Category: Motherhood

Motherhood

Finding peace at day care

Family 070814The school year came to a close and, once again, I was scrambling to find the right summer day care for Jonathan and David. I was looking for a program that provides mental stimulation and a review of the academic year along with outdoors activities and a field trip. The cost was definitely higher than the city programs or the one the boys were in during the school year.

Getting Adam to agree on this comprehensive program that also teaches children Christian values was challenging. Even though Adam earns more money than I do, he didn’t want the additional expense. I had a deadline to submit the application to waive the registration fee so I submitted the application.

Even if I have to pay for the summer program entirely, I am at peace that they are in a day care offering exactly what I am looking for, including spiritual development. One major item checked off my to-do list for the summer.

Guiding Lesson:

Eve, 

070814-changing attitudeThe “To Do” List never ends!  However, signing up your children in a summer camp that has the right activities is checked off.  Congratulations!  Now for Adam sharing in the cost, it doesn’t seem like it will be checked off as you hoped.  Regardless, you didn’t allow his willingness to join in or not impact your decision in choosing the camp that reflects your values and desires for your children.  You are so clear and determine to provide the best for your boys. 

You and I both know that you will have more and more opportunities to share in the parenting with Adam.  I’m sure it is frustrating at times as you realize the different values you both have that lead you to different decisions and more disagreements.  Have you thought of how to approach these situations?  Do these situations impact the way your boys see their dad or how they see you?  How do you navigate and remain the mother you desire while being honest yet not saying anything inappropriate about Adam?  This is not easy.  It is exhausting. . . isn’t it?

I’m sure you realize that there is nothing you can do that can change Adam or any other person in your life.  The only thing you can do is change yourself, your attitude, and how you interact with him.  I know that there is a book called “The Power of a Praying Wife by Stormie Omartian.”  I read a beautiful prayer from that book that I’d like to share.  I reworded it to fit your situation and I hope it helps you see and respond in a new way.  Let me know what type of impact this has.

Love,
Grace

Motherhood

Be Fit, Eat Healthy, Play More

Family 012214The end of the holidays sometimes seems anticlimactic. We build up three wonderful holidays filled with gratitude, hope, and new beginnings. Then the children go back to school and we, at times, continue to work through the holidays with a few days off. Grace, I cannot afford to take my vacation time right now. As much as the Jonathan and David would have liked me to, I need to save the vacation time I have for emergencies or a summer break to create some memories during their three-month rest.

For now, perhaps I should remember what we celebrated during Thanksgiving–gratitude for the abundant blessings God has given us. Christmas gave me hope and reflection with God, and the New Year celebration brought me new resolutions.

Be Fit–being active with the boys is so important for our health and connection. When we are being active, running around or just playing on the playground or on the mat, we are spending quality time together.

Eat Healthy–As you know Grace, I’ve had my ups and down with eating and exercising. But this year, I’m giving it my all. I’m making better choices on the purchases I make even if they may cost a bit more, but I’m taking what we consume into consideration. I’m avoiding pesticides, eating out, and junk food. Kids can still enjoy healthy options by making it fun for them.

Play More–I say this loosely. For me, words are inspiring, empowering, and celebratory. Writing brings me motivation, commitment, and joy. I am smiles all day when I get to wake up in the morning and write. So I’m dedicating time in the morning to play more with words, a keyboard, and my imagination.

So for now, I’m enjoying my cup of green tea in the morning right next to my MacBook.

Guiding Lesson:

Happy New Year, Eve!

Let me start by quoting Jeremiah 29:11.  “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”  

I thought it would be good to get grounded before thinking of any resolutions or goals for the new year.  Let yourself sit with these words and know this is your truth, your destiny, God’s desire for you.  What do these words mean to you?  Do you believe them?  How can you let God’s desire come alive in your life for 2014?  Does it make you think how much more God has in store for you and what can you do to receive the abundance he has waiting for you?

I congratulate you for choosing three areas to focus on and I understand why you are starting here.  It’s been something you have been working on for a while.  Now after reading the verse from Jeremiah, does it provide more meaning to your three areas of focus knowing that God desires you to prosper a d give you hope?  Would you be willing to revisit what you wrote and instead of looking at them as resolutions, view them as gifts that you and God want to give yourself? Would anything change based on this?  It may not be the words you wrote but the attitude by which you approach them. 

Jeremiah’s verse is meant to expand your view and increase your depth of “why” you decide to go down this path.  I’d like to continue to help you increase your success rate by being faithful to yourself so please read my Pearls of Grace on five ways to help you achieve  your New Year Resolutions.

Let me pull up a chair.  I could use some green tea and another cup of grace.

Grace

Motherhood

Getting Closer through Challenges

Family 121813

Challenges can bring people closer to God or can shut Him out. I have been consumed by my divorce and family situation that I just realized it’s been quite some time since I connected with you, Grace. Thanksgiving was a time to be grateful for our blessings and I thought of you. Even in the midst of all the changes I need to acknowledge your presence in my life, still and quiet, waiting to be called upon. Thank you.

Now with Christmas just around the corner, again, I am consumed with the preparations of family get-togethers, creating traditions, and the boys’ gifts. Reflections are certainly a part of this season too. I’m reminding the boys of the true meaning of Christmas, thinking of the struggles that Mary and Joseph encountered on their journey to give birth to Jesus. Yet these challenges and struggles we face can yield positive outcomes, ones that we could’ve never conceived of on our own. Only God knows why things happen, and it is during these times that we must have faith.

Divorce has brought peace, freedom, and a newfound identity. Family challenges have brought introspection, confidence, and quiet strength. Whatever the reasons are, I am grateful for what I have gone through. I am a better person, a courageous mom, and confident woman.

By the way, reflections paired with wine work well together. 😉

Guiding Lesson:

pearls of grace, God, challenges, pain, suffering, transformation, working mom, single mom, mother

Eve,

Welcome home!  So glad to have you back, reconnecting to who you truly are.   I have been waiting with open arms.  Never abandoning you and always right here.  You don’t have to look too far.  All you have to do is close your eyes and there I am in the stillness and silent place within you.  I’m glad you trust that no matter how long you stay away, I never give up but am patiently waiting while offering you love.   

Now through this lens, where you see yourself as precious before God, as Mary and Joseph did, wonderful things can happen.  The challenges and difficult situations do not have the power to penetrate your being.  This happens through God’s grace and faithfulness to your journey, which is similar to the journey that Mary and Joseph took in preparing for the birth of Jesus, the Light, in a world filled with darkness.  Many are so surprised that in the toughest times the greatest transformations occur.  It is evident by the woman you are becoming . . . confident, strong, and courageous.  This is because God always knew that this is who you are.  The external challenges allowed these parts of you to come to life since you had to use a new muscle that through the training of life became stronger. 

It is similar to the Nelson Mandela’s story.  He did not give into the seduction that his situation defined who he was.  Even though he was in prison and was cast into darkness, he didn’t use his muscle to fight it.  Instead, he became a true free man by exercising his muscles of hope, peace, and forgiveness before he was released from prison.  By doing this, day in and day out without any hope of what we call freedom, God showed him true freedom and true light in a dark, prison cell.  This is what God’s grace can do.

Another example is Mother Theresa who didn’t drown in the suffering she was immersed in every day.  Instead, she loved until it hurt and eventually the only thing left was love. 

So as you continue to go through the pain, the challenges, and the suffering, know that God’s grace is there to transform the impossible, beyond human understanding, to an incredible and strong woman of faith, of hope, and of great love. 

I’ll leave you with a quote from Winston Churchill,  “If you find yourself in hell, don’t stop, keep going.” 

Now let’s enjoy a glass of wine, symbolic of joy!

Grace

Motherhood

Finding Solutions for Summer Break

summer vacation, family, single mom, working, children

Summer vacation is here! Jonathan and David finished school last week–no more homework packets in sight. I’m excited to have lazy evenings with them, without the rush of baseball practice and last minute spelling tests.

Jonathan has asked me to stay home with them. He doesn’t want to go to day camp, one solution for a working mom. I had to explain to him that I work every day even in the summer. Grace, my hearts breaks to tell him this when I know that he desires me to be home with him and his brother. I long to be there with them too. This just prompts me to work on my dream—to work from home and be present to them after school, on school breaks, and summer vacations.

For now I’m looking forward to planning our vacation, time to explore a new city, uncover historical landmarks, and bask in the sun. Oh, Grace, this calls for a celebration! I hear Merlot call my name.

Guiding Lesson:

Pearls of wisdom, grace, children, Christian, God, mom

Eve, Merlot is always a perfect way to begin a celebration as you look forward to wonderful summer days and time together with your family.  This is a great time of year to unplug and relax a little from the routine of constant demands.  

However, as I hear Jonathan’s request, I can feel your sadness.  How do working mothers do it?  What a difficult situation to hear your little one ask for you and you may not be able to give what he is asking for.  I know it’s hard since you realize that one day he won’t be asking to spend the summer with you and will become more interested in his friends.  I can see how it breaks your heart and that causes you to look for an open door to welcome his desires into your life. 

Well, I know that you are seeking to find a solution that allows you to work from home so you can have an opportunity to spend with your sons.  This makes me think about what is really happening here.  Is it that your children need you?  Is it that you need to pursue your dream?  Or is it that your children, if listened to in their need, are actually trying to get you to awaken and respond to your needs and desires deep in your heart?  Is their need a spark to notice your life, your hopes, your wants that you have cast aside or got lost in the busyness of everyday life?  It truly amazes me how children are asked to stay quiet.  Imagine if we paid attention to the inconvenient truths they voice because they don’t know yet the boundaries of filtering their needs.  Would you and other parents begin to tap into your own needs and allow your heart to invite you into a new conversation that leads you into greater happiness and a life filled with delight? 

Yes, Eve, your son needs your time and is asking you to shift your focus from your current job elsewhere.  He intuitively knows that your desire is also to shift focus from your current job and become more present to yourself.  You and Jonathan both want the same thing.  More time to do something more fun and meaningful with YOU!  Your children are wonderful messengers in uncovering what you may have buried because of your responsibilities.  This is going to be exciting for both you and your sons.  I wonder what other desire they will help awaken that is hibernating in your heart. Can’t wait to find out.  

Love,
Grace