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One of my favorite daily rituals is writing in my journal. Writing in it helps me unravel all the thoughts and feelings that would otherwise consume my mind.

recite-pgvy0k

 

Recently I have been looking back at some old memories and have chosen to reflect on some negative ones. I’m considering my losses and the times I’ve been hurt by others. The big ones, the ones I have let mark me the most. This time, as I write about these in my journal and really take time to flesh them out and put them on paper, I am assigning a new meaning to them and intentionally using them to empower and not debilitate me:

I have decided to bring them out into the light.

As in the theme of my last post, anything we leave in the dark will have power over us. We all have bad memories, painful memories. Even if they are not prominent in our mind, they are there and affect the way we look at our daily experience and even ourselves. Each one leaves a mark, changing who we are. I want to own this a bit more. I want to determine what kind of mark these memories leave and intentionally choose the meaning they will have. So I am looking back and making that choice.

I am not letting these bad experiences define me anymore.

I am not my bad experiences or my failures. I am not even defined by the things people have done to me or said to me. Writing about these have helped me put more distance between me and my experiences. After writing about these with intention I look at them more as events that happened to me that are packed with lessons to glean from.

I can now use the lessons and the experience itself to serve others.

Every time we go through something, good or bad, we have deeper insight into things. We can understand others who are going through them now in a more real and intimate way, making us better able to love them through it. I am choosing to assign this new meaning to the negative things that have happened to me. I am more grateful for the tools it gives me to serve in a deeper way.

Writing in my journal is my favorite daily ritual. It gives me tools to have more control of my feelings today and to use my past experiences to empower my future.

Have you ever kept a journal? What benefits does it give you?

193fe76d9e4e88a67a57d5f517488ca5The CDC estimates that approximately 1 in 6 boys and 1 in 4 girls are sexually abused before the age of 18. The statistic for boys is a bit deceiving because boys many times don’t report their abuse. 

As a person who was molested as a child, I prayerfully try use my experience to empower me as a parent. 

I can’t guarantee that my children will not go through similar abuse, but I can be proactive in educating and protecting them. One of my main tools in protecting my children from sexual abuse is speaking the truth about it. I know personally the difference it makes to keep the lines of communication open.

I talk to all of my children about their bodies and let them know what parts are private and off limits. In age-appropriate ways, I tell them what it means for someone to touch you in inappropriate ways.

I also let them know that anyone can do this, even people in our family, or people that dad and mom love and respect. I do this intentionally. Most sexual molestation happens within the family or at least within one’s social circle. I don’t want my child to feel like I would be crushed if they ever told me that someone I love sexually abused them. I let them know that I am well aware that this can happen. 

Finally, I explicitly tell my kids what they may feel if they were ever a victim of sexual abuse and the lies they may be tempted to believe. They may feel guilty or that I will be disappointed in them. I tell them what the truth is now, BEFORE it happens. I tell them that there is nothing YOU can do to make someone sexually abuse you and you will have my full support and protection when you come and tell me. You must speak up!

When things are kept in the dark and in secret we give them more power over us. Making this topic a normal, natural one between my children and me gives THEM the control:

  • They are made more aware of the danger
  • Will know how to best protect themselves, and
  • Will feel more comfortable going to safe people if abuse ever happens.

Let us all have the power to speak the truth to our children about sexual abuse and empower them with knowledge and awareness!

The best gift a mom can give her kids is to be healthy and whole. Don’t wait for the time, MAKE time to take care of yourself.

Educating for Life

There are very few things that have made me feel more empowered as a mother and a wife than my new morning ritual. I have never been a morning person. Now that I get up with a very specific routine, with the intention of “sharpening my ax”, I wake up more energetic and excited. I now wake up with purpose! My morning plan also gives me a great reason to go to bed early, and the TIME to accomplish the most important things: taking care of my spirit, mind, and body, EVERYDAY!

My new morning routine is mostly inspired by Hal Elrod’s book Miracle Morning. The Screenshot_20160522-190321_1concepts in the book have TRANSFORMED my life more than any other book (besides the Bible). Implementing the ideas in this book have released additional hours in my day. I have also so much more energy and drive during the day to…

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I’m tired. I have too much going on. I have no energy for this right now!

These are the words that are echoed in my head several times a day lately. All my children test the boundaries like all others. At any given season there’s one that manages to test my patience often and in  just the right way. Lately is been my oldest daughter.

Yesterday evening, when one of the brothers came with one more complaint, I immediately did what comes natural. I put my daughter on a time out. I was so frustrated and exhausted.

As I walked away this time I felt the need to take a mental pause.  I’m realizing that, although I address the behavior with a punishment, I may be missing  valuable opportunities to disciple.

In my exhaustion I am not taking the time to address the condition of her heart. Sending her to bed is quick, taking the time to converse and unpack God’s word in relation to her behavior takes time. 

My prayer today and in the days moving forward is for more wisdom and strength. 

Lord, give me the wisdom to identify the moments I should dig deeper and go further. Give me, Lord, the strength I need to get it done.

Use my effort to help further mold my child’s heart to glorify You.  

No Textbooks Needed

We are currently moving into a new home and everything is packed. All of our books and curriculum are still put away. Still, this week has been full of learning opportunities!


At our weekly Co-op my five-year-old was intrigued to see her new friend communicating with her mother in American Sign Language. She learned for the first time of this amazing way people communicate and even learned some words in sign language. She thought her new friends some words in Spanish.


Today my boys spent the morning in a nature class learning about monarch butterflies. My older child spent time doing what he loves most. He spoke with a naturalist about Salamanders, asked lots of question, and even got to touch one! He LOVED that!

He is now (as I wrote this) in the “field” observing amphibians in their natural habitat.

In my efforts of igniting a passion to and love of learning I rarely resort to textbooks.

In my 13 years of parenting and 7 years of homeschooling what has serve me best has been experiences. My children’s curiosity has been best nurtured and encouraged by their interactions with people, exploration of the world around them, and exposure to new thinking and ideas.

I encourage engaging people of different backgrounds, professions, and experiences.  Ask questions. Learn from others!

I can’t think of a better way to truly encourage real socialization and lifelong learning!

“I never teach my pupils; I only attempt to provide the conditions in which they can learn.” (Albert Einstein)