold fronts coming a mile away. The “human barometer” is alive and well! 😉

As it always does, change has graced our lives in a number of ways over the past two weeks. First and foremost is the fact that we got a new puppy. Faithful readers meet, Daisy. Daisy, meet faithful readers. 🙂DSC07011

Daisy is a Morkie (a mix between a Yorkie Terrier and a Maltese). She is 2.5 pounds of pure puppy! She chews on everything with her sharp puppy teeth and loves to play tug of war with her rope. She goes wild when you say the word, “Treat” and sleeps in a pink bed with the word, “Princess” on it, which pretty much says it all. 🙂 She’s 11 weeks old and is working on being house-broken.  (She best be giving it an A+ effort too, because I’m getting really tired of following her around with the carpet cleaner!) She’s a total wuss in the rain but it could be because she is just a wee bit spoiled. She wags her little stump of a tail when the kids get home from school and we couldn’t love her much more, despite her ornery and stubborn nature.

After two weeks with Daisy I’m convinced that having a puppy is like having a baby all over again but worse at times. There are no diapers to contain the pee and poop when it doesn’t land outside where it should. Between running to grab her to avoid an inside accident and running to get her outside to the backyard just in time, I’m getting plenty of exercise. While the exercise is good, this Mama is one tired lady at the end of the day. Blogging? Well blogging has had to wait during this baby stage. Mom needs to sleep when the baby sleeps to keep up with her. So yeah, at the moment, creativity will have to wait a little while. It’s funny, by the time Bob gets home from work, instead of hearing about what the kids did I’m usually whining and saying, “Do you know what YOUR dog did today?” He says it reminds him of when the kids were toddlers and getting into all kinds of things and I used to say, “I need five minutes of peace, just five minutes.”

The puppy teething might be even worse. It means utter destruction if you leave a her unsupervised for even just a second. The corner of my new entertainment center took a mild beating when I left her so I could take my own “potty break” the other day. Anything she can get her little mouth around is fair game, including toes, fingers, shoe strings, sandal straps, corners of furniture, strings under the furniture, electrical cords, etc. Bob jokes some days that we’re going to give the people we purchased Daisy from fifty cents on the dollar just to have them take her back. Depending on her degree of stubbornness, it may go from fifty cents, to a quarter, to FREE, to we’ll pay a quarter on the dollar to give her back!!! LOL.

I have to admit that when Jake carries her around and proclaims proudly, “This is my puppy,” or when I overhear Meghan say, “Daisy do you want sissy to take you outside?” my heart melts just a little.  The kids are great with her and surprisingly helpful too. We did make a family pact together that we would all help take care of her; and though there’s been a few expected sighs during this second week, they still get up to feed her or take her out when we ask. Daisy has definitely brought our family closer together and blesses us with her light and energy. Maybe that was God’s intended purpose for her to be in our family. I know he has a purpose for everything, even sharp puppy teeth!!! 🙂

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I promise I will write as time allows. I’ll have more news about the changes God is bringing to our life as well as puppy updates, I’m sure. God bless and easy breathing!!! Love and peace until we meet again. 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Being a Friend, Being a Mom, Being a Wife, Faith, Family, Inspiration, Uncategorized, Womanhood

Keeping Up with the Joneses

TODAY’S FORECAST: Grateful

So today, we cover the final piece of the ten commandments in 100% Chance of CHANGE’s first ever series, GPS of Faith:

You shall not covet your neighbors’ goods.

In lieu of a post today, I want you to check out a website instead, if you would. It is called Who are the Joneses?

DIRECTIONS:

1. Click on the website link or copy and paste it into your web browser. http://whoarethejoneses.org/

2. Do what it says, go ahead and enter your salary (or your total household income), and hit ENTER,  I DARE YOU! 🙂 Read what it says.

2. Click on Nevermind the Joneses

3. Read and follow the prompts.

4. Comment on the blog FB page or on this post what your experience was.

Whatever your walk in life is, I guarantee this will make you think.  Happy Friday and many blessings this weekend to you and yours.

God Bless and Easy Breathing!

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Being a Friend, Being a Mom, Being a Wife, Faith, Family, Inspiration, Uncategorized, Womanhood

Little White Lies

TODAY’S FORECAST: Honest

Well, it’s been a few days since my last post, so I’ll pick up on where I left off on the GPS of Faith series in reviewing the 10 commandments. Considering I combined multiple commandments on a few of the posts, I just realized that this leaves us at the second-to-last post, so we’re down to the home stretch and then this series will be finished. Congratulations on sticking it out with me, we’ve almost made it! 🙂

Today’s focus commandment is this:

You shall not bear false witness.

I don’t know how anyone could argue that “bearing false witness,” otherwise known as lying, has become almost as natural as breathing in our society. We lie about all sorts of things from falsifying our looks for the sake of youth to telling our kids that they are the very best, brightest and strongest, even if they’re not. I recently read an article published online by Huffpost Healthy Living from September, 2012 http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/09/why-we-lie-time-factor-truth_n_1862384.html. The article quoted a Notre Dame Psychology Professor, Anita E. Kelly, Ph.D., as saying “Recent evidence indicates that Americans average about 11 lies per week.” How sad that is. That’s quite a lot of false witnessing right there! I don’t think there’s much then to be argued that this commandment is still applicable today. In the article Dr. Kelly went on to say that, “We found that the participants could purposefully and dramatically reduce their everyday lies, and that in turn was associated with significantly improved health.” So let me get this straight. Lying is not only wrong in God’s eyes, but can also negatively impact our health? Then why the heck do we do it?

Studies have shown that most of us are not spending those 11 lies a week telling the “really big whoppers,” but the “little white lies” that easily slip into our social banter. We all know that lying is wrong; however, if we are honest with ourselves, we would probably realize that we tell a few too many “little white lies” than we’d openly care to admit. For most of us, telling a lie seems like a simple way of sparing people’s feelings, avoiding conflict, saving ourselves from embarrassment, protecting our kids or inflating our own self-esteem. Have you ever heard yourself saying something like:

“You’ve put on weight? Seriously, where?”

“Of course I would tell you if I was upset with you, we’re friends, aren’t we?”

“That’s funny, I never got that paperwork.”

“Sorry I’m late, traffic was backed up because of an accident.”

“There are no losers, honey, only winners.”

“I shot a 67 on the course last weekend!”

“We can afford the Lexus. We’ll pay this credit card off as soon as you get your next bonus.”

It’s so easy to convince ourselves that lies like these are not only okay, but also a way of survival in this crazy world we live in. So let’s turn the tables for a moment. What if God was the one telling us the “little white lies?” Imagine if He had said:

“That fig leaf ensemble looks fabulous on you, Eve!”

“Cain, your offering wasn’t all that bad, you’re still a winner in My eyes.”

“Why Moses, of course you can part the Red Sea all by yourself. You can do anything you put your mind to.”

“You should have seen it; I sent those Israelites steak and eggs, right down from the heavens!”

“Don’t be ridiculous, Jonah, they’re really not that bad in Nineveh, just a little misguided that’s all.”

“Well Martha, I know Lazarus has been dead for four days, but with you in charge, of course the tomb won’t stink.”

“Mary, you’re highly qualified. This being the “Mother of Jesus” thing will be a snap!”

“It’s okay, Judas, I’m sure you needed the money.”

Sounds ridiculous right? Well, it’s just as ridiculous as the lies we tell each other. Remember folks, the devil is the “father of lies,” the “king of ridiculousness.” He is the one that secretly convinces each of us that we’re not good enough or that if we tell the complete truth, God will not be there to fulfill whatever void we believe is being created. As I’ve mentioned in a couple of posts, he is also the master of subtlety. He doesn’t attempt to take our hearts with the “tall” tales he plants his seed with little untruths. That is why we have to come together and pray that we can guard our hearts against them. Remember, whether we classify them as “big whoppers” or “little white lies” we’re still breaking God’s commandments.

Challenge for the week: Honestly look at the times you “stretch the truth” and see why you do it. Ask God for guidance and forgiveness in this area.

Posted in Being a Mom, Faith, Family, Inspiration, Uncategorized, Womanhood

Sparrow Parenting

TODAY’S FORECAST: Lucky

Let’s be honest here, there are times when our parents annoy us and for those of us who are already parents that we in turn annoy our children. Our parents may say or do something that we don’t agree with and then we attribute it to their eccentricities, their age, their issues, their shortcomings. The thing is, sometimes it takes a little perspective to understand why parents do the things that they do. If we as children spent as much time getting to know our parents as we do in questioning why they do the things they do (or did the things they did) we might be able to see them in a whole new light. I’m sure that as parents, we are hoping our children will award us the same opportunity in our future relationships, right?

I was trying to consider what I would comment on in my blog around the commandment that says Honor your father and mother, when I came across this video. Talk about perspective. Go ahead and watch.

Wow. It make you think, doesn’t it? Especially for those of us with aging parents who may need us to repeat some information from time to time. Put yourself in both the young man’s and the father’s shoes. Think about how you currently treat your parents and how you will want to be treated as a parent by your own children in future years.

Consider the following questions in reflection today. I had to think long and hard about them myself. Then, if you have children of your own, think about your children going through the same list pertaining to you. Are there areas that you would like them to answer differently then they would right now? Do you have opportunities to model how that should look with your own parents, in-laws, step-parents?

1.) Do I honor and obey my parents?

2.) Do I respect my brothers and sisters in order to make life easier for my parents?

3.) Do I respect others with lawful authority?

4.) Have I talked back or answered a question in a way that is demoralizing or detrimental to the relationship with my parents?

5.) Do I fail to help at home or to spend time with my family?

6.) Do I blame my parents for my own shortcomings?

7.) Do I bad-mouth my parents, in-laws, siblings, step-parents in front of my own children, other family members or friends?

8.) Have I been impatient or unkind to my parents?

9.) Do I reach out to my parents to offer my help, my love, my company without them having to ask?

10.) Have I asked God to help me forgive my parents for any bad decisions, abuse, alcoholism or abandonment I might have suffered from by their hand during my childhood?

We never know the love of our parents for us until we have become parents.
— Henry Ward Beecher