How To Fix Your Marriage

Two Steps to Fix Your Marriage

Marriage faces so many different bumps along the way. Some poeple’s are mounds, or hills, while others have to climb through valleys, and overcome mountains. Here’s two easy ways that show you by maintaining self awareness it can help save your marriage.

The faculty of a person that enables them to be self aware of themselves, and others is known as, the mind. You have to be completely conscious at all times and present with yourself to constantly be looking inward. To fully understand what is going on with you. In Re|Engage we focus on ourselves, we draw circles around ourselves and focus on ways to work on our struggles, emotions, and problem areas so we can better serve our spouse. Believe me, it’s not so easy at first, every week I have to remind myself to do just that. I literally have to draw that circle around myself to remind myself what I need to be doing. That alone has helped so much with stopping  little bickering before it has even started. The one thing that we are constantly reminding ourselves with is that “I’m my own marital problem.” It may sound silly, especially if your spouse is lying and cheating. but it’s a helpful reminder to focus on your actions and to see if you’re coming from a place of love. if you’re ready to fix your marriage then take two  steps, just two, that will help you allow your marriage to move freely, and openly. Are you ready to start?

Focusing on yourself by following two easy steps:

1. Be Honest. I think we all have problems being honest with ourselves. Sometimes it can be scary to look inward and see just who you’ve become. Especially if who we are is someone stuck on the bathroom floor, feeding our own addictions. In hard and dark times, it’s very hard to look inward and to hold ourselves accountable for our own actions. I know from experience it just seems so much easier to find a reason to blame it on other people. To hang on to the anger, pride, walk around with hatred, and even hold on to guilt or even fear. The best thing is that Fear is a Liar! Don’t let it destroy you! Overcome the fear and rise above it because life is waiting for you. They always say, you’re the only one holding yourself back. If you are a timid person or the opposite spectrum carrying around anger because of fear listen to Fear is a Liar, by .

We have nothing to be afraid of: God is there for you. There’s is freedom found when we lay our lies down at the cross. We can be who we are meant to be once we let go of all that baggage. Don’t waste your life holding on to all that that shame and darkness when your already been freed. Your freedom is just waiting for YOU!!

2. Self Awareness. Be honest with yourself as well. Combat the fear of being honest, don’t blame the people around. Being aware allows you to be authentic with people, allows real relationships to happen and allow God to move in the real vulnerability of the raw friendships that you have. How can u be real if you don’t know your self? Honestly, repeat that question, how can you be real if you don’t even know your self? Besides being self aware allows you to be your own driver of your own life, not a victim of your past.

Start It, Commit to it, Succeed in it!

Ashly Williams

How to Have a Successful Marriage When Times Get Tough

Steps for Wives and Husbands:

My husband and I go to weekly marriage to get tools we need to fight for our marriage. Atfirst, I thought it was going to be something good for us because of our recent struggles, but honestly it doesn’t matter what phase of marriage you are at, every married couple should go through something to get you closer together. If you so happen to have a Christ -Centered program available, GO! If you are struggling like we were, close to divorce, dealing with addictions, GO!

I’ve mentioned before at Re|Engage we discuss how to focus on ourselves vs. our spouse. We have to face the notion that we are all broken. Now if you understand that you yourself are broken, and so is your spouse and you want to love them anyway, be there for them despite their problems, then take these 2 Easy Steps to Help you Become a Great Spouse. Despite the fact that you are still filled with hurt, and pain, you can move forward. Now if you don’t want to, just remember they love you despite all your struggles, moods and unpleasant sides. They love you and are not you’re enemy. Someone far greater is the enemy. If you decide you are still willing to support your spouse then here are acronyms for each one of you to help the other spouse through their battles, struggles, and addictions. Now if the roles need to be changed depending on  who is currently struggling then do so, but these two acronyms are ways to just show you how to be there for one another.

Men – You are the leaders of your own home, so use LEAD to guide you to lead over your marriage.

L– Let go and let God – Build a team for accountability. Men tend to keep everything bottled up. We all know this, they’re told to be tough, they need to be strong. But in hard times no matter what we need the help of others. Especially if you are the one struggling with addiction, cheating, or lying. Men, need to learn they can’t control everything, can’t fix everything, and can’t do it alone. Reach for God, let him take control. Place it at his feet even if it is just to take the weight off your shoulders.

E– Engage your helpers. Enlist them to be there, call upon them. Only you know when you need help, so don’t be afraid to ask.

A– Accept counsel even when they suggest to do the hard things. When you hear what you don’t want to be told, the last thing you want to do is listen, but just try and remember they are removed from the situation so they are coming from a perspective of love, and truth. Take the words they say, and atleast try it out and see what happens. In the end, it could be the best advice you ever received, and you won’t know unless you try. Doesn’t your marriage deserve the effort?

D– Don’t settle! Ever!! God has something better for your marriage and more for your life. When u better yourself, spears around you reap those benefits WOW!! Amazing! Can you imagine, by fixing myself and constantly drawing that circle around myself, focusing on what I need to change, changes my relationships with my wife, my children, and my friends. My whole life! That can be you! Reach for progression not perfection- perfection is unattainable- again strive for progression and that will take yourself + marriage out of the rut.

Women – Extend grace, hurt is natural, the feelings will always need time to heal, like everything else, but to extend grace to your husband will fill them with love and comfort, and show them you are their partner not their enemy. They will want to come to you even when they know they bear bad news. It’s okay to have those feelings and emotions I’m not here to tell you not to feel. But now you have the chance to respond to those previous actions and emotions in a loving way and in a helpful way. Therefore, use HELP to allow you to be that helpful companion vs an argumentative and cold partner. When your husband needs you especially when he’s at his weakest because he’s struggling with something, this can help you help him.

H- Hang onto God. Woman we must accept that perfection is unattainable so we need to strive for progression not perfection. We also need to keep in mind that progress doesn’t mean that conflict doesn’t exist. It’s the time of the fight and argument that changes when you have the tools to work through them. Things get better and fights become fair. So trust in God, hang onto him, and let him lead you in your marriage.

E– Enlist others. The same for Men applies to woman.

L– love with grace + Truth. In everything you do love with grace and truth. It also important to set yourself up with friends and the community who are like this too. Yes the friends who you can call upon immediately to vent to, the runs that always talk you down and are on your side is great. But they speak with emotions first. So when your telling them all your problems of course they’re going to take your side. In the hard times you need someone who is willing to tell you the truth that you need to hear. The truth that will align you back to where u want to be. You need to have friends that align with your beliefs it’s crucial!

P– Promote Christ in Him calling out goodness!! Tell him he’s worthy, praise him for his actions. Build him up. It sucks to say, but your husbands are like children, if you’re not there to build them up, then they will seek it other places. I hope these two acronyms will help you if you’re currently trying to overcome battles in your own marriage. Marriage is hard, living with someone else’s mood swings, life stages, and their challenges is a lot of work. But I believe that God sends you your spouse for a reason. You’re meant for one another. He wants your marriage to be full of great things. If you’re not struggling with major issues and you just need help getting through your marriage day to day these will help you too. These will help you to focus on what matters through all the crazy chaos in life- that’s your spouse. They are not the enemy. They are mostly good, so give your marriage the effort it deserves. Put in the work. I hope this motivates you to atleast try to take steps to build up your marriage. I also hope you learn a lot about yourself so you won’t put the whole burden of making your marriage work on your spouse. If you need prayers or help with any of this or want more info on Re|Engage feel free to reach me.

Start It, Commit to it, Succeed in it!

Ashly Williams

Motherhood is the Best Hood

Defining Motherhood

M O M • M o t h e r • M o m m y – A person who gives birth, or cares and protects another being as if you gave birth to them. Mom is such a strong word to us mothers but when you look it up the word sounds so basic. It means to give birth OR anyone who can love and care for others in a motherly way.

As I continue to celebrate this amazing weekend full of love and gift showering, and lots of sweets, I was slapped in the face with this Webster reality. I was angry when I read it. That was it. That’s how motherhood is defined? Then I realized that’s not motherhood, that’s simply how the word mom is defined. So what’s motherhood?

Now before, I go on let me explain where My aha moment came from. Here I was yesterday, mad, feeling selfish and proud thinking my husband didn’t praise me enough as a mother during this special weekend. After all it’s one weekend a year, and I deserved it. Especially after everything I do. Then, an amazing gift was received from my husband. I felt so bad the rest of the evening for being bratty and acting the way I did all day long. I had literally secluded myself from my family because I was feeling the way I did and just pretty much pouted as I laid down in bed. I told him at first i just wanted rest because that’s what I wanted to do since it was my weekend. That was really just the self justification I told myself so I could get away with my stand-offish mood. I wasn’t fooling anyone though, not myself, not him and def not God. I felt so bad about my feelings after I opened my gift that I had to spill everything out and share my pride with my husband. As amazing as he is he shrugged it off and simply said, “Well, it is your weekend, and I didn’t even notice what you’re talking about.” Wink wink.

Then, I woke up this morning to a studio that was put together, my gift in a large box, was a photo studio with 18 backdrops, two light boxes, umbrellas, and light diffusers. I mean I’ve always wanted all this stuff but never thought I’d own it all. And in one day, it was here and up. I had no idea he was getting this for me and it means the world to me, considering I obviously love taking pictures. I mean with cute kids like mine how can you not. He put a lot of thought in this gift and got me something he knew would enhance my mommy and me moments.

As I stared in awe, thinking that I didn’t deserve this gift, that I have messed up so much. Lost control so many times, that there’s been days I treat everyone in the house with the bare minimum amount of love I have to give just to get us through the day. I was reminded of Gods love, how undeserving we are yet he loves us anyway. Like my husband does I and me him. My love for my children is the same way. They can do wrong. Never. I will always love them.

But that’s coming from a mom who has not gone through teenage years with them yet. I’m human and I’m aware that there will be those feelings of disappointment, anger, and plain fed upness with them. So, then is my motherhood still valid by that unconditional love that I speak of. For in tough times and hard moments that unconditional love could be and will be tested. So, now I ask, is it really that simple, to say a person can be a mom because they gave birth and have that instant feeling of conditional Ooops sorry I mean unconditional love.

This doesn’t sound right to me. I’m human and yes I love my children unconditionally, but there will be moments of weakness. I’m not perfect. So I sit here and ask again, What then defines me as a mother?

I’ve thought very long and hard about this. My motherhood isn’t defined by my husband- he thinks I’m the best mommy ever. It isn’t even defined by my own opinions of how good or how bad I think I’ve messed up. It isn’t defined by Webster either, and it sure in hell isn’t defined by how other mothers see me. I’ve realized one thing defines motherhood for me. One thing that makes a person into a “mother”- and that’s the effort put into leading a child to be people capable of navigating the inevitable bumps of living in this world.

Not raising a child. Grandparents, friends, aunts and uncles can raise your child for you. Just simply “raising” your child is half the battle. Yes. You work hard to feed them and clothe them and to put a roof over their head. Yes, your child never goes without. Well done! I mean it, because in this world that’s hard to do. What I’m saying though is if life is hard for you, then use it. Use it to lead them with grace and a strength that only you can show them. It will prepare them in their life ahead. We try to shelter our kids from pain and hardships because we care, but they need to learn how to manage through those times too and preferably before they ever leave your house.

I was fed, I was clothed, and for almost all of my life, I had a roof over my head. My mother did her best at that. Then I moved to my dads at 15 to be away from my mom. My step mother and father then did their best at raising me and I have them to thank for trying to lead me towards God. I left home two days after graduation and moved into a city with no knowledge on really how to live a life beyond everyday needs and wants. I didn’t know how to balance life, deal with stress, or how to remain strong in hard times. I did however know how to work hard.

In the last 13 years since I’ve graduated, I’ve had so many woman come into my life and give me love and care as a mother would. I’m beyond grateful, even if it was only in a moment, and not a lifetime. I’ve been beyond privileged to have woman pour into me in a way that saved me from myself, from temptation and from harm. I’ve had woman accept me, challenge me, and lead me. I don’t know where or who I would be without them. Yet, I have never called these woman mom but they did commit to influence and lead me in some way or another. Which brings me back to my aha moment.

As I threw my fit thinking I needed praise, because I am a MOM, because I have the title, that I deserve praise, but let’s just face it, we all just want the praise. ‘Motherhood’ is hard, dirty, slimy, and tests us, but we aren’t promised the praise nor do we really deserve it. We all love the praise of course, in the good times we love motherhood and we try to make it through the hard ones, so this one day a year is a nice reminder for everyone in our family to praise us for our efforts. We deserve it! Ya!!!!

In no shape or form am I trying to discount our motherly efforts we all put in day in and day out. I just think though that I’m hit with the reality of pride that I have gained from that word as a title. I carry this entitlement that is not justified.

It may have to do with the fact that at 21 I was a mother for 8 months and then it all was gone. Ripped from my hands. So when I was 23 and my second son came I was relieved that I could be “called” that again. I earned it back. However, that doesn’t justify or give meaning to motherhood. Giving birth to two more beautiful babies afterwards doesn’t somehow give me extra brownie points over other moms either. Spending 7!years covered in puke, poo, and drool doesn’t define motherhood either. All these moments add value to motherhood but does not define it. Before today motherhood to me meant swimming in the poo with a smile. It meant giving my best in this chaotic day to day life we are living meanwhile providing for my children.

Today however I’m hit with a different view. Swimming in poo only lasts for a few years. The stay at home mom eventually is left alone? At some point we will all be empty nesters. So then what? Again, what defines you as a mother? Me as a mother?

Disclaimer—Some, well many, may disagree with me. You may not like what I’m saying. But the harsh reality in my world, is that my mother is not part of who I became. She did not build me up, she did not give me tools, and she did not lead me. Ever. Now don’t bash her, because she was and has always been a woman who worked hard for us. At many points in her life she worked two jobs so we could survive. Yet, there is no significant moment where she helped me in managing through this journey we call life. Now does that mean she’s not my mom, no. It can’t take that away. However, now I know she and a whole lot of people will get offended by this, but the harsh reality is, that she was never present in her journey of motherhood. She was present in her own journey of life. Trying to make ends meet was her main focus.

I’m not here to make you angry. I’m not here to make a million friends either, I started this blog as a place to challenge you to be a better you. So as I share my moment of clarity, or to some my misconstrued opinions, I hope in some way I’m able to make you think outside your own walls of understanding that it will compel you to at least try. For in the end that’s all we can do.

Heck I’m trying now, I will have a many days that I fall short, but like Dr. Laura Markham said in Peaceful Parenting, it’s fine, we just have to take ONE ACTION AT A TIME. If you’re like me don’t focus to much on the things we’ve done wrong. Don’t focus on how we’ve messed up or how we have too many days living in choas to even try. Each day is a new day, and I want to always do my best at this journey called Motherhood. “No matter how many times I go 2 steps forward, and one step back, it still gets my family onto a more positive path + closer to a new landscape.” as said by Dr. Markham. That’s. Relief for me. I know we can’t be perfect, I know there will be difficult days so those set backs don’t mean much in the grande scheme of things.

My eye will stay focused on the never ending goal, to always serve them in a way that helps them grow. That’s the mother I’m called to be. The one that never stayed stagnant or didn’t try. I want to lead my children down a path of positivity and through an overall well balanced life. For that’s the best gift a mother can give. That’s a gift many mothers can, should, and need to give.

So as I focus on MY O W N commitment and the priority to help my babies with self – regulation, connection, and respect so they can manage in a world of turmoil, and hardships. I challenge you to raise up motherhood. Make motherhood more! More then a simple, “Whew- we made it through that.” Make your job of motherhood the most important job you have. Because in the end, you’re raising humans, and not just any humans, but our future generation. Please don’t burden them with your anger, hatred, or victimization, for they did nothing wrong. I ask that you as a mother, take a look in the mirror and ask yourself can you be better? Even if you only see a hair thin chance of room to grow in you, do it! Show your children how to manage life. Show them emotional intelligence. Give them the gift of understanding how to live life physically, morally, and mentally aware.

Motherhood isn’t about refereeing their daily actions, that just puts you in a Godly position. Instead, strive to be their coach, their confidant, and their counselor. Lead them.

I don’t know about you other moms, but as I listen to that word tomorrow in all the happy celebrations my perspective will be forever changed. As my kids yell my name in all the joyful, excited, sad, angry, proud and hard times, I will remember what that word means. I will remember my motherly duty to them- to take every moment and use it in a way to help them be better.

Now to you mom- remain strong in the hard days, stay strong in the midst of chaos, through the tiredness, you can do it!! For you were called by God to be a mother to those sweet babies of yours. So repeat it to yourself, write it down, you are strong! You are strong enough!

She is strong- Proverbs 31:12

I Did Not Lose My Son, He Died.

Having a Miscarriage at 16 Weeks

Yesterday was one month since our sweet Atticus Jaxon passed. The beginning of the year of course had started out like most, well kind of. I was actually very sick with the flu. Yet, I had scheduled post to publish, pics to share, and ideas a brewing about starting out the year with the right mindset, I had wedding anniversary post scheduled to write about all the little details of our wedding. Especially since the pictures and videos came in finally which I had been waiting for what seemed like forever. Instead life threw a curve ball. A huge one- that sent me down a path I never even could have imagined.

I sort of walked around telling myself I did my dues in this life already, and that I have been down my paths of torment and struggles. I literally thought what else would God need from me. I am no one of that much importance or someone who has made that much of an impact. I didn’t think God would want me to speak about all my grief and sorrows all over again. Especially after having three healthy kids in a row with just a simple glance being made in my direction. Seriously, no effort was needed, yet I know people today who struggle to still have their first baby. I never could imagine that I would become a part of this whole other community.

I have known and witnessed many people who have had miscarriages before and I remember thinking how sad, I can’t even imagine, but I will admit, because I lost my first son at 8 and half months I thought losing a child once they were in your arms and time spent with them was worse. How wrong I was.

At 16 weeks pregnant my water broke and I spent three horrible days of traumatic events that we will never be able to forget. I will spare all those details for they have passed. However what still lingers, is the obvious – dealing with all the emotions, sadness, confusion, fear, and grief. I guess I could just simply say, healing is what is left. There are all the same feelings; anger, pain, feeling that life stole something that was supposed to be yours, pity, shame, doubt, and depression. All the feelings that you feel when your child passes no matter how old they are, are all there.

We didn’t get to know Atticus, we will never know the sounds he would have made, the smile he would give, or the smirk if he was anything like his father. The temper he may or may not have gotten, or if he would have been a genius like both his parents. However we know what it was like to hold him…for one night, for as long as we wanted, before we never could hug, coddle, and kiss on him again. We rocked with him out of habit, knowing it wasn’t doing anything but we just wanted to share some moments with him before he was no longer with us. We stared at him wondering what color his eyes were and were fascinated how he looked so much like his siblings. He was a cutie! Although we never shared “life” with him, we will always ache and mourn over his death. I honestly almost feel as if miscarriages are worse only because you never felt their warm breath, literally every little moment that should have been yall’s to share, has become an unknown moment for you. Our lives will always be wrapped up in the unknown somehow, someway.

People say I’m sorry for your loss, but it’s not a loss. I didn’t lose my baby. He died. In my womb! We didn’t walk away without looking at him never knowing anything, I didn’t wake up with him just miraculously gone. I delivered my still born child and we spent time with an angel. There is no “loss”. What we lost was the time that we could have spent with him. That my friends, will never be able to be recovered from.

I always wonder what my first born, Valek would be up to now if he was still with us, he would be in 3rd or 4th grade hopefully doing what every little boy should be doing. Would he still need wires, or would he have a life without them? Would he have recovered from his traumatic injuries and we all could have witnessed a miracle or would he be a vegetable like they predicted? There will always be unknowns with him, I remember when his fifth birthday came and thinking about how he would be learning to tie his shoes and ride bikes. I know 100% all the same thoughts and unknowns will be there with Atticus as well. However, I knew Valek’s sounds, and sweet smiles, and witnessed his bravery. I knew who he was, and he knew me!!! Miscarriage is so hard because every moment is something you never had with your child.

At Atticus’ burial we met our minister, we talked and prayed before we went out and buried him as a family. In that moment God showed up to do his good works. The minister began to share his story with us; just two months earlier his oldest daughter had a miscarriage at 21 weeks. I thought he simply started out sharing because he wanted us to know we weren’t alone but then he continued to tell us about how he called her that morning and checked up on her to see how she was. Her response, “Dad, I lost my baby, he’s as real as you and I. I need to stop thinking I’m supposed to get over it easier than I would anyone else I knew but the reality of it is, my baby is gone. So now, I have to learn to live with that reality.”

For her and I it was a reality moment, I shared with him about my previous son passing away, and that for the past two and half weeks I’ve had every same thought and pain as I did with Valek’s passing. Nothing was different. It did not matter how long you held your angel, or how long you knew them, the cut still was just as deep as before. In that moment we all found comfort in the midst of pain. That minister stayed with our family all the way until we left the site and even helped us bury our son. God had his hands on all of us that day.

And Our son was buried by our own hands by his own family, that day.

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I feel compelled to explain- Joshua has always buried his loved ones and he has taught us all the importance of spending the time to do that. The respect and honor it gives to the deceased is beautiful to me. At first I was taken back by it, but to see the sweat and hard work it takes to cover a grave breaks my heart in a way I never knew it could. Yet, at the same time watching my husband and kids cover our son, was admirable. To see the minister stay, to pray with us in the end, and to remind us of Gods promise, made the worst day ever into quite a beautiful service.

IMG_2630The one constant thing that has hit me after this is the reality that not only am I reminded that nothing is for certain, and I am owed nothing, but all of this brings me down to my knees where I belong, and back to my center. That I am less than God therefore I need him. No matter what, all the time!

Another thing God has shown me, is no ones story means more than others. Shame me for thinking differently. Honestly! Who was I to think so wrongfully. I’m sorry for that, to all I didn’t comfort in those times because I was too prideful thinking your pain didn’t compare to mine. I think people like me, don’t know how to face miscarriages because of the mere fact it was someone you didn’t spend life with. I’m here to tell you, It does not matter! I knew you experienced loss, pain, and sorrow, I just measured my first sons death as if it was more because of his life he lived. Again, it does not matter! I have learned for it’s not the life you live, it’s the impact of your life you’ve lived that matters! I saw Valek bless so many people with his life. One month ago, I experienced a little boy, who never took a breath, change people in the hospital, I saw him impact everyone at the burial service, and I have experienced change because of him, for in his death he already left a legacy behind for the goodness of God!

I can only pray in my death I can accomplish the same as both my boys in heaven did.

Lastly, I may be the only person to say this who’s experienced “baby loss” as they call it. But I highly recommend we stop using that term. I know it cushions the blow, but I feel as if it’s too soft, as if it’s easily to turn away from, to not face it with that term. So as far as I go, please stop saying you’re sorry for me losing my baby, he’s not lost…time was lost….he on the other hand is in heaven.

 

A Gentleman’s Suit

Today marks one month that I have been married!!!! I can’t believe it!!! To think it felt like just yesterday I was running around doing all the last minute planning and picking up all the groomsmen, and my dad’s suits. Speaking of suits, one of those suits was a little five year old ring bearer’s suit.

I never could have imagined a suit holding so much power. Now, as a parent I should have known better, but as a little boys mother, it shouldn’t have come as such a shock to me. After all the kid has an armoire full of “different suits” that make him be anything he wants for the day!! I’ve raised an astronaut, a robot, a fireman, an army ranger, a doctor, a police officer, countless super heroes and have even had to feed my very own burglar while he was in jail. The boys imagination has always ran wild and has always fascinated me. The sounds alone a little boy can make at the age of 2 astonishes me. It’s like they take some hidden class for that at some point!!

In raising a little boy, you try to enhance their imagination, it’s food for their soul, and their little brains. All the meanwhile, trying to make sure that your raising a little gentleman with manners, respect, honesty, compassion, bravery, and back bone to stand up for what he believes in. This literally keeps me up at night sometimes when we experience a day of time outs , fits, and “Mommy, you make me sad!” moments. I worry am I doing the right things, am I too hard on him, should I try something different, should I have taken more/less away from him?

However on our big day, every worry, every fear of what kind of man my son is going to be, every doubt of selflessness, or kindness that he may not show or give…were all gone.

It’s all in the power of a suit, the moment a little boy took his astronaut pajamas off, and put on a mans suit, and became a gentleman. It was a moment I realized, I no longer have a little boy, but a little gentleman.

It all started off when it was time to get ready. I showed him his suit that he has been waiting for for three weeks. He had been asking about it ever since we went for his fittings. He was excited to pick it up, he was overjoyed I think that it was time! He said he wanted to put it all on himself, I asked politely, “well can I just help you?” His response, “I’ve got this Mom”. I watched the boy for ten minutes try to figure out his shirt cuff buttons, looking back at me one time. He tried and tried! Finally he said, “Mom, can you help me please? But with just one button okay?! So that way I can watch you and do the other one.” I laughed inside, smiled at him, and responded, “I’d love to help you, but honey there’s only one button to use.” I went into further explanation of the two cuff buttons per sleeve, did his second sleeve, and continued to his shirt buttons only to get a, “NO MOM! I can do these!!!”

I’ve got this Mom- Ayden

I watched him with pure adoration. It was a beautiful sight to see on a beautiful day. He went on to put his bow tie on by himself and his coat jacket, not tucking his shirt in but it was okay with me. I was proud of all he did. Now to the final touches, his shoes! He couldn’t wait to wear those because he knew they matched daddy’s! He was so handsome! He got dressed and went straight down stairs to line up.

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When we went down the isle, apparently little sister saw too many peeps and froze up, he was a gentleman then, and patiently tried to motivate and coach his little sister in continuing the mission. I missed the whole show because I was waiting with my daddy for my turn. When I finally got down there, the moment I reached the spot where we all rehearsed to be, Ayden says to me, ” Mom, I walked down the isle!! Is there anything else you need me to do?” My son, a five year old, asking me if there’s anything else he can do for me during our ceremony!!! 😩❤❤😂😂 Joshua and I exchanged looks and we both knew we were so proud of him in that moment.

He stood there the whole time, not playing with leaves, sticks, or making noise. Just holding his sign and my ring. He was not going to mess up his duties in any way. Not even when his sister tried to give him a leaf to play with. That’s devotion!! I’ve never seen this kid pass up a rock, stick, or leaf.

Then he just continued being a little gentleman, he did great during photos, always smiled, never complained. When it was finally time to eat, one of my bridesmaids set him up at the end of the table where all the guys were sitting. I look over at him and he grabs his napkin, flops or open, folds it in half, and lays it in his lap like we sometimes practice at home! Son my heart was full of proudness, love, emotion. I called out to him asking if he wanted to sit next to mommy and daddy and he said, “I’m fine down here Mom.” Never asked for anything while he ate, ate all his food, and just remained being this little gentleman that I could not stop watching.

Don’t get me wrong, it was all beautiful, and the day was filled with many beautiful moments. This one however was something that could only make any parent proud. To top it off a pregnant bride who wanted to cry. He was def one of my top five favorite things of the day. I never knew a suit could hold so much power, for it was literally the moment he put it on, he became this person that eased my soul. That calmed my fears. For it was on that day, I knew my little boy was going to have good character, show others he had a kind heart, show selflessness, respect, and above all that he was already Mommy’s little gentleman.

Seek Knowledge

Photo Cred: Lysander Yuen

I absolutely love to read! I can remember always loving it, always wanting a book in my hand at a very early age. They say it’s a girl thing, but I’ve met many people with books from the list below that they have cherished and mentioned have impacted their lives in a beneficial way.

I love old school books. WHAT BOOKS!?!

I know right, why read books, when we have audiobooks, phones, and nooks? I actually love everything about the whole hands on reading process. I love turning the pages, the feel of anticipation to get to the next page. The sound the pages make as you turn them, the smell of a fresh book, and the good old motivational bookmarks. One of my recent bosses actually told me once, that he read this study. This study is one I can’t recall verbatim, but I remember him saying that it had mentioned we are losing the chemical relationship our brains have with books due to cell phones. The brain retains more information as you physically turn pages, and touch the book. Now, it’s as if we are skimming books because reading them on the phone is just a swiping motion and we tend to hurry through the words vs retain them. Just something else to keep in mind as you are reading something you want to remember for a latter date.

Back to my reading habits- I have to write all over my books. I write notes in the margin, I highlight, I underline, I write keywords that remind me of other points from other books to tie things together for me, I even write the main points on the title page of each chapter so I can go back and briefly review. Call me a nerd, or I guess I would qualify as a book worm, but I like to believe that I am constantly growing, and seeking knowledge so I can remain mentally awake. I never want to stop learning.

Right now on my night stand I literally have 6 books, other than my bible, that I have been reading here and there through, for about 6 months. I have read already and we have chose to reread together, Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman, a book to help remind us that we are speak different love languages therefore need to be conscious of it so we can properly give one another the love we each desire. Five Love Languages of Children by Gary Chapman, obviously the same as before but for children, each child needs love in their own ways. The Power of a Positive Mom by Karol Ladd, is a christian motivational book that helps me to try to be better everyday and to remain as calm as possible when raising three kids and things go wrong to still see the positive in things and be that positive role model for them. 31 Prayers for my Future Husband by Jennifer and Aaron Smith, is a devotional for my hubster and he reads the 30 Prayers for my Future Wife, With just 17 days away from our wedding date it’s a great read to keep our minds, hearts, and intentions for one another in the right place, to focus on building that foundation set on God, and nothing else. Lastly, a book Joshua laughs at because he says why do I read it when I have the bible but Believe by Randy Frazee, a book that helps with living out a life in a story that resembles Jesus. All these books are spiritual at the moment, and none are for business or leadership, however it’s what I need to get better in at the moment. The list below however  are books that have impacted me in a way that has stuck throughout my life. So to all my fellow knowledge seekers, book worms, business men/ women, philosophers, all the way to students. I’ve compiled a list of books that I absolutely love that have helped me throughout my  journey, I hope they help you in your mental growth.

Remember sharpen your ax, strive to stay open-minded, it makes things easier. Seek knowledge and see where it takes you. Part of balance is sometimes taking a step back, reanalyzing a situation, belief, or notion, and getting a new perspective so you can come out a better person.

Top 5 List to remain Mentally Awake:

JohnCMaxwell
The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership by John C Maxwell
Outliers
Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell

 

LoveandRespect
Love and Respect by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs
Thesevenspirituallawsofsuccess
The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success by Deepak Chopra
Blink
Blink by Malcolm Gladwell

 

I hope you take time to read one of these books on this list. Even if it is an audible, do it, rethink your way, reanalyze the way you do things, see if they are working. If they’re not read up on it, get ideas, add on to your life to help make things better. You have one life to live, so live it well, make it easy, and make it fun.

~Start it, Commit it, Succeed!

ATEAM MOM