Our kids need us even when they say they don’t

Our kids need us even when they say they don’t

I don’t know about you, but I sometimes think my parenting is so awesome that my kids should “get it” by now and be on auto pilot. Lol! They don’t. They aren’t perfect and neither am I. With that said, I want to encourage you to keep the dialogue going between you and your children. I have two boys, and I’m a single mom, so I try not to whine, nag them, or get on their nerves in general (sarcasm). You know, teens! But, I found recently that me talking to them, nurturing them, being on their side is exactly what they want (without them telling me, of course). Boy are they complicated!

Recently, my older boy had an away sports event that I did not attend. He gave me the play by play and it was kicking his behind. My heart hurt for him. He tried. He didn’t win. He tried. He didn’t win. And then, he texted me that he needed encouragement. I was shocked. One, because he asked for encouragement when he usually acts as if he doesn’t need it or me. Two, because I am an encourager by nature and thought I was encouraging him. How does my kid need to ask me for it!?? Three, I felt needed. It was wonderful!

So, of course,I fire off many encouraging text messages. He never won a match, but he left with his self esteem in tact knowing he is growing, and it was an honor for him to go on the trip. He got a bear hug from his momma in the form of 5 text messages riddled with love and affirmation, and maybe for a split second he realized he does need his mom for more than meals and a chauffer (channeling that anger am I). I’m confident he will improve and learn to master his sport in time.  I know he is, too.

For you, how is your conversation with your kids? Do they do things that catch you by surprise? If so, don’t worry. Just dig in where you are. We can’t stop or block all the bad experiences in their lives. We cannot know everything, but we can be there for everything. We can provide encouragement and help them through the tough times. Inspire your kids to be awesome even when they fail, even when life is hard. It’s good for them to fail. That’s how winners are made.

And just in case yours are disrespectful, unruly, entitled, and ungrateful, it isn’t too late to right the ship. Stand up and be the parent. You buy everything, so take some things like electronics, privileges, etc., away. Removal of fun gets a house in order faster than you can say “Who’s house is this?”

God bless. Keep doing your best. You are raising amazing kids!

Life is hard. Single Parenting is hard. Parenting, in general, is hard.

Do It Anyway!

Wealth and the single mom

Wealth and the single mom

money jar2

 

I do not claim to have learned all there is to know about wealth. I myself am on a quest for knowledge and the total transformation of my life. Yet, I want to encourage every woman who is not living her financial dream to seek out advice, tips, books, instructors, etc., so they, too, can change their lives. The above picture is my actual change jar. It takes me a year or two to fill with my leftover change.  Once it’s full, I take it to one of those machines in the supermarket that counts it for you and collects a small fee in the process. I know. I should take it to my bank. See! I’m not a financial advisor. But, I am a mom who wants to leave a legacy.

Wealth is such a personal thing. I mean it’s relative right? Sure, some inherit it, but somebody somewhere had to first take a chance in the right direction and add in some hard work to build that pile of assets to, in turn, pass along.  I truly believe that as long as we have breath, we can change our lives for the better. That includes finances.

The Bible says in Proverbs 13:22 “A good man leaveth an inheritance to his children’s children.” Wow! I want to do that! Don’t you? It may not happen for me or you the way it happened for others, but the truth is we need to start building (if we haven’t already).

I like to listen to a few folks on advice for saving. The Bible says, “There is wisdom in a multitude of counselors”. I say there is confusion in not having a plan. As a single mom, I have seen lack and abundance (my scale may be just getting by). It (life) has been smooth and it has been rocky. But, GOD has kept me and my boys. He has been faithful. Because of this, I like to be faithful with what he gives me. So, I believe that part of wealth creating is giving. I can’t say I always tithe like I want, but I give. I have charities I support. It makes me feel so good inside to help someone else in need. Try it. It’s amazing how even our little is sometimes greater than what some one else has.

If giving money is not feasible, please find time to show your kids how to give back to others by you all doing charitable work. If money is not a problem, consider mentoring other women on wealth creation. We are blessed to be a blessing.

Side note: The sense of entitlement of the youth these days is at an astronomical level. Even my own kids have tried to act as if the world owes the something. I quickly nip that in the bud. I have them help me serve, and I have them give away toys and clothes. I also had them pick out the boy we sponsor in Africa who is around their age. I talk to them about how blessed we are knowing that they don’t fully understand yet. But, I know one day it will be clear. As I work to build something to leave them, I want to leave my wealth to men who know how to handle it and who know the blessing they hold.

So moms, even if it’s five bucks a week, start saving now. Try the change jar idea. Or, refrain from the delicious $5 coffee for a few weeks and watch it add up. We have more than we think even when to us it is not enough. Saving is a family affair. Get everyone in on the conversation. Make it a contest if you can, but by any means, save.

I pray this post blesses you and your family, and you get started on building your empire.

“Saving is hard, and I have bills,” you say.

Do It Anyway!

 

Encouraging thoughts for a discouraging time

Encouraging thoughts for a discouraging time

Encouragement has been hard for me to muster this week. I am usually the first to be bright-eyed and positive. I always have a word for those in need. But, this week was hard for me. Since it was hard for me, I know that it has also been for so many of you. Clearly the issues in the Middle East affecting persecuted Christians, the shooting death of a young black man in Ferguson, MO, and countless other issues in our world affected me. (Maybe they also affected you) As a Christian, my heart hurts for people period. I have and had a deep hurt that just wouldn’t/won’t leave for what is happening to women and children and people period all due to their personal religious beliefs. As an African American woman who is a parent, seeing what happened in Ferguson over the weekend and waiting on confirmation of what happened had me on edge. I was sad for the family, angered by what happened, afraid for my children growing up in a world that shoots before asking questions, etc. I mean, isn’t it normal to hurt for people you don’t know? Well, I think so. I have to live in this world, my kids do, you do and your loved ones. It is outrageous! We should all be upset. Most of us are.

I was so sad that I had to leave social media and pray. In prayer, I was able to remember that GOD truly has all things under control and it is in Him that I put my trust. I know my situation is not that of the parents mourning the loss of their child or the citizens who feel like prisoners in their own city, or the thousands fleeing their homes for fear of death. But, the impact of their trials affected me. It saddened me. My spirit was low. I wanted to help my brothers and sisters. What I could do in that moment was pray. I prayed and that encouraged me. I am so thankful that God is there no matter in what situation we find ourselves. I am so glad that His word is a “lamp to our feet and a light to our path” (Psalm 119:05). His word is life, encouragement, air. So, I come today with no solution to actual problems. I cannot bring anyone back, I cannot provide safety to those who have lost it all, but I can pray that the ONE who has the solution and is able to hide us in His secret place will do so. He can hide us in His arms, in His secret place (Psalm 91).

I have to believe that justice will be served in this life. As in past cases, when it is not, we go on peacefully trying to change laws to protect us and spread awareness to help others. But, we know that in the life to come, God says vengeance is Mine, I shall repay. And it is in that I put my hope. It is not ours to decide what we go through, but we know somehow we will make it. Just knowing that God has it under control puts me at ease. I can keep doing my best in a world that doesn’t always treat people the way they should. I can continue raising my boys to be the best citizens I can and yet teach them to protect themselves against possible police brutality, abuse, misuse of power. I can encourage someone today who is down because I have been and now have hope. Let this be your encouragement in the midst of your day. God will provide. Put your hope in Jesus for He cares for you.

4 Steps to Pursuing Your Purpose

4 Steps to Pursuing Your Purpose

PurposeThe word purpose has been a buzz word ever since Rick Warren wrote The Purpose Driven Life. I mean I remember learning it in school and using it rarely, but oh my! when that book came out it was like cold milk on cornflakes- delicious! It was intriguing, soul-touching, thought provoking- an awesome book. But what is this post about? It’s about me simply encouraging you to find and pursue your purpose. We all have one. If you do not know yours yet, you should do a gift assessment test and some soul-searching. Most churches have their members take these so they can figure out where they can best serve. I know. Most of us are often are too busy to be alone with ourselves one minute to think about what we want. But, what we need is to do exactly that!

So, if you know what you were designed to do, great! Feels good. Right? But if you do not then here are four steps to get you walking out what you were made to do!

Step 1: Do the work to figure out what you are designed to do.

This is a step that only you can do. I encourage you to find some quiet time to be alone and be with you, yourself, and I. Ask yourself what makes you tick, what do you love to do, what would you do with no pay, and if you are already living and doing what you were meant to do. Next, if you are a believer like me, Ask God for direction. Jeremiah 29:11 says God has a plan for his children. A plan to prosper them and not to harm them. To give them a hope and a future (paraphrased). So, if you are like me then you want God’s blessing on your endeavors. Why not get His viewpoint before embarking? The only way to do that is to ask. How can you get the answer without spending time with Him? So, do the work of self-discovery, prayer, communing with God and preparing yourself for the answer. I say prepare because we’ve al heard the stories of people changing fields for purpose or moving and selling everything to follow their purpose. One thing we know is that if God is in it, it will be the best decision ever made. Enjoy this process and don’t beat yourself up if you don’t know right away. Keep seeking and it will come. If God is in it, it’ll bless you.

Step 2: Give in to the call.

Once you know what it is you are to do, give in. I know I had a hard time accepting my purpose. I always knew from a young child that I would work in ministry, yet I’ve fought it for years. I now help in the Spanish ministry and it is an amazing feeling to know I’m helping people reach their goals of learning a new language and connect to Jesus in their language. I also get to walk in what I was meant to do. I knew I was a born leader and encourager, but I was an extroverted introvert. Lol! It’s possible. So, I had to give in to that persistent desire of my soul to help others. Maybe you are like me. You know you are supposed to be doing something, but for some reason haven’t started. Go on. Get started. You’re in for a powerful experience. Answer the call today. You’ll be glad you did.

Step 3: Start working even when you’re not ready

I and another lady wanted to teach a Spanish class. We didn’t have all the materials planned out but we had a plan. That’s all we needed. See, when you are in purpose, things will work out. We got started and had a huge turnout. We had time to get the program together before the first start day. But when we said yes, all we had was our desire to do it. We weren’t ready. We got ready after we said yes. The point is time won’t always wait for us. Opportunities come and go. Jump in their and help if you know God is leading you to do so. Perfection is a hold up. Get started helping as soon as you can. 

Step 4: Be open to new direction and inspiration.

We all have a purpose. That doesn’t mean you’ll have the same one your whole life. It may change or expand. Be open to new urges and sparks of creativity that say move in this direction. Prayer is an integral part of my figuring out where I need to be. So much of what I’ve accomplished is due to that feeling in my spirit that won’t subside. Following the regular route won’t do for that kind of passion. You have to chase it! So be open and go where you know you are supposed to be. Starting this blog was a part of my purpose. It has spiraled into many other opportunities that will come forth in the coming months. They all center in using what I am good at, what I am passionate about, and how they all work together to help others.

It is my hope that you have been encouraged to see what is next for you, what you were meant to do, and how you can begin to set about living your life’s purpose. What’s in you? Bring it out and Do It Anyway!

Kaydy

Why do we have Mondays any way?

Why do we have Mondays any way?

Monday’s are really hard. Aren’t they? The getting up and getting going takes a while because the bed was so warm, the sleep was so good, and the weekend so short. The lovely first day of the week calls and get up you must. Work awaits. School awaits. Life awaits. The to-do list- awaits. But, you know what? It’s a blessing to have a job to go to, a dream to work on, a way to provide for your family, and yes, a list to complete. We all know or have heard of those who are less fortunate and wish they had the life-sucking job to go to that you have (attempt at humor), the honey-do list to complete, the deadlines to meet, and the errands to run. Yes, somewhere someone wishes they were you. We don’t know who, but somewhere. Now with that reality check and as the Monday blues dissipate and you get into your day, remember how blessed you are to be right there at this moment. How awesome to use your talent to make your life and that of those around run smoothly.

Now that you are thankful for the state you’re in, I want to encourage you to keep dreaming about that thing you actually desire to do, that trip you want to take, that business you want to start because, frankly, you CAN DO IT. Let this post motivate you through the week to chase your dreams and not take no for an answer. Keep believing that your dreams are worthy, and one day they will be reality.

Monday undeniably can be the worst day of the week, but it is also a sign of newness. You get to start all over and each new Monday holds the promise of being better the next time around. So, get going! What will you do with your new chance at a better week to do what you want, go where you want, dream your dreams?

Monday can be stressful, glorious, new, challenging, bright, but Do It Anyway!

 

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Do It Anyway!

I want to encourage you to chase every dream you’ve ever had. Who knows what you will become if you look fear in the face and Do It Anyway! On the other hand, you know what you have if you do not. Go chase your dreams. You’ll be happy you did. Besides, don’t we have enough examples of “If I had only…”? Run into your destiny. I am.

9 Lessons Life Has Taught Me

9 Lessons Life Has Taught Me

I have come into my own in my thirties. I know a lot of “twenty-somethings” dread the big 30, but it is truly a great time in life. I say this knowing that I am quickly approaching 40. Yet, I still have a few years before I get the “Oh Lordy, she’s 40” cake. But, in all seriousness, I am approaching a beautiful time in life. I want us as women to stop dreading getting older because we learn something valuable each year as we age. We get better with time in appearance, in wisdom, in our careers, and most importantly in parenting. So, I have compiled a list of 9 lessons I have learned in my own life. I believe they will resonate with you.

1. Take care of yourself.
I get better with time. I know you do, too. It’s just a fact that we are more beautiful and confident in our thirties. No longer a babe or a twenty-something finding her stride, we blossom into “grown woman”. I don’t about you, but I really found my fashion sense in my 30’s. I think I looked good in my 20’s but let’s face it, somethings need to be left in the past like midriffs being out and “too short” shorts. (Ikr) After my first child, I immediately felt ashamed of “short” anything. After all, I was a mom now. I really started eating better and wearing makeup (here and there) in my 30’s. I learned how to properly workout. Gone are the days of fine with no work. So, in short, take care of your skin, eat right, exercise, get rest, and leave the little clothes to the little girls. It will bless you now and later.
2. Be authentic.
I know who I am now. I feel like I have always known, yet I was not okay with being different. I was and still am “different”. I never ran with the crowd, never wanted to do the “cool” thing, and now I know that I made the right choice. I can without any qualms be authentic and stare any onlooker in the face and say “So what!”. Take it or leave it. I’m me and being me with my quirks is A-okay.
3. Chase your goals.
I know what I want to do in my career. I have always had a knack for talking. I’m an encourager, and I love to read. I’m curious and research is cool to me. None of those descriptions add up to Spanish teacher, but that’s what I do. I also do other things besides that like encourage single parents and that is a passion I know I’ll always chase along with a myriad if other things. Who says you have to do one thing? That dream that won’t die keeps nagging you for a reason. Chase it. It’ll free you.
4. Create the family you desire.
I know I want a whole family (mom and dad at the helm). I always knew this. I didn’t always make the choices that lined up with what I wanted. I know better now. In life and love, be courageous and ask. No, demand what you want. You’ll weed out who doesn’t belong and have room for who does. Amen.
5. Go when others do not see the path.
Sometimes people will think you’re nuts. That’s okay. That spark in you must be allowed to grow into passion. Chase it. You’ll be happy. When I left mortgages to be a Spanish teacher, my family said “for what?” Now, they can’t help but brag to people who could care less that I have my Masters. I didn’t do it for them. I did it for me. Be comfortable going alone. The rest will catch up.
6. Be brave.
I moved to Texas to chase a dream. It was the best move I ever made. I was fearless as a single mom with small boys. I was fearless because I had peace that God had opened that door. Be sensitive to the direction your life needs to go in, bite the bullet, and go.
7. Be available.
In your growing, chasing dreams and staying fabulous, be available to your babies. My years of working on my Masters are a blur and at the same time a joy. I say a blur because it was hard. A joy because Zi love learning and it’s a big accomplishment. I made it. My boys made it. But to say I was as present mentally as I should have been would be an understatement. Tired was the place I lived. I took breaks and had family time, but it was a time of sacrifice. I made a deal with them that they couldn’t do sports in those three years but after I finished they could. I made good on that promise. It just was not possible to do due to my taking three grad classes every semester and working full-time. I now see I was crazy. Lol! What was I thinking! Praise God we made it.
8. Being alone is better than being in the wrong relationship.
In love, you have to look out for you. Choose the best from the start and you can avoid some unnecessary lessons. I had to grow up in my twenties quickly as a single mom. I didn’t know how to date. But, Lord have I figured it out now! Simply put, If he does not bring peace to me and my house, he is not a good fit. He has to love me and my boys. We come together. No exceptions. I’d rather be alone than spend my precious time on a “temporary man”. Older women are attractive because we’ve figured out what we want and don’t want. Most importantly, we’re not afraid to say it.
9. Do It Anyway
This last lesson is key! Life is hard. Single parenting is hard. Building a company or chasing a dream will be hard. If it’s your dream, you owe it to yourself to see it to the end. Many may not come to help you, do it anyway. Do it alone, with tears in your eyes, broke, tired, hungry, but do it. You’ll find out how strong you are and that God really does make a way.

May what I’ve learned inspire you to keep going no matter what season you are in. Life truly is beautiful and you really rock! Remember that.

Kaydy

What Does a Hard Time Have to Do with Flowers?

What Does a Hard Time Have to Do with Flowers?

This post is not about parenting per se. It’s about working on your life’s outlook. Having a great outlook helps you become a more balanced parent. Most importantly, this post is about not thinking your life is useless.

Life is crazy. It’ll throw a bad moment right behind a great triumph. It’ll seemingly place a moment in time (that seems to last forever) right behind. But, it is still so worth it. Life is hard. Life is scary, challenging, and gut-wrenching at times. But, it’s worth it. I hate when I hear people say they cannot do life or can’t take it anymore. The truth is that they can. What they should say is “I don’t want to endure this anymore”. But, we CAN take it and get past it and conquer it. Whatever it is. We’ve just got to get in the right space. If all one dwells on is negative then there will be no solution. You’ve got to think positive, wrap your mind around another idea. If you can’t, it’s time to get help from a friend who can look at it differently with less tired eyes. I’m not saying thinking positive will solve the problem, bring that person back, or pay your bills. But, it will help you get to a place of clarity and then only can you work on a better solution for you. But, life is worth it. You are worth it.

When times are good, we’re good. When times are bad, we fall apart. Why don’t we prepare for the inevitable? I don’t know. But, we need to remind ourselves when trouble comes to see life differently because life is beautiful. I challenge you to change the channel if it depresses you, change friends if they don’t support you, drop that love interest if they don’t love you. But see life as the beautiful, complex gift that it is. You only get one. Don’t let anyone or anything make you think less of your time here on Earth. You are unique and uniquely designed to soar. Life is not a bed of roses, but it sure sends the most beautiful bouquets from time to time. The bouquets are those sprinkled moments of joy that you have to experience for yourself. Keep living to see what delivery awaits you!

Life’s hard. Do It Anyway!

 

The Single Moms Club Really Exists

The Single Moms Club Really Exists

I watched Tyler Perry’s “The Single Moms Club” yesterday. I laughed, I almost cried, I understood the ladies trials and triumphs. This is my life and that of many of my friends daily. So, I wanted to write a post on lessons learned from the movie. 

Lessons learned from the Single Mom’s Club:

1. Moms, dads, single parents are not perfect (That’s okay)

2. Friendship and support are pertinent (People were made for relationship. Be there for them.)

3. No matter where you come from, if you’re a single parent, we have something in common (Diversity is good. I love my mix of friends. I learn something new about their culture and they learn from me. It’s great!)

4. Loving your kid(s) really is what it’s all about

5. You’ve got to de-clutter you so you can focus on what really matters (Resolve your issues with your ex, work, whatever, so you can focus on being the best parent. You may have to heal as you go, but do it.)

6. Find like-minded women or men that you trust to form a “club” where you trade babysitting days or nights

7. Always be willing to help your single parent friends

8. In this group, you’ll make life long friends that improve your journey, your experience, and that of you children

9. Your kids will thrive because they have more friends and different peers to talk to (Everyone needs to vent sometimes in a place where they feel safe)

10. Overall, you and your children will find a new family in the Single Moms Club that you did not have before (Be open to making new friends. They can bless you.)

I will not expound on each of these points, but I think you get the picture. Seeking out people who are in the same predicament and that you trust can have so many pluses. In the movie, the moms were forced to work together. In real life, that usually doesn’t happen. Their kids did some things that hopefully mine and yours never will, but they all do something. It was good to see how punishment was handled. That’s another post in and of itself. I laughed at what was doled out as punishment. I think in real life, we all would have done some things differently.

I do have a circle of girlfriends (single and not) that assist me and assisted me when my boys were younger. It was so great to be able to be young and still grab a bite to eat with friends or go out on a date. As a single mom, I struggled with the guilt of wanting to do those things and my girlfriend said, “Hey, no worries. I’ll watch the boys and you go have some fun.” Amazing! I didn’t take advantage, but every now and again, I would escape and have what I call a “Mommy Break”. We traded turns and I was able to de-stress, as we all need, at times. I also had a married couple that I was (and still am) great friends with help me out. I got to go into the city to hangout and see a play, concert- you get the picture and they watched my boys. When they wanted to go away for the weekend, I had their three and my two. The point is that help comes in a variety of ways, but it’s still appreciated. Please support your friends who are single and parenting alone. The challenges they face personally and with their children can be daunting. Allow them an opportunity to spend time and space with a love interest. Not being able to date and be a single parent can feel like torture. I know I need to find a better word but that is what comes to mind. We can love more than our kids at one time. No matter how much you love your kids, sometimes you need a break to do adult things with adults.

Life is hard. Having friends along for the journey makes it so much easier. If you can form a group, do so. If you have no support, stay open and maybe a group at church, or a married couple will come along and bless you. As always, check the folks out, our kids are our number one priority.

Single parenting is hard, scary, rewarding, exhausting, filled with love and fun times, etc. Do It Any Way!