Tag Archives: family

New Year’s Message

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Last year, 2015, was pretty tough for my family and I but we made it through. I know this had nothing to really do with us but it had everything to do with God holding us through the trials and storms. I don’t usually make New Year resolutions because I think we can sometimes go way overboard when making these “promises” and we end up either saddened by our lack of commitment or angered when we mess up. As such, I have gotten into the habit of doing a vision board at the beginning of each year. I have not completed my vision board for 2016 yet but many of the key points, as of right now, point towards career development and developing my spirit-man more this year. I guess you could say that 2015, with all its bumps and bruises, made me appreciate life more and has made me want to fulfill my purpose a lot more now than ever before.

While I am not much into making resolutions, I do believe in allowing God to reign in my life and inviting Him to take my mind, my heart, my life and to mold it into something that He can be proud of. So, my “resolution”, if you will, is just to be more like Him. To listen like He listens, to forgive like He forgives and most of all to love like He loves. Many things are easier said than done but this is my commitment to my family, to my friends and to everyone that God will allow me to influence, in any way, this year and for years to come.

So, here’s to 2016! May it be the beginning of the best part of your life! May you know love like you have never known before, know peace and joy like you have never known peace and joy before and be healed like never before. No matter what may come your way, in this new year, my prayer is that you will allow the Lord to see you through to the other side. For weeping can only endure for a night, but joy must come in the morning!

Happy New Year to you and yours! 🙂

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Traditions and Drama

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I am sure that I am not the first, and won’t be the last, to acknowledge how the holidays sometimes brings out the worse in people. We typically think of the holidays as a special time, heck, even a happy time but that is not always the reality for many of us.

My extended family used to have a tradition of getting together every Thanksgiving at one of our wealthier family members homes and everyone would eat, drink and be merry. However, this tradition was quickly thwarted a few years back when a disgustingly drunk uncle and a self-righteous cousin got into a full blown fight that soon led to things being broken and Thanksgiving being ruined for the rest of us. It was at that time that I decided to start my own Thanksgiving tradition, with my children, and I must say that it seems to be going much better than dealing with the family drama that comes, without fail, every time my extended family gets together.

I should let you know that I am looking forward to Thanksgiving and this entire holiday season, much like I do every year, but it is kind of sad to not be able to be with family due to not knowing if and when a fight will break out. Maybe things will get better as the years go by or maybe we will all eventually settle into our own, individual traditions and the thoughts of coming together as a family will not matter much any longer… Only time will tell. No matter what happens with the traditions that my grandmother started I will always be thankful for the time that I did get to spend with my extended family during past holidays. As far as my family’s Thanksgiving tradition, I pray that it will be something that my children will continue long after I am gone.

Happy Holidays everyone!

Reconnecting

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“There’s never ever, ever, ever, ever been a show like Veggietales!”

Yep, you guessed it, the kids are out of school today and, thus, it’s family day in our house (however, family day has become just another way of saying that the kids have control of what we watch – and do – for the day). My kids have chosen to program a number of shows including: mostly Disney channel shows, but they also threw in other favorites like Veggietales, Toy Story, and Doc McStuffins, this morning. My thought is that the older girls only threw in those last two so that the younger kids can think they got a chance to watch something that interested them… I don’t know who they think they’re fooling but as long as everyone’s happy, it works for me.

I tend to treasure moments when I can be with my children, especially since I work full-time and barely have enough energy (or time) left after the work day to engage my children, so weekends (and any “vacation” days that I can take off) are definitely very special and very much looked forward to, by everyone, in my home.

My older girls and I cook dinner together during the week, and sometimes prepare meals in advance on the weekends before a super busy week, so we are able to chat and reconnect during those times but I find it takes a whole different type of effort to engage and reconnect with my little ones, especially when there is homework to be done, studying to do, dinner to prepare and hair to be done and nighttime routines to be kept.

I was recently speaking with a married friend and she agreed that this is even hard for her and she expressed how strong she thinks I am for doing it alone. This was definitely an encouragement but also an eye-opener since I’ve always felt that having a partner/spouse to share the load with would be ideal and help make things easier…and while that has some truth in it, it is also still sometimes difficult even with both parents in the home. This allowed me to see how much women are connected, whether single or married, novice or experienced, we all have some of the same struggles and it is in these things that we can connect (and should connect) with other women.

So, here are some ways to aid in reconnecting with our children, but you can also use this as a guide to reconnect with others in your life…

  • Be Intentional: Much like any other relationship in our lives, we must be intentional with engaging our children. Intentional is doing something deliberately and on purpose. If we want to truly engage with our children, we must be aggressive and deliberate with the things that we say and do…the way we go about engaging them. Turn off the cell phones, tablets, laptops, television and engage…have a conversation for starters. Find out what your child does and does not like. I don’t care what you do, just do something!
  • Be Realistic: You know your child better than anyone else so you know what will draw them in and what will not. Even if you don’t, you are more than capable of finding out. It’s probably not a good idea to plan dress-up and tea party time if you have a 16-year old daughter that has no interest in dressing up or tea. Plan your outings and activities appropriately and be realistic in your planning. Being realistic could just mean making sure that you allot enough time for a particular activity and being open to your child revamping your plans.
  • Be Willing to Sacrifice: This means just what it sounds like. Be willing to sacrifice. You probably won’t be able to watch that show at that time but does that show even really matter??? You can always DVR it or watch it on Netflix, Hulu Plus, On-Demand, or even at another time (since most shows come on multiple times before the new episode appears). So, be willing to give up some things, if you want to truly show your child that they matter to you.
  • Follow-Through: This is similar to being intentional but also different in a way. Following through just means that you have set a date, time, planned an activity, etc. and now it is time to actually do this thing! Not that difficult right…this depends on you. Don’t cancel your date with your child for anything (if you can help it). Let everyone know that you have plans and ask them not to bother you unless it is an absolute emergency. Make adjustments as needed but be sure to follow-through on your commitment because there is nothing more heart-breaking than being told something, by someone you love, and then it not actually happening. So follow through!

What tools or techniques do you use to reconnect in your relationships? How long have you done things in this way? Add some of your favorite activities or stories from things that worked for you to engage with others. Would love for you to join in the conversation.