Posts Tagged ‘children’

The Day I Beat Up My Emotions

Thursday, June 13th, 2019

It’s been a long and fun week working in VBS! I haven’t crawled around on the floor like this in many long years. It’s like a game each morning to discover what body part is going to rebel upon rising out of bed! Who knew VBS was such a killer? Or perhaps, I just NEED TO GET INTO S H A P E !!!

My body isn’t the only part that has stretched and grown this week, so has my old lady heart! Little children have a way of reacting change inside of us. It’s like they have a human game controller that pushes all the buttons of our minds & hearts. I don’t spend time with little people….however, I am immersed in teendom and there is a huge difference in the two groups. Little people are very active in their imaginations still. They react and move according to whatever pops up in their heads. I like it, now that I’m re-familiar with it. Which leads me to point out just how much I operate in MY OWN DANG EMOTIONS!

On night 1, the Lord in all His HOLY GOODNESS sent me a Mariela. Mariela doesn’t listen or follow instructions. She wiggles away, dances to her own music and has an over-zealous opinion about every topic.

If it sounds familiar….. I am Mariela.

I can’t sit still in my emotions. I take off and run wild in my thoughts & imagine the worst in life situations. I dance to my own music and oftentimes I fall down on the dance floor as if I’m boogying on a ruffly blanket. And, don’t get me started on how many opinions I have about….well, everything!

On night 2, Caleb & his tied to his back “back-pack” jumped on Gunnar’s back and set the whole group into a tail-spin fall. Boys will be boys, right? It’s hard to sit still and listen!

If Caleb seems familiar…..I am Caleb.

I am quick to pick & choose what I wear and carry in my heart. I will turn to the most unhealthy of things in a split second — food, how I spend my time & where I focus my energy! Oh and I will jump to conclusions and wreck your plans and mine if I’m not very careful with my emotions.

Day 3, Axil took off and did her own thing every chance she had. She couldn’t be bothered with whatever everyone else was doing, she had her own plan. If I tried to bring her back to the gang, she would go limp (hence, my killer aching back). Even gentle threats of calling MOM didn’t stop the shenanigans.

If Axil makes total sense….I am Axil.

I don’t have time for what everyone else is doing. I set my own schedule since I am an adult but for the most part…..it’s wasted and useless time sucking stuff. I race away from relationships, time with people that matter and convince myself that MY TIME IS MORE VALUABLE than whatever task begs for my attention. I will even ignore God when HE tells me clearly to go, seek and do! Yea, put that in your pipe and smoke it.

Day 4, sickness hit the whole VBS building.

People went home, tummies were wrecked and threats of more illness loom amongst the rest of our people.

If being sick of _________? sounds familiar……I am sick.

I am infected with sick emotions. Isn’t it funny (not really) how easy we are set off by a rude comment or a misinterpretation of what someone says or does to us? I can dream up in my own head all sorts of stuff that never even exists. I can vomit ugliness and I pray I’m not the only one to do this but I want a vaccine to stop the spread of my toxic emotion sickness. Don’t you?

Here’s what I know:

I can show love by not jumping to conclusions about someone else’s words or actions. God can & will handle them if they are in the wrong. Since I’m not God…..have at em, Lord. Help me to be more like you – and less like Me!

I can offer grace by withholding my true feelings in situations that are begging me to respond. God is endlessly gracious to me. I want to extend such a good & loving grace too.

I don’t have to run from my feelings. But, I don’t have to wear them like a ripped up t-shirt and tan leggings to Walmart either. A good rule here is to PRAY! PRAY PRAY PRAY before blasting the world with my f e e l i n g s!

I can be healthy with my emotions. It isn’t an accident that God put me with the cutest little gaggle of preschoolers this week. Oh no no no, it isn’t. God knew just how much I needed to see myself through some of the funniest little antics of these children. Just like each of them, I need to grow and mature before I am who God desires me to be.

Lord,

I thank you for the little children you shared with me this week. In each of them, I see myself. Perfect and yet….not exactly where I’m supposed to be. Thank you for reminding me to kick to the curb everything that doesn’t belong inside of me.

Amen

Growing My Own Wings

Monday, February 18th, 2019

Two weeks have gone by since we brought home our puppy, Beck. I’ve been consumed with him and every living moment has pretty much revolved around him in some way or another. He’s 9 weeks old and no matter where I take him…..people gasp and come running over to meet him because there’s something really special about new puppies and babies.

He’s our empty nest baby.

You can laugh, it’s okay. I know something inside me needed him. I have a deep wild desire to be needed, by someone or something. A dog at this age in my life seemed to be the healthiest direction for me to go. So, here I am…mothering the cutest yellow lab ON THE DANG PLANET!

In 2 weeks, my oldest will marry his dream girl. In 2 1/2 months, my middle will marry her true love too and the baby…well, she’s been married almost 2 years! It’s a lot. All coming at me rather fast. But, I’m ready. I’ve been preparing for these days my whole life. Still, mama’s don’t stop being mama’s. My role has been evolving and revamping for the last 6 – 8 years.

They don’t need me to do what I did during their school days. No cupcakes for the class or to pick them up after band practice, but they still need me. They don’t need me to wake them up or to make macaroni & cheese, they just need me to grow my own wings.

It sounds crazy but children aren’t the only people to grow up. Parents are on a path of growth that no one seems to mention when sitting beside you at the basketball games or as you gather to pray for the youth group leaving for camp. Strangely enough, you don’t even notice you are growing — until you stand face-to-face with a young adult and hug them goodbye as they leave to go back to THEIR OWN HOUSE!

It all happens in baby steps.

Without meaning to, mama’s wrap all of who they are around the children they raise. I remember the first time I realized they were gone, like…really gone and not coming back. I was dancing around in my kitchen to Stevie Nicks belting out Landslide when I started crying at the words.

I knew they’d leave.

Still.

I BUILT MY DANG LIFE AROUND THEM, you guys!

I’m not the first mama to let go.

So here I am reflecting back on them and realizing that while I was investing in them and teaching them confidence….God was hatching my own little sprout of wings. I can fly too!

Lord,
What a gift to be a mother. I never knew all the things, so many things that would happen in my heart just by watching my children grow and go. I am so proud of each of them and I owe them all a huge thank you. I have courage to move forward and to take on the next great things to come in my life. I have my own wings and I’m excited to use them!
Amen

Tough Mother

Thursday, June 28th, 2012

If you're around my age, you probably remember a completely different world when it comes to parenting.  I grew up in the 70's & 80's (I was born 1966).  I recall what it was like around parents, grandparents and teachers–you didn't mess around!  That's not quite how it is anymore.  Time has treated this parenting phenom as a patsy to "being liked" or "not hurting their feelings" and all I can say to that is hogwash!

Parenting is hard work and there aren't any shortcuts.  Admit it, you've been out in the world and ran into the bratty kids that run the show in their house?  Maybe it was at your favorite restaurant where the sidedish was a giant heaping of wild youngin'!  No matter how many annoyed glances you flashed, the parents of "said youngin" just kept on eating and enjoying their meal while you sat there wondering why you even came out to spend your hard-earned money on a good meal.  Or possibly you've grocery shopped lately or gone to a movie?

I hate being so blunt…but I loathe going to Walmart (aka Scream Mart) it oozes bad parenting.

Now I know what you're thinking….[Gee, why so harsh?]  Because it's a symptom to what our society has become.  Kids rule!  Gone are the days of being afraid of adults.  I'm not talking about fear for your life or of some sort of abuse.  The fear I'm referring to is of LETTING SOMEONE DOWN!  Remember being ashamed?  Or embarrassed for a mistake?  That's called mistreatment today or abuse.  I say, it's crazy!

If I didn't spend 9+months of my life with kids (high school) maybe I would see it differently.  But as it stands, I witness the lack of parenting on a daily basis just walking down the halls of my public school.  Never in my wildest dreams would I have guessed (that in my lifetime) I would hear students/kids talk the way they do now TO YOUR FACE!  I can't imagine what my mom would've done to me if the principal had called her to inform  her I had cursed out a teacher/staff person.  It would have meant serious punishment and I would have been made to make it right, no question about that.  Nowadays, if you call a parent (you don't even have to since the students use their own cellphones to TELL ON YOU now) you can be sure that it will be met with an angry finger pointing in your face–for picking on their child.

I call it twisted parenting!  That's where we are these days.  Parents have stopped being scary.  No longer is it common for the parent to place boundaries on their kids and actually enforce them.  Oh, they want them to "behave" but only enough to make them look good and not interfere with whatever they want to do.  You see, parenting has become a hobby and most just dabble at hobbies and from what society looks like to me–most of us are just dabbling our way through raising our kids.

I really don't want you to get the idea that I'm a parenting expert or that I even THINK I am.  I'm not.  I'm a product of an era that EXPECTS GOOD BEHAVIOR out of my kids.  Not because I don't want to be embarrassed by them…but because they are going to live and function as adults in the world I live in.  They will inevitably be someone's spouse or parent someday and I want them to have the character that God desires most.  I want them to be all they can be and to honor God with their lives.

It takes hard work!  I'm willing to keep at it, even though my kids are 17, 19 & 22. Still, I can't take a day off from being their mom.  They are looking to me for direction, rules and expectations.  If I start to waiver now…what is my message?  I don't mind if my kids think I'm tough on them.  They'll thank me later!

I've thought up 5 active ways to be a TOUGH MOTHER

KNOW WHAT'S IMPORTANT–don't waste time or energy trying to be "like" someone else.  Find what works for your family and make it your goal to do your best.

REALIZE YOU ARE NOT GOD–I have had to learn so many things the hard way.  I don't have as much control as I like to think I do.  I NEED GOD & I NEED HIS HELP with every parenting step I take.  My kids really belong to him anyway…why not TRUST HIM with them?

BE THE BOSS–society has stolen the role of boss from every parent across this nation. Stop letting your kids rule the roost.  Make decisions and stick with them. Do you remember having so much control over your family when you were a kid?  Yea, me either!  Note to the sistahs:  YOU RULE!

GIVE GENUINE LOVE–everyone likes to think their kids know they love them, but the more I talk with teenagers…the more I see parents miss the mark on loving those weird creatures.  It's a strange time in both your lives.  Don't stop showing love because they might think you're being weird.  This is a pivotal time in their life and they will look for love, somewhere.

BE CONSISTENT–the world is unpredictable.  Parents should be firm.  It's comforting (even if it crashes any fun plans they have) for kids to know their parents are not going to fold like a cheap tent when they insist on wearing you down on something.  Stay strong, even when you hear, "Everybody else is going to….getting….aloud to!".  No, they're not!  Trust me.

yes My ideals may not match yours and that's okay.  Just know, there isn't a more important job than being your child's parent.  They're watching everything you do or don't do.

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It's ime to adjust the a/c here in Indiana.  Today our temps are a whopping 100+ degrees.  Even my dogs are surrendering to the heat.  It's baths for them and laying around inside today.  Wherever you are, stay cool & most of all BE TOUGH!

He knows best….

Tuesday, February 23rd, 2010

When I was pregnant with both my girls…I had no idea they were in fact girls. I had the privilege of knowing Gavin was a boy from the very get-go of my first pregnancy. He was a vision! One that could not be denied. The doctor said so anyway! 🙂

I was terribly bummed not knowing the sex of my babies. It was almost too much to deal with. I had no way of planning or being prepared (except to pick up a few girl things….just in case). I just don’t get it with you surprise people…..I’m way too nosey, I suppose. Maybe it’s part of my controlling personality (yea, that’s a whole nother post!). I wanted to know, ya’ll!

But God….he had another plan. He wanted to surprise me and that he did. When Ally was born, I nearly flipped when they said she was a girl. I mean, seriously. I was so sure she was a boy. Nope, not a boy! Then, they handed her to me and I looked at her…..and instantly fell in love. She was so beautiful! Her lips were so full and everything about her was perfect. I’ll never forget that feeling. God is good!

Same thing happened 19 months later. Same hospital, same doctor…..same sex! It’s a girl! Huh? Are you kidding? Nope, here’s your baby girl. Again, so perfect and so beautiful. How is it that God just knows? I don’t know….He’s God, for goodness sakes! And I’m glad that he is.

I’ve been thinking about my blessings tonight. I really do have so many. Everything is so not perfect right now in my life. But I’m still blessed! We have many financial worries, health concerns, job stresses and even relationship strains. But, I have such joy in my heart for so many things.

My girls are one of them (or should I say 2 of them?). I can’t even describe how much I love them. I get emotional when I think of how precious they are to me. Both of them so unique. Both of them so perfect (created in God’s image perfect). He chose me to be their mom! I’m forever grateful. What a blessing they’ve been in my life. What an exciting future ahead for them and me with them. I love what they bring into my world (sometimes, I want to make them go to bed and stay there). They aren’t afraid to love or live. I wish I could say…that I’ve helped them be the young women they are. But I know …..it was only through God that anything good has come. I’m human. With….flaws!

Just ask them! 🙂

I want my girls to know their value to me. I’ve tried to show them and love them like God would have me to. But I know that I fall short somedays. I make mistakes and flub up. Someday they’re going to be wives & moms themselves. I pray they are devoted and loving…..and happy. But more than any of those things…I pray they are His. Completely souled out to the God who gave them to me so long ago.

God,
I look at the children you gave me and I’m in awe. Your workmanship and creativity goes beyond what my mind can understand. I love everything about my children. Thank you for sharing them with me.
Amen