|Me and my sister Renee, Christmas 1977-ish|
I’ve often had the thought. “Boy, if I knew then what I know now, then….” What would be different? What would change? We all have stages of life we have to go through, adolescence being the worse, in my opinion, but if I really DID know then what I know now, would I be more insecure? Or would I realize that what those other kids thought about me really didn’t matter?
A while back, I ran into a girl would not have given me 5 minutes of her time in high school, but we chatted in the aisle in Target like old friends. As a teenager, I never felt “good enough” to be her friend and here we were, discussing the woes of raising kids, jobs, and Just being grownups. It was nice to realize that some (though not all) people grow up.
So what WOULD I tell my younger self?
God is constant and never changing: Through the good times and the bad, My Father is with me and loves me so. Even though I may change, He will NEVER change.
Take care of yourself: I was not the super-skinny girl who could eat anything. I have struggled with weight issues for most of my life. If I had been told to take care of my body, I don’t think I would currently be re-learning health and nutrition.
Exercise can be fun: I have never been active but I am learning new and fun ways to get out there and have fun while exercising. PE was always the worst part of my day, especially when it was time for the Presidential Fitness Test. The thought of running that mile made me sick for days prior. But I’ve learned the importance of caring for HIS temple.
Friends will change: As a kid, I always thought my “inner circle” would be there every step of the way. It was just over 3 years ago that I was crying out to God that I was lonely. He since has given me a beautiful group of ladies that I can encourage and that encourage me and I am so thankful.
|Me and some FABULOUS ladies on a night out|
Of course, my younger self would never listen to me now. I am reminded of the scene in Back to the Future 2 when “old Biff” brings “young Biff” the Sports’ Almanac to start gambling and cheat his way to riches. Young Biff just saw him as a creepy old man. But I DO have an opportunity to teach these things to my children. It’s part of breaking that cycle. It is what will cause change in the lives of my children. This is how I began these 4 with them:
God is constant and never changing: Unfortunately, my kids saw firsthand, the heartbreak of loss and pain of tragic death in our family last year. However, it has also shown them the there is nothing to rely on but God Himself. He is our comfort and our Guide.
|My nephew Jacob, KIA 2010, Afghanistan|
Take care of yourself: This summer we began very simply with water between meals and 1 snack in the morning and 1 in the afternoon. It was not easy at first but now my kids ASK to drink water instead of sugar-filled juices.
Exercise can be fun: By example, my kids are seeing that. When I participate in a race, my husband brings them to see me cross the finish line. They see the crowd and hear people cheer one another on. They love being a part of it. My daughter has asked me if “one day” she can run a race with me. That just fills my heart! Also, they are both signed up for soccer. They cannot wait to put on those cleats and run up and down the field.
Friends will change: this on is harder and will probably take a lot of heartbreak, but even with school starting and being in different classes, they are learning this. But, as I have learned, I am teaching them that we, as a family will always be there for each other. God gives us the relationships we need for every stage of life.
So Father, help me to continue to teach them who You are and who they can be in You. Help me to reflect You in all I do as a mom.