Last Post Until Fall… #128

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With summer just around the corner, I’ve got plans to staying busy:

Hiking and gym time
Reading and writing

Spending time with grandkids
Swimming and relaxing in mid to late afternoons…

I DO hope to be back posting in the fall, for it will be a new school year of early rises and late nights, but ALL with a fresh start once again!  ❤
One of my projects this summer is continuing my writing~

I’m in the early stages of writing a young adult realistic novel about a teenage girl who decides to finally let go of her fears and trust the path that has been open for her by one of her closest childhood friends, Angela Olsen.

There’s fragments of the heroine’s life that connect to my own real-life struggles and I feel that without these personal moments and events intertwined, my purpose for writing the book would be insignificant and mute.

 

“People are afraid of themselves, of their own reality; their feelings most of all. People talk about how great love is, but that’s bullshit. Love hurts. Feelings are disturbing. People are taught that pain is evil and dangerous. How can they deal with love if they’re afraid to feel? Pain is meant to wake us up. People try to hide their pain. But they’re wrong. Pain is something to carry, like a radio. You feel your strength in the experience of pain. It’s all in how you carry it. That’s what matters. Pain is a feeling. Your feelings are a part of you. Your own reality. If you feel ashamed of them, and hide them, you’re letting society destroy your reality. You should stand up for your right to feel your pain.” ― Jim Morrison (The Doors)

 

The novel begins with a quick introduction to The Fords and fractions of their constant words of criticism towards their daughter, Celebrity.  Growing up in a household where you’re conditioned to be anything but who you want to become, gives her a significant sense of worthlessness.  Ridiculed by her family and sexually abused by an older brother, who in the eyes of his parents can do no wrong, sets the protagonist up for years of distorted views of society, and seeking the desperate affection and attention from anyone who will notice her…unfortunately winding up in the dangerous claws of a predator who (along with her parents and brother) had been grooming her for an unimaginable path of destruction.

 

Get ready to discover how Celebrity escapes the control of her unrelenting, dysfunctional, highly-conditional, negative world she was living in…

 

 

Quick Introduction to The Bio-Unit

“Everything that glitters is not gold.”  ~Dan Seals

 

 

Looking from the outside in, life as a Ford might look lit, but in reality, it was anything from amazing.  Yeah, sure we had the best of everything, but it didn’t come without a price-tag, and I’m not talking about the ones in retail.

 

Hi, my name’s Celebrity — “Celebrity Tudor Ford.”  I’d like to share some pertinent background information about my biological parents; unfortunately they were my ONLY family unit.  However, I’d like to add that I think I came out okay considering what I went through to get to this point.  Although it’s been one heck of a nightmare, it’s all been beneficial to who I am.  Like the great German philosopher, Nietzsche said, “That which does not kill us makes us stronger.”

 

Bio-Unit

 

My dad was a huge hot rod fanatic so my older brother, Kemp Carson, or “KC” for short (when being adored)—and I were subsequently equipped with nostalgic sentiments of his yesteryears; and btw, my name is about the only enduring thing that came from my father.  If you turn to the glossary at the back of the book, you can reference the meanings behind the names.  Also, notice in the first sentence, I referred to my dad in past tense as we no longer speak to one another.

 

Mom wasn’t as bad as dad about imprinting her favorite interests on our “certificate of birth,” however she tried her darndest when it came to choosing what was best for our own interests, even though I insisted in needing no help.  I’ve given you a few quick examples, which I’ve underlined for the importance of their branded marks on my early childhood achievements, ones that started out to be fun and meaningful moments, but then (like all things), were also reminders that I just wasn’t good enough:
 

Bio-Mom

 

She put me in Daisies, then Brownies, and then onto Juniors.  It’s true I enjoyed the camping trips and girl time with friends, but when I entered Middle School I wanted to give it up – I was into boys and that sort of organization was “girls only.”  However, my mother pressed me about going into Cadets; this was the grown-up version of what GSOA–Girl Scouts of America labeled girls in their teens.  She’d go on and on about how it’s been soooo good for me:

 

 

Mom:  “Celebrity, I don’t know why you don’t go into Cadets, you’ve grown up in Girl Scouts and learned life skills that you wouldn’t have otherwise, and furthermore your achievements nearly fill your entire sash.  I should know, I’ve spent the time sewing on all your badges and being scrupulous attaching your ceremony pins just right.  Plus, I guess we could say you’ve made wonderful friendships.  How can you just let all that go?”

 

Me:  “Mom, I’ve grown out of Girl Scouts, it’s not for me anymore.  Don’t worry, I’ll build onto my life skills, and achieve success in other things.  Plus, I can still hold onto my wonderful friendships.”

 

Mom:  “I wish I had been able to be a part of such an extraordinary club back in my day.  You know, I never got the opportunity to join any organizations?  You’ll be sorry later that you didn’t take advantage of this.”

 

Me:  “I promise you that I will not be sorry about not going further into Girl Scouts.  I’ll totally be okay without it, Mom.”

 

Mom:  “Why can’t you be more like KC and see things through?  After getting him signed up for Cubbies, he couldn’t wait to go onto enjoy Boy Scouts, where he earned his Eagle Scout–highest rank in which he beat out all the other scouts in his division.  We’re very proud of his commitment to stick it out and finish through.  Don’t you want to earn the recognition and respect of all your friends and family members?”

 

 

Okay, so there’s one brief instance that I was made to feel incomplete as if I wasn’t finishing something I had started.  I beg to differ.  I HAD tried the organization.  In fact, I was in it for six years; that was half of my life at that point already!  I’d say I did my time and I felt I was ready to now enjoy the freedom of “scouting out the boys” and looking forward to high school parties with my besties.

 

 

Another example would be dance.  Mom put me into dance classes at the local studio when I was around three years old until I told her I was uninterested at the age of twelve and wanted to move on to other things of enthusiasm.  It was only when I wanted to quit that she would tell me stories of how good I was, but added that if it wasn’t for the corrective braces that she and dad had purchased to put on my legs, I would have never gotten the chance to use my feet so creatively, let alone walk normal.

 

Mom:  “Did you know that without dad’s help and mine, you’d still be walking pigeon-toed? Yup, you had to wear leg braces to keep from trippin’ up.”

 

Me:  “Nope, I had no idea.”  I had no recollection of having had braces on my legs, but I do recall seeing a faded Polaroid of a child wearing metal contraptions on her legs in a frilly dress once in mom’s forbidden ‘photo’ box in our downstairs laundry room.

 

Mom:  “Yeah, before we got braces put on your legs you were tripping-up from sunrise to sunset.  It was funny at first, but then your dad and I knew if you were going to be our little princess riding around in daddy’s prized Coupe and going to national roadster shows we needed to have you fixed!”

 

Me:  Silence…

 

Mom:  “Oh, how I wish you were still dancing, Brit.  To see you prance around the house in your tutu and leotards was adorable.  You going to let the cost of those braces go to waste?  Dad and I work too hard to see you kids not enjoy the years of childhood.  And you know–come to think of it, since quitting, you seem to be more klutzy these days.  You won’t be able to have a career in modeling if you don’t stick to something that will keep you coordinated and fit.”

 

Me:  “Really.  I haven’t noticed.”  I wanted to tell her that maybe it’s because dad was continually grabbing my waistline and harping on me to “suck it in.”  And “better watch your curves or you’ll be sorry.”  OR because Kemp thought it was cute to smack me on the butt and raise his eyebrows at me while he whistles like one a those buffoons working security at the mall.  And as for having a career in modeling or being dad’s “pin-up poster dame,” not interested in the slightest.

 

I was never allowed to feel pretty in my body…I began to feel dirty as though I was contributing some way to the onslaught of negative remarks and harsh words from my family members and those on the outside.  I didn’t realize the damage they were having until I was way deep in negative self-image.

 

 

Last brief example how evolving as a Ford was never really within my own grasps–Mom signed me up for softball.  Not sure why she signed me up for sports, they never had the time to come and watch me let alone express their interest in me doing so.

 

Me:  “Why don’t you and dad ever want to come and watch me play some ball?”

 

Mom:  “You know we can’t come and watch you, Brit.  We work every day of the week so that you and Kemp can enjoy the things your dad and I never had.”

 

Me:  “But I’m not really that interested in playing softball.  I’d rather play volleyball or basketball.”

 

Mom:  “Oh, Brit – don’t be crazy.  If you were about 5 inches or so taller, we’d sign you up in a heartbeat, but with your height, just be thankful that you had those braces and Uncle Tony’s athletic capabilities or you wouldn’t even be on a sports team.”

 

If it’s not already rough hearing the one who birthed me–my own flesh and blood telling me how personally defective I am, it’s being compared to others in the family who are perfect just the way they are.  As long as I can remember, I have been compared to my older brother and many other family relatives, some of whom I’ve never even met.  I was never allowed to feel as though I contributed to my own worth or talents without someone shattering them with how someone else’s good genes made their way into mine.

 

 

“Why can’t you get straight A’s like your brother?”

 

“Why don’t you want to play the piano like your Aunt Nancy, she was brilliant when it came to playing; she could teach you a thing or two.”

  

“Why do you have to wear so much makeup, Brit?  Your cousin Trish only wears mascara and her skin is so amazingly flawless!”  

 

 

Bio-Dad

Being compared to other people makes me feel totally inadequate.  To tell you the truth, it pisses me off to high heaven.  I think subconsciously I purposely try harder to be somebody that I’m not just to get back at them.  If I felt closer to either one I could be honest and tell them how much it hurts.  But that’s something else forbidden in the Ford household.  The first time I can remember trying to tell my father how much it hurts to hear him tell me why I can’t be more like cousin Trisha, I ended up in my room for the day.

 

 

Me:  “Dad, why do you and mom constantly compare me to Annie?  It really hurts my feelings.”

 

Dad:  “Oh, knock it off, Brit.  Why would you say something stupid like that?”

 

Me:  “I’m being serious.  Mom tells me I shouldn’t wear makeup, because if I didn’t I’d have a beautiful complexion like Trisha.  You tell me to lay off the junk food or I’ll look like cousin Chad and then Trish is going to be the only good looking relative to campaign for your roadster poster.”

 

Dad:  “That’s absurd!  I don’t want to hear anymore of your bullshit and complaining.”

 

Me:  “I’m not complaining, I’m telling you how I feel.”

 

Dad:  “Don’t talk back to me, young lady.”

 

Me:  “Dad, I’m not talking back to you.  I’m sharing my thoughts.”

 

Dad:  “Go to your room, we’re through with this conversation.  I don’t want to hear any more of your nonsense, Celebrity.”

 

My parents lived by (3) mottos:

 

  1. If I can hear you, you’re too loud.
  2. If I can see you, you better be accomplishing something worth doing.
  3. Don’t ask questions; just do as you’re told.  

 

So, there you have it – a very small dose of living as a Ford on the inside, however there’s plenty more ceaseless moments between the following pages just waiting for your, “Oh my god,” and “They’re brutal,” and “I thought I had it bad.”  But what I’m really after is the, “No way, I thought I was the only one,” and “I know exactly what she’s talking about,” and “I can’t be silent anymore!”

 

 

Remember when you began reading this chapter and I mentioned there was a price tag for everything, I’m not joking.  If what you were doing wasn’t getting “dad and mom” Ford ahead in their lives, then your worth wasn’t much.  But, the point of this story is not to make you feel sorry for me, or make ungodly connections; it’s to inform you that if you can relate to some of the hidden agenda documented here between these pages, then please consider talking with someone.  If something doesn’t feel right, or it tugs at your intuition and leaves you prolonging your thinking–it’s worth writing down in a diary and telling someone you trust.

 

I’m dead serious, I was almost too late in telling someone, nearly cost me my life.  Thank GOD, and I mean this in the Heavenly sense.  If my closest friend, Angie, hadn’t invited me to go with her and her family to the Summer Festival that weekend, I might have stuck that butcher knife right between the “two cute moles” on each side of my belly button, the one’s my mother told me I must have gotten from Aunt Sheila–The Great.

 

I’m not sure how I made it out of the Ford’s grip, but I’m thankful nevertheless.  I do wish our relationships could heal one day, but I think at this point it would take a miracle.  After all, they didn’t raise me on an ounce of faith, but I suppose that’s a lot of why I’m here telling my story.

 

 

So find a quiet corner wherever you can, and get ready to discover how I escaped the control of my unrelenting, dysfunctional, highly-conditional, negative world I was living in…

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A Friend to Comfort #127

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If you were in pain, which friend (or friends) would you want by your side? Why?

Which friend would you definitely not want around when you’re in pain? Why?

 

After Job lost his family and possessions, three of his friends came to comfort him. We can learn a lot — good and bad — from their example. The first thing Job’s friends did right was to visit Job in person. They didn’t send a card wishing him well. They didn’t let their discomfort or awkwardness keep them away. They went to grieve with him.
 
They also gave Job the space he needed to grieve. Job 2:13 says Job’s friends sat in silence for seven days and seven nights. They saw how badly Job was hurting, and they were content to grieve quietly with him. They gave him time to process his thoughts and feelings. They didn’t try to force a conversation.
 
That’s not to say Job’s friends did everything right. In their arrogance, they were convinced they knew the reason for his suffering. They believed Job was being punished for sin and kept urging him to repent. They were wrong, and as a result, they added to his misery.
 
Let’s learn from the example of Job’s friends. Each of us will have opportunities to help friends who are hurting. The way we respond to those opportunities will say a lot about us and about the God we serve.

Lean on me…

 

 

“A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity.”

Proverbs 17:17

 

“Friends hold a special place in our hearts, not just because of the good times we share but also for the bonds that are formed when we go through pain and adversity holding each other up. There are people in your life whom you count as great friends. They may be young or old, close or distant. Whoever they are and wherever they are, these words are for you to encourage them. Use these words to thank them for their love and generosity and uplift them when they need it most.

The scriptures, words of affirmation and quotes below are for the friends in your life. You can share them via text, emails or hand-written notes. Everyone needs authentic friends who have their best interests at heart.”

Be that friend.  ❤

30 heartfelt affirmations and words of encouragement for your suffering friend:

  1.   Nothing I can say will make this better but I’m here for you always.
  2.   I am so sorry you are going through this.
  3.   I am praying for you every morning when I get up.
  4.   I would like to bring your family a meal this week. Would that be okay?
  5.   You are so brave and so strong.
  6.   What is one specific way I can be praying for you?
  7.   I’m sending positive thoughts your way today.
  8.   I’d love to watch your kiddos for a night if you’d like to get some extra rest.
  9.   I am so proud to call you my friend.
  10.   I love you.
  11.   I don’t know what these next few months will be like for you, but I’ll always be here for you.
  12.   I’d love to take you out somewhere and talk about whatever you’d like!  When can I come by?
  13.   Is there a certain website or book I can read to learn more about what    you’re going through?
  14.   Can I hug you?
  15.   God will NEVER leave you!
  16.   You are my hero.
  17.   You’re a warrior, and warriors don’t quit!
  18.   Cancer is just one chapter in your life, not the whole story.
  19.   It’s okay to be scared. Being scared means you’re about to do something really, really brave.
  20.   You’re stronger than you know, braver than you think, more loved than you   can imagine.
  21.   Your illness does not define you.
  22.   The strongest people are not those who show strength in front of us but      those who win battles we know nothing about.
  23.   I wish I could take all of this pain and sorrow from you, but for now I will offer my hand to hold and my shoulder to lean upon.
  24.   Cancer may have started the fight, but you are going to finish it!
  25.   God loves you, and so do I!
  26.   I’m praying for you, friend.
  27.   There’s much more ahead of you. You’ll get through this.
  28.   You’re such a light everywhere you go!
  29.   Be strong and courageous. You can fight this!
  30.   Don’t give up on your dreams!

 

Quotes to Inspire Cancer Patients:

  • “Take one day at a time. Today, after all, is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday.”– Billy Graham

 

  • “Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow. It empties today of its strength.” – Corrie ten Boom

 

  • “It does not matter how long you live, but how well you do it.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

 

  • “My home is in Heaven. I’m just traveling through this world.” – Billy Graham

 

  • “Prayer is not asking. Prayer is putting oneself in the hands of God, at His disposition, and listening to His voice in the depth of our hearts.” – Mother Teresa

 

  • “Faith does not eliminate questions. But faith knows where to take them.” – Elisabeth Elliot

 

  • “Outside of the cross of Jesus Christ, there is no hope in this world. That cross and resurrection at the core of the Gospel is the only hope for humanity. Wherever you go, ask God for wisdom on how to get that Gospel in, even in the toughest situations of life.” – Ravi Zacharias

 

  • “Only when our greatest love is God, a love that we cannot lose even in death, can we face all things with peace. Grief was not to be eliminated but seasoned and buoyed up with love and hope.” – John Piper

 

  • “What gives me the most hope every day is God’s grace; knowing that his grace is going to give me the strength for whatever I face, knowing that nothing is a surprise to God.” – Rick Warren

 

  • “Hope is the power of being cheerful in circumstances that we know to be desperate.” – G. K. Chesterton

 

Inspiring Scripture for Cancer Patients:

  1. So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. – Isaiah 41:10
  2. “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. –Matthew 11:28
  3. “And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4:19
  4. Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble, and he saved them from their distress. He sent out his word and healed them; he rescued them from the grave. Let them give thanks to the LORD for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for mankind.” – Psalm 107:19-21
  5. LORD my God, I called to you for help, and you healed me. – Psalm 30:2
  6. Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed. – Isaiah 53:4-5
  7. Praise the LORD, my soul, and forget not all his benefits, who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion.” – Psalm 103:2-4
  8. He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. – Psalm 147:3
  9. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” – Revelation 21:4
  10. “He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed.” – 1 Peter 2:24

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Prayer

Dear God, make us aware of the people around us who need our help. Give us the strength and wisdom to comfort those who are hurting.   ~Amen.

~Taken from Once a Day At the Table

 

https://www.ibelieve.com/relationships/words-of-encouragement-for-friends.html

lhttps://www.ibelieve.com/health-beauty/words-of-encouragement-for-cancer-patients.html

We Can’t Control Others’ Actions #126

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“We can’t control anything but our own actions.  So, we do our best with what we can.”~C. L. B-Smith

 

With Mother’s Day on the horizon, I’ve been reflecting lately in regard to how I’ve coped to issues involving my children over the years.  So, upon reading a prompt from a close friend’s Facebook post the other day, I was able to tear into my thoughts and write them out:     “Those that have raised teenagers⏩  What advice would you give me?” 🤔  #thedeathofme AND, it got me thinking

I replied with:  “Hang in there, the BEST is yet to come!”

She then replied with: “How so?”

Which I replied back:  “The growth and diligence of parenting will be seen as your children experience life skills and development as young adults.  I’ve seen the love and logic of my parenting shine through as my kids have matured. If you believe in your parenting practices, you’ll see the rewards of their choices!”

 

 

There were others who also posted some words of enlightenment from my friend’s inquiring question and I thought this would be the perfect time of the year for this article.

ENJOY YOUR CHILDREN and HONOR YOUR PARENTING!  If you feel you did the best that you could have and can accept both your ‘works in progress’ as well as your ‘successes’ as a part of your parenting journey – all the more to celebrate and continue to love ’em the BEST THAT YOU CAN! ❤

 

“Love them!” ❤

 

“Love them thru it and remember they are just as frustrated as you are and honestly don’t know why they do what they do.”

 

“Sell them to the gypsies! You’ll have extra money and lots of peace. (Disclaimer: I’ve never raised teenagers) 😁”

 

“I totally understand. Mine is 23 now and she’s back to normal lol. It does get better and the day they apologize for all they put you thru, and thank you for loving them thru it, makes it all worth it…

 

My daughter was 13 when she decided I was stupid and mean. She was about 19 when I got smart again (according to her) and nice. I always told her that I was here to be her mom and not her friend, so if she was angry with me I must be doing my job. There will be times of yelling, silent treatment, anger, hurt, and tears (on both sides). So many parents try to be friends with their teen and it doesn’t work this is the time they need guidance and they will push back because they don’t know what else to do. There will be a time when you will be friends again but not now, stay strong. My daughter always said she was leaving as soon as she was 18, she’s 23 and still lives here, but she’s going to college full time and working full time and we actually have a relationship now. My problem now is remembering that she is an adult and I can’t parent her anymore lol. I promise you will get there and when you do it will be amazing and you’ll look back on this and be proud of your success.”

 

“Stay consistent with whatever rules you have in place.”

 

“My Mom used to say that when kids turn 13 aliens come in the night and take out their brains and replace them with green goo and they don’t return the brains until we are around 23 year old. I think her advice was to just wait it out…”

 

“It’s a very tough age just lots of patience love and understanding. And let them have their space.”

 

“Never let them over step you listen to whatever they got to tell you even if it’s bad. Got to don’t put them down if it’s bad. Just talk listen.”

 

“Listen and let them talk.” ❤

“Love them through it all!!” ❤

“Love. It seems that is always the answer!!!” ❤
“If we don’t have love……we have nothing at all.” ❤

“Hang in there, try to laugh with them as much as possible, and realize they are budding young adults. They are their own person and are on their way to becoming responsible adults. You can’t change who they are or how they think. You can still influence, but the more you push, the more resistance you will get. 

 

Relax. In spite of anything and everything we do or don’t do, our kids turn out okay anyway. 

 

Their reasoning skills and similar do not really fully develop in the brain till 21. A lot if brain development is happening now, a lot of hormonal and emotional development.

 

And as hard as it is for you, it is at least as hard for each of them. They have to deal with themselves, their siblings also going through a hard time, and their parents. 

 

And yes. Love them through it all. No matter what. And make sure you let them know that frequently. 

 

And when you know they need a hug but they wont welcome you telling them so, Ask Them for a hug. Tell them You need a hug. Because you do, and hugs make so many things so much better. 

 

Let them know you appreciate their contribution to the family. That you appreciate who they are. Every time you notice them do something good, thank them. Let them know you notice. 

 

Love and tolerance go a long way.”

 

“No social media, trust but don’t be naive, keep them in activities at all times, talk A LOT about the uncomfortable things and listen even more.”

 

“Go with the flow and enjoy them!”
“Teenage girls get a bad rep, but it’s not fair. They have passion and energy and they love hard and if you can channel that into productivity they’ll soar. The best teens I know spend very little time in front of screens, are involved in extracurricular, and have parents who set clear and loving boundaries and expectations. Teenagers are my favorite .”
“A friend of mine advised me about letting them socialize since it’s one of the biggest milestone for them to establish lifelong friendships now…just make sure you know who, what when and where they are…those trackers help also and we monitor their social media posts and settings.”
“I’m dealing with a teenage boy well not even a teenager yet but soon to be and I’ve got three of them so I know exactly what you’re going through and I swear sometimes I think boys can be more hormonal than girls just in a different way I guess LOL, So all we can do is show them love and try to be patient and calm or we could try to sell them in a black market or something lol I mean seriously we can even just sell body parts and then that way we can threaten them that if they don’t behave we’re going to sell their left toe or their right arm …I mean they don’t really need all their body parts right? and we need the money lol.”
“Love, love, love them! Develop a strong relationship with them. Try to remember that when they talk back and are disrespectful, they are going through crazy hormones. They need you to he patient. Love does not equal permissiveness, but don’t be too strict either. You can do this! I am right there with you! Currently raising 3 teenagers, and the 4th is quickly approaching those years as well. Teenagers are hard, but there are also so many rewarding experiences.” ❤
“Don’t overreact. When they say crazy things, just listen, and give them time to come to their senses on their own. More often than not, they will.”
“We can make things much, much worse by the way we respond.”
“It’s a roller coaster but seriously just take a lot of deep breathes and remember they eventually grow up.”
“Don’t over react listen then candidly say let me talk to your Father and WE will get back to you on that.”
“Love is key in everything. Teaching, disciplining, or whatever. I’ve learned that my relationships with my children are the most important thing in the world. After we leave this Earth, it’s the only thing we will take with us.
“Listen 3 times as much as you talk and don’t take what they say personal. Also try to keep the proper perspective…grandchildren are AMAZINGLY WONDERFUL and the reward of not strangling your teenagers lol.
“Couple of my teenagers have put me through it emotionally and I’ve had to learn. Some days the struggle is really real. Also another thing I’d say is make sure you are taking care of yourself too. I’ve needed way more radical self-care as a mom of teens than I did when I had 3 babies under 3.”

 

 

 

“You can’t control other people’s behavior, but you can control your responses to it.”― Roberta Cava

Living Your BEST Life! #125

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“Two are better than one.” ~Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

We know God’s Word to be true, but if we are human and honest, we will often admit that marriage is hard.  However, if we strive to find the good in others in living our best, we can be successful — no matter the discord.

Scripture can provide us heartwarming advice and encouragement exemplified in these Bible verses about marriage, says Candace Crabtree:

1. Joshua 1:9

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9

Lord, make us STRONG for YOU.

2. Psalm 1:1-3

“Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither-whatever they do prospers.” Psalm 1:1-3

Lord, may our delight be in YOU, may we meditate on Your law day and night. When we do so, our marriage and our family will be like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields FRUIT in its season and whose leaf does not wither.

3. Psalm 37:3

“Trust in the Lord, and do good; dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness.” Psalm 37:3

Lord, help us to trust You in all things and to do good toward each other. May we treasure faithfulness in our marriage and in our lives.

4. Psalm 51:10

“Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.” Psalm 51:10

Lord, create in both of us a pure heart, seeking You first in all things.

5. Proverbs 23:3-4

“By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established; throughknowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures.” Proverbs 24:3-4

Lord, may our homes be built on YOUR WISDOM.

6. Ecclesiastes 4:9-10

“Two are better than one because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up!” Ecclesiastes 4:9-10

Lord, we know that two are better than one. This is your design. Help us to truly lift one another up as you have created us to do.

7. Song of Solomon 4:10

“How delightful is your love, my sister, my bride! How much more pleasing is your love than wine, and the fragrance of your perfume more than any spice!” Song of Solomon 4:10

May we delight in our love for one another.

8. Isaiah 62:5

“As a young man marries a young woman, so will your Builder marry you; as a bridegroom rejoices over his bride, so will your God rejoice over you.” Isaiah 62:5

May we rejoice over one another and in turn, rest in the knowledge that You, God, rejoice over us as your children.

9. Romans 15:5-6

“May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus, that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Romans 15:5-6

Lord, may we live together in harmony and unity with one another, that we might glorify You.

10. 1 Corinthians 14:4-8

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.” 1 Corinthians 14:4-8

Lord, give us YOUR kind of love for our spouse and for our families. Grow us in patience, kindness, honor, service, and may we never keep a record of wrongs. May our love never fail because it is Your love in us. ❤

11. 2 Corinthians 12:9

“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9

Father God, Your grace is always sufficient. No matter what my spouse and I face tomorrow, Your grace is enough. Your grace sustains. Your grace is sufficient.

 

PickTheBrain blog written by Erin Falconer talks about the benefits of gratitude. Here in part is what she wrote.

Gratitude is the Most Powerful Way to Live Your Best Life

Are we ever truly happy? The answer to this depends largely on our personal definition of happiness, of course. If checking off the boxes of the things you hope to acquire or experience, such as living in a new city, or a dream job position, is that then, true happiness?  Or is it in the loving relationships you have with people that incite happiness? It is likely a mix of both in terms of your level of confidence and satisfaction with life, but the truth is, happiness is an intangible feeling that comes from within.

Nothing or no one is responsible for your happiness, but yourself.  Throughout history, those who seem to have the strongest levels of sustained happiness are those who find themselves in service of others, while expressing gratitude for what is good in their lives.

That is one thing we can all do, starting right now!

 

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The Yellow Brick Road is Paved with Gratitude

Do you want a life you’re proud of? One where your dreams come true? Of course, you do! It isn’t easy. There’s no quick fix. You have to invest time, thought, and intention in every day. The good news? The path to the life you are craving only takes ten minutes a day, is fun, and simple. The answer is a gratitude practice. Yes, it really is that plain. By habitually showing appreciation for the people and experiences in your life, you can manifest the life you’re here to live.

 

Building the Yellow Brick Road

You might be surprised to know there is an abundance of scientific evidence proving the physical, mental, and emotional benefits of gratitude. In fact, Berkley has an entire institute that regularly shares these benefits. Here are some fun facts about the effects of practicing gratitude:

  • Healthy Heart, Lower Blood Pressure (it simply feels good)

  • Better Quality of Sleep (we can all use more of this)

  • Feelings of Greater Generosity (everyone wins here)

  • Stronger Immune System (so you can care for all your sick friends and family)

  • The Experience of More Joy and Pleasure (who wouldn’t love this?)

  • Stronger Personal Relationships (adding to the joy and quality of your life)

 

“Gratitude is the healthiest of all human emotions. The more you express gratitude for what you have, the more likely you will have even more to express gratitude for.”

~Zig Ziglar

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ONWARD! ❤

https://www.godupdates.com/20-bible-verses-about-marriage/?utm_source=GodVine%20Daily&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=05/08/2018

Appreciating Those Who Educate #124

❤ Appreciate those who educate! ❤

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NATIONAL TEACHER APPRECIATION DAY

National Teacher Appreciation Day, also known as National Teacher Day, is observed on the Tuesday of the first full week in May.  In 2018, National Teacher Day will take place on May 8th.  This day is part of Teacher Appreciation Week, which is the first full week in May of each year.

The National Education Association describes National Teacher Day  as a day for honoring teachers and recognizing the lasting contributions they make to our lives.”  

 

Teachers play a critical role in educating and shaping our children: the future leaders of our country.  They are kind, patient, hard-working, dedicated and understanding professionals that mold our children’s lives in a positive direction.  We entrust our children with the teachers, and they affect their lives on a daily basis.

 

HOW TO OBSERVE

It is time to say Thank You to the exceptional teachers that you know.  Let them know that they are appreciated for all that they do. Use #TeacherAppreciationDay or #NationalTeachersDay to post on social media.  Share this graphic:

 

OR download this pdf and share it with the teacher or teachers you admire:

http://www.nea.org/assets/docs/THANK%20YOU%20SIGN.pdf

Or video:

http://neatoday.org/thankateacher-2018/?_ga=2.139346867.1068181100.1525633892-1274012527.1525633892

 


HISTORY

Political and educational leaders began discussions for a day to honor teachers in 1944.  In 1953, Eleanor Roosevelt persuaded the 81st Congress to proclaim National Teachers’ Day.  Congress declared March 7, 1980, as National Teacher Day. The National Education Association continued to observe Teacher Day on the first Tuesday in March until 1985 when the National PTA established Teacher Appreciation Week as the first full week of May.  The NEA Representative Assembly then voted to make the Tuesday of that week National Teacher Day.

http://www.nea.org/grants/teacherday.html

 

DATES of APPRECIATION ARE AS FOLLOWS:
May 8, 2018
May 7, 2019
May 5, 2020
May 4, 2021

 

I can’t thank my colleagues enough for the hard work they put in to each day of the year making sure that EACH child is heard and valued for their success!

 

 ❤ The ABC’s of the Greatest Teachers: ❤

Through my many, many years in education, I have had the opportunity to meet and work with some very special people, those whom I’m proud to call my colleagues and friends.  My list is never ending, because each year I find someone else who gives and goes over and beyond their title as an educator.

 You know who you are; you embrace this list of the ABC’s of being the GREATEST TEACHERS!

 

A:  Acknowledges students learn at their own pace, but also gives a push when needed.

B:  Believes in their students no matter what.

C:  Creates a safe environment.

D:  Deepens their students learning one day at a time. 

E:  Encourages their students to keep going.

F:  Finds other ways to teach students when other ways don’t.

G:  Gives their students the skills to be successful.

H:  Helps students succeed in their ‘next steps.’

I:  Inspires their students non-stop.

J:  Judges accordingly to student’s performance, never on their worth.

K:  Keeps perspective on their ways of teaching while allowing for continuing growth.

L:  Loves each and every student without conditions.

M:  Moves with diligence and performs in multitasking daily.

N:  Nourishes their students with multiple ways to learn.

O:  Opens up self-errors and apologizes when needed.

P:  Provides opportunities of student reflection and community growth as a class.

Q:  Quality of teaching is rendered 110%!

R:  Restoration in daily classroom harmony is always at the top of their agenda.

S:  Success is never diminished.

T:  Teaches students to be the BEST they can be without limiting their abilities.

U:  Unconditional support is always at the fore front.

V:  Value in teaching never goes without true valor and significance.

W:  Watching YOU gives me inspiration to do my job and I’m extremely grateful.

(Y & X)  You’re SUPERCALIFRAGILISTIC”X”P-ALIDOCIOUS! 

And LAST, BUT NOT LEAST

Z:  Zeros in on finding solutions to every problem~

 

 They do more than educate…they inspire, and aspire, and may even perspire, but they never expire!  They allow me to do my job, and I’m extremely thankful and feel very blessed!  ❤

 

 

“2-4-6-8 WHO DO ‘YOU’ APPRECIATE?!”

 

There are over 1,500 national days. Don’t miss a single one. Celebrate Every Day with National Day Calendar!

 

Blunders and Bloopers #123

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“I would prefer as a viewer to watch the mistakes. I am my own blooper reel, as it happens.”  ~Craig Ferguson

 

I came from a household of “pride,” too much of it, and unfortunately it cost me a loving and united relationship with my parents and older siblings.  However, I have chosen to look at the deeply dysfunctional events as positive tools rather than negatives.  And one example that I’ve tried to unravel and change within my own family circle is our pride.  Admitting when we fail is HUGE and it supports many healthy traits for our children to follow in error.  ~C. L. Baker-Smith

“All parents want to see their kids succeed, but it’s just as important to teach your children how to fail. Failing can be reframed as trying, practicing, and putting in effort — and it’s nothing to be ashamed of. After all, it’s unrealistic to be good at everything on your first pass. Kids who can’t tolerate failure are vulnerable to anxiety and it can lead to bigger problems when they do inevitably fail.”

Coming from an extremely prideful family made ‘my’ mistakes all the more unbearably shameful.  Because my parents never talked about their faults, and ‘if’ there was an infraction on their part, the words, “Im sorry,” would be followed with a “but you…”, which to me, meant what I did caused them to do what they did.  And this is a false belief, because we must be held accountable for our OWN actions.  Everyone has a choice, whether we want to admit it is another one.  ~C. L. Baker-Smith

“There is so much pressure on kids today to be the best that it’s important parents let their children know that failing will happen sometimes and that it is totally okay. In fact, it’s brave to try something new, knowing that it might not work out.”

Guidelines that Foster Positive Youth Development

  • Acknowledge that you don’t expect them to be perfect.
  • Let them know your love is unconditional, regardless of their mistakes or lapses in judgment.
  • Don’t rescue children from their mistakes. Instead, focus on the solution.
  • Provide examples of your own mistakes, the consequences, and how you learned from them.
  • Encourage them to take responsibility for their mistakes and not blame others.
  • Avoid pointing out their past mistakes. Instead, focus on the one at hand.
  • Praise them for their ability to admit their mistakes.
  • Praise them for their efforts and courage to overcome setbacks.
  • Mentor them on how to apologize when their mistakes have hurt others.
  • Help them look at the good side of getting things wrong!

 

https://www.rootsofaction.com/learning-from-mistakes-helping-children-see-the-good-side-of-getting-things-wrong/

 

Here are a few more tips for helping children develop resilience:

  • When you see that your child is struggling or having a hard time, empathize with him. Be sure not to brush off his feelings. Try using language like “I know you’re really disappointed and that you wanted to do better.”

 

  • Explain to your child that everyone fails and offer a story about a time when you yourself failed. You can model for your child how to handle frustration and disappointment. Remember, kids are always watching and taking cues from parents.

 

  • Look at failure as a chance to teach your child a lesson about resiliency. Talk through what went wrong and use problem solving skills to come up with a plan for what to do next time.

 

  • If at first you don’t succeed, try again. Remind your child that they can try again and use this failure as a learning experience.

 

Perhaps the most important thing is to step back and let your child stumble. We all want to protect our kids, but it’s important to allow them to fail rather than swooping in and fixing the problem. Failure teaches kids the skills they need—like resiliency—to be successful adults.

 

“Adults understand that making mistakes is part of life.  What’s important is how we learn from them.” 

 

http://www.pbs.org/parents/expert-tips-advice/2015/11/teaching-children-its-ok-to-fail/

Make New Friends #122

“Making new friends is one of the greatest things that can happen.”

 

“It is easy to say how we love new friends, and what we think of them, but words can never trace out all the fibers that knit us to the old.”  ~George Eliot

 

“When it comes to making friends, it is never about how many that you have, but about the kind of energy that they bring.”  ― Edmond Mbiaka

 

 

“Make new friends,
but keep the old.
One is silver,
the other is gold.

A circle is round,
it has no end.
That’s how long,
I will be your friend.

A fire burns bright,
it warms the heart.
We’ve been friends,
from the very start.

You have one hand,
I have the other.
Put them together,
We have each other.

Silver is precious,
Gold is too.
I am precious,
and so are you.

You help me,
and I’ll help you
and together
we will see it through.

The sky is blue
The Earth is green
I can help
to keep it clean

Across the land
Across the sea
Friends forever
We will always be.”

“It’s from those true connections where I finally feel understood.”
― Corin

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“Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born.”  Anaïs Nin

Make New Friends

1. Don’t worry about knowing people, just make yourself worth knowing.

2. Be friendly with the folks you know. If it weren’t for them you would be a total stranger.

3. Friends are those who speak to you after others don’t.

4. The reason a dog has so many friends is that he wags his tail and not his tongue.

5. The way to have friends is to be willing to lose some arguments.

6. Deal with other’s faults as gently as if they were your own.

7. A friend is a person who can step on your toes without messing your shine.

8. You will never have a friend if you must have one without faults.

9. You can make more friends by being interested in them than trying to have them be interested in you.

10. A real friend is a person who, when you’ve made a fool of yourself, lets you forget it.

11. A friend is a person who listens attentively while you say nothing.

12. A friend is someone who thinks you’re a good egg even though you’re slightly cracked.

… and most important… A FRIEND IS A TREASURE! ❤

“I don’t make friends based on how big their pockets are or how well connected they are; rather I make friends based on how positive their minds are. It is hard to end up with a very complicated lifestyle if you are always surrounded by positive minded individuals.”Edmond Mbiaka

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“Many people will walk in and out of your life, but only true friends will leave footprints in your heart.”

~Eleanor Roosevelt