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Archive for the ‘Lessons Learned From My Kids’ Category

cherokee

 

According to oxforddictionaries.com, the definition of resilience is the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness. Cherokee is my oldest child. She is 23, single mom of two adorable kids and she is resilient.

Cherokee has always been the one to not cry over challenges. These last few years have been a challenge, but she has this ability to look forward and do what needs to be done. Cherokee had Ava at 19 years old. She was married 3 months before Ava was born. The first year of her marriage she spent separated from her husband, as he is serving in the Marines and was stationed at 29 Palms, California at the time. After a year, Cherokee moved to North Carolina with Ava to be with her husband, but it was not a marriage that was meant to be. She returned with Ava 10 months later with the scars of a failed marriage, but determined to pick up the pieces quickly and move on. She had Christopher 9 months later and has been a rock to both kids. The divorce was final this past November and Cherokee has had to deal with all the emotions that go with it. She is tough. She puts the past behind her and moves on. She never dwells on what can’t be.

Cherokee immediately starting working upon her return. She is now working full-time in the cafeteria of our local hospital. Within 3 months she was promoted to shift leader. She is now in school full-time and determined to do what she needs to do to make a good life for her kids. She doesn’t wallow. She has never thrown a pity party for herself. She says that there is no sense in feeling sorry for yourself, it won’t change anything. She is right.

Cherokee has taught me to always look ahead. Even in the toughest times, always look ahead. Figure out what you need to do and do it. Through her courage, she has taught me to face my challenges with courage. She has taught me to face the future with courage. She has taught me to trust God in ALL things and trust Him to work out the future. As long as we do our part, He will do His. I have to trust God in the middle of the struggle. I have to focus on God and trust in Him to provide a way out. I can’t give in to feeling sorry for myself, because of my circumstances. I have to look up. I have to take a lesson from Cherokee and keep looking ahead toward the future. Never look back. Face the future with courage. It is never to late to learn life lessons. I am able to face challenges with resilience, because my beautiful, strong daughter has shown me how.

 

 

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kiowa-race

 

 

Kiowa is my 22 year old daughter. Kiowa has never been one to turn down a challenge and she has never been one to quit, even when the road got rough, she was always determined to follow through. She ran her first half marathon when she was 14. She finished in the top 4% out of 35,000 runners. By the time she was 18, she had run 6 half marathons and she finished her first marathon just 2 weeks before her 18th birthday. She finished that marathon just 8 minutes shy of qualifying for the Boston marathon. Running these races always took months of training. I remember the pain, the ice baths, and pulling her in the driver’s side window of the car when a dog started chasing her on a training run. Even in 0 degree weather, with ice on the ground, she ran. She never gave up. She never quit. It was the same way, when she was preparing to enter the Air Force. She was scared. Her nerves were on edge. She wasn’t sure if it was the right thing, but when she made up her mind to do it, that was it. When we dropped her off at the hotel, the night before she left for basic training, she had tears in her eyes. We all did. When the time came to say good-bye, she squared her shoulders and walked down the hall, never looking back. We knew she wanted to run. We could tell. But, she didn’t. She followed through.

How many times have I started something, just to back out when the going got rough? To many times to count. I always have some excuse not to follow through. I can’t do this anymore. I have to start following through. No more excuses. When I don’t follow through, I could be missing out on God’s blessings and I will never know it. Not that my life is bad, it isn’t, but could it have been more, if I had followed through on some of the things that I quit? Did I settle for mediocrity because I quit?

From now on, when I know God is leading me in a certain direction, I will follow through. Even when it involves change. I know it may cause discomfort, but where God leads, I must follow. I am taking a lesson from my amazing daughter. I will NOT quit!

I am challenging you to follow where God leads, even when change causes discomfort. Follow through! Do not quit! Do not miss the blessing that God has in store for you. Do not let the rough patches cause you to back out on what God needs you to do. Do not settle for mediocrity! Trust God’s plan for you and follow through.  Don’t look back. Keep your eyes on what’s ahead of you.

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cree

 

My daughter Cree is Twenty. She is a Sophomore at a local University, majoring in Elementary Education. Although, I admire her many creative talents, what I really admire about Cree is her outgoing and loving spirit. Cree is that person that can go up to anyone and start a conversation like she has known that person her entire life. There is never any awkwardness. She is a loyal friend and has been known to use her creative talents to bring joy to others. Two years ago, she spent hours making dozens of homemade Christmas cards and passed them out to the residents of our local mens shelter. She is always mentoring younger girls, volunteering, or making new friends. She has always been the one to go on mission trips and youth outings. She was a leader in her youth group and cared about developing relationships with the younger girls. Cree has always followed her heart. She goes where she is led and brings love to those lucky enough to be in her life.

Do I follow my heart? Not always. I am more inclined to let my fear stop me from going where my heart leads. I would never have done what Cree has done, because of my fear of social situations. I know that I have missed out on some of God’s blessings because I let fear stop me from doing His will. There have been things that I knew God wanted me to do, but in the end I chicken out. I always have an excuse. I always regret not following my heart and not obeying God’s will for me. I have determined that I will be more like my free-spirited Cree and follow where my heart leads.

My challenge to you: Where is your heart leading you? Is God asking you to volunteer some time somewhere? Is God leading you to mentor a younger person? Don’t let fear keep you from obeying God’s will for you. Don’t miss out on the blessing God has waiting for you. Follow your heart.

 

 

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talon2

 

My son Talon is 16 years old. Talon has always been a helper. Even when he was little, he would wait for the mail man, to give him a bottle of water in the Summer months. As he has gotten older and bigger, he has shoveled snow, cut grass, and helped many people in many different ways. When we have had homeless guests, he has gone above and beyond to help them out and make them feel welcome. He has gone with his dad to deliver meals to the hungry. He cares about people and never thinks about how helping someone might inconvenience him. He gives of his time and resources without considering the sacrifice. Talon has always had a great work ethic and doesn’t mind working hard, if it means helping someone out. He is always the first one to offer help and puts his heart and soul into other people.

In all honesty, he did not get this trait from me. I really hate admitting this, but I can be selfish when it comes to helping others, if I think I might be inconvenienced in any way. I really hate this about myself. It is something I am working on and watching Talon, as he gives of himself, encourages me to be better. It isn’t that I don’t like helping people, I do. I hate to see anyone in need. For me, it is about my daily to-do list and letting the stress of life get to me. I am challenging myself to let my anxiety over getting things done go, when I know that someone is in need of help and I have the ability to help them. There is always tomorrow. My to-do list can wait and serving others is what Jesus is all about. Letting someone else know that you love them enough to help them is what Jesus is all about. Loving others to Jesus is what life is all about and Talon has taught me a thing or two about that.

My challenge to you: Let go of your to-do list and be willing to help someone this week, regardless of the inconvenience and sacrifice. Be willing to love someone to Jesus.

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ty 2         68 charger

old and new chevy

My son Ty is 14. I have never known a time in his life when he wasn’t passionate about cars and trucks. Every year for his birthday or Christmas, he wanted something car related: remote control cars, hot wheels, racing video games, the Dukes of Hazard DVD series, and his favorite, the Fast and Furious movie series (he is already counting down the time for Furious 8). Ty knows the year, make and model of many, many cars on the road. He eats, sleeps and breathes cars and trucks. His preference is race cars. The above images were taken from his Facebook wall. This is pretty much all you will see on his Facebook wall. Cars, cars, and more cars. This is his life and ALL he talks about. He wants to be a race car driver or stunt car driver when he is older. I love that Ty has found a passion in his young life and he has given me something to think about in my own life. What am I passionate about? What drives me? What do I eat, sleep and breathe?

My hope and prayer is that I am as passionate about God as Ty is about cars. I pray that my life shows that all consuming fire for God to those I cross paths with in my daily life. I know I love God with ALL of my heart and soul, but am I doing enough to show this to the world? There is always room for improvement. Growing in my relationship with God is a lifelong journey and I am always asking myself, “what do I need to change to really show my passion for God?” I want others to see my burning passion for the Lord. I want people to see that I am so on fire for God that I would be willing to give up my job, home, or whatever else he asked me too, to go where he calls me. I want the world to see that dwelling in Christ and sharing His love with those that are lost mean more to me than any creature comforts that I could ever own. I want people to look at me and see the reflection of who Jesus is. I have a long way to go, but it’s something to aspire too.

I watch my son, as he watches his Fast and Furious movies for the billionth time and smile. I thank God for giving me a life lesson through this passionate 14 year old that I am proud to call my son. If our hearts are open, we can learn from our children. Thank you, Ty, for showing me what being passionate is all about.

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