Thursday, July 16, 2015

Raisin' 2nd generation … tip 2

Raisin' grandchildren                                   tip 2: Take care of yourself

You probably weren’t expecting to be raising kids again at this stage in your life. (Pssst…. I'm 54!)  At times, the physical, emotional, and financial demands may feel overwhelming. That’s why it’s vitally important that you take care of yourself and get the support you need.

When you’re preoccupied with the daily demands of raising grandkids, it’s easy to let your own needs fall by the wayside. But taking care of yourself is a necessity, not a luxury. You can’t be a good caretaker when you’re overwhelmed, exhausted, and emotionally depleted. I KNOW I KNOW …. and you know this, but how?  That's the dailyness of it all ~ D A I L Y!!   In order to keep up with your grandkids, you need to be calm, centered, and focused.  (Uuuumm…. wondering what this lQQks like? Me too, however, together we will get there and do it!! Wonderfully, successfully and fantastically together!)   Looking after your own mental and physical health is how you get there.

A healthy you means a healthy grandchild. If you don't take care of your health, you won't be able to take care of your grandchild, either. Make it a priority to eat nutritious meals, exercise regularly, and get adequate sleep. Don't let doctor's appointments or medication refills slide.  

Hobbies and relaxation are not luxuries. (THIS is where I fail miserably! And still a work in progress. Come to think of it, ALL of this is and will always be a work in progress ~ it's called "doing life together.")   Carving out time for rest and relaxation is essential to avoid burnout and depression. Use your “me time to really nurture yourself. Choose activities that indulge your senses. Zoning out in front of the TV won’t revive you.  And if need be, hire a sitter to go out to lunch, get that massage ~ not the 60 minute one but the 90 minute one!!
It’s okay to lean on your grandchild for help (just be sure it's age appropriate). Kids are smarter and more capable than we often give them credit for. Even young children can pick up after themselves and help out around the house. Helping out will also make your grandchild feel good.

Support makes all the difference!! This is another area of which I struggle gravely.  Due to where I live etc. it makes it a little more difficult.  I live in PARADISE, God's waiting room in SW FL where most folks come to retire. So, I get creative and am in search for mom's groups, play groups, any kind of group for her to connect and hope there's a connection of me too!!   Studies show that grandparents who cope well with the added stress of raising grandchildren are those who seek out others for support.

Find someone you can talk to about what you’re going through. This will give you a chance to work through your feelings and come to an acceptance of the situation. If you deny or ignore these feelings, they will come out in other ways and may affect your relationship with your grandchild.  Look for support groups for grandparents raising grandchildren. Support groups or even phone support can be very helpful in this journey, and it's a good start for making friends in similar situations. Hearing from people who have been there can help both uplift your spirits and give you concrete suggestions for your situation.  Reach out in your community for childcare help. If you are a member of a church, synagogue or other religious organization, you may be able to ask around for available babysitters. Try library story time hours, chatting up other parents at the playground, or seeing if your neighbors have a reliable teen available to babysit or if any parents are interested in a babysitting swap.
Connect with parents with children. Even if you feel like you are from a different generation, the joys and tribulations of raising children can quickly form common bonds. It may take time, but forging friendships with parents with similar aged children can offer camaraderie and help on navigating the maze of issues facing children today.

Being me I'd be remiss if I didn't mention a thriving relationship with Jesus.  It's what I'm all about!! I'm addicted to grace.  Prayer, scripture … it's my life line when I'm alone and really don't know where to turn.  And then when Jesus steps in THINGS happen:  miracles, rest, peace, joy, love, patience, goodness!! I know there's that song that goes something like "when Jesus enters the room there is healing …" Can't think of the title or the author of it.

Be blessed.
Let me know your thoughts and your journey!
Raisin' 2nd generation


Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Raisin' 2nd generation …

Raising grandchildren       tip 1: Acknowledge your feelings!! 

WHAT … I dare not do that .. it could get ~ shall we say M E S S Y.  
Yes, and that's what community is for!! Let's go ~    

The prospect of raising grandchildren is bound to trigger a range of emotions. Positive emotions, like the love you feel for your grandchild, the joy in seeing them learn and grow, and relief at giving them a stable environment, are easy to acknowledge. It’s more difficult to admit to feelings such as resentment, guilt, or fear.   It’s important to acknowledge and accept what you’re feeling, both good and bad. Don’t beat yourself up over your doubts and misgivings. It’s only natural to feel some ambivalence about childrearing at a time when you expected your responsibilities to be dwindling. These feelings don’t mean that you don’t love your grandchild.  And that retirement will never ever possibly come … it's going to be okay ~ I promise you!!  How to accept the comments! Some are easier than others and some just IGNORE them completely.  

What you may feel:  (the negative emotions … dare I  name them?!!) 

Stress and worry – If you've been used to the occasional visit from a grandchild, being back in the saddle full time can feel stressful and overwhelming. You may worry about how you will handle the additional responsibilities and what will happen to the grandchild if something happens to you.

Anger or resentment – You may feel anger or resentment toward the grandchild’s parents for leaving you with the responsibility of caring for their child. Or you might be resentful of other friends who are enjoying the retirement you once envisioned.

Guilt – You may feel guilty and responsible for your child’s failures as a parent, second-guessing and regretting your own mistakes when you were first parenting.  And lastly … 
Grief – There are many losses that come with taking in your grandchild, including the loss of your independence and the easier role of “grandparent,” rather than the primary caregiver. You may also be grieving for your child and the difficulties that have led to this situation.  This is the 'one' that your friends want to avoid with you because they don't know what to say. And that's okay, because there aren't any perfect phrases or words to say.  Often, just to be there or to listen or to laugh with me helps tremendously.  

And on any given day ~ positive & negative emotions ~ can and will be experienced DAILY … that's why this is called Dailyness with Michelle.  And you out there doing the same with me …. DAILYNESS ~ breathe and let's continue to unpack this bit by bit!!

Be blessed!  
Raisin' 2nd generation ...

Thursday, July 9, 2015

LIFE changes …. ADAPTations!!

Grandparents Raising Grandchildren

When parents are absent or unable to raise their children, grandparents are often the ones who step in. And that's what we have done.  Raising a second generation brings many rewards, including the fulfillment of giving your grandkids a sense of security, developing a deeper relationship, and keeping the family together. It also comes with many challenges. No matter how much you love your grandkids, taking them into your home requires major adjustments. But with the right guidelines and support, we are able to roll back the years and make a real difference in the life of our granddaughter.

What's racing through your mind? What questions do you have?  There are so many … even I have questions!! And what we've found, is we take one day at a time ~ sometimes hour by hour.  Around here we cherish quiet time (which has evolved from nap time!) and bed time.  She's 3 1/2 years old and thriving! LOVES American Sign Language as a second language and is definitely a morning type of personality.  

The Rewards … we laugh over silly simple things.  We notice everything! 

The Challenges … we continue to do the next right thing.  Where O' where does time go. Currently, we are potty training and it's been an 'experience' to say the least and we take it bit by bit!! I have done hours of research over this, tried EVERYTHING and have promised her the world, if she will just eliminate!!! As in "Everybody Poops" and "Poop Happens!!"  And that's a bit funny if you think about it!!

The Adjustments … we all have them, we are flexible and continue to ask God to guide us, love us, and protect us.  We do what we have to do and along the road we have some fun too!! Anticipating what next week will bring.

So here's my task to do …. 
Weekly blogging about our life ~ real life and honesty, a whole lot of Scripture because that is the true word of God and we desperately need it with some 3 year old humor too.  

Be blessed!!  


Wednesday, June 4, 2014


Hello blogworld!! NO, I haven't forgotten YOU, YOU've always been in my brain & deeper in my heart. So …. I need education as to how to amp up and update my blog.  The name, the vision, the reason etc.  And this last year has been a deep recovery year for me personally! With that in mind, my heart's desire is to write and talk and even unpack food addiction (living it out & recovery), going from Grandma to mamo (pronounced Ma Moo ~ as the sound a cow would make!) … and living in SW FL commonly referred to as paradise.  How to begin & start … where and how do I access my photos? Do I change servers …. HELP!!! All of you, anyone out there ADVISE needed!! With that … my hope is to start up AGAIN, either August or September.  In the meantime, my heart is over full with the gratitude that God graces me with DAILY!! As in dailyness … so addicted to His grace and wanting to do LIFE with all of you.

Until I get the education I need … radio silence will continue ~ but never over & out!!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Christianity is not an ACTION but a RE-action ...

Imagine if each time you had the urge to text, tweet, email, log onto Facebook, or phone a friend to share some heartfelt need, you stopped and prayed instead.

Really prayed, trusting God to answer.  Q: what would YOU trust God for if NOTHING was off limits? Begin with prayer ... Yes!! I'm serious.

That’s faith.

Asking and believing in the same breath, then waiting and trusting in the next, knowing God responds to his children individually. He not only listens to us, He loves us. He not only loves us, He knows what is best for us.

Ephesians 3:17-20 (NIV) "so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord's holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge - that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us,"

Therefore, joy - peace & patience shouldn't be lacking in any of us ... yet, it does. Why?
1. He loves us (YOU) far more than we know!!
2. His love is so big that it takes "power" to even grasp it!!
            (pray to comprehend this one ...)
3. He's able to do far more than we can imagine!! And I have a HUGE imagination.

But how can we be certain God knows what’s best? And how do we trust him when the life we’re living now doesn’t fit anybody’s definition of good, let alone best?  and what if it's kinda ugly for the rest of the world?

CHRISTIANITY is NOT an action; it's a RE-action!!

Righteousness is NOT the reward of right living; it's the GIFT that results in right living!
Living in the abundance of God, so then I ask myself  'Do I have issues with God's love for me? I must if I'm not grateful, if I'm joyLESS (hate that!) or uncomfortable and in search of peace .. oh, and my patience ~ where O where might thy be some days?

I John 4:19 (NIV) "We love because He first loved us."  There is NOTHING - NO THING - nothing I can do to earn or be more because He first loved us (YOU).

But how do I do this is the logical Q from all of YOU?
1. We've got to stay committed to meditation ~ thinking deeply on God's word ~ DEEPLY!!
2. Avoiding Bible reading won't make God love you less; but it will make you love God less. Would you avoid a beloved friend, would you avoid a brainiac that had all the answers for your life ~ NO! So, why avoid God ~ Jesus & the Holy Spirit???

Psalm 32:10 (NIV) "Many are the woes of the wicked, but the Lord's unfailing love surrounds the one who trusts in Him."

RE-acting to that unfailing love, RE-acting to God's word, RE-acting ....

Monday, June 3, 2013

The Gardenia Bush!!

With the ultimate in fragrant flowers, a gardenia bush is one of South Florida's most beloved plants...though it can be a challenge to grow.  Yet, it grows exceptionally well in my yard.  The aroma is captivating and pulls you closer to the bush. 
2 Corinthians 2:15 "For we are to God the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing." 
Aroma ~ what does that bring into your mind?  Sweet, sour, home, perfume, too much, intoxicatingly pleasing, .... 

This bush is strong and sturdy. It requires sun and water for growth ... don't we all? And it has its pest too ... don't we all? And still it's a beauty to be admired! YOU are beautiful ... whisper that to yourself! 

What captured my attention is that the bush does NOT bloom all at once. It has the blooms, but they are orchestrated to bloom sparingly. Then once it blooms, there's the white beauty of the flower & that aroma!! It stays for about 8 days, then slowly loses it's 'spark' ... and then another blossom pops open ... diverting your attention to it. 

To that I am reminded of:
2 Corinthians 3:18 "And we who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit." 

Glory, aroma, His beloveds ... that's what we are and in the example of the Gardenia Bush we are His beauties too. 

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Lord, break our heart with what breaks Yours' ...

Remember that silly song by Billy Ray Cyrus?  (Bet you're going to be annoyingly humming it in your head all day now) "My Achy Breaky Heart"    Alrighty, so now I want you to forget that silly song.  

Let's talk about aching, breaking hearts.  I know what that feels like.  And I know you do, too.

Sometimes life just hurts – a lot.   And our tender hearts feel like they are breaking into a million pieces.

I'm feeling this way right now.  Oh, so weighed down by the travails and troubles of living.  No pity party – just a heavy dose of reality lately.

It is time to accept what is…        But, the reality of now is hard…and it hurts.

My *mother heart* is breaking.  It's been really hard learning to let go. To watch my sons as they sometimes struggle to live life.   This is a tough season in each of their lives right now:
future-planning, &
relationship-sorting, along with the dailyness of their LIVES.

I miss happy faces – and simple problems with simple solutions.

Sometimes I long for the days of scraped knees and spelling tests.  For the "little" anxieties of life – the ones that I had some control over.  Even the 'why' questions ...

Now I watch from the sidelines in many ways, yet up close and personal if you know how our family dynamics is at the moment.  And when either of them aches, my heart breaks.  And they would have nothing ~ NO THING ~ part of my assisting in helping them solve any issue.

I've heard it said, "A mother is only as happy as her saddest child."         Oh yes.

My *me heart* is aching, breaking too.  This past year brought many changes to my life, to say the least. Yet I know that I know that I know ~ God knows the very place we will live (Acts 17:26) to have our being, to move & to breathe. All for His glory ... and we get to LIVE this out.  If I had designed my life, it would look nothing like I have & yet, I am blessed, loved and know that I know that I know that God is good & God is God (and I am not!).

Friendships changed, routines got altered, family got re-defined, move after move after move for so many, a LOT changed!   Life lessons – and faith lessons – have been learned. And I might add, I've failed in many of the life & faith lessons too. Thank goodness I'm NOT where I was & that I not ever going to be perfect but I am getting better!!            But it’s been hard…and it hurts.  (KWIM?)

The more I try to relax, the more tense I get about relaxing.  The more I think it was better when ... I instantly remember, NO! it wasn't. That's why I have today! and often stick my foot directly into my mouth and end up apologizing for my childish and selfish behaviors.

And then, the thoughts come.  The ruinous ruminations.  The crushing cares.  The aching & the breaking.   "Lord, I hurt!"   Sometimes I wonder – where is God in all of this?  Does He hear?  Oh yes, I know He does.  Does He care?   More than I’ll ever know.

You see, He has a Son's aching heart.  He has a Father's breaking heart.
He has a heart that hurts like mine.
For He remembers what He created.  He misses the happy faces of Eden.  He longs for the restoration of His perfect world.  He has a heart – much bigger than mine.  Filled with an unfathomable love that I doubt I'll ever fully understand.

Yes, He provided the ultimate cure for the aching, breaking heart.  (Thank goodness for that!)  But hearts are still broken while we live out our lives.

And sometimes, my achy breaky heart wonders:

God, where are You in all of this?    Let me tell you – HE. IS. RIGHT. HERE.  In the day-to-dayness, the confusion, the hurt, the isolation, the wondering "what did I do so wrong?"
Right next to me, through it all.  Closer to me than my next breath ~ as He is my next breath. I need not panic, get frustrated, get angry, for NONE of that is of Him. Yet, love, joy, peace, patience, kindess, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control (fruit of the Spirit ~ Gal. 5:23-24) are of Him. Mixed with a thankful heart!!

I honestly don't know how I could live a day of my life without the sure knowledge of His unchanging character and His constant Presence, His Peace and His grace.  As I've come to be addicted to grace!

Life is hard…and it hurts.        But God is bigger.         and for today I am learning & living ....

I am the light of the world.   Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness.
"And may you have the power to understand, as all God's people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep His love is.

May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully.  Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.

"Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think."  Ephesians 3:18-20

What is breaking your heart right now?  With the disastrous tornado yesterday in OK, I know that is in your hearts ... what else breaks your heart? What is causing you heartache?  How do you need to feel God's love?  Let's hum this song "Jesus loves me, this I know ~ for the Bible ______________!!"