Motherhood,Parenting,Raising ChildrenParenting

If you have landed at my site, then chances are you are a mother… a parent… divorced… or perhaps happily RE-married. You may be trying to figure out how to make ends meet in a bad economy while still trying to have some Quality of Life…or maybe you are a religious person, or want to be. Maybe you are  looking for answers, or strength or daily inspiration to get through this thing called life. As Prince, or “the-artist-formerly- known-as-Prince ” would say,”…this thing called life… Electric word, LIFE… it means forever…and that’s a mighty long time”. It sure is… thank goodness. It’s nice to know that when this body of mine fails one day (hopefully that will be many many years from now) the essence of who I am will continue. For me, that is a re-assuring thought. But I believe that we aren’t meant to just hang out here waiting for our time “there”…I believe that I will continue on to the next life because of God’s grace… but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t important that we DO with our life what we are meant to do with it!

Now that I am HERE, this season of my life… in love, with a vision,  with a goal and a dream and a beautiful future, I hope that what I am put here on earth to do will make a meaningful impact. I don’t have to be remembered or known when I leave this earth, but I want my life to have made a difference. We all make mistakes. It is what we DO when we recognize that we have erred  that matters! When we make a mistake,  we CAN correct it… we SHOULD learn from it…  then move on… don’t dwell on it. Don’t waller in it… and for goodness sake, PRAY that we never make the same mistake again. Especially if it was a BIG one.

If you have followed my blog, you know that this year has been rough for me…it hasn’t been ANYTHING like what Japan suffered or what Somalia is dealing with AGAIN…or what poverty or child abuse or anything of that like causes… in the scheme of things my hardships have been a big NOTHING on the Reichter Scale of suffering… But in my own little selfish world, it has been huge and tramatic. It has been all encompassing. I have spent almost an entire year in legal Hell. I did finally succeeded in extricating myself from a terrible marriage. It took me half of my life to decide that I can do more good if my light is shining bright instead of hidden or snuffed out.  “Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven” Matthew 5:16. I had written that verse in crayon, on a piece of plain paper and hung it from my bedroom wall when I was a little girl. It hung there through my teenage years… years that for many are a time of turmoil… but for me the Bible verses I had written around me on my bedroom walls and had written on my heart saved me from a lot of pain that typically occurs during thoe trying years. In other words, God was with me then… just as He is now… just how He always has been.

If there is one thing that I NEVER doubted, it is that I AM God’s child!   I HAVE FAITH that God has me safely and securely in the palm of His hand. I believe with everything that I have and all that I am that God heard my cry. He did. And as God’s Goodness and Mercy would have it, not only did He lead me from a  nightmare, He led me right into the loving arms of everything I ever wanted…everything that a real and true love should be. He lead me onto a bright path full of hope…  the type of relationship that God promises us is possible, and it is His desire for us to know it. It is the exact thing that my heart yearned for. I never believed true love was just a thing dreamed up in fairy tales. I have always believed in the power of love. I believe in Good over Evil. I believe in Easter. In Victory. We are made in God’s image and we are meant to spread God’s love. How can we do that if we don’t KNOW REAL love? How can we show what love is to others if we aren’t equally yoked with our life partner? God created man and woman. We complement each other. We complete each other. We work together to lighten each other’s load. There is a Master design.

REAL love… like the kind that a good mother has for her children… or a good father. I say “good” because, unfortunately, not everyone knows how to love. Love means considering another’s needs before your own. I didn’t know how to do that before I was a mother. I was the baby in my family. I had everything I ever needed. As a matter of fact, I was probably not terribly sympathetic or empathetic to anyone. I didn’t have to be. And I didn’t especially like kids! I liked people my age and older… and I liked my cousin Eva May who was 2 years younger than me… but only because she was a total tomboy (like me) and tough as a bucket full of six inch nails!… but babies? toddlers? ugh. No way! Perhaps it was because of my initial experiences with babysitting that I was deeply scarred from my youth. I can remember it like it was yesterday… walking home from Northeast Elementary School when I was in the 6th grade. A pretty mother, the wife of a local doctor,  lived across from my school. One day she stopped me as I walked by her house. She asked me if I would be interested in babysitting for her…
I said, “sure”… (what did I know? ) So, she called me a few days later and asked me if I was available… I asked my mom, and she couldn’t give me an excuse as to why I couldn’t so I said, “sure”…( what did I know?) So, they picked me up. I was 12. Maybe 11. I looked 15… but regardless of how I looked, I was the baby of my family… and 11 or 12… and I was asked to babysit 3 little girls. 2, 3, and 4. It might as well have been “Lions and Tigers and Bears” because it was a BIG “Oh, my!” What was that lady thinking? What was my mother thinking? What was I thinking? After that first night, I was thinking… “this is the most terrible thing I have EVER done!” and then I got paid next to nothing… but it was more than I had ever been paid before… I was only 11 or 12! and it was SOOOO late when they got me home. I’m talking LATE. After midnight late. That was just my first, second and third experience. with little kids.. then I had the twin toddlers who got soap in their eyes… and the family who left me with the adult cousin who was very VERY physically disabled… they left the man in front of the television while I cared for their children…. I was NOT prepared for that… I had so many strange, unusual events occur while I was babysitting … people asssumed I was mature enough to handle things… I wasn’t! And then their was the family who left me their other set of car keys to take their kids to the pool… but I was too young to drive. How do you explain that? ugh.( We didn’t go, of course… I was mature enough to know that wouldn’t be a good idea!) Or the lady at the park who asked me how old my baby was… and I was 15. Ugh. All of my experiences with babysitting were CRAZY. ALL of them…unless I happened to have baby sat your children… and then it was easy as pie, I’m sure!

When I was 22 my nephew was born. Before him, I had NO MATERNAL INSTINCTS at all. Everything maternal had been FREAKED out of me. Then I had my first child. I was 26 years old… and I would never ever be the same. My selfish nature died. Eating, sleeping, everything that was once taken for granted were all of the sudden optional… only done when and if my baby was satisfied. My life was made for my child… and then my other children… and then everyone elses children whether they be friends, neighbors, or the hundreds of children I taught in Sunday school and preschool over the years.

In this blog I will write stories, thoughts, disclaimers… what “to do” what “not to do” what you can do at your own risk but don’t blame me if it turns out oddly.  I have learned a lot about parenting… have done alot with it… I have boo-cudles of experience. It is my primary job. It is what I was put on the earth to do, at least for this period of my life… and as much as it surprises me to say, I think I was made for it….it is what I do best… I think. Perhaps we should ask my kids? It is not a job for the weak at heart, or the weak of stamina, or the selfish. It is a training ground to teach humility, grace, patience and to seek God’s strength and forgiveness. If you are in this place with me, or if you plan to be… or if you have been there and are working toward the ultimate parent’s reward known as “grandparent”, or if you are an adult that understands what I speak of because you teach or have neices or nephews or neighbors that are “little bitties”, I hope that you will read, enjoy, and comment on my experiences that I plan to share. I am not a professional, an expert, nor do I pretend to be… but I love my children. I love children. The most important thing that I can imagine doing as a human being is to help fellow parents raise and love and guide God’s precious little ones. That is what I will try to do for you… and for me.

Jesus said to His disciples, “I …appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain.” John 15:16. I am God’s disciple… a follower of Christ’s words. I know what type of harvest I want to reap, even if I never see the fruits of my labor. As long as I get the soil ready and plant the seed, I have faith that what I have worked for will bear much fruit. That is what a parent does…provides the fertile groundwork for love to grow. A good parent gives their little child all of the knowledge to be strong in this world and to understand that this world is where we are to make a difference…to be different. To be godly. To do good.  And then we pray that they will go out and be that difference… to shine God’s light.

We are in this world, but we are not of this world. We are all children of our parents, but more than that, we are all children of God. I want to be able to know that for my children and for every child that I am entrusted to teach, “I have taught you in the way of wisdom; I have led you in the right paths.” Proverbs 4:11. God, please help me be a loving parent. Every day. Amen.

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