Last night, I popped my head in Firstborn's room to see what he was doing and look what I saw! He was doing homework! I know there is a God!
Look closely and you'll see Firstborn's cell phone on the floor next to him. He was also texting
The CD player in front of him was blasting with music. Thank God for Gospel Rap
My first thought was to be the Mama I usually am and say, "Firstborn, put the cell phone away. How in the world can you do homework and text at the same time? Get your priorities straight! Who are you texting anyway? Why is the music so loud? How can you concentrate? Why are you sitting on the floor? Sit at the table or at the desk, so you can concentrate and have a decent environment for studying! Look at this nasty room! How can you think straight? It stinks!"
The mama I'm trying to be said this, " "
That's right, I didn't say a word. I smiled and gave him a thumbs up! I allowed Firstborn to be Firstborn and this is what he gave me in return. A big smile (with some foreign object in his mouth) and the peace signal.
Yep, I'm slowly learning to pick my battles and keep the peace with my sweet teen!
This mama will survive!
I have never, ever slept past 10 AM in the morning, not even in my teenage years, but this morning I did. It would have been okay if it had not been a morning I was scheduled to be somewhere at 11:30 AM. It would have been okay if I had not been asked to share with others about the power of a mother's peace of mind in the midst of chaos.
As I scrambled to get myself dressed, I thought how comical God could be at the wrong times. Every weekday morning, He awakens me between four and five in the morning, but not this morning. Nooooo, this morning when I’m scheduled to be at our city’s Peace Fest, I awake at 10:45 AM.
As I hurriedly gathered my things, I prayed and asked God how in the world I was supposed to speak about peace on a morning I was struggling to find my own peace. I began to question why He didn’t wake me on time. Why today, Lord?
Well, I continued driving and praying and received a profound Life Lesson for LaVender, which was…the message you need to share is in your present circumstance. Wow! Lord, you woke me up late on purpose? My tardiness was actually…on time? Wait a minute. Lord, you want me to share my morning mayhem? Talk about being real!
Still driving, I did some breathing exercises to calm me and stayed in prayer. I eventually arrived at the Peace Fest, found my table, and set up – in peace. I was blessed the entire day as I shared the power of peace in the midst of mayhem. Isn't if funny how things always, always work out?
I think not, however, recently I've heard mothers being referred to as stupid, assholes, and even baby killers.
I think it's safe to say that it is only by the grace of God that we were raised by mothers who attempted to do the right thing in nurturing their home, and we learned from them. We may have even improved what we learned and possibly admit to falling short in some aspects of our learned mothering skills.
After doing a little research on my own, it seems lower income and poor families are prime victims of the press when it comes to sharing child neglect stories, however, there are more than a few high society families that not only hide their activities of neglect, but are excused from their actions because of their income.
When will be pay attention to the children of low income families, who research shows, suffer the most from poor quality care. What about the high society siblings being neglected and mistreated, but are hidden from help.
Regardless of society status, it isn't until we hear or read about children being left at home for days at a time, malnutritioned, or thrown in a garbage can after birth that we give childcare any serious attention. Who is really guilty of child neglect here? The fact is, child neglect and abuse is going on around us everyday. These children have no voice, yet we use our voice to call the mother stupid, shake our heads, and go on about our merry way.
Well, Momsweb will be more proactive in this issue. Not only will I continue sharing the need for educating mothers and mothers to be, but I must take the word beyond the Internet. Every woman doesn't have access to a computer to read the latest encouraging post on my blog or the latest edition of Raising Mothers - especially if they are in a rural area. Hmmm...out of sight, out of mind. I don't want to just preach to the choir.
The MotherHOOD must consider the children, but before a child is cared for properly, the caretaker must be taught properly. It's a huge task, but I must do my part.
Momsweb - Nurturing Children From the Root...the Mother.
Firstborn would wake up, dress himself, clean his room, and brush his teeth without being told. His drawers were organized, his toys were always picked up and he did whatever I asked him to. I even have a picture of him hidden away somewhere of him standing up in a chair washing dishes. Yea, this Mama had it going on! I knew my mothering skills for my first child were all that and a bag of potato chips (baked please).
Low and behold...Firstborn turned 13 and my head turned also - a complete 360 degree turn. Yes, he is still a very sweet child, but the initiative is GONE! Not only does he have to be told to do the things he did on his own as a toddler, but he has to be reminded and then told again. The picture below is of Firstborn sleeping in the car yesterday after I picked him up from school. We pulled in the garage and he mentioned how tired he was (he had football practice also). I told him he would just have to be tired while he washed dishes and the chosen one let out a HUGH SIGH (almost knocked me over), closed his eyes, and went to sleep in the car (in the garage) for at least 30 minutes.
Yea, this Mama's mothering skills have definitely paid off! I got it going on!! LOL!
One day recently while driving on empty, I made one trip more than I should have and boy was I praying! "Oh please, Lord. Please take me to the nearest gas station. Please, Jesus have mercy, pleeeease don't let me run out of gas." Of course my Heavenly Father spared me in my dumb decision as He always does, but of course He gave me more than mercy. Yep, a Life Lesson for LaVender.
Psalm 145:18 (NKJV)
The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.
This morning while driving Firstborn to school, there was a man holding a huge red sign that said, Don't Give Up. I was already thinking of the number of homeless people in our area, so when I saw this sign, it brought a sense of comfort to me. The sign didn't change anything except my emotions, but I wondered how many people would drive by that sign that are going through rough times. I wonder if there was a mother out there at her wits end and with her last dollar that would see the sign. Would it help her?
Right now, I sit in my warm home, I'm healthy, happy, I'm behind on a few bills, but I have an income, my husband is healthy and working, our sons are healthy and happy, and if God is willing, tonight we will be reunited as a family to have dinner together and enjoy our warm cozy, happy home.
- I don't want to be so comfortable that I forget the needs of others.
- I don't want to be so unattached to the reality of life that I forget some mother doesn't have milk for her baby.
- I don't want to be so focused on my own life and goals that I forget a mother is facing foreclosure today.
- I don't want to be so blog happy that all I do is blog about my happy family and forget the many mothers in need - some who many read this post.
Just as the media has influence and power, so does the Internet, and so does blogging. Have you ever thought about how your blog can make a difference by what you share? An encouraging word, spiritual guidance, a special giveaway, or even a good laugh or smile can make a difference.
News Flash! EVERYONE has an issue - even you. Everyone is going through something, so as we continue to blog from day to day, remember someone may stop by your blog needing something only your blog can offer.
I may not be able to change the world, but I can make a difference in my little corner of the world and so can my little blog. Let's make a difference today and share this post with someone in Blogland.
And remember, whatever you may be going through...Don't Give Up! The only way you lose is if you give up.
Wouldn't it be nice to offer her more than words? Just another reason to be blessed financially - to be able to help someone else.
What about the home business you have? Avon, Amway, Primerica Ins., are just a few businesses I've been involved with and the one I still remain a distributor for is the life-saving, amazing Reliv business (just a small plug).
How about you? Medical Billing, Secret Shopper, Tupperware, Home Daycare... are they bringing in enough money to keep you from drowning in bills and debt? What about blogging? Are you trying to make money from blogging? There are more than a few women making money with their blogs, so why not? All of these opportunities may be helpful, but is it enough? Would you be willing to go back to work?
What about the moms already working? Would you be willing to get a second job to help your household? Single moms - oh my goodness, only God knows what you might be going through being the sole provider for your home.
I've met many mothers faced with this dilemma. What are your thoughts on this? Are you willing to go back to work or get a part-time job?
I felt so good, I decided to prepare Sunday dinner, which is rare for me. Roasted potatoes sounded good, so I took out a bag of potatoes and looked for the potato peeler, but couldn't find it. I searched every possible place the peeler could be and shouldn't be. My great mood was slowly heading southbound and I felt Miss Flesh surfacing. I have minimum patience when it comes to looking for something - okay, no patience. I began silently accusing the boys and hubby for not placing the peeler where it belonged and before I knew it, my pleasant demeanor turned mean.
Hmmm...I thought of the television show, Punked and wondered if I was being punked. Is this a joke? Where in the world could the peeler be?
The enemy is just that - my enemy. He hates when I am in a place of peace and joy. He is out to kill, steal, and destroy everything - including my peace of mind and the peaceful environment of my home. Well, I showed him. I called on my Prince of Peace, began singing my song again, and my peace was slowly restored. We got dressed for church and I led the family in prayer before we left the house.
When we arrived back home from church, I began peeling my potatoes...with a knife...in peace.
I am so grateful for the many comments and suggestions I received regarding Tuesday's post on Firstborn's texting overcharges. I value the opinions of mothers who have been there, done that, and are wearing the t-shirt of experience. Thank you! For those who haven't reached the teen years, take notes; your season is coming!
Before I could deal with Firstborn, God had to deal with me and I received two lessons. My first lesson was on mercy. I was reminded of the mercy God showed me through AT&T. The $300 in overcharges were removed from my bill with no questions asked. Am I able to extend this same unwarranted measure of mercy?
My second lesson was a reminder of a scripture I was given a few years ago to help me understand children. I read the scripture in several translations and they basically say the same thing. The Message Bible's translation really captured my attention.
Proverbs 22:15 - Young people are prone to foolishness and fads; the cure comes through tough-minded discipline.
Need I say more? Children WILL do foolish things; this is a promise to parents with a reminder not to compromise our role and authority as parents.
I think Firstborn has been disciplined enough by not having texting for almost a month. I haven't decided on limited or unlimited texting, but I do know one thing - it's not about the decision I make, but about making the decision in love and in the best interest of God's child entrusted in my care. Yes, there is a bigger picture here!
My less than perfect son has many more mistakes to make and he won't be the only one learning from them. There is always a Life Lesson for LaVender in the making. While I raise my sons, God continues to mold, prune, and rearrange me.
IRMC - TYFYC - TTYL - LOL
How many times have you asked your children or husband this question? Better yet, do you think they wonder about your love for them? It amazes me when I think about the countless number of children God has and how He loves each one of us as individuals. He knows exactly what we need to feel His love and exactly how to deliver it to make us feel special.
I only have two children in my care and I sometimes forget they require love in different ways. One likes physical touch and the other needs to receive compliments.
Now hubby, as most men do, enjoys physical touch- anyway he can get it. Hubby is a happy man when I speak his language!
I learned to recognize these different forms of love through a class called the Five Love Languages offered through the church we attend. Hubby and I have taken the class and facilitated it several times, and my church is offering it again. I love this class and hope I can convince hubby to take the class again because it reminds us to speak our spouse's love language and to put their needs before our own. Who doesn't need a refresher course in this?
Mothers have so many things requiring our attention, and it's easy to forget that everyone in the house speaks a different love language. I know - something else for a mother to do!
When I consider God's love for me, I can't help wanting to express love to others - beginning in my home.
- Thinking of God's love for me gives me the desire to continually cook, clean, and nurture my family - that's love!
- Thinking of God's love for me gives me the desire to love them when they aren't so lovable- that's love!
- Thinking of God's love for me empowers me to love my family when I feel taken advantage of as a mother - that's love!
- Thinking of God's love for me gives me the strength and energy to wake up another Monday morning and do this all over again...just because - that's love!
As we begin another week, let's remember God's love for us and allow Him to empower us to create an environment of love in our home - His love. Let's also identify and speak the love languages of those in our care.
Have a loving, marvelous Monday in Motherhood!Psalm 103:8 (NIV)
The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love.