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Posts Tagged ‘building community’

I celebrated my 51st birthday on Tuesday. I have always loved my birthday, but this years lack of fanfare left me feeling forgotten. Don’t get me wrong, all 5 of my kids acknowledged my birthday, but I’m still not sure if it was simply out of obligation. No presents and I am planning my own birthday dinner for Monday night when my daughter, Cree and her husband get back from California. I was disappointed, to say the least. I have had other years like this and it never really bothered me before. I guess the difference is that this year my kids are adults with lives of their own. They are supposed to move into their own lives and be productive members of society.

BUT THEY AREN’T SUPPOSED TO FORGET THEIR PARENTS!!!

At least that is my opinion. Before you think that I am throwing my kids under the bus, the Holy Spirit used my pity party to convict me of my own relationship with my parents and asked me a very disturbing question, “What do you do for your parents?” Yep! I was quickly humbled and had to admit that I haven’t done near enough to celebrate my parent’s birthdays or their wedding anniversaries. In my defense, my parents live in California and I live in Indiana, but there is no excuse for the many years when I didn’t send a card much less acknowledge their birthdays. The last few years I have sent a card and sometimes a gift card for a restaurant that they like, but honestly I have not done near enough. My parents are in their mid 70’s and have been married for 52 years. I need to do more for my own parents. I need to set the example.

I also need to remember that the world does NOT revolve around me. They have their own lives. They have or will be creating their own families. As much as it hurts, I have to remember that this is all a good thing. I realize that it hurts because I lived on my own with the kids for many years. In a way it seems like I am losing them and that I will be alone. I guess that’s why the lack of fanfare for my birthday really hurt me this year. It’s a transition and transitions can cause discomfort and even some emotional pain.

SO WHAT WILL I DO WITH ALL OF THIS?

I’m definitely NOT going to wallow in it! I will enjoy my belated dinner Monday night and accept the little gifts of love that my kids do give all year round. I will enjoy being a part of my grandkids lives and watching them grow in their own relationships with God. Ava, who will be 8 on Sunday has talked to our church Children’s Director about being baptized! THIS is what I get to be a part of EVERY DAY! I am building a single mom ministry and a single mom community as well. I am now part of a loving church. I am reaching out to community agencies and have had wonderful responses from several of them. I will be reaching out to other local churches in the near future and as I reach out I know that my own community/support system will grow. What do you do as a single mom when your kids grow up and leave you behind? You find that one thing that you are passionate about and create a community around that. You reach out and create a new you. You do what you had been putting off for years. You quit feeling sorry for yourself.

I love my kids abundantly and I am so proud of who they are and are becoming. My intention is never to make them feel guilty for growing up. This is about my having to deal with emotions. We CAN control our emotions. We CAN control how we feel. If we focus on God and allow His Spirit to abide in us.

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