The Lives of Boys

If you know me, then you know I love to read. The more I read, the more I learn and the more I grow. Learning and growing are two of my favorite things to do. I think it is just a waste to be on this earth, living this life and never growing.  There is so much freedom in this life especially, in this country.  We shouldn’t waste it.

Somehow, in a recent morning quiet time I began reading the book of Revelation.  Not sure how that came to be but I learned quite a bit.  Growing up, my grandmother would always tell us how life simply repeated itself because people don’t learn from their mistakes or from the situations of those who came before them.  As I began reading Chapter 12 in Revelation, I was reminded of my grandmothers’ words.  Reading this chapter taught me about the strength of women and the struggle that will forever haunt young boys who, without proper guidance, will become men under attack.

From reading this particular chapter in the bible, I thought about my own life and the lives of the boys I raised.  When my love and I met, he had three boys and I had one.  So, I had the pleasure of raising four boys.  Saleem is now 25, DJ is 24, Jaylen is 21 and James is 15.  Our two oldest are out on their own, Jaylen is doing well in college and the baby, James, is still at home giving us a run for our money.  All of our boys are the sweetest, kindest human-beings I know.  After reading Revelation, I think there is one area where we may have failed them.  While we made every attempt to raise them to be respectful, thankful, grateful and to treat others as they wanted to be treated, I think we failed to teach them the undeniable power that they held within.

Yes, we took them to church, prayed with them and talked to them about developing a relationship with God, however, we didn’t tell them the story about how they’d be attacked on every side through no fault of their own.  We didn’t know to tell that that the attacks they’d face were due to the power and strength they possessed to stand as the kings they were born to be.  Our boys were born to be fighters, to stand up for what is right and to be examples of God on earth.  When we know better, we do better.  It’s never too late to turn and that is just what I intend to do.  I will work to remind my boys that they are true kings of God and within them, God has placed all they need to fight against any darkness that is meant to take them down.

 

Standing strong…:)

Morning Drive – Part 1

We all know that things in life happen for a reason.  What I’ve come to know is that no matter what the reason, we should learn something from all that we experience in life whether good or bad.

So around the beginning of the school year this past August or September I had gotten to the point where I just didn’t like any of the morning talk radio shows.  As I drove to work I found much of the commentary quite annoying and silly.  I kept thinking to myself, “what in the world am I learning from this?”

I got up in the morning, went through the whole morning routine with the family and then once they were out of the house I sat down to have my quiet time with God and pray.  When my quiet time was over, I got in the car for the twenty minute drive to work listening to morning talk show hosts go from one silly, crazy topic to another.

Just before getting into my car I’d spent fifteen minutes or so preparing my heart and mind for what I already knew would be a stressful day.  I’d arrive at work feeling as if all of that preparedness at home was zapped away on the drive in.  Once I got clear about my very draining and sometime negative drive to work I figured I had two options:

  1. I could turn off the radio and drive in silence like my mother used to do (now I understand why she did it)
  2. I could find something more positive to listen to

Last March I had purchased a new car that had Bluetooth capabilities.  At the time I had no idea how important that little feature would become in my life.  Not long after the purchase my niece connected my cellphone to the Bluetooth so that I could be hands-free.  But then a little while after that my co-worker walked me through how I could use my Bluetooth to listen to Pandora in the car.

One of my favorite people to listen to sometimes during my quiet times is Pastor John Gray.  I watch him on YouTube.  I enjoy his positive messages and he’s pretty funny.  As I was dealing with my morning drive issue I thought, “how great would it be if I could listen to Pastor Gray on my drive to work?”  Then it hit me, if I could Bluetooth Pandora, maybe I could do the same thing with YouTube.

So I sat in my car one afternoon, followed the same steps my coworker taught me to connect Pandora and whaa-laa, my car was connected to YouTube!

Now, each work day morning, I get to have what I like to call my, PHOP, Positive Hour of Power!  I have my quiet time at home and then hop in the car with my YouTube and positive message from Pastor Gray.  It’s amazing what a good morning of positivity can do for the rest of your day.  I am so very happy with my drive to work. My PHOP gives me more than enough energy and a definite positive attitude to get through the day.

Attitude is everything…:)

Not In Vain

Currently, I live with two teenagers.  If you have teenagers of your own, know teenagers that belong to someone else or remember clearly being one yourself, you know those lovely teen-formative years can be challenging.  Not only are they challenging to the teens themselves but they are even more challenging for the adults who have been dutiful chosen to raise them.

My love and I have had the distinct pleasure of raising a brood of seven so we’ve seen our fair share of shenanigans.  However, I must say that all of them are respectful, kind and caring young people.  Yet these last two…the twins…my, my, my! They are a hot mess!  I feel like I spend most of my days getting after them about keeping up with their homework, cleaning their rooms, and doing their chores.  Where ever they put things down is where it stays.  Let me or Dad put something down and it disappears with the quickness never to be seen again!

So day in and day out we work hard to bring up great, loving and caring human beings.  We get up early to make sure they are up and ready for school with a hot meal in their bellies.  We hit the bed long past our bedtime exhausted from running to practice, to after school appointments, making dinner, discussing various ways they can solve their problems without fighting, chasing after them to get in the shower and then to bed on time.

Just when we think it’s all for nothing and that we are failing at this parenting thing, there is a twinge of hope.  The boy twin came to us a few weeks ago and asked if he could transfer to a private school he had been researching.  He’d downloaded and read through the entire student handbook.  Even after reading all of the things he would be restricted to such as not wearing his earrings, not being able to wear his various pairs of shoes but also being required to wear a uniform, this boy was not deterred.  When we asked why he wanted to change schools, his reply, “it’s a smaller school with smaller classes and I’ll be able to get the attention I need.”  Huh, what!?  Then to top it all off, today I was typing in his responses to the questionnaire on the application and here is his exact response to the last question: “By the time I turn 25 I would like to be playing professional ball in the NFL, taking care of my family and creating a foundation that allows me to give back to my community and giving kids that are less fortunate a chance to make it out of the struggle.”

“Aaaaaaaahhhhhhhhh!”  That is the sound of my heart singing!  Something is sticking.  Forget the part about being in the NFL and taking care of his family, I’m just glad he’s thinking about others.  Community service and looking out for others is something his dad and I are passionate about so just to know he has some understanding of why we participate in community service events, why we make them do it and why it’s important makes my heart smile.

Today was a good day...:)