Mother’s Day!

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Happy Sunday! It’s Mother’s Day! It was a beautiful sunny drive to and from St. George’s this morning, but it’s raining here now, in Cobourg.  Oh well, after I managed to kill the dandelions in the front yard (and the grass around them!), we need some rain to help fix the grass!

I mixed up a recipe for the dandelion killing (vinegar, epsom salts and Dawn detergent) and it did work well. But as I said, it also killed the grass too.  Fortunately, I sprayed the dandelions directly and didn’t go crazy and spray everything.  We’ll see if I can get the grass to grow back where I killed it and get it growing enough to overcome the weeds.  I can hope!

Well, as we know, it’s Mother’s Day! Our minister today tiptoed around it carefully. He does have a point. Everyone has a mother, but not all remember their mothers fondly. Some children were given up at birth and were adopted by someone they became to know as their mother (that was me!). Some had mothers who were abusive, or alcoholics, or drug addicts (that was not me!), who probably should have given up their children to a mother who would have loved them and might have been better able to care for them.

I am not meaning to be judgemental. But as a single mother myself, I know there are challenges and if the best thing you can do for your child is to give them up, that’s okay. Not everyone is cut out to be a mother. Perhaps I should say that not everyone is cut out to be a mom, lots of women get to be a mother, but aren’t prepared to be a mom. It isn’t an easy job and no matter how healthy your kids are it can be a challenge.

On top of that, I give special praise to moms with children with challenges–physical and mental. Now that can be a real challenge and one of the most heart wrenching challenges of all. When I was expecting my first daughter, there was another woman in my church expecting a child.  Her first was born without a brain, only a brain stem, and the child was not expected to live for very long–possibly only days or weeks.  The little darling lived for three years and was loved and cared for every day of her short little life. Her mother was a very special soul.

So, I wish every mother out there a happy Mother’s day, and may your mothering be rewarding and teach you more that you ever knew you would know. I learned some interesting things, like; soup can be a finger food! Who saw that one coming?

And the greatest achievement a mother can ever have is seeing their children become strong and independent adults. I know that many kids the age of mine (27 and almost 25) still live at home. Both of my daughters are self supporting and rent their own condos in downtown Toronto. Even though I was a single parent from the time my youngest was four months old, my kids have grown into the kind of adults anyone would be proud of.  I did okay! I can pat myself on the back and say I did an alright job.  Yay me! I consider it to be my greatest achievement!

So, God bless all, especially all the moms out there, and may your Mother’s Day be great!

Milestone

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Happy Saturday! Good afternoon blog friends!  I’m really tired today.  I was in the city on Monday, didn’t sleep well that night because I wasn’t in my own bed and arrived home about 12:15am Wednesday morning and I feel like I have been running every since.  This morning I got up at 7:30 to get ready and attend the Women of Faith breakfast at our local Anglican church here in Cobourg!

Doesn’t sound like much, I know, but I am getting older and the MS seems to want me to rest more. Not a bad week coming up, although I have something on every day, it seems.  Ah well, this coming week will end with a weekend visit from my cousin from Ottawa and her friend.  I’m quite looking forward to it.  I will do much ahead of time and use my slow cooker, so that I’m not spending too much time in the kitchen.

As to my milestone, I actually kind of missed it.  This is my 152nd blog post, so I missed the celebration of 150!  Wahoo!  I have managed to keep it up all this time.  I’m kind of proud of myself, I must say. I don’t exactly have any super exciting posts, but I am reasonably consistent.

This is simply a part of my spiritual journey that began when I was a kid. I have had a few detours along the way, but it’s all good. Major life lessons are always worth it.  It may not seem so at the time, but you get to grow as a person.

There was a lovely lady speaking at the faith breakfast this morning, and she mentioned more than once, that there wasn’t a person in the room who hadn’t gone through challenges in their life and, of course, she is right. Some have had rather minor challenges and some have some pretty tough challenges.  In her case, she married someone who became an alcoholic.  After her divorce about 15 years later, she met a wonderful gentleman, and after a time they planned to get married.  Two weeks before the wedding, he died of a heart attack and she was on her own again, not only with her daughter from her first marriage, but the two children of the groom-to-be. Very tragic.

Like many of us, she is a survivor and carried on.  She met and married someone else some time later and outlived that fellow as well and in the midst of all of that, her first husband died, too.  Wow, it kind of makes you feel grateful for your own challenges.

It reminds me of a story I heard recently about someone carrying a cross, signifying his challenges. The man complains to Jesus that it is too heavy a burden and Jesus takes him to a room filled with crosses of all sizes, giving him the opportunity to choose a new one.  The man looks around and feels that some are way too small and would be okay for a child, but not for him.  Others are too big and he feels that he cannot manage those.  He picks one out, convinced that he can manage it and Jesus tells him that it was the one he was originally carrying, given to him because Jesus thought he could manage it.

I believe it to be true.  You will only be given what you can manage.  As the saying goes, ‘If God will bring you to it, he will get you through it.’ Challenges may seem unmanageable, but be patient, you will get the help you need.  I certainly did, in my life.

So, hang in there! And, don’t be afraid to ask for help.  Sometimes, the right people show up to get you through a rough time.  I remember as a single mother thinking that if I just went to the food bank once, I would be able to get ahead of the money running out before the month did. But I was stubborn and just kept going.  I did get through that time, but it would have been much easier, if I had asked for help.

I pray that you have a gentle week and may God bless you all!

Blessings and Challenges

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Good Sunday morning!  It’s a rainy day here, but it will help to green the grass and bring up more of my spring flowers.  The glass is always half full for me!

I read something somewhere speaking to the optimist (the glass is half full) and the pessimist (the glass is half empty), pointing out that the glass is refillable!  It is true!  Even once it is completely full and you drink what is there and you can refill it.  That is the same with blessings and challenges.  At least that is what I believe.

As I seek to find my ‘spiritual voice’ I allow these thoughts to wash over me and try to find a means of voicing them on Facebook as a prayer and, dare I say it, wisdom.  What wisdom could I possibly have to impart on anyone?  Well, I pray that with the many experiences, a bit of googling and through prayer, I can come up with something every day that will resonate with someone.  If you wish to follow me on Facebook, you will find my (almost!) daily prayers here:  https://www.facebook.com/Janet-K-Warren-1466394873573878/

I am taking a prosperity course.  Well, it is about radical abundance, and we can be wanting abundant anything–money is of course, the one that pops to mind, but we might also be seeking the abundance of other things like friends, wisdom, fame.  Really anything.  Every class, we talk about our challenges of the previous week.  I have so few and they seem to be so miniscule, that I cannot even bring any to mind.

Anyone who knows me knows that I have had some big challenges in my life–single parenthood, near bankruptcy a couple of times, the multiple sclerosis.  But I have managed to get through all of them.  The latest challenge, is the surprise retirement.  Can I manage to live on the pension?  Well, it seems that if I didn’t have others to help out, I would be fine, but even that I am managing (no travelling in retirement just yet!).

We all have challenges and we all have the ABILITY to get through them.  Sometimes we don’t feel that we have that ability, but we do, and I believe that at least some of that ability lies in being thankful for the blessings that we do have.  I was telling the story recently that when times were tough, I liked to get money from the Royal Bank bank machine.  That was before they started to charge you to do that, if it wasn’t your bank.  I liked the Royal Bank machine because at that time, they could give you $5 bills!  When you need to get food for your kids, sometimes that is enough.  What a blessing!

It is also through our challenges that we come to truly appreciate the blessings, no matter how small.  Our greatest blessings are the people in our lives.  Well, truthfully, some can be a challenge, but mostly, they are a blessing and those that are a challenge to us, perhaps, we are the blessing to them.

Those of us who try to be blessings to others try to help those people see the other blessings in their lives, as well.  We are surrounded by blessings and challenges and need to be thankful for all of them.  Even as I write this, I curse the poorly functioning MS fingers that have caused the backspace key to be my greatest blessing!  I have learned to find the little blessings in all of my MS challenges, the greatest of which is all of the people in the MS community that I have met, including some that I have been able to help, with my little bit of wisdom learned through my own MS challenges.

So, folks, please be thankful for not only your blessings, but your challenges and I believe that you will attract your own abundance of whatever you need.  At least that is a start!  Every journey begins with that first step, followed by the next, and the next and the next.  We need to begin somewhere.  

God bless all of you and may your blessings outweigh your challenges!

Terrible Mother

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My apologies for using this blog to whine, and I know I whine a lot!  

There was a time when I thought that I was an amazing mother.  People often said that even though I had been a single mother since my youngest was four months old and my oldest only two and a half, that I did more with my girls than most two parent families, and I have MS.

As time went on an I had difficulties managing money and bad things happened to my kids, I began to realize that I wasn’t so great a mother.  No matter what happened, I loved my daughters and supported them through all of their challenges, and mine.

My girls are all grown up now and I am so very proud of who they are and what they have managed to accomplish.

Okay, this the proud momma part.  My oldest is a hair stylist and not any old hair stylist, she does weddings and photo shoots.  Most recently, a wedding photoshoot that she did the hair for was on the cover of a wedding magazine in the UK!  My youngest, despite her challenges with the dyslexia, is in her last year of university and will graduate with a BComm.  Very proud momma!

Both girls live on their own and are contributing members of society.  I do pay for my youngest daughter’s tuition and books as well as the apartment she lives in.  As soon as she lands a decent job, she will cover her rent as well as her other expenses.

So, where does the terrible mother part come in?  My kids can never seem to get along.  Oddly enough, although they always seem to be in a fight about something, I know that in a heartbeat, if something happened to one of them, the other would be there to support them.  I know this because it has proven to be true time and time again.

Am I asking too much?  Life is never perfect, but what did I do wrong?  Why couldn’t I have raised them to be more tolerant of each other?  It seems to be too late to fix it now.  Although this has been going on pretty much all of their lives, I have tried just about everything!

I’m open to suggestions.I think that perhaps I need to get them together and just talk this latest issue  through.  The only thing is, I figure that it will only last until the next blow up.  Is that all I can hope for?  Will the wisdom of age help them over time?  It is only the three of us.  How tough can it be?

Okay, that is my whining for the week.  I’ll try to find something more upbeat to blog about next week.  God willing, there will be a truce between my girls.

God willing, everyone’s week will be a positive one!  God bless!

Birthdays!

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My birthday is July 12th.  Most years, I get really depressed at my birthday, not so much because I am another year older, but because I haven’t really accomplished anything worthwhile with my life.

Not that I expect to cure cancer or anything that big, but I had this idea that everyone is here on this spinning planet for a good reason and that we should actually be doing something to make us worthy of being here.

Perhaps it’s age, or can I be so bold as to say wisdom?, but I got it in my head to actually think about the things I had done with my life.  I was thinking of things that I have actually been recognized for by other people.  It’s silly really have to have that justification for living.

I mean really!  I raised two daughters by myself and did it while dealing with multiple sclerosis.  That should count for something!  We all survived and both girls are out there as contributing members of society, living without me and surviving just nicely.

Interestingly enough, while a friend was visiting we got talking about success and I realized that despite what I have accomplished, I still don’t feel successful. Through the discussion, I realized that it comes down to this:  I can’t possible be successful if I am still living paycheck to paycheck.

I earn really good money, I get good bonuses, I buy my company’s shares every paycheck, I get good raises and my boss now even gives me extra shares at bonus time.  Of all the things I can do, why can’t I get on top of the debt?  That isn’t to say that I don’t pay more than the minimum on my debts, but something always comes up that throws me off.  I have failed!

So, I am just looking at it as my latest challenge and focussing on trying to be successful at managing debt.  It’s not like I buy or own all kinds of expensive things.  I’m kind of a Walmart kind of person.  I just can’t manage money and I need to!

This is my new year resolution–the new year of my life–get a handle on this!  I need to be able to retire and I’m going to try to push that date out for three years.  I just need the multiple sclerosis to co-operate and I’m good!

God bless you all, especially for reading my ramblings, and I pray that you isolate your greatest challenges and get the better of them!

A Cloudy, Rainy Sunday

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It’s a rather gloomy, rainy Sunday and I’m having some trouble finding some energy to do anything today, I’m afraid.
I don’t know if it is being without the Copaxone for over three weeks, if I’m just imagining it, or if I was headed for feeling this way anyway, but I can’t even seem to concentrate to read more than a chapter at a time of my latest book.
I have always been an optimist, but today, it feels like the wind is out of my sails.
On the good side of things, I am down a couple of pounds and sticking to the paleo diet. That makes me feel good, but the last three nights, I have had to sleep 11 hours and Friday afternoon, I even needed a two hour nap that I had a heck of a time trying to get up from.
I wonder if I just need a week of just resting. To me, it feels like such an indulgence. I can’t manage to work full time and nap every afternoon, so I have always been afraid to give in to an afternoon nap.
I know. I’m such a whiner! I need to suck it up and carry on! I need to give myself a pep talk and get on with it!
When is it time to say that I just can’t?
There are still some things I hope to do before the MS wins this energy battle.
I chuckle at work because the latest slogan at Enbridge is: Life takes energy. Well that’s pretty funny because that is the one thing that I seem to be in decreasing supply of.
Okay, here’s the pep talk: Straighten up! You are needed, so get yourself together and carry on! Meet the challenge head on like you always have and win! Slap that smile on your face and show the world that you can do it!
Okay, back together again.
God willing, we will share in another week of blessings and get through whatever is thrown our way!

Happy Mother’s Day

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To all the mothers out there! May God bless all of you and may you enjoy this day set aside to honor all of you!
I lost my mother almost ten years ago. She was the mother who chose me because I was given up for adoption at birth.
My mother was not perfect and neither am I at this job of being a mother. In my mother’s case, the challenge was raising eight kids, with the help of my father. In my case, it was raising two kids, without the help of their father.
We all have challenges in life and the legacy we leave behind is the legacy of rising to those challenges and doing the best job, not in spite of those challenges, but actually because of them. Bring it on! My mother and I both had health challenges as well. Mom had heart issues and I have multiple sclerosis. Did we let that stop us? No! We managed to carry on and do what needed to be done.
That isn’t to say that we didn’t hit bumps in the road and have detours thrown at us, but we dealt with those bumps and detours as best we could and we, and our kids, are all the better for it.
I would like to think that my kids see that strength in me, to get through every challenge with my head held high, ready for the next bump or detour in the road. I would also like my kids to know that no matter what challenge they hit, I am here for them. I may not always know the answer, but I know how to find answers and I know how to help them figure things out.
So, honor your mothers today. They weren’t all perfect, but I’m sure they did the best they could with their challenges and remember; whether you believe in nature or nurture, part you came from your mother!
God bless all the mothers today!