Monday, January 25, 2016

College Mom

It hasn't quite been two years since I've written, but I've been busy.  My sincerest apologies.  It's cold  and winter proves to be in full force here in Kentucky.  I hope you are all warm and cozy wherever you may be. 

I was recently honored to read a dear friend's writings and have been so moved.  This friend possesses a gift for writing AND for drawing!  I noticed they hadn't been writing as often and me being myself wondered why not.  What did I do?  I encouraged them to continue to write, but probably for selfish reasons.  I can't wait to read them!  Those writings are some of the deepest, sweetest, most personal, and touching words I've ever read.  I'm a firm believer in using the gifts that God has given us.  The trick for me was always identifying those gifts.  I feel qualified to spot talent from a mile away, since I love to read.  I'm also brutally honest and don't believe in being anything but brutally honest, no matter how bad the truth is.  I can be very outspoken.  Honestly, I'm probably too outspoken, but I'm not always.   That's how I like others to be with me, so that's the kind of friend I try to be.  Some people don't like that about me and I'm totally fine with that.  I just know myself.  I only go to and trust  those I'm certain will tell me how it is, even if it's not what I want to hear. 

I've searched most of my life to find EXACTLY what my gift is.  You know, that gift that God has given you and intends for you to use here on this Earth?  I've diagnosed myself, taken personality tests, and even returned to college.  I've FINALLY found my gift.  I'm certain I only have one.  If I have more gifts, I may spend another thirty four years trying to acknowledge and identify them, but for now I'm good with just having one gift.  Not just any gift, but THE gift I plan on using for the rest of my life and in my future career.  That gift is helping others.  I am so thrilled and also feel  bit cursed that it has taken me so long to finally identify God's purpose for my life.  I didn't do things the traditional way or on the same timeline that most others do.  I'm totally fine with that too, but I know appreciate and value the little things in life.  That simply means sometimes the little things are HUGE to people like me.  This is often a blessing, as it doesn't take much to make me happy and I'm usually pretty content. 

The way I understand it, we are all supposed to help others.  I recently resigned from my career and everything I knew in order to finish my undergraduate degree and hopefully attain my graduate degree in counseling.  My former career (makes me a little sad just writing about it, as I miss my clients so very much) was in a helping field, but after much prayer I decided I wanted to help others as much as I can.  Being a caseworker in public assistance just wasn't enough for me anymore.  I NEED to see clients who WANT to change.  Mainly, I want to be able to see progress right before my own eyes.  I absolutely love helping others, especially those who just need someone to believe in them.  I aspire to give them my full one on one attention and become a mental health provider.  I don't know if I will make it, but I'm now a full time mom/student with A's!  My oldest son is eleven and he is me twenty three years ago.  I was so happy to tell him the news and his only response was, "Mom, aren't you a little OLD to be going to college?"  Ouch.  Well, yes.  Kind of.  I used that as motivation and I make sure to remind him often (especially when I get As) that I am not too old to give up on my dreams.     I know this journey won't be easy, but I'm ready to give it my all and not look back on my life with regrets.  Watch out, world!  This college mom is close to graduating! 

A wise man is full of strength, and a man of knowledge enhances his might,  Proverbs 24:5

Whatever you do, wherever you are, I hope you ALWAYS believe in yourself and the beauty of your own dreams.  Don't give up.  "Reach for the moon.  If you fall short, you just may land on a star!" 

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Special Needs

Happy Fall, everyone!  It's almost Halloween and the temperatures are rapidly getting cooler in Kentucky.  Leaves are changing color and starting to fall all around me.  I hope you all have your Halloween decor out and are planning on transforming yourselves into spooky ghouls and goblins soon! 

I've been asking tons of questions lately and searching high, low, to, from, over, above, beyond, and everywhere in between for the answers.  What is it that defines me?  What is it that defines my children?  Why do we put so much pressure on ourselves to not only excel, but to hit a standard that isn't attainable?  Who am I?  What is my purpose on Earth?  What is God's plan?  I could go on and on, but you get the picture. 

"The Lord says, I will guide you along the best pathway for your life.  I will advise you and watch over you."  Psalm 32:8

August 2014 changed my life forever.  My youngest son's dad, my ex-husband was diagnosed with brain, lung, and bone cancer.  The prognosis is not good. I've never heard of a cancer diagnosis and prognosis that was, in fact hopeful or promising.   I won't spit out statistics for a few reasons, but the main reason being that only God knows when we will take our last breath on this Earth.  My four year old son has had some extensive behavioral testing done and has three diagnosis, all of which label him as a child with special needs.  I was hospitalized and tested for everything under the sun, due to persistent blood clots and was told I have a couple of genetic mutations that make me more prone to having blood clots.  That's more than my emotions can handle, but I've attempted to process and deal with all of this life changing news. 

Special needs....Those two words are destined for a stereotype and label from society that comes with great stigma.  Think about it.  No one actually wants to be labeled anything slightly negative or abnormal.    The way I see it is, we ALL have special needs.  People have no idea just what our special needs are exactly, unless they invest the time it takes to REALLY get to know us personally.  God designed each and every one of us according to HIS standards and we are all good enough for him.  After all, we are his children.   What would happen if we left home every day treating everyone we encounter as if they too had special needs?  This cruel world would be a much better place.  That's exactly what would happen.  I pray God gives those with special needs a tremendous amount of courage to go through life. 

Cancer....It's such a nasty and scary word.  Thankfully, science and doctors have come a long way and have more research on this horrendous disease.  In the news, there is a great debate going on amongst states that have legalized patients to have the option to end their own life.  Can you imagine?  I can't.  It's absolutely baffling to imagine having a sickness so terrible that taking your own life would even be a thought.  God bless these brave and courageous souls who know far too much about the world battle. 

"The wicked are edgy with guilt, ready to run off even when no one's after them;  honest people are relaxed and confident, bold as lions."   Proverbs 28:1

Blood clotting disorder... I would be a lair if I told you this didn't scare me.  It scared me in the beginning and it scares me now when I think about it.  I know blood clots are super dangerous and an amazing friend of mine just had a stroke due to a blood clot, which caused a hemorrhage in her brain.  I'm still trying to learn about all of these medical terms, but not like I used to.  If I can just show up and have my blood drawn frequently, I'm doing excellent. 

None of these labels define me or my precious family.  I guess it's because we are all so much more than a condition or a disease.  I'm my own worst enemy and extremely hard on myself.  It became very real to me when a couple of family members told me this and it sank in.  Why are we so hard on ourselves?  Who exactly are we trying to impress?  Whose standards are we trying to live up to?  Whose approval is it that we are seeking?  First and foremost, I want to be more Christ-like.  "Perfection isn't attainable, but excellence is."  That's a pretty bold statement if you think about it.  It's very easy to understand, but next to impossible for me to live out those words.  I'm so guilty of being way too wrapped up in wondering and worrying what other people think of me.  "What other people think of you is absolutely none of your business."  Yikes!  It's true.  Does it matter that the elderly woman at Wal-Mart thinks I'm not parenting correctly?  Do we really care if others accept us at our worst times?  Sure.  However, the MOST important and only view I can accept at this point in my life is what Jesus thinks of me and sees in me.  He can read my thoughts when I'm speechless.  He can see my heart when I can't even seem to see it myself.  I'm filled with good intentions and fail miserably all the time.  Jesus is the ONLY person who knows and sees that.  The rest is history and minor details that don't amount to anything worth losing sleep over.  A wise man often reminds me, "If it's not going to stop Jesus from coming back, it's not a big deal." 

"The Lord doesn't hate or despise the helpless in all of their troubles.  When I cried out, he listened and did not turn away."  Psalm 22:24

Doubt, negativity, worry, stress, fear, and so much more are NOT from God.  These things all come from our enemy, Satan.  Satan knows he can put strongholds on our lives by entering and planning to attack us through our minds.  I will keep my eyes upon the Lord.  I know Jesus is working overtime in my life and the devil is trying hard to convince me his lies are true.  I choose to be brave, kind,  as strong as I can, and trust in Jesus.  I pray you put your lives in the palm of Jesus. We all have special needs, but our creator is the only one who knows each and every one of them.   God bless you all!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Keep moving forward!

I could kick myself for not writing in so very long, but it wouldn't change things.  So, here I am about to make up for lost time.  I hope you are all enjoying this precious life we've been given and seeing the beauty and blessings that lie all around us.

I often find myself planning my day and week.  To me, if it's planned there's a better chance it will go according to plan and it will work.  We are a busy family and have lots of places, practices, games, and clubs to attend!  However, no matter how much I plan out our days and weeks, things WILL be doomed if I'm not adhering to God's plan.  After all, that's the plan that will be carried out and I can argue my plans against his all day long.

This is where I seem to struggle.  After things flow smoothly and go my way for a little bit, I seem to think I can do it all by myself and I don't need to know God's plan, because I've already done the blueprints for my own master plan.  This is a recipe for disaster!  God will ALWAYS put me on his path again and take me down the road HE planned.

"For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope"  Jeremiah 29:11

What happens when you don't know which direction to go?  What do you do when not even I, the master planner has any idea of which move is next?  PRAY.  PRAY HARD.  PRAY OFTEN.  That's great, but where do you go in the meantime? How do you know you're doing the right thing?  I'm not sure you do know the right thing, but I do know you MUST KEEP MOVING FORWARD.  Some of my favorite song lyrics read "It's time to move on.  Time to get going.  What lies ahead I have no way of knowing.  But under my feet, baby grass is growing.  Yeah, it's time to move on. Time to get going."

Sometimes, it can take us longer than other times to understand God's plan for us and which direction he wants us to go.  There is a difference in being stuck and digging ruts in the path you're on, while waiting on God's plan to be revealed and just pressing on while waiting for his guidance and moving forward.  We all know the difference between right and wrong & progress is essential to success and a key part in moving forward.  If we don't, we will find ourselves "stuck" exactly where we started and after awhile, we will begin to dig a huge rut and get "stuck" even deeper right smack dab in that same old place we stopped to wait. 

Some days, I feel I'm on top of my game and even ahead of pace.  Other days, I have off days and just flat out don't want to do lots of things.  It is CRUCIAL that we do the things that have to be done, dress up, show up, and keep moving forward! 

I know all too well that loss, grief, hardships, sadness, and hurt come into our lives and can make us feel like giving up.  It isn't an option to lay down and die or to quit.  God created you and I to be examples and to help others who are going through what you've been through.  Therefore, if we quit or stopped moving forward we wouldn't be able to share our hopeful experiences with those who are hurting and have lost all hope.

"Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus"  Philippians 31: 12-14

Smile at a stranger today.  Pay for someone's lunch.  Let the person behind you in the grocery line check out first. It may seem as though you are taking three steps forward and ten steps backward, but don't give up and press on, dear friends!  Do whatever it takes and always, always, keep moving forward!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

We can do normal

August always brings new beginnings, schedules, and possibilities for my family (yes, there IS a possibility that I won't wait nearly two months before writing again!  Don't worry, I cringed as I looked at the date of the last blog) and I'm sure it does for yours too.  I hope and pray you all are receiving the many blessings that God has prepared for you and your August is amazing!

For my seven year old, it means a new school year in third grade!  New teachers, rules, classes, and some new friends.  Trust me, it's a BIG deal to find out who sits next to you at school, who is in your class, and the long awaited anticipation of seeing for yourself if you can trust your mom when she tells you that your teacher will be very nice!

For my twenty-five month old, it means no more summer visitation with dad & my best possible attempt to return to our normal schedule and lives (I'm quite certain our "normal" is pretty fast paced & full of change).   Guess what?  We can and usually do crazy schedules.  We can also do normal!

I am not a huge fan of constant change.  Some change is okay, but constant change isn't my favorite.  I wish I could tell you that I love it! I don't, but I'm learning to be just fine with our everchanging lives.  It has become a HUGE part of our lives.  Just when we get used to the way things are, it's time to change!  If things remain the same for any significant length of time, I try to prepare myself as I know change is coming.  My sweet boys will hopefully have no problems adapting to rapid changes in their adult lives.  Bless their sweet, flexible souls!

"The righteous will hold to their ways, and those with clean hands will grow stronger."  Job 17:9

Lately, I've been trying harder than ever to shift from summer to school with the boy.  I've been hoping this transition wouldn't entail so much as a groan!  It hasn't been easy trying to shift, maintain, and run our new schedule.  I feel the need to remind you that my youngest is two years old through and through.  Two as in biting, kicking, "no" to everything, full blown meltdowns, and everything else that comes with the adventurous "terrible twos."  He isn't a terrible trainwreck ALL the time, but when he is changing with schedules it is quite interesting to say the least.

When you add that on to a summer of constantly being shuffled between parents, you have a recipe for an extremely strong willed toddler who WILL test the boundaries of ANY living thing that tries to enforce rules or behaviors upon him.  Are you ready to babysit, yet?

"As for you, be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded."  2 Chronicles 15:7

I am so pleased to tell you that after only two weeks back into the new school year, we are finally back on track!  I know I need to forget the glue that holds our lives together in some sort of rhyme or reason.  Yes, I'm talking about the beloved schedule!   We don't function well without a set dinner time, bed time, bath time, etc.  I'm sure this makes some of you all squirm, but the thought of having NO routine and pure chaos makes me cringe a little bit!  But hey, whatever works!  In my family, the fiathful schedule just seems right (even if it does take two weeks to get back into the swing of things and requires regular modifications).

I know the school year adjustments are hard on my sweeties, but I also know that children are generally so much more resilient to adaptations. I'm so thankful for that!  We have mastered third grade homework in reasonable time, rushed out the door every morning so that we could all sleep until the very last second to wake up without being late(every SINGLE MINUTE of sleep counts around our home), eaten breakfast on the go, and not forgotten any backpacks or allergy medicine like champs! 

"We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed."  2 Corinthians 4: 8-9

I'm okay with hearing the occasional complaints & groans, but more so I hear those deep belly laughs, jokes, singing, and witness lots of dancing!  In the end, the payoff  is SO worth the amazing spice that variety brings to our lives! 

Have a wonderful week and maybe you all can roll with the changes of life as opposed to kicking and screaming every step. I know you all have crazy schedules, but I assure you that normal routines are coming your way.  We can do normal!   May God bless you all!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Open your Eyes

Happy Tuesday everyone!  I'm so thankful for a business day off.  It's amazing how much one can accomplish when given the opportunity to have no distractions.  I hope you are all living the best life ever and becoming more aware of your many blessings.  I know I have been opening my eyes more and more daily. 

"The commandments of the Lord are right, bringing joy to the heart.  The commands of the Lord are clear, giving insight to life."  Psalm 19:8

I can't tell you how fortunate and blessed I am.  My soon to be two year old came home on Saturday after being with his father for seven days (yes, you read that right SEVEN days).  I honestly don't know how divorced parents that live in different states do it.  To the best of my knowledge, the children have to be gone for SIX WEEKS at a time.  I can't begin to imagine, but I can pray for you all and I do. 

My life is complete when I have both of my sweet boys.  I don't worry when they are with my family, at daycare, school, etc.  I am a bit concerned when I can't be informed of anything that is going on with them for any amount of time.  Maybe it's just a mom thing.  I hope all you moms and dads out there love your children enough to call them and see how they are when they are away.

"I am happy from the inside out, and from outside in, I'm firmly formed.  You canceled my ticket to hell- that's not my destination!"  Psalm 16:9-10

My baby came home sick, but he came HOME!!  I've been working with two doctors and a slew of others to get him back on the road to recovery and back to his normal, fun, busy, laughing, mischievous, and sweet little self.  My heart hurts so much when I hear him say "hurt mommy."  Ouch.  BIG ouch!  It's not like he can tell me exactly what has happened.  I'm left to figure out a mystery and pick the pieces back up and keep going.  I can do that and God helps!

Monday is a HUGE day for me.  I can't tell you that I'm looking forward to it, but I do know that I'd do anything for my sweet babies who can't defend themselves.  The part that is most frightening is that some things lie in the hands of a human judge, and I firmly believe that God is the only judge.  I'm not worried and have found peace, because I know the truth and God is always with me.  I am quite sure things will turn out EXACTLY the way God intended them to be.

"God our Father loves us.  He is kind and has given us eternal comfort and a wonderful hope.  We pray that our Lord Jesus Christ and God our Father will encourage you and help you always to do and say the right thing."  2 Thessalonians 2:16-17

God continually blesses my family and I each and every day.  Only when I choose to see his blessings, am I fully aware of just how blessed we are.  All I have and love belongs to God.  You see, lately there have been a quite a few "Speed bumps" on the road of life, or perhaps you may wish to refer to them as "storms."  I know that these hurdles are temporary and after every storm, there is a beautiful rainbow to follow. 

"The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy."  Psalm 126:3

If you are in the middle of a storm, just passing through a storm, or approaching a storm (and aren't aware of it yet), make sure to open up your beautiful eyes and see the rainbow at the end that God has given you.  Find peace within your heart and lean on God who is the ONLY one who will never disappoint you, fail you, or let you down.  Place your hope in him.  I can assure you that at some point in your life (if you put your hope or trust in them), that every single thing of this world WILL let you down or disappoint you. 

"I wait on the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I put my hope."  Psalm 130:5

Please take a moment and thank God for all that he has done in your life.  Be contented and smile through the storms knowing that all you have to do is open your eyes and a beautiful rainbow will be waiting for you soon enough.  May God bless you all, dear friends.  Have the most amazing week ever! 

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Miracle Business

Happy LONG weekend sweet friends!  I hope you are all soaking up the Memorial Day weekend sun and enjoying time with your precious loved ones. 

Normally, I don't re-read my blogs after I've posted them (if you see grammatical errors, I apologize in advance.  It IS my pet peeve, but I usually don't have that much time on my hands).  Today, I decided to scan the last title which is "Worst Case Scenario."  I also remember the meaning of the blog was to think positive in ANY given situation.

The past seven days have been some of the toughest days of my life thus far.  A friend of mine and the families had a horrible car accident exactly a week ago today. The hospitals around here couldn't handle the trauma & he was air-lifted immediately to a wonderful trauma center in another state. On Sunday, we were told there was little brain activity, major head trauma with swelling of the brain, a skull fracture, & he was in a coma.  No one (including myself--I'm guilty) seemed to have much hope.  The medical professionals all said to prepare for the worst because he had greater chances of death than survival. I prayed to God for a miracle and I knew if he was going to make it, he would need a miracle that only God could perform due to his rapidly decreasing health status. I try to practice what I write, but this case was extremely difficult (that would be a HUGE understatement). 

The world never stopped spinning, & I had to carry on with work and my sweet boys.  I don't cry in front of my sweeties, but I think most of those who know me best have seen me fall apart lately.  I felt like a terrible mother because my children were shuffled from their aunt, dad, basketball camp, and daycare.  Thank goodness I have an amazing sister who is always stepping right up to the plate to help out.  She doesn't ever question things.  She just does what is needed.  I couldn't have even visited the Intensive Care Unit out of state without her and my brother-in-law.  Bless their hearts (my family and my sweet boys).  Thank you wasn't enough.  I don't think I could have made it had I not visited the hospital. 

Yesterday marked the sixth day.  Those six days were packed full of prayers and I'm thankful for each and everyone who prayed and those who continue to pray!  Keep it up!  God hears our prayers and knows our hearts.  I'm guessing during the beginning, I went into shock and remained in what I refer to as "robot mode," or "survival mode."  Both terms mean focusing ONLY on the obvious (taking care of the boys, eating, sleeping, etc.), you know the basics.  I've searched my Bible and read and studied harder this past week than ever before. 

"For we walk by faith and not by sight."  2 Corinthians 5:7

Days were spent on the phone with pastors, preachers, family, & friends.  I called California and people that far west didn't question anything, they just prayed and will continue.  I'll be the first to tell you all that I wasn't bursting with hope.  I had an ounce of hope, but I wasn't hearing from God like I thought I would be (remember I told you all that God works in my life on his own terms and not mine?).  Shock was replaced by reality and sadness and anger immediately followed. 

Yesterday, I received the daily news update in the morning. Brain swelling was up and down and he was FINALLY taking food via a feeding tube. I knew the first seventy-two hours were the most critical, but after they passed the doctors told us he would need to make it seven to ten days before they would know anymore.  Remember how I prayed and asked others to pray for a miracle?  I specifically asked that no one question the reason for the prayers for miracles, because I think everyone automatically went into survival mode.  Details didn't matter.  Prayers specifically for a miracle were the only thing that were relevant besides his state of well being.  Faith, hope, and tons of prayers were the only light God showed me.

"When people work, their wages are not a gift.  Workers earn what they receive, but people are declared righteous because of their faith, not because of their work."  Romans 4:4-5

THE NEWS WAS GREAT!  He's awake!!!  It's been seven days today and he woke up from the coma on the sixth day!  This means that maybe God wanted to wait until the last minute, but also not be too hesitant (the doctors said after the first seventy-two hours that the first seven to ten days would be the most crucial).  Thank you, God!  He is breathing on his OWN, his heart is back into it's own rhythm, he is responsive, talking some, and AWAKE!!!!

"I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I put my hope."  Psalm 130:5

God is so good!  Does he still need prayers?  YES!  Is everything going to be okay?  I can't answer that.  However, God DOES answer prayers! I've known this & shouldn't be amazed that God answered our prayers.  I know that some of you know me and some of you don't, but I'm asking you now to pray for this young man.  God knows. 

The good and positive things in this situation?  That one was tough.  The BEST part is being reminded that my God is still in the miracle business.  He was the ONLY person who could've saved my sweet friend's precious life and he did!  I do believe this young man will be given a second  chance at life!!  How amazing is that?! 

I'm begging you all to tell those you love and care for exactly how you feel.  We all know we aren't guaranteed another day or breath.  However, some of us seem to forget this.  I promise you that you won't regret letting those you hold dear to your heart exactly how you feel about them.  I haven't had the chance to tell my dear friend exactly how I feel about him, but I'm next to certain that God is going to give me that chance.  Remember, God is STILL in the miracle business!   Have a blessed weekend, dear friends and thank God for the people he has brought into your life!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Worst Case Scenario

It's another beautiful day here in the Midwest!  Aren't they all if we are given the chance to open our eyes in the morning?  I hope you all are having a wonderful week (and of course anticipating the weekend)! 

Yesterday as we patiently awaited the arrival of the surgeon in his office, my oldest son (he's seven) and I discussed a positive "worst case scenario" involving the broken radius he obtained nearly four weeks ago.  I constantly try to see and verbalize the positive and good things in all situations.  I knew my son wanted his second splint off!  However, I know that it's probably not likely that they remove a cast only two weeks post surgery. 

I decided to use my best, pumped-up, energetic, mom attitude to approach the POSITIVE in the situation.  You see, my son and others wanted to say things like "Oh, well you can't play baseball anymore & you definitely will have to have a restful summer."  While I prepared him for the worst, (which would be six more weeks in a hard cast, no baseball, no soccer, no water) I succeeded!  My goal was to get him excited about going into a hard cast and dealing with the frustration of learning to do things with your non-dominant arm.  I did it! 

I could NOT believe that after all of the negativity he would be excited!  I'm not a pessimist, but I feel that if I prepare (as much as one can prepare if that is possible) for the absolute "worst case scenario," then when you receive ANY news that things are BETTER than you anticipated you find yourself elated! 

While we didn't talk much or focus on what he can't do & being in a cast for another four to six weeks, we DID talk non-stop about the new and exciting things that we couldn't do before, a cool new cast color, and focusing on the fun things he CAN do!  The smile and high fives that took over the atmosphere of the room seemed to drown out a relatives woes and negativity.  SUCCESS!  I mean, who wouldn't be excited to wear a shorter cast, pick a cool color, and be able to play two more final games of soccer?  :)  Yes, the list of don'ts and cant's outweigh the dos and cans.  The point is, my son never thought of this.  Why?  Because, I'm trying to teach him to see the positive things and good in each situation in life. 

"You keep me going when times are tough- my bedrock, God, since my childhood."  Psalm 71:5

How often do you hear "I'm having a bad day!" at 8 a.m. or negative comments due to a situation that CAN be made better by a simple change of perspective?  In my case, I have found that some people choose to be negative no matter what.  I know that no matter what I ask them about their week, day, hour, etc.  there is going to be nothing but complaints in response.  Who wants to be around those people?  Not me!  Have we all been that person at some point?  Absolutely! 

I think the life has enough tragedies, pain, heartaches, and troubles.  I strive to be a ray of light to those who only see darkness.  I want to be someone that people actually enjoy being around.  Laughter is contagious as is the "debbie downer syndrome."  Which do you want to reflect yourself?  Which do you prefer rub off on your loved ones, family, & friends?  Smile even when you think you can't.  Laugh and find the good in ALL situations.  Try that for even ONE DAY and see how much further that will get you.  If you are an evidence or factual person, pick up a copy of Dale Carnegie's "How to win friends and influence people."  I haven't read the book in years, but I'm next to certain Mr. Carnegie would tell you something along the same lines.

"You need not be afraid of disaster or destruction that comes upon the wicked, for the Lord is your security.  He will keep your foot from being caught in a trap."  Proverbs 3:25-26

MAKE each day a great day!  If you see that you are going to allow spilled coffee, poor attitudes, or others to make your entire day (or even an hour of your precious time) doomed to gloom, recognize it and turn it around.  YOU have the power to do that!  Make it a great weekend, sweet friends and may you all see God's blessings and goodness around you~

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Happy Belated Mother's Day

I hope you all had the best Mother's Day in the history of Mother's Days!  I am thankful and blessed to have been able to spend the day with three of the strongest and most admirable women I know (my mother, grandmother, and step-grandmother). 

I'm sure it was a tough day for some of you who have lost your mothers, grandmothers, or great grandmothers.  My heart goes out to you all and I understand the pain you may feel.  I couldn't help but remember my grandmother and great grandmother on Mother's Day.  I think of them often, but on this day they were both weighing heavy on my heart (even though they have both been hanging out with God in heaven since I was around the age of nine).

 I suppose the thoughts and feelings I had and still have for my loved ones that have passed are normal.  I wish they could see their grandsons and I hope that they are pleased with my parenting.  I know this may be selfish, but I can't help but think that I wish they could see my sweet boys and I now.  However, I know that heaven is a much better place and they probably wouldn't return to this Earth if they could!  Knowing they were both Christian women gives me hope and comfort.  I hope God has chosen them both to be our guardian angels, because I know they would be perfect candidates for the job (even if it is an extremely busy one!). 

My sweeties and I spent Mother's Day moving from house to house after church.  I'm NOT complaining.  I'm extremely thankful!  As you all know, holidays are quite different for the boys and I. Before I became a single mom, I'm certain I took many holidays for granted.  I had no idea then that one day I'd have to send my youngest to his daddy's house for half of the holidays.  Sadly, it wasn't until our holidays changed forever that I learned to cherish and value every second of them (crazy busy or not!).

I spent the night before Mother's Day wide awake in bed.  I can function on three to four hours of sleep for a day or two, but my body and mind can run on a few hours of sleep for more than a couple consecutive nights.  My precious boys have a bedtime for a reason & I'm thinking that this mommy needs a bedtime for a reason also! 

We successfully made it to church, sat through church, visited three mothers, & skipped nap time!  It was a wonderful day.  I received my FAVORITE kind of gifts and cards, which are the thoughtful, heartfelt, & homemade kind.  It's nice to be presented with a "Mother of the year award, A letter to the Editor explaining that I should win the award for many reasons."  Do I want to be "Mother of the Year?"  Absolutely not!  That's an impossible role for me to fill, but when my seven year old showed me the letter he had written to an editor explaining why I should win this award, my heart was overflowing.  My seven year old thinks I'm pretty, not mean, and an awesome mom!  That means more to me than anything money can buy!  I hope this means I'm doing my job as a mom correctly & I prefer to be a mom that is raising sweet boys that God is pleased with as well. 

"Dear Friends, if we feel at ease in the presence of God, we will have the courage to come near him.  He will give us whatever we ask, because we obey him and do what pleases him."  1 John 3:21-22

In my opinion, the MOST important thing is being a Godly mother.  Being a great mother is important too, but I know that I will be held accountable for the way I raise my boys and I'm working hard to ensure they are men of God. 

It is pretty basic to me, but if you think about it long enough it will tug at your heart strings.  Are we all setting the examples not only for our children see, but for everyone we come in contact with?  Are we an inspiration or the kind of person that no one aspires to be?  I KNOW I'm not perfect, but I've finally reached a place in my life where I'm certain that God is smiling (MOST of the time) at the mom I am and the example I try to set. 

I hope you all find yourself answering those questions knowing that you all are the example you want to set for your children and other people.  I know that we all may be the only Jesus some people will ever see.  Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that we should pack everyday with a list of "good deeds" to do.  I think we should simply go by the golden rule. 

I have so much more to learn and plenty of room for improvement as a mommy, but I'm content knowing that I've come so far and I'm so much better than I used to be.  Guess what?  We will all continue to grow and better ourselves if we only try.  I know God doesn't expect super heroes out of any of us, which is a good thing because I'm FAR from that. 

"For if a man is in Christ he becomes a new person altogether--the past is finished and gone, everything has become fresh and new."  2 Corinthians 5:17

I hope you all are having a wonderful week filled with laughter, rest, and happiness.  May God Bless you all and Happy belated Mother's Day from this mommy to you!  I admire, respect, and appreciate all you all do (even if you don't have children).  Being a mommy is THE BEST job title I've ever been given, but it's also the hardest (and usually in most cases moms do so many things that go without a simple "thank you" or any kind of acknowledgement).  I acknowledge you all and wish I could high five you all for being (and working on being better) wonderful mommies and readers.  Have a wonderful week!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Attitude Is Everything

Good morning!  It's officially Friday eve!!  Yes, I'm ready for the weekend :)   I hope you all are doing wonderful and are all filled with happiness.  Life is short and I think it's important to be happy & have a positive attitude. 

I have to admit, sometimes I'm not always chipper.  I've learned that whenever life throws a curve ball my way to try to deal with it and instantly go right back to being happy, chipper, and smiling!

This morning I wasn't so chipper.  I've told you all before that we have "visitation" with my oldest son's cat, Sammy.  It's funny.  Have I told you I'm not a cat person?  Last night, my seven year old had one hour to make a visual model of his invention for school.  He chose to make a cat car (which means mommy has to make an invention).  The invention had to be something that could help you do a task.  I asked him what task a cat car could help him do.  He told me it was designed to hit the snooze button on his alarm for him and to drive himself to the door where he could go outside to the liter box! 

I have finished the cat car!  Sammy the cat stays at our house on school nights and goes back to grandmother's house every morning.  The idea behind the "cat visitation" was to get my oldest son unafraid to sleep alone. 

This morning I jumped out of bed when I realized that NOT ONE of my THREE alarms had gone off (yes, my son gets the "snooze button syndrome" from his mommy!)!   I jumped up with Sammy on me and my oldest had snuck into my bed(Sammy also ATE the third power balance bracelet!)  I ran around like a mad woman to get everyone out the door and to school and daycare on time.  We made it!  Well, almost.  How could I forget the cat car invention at home along with my oldest son's sling for his broken arm?!?   

Rush, rush, rush.  My seven year old said "Moooooom!  I feel like you are rushing me and I don't like to be rushed!"  Guess what?  I don't like to rush either.  After I took the two vital items back to school, I realized that instead of letting a hectic morning ruin my day, I'd take a different approach.  I still have plenty of time to be where I need to be and make it on time.  There is no reason a crazy hour and half should define the rest of my day.  It won't.  I apologized to my sweet boys and told them I was sorry for rushing them to be out the door on time. 

My seven year old cat lover is learning this lesson.  I tell him usually once a day "B, you need to change your attitude."  No one wants to hear complaining and griping.  He hangs out with an avid complainer, but that doesn't mean my B should act like someone else.  I put him on my bed and give him a few minutes to think about POSITIVE things and then when he has decided that life isn't so bad, the world isn't going to stop spinning, I let him get up.  Funny how that works!  He always gets up and the complaining ends and he is happy again. 

"Surely God does not reject a blameless man or strengthen the hands of evildoers.  He will fill yet your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy."  Job 8:20-21

If I'm trying to teach this lesson to my child, then I can NOT act that way.  Think about it.  Who wants to call a business and hear a rude voice on the other end?  No one wants to hear griping and complaining either.  I promise you that everyone has walked through a rough path at some point in life.  I admire those who smile when I know they are hurting.  That takes a strong person to do so. 

I've had plenty of times where I had a TERRIBLE attitude.  Sometimes it takes more than an hour for me to change my mindset.  The great news is I am aware of my thinking and actions and when I notice I'm not happy, I change my mood quickly!  We are responsible for our OWN actions and thoughts.  It's NOT someone elses fault that I overslept.  No one can MAKE you feel any way.  We chose our own emotions.  I know, I know..  But, you don't know what so and so did!  It doesn't matter who has hurt you.  What matters is how YOU and I react. 

"If our minds are ruled by our desires, we will die.  But if our minds are ruled by the Spirit, we will have life and peace."  Romans 8:6

If you are a parent, friend, or work outside the home then guess what?  Your actions affect those around you!  Try being happy and nice if things are bad.  See what happens!  Laughter is contagious and so is your attitude.  Attitude is everything.  I believe it reflects our hearts and I want the world to see a happy heart out of me.  Which do you want? 

Try being nice today to a stranger, friend, or loved one (a simple random act of kindness, smile, kind words, etc) and see how much further that will get you as opposed to the alternative.  Whomever said it takes more muscles to smile than frown knew EXACTLY what they were talking about.  You never know what someone else is going through, so be nice and make someones day!

"Our Lord is great and powerful!  He understands everything.  The Lord helps the poor, but smears the wicked in the dirt."  Psalm 147:5-6

Make it a great day (and if you are having trouble SURELY knowing it's Friday Eve will cheer you up!) and I pray that you all see God's blessings!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

The Ultimate Protector

I hope you all are having a wonderful week!  I'm so thankful and blessed beyond words for the wonderful life God has given me.  Today has been a busy one and I hoping I'll find my "second wind" soon. 

I've been thinking a ton lately about all of my roles as a single mommy.  Being a single mommy doesn't define who I am, but it is a HUGE part of my life and actions.  It has been a wonderful and rewarding ride, and it's also been an adjustment to say the least.  It seems to be that as soon as I think "I've got this single parent stuff," I learn another lesson in life.  I'm grateful that God trusts me so much to give me all these different hats to wear and that he trusts someone like ME to be able to be mommy. 

Last night my youngest son decided to test my skills with a late night trip to the emergency room.  You'd think that after all the times we have been that those trips with sick sweeties would get easier for me.  It hasn't yet and I can't even count all the times we have been!  I'm not a rush to the doctor or hospital kind of person either. 

My youngest (22 months) had a fever that wouldn't be reduced from medication, a warm bath, and as much liquid as I could force him to drink.  When I saw the thermometer read 104.5, I think I went into something I like to think of as survival mode blended with tons of adrenaline!  Thank goodness dad came or I'm not sure I'd have made it as the doctor proceeded to tell me there wasn't ever a reason to bring anyone with a fever unless it's 108! 

I didn't panic, but I'm sure if I was watching the clock I would have seen that I may have set a record time for getting to the emergency room.  A wonderful official turned on his blue lights, and I turned on my flashers (I didn't get a ticket, nor did I get stopped thank goodness).  I knew that I was close and nobody was going to come between my sick baby and getting him better as quickly as I could.

I began to realize today (after ten days, two boys, two emergency room visits, 2 splints,  & one surgery)
that it is my job to make sure my sweet boys are protected.  That's a HUGE responsibility when you have BOYS who act like boys!

Sometimes I forget that God is their ultimate protector and healer.  That lifts a ton of weight from my shoulders!  I used to wonder why a loving God would allow pain & sickness.  I don't have the answers, but I know in my situation God uses these events to teach me something.  I've just felt that based upon the past week and half God may want me to know that not only does he have my life in his hands, but he has my little sweeties in his hands as well. 

Here's the part where God answers prayers and this is only  one example.  I've always dreamed of co-parenting with my ex-husband.  I understand that this isn't an easy thing to do in the beginning (or ever), but it IS what I believe is best.

I've prayed for so long for God to open the door of difficult communication.  He has!  Did the co-parenting begin when I thought it should?  Of course NOT!  It happened when God knew it was right and I'm elated about it!

It is extremely difficult for me to see how God works circumstances out for a reason sometimes, but I'm beginning to take a closer look and becoming more receptive to God.  It is amazing!

I pray that you all are able to see and feel God work in your lives and in others.  Make it a great week & remember that God is the ultimate healer & protector.  I promise you he is actively working in our lives.  We just have to choose to see these  things!