We Made it to Kindergarten

Five years ago, I sat on the edge of my bed holding my daughter, Brielle. She was only a few months old at the time. My entire being was flooded with sadness and depression. I couldn’t enjoy the the fullness of her life. I wanted a “redo.” Having a baby proved to be more than I could handle mentally. God had made a mistake in allowing me to carry a healthy child full term. My thoughts were warped with confusion. I remember so vividly asking God to fast forward Brielle to five years old. One thousand eight hundred and twenty-five days later, she is five years old. Thankfully, postpartum depression had a short reign in my life and I can embrace Brielle with an overwhelming love! Now, I have to adjust to her entering Kindergarten. I keep wondering if I am teaching Brielle enough about life. As an educator, my eyes and ears have witnessed the best and worst of kids in their finest moments. The constant thoughts of me me thinking, “did I prepare Brielle for this next stage in  life? Is she strong enough to stand up to kids who are a little more overbearing and quarrelsome? Did my lessons on respect and self esteem take root in her heart.” We pride ourselves in making sure Brielle knows who she is based on her self confidence, not on others perception. She will see more of the world as she journeys  outside of the Pre-K realm and realize life is not based on fairy tales. I would love to keep her right under me forever, but Brielle must make her own mark on the world. At this point, I want her to enjoy Kindergarten and all of its offerings. She needs to feel the warm sunshine as she runs around the playground giggling with her classmates, savor the school lunches, and absorb all the knowledge that is being poured into her daily. I have no doubt she will love art. She has remnants of her art creations throughout the house on the carpet, walls, and furniture. Creating things is her passion. One of our main goals is to give her a spiritual foundation. She needs to understand the extent of God’s love that is available to everyone, regardless of one’s choices. Her little mind never seems to stop. We answer at least a million questions a day (literally) on “why is why?” My husband and I pray for patience to endure it all. There really is no handbook on “parenting Brielle Taylor.” It consists of much prayer, faith, and tests. Getting to this point has been more than I have ever imagined or knew I could handle. I’m thankful for God’s grace in seeing me through the darkest hours to witness the light of now and the days ahead in raising Brielle Taylor with my wonderful husband.

A Rant of Gratefulness

Oh my goodness, baby number two is no joke! I’ve seen so many shows, social media posts, and ads of how flawless folks make parenting look. I sit confused thinking, “Dang, what am I doing wrong?” Sometimes, I post pictures of my beautiful children on social media. The final photo is usually after a couple (okay a lot) of snaps were discarded. You know the ones, with the baby falling out or your oldest daughter refusing to smile (after a bribe you see all of her teeth). There is never a one snap perfect picture. Beyond pictures, I have the once dreadful car rides. We can now drive peacefully in a car with Ava. Thank God! Our mobile trips had me literally in tears because of the screaming and crying showered upon us by my beautiful baby. She hated being strapped down in the car seat and did not want me to stop at any point of the ride. We all know that is not realistic. To avoid heavy traffic and red lights, I would ride at least 15 minutes out of the way. There is no cushy way to write about how much work goes into being a parent, wife, and career woman. At times, I am just too tired to smile. I know parents with more than 2 kids are probably rolling their eyes at me, but this is my truth.

Having children is like figuring out how to fit puzzle pieces together on nearly a daily basis. And having multiple kids is like those small middle pieces of a puzzle. It ain’t easy. The pressure of making sure my oldest daughter does not feel left out is always a constant thought in the back of my mind. I have to make sure everyone is hugged and kissed on. Of course, when you have an infant, the household is shortchanged because the little one requires so much attention. Recently, I was running around the house and rolling on the floor with Brielle. Her eyes held this extra sparkle of enjoyment. The twinkle in my daughter’s eyes revealed to me the realization and the importance of spending more time alone with her. It was a moment of personal chastising. I had been mommy the manager, but not mommy the nurturer.  My motherly intuition helped me to duly note the importance of clearing out my schedule for her. NOW, my house no longer holds the cleanliness I am accustomed to or would like. It is now a small Toys ‘r us/Sesame Street/Barbie life rolled into one. Oh dear, I forgot the baby doll nursery. Friends, you didn’t tell me about the toys that would become our new bed buddies. Not sure how toys mysteriously appear under my sheets and comforter. Do you know? My daughter doesn’t. Honey, let me not talk about the overflowing mountain of laundry that needs to be folded as I write this blog post.

There is no perfect way of mothering, nor being a wife. You have to figure out what works best for your household. If grilled cheese, a bowl of cereal (with or without milk), or popcorn is the best you can muster up for dinner some some nights, then hey… The kids ate. Do not let social media or people dictate how to run YOUR home. Drive your minivan at your speed.

I often sit and think to myself I prayed for all of this. Most importantly, God honored my prayers. I figure if he listened then he knew I was more than capable of handling it all.

 

Waiting…

I will never forget the day my cousin Tekoa and I were picking up lunch from Pollo Tropical. She was sitting in the passenger seat flipping through the pages of a magazine. She quickly stopped while looking at an article featuring Senator (at that time) Barack Obama. She said, “He is going to run for president.” My first thought was, “I have no clue who Barack Obama is.” My response was, “Wow!” We talked a few more minutes about Obama and perused through the photos.

Four years after that conversation, Barack Obama became the first African-American president of the United States of America. He went through a process to set him in preparation to lead our nation. I can not begin to fathom the barriers he had to fight along the way. He not only had to endure the stress of fully learning the United States’ political system, but also overcoming racial inequalities. In addition, listening to those who told him he couldn’t accomplish such a difficult task. I’m pretty sure President Obama had enough opposition to not try, but thankfully he did!
President Obama’s perseverance gave hope to many people who stopped believing. He rewrote history for many lives. His waiting process groomed him into something great. This is a perfect example of what’s available to us. We must never take our refining time for granted. If God has confirmed a specific result to you, hold on to it! Our wait does not necessarily mean no, it means “wait.” You must continue to work on the task before you with all diligence. God knows when it’s time for us to be presented before others.
Think about this… What great impacts will you make after the waiting process? Allow God to groom you for his glory.

1 Peter 5:7 I know how great this makes you feel, even though you have to put up with every kind of aggravation in the meantime. Pure gold put in the fire comes out of it proved pure; genuine faith put through this suffering comes out proved genuine. When Jesus wraps this all up, it’s your faith, not your gold, that God will have on display as evidence of his victory.

The 2nd Time Around

We welcomed Ava Rose into our lives November 27, 2017. Along with her came joy, happiness, smiles, sleepless nights, very little cooking, disagreements, and a few tears. Transitioning into the life of a parent of two is not an easy task. First of all, you have to figure out how to tend to the needs of this new little person. True enough, I had experience from my first child, but it is different with another baby. You have to learn their temperament and remember those little things that may have slipped your memory after four years. Secondly, figuring out a balance in life is on another level. You want to be the best for everybody without disappointing nor hurting anyone. Thirdly to infinity, everyday is new and improved including the disasters (all learning curves). I am so imperfect at it all. My fallacies keep me reaching for my internal strength, the Holy Spirit. God was so thoughtful to send us this awesome guide and comforter. He knew years ago, you and I would need guidance to navigate through life. Motherhood can be extremely overwhelming at times, not to mention being a wife as well. We face many obstacles while trying to be virtuous in all areas. The most important detail that we must focus on is putting ourselves first while accomplishing everything.  There is  no way we can be great without being whole. The Holy Spirit constantly tells me when I’m shifting off course, plus my hormones are still imbalanced.  I need a lot of realignment through prayer and the word. Great thanks to the special people God has strategically placed in my life! The phone calls and texts just to say, thinking and praying for you are so uplifting. They’re ALWAYS right on time! Our savior has all the bases covered.

It’s a blessing be a mother and wife. Undoubtedly, there will be plenty of off days with everyone within my household and life, but thankfully, we can get directions whenever needed.

“In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know how we ought to pray, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groans too deep for words” (NIV, Romans 8:26).

 

 

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