I Failed My Children

I failed my children. I have made one of the biggest mistakes a parent can make. Powerful words for a Mom to say. But it is true. What could I have done that was so bad?

Well, I didn’t beat, starve or abandon them. I didn’t take them to church every Sunday like I should have. Every single Sunday I should have had them in Sunday school and then sitting in a pew with me hearing the Word of God. Oh I took them here and there. But I failed to make it a priority like food, clothes and shelter. I let them go with friends and relatives to church and youth groups. But I didn’t take them myself consistently. We were not in church every Sunday as a family.

Why didn’t I do this? There are many excuses I can make for it. I was tired. We didn’t have a church we liked. There was that thing we wanted to do. I wanted to sleep. We will go next Sunday. It’s okay, someone else will take them. Well, we have had a hectic week. My Mom and Dad are to blame for not taking me regularly. On and on I could go but they are just that excuses. But there is no excuse. It clearly says in Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it. I taught my children manners, right from wrong and how to be good people. But that alone will not get them into heaven.

I am extremely thankful that the good Lord saw me failing my children and put people in their life that would lead them to be saved. I will forever regret not being that person. I do have peace of mind that their salvation is secure.

So where does that leave them now? I am in church every time the doors are open. And where are my children? Well, they are there sometimes but not every Sunday. They are adults and I cannot force them. If I had started from the start of being in that pew every Sunday, then they would wake up every Sunday out of habit and be there. Then the habit would turn into a need to be there like mine. I did not train them up in the way the real way they should go. Now they are busy on Sunday. Too much to do, they have plans with friends, or simply just don’t want to.

I have ask for forgiveness over my mistake. But I still beat myself up over it. The verse from 1 Timothy 5:8 really convicts me. It says – If any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied them faith, and is worse than an infidel. pretty bad when the Good Lord calls you like you are. I pray every day that my children will see how I jump up to go to church and tag along. I pray this cycle will be broken and they will do better than I did.

So my advice to all the ones with children… Take them to church. Let them see it as a good time and not a burden or a chore. Let them see you excited to go. Stop looking at your watch ready to bust out the door before your pew ever gets warm. Teach them. Talk with them. Pray with them. Do it now while they are young and they will standing beside you with their families when you are old.

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Grief Stage #482

I seem to have hit yet another stage in this grief journey. I don’t even know what you can call it. The “if he where here stage” or “he’s missing this stage”? Whatever you call it, for three weeks now I just cry every free moment alone I get.

It started when preparing for my sister’s wedding. She and Richie are only a few years apart and were more like siblings than aunt and nephew. The whole time all I could think of was how excited he would have been for her. I have no doubt he would have been a groomsman or fought to give her away. I try not to live in the thought of every second of the fact he is not here but during the ceremony and reception it was all I could think of.

I have been doing that in everything. Even little things like what I am cooking. I have picked up the phone to text him what is being fixed so many times lately. I have all but stopped cooking. A movie was coming on the other night and wanted to tell him to watch it. I hate when we have anything lately with family because I can feel his absence. I just keep thinking about what he would be doing. Would he be aggravating Lexie and Kane? Would he be teasing his Grandma? Would he have been yelling at the football game on TV with Jeff and his uncles? Is he missing out on everything that is happening here?

Yes, I know everyone says he is watching down from heaven and isn’t missing one thing but I find that hard to believe. The only thing that gives me comfort in him being gone is that he is in heaven. As I am lead to understand from studying the Word, in heaven there is singing, worship, serving, ruling, fellowship with others, eating. (Rev 15:3, 5:9, 22:3, 22:5, 2:17, 2 Tim 2:12, Matt 17:3) Richie is experiencing a life of fellowship with God (Rev 22:4), a life of rest (Rev 14:3), a life of service (rev 22:3), a life of growth ( Rev 22:2) and a life of worship (Rev 19:1). Why would he be looking down here at this messed up world? He is probably having such a glorious time with no worries of this world, sickness or trouble that he hasn’t thought of us. I am sure my Granny has gotten a good grip on him and is showing him off to everyone up there.

With all that being said, I am still mourning what he is missing but I am comforted by Richie rejoicing at the right hand of Jesus!

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At least…..

“At least you had 20 years with Richie” If I had a dollar for every time I have been told that! I could I certainly could live high in the hog until the end of my days! I usually just nod my head and not think about it. But in the past few days it has really struck a chord with me. Does this mean I am luckier in my son’s death for the 20 years as opposed to someone who only had a few days, weeks or years? I am going to give four different death stories that have touched my life. They all have different amounts of time and circumstances. Then we will see who is luckier.

Let’s start with Renee. She was pregnant and excited for the new life she was carrying. Her family was busy buying everything they could get their hands on. Then she went into early labor. Just a week before the six month mark. She fought for more than a week and then the doctors had no choice but to deliver. Little Ian was delivered and only survived just shy of 2 hours. In this short time she held her baby, loved him, prayed for him and memorized every part of his tiny self. Time with her child: less than 2 hours.

Zack was the son of Tonya. Tonya spent ten years trying to have a child. Then when she gave up, God blessed her with a son. She raised Zack for 18 years. He was on the way to his high school graduation rehearsal when he was in a car accident. A few days later in ICU, he turned 19. Five days after that, he succumbed to his injuries. In the 19 years Tonya had Zack, she raised him, loved him and lived for her only child. Time with her child: 19 years 5 days.

Richie was my son. He was my firstborn of three. If you have been following my blog, you know our story. Summing us up because I will spend hours writing of his life, he was called home after an auto accident almost two years ago. Time with my child: 20 years 5 months 23 days

Ricky is the son of a precious lady named Mrs. Laurie. He is one of two sons she had. He fought hard to beat cancer but lost his battle in March. He was a loving husband, father and grandfather. Time with her child: 52 years 5 months 21 days

So which one of use Mothers is luckier? Is it one that has lots of memories to cling to? Lots of memories at times that cause us to want to scream because they are nothing more than memories now? The one that got 19 years with  her only child she didn’t think she would have? The one that had 20 years and but has her other children? 52 full years with a son that she thought would bury her? I could go into great detail about what each has and what others don’t. The one that has grandchildren from her child to watch versus the one that will never have a grandchild. The way people say it it almost makes me think that I should have one the lottery. Oh I had 20 years so bells and whistles and confetti should come out. On and on I could go!

But why compare. If we all four were to sit down to discuss our stories together, we would all have the same feeling… This is horrible all around. None of us is luckier for the amount of time we had. None if us are sitting around thinking about how the time we had was just the right amount. Not one of us would say that if we had a minute more it would have just ruined our lives. Or one minute less would have been much easier. You cannot put an amount on time when it comes to your children! The natural order a Mother thinks is this: The perfect amount of time we should have with our children is the time we have until our death, not theirs. That is the most perfect time no matter what it is. No matter how many other children we have. No matter how many memories we have.

I am not lucky for the 20 years, 5 months and 23 days I had. I am grateful for the 20 years, 5 months and 23 days I had. Forever grateful! Anytime we have with our children we should be grateful for. No matter what age our children are called home, we will mourn the could haves. We will forever wonder what they would be doing at this time in their life. What would we be doing. All I know is each and every day when I talk to God, I ask him to give my son love for me and ask him to just let me live one minute longer than my children still here with me.

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UGH! Some Women!

Yesterday I posted on the blessing of a prayerful friend! Today I just have to vent over “friends” that are just the opposite.

We all have them in our lives. The friend that has done everything bigger and better. I have one that when she saw that I love to write and had started blogging, all of a sudden came out of the closet as a writer. I was not looking to her for praise over my writings, I had looked to her for guidance on if I should be sharing them like I do. Guidance I did not receive but I did get to hear all about how she has wrote blogs, books and magazine articles but “never published” them.

Then I have the a friend that I shared with her some of the hardships I went through as a child and how I was trying to reconcile them. She all of a sudden shared with me how her struggle was so much bigger and grander. She apparently even had to walk to school barefoot in the 2 foot of snow when she lived in South Florida. I got that story after I shared with her how we went without power at times because of my Father’s drug addiction.

How about the friend that is always sicker than you? Or their family has had scarlet fever, monkey pox, yellow fever, bubonic plague and leprosy all because you said your house was passing around a stomach virus. Why one up sickness????????

Women that just can’t let you share a life moment and be supportive. They have to find a negative. Or say you only got it because of this or that. I had one lady who is no longer in my circle say I was only getting support because I had a child die.

I have a “friend’ right now that I am really struggling with. She is constantly talking about the way her kids could die. Constantly telling me how she doesn’t want them to die like my son. Truthfully, I think she is sickly jealous that this is a struggle she can’t make up. Death of a child is nothing to brag about or covet!

So what I guess I am wanting to know is….. Why is it so hard for women to just be happy for each other? Why can we not celebrate in others joy and accomplishments without backlash? Why do we feel the need to one up? There is a big difference in sharing life experiences and testimonies and being a snarky jerkwad! As I was reading my bible this morning, I read in Proverbs 14:30, “A sound heart is the life of the flesh:But envy the rottenness of the bones.” Why do women envy?

Yes, I know at times we ponder why the blessing is happening to the other person when we have been praying for our own. That is human nature and self. I have learned one thing and that is that we will get the blessing when it is our time. When a friend receives a blessing and shares, I pray thanks for them. When a friend is sharing a struggle, I listen, give advice if I can and pray for them. If I have been through a harder yet similar trial, I share it in a way of love. If a friend tells me how their child won the spelling bee, I do not one up them by saying my child got first place at the science fair.

I have been holding back on sharing things with people that are supposed to be closest to me because I am scared of the disappointment I will receive from their response.I have even stopped sharing things with family because I no longer feel the love of each others lives. No longer do I shout praises of thanks because most are not thankful with me. I have once again tightened my circle to the women that uplift me, support me and are just filled with unbiased love.

Remember: Women should lift other women up. Women should love and pray for others even when it seems unfair!

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Prayerful Friends

I actually started a post yesterday about prayer. I stopped in the middle when I got stumped and was messaging a friend of mine. Our conversation made me delete what I wrote.

My friend’s husband has been having some health issues lately. Since the start all she has asked for is prayers. Prayers is what she has gotten. It was looking like her husband was looking at major setbacks in his recovery. She asked for even more prayers. Which they got! Talking with her at the beginning of the day it was about bad health. Last night, she told me that one of the major hurdles was turning around! Prayers of thanks went up. She had thanked me earlier for praying for them. I found that to be silly to thank me for. We are good friends. Friends pray for and with each other. Truly prayerful friends that is.

I can tell you that I have surrounded myself with True Prayerful Friends. I know that if I am having a bad day with grief, I can reach out to my friends Tonya or Mrs. Laurie and prayers are said immediately. When I just need prayers of comfort and guidance, Melanie is the first one I reach out to. If I need prayers to help me watch my tongue, Misty is the one I call. When I just need a flooding of prayer, I send a mass text to the Ladies of my church. I know my new friend Sheryl is about one of the most faithful praying friends I have. When I am needing deep prayers and questioning my faith, I make a call to my pastor and his wife. I have others that I know really pray. I can feel prayers being said right when they are requested. I also know that these people along with a few others, are really gonna get to the business of praying.

I have changed from the praying person I was 18 months ago to the one I am now. Most of the time when people asked for prayer, I would wait until bedtime or when I remembered it. Now I pray immediately. I have failed so many people by using the phrase, “I will pray for you.” I would say it and then just go about my business and my life. It took seeing some of the small blessings in my life that came only after prayer from myself and others to see the real power in it. Real prayers. Sincere prayers. Now when I say I will pray for someone,it goes in a prayer book and it gets prayed on multiple times a day!

Are you a True Prayerful Friend? Or are you someone that feels comfort in just saying you will pray?

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Worry About Nothing

Last Friday started downhill from the moment all of our house got out of bed. Let me start over… It actually started the night before when we were in the ER for yet another knee injury on the girl child. (We averaged a few of these a year with her.) Nothing big, just sprained it severly coming across home plate. So I had to get her to school the next day since she couldn’t drive. After picking up her boyfriend, the fuel pump decided to crap out on the Rodeo at one of the busiest 4-way stops in the county. My Sis-in-Law took the kids to school and I waited for the Husband. While waiting, the Sis-in-Law came back and sat with me and we got to catch up. Husband arrives and we arrange for a tow truck. So I head home to finish getting ready. You see, Will and I had to be in Norcross to pick up some things for the next day’s memorial concert. So Will, Husband and the tow truck get back to the house and it is time for the next adventure.
Girl Child texts and says she left stuff in the Rodeo she needed so we head, 10 miles the other way to get them to her and low and behold, the key to the car we are in decides to come apart! THe silver part was in the ignition and the black part with all the buttons was in my hand. Apparently, they had to be together for the car to start! Will and I figure it out and get it fixed enough to come home to get the last running vehicle in the yard. We set off now! We get to Norcross and back without any more incidents!
Now to get ready and wait for that night’s football game and senior night. The night was to be the last night we had one of my babies on the field. While getting ready and waiting on husband to come home, he calls. “I am on the side of the road.” He was defeated! (Did I mention Boy Child gt out of work and his tires were flat? So technically now down 4 cars) I in a cheery voice tell him to not worry, we are on the way. He was very upset and defeated. His friend ended up bringing him home and I told him to quickly change clothes and put a smile on! He looked at me and said.”How can you be so cheerful! It is really making me mad. This is a horrible day. One of the worst.” I smiled and said,” This is far from the worst day we have ever had, Not even in our top 3 or 5. We are all still standing and breathing. WE may be out of cars but they can be fixed. We have never went without before. Worry about nothing, pray for everything.” I was answered with a snarl.
What else was I to say to him? I have learned that nothing that happens can defeat us. We have been through the worst. Shy of losing one of my other 2 kids, Nothing is ever that bad. In fact everything as long as we are healthy and alive is marvelous! The cars can be fixed. And if they can’t, we will get new ones! Money troubles, who cares! We have never been without a roof over our heads or food in our bellies. We have always been warm and safe. Worry about nothing, pray for everything.
I think he just doesn’t understand that the car breaking down that morning kept us out of a traffic accident on the interstate, Could have been us involved. The 2nd car messing up at the school kept us from getting 1 1/2 hours away and it doing it. I thanked God for keeping us safe. I thanked him for allowing us to all be able to see stand beside Girl Child on the field for Senior Night. That night when I said the prayers before bed, I thanked him for everything! Every single thing down to the waffle fries at lunch. And guess what? The Lord has provided, the cars are being fixed and all is well. We may be out a few hundred dollars but what is money when we still have each other?!!!!!
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