facing reality: my kid hates me

It’s easy to pretend things are a certain way when you can’t see the reality of the situation, when you don’t permit your mind to go there. Sure, you have thoughts and ideas of how things are, but then reality comes along and slaps you in the face.

Until this point, I had no idea how bad it was.

You spend a good portion of your adult life pouring yourself and everything you have into someone just to have them hate you. You all know what I mean, I’m talking about our kids… I’ve often heard it said that if your child doesn’t hate you at some point then you aren’t doing a good job as a parent. I guess I can take comfort in that.

Look, I’ve already explained that I made mistakes as a parent. I know I’ve learned from those mistakes and because of them, I am a much better person and mom. But, at some point, your child (especially your adult child) must take responsibility for his actions and choices. He can’t spend the rest of his life blaming others for his current situation. And his situation, as much as he wants to pretend isn’t, is disastrous.

Truth Time: My kid is in trouble and he has no one watching out for him. After being separated from the Army, he moved back home. Two months of rules, which included paying rent and keeping a job, he decided it was too much responsibility. He made the choice to move in with his biological mother. We have been able to keep tabs, so to speak, on him through social media. We’ve seen the way that he is living and it breaks our hearts, especially because we know there’s nothing we can do. I chose to stop looking, not because I didn’t care, but because I cared too much. Out of sight, out of mind, right?

You’d like to believe that, wouldn’t you?! Your children are never out of your mind and are a continuous source of worry. But again, there is only so much you can do. I believe we gave the same opportunities to each one of our children. Opportunities to succeed in life and better themselves. They had choices and they had consequences to those choices. Those consequences could be good or bad, based on their decisions. Make a good decision, be rewarded. Make a bad decision and face the repercussions. By no means were our punishments out of the norm. Grounding, taking away electronics, etc; if that is enough to make you the world’s worst parent in the eyes of your child, then so be it.

My son hates me for wanting a better life for him. I had to accept that.

I was okay with him feeling the way he did about me, but to attack his siblings… that’s a completely different matter. And one I was not prepared to deal with.

Reality Hits Home: A friend of my youngest ran into his brother yesterday. The conversation went something like this:

  • S: You’re my brother’s friend, right?
  • C: Yes
  • S: F*** that guy.
  • C: You came over here to tell me that?
  • S: Nah man, but f*** him and that whole family. That whole family is a façade. F*** them.
  • C: What?
  • S: I heard he’s trying to get in the military.
  • C: He’s already enlisted, so he’s in.
  • S: Oh well, he’s just trying to one up me. F*** him.
  • C: What is the point of this conversation?
  • S: You know, man, just that whole family is f***** up and it’s all a façade.
  • C: O….K…
  • C walks away scratching his head, calls D to fill him in.

Now, the reaction of my other kids didn’t surprise me. They’ve been numb to this kind of thing for a while now. I guess lots of practice from dealing with previous similar situations. They went through feelings of sadness at the loss of one mom and now the loss of their brother, but they have been extremely resilient. So the reaction to this latest attack was laughter. They knew none of it was true so why give any validation to it?

I could learn a thing or ten from my two youngest. I really should have just blown it off and laughed, like they did.

But, y’all know that isn’t me… I had to over analyze every word and try to figure out the whys. If I could dissect every aspect of this conversation, I could find a way to fix everything.

First, I was heartbroken. Hate me all you want, but your brother and sister did nothing to you. Once the heartbreak passed, the anger hit. Anger, that’s something I’ve struggled with all my life. I get angry and then I want vengeance. Someone hurts me or my family and I want to punish them and make them hurt just as much. But, not this time. I know S is suffering. I know he’s not happy with the way things are and I know he has to want more out of life. So rather than be angry with him, I am choosing to pray. I will pray for him to figure out what’s important in life and to change his ways so he can accomplish and acquire those things. I will continue to have hope for him, the same way I have been hoping his mother would improve her situation over the last twelve years. I have hope that things will change and they will be happy and that maybe one day, we will be able to mend our relationships.

In the meantime, I will find pleasure in watching my youngest son and my daughter flourish. I will take pride in their accomplishments. I will continue to watch them work hard to achieve the goals they have set for themselves. Goals that will allow them to be productive members of society, goals that will allow them to be happy.

After all, that’s what every parent wants for their kids, right?

 

 

 

breaking the cycle

As you know, if you’ve been following and reading my blog for a while, there wasn’t much laughter in my childhood. When you grow up the way I did, It’s easy to become damaged. It’s easy to grow into an adult with low self esteem, believing you are totally worthless. And, if you’re not careful, it’s easy to make your own children believe the same thing.

Yes, you heard me right. After all, how do you learn to parent? How do you know how to discipline your children, how to encourage them? If your parents brought you chicken noodle soup when you were sick, wouldn’t that be what you’d give your child if they were sick? Why? Because, we are trained to believe that the way our parents raise us is the right way. Even if their way makes us feel, well, less than loved; we still think that’s the way it’s supposed to be.

Have you ever heard the saying, “The abused becomes the abuser?” It sounds absurd, right? I can remember saying that I would never treat my kids the way I was treated when I was growing up. And unfortunately, I had picked up some pretty bad habits. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think I was even a fraction of the meanster (yes, that’s how I saw it) that I grew up with. But, I will admit that in my attempts to make my children understand the depths of their mistakes, I know I went a little too far. I can remember my husband saying to me, “Remember how you felt when your dad talked to you that way?” Stupid… that’s exactly how I would feel. And I remember the first time one of my kids told me that I made them feel stupid. And the first time wasn’t the last. Something had to change.

I had to break the cycle. And I did.

Now, I am not trying to make excuses. I am just saying that I didn’t know any better. I can assure you and I hope you know me well enough to believe that I am not the type of person that is mean because I enjoy it. There are truly some sick people who actually find pleasure in seeing others suffer. That is definitely not me. My kids know that I have always wanted what is best for them. I just went about it the wrong way… in the beginning.

I had to re-learn what a parent was supposed to be. I had to learn to accept constructive criticism from my husband. It wasn’t easy, I had to realize that it was okay for him to tell me when I was wrong because he was doing it for my good. He wasn’t putting me down for my shortcomings. He wasn’t trying to make me feel stupid. He was trying to help and thank God, it worked!

With my husband’s help, my children’s patience and with God given wisdom, I became a phenomenal mom. I am absolutely far from perfect, any one of my kids could attest to that, but they know that I want the best for them. I want them to be better than I ever was. Even after all the mistakes I have made, my kids will never have to question if they are loved. I believe that makes me a successful mom, if nothing more.

 

 

D*I*V*O*R*C*E

Once upon a time; long, long ago… lived a beautiful princess. And that’s about where the fairy tale ends.

I was married once before. I was nineteen years old, young and stupid. I actually thought I was in love. In truth, I believe I was more in love with the idea of being in love. We had a big wedding, four hundred or so guests. A reception that would have been fit for a king. It was a day long event that started with beauty appointments and brunch and ended with dancing the night away. There I was, in my beautifully long, flowing, white dress. All eyes were on me; I was lavished with attention and I just ate it up. I savored the sweet, flavorful taste, that lasted about twelve hours.

And then the party was over and real life set in.

for_better_or_for_worse_by_northgeorgiatattoos-d5u2ko8

I’m not going to go into great detail about the problems in my first marriage that ultimately led to my divorce. I will say that I tried to make it work, for four long years, I tried. I didn’t believe in divorce, until it became a reality.

I tried ‘playing the field,’ but that just wasn’t me. I wasn’t the dating type. I was the girlfriend type. So, for the next eleven years, I was in three long-term relationships. I just couldn’t seriously consider marriage again and the reason will probably surprise you. When I would think about getting married, my thoughts would always lead to a) if it doesn’t work out, there’s always divorce and b) it’s so easy to get divorced. There it is, the sad truth and it’s still sad today.

divorce

Our society has made it so easy to get divorced. From easyfastdivorce.com to one day divorce or separation by phone 1-877-***-****. Of course, when I got divorced almost twenty years ago, it was a little more difficult. It only cost $325.00 and took six months (only because that was the law of the state). The thought process being that if you waited six months, you might change your mind. It didn’t work on me. Now that waiting period is no longer mandatory. In my state, your divorce can be granted within twenty days after filing. Yep, that’s the problem with society today. Sin is so easily acceptable and therefore so readily available.

Whatever happened to ’til death do us part?’ I understand that, in certain circumstances, divorce is necessary. What I don’t understand is how people place such a small value on the vows that they make to each other. Look, I know I once broke my vows too. My only excuse is that I was young and I don’t think I truly understood what I was vowing to do, but I learned from that mistake. I didn’t get married again until I understood that it meant forever. Divorce is not an option for me. Unfortunately, there are those that feel it is an easy fix for their marriage. As soon as things get a little tough, it’s easier to run than to fight for the relationship.

Look, I don’t know the ins and outs of everyone’s marriage. All I’m saying is that I wish people would think before they get married and think twice before they consider divorce. When two people break up, they are not the only two people that their divorce affects.

divorce-effects-children

 

 

 

The Real Mom

I can still remember the conversation that we had almost five years ago. My oldest son had just turned eighteen and was preparing to start his career in the Army. We had just finished a three mile run together and were walking to cool down. I stopped him mid-stride and asked him if we could talk.

“I’m sorry,” I began, “if you thought I was too hard on you.”

He turned to me and said, “Mama, you don’t have to be sorry. I know you just wanted and still want what’s best for me.”

use this one heartWhen my kids were younger, I used to have this fear. I think at some point, all stepmothers have the same one. One day, one of the children that you love as your own will turn and look at you and shout, “You’re not my real mom!” Of course, you know it’s just out of anger and/or disappointment and they don’t really mean it. But, it doesn’t matter. The words prick at your heart like a thorny rose. And once said, they cannot be unheard and you cannot stop your heart from breaking.

 

It’s been nine and a half months since we’ve spoken. I tried to reach out to him, several times, but he will not respond. It hurts. You have no idea how much it hurts. I continue to pray for him, every day, I pray that he’s happy and healthy. He’s with his real mom now.  I hope she’s watching out for him… like I used to do.

 

 

 

 

Who Put the Wicked in Wicked Stepmother?

Lady Tremaine is probably one of the most well-known fairy tale characters of all time. Perhaps you know her better as Cinderella’s wicked stepmother.

Evil-Stepmother

We all know how she earned that title. She ordered her stepdaughter around daily and Cinderella knew there would be consequences should she choose to disobey. She was terrible to Cinderella, she was wicked and therefore, very deserving of the title she was given.

Not all stepmothers are like Lady Tremaine.92fcb636f8e9d1a4e7ade24f644dd0e4--evil-stepmother-step-parenting

There are some awesome stepmoms out there and they seem to get a bad wrap right from the get-to! They’re actually called wicked or evil or stepmonster. The good ones; well they have to overcome a stereotype that’s been going on for generations. And why? Because there’s bad blood between the biological mom and her ex? Because there’s jealousy and anger and bitterness between the bio and the step? Could it be that there are some stepmoms out there that are wicked and evil and stepmonsters? I’m sure it’s a combination of all of these things and then some; and it’s sad that parenting has come down to the feelings of the adults instead of the well-being of the children.

 

As a mom who didn’t give birth to her children, I would ask this of all ‘step’ moms; love them like they’re your own. You’ve been entrusted with an invaluable gift, a blessing from God. Your husband chose you to be a caregiver and protector of the people he treasures the most, his children. Once you say I do, his children become your children. Always love and treat them as such.

To the biological moms that automatically think another woman’s going to take your kids away, I ask you to rest easy. Don’t let fear and insecurity lead you to make snap judgments. Know that your child loving your ex’s new wife is a good thing, it doesn’t mean that they love you any less. Be thankful that there’s someone that loves your children as much as you do.

Co-parenting can be difficult for the best of people. If you put the needs of the children before the feelings of the adults, it becomes much easier.

 

10 things i learned in 2016

  1. You are going to disappoint yourself.
    • You are human, you will make mistakes. It’s what you learn from those mistakes that really matter.
  2. People are going to disappoint you.
    • People are human and they will make mistakes. It’s how you react to their mistakes that define what kind of person you are.
  3. People will cause you hurt, that includes family, friends and strangers.
    • Forgive those who hurt you, even if they do not ask for it.
  4. You will hurt others, intentionally or unintentionally, but you will hurt them.
    • Ask for forgiveness.
  5. It’s okay to walk away.
    • You can forgive someone and still know that they cannot be a part of your life.
  6. Happiness is important.
    • Happiness comes from people, things and circumstances. Be sure to surround yourself with the people and things that make you happy and distance yourself from those that bring you down.
  7. A positive attitude is a must.
    • Seeing the good in bad situations can often make those situations look ‘not so bad.’
  8. True friends are a blessing.
    • Appreciate those who encourage and support you. Appreciate their honesty even when the truth hurts. Know they are trying to help because they love you.
  9. Joy comes from the Lord.
    • Never let anyone steal your joy!
  10. I am a work in progress.
    • Because I am human, I will never be perfect. However, I will strive to live according to God’s Word and Will. And I will forever be thankful for His love, mercy and grace.

2016 gave me a lot of reasons to mope around and feel sorry for myself, but with the help of an amazing God, an awesome family and incredible friends, I was able to count my blessings instead of focusing on my troubles. My goal for 2017 is to be an awesome mother and wife and an incredible friend. If I can make a positive impact on the lives of my family and friends, the way they did on me, I will consider it a success!

via Daily Prompt: Mope

search me: feelings

Yesterday was Christmas. Honestly, I cannot remember a worse Christmas since my childhood. Now, I know that yesterday was not about me, but I was definitely in a mood. Sorry to say that I was extremely selfish. My husband had to work, so my two youngest and I went to church. We had a wonderful service. During the invitation, I asked my daughter to go to the alter and pray over me. She is an amazing young lady and I’m so honored to be her mom. She’s such a smart girl. She knows that I’ve been struggling with a myriad of things. She asked God to help me with those struggles.

I often think that I’d like to take my husband, kids and myself and put us in this little bubble where nobody from the outside can affect us. In reality, I know that we need to touch others. If others cannot affect us, we cannot affect them and God’s purpose for saving us is that we serve Him and love others. If we were in my bubble, there’s no way we could do that. Instead, we have to let others in and that means, I need to learn how to handle the way they affect me and the ones I love.

Back to yesterday, after service, we came home and my oldest son was here waiting. Now, he hasn’t contacted us with the exception of one phone call, since he left on Halloween and went to live with his mother. During that phone call, we made plans to have him spend Christmas Eve with us. I had planned our usual traditions and was really looking forward to it. When I texted him to make sure he was still coming, he told me he made other plans with his mother’s ex-boyfriend’s new wife’s parents. Trust me, I know how strange that sounds. He said that they were supposed to spend Christmas day together (at least that’s what he said when I asked him to spend the day with us, which is why we decided we’d take Christmas Eve). Apparently, they changed the plans and instead of telling them that he had already made plans with us, he cancelled our plans. We had already made plans for Christmas day, but when we came home from church, he was here. Of course, I was still angry that he missed our Christmas Eve festivities and was not very happy to see him. I actually expected an apology from him and instead, he told me that he didn’t think he did anything wrong. I’m not proud of my reaction to that, I told him to leave. If I would have been the bigger person and just accepted the fact that he was there now, we could have enjoy spending the day together. This is where feelings get involved. I was angry and hurt and he was not sorry, that is what caused me to make the decision to not do the right thing. And this is with my son, someone who I love dearly, with all my heart. Can you imagine what it would be like with someone who’s just an acquaintance?

God commands us to love everyone, right? That includes acquaintances, strangers, friends and family. If it was hard for me to be the bigger person and do the right thing with my son, how hard would it be if it were someone that was not that big a part of my life? Funny thing is, it wasn’t much different.

What do you do when someone you believed was a friend, starts talking about you behind your back? I’ll tell you what I did. I first spent time trying to figure out what I had done to this person to make them so angry. I mean, they must be angry to treat me the way they have been, right? Look, I’ve been mean to people before. A prime example is the story I just told you about my son. I was mean because of how I was feeling, not that it’s an excuse or anything. I just can’t recall a time where I’ve mistreated someone for no reason. So, there must be a reason that this person is treating me the way they are. Snide comments, cryptic Facebook posts and saying negative things to mutual friends are just a few of the things that they are doing. How do I know the posts are about me? Well, they are usually made as a result of something I have commented or posted and/or it coincides with something they had already said to mutual friends. I am not ‘holier than thou’ enough to think I’m that important to this person that they would focus so much energy on me, however, the abundance of times my name leaves their lips tells me differently. Fortunately, our mutual friends are concerned enough to give me advice on how to handle the situation; handle it the Christian way. I need to go to this person and see if we can work it out. I know that this is what I’m supposed to do, but it’s so hard when you’re this hurt, angry and confused.

Again, Christmas Day 2016 started badly and ended up worse. How should you feel when you give a gift to someone and they say they hate it and will never use it? This one, I was actually able to do the right thing. I was hurt and angry, yet I ignored it and managed to make the best out of the rest of the evening. The rest of doing the right thing, is to let this person know how much they hurt me and forgive them. Is it okay to forgive without letting the person know what they did? My husband says no, he says that you have to let them know, it’s important.

So why is it so hard for me to do the right thing? Am I any better than these three people who hurt me? Obviously not. According to God, there is no hierarchy to sin. Sin is sin, one is no greater or worse than another. Man is the one that puts different levels of severity on sin. Man is the one that has to deal with feelings of anger, hurt, fear and hatred. We are the ones that have to realize that it is not how others make you feel, but how you react to those feelings that is important.

Ironically, in the midst of writing this, I received a Facebook message from a true friend. This message shared the following story and it really hit home, especially Rule # 5, I don’t want to expect less from people. I want to believe that people are good, however, I do want to expect more of myself. I want to be a better person:

One day a farmer’s donkey fell down into a well. The animal cried piteously for hours as the farmer tried to figure out what to do. Finally, he decided the animal was old, and the well needed to be covered up anyway; it just wasn’t worth it to retrieve the donkey.

He invited all his neighbors to come over and help him. They all grabbed a shovel and began to shovel dirt into the well. At first, the donkey realized what was happening and cried horribly. Then, to everyone’s amazement he quieted down.

A few shovel loads later, the farmer finally looked down the well. He was astonished at what he saw. With each shovel of dirt that hit his back, the donkey was doing something amazing. He would shake it off and take a step up.

As the farmer’s neighbors continued to shovel dirt on top of the animal, he would shake it off and take a step up. Pretty soon, everyone was amazed as the donkey stepped up over the edge of the well and happily trotted off!

MORAL :
Life is going to shovel dirt on you, all kinds of dirt. The trick to getting out of the well is to shake it off and take a step up. Each of our troubles is a steppingstone. We can get out of the deepest wells just by not stopping, never giving up! Shake it off and take a step up.

Remember the five simple rules to be happy:

1. Free your heart from hatred – Forgive.

2. Free your mind from worries – Most never happens.

3. Live simply and appreciate what you have.

4. Give more.

5. Expect less from people but more from yourself

Friends and readers, I am asking for your prayers. Please pray that God gives me the wisdom to know the right thing to do, that He gives me the guidance to do those right things and that He strengthens me to do those right things in all of these situations. I pray that God forgives me for taking my eyes off of Him on His day. Thank you in advance and I pray that you all had a very Merry Christmas!

via Daily Prompt: Moody

search me: discovering the darkness

The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. – John 1:5

I am not perfect. I am human. I am a sinner. I need a savior.

God, our Father in Heaven, sent his only son to die for our sins. Jesus Christ was born to a virgin, lived a perfect life and was crucified for our sins. I have accepted Him as my Lord and Savior. He has paid the price for my sin and purchased a place for me in Heaven. I am a Christian. My relationship with God is a personal one. He is always with me and through Him, I can do all things.

Due to being human and imperfect, I make mistakes. There are times that Jesus’ light does not shine through me, due to my choices. Feelings tend to play a huge part in that. If someone hurts me, I may not always react the way that Jesus says I should. Same thing if someone makes me angry. I am not blaming others, it’s my choice to react the way that I do. I could be in a bad mood, due to no one else’s fault, and I may choose to not act appropriately. I am not making excuses, I am just stating the facts. Humans have a choice to accept Christ and follow His commandments or to reject Him. As I said, even those who accept Him make mistakes. We repent and ask for forgiveness. We are blessed by a merciful God who gives it.

And what of those who confess to accept Christ, but constantly makes conscious decisions to go against His commandments? What of those who see nothing wrong with their actions, therefore, do not ask for forgiveness? What of those who have such hatred in their hearts that they are cruel to those they do not like, rather than loving everyone as God commands us to do? What happens when you discover a brother or sister in Christ lets darkness replace the light in their life and heart?  Is this person truly saved?

It is not my place to say if someone is saved or not. That is between that person and God. But their actions and choices do say something about their testimony. I will say that I have been on the receiving end of such cruelty, such hatred and it does make me question the salvation of that person. I do not believe it’s wrong to question things like this, but I do believe that it is my job to pray for the person who has shown such ill will towards me. The Bible says, in Luke 6:27, “But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you.” Easier said than done, right?

It’s human nature to question things, to try to figure them out. So, I’ve spent quite a bit of time trying to figure out what I’ve done to cause these feelings in another person. As I have previously said, I’ve made mistakes. Maybe I said something or did something when I was in a bad mood. Maybe I was hurt and took my feelings out on this person. I really don’t believe that’s the case, but maybe that’s just to ease my mind. Whatever the reason, I will continue to pray for this person. I will continue to pray that this person’s actions towards me does not harden my heart towards them.

God’s will is that no one should perish, but those who believe in Him should have everlasting life. As a Christian, my will is to see His will done. I want everyone to know how good God is. Everyone should know that He loves them and wants nothing but good for them.

This thing called the Christian Life is not easy, there are struggles we must go through. There are trials that we must learn from. God is with us through everything. He never leaves us. He gives us the strength to overcome all things. To spend eternity with God in Heaven makes the tribulations of this life worth living. To bring others to Christ so that they can also spend eternity with us and Him in Heaven is the ‘icing on the cake.’

No matter what kind of darkness you are facing, just remember that His light shines and no amount of darkness will ever overcome it.

via Daily Prompt: Discover

a fishing date

Last night, my husband and I went on a dinner date. We headed to our favorite Japanese restaurant for sushi and steak and shrimp hibachi. It was absolutely delicious. Not to mention, the company was divine!

After dinner, we headed over to Walmart for a little shopping. Now, when we go shopping, I mean I get what we need while my husband spends his time in the sports and fishing aisles. By the time I was finished and we met up for checkout, my hubby had a new rod and reel in his hand. “Let’s go fishing tomorrow,” he said. Great idea, I thought! I love fishing!

How ironic, this morning I woke up and as usual, checked my email before doing anything else. What did I see? Today’s Daily Prompt: Fishing!  I literally laughed out loud.

Anyways, we spent the day out the dock fishing. It was a beautiful, sunny day for December. Hard to believe, it was eighty degrees. Hot is an understatement. I actually got a sunburn. We didn’t catch much, just a few small fish that we threw back. We were getting ready to leave when my husband reeled in a seventeen inch red bass. Only one inch short of the legal size to keep. It loved how excited my husband was that he caught the fish, but he was bummed to have to let it go. We stayed another couple of hours with just a few more bites but no keepers. Still, it was a great day.

A little advice for my married readers. Never stop dating. Just because you’re married doesn’t mean that you should stop doing all the things that you did before you had that legal piece of paper. Spend time together, talk to each other and enjoy each other. After all, you’re going to be together forever, love every moment!

“A wife of noble character, who can find?  She is worth far more than rubies.” – Proverbs 31:10

“Wives, submit yourself to your own husbands as you do to the Lord.” – Ephesians 5:22

via Daily Prompt: Fishing

search me: count it all joy

Saying goodbye to 2016, I’ve had a lot of thoughts. This year was full of great things, terrible things, unexpected things and things that make you go hmmm. Let’s recap, shall we?

At the end of 2015, I was looking forward to a great new year. It didn’t start off that way. I got a terrible sinus infection after Christmas and it lasted well into the second week of January. But, once I was over that, I was ready to get the new year going.

My daughter graduated high school in June. She started college in August; this meant she’d have to move into the dorm. This was a requirement for all freshmen, even if we only live twenty minutes from campus.

My youngest son got his license and his first job this year. Considering his grades are pretty good, he’s also been given quite a bit of freedom. He spends a lot of time with his friends, but also enjoys hanging at home with his family.

My oldest son came home from his Army duty station in Germany.

My husband and I stepped down as youth leaders at our church.

Finally, I worked up the nerve to tell my family exactly how I feel about… well, everything.

These are some of what I would call highlights and lowlights of my 2016 year. Although some of the low points were pretty low, I still count it all joy. I think I’m able to do that because I know that God has a plan. Even if His plan includes what I would consider negative things, there is a purpose for it.

My daughter moved out and I missed her terribly (yes, she was only twenty minutes away) because I was used to seeing her every day. She came home quite a bit, but when she wasn’t around, I learned to make time for myself. The time that I would usually spend with her, whether we were just talking or watching our favorite TV show, I now spent on writing or praying or just thinking.

My youngest son got his license and I worried. I worried so much that I would make him text me as soon as he got to school, when he was leaving, when he got home. That started in March. What did I learn? I learned to trust in God. I strengthened my faith by praying. I spent more time in His Word and learning about how He was in control. I learned to worry less and trust Him more.

My oldest son came home from Germany. To me, this was the biggest ‘lowlight’ of the year. He had always struggled with being responsible, being an adult and making logical decisions; one of the reasons he got out of the army in the first place. It was a big adjustment when he came home. It was as if the last three years hadn’t happened, nothing had changed. He only lasted two months with us before he moved in with his biological mother. Now, I honestly have no idea what’s going on in his life. This wasn’t just another lesson in worry. I’ve learned patience. I believe that there is nothing I can do to ‘fix’ him or his life. God will do that, in His own time.

I told my family how I felt about my childhood. I told them about the misery I endured. I told them about things I had never talked about before. My lesson here is forgiveness. Once I let it all out, I was able to forgive. I, by no means forgot about anything and they definitely didn’t ask for forgiveness, but I had to give it. Now, I am at peace with the way things are. I don’t have a relationship with them and that’s ok. It’s hard to forgive someone for something when they continue to do the same things they should be sorry for, but I did it. I just cannot have them in my life and I’m ok with that.

My husband and I have been the interim youth pastor and leader at our church for the last year and seven months. We learned a lot, but we felt it was time to step down. I feel God is ready to use me in other areas of our church. I am looking forward to the way God is going to move in our church in 2017.

It’s important to learn from the bad and appreciate the good things that happen in your life. Treasure the ones closest to you. Reach out to the ones not so close. Share the love of Christ. Do the right thing, even when nobody is looking. Find your peace in knowing you are a good person and that God loves you.

I am looking forward to 2017 – with God, all things are possible!

via Daily Prompt: Treasure