Change in plans…..an assignment

Plan B – a single mom’s decision to go alone. By Alexandra Soiseth

http://www.babycenter.com/0_plan-b-a-single-moms-decision-to-go-it-alone_1482474.bc

In her article, Alexandra chooses intrauterine insemination by an unknown donor from a Scandinavian Cryo bank. Her plan as a teenager did not work out for her. Her dream was to have a husband and children. When she turned 36, she realized life was passing her by.

I applaud her fulfilling her desire for having children.  Several things in her article stood out as I read it. Let me begin by saying, I am not a perfect parent. I didn’t do everything right. I was saddened to hear her parents use her weight when she was a teenager to place shame and guilt on her. Then to remark that because of this, it will be hard to get a man. We have placed stigmas on our children (and yes I include myself). That is a fallacy in our society. I have seen men who love having a full-figured woman by his side.

How many of us have people (relatives) in our lives who (for whatever reason) have remained single? Why do we make being single a “fate-worse-than-death scenario” as she put it? Why do we cause people to stumble in their emotions by the words we speak? I wonder if words of encouragement were spoken over her if her life would have been different?

Here are a few thoughts: She was not a failure. She may have had disappointed expectations, but she was living life as she wanted. One shouldn’t be compared to others. There is no indication whether or not her aunt was happy with what life handed her or didn’t hand her (husband and children). The author is a whole person, there is nothing lacking. Men (husbands) compliment us (women/wives) not complete us.

It seems she has found what she was looking for: someone to love her. The procedure did work. Her daughter was born.

It’s been a while

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I know we have not been very communicative since I started school. I am being pressed on every side it seems. This is a good thing. I am not sure what season with the Lord you are in, but I believe I am in winter. The life has gone to the roots to prepare them for more growth in my life. Every once in a while, I see glimpses of what God is doing. Just like when the snow covers the ground, it is hard to know what is happening deep in the earth. Whatever happens we see it when spring comes. The earth seems to know just when to release the seeds that need to be birthed forth for our enjoyment. I am not discouraged nor am I encouraged. I am experiencing Him in a new way. A way I have not been before. The struggles are real, but here is what I know: 1. God is good 2. God is good no matter the circumstance. I hope this encourages you. The bed and breakfast is just about ready for YOU: those who need a place to get away. Let us know when you would like to make reservations. Blessings to you.

Goal Obtained

Finally! A goal reached! What you may ask? College. That’s right, college! I am 56 years old (December). I started my career in the Navy. College was a minimal thought as well as a different career path when I was younger. Now, looking at what is ahead of me, now is the right time. My father had a desire to see all of his children obtain something that he could not: college degree. Being a wife, mother and even grandmother is very fulfilling. Being in business for myself as well as helping others is also very fulfilling. So, why college? Because now is the right time. Now is the time I have to accomplish a goal that earlier seemed unobtainable. But I can tell you that it is not and you are not too old!

So whatever it is that you think has been delayed, think again, it just might not be time for you. But there is a time coming….wait for it. You will know when it is right.

(I chose this picture because it depicts how most of us feel when we have accomplished a life long goal.)IMG_6576.JPG

Birthing an adult

I had the privilege to speak with a mom who had a teenager. The teenager is having to deal with a lot of issues. I kept hearing from the mom about what the teenager was doing to her, her husband (the dad) and the rest of the family. It seemed that it was the same thing each day. To say that she was frustrated, didn’t even come close. She was looking for a place to put this child to get help. As much as I could sympathize with her about her daughter’s issues, I felt the greater need to hear her as a mom. A dear friend of mine once said that birthing babies was easy, it is the birthing of adults that is difficult.

I have four children. I remember how different and at the time difficult it was helping them to become adults. I must confess, I am not sure I did it all correctly. In fact, I think that as a parent at that time, I stunk! (This does not define who I am, I just had some learning to do!) They are each unique. They each have their own personalities, ideas and gifts. Trying to place a “cookie cutter” formula just didn’t work. I read books,  studied other great examples, prayed, bound and loosed everything! I was given some great advice: don’t make mountains out of mole hills, let them individuate, and don’t treat them like you used to. What worked for them as children is NOT going to work as a teenager!

Here are a couple of tips that may help you with your soon-to-be adult:

1: Don’t make mountains out of mole hills. In other words, there are some things that you can allow to go by the way side. Focus on the things that are important for them to keep as they move forward. Respect, understanding, love, honor and value to start. You can help build these values.

2. Keep communication open. No matter what I was doing, there was nothing more important then allowing them to come talk to me. I tried not to give my opinion or try to fix the problem for them. (Didn’t always do that, but tried.) They need to know that they are being heard.

3. Take them on dates. Yes, I said dates. Fathers take your daughters. Mothers, let your sons take you. This is a great way to have a one-on-one with them. It will also help instill respect for the opposite sex. It can teach them to honor others.

4. Learn not to judge them. Their opinions are just as important as yours. We don’t want to dictate to them how to think, we want them to think on their own.

5. Being an adult means facing the consequences of your decision. Face it, we all mess up. As adults, we don’t have someone come to our rescue. Let them face the consequences of their decisions. Don’t jump in to fix “it” or “them”. Character is built by facing life’s experiences. Don’t circumvent that opportunity for them. If they come to you, help them with good choices, but don’t enforce your opinion or what you would do on them. Let them make that decision.

By the end of our conversation, this mom was doing so much better. Not sure how she will incorporate my suggestions, but she knows there is someone who is available with a listening ear.

Thy testimony

Psalms 119:24 – Thy testimonies also are my delight; They are my counselors.

As I was reading the above passage this morning, I was thinking about how testimonies in the past have built my faith. Hearing what God did for others made me believe that He would do that for me! And He has! For instance when Russ and I were first married, he had to pay child support from his first marriage. There were times when we weren’t sure how we were going to pay it. Then as we prayed the Lord would send someone to us with the exact amount that we needed or he would get an extra job. One couple came to our door after church and said that the Lord had told them to give to us the exact amount we needed. Or the time when I found $5 in a macaroni and cheese box to keep a commitment I had made to a non-profit. Or when we couldn’t afford groceries, we had someone deliver seven (7) bags of groceries to us (included was my favorite ice cream at the time: Mint Chocolate Chip!)

Then as I continued to read, believe and stand on the scripture, I knew that healing was available to not just me but others. So I started praying for others. I didn’t see immediate results, however, the more I prayed, believed and stood on His truth, things started happening. People were experiencing healing.

When we testify to the goodness of God, He comes through EVERY TIME! I am sure some would argue that they haven’t seen God do this or that. He hasn’t answered their prayers. I don’t claim to have all the answers. What I can say is don’t limit God by what you haven’t seen and encourage yourself with the testimony of others. They will become your delight, build your faith and then allow the Lord to use you. Just step out, keep your focus on Him…He won’t let you sink. Let faith arise! Tell me your testimony…..

To the least of these….

She stood away from the crowd. She was not sure of these strange people who had come. She had lived many years in this village. Many had come to help in her village. Where did these white people come from? She couldn’t understand what they were saying. Why would they come? She was told about the love of a God she did not know. Over the years, she had learned to pray to the gods of her people. She was not aware that any of them loved her. She was not aware that any had died then risen for her. Yet, here were these people who spoke things very foreign to her. Had she not seen what she would have considered miracles in her own life let alone her village? Being encouraged to come and meet these people, she drew herself up. Held her head high and allow herself to be guided to a chair. The white man bent extending his hand. Not sure what to do, she spoke fast and furious! Startled, the man stepped back with a confused look on his face. He asked the interpreter to tell him what he had done to offend her! Sitting by her, the interpreter calmed her and asked what she said. What was translated startled not just the man, but the interpreter! She yelled, “Here you come to my village to take my picture and I will not even get a copy!” With a chuckle, the interpreter assured her would she would receive a copy of her picture. She relaxed in the company of the people who had come to care for the least of these. Picture2 021

Something to consider……

It has been a whirl wind of time since I last wrote. There has been so much to process. It is not an easy thing to self evaluate. Or to allow others to evaluate you. We as humans don’t really like to see the “bad” in ourselves. For the past several months, I have been doing some inward reflection. I have been seeking those things that are not pure in my own heart. I serve a faithful God. When I asked for Him to show me my heart, He revealed it in ways I could not fathom. Please understand, I am not interested in “naval” gazing. I am not looking for false realities in my life. I am however, looking to be a better me. My God has been faithful to doing just that.

We often wonder why things happen. We are learning that the Lord has a way of “bringing” up the things that don’t align with His character in our lives. They are not the pretty things either. They are those things that show us where we need to pay attention to: an attitude or an opinion. This does not mean that we should not suppress those emotions/feelings either. We need to look realistically at our lives.

This has been a journey that I can’t say that I have “enjoyed” so much as appreciated. There have been hard times. There have been times when I had to help others process and then process for myself. Yet through it all, the Lord has been good. I am not sure what others have been through. I can’t speak to the what you have been going through, I just know that we need to pay attention and ask questions. We need to ask the right questions. The ones that actually get us answers.

Many would call this transition. It is! It is not easy. But it is worth it. It is no respecter of persons. I want my choice to be pleasing to the One I serve. I desire to go through and come out better than when I went in. Some would call it a valley. Some would call it the desert. I call it God’s love for me. As I said, it has not been easy or enjoyable, but it has been worth it. Let me encourage you to begin to think differently when “bad” things or circumstances happen. Instead of your default, ask the Lord what He wants to reveal, then give it over to Him. After all He has your best interests at heart!