Silver Lining of Expectations

Shadows of doubt can hinder one's journey

Shadows of doubt can hinder one’s journey

Going about my merry way I witnessed a mom roll her eyes when she was asked about her son. She said she wishes that he was doing things differently in his life. I couldn’t help but wonder why she thinks he needs to be doing things differently and what at this point has inspired him? If he’s living with a parent that wishes he was doing things differently, unless of course it is something harmful, that parent is subconsciously exuding a negative attitude toward him thus creating underlying friction, ultimately wrecking havoc on the relationship. By acknowledging her son’s decisions, a conversation would take place for her to understand why he is making the decisions that he is. For example, let’s assume the son wants to take a gap year before going off to college. If she simply says, “Wow! I’m surprised to hear you say that. Tell me more about what you are thinking in terms of what you would like to do in the interim?” She now has the opportunity to discuss his view. 

Knowing this young man is a senior in high school, I found myself wondering what conversations may have taken place over time in the home to build trust? How did she handle conversations related to emotions? It seems that struggling with emotions without a grasp on how to label them would hinder one’s maturity. Was this going on in their home? Did her son feel he was violated or not fully accepted? Was he ever able to express his thoughts or have help labeling his emotions? Teens are bombarded with social aspects and hormones that contribute to their struggle and development. As a parent, it is our responsibility to help our children navigate these bumpy roads. Hoping our kids make different choices may actually hinder their progress as they discover their true identity.

It may seem like teens don’t want to engage in conversation but think twice! What they think is real and what we know, is that they need help sorting it all out. Who do you want leading them? Finding a time to be one-on-one in conversation is key to building trust and a place for them to reveal their thoughts. It has been said that if a teen is struggling, one of the best things you can do is go for a drive and drive for as long as you need to until they open up.

This poor mom, one might think, must feel unequipped. We only have so many tools before we head back to the hardware store for more. Helping our kids grow up is not an easy task. Researching, asking others who have gone before and applying principles of love enables us to help them be their best. Teens need tools just like adults. Engaging with teens emotionally and intellectually builds healthy relationships and fosters mentoring for the many challenges they face.

Do you suppose, had the mom turned the thought around, that perhaps she should be doing things different in his life? That maybe she might be able to be more at ease with his decisions? That he would feel accepted if she did? Allowing our kids to explore within the confines of house rules helps them with their own decision-making skills. These practices of acknowledging and engaging in conversation about their actions and motives builds trust. Humans want to belong and impress. To whom do you want your kids to impress? I hope it is you as the one that they can trust and rely on. Your home then rests in love and respect. Ideas are honored, accountability resides, discovery is encouraged, structure reflects boundaries and forgiveness is vital when we make poor decisions. Our leadership in the home prepares them for the leadership they seek and experience outside the home. The bumpy roads they experience living on their own hopefully are overcome by way of consulting with their Creator. There the silver lining of expectations exist. Pure and of truth.

Why I Named My Blog fiveof9

Thoughts transformed

With love in her heart, a mother tells her story.

Contemplating blogging was challenging enough.  “What is blogging,” I wondered, and “How do I do it?” After reading several blogs I realized that blogging is simply someone typing out their thoughts as they ponder them. So what can be so hard about blogging once a week or daily? Time, passion, values, commitment, choice…those are a few of the reasons one would consider, prior to answering the question, “Why I named my Blog fiveof9.” The reason I named my blog fiveof9 is because I am the fifth child of nine my mother gave birth to. I liked spelling out five and using a numeral for nine.

Using this name gave me an “identity” as a blogger.  Something fun and intriguing I figured. My true identity is simply that I am a child of God. That is my identity that grounds me in all of my decisions, actions and relationships.

The fact that I was the fifth child born gives me a “rank” that many in our culture will give much attention to. The belief that children born in between siblings tend to have certain behavioral traits that first or last child don’t. Rather than identifying myself with such mayhem, my identity in Christ is much simpler in that it encompasses one word and that word is, Love.

Love is what I move forward with and in. This side of Heaven (here on earth) I reside in my flesh and strive to be of love in all my encounters. I don’t always live up to that but it is always my goal. I allow myself the pleasure of grace as Christ has done for me.

To those of you that actually take the time to read this: May the love of Christ, by your choice of accepting Him in your heart, be the everlasting state of your heart and soul to share with others.

S T R E T C H I N G for Christ

Make the world a little kinder

Make the world a little kinder

As a homemaker and mother of two, my kids have always been a top priority. Understanding who Christ is, my first! Growing up, church was a place we went to every Sunday and Wednesday for catechism. What struck me a few years back about this schedule is that attending these services instilled in me some great truths and a great deal of memorized ritual. The values instilled in me are still with me today and my children experience that as a result.

Being a homemaker has it’s many challenges. Working solo is great, yet there are times when it seems so mundane and some days can be overwhelming. When I am feeling that way, I am thankful for the freedom I have to sit down in that moment sometimes and study my Bible. I marvel at the truths that have been revealed to me over the years. And as I am guided, my home reaps the rewards of my obedience.

Working through all my shame, learning what forgiveness means and finding out what “It’s not about you,” truly means, has allowed me to be a more peaceful mother. Letting go of all of these burdens has allowed me to break free of the perception of who I labeled myself to be. Going about my day is “all about me” in my actions about Him!

Looking up.

Looking up.

When my actions are about following Christ, I am S T R E T C H I N G for Christ. I am practicing every moment. I’m far from perfect! Obedience requires me to stretch!  I marvel at how much my attitude and actions have changed over time and I am truly thankful. The transformation of my soul because of my belief in Him humbles me. The confidence I once knew is buried and overcome by confidence of truth now.  The peace from trusting in Him is hard to describe. It surely has influenced my home.  The stretch is for Him and it is the power of the Holy Spirit that I am thankful for.

Making Christ a priority has molded me into the follower He so desires. I will never be perfect on this side of heaven but following a leader that is with me 24/7 simply guarantees that no matter what, He is always there. I have a Master with a plan, and in stretching myself in whatever direction, He will always be my center.

Homemaking is so rewarding. Following Christ and allowing the Holy Spirit to move me is the best therapy, I could ever ask for. My faith has moved me into a new way of thinking and doing. I no longer need a “worldly” attitude to maneuver through society. Leading by example is one tough act to follow but I’m sure going to give homemaking my all by following a leader I can trust and am eager to obey. The reward is more than words can describe and homemaking has never been better.

Home is where the heart is.

Home is where the heart is.

May the love that Christ has for you and your home, give you guidance and an eager heart to understand all He so desires for you so that you too can experience a little of that most-wonderful feeling that permeates your soul and ultimately your homemaking.