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Challenges Family Things I've Learned

Calling Protective Services? A Message to the Concerned Onlooker

Do you leave your kids in the car? {Mom of Many}
Image courtesy of stockimages at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I just read an article about a mom who left her 4 year old son in the car for a couple of minutes to run into the store.

Read the article here.

She is a good mom, cares for her child, works hard, is faithful and loving. She did what her mom did with her back when she was little. She did what she thought was best in the moment.

While she was in the store an onlooker called the police and took a picture of her son sitting in the car alone. Since the whole fiasco, this mom has decided her choice was unwise and plans to never do it again. She does a great job in the article laying out the situation and ramifications.

My comments have to do with calling 911 to deal with situations like hers:

This onlooker though she knew best and felt the need to “protect” a stranger’s child.

  1. She didn’t know the mom.
  2. She didn’t know the kid.
  3. She didn’t know the circumstances, age, or maturity of the boy.
  4. She thought she knew better than the mom.
  5. She perceived “danger” when there was none, until she grabbed her phone, that is.

SHE was the danger to this boy.

  1. Her one phone call caused this family a year’s worth of pain and loss.
  2. Because of her reaction to a perceived danger, the mom was charged with child endangerment.
  3. This one act created a long lasting fear in the child that someone would come take him away from his mom.

You might say, “Well, she deserved it.” or, “No, the mom caused it with her decision to leave her child.” Regardless of your opinion regarding leaving kids in the car for a few moments, one thing we must agree upon. The mom is the mom. Her parental rights say she and the dad alone have a say in how they parent. Period.

Would you call 911? {Mom of Many}
Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

The boy wasn’t in danger

  1. He wasn’t in trouble, causing trouble, or in any type of distress.
  2. It wasn’t hot out.
  3. He had the maturity to handle himself and was happily sitting, playing on an iPad.

Stranger danger? Yep…danger from someone who thought they were responsible for a stranger’s child while walking by.

A different lady on one of my Facebook groups saw a boy in a car alone and asked what everyone thought she should do. Should she call 911 or leave him alone and mind her own business? The responses were split. Half said leave it alone and half said she should call 911. What do you say?

Guess what she did…

  1. She stayed with the boy while he sat in the car until his mom came out – because she was concerned.
  2. She didn’t call 911 – because it wasn’t any of her business.
  3. She limited her “social responsibility” to observation, not judgement or action.

Win. Win. She alleviated her doubts and helped a mom in need (or so she felt was in need – it’s called appropriate, non threatening concern).

Is there a better way?

  1. Why don’t we just help instead of criticize?
  2. Why don’t we give people the benefit of the doubt and do what is best for everyone involved?

People don’t understand that by calling 911, or protective services, they are creating a danger in the lives of the entire family that is just as damaging as the perceived risk of leaving a child in the car (if not more).

One day I was in a bathroom stall and heard a mom come in with several little kids. She keep saying, “Stay right in front of the door while I am helping your brothers go potty.” She kept talking to her 6 year old son to keep him occupied while she took care of business. She had three little kids.

Was the boy standing outside the stall in any danger? No. Could he have been? Maybe. If I’d been a pervert or kidnapper, I definitely had opportunity. But I wasn’t. He was fine. Was I concerned? A little Was there a minor possibility of a problem? Maybe.

Are you a help to others? {Mom of Many}
Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Rather than criticize or assume she couldn’t handle her kids, I decided to help.

  1. I told her I would stay with her son and watch the door until she was done.
  2. I explained I was a mom of a bunch of kids and I understood her situation.
  3. She profusely thanked me when she came out and explained that she was frazzled trying to manage them.

I certainly knew what she meant because I’ve gone shopping with a passel of kids and know what it’s like to try to manage all of them alone (which is why I seldom went out alone without my DH!)

He was fine and she was encouraged by a concerned onlooker.

Let’s not judge, intervene or criticize.

  1. Let’s not cause a problem where there is none.
  2. Let’s not assume we know better than the parents.
  3. Let’s not step in where we don’t belong.

Let’s decide to help rather than create a problem where there is none.

  1. If we see a need. Let’s help.
  2. If we see possible danger. Let’s help.
  3. If we see a mom needing help, let’s help!

Let me know what you think or if you’ve had experience with the “helping hand.” I have a comment section and I read every one!

Val @ Mom of Many

 

 

For tips, recommendations and ideas - or just support, join our community at MomofMany.net

 

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DIY & Crafts Family Parenting tips Things I've Learned

Get a Hobby, Mom! Parenting Tip #43

Parenting Tips {Mom of Many}

Find Your Creative Outlet

Back when all 15 kids were home and we were crazy busy, I still took time to read books, learn new technology and techniques in my graphic design and photography passions and kept up with several of my hobbies. Do you? Do you have a hobby or creative outlet that brings a smile to your face? You need to get a hobby if you don’t have one now.

Why a hobby, you ask?

Well, to start with, you want to maintain your sanity. To be creative and see progress even in the smallest of areas helps you to stay positive and motivated. Hobbies such as gardening, scrapbooking, painting, reading, blogging, etc. give you a creative outlet. There are so many stressors in our lives that we need to find ways of release.

Too busy, you say? Nope. You aren’t too busy to have hobbies. Actually, if you are very busy, you NEED those creative outlets to balance your daily life. If you work all the time, your body and mind will eventually tell you, “STOP!” either through illness, exhaustion or plain ol’ mental weariness.

Parenting Tips {Mom of Many}There are others benefits too.

  1. Scrapbooking showed my kids that they were VALUABLE. Often there would be one or more of the kids standing at my side or looking over my shoulder to see what I was up to and would find their pictures being double sided taped to the page with some fancy embellishments – this made them feel wanted and special. It was tangible.
  2. When I painted shirts for my kids, they were able to see their personality and preferences come to life via paint. The other day when my youngest DD and I were looking through some old toddler clothes from long ago, she came across a toddler shirt with an elephant on it – she knew who it had belonged to because we all knew our son loved elephants.
  3. Reading allows you to step outside of a very stressful life and jump into someone else’s for a brief moment – a chance to let go of the things that plagues you, even if for a brief time. I would read in the living room, the hub of family activity, which allowed me to supervise AND regroup, to mentally let go of the things that were worrisome.
  4. Photography was another way I could show my kids that they mattered. I was the church and school’s ministry and sports photographer and graphic designer, so as I was taking the kids’ pictures and editing them, they saw themselves become the “focus” (no pun intended) in my scrapbooks, the school yearbook, website and publications.

Think about your life.

Some people think that if they sacrifice every moment of their life for ministry or others, then God will bless them above and beyond. It IS true that a life spent for Christ is rewarding and will bring blessing, but it is NOT Parenting Tips {Mom of Many}true that 100% must be dedicated to our “calling.”

Give yourself a break. You will be happier and healthier if you give yourself a mental, emotional and physical respite. It will help you be focused, encouraged and hopeful. People who are burned out or even bored and some of the most miserable people around – they tend to either be discouraged, depressed or turn into dull, overly pious or busy bodies.

Dull? Yes. If someone has nothing that draws them creatively, where will their depth of personality come from? Where do you think coveting comes from?

Overly pious? Yes. If a person dedicates 100% of their time to service, they might begin to wonder why others don’t and will judge them accordingly.

Busy body? Yes. If one has no personal life, they may begin to look into others’ lives and think they are much more interesting (and they would be right!) and start to meddle and criticize just to get some attention because they are feeling unfulfilled (no depth).

Do any of these apply to you? Probably not. But watch out – it has a way of creeping up on a person and is seldom recognized because the motivation is seldom understood. If we don’t know why we do something or why we think the way we do, how do we even begin to change or seek the solution?

So moms, get a hobby. It’s for the good of everyone around you, including you.

In the comments below, list your hobbies. You never know, you just might inspire someone! If you are willing to help a mom start up a new hobby, you can do so in our M.O.M. Facebook group.

If you are a parent in need of support, please join us and be invited to our exclusive M.O.M.s Facebook group where we chat every day about mom stuff. it’s a safe place to share your concerns and seek advice.

If you’re interested in DIY tutorials and inspiring ideas, visit my other website: LoveMyDIYHome.com.

Val @ Mom of Many

Parenting Tips {Mom of Many}

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Challenges Family Parenting tips recommendations Things I've Learned

Should We Help Our Adult Children? (3) Parenting Tip #44

 

This is #3 in the Series, “Should we Help our Adult Children?”

Read #1 and #2 first, please.

#1 in This Series

#2 in This Series

Yesterday I left off with: “There was one defining moment that set my course for the rest of our parenting for when they were all adults.”

Let me tell you about that moment.

When our older kids were in college, they all came home from college for Easter one year and I found myself falling into the crisis repairing stage with one of them during those few days. At the end of the week, I’d realized that short vacation was gone and I’d not had many good moments with the ones that weren’t in crisis. I’d spent all my time trying to put out a fire that eventually just re-ignited anyway.

So basically I had chosen the one in crisis over the ones that were not. I felt like the worst parent in the world. I decided right then that I would NEVER do that again. Never again would I put a troubled adult ahead of one that was not. I worked at repairing and protecting my CIRCLE from that day on. I have determined to surround myself with those who consistently love and respect me, make a genuine effort to do right, and try to live a good and peaceable life.

Families are Forever {Mom of Many}

That doesn’t mean I won’t be there for those who were in trouble or need me. But I will always carefully consider my priorities and strike a better balance. Now that all of my kids are over 18, I do not feel I have any obligation to disrupt, ignore or put off anyone in my CIRCLE for anyone outside of it. If that offends you, go back and read my definition of CIRCLE. It is what it is and I don’t apologize for it.

It is the only way to have peace and be happy when you have difficult kids who choose to live a self-destructive lifestyle or constantly find themselves on SHAKY GROUND due to bad decisions. I will not risk losing those in my CIRCLE ever again. Nor will I pressure those in my circle to join me when I reach outside of it to help someone in crisis. That is for them to decide. For me to do any of that would be choosing to walk the ROAD TO DESTRUCTION or the very least to be on SHAKY GROUND with those in my CIRCLE.

  1. Does this adult child who is on SHAKY GROUND use gifts (time, money, advice, compassion) wisely and learn by example and through personal experience? In other words, would you be throwing your pearls before swine?

AND…

  1. Does this adults child that is on SHAKY GROUND treat you with respect in private and public? Do they show appreciation when you help them? Do they only “love” you when you give them things?

 

Does your teenage son bully you? {Mom of Many}

Have you ever given money to a person for a bill and they turned around and spent a bunch of money on unnecessary “stuff”?

We have an obligation to not be an enabler.

An example of an enabler would be a wife who covers up for her husband who is a drunk or an abuser. She fears losing her home, her security and even her life if she speaks up and asks for help.

Moms and dads feel this pressure too. BUT if we enable those adult kids through giving and giving and then giving some more when they just squander our gifts, how are we helping them to break the cycle of irresponsible living and bad choices? Wouldn’t it be better for them to fail and learn from their mistakes? Sometimes it takes many mistakes for them to learn, but let’s not put off their learning by fixing their problems for them.

Do we not have an obligation to be good stewards?

Might we not fail ourselves if we don’t make wise choices? Does our obligation of being a good example end when our kids turn 18? Do we not influence everyone around us? Are we exempt from the consequences of our wastefulness? Is it OK to waste our money on those who will squander it?

Before you help any of your kids on a grand level, look at who they are. Are they kind and respectful? Are they hard working and responsible? Are they givers themselves and generally live right and strive to be a blessing to others? Do they make wise decisions and put forth their best effort? Is the need genuine? Did they arrive at this need through bad decisions?

Remember the quote, “If someone shows you who they are, believe them.” Let this guide you.

I’ll leave you to contemplate.

Read the final entry in this series tomorrow…

#1 in This Series

#2 in This Series

#3 in This Series (You are here)

#4 in Series

Val @ Mom of Many

Parenting Tips {Mom of Many}

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Challenges Family Parenting tips

Do you stress over your “TO DO LIST”? Parenting Tip #39

TO DO LISTs Only Grow

Wash the clothes, sweep the floor, change the bedding, do the dishes, and on and on.

Moms are probably the busiest people in the world, and the most under appreciated. Unless you’re a mom, you have no clue. Seriously. Even after all the kids leave the nest, Momhood doesn’t end.

Though our nest is empty, I still interact with my kids. Being a mom cannot be described as a full-time job. It doesn’t end at 5:00pm nor does it end when they turn 18 when the world says our job is officially done.

Basically, by having kids, whether by birth or adoption, we are lifers.

Add to that church stuff, work stuff, home stuff…the list goes on – our TO DO LIST grows exponentially as we meet the needs of our family and interact with the world.

The TO DO LIST

For January, I put together MOMentum Calendar to encourage our M.O.M.s group. Each day there is something to do that we often put off because we are so busy. A surprising thing has happened for me as I have accomplished each daily challenge.

January MOMentum Goal Calendar {Mom of Many}

Halfway in I stopped stressing about my lengthy TO DO LIST. For about 2 years I’ve stressed every day because my list has gotten so long and my available time to squeeze in extra stuff has all but vanished. I have no margin and it has caught up with me.

Nearly everyone in our M.O.M. group felt the same way.

I created a January challenge to encourage my M.O.M.s and it ended up encouraging me. Because I accomplish something extra every day that isn’t on my list (like cleaning out a junk drawer), I feel accomplished, have stopped stressing about my TO DO LIST and have finally accepted that I can only do what I can do.

TO DO List Vs. Goal Setting

Have you ever set big goals and then not meet them?

How often have you thought: “I JUST NEED TO GET THROUGH THIS DAY”?

We assume the goals have to be big and life changing to really matter. But the big life changing goals often get set aside because life happens.

Instead of only setting huge goals, we need to set little daily goals too. As the month progresses, the feeling of accomplishment replaces defeat and we become hopeful and less stressed. By setting little daily goals, we work toward meeting our big goals. This is where our TO DO LIST and our goal setting meet. our TO DO LIST basically is really a daily goal planner.

I know. Weirdly simple, right?

Being Practical

So now, realizing that little written down goals are foundational to the larger, I’m designing a multi page M.O.M. planner. I am offering it free to our M.O.M.s FB group. I’m giving you a one page weekly planner sheet today to show you what I’m working on. Just click on it and I will send it to you via email. If you want to receive more pages as they are designed, join our M.O.M. Facebook group.

We need to realize that our TO DO LIST is a tool, not a prison of our own making. We manage IT – IT doesn’t manage us.

We are faithful. We do our best. We just need to see it – every single day.

So we start now. Step by step we move forward – not by beating ourselves up over what we didn’t get accomplished but to  celebrate each small success. We are not defined by how or if we complete our lists; we are defined by who we are and our part in bringing light to the world.

Just Click to Commit

Does your to do list control you? {Mom of Many}<<< Just “click the pic” if you want to do some mini personal goal setting and commit to de-stressing your TO DO LIST by looking at it in a new light. You can fill it out to set your own goals for the week. If you are interested in taking a look at our other M.O.M. planner sheets like a password log, weekly cleaning check list, etc., join our M.O.M. Facebook group. You will have access to all of my planner sheets as I make them – FREE because you are a part of our M.O.M. group.

If you would like to join us in using the monthly MOMentum calendars, click the one above and then watch for the February MOMentum calendar. If you’d like to suggest daily goals for our calendars, email me from the contact page above or join our M.O.M. group and post your ideas.

I looked for years for support and didn’t find it. Join us and find other moms just like you.

 

Val @ Mom of Many

Parenting Tips {Mom of Many}

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Adoption Family Parenting tips Things I've Learned

5 Steps to Keeping a Clear Head When Life Stinks – Parenting Tip #26

Keep a clear head in crisis {Mom of Many)Don’t dwell. Dwelling is bad.

There will be times where your days and nights will be consumed with the pain and disappointment of life.

I’ve seen many families torn apart because the pain was too great – that every waking moment dwelling on the bad stuff consumed them.

We all will experience serious trials in life. We must choose how we will respond and that choice will affect every area of our lives.

I have some advice for you – a practice that I have adopted has changed my way of dealing with the hard days.

I went to the Women Counseling Women week long training with Debi Pryde and in one of her sessions she dealt with dwelling on the bad stuff.

Her advice to us?

Don’t dwell. When you have a serious situation that you need to deal with, take 5 minutes, think about it, decide what you are going to do about it or plan your next step and then let it go and get on with your day.

The dwelling is what takes control of your life. We need to leave off the dwelling and choose to live our life – not defined by our pain but defined by who we are and who we serve.

God isn’t punishing us.

God doesn’t put pain and suffering in our life to hurt or punish us. He allows trials in our life to hone us, to grow and strengthen us…though it certainly doesn’t feel like it sometimes.

If we allow the pain and stressors in life to envelope us, we will  let the pain win. We are too valuable for that. We have a job to do and we can’t do it with our two hands tied behind our back. We must be free to move forward and accomplish life – to be there for our families.

5 steps to keeping a clear head when life stinks:

  • Think over your situation for 5 minutes.
  • Decide on your next move and then put the thoughts away.
  • Purposely think on something else.
  • Follow through on your decision and once you do – take another 5 minutes to consider it.
  • Then put it behind you again.

You will be amazed how your life will improve.

Your day to day activities will be easier. You will find hope again. You will have a clearer view of your situation and feel more in control of your life.

That one truth will set you free in a way you never expected.

You all have heard the expression “Give it to God.”Keep a clear head in crisis {Mom of Many)

This is the best way to do it. When you dwell, you keep it close to you. Not only is this not healthy, it throws you in the middle of the trees where you can’t see the forest. You need to see the forest.

Now go to the mirror and say:

Val @ Mom of Many

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Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici and stockimages at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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Family Parenting tips

M.O.M. A New Facebook Mom’s Support Group

Helping and Healing {Love My DIY Home}

Have you ever felt isolated, out of options or ganged up on? Do you wish you could find someone who understands?

Then join us at M.O.M. Click on the side banner in the right or CLICK HERE. >>>

For many years I felt isolated and alone. Now you don’t have to.

If you are a mom and interested in joining a new Facebook mom’s community where you will find:

  • no judgement
  • acceptance
  • ideas and advice
  • other moms who “get it”
  • a safe place of support

You will get information on our “closed” Facebook group and others goodies along the way.  Join M.O.M.

Meanwhile,

Keep being amazing!

Val @ Mom of Many

MomofMany.net

 

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Ministry Musings Spiritual Truths Things I've Learned

Ladies, YOU need to hear this… Listen up!

Hey ladies, my valuable, worthy ladies who love God and put yourself out there every day for others. Yes, I mean you.

Melody2 by Jesse Therrien from freeimages freesxc

I have something to tell you, something you NEED to hear. I’ve gotten so many letters, texts, Facebook messages, phone calls, and frustrated, “I need to talk to you,” face to face encounters that I have to address this. Urgh.

There is something you may not know and I’m going to tell you right now.

So listen up.

You are valuable.

You are loved.

You are who you are because God made you that way. That makes you special… special to God… special to me.

Yes, I mean you.

I see you day to day putting yourself aside and working for others, dropping by a vase of flowers for a sick older lady, changing diapers in the church nursery, going out to work to help support the family, caring your grandchildren, sacrificing for your children, washing dishes after a fellowship in your church, raising an adopted child by yourself, taking your kids to sports practice, blogging tutorials for strangers on how to save a dime, tutoring the student who just doesn’t get it, caring for a sick husband, encouraging others to keep going…

You do so much for others that I couldn’t possibly list it all. And yet, you are discouraged, feeling unloved and disrespected.

To quote a phrase in the Bible, because it is so simple yet profound, “These things ought not so to be.”

It makes me angry (yes, I can be angry and sin not) to see the women around me live discouraged, defeated lives because of how they are regarded by those around them.

It ends now.

Every woman who belongs to Christ (if you’re not sure, go here) must claim their position in Him, realize their value, and act like it!

No more questioning. No more letting people walk all over you. No more wondering if you can be used.

NO MORE!

You are not alone.

When you met Christ, you not only were forgiven, but you became brand new. You became His child, valuable and complete.

Did you hear that? You are complete in Him. He VALUED you enough to hang on that cross – FOR YOU.

So how is it that we wonder if we are enough? How is it that we question our value?

Um, no.

Right now you are going to realize you are valuable, complete in Him and to be regarded as such. No more are you going to accept the notion that you are not as good or capable or usable as that woman you think is better than you (or that woman that thinks she is better than you and lets you know it).

If someone tries to make you feel small, you just stand tall and tell yourself, “I am a daughter of the Most High God, I am valued, I am complete in Him.” Notice I said, “tries.” No one can put you in your place but God, and if you belong to Him, you are already placed in His hand and He is in your heart.

Repeat after me, “I got this.”

Photo by Stephen Davies freeimages

I don’t mean, “I got this,” as in “I’m perfect,” I mean, “I got this, I’m complete, I’m valued by God, I don’t need your approval, I don’t need you to put me in my place. I’m good where I’m at, in my God’s hand, loved and valued.”

Stop comparing yourself to other women. Stop trying to compete. Just be whom God made you. Accept who you are. Realize your value. Stand up and say, “I got this.”

Being submissive doesn’t mean we are a little mouse that walks around afraid to speak. If you’re not sure this is true, go read in the Scriptures about how all the women that served God were strong, confident women with purpose.

Being a good woman doesn’t mean you stand by while others smack you around with their words or actions. Others will not respect you if you don’t respect yourself. Stand up and say, “I got this.”

One friend recently said, “I’ve decided I will just stay in my room when they are home.”

Um. No.

You are not going to hide. You are not going to step aside and let them devalue you, take advantage of your insecurities or let them make you feel unloved. You are the daughter of a king. You step up and say,

“I got this.”

You are going to claim your position in Christ, say to yourself, “I belong to the King,” and take your place as a valued child. You are going to set your boundaries and claim your spot. It is your home. They are visitors. They will respect and cherish you or they will go.

I have a family of 5 living in our home and my 87 year old mother. None of them treat me like I am worthless. None of them push me around. None of them disrespect me. In fact, it is just the opposite. I have loved every moment my daughter’s family has been in our home for the past 5 months. I have gained much by having my mother in our home. We help each other, we laugh, we enjoy, we respect each other. When they move out in the next few days I will feel a loss. When my mother goes home to glory, I will feel a void.

If this is not the case with those around you, then you need to reevaluate your relationships, disconnect from those who do not value you and find some who do. Pray for a girlfriend who will uplift you and support you. Find someone who can encourage you and walk with you. Set your boundaries with everyone in your life and make it clear you know whom you, to whom you belong are and who you are not. And then tell yourself, “I got this.”

You are a daughter of the King.

You are valuable.

You are loved.

You are who you are because God made you that way.

That makes you special… special to God… special to me.

And yes, I mean you.

Blessings to you,

VAL signature

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Family Events Just for Fun

Oh, it’s been a long time..

Greetings, my peeps!

It’s been quite a while since I’ve done much here on Mom of Many. But I have a good excuse – honestly!

I’ve been crazy busy with a ton of irons in my fire (had to start a fire, it’s been so cold out here in Wisconsin!) Last July I started Love My DIY Home because I want to work from home.

Love My DIY Home

I saw an opportunity to start a monetized blog (more on that later) and thought it would be a good fit for me. We’ve talked a lot about what we want for our future and working outside the home for me wasn’t an option since I wanted to be available for my church and family in a full time way. BUT, funny how things work out. There’s always a “but” isn’t there?…especially if you are open to whatever God has planned for us. Yep. Sometimes God turns the tables on you (if you’re willing) and throws things in your path you wouldn’t ordinarily choose.

I have been on Care.com for a while, looking for a nanny opportunity one or two days a week. I got a call from a very nice lady at a placement agency asking if I would consider a family of hers that had just moved to Wausau. I had already been contacted by this family through Care.com and turned them down when they told me how many days they needed. Since we had decided to keep my outside work down to one or two days at the most, I thanked her and told her I wasn’t available for that many hours. BUT…and here is the “BUT” God threw in…But, the offer was so sweet and the family was so sweet, and the little girl was so sweet…you get the picture.

I agreed to meet the family and interview at their house. Long story short, I took the job. Oh my goodness. It’s been a chore keeping up with everything – church, family, Love My DIY Home and our new business Adark Holsters, in which Mark and I partnered with Adam and April.

Adark Holsters

I figured I’m putting in at least 60 hours a week juggling all of my responsibilities, not to mention keeping up on our house and projects that go along with my LMDH website.

So here you have it. I told you I had a really good excuse for not keeping up with Mom of Many!

Fortunately my husband is patient and understanding when I drop the ball on keeping our home in order. Good thing he does his own laundry! He even cleans the kitchen at 5am before work when he sees I’m worn out! He’s such a good dooby. My family has been kind to me, knowing my tight schedule and only plans family events AFTER they look at my nanny schedule. My church people, oh my, talk about fab!, my church family has been filling in for me and my pastor has been so very patient with me when it comes to my responsibilities. Yes, I drop the ball constantly there and they ALWAYS pick it up and give it back to me KINDLY! Did I mention we moved into a new building?

Northside Baptist

I am surrounded by the best people in the world. If you can’t say that – then make a change!

I’ve given much thought to my responsibilites – the big ones – and can’t believe I’ve roped myself into being so busy again!

  • Church secretarial/publications/nursery/choir/discipleship
  • Family – plus keeping my home up/decorating (only been here a year)/putting up a garden/canning
  • Adark Holsters – I’m mapping out the marketing plan and website
  • Love My DIY Home – two posts a week/DIY projects plus all the marketing hoopala that goes along with it
  • Photography – events/family/photo restoration/manipulation/correction
  • Mom of Many (this is the one thing I’ve so terribly neglected!)
  • Writing my ebook (on Creative Discipline)
  • Writing my book (This went on the back burner)

Plus, crazy me, I’m signing up for a 14 week online marketing course.

I am eventually going to change Mom of Many to a self-hosted website. So stay tuned as the changes are coming! Thanks for being loyal even when I’ve DROPPED THE BALL! You are the blessings in my life that keep me going!

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Categories
Adoption FAS

A Three Day Snapshot – Day 1

I have a long time friend who recently found me on Facebook. We reconnected after about ten or so years. We originally met during our old adoption advocacy days when we lived in Flushing. Our adoption support group was instrumental in bringing her and her first son together by adoption. I will call her Linda. This is day one of three days in the life of her newly adopted son, Matt. She currently has four sons.

 Monday, August 24, 2009

Today I had no choice but to take all the kids to Sam’s. I had to pick up a prescription that could not wait. Matt wanted me to let them wait in the car, which I have allowed if I am just running in somewhere for a minute or two. But today I knew it would be longer, so I said “No,” and that they would have to come in with me. First, Matt ran away in the parking lot and Allen ran and got him for me, which set him off against Allen now, too. We went in, and by the time we got back to the meat coolers he was working himself up deliberately. You can actually see him doing it; he clenches his fists and starts breathing harder and faster to work up a good rage. I ended up having to hold him against the cart with one arm while pushing/steering the cart with the other, because he’d started running up and kicking Allen as hard as he could. So he started kicking me, in between pressing his foot on the wheel so I couldn’t move the cart. I ended up having to hold him against the cooler to stop him trying to hurt me, Allen, or himself.

We made it to the pharmacy counter and had to wait a few minutes for it to open back up from lunch break. A lady, who’d been shopping back by the meat dept. and tried to speak with him when he was doing all this, followed us. I saw her come around the corner and duck back when I saw her but didn’t think anything of it at the time. She apparently followed us out and took down my plate number and called 911. Not 10 minutes after we got home a county sheriff’s deputy was at the door with a worker from FOC. To avoid speaking with them, Matt ran to the back of the house and out the back door, but they got him to stop. I told her what happened, and Matt admitted all. She came down squarely on my side, and told him he has to obey me, that I have the right to discipline him, and that she thought he was very lucky to be where he is (she had already asked about his background).


He told her he knew he was lucky, but that being told, “No,” makes him “want to get mad and hit people.” So, I’ve joined the ranks of parents who will need to document, document, document, I guess. She said this was NOT going to CPS; she saw no reason for it. It looked to her like that lady who called 911 was a nosy woman who had no idea of the actual situation or circumstances, and apologized for having to come here especially when it was very clear I’d done nothing wrong. The whole cops at the door for what he had done scared him though, I think. After that, he apologized to me and then to Allen and couldn’t do enough for either of us for several hours. He and Manny have an appointment tomorrow at CMH to get them services. Here’s hoping for at least respite time, huh?

Linda

Categories
Musings

The Grapefruit

In a Bible study that I frequent, we all were told that we need to be transparent to be of help to others. I have taken that challenge seriously. I am going to continue to open my heart so you can see what’s inside. I will try to do so without using names or any identifying information – for it is not my desire to hurt others. It IS my desire to show others my experiences – to be an encouragement. Perhaps if others see what I live through, how I doubt, where my mind wanders, or even my mistakes, then perhaps they’ll be encouraged that their life is normal – especially when it is full of disappointments, heartaches and loveloss. 

I want to dispel the myth that if we pursue God our life will be perfect or easy. Too often we look at others who are in a position of leadership in the church and say to ourselves, “I could never do that.” Or we look at other families and wonder why we can’t be happy like them or have a noticable hand of blessing on our life like they do. Well, I’m here to tell you that if you do choose to pursue God, it will not be a bed of roses. But, you will have the confidence that He is pleased with your offerings to Him and will protect you from the world in a way that brings Him glory and your good. An abiding Christian life is not smooth, but it promises peace and contentment in Him. I wouldn’t trade that for the world – literally. If you put yourself out there to serve Him, you will have pain and heartache but the alternative is a life without purpose and God’s favor. Hopefully along the way you will receive God’s blessing for your lifestyle of godliness, but there are no guarantees when or how they will come. You may have to look for them, but they will be there.

Here’s one of the looks into my life that isn’t so pleasant:

I just can’t keep up. One day I’m a great mom and should receive the blessings of God on my life for the sacrifices I’ve made.  The next day I’m the worst thing that ever walked the earth and should be put down to save others from having to be exposed to me. I guess I’ll just have to accept the fact that some people will hate me. I don’t really understand why, but I still need to accept it. I have to cling to the fact that some day all will be revealed. I have to realize that though I may love someone, they won’t necessarily love me back. I also have to accept the fact that though I did the best I could with God’s help, maybe it wasn’t enough. Sometimes I just have to choose God and let the rest go.

One last thing that maybe will confuse you even more. I just went through a really hard thing with a couple of people in my life – one through email and one on the phone not an hour later. The boys knew it and were staying out of the room to let me deal with it. When I was talking to Mark on the phone about it afterward, Levi, my 17 year old son, asked if he could have a grapefruit and I told him go ahead and then asked if I wanted one. I told him, “No thanks, there are only two,” indicating to him that I thought Jacob might want it. Then he said as he started to hand his to me, “Oh, do you want me to peel you one?” I know that sounds like a small offer, but if you knew how we peeled our grapefruits you’d see how that was such a wonderful thing to offer to do for me.

grapefruit1We first cut off the skin and then take about 15-20 minutes to peel every single piece of the skin so only the fruit juice “sacks” are left. It is a glorious experience to eat a grapefruit like that. Levi and I sat down one school morning and spent about a half an hour doing it together. I told him it was OK, we could just call it Science class. VBG!  He was discovering the tiny sacks of fruit juice and we were reveling in it together. So for him to offer to peel me one was so touching to me that I just started bawling! Then I told Mark I was bawling because when I go through a really hurtful time and someone is nice to me it makes me cry. Poor Levi was standing there with this confused look on his face like he was at a loss – here I was bawling my eyes out because he offered to peel me a grapefruit.

Our life has been very hard for about 6 weeks with many situations and trouble coming our way. It’s been hard dealing with it because it seemed that almost every time we reached out for help we were denied one one way or another. There have been a few people that have helped, and for that I am very grateful to God for. We would have lost it a long time ago if it hadn’t been for them. The thing is, the problems just keep rolling in. Each phone call, each email that I get lately strikes fear into my heart – and even though I know satan is the author of fear and is trying to destroy our family, it doesn’t negate the fact that we have been receiving very painful news over and over – like in the Biblical account of the life of Job, with one thing after another threatening our family. I am anxious for this time in our life to be over, but it doesn’t seem to be happening very quickly. But for now, I need to rest in the good things God sends to me to keep me going. I’m going to go eat my grapefruit.