Motivational Monday Moment – 10/31/16

Continuing with last week’s Motivational Monday Moment about love, I want to talk about love of self. As I was sitting there watching this beautiful couple get married, I realized how much self-love matters. How can you find true happiness if you don’t love yourself first? How can anyone make you happy if you don’t love you?

So, my Motivational Monday Moment is about self-love.  Self-love is described as

self-love (n)

the instinct by which one’s actions are directed to the promotion of one’s own welfare or well-being, especially an excessive regard for one’s own advantage.

Now, while the dictionary makes it sound like it may not be a good thing, let me tell you why I think it is advantageous for you to love yourself. Ready? Okay, who is going to love you more than you do on this Earth?

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Stay with me for a minute okay?

When we’re young we’re taught that we must be nice. We must be good people and that some people are mean and that we’re supposed to continue being nice and just love those people. Any of you heard that one? Love everyone. Love your neighbor as you would yourself.

But, when you get older you realize that is a piece of crap. How can you love someone that is mean to you? Want to know a secret?

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You can’t.

You can’t love someone who hates and despises you and you shouldn’t have too. This lie that we tell each other about loving people in spite of how they treat you is why we end up in narcissistic relationships with people that don’t wish us well. We accept the abuse believing that we’re supposed to keep taking it.

Umm, I’m here to tell you that it is not true.

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Let me explain something to you…Our God doesn’t love you in a narcissistic and demeaning way so why would you allow man to do that to you? When we realize and accept that God’s love is all powerful and encompassing and it anchors our spirit….we’re able to make better choices.

Like the choice of loving yourself more. Self-love or self-care means putting yourself first. You have to do what is best for you. What is healthy for you? Regardless of what anyone says you can’t allow toxic people or personalities to destroy the inner spirit of you. I know.

I’m learning.

Cutting someone out is hard. You think that you can’t do it. But, you know what? You can. You have to choose you over them. You have to do what is best for your sanity because like I said in the beginning…no one can love you better than you.

love-yourself

When you really and truly love yourself and realize your worth, you don’t continue to try and grow in desolate places and situations with people who are not on your level. You release your true spirit and began to put roots in healthy dirt. You start to trust yourself and love yourself.

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More importantly….you start to forgive yourself.

For what?

All the bad choices. All the bad things that you thought you had to endure out of a belief that if you didn’t you somehow weren’t a good person. And that is when the real stuff starts to happen.

You start to cry. Not sad tears. Cleansing tears. Happy tears.

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You start to smile. You start to see the beauty in the simple things.

You start to breathe. Inhaling and realizing that the air is not being stifled by those who wish to harm you. You start to love you.

Slowly at first. You’re scared. It’s tentative. But, you do. And you know what? It’s good.

So, go on and love yourself more. More than anyone. Love that person with all your might and know that only a healthy love of self can move you into what’s next.

 

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The New School – Part 3

This post is a continuation from yesterday’s post.

The next day as I was driving Munch to school he then tells me that his English Language Arts teacher no longer works there. They have a substitute for that class as well. What? Are you serious? I was livid! I just saw the dang teacher on Friday and she never said a word. No “This is my last damn day at this school”. Nothing.

Why didn’t they send a note home? Is it so dang hard to get a letter together? You have 3 secretaries. Heck, I could type it up. So, if you’re keeping count. Munch only has his original music teacher which he takes weekly, his PE teacher and his art teacher. His main two teachers who make up more than 2/3 of the grades are replaced with substitute teachers.

You know that I’m dying right?

I’m trying to be patient and I’m firing off emails and asking questions. My main issue is this is the mission of the school:

The mission is to provide a rich, challenging, rewarding instructional program based on literacy that will allow our students to become competent French speakers who are active, compassionate, and lifelong learners. We will uphold high expectations and accountability for ourselves and for our students. We will maintain positive and professional collaboration while maintaining open communication with parents and other stakeholders.

This is from the school handbook that they make every parent sign. The last sentence says “We will maintain positive and professional collaboration while maintaining open communication with parents and other stakeholders.” Umm, when Forrest? When will you maintain open communication?

I sent another email to the program coordinator to ask about why grades hadn’t been updated in English since 9/14 and the teacher is no longer at the school. Worse, he had an English report due that we’ve yet to see returned and no grade is entered. Are you serious? It’s been a month. They have to find a better way to communicate. This is their mission and at this point, they are failing themselves.

Jennifer from the blog Confident Parents – Confident Kids asked some questions about teacher’s in her post entitled “How Do You Feel About Your Child’s School”

I explained my situation to her and she was very encouraging. She suggested the following:

Wow! That’s tough on everyone it sounds like. So many teachers have left and a new administration. Everyone is dealing with a lot including that Program Coordinator. No wonder she’s not keeping up with grades with that many to enter. Great that you called her. At least you know what’s going on. Being short-staffed is super tough. And sounds like the drop by option is not an option. Since your hands are tied in so many ways, I would tend to focus on my son. Perhaps do a little extra practicing with him. Make it fun if you can.🙂 Trust your gut. If you think he might be struggling in a particular area, give him more support and practice with you. You’ll feel more empowered like you are able to do something and no matter what, the time with you and the extra practice can help him. It sounds like you are trying to be patient, stay positive and wait until the dust settles. That’s smart. Give the new administration a chance to address the issues. And get ready for your parent teacher conference next month so that you can use that time/meeting well. Here’s an article that attempts to help you make the most of your limited time in a parent-teacher conference. All the best to you! Know that all you are doing for consistency and your child’s development is helping and supporting him! Hoping things will improve over the coming month!

I told ya’ll that I love my blogging family right? I will take her suggestions and be patient. I’m also going to level set prior to the county wide parent/teacher conferences in a couple of weeks. I did learn that since grades aren’t being put in regularly as required by the board of education that I can protest any grade that I am not satisfied with.

Ah, you got to love justice right?

Check out Jennifer’s post for suggestions on parent/teacher conferences.

The New School – Part 2

This post is a continuation from yesterday’s post.

Friday comes and I am at Munch’s school volunteering all day because it is picture day. I find out by speaking with other parents who attended the meeting that their child’s teacher was also out and that there are 3 out of 4 first grade teachers on administrative leave and one third grade teacher….Munch’s teacher.

I was troubled by this because my son is at a new school and although they can’t do anything, nothing was sent home to parents. They stated that they sent letters home and the woman that I met with is the program coordinator for the school. She stated that they have a substitute teacher in his classroom now and she speaks fluent French and she believes the children will be fine.

She told me that letters were sent home. I asked her to explain how not one parent got the letter if it was sent home. She couldn’t. She informed me that she would resend the letter to me today and asked could I forward it to the parents in the classroom. I agreed to do this.

When the letter came it was dated October 11th. The day after I sent the email about the change and not receiving notification. Umm, strike one. Why didn’t you just admit that you dropped the ball and you would send something home immediately? They were playing games.

But, not trying to sound off and be aggressive and such, I politely thanked them and agreed to send. That same day Munch came home with another note detailing who the sub was and that they will test all the children to make sure that they are where they are supposed to be.

Now, I am not a patient person, but I’m trying to be because I understand that they are literally scrambling but dang it…can I get some sympathy? All of this is new to Munch and I and they are literally being inconsistent as hell with all these changes and he is just supposed to be cool with it? The only thing Munch said he liked at the school besides the principal and the music teacher was his main teacher.

I decided to relax and just keep encouraging Munch and inquiring about grades. Grades aren’t being inputted and the program coordinator has to input grades for 75 children because substitutes aren’t allowed to enter grades. This is in addition to her other duties. I get it. She’s swamped.

Does it change my opinion that they need to do what they need to do about my baby’s grades? Nope, but I’m trying to work on my patience. Literally, I am. That being said, while I’m praying to sweet baby Jesus for strength, patience and understanding with his school, I’m watching the on-line portal like a hawk to see when and if grades are updated.

My stalking the portal showed that Munch had earned a 50 on a math quiz. What the what? Really? Can you please send it home? How can I help him when I don’t know what the issue was? Well, the paper came home and it was in fact a zero. Yep a big fat 0.

Why did they give him a 50 instead of a 0 you may be asking? Because the County says that you can’t give children in grades kindergarten through third grade a 0. You have to give them partial credit. Yep, that’s bull, but I accepted it. What I didn’t accept was that it was a 4 question quiz and that boy got not one question right. Are you serious?

I had him redo the quiz and printed off some math homework for extra work. As I explained to him… your failure to apply any effort means no extras for you with electronics. It means that you will have extra math homework. It means that your free time will be spent studying and focusing on the areas where you seem to be struggling.

He’s mad, but he’ll live.

The New School

I’m going through it with Munch’s new school. I moved at the end of April to the northern part of the County. I drove back and forth to Munch’s old school and kept him in camp and swim lessons on the southern side of the County from April through August. I wanted to keep it consistent for him.

I anticipated this new change as being amazing because it was a Blue Ribbon School a couple of years ago. They know what to do. My son would be fine is what I kept convincing myself. He will go and meet new friends and have wonderful experiences. His teachers will be exceptional and engaging and I will be glad of the choice I made.

But, I’m not so sure now. I shared with you some of my frustrations in my prior post, but I haven’t updated you in a while. The school has a new principal and vice-principal this year. Both seem very nice and I’m sure they are qualified, but I feel like screaming sometimes.

Here’s what happened…I check grades every Monday because the County states that teacher’s have until 11:59 on a Sunday night to enter the grades. It so happened that I didn’t check grades for two weeks in a row. I didn’t check on 9/26 and 10/3. I logged into the on-line portal to review Munch’s grades and found out that no grades had been entered since 9/16.

I had some emails that were outstanding from his teacher that I was getting ready to follow-up on and then noticed that another woman’s name was under his teacher’s name. Now, Munch had mentioned that they had a substitute, but other than that nothing had come home. So, I reached out to the principal and vice principal about the change and received no response.

I sent an email to the parents in Munch’s classroom to ask them did something come home about the new teacher and they all said no. Later that afternoon some parents started to respond that they had heard rumors that he was on administrative leave along with three out of the four first grade teachers. What?

So, I sent an email to the woman whose name was listed in the portal regarding his grades and awaited a response. I was going to be volunteering at the school on Friday of the same week and I wanted to meet with her. That evening the County had a meeting at our school about the process they take when teachers are placed on Administrative Leave.

I was unable to attend the meeting and was told by the PTSA president that they would send out notes. I waited patiently and nothing came home. Three days later I sent the principal and vice principal another note saying that I had requested a meeting with two teachers and never heard back. I forwarded the emails and asked what is the expectation that I should get a response? The teachers responded within 10 minutes.

Now, let me back up and let you know that the school had announced last month at Back to School Night that it would no longer allow parents to just drop by and observe their child’s class or have lunch with their child. Parents were livid. I didn’t say anything because I tend to plan everything and unscheduled drop-ins aren’t my thing, but I felt the outrage. That being said I didn’t like the fact that you have that rule and teachers are allowed more than 2 business days to respond to a request for a meeting.

 

Stop Rushing Me

Can I just say that I don’t understand what the rush is? I had my therapy session a couple of weeks ago and had two good things come out of it that I need to work on, but one of the things that came up was my relationship with Mr. C. My therapist wanted to know a little bit about him. Not much. She said we’ll delve into that in future sessions.

But, the first thing I said was “He’s wonderful. He’s kind. He’s patient. He’s smart. He allows me to grow into this space feeling safe and secure and doesn’t push me to do anything.” She laughed. I told her that we’d discussed marriage, but that I had explained that I needed a couple more years of dating and being his girlfriend before I wanted to take that walk down the aisle again.

I began to explain all the points that I mentioned to my friends in the last month:

  • Even though I was separated over 3 years, the ink just dried on my divorce papers.
  • I’m enjoying being a girlfriend. The longest that I’ve ever been a girlfriend is 1 year. I need about 3 years.
  • There are definitely things you have to do when you’re a wife that you don’t have to do being a girlfriend. I’m not ready to do those things.
  • We’ve both done this before so we’re in no rush.
  • I have goals and things that I want to accomplish prior to taking that walk down the aisle again.
  • We are both seeking God and not man’s opinion on what He believes we should do in regards to our future.

Yep, I’ve had to say those things to well-meaning friends who think that I should just jump back in the married category. Um, no! I love the fact that my friends think so highly of marriage that they want to see me in it, but why are you rushing me? He and I don’t want anymore children so my biological clock isn’t ticking and we just want to enjoy this state. Our way. In our time.

My therapist said that it is biblical that we get married after two years. One year of courting and getting to know each other and one year to prepare for that wedding. I told her that was whack! I said that he and I are seeking God individually and collectively for confirmation on anything with our relationship and not relying on man’s interpretation to decide what’s best.

I’m exasperated. I’ve been married and now I’m divorced. Let me love the man that God has sent and just enjoy getting to know him. I’m not alone in this package. Munch is with me and so is Mr. C’s son. We, have to take the journey in our time. So, why the rush?

 

Motivational Monday Moment – 10/24/16

Today’s Motivational Monday Moment is to L-O-V-E. Yep, I just want you to love more. Love who? Love God, love you and others more.

I was inspired to write about love because I attended the wedding of my former supervisor’s daughter. It was in the mountains and 6 hours from my house. Munch and I got up early Saturday morning and I drove the 6 hours to the wedding. Thankfully, the hotel let us check-in a little early so I could get some rest.

We arrived to the wedding literally 5 minutes before the start because I got lost. It was at a beautiful estate and it was outside with nature serving as the backdrop. We took our seats and the wedding got underway. The bride looked amazing. The groom was debonair and love was definitely in the air.

As I sat there with my Galaxy S7 taking photos (in between the prayers of course) I began to reflect on love. God’s love for me, my love for Munch, my love for my family and my friends, my love of self and my love of Mr. C. I began to realize that none of it would have been possible had God not loved me.

Follow me with my Motivational Monday Moment okay? I promise I won’t keep you too long.

God’s love is what I want to talk about first.  You see, I spent my whole life believing that God didn’t love me. That because of my sexual abuse and my dad’s desertion that somehow I was unlovable. That if man couldn’t love me…how could God?

The devil was taking advantage of my mind when God started to protect it. He got a hold of my mind and started blocking the devil. He blocked my suicide, he blocked any unwanted pregnancies, he blocked any diseases. He blocked it. I just didn’t know it.

I was too into the world and going through hell that I couldn’t realize how God was holding me. That my sanity and soberness was because God was protecting me. But, when I started to realize that I serve a mighty God, things started happening.

I started to realize that God has not forgotten me. That even when the world around me seems as though it is falling apart, I serve a mighty God. I serve a God of second, third and many more chances. A God whose love is unconditional.

That realization changed who I was. I started to have a greater relationship with my heavenly father and myself. Love didn’t seem so foreign to me. Love was priceless and I was worthy of God’s love.

We all are.

I couldn’t experience anything greater if I tried than knowing God’s love. Sure, I make mistakes. I stumble on my Christian journey often. But, I’m thankful for grace and mercy and God’s continued love.

God was definitely in the mountains on that brisk evening this past Saturday. He was in the cold breeze that nipped at our nose, in the prayer that the Reverend said over the couple and in the twilight where the couple had their first dance. God was and is the foundation of all love.

 

 

How Do You Define a Good Woman?

Growing up, I’ve always known about the Proverbs woman. She was thought of as a mysterious and unattainable goal. She was without a doubt perfect. But, we mere women could never be perfect. Even with all our achievements and our humble hearts we could never really be a Proverbs woman right?

In my posts about dating and men this week I asked the question of what is a good man. I wanted to be able to define what I think are some key characteristics of good men. I asked my male friends on Facebook to define what a good man is to them. They did and I was challenged by another blogger, Davina over at Davina Lyons to do the same with women.

I did.

Crickets.

Women didn’t respond. Now, I don’t know if it was because they didn’t see the post appear in their timeline or the fact that they didn’t want to answer and face ridicule, but I thought that I would try to define for both men and women some key characteristics of a good woman.

Let’s start with the ideal woman by many standards. The Proverbs woman. The Bible defines what a good wife should be in the book of Proverbs. That is why we call it the Proverbs woman. For sake of time, I will just tell you that she is perfect. We, mere women are not perfect. But, I want to break down some of her characteristics for you.

Proverbs 31:10-12 (NRSV)

A capable wife who can find?

She is far more precious than jewels.

The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain.

She does him good, and not harm, all the days of her life.

Although the Proverbs woman is the wife, we are going to look at dating as a process of finding a wife to marry. So, in essence the woman that you are dating should have some key characteristics. She should be someone that you could see yourself marrying.

In the passage above she is defined as capable. Capable would be that she is skilled and competent. Let’s apply these in modern terms. She should have a job. Whether her job is to take care of the children or the home or go to work she is by all means capable to do something to make a man’s life easier. She is his partner.

“She is far more precious than jewels.” That means that her worth is more than jewels. The Hope Diamond, Bugatti or Warren Buffett’s billions can’t touch her. She is precious. How do you treat precious items? You take care of them.

“The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain.” In layman terms she is never out here scheming on her husband. She is not unfaithful. She is loyal in deeds and actions so he has no reason to doubt that she is true and honest.

“She does him good, and not harm, all the days of her life.” You see that huh? She’s not spiteful or malicious. She loves her husband and does him good all her life. How many of us get mad and take it out (whether fairly or not) on our spouses? It’s hard. Our tongues can be wicked.

The Proverbs woman is described in much more detail as someone who makes her own clothes, rises when it is dark to take care of the house, etc. She’s pretty amazing. But, if you know that you’re not the Proverbs woman but a good woman then you should definitely have some of these characteristics:

  • Loves God
  • Faithful 
  • Supportive
  • Follows her husband (i.e. submits because he’s being led by God)
  • Knows her worth
  • Takes care of herself (physically, mentally, spiritually and financially)
  • Is his help mate

So, there you have it. The details/characteristics of a good woman. This is by all means not an inclusive list. There are many more things to add. We all can’t be the “Proverbs woman” which seems impossible because she is exceptional, but being a good woman means knowing your worth and bringing more than a big booty and a smile to the table.