Tag: parenting

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

A Single Mom’s Independence Celebration

This Fourth of July was Adam’s holiday with the boys. When he came to pick them up there was a sense of freedom I felt, a taste of independence I relish when it comes. For most of the time, I have 95 pounds of weight that I carry around that requires careful attention, supervision, and fuel. (With all this strength conditioning, why can’t I lose some weight? :/) But most of all, these two little boys are given my absolute love, nurturing and admiration.

They are my joy, my one true loves. (I can have two loves, you know.) Just the other day, Jonathan asked me, “Mom, are you happy with your sons?” Oh, Grace, I had to ask him three times what he said. I thought I didn’t hear him correctly. I just swept him in my arms and said, “Of course, I am. Both you and your brother are my life, my angels.”

Every day they are with me, I nurture the best I know how. I’m open to listening, learning, and doing. I admire them for being brave, strong and yet compassionate through our divorce.

I’m so lucky in love to have been given my boys! What a blessing from God and much gratitude does go out to God—and Adam too. I cant’ deny he had a part in giving me my boys–and my independence, too!

Cheers to Adam for my Independence Day weekend—in more ways than one! 

Guiding Lesson:

Eve, sounds like you had a great 4th of July.  The sweetness of independence is something to cherish and celebrate once in a while, for America and for you. 

Freedom is a wonderful gift, isn’t it?  It is like opening up a door to a spacious place or discovering a land that is vast with many possibilities.  There is a feeling of wanting to run free, dance with abandonment and laugh uncontrollably.  Very powerfully to live out loud where nothing holds you back, even if it is just for little while.  It rejuvenates your spirit and sets it in motion to soar.  

I know how much you love your boys.  And I love the endearing questions they ask.  This incredible love you have for them does not diminish because you, at times, need some independence.  In fact, the space allows love to grow and the bond to expand beyond physicality.  This space creates an even stronger connection because they learn that mom loves them when she is around and when she is away.  This helps build their confidence in true love.  It is not something that exists only when the person is in the room but beyond the moment.  You are united in spirit.  So now space is not a barrier or something to be feared.  You learn the expansiveness of love, outside of time and space, which connects you to God who cannot be seen physically.   

Yes, Eve, you deserve some independence.  Hope you allowed the fireworks within yourself to ignite the world around you with more love.  Your boys will benefit from the remnants of this when you pick them up.  They will see your face light up because of the deep joy and love you have for them.  

Love always,
Grace

Marriage

Love is Not Selfish

Love is not selfish. Often in marriages we forget that doing things for others in what is their best interest is a sign of love. We do things for others in what is beneficial for us. The same applies in co-parenting after divorce. We do things for our ex-husbands and ex-wives in what will be for our best interest long-term and we disguise it as beneficial for the children.

I know this because I have done this. I admit it and rationalize it as “I’ve earned it! I deserve it! And he messed up!” Oh, but the feeling leaves you empty, deceitful, and manipulative. This is not love–well, maybe love for me, but not a respectable me.

Co-parenting deserves the same kind of love as marriage–a love that is not selfish. I know I should not be deceitful and manipulative, but rather be humble and grateful. To have a partner with whom I share the responsibility of raising two wonderful boys is a blessing. Many single moms don’t have another partner, parents or a support network and I have a feeling they would feel blessed to share the responsibility with someone else.

Whether my ex agrees with me or not, I should not care. I know that I have a responsibility to do what is best, best for our children. I know that I have a heart filled with compassion and sincerity. Sometimes in all the chaos of living life and getting divorced, it is a welcomed thought to be reminded that love is not selfish.

Guiding Lesson:

Eve, Love is not selfish. How easy to speak these words, yet how difficult to practice and apply to someone who’s not at the top of your list and has wounded you deeply. You seem to be very aware and open to admit your shortcomings. It probably doesn’t feel so good to really look at yourself and find yourself not living according to your values.

So if love is not selfish, what causes one to be selfish?  Is there a wound that needs to be protected because it has not healed?  Are you aware of this wound?  Can you name it or describe it?  Who caused it?  If the answer is yes, then could it be that one acts selfish because they have not been generous in loving themselves to care for this wound?  Would you call it selfish to care for your wound?  To be loving towards yourself, could it require you to say “no” to others which may look selfish at first because they may not be used to this?   

Your outward actions only reflect your actions towards a certain part of yourself.  Generous love has to be planted with seeds of attention, kindness and thoughtfulness inside you.  Within your interior soul, the depths of heart, is where the generosity of love is conceived and brought forth in the world around you.  So what is happening in the dark and core of your being will be magnified in the light and interactions with others.  Loving is caring for oneself.  Here is an exercise that may help to consciously and intentionally love generously. 

Eve, Love is not selfish because God’s love is within you and all around.  Continue to tap into this love and know that with God’s grace he will fill you up and heal you based upon his holy will.  Go out and be generous with what God has and is giving you.  He gives his love to you, multiplies it within you so you can bless the world around you.

Love always,
Grace

Pearls of Grace

An Exercise to Love Generously

Here is an exercise that may help to consciously and intentionally love generously.

1)      Prepare – Find a comfortable room and chair to sit.  Darken the room to represent your interior soul and depths of your heart.  Light a candle to remind you that it is only God who can illuminate the path out of darkness.

2)      Release – Begin by taking deep breaths.  With each breath let go of everything that prevents you from being free, open and present to the moment.  Still your mind, calm your soul and connect with your heart.  Arrive inside your body, your mind and your soul.  Know that God has been waiting in the dark desiring to take your woundedness and pain and replace it with healing and joy.  Let go so you can be free to receive.

3)      Arrive – You are now “here” and it may feel like you are “nowhere.”  It may feel uncomfortable to being before God, naked, vulnerable and trusting.  Take an inventory of your thoughts and feelings.  What is stirring within?  What are you ruminating over in your mind?  What has been the longing of your heart?

4)      Encounter – Greet your God as you would a lover.  Notice what part of the Trinity you encounter (the Father, the Son or the Holy Spirit).  Don’t rush this.  Feel God’s warm embrace, see God’s longing for you in his eyes, and hear him whisper, “I love you as you are.”  Receive God completely and don’t let go.  Let God’s healing touch, compassionate heart and pure desire for you penetrate your being.  Surrender completely and fall into his arms.  You are safe and you are loved.  Rest here as long as you can.  Relish and cherish this moment.  It is real.  Don’t be afraid of true LOVE.  Welcome it.  Let his light illuminate and heal your wound completely.  He is the Divine Physician who heals with love and gentleness.  You are his and he is delighted in you.

5)      Delight – Delight in the experience and give thanks to God.  You are now filled with his Love and have something real to offer others.  As you express your gratitude, slowly begin to come back.  Use your breath and become present to your body.  Continue to be grateful and feel a smile form on your face as you do this.  Know you can always return to this safe place where God is always waiting for you.