Posted in Lessons He Taught Me, Palpating Poetry, Things That Make My Brain Happy

No One Knows

No one knows
As she stands there
Tapping out the rhythm
That she feels herself signing the concepts of songs
It’s a habit
Deep with meaning to her soul.

She feels intense emotion
Tied to the way her body moves
In her mind.

She sees herself doing what she sings about
Though all the while,
Her body doesn’t move outwardly
Doesn’t show her signs
Does not make them known.

Her memory of conveying her beliefs,
In a signed language
Are only for her to see
As she remembers standing on a dark platform
Interpreting English words into
A visual dance.

The song is more complete to her
When she hears it
Feels it
Shows it with all her being
Yet she doesn’t put it on display
Because she doesn’t feel the need
To draw attention.

There is no one there that would understand.

The visualization itself
Brings her closer to her Maker.

Posted in Mom Life

IF I’m Honest

What do I do when knowing God is always with me isn’t enough? I wake up in the morning feeling this big hole in my life. I don’t want to get up on my day off because what am I getting up for? To sit at my kitchen table and check my bank account? To see I have no money for groceries or to take my daughter to NYC as is our new tradition before Christmas? To remember that my credit card is still in the freezer, so I won’t use it. And I’ve been so disciplined. I haven’t used it in 5 months so I can pay it off. I’ve paid almost a thousand dollars in four months. I’m proud of my discipline but still it doesn’t make me feel better about myself or my situation. I’ve saved $1,000 in my emergency savings account because I really want to buy a small house for us. Trying to save enough for the closing costs. Yet, again, I had to borrow money from it because one of the agencies I’ve been working through is over a month late paying me. So, why should I get out of bed on the day before Christmas?

*
My daughter is still sleeping. I have no one to talk to. The apartment is dark. I made a pot of coffee for us. Mainly, for me because she’s 12 and just likes to drink less than half a cup in the morning sometimes.

*
I finished reading a great book a couple days ago so now what? I can’t read that and get lost in a story about someone else’s life to get my mind off how bored I am with my own. Without another adult in the house, I just sit down at the kitchen table and start trying to figure out how to make my life better. I get online to see if money has been deposited into my account so I can catch up on my health insurance payments. I check to see if one of the agencies deposited my check early as a Christmas present. I’m wondering when my life is going to get better because I’ve made so many wise financial decisions.

*
Why don’t I feel better knowing that God is always with me and he’s moving behind the scenes? He gave me more work this year. He made me the kind of person who doesn’t give up easily. He made me the kind of person who knows I need to get up and do something that reminds me I am strong. Right now, I know the things I need to do but I’m so bored of the same routine. I’m so tired of being alone so much! I feel like who I am is disappearing and I’m the shell of a person walking around the apartment doing things just so I don’t sit on the couch and stare out the window. I feel left behind.

*
I’m sick of the loneliness of my job. I’m sick of not having a best friend to talk to regularly. I call my parents way too much. I’m sick of feeling like a robot. When do I get to laugh my ass off and enjoy myself with a group of friends? It doesn’t happen enough! There’s always something to be serious about. Work, ministry at church, paying bills, saving money, doing chores around my apartment, striving to be the best solo mom I can be, trying to find ways to keep my spirits up!

*
If I wasn’t sitting here writing this, I would be sitting on the couch praying and waiting to hear from God. I would be telling Him…what would I be telling Him? All the same things I’ve prayed before. I’d be looking at my bible trying to figure out what book I should read that would help me feel better, I’d find something, read it, pray, feel a little peace and be back in the same place. What do I do with myself now? Watch another episode of Blue Bloods? Watch another Christmas movie that has nothing to do with Christmas? Go for a run? Make some pancakes and eggs for my daughter? Try to figure out what I can eat b/c my body is so intolerant to everything?

*
I love reading my bible. I do. I feel peace when I read it. I never grow tired of talking to God. I do it everyday off and on because I know he’s there.

*

But, I’m sick of the loneliness and waiting.

*

And these are the blatantly honest ruminations of a mother who is the only adult in the house.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lDcTvtuuVU8

Posted in Mom Life

Love Language

My daughter’s new hobby is making jewelry. Her Grandparents set up a table for her in their finished basement where she can sit and get creative. The TV hangs above her head. She loves listening to movies or music while she makes stuff for her friends. Making jewelry is her meditation.

I love that she’s really into doing this now and looks forward to it. It’s fun and it’s helping her deal with stress. I can relate. Knitting and scrapbooking are the same for me.

I’m still waiting for her to make me something but it’s ok. I’m just glad she found something that works for her and it’s not YouTube.

It makes me happy to see her finding things she’s good at and that make her feel happy. I’m seeing her love language is making people gifts from her heart just as mine is.

Posted in Uncategorized

Mental Health in Pre-teens & Teens in the Last Decade

A friend of mine recently lost her family member to suicide. I met him once and he was a sweet, quiet kid.  He was the ripe age of 15 when he passed. It was the end of summer and school was about to start up. When I heard the news, my heart broke over the turmoil he must have felt, and my mommy-heart hurt as this is a parent’s and family member’s worse nightmare.

I keep thinking about him, his family members and his friends.  I pray for them and I just sit and bawl.  It’s so horrific.  And I think, if I am so upset, how must they feel? Then, I cry some more.

Yesterday, I opened my Facebook account to see an article posted on my newsfeed.  The Christian Post article was based on a study done by the CDC regarding the rate of suicide having tripled in kids ranging from 10-14. Ten to fourteen?? How is this possible?

The report’s co-author, Sally Curtin, said during an interview with NPR, “Not only is suicide trending upward, but the pace of increase is actually accelerating.” The pace is accelerating.  It was really disturbing and heart-wrenching to read. It scares me more than anything. The director of the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention, Colleen Car, was quoted saying, “It is important to recognize that suicide is not caused by one single factor but instead a range of factors that include mental health conditions, but also include important situational factors that many of us will experience in a lifetime- including social, physical, emotional or financial issues.”

I’m a mother. I’m an aunt.  I serve in a youth group ministry at my church.  I do not want to experience this loss so close to home.  It is very scary. How do we prevent this from happening to children who just don’t feel like life will get any better? Well, we tell them how loved by God they are, if we meet them before it’s too late. Unfortunately, many times we have no idea these devastating thoughts are going through their minds. How can we really know those close to us are hurting like that? This pre-teen & adolescent age is hard. It can be hard for them to articulate what they’re feeling or thinking.  Sometimes they refuse to talk about it.

God tells me to love, love, love all the kids I come across and to speak life into them every chance I get. Not so they become conceited but so they know their worth and so they see how amazing they are through the eyes of other people. When I have conversations with them I will remember verses like Proverbs 15:28 that read, “The heart of the godly thinks carefully before speaking.”

Lord, help pre-teens & teenagers & us grown people to think carefully before we speak. This is one way we can help and show compassion to those around us. Lord, give us wisdom.

Proverbs 17:27 states, “He who restrains his words has knowledge, and he who has a calm spirit is a man of understanding.” If we get frustrated, Lord, help us & remind us to be careful with our words so that we don’t add to the pain other people may already be feeling.

There are so many proverbs that we can glean wisdom from. Here’s another one that I love.  Proverbs 18:21 “The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” Our words and our tone of voice matters more than we realize. Please join me in praying that the rate of suicide in kids will decline and that more children will come to know how long, how wide, how deep and how high the love of God is for them.

I can’t pinpoint exactly why suicide is on the rise in children– I want to blame it on social media, but I know it’s not merely one thing like Colleen Car said.  It’s a lot of things compounded together.  I know that if we all loved more, shared each other’s burdens more, didn’t turn away from people when they really needed support and if more kids spoke kindness to each other instead of harping on saying cruel things, their self-esteem would improve.  I believe if more kids had their own personal relationship with God, that this relationship would help them through the hard times and give them hope.

As a mom, what I’m seeing on the news and in articles like the one I mentioned, scares me. I want to protect my daughter. I worry about other people convincing her that lies are the truth. It’s hard when she is in school all day and I don’t know firsthand what people are saying to her or what she may be saying to them.  My love for her fuels my God-given determination to keep finding ways to breath life into her, to keep teaching her what compassion looks like so she will be careful with her words and build others up. God will help us find strength to be the light in the darkness when it gets hard for the kids around us that need encouragement and support. This topic is hard but I know He will give us the strength to push through and continue to love the kids around us as well as those of us who are grown.

Please pray wholeheartedly for those who have lost loved ones to suicide and pray that God will use us to help people who are struggling with hurts done to them. There are so many big and seemingly small ways we can do this.

God bless you and give you strength during times of sadness. Hope comes in the morning.

 

Posted in Palpating Poetry

Recycling

Glass and plastic bottles are all he sees

He goes from garbage to garbage filling an oversized bag

Rifling through items that have no value to him

Striving to find as many bottles as he can

All so he can buy his pregnant, also homeless girlfriend,

The cheerios and vanilla ice cream she craves.

I watch him as I hurry

I hear him mumbling this as I walk the last block to work.

I think, “Love comes in many forms.”

And I say a prayer as I open the door to the building

Preparing myself for another work day.

Posted in Happy Little Photos, Photo Inspiration, Things That Make My Brain Happy

Happy Love Day

If anyone is still following me at this point, Happy Love Day!!  

goofypug19
It’s been an extremely long time since I’ve blogged.  Hope everyone is doing well and having a great day so far!  I will be heading out to the train station in a little while but wanted to take a quick minute to write before I go.  In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, I want to inspire you to find a minimum of 10 ways, big or small, to show people the love of Christ today.  We should be loving on people on a regular basis, of course, but let’s make an extra effort to help people feel a little less lonely and a lot more cared for especially on a day like today!  Days like this can be hard for certain people so my goal is to make it easy.  Love to you all!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Mom Life, Photo Inspiration, Things That Make My Brain Happy

Take Care of Yourself In Order To Care For Others

 

Hi everyone, today is the day to share with you some images I took at the park a couple weeks ago.  I love the views at this particular park I just stumbled upon.  It was so serene and beautiful I felt a entranced by the lighting, the slow movement of the water, the birds chirping and just the peaceful feeling of the place.  Maybe you need to feel that calm right now. Have you had a week like mine possibly?  Maybe your son or daughter is at that age where they’re giving you some pushback, trying to assert themselves too much or speaking to you like you couldn’t possibly know a thing from all your life experience.  It’s tiring, isn’t it? Lord, help us with our children!  I keep asking him for instruction on how to deal with a preteen who is goofy & affectionate and then insolent & angry because I tried to make conversation when her song was on in the car.  I find myself thinking a lot, “Is this what I was like?” and “I don’t remember acting like this at eleven.”

Life can be a lot like a rollercoaster, can it not?

roller coaster ride
Photo by Angie on Pexels.com

The photos at the top of my blog post remind me to slow down, breathe, be still & know who God is, to turn off the TV, computer, cell phone, radio, podcasts, whatever… And to allow God to relax me with His views.  That first picture on the top reminds me to keep walking down the straight and narrow path and to keep following Him. It’s peaceful and brilliant.  I can remember hope and wonder filling my lungs as I explored the path; getting stronger with each step.  Ahhh, I love that relaxation I get when I’m outside.

It’s important to make time to take care of ourselves so we’re restored when we return home.  Like I did that day I went for a walk at a new park and shot these photos. We’re able to respond better to the challenges there when we take some time to breath and be alone with Him.  And if we can squeeze some time in to exercise, man, is that helpful!!  I went to the gym today and came back feeling like I could conquer anything.  Or do something artistic while listening to a great Christian book or a sermon.. I love it.  It calms my soul.  When I make the time, I don’t feel like I’ve completely lost myself in everyone else’s needs because I had that time I needed to be God’s daughter.

Sometimes, the stress of being a parent can leave us feeling like that one photo up top with the 2 gnarly trees.  Those 2 trees interest me because of their uniqueness.  They’re not your average trees.  They look a little complicated like our thoughts when kids test us and we’re trying to quickly figure out the best way to straighten things out. When things start to get complicated and you find the right time to sneak off and get with God, that’s not a selfish thing, that’s a necessary thing.  I know that about myself.  My time with God will lead me to feeling like that last picture on the right.  See the peaceful waters? I need the peaceful waters for a little while before I jump back in.

We all do.

 

 

 

Posted in Mom Life, Palpating Poetry

Summer Night

Indian food, pizza, back porch chats
Bicycle riding down the grassy hill out back
Sunflowers, purple asters, succulents and aloe vera plants
Time with a sister, nephew and daughter
Memories that hold fast.

My sister teaching her niece to ride a bike
Unplanned, lots of laughs

A summer night such as this one
So nice, so relaxed.

bikehugs

Posted in Lessons He Taught Me, Things That Make My Brain Happy

Connected

Something I like about writing is the time I’m able to take, reflecting on my life and processing the ways God has been blessing me. For me, writing is another way I spend time with God. Going on outdoor runs is another way I connect with him.  As I listen to music reminding me of his promises and run through beautiful terrain that has his “fingerprints” all over it, I’m praising him.  I’m keenly aware that he’s with me.  There’s so much evidence in the trees, mountains, the rain and the rainbows, the sun showers that I’ve run through thanking him because he knows how much I love them. He’s smiling down at me as I’m smiling and looking up to Him, praising Him for giving me rest for my soul, filling me with light especially as I do these 2 things.

ARCO IRIS Chuva Sol Natureza Casa Colorido Desktop Backgrounds

In what ways do you feel even more connected to Him than normal? You’ll know what they are when you look forward to it each day.

Posted in Mom Life, Photo Inspiration, Ponderings

The Importance of Fathers

DadMeChris

A long time ago, my father made a commitment to himself that when he got married and had children, he would never break the promise he made to his family. He vowed to my mother and to himself, that he would be the father he grew up wanting to have and he would be the kind of husband to his wife, that his mother deserved.

It chokes me up just thinking about that as I type this.  The weight of pain he felt without his dad in his life and the weight of the pain he saw in his sisters and his mother as they all persevered as best they could without the man who should have had the strength and conviction to carry out his duties, is heavy.  It made my father who he is.  He is strong and determined. He’s always known what his job as a man is and done exactly what needed to be done.  If there were people in his life that may jeopardize the life of his family, he quietly stepped away.  The love he has for his family is evident on his face when he looks at us after we accomplish something he had no idea we could do, when he watches my sister and I as mothers interacting with our children in loving ways and when he proudly shows up for important events in our lives because he wants to celebrate WITH us.  He’s the kind of father who gets teary-eyed with love for us and lets us see that.  He says, “I love you.” every time we get together and at some point during every phone call and he doesn’t say it in a gruff, dismissive way I’ve heard some men use.  His heart is always in it.

Though, there was pain in his life early on, he allowed that pain to mold him into a better person.  He took it in as a lesson on who he wanted to be and who he did not. He learned how he would do things differently and he followed through. It wasn’t just a fleeting thought or great idea that later got tossed out in the trash because it wasn’t convenient.  And my sister & I were not always easy as teenagers.  We were as stubborn and head-strong as him with a strong sense of what’s right & what’s wrong. (laughing)

It was said to me once, about 8 years ago, that if marriage didn’t work out, my daughter should live with me because daughters need their mothers more.  That is the farthest thing from the truth because my father has made a lasting impression on my life.  Good fathers out there are all molding their daughters into great people just as well as their mothers.

Dads who are reading this, you are so valuable in your children’s lives.  Don’t let the enemy fool you into thinking you are not.  Do not make excuses by thinking, “I haven’t seen my daughter/son in a long time. Well, I won’t dwell on it because I have no control over that.”  You do have a say in the matter.  There are always things you can do if you don’t allow yourself to get into the habit of ignoring the problem.  You can initiate a visit yourself.  You can call.  Don’t let yourself be overcome by self-pity if you’ve made some mistakes.  God gives you the opportunity to be a new man, a better man everyday and there’s always hope to make things right. It will bless you. It will bless your child or children. It will bless the mother of your child if forgiveness has taken place in her heart and if her child is safe.  It will dissolve that pain of rejection a kid feels when their father walks away and views them like an acquaintance.

Fathers, you are just as important as a mother.  A mother and father’s role in their children’s lives have similarities and differences that are all extremely essential to human development.  Don’t forget how important you are.

Psalm 127:3-5
3 Children are a heritage from the LORD, offspring a reward from him. 4 Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are children born in one’s youth. 5 Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. They will not be put to shame when they contend with their opponents in court.

 

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1 Corinthians 16:13
13 Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong.