Sunday, March 15, 2015

Faith and Parenting

I was asked to contribute to Serenity's "Faith Series." During the Lenten Season, she has guests blogging about an area of faith. I was ask to write concerning faith and being a single mom. I have copied the post here. Feel free to read some other great stuff at Living My Faith

During this lenten season, we will have guests posts from other ladies who will share what faith means to them and how their faith impacts their lives. I asked Tiffany to write an article to share about faith as it relates to being a single mom. When I met Tiffany (through my blog), she was a mother to a son who may have been in middle or just beginning high school. She used to listen to my stories about Tyler and always give a word of advice based on her experience being in similar shoes. Her son is now a college athlete and a great young man. 

When Val asked me to be a guest blogger, I was honored but felt  a little unworthy. I was not sure what I would say. I even sent her a response saying just that because my faith walk is nowhere near where I think it should. However, I agreed for a couple of reasons. First, I know my friends see things in me that I don't see immediately. I knew if I sat for a minute and ask God to bring back to my remembrance, I could write something that could possibly help someone. Secondly, it is NOT about me. My life is a testimony or an example for someone else. Who am I to NOT share?

So here we go!

My definition of faith is trusting and believing in God or someone. It's not having proof that it will happen but still believe that it will. I can't pinpoint exactly when my faith walk started. However, if I am being transparent, my faith walk have sometimes ran in the opposite direction. It is a work in progress. I am just grateful that I have enough sense to recognize when faith or what I am believing for God allows me to see to come to pass.

I became a single mother exactly one month after I graduated from college. Looking back now, I realized I started applying my faith as a mother the day I discovered I was pregnant. My son was not planned BUT he was wanted from the very beginning. There was never any consideration of any alternatives. I am a strong believer God will never give you more than you can bear.

There were a few prayers I remember saying over the years. It wasn't like I said them every day, but God and I have conversations and He led me in the right directions. One of them was to break generational curses being repeated throughout my family. God also provided me with real tangible examples for my son to see and understand he had a greater purpose. The other prayer was to have a village to assist in the raising of my son. As a woman, I know I can't raise him to be a man. I can and did raise him to be a good person, to be respectful, and to do his best in everything. However, I am not silly enough to think I can raise a man. I was not equip for it.

The reason I had to have faith in God for those two requests is because I knew I could not fulfill them on my own. I come from a loving but underachieving family. I knew that I wanted my child to strive for excellence. Whenever he decided on some foolishness, we made a trip to my hometown. I would let him see how wrong decisions can take you down a road you do not want. That was a great motivator for him to get on track. Looking back, I see that is exactly what God does with us. He shows us situations from our or another's past to learn a lesson. He loves us so much that He does not want us to make the same mistakes.

My village deposited into him as well. They reinforced my beliefs and desires for his life. Many times God provided the right villager to handle situations or milestones. With teenagers, momma doesn't know what she is talking about many times...in a teenager's mind.


       Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.

This verse is the one I call the ultimate parent faith scripture. This is our or at least my biggest faith item. I have trained him up and set him free. My son is an 18 year old sophomore in college. My role has shifted to more of an advisory role. I know he has not attended church in his college city. However, I was pleasantly surprised when I was sitting in church and received a message from him. "What did pastor say? What is the title of today's lesson? I'm streaming service. I really miss catching him. I need to get up and log in." I think I smiled the remaining of the service. My faith in this area manifested with my son knowing AND doing what he needed to do. As a parent, I can't ask for anything more!

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Day 10: Overcommitment

This day really hit home for me and caused me to pause and really think about my current commitments and the ones I have made in the past. I thought about how I feel when I am overcommitted. There are two feelings that rush over me: overwhelmed and/or frustrated. Neither are good feelings to have festering inside.

I am proud to say that I have been doing a much better job of not overcommitting in the last couple of years. I have learned to say "No" or "I will try." Earth will continue to spin on its axis if I don't make or do everything! Its alright!!

Because "birds of a feather, flock together," I posted and tagged several friends on Facebook. They are just as guilty of doing and being everywhere. About a week ago, one of them asked me how did I learn how to slow down. She was even thinking about moving to a small town as a way to slow herself down. I told her that because I am a busy person, people assume I am busy and I don't correct them. I have at least one "do nothing" day a month. That consists of me moving from the couch to the loveseat throughout the day. I don't leave the house at all. Its my DVR and me! This allows me to recharge.

One of the author's questions is "why is overcommitting bad for us and for others?" For me, it physically makes me sick. It started in college but the doctors did not diagnose it until years later. When I am stress (usually from too many commitments), my body literally starts shutting down. I experience chest pains. They start as a dull pain, but increase in severity to feeling like a 400 pound person is standing on my chest. The cure.....sit my tail down and get some rest! The doctors suggested some medication. To me that was just some foolishness. If I can prevent it by sitting down and resting, then that is what I will do!

Overcommitting have other negative impacts as well. It causes anxiety, resentment, other feelings we can do without in our lives. When we overcommit, we usually can't do it all. Someone is left disappointed and we feel bad for not honoring our word. That is just not a good way to live! Eventually, people will stop asking or leaving us out of things.

One of the plan of actions the pastor recommend is consider my commitments and eliminate one commitment I have that is taking away from my other commitments. I took that to mean an ongoing commitment or a one time event. It was up for me to decide. As I am typing, I thought about a commitment I have for this summer. I am scheduled for several work related commitments with overlapping times. I was debating on how to handle it. I just decided on what to do. I will eliminate the last one I accepted. It causes the most conflict, takes up the most time, and produces the smallest results. After typing it, it sounds like a no brainer. However, I feel it is beneficial. That is why it was on the schedule. I guess I need to tell the powers to be to allow them time to make the necessary adjustments.

Another plan of action is to make one day this week an actual Sabbath Day. That means that you take the day to do nothing and recharge. This is my challenge to you! Will you do it? Can you do it? Leave me a comment or send me a message to let me know if you do it.

For those interested in the series, I have included the link for today's reflection Overcommitment

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