The Best Part of Your Life Awaits You

Here’s a beautiful post from my friend Karen Delchamps! It is such an inspirational piece that I just couldn’t just keep it to myself. By the way, I’ve read her book Reinholder to Rainmaker. It’s an awesome book and I’m so glad I have my copy! Enjoy!

karendelchamps

Karen10Your best life awaits.  Don’t be fooled, it is not obtained by “finding God or being born again.”  It is not acquired by the average person changing his ways to a higher level of religious behaviors by which he now adheres to a new format of practices such as attending church every Sunday or praying before each meal.  In fact, not even the closest of family members, a best friend, or spouse would notice any visible changes or variations in the daily routine.  It is not gained by discontinuing certain behaviors or actions like smoking, consuming alcohol, or even using drugs.  The misconception that a person must change his ways is nonsensical rubbish perpetuated centuries ago by the churchgoers to separate themselves from the “barbarians.” There are no physical requirements. This new metaphysical and spiritual start must begin with the present state of who you are.  The journey begins only…

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Failure to Launch

 

Failure to launch…..an interesting phrase. But more than interesting, it is a serious real life occurrence that is happening more often than some may realize. First of all, you may be wondering what this phrase means? Maybe you’ve never heard of it before now. You can glean from the words that something has failed to take off. Yes, failure to launch is when our 20 something young adults still live at home with seemingly no plans to leave. This incidence seems to happen predominantly with males. Now, this could be for any number of reasons. Do you think that maybe young females are more independent and yearn to be on their own more than their male counterparts? Maybe so, maybe not. Could it be that in the instances where a young male has failed to move on and go out and find out what life is all about, is because he often comes from a single-parent female head of household? Would you agree that the lack of male influence and guidance has left him with little or nothing to go on in terms of what he should be seeking in life for himself as a young man? This may sound like a cop-out and in some ways it may be. But couldn’t these young males look at their single parent mother(s) as an example of all that she has accomplished by herself? Wouldn’t that seemingly be enough inspiration for them to take the bull by the horns and seize life? Evidently not in some instances. This scenario is very much alive and well. But why?

It would be easy to just say that some young males today are lacking in ambition and are not motivated by much of anything. The main form of stimuli for many of these males comes in the form of a video game system where they can be found any time of day glued to the screen as if they were hypnotized. You might be wondering how I know all this? Well, I happen to have a failure to launch situation of my very own! Yes….I live this every day. I have one son, age 23 and as the years go by(more and more quickly), he seems to dig his heels in deeper. It seems there is really no plan to explore life on his own any time soon. Without going into a whole lot of detail, I will say that the reason for this is the result of a combination of things.

I too am a single mother. You mothers out there know as well as I do that as women, we can only teach our ‘sons’ so much. We can teach them how to be respectful men, but we can’t teach them how to be men. A thin line to walk.  Almost so thin, it’s non-existent! Aside from all the wonderful technology that has been bestowed on society, I will admit that I have unintentionally contributed to the failure to launch issue in my home. I have often stepped in and solved a problem simply because I would not only make sure it got done, but timely. It seemed so much easier to just do whatever it was myself rather than go through the hassle of getting my son to produce results. I found myself to be very lenient when a stricter adherence to rules would have made all the difference in the world. I guess you could say, I more or less created a bit of a monster. Would you move out if everything was at your beck and call? Would you be anxious to go out into the world if it meant suddenly becoming responsible for everything? I may have raised a somewhat spoiled and entitled child, but I didn’t raise a fool. Why would anyone rock the boat who had it so good? Would you blame him?

I remember the times when my parents would encourage me and my siblings to go outside and play. We naturally triggered our imaginations as a result of always being outside in nature. My parents’ main request was that we had to be back in the house before the streetlights came on. As kids, we had a certain desire and curiosity about the good old outdoors, and bugs and the like. Television was limited and we couldn’t stay up until all hours of the night. We lived in a much more structured way of life than what many children experience today, including that which my son experienced in earlier years.We didn’t seem to have outrageous expectations and for the most part, were very satisfied with what we had.  It’s a different animal today that parents have to contend with. Technology has firmly planted the young minds of our children right where they stand; constantly enticing them to remain focused on some technological advance as opposed to some good old fashioned thinking.

So, how do parents solve this problem of failing to launch? A good starting point might be to begin reinforcing confidence and providing the proper tools to our young people in hopes of inspiring them to handle problematic situations on their own instead of waiting to be bailed out. The  cycle has to be broken at some point. The constant feelings of accomplishment will no doubt build and before you know it, you’ll be witnessing a successful launch instead of a failed attempt.  If you have a 20 something young adult still living at home, there’s a 50/50 chance you may experience this. What will you do?

My mother – The Unknown Comic

Everyone has a mother. It would be nice to think that everyone loves their mother. Maybe you have a mother only you could love. Would it be safe to say that nothing or no one can replace your mother’s love? Fortunately, I can say that wholeheartedly. My mother has always been a constant and rock-hard presence in my life. She has fought for me as a child, when I knew nothing of fighting. She came to my school when I was harassed almost every day by the same boy during my 5th year of high school. I remember coming home upset, sometimes in tears, complaining about this ‘same’ boy that continuously bothered me. My mother never hesitated;she would show up at the school promptly as if she were reporting to work. She would in no uncertain terms, let the principal know that there would be problems if she had to keep coming down to the school. I wish now that I could rewind to those times and watch it play out again. I’m sure my mother had the principal and staff in stitches. Especially with what I now know about her natural sense of humor!

I recall a time in my life as a grade school student, the Halloween season was in full affect. The children could wear costumes,bring treats, and their parents were invited as well. My mother showed up that afternoon dressed in attire that was a combination of a hobo and a farmer! I know….can you even imagine?! I just remember being mortified and just staring at my mother as if she had two heads! If I could have run away and denied even knowing who she was, I’m sure I would have. But I was embarrassed, not crazy! At the end of the day I survived, but I think I stayed on guard after that…never quite knowing what to expect from my blossoming comedic mother.

I’ve come to notice over the years, that she just seems to get funnier. And she doesn’t even try to be funny – it just seems to happen.  My mother was recently ill, so I took her to the ’emergency’ room. As soon as it dawned on her that she would be waited on hand and foot, she quickly dug in and got very comfortable with the idea. Please understand, this is not to take away anything from the fact that my mother was ill. She was and gave us all quite a scare. But by the same token, I’m sure the staff were tickled to tears by her, but were happy to say goodbye when the time came!

My mother lives outside of the city;what some consider the country. I live in the city, but have been staying with her while she recovers from her illness. Honestly, there have been a few times where I could have pulled my hair out from the roots…and I love my hair. My mother is not the easiest person to live with, not to mention her current ‘under the weather’ state of being.

I had been on a phone call with one of my sisters. My mother always gets a little jealous concerning our interaction. Still trying to figure that one out but hey, that will probably be another post!(smile)  I was on the phone with my sister, and my mother interrupted the conversation numerous times to say the darndest things that could have waited until the call ended. When that didn’t work, she even went as far as to crouch over as if she was struggling; in the most dramatic fashion. It took every bit of self-control I had to continue my conversation without allowing her to interrupt as was her plan. I had to fight back the strongest urge to burst into hysterical, teary-eyed laughter, but I maintained!

She had a follow-up doctor’s appointment yesterday of which I accompanied her to. She had began making little complaints before we even left the house. She was getting around fine, so I started the car and waited for her to lock the front door to the house and get in. I heard her ever so lightly mumble under her breath that I didn’t even help her get in the car. I just started praying on the spot for God to give me the strength to get through the errands without my head popping off my shoulders. I took the deepest of  breaths as she got in the car and sat in the passenger seat.

When we arrived at her doctor’s office building, she exited the car with her cane (that she doesn’t need mind you) and proceeds to try and cross over to the building by way of the grass and bumpy landscape. I suggested she use the sidewalk to avoid falling, but of course she insisted on doing things her way. There was a small flight of stairs once we entered the building. Now here I am, about to assist her up the stairs after being almost ‘torn a new one’ from not assisting her to the car in the first place. She walked up those stairs with such speed that I almost fell down in shock. I had to quicken my step just to keep up with her. All this, after moping around the house at the exaggerated speed of a snail. My mother the comedic actress! We got to the check-in window and of course, everyone there was familiar with her. They all greeted her at the same time by her first name. You know, kind of like on the sitcom Cheers whenever ‘Norm’ would enter and they would all say, “Norm” together in unison. I was thinking, “where am I?” They were reacting to her like they were her fans and she was of course loving it! I was merely a bystander.

I accompanied my mother to the exam room to help fill in any blanks she might leave out when speaking with her doctor. Her doctor asked if my mother was depressed. My mother thought that was a silly question and pretty much said as much. I, being in the role of bystander as far as my mother was concerned, knew the doctor was on point in asking her if she was depressed. She had been wearing the most ‘woe is me’ expression and demeanor. Why wouldn’t she be asked that?! And out of all the discussion that went on at this appointment, my mom’s main concern was whether or not she could eat ice cream! Okay…that was it! And this appointment was only the 1st of many stops that we had to make on this journey! As you can see, we made it through! I tell you…if my mother weren’t so downright funny, this would definitely be a different kind of post! Gotta love her…and I do!

 

 

Desperate Decisions….Desperate Measures

 

It seems everyday we are bombarded with stories from the media that put us in the prime position to pass judgement. Even without all the facts. This hardly seems fair, right? Maybe, maybe not. But to err is human and evidently, so is passing judgement. It’s probably one of the single-most common things many of us can agree that we do on a daily basis, even though it may not be intentional.

So, this news story splashes across the t.v. this morning as I’m rushing around trying to make my quick morning exit to begin my day. This story was about a mother who made a crucial and what could be a life-changing decision that will her affect not only her own life, but her two children as well for years to come.

In lieu of a job interview, this woman left her 6 month old and 2 year old children in her car with the windows barely cracked open while she was inside of a building being interviewed for a job! Fortunately the children were discovered in time before anything seriously happened to them but both children appeared to be under distress and were sweating profusely. According to authorities, the inside of the car had reached a temperature of over 100 degrees!

Now, when I first heard this, I immediately felt for the safety of the children of course. Then as the story sunk in further, I started to ponder the decision of the mother. Only someone who was at her desperate wit’s end would make a decision such as this! What would drive a mother to put her children at risk? The compassionate mother side of me couldn’t help but think that this woman had to think she didn’t have any other choice. Her decision came out of a need to provide for herself and her children. Maybe she felt that the interview would not take long and that the children would be totally safe within the confines of her car. The thought of the hot temperatures may never have occurred to her. You can rest assured that it occurs to her now.

Surprisingly, people have really come to her defense and have even started a monetary fund for her that has already reached well over $110,000.00! I must say that human nature never ceases to amaze me! As quick as some people were to judge and desire this woman’s head on a chopping block, there were those that were there to tip the scales, and overwhelmingly so!

Sadly, this mother may be facing jail time as a result of her desperate decision(s) and even more, her desperate measures. Out of all this and for what it’s worth, you can’t help but wonder…..after risking virtually everything…..minus all the media attention…. would she have gotten the job?

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