God has taken my life down a path I never imagined. This path has been a very bumpy ride but it has brought me a deeper faith and given me an opportunity I never thought I would have.
As a young mother I did my best to be a good mom and make memories with my daughters. Of course as life teaches us hindsight is 20/20 and I can now look back and see many times I was too busy just to enjoy my daughters. So I can’t even begin to express my gratitude to God for bringing me to this place in my life.
I now work 50+ hours a week as a nanny but while I’m paid I don’t feel like a nanny. In fact that the oldest renamed me Mimi. The two boys I watch are like grandsons to me. (Top 2 photos). And to make this blessing even grander, my own daughter and son-in-law gave me a grandson in June. (Bottom photo). I get to spend my time with these three precious boys and I have the wisdom to know just to enjoy the moments and not stress out over little things. My life is overflowing with love.
I wouldn’t have picked or imagined this life for myself which is why I am so thankful God knows best because it’s been many years since I’ve been this happy and had this much peace.
Wishing you Joy and love this Christmas and every day in 2018.
Webster’s definition (directly copied from Webster’s dictionary).
Simple Definition of cheat : to break a rule or law usually to gain an advantage at something
: to take something from (someone) by lying or breaking a rule
: to prevent (someone) from having something that he or she deserves or was expecting to get
Hear the word cheat and some very vivid images come to mind; an unfaithful spouse, a scam artist, a dieter eating a candy bar, a student who didn’t study but many of us would say we don’t cheat. We might even say we’ve never cheated but upon closer introspection I think most of us would find we cheat everyday.
Whether it’s driving a little over the speed limit, forgetting to signal when we turn, saying we did something like take out the garbage when we actually haven’t done it yet. Or what about cheating our children of precious connection? That’s one of my biggest gripes. It never fails, I always see parents talking on their phones or playing with a tablet and completely ignoring their children. When we give our focus to unimportant things we are denying our children of what they deserve, an engaged and interactive parent. See definition #3-prevent someone from having something he/she deserves. We cheat.
Human beings crave connection. We aren’t meant to live without emotional connection to other human beings. Close personal relationships help protect against depression. But close, meaningful connections don’t happen without time and effort. We spend the most time on the things, people, experiences we value. Like the bible says, “where your treasure is (what in your life you deem important-it doesn’t have to be money) so will your heart be.
If tomorrow you had to make a list in order of where you spend your time and place your focus what would it look like? I’m not advocating quitting a job. But don’t cheat yourself and those you love out of a deep connection by being distracted and focused on the temporary things life has to offer.
I believe we are all aware that we learn lessons as we go through life. Some are obvious like; look both ways before crossing the street or foul language is not appropriate. But what about all of the lessons we learn unknowingly through our interactions with the people around us? For me lesson #1 to unlearn is:
Compliments people give you are never really genuine and can not be trusted to be true.
Growing up I don’t remember a time when I received a compliment that someone in my circle of family or friends didn’t find someway to discount what was said. If someone told me I was pretty and I shared that, I didn’t hear; I think so too or they are right or how lovely. I heard; well you could look like a monkey for all I know but I’d still love you. What does a child hear? The compliments can’t be trusted. I could give many examples but the point is I was taught to close myself off from any positive comments. I learned people don’t give genuine heartfelt comments and when I receive nice words, I should immediately disregard them.
How has this affected me? I have closed myself off from letting people love me. I’ve filtered out all the nice comments and have only let the criticism come through. No wonder I am so self criticial and struggle with believing in myself.
So for 2016, the first lesson I am going to teach myself is this;
Compliments given from people are genuine and can be trusted to be true.
I went slightly over but I can never remember if one and two letter words count towards the total.
56 years of living a lie
Believing without questioning
You’re not enough
You won’t win
You prove how smart you are
You will do something and I will leave
No longer seeing your reflection
The spark, the joy smothered by words
Someone takes your hand at 56 years
They wipe away the hurt, the emptiness
They plant the seed of belief
Belief that you are enough
Belief you will win
Belief you are worthy of love
Belief you will never be abandoned
Belief in tomorrow
Today’s assignment is to reinvent the letter. May I ask what you mean? What is a letter other than a consonant or vowel used to make words? If you are referring to the archaic communication method of using a pen or pencil, paper, envelope and stamps to share my thoughts and feelings with another person in another location, I need to inform you that letter writing is a long-lost art. Today’s emotions, news, achievements, worries, love etc are shared via electronic media. Cell phones, Twitter, Instagram, E-mail, Facebook, WordPress there are so many ways that modern people share their lives. Lives are now on public display. It is old-fashioned thinking to consider a letter. Why would anyone want to share private thoughts, concerns and emotions with just another person? Why would anyone want to hold in his/her hand a piece of paper which shows someone else took time out of his/her busy schedule to put words to paper?
Of course I am being sarcastic but unfortunately, what I wrote is much too true for today’s generation. Communication is quick and efficient but not necessarily heartfelt. There are too many shortcuts, abbreviations and a real lack of time spent thinking about what they are writing. Words and thoughts are shared that will remain in cyberspace forever but most likely will not be remembered by anyone.
A real letter, words put to paper or card, share emotion in so many ways. Is there a hint of scent that reminds you of home? Of a lover? Of a friend? is the penmanship steady or does it show signs of age or worry or impatience? Is it descriptive, full of colorful words or does the writer choose simple words that feel as though the writer is holding back? How many times do you hold the letter? Smell the letter? Reread the letter? Save the letter?
I have a box of letter and cards that my ex-husband and I wrote when we were dating. While my marriage suffered an untimely death when my ex decided he had for 30 years a foot out the door. I have those letters and cards which speak of hopes, dreams and love. They are there for my children and any future generations to read, to hold, to smell and to get to know us 100 years from now.
I have spoken too many times in my life without thinking about the damage my words would do. And sadly it is a learned behavior because hurtful words still resonate in my soul.
Speaking without thinking
Thinking without speaking
Hurtful words spewed
Cutting to the bone
Driving through the soul
Never to be undone
Regret and sorrow
I want to eat my words
I want them back
I want to repair hearts
I want my soul healed
I write because my head is full of words
I write because my head is full of dreams
I write because my head is full of ideas
I write because I have a voice
a voice unheard