There Doesn’t Have to be a Difference. It’s a Choice.

When you get remarried there is so much that goes into the mix of merging two different families together.  In my case, our children were practically grown and God blessed us with a smooth transition (for the most part).

One relationship particular that I want to share with everyone is about Emory and Jayden.  When Emory came into my life Jayden (my granddaughter) was only 14 months old.  She wasn’t sure of this big man with a deep and authoritative voice and didn’t really want that much to do with him.  We both knew it would take some time for her to become comfortable around him and didn’t put too much emphasis on it really.

At one point when she really started talking the question came up about what to call him.  I definitely was nervous about even having this conversation.  I knew I wanted him to feel the same way about her as I did, but at the same time I couldn’t force this relationship.  So we were talking about it and Emory told me that he wanted her to call him “Papa”.  I was absolutely elated!  Now we just had to tell my daughter Kristin and see how she felt about it.  The conversation went over well and Jayden has called him Papa ever since.

Over time, I have watched Emory totally fall in love with Jayden.  Her birthday was May 4th and she turned 4.  Well Jayden told us she wanted a swing for her birthday.  A neighbor of ours had an old one that needed some work and Emory spent over 4 hours sanding and painting that swing pink and white.  What an incredible sight to watch this man labor out in the boiling sun to make his granddaughter happy.

  He helped me decorate the entire living room in balloons and banners.  We went outside and decorated our fence with balloons so when she topped the hill of the dirt road, she could see the balloons flying everywhere. Emory never said one word about all the “trouble” we spent preparing for her party.  He actually even ordered her princess cake and had them put a tiara and wand on the cake. (And all the women said “awwwww”).

After she arrived, everyone was eating and Jayden had not seen her swing yet.  I watched him walk over to her and bend down to whisper in her ear.  She jumped in his arms and gave him a big hug and they quietly went out the front door.  He was taking her to that swing.  I knew this was going to be a special moment and waited about 30 minutes or so before I joined them. As I turned the corner, you could hear her talking to him and he looked up and just gave me a smile.

Are they related?  Yes.  Jayden is Emory’s granddaughter and no one else would ever be able to tell him and especially her differently.  She genuinely loves him and it’s a love that was created by God.  It doesn’t matter to either one of them that they may not technically be blood related and all Jayden knows is that Emory has been in her life since she can remember.

I’m thankful that Emory loves Jayden the way he does and now that Dakotah (my other granddaughter) is here, she will also get to know him as “Papa” as she gets older.

I am not oblivious to the fact that when you mix families you have problems as our family has had its share but this post is not about all the problems that come with mixing families.

God expects us (humans) to love each other just this way.  We may not all technically be related by our standards, but we are all God’s children just the same.  Imagine the stress in my family’s life if Emory had decided not to love her the way he does.  I know it happens all around us everyday because I’ve seen it.

Loving another person with a true heart is a good choice to make in your life.  It has the potential to make a difference in your life and the life of the person you choose to love.



Even A Small Amount Can See You Through

I’ve always had hope in my heart.  Like many others, I’ve had a dark season in my life.  You know what I’m talking about.  You feel helpless, out of control and just down right depressed about it all.  For some the season may only be days or months but for me it was years.  Although I wanted to several times, I never gave up hope.  Frankly, it was the only thing keeping me going.

I’m not blaming anyone else for my situation.  I have always known (at least intellectually) that I am in control of my destiny but sometimes having children and wanting a “family to work” seems to take precedence over ones own thoughts and feelings and thus created a stronghold on my life that I still have not fully recovered from.

For 18 years I tried to keep a marriage going because of hope.  I hoped one day I would be enough and that I could have a loving relationship.  I hoped he would see that family is more important than wealth and power.  During this time hope became my best friend because it was all I had. 

Once the marriage was over and my new life began, I hoped that my children would understand why their parents divorced and the truth would be seen.  I hoped they wouldn’t believe the lie that I didn’t love them anymore.  This was a point in my life that I desperately held on to hope.

My relationship with my children has been like a roller coaster ride with too many dips to count.  With no hope in my life I probably would have ended it all a long time ago. I realize death is a terrible thing for anyone to experience, but I think having living children that reject you ranks high on the list of sorrows too.  I am their mother though and mothers shouldn’t ever lose hope for their children.

God has placed a desire in my heart that no one else has ever been able to take away from me.  He gave me a true gift when He gave me hope.  It has allowed me to open my heart to the love of a wonderful man and finally experience an authentic relationship.  Hope has given me back my daughter and completely restored my relationship with her.  Now I share my life with my daughter two beautiful granddaughters.

I know my hope and faith in God will soften the hearts of my two boys and they will realize that no matter what happened in the past, it doesn’t have to set the course for our future.

What is your true gift from God? 


Images courtesy of Google images


The Game of Tag Question

I haven’t played tag since I was a kid so I’m guessing this is a grown up version of tag.  It’s been a few days since Bird @ Everyone Has a Story asked me to play so here it goes…….

Photo Credit:  Microsoft Office

Tag – you’re it!’ – The rules:

You must post these rules.

 Answer the question the “tagger” listed for you in their post,

  1. And create 11 new questions for the people you tag to answer.
  2. Choose 11 people to tag and link to them in the post.
  3. Let each blogger know that you have tagged them.

Bird’s question for me was,  “If you could change just one thing about the American public school system, what would it be?”

I’ve only been in the schools talking about abstinence for the past year, so “intellectually”, I don’t know enough of the politics within the school system to really give an educated answer.  Having said that, I’ve decided to answer the question showing my readers some of the questions I get asked by students during a small group meeting outside the school environment.

If I am able to speak to a group of teenagers more than once then before ending my first session with them, I tell them they can have a blank index card to write a question they want me to answer on my next visit.  It’s no surprise that several hands go in the air to receive a card but only after promising anonymity.

Once I am home, I take the cards out and begin reading each one carefully.  Some make me laugh but most of them bring tears to my eyes knowing these precious children need something to believe in.  After many prayers, lots of research and conversations with a minister/colleague of mine at Women’s Hope Medical Clinic, I put together some information for these hurting children.  So here are only a FEW of the questions…..

  1. Can you help me make goals and plans for my life?
  2. How can I get over being raped?
  3. How can I make my dreams come true living in foster care?
  4. How and when do I tell a boy I don’t want to have sex?
  5. My parents can’t afford college.  How can I go if I can’t pay for it?
  6. I heard it was safer to have sex in the water.  Is that true?

There are so many other questions I could list and I just might do that in another blog (thanks for the idea Bird!).  So, what should we be teaching in the school systems?  I don’t know if I have the right answer but what I do know is that a huge problem exists and I only reach a small percentage of these children.  Should the schools be teaching the answer to these questions?  Yes to some of them, but maybe parents should teach their children the answers to ALL of them.  Can’t parents answers all the above questions?  We (parents) say we don’t want the school teaching our children about certain issues, yet there’s a reason why I get asked these questions.

To get back to the game, here are the following fellow bloggers and I would love to hear from.

  1. LuckyLeo – At what point in your life did you know you were known as “edgy” and what does that look like?
  2. Coach Sue – How many clients do you usually have at one time?
  3. Laura Dickey – Other than writing, where is another avenue your creative energy flows?
  4. Sherry – What is the toughest question to answer by a client at Women’s Hope Medical Clinic?
  5. ks ballou – What’s the farthest you have traveled to take one of your posted pictures?
  6. Even a Girl Like Me – What steps have you taken to improve on the “people pleasing” issue?  (I have the same problem)
  7. MomMeetsBlog – How’s those tweezers been treating you lately?

Please excuse me from the other 4.  For now 7 will just have to do.  I had a great time answering my question and hope you will too!


What Did You Just Ask Me?

  I’m not allowed to talk about God.  I can’t tell them He is the real answer to leading a fulfilled life.  I can’t tell them that although people here on earth will let us down, we serve a God whose love is never-ending.  If I did, I would be asked to leave and never get invited back.  Where in the United States are we not allowed to talk about God?  It’s in the school system.  So what did I do when asked a question about a sensitive subject?

For the last year or so, I’ve been teaching abstinence only and healthy relationships to youth groups around my community and to junior high students within our county school system. Some say it’s a miracle for Women’s Hope Medical Clinic being allowed in the schools at all.  Maybe it’s because we are in the deep south where it is still acceptable to have prayer before a football game or graduation, but I’d like to think it’s because God is in control and desires for His children to know the truth.  God wants us to show these young people that they can have hope.

While I can’t bring the subject of God up, it doesn’t mean I can’t respond if someone says something like, “The Bible says that you shouldn’t have sex before marriage.”  I will agree with the student but really I am the facilitator of this conversation and the students are the ones doing the talking.  Again, God is doing His work and I’m just the tool in which it’s done.

During one class  as I explained some of the consequences of sex before marriage, I get the question, “What is an abortion?”  I simply answer, “It’s when someone decides for the baby to come out before it’s ready.”  I can see their heads shaking as they ponder over my answer but I wasn’t expecting the next question, especially coming from the teacher when he asked, “Do you think abortion is murder?”  I decided to act like Jesus and speak in a parable and just told a story.  I told them of an experience I had many years ago while working as a sonographer.  I spoke of a patient needing an amniocentesis and my job entailed directing the physician to a “good pocket of fluid”.  A perfect site is found and I could see the needle with the ultrasound (you don’t want the needle near the baby’s head or back).  While monitoring this procedure, the baby kicked and hit the needle with its foot.  The baby started moving around almost in a frantic like state.  The doctor quickly pulled the needle back flush with the uterus until the baby calmed down (which was about 5 minutes) and once the baby settled down, we resumed the procedure.  That’s where I ended the story.

I believe in self-discovery.  I could have stood up there and given those students an answer but feel lessons are better learned if a person can figure it on their own and not someone telling them what to think.  I didn’t want them to mourn for the baby that is gone and then hate the mother for deciding to end the pregnancy.  Jesus loves both the mother and baby equally and my job is to give those students tools on how to make good decisions for their lives, not condemn another person for their choices.

The students seemed satisfied with the answer and many made remarks of their opinion of the situation which is exactly what I wanted to happen.  I’m thankful to God for bringing that story to my mind so quickly because it’s probably been over 15 years ago since it happened but that’s how much He loves us.  He had already prepared me for that day, I just didn’t know it.