Category Archives: Growing Mama

Anchor & Guide: Where are you going?

I had my daughter fairly young, before I had a career or finished college. I was a college freshman when I found out I was pregnant. After having her, being a Mama and being a student then was a struggle.

Now that she is 6 I am currently a Junior in college studying Human Development. As her Mama, and as an unmarried one at that, I am  solely responsible for her college education, healthcare, home life, and overall current life and future. It’s up to me to have a clear direction of where we are going.

For many young parents like myself, because we were not established at the time of our children’s birth we are charged with forging our futures with them by our sides. Which has its positives and negatives. Positives include the ability to teach by example how to set goals for life and achieve them through countless challenges. Negatives include undergoing countless judgments by others and having statistics stacked against you.

For parents that wait there are positives and negatives as well. Including having the ability to provide for and give time to a young child and the potential inability to adjust to lifestyle changes that come with having a child at a later age.

Those positives and negatives vary across all families, that list is from my personal experience and does not reflect the full spectrum of family life in America.

Nevertheless, in all types of families parents are charged with planning life for themselves and their children. So where are you going?  Where are you going to live? What are your career choices going to be? What is the legacy you want to leave behind for your children? What about your children? If they are old enough they can be incorporated into the process of planning and the cultivation of whatever particular home atmosphere you are developing.

My daughter and I are very similar so things like home environment come easily but when it comes to vacations and activities we vary greatly so I incorporate her into the planning those sort of things.

When making lifestyle choices like where we are going to live, where I am going to attend graduate school, and things like that I always first look at the impact it will have on her. Some families determine these decisions on how they will affect the parents themselves. Again it all varies but as parents we should be actively planning and charting a course for our future.

I am still planning. Like I said above, I had my daughter while in college, so she is watching me plan our future and move ahead. If you have no destination  and have planned no future for yourself or your children, you  and your children are moving toward something regardless. What about your family? Where are you going?

Growing Mama

Growing Mama: Caring for Yourself is Great for Your Family

I have a little extra weight around my middle section and occasionally I have a midnight snack consisting of salty and or sweet snacks. Case in point the warm cookies and vanilla ice cream above 🙂

Even with these bad habits I pack healthy lunches for and prepare healthy meals for my family. I offer my child fruit, yogurt, or a slice of bread with Nutella for a snack.  I on the other hand down packs and packs of fruit snacks, ice cream, and cook fatty meals for myself while she is in school.

I schedule her medical and dental appointments like clockwork. I manage her asthma and allergies like a pro.  I think I am an excellent Mama when it comes to her health but when it comes to me I am would grade myself a BIG FAT F!

I think many parents do this to themselves, we put ourselves at the bottom of the list. Our physical health though is very important to our families. We have to care for ourselves. We have to show them that we are caring for ourselves, that we can do both care for our families and our own bodies.

Not caring for health as Mamas lead to many things including:

1) Loss of Energy

2)Loss of Creativity & Brain Power

3)Poor Body Image

4) Depression

5) Various Health Problems

6) Teaches Children that Caring for their Bodies is not Valuable or Worthwhile

I have decided to Grow a little bit. I had a new years resolution to run. For years I have imagined myself running in a major marathon, but looking down at myself right now, I know that I am no shape to run not even to the end of the block.

Amazingly though I noticed an article on the Real Simple Magazine Website written by Rachel Shelasky titled “How to Start Running.”

I am going to Grow a little bit and start running with this article and in doing so I will teach my child multiple lessons including how to run, how to take care of herself physically, how to be a better mom, and countless other lessons I will only see when as she Sprouts.

What area of your personal health and well being do you need to Grow in?

Growing Mama

Bacon Broccoli Macaroni & Cheese

Servings 4

Prep 5 Minutes

Total Time 25-30 Minutes

1 Box Auntie Annie’s Homegrown Organic Shells & Real-Aged Cheddar Mac N Cheese

8 ounces Frozen Broccoli Florets

2 Cups Shredded Cheese (We use Tillamook)

4 Strips of Bacon

1 1/4 Cup of  Whole Milk

Step One: Prepare Auntie Annie’s Macaroni & Cheese ( We use whole milk instead of the low-fat suggestion on the box )

Step Two: Cook Bacon, and set it aside (I bake it while cooking the Mac n Cheese)

Step Three: Prepare Broccoli, strain, and chop evenly so that it will blend well with the bacon and mac & cheese, set aside

*Because it’s frozen I put a little water in the pot and let that loosen up the ice, then I break it apart with a wooden spoon.  It’s an excellent stress reliever!

Step Four: Chop bacon into small pieces as well and set aside

Step Five: Add 1 cup milk, bacon, broccoli, cheese, two sprinkles of onion powder, and two sprinkles of salt all to Auntie Annie’s Mac & Cheese

*Mix well and cook on a medium  low temp until the milk is gone!

Enjoy!!!

Romans 14:19

“Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification”  Romans 14:19

Everyday has the potential to be life changing. I come into contact with numerous children and adults each day.  Romans 14:19 talks about us making the effort everyday “to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification”.

Edification means  the instruction or improvement of a person morally or intellectually, guidance, and building up of the soul.

Sometimes I may see a person that seems unhappy, lost, or afraid. According to the Word we are to lift them up, offer them words of peace, that may lead us both to mutual moral development and a life and soul more connected to Him.

In your day to day life, listen to the Word, and make every effort you can to help others build up their souls and lives with God. We are the Light of the World, let’s shine.

Growing Mama

Loss & Grief

In the last six weeks my mother’s health failed, she passed a way two weeks ago, and her funeral was 6 days ago.

I was not prepared for the loss or emptiness I would feel in my life, I am not prepared for a future without her, I am not prepared for my own existence without her.

I honestly cannot believe she is gone, with time though, I will heal.

But I do know that God’s Strength is what Guides me forward now and His  Grace is where I am resting.

My Mother taught  me how to Love, Dream, and Evolve. I love you Mama.

Growing Mama

* I will return in March

Martin Luther King Jr.

Martin Luther King Junior was a man of astounding character Anchored and Taught by his mother Guided and Lead by his father. He was a child born into a family that held firm standards, had familial traditions and legacies, and raised children as a village.  By the time he reached college he was a strong, well-rounded, grounded man, and Leader. As a Leader he made profound changes in the world and brought on the Civil Rights Movement.

“Somewhere we must come to see that human progress never rolls in on the wheels of inevitability. It comes through the tireless effort and the persistent work of dedicated individuals who are willing to be co-workers with God; and without this hard work, time itself becomes an ally of the primitive forces of social stagnation and irrational emotionalism. We must have time and we must realize that the time is always right to do right.” – Martin Luther King Jr.

All children have the potential to become Great Leaders. The Civil Rights Movement & The Women’s Liberation Movement opened the door for children to have access to greater opportunity no matter their sex or race.

Nonetheless it still relies upon Mothers & Fathers to cultivate & develop children through Teaching, Leading, Guiding, and Anchoring. Without a good foundation in life children have great difficulty building a life for themselves.

Martin Luther King Jr. Changed the World, His Parents Gave Him the Tools.

For More Information About Martin Luther King & His Life Click The Link Below

http://www.thekingcenter.org/about-dr-king

Tough Times

We’re in a recession and people are jobless and losing their homes. The world seems to be becoming more and more dangerous. People are holding signs up downtown with words on them like, “it’s the end.” Talking heads across all the networks are talking about things as if they will never get better. The Republican debate Saturday probably prompted many people to start stressing out about another war, and the past mistakes of our Country.

It’s seems like we are all in Survival mode. Nobody seems to be living, and if they are we think it’s because they have nothing to worry about, no financial concerns, no health problems, and no debt,  and they must be rich and or perfect.

God does not want us to just survive. Just remaining alive and existing is not enough. God wants us to live abundantly. Yes in this earthly place things have been tougher in recent years, we have been at war for a while, are government has been dysfunctional, we been charging everything , and we’re drowning in debt but, We Still Have God.

No matter what is going on in the world, we need to flourish in our relationships with God and our families. Your children, your parents, and the rest of your friends and family need you to continue to grow spirituality and in your daily life. Yes the world is dragging its feet but you shouldn’t, God isn’t.

We have to remember that everything we need is in Christ. And in this time where people are merely surviving and existing please remember that we are to be the beacons of light in this darkness.

I hope that you can challenge yourself, your family, and friends to keep chasing the vision you have for your family, keep moving forward in the loving relationships in your lives, keep living and glorifying God, as Christians we know that this is just a season and we need to keep our lights burning so that others without it will be drawn closer to Him.

You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.  Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.  In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. – Matthew 5:14-16

Growing Mama

A Child’s Walk

“Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it” – Proverbs 22:6

Children rely upon their parents and the other adults in thier lives to teach them how they ought to live. They pick up on the things we do more often than they pick up on the things we say.

As a mother it is up to me to stay acutely aware of that fact. My behavior while driving, shopping, cleaning, socializing, and engaging with my child is creating neural pathways in her brain that will eventually become permanent. As she ages she will act based upon what I have shown her by behavior and allowed her to see in other people’s behavior.

Children are being trained and taught about life every second of their lives.

In the womb the moment thier little ears finished developing they began listening to our language. This listening continued after birth and within a few short months they were ready to make vocal sounds. Eventually these sounds started to mimic what we said to them, and by about one year of age or so  they are able to command us to act with the use of language.

Childhood is similar to the womb. The mother and father as well as others allowed into the child’s space imprint values, ideals, and beliefs about life. Once an adult the child relies upon those teachings  this is all she knows, “…she will not turn from it.”

Unborn children become walking and talking children. Children become walking & talking adults.  Our home is the womb where our children develop, let’s make it a home full of Christian Values so that when our children age that will imprint upon them, not the noise of the outside world.

Remember they have a path to walk just like we did, let’s have them start with the end in mind, God.

Growing Mama

A New Year

For Americans the New Year represents a new start, a new beginning, a fresh opportunity to change their lives. We set up goals, changes we want to make, and imagine ourselves 20lbs lighter by summer.

We do this because many of us have the understanding that the past year is a year we did not live well, it was not up to the standards we  have for ourselves. Maybe we promised ourselves a few things but never got around to making the changes. Maybe we promised our kids we would play with them more, but we never got around to it. Maybe we said that we would volunteer some time to but never did.

Things like that cause us to doubt ourselves, judge ourselves, and ultimately feel bad. The Good News is this New Year or middle of the old one you can start fresh.

He wants us. Failures, liars, promise breakers, cheaters, short cut taking, lazy, selfish, sinners, He wants us still.

“If you’ve messed up just turn to God,” Pastor Jason Light House Christian Center.

Just do your part, follow Him, Live his way.

The messier the life, the greater the testimony, the bigger miracle the person can be to the next person.

He loves cracked pots, because through them He can shine.

Take this New Year to Ask Him to Forgive You and start Fresh a New Soul in Him.

Growing Mama

Growing at Home

A new year is coming and I have plenty to do. A lot of things have been changing in my home life and in my relationship with my future husband. There are always a lot of things a young couples have to talk about before uniting for life.

It’s good to understand what each one wants from the other, and so our deep and serious talks have begun. One particular conversation today has stuck with me and I have decided to incorporate into my entry tonight.

I am fairly young, and not the best cook or housekeeper. This truth does not match up to the ideal that my Future Husband expects me to meet.Which is good housekeeper and cook. This is where I am going to have to grow and in my growing  my daughter shall sprout !

I have decided to spend  2012 honing these new goals. I plan on accomplishing this by creating a cleaning schedule  and menu, practicing plenty of new meals, shopping  with a list, and having my little one learn right beside me.

We talked about other things a well, next year I’ll get into that a little bit deeper. For now though I list some of my goals for the New Year.

1. Learn to Keep House Better

2. Cook with Joy & Love

3. Blog Weekly

4. Run 2 Miles 3 Days A Week

5. Let God Guide Me

6. Have a Bit More Fun

Happy New Year Everyone

Growing Mama