Tuesday, October 23, 2012

New Blog

Since I am no longer single parenting, I have started a new blog to reflect where I am in my life now.  You can find my new postings here.  I'm so excited to start blogging again.  Go on over and read what I've been up to!!!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Vignettes of a normal, blessed day

It's been a really, really, really long time since I've blogged.  I know, I've been a bad blogger, but hey, life sometimes gets in the way.  Yesterday, I just had a few incidences that happened and I just wanted to share.  There was nothing earth-shattering, but the situations that happened just touched me, so I wanted to share.

It started out as a normal Sunday.  We had planned to go to church, but Joey had been up most of the night with asthma.  We had to nebulize twice and there was a time change, so when he woke up and had a slight fever and begged me to let him go back to bed, I felt that was the best thing we could do.  Danny and I spent much of the morning cuddling in my bed watching Netflix.  He has discovered "Knight Rider" and that has become his new obsession.  I think we watched 4 episodes before Joey got out of bed.

Joey woke up and felt slightly better.  I really had to do a Wal-Mart run, so after making a shopping list that was a mile long, I put the boys in the car and we struck out for Wally World.  It occurred to me that we had a late breakfast and hadn't really had lunch, so I pulled into Burger King.  One thing I learned early on is never to take hungry children to Wal-Mart.  First of all, they will be grumpy from lack of food and secondly, they will put anything that has at least one-tenth of a gram of sugar in your cart.  So, we sat down to eat our meal and just started playing silly games.  After about 10 minutes of eating, I watched my two boys together.  Somehow Joey, my math whiz-kid, started up a math game with me.  Danny tried his hardest to keep up, but accelerated 2nd grade math facts like "what is 10x10?" was a little challenging to my kindergartner.  Then, the sweetest thing happened...  When Danny started to get frustrated, instead of Joey getting frustrated with his brother, he said, "Danny, do you want me to teach you math?"  Danny stopped fussing and said "Yes"  At which point Joey started to state math facts and then said to Danny, "Do you want me to put my fingers up so you can count them?"  Danny shook his head and then Joey said, "What is 2+2?"  Danny counted the fingers and proudly said, "4".  Joey said "Good job Danny! Do you want to do another?"  Danny shook his head.  This went on for about 10 minutes.  I sat there in Burger King amazed at my boys and how much they love and respect one another.  How caring Joey is to his little brother.  How much Danny looks up to his big brother.  I never had a sibling, so this type of interaction is so foreign to me.  I've seen siblings fight and argue before and I've also seen when siblings get along amazingly well.  At this moment in time, other people in the restaurant were looking at my boys and smiling at how well they were getting along with one another.  I've never been more proud of them.

So the day continued.  We went to Wal-Mart and saw soooo many people we knew.  We were at the store almost 3 hours not only grocery shopping, but getting things for the house.  I need to fix some ripped wallpaper, patch a small hole in the wall etc.  At one point, I was looking at a new bike for Danny and the boys were the superhero aisle, one aisle away from me.  When I came around the corner, this is what I saw.  I laughed soooo hard and then took a picture.

At the end of the shopping trip, I was a little frustrated at the lines.  I had a HUGE cart full of junk so, being considerate, I actually chose the longest line behind people with other carts filled with Wal-Mart goodies.  It was our turn to check out and Danny spotted the drink cooler.  I could just imagine him choosing a big glass bottle of caffeinated, sugary soda and dropping it on the way back to the checkout line, so I paused to help him.  In doing so, some lady cut right in front of me.  Oooohhhh!!!!  It made me sooo mad!!!!!  I had been in line for about 20 minutes at this point and literally had paused to help him get his soda leaving my cart in line.  The people in front of me were still putting their items on the belt and when I turned my attention away from the line, she butted right in.  I took a deep breath and debated on whether or not to say anything and decided against it.  Yes, it was rude, but what good would it have done for me to speak up.  Instead, I angrily shoved my items onto the belt behind her counting to 20 over and over again.  When it was the woman's turn to check out, the cashier took her divider and put it on the edge of the aisle and it dropped down behind a shelf of cloth Wal-Mart carry in bags.  Danny went under the counter and said, "Hey, there's a lot of them here."  By the time he came back out, he had retrieved 9 aisle dividers.  The cashier, the lady who cut in front of me and I were all laughing at the  amount of dividers he found.  The cashier was so proud of him for helping out, she gave him a piece of candy and the lady in front of me gave him a dollar to buy a candy bar.  I just kept thinking that I was glad that I held my tongue.  If I had been grumpy, I'm not so sure Danny would have seen how people react to you when you just jump in and do the right thing and that was PRICELESS.

When we got home, we all worked together to get the groceries in and put away.  In the middle of the commotion, two different neighbors showed up.  One neighbor had made fish chowder and knew it would go bad before her family ate it, so she brought us three bowls for dinner and another neighbor brought us tickets to the circus.

When I put the boys to bed last night, I made sure to point out to them just how many blessings we had received that day.  To be honest, I'm blessed EVERY day.  Some days we face more trials than blessings and some days we face more blessings than trials.  The number of blessings and trials isn't really important.  What is important is how we bless others!  That is the key to true happiness.

Thank you, my friends for how you bless me!!!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Ramblings from a sleep deprived state

It's 4:30 a.m. and I can't sleep.  I think the stress of my life has finally caught up to me.  I have spent most of the night praying and telling God my problems.  The Bible says that catches my tears (Psalm 56:8).  He must have barrels and barrels of mine.  I have faith in His word and I know that He is holding me right now, but I still feel very alone.

This post may not be the most uplifting post you read from me, but my blog is my therapy in many ways.    This post will be very personal about the pain I'm going through right now. I'm hoping that maybe through my pain, I can minister to others and let others now that they are not alone in their pain.  If you are offended by it, I apologize, but these are my personal feelings.  No offense was intended, rather, it's important for me to express how the actions of others can effect a person or people for a lifetime.  So, here is the brutal truth.

I feel very, very ALONE.

After Dave left, many people supported me.  After my dad died, people were right there.  Now, it has been almost two years and my life has continued to get more and more stressful and I still am trying to raise two little boys by myself with no help.  My heart aches for my children.  They deserve so much more than this life, but at the same time, I am trying to give them the most love I can give and the best life possible.  However, trying to do this alone is very draining.  I feel like I'm on empty right now. I'm sooo tired.  I often feel like I don't have much left to give them.  It's amazing, though that when I am in that state of feeling like I have nothing left, God provides me with that love, that patience and the full heart to help them get through the problems that they face.  Still, being a single parent is the hardest thing I've ever had to do.

I feel very, very alone.

I have a house that I'm still paying for that is jointly owned by myself and my ex.  It needs to be sold now but because of circumstances, I can't sell it.  I'm paying for everything there and paying for all of the utilities of the house I'm in.  The money only goes so far.

I fell very, very alone

I am an only child, so I have no siblings.  My mom and dad are both gone.  They were the best parents in the world and I need them now more than anything, but they are not here.  I'm so sad that Danny will never remember them and Joey's memories are fading every day.

I feel very, very alone.

I'm raising two kids with special needs.  One child has a sleep disorder and is up most night for several hours.  I'm usually up with him.  Sleep deprivation is not a good thing, for either of us.  The same child is struggling in school and I'm having to fight to get him the services he needs... by myself.

I feel very, very alone.

Several times this summer, I have had well-intentioned people imply that I am not a good mother, not a good Christian.  You can only hear that so much before you start to believe it. You can only be gossiped about so long before you start not to trust others. Each person that spoke to me or gossiped about me was unaware of other things that had been said or the damage they were doing to my spirit.  Each person that spoke to me had a very small piece of the picture, but not the whole picture.  Each person that pushed me a little bit further and further away didn't realize the chaos and devastation they were causing in my life.  After I was gossiped about and was criticized, I was rejected until I had no other choice but to separate myself from those causing my pain.  When people found out I left, many assumed I was the one doing the rejecting, when actually, again they didn't have the whole picture.  I chose to separate myself from those that were crushing my spirit.  This left me alone, but sometimes it's better to be alone with God than those who are cruel and who cause devastating pain.

I feel very, very alone.

My pain is great and I have never felt so alone on this earth as I do right now.  I have found in my life that it is when I'm at these points that God does His greatest work in changing me and working in me.  I encourage each of you to look around you.  Look for those people who are in pain and reach out your hands to them.  Do not judge them or gossip about them, but rather, love them by your words and actions.  Help them in the practical ways even if they don't ask for that help.  This is true love and ministry.  When you perceive that someone has fallen, don't judge and reject, but find out why.  Don't walk away in silence.  Help them, don't shut them out.  Shutting them out just pushes them further and further away.

I praise God for my true friends that continue to support and stand by me.  Thank you for all you do. I do recognize the important part you have in my life.  May God bless you for your love towards me and my boys.  When you support me, you make me feel less and less alone.  Please keep hanging in there with me.  I'm sorry if I'm acting pathetic right now.

If you are where I am right now, in a place of great pain, I am so sorry.  I will pray that someone reaches out to you where you are.  Sometimes it is simply to difficult to reach those hands up when they are so burdened.  The weight of pain is extreme.  Somedays you literally feel like you cannot breathe, you can't move.  I understand that all too well.

So if you are at a place in your life right now where you are relatively content, please look around.  Bless someone around you that maybe in the place of feeling alone.

I still feel very alone, but I have faith that this will not always be the case.  When I am on the other side and out of this place of pain, I know the Lord will have changed me and will give me clear vision and will help me relate to the feelings of those in a place of pain.  This will make it easier to minister to those around me.  There is a reason for this pain and this feeling of being alone.  I look forward to the day when I can bless someone else who is feeling what I am feeling now.  God will use this.  I have faith in Him and how He works.  My life is far from perfect, but I know that He has a plan for me and that every trial I go through equips me so he can use me.  I'm looking forward to that day when the questions I have about why I'm going through these trials will be answered.

"For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime; weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning."  Psalm 30:5 

Monday, September 5, 2011


I had a conversation with a friend tonight about pain, specifically emotional pain.  When we are in pain, we often get very self-centered. We feel that our pain is worse than anyone else's.  No matter what we've gone through, we feel it is the worse possible situation that anyone could go through and that no one else in the world could possibly understand what we've gone or are going through.  We deserve to have everyone look at us and say,"I'm so sorry.  I'm sure no one has ever been through anything as horrible as you've gone through."

We expect for people to read our minds and not to mention anything that causes us pain, no matter how innocent the comment is.  Sometimes people can be truly insensitive, but most times, people don't even realize they are causing you pain.  They may say something innocently and it goes right to your heart and stays there like a dart on a dartboard.

Recently, I've gone through a period of being down in the dumps again.  My losses over the past two years have been extreme and I continue to face loss.  Sometimes it really, really hurts.  I have people in my life that have thought the were being helpful and they've only served to cause me more pain.  Then I was reminded by my friend of what I posted a few weeks ago.  In this post, I realized that when I feel this way, I am focusing on myself.  That is exactly what I'm doing.  I am again wallowing in self pity.

So, I am going to shake myself by the shoulders, slap myself upside the head and put on my big girl panties and buck up.

Then I'm going to remember that there are others out there that are going through more pain than myself. I will pray for those people tonight and ask God to not only take away the pain in my heart, but the pain in theirs as well.

Lastly, I will thank God for Jesus.  He went through more pain on the cross and the events that led up to the cross than I can even fathom.  It says in the Bible,

 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”  ~Matthew 11:28-30

So, tonight I will lay my burden down at the feet of Jesus.  I will not try to bear these burdens on my own.  He will carry me through.

If you are going through emotional pain tonight, please realize two things.  The first is that your pain is very real.  It feels like the worst thing you could possibly go through.  Second, there are other people in the world that are going through something worse than you are.  I only say this because it will help you to put your pain into perspective.  Look for how you can help and encourage those people.  I promise you that it will make you feel better and will change your perspective on your pain.  Look for opportunities to volunteer or to do something that will bless others.  In return, you will be surprised at the fact that YOU will be the one who will receive the blessings.

Last, turn to God to help you carry your burdens.  If you don't have a personal relationship with God, email me at teachflute@yahoo.com and ask me.  I will pray for you and tell you how you can start a relationship with the God of all creation.  If he can make a tree, place the stars in the sky or paint amazing sunsets, He can carry your load.  He wants to be there for you just like a parent wants to be there for his/her child.  

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Color Blind

My children are black. I am white. Yes, they were adopted at birth. Yes, I love them as fiercely as if I had given birth to them myself. I often don't even think about the amount of pigment they have in their skin.  Moms of boys; do you think that your boys have more testosterone than you have? On most days, probably not; they are simply your kids. Tall dads, do you think about how much taller you are than your daughters? On most days, probably not. Why should parenting a child of a different race be so different?

I ask this because I had a conversation another adoptive mom today. We discussed how our multiracial families often get stares and sometimes even rude comments about how our children came to be with us. I actually had someone ask me once where I bought my child from. I'm sarcastic enough that I answered "Walmart, they carry everything". I knew that was sarcastic but I'm sure at the other answer I wanted to give would have been even less appropriate.

To be honest, I often don't even think about the fact that my children are a different race than myself.   I am the minority in my family. My immediate family is 2/3 black and 1/3 white. In reality, our family was created by God. He is also color blind. He loves us all the same no matter if we are black or white, male or female, tall or short, young or old. True love is blind to the things that do not matter. My prayer is that I can be a model of true love to my children. I hope they grow up to recognize that even though we may be different on the outside, we are all human beings on the inside that are loved by the same God. If He can love us with an unconditional love, who are we to think we can pass judgement on others just because they may look different than us? Praise God for his unconditional love for us.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Touched by an angel

The show touched by an angel was very popular several years ago. It was loosely based on the Bible verse:

"Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by this some have entertained angels without knowing it." ~Hebrews 13:2

Every now and then, someone will enter my life for a brief moment and make an impact that will last a lifetime. This happened to me on our recent camping trip to Acadia National Park.  My aunt, my two sons and I went camping and decided to go on some adventures.  One of our first adventures was to climb Champlain Mountain.  Last year we climbed Gorham Mountain, and this isn't much of a different climb, so I knew the boys could do it.   I knew if we took frequent breaks we would eventually make it to the top.

About half way up, we stopped to take a water/snack break and on the path I spotted a family.  A mom, dad and three kids.  the two youngest kids were about Danny and Joey's ages and the oldest was probably 9 and had cerebral palsy.  The boy was in a modified jogging stroller and the father was pushing the stroller up over boulders to climb this mountain.  The mother was guiding the stroller along various fellow hikers who could see he needed help jumped in here and there. The mother and I made small talk about how beautiful the weather was and how nice of a hike this was. She then told me that the thing she loved the most was that her family was doing this together.  They ended up beating us up to the top of the mountain and I took their picture, all five of them, at the summit.

When most people are faced with adversity, we take it in stride, doing the best we can.  This family not only faced adversity in stride, but they are excelling.  They refuse to let a mountain stand in the way of a family hike.  I'm sure they live their lives pushing through trials and experiencing life to the fullest.

That's what I want to do!  I don't want to simply get through the trials, I want to use them to push me to be a better person.  Trials are a part of life.  Do I approach them by simply driving by the mountain thinking it would be too difficult to climb it or do I say to myself, "Hey, the view at the top will be worth the climb even though the climb for me is going to be more difficult than it is for the average person,"?  

Personally, I will climb and the view at the top will be that much sweeter.

So, to the family whose name I don't even know.  I suspect God sent you as angels into my life to teach me a lesson.  Thank you for showing me that while things may look really difficult, if there is a possibility, it IS possible.

Friday, August 19, 2011


Everyday I get a little bit stronger.  I am able to see that my life is what I make of it.  I'll be honest that I spent much of the last year wallowing in self-pity and asking my God the question "WHY?"

Why did mom have cancer?

Why did dad die when I needed him most?

Why did I lose both of my parents in a short period of time?

Why was my marriage destroyed?

Why am I still by myself when I want desperately to find a companion and possibly more?

Why is single parenting so challenging?

Why can't my kids both sleep all night on the same night?

Why do I feel like I have to go through this life by myself?

Why, why, why?

Do you see a common thread through all of those questions?  When I discovered what I was doing, I was floored.  I am focusing on ME and my wants, not my needs.

So I changed my thinking around a little and here is what I came up with.

Thank you Lord for my parents and for the amount of time I had with them.  You had them in my life to help make me into the person that I am today.  Even though I would have loved to have had more time, I thank you for the time I had with them and thank you for the hope of seeing them again in heaven.

Thank you Lord for the marriage that I had.  Thank you that my ex husband and I are at a place where we can communicate and get along for the sake of our kids.  Thank you that some healing has been brought to us.  I pray that you bring the person that is right for me into my life in your timing and NOT mine.  Thank you that you have kept people out of my life that were not who You meant to be that special person.  It's hard, but I trust in You to provide in Your time.

Thank you Lord for my kids.  We waited a LONG time for them to come home to us.  Please give me the patience, wisdom and grace I need to be the best mom I can be.  Thank you that they love me enough to seek me out in the middle of the night when they're hurt or scared.  Thank you that they still want me to hold their hands, pick them up, hug them, kiss them and be with them.

Thank you Lord for your son Jesus.  Who came to earth to show us that we are not alone.  Thank you for His strength that He demonstrated on the cross.  Thank you that He set the example for all of us to follow and even He asked the question "Why" when He said, "My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken me?"   If He asked "Why?" then I know that I can too, but help me to quickly remember that all that is happening to me is in Your plan if I continue to trust in you.

So now I know the answer to "Why?"  It is because He is in control and He is working all things together for His good purpose.  I simply need to trust that He knows the answer to the question "Why".