The Beauty of Hope

I have a blended family. When my husband and I married I inherited four children, two girls and two boys. His children are older than my daughter and to say I was nervous about our union would be a drastic understatement. Being a mother, I was not worried if I would be good enough, I was only worried if I could show them how to love, the way God loves each of us.  Within three months of our union, my son’s (16 and 14 at the time) came to live with us. I was shocked, overwhelmed, nervous and excited. I always wanted to have son’s so this was my opportunity. However, what has happened over the last year has radically altered my life.

Imagine being newlyweds, with one child and then suddenly adding two more to the mix, and did I mention we were still newlyweds? How in the world, do you adjust, how do you make it work, how do you not lose hope? I have never raised a teenager, and matter of fact my son’s were almost raised when the arrived at our home. I have never had to deal with the pressure of high school graduation requirements, transferring from another state and school, finding opportunities for social engagement, and then adding our Faith into a cloud mix. I was drowning in my own life. I felt like I was losing my mind. How in the world am I going to work, be a mom, a wife, a cheerleader, a confidant, a guide, a disciplinarian, and still love? I was hopeless. I was scared.

My oldest son, now a Senior graduating May 24, 2014 was hopeless that first day of his junior year last January. He stood in our kitchen with tears in his eyes, the report from the guidance counselor was, there is no hope, you will not graduate with your class next year. My heart sank, how in world, when in the world, Lord help me right now….what do I say, what do I do?  I felt hopeless in that moment, so I relied on God who is Love,  and wrapped my arms around him, and said, this is not your life, this is only one moment in your life and you will graduate next year.

As an adult, blessed with family and friends that pushed me, encouraged me and supported me, I never worried about high school, college, travel or my career, I always believed I would and I did. But standing in my kitchen I did not know what would happen. In life there are moments that we just don’t know what will happen, and losing hope is the first option we execute and sometimes the only option.

The last year contained many fights, sleepless nights, constant meetings with teachers, administrators, testing liaisons, late night talks, and prayer. I sometimes question did I have enough faith, can I really believe God, can I really help my son believe he can do this? The only answer I could hold on to was hope.

Today, my son and I met with his Dual Credit adviser and a miracle occurred. She informed him that because of his performance over the last two semesters, he would not only be eligible for a scholarship to pay 100% of his tuition beginning Summer of 2014, but with work he could graduate with his Associate’s degree in 2015. His face lit up, and it wasn’t the news, it was joy knowing God answered his prayer and he was now going to become whatever he liked. We left the office running to our car like little kids, entered the house and he said, ” Mom, with a smile from here to China, I just want to say thanks.” We hugged. In that moment I remember what happened in the kitchen, I remembered how scared I was to inherit four children, I remember how many nights I cried, how we fought, how I wanted to give up, and then tonight, I experienced the Beauty of Hope!

Happy New Life!   P.S. 103 School Days until Graduation!!!! 🙂

I Love You, BUT

Every girl dreams of hearing her Prince Charming say, “I Love You,” falling into his arms and then riding into the sunset for the best life ever , sorry, happily ever after :-). BUT,  this is not a good story, this is Real life!  Love is such a powerful word, that evokes emotions, feelings, and actions that the best men and women cannot explain. Love makes you do crazy things, you know like staying up all night talking which eventually becomes hours of “no you hang up first” statements.  Love makes you spend hours fixing your hair, hours washing your car, and hours standing in the mirror obsessing if this is the right outfit. Although, many have tried to outwit Love and made oaths to never fall prey to its trap, they failed. If you have lived longer than a day you have been caught by the love bug.

So, what’s the big deal about saying those famous three words. I am a woman, and I promised myself, He would say it first, because than I would know he was serious about me. In my first “adult” relationship I would practice saying those words, formulating my mouth to look kissable, and making sure my body language was calm. I would practice writing my name, you know using His last name. I would not sleep at night planning the perfect occasion to say those words. Yet in life you are not prepared to hear, ‘ I Love You, BUT.”

But, is a conjunction that alerts the hearer or reader that what is about to come is going to be in total contrast to what you just heard. I know as a parent I never want to hear, But Mom, I did, But it’s not my fault, But, But, But!!!! What do you do when those famous three words come with a but? If you are honest, you might fight, than cry, than fight some more, however it doesn’t change the truth of what you just heard, they do not love you.  What’s important now are the words that follow the but, for there you will find out where you need to change.

I love you but, you’re selfish, to busy, make no effort to communicate, always keep secrets and lie. I love you but, You don’t love Yourself.  Let’s commit to thinking before speaking and using the word Love only when we have loved ourselves first for then there will never be a But!

Happy New Life!