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Category Archives: Parenthood

From the Mouths of Babes

Youngmotherhood

This week is a celebration of life’s greatest nurturers.  Nurses, teachers and mothers are given days of recognition for their huge contribution to society.  When I think of these professions, I immediately think of children and how much time and care is poured into their lives.   Nurses, of course care for all age groups, but looking at their profession, the way they nurture children is through physical care and health.  Teachers nurture children through educational growth and being mentors to them.  Mothers nurture children in all aspects of life through physicals, emotional, mental, and spiritual needs.  But, my thoughts this week primarily go straight to the child.  I’m a mother, my son just turned eighteen.  He’s entering adulthood, but he will always be my child. Motherhood is one of the greatest and most important roles that I have.  It’s a hard job, emotionally and physically draining at times. However, children are a gift that cannot be measured or taken lightly.   I have grown close to many kids throughout my life, those who are in my family, those who were my sidekicks before I was a mother, and those who I’ve taught or worked alongside of through the years.  Each of them has given me something to learn about life and has a huge place in my heart.

Children can teach adults as much as adults can teach kids.  I really love kids because they are so transparent and speak directly from the heart and with considerable bluntness.  Even the mischievous ones can’t help but tell on themselves, without meaning to.  As much as we pour into their lives, they reciprocate just as much into ours.  I met a kid last week who was visiting my next door neighbor.  I went outside to take out the trash, when the little girl approached me.  In my neighborhood, the houses are super close, so we often share visitors without set boundaries.  Anyway, she greeted me and asked me my name.  I told her and she replied with her name.  Her name was really similar to mine.  She proceeded to tell me about her parents being split up and in each of them in other relationships, among other little details.  The funny thing with kids is that they can immediately spill their life history in less than five minutes, if they feel the need to do so.  Anyway, when I came back into the house after our conversation, I started thinking about how she trusted me enough to unload on me and how easily she let me be a sounding board.  This instance, made me think of Jesus and how he said in the Bible to come to him as a child.  He continues to say; whoever humbles himself like a child is greatest in the kingdom of Heaven.

How often in our adult life do we casually go up to God and just unload on Him?  How often do we treat Him as the friend He really is? How easily do we trust Him?  How quickly do we confess the things that bother us or admit our shortcomings?  Anyone who has been around kids for just a little while will quickly hear at least one or two innocent confessions, even it’s in a roundabout way.

So, this week as we celebrate teachers, nurses, and mothers, let us recognize as well how much life children give to us.  Listen to them and feed back into them with rich nutrients of life that will help them grow in every dimension of their being.  Help them to know that they are valuable and are loved.  And remember how much you can learn from them.

Children grow up fast, enjoy every moment with them.

“Bring up a child by teaching him the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn away from it.”  Proverbs 22:6

When I think of kids, I always think of this literary piece as well.  It’s one of my favorite readings. I had to include it in this blog.

On Children – Kahlil Gibran

 And a woman who held a babe against her bosom said, Speak to us of Children.

     And he said:

     Your children are not your children.

     They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.

     They come through you but not from you,

     And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

 

     You may give them your love but not your thoughts,

     For they have their own thoughts.

     You may house their bodies but not their souls,

     For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.

     You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.

     For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

     You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.

     The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite, and He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far.

     Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness;

     For even as He loves the arrow that flies, so He loves also the bow that is stable.

 

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Precious Life

hands-holding-newborn-baby-feet“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

Sixteen years ago, I was anxiously waiting the moment of going to the hospital to be induced for labor. I was very nervous about what to expect and I prayed throughout my pregnancy for a healthy baby. All of my prenatal appointments went well for the most part. I was screened early on for my sugar and was told to watch it because the sugar levels weren’t the best. So, I stopped eating my usual honeybun for breakfast before work and started watching what I ate. The last month of pregnancy is the hardest when you are a first time mom. I questioned every small pain or twitch, wondering if I needed to rush to the hospital or not. I have a pretty high pain tolerance and because of it, I ignored any small amounts of pain. However, a few weeks before I was induced, I was having a lot of pressure. I thought it was time for me to go into labor. I called my husband in a panic and then my mom and mother in law to quiz them to see if I should go to the hospital. My husband came home and went onto the hospital. Once we got there, they checked me and said I was fine and that it wasn’t time. I was upset and didn’t want to go home because I knew how I felt and I was overly anxious. When I got home, I took a warm bath, cried, and prayed.
The day arrived for me to be induced. I expected everything to run smoothly and figured I’d be a mother before the end of the day. Instead, I was dilating slowly and my blood pressure was going up. Next, the medical team informed me that my platelet count was low and that I would not be able to receive an epidural. I wasn’t hurting too bad yet, so I thought, “Eh. It’s ok, I’m tough and can handle it.” My husband, mom and mother-in-law were in the room with me that evening waiting for my son to arrive. I was nervous and I know they were anxious and probably nervous as well. Meanwhile, there was a waiting room full of family and friends waiting for the baby to arrive. But, that day was not the day that my son would be born and the closer it got to midnight, the thinner the audience was in the waiting room. I honestly can’t remember much after midnight because the pressure was starting to mount and contractions were becoming stronger. The pain was kicking in. I kept thinking to myself, “any minute”….but every time the nurses checked they would shake their head no and leave the room. The rest of the evening is a fog in my memory. I remember asking for something for the pain, they gave me Demerol. It’s the only thing they could give me for my condition. I remember around seven o’clock in the morning that I was pushing and trying to have my son. There was a lot of concern during that time. I learned afterwards that they were close to doing an emergency C-section on me, but at 7:38 a.m. April 25, he arrived. I remember hearing his cry and then I crashed. I fell asleep.
I was diagnosed with HELLP syndrome. I had never heard of it before. It’s a severe stage of preeclampsia. When my son was born, the doctor noticed the placenta wasn’t attached to him. I was told a lot of things medical wise that I didn’t understand. Both my son and I had to stay several days to make sure we were alright. I was told that I would probably need a bone marrow transfusion. I didn’t want that to happen, I prayed and others at my church prayed. My blood count went up in a few days and I didn’t have to have that transfusion. I was told by my doctor that I was very lucky. They were worried that they were going to lose me, the baby or both of us. But, God had different plans. I know God’s hand was on me and my son the whole time.
Now, my son is about to turn sixteen. He’s almost an adult and this year because he’s approaching adulthood, I’m keenly reminded of the miracle of his life. I’ve been asking him lately what his goals are. I don’t really want him to grow up, but you can’t stop that. Right now, he’s unsure about what he wants to do. I pray that he will understand that God has him here on this Earth for a reason; He has a plan for His life. I pray that he seeks God first on all things concerning his life.

 

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Derail Guilt

My family and I returned home from vacation a few weeks ago. When we pulled up onto the street and parked in front of the house, I immediately noticed that the railing for my steps in front of my house was gone. The kids in the neighborhood were outside playing and when they saw us pull up, they ran inside their house. It doesn’t take a genius to spot that level of guilt. One of the parents even called there child inside, which to me was out of fear of confrontation, but maybe I’m drawing conclusions. I’m really not that hard to get along with, so I didn’t understand the level of guilt. My railing wasn’t the sturdiest anyway because I’ve backed into it a time or two with my vehicle. I suspected that the kids decided to play on it while we were gone and with the weakness of the railing, it didn’t take much for it to break. I was more aggravated about the fact that no one wanted to own up to the incident than anything else.

My second year of college, my family bought me a car. I went away to college and the first year I had to rely on other people to get me around town or I had to wait for my family to come get me on long weekends. So, the summer before my second year of school, my Mom and Dad bought me a red Dodge Shadow. My parents came down with me the week before school started to help get me settled in and make sure all was well with everything. I drove down with my Mom in the car and my Dad came in his vehicle. The day before they left to go back home, they said their goodbyes to me and headed to their hotel. I was a little nervous about the start of the new year and decided to go to Wal-Mart to kill some time and get some odds and ends. I went into the parking lot and pulled into a spot, when I pulled in, I misjudged the distance and scraped a van with my front bumper. No one was around, my heart was in my throat and I didn’t know what to do. My gut told me to leave, but I had to check and see the damage. I looked and couldn’t tell anything. But, on looking again I saw a decent size mark. I nervously waited in the parking lot for whoever the owner was to come out so I could tell them what happened. It was hot, I was nervous, I was battling whether to just go and pretend it didn’t happen, when finally after about twenty minutes a family started walking to the van. I approached the father and told him what happened. He looked at the damage and he thanked me for letting him know. We exchanged insurance information and I got his phone number. This was before cell phones were in everyone’s possession. I left and headed back to the dorm, dreading the call to my parents. When I got in the dorm, I went to the payphone, looked up the hotel number of where they were staying and called and told them what happened. They weren’t happy, of course, because this was added expense that they weren’t expecting. They contacted the other driver and paid for the damage out of pocket instead of putting it on the insurance. The other driver was kind and complimented that it was honorable that I waited around for them.

The thing is, the guilt would’ve drove me crazy if I drove off and pretended it didn’t happen. I have my parents to thank for that. They raised me to be upfront whenever I broke something, to be honest in all situations.

Back to the railing, a few days after we got home the little girl across the street started talking to me because I was taking the trash to the curb. After a bit of dialog, she pointed at the broken railing. I nodded and said “Yeah, you know what happened, don’t you?” She nodded back and then pointed to the house beside me. I nodded and said, “The railing wasn’t very sturdy. I’m guessing that it looked like a good place to slide down or swing on. Then when someone played on it, it came down. She said, “Yea, and he hurt his hand.” “That happens,” I said back.

A day or two after the little girl told me, the little boy who had done it waved at me with a bandaged up hand. He walked toward me and I said, “Did you do that on my railing?” He nodded and his sister quickly said, “No, you did it on the slip and slide.” He shot her a look and then I said, “I know what happened. I’m glad you aren’t hurt worse.”

The kids didn’t want to hold on to that guilt either. They were afraid of how I would react. They didn’t want to own up to it, but they couldn’t pretend it didn’t happen either. Confession is freeing, whereas keeping that guilt inside will eat you alive or numb you.

“Few things are more infectious than a godly lifestyle. The people you rub shoulders with everyday need that kind of challenge. Not prudish. Not preachy. Just cracker jack clean living. Just honest to goodness, bone – deep, non-hypocritical integrity.” ~ Chuck Swindoll

 
 

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Snapping The Pieces Together

ImageMy mood has been disconnected the past few days.  I haven’t been able to put my finger on it, but I know I don’t like the way I feel.  My mind has been reveling in things I can’t change from the past.  That shouldn’t have a hold of me in the now, but sometimes thoughts creep up and it’s hard to shake it. Our current finances are tight too and that shouldn’t affect my mood so much, but it does. I decide to move away from my thoughts for a moment and sit in my son’s room while he puts together a Lego set.  He’s building and talking about various things.  I watch his fingers quickly snap the pieces together and form the pattern he’s following in the book.  I hand him pieces that are next in line and he says something that speaks to me immediately.  He says . “I’ve got a song stuck in my head that I don’t want there anymore.  Do you know how I can get it out?”  I quickly reply, “Sure, play a new song to cover the other.”  He says, “Yeah, but I don’t want any song there, so I guess I could just go to sleep and it’ll go away.” 

How many times am I like that?  Instead of replacing the song stuck in my head with a better song, I just decide to escape from it.  I should instead let God put a new song in my heart. “I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry.  He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.  He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God.  Many will see and fear and put their trust in the Lord.”  Psalm 40:1-3

I can’t lay in the pit and go to sleep.  I’m reaching out instead so He can lift me out of the pit and set my feet on a solid foundation.  My selfish foundation is a place where I sink, a place where I feel stuck, a place of dirt and filth.  I’ll open my mouth and sing the new song he has given me. 

 

 
 

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Growing Pains

“Even as kids reach adolescence, they need more than ever for us to watch over them.  Adolescence is not about letting go. It’s about hanging on during a very bumpy ride.”   Ron Taffel

This summer I noticed it. Where did time go and how did it sneak up on me so fast? My twelve year old son started showing the signs of adolescence. His hairy long legs fell off the couch while he played with his Kindle. “Mom, I’m hungry.”
“You just ate half an hour ago.”
“So, I’m hungry.”
Needless to say, he continues to be an eating machine. His once clear face is starting to have little blackhead visitors take up residency. I have to remind him to put on deodorant before he goes anywhere. He bumps into things more often, either because his hair is in his eyes or he isn’t paying attention. This is only the beginning, I know. But it is a first for me, I didn’t have brothers, only sisters. I’m not exactly sure what to expect.

Every morning, I drop him off at school. He gives me a goofy grin and says, “See ya later!” He still waves as he walks away. I wonder how much longer he will wave. I wonder how much longer he will talk to me on the way to school. I hope he always will, but I know how quickly things can change when so much is going on inside of you.

I’ve taught him as much as I could while he was small. I will continue to teach him as he grows and goes through the teen years and pray that he hears my advice.

 
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Posted by on September 17, 2013 in Parenthood

 

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