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Posts Tagged ‘parenting’

Since my last blog post, I have been trying to emotionally recover from pulling out of school. I decided to go ahead and take some time off serving at church so I could regroup and figure out where to go from here.  While at peace with the decision, it was easy for me to feel lost with no clear idea of what my next step should be. Work was proving to be difficult too, as summer is totally different than the school year in my department at work. By the end of the first session, I was feeling a bit smothered by people in general, overwhelmed, and confused. I was pretty excited that things worked out where I was able to get a paid “vacation” after only being there 4 ½ months. I seriously needed the reset time.

I decided to spend part of it with my kids, and the other part concentrating on me. It’s difficult as a mom to do that because we tend to feel guilty or selfish, but I knew I had to do it. Deciding to take the kids to the library proved fruitful for me, as I found a book called Introvert Power by Laurie Helgoe. I was just going to get fiction books at the time, but I figured I might as well read to help improve my understanding of myself.  I read that book and it had some great information. I had a little issue with the style of writing, not that it was bad, it was just not what I personally liked (still a good read overall). Then I set out on a journey to a couple of book stores (oh my goodness…how I LOVE bookstores!!!) and found the next books, Strengths Finder 2.0 by Tom Rath and Quiet by Susan Cain. I read Strengths Finder pretty quick and took the test, and found it very helpful in learning more about me. I am still working my way through Quiet, which I LOVE so far (definitely something to look into if you are an introvert).

So in all this reading and time off I have finally been able to deeply process stuff, which I haven’t had the time to do since starting my new job. There is so much I am learning about myself and being an introvert. I can’t begin to tell you the relief it is to finally understand that I am “normal” (whatever that means! LOL) and there is nothing wrong with me!

I have spent most of my life, and even in recent years, feeling like I was “broken”.  There was strong pressure even at a very young age to talk to people and interact with people. I have a faded memory of when I was in about 2nd grade, and hearing a discussion about me needing to be in a speech or some other special class because I wasn’t talking much. I was a very intelligent child, teacher’s pet-type, but I hated talking in class and only had a couple of friends. That’s pretty much how I was through school, except add in a little weird to the mix by high school. Much to my mom’s dismay ( love ya, Momma 🙂  ) that meant dressing in a lot of baggy clothes, black, Converse, combat boots and lots of grunge rock…oh and don’t forget the strong desire to have purple hair (which sadly never happened….one day it will….even if I have to wait to be one of those crazy old ladies with too much of the “bluing” stuff in her gray hair lol)

In my adult years I have struggled so much with my social awkwardness. I always held this strong feeling of discontent about that part of my life.  In one of my relationships, I was accused of a lot of things (that looking back were actually tied into being a depressed introvert. I can’t really explain it here without coming across as bashing the other person or revealing details I would rather not discuss at the moment) and highly pressured to be more extroverted. After my battle with depression was over, I had other things to work through, like actually figuring out who I am!

 It was a difficult trying to figure out why I struggled in that area so much, but when I was reading Introvert Power, I read a section where it talked about shyness being different that being introverted, and that the 2 often overlap! It was one of those things I knew, but could never put in words. There has been a shift in me internally over the past year and a half or so. A kind of growing out of the shyness and growing into my introverted-ness.  God has been helping me in overcoming my fears (which intensified my shyness and awkwardness), and in embracing how He created me.  I love how He is using books to help show me that being an introvert has great strength in it, especially when fear and anxiety are removed from it. I am learning so much, and there is a freedom in knowing that I am not “broken”, I don’t need to be “fixed”.

It is also helping me be a better parent, as I can recognize my children’s introverted traits, and encourage them. At the same time I have to be careful with one who is more extroverted so I don’t try to “fix” her. I have to remind myself that even though I may need my down time, she needs her time with her friends to feel charged. I am also learning that she may not be as extroverted as I once believed! Every day, I am seeing that she could very well just be a healthier introvert that I was at her age 🙂

Overall, I feel like all this learning has been a relief! Between all this mentioned and some other things I have learned about my personality , spiritual gifts and insights from various friends in my life, I am seeing myself in a way I hadn’t before.  So much of who I am had been tied up in who I was hanging around, what I thought would please those whom I loved or masked by depression… it was no wonder that I didn’t know who I was! God has been faithful to answer my prayers for help in this part of my journey, and I know there is so much more He will help me with as I go along. There is peace that comes from finding the missing pieces or in my case discovering the pieces that were hidden underneath. I can’t wait to see where He leads me to next!

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This week was the much anticipated kick-off of the new series, Time Travelers, in Toon Town . The whole series is about media and how it can affect us and what the Bible has to say about it. It was so awesome to see the kids so pumped about it, and personally most of us serving were excited too.

One of the things that amazed me was how much the kids had to say about media.  I served in 4 services and most of the small groups I lead had so much to say. The one that wasn’t as talkative (well at least in answering specific questions) still had some interesting input.  One of the things I learned was that I probably need to research tv shows more, because I had NO clue what some of the shows were! (mainly because we do not have cable or even basic channels at home.)

I have been thinking on what all I observed while serving yesterday. Several of the kids knew some of the stuff that they were exposed to was not good for them (whether it was super scary, violent, sexually inappropriate, bad language, etc). It came down to what the adults happened to be watching while they were around and not so much what the child was allowed to watch during their tv time.

I found myself having to really watch how I say things, so that all the suggestions I gave the kids would still allow them to honor their parents/guardians. The kids’ first reaction is to go and turn off the tv or tell the parent straight up, “Turn it off, that’s bad!” or whatever else came to mind. I gave the kids some options that gave them the power to protect their heart from the bad stuff, with the hopes it will help them cope with any environment that exposes them to stuff that might not be the best thing for the kids to see. Some of the suggestions included: asking their parents nicely to turn it or talk with their parents about what they learned, find something else to do like go their room and play or put some headphones on and listen to good music, etc.

All of this really hit my heart. I ached in my spirit, seeing all these kids who wanted so much to do the right thing and watch what they hear or see. These kids want to please God and grow in their faith. I saw the pain behind their eyes, when they shared that they were scared by certain shows or movies and they don’t like to hear the bad words or see stuff that is inappropriate. For the most part, they knew what was good or bad media, but seemed at a loss as to what to do because they felt like sometimes they didn’t have a choice.

I wish that parents could see this side of their kids more often, to see them from perspective that is a little different. I know that these parents love their kids with everything they got, and never want to hurt them. As a parent, I know this is hard to see with my own kids, it often takes someone giving me a different way of looking at things…

Kids (especially those in elementary school) are very literal. They have problems discerning reality and fantasy, even if they tell you they know the difference.  They will often believe whatever someone (especially a trusted adult!) tells them. They also struggle to understand why the grown-ups in their lives do stuff they can’t do. So many times they hear, “because I am an adult” or whatever.  They are very black & white when it comes to moral issues/rules. It’s either right or wrong and if there happens to be a gray area, they struggle with understanding why. The excuse that “kids are resilient” is not entirely accurate. So many times we  adults say that so flippantly. Whatever a child (or person of ANY age) exposed to WILL affect them in some way, whether good or bad.

I am not telling anyone what show to watch or music to listen to…that’s your choice. But consider what you are potentially exposing your kids to. I used to listen to a lot of different music and watched a lot of stuff, but there came a point where I knew something HAD to change. I don’t know exactly when I realized that it wasn’t cute for a kid to be singing the song on the radio that was blatantly about sex or hurting someone. I wasn’t even that interested in changing what I listened to at that time, but I couldn’t stand for my kids to be repeating some of the lyrics! So I started being super careful what I listened to around them. That eventually became a whole lifestyle change for me, and at the very least my children were changed for the better because of it. Sometimes the best changes in our lives come from what we do to protect our kids. At the very least be willing to listen to your kids when they tell you something that they are exposed to is bothering them. My oldest daughter does this frequently, I used to get mad at her, but then I realized God was using her to change me 🙂

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So this is another new year, with new hopes, goals and dreams. I have to say that I am pretty excited this time around, and I love the anticipation that comes with it. I have not always felt this way, but thankfully God is still healing me 🙂

Yet another thing I love about LC is the way fasting is encouraged at the first of the year. What a wonderful way to give God our first! So many people participate in so many unique ways. Last year I did a vegan fast (because being in Oklahoma I LOVE beef and chicken…lol) it went well, but this year I felt pulled in a different direction. I will be fasting from social media (mainly Facebook and Twitter) for 21 days. The more I think about it, the more it makes me sad to even think I need to do it…meaning I spend way too much time on it. Anyway, so I am eager to see what God will do with it .

I am not really into resolutions, and try to make changes as needed instead of saying all this stuff that I will do this year. I know that sometimes life gets in the way or God steers in another direction and I want to allow for that. So I think just some good ol’ fashioned goal setting will be ok with me. So maybe you consider them resolutions, but with goals it seems more achievable in my mind. So here are some goals for this year. I may not start right off on some of these like some would do with resolutions because I tend to feel overwhelmed after a little bit. But it’s my overall prayer that God will help me accomplish these things and more in 2013:

Grow in God – I know this may sound cliché or cheesy, but I truly want to grow in my relationship with Him. My prayer is that God will restore the passion that I once had, but that it would be more mature. For the past few years I have not spent as much time studying the Bible like I feel like I should. I chose to concentrate just on reading it , trying to build better habits. This year it’s time to dive in and study study study.

Become a better spiritual leader for my kids-  This is an area that I am not entirely comfortable with, to be honest. I have a lot of “old fashioned” values, one of them being that this is a position for a man. While that is ideal, it’s up to me as a single parent to do the best I can.  I have spent the past few years angry and bitter that I was forced in to this role. Now it is far past time for me to move on from that anger, and guide my children to grow closer to God. This is going to take a lot of work and prayer, but I know God will help me one step at a time

Eat Healthy/Get Active – While this is the normal topic for this time of year for millions, I really want to break all my bad habits with food and exercise. It’s been a tough adjustment this past year going back to work after staying home for 5 years, and now I am feeling the blahs of bad eating and not getting some exercise in. I have done well here and there for a few months at time, but I want lasting lifestyle changes, not some fad diets. My goal in this area is to get my family and I eating more “real foods” and far less processed foods. I have wanted to make this transition for several years, and health-wise I need it more than ever.

Set aside time for other hobbies and interests– I have no idea how I am going to work this goal out, but I know God will guide me! I want to read more books (and finish them!). I want to write more, not just blogs, but do poetry again and work towards developing other writing skills.  There are other things like at least finishing that scarf I was knitting on (my first project and so far only knitting project) and cooking more.  Sometimes I feel too tired or distracted to do those things…so I am hoping the reduced time on the internet and eating healthier might help 🙂

 

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It seems like God had His hands in me finding this article series 🙂 I read all 5 parts, and feel that its been a huge blessing to have read…now for working on some changes in myself! (with God’s help of course!) To read the other articles, there are links to the next one at the bottom of each article.

The Difficult Child, Part 1.

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Great post, worth the read, and she puts into words what I was having trouble saying about the whole issue:)

Heil Hitl….. errrr I mean yeah obama!.

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I have an 11 yo son, who frequently (almost daily) flat out refuses to do his work. We have tried just about every consequence/discipline we can think of (including no gaming or riding his bike until he shows us he can do his work when told) He fights me more often than my hubby, and hubby can usually get him to do his work better than I can…but tonight in 3-4 hrs he did 2 vocabulary words. He is refusing to do the easiest of assignments to the difficult…and I don’t know what to do! We had the same issue when he was in public school… I guess he sees education as a waste of time. Of course there are some other issues that are probably playing into all this, but I really don’t want to get into all that right now.

I need some advice, and to know if any other homeschool parents have children like this and what did they do that gets through to them.

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click here for article, and at the bottom there is an offer for a $5 off coupon

Here are my opinions….

I think its ridiculous for ANY company to recall products due to CONSUMER misuse! Now I understand if its a manufacturing/labeling issue….but all these medicines have warnings about overdosing! If you aren’t following your dr’s instructions about how much to give your baby, then you have a SERIOUS lack of common sense!!!!! Argggghhhh!!! It just boggles my brain when parents who supposedly love their kids, misuse medicines! oh and when they misuse medicines on themselves, and perhaps they sue, because they can’t follow directions (hmmm maybe this is all tied to the public school systems?! lets sue them then!) Next thing you know, there will be another recall or 2 and there won’t be any fever reducer/pain reliever to use on our children, and then they will recall other medicines because people don’t have enough common sense to FOLLOW LABEL DIRECTIONS!!!

And NO, I am not going to throw away what I have…I have the sense to follow the directions on the bottle.

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