Posts Tagged ‘parenting’

On the heels of two blessings I was not expecting, the enemy tried again and thought he’d won, but never. I thank God for His word and reminding me that I have no business allowing the enemy to blindside me with foolishness. I was reminded that life and death is in the power of the tongue. I found myself saying things and thinking things I knew were not true of my seed…Pain can make you do and say stupid stuff. Yet, I refuse to allow the enemy to dissuade me from what My God already showed me. My Father is faithful. My Father promised me life more abundantly so I suppose the enemy was running out of options yet again. I know God is my provider and my father…He is even my husband in this season and my children’s father as well. Yes, the battlefield is the mind, but I’m strapped and covered from head to toe with all that God provides for my protection. I rejoice in the knowledge that God is in control and that HE alone directs my paths. I refuse to allow my mind to succumb to worry or doubt period. My son and daughter are successful and are blessings sent directly from my Father.

Heavenly Father,

Thank You for giving me the ability to give the devil a black eye with my smile. Father, thank You for restoring the years that were destroyed by the canker worm. Thank You for preparing me for this transition. Thank You for allowing me to be wise in every decision from here forward. Thank You for allowing me the charge to pray for the Man of God. Thank You for my future husband and our ministry. Thank You for the ministry that You have allowed Your angels to provide to me in this moment and every other moment my flesh seeks to outweigh my spirit. Thank You for always reminding me that GREATER IS HE IN ME THAN HE THAT IS IN THE WORLD. THANK YOU FOR BLESSING ME AND ALLOWING ME TO BE A BLESSING. THANK YOU FOR LOVING ME SO MUCH DADDY! THANK YOU FOR ALLOWING ME THE COMFORT OF YOUR ARMS. THANK YOU FOR NOT ALLOWING MY FOOT TO STUMBLE AND THANK YOU FOR ALLOWING THE CALL YOU HAVE ON MY LIFE TO HELP OTHERS WHO HAVE STUMBLED UP TO THEIR FEET!!! GLORY TO YOUR NAME! THANK YOU FOR MY CONFIDENCE! THANK YOU FOR DETERMINATION. THANK YOU FOR GRACE. THANK YOU FOR REMINDING ME THAT I AM THE APPLE OF YOUR EYE! THANK YOU FOR FAVORING ME IN SPITE OF ME!

YOUR LOVELY DAUGHTER,

SO IT ALL IS

I had to teach my daughter an important lesson about timing this morning. When you’re not ready, you get left behind!

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Now Kayla had been a hard sleeper since birth so I’m not surprised by her innate delays every morning…surprised no…annoyed YES!!!

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I used to consider it a blessing she slept so hard though…I could have her hair done and have her fully clothed before breakfast when she was younger. The problem is she’s no longer a toddler! She can dress herself!

Sincerely this has become a major pet peeve…yet, while in times passed I’ve warned and waited…today I just left.

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Today was the last straw…I even snatched the covers off before I decided my exit…
…and she had the nerve to mention what would Jesus do…my reply, Jesus would say get up!!! Take up your mat and walk!  Apparently she considered herself awake though she was still lazing in bed.

Long story short…I dropped my son off…she had an attitude when I got back, but now she was on my time and at my mercy.

You see she doesn’t have to be at school until an hour after her brother but I drop her off early so she can chat with her friends before school. It’s really a privilege for her and a covenience for me.

Eventually we left together after I got ready. I admit I delayed things on purpose. Lord, forgive me!

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Anyway…she reached her destination on time because of grace…she could have rode the school bus that’s always late…or she could have walked…or she could have missed out completely…and without saying a word further, she knew it could be worse….

So what’s the moral here?

When it’s time to go, don’t ignore the warning…get up and move or you will get left behind.

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I’ve had to learn this lesson too many times…and if yesterday’s post wasn’t evidence enough that I’d been getting ready for too long, my own frustration with my daughter’s passivity was just the match I needed to burn up my tendency to procrastinate! With that I advise you to get moving before you too get left behind.

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“May I see your phone for a minute?”  His request came only minutes after my daughter’s to which I replied the same, “Not now, I’m listening to something.”  It was possibly a full minute before my son asked the same question again.  This time I said, “Just wait. Kayla asked first anyway.  Considering that she had dibbs when I was done,  before I opened the car doors he was already bargaining with her…explaining that his need was greater than hers…that he only needed it for a few minutes.  Kayla relented.  She was more interested in the book she just got anyway.  And again, before I could turn on the ignition, Recco again made his intentions known.  By that time as you would imagine, my tone matched my frustrationso I responded, “I’m using it, just wait!”

“But Why?” (My kids tend to think that anyone over age 30 have no reason to possess such gadgets obviously)

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“It’s my phone!”

Yes, people….quite possibly my son and daughter are the only kids at their schools who do not own their own cell phones!  Well,  not anymore….Prior experience has made me hesitant.  They’ve had two before and my son was the culprit behind the demise of at least two of my prior ones so right now, they are phoneless.

Before we arrived home, he asked at least 3 more times…Completely irrirtated when I parked I plainly told him, “This kind of thing is going to make me not give it to you period!

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Not for him….for me…clearly his behavior over my phone matched mine with regards to a future husband.

When we arrived home, I was done with the phone, but the way he kept bugging me about what I’d already told him he’d receive made me want to keep it to myself anyway.  Yet, as I was convicted over my own spoiled antics with God’s promises, I surrendered quietly and acknowleged how quite possibly I was delaying the manisfestation of my own blessings by being a little too persistent with my request.

Yes, the bible says to keep asking, keep knocking, and seeking—still over the years I’ved learned that if anything my prayers should have been doing so from a perspective of thanksgiving despite the manisfestation because God is faithful.

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Now I admire my son’s tenacity because what at first irrirtated me to know end was the very thing god used to remind me of the way I treat His word.  My actions as were my son’s showed a complete lack of trust.

No parent wants to think that his or her own child doesn’t trust him or her so I see how my constant prayers laced with doubt were not sufficient.  They lacked the confidence in knowing God will deliver as promised.  Now my son, on the other hand had prior experience with me letting him down so I I can understand his apprehension (I tend to forget things)images (1)

I had no excuse.  God has always come through for me and I have no reason to believe otherwise. So while the waiting period is uncomfortable, it’s teaching me to ask, believe, and receive again a little differently.  I know that unless I align myself with his order, I’ll just wait that much longer.  To that I think I’ll pass.

©2015 Nadia Davis.  All Rights Reserved.

 

“See there… the way you ask another question after I’ve already given you my answer.” 

That was the best response I could come up with in conversation with my son the other day.

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I refused to debate further because my decision was made.  So yes, I gave him the silent treatment.

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As immature as some say the “silent treatment” is, I have a slightly different take on it now.

Granted, ignoring someone out of spite is not healthy, however, neither is arguing a point in which a decision has already been rendered.

For years, “because I said so” was a sufficient response to my children, but until a few days ago, I’d allowed them to” wear me down with words.”

Before, I’d gotten tired of it and tried to slightly different approach to the battles, “Because God said so!”  Boy did that open a can of worms!  It turns out that if you’re going to use that, it would help if you are actually adhering to those same principles yourself first.

I mean, imagine bringing up the importance of honoring your parents to get this response:

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How dare my son “get me” with scripture when clearly I was trying to “get him” first?

Can I be real people?  thCKC558Z0

This was me that day…

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I was wrong that day…and I hated it….I mean who wants to be proven wrong by a kid? Especially your kid?

But oh how I love that God is my Strength.   I’ve had much more resilience with my son’s war of words lately.

Regardless, we’re both stubborn.

I mean the apple fell from somewhere, right?

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With that in mind, I think my son would be a great attorney.  Yet, even attorneys have to comply with the judge’s ruling!

So in our most recent debate, I chose to ignore my son’s whining…oops…I mean request.

And get this…not an ounce of guilt…

Why? 

Because God had to humble me with His silence.

Yep, I’ve asked more questions when God answered me the first time too…a lot more…especially this year…

Typical conversation…

“Are you sure God, you want me to do that?”

“Didn’t I tell you, if you have faith you will see the glory of the Lord?”

“I need a sign.”

“How much longer will I have to be with you before you believe?”

“Okay I need one more…don’t be mad, but just one more confirmation!”

And then there was nothing…no word…except one’s leading back to completing the vows I stated…I mean everywhere all over the bible…who knew the bible was so full of places to remind you of the things you say you are going to do for the Lord, but then get fearful and try to take it back….I digress…

I know now God just wants me to trust Him with my future. 

A bit of a challenge for a control freak, wouldn’t you think?  Challenging yes, but definitely doable. I’m already reaping the benefits.  It’s made me eager to sit still and wait for the next thing He has to say.

…a discipline, I hope and pray will also be evident in my own children in time.  Yet, until then, I’m learning to endure the questions, seek God for the answers, and chose to be silent when necessary.

©2015 Nadia Davis. All Rights Reserved.

 

 

 

 

 

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I marveled this morning as the Lord doused my being with His Holiness….His insurmountable presence on the drive into work…yes I said to work…not a job, for the work we do is to honor God and to endure what we must to allow His light to shine regardless of what that task entails.

It seemed that everyone in my home this morning was in a sour mood, except me. I admit, most days in the past when things weren’t as clean as I’d expected or instructed the night before, I was the one who was a tyrant.

Yet, this morning and the one before, I woke up singing.  I was moved to worship. I was taken back to my first love…I was reminded of what I used to do that had gotten me through some things others cringe to even think that I have endured. I sang…I smiled…I cleaned the messes that were left from the prior night without accusing anyone or speaking negatively about being unappreciated under my breath.

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I suppose I not only saw myself as God sees me, but for the first time in a long while, I saw God above everything around me.  As I exited my garage yesterday, Kayla was a bit antsy because she has some important tests to take. Despite her attitude, I recalled the prayer I said aloud to bless my day and my children especially.

I hadn’t done that in a while either.

That truth alone could have easily been a reason for me to feel bad for what I hadn’t done, but I couldn’t. I finally knew why I had no room to feel sorry for myself as I inched further down the road towards the expressway.  I said it aloud too.  I cannot recall it verbatim, but the gist of it was,

It’s impossible to get distracted by the bills and problems that compete for your attention when you worship God!!!

At the red light, my daughter responded a bit smug, but she’s approaching adolescence so I wasn’t phased by her demeanor,

“I don’t understand what you are saying, that’s something for you and Mrs. Tesa to discuss.”

At that moment, I said, ” You used to understand.”

Again, that could have led my mind to despair in the days, weeks, and years that had gone by that I hadn’t taken the time and prayed with, read the bible with, and taught her and my son the word of God, like I used to do.  Yet, I couldn’t be distracted.  Instead I heard myself saying, “but I planted the seed, and though I hadn’t nurtured it as before, I just need to get back to work.”

Then something dynamic happened again…I was filled with joy all over again as if I’d been given one of those big “grandma loves you hugs!” Except this hug was from my daddy….My heavenly Father…My God…My King!!!

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I felt like whatever I’d done and hadn’t done didn’t matter…because it doesn’t…and it didn’t.

I just began singing again…I began singing, Here, I am to worship…Here I am to bow down, Here I am to say that You are God!”  You’re altogether Holy, altogether Lovely, Altogether Wonderful to me…Tears of joy overwhelmed me as she sat in silence for the remainder of that drive.

Now it all makes sense!

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I thank God for allowing me to consider His grace and allowing several verses in Ephesians arrest my attention this morning instead of all the other things that could have.

The fact that I “couldn’t” be distracted by those things simply meant that they were not significant enough to really matter in that moment.  It made me wonder why I’d wasted so many other “moments” in my past worrying about them in the first place.

Regardless, it’s refreshing to know the power God’s given me to not only ignore the fruitless attempts of the enemy to run my life, but to also fully embrace the grace to choose to have joy in spite of them.

I admit, I’ve slacked in some areas.  Yet, even that can’t separate me from My Heavenly Father’s loving grasp.  And right about now…I’m just honored to do anything I can for God alone.

©2015 Nadia Davis. All Rights Reserved.

I’ll edit this later…just flowing from the heart…

I used to say “I didn’t have a good example when I grew up.”  It was my excuse.  I suppose I felt less guilty for my own shortcomings as a parent by blaming my mother for the woes I’d experienced.  Yet, now I realize how untrue that statement was.

There were good days with my mother. That truth has allowed me to now cherish those good times I shared with her more.

No, my mother didn’t teach me to cook or sew.  Experimenting with Betty Crocker recipes and Girl Scouts did that.  Yet she allowed me to play in her hair and play dress up in her clothes when I was little just because she could.

While I’m aware of the times I’ve missed the imaginary mark of motherhood, I simply refuse to demonize myself or my mother for what either of us lacks because I know God makes no mistakes.  While we cannot choose our family members, He chose them long before we were ever conceived.  Now I can say that I am so grateful for the gift He gave me in my mother and as I type these words I understand why saying goodbye isn’t as hard as I might have thought it would be.

I received a call after midnight from my brother.  I was asleep so I wasn’t aware of it until about 6 am.  He’d left a message, but somehow before I listened to it, I already knew what he struggled to say those few seconds the machine allowed.

Mama passed away not a half hour before he picked up the phone to reach me. 

I hadn’t cried in two months over the thoughts of a lost childhood…over resentment of what might have been…I surmised even after hearing the news recorded that I still would not do so.  Yet, when I called my brother back and discussed what was evident and what needed to take place in the coming week, I found my words losing fluency. Choppy and forced, I allowed them to flow…not out of necessity or regret, but joy in her transition.

Last I saw her, she was in pain…yet still able to smile when she recognized her likeness standing over her. As a child, I’d always been called her shadow for two reasons: I was always two steps behind her and the main differences between us visually were time and complexion…I prayed then that her pain would cease…knowing that mine had already. I am indeed grateful for the time I’ve had both as a child before things seemed to have gone awry.

Before that time, I’d told a friend that I’m choosing to remember the good a while ago, but in reality, at the time, I couldn’t stop myself from only remembering the bad.  I was in a rut and I allowed that to dictate my life for a while…for too long…so long that my own role as a parent had begun to wane.

Her Goods-

Having never earned a driver’s license, she never allowed that deficiency stop her from taking us with her every Saturday somewhere…to the movies…to the fair…to the mall…downtown…to the Orpheum–Mama, I want to sing at 6 years old-my love for music was ignited– to see plays because she wanted to make sure my brother and I were “cultured.”

I used to think the reason she had us taking lessons for violin and cello,  Spanish, computer, and even tap after school was so she could get a break, but I understand now that she wanted only to ensure that he and I couldn’t be denied one later.

I have a new appreciation for Ode to Joy!!!

I still remember the red booths at Woolworth’s we’d claim and the flavor of the buttery kernels that seemed popped just for us.  They would melt in your mouth.  Back then a dollar could stretch much farther.

Although she had her bachelor’s in education, she opted to teach us more at home instead of others’ children in school.  She chose to work only part-time for many years and was always there when my brother and I arrived from school.  Single motherhood was worn well on her in those early years…those years I had taken for granted as I grew because for some reason she and I became distant.

Anger took over where love never meant to leave off…I couldn’t understand why it seemed she loved the “little me” so much, but hated what I was growing to become.

I realize now that what I deemed as hatred was just not so.  Rather, her fear of not being enough fed her fury.  Her fear that someone would hurt me as she’d been hurt consumed her. I didn’t know it initially that she’d been taken against her will.  A fit of rage spilled those details and gave me a clue.  Still, at that age, I couldn’t understand.  I didn’t try. I had never known anyone to have been raped before so there was no way that I could relate. Instead, I filed it along with the other displaced memories I’d vacated years ago.  A chance encounter with a photo album would reveal more of her puzzle without anyone overhead saying a word.   Back then, “issues” weren’t discussed so they were held in with massive consequences.

The result- an inevitable implosion or explosion…there were many casualties…but I’ve considered even those the result of involuntary manslaughter now.  Eighteen years of solitary confinement was long enough to suffer, to re-group, to rehabilitate a soul.  She too had been bent, infirmed, desperate for relief.

I believe 2 months ago I received that relief…Yesterday, she finally received hers. So while I dab at tears I’d once denied permission to flow, I revel at the cleansing power they possess.  My joy had indeed been renewed.

My Heavenly Father knew the day would come when I would finally realize the gift He provided me. She did the best she could…

She nurtured the love of words in me long ago.  I remember I denied the desire to write because even at 7 years old, my strong will fought for independence.  I wanted to do my own thing.  Yet, the more I tried to distance myself from what she had already claimed of me…a poet…a writer…I fell back into the comfort of this calling…words…I escaped through the words of a story…I calculated the words from another’s mouth…I practiced over and over until my penmanship was perfected because I loved words and the way they took a life of their own on a page…my mother was a lover of words too I suppose.  Although she’d often comment how her writing was intolerably cruel for the reader to decipher as the scribbling she owned resembled a foreign language, she still fostered a love of them by quizzing my brother and I every chance she got.  She’d read to us often.  My choice was to have the books read at least twice before I could go to sleep. She always happily obliged.  Only later would I realize why she did it anyway despite how tired she had been of the story itself and how exhausted she’d been herself.

No Regrets

I had planned to see her yesterday, but…

Just but…the excuses don’t matter now…I know I’ll see her again…I’m glad that I understand God’s plan and that I don’t have the guilt of “what if” to deal with anymore.

So even now, I choose to honor her by the good she did, she was, and the good she intended.  There’s no need to say goodbye so I’ll just say, “See you later, mama!”

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Gone for now, but never forgotten!

©2015 Nadia Davis. All Rights Reserved.

In James 3:5-12, we are reminded how the tongue, though physically small compared with other members of the body, has the potential to level a forest as if it were fire. Essentially, when we are not careful to think before we speak, we can cause a lot of damage.

Also, if we don’t think of the impact our words have on those around us including family, friends, co-workers, and even strangers, we run the risk of creating a toxic domino effect with one spark.   So contrary to popular opinion, sticks and stones may break bones, but words can hurt just as much.

So I’ve got a question for you.  “What are your kids learning from your words? In public? In private?

The phrases, “She gets that from her momma” or “He’s just like his daddy,” have been used for years and will likely be used for years to come when the inevitable comparison is made between a parent and a child. As endearing as these phrases could be when referencing one’s likeness, the sentiment behind the comments are usually far from positive.

 

That said, it is important for us as Christians to be extremely careful of the things we release into the atmosphere. I haven’t always been so careful.  I thought I’d been doing pretty good lately…well, at least the last few weeks or so only to be bombarded with an “oops, I had done it over and over again hadn’t I?

 

What a difference a day makes!

Well, yesterday, after church I was in a great mood. The sun was out and it was a lovely 68 degrees in January!  Regardless, the beautiful weather didn’t curb my kids’ desire to argue though.  This constant debating seemed to be their new norm.  I say new, but I suppose it’s been a constant competition between them for at least three years.  I have learned to just tune it out somewhat.

The thing is that while they debate often, they had only recently begun doing so in public.  This struck me so I just asked, “I’m just wondering did you all learn anything about love, forgiveness, or compromise in church today?  I mean you all just came out the door and you all are arguing like nothing happened.”  I said it calmly to which my son replied, “I wonder the same about you all the time.”

Shut Down!!!

The pride of my past would have easily made me set him straight, but in all honesty he’d set me straight and he didn’t do it disrespectfully.  He was just stating his thoughts…His truth…What He knew of me in times past behind closed doors…my short temper and the anger because I couldn’t cope with the stress of single motherhood…not to mention the issues with unforgiveness I’d held onto for so long…

 

Well, this morning Joyce Meyer’s broadcast set my mind further on edge because I knew that I had been grieving the Holy Spirit by acting one way at church and in public while flipping the script at home….yet as quickly as I almost condemned myself for mistakes I’d made…I was reminded of Romans 7:21-25.

I know that I have a long way to go in re-teaching my children the ways that they should go, but I’m thankful God allowed me to dig up the bitter roots of my past so I can start leading by example in public and in private from now on.

©2015 Nadia Davis. All Rights Reserved.

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So I woke up today and where was my cell phone? With my daughter of course…where it had been possibly for the last two weeks since school’s been out. She’s been begging for a phone again.  I gave her one before, but took it away…too young…too irresponsible…too expensive!!!

She’s been trying to show me that she’s ready to be connected “like everybody else”

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Well, when I went to check my messages I sort of freaked.  I had none!  So I checked my contacts…again…it was blank!

Until that moment I didn’t realize how dumb my smart phone had made me.  I could not remember a soul’s phone number, email address, actual address or otherwise.

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I woke her up frantically demanding she tell me what she did!!!  Yet, as soon as she began to stir, I regretted the way I had.  I wasn’t completely over the top, but my approach was all wrong nonetheless.  So I apologized to her, allowed her to go back to sleep, and later repented quietly in the next room.

Job 2:10 reminded me what I should’ve, could’ve, and would’ve done had I taken a moment to really consider the situation before reacting in vain.  In fact, had I remembered the foolishness resulting in a prior post, things might have gone better as well.  But oh well…

10 But he said to her, “You speak as one of the foolish women would speak.Shall we receive good from God, and shall we not receive evil?”[a] In all this Job did not sin with his lips.

When I caught myself, I had to ask myself some pretty hard questions?

  • Why was I sweating something so trivial?
  • Could my mini temper tantrum change the results of what already happened?

In a word, “NO!”

That said, I realized that my reaction to the things my children do and don’t do are more important than what actually occurs.  Regardless of whether Kayla was the culprit this time or whether it was a technology glitch, what matters is that my daughter knows I love her unconditionally.

I know for a fact that flipping out over something so small has the tendency to do much greater harm to a child in the long run so I’m glad she was too sleepy to really realize what was going on. However, I’m glad I was fully aware.

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Seriously though, sometimes AGAPE love is spelled by simply not sweating the small stuff.  I’m glad I get it now. 

©2015 Nadia Davis. All Rights Reserved.

Hey Ladies and Gents,

I’m curious.  Have there been times you’ve found yourself sweating the small stuff? Tell me your story below!

Since I embarked on this journey to fully employ the Fruit of the Spirit in my life, oh have I been tested! The past few days have been a plethora of circumstances that anyone else would assume it’s perfectly okay to “lose it.” In fact, I laughed in Bible-study last week when my pastor mentioned that he sometimes “loses it.” I laughed in agreement because I knew I too had that innate tendency. Well, by all accounts if I were a stick of dynamite and my teen son were the lit match this morning, yes, one might conclude my explosion completely justified! Yes, indeed just this morning…wow…I didn’t make it a week since that last post.

  • Now I could say I was frustrated because after the storm, the power went out and when it was restored…every room in my home was lit except our bedrooms, the living room, and my bathroom. That would indeed be true.
  • Or I could mention that I was aggravated because no matter how much I tell my son or daughter, for that matter, to clean their rooms they remain in disarray until I’ve had enough and I go do it.
  • Or I could declare my fury stems directly from the countless times I’ve pleaded with them to only eat in the kitchen and still remnants of corn chips, cookies, and popcorn end up everywhere but the room designed for them time and again.
  • I could state I feel unappreciated, taken for granted, and stressed way the heck out…..YES, ALL OF THOSE THINGS WOULD BE A GREAT START TO THE DRAMA I’VE OBSERVED, LIVED, AND LOATHED FOR WAY TOO LONG!

Well, now that I’ve calmed down a bit…I just scarfed down a Bear Claw from Shipley’s—Ahhh —Sweet Relief—

I’ll go on…as I drove in silence this morning, I wondered why God trusted me with such a responsibility.  I also pondered one of the statements my son made that sent me into that silent mode.

Rewind…As I fed my two dogs and got ready to take them out to do what they do…my son sat at the kitchen table with a look of disgust saying,

“Six months is my limit…mama, these dogs are officially no longer mine!  Can we give ’em back? Can we get rid of them?”

Before I knew it, I said,

“You have never taken care of them!”

After all, he wasn’t the one taking care of them. I was!

I went on to say that he and his sister begged for me to allow them into my home when they were only weeks old….that they would care for them, walk them, and clean up after them…Yet, for nearly three years, I’d been doing all of that!!!!

The whole scenario danced in my head the entire drive to Park View High, but none stuck out more than those words, “Can we give ’em back?”  I considered it of my own children…sure Kayla wasn’t saying much today, but I allowed my anger to fester over all the things that they had done and hadn’t done to spite me…I wanted to get an exchange…surely I received some defective models?

I felt inadequate and again wondered why God felt I was apt enough to be their mom.

A few years ago things were different…they both were so respectful and well-mannered…I wanted to scratch my head, but I knew what I needed to do…God had been showing me for at least two years…first I needed to step back and stop being soooooo busy.  I did that, but God also showed me that I needed to remove the pacifiers! 

Yes, I had a teen son and a pre-teen daughter who had morphed into these monsters that I sometimes didn’t want to even be around.

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How on earth could this be?  Well, a while ago.  God led me to the verse,

A wise woman builds up her house while a foolish one tears it down by her own hand. 

Before, I suppose I had been that wiser woman.  Before I’d been the peculiar parent who was overprotective and wouldn’t allow them to go where they pleased without my approval of the person they traveled with or without a thorough inspection of that person’s home life.

Convicted!  I’d become passive in my parenting!  I’d stood idly by while my son’s grades slipped and his attitude did the same.  I’d once been the mother of all the kids in the neighborhood.

If they stayed over we all prayed together.  I pondered in the few minutes of the drive back and forth between then and now and again wondered how I, the Bible-thumping believer, had allowed the enemy to take hold of my children and perhaps me.

In a moment, I almost let the enemy condemn me for what I hadn’t done because I grieved over what my children had.  I almost allowed satan to think he was running my home.  Time after time I’d retreat to my bedroom for solace…for peace and quiet while technology babysat for this single mom.  I’d planned to take them to the park, skating, to the movies, to play cards…I’d planned to pray for them and with them like we used to do.   I needed to get back to that place, but before this morning, I admit, I really didn’t know how.

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Feeling like a hypocrite, God knew what was in my heart though I was too ashamed to utter another word from my lips.

After dropping my son off at school, I happened to get stuck behind a van that had been mottled with bumper stickers all over the back window and door.  One stood out:

The Few, The Proud, The Moms!

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I tskd and rolled my eyes still sick with contempt.

As I entered the highway, a truck drove by with one bumper sticker in bold red lettering:  MOMS ROCK!

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I sighed to myself considering very literally that rocks are strong while I’d become so weak. 

I noticed my daughter never uttered a word like she normally did when I listened to the Gospel stations…She usually begs me to change it.  Today, she was eerily silent too.  As she exited the vehicle, I had an urge to take a different route. I knew traffic was already hectic the direction I was going so though I was unfamiliar with the area, I been there before and was sure I could remember an easier way out of this mess if I put my mind to it.  I noticed everyone was headed that usual way…so everybody was stuck in the waiting game and getting more frustrated in the process….so with that, I veered left.

And am I glad that I did!  I was able to jump right in where I needed to be.  Until typing this, I hadn’t realized the magnitude of that decision as well as the subsequent reminders God provided me on my journey.

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God wanted me to take a new route to get me where I needed to be….where I’d been before, but had forgotten because it had been so long since I’d traveled it.

God didn’t stop reminding me of His mercy and that He’d made the right decision when He decided to bless me with my children.  In fact, He confirmed it over and over.  As I drove I saw one billboard advertising the marines state: Service comes with Pride and immediately I recalled the bumper sticker I’d seen prior that stated: The Few, The Proud, The Moms!

That’s when I realized that I kind of used to run things in my home like a marine some might say, but despite the normal stuff…my children were well disciplined!

….Discipline…Discipline…the word sounded vaguely familiar, but I knew I could no longer pretend like my lax attitude wasn’t the culprit behind their behavior.

I knew that I needed to not just unplug my ears to listen to what God had been telling me, but I also had to literally unplug the many devices I’d purchased over the years to maintain my own selfish sanity.

I thank God for His patience with me during this Prodigal period.  So with that, I inhaled and as I came to my senses, realized that I had not only been given permission to give my children back to Him but that I’d been obligated to do so.