Wisdom Found In A Multitude Of Mothers

Wisdom is found in a multitude of Mothers

Well, that’s not exactly what that scripture says, but mother and counselor pretty much can mean the same thing.

Although I have a one and only mother, I have been mothered by many.  This has been a blessing and a curse.  I have learned a lot of different things, in a lot of different households, under the pressure of a lot of different expectations.  Not to mention a lot of people to buy cards for in the 2nd week of May.

I suspect I am not alone in this phenomenon.

In today’s world many kids are growing up in the care of their grandparents, step parents, foster parents, adoptive parents, siblings, or their friend’s parents.  For some kids, its their school teacher, or lacrosse coach who is mothering and nurturing them.

Regardless of who it is or who it has been, this scripture is very validating.  Interestingly enough this scripture advising you to have a multitude of counselors is mentioned a multitude of times.

Prov 11:14 Where no counsel is the people fall: but in the multitude of counselors there is safety.

Prov 15:22 Without counsel purposes are disappointed: but in the multitude of counselors they are established.

Prov 24: For by wise counsel thou shalt make thy war: and in a multitude of counselors there is safety.

Basically a person can glean all that they know from one mother or many mothers.  This multitude of counselors makes a woman safe, well, and capable to win and gain victory in this war called life.

Take some time out today and think of the women throughout your life that helped give you all the little nuggets that make you who you are today.  Its OK to chew the meat, spit out the bones, and learn from their successes and their mistakes.  Consider the lessons to be jewels in your crown and walk on.

Here are some of the lessons I’ve learned from a few of those who mothered me. Some of these things may be random, some are sweet, and some have flat out changed my life.

Mom:

How to creatively celebrate anything

How to think outside the box and problem solve

How to always find a deal

How to stick up for yourself

Cyndi:

How to cook home fries,

Cream of mushroom chicken and rice with lots of black pepper,

And Chocolate chip cookies

the fruit of the spirit (i.e Long suffering)

Karen:

How to love and respect your country

How to keep ants out of the house

How to read a map

My first prayer…”Now I lay me down to sleep”

Joan:

How to make tootsie rolls

How to serve your husband

How to be unapologetic in your faith

Doretha:

How to crochet

use aloe plant for burns and cuts

How to make rice crispy treats a tradition

How to dress modestly with earrings in and nails done

How to keep your head held high and be confident in who you are not matter your mistakes

Carmen:

How to poke a turkey and fill the holes with all kinds of Puerto Rican flavors.

How its never to late to change

Eva:

How to make rice and beans

How to make sofrito from scratch

Not to care what others think because, you only play to an audience of one (God)

Isa:

How to cook a mean chicken soup

How to strive for excellence and not settle for the easy way out

Ann:

Sacrificial love with none of the praise and none of the glory

To take the lead role as teacher in the life of my kids

I love you all the same

Matthew 20:8-16

 

 

“I’m Not A Bunny!”

I was deleting pictures and videos from my phone to regain some precious storage when I came across a little gem. A video of My 3-year-old son at his most recent doctors visit. The doctor was asking him questions about what he eats on a daily basis. To my embarrassment, he was unapologetically honest about his food preferences.

If you need a smile, I prescribe this short clip for a dose of cuteness. video clip

As I watched, I remembered his passionate almost visceral reaction to her questions about eating vegetables. I laughed at how certain he was that he does not eat carrots, lettuce, or broccoli because; he was clearly, “NOT A BUNNY”.

On this, most precious, most powerful, and most game changing holiday of the year, I can almost imagine Jesus sitting at the right hand of the father, saying the same thing. Shaking his head with as much passion and disgust.

“I’m not a bunny!”

He might even be saying

I am NOT a fairy tale.

I am NOT a lie.

I am NOT a joke.

I am NOT a harsh ruler.

I am NOT false hope.

I am NOT chains that keep you bound.

“I am NOT a bunny”

He may instead be saying;

I am a lamb.

I am a sacrifice.

I am a savior.

I am a lion.

I am a king.

I am a father.

I am a teacher.

I am a counselor.

I am a friend.

I am the way.

I am the truth.

I am the life.

I am your creator.

I am the beginning and the end.

I am the propitiation of sins.

I am the chief cornerstone.

I am the bright and morning star.

I am the resurrection and the life.

I am the great I am.

Personally, I’m all about carrots and rabbits. I’m even more about chocolate bunnies and jelly beans.  I think we all love the spring kickoff that Easter provides, but If you are a christian, when the sugar high has worn off a bit and the kiddo’s are being put to bed, talk to them about what the holiday is really celebrating. It’s about the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The lamb that was slain for you and for me.

NOT a bunny!

lamb scripture image

Corned Beef & Culture

As I sit here, smelling the aroma of corned beef and cabbage and listening to Irish music on my Amazon Alexa. I can’t help but to smile at the irony of it all.

Born half-black and half-white. Here I stand, in all my glory.

Tan and afro-curly headed. Graced with a Sir Mix a Lot butt and a full nose. Yet, completely trained and adamant, that we have corned beef and cabbage for dinner.

 That is the power of culture.

I was raised by a white Irish and French-Canadian “lass”, who always wore her green and made corned beef on St. Patty’s day.  I spent my weekends with an African-American father, and eventually had a Cape Verdian Step-Dad, and Polish American Step-mom.

I can’t tell you how crazy, comical, and charismatic my upbringing was.

I remember my Irish grandfather teaching me how to count from 1-10 in Gaelic. My French Grandmother, telling me how she hates the Irish. My African-American great-grandfather telling me how he was not served at a diner in the 50’s, even while he wore his Army uniform.

It boggles me every time I think on it.

The very things that make us unique and beautiful, are the very things that divide us.

I went on to marry a Puerto Rican man. As you can imagine, I have very mixed kids.

Our first, popped out of the womb looking Irish as ever.  Red headed, blue-eyed, and freckle faced.  Our two middle children, are dark-skinned and “Boricua” to the bone, and our 4th child, who is adopted, is the ultimate Anglo gringo (Irish, French, Italian, & Scottish).

Last month, my kids and I studied black history, today, we are celebrating St. Patrick’s Day, and next week, I will be eating authentic rice & beans in old San Juan, Puerto Rico with my husband.

With all this cultural variety, I have come to learn that we are really all the same.  We live, we love, we laugh, we cry, we eat, we pray, we hope, we die.

Lets celebrate what makes us Unique.

Ultimately, we all want to see our loved ones again. Extravagantly brilliant in color and texture.  A varied tapestry, on display for eternity.

I Corinthians 9:19-23

19 Though I am free and belong to no one, I have made myself a slave to everyoneto win as many as possible20 To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law. 21 To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law), so as to win those not having the law. 22 To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some. 23 I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.

My Fitness Trainer Fired Me

Wow! You know you’ve hit a new level of #fail when the guy you hired to be your personal trainer and dietician hits you with a…

“Thats not how this works…

you’ve made no progress, and I think it’s best if I refund you your money”!

Ouch!

Really?

I mean…

Really!

You are probably thinking… “how much of a pain in the behind could you be?”

And I can truthfully say “I wasn’t.”

So again, really?!?!

I mean, I just asked for a few modifications; a few changes to the plan, a little more customization, verbal check ins instead of email, told him I was only seventy percent on plan, forgot to check in a few times, avoided checking in a few times, cried when I first met him, and lost zero pounds.

I mean, did that merit firing the client.

Maybe?

Probably?

Ok, fine— definitely.

I am clearly a hot mess in the ”loose the baby weight…eight years later,” department.

I know I’m not completely dedicated to it, but for some reason, I am still baffled by it. I didn’t know what the problem was, and I didn’t expect to get shut down like that.

Why can’t everything be easy for me like it used to be? Why can’t it happen my way, happen fast. I want to be an instagram #fitchick on the first try?

I work hard. I mean, I work hard in some areas.
I work really hard.

I mean, when I ACTUALLY get around to working out.

Yes, it’s a bit inconsistent, but

I DESERVE THIS, right?

WRONG!

I think I finally figured it out.

Can anyone say, “millennial moment”!

Or, in my case, more of the micro generation called “X-ennial”. Also known as the bridge generation between generation X, Y, and Millennial.

Nevertheless, here I stand having my first conscious, “millennial moment”.

I may even be the first to coin the term.

Millennial moment– 1. a term of endearment for ones own wanting without working. 2. Recognition of ones own generational flaws.
• Similar in correlative nature to the term “senior moment” currently used by baby boomers.

“Yup, Holler at me Noah Webster!”

Millennials as you might have heard are often known to be “the entitled generation”.
Having big expectations, with little work ethic. Big hopes and dreams, in a world that hasn’t quite caught up to them.

In my early 80’s and 90’s generation Y days, I had no problem being fit, staying fit, and moving my body.

As I transitioned into this new millennium age, I got a smart phone and landed myself a stay at home mom gig.

I got mentally overworked, and physically lazier. I lost my athletic bod, sat at a computer and got groceries delivered to me via Pea Pod.

I packed on some nice insulation and backup internal food storage.

I wish I could say I was using intentional protective forethought. Like, you know….”I’ll be the mom that survives Y2K and the apocalypse”.

But no, it just happened. Slowly, but surely. Steadily, and dreadfully. And now, I am having to process, why my personal trainer would rather refund me cash money, than help me.

Again.
I am awesome.
I was trying.
I am an athlete at heart.
I can do anything.
I am a boss!

It must have been his fault. He should have been nicer, more supportive, more creative, helped me more. He was too rigid and clearly “old school”, clearly!

If he can’t make me skinny, in 2.2 seconds, while I watch This is Us, drink red wine and eat popcorn…

then he just isn’t qualified to call himself a personal trainer anyway!

Right?

#Millennial moment

The Magic Of The Moms Group

No fuss no muss, snacks out, glasses poured, and pleasantries skipped. Let’s get it poppin’ ladies, we all know time is money.

The moms group is a crash collision of honesty, bravery, and agency that is unrivaled by any other support group. It is, hands down, the most magical place on earth. Sorry Disney!

It has been said that “the hand that rocks the cradle, rules the world”, therefore, the moms meeting, might be likened to the UN Summit
Let me explain.

In high school, most of us had giant thoughts, dreams, and questions. In early adulthood, most of the ideas associated with those thoughts, began to sort themselves out. Opinions were formed and a fence of confidence was built around them.

In college, we had those “late night” talks, which filled us with pride and self-ascribed depth. But really, we were just young adults trying to test out our opinions in eloquent ways. We had the intentions of being heard but, with no true desire to hear others. We were too busy feeling the pressure to achieve and change the world.

Unfortunately, with the onset of marriage and children and settling into “real jobs”, these conversations often cease to borderline extinction. The moment you birth out that firs butter ball of joy, you realize that the word “pressure” has a whole different meaning.

Not just the stress from the expectations placed on you by yourself and by others
but, the literal physical pressure of birthing a life into this world.
All of a sudden, the pressure to achieve, succeed, and change the world, takes a back seat.

You take a back seat.

It literally feels like childbirth zaps brain cells. The constant time spent isolated at home with baby and toddlers makes those choice words spoken in college, and the big dreams we had in high school, seem impossible.

We can’t even focus on an adult conversation over the sound of Thomas The Trains sing-a- long. We crave silent thought so deeply , that we can’t even stand the sound of the dishwasher. Ok, maybe that’s just me.

But, I have found a way to recovery ladies.

You may want to roll your eyes at this theory but, I believe that identity can be re ignited and fostered in the midst of a moms group. This can be a bible study, a women’s book club, maybe a Monday night volleyball league, or the like.

Hold up! this is not to be confused with the mommy and me play group, or bring your baby to burpee class. As precious as they are, and as much as we love our kids, they can quickly become a point of distraction, a place of isolation, and an opportunity to hide.

Those littles of ours, are the last line of defense before surrendering to the reality of who you have, or have not become.

The “Moms Only” group or “childcare provided” group, is different. Behind those fortress doors, you can go from a closeted over thinker, to a woman who speaks whole clear thoughts and is heard. We find a safe place to vent, we find encouragement to keep going, and most of all, we connect.

We connect hearts and minds, but we also specifically find new outlets, ideas, frameworks, and solutions
that we had never been able to nail down alone.

I personally have attended 6 distinctly different groupings last month. Some have been regular commitments, and some are new. Don’t ask me how the stars aligned for this, but let me tell you;

It has been a Godsend. The things I have learned, discovered about myself, and been encouraged to do are powerful and practical. I was encouraged to press publish on my first blog post, for instance.

I learned a new way to budget my finances, realized I need quick validation in decision-making, I have been able to encourage another mom who will be adopting a 3-year-old via foster care, I was able to give a friend a meaningful gift, got help to start another bible study for local friends, found a partner to attend an out-of-state writers conference with.

I met a fellow blogger who was inspired by me to write about new bloggers and their fear of posting. I’ve been to a new spin class with friends, been to a volleyball game with friends, I signed up for a paint night, and helped a friend look into starting a mastering motherhood at our church.

I have met a graphic designer I might consult with, learned how to knit a cute scarf with buttons, reconnected with an old friend, and found out that her husband would be working with my husband on a youth advisory board at DCF.

The possibilities of connecting with your peers, at a stage of life where our previous pretenses have been stripped down to raw humility are limitless. It is an opportunity one must capitalize on.

These mom groups are like diamonds in the rough. Treasure to be found. Many of you will say, “I don’t have time”, or “that’s not my thing”, but trust me. It is your thing. Don’t judge it, find one, because you might just find some of yourself there. That is, If you are humble enough to try it.

Some Great Groups to join:

Mastering Motherhood Thursday mornings at 9:30am at Fellowship Church in Middletown, CT https://www.masteringmotherhood.com/

Paint night with
Moms on a Mission at Calvary life Church in Cheshire, CT https://www.facebook.com/CalvaryLifeFWC/photos/a.172731172779669.57974.114173095302144/1796913523694751/?type=3

Some great books to check out or start a group with:

Missional Motherhood by Gloria Furman https://www.amazon.com/Missional-Motherhood-Everyday-Ministry-Grand/dp/1433552272

Without Rival by Lisa Bevere http://withoutrival.com/

Girls with swords by Lisa Bevere https://store.messengerinternational.org/collections/books

Present over perfect by Shauna Niequist