Creating Your Own Family Traditions!


June has been a month where I slowed down smelled the roses, enjoyed the simplicity of life and learned to embrace the fun right in my own backyard. I often find myself traveling and finding a new adventure on the open road but for the month of June I realized how I needed to slow down. It is amazing how God will use certain moments in our life to show us our true self and this was one of those moments. I realized how important it was for me to deal with myself, listen to stillness in order to hear God’s voice, my thoughts and spend time on reflecting. It was very hard for me to sit still the whole month of June without being able to travel. I believe this moment in my life taught me how to appreciate what I often run from daily. I am sure I am not alone in this journey of learning to appreciate life and everything that I am surrounded by. I learned some valuable lessons in the month of June. The greatest lesson I learned this Fourth of July is creating my own family traditions for me and my daughter. Since I resided in South Carolina it has been hard to be here without my family. Family is so important to me. When you spend half of your life living away from your immediate family it begins to wear on your heart. South Carolina was the last place I wanted to call home however, it was God perfect plan for me to exit the military and settle here for this season in my life. Instead of fighting God’s plan for this season of my life I decided to submit and go through the process. However, its not what I go through but how I go through it—> Eliminating The Attitude.

This Fourth of July I made it up in my mind not to through a pity party because I had no family to celebrate the holiday. I woke up enthusiastic with the idea of creating family traditions for me and my daughter. I wanted us to have our own family traditions to look forward to for each holiday. I did not have to be angry or bitter about not being with my family in Michigan but understanding that me and my daughter had our own family. Oftentimes as single parents we feel that a family dynamics do not include us because we are one parent short of the equation. Although, we are single parents it is our duty to make sure our children have a healthy living environment. In the process of building this environment we have to be mindful to institute special traditions that give our children something to look forward to in our family. I am mindful that I am a single parent but never is that an excuse to make my daughter feel as if she is missing out on having a family. The next couple of holidays I will strive to have more traditions for us to enjoy. So, do not get stuck in a rut when you are a thousand miles away from your loved ones use the opportunity to capitalize on creating your own family traditions. Just remember family is never about the size (the quantity) but family is about the quality (the time you spend).

P.S. It warmed my heart to see my daughter enjoying our family time together this Independence Day…It is sooooo worth her smile!

The Challenges of Motherhood

As I sit here in a quiet space while my daughter is tucked away in bed sleeping happily, thoughts float through my head on how motherhood has been the most challenging job I have ever had to this day. I have been really seeking God on being a better mother learning to put aside my selfish needs and desires to cultivate a nurturing home life and relationship with my daughter. I am blessed to be a mother, so many times I believe I took that for granted not realizing my time with my daughter is the most rewarding time of my life. It’s funny how God will use small things to show me I am right where I need to be in my life.  When I had my oldest daughter at the age of 22 my world changed and a close friend of mine during that time taught me how to go from club girl to a mother. My daughter changed my life and sometimes I believe in spite of the choices I made God used her to save my life. I had another life to look after and it was my responsibility to nurture and raise this blessing from God.

     Then at the age of 25 God blessed me with another baby girl named Serenity. I felt guilty to bring my daughters in a world without being married. Although, I chose to be a single parent when I brought them into this world unwed, but I still was determined to not let this handicap my ability to be a good mother to them. It is not easy being a single parent, at times I wanted to cry because it can be hard to be the only person trying to maintain the household and not have that second person to help in the household. I made up my mind that motherhood is not a part time job, seasonal or contracted job put a full time commitment. When my baby daughter died a part of me died and it was so hard to even want to push past my emptiness because I love my girls more than anything. However, I had to push past the devastation and be determined to make a healthy life for my oldest daughter. It was not fair to her for me to stop living because I still had to raise her.
    
     During the healing process of losing one child I was challenged to start a new life when I separated from the U.S. Navy in 2008. I realized it was the best thing to do because my oldest daughter needed me. As I look back now I realize I dedicated nine years to the military and now it was time to dedicate my time to building my home like a mother should do. In society we are not given the choice sometimes to stay at home to raise our kids and build our homes like the Proverbs 31 woman however, we have to be committed to making time to build our homes as women. I have not worked for 4 years and I thank God he has provided for me and my daughter. This is my time to give back to my daughter, spend quality time with her and teach her effective life lessons. The greatest gift I can give back to my daughter is to nurture her growth as a young lady. As a mother it is my duty to teach her how to be a Christian young lady and have values in this often harsh world. It’s funny while I am writing this the epiphany hits me…my duty in this season of my life is to be a mother who is at home. It is my duty to build my home and nurture my child. I am learning everyday how to raise my ten year old daughter to be a young lady who is classy, smart, assertive and teaching her she can own her own business. I realize since I am going to college at 33 I am teaching my daughter to never give up on her dreams. I had many setbacks but the greatest comeback is me living my dream because my daughter’s success is connected to me.

Motherhood may not be easy but in the end it is the most rewarding gift in the world….