Are you a Mom who is Crazy Busy? One Word to Simplify your Life.


 

Being a parent is a juggling act between needs, wants and absolutes.   One of the most common complaints I hear from parents is feeling overwhelmed and crazy busy.  Everyone is coming at you, wanting your time and energy, literally sucking the life from you.  Being overly busy is not good for you or your family.  There is no time to breathe, relax and enjoy each other.  Too much stress can lead to anxiety, depression, and health problems.

Well, I am going to put this to you lightly, if your life is out of control busy, it is because you have allowed it to get that way.  Let me explain.  It is our job as parents to raise and manage our children.  If their schedule is so busy that you are running around like a crazy woman, needing 5 cups of coffee to survive, that is because you have allowed this to happen.  You are in control, or at least supposed to be.

 

Just Say No!

The one word that will simplify your life is… (drum roll please),

No!

For example,

“Mom, can we get a hedgehog?”  No, we already have pets. (actually question I got this week)

“Mom, I want to be in the play, they practice everyday.”  No, sorry, we already are committed to other activities.

“Can you volunteer Saturday for a car wash?”  No, sorry, that is our family day.

“Mom, can you do my science fair project?”  No, I know you will do a great job at that.

“Mom, can I have six friends sleepover?”  No, mommy needs some downtime.

Saying no does not make you mean or a bad person.  It makes you a woman who prioritizes your sanity and family.  You are a woman who realizes that busy is not always a good condition.  Saying no, allows you to take charge of your time and not let others manipulate you.  Don’t get me wrong, helping others and being involved is great, but over-committing yourself is foolish.  Two very powerful letters.  N-O.

The Kid’s Perspective

Kids absolutely have to have food, water, and shelter.  They need love, safety, education, and some sore of enrichment.  They want everything.  They want to play soccer, volleyball, run track, be in the play, and be in the science and math fair, and also do Boy Scouts.  Multiple that by multiple kids and there you have it- absolute chaos.  And that is for a SAHM, God help you if you work!  This is why mom’s have become worn out, frustrated and frantic.

Just because you kid wants to play and do everything, you don’t have to allow it.  It is ok to say no, it doesn’t make you a bad parent, it actually strengthens you authority.   When a kid says they want to do something, like play soccer, they don’t realize all that goes into it.  For example, there is the sign-up day, shopping for shoes, all the practices, the games, the photo day, and the after season party.  Before you know it, you have invested  at least 24 hours of your life on soccer and your daughter just wanted to play because her best friend plays soccer.  Your daughter actually hates soccer but doesn’t want to admit it.  Your kids can run you ragged and they don’t even know it or like the sport!

You know your kid is in the right activity, when they don’t complain or cry about doing it.  When they look forward to it, and make goals towards it.  Parents often force children into an activity, which isn’t healthy.  Encouragement is on thing, but forcing is another.  How would you like it if someone forced you to do something you hated?  Yes, they are children and don’t “know” what they will like, but if your kids continue to cry, whine and stress out about doing an activity, you should re-think the motive.   If your child is naturally better at something, it will build their self-confidence when they are successful.  Kids are people too and they come out with their own agenda, desires and talents, regardless of how we steer them.   Trust me, you life will be so much easier if you listen to your children to find out what they truly want.

How We Manage 3 Athletic Kids

We started my oldest in gymnastics when she was 5, just for “fun”.  She was really good and moved up quickly.  They wanted her to join the team and practice more.  My husband and I talked about it and realized that gymnastics was not a good long-term sport for my daughter because she was estimated to be 6 feet tall and solid.  We decided to put her in diving next because it was a combination of gymnastics and swimming, which she was a natural at.  She did diving for a 6 months or so, then two things happened.  She hit the board during a back flip and the 2012 Summer Olympics.  I saw her hit the board and thought she broke her neck and the way her body ricocheted off the board.  Thank God, she wasn’t hurt, but it put a fear and doubt in me that maybe diving was not a sport I could handle.  My daughter watched the swimming in the Olympics with such intent, that she actualized memorized the strokes and how to swim them.  She said she wanted to swim and we put her on a team, and the rest is history.  She has a natural gift, and we were lucky enough to find it.  She has swam competitively for the last 8 years, and loved it.  Not only has she thrived, it has become part of her identity.   It allows her to set goals and think about the future.

She was our oldest, so when my other 2 kids came of age, we put them in swimming too.  They wanted to be like their big sister who was winning trophies and my husband and I felt that it was a sport that we could go as a family, instead of splitting out time on baseball fields, soccer fields and tennis courts.  My other two children also had a natural talent for swimming and a desire to work hard and succeed.  All three of them are successful.  They actually use each other for motivation and inspiration.  It has made them stronger as a sibling group because they share the love of the game, the same game, together.  It has made our life’s as parents and a family much easier because there is a common ground and goal.   My husband and I volunteer and have gotten involved as well.

 

Instead of being stressed and overwhelmed, we are unified and bonded.  But, looking back, we have made that way.  We said “no” to many other activities and distractions.  We honestly accessed our children and noticed their strengths and weakness.  (For example, if you child is short maybe basketball is not sport to invest your time.)  We said no to trying out baseball and dance.  Does that make us bad parents?  Absolutely not!  We have guided our children into a sport that aligns their hearts and talent and that works for our family.  We told our children, swimming is your “sport” that we are going to invest our time.  Funny thing is, they never complain.  They know what is expected.  They know when they have practice and meets.   There is consistency.  Don’t get me wrong, we have a basketball hoop, golf clubs, soccer balls, bowling shoes, footballs, skateboards, tennis rackets, art supplies, musical instruments  and archery stuff at our house which our kids play with freely in the down time.  I am just not driving them around to every activity.  

There is a difference between being competitive at an activity and just playing.  Today’s parents have lost site of that difference.

 

I realize we got lucky that all 3 kids like and are good at the same sport. But there is something to be said about finding your kids talent and love and sticking to it.  Let all other activities be just for fun and keep the focus on that one sport.  Helping your kids focus on their talent and stay committed is a life-skill that they won’t forget.

Kids should be well-rounded.  But as the saying goes…

 You will never be good at anything, if you do everything.

God’s advice for us busy parents.

He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive. 1 Timothy 3:4.

As parents we are instructed by God to manage our households well.  That means putting God first.  We are not to let our children overtake our life with activities, sports and busyness.  Saying no to excess activity will simplify your life and reduce stress.  Knowing your children’s desires and talent will help them focus on one activity and stay committed and build self-confidence.

Happy parenting!

#Seriously1975

Comments?

 

5 Types of Friends and the Only One You Need – A Letter to My Daughters


Learning how decipher friends, (by that I mean finding those you can trust and those you can’t), is hard for adults to do.  For a middle schooler, it can be daughting.  The middle school years, ages 11-14, are critical years in child development.  These are the years of intense growth, mentally and physically, and independence.  They can make or break a tween/teen.   Having healthy friendships and good role models can help foster self-esteem and productivity.  Having troubled friends can lead down a path of drugs, apathy and rebellion.  Either way, the decisions you make in middle school can affect the rest of your life.

Having two tween daughters myself, I hear the stories about their “friends”.  It makes me realize how hard it is to figure out who’s who.  Who to avoid, and who to embrace.

Here is a letter to my daughters during their tween years.

Dear Daughters,

I love you more than I can say and I only want the best and easy route for you.  I know you have to figure things out and make your own mistakes, but I want to give you some guidance in the friend department.

 

There are 5 different types of friends.  I will explain each.

The Frienenemy. This is someone you know, are cordial with, but you don’t trust.  They may talk about you behind your back, be jealous or compete with you. Friendenemies are not someone you look up to as a role model.  They can live on the edge and can be rebellious.  Be kind to them, but do not choose them as a friend.

The acquaintance.  This is someone you kind-of know, maybe a social media friend.  You maybe never talked with them.  You really don’t have much in common, just a similar circle of friends.  The acquaintance will always be, just that, an acquaintance.  Neither of you have any interest in getting to know each other, so just leave it at that.

A situational friend.  This is someone you have a class with or maybe ride the bus with, and you talk during that time, but that is pretty much it.  You like this person and they respect you, but outside the class, you don’t have much in common.  It’s ok, situation friends are essential in getting through the day.  As an adult, these are known as “work friends”.

A good friend.  This is someone you like and can trust, maybe someone you sit with at lunch.  You probably have known them a while and your friendship has grown.  This is the kind of friend you invite to birthday parties.  You know their family.  They make you laugh and they support you.

A Bestie                                    This is someone who knows your heart and your secrets.  They support and encourage you.  You fully trust this friend.  This is the friend you spend the weekend with.  Everyone in the family likes this friend and our families get along.  They are your cheerleader and linebacker, and vice versa.  This is the most important friend for you to have.  Everyone needs a bestie, and you only need just one.  I have been blessed with several bestie’s throughout my life (Carla, Ann, Ellen, Jess, Stauss and several Heathers)  Even though our lives are in different places,  these besties helped shape my life.  Forever, I am grateful.

 

But, my daughters, the bad news is that every human being will eventually let you down.  Your bestie, your siblings, even your parents.  We are all fallen people.  You must not rely on us for happiness or fulfillment.

The good news is, Jesus Christ, will never let you down.  He loves you perfectly and unconditionally.  He is not a “friend”, but a Lord, so you must treat him as such, but you can have open communication with him through prayer.  He can fulfill you and give you joy.  He gives you a promise and a purpose.  He is the one you need.

So, my advice to you, my daughters, it to rely on Jesus, trust him with your heart, and he will lead the way.  He will help you throughout your life and help you make the right choices.

 

 

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 a hope and a future.  Jeremiah 29:11.

Love, Mom

#Seriously1975

Comments?  What advice do you have for your daughter?

Empower, Encourage and Teach Your Kids to Be Independent – 3 Easy Phrases


 

One of the hardest parts of having kids is letting go.  Giving them freedom and encouragement to make decisions and mistakes.  This is a scary world with abductions, bullying and teen suicide, but hovering over them is not the answer.  We must empower, encourage and teach them how to be independent and the earlier they learn this the better the outcome.

The opposite of teaching independence is helicopter parenting, which is prevalent in today’s society.  Basically, the parents micro-manage their kids in all aspects of life, leaving them void and with low self-esteem.  I witnessed it the other day and it broke my heart. I had a 28-year-old “man”, come into the ER after his dog bit his face. No big deal, not life threatening, just needed sutures. So his parents, who he lives with, are there with him. His mommy, asked me for juice and crackers for him, them proceeded to open the crackers and feed it to him. He is 28-years-old!  She still treated him like he was 2!  The young man, barely spoke and looked defeated.  Yeah, because he had not been allowed to grow-up.  How is he ever going to be independent, when his mom is still opening his crackers for him at 28?  True story!

Another downfall of helicpoter parenting is it leaves the parents exhausted and worn down,  because all you do all day is take care kids, who are whiny and demanding?  Do your kids treat you like their personal assistant?  You are in control and can stop this behavior.  Teaching children independence will make parenting more enjoyable.

Here are 3 easy phrased to teach independence

  1. “Well I know you can figure that out”.  This is the empowerment key.  Moms and dads get hundreds of questions a day.  Where are my socks?  How do I do this puzzle?  My first response when ever possible is “well I know you can figure that out”.  Kids are used to doing everything for them, dressing, bathing, homework, projects, making food, that literally we need to teach them to think for themselves.   You do not have to do everything for your child when they are capable of doing it themselves.  We must give them opportunity to problem solve, fail and press on.  We are their biggest obstacle when it comes to independence because we feel like we need to do everything for them.
  2. “Make good choices”.  This is the encouragement key.  Kids need to be thinking about options, choices and outcomes.  Kids naturally are reactive and don’t think before acting or speaking (adults too have this problem).  If they are about to hit a sibling, if you interject with “make a good choice”, instead of “NO or STOP”, it puts the decision-making process on them.  If they make the right decision, praise them.  If they wack the sibling, pull them aside, talk to them, ask them what decision would have been better.  Tell them that this bad decision effected the sibling and yourself, and encourage them that next time, they can make a better choice.  Then squeeze in a hug to let them know you are still supportive.  Some kids are have problems with impulse control, so this is not easy but persistence is key.  When they are away at school, ask them when they come home, “what good choices and what not so good choices did you make today and how is tomorrow going to be better?  Kids have to start owning their reactions before the can alter them.
  3. “I know you will do a good job at…”  This is the teaching key.  This is more teaching them what you expect, but giving them the option to do it.  Say you tween wants to bake cookies.  You can say “I know you will do a good at being safe around the stove and cleaning up everything when it’s done.”  For little kids, say they want to play with leggos.   You say “I know you will do a good job at playing with them, sharing with your sister, and then cleaning them up afterwards.”   The kids think they made this brilliant choice and pleased you, (and they did), but you were the one that set the expectations in the beginning.  How are kids supposed to know what is expected if we don’t teach them?  Say your kid wants to play outside.  You say “Ok, I know you will do a good job at sharing, playing nice and not talking to strangers”.  And if they don’t meet your expectations, (which is going to happen a lot), then you resort back to statement two and ask them “what better choice could you have made?”  Let them figure out what mistakes they made.

Children are a gift from God and a command from God is to raise them right.  Train up a child in the way he should go, even when he is old he will not depart from it.  Proverbs 22:6.

Repeating the steps of empowering, encouraging and teaching are ways to let your child learn independence and as a result make parenting more enjoyable.

Hope this is helpful.  Questions or comments?

Happy Parenting!

#Seriously1975

 

Parenting gifted children


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You might think that having a gifted child is just swell.  You don’t have to help with them with homework, they get stuff easier, they will never fail a class.  And yes, those things are true. But having a gifted child also presents challenges.

Gifted is United States is “students, children, or youth who give evidence of high achievement capability in areas such as intellectual, creative, artistic, or leadership capacity, or in specific academic fields, and who need services and activities not ordinarily provided by the school in order to fully develop those capabilities.”.  (Institute for Education Advancement).  Depending on what state you live in, the IQ score varies a little, but where I live the cutoff if 130 IQ.  I have 3 kids and all 3 are gifted.  My kids being 8, 10 and 12, two girls and a boy.  Now, you may have a gifted child that has never been tested.  If that is the case, I would ask your school or you can get them tested privately through a psychologist and your pediatrician can refer you.

All children are blessing and gifts from God.  This blog is not intended to say any one child is better than the other. We just have to know our children to be the most effective parents.  I could not write a blog about deaf children, because I don’t have any experience with that.  But gifted children, I have experience, and these are some of the challenges.

6 Challenges to Parenting Gifted Children

  1.  They are technically smarter than you and then will tell you how you are doing things the wrong way.  No joke, I am the least intelligent person in my family of 5, on paper that is.  (This is why I hang with my dog!). Of course, I am much older and have more life experiences than them, so I am wiser.  But, I am often reminded of how I could be doing things a different and more effective way.  Like when driving, cooking, or solving problems.  The best way to deal with these suggestions is not to take offense but listen and see if there really is a better way to do it.  I don’t shoot down their ideas, because let’s be honest, they are usually correct.
  2. They generally cannot relate to children their actual age.  Gifted children can be more mature and find it difficult to make friends their age.  They actually can prefer adult company because it is more stimulating for them.  My daughter had a sleepover when she was 8 and got so annoyed when the girls were giggling, laughing and acting silly.  Which is normal for 8-year-old girls, but not for her.  This can be a problem for them in school because they are clumped by age, and they find it hard to make true friends in their classrooms.  How I get around this, is to allow them to choose friends that are either slightly older or on their level.  I used to force play dates with kids I knew, but I found these can be more harm than good.
  3. They generally are very competitive and take loosing very difficultly.  I could make a game in my house as to who can fold the laundry the fastest and it would be a full on competition.  They all are swimmers and hate to lose, and when they do they are hard in themselves.  It is never a shoulder shrug, oh well.  This can be an advantage because it is a great motivator and makes them work harder to achieve goals.  But it can be difficult to parent because loosing is part of life and you cannot have your kids flying off he handle when they lose.  The way I deal with this is to let hem know “I am your biggest fan” (see my earlier blog post titled the same).  Meaning, I love you through wins and looses and you are still wonderful to me.
  4. Teachers, counselors, friends, relatives are always giving advise to you on classes they must take, the best colleges, science fairs,  future careers, etc. because they are seen as talented and people want them to “succeed”.  I appreciate it, but just because my kids got a perfect score on the state math exam, doesn’t mean she need to take calculus in high school or have a job related to math at all.   Nor do they need to enter the science fair, just because science comes easy and at a high level.  I have figured out that life is really short, yet work is really long, so you must choose a career you enjoy.  (See my earlier blog on retirement).  I do think being able to support yourself is important, but you can accommodate your lifestyle to your job.  For instance, don’t by a big expensive house if you cannot afford it!  I want my kids to be successful at what ever career path they choose but I want them to have joy as well.  The way I deal with this is to sometimes just tell the advise givers, no thanks, and to encourage my kids to discover their own talents and passions.
  5. Some gifted children overlook very simple tasks, like flushing toilets, picking up clothes,  and making beds consistently.  I know this seems silly.   It is not that the task is difficult, it is just that their brain is processing all the time at a higher level and they don’t see the simple stuff.  I used to get very frustrated when my son would not pick up his dirty clothes but he is busy building airplanes in his brain, so which would I rather have?  I don’t let him skip out on his chores, I just look at it from different perspective.    Einstein couldn’t be bothered to brush his hair, get my point?  He just needs more reminding.  I am not willing to break their creativity and spirit just so my o.c.d. about cleaning is happy.  It is more important to focus on their strengths and let the weaknesses slide.
  6. Because gifted children are more aware of life, they can be worriers.  Most children don’t understand life outside their bubble but gifted children are very aware of changes, stress, problems and foresee challenges.  They can to carry the weight of the world on them.  This is hard to parent because you cannot lie to them or brush problems under the rug.  You have to have open communication with them and reassure them that what ever happens, it will be ok.  (See previous blog on how to talk to your kids during disasters.)  I reinforce that so much of life is out of our control and God has a plan.  We don’t need to worry, we need to pray.

Having children is a gift from God.  Being a parent is a blessing.  We must customize our parenting based on each child and their different needs.  Gifted children present their own specific quarks and these are five of the ones I have found.

#Seriously1975

Comments please from other parents!

Be your Kids Biggest Fan


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Gifts for the Holidays

A co-worker of mine, who is in his 50’s, just ran a half marathon.  I have known him for over 10 years and I know this was not a personal best time, but needless to say, I still congratulated him.  He went on to say that his performance was pitiful and that his 21-year-old son is bearing down on  him and he hopes to be able to beat him at a big race in January.

What!  I was appalled.  First of all, you ran a half marathon in under 2 hours, hardly pitiful and second, how can you want to beat your kid?  Isn’t the main point of having kids so they can be better us?

Maybe it is because I am a mother or not a competitive person in general, but I feel like our children need cheerleaders not rivals.  Kids have enough of people trying to beat them, they don’t need their parents as well.  Parents are “old” to our kids, and not on the same playing field, and beating them would bring down their self-esteem.  Kids need to feel supported by us, not challenged.

My kids are all very competitive by nature.  They all are excellent swimmers, but they still lose.  It is hard on them.  They have goals and when they don’t reach them or swim their best, they get down on themselves.  But what I always say to them and it instantly brings up their mood is “I am your biggest fan.”  That tells them that whether they win or lose, I am fully engaged and supporting them.  That I will not turn from them after a bad performance.  I will be with them whatever happens.  But this is not a lie, I AM their biggest fan.  I am their mother, and I want to bring them up feeling good and loved, despite failures.

POSH Mommy Disc Necklaces

Even though it may be in some parents nature to be competitive with their kids, it can be very damaging.  Kids can feel like they don’t measure up, are failures, and unworthy.  These feelings can lead to disengagement and depression.  Which down the road can lead to serious mental health issues.  I see depressed and suicidal kids all the time at work and one of the reasons for this is because of lack of parental support and love.  Sometimes it is because the parents are just not around, like with substance abuse issues, lack of involvement, or incarceration. Regardless, these kids have no cheerleaders.  They feel like no one cares about them and therefore they don’t mater.

Even if you kid loves to do something, like play the oboe, and you hate music, you still must be their biggest fan.  It is their passion, not yours.  Kids need freedom to develop their talents, not forced into doing something they don’t like. That also can damage their self-image because we are dismissive to their talents.

The danger with being our kids cheerleaders is we must not over inflate them.  By telling them they are the best, there are untouchable, that the other kids are terrible, ect.  In our home we let our kids know very early on that they are not the most important thing in his world and that they are the way they are because God made them that way.  They have to want it for themselves.  Hard work and dedication makes you better, but God deserves all the glory.   We let them know that winning is not everything but having good sportsmanship is.  We don’t bribe our kids either.  Some parents offer phones, money, clothes and trips.  We offer the ability to sleep in a warm bed and have food.  Motivation must come from within.

If you as a parent gets excited to win at your kids expense, you need to check your own insecurities.  Maybe your childhood was not ideal and you have issues you need to work out.  Maybe your ego is too big.  Reality check, YOU ARE NOT THE MOST IMPORTANT THING IN THIS WORLD EITHER.  Having kinds means putting someone else’s wellbeing in front of yours.   Giving them unconditional support during their successes and failures.  So be your kids biggest fan. The esteem will stay with them their entire life.

#Seriously1975

Posh Mommy Personalized Jewelry

Retirement, Are We There Yet?


 

A co-worker of mine just retired after 40 years in the nursing field.  She and I have been friends for the last 13 years, since I moved to my current job.  I know all jobs have issues and struggles.  Construction is physically draining.  Sales is emotionally draining.  Administration is tedious.  But let me tell you, nursing is all of the above. Not only is the job physically rigorous, but it’s a dirty job.  People suck the life from you with endless demands and dissatisfaction.  You see people and their families at their worst.  When people are stressed and sick, they have to vent and it usually comes out on the nurse.  Doctors and nurses often have a complicated working relationship, which can make nurses feel underappreciated as well.

That being said, nursing is the best job out there and I wouldn’t want to do anything else.  (Other than blogging :). Don’t get me wrong, being a wife and mother always comes first.  But I have to work.  I spent my first 20 years of my life preparing to go to college and get a job, so I actually feel like working was in the plan my whole life.  But, nursing is more of a calling then a job.  The miserable nurses, which there are plenty, went into this field for the wrong reasons, and end up hating it and getting burnt out.  But for the ones of us that were called to nursing, we stick it out, year after year, making the most of it.  We rely on the bond that all nurses have, and the humor that we find in mankind.

Patients always ask me “how long you been a nurse?”  I often wonder why, is it because I look like I know what I’m doing or because I look middle-aged.  Anyway, I proudly reply “19 years”.  Wow, 19 years is a long time.  It even catches me off guard.  I have been a nurse longer then I have been a wife and mother.  Being a nurse, was my first identity.

If you are like me and in your early 40’s, then the sad truth is that 19 years at a job is only almost half way to retirement.  What!  If I retire at 65, then I still have another 24 more years at this.  Mind blowing.  How can it be that far?  How can I last another 24 years?  I think of 24 years ago and I was 17, a baby.  And now I realize that much time has to pass in order for me to retire.  Oh boy.  I am not sure I can handle that.

When I graduated college in 1997, I could not wait to get my first job.  The process of employment seemed like it took forever and I could not wait to start.  I was ambitious and eager to learn.  I looked at the middle age nurses for wisdom and guidance.  As the years have gone by, I somehow transformed from the young new nurse to the middle-age nurse.

Even though 40 is not old, from the perspective of a 20-year-old, it is.  Now, my job is to help and teach the new generation, and not only about nursing, but about life.  These young women, born of a different time, need a loving mom figure and I have adopted them.   As nurses, we don’t just take care of patients, we take care of each other.

My co-worker that just retired was my mom figure.  She helped me through 3 pregnancies and then after.  She even made to go into labor with her famous meatballs.  She has listened, asked, cared and supported me and my family though these past 13 years and I am going to miss her dearly.  Her leaving, transforms the staff as well.  I am now one of the “senior” staff .  The torch has passed.

So from here on out, 24 years and counting, I have to carry this torch.  I have to fill the shoes of wisdom and guidance. I have to do what my friend did for me, in her absence.

Even though I am only half way to retirement, I realize that work is a privilege.  It is an honor to be able to affect so many lives, both clients and co-workers, and to be an active part of society.   Yes, I am exhausted and frustrated at times, but it has molded me to be the person I am today.  Whatever you do, work at it whole heartily, and do it for the Lord.  Colossians 3:23.  That is why it is so important for us parents to direct our children to do what they love, because 45 years at a job that you hate, is a waste of a lifetime.

So, retirement, are we there yet?  Not even close!  But I’m glad, this torch is still on fire.

#Seriously1975

 

How to Talk to Your Kids During Disasters


disasters background as words clouds.


Hurricane Matthew just passed and where I live, we were going to be a direct hit. People were panicking because this was a cat 4 hurricane with up to 140 mph winds. Winds at that speeds leave total devastation. Roofs gone, trees down, flying debris along with flooding and power outages.  News casters called “this storm a monster that will kill you.”  One crazed new person even said “you and your children will die.”  Images of house being destroyed by past storms also got shown on TV.  All while children watch and wonder, what is all this mean to me?

 All 3 of my kids reached differently to the upcoming warnings. My oldest at 12 was like, ok whatever, we will deal. I think she felt safe. My middle child, got upset, crying and worrying.  What if the roof blows off?  My youngest is 8 and he thought it was going to be an awesome party.  Lots of sights and sounds and no school.  So, they all had to be talked to individually and at their level.

I addressed their concerns.  What if the roof blows off?  Well, then we stay in a safe room until the storm passes and then we fix our house up.  And mommy gets to redecorate!!  Can I get Chip and Joanna please!  I explained that we have insurance and that anything is replaceable or fixable.  It would be a lot of work but as long as everyone was safe, that’s all that mattered.

I also made sure they knew that God was in control of the storm.  He made the wind blow and determined its course.  There was nothing we could do to stop it or change it.  It was smart for us to prepare for it, but God was in control.  I also talked about how God is in control of our everyday life, even with out a storm.  He gives and takes away.  Once you give you life to Christ, he is the pilot.  Yes, we have to live wisely and make good choices but so very much is out of our control.  Just like a hurricane.

Gymboree Kids Clothing Newborn to Size 12

When you know God, you know that whatever happens, it’s going to be ok.  Illness, death, destruction.  It’s ok.  God has your back.  There is no need to worry.  He will give you peace.  Not saying there will not be sadness or struggles, but beyond that there is peace and joy because you are a child of God.  This life shall pass, but eternity is forever.  I know this doesn’t make much sense to non-believers, but trust me, the peace is undeniable.

So, when tragedy strikes, talk to your kids.  Listen to their fears.  Share with them God’s love and protection.  Then I reassure them, it’s going to be ok.

#Seriously1975

Do You Worry About Your Kid’s Health?


 

young women is swimming in the pool

 

Those of us that have kids, know that worrying about our kids health is always in the back of our head.  Is that cough getting to bad, do I take them to the doctor?  Does that ankle look fractured?  Is that mole normal?  It never really ends.  I am sharing this story about a friend’s daughter to remind us how fragile life and health are and to not take any of it for granted.

My kids are competitive swimmers.  Like really competitive.  So when we go to big meets, we have come to know other good swimmers families and have become friends with them.  Even going out to eat after meets and hanging out.  Which is kind of unusual when you think about it, they are the competition.  But they also understand and respect all the woes of being really good and that creates a bond.

So at the last meet, I start talking to a mom friend about life, how’s it going and what not, when I immediately notice that something is wrong.  She is off somehow.  She looks stressed, lost and even medicated.  She mentions that they are under a lot of stress, so I don’t say anything and think maybe they are getting a divorce.

I go on my merry way, cheering for my kids, wanting them to do well.  I am in awe of how hard they work and how it has payed off.  But still, I wonder what is going on with the other mom.  Later on that night, I run into her again.  She starts to tell me about her stress.  She tells me that her older daughter who swims was having knee pain.  She assumed it was breaststrokers knee but she took her for an MRI just to make sure.  Well, it wasn’t breaststrokers knee, it was cancer.  Osteosarcoma.  Later to be confirmed by biopsy.   Parents worst nightmare.

I immediately hug my friend and share my feelings of utter disbelief and sadness.  I don’t know what else to say.  How could this beautiful healthy 13-year-old girl have bone cancer?  She begins to tell me that they are harvesting her eggs and soon she was starting chemo, radiation and then surgery.  Wow.  And 5 minutes ago I was worried about my kid dropping time.  Now, I am just filled with sadness, guilt and fear.

I am sad because I know how this mom’s heart is breaking.  She will have to see her daughter suffer.  The family is going to be on an up and down rollercoaster for years.  The “perfect life” just left.  I feel guilty because I take for granted my kids health and really my own health all the time.  So what if they don’t win the 50 freestyle, they are alive and well, aren’t they?  My husband and I have been able to complete several marathons; do we know how lucky we are?   Some people cannot walk.  I feel fear because I know at anytime we too could get debilitating news about one of our children.  This is the worst.  I want nothing more than for my kids to be healthy and happy, but I realize this is just a want, not a reality.

Because of my relationship with God, I know nothing takes him by surprise.   I know he loves the girl with cancer.  In fact he loves all of us.  He gave us life and can take it away.  We have to respect God as Creator and Lord.  All things happen for His purpose and glory.

Yes, it’s terrible.  Yes, it’s sad.  But, it will bring good.  Her story is not over.  In fact, it has already changed me.  Be grateful for all that you have. Don’t take your health for granted.  Love your kids.  Love others.  Pray for others that are suffering.  Know and love God, for He is the only one that can bring true peace and understanding.

#Seriously1975