Friday, September 29, 2017

Being a Light

If anyone follows the news, watches tv, uses social media, or even just has basic conversations with people, they have probably noticed the tension in our country. I mean it’s everywhere, argument after argument, accusation after accusation, opinion after opinion. It is starting to make me extremely sad. I think this post is just going to be short, little write up about how I feel about all of this brewing anger and dividedness.

First, I’m not big on giving my viewpoints on things. I despise debating. There are always facts to support every side of an argument. Now, I’m not saying there is anything wrong with sharing opinions. I just feel there is a difference in explaining why we feel a certain why vs. knowing we are right and the other people are wrong. It’s important for us to defend what’s important to us. Also, I don’t think that my passive approach is the best method. If I did that, it would be just like thinking that I’m right and other people are wrong. Honestly, I can’t begin to comprehend the amazing number of personalities and mindsets that God has programmed in each of us. That’s probably the reason that I try to stay publically neutral on hot button issues. I never want to get so entrenched in my own opinions that I’m blinded to a certain group of people’s feelings or past experiences.

Now when I said I don’t like to debate or share my opinion on many things, that does not mean that I am blind to issues or ignore them. I just feel kindness, patience, compassion, joy, and love are my main tactic. Simply being kind to people I encounter each day is basically my entire approach to life :D Loving people where they are. Sharing love with someone can break barriers much more effectively than sharing opinions. Buying someone breakfast, truly listening during a conversation, sacrificing some personal time to help a neighbor organize their garage, complimenting someone’s hard work, giving a friend a hug when it’s needed, or just smiling when you pass someone in the hallway are things that just fill people’s heart with warmth.  Leaving people feeling more valuable than how I found them is my goal. I’m convinced that making someone feel less than or casting guilt will never result in anything positive. All of the smarts, time spent, and energy invested won’t amount to anything lastingly positive if it’s presented in a way that belittles another. One good litmus test I give myself is that if I speak solely with the intention to put a negative image of someone in the mind of the person I’m talking with then it’s not of God and I just need to be quiet. Hahahah. It’s pretty effective :) 

I’m just so relieved that I not commanded to change minds. I don’t have to worry about isolating people that He might have on my path in the future. He didn’t call me to change minds. In fact, He didn’t call me to change hearts either, because He told us that He’s got that taken care of. He just told us to love Him and love people. It’s just that simple. And I love that. 

Be Blessed and Be a Blessing,

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Top 10 List - "The Perks of Single Parenting"

While I freaking love all of my two parent families so much and in all honesty don't really feel much stress difference between two parent/single parent families (read about that why I feel that way here), this post is a shout-out to my fellow single parent peeps. However, in truth a lot of this applies to being a parent in general. :)

Side note: Can you tell I hate leaving people out? hahahaha

Top 10 Perks of Single Parenting:

10) Excellent hygiene - Being a solo parent gives you the privilege of being the permanent and primary (well only) target for all projectile vomit streams, booger cannons, and crusty orange Cheetos fingers. This provides the opportunity for multiple hand washes, outfit changes, and bathing sessions a day :)

9) Having the entire bed to yourself -

“Ahhh this entire comfy bed all to myself”
*peeks around corner*
“What?...No, you can’t sleep in here. You have your own bed.”
*six hours later*

8) - You never have to sleep alone - (see above)

7) Almost super human immune system – Due to the fact that I am generally busy still preparing drinks shortly after putting everyone’s plates on the table and not sitting down eating with the them yet, most of the food I stick in my mouth has a 43% chance of either being touched by hands that just touched a frog, being the fresh recipient of a sneeze, or being knocked on the floor by a few children who decided to play a nice relaxing game of “Cheetah vs Honey Badger – A Fight to the Death” around the dinner table. I just tell myself my kids want to keep me healthy and are purposely boosting my immune system.

6) Absolute control of the car radio – Well, at least for a few songs then we will listen to ‘I want a Hippopotamus for Christmas’ for the remainder of the trip (regardless of the fact that it's September).

5) You command enough authority to merge the “Mom Glare” and the “Dad Voice” into one purely spine-chilling heed to obey

4) There’s not another parent around to tell you ‘No’ – “Ok guys, who wants to pick out a crazy outfit for school picture day?” *Looks around for another adult to object* “Great! Let’s get crazy with it!”

"Sure, you can wear your heart moonboots."

3) A permanent “get out of boring conversations” card – It is literally a law that kids must interrupt their parents’ adult conversation at least every 5-6 minutes. Since you’re the only parent present you can relax if you find yourself in a terribly dreary talk with another adult, because guaranteed in about 42 seconds a child is going to bust into that conversation giving you a quick and effective get away.

2) Language Morality Checks – Since it’s just you and the kid(s), most conversations and activities are with them, and oh boy, can kids pick out even the slightest of colorful language. In our house don’t even think about saying anything vulgar. This is a literal conversation between me and Stevie:

Stevie *walking up to me solemn and slow*:
"Daddy, I heard you say the 'f word' last night when you were on the phone."
Seth: "What?! No you didn't."
Stevie: "Yes. I did. I heard you say it!"
Seth: "Baby, I never say that word."
Stevie: "Well, last night you did."
Seth: "What 'f word' are you talking about?"
Stevie: "You said 'I'm so freaking tired.' Daddy you know 'Freaking' is a word we shouldn't say."

Lately, my current vocabulary is clean enough that I could record it and use it as a Baby Einstein’s DVD commentary :)

1) Permanent Wingman- Being a single parent is tough. I admit that. However I will say that being solo with young kids is a pretty significant opposite sex attention grabber. You really don’t have to put yourself there out there. Like at all. For example:

*While we are grocery shopping Seth spots cute woman on the bread isle*
Seth – “Hello.”
Woman – “Hi.”
Neela – “Are you married?”
*Seth stunned*
Stevie – “Neela! Don’t ask! You are supposed to look to see if she has a ring on hand, right dad?”
*Seth kind of awkwardly smiles and chuckles*
Titus – “My dad is really tall.”
Olive – “And hairy.”
*Seth now pretending to browse the bread selection to avoid any eye contact*
Neela – “So do you want to marry him or not? We still have to finish grocery shopping.”

Be Blessed and Be a Blessing,