As I sit at my desk today (yes, it’s Saturday) I put up more pictures of my babies. I can’t believe how fast the time has gone. I can’t help but feel humbled and grateful that God has blessed me with such wonderful kids to love. They are so precious and such a gift.
They are all so different and each one is special and unique. I love them no matter what they do or don’t do. Love is like that.
I am so proud of each of them. They have all had their own struggles and come out victorious. I am their biggest cheerleader!
Plus God has blessed me with 2 stepkids too. I love them as well and see them as a gift from God as well!
You probably feel the same way about your kids right?
After this weekend I know the Holy Spirit is helping me, lol! I did NOT say the first thought that came to my head. Now it’s been 11 years since we divorced. And I got full custody of the two kids due to his history of domestic violence. Now you think after all that I would know better. Why do I believe anything that guy says? Ugghhhh.
My son wanted to go visit his dad over the holiday break. Not so easy since the ex took off to KY to hide from the police. There is a warrant out for his arrest in the state of WI for 10 plus years of not paying his child support. Yeah, welcome to my world.
So in my travels here’s a few thoughts going through my head and what I did about it.
Maybe I should just call the cops and have him picked up. He’s guilty.
He says he has no money but shows up in a brand new rental car every time. He still lies.
He promised to give me money for half of the cost of the school ring for my son. Didn’t bring it. Another empty promise.
He promised my daughter shopping money for Black Friday. Then he takes my son out shopping and gets my daughter nothing. What a jerk.
He said to meet halfway (4+ hours one way) and then is late – both times. I had to keep driving to meet them. Disrespectful.
He looks like crap. I wonder if he’s back to using drugs? Not a great role model for the kids.
He wants to do this all over again at Christmas. Are you freaking kidding me?
What I actually did say:
1. Yes, I will drive halfway. I know my son wants to see his dad.
2. Oh, running late? I’ll drive a bit further.
3. Nice car.
4. So what about Christmas?
Yeah, I know. I must have rocks in my head right? No, I think God helped me keep my mouth shut and put my son’s wants and needs above my own. My ex will always be his father-no matter what I think or what I feel. I don’t have to like it. I can’t change it. And I can’t change him – never could.
Thank you Lord for helping me keep my mouth shut and not making a scene in front of my son. Thank you Holy Spirit for guarding my mouth!
Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; Keep watch over the door of my lips.
Pine cones, Rusty bells, broken snowmen, and one antler reindeer – what? Oh, the lessons we learn along the way. Let me share a story with you. This year was the first time in the past 3 years we got a real Christmas tree. Last year I thought I would be ‘special’ and bought a Holly Bush. It died, and man those thorns are sharp, lol! And the years before I think we used my daughters fiber optic mini tree. At that time we had cats and didn’t want to fight the battle with climbing kitties. So for the last three years we have been using some of the shatterproof plastic ornaments. This year was different.
We moved and had to get rid of the cats. Sad, but true. Anyway, we got a real tree. So Ms. D took out the real ornaments – the glass ones that had been packed away for 4 years. I can’t believe I found the box! The other night the kids and I were decorating the tree while Bob made his famous Spaghetti sauce. I did the lights and pearls – and let the kids put the ornaments on. We still have 2 High School children at home. As they took out and hung the ornaments I took one of those ‘Mom Moments’ to sit back and watch and listen. I realize I only have 3 more years until they are out of the house and on their own. So we moms hold onto these times and cherish them in our hearts.
I thought it would be the ‘pretty’ ornaments that they would remember. But no – it was the ones that were ‘less than perfect’ that they remembered and talked about.
The Rusty Bell – from Elementary School when all the kids got to watch “Polar Express” at school. I was working at the kids school that year as we started our family over again that year. Me and the kids out on our own.
The One Legged Snowman and One Antlered Reindeer – That was bought from a gas station for $1. I couldn’t afford a pricey ornament that year. It was a last minute thing on Dec 24th and I gave it to them at the gas pump – no wrapping required.
The Pine Cone – “Ornaments on a budget” as my son said. But they remember these ones. Through the trials, through the tribulations, lives the memory of love – no matter what the cost.
My life lessons learned that night:
Remember the simple things – they last.
Just because it’s broken doesn’t mean it doesn’t matter.
Cherish the moments. Hold these things in your heart.
“Mary kept all these things to herself, holding them dear, deep within herself.” (Luke 2:19 MSG)
Another new car? Seriously? The ex pulls in the driveway with yet another car. That’s the third one I’ve seen in the last few weeks. Yes, he is in trouble with the law – again. And yet I am court ordered to let him see our two kids. Sometimes he shows up. Sometimes he cancels. And here is mom, the master Piece Picker-upper. Yeah. You know how that goes. He promises one thing. Then cancels. And we moms get to pick up the pieces. All while keeping our mouths shut, because in the kids eyes – he is the Hero. Doesn’t make sense at all does it? Yeah, making $24/hour for almost year and still not paying any child support.
I have to believe in God and that He will make things right. Otherwise I would be back in the ‘I love me jacket’ and living in the ‘rubber room’ again. That wasn’t fun. Well, good meds – I’ll give them that. But skip the Seroquel – it makes me drool! Oh the things you learn along the way on this journey. Laugh or cry – seriously.
So I sit. And I wait. And I make the choice to choose to believe that God really does know the ‘bigger picture’ and I may not. My parents divorced. I know what it is like – to love them both in different places. To be caught in the middle. (see Second Fiddle)
I am in a much better place. God rewrote my story…and I am grateful. I know love today. God restored my soul!
I received this email from a beautiful woman in Christ the other day. Thank you Sister Jeanne!
“The Pickle Jar”
The pickle jar as far back as I can remember sat on the floor beside the dresser in my parents’ bedroom. When he got ready for bed, Dad would empty his pockets and toss his coins into the jar.
As a small boy, I was always fascinated at the sounds the coins made as they were dropped into the jar. They landed with a merry jingle when the jar was almost empty. Then the tones gradually muted to a dull thud as the jar was filled.
I used to squat on the floor in front of the jar to admire the copper and silver circles that glinted like a pirate’s treasure when the sun poured through the bedroom window. When the jar was filled, Dad would sit at the kitchen table and roll the coins before taking them to the bank.
Taking the coins to the bank was always a big production. Stacked neatly in a small cardboard box, the coins were placed between Dad and me on the seat of his old truck.
Each and every time, as we drove to the bank, Dad would look at me hopefully. ‘Those coins are going to keep you out of the textile mill, son. You’re going to do better than me. This old mill town’s not going to hold you back.’
Also, each and every time, as he slid the box of rolled coins across the counter at the bank toward the cashier, he would grin proudly. ‘These are for my son’s college fund. He’ll never work at the mill all his life like me.’
We would always celebrate each deposit by stopping for an ice cream cone. I always got chocolate. Dad always got vanilla. When the clerk at the ice cream parlor handed Dad his change, he would show me the few coins nestled in his palm. ‘When we get home, we’ll start filling the jar again.’ He always let me drop the first coins into the empty jar. As they rattled
around with a brief, happy jingle, we grinned at each other. ‘You’ll get to college on pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters,’ he said. ‘But you’ll get there; I’ll see to that.’
No matter how rough things got at home, Dad continued to doggedly drop his coins into the jar. Even the summer when Dad got laid off from the mill, and Mama had to serve dried beans several times a week, not a single dime was taken from the jar. To the contrary, as Dad looked across the table at me, pouring catsup over my beans to make them more palatable, he became more determined than ever to make a way out for me ‘When you finish college, Son,’ he told me, his eyes glistening, ‘You’ll never have to eat beans again – unless you want to.’
The years passed, and I finished college and took a job in another town. Once, while visiting my parents, I used the phone in their bedroom, and noticed that the pickle jar was gone. It had served its purpose and had been removed.
A lump rose in my throat as I stared at the spot beside the dresser where the jar had always stood. My dad was a man of few words: he never lectured me on the values of determination, perseverance, and faith. The pickle jar had taught me all these virtues far more eloquently than the most flowery of words could have done. When I married, I told my wife Susan about the significant part the lowly pickle jar had played in my life as a boy. In my mind, it defined, more than anything else, how much my dad had loved me.
The first Christmas after our daughter Jessica was born, we spent the holiday with my parents. After dinner, Mom and Dad sat next to each other on the sofa, taking turns cuddling their first grandchild. Jessica began to whimper softly, and Susan took her from Dad’s arms. ‘She probably needs to be changed,’ she said, carrying the baby into my parents’ bedroom to diaper her. When Susan came back into the living room, there was a strange mist in her eyes.
She handed Jessica back to Dad before taking my hand and leading me into the room. ‘Look,’ she said softly, her eyes directing me to a spot on the floor beside the dresser. To my amazement, there, as if it had never been removed, stood the old pickle jar, the bottom already covered with coins. I walked over to the pickle jar, dug down into my pocket, and pulled out a fistful of coins. With a gamut of emotions choking me, I dropped the coins into the jar. I looked up and saw that Dad, carrying Jessica, had slipped quietly into the room. Our eyes locked, and I knew he was feeling the same emotions I felt. Neither one of us could speak. This truly touched my heart.
Sometimes we are so busy adding up our troubles that we forget to count our blessings.
Never underestimate the power of your actions. With one small gesture you can change a person’s life, for better or for worse.
God puts us all in each others lives to impact one another in some way.
Look for GOOD in others.
“The best and most beautiful things cannot be seen or touched – they must be felt with the heart” ~ Helen Keller
“The shame and the downfall of a modern materialistic society is her inability to treasure, care for, admire, adore, cherish, value, revere, respect, uphold, uplift, protect, shield, defend, safeguard, treasure and love her children. I praise all the cultures of this world that naturally harbor and actively manifest these instincts. If a nation or if a population of people fails to recognize the excellent value and distinction of the lives of her children and is defective enough to have lost the capability of expressing and acting upon these instincts then there is nothing that can save that nation or those people. The prosperity of a people is not measured in banks, financial markets, economy and the death of its humanity is evident not through the loss of life but in the loss of love for its children.”
― C. JoyBell C.
“Children are a gift from the Lord;
they are a reward from him.
Children born to a young man
are like arrows in a warrior’s hands.
How joyful is the man whose quiver is full of them!
He will not be put to shame when he confronts his accusers at the city gates.”
– Psalm 127:3-5 NLT
Thank you to my sister-in-law Kris who shared this with me. She’s buried in snow like us today. Gotta love these Midwest Winters!
The “W” in Christmas – Author Unknown
Each December, I vowed to make Christmas a calm and peaceful experience. I had cut back on nonessential obligations — extensive card writing, endless baking, decorating, and even overspending. Yet still, I found myself exhausted, unable to appreciate the precious family moments, and of course,
the true meaning of Christmas.
My son, Nicholas, was in kindergarten that year. It was an exciting season for a six-year-old. For weeks, he’d been memorizing songs for his school’s Winter Pageant. I didn’t have the heart to tell him I’d be working the night of the
production. Unwilling to miss his shining moment, I spoke with his teacher.She assured me there’d be a dress rehearsal the morning of the presentation. All parents unable to attend that evening were welcome to come then. Fortunately, Nicholas seemed happy with the compromise.
So, the morning of the dress rehearsal, I filed in ten minutes early, found a spot on the cafeteria floor and sat down. Around the room, I saw several other parents quietly scampering to their seats. As I waited, the students were led into the room. Each class, accompanied by their teacher,sat cross-legged on the floor. Then, each group, one by one, rose to perform
Because the public school system had long stopped referring to the holiday as Christmas,” I didn’t expect anything other than fun, commercial entertainment – songs of reindeer, Santa Claus, snowflakes and good cheer. So, when my son’s class rose to sing, “Christmas Love,” I was slightly taken aback by its bold title.
Nicholas was aglow, as were all of his classmates, adorned in fuzzy mittens, red sweaters, and bright snowcaps upon their heads. Those in the front row-center stage — held up large letters, one by one, to spell out the title of the song. As the class would sing “C is for Christmas,” a child would hold up the letter C. Then, “H is for Happy,” and on and on, until
each child holding up his portion had presented the complete message,
The performance was going smoothly, until suddenly, we noticed her; a small, quiet, girl in the front row holding the letter “M” upside down –totally unaware her letter “M” appeared as a “W.”
The audience of 1st through 6th graders snickered at this little one’s mistake. But she had no idea they were laughing at her, so she stood tall, proudly holding her “W.” Although many teachers tried to shush the children, the laughter continued until the last letter was raised, and we all saw it together. A hush came over the audience and eyes began to widen. In that instant, we understood the reason we were there, why we celebrated the Christmas holiday in the first place, why even in the chaos, there was a purpose for our festivities.
For when the last letter was held high, the message read loud and clear:
“C H R I S T W A S L O V E”
And, I believe, He still is.
Amazed in His presence…
Humbled by His love.
May each of you have a Merry Christmas and a blessed New Year as you reflect on His Amazing Love for us.
Hope you all have a wonderful” Christwaslove” holiday season.
DAILY PROMPT: Vanilla, chocolate, or something else entirely?
Hands down, it’s gotta be chocolate for me. Chocolate, a girls best friend, the one PMS medicine that works, and a wonderful “take me away” food. Plus, trying to justify myself here, dark chocolate is high in antioxidants, it may help lower your blood pressure, and it increases the endorphin’s in your brain.OK, I know how to use Google. Truthfully, I would eat chocolate whether it was healthy or not!
I went to Baskin-Robbins (online), and there are pictures of all the flavors.
Kinda reminds me of all God’s kids,
many different flavors, but all good!
GODS PROMISE TO YOU:
Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good. His love endures forever.
Give thanks to the God of gods. His love endures forever.
Give thanks to the Lord of lords: His love endures forever.
(Psalm 136:1-3 NIV)
Give thanks to the God of heaven. His love endures forever.
(Psalm 136:26 NIV)
MY PRAYER FOR YOU:
Lord, we just want to say thank you. Thank you for loving us forever. Thank you for covering us with Your grace and mercy. Thank you for Jesus. Thank you for the new life You have given us. Thank you that we do not have to stay the same. Thank you for delivering us.
Thank you that we are Your kids. (Are we there yet Daddy?)