Mom’s Place

How do I parent an adult child? I am sure some would comment, you don’t. The child is an adult, making adult choices and decisions and does not need their mother meddling in their business. Correct!

Still, I am my child’s mother and always will be. Does that mean I can step in and control? Nope! Once their foot stepped out to leave for college, I knew my parenting was on the sideline. Mom was not there to pick up the dirty laundry, although that was brought back home when visiting but I enjoyed one last chance of them needing me. Plus, I like doing laundry. College is over, years now in their professions and doing well. A proud mom. Although, I feel less and less needed of not helping out by hanging curtains, painting, landscaping, cleaning, etc. I miss those times together as we worked together, so I must have taught them well.

To be honest, I have to fight the thoughts that they don’t want to be with me anymore and even worse, they don’t need me. Those thoughts, fears and the tears are just that, nothing more. I can choose to dwell there or know their life is busy, they enjoy my company, don’t need me as much and most importantly, I know they love me.

Letting go and the choices, decisions, their finances and places they chose was on them to deal with, good or bad. The friendships made, also some good and some bad. In time, they also would learn who was using them or were true friends. The late nights out or the studying never complete was on them. When they left for college, my saying to them was if you play, you will still have to pay, in one way or another. Thankfully, and proud mom moment, they both were always on the Dean’s List. My thinking with the play and pay was more in tuition, knowing they would regret.

It was over the years, my youngest has had to pay in other ways. Thankfully, he is independent, has too much trust in others and has a kind heart. He is a lot like me and I am unsure if that is good or bad. Do I say I am sorry or you are welcome?

I have seen my youngest pushed down time and time again being used and taken advantage of but still he bounces back up. The last few years, the bounce has been slower and depression set in. Several of his friends committed suicide, three in one year, that’s traumatic. Some of the choices he made were not wise but he has to deal with them and he has done just that, probably more than I know. Again, just like me, you deal with it. It will be years later when some of the stories come out and my system is not shocked as much. I am just now hearing about high school and some of the college stories, which I normally look at them and say, ‘You are grounded,’ and then we laugh. I do remember being young.

Letting Go of Worry

As their mother, I want to jump in and do this or that but my jumping in to help has to be minimal, more and more. They both need to figure life out on their own, responsibility and experience the bumps and bruises as they come, if so. I have always made sure they know I am here though.

I know that they know of such, especially my youngest again, because at 3:00 AM one morning, about a year ago, he calls in desperation and my heart dropped. He knew I would pray and he also knew I would stay on the phone until a peace was present. It was that time when he had a perfect opportunity to call upon the Lord, just him in an empty parking lot looking up at the sky filled with stars and his eyes filled with tears. As I mentioned this to him, he had a choice and perhaps he did but now he is running from what was said and promised to the Lord. I don’t know the outcome of those alone moments before he called or after we hung up but one day I will. I know I had to trust God like never before to hold him close and watch over him, being about four hours from home. I had to make a decision to get on the road and head toward West Virginia or stay, pray and trust the Lord. My bag was packed and I was on my way though.

Just to know, he made it back to his home fine, checking in with me. I truly believe after he drove down to work that afternoon and when work was over, he had a panic attack. He had time for it to settle and realized his life was spared from a horrific accident. Listening to him explain the car wreck on the highway and as he was trying to avoid her, by going in the other lane, he looks in the rear view mirror seeing a semi coming right at him. Saying he was able to keep control and move back over before being hit. The mind just imaging this play out, I was having a panic within but those prayers of protection over my child(ren) will always be prayed. He could not get the girl’s face of fear out of his mind, worrying if she lived or died. It all hit him, as it would any of us.

Not knowing how he was touched spiritually in that parking lot, I do remember being young and running from the Lord. I knew better but I did not want to serve the Lord. We all have had moments, I am sure. In my own situation, I had no peace or real joy and miserable until I totally surrendered my life of living for the Lord, as a Christian. I feel that is where he is now. He is miserable. He has a choice to make. He knows his mom prays and has told him time and time again that there is a calling upon his life. Satan will fight even more. As his mom, I will pray even more. Satan will not have my son, or my other son (and daughter-in-law). They all know of God, saved when young but not serving Him.

I have to trust, too, that being raised in a Christian home, attending a Christian school and us praying together, they know and I stand upon that God’s Word will not come back void. Their father and I dedicated their lives to the Lord and I expect nothing less.

My prayers for both of them were that the Lord would place Christians in their pathway to light the way with direction and be a witness, if just in their personal walk with the Lord. I know they would talk more freely with another than their mom, which I totally understand, I was the same.

My oldest, as he was first to leave the nest, I prayed for him to be friends with others of Christian backgrounds and that they would be influenced in that manner. His group of friends from start to finish in college are all still good friends today, in each other’s weddings. Now, the children are being born, but I also see them involved in church. This son, of course, is not like my other and needs to be treated differently. Lord, put Christians in his pathway to bring him to where he needs to be in his walk. I have watched this and it is exciting. Not exactly where I want him and his wife yet, involved in a church, but I’m patient. So is God. It is no accident that their house is right across the street of a large church. I now just pray that the right one will come, knock on their door and invite them to attend and go from there.

My prayer for my children and even myself, is to put Christians in our pathway of life to help us and to lead us in the right direction. We all need this, God’s Timing of the right place and the right person/people to bring us to where we need to be in life. Trust Him.

My youngest, my prayers for him is for safety, clarity of thought and mind, wisdom and as I see depression linger, that I bind the works of the enemy upon him. This one stretches my faith but I will stretch in order to see him saved and serving the Lord. He has a testimony and a way about him to help so many around him. His experiences in life will open doors to speak of what not to do. To share of how he got through this or that and what he learned in the middle of circumstances and of acquaintances that used him. It was not always others that caused the problems but he made some unwise decisions. Still, he came out on top. I feel the Lord has favor upon him. All I know to do and to be right now is BE STILL and know that I can trust God with my son, which is His son also.

Letting Go of Giving Advice

Having these boys increased my faith in God. I finally understood what love was all about with them being born and I cannot imagine life without them, how boring. A truly blessed mom here.

So, as they age and so do I, for some reason I long for their company which seems to be less and less as they have their own life. As they left for college, the empty-nest grief, I felt, but I sense it somewhat now, too. I don’t know where I fit in within their lives. My oldest being married, they have one another. My youngest will one day marry but he is alone. Perhaps it just me thinking he is alone, he’s probably just very busy in life. I miss our time together, I miss hanging the curtains, helping him with his out-of-control dirty laundry. He has it together. It’s his mother that is lost in an age of uncertainty. Sometimes wondering, ‘Am I Your Mother?’ Of course, I am and I always will be as my love and prayers will always be alive, even when I die. I certainly hope that they never had to or will ever have to question if they were loved.

Letting Go of Guilt-Tripping

The article attached is really good. I found it as I have pondered this parenting thing for a bit. Maybe it will help you or someone you know that struggles being a parent to adult children.

LOVE 💗 HUGS 💗 PRAYERS

Letting Go and the Art of Parenting Adult Children

One More, Gone

I found myself the other day feeling the loss of many in my life, but not in death basically, but out of reach. Our relationship will never be the same and our paths may never cross again.

Honestly, I have had to fight through the anger when this has happened. Anger with the Lord. Why? Why are you removing them from my life. I feel so alone. I miss them. I don’t do well with change and feeling abandoned tops the chart in my emotions. Lord, why is this happening as I am alone already?

Through the last few years, more losses but now I try my best to grasp that even though another leaves, the Lord is still with me. It is that knowing deep within that He will never leave nor forsake me. I know that but I am human, too. Loss is hard. I miss them even before they are gone.

Saying goodbye to another just this week, due to his family moving to Arizona, a loss. Odds are I will never see or speak to him again. Our paths crossed. I’m thankful. This happens all the time and I am sure with you, one moves, one retires, one is sick, etc., but they all accumulate to where a sadness develops, as you miss them and the relationship.

The other day, thinking over all of those that I have lost, just in the last five years, I was sad and selfish and wanted to have a poor me, pitiful pity party. I did not do so but I felt it coming. To remind myself, I was blessed to have them in my life for the period that I did was truly a blessing. I hope that I blessed their life in some way.

As I write this, I thought about my former counselor and her last note to me about being a stepping stone in my life. While I understood that from her, I was devastated our time was done too soon, as we just talked about having one more year in counseling together. I was angry with her and reading those words she wrote and even angry with the Lord. I was not done, my dependency on her was still needed, I thought and of our plans. We were making so much progress. Just the visual of a stepping stone and her writing that to me, I wanted to pick that stone up and smash it into smithereens. No matter, it was over and done. I’m just a closed file in her filing cabinet.

As for being angry with the Lord, it is okay and it is okay to scream that you are angry, you may even hate Him at that moment, as He let you down, too. He knows it anyway. Actually, it’s freeing to do just that, scream. Go ahead.

I have had to wonder nowadays if I hear from another person in my life, calling or telling me of whatever is happening in their life and of their situation, and they will be leaving me, too. Am I putting up a wall to avoid such hurt or am I just accepting the fact that nothing or nobody is permanent in my life. Perhaps reluctant to be friends because they might leave. Is this reality or a cold-hearted feeling I have anymore. Dealing with abandonment in my life, this really knocks me off kilter. Please don’t leave me! A part of me is that I understand, and I really do. There is also a part that throws a temper tantrum, fine go ahead and leave me. The sensible, understanding adult and the anxious, fearful child fighting within.

Thankfully, in time I get it together as change and loss is hard. Even through the dark, lonely and emotional stages it all brings, I know I am not alone. Even though I was angry with the Lord, I know He loves me still and I Him. I can share my broken heart yet again but yet again be reminded, He is right here with me.

Like the sweet church song we sing, ‘I don’t know about tomorrow but I know who holds my hand.’ In life we are faced with many losses and situations we don’t know which way to turn, our steps are unsteady, our faith is wavering and we finally throw up a white flag, surrendering our need and call upon the Lord.

In those midnight hours or when you or I feel so alone, people have left our lives and no hope in sight, there is One that we can call out to and He hears our cry and sees our tears while collecting them. How sweet and caring is that?

So I have learned through my losses, I am sad and tears will flow while grief is present. I am not to build a wall to not be hurt again, as I will be, but to accept and wish them well on their journey. Hopefully, I was a stepping stone in their life as they were in mine.

A loss is great but the Love of God is even greater!

May you feel His Love all around you in whatever you might be facing or going through. You are going ‘through’ so have hope because He knows your name, He knows where you are right now, and He knows where you are going. Be Blessed

Eating Emotions

This year, 2020, has been the pits. It started out great and then, just like that, March erupted into chaos and confusion and being confined to the point of craziness over the months. People not knowing what was right or even who to believe. Basically, the year ends the same.

The new normal will never feel normal as we hide behind our masks and avoid those we love for fear of killing them or dying ourselves. The hugs missed are to the point of withdrawal symptoms when we reach out and quickly retract our arms in fear.

Nowadays, anything we hear negative is no surprise. We shrug our shoulders and say, ‘It’s 2020.’ So many have received bad results of their health, job losses, even deaths, etc. Probably nothing new to you either. We just live day to day and hope for the best of the tomorrow and just maybe some laughter will be present. Make the most of each day and hope at times, a moment of normalcy returns that we once knew.

In my own little world, I have managed quite well, shockingly enough. My former counselor would be proud. Panic early on but I learned to build upon my faith and keep as calm as possible. We will get through this. I pulled out every trick in my bag to remain at peace. Then, the past two months, I have found myself snacking a little more than usual. The tide of it all has taken a turn. The sadness within is becoming more evident, not just in me but in all of the eyes peeping over the blue medical masks or those that have cute designs. Who would have thought that we would be accessorizing our wardrobe with facial masks.

As I ponder what I am experiencing, feeling overwhelmed with my own medical decisions, concerned over loved ones of how they are coping since our visits are few, perhaps they are not sharing so that I won’t be concerned, and vice versa. So many are caring for others compromised due to health reasons and in fact, cancer. This is the case of my sister and brother-in-law. I may never see my sister again if this virus is not contained. I may never see my other siblings or other friends and family members. I have lost two friends, just this week. This is down right grief. If I am feeling this, you are also perhaps.

To visit, many are doing so by text or if comfortable, FaceTime or other technology outlets with the holidays. Although nice, still it is not the same as a warm greeting in a hug or to sit next to and talk and laugh, sharing stories and drinking coffee. I miss these moments.

What does the new year bring? Is it a continuation of what we just had and adapting or will there be a glimmer of hope that seeps through the night and makes our days somewhat better and brighter? Hopefully, not worse. There are hurting people all around us, not just in their finances. The holidays season can tip the scale for some and only God’s Grace will be what intervenes. Oh God, keep your Hand upon those that are feeling no hope now or for the new year, I pray.

In my past when I was falling into a hole of depression due to my marriage that I always wanted but was not, I escaped within myself. I snacked my way through year after year, stuffing my emotions so deep that I became a soul of existence only. Walking and barely breathing, just enough to work and keep the home with my children moving forward. They had no mother really and I regret those days, I failed them in many ways. In that though, I lived for them and pushed through my pain. I did my best. All of my energy went to them. The lonely midnight hours, for many years, I could easily escape in a bag of chips or better yet, cookies or whatever carbohydrate-filled foods to fill the empty void in my life, but never filled.

Since those days, thankfully I have changed. I knew back in 2008, as I started with small steps to dig myself out of the pit of despair. It was at a point in the spring of 2014 that I gave it one last-ditch effort as I walked through my former counselor’s door months later. Many of my blogs will relate to this period. I was near death’s door and that was from her telling me the same. Hearing her say that to me after many months or even a year working together, it helped me move forward and take care of myself. My weight gradually came down from 2010 when I had weight loss surgery, as I had to do something. It was just a tool but I had to continually work toward results, as I still do. Again, slow steps and at times, I’d take two steps forward and one back. Knowing those chips and cookies can bring all the pounds right back, quicker than lost.

The reason I write this blog, is to remind myself that with everything around us and what I am facing in my own health, marriage, etc., my mind and it is my inclination to grab those chips and cookies to escape the emotional chaos within.

Perhaps others are experiencing the same. Life can be hard and the stress and anxiety is overwhelming at times, and not to forget, this year. Acknowledging and being responsible enough to control the urge to gobble down the wrong foods, need to be made.

As I look around those I pass, not in a judgment way but glancing at their eyes, many have that hopeless look and the obesity is proof. My heart breaks as I understand the pain because I have been there and still I struggle. In knowing this, too, heavy-weight people are looked at differently but if truth be told, there is probably a lot of hurt and stuffed emotions inside.

Many learn to camouflage, I for one, the extra weight under jackets perhaps and pop on the fake mask, not the mandatory mask, that everything is just fine and dandy. Sadness and worry exists. The mandatory face masks we all wear now, actually help in addition to the fake one. Double protection, knowing you cannot see the full face as there may not be a smile and actually the masks collect the warm, falling tears quicker so you don’t see those either. No matter, the eyes tell all to those that really care. Look around when you are out and about at the eyes of those you pass while social distancing, most are sad or think and feel what’s the use to smile because it cannot be seen. The masks have silenced our voices.

I do try to resist the stuffing of my feelings and emotions with foods that are not healthy, as I feel at times, like a person on drugs in withdrawal. That cookie will calm my fear I feel. Right? No, it won’t. I know to cry out to the Lord, as I remind myself and say, Lord I need you. You know my name, You know where I am. Sadly, it is still easier to grab that cookie even though I know better. It’s an easy and a familiar path I used for years, I don’t want to feel. Perhaps also feeling as though the Lord does not work fast enough or even hear me but that cookie will help me NOW. We have a choice, I have a choice to bypass the urge to ignore what is causing the issues or acknowledge and deal with what is causing discomfort within.

STOP! What am I feeling? Is it anxiousness? Am I fearful? What about anger?

Notice: What am I telling myself? What emotions are exhibited? How is my body reacting, including my breathing and even my posture? My bodily sensations, such as tense, nauseous, pain, whatever. What is happening? The ‘Notice’ was given to me on a post-it note, of what to recognize by my former counselor on our last, unexpected session. It is with me all the time, written in many places so that I can go back and focus, in what is going on with me. It does make me stop. What a gift she gave me in a small piece of paper that has helped me through the years. It’s being mindful, and that is taking care of ourselves.

I fail at times, many times. I also know that I need to give myself grace and start yet again to do what is best for my emotional and mental health, also my physical health. Let’s not forget the spiritual health we also need, very important. I can do this! You can do this!

Do you find yourself struggling?

https://freshhope.ca/2018/02/21/problem-stuffing-emotions/

https://www.thejourney.com/blog/how-to-stop-stuffing-your-emotions-with-food/

https://sunshynegray.com/do-you-stuff-your-feelings/

Stuffing our feelings is packing hurt feelings down only to have them resurface later as they go unresolved. We stuff because of the fear that’s rooted in our desire to avoid pain. Avoiding the pain of vulnerability results in missed opportunities for deeper intimacy and connection. Stop stuffing and start speaking the truth in love.”

https://www.mindful.org/7-qualities-mindfulness-trained-body-scan/

We may even gently make mental notes of the most prominent sensations that we notice. For example we may note the presence of “tingling,” “pulsing,” “throbbing,” “heat,” “cold,” “aching,” or “tightness.” We can notice these sensations without judging them as “bad” or trying to push them away.”