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.

The hard times of parenting

The hard times of parenting

Parenting is a joy, a blessing, a gift. I love it. My boys are hands-down my greatest achievements. Period. But, sometimes, it doesn’t feel like it. Hear me, I am being candid to help somebody. This week was going great, except for the constant refusals to go to bed on time or get up on time. Now, these aren’t verbal because let’s face it- Mama don’t paly that. But, they were actions. Luckily, I wasn’t late for work, but I had grown weary of the reminding, repeating, nagging (I know), etc. So, I resolved to do the thing I know works- I took all their fun away. Yep! “Give me all things electronic”, I said. Sad faces ensued. But, guess what? My little angels miraculously were able to get up on time and go to bed on time in hopes of seeing the return of their treasured Play Station and Iphone. Hmmm. Might I be on to something? Yes. It’s called parenting. Sure it hurt me to leave them unconnected to the world for days (I’ve even taken things for weeks). The point is they learn that there is a line and they have to walk it. My kiddos are older, preteen and teen, so the days of spanking have gone and taking items or events away works best. You have to decide what works best for you and your child.

In the end, the take away is that kids need parents- not friends. If I was worried about whether they liked me every moment, I’d be ineffective. Because they know I mean what I say, they do what I say. You have to prove yourself or you’ll trade places and be the kid.  Grow up and raise your child. If you don’t, life will. And I refuse to raise anything other than great men.

Parenting is really hard. Do It Any Way!

Kaydy