I began the 21 day challenge of gratitude over a week ago and I must say so much has transpired since I started. I received some phenomenal news from a non-profit organization I was hoping to partner with. Every financial need and obligation that I had was met and a new project was launched. Wow, right! But more importantly, what I have realized is the power of my own thoughts about myself and my circumstances. I have shifted my outlook from one of lack to one of abundance; my glass is half full.
Gratitude puts you in a position to receive more because you are using and appreciating what you have which causes it to increase. I can remember when I first began this blog. I didn’t have a computer. I had a blackberry that allowed me to download the free app and upload my post. I was excited just to have that access and made complete use of it until I was blessed with the means to purchase a laptop. My point is, be thankful for what you have and have the faith to believe that better is on the way. If you can’t appreciate what is right in front of you, how can you possibly be prepared to receive what you have been expecting.
As we mature naturally, we can just about pinpoint every stage of development; infancy, toddler, preschool, childhood, adolescence, young adult, adulthood and senior are the eight stages of development all marked by a different milestone. The most notable changes are those of our verbal abilities, cognitive skills, the way in which we form relationships, independence and motor and fine motor skills. Growth and development in the spiritual, works a little different and does not progress simultaneously with natural development.
We were created for a purpose, His Purpose, which was established and ordained by God. At times it seems as if we are experiencing some of the very stages we progress through naturally all over again. For some the redundancy can feel like growing pains. Though we may have mastered the skills to sustain life and to meet our basic needs, we have not attained the wisdom necessary to fulfill His Purpose. The growing pains for some get so painful that we forfeit the process and abandon His Purpose. “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.” Proverbs 3:5 The process is not for our detriment but for our benefit.
But when we truly understand that the pain is for our good, revealing those areas in our lives that need to be purged, it makes it easier for us to “Trust in the Lord” and give into the process. I tried so many times to do things on my own because I was woman enough and grown enough, but the Wisdom that I possessed was not enough. “And he said unto them, Know ye not this parable? and how then will ye know all parables? The sower soweth the word.” Mark 4:13-14 For I have learned to be content in whatever stage I am in, learning from the process and maintaining a hunger for more.
“But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.” James 1:4-5
I love how my little ones communicate to me, even when they are not using their words; I get the message loud and clear. “Sargent don’t play in your food.” This is what I said during lunch today when he has lost interest in eating and clearly just wanted to lay down for his nap. We learn this type of communication in infancy and a lot of us still use it to communicate as adults.
For example, my siblings use to say that when I was going through something my contact always became less frequent; less phone calls, visiting, etc. So whenever either of them noticed, they would make sure to reach out to me. We have all heard that saying, “I built a wall not to keep people out, but to see who loved me enough to climb over”.
I can’t say it enough, there are so many people, unfortunately, that are hurting or have been hurt. Just like a baby cries when he/she is in pain until we figure out the location, some of us cry out but no one understands where the source of pain is coming from. When we allow ourselves to listen to the nonverbal cues first and not make judgment, we can actually begin to understand the area in a person’s life that needs attention. “The Lord hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love; therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.” Jeremiah 31:3
My children’s father use to get so irritated when our second son would cry. My response was always, “Well you wanted to name him Jeremiah, and he was the weeping prophet”. But then I thought about it, he was grown and he liked to fuss, cuss and argue, what is the difference?
So I have all the mental energy that a woman, mother, sister or any other human needs to take a bad habit and turn it in to a past memory. What I lack is a consistent sleep pattern, sigh.
Last night was a complete success; the children (my 3 and 4 year old at least) were in bed and sleep by 8:30pm. I let the older two (7 and 9) stay up a little later. My two-year old wouldn’t compromise for anything. But the house was still peaceful enough for me to relax. But just like any other night, there were still countless things that interrupted my relaxation. I completed the cover letter to my resume and sent it off to a job (faith without works is dead, right). I was drawn into social media like I am every other night and subsequently still found myself getting to bed after 12 midnight.
I don’t think my sleeping late would be a problem if it was uninterrupted. However, every night (and I can count on one hand the nights I haven’t) I wake up between the hours of 3 and 4am. Some nights are easy for me to get back to sleep and others not so much. But I pay for it every morning and so do my oldest sons.
I’ll just say I am a little cranky in the morning. I wake them up to get them ready for school. I attempt to crawl back into bed to get a few more minutes of sleep, praying that the little ones are not awaken by all the talking and arguing between my sons. My boys finally are dressed and they are out the house to meet our neighbor for their morning ride to school. The house is typically quiet but now I have one eye open and one eye shut attempting to read updates and statuses on facebook and twitter.
Is it obvious already that this routine is dreadful? Not to mention, I have to consume some form of caffeine to get me going. So starting tonight, I am tweeking my schedule a bit. I am going to bed by 10pm (I am praying). I will force myself to stay in the bed if I am awakened and I will turn my phone off so that I am in no way tempted to check in on any updates.
A mommy needs her sleep. What are some natural ways that you make sure you get a full nights rest? I could use some healthy suggestions. Please leave your comments.
As little girls, we fantasize about finding our Prince Charming, having the fairytale wedding, living happily ever after and experiencing the joys of childbirth and entering the world of motherhood. For some the blue print is clear and the steps are ordered. For others some steps are skipped, others prolonged and for a few motherhood ends up being more of a burden than a joy.
I’m entering a new season in my life, though I’ve been a mother for almost 10 years, there were and are so many things that I had not learned until now. I realize that the love my mother showed me was the only love she knew to give. However, I know its not the love I want to show towards my children. Love is patient, love is kind and those qualities can’t be bought. I’ve replaced the material items, with more quality time spent, instructions given and structure set.
I am mature enough now to realize that I do not have all the answers and will not do everything perfect the first time around. I became a mother, before I became a woman, yes I was an adult by definition, but I was immature in my understanding of life, love and family. So as I venture down a little further on my journey, I am going to share my experiences as a mother making changes. I’m breaking old habits and making new ones. They say it only takes 30 days, so for the next 30 days I am going to do a post a day.
What are some changes that you want to see? Or have you experienced any growing pains as a mother? Please share.
~Mother 2 Mother building relationships of accountability and trust with all roads leading to love.~