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!

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

Weeding the Garden and Personal Growth: What We Can Learn from a Weed

Weeding the Garden and Personal Growth: What We Can Learn from a Weed

As I was ridding my garden of weeds this week, it dawned on me that they are pretty tough to climb over the mulch and to also survive under two inches of it. I had to move a good deal of mulch in order to get to the weeds’ roots. In the Texas heat, it hit me that tough people are like those weeds. We are the weeds peeking their heads out through all the stuff that holds us down- the mulch of life. This scene spoke to me and I thought how life can be crappy like the mud and bugs in the garden, but if we become like the weeds in my garden, we can overcome anything.

Gardening gives you time to think and brings clarity all while making your yard beautiful.  Here are my lessons learned:

3 things we have in common with weeds:

1. Weeds grow in the dark. That’s us. Our dark times break us but also strengthen us. Somehow the bad brings good if we’ll hold on and go through it. We realize in the end that broken heart from that relationship ending didn’t last so long and thank goodness we’re no longer with “them”. Grow in your dark times. Or, that financial period where we couldn’t pay Peter or Paul let alone rob them showed us how to live within our means. But, during that time it was bleak. Or that health scare that took all we had, yet we sit on the side of a clean bill of health, NOW. All the dark times come to help us enjoy the good times and strangely enough to appreciate the dark as  well as the light. Keep growing.

2. Weeds face different predators but survive. Just like the weeds have insects that eat them, humans that want to pull them up, and elements that could care less that they exist, we have to face challenges and challengers to survive. Hang on and stand your ground like the weeds because you will survive.We encounter people and situations that aren’t in our best interest, but we survive just like the weeds do. I’ve had the non supportive family member or the back stabbing co-worker but I made it. You can too. You know, they look like they  support you, but they don’t. That’s okay. Be great any way!

3. Weeds take a licking and keep on kicking. We put pesticides on them. They endure the elements (rain, snow, sleet, hail, heat) and yet they push though those hard times to peek there heads out as if to say “We made it!” You can, too! Life sucks, but get up again and try. Just like the heat can’t keep the weeds down, so it is with you and me. If we keep getting up again, we will win. Also, I still had dead roots to dig up in some places because I had previously pulled the top of the weed but not the root. If I were to leave the dead or cut up pieces of weeds in the mulch, I would have weeds again. So, I have to remove the entire weed. Hmmm. Take your licking and if you have to reseed elsewhere, do so. It’ll be a good new place to grow again.

May we all keep growing through the mulch of life and Do It Anyway!