Monthly Archives: July 2017

Be the Change…

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There are a few Christian songs that hit me, most unexpectedly, whenever I hear them included in a mass. One song, “Mighty to Save” is probably the one that evokes the most emotion from me, for some unknown reason. So Saturday night, as the congregation around me, began to sing this wonderful proclamation of love and faith, I found myself fighting-with my eyes, to keep the water, contained therein, from falling down my cheeks…

Well, everyone needs compassion
A love that’s never failing
But let mercy fall on me
Well everyone needs forgiveness
The kindness of a Savior
The hope of nations

My Savior
He can move the mountains
My God is Mighty to save
He is Mighty to save
Forever
Author of salvation
He rose and conquered the grave
Jesus conquered the grave

So take me as You find me
All my fears and failures
And fill my life again
I give my life to follow
Everything I believe in
And now I surrender
(I surrender)…

You see over that past week, my doll participated in the Yes Project, a non profit, faith in action event, which is only open to a limited number of high school students  throughout the area (she was blessed to have been chosen). Packed into the three day event, their primary goal and purpose was to “serve the people of Northwest Ohio, no matter what religious background they come from. A secondary goal is to foster the change in the hearts and minds of young people through their encounters with people in need and situations that they may have never seen. 

          So, as I sat there in the church, hearing the lyrics, “Well everyone needs compassion…” I began to fight back the urge to cry. Just watching  as she entered the church, I could see from her demeanor, she had experienced something profound and I eagerly waited to hear all about her three days of hard work, service and new found friendships.
 
          Following the mass and a brief slide show recounting the projects completed afterwards, our doll approached her parents and gave her father a great big hug and then me, before we retrieved her overnight gear from the main gym. As she handed me her gear, she stopped, walked over to another group of girls and gave out more hugs. Then I watched as she gave her cell number to another girl, before coming back to me. “Sorry mom,” She said, taking back some of her gear. “No worries doll,” I replied, happy she had made such good friends in so short a time. “Are you interested in doing this again next year?” I asked. “Yes, and I’m bringing my cousins too!” She said emphatically.
          Later, after she’d been home for a while, she opened up about her experiences, talking a mile a minute about all the people she’d met and encountered, the appreciative behavior from those who received their help, along with the realization of how poor some people really are. “Mom are you aware there are some adults who can’t read? We worked at a housing development sponsored by the Catholic diocese, where they offer GED classes. I thought all adults knew how to read. It’s really sad that they can’t.” She said. “I also wasn’t aware of how much gang activity there is in our city…” She lamented after recalling a story about a family gunned down, simply because the husband and wife came from different gang affiliations.
           “How does this make you feel?” I asked. She thought for a moment and then said, “I am so blessed. I mean, I already knew I was, but, now I know because I’ve seen what hardships really looks like,” She said, then added, “This experience has given me an entirely new and different perspective on the world. I’m so thankful for having had this experience and I can’t wait until next year,” she added with a smile.
 
          As the evening drew to a close, she asked me to pull up a song/video on YouTube, by the Christian singer Britt Nichole called “Be The Change”.  “This was our theme song all week and I’m going to try and carry this theme with me from here on out,” She said. “Great!” I thought as the song played, “Now I’ll have another song to entice my eyes to leak”.
          Thank you YES Project! We are so very proud of our doll and her growth through service and being the change in other’s lives.
                PS. Sunday night she told me, a junior crew leader, during affirmations; called her a “silent leader”–in that if she saw something or someone in need of help, she just took charge and helped out–without asking if this is what she should do. How did that make you feel?” I asked and she laughed, “That’s just who I am…” She replied and I smiled. “Not a bad trait to have,” I offered and she modestly nodded. Meanwhile, though invisible to her, but emphatic to myself, I vigorously  nodded my head in agreement.
YES “VERY PROUD” indeed.

 

I hate you… i love you

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There are always two sides to love and hate. Love evolves from trust and beauty, hate from anger, fear and despair. Even when someone says they “Hate” you, is that really the truth? On average, I try never to say “hate”, because that reveals more about me, than my dislike of some person. Instead I’ll use terms like “loath”, or “extremely dislike”. Sometimes however, the word “Hate” can be used simply as a means to gain someones attention.

Imagine receiving and email from your son which reads, “I think I hate you…” How would you respond? In addition to “Hating” me, he also added that since I don’t take the time to listen to him, I must listen  effectively hate him in return. I replied with an email saying, “You sell me too short, but we need to talk…so let’s set up a time this evening to talk”.

We met on our front stoop and sat down to talk. My husband, who was not invited to participate nevertheless, sat just inside the house, waiting for a chance to offer input when the boy voiced his displeasure with me. “You don’t even recognize me for being in the room…” His first salvo began. “How can I miss you?” I replied. “I’m not talking about my size mom, you never listen to what I say-you simply tone me out,” he returned. “Are you prepared to enter college right now?” I asked. “What?” He replied. “Because in two short months, you’ll be entering your college alone-without your father or I standing behind you, ready to catch you if you fall. Are you ready for this?” “I don’t see what this has to do with you ignoring me,” He replied. “Think about this bay, I won’t be there…you won’t have anyone with you to make you stand on your own two feet and get shit done. Are you ready for this?” “You’re not making sense… you don’t understand what I’m saying to you. Half the time you act like I’m not even here, except when you yell at me about getting a job…” he tried again.

“Have you found a job?” I asked knowing the answer. “No, but that’s not what this meeting is about…” He returned. “Hell if it isn’t. Tell me why you haven’t actively looked for a job? I mean seriously, how do you plan to pay for books?” I asked. “Don’t you think I wonder that too?” He said, acting as if the money fairy was going to appear and take care of everything. “Then where’s the job bay?” “Mom, stop lecturing me and listen to what I have to say…” He said angrily. “Okay…speak your mind…” I said and there was a long pregnant pause.

“I had a script written in my head earlier, but now, I can’t seem to find the right words to explain how angry I am with you,” He began. “When we were on vacation, there were several times you cut me off, when I was speaking. You treated me as an invisible person, never allowed me to voice an opinion…” He tried again. Once he concluded his father jumped in and said, “But hey, you weren’t interested in doing anything we wanted to do. Every time we went out, you decided to stay home…you separated from us, and now your mad at your mother for treating you the way you treated us?”

He thought for a moment and drew in a heavy sigh. “Bay, why haven’t you actively searched for a job this summer?”  I asked and he finally spilled the beans, “Because I don’t want to…” “Yep, just as I suspected. Are you going to get out of your own way at school?” I asked. “Considering I generally like school, I don’t see why you’re worried about that…” He said. “Considering you don’t want to get a job to help pay for books and general needs at school, considering you are required to find a job to cover your work study loan, will you get out of your own way and do so? Will you be able to find this job without me pushing or harping on your back? Will you be able to find a job on your own?” I asked.

Finally, I hope, he understood where I was coming from. “I’d like to think I will…” He said. “For your sake, you’re going to have to grow up a lot in the next two months and become responsible. We don’t want this to be a one and done year at Muskingum. We’d like you to have a wonderful experience at school…but you have to make this happen on your own…” His father explained.

****

Since the conversation, the boy has told me he loves me every time he sees me–even when he’s upset with me; which is great. But as his mom, I still worry about his future three and a half hours from home school.  But I am happy to report he has begun to take more responsibility for his future–he’s taken driver’s ed and with luck will have his license before leaving for school. In addition, last week he opened a checking account and deposited his graduation money, which incidentally, will pay for his first semester of books.  Yes, he’s making strides into adulthood. 

But, during our conversation he asked me to stop including him in my Mean Mommy’s blogs saying, ” I don’t like meeting friends of yours who know me (through your blogs), but I don’t know them”. Trying to salvage his inclusion I argued,  “They don’t know you, they only know my interpretation of you–that’s different,” which didn’t add much to his dislike of the situation. Considering he’s eighteen, I agreed to his request.

So, while the boy is away at school…he will only be written about in passing. The doll however, has made no such claims to me so for now, she’s fair game.

However, he hasn’t left yet…