What Do I Want For My Children?

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I want my children to be successful

And to always know that I love them dearly.

I want them to have dignity and purpose,

For them to hold their heads high and speak clearly.

 

To never mumble when speaking to someone

But look a person in the eye so that they know

You are serious and should be taken seriously

And accept criticism so there is room to grow.

 

To never be too selfish or even too kind

People sometimes mistake that for weakness

But don’t be too overbearing either

Remain humble and display tender meekness.

 

I want them to show respect to everyone

Whether another child or someone who’s old

Never be rude or mean without reason

To have a warm heart, not one that’s cold.

 

To give willingly whenever they are able to

To always lend a helping hand to someone in need

Remembering that it’s what Jesus would want them to do

To not be followers but to take a responsible lead.

 

I want for my children the world and so much more

For them to set goals and work hard to achieve them

To never boast, but to be modest and less proud

But to sometimes take chances and go out on a limb.

 

There will be times when they will be let down or disappointed

But I want them to understand that’s all a part of life

There will be happiness, joy, triumphs and victories

But also sorrow, heartache, pain, misery and strife.

 

Sometimes the good will outweigh the bad, sometimes not

At times they will feel like they are all alone with no one

But I pray they believe their mama will always be there

I’ll be just a phone call away, and to me they can always run.

 

So what all do I really want for my children?

Life, health, strength, creativity, success, power

But mostly I want them to know the Lord Jesus Christ

And that they can call on Him no matter the hour.

 

I want them to know that He has the power to do all things

And that He will come back one day, or maybe one night

I can’t tell them when that will be or where I will be

Only that the time is now for us all to get our lives right.

 

And not to call on Him only when they are in trouble

But to thank Him daily for the many blessings He gives

To tell others about Him and share his Holy Word

And make sure they know that yes, He still lives.

 

My children are my everything, my sun and my stars

They bring out the sunshine on my most cloudy day

I hope they know that even when I’m mad, I still love them

No matter the distance between us, in my heart they will always stay.

 

No Regrets

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The truth is, I’ve done a lot of things I’m not very proud of in my life. But who hasn’t? No one is perfect. No one has all the answers, and no one is right all of the time. A few weeks ago I was thinking about some things that I’ve done in my past and how I overcame many obstacles that were placed in my path.  I came up with this:

instatruthWhen talking to a friend about regrets, I told him I don’t really have any regrets from things I’ve done or said in my past. This is mainly because had I not done or said some of those things, I may not be the person I am today. The things I do today help to shape and mold the person I will be tomorrow. I read a blog post recently that was featured on freshly pressed that coincided with my thoughts on regrets. How can we live with regrets and “should’a, would’a, could’as” and be content with the lives we have now? We can’t! I can’t regret the fact that I got involved with my kids’ father back in high school… To do that would mean I would also regret having my kids, which I certainly do not. Each experience in my life has taught me something. Whether it was a small, simple lesson, or a big, difficult lesson, I learned from the decisions I made. I’ve written about The Traveler’s Gift by Andy Andrews before, and I go back to what I read and learned from that book because there was so much valuable information contained within its pages. In the very first decision of the seven decisions outlined in the book that determine personal success, it is written that “I am where I am today — mentally, physically, spiritually, emotionally, and financially — because of decisions I have made.” None of us can change our past. Some of us probably wish we could. I don’t. I truly believe that I am a stronger, wiser, and better person today than I was 10 years ago. I wouldn’t have that strength and wisdom had I not experienced the things I did.

Overall, I feel in order to do better, we must want better. I may not be where I want to be in life just yet, but I’m getting there. I know what I must do in order to be successful in life and I know it’s gonna take a little more time and  a lot more effort on my part. The willingness is there, I just have to keep pushing through.

Mentoring

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I never had a mentor growing up. There wasn’t really anyone around who I could look up to as a role model. I see these kids nowadays who need SO much time and attention. I wish more people would volunteer to mentor children. I wish there were more organizations that did it. I have a mentee and she’s 12, she’ll be 13 this month. She’s sweet and smart, but she has had to deal with some pretty difficult things. I don’t want to divulge any specific details of her situation, but I will say that we have made a real connection. I hope to be able to follow her throughout junior high and high school.

The local YMCA here where I live sponsors a mentoring program, YMentors. I volunteered last year to become involved in the program. While I did not know what to expect, or what type of child I would get as a mentee, I was excited to be able to learn and help in any way I could. It seems to me that these days children need all the extra love and attention that they can possibly get. Some situations cannot be helped, where a parent is absent because of death or incarceration, but then there are others that you can’t help but feel sorry for the children because their situations don’t have to be the way that they are. Parents who just seem to not care about their child’s emotional mindset. I think we all want for our children – and not just our own, but all children – to succeed and to become capable independent members of society as adults. Their social skills and academics must be in good standing in order for them to be able to do this.

I know a child who suffered a great loss. Her mother was killed and she and her other brothers and one sister were left to be cared for by their grandmother (her mother’s mother). Since I’ve known her (before the tragedy), she was always happy-go-lucky, very talkative, funny… Since the incident, I’ve seen her at school while visiting my mentee and she seems to be well-liked by her peers. She laughs and talks with them and she seems happy. I don’t know how she has handled life without her mother the last few years, but I’m sure it has been rough. She had a mentor but she didn’t really open up to her. She didn’t seem to want to be in the program. I contemplated being a mentor to her, but I wasn’t sure if that would be appropriate since I knew her personally. Maybe it would have been okay… But in all aspects of the matter of mentoring; I feel that any child who is need, should have someone they can talk to. Even if its only to have someone there to listen and show that they care – which really is what mentoring is all about.

I wished I had someone to talk to growing up. But now, as an adult, I hope that I can make a difference in the life of some child who may not have the hope they need to survive. I don’t have much money, and with three children and a full-time job, I don’t have an abundance of time. But when I do make the time to spend with my mentee, I hope she can grow to appreciate it and learn something from me that she will be able to cherish and keep with her for years to come. I want to be that person in the lives of my own children as well. I know kids don’t always have the best relationships with their parents and they can’t always go to them and say, “Mom I need to talk to you about something that’s on my mind.” And the parents may not always have the answers the child is looking for. But the least any of us can do is share our life experiences with a child and to help them make better choices and decisions than we did ourselves. To mentor a child cost you nothing but a little time. But the impact one person can make in the life of a child who earnestly needs that extra special someone, is priceless.

The Responsible Decision

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I’ve talked before about a book I read titled The Traveler’s Gift by Andy Andrews. I recently checked out a book from the library also by Andrews that is like a guide-book to The Traveler’s Gift titled Mastering the Seven Decisions that Determine Personal Success. I haven’t read through the book in its entirety, but I wanted to write on the first point of the book… Taking responsibility for your own decisions. In The Traveler’s Gift, the first decision is “The Buck Stops Here”. Basically this decision is telling us to stop passing blame on others for the way our lives are. To stop saying, “Well it’s because of my upbringing,” or “My mother/father wasn’t there for me,” or whatever the case may be. In the book there are a few lines I want to quote and expound on: “In the future when I am tempted to ask the question, “Why me?” I will immediately counter with the answer, “Why not me?” Challenges are gifts, opportunities to learn. Problems are the common thread running through the lives of great men and women. In times of adversity, I will not have a problem to deal with; I will have a choice to make.” When tragedy strikes our lives we always want to ask “Why me?” In the Bible at Ecclesiastes 9:11,12 it says: 11 I have seen something else under the sun: The race is not to the swift or the battle to the strong, nor does food come to the wise or wealth to the brilliant or favor to the learned; but time and chance happen to them all. 12 Moreover, no one knows when their hour will come:  As fish are caught in a cruel net, or birds are taken in a snare, so people are trapped by evil times that fall unexpectedly upon them. None of us know when, where or how unexpected happenings will occur in our lives. We just have to be prepared at those times to not ask “Why me?”, but “Why not me?”

Through reading this book, I learned quite a bit. In the first decision alone, I was able to see that where I am today is not because of any hidden (or open) circumstance that happened in my past, but because of the decisions I’ve made for my life. From working at my first job as a teenager, to having sex at a young age and getting pregnant, to the way I raise my children, and even to how I manage (or mismanage) my finances. All of these areas are key to where I am in my life currently. I’ve made many decisions that have affected the lifestyle I live, the friends I have, and the people that my children are becoming. I look at it this way. Not everyone has the same story. Mine is as different as yours or the next person’s. But what I have come to realize is that our past circumstance does not have to define who we are or who we will be. Take this as an example. Two children, raised in the same household. Both treated the same by person who raised them, who was neither their mother or father. They were taught the same morals and values, ate the same foods and watched the same television shows. They basically had the same upbringing. While they both felt resentment for the parents who were never there for them, one chose to stay away from doing the wrong things, hanging out with the wrong crowds and getting into trouble; while the other did those wrong things, hung out with those wrong crowds, and got in to a whole lot of trouble. I believe it was Bill Cosby who said “It’s how you handle adversity, not how it affects you.”

In closing I just want to say that it’s not about where you’ve come from or what you’ve been through, it’s about the choices you make in life. How you overcome adversity is the determining factor in being successful. Don’t be negative, don’t stay down on yourself, don’t second guess every little thing you do. Make sound, reasoned decisions and be consistent. Take responsibility for your own actions and decisions.


Since I didn’t do a separate blog post for my usual Monday Motto, I will throw it in here since it does fit the topic. ~Take responsibility for each decision you have made for your life. Don’t “pass the buck”.~

The Seventh Decision for Success

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I will persist without exception.

Knowing that I have already made changes in my life that will last forever, today I insert the final piece of the puzzle. I possess the greatest power ever bestowed upon mankind, the power of choice. Today, I choose to persist without exception. No longer will I live in a dimension of distraction, my focus blown hither and yon like a leaf on a blustery day. I know the outcome I desire. I hold fast to my dreams. I stay the course. I do not quit.

I will persist without exception. I will continue despite exhaustion.

I acknowledge that most people quit when exhaustion sets in. I am not “most people.” I am stronger than most people. Average people accept exhaustion as a matter of course. I do not. Average people compare themselves with other people. That is why they are average. I compare myself to my potential. I am not average. I see exhaustion as a precursor to victory.

How long must a child try to walk before he actually does so? Do I not have more strength than a child? More understanding? More desire? How long must I work to succeed before I actually do so? A child would never ask the question, for the answer does not matter. By persisting without exception, my outcome – my success – is assured.

I will persist without exception. I focus on results.

To achieve the results I desire, it is not even necessary that I enjoy the process. It is only important that I continue the process with my eyes on the outcome. An athlete does not enjoy the pain of training; an athlete enjoys the results of having trained. A young falcon is pushed from the nest, afraid and tumbling from the cliff. The pain of learning to fly cannot be an enjoyable experience, but the anguish of learning to fly is quickly forgotten as the falcon soars to the heavens.

A sailor who fearfully watches stormy seas lash his vessel will always steer an unproductive course. But a wise and experienced captain keeps his eye firmly fixed upon the lighthouse. He knows that by guiding his ship directly to a specific point, the time spent in discomfort is lessened. And by keeping his eye on the light, there never exists one second of discouragement. My light, my harbor, my future is within sight!

I will persist without exception. I am a person of great faith.

In Jeremiah, my Creator declares, “For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” From this day forward, I will claim a faith in the certainty of my future.

Too much of my life has been spent doubting my beliefs and believing my doubts. No more! I have faith in my future. I do not look left or right. I look forward. I can only persist.

For me, faith will always be a sounder guide than reason because reason can only go so far – faith has no limits. I will expect miracles in my life because faith produces them every day. I will believe in the future that I do not see. That is faith. And the reward of this faith is to see the future that I believed.

I will continue despite exhaustion. I will focus on results. I am a person of great faith.

I will persist without exception.

I read this book for an English class I took a few semesters back and it gave me so much insight on personal success. I enjoyed every minute of it and I could hardly put it down. Andy Andrews is an exemplary writer. I also had the pleasure to read another book of his called The Noticer. It spoke about perspective; also very insightful. The Traveler’s Gift has seven different decisions for personal success. Here, I’ve posted the very last one. I am not being paid to push or suggest this book, but I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a good read.