Hard Lesson

Today my baby learned a hard lesson. She learned that the world is filled with dishonest people. At the age of 6, she learned that people will steal from others, simply because they can. She learned this, because it happened to her today.

We went grocery shopping, and she brought her friend Bessie (aka her purse). She still had birthday money left, and she takes it everywhere in case she wants to buy something (usually for sister or daddy), or donate a dollar or two. She cannot open her purse fast enough, when she sees people collecting for a cause.

Toward the end of our shopping trip, she dropped Bessie. When we realized it was gone we went in search of it. A woman we had seen several times throughout the store saw Beth sobbing and yelling; she asked what was wrong. I told her that she dropped her purse. She said I just saw her bear over by the chicken, which was where I thought she left it, but it was not there.

We walked around the store for 45 minutes hoping to find it elsewhere. We asked almost everyone we encountered if they had seen it. I left my number with the service desk, in case someone turned it in. We did all this with my daughter in a full-blown meltdown, refusing to leave the store without her purse. It was heartbreaking! When we finally left the store, we were both in tears.

Beth is persevating on this, and we talked a LOT about it. I told her that perhaps God thought the person who found it needed it more than we did. She finally started saying she wanted to share her purse/money so the people could buy food, clothes, underwear, socks or toys. Although she tried to sound happy about it, I could tell how sad she still was. Henry even went back to the store to check the garbage cans, but it was not there. Beth had $25 in her purse, and he suspected whoever took it, pocketed the cash and never gave a second thought to the cute unicorn purse.

Thankfully a friend of mine found the purse on ebay and bought it for Beth. I am overwhelmed with her kindness, and cannot thank her enough. I told Beth what this woman had done, and she told me that my friend got her a new Bessie, so she would not be sad. I told her that was exactly right, and that we were blessed to have such wonderful people in our life. She is still sad, and will be for some time, but she is also VERY excited to meet her new friend.

Today was horrible, but even on the bad days, I am reminded of how truly blessed we are. Today Beth learned a hard lesson, one that I do not think a 6yr old should have to learn, but it what it is. She is an amazing child, and this is just one more building block toward the adult she will become.  I cannot wait to see this extraordinary young lady change the world.

 

Have a blessed day everyone, and don’t forget to smile. ♥

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Serenity Spectrum is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Giving Up Excuses

Today is the first day of Lent, and my FaceBook newsfeed is filled with things people are giving up.  I have given up things for Lent in the past, and know how hard it can be, but that no longer works for me. I do not feel that giving up favorite foods or activities truly shows my love and devotion to God. Last year I committed to building a deeper spiritual relationship with God during Lent. It went well, for the most part, but I definitely could have done better.

This year I am making a commitment to myself, to be healthier physically and spiritually. So, for Lent I am giving up excuses. I am giving up all the excuses I have for not being in better shape physically, which means recommitting to my healthy journey, for the umptiseventh time. 😉

A woman in one of my walking groups posted this today:

“Today starts Lent so instead of giving something up I’m going to be more dedicated to clean eating and more intensity in my work outs. Weight loss would be good too but that’s not my focus for the next 40 days.”

I was inspired by her post and asked if I could join her. This group is always extremely supportive, but it is nice to know that for the next 40 days, I will have a partner to be accountable to. I am not sure what I weigh, because I have been avoiding the scale, but I will weigh myself (and do measurements) in the morning, just to have a gauge for my progress. Part of this commitment will be to walk at least one mile with Leslie Sansone each of the 40 days.

I am also giving up the excuses I have been using to not complete my Fourth Step Inventory. Thus far, I have completed 9 of the 26 sections in the Blueprint For Progress. I am making a commitment to myself, to finish the remaining 17 sections by the end of Lent. Some topics are harder than others, but I am confident I can do this. Thankfully, I have some wonderful family-of-choice in Al-Anon to help me, should I falter with this journey to become more spiritually healthy.

One Day At A Time, I am going to use this Lenten season to become a better, healthier me. At the end of Lent, I pray that I will be closer to being the person God knows I can be. ❤

This stands outside the door to the place where we have our Al-Anon Roundups every year. It is a source of comfort and strength for me.

This stands outside the door to the place where we have our Al-Anon Roundups every year. It is a source of comfort and strength for me.

Have a blessed day everyone, and don’t forget to smile. ♥

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Serenity Spectrum is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Sad, Not Mad

The girls learned (or more accurately relearned) a tough lesson today. They learned that Mommy follows through on her promises.

I have been very disturbed by the recent lack of respect, and diminishing kindness, with which they treat each other. The root of almost all of their issues are toys, books, dress-up clothes, etc.. The fact that my children cannot treat each other with respect and kindness because of material things, is extremely upsetting to me.

They have also started to speak to me with words and tones that are unacceptable. To be honest, they are often using the words or tone I previously used with them, and that is a BIG problem.  Often times my reaction is based on my expectations, not their actions. As we say in program: “Expectations are predetermined resentments.” Regardless of the situation, it is NEVER okay for me to talk to them without respect, and I know I have been remiss in this area; hence their new-found level of disrespect.

I sat them down the other day, and explained that yelling makes me sad. That I do NOT want to be a Mommy who has to yell, in order for them to listen, and behave with respect. I reminded them that we homeschool, so they are not bullied, but treated with kindness. I told them that since they are always fighting over objects, that any object they cannot share, will go in the garbage. I further explained that any object that seemed to be the root of any disrespect, or lack of kindness, would also go in the garbage. I reminded them that we must always use RESPECT and KINDNESS with our words, hands and actions.

Today, while down in the laundry room, I heard the screams and crying up here. I came up to find Anne sobbing and Beth very upset. I ordered them both to the table, where they had to put their heads down until they calmed down. Once they calmed down, I asked what happened, and why they were fighting instead of cleaning the room. The answer was basically that they were fighting over toys; Anne was teasing Beth, and she put her hands on Anne. They remained at the table (crying and screaming), while I “cleaned” their room.

I threw out almost a full garbage bag of items from the bins in their room. I chose things they no longer played with, things that were not working right, etc… I did not throw away any of their favorite items, but the point was made. After I went outside and put the bag in the dumpster, I came upstairs and cried with them. I now FULLY understand all those times my father told me he was sad (or disappointed) and not mad.

Although the rest of the day went very well, we rehashed the incident MANY times. Anne wanted me to promise not to throw out anymore dresses. Beth wanted to talk about the kids who don’t have food or toys. I explained to Anne that I could not promise her anything in regards to the dresses, because whether they stayed or went, was up to her and her sister. I explained to Beth that there are many children that can only dream of having what they have. I told her that countless children go to bed hungry and have no toys to play with. I told her that she and her sister need to start being more grateful for what they have, and acting the way God knows they can.

I felt horrible most of the day, in all honesty I still feel bad. THIS is not the mom I want to be either. I want to be a mom who inspires her children to act with respect and kindness, because they are following my example. I find that I am repeating patterns, which I had thought I was breaking. As I work my Fourth Step, I see deeper inside myself, and KNOW that I can do better (MUCH better).

Tomorrow is a new day, and although today was FAR from perfection, there was a bit of progress, and that is how the girls and I will continue to grow into the women God knows we can be.

 

Have a blessed day everyone, and don’t forget to smile. ♥

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Serenity Spectrum is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Different NOT Less

The first time I read the words by Temple Grandin: “I am different, not less” they resonated with me on many levels. Her words have been turned into countless memes, usually in shortened version: “Different not Less.” Those words have become one of my mantras.

The majority of my friends live in my computer, so I tend to spend a good part of my free-time online. I am in several groups on FaceBook spanning weight loss to homeschool. On any given day, I can usually site several posts, in any one of the groups, that cause me immense sadness. Why do people feel the need to be so cruel to others who see the world differently than them?

I tell my girls almost every day:

Different is NOT Less, but it is not more either, it is simply different. God loves diversity and that is why He created such unique souls, to add more vibrant color to the world.”

I want them to know this with every fiber in their being. I pray for them to grow into women who accept everyone as they are. I pray for them to respect people, because they know every person and every thing has value in this world. I want them to be part of the change, I so desperately pray for in this world.

In Al-Anon one of our many tools are slogans, my favorite is THINK:

The “T” stands for Thoughtful! Truthful!
The “H” stands for HelpfulHonest!
The “I”  stands for Intelligent! Inspiring!
The “N” stands for Necessary!
The “K” stands for Kind!

I wish people would THINK, before they speak, or type online. We all have different pasts, which make our perceptions in the present extremely varied. Instead of attacking those who have different view points, perhaps we could embrace the diversity, and maybe even learn something. The bullying has to stop!!

Prior to finding Al-Anon, I could only feel good about myself when I “proved” that my way was better than others. I am deeply saddened when I think of all the people I belittled, just to make myself appear more confident and knowledgeable. All those years I wasted attacking others, because we didn’t agree on things, were missed opportunities to learn, and be the change I wanted to see in the world.

Today I know better, so I try to do better. I am not perfect and sometimes still say (or do) things that I am not proud of. Thankfully, when I am working my program, I can see where I am wrong, and make amends for my words or actions. Of the many things I pray for my children to learn, responsibility and accountability are at the top of the list. I want them to be able to admit when they behaved poorly, apologize and learn from it. We will never be perfect, but we can practice Respect and Kindness in all that we do. We can be the change we want to see in the world, just be treating others in the same manner we would like to be treated.

 

Have a blessed day everyone, and don’t forget to smile. ♥

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Serenity Spectrum is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.