I had to laugh when a co-worker who follows my book blog asked why I have a blog titled “Parenthood and Other Horror Stories”.
I think it speaks for itself 🙂
I think it is about time I focus this blog on my single-mom-of-four-daughters-works-full+ time-helps-everyone-else thing I got going on.
One daughter is out of the nest, and another about to be gone this week. But I have extra kids here due to their personal situations, and am trying to take care of everyone. I know I am not the only one who lives this type of life; but starting tomorrow, I am going to start letting you know what a typical day for me is.
Buckle your seat belts folks, it is gonna be a bumpy ride!
I went to this church two different times this weekend just to be able to get inside and see the beauty of it. I was not disappointed! Friday I was too late for the self guided tours, so I took my girls there Saturday morning on the way to Zehnder’s Waterpark.
I have been a member of my Lutheran church here in West Michigan for over 30 years. My parents actually got married there over 54 years ago, but we stopped going for quite some time. I went through adult confirmation classes and was baptized at my church when I was 16.
To get to visit another Lutheran church where they were so welcoming and let me come in and take pictures made my whole trip worth it!
(and if I could have snuck up those stairs and had a chance to play that pipe organ, I just may have! When you take lessons for years and years, every instrument is a challenge!)
I have been dealing with some personal issues of a magnitude that even those closest to me are not aware of. While it is not my intention to disclose these issues even now; it is my intention to finally fully own them, face them, and conquer them.
My journey of raising daughters may be half over, but they will always be my daughters, no matter their stage in life. I also need to make sure I stop losing myself in the chaos and busyness of my life. I really do need to stop and smell the roses. Not occasionally when I make time; but to always make time to do just that.
As I am in the back seat of my vehicle with 3 of my girls, going to spend the day with the fourth, I am reading a book that I think will truly help me on this journey. It is called “Hands Free Life” by Rachel Macy Stafford, and looks like the perfect book to start this new chapter of my life with; pun intended 😉
Sound over-dramatic? Probably. Is it over-dramatic? Not to me. I tend to pick my battles with my children, and I don’t pick those battles based on my odds of winning them. I pick them based on their importance. Even if I am likely to lose the battle, I will have made my feelings known.
So to hear something come out of my child’s mouth that goes against everything that makes my life livable, survivable, enjoyable; it felt like she slapped me across the face. A sucker-punch to the gut. A year ago, she could have said the exact same thing to me, and I wouldn’t have felt such a strong reaction. I have been fortunate enough to finally be honest with myself and admit that I needed to change things in my life. To be Happy. Healthy. Alive. To enjoy Life, and stop wasting so much of it saying “if only” and “what if”. To enjoy the blessings I have been fortunate enough to be graced with.
So is this my daughter’s fault that I had a change in my own personal life that was so extreme and powerful that her voicing her beliefs would cut me to the quick? No. I did not get angry at her. I didn’t tell her she was wrong. That she had to feel and believe the same things I do. If it works for me, it will work for her too. She was making a mistake. I said nothing of the sort. I did not believe any of those things, so I could not possibly say those things to her.
What I did say to her? That what she said to me was really hard to hear. I didn’t tell her I was disappointed in her. Does it really matter what it was she said to me? No. You can think up any number of things that a child could say to a parent to get this type of reaction, and everything I stated would apply to that situation too.
“I don’t like church.”
That was it. Those four words. The one thing that has had such a profound change on my health, well-being, and our family life for nearly the past year, and she doesn’t like church. Was I wondering if she doesn’t believe in God and Jesus the same way I do? Nope. What I was wondering was does she have so little appreciation for the huge changes I have made in my own life to improve all of our lives that she just doesn’t really care. Do my efforts mean nothing? She says things are better, but how can she appreciate how much better our lives are but not like church, the very thing that allowed for these changes to take place?
As long as it works for me, it is good enough for all of us. I do not need her to like church in order for it to have a positive influence on my attitude, and my life. I have never forced my children to go to church every Sunday, make them go to Sunday school, or anything they didn’t want to do. Am I short-changing them because I am not exposing them to more religion? I don’t think so. If I live my life as a Godly Woman, they will see that. They can learn by example. They will remember the special memories of any number of things from their past, and they will see how my beliefs played a role in the atmosphere of our experiences. If they choose to raise their own families in a healthy environment where communication and valuing each person are important, they will remember what gave me the ability to live this life I provide for all of us. That is what will lead them to God and Jesus. They will remember the path I followed to get there, so when they are ready, they can find their way there too. And I will be there to help them along the way, but only if they ask for it.