Tag Archive: parenting


New Beginnings


New Beginnings

 

    January always seems to be a time and occasion for new beginnings. It marks the beginning of a new year, and we are hopeful that this year will be better than the last. I, too, have that hope. I hope this year isn’t filled with as much loss and sadness as last year was; not only for me but for all those that the light touches.

  But no matter how I try and divide it, had it not been for the wonderful people in my life this past year…I may not have survived the sadness and loss. All of this goes back to my concept of life…everything has its season…and God brings all things into the light. I may have had moments when I was sad or even cried, but they were downplayed by the many minutes, hours, days, weeks, and months I had filled with smiles and laughter.

  While I can not deny the pain that I felt, I also could not hide the joy that our Creator bestowed upon me, as well. I learned that the best way to work through my sadness was to write. I not only wrote about what made me unhappy in my own personal life…but what made me sad with the world that we all live in. And although I am only one person, I was hopeful that if only one person read what I wrote…maybe they would tell someone else about it. We have a possibility to link to one another like a chain…and we could spread compassion instead of hate. It is a way of becoming one with our creator. And since we all have the attributes of God, similar to the way we have characteristics of our birth parents; we can choose to give love and become love.

  The sadness I had felt periodically through out the year was very real; and while focusing on other things did not make the emotions go away…it did help steady me. I could concentrate on what was making someone else sad or concerned. I could lend my shoulder or ear to my fellow man/woman…hoping to show them that they are a significant part of my life; furthering the idea that we are all one.

  My heart broke for the children dying in the Horn of Africa; and whilst I could not feed them…I could bring them into my writing. I could pray for them and those who were in a position to help them. I could sign an online petition and write about the drought and the deaths occurring as a result of that drought. I could link my writing back to an informative video, petition or information link…so if nothing else, I helped create awareness. This gave me hope, because finally I felt like I was not only a drop of water in a bucket…but the beginning of a downpour. If I could take a small step, perhaps someone else would, as well. In January of last year there were people who had no idea what was going on in the Horn of Africa, and some didn’t even know where it was. However, by December, we could no longer claim ignorance. Yes, we could still choose to do nothing. We could sit around on our hands or point fingers at others…but we could no longer say, “I just didn’t know”. The actions we take from this point on would be an informed action…even if the only action we took…was to do nothing.

  Also in this past year, we came face to face with the death penalty. And although our feelings and thoughts on it were clearly divided…we allowed ourselves to have the conversation. This is also another sore spot in my heart, as I feel without a doubt that ALL life is precious. Even though we may not agree about the issue, this year, via the Troy Anthony Davis execution, we were all able to voice our opinions. Again this is a sad situation, but we should at least rejoice in the fact that we got the opportunity to have the conversation. And I do pray in the coming year and many more to come that the rest of the country will join the 15 states that have taken away the death penalty. Hopefully we will see that punishment should be just that and not retaliation…murder is murder.

  In 2011, we became painfully aware of our children and the issues that bullying has on them. We learned that it is no longer that kid on the corner waiting to steal lunch money. Bullying has gotten much more perverse, violent even fatal. As parents we need to be proactive before we must become reactive. Our children are dying, not only at the hands of other children…but at their own hands. The number of teenage suicides is on the rise and this is largely due to other teenagers. We must watch our children. Be aware of the social networking that they participate in…Bullying does not just happen in the classroom, but online and via text messages. Being a teenager is difficult, and being a parent just became more difficult. Watch your children…do they find humor at the expense of other children? Watch for the signs of bullying…or even worse….complacency. If your child does not speak up for the child that is being harassed…they are contributing to the abuse of that child. Create a dialogue with your children…their lives have just gotten dangerous. When you are aware that your child is not “NICE”…and you don’t speak to them…it is similar to letting them walk out of your home to go school with a gun in their back pack.

  2012 is a year of hope; a year of reflection. We can be the change we are always looking for by using the experience of 2011. I pray that you use the love of our creator in all that you say and do.

 

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May I Be Excused?


May I Be Excused?

 

In life, sometimes things just happen…things come together and occasionally they will fall apart. We can not really say how long things will last, and since everything has its purpose under the heavens, the blessing is in the experience.

  Relationships will come and go, marriages can fall apart. It is a sad reality for most of our population. I suppose there are countless reasons why marriages don’t seem to last as long as they did when my grandparents were brought together. I feel certain that the public acceptance of divorce just made the separation a little easier, for some. I am of the belief that when people initially get married it is with the hope that it will last much longer than it usually does.

  While separation can be a sad decision for the adults involved, my concern is not for them. As adults we have the ability to move ahead; we can go forward and deal with whatever life throws our way. My true concern lies with the children, whom have never had to deal with the stigma of a broken home.

  Honestly, I never cared for the term “broken home”. What would make a home broken? Truthfully, two parents can live apart and still actively participate in their children’s lives, effectively. So I don’t believe that term is accurate in that situation. But when the family is actually torn apart, when there is REALLY an absent parent…physically and emotionally, real damage occurs. Broken homes are created by abandonment, neglect, isolation; we break promises and because of that…we break hearts.

  In actuality, the home isn’t broken…just our children’s hopes and dreams. I’m not suggesting that parents stay together for the sake of the child, that doesn’t always create the best atmosphere for the kids either. But I am saying that the “out of sight out of mind” adage can be a sad truth.

  Children are precious, true proof that God exists. When we are blessed with the love of a child, there is nothing that will ever compare to it. I have often heard divorced parents say that they love their child, unfortunately, in more cases than not…it is followed by a “but”. I have heard every excuse imaginable…I have to find myself…I need to get my life straight…I even heard someone say that their child is better off without them.

  But in my opinion, none of those excuses even matter. While we are getting ourselves together, our children our growing; they are experiencing their “firsts”. While we are finding ourselves, our children are learning who they are and what they want to do with their lives. Our children are crawling, walking, and running. Our children are learning how to drink and eat all by themselves. They are going to school for the very first time, they are losing their first tooth. They are playing sports, making friends and making drawings to post on the refrigerator. They are starting high school, dating, going to their prom, and graduating. But more importantly, while we are thinking that our children are better off without us…what our children hear is that our lives are better without them. Children, in this situation don’t think that we divorced their mother or father…they think we divorced them. Children will blame themselves, for anything and everything.

  Before we know it, our kids are grown. And when our grown children come to us and ask why we didn’t love them enough to call or visit…what will we say? What do we say when our grown children demand answers that a joke or toy won’t answer? What do we do when our, once smiling sweet children, become angry and bitter adults? Who do we blame then?

  What do we say when we pray? What do we pray for when we failed to appreciate the gift that our Creator gave us, when we were made parents? What excuse can we give to the one that knows our excuses are just excuses?

  I pray it isn’t too late for you…once we lose time it can’t be bartered back. We can not purchase love. We can not go back in time. Smiles create memories…and memories make life worth living. Handmade birthday cards and macaroni necklaces mean more than any soul searching mission ever would.

  You need only remember this, the most important position that you will ever have is parenthood; and the pay is more rewarding than diamonds or pearls…because children pay you in butterfly kisses. See that smile? It’s the start of another memory…make a few more.

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