Saturday, February 22, 2014

Teen Mom: Trust Your Good Choices

You’ve made good choices already … trust that you will make more.

Teens make good and bad decisions every day. Lots of them. Most aren’t as visible as teen pregnancy. Perhaps you think it’s unfair. Your choice is leading you to make choices you weren’t prepared for.

You may not have been prepared to be a teen mom, but you can be a good one. By choosing to have your baby you’re already taking responsibility. You’re choosing life for your child—you’re trying to do your best.

You may not have all the knowledge, resources, and wisdom, but look around for someone to help you find what you need. You’ve made good choices already, teen mom … trust that you will make more.

I turned to God when I was a teen mom because a group of women poured love into me. I was unlovable. Those women kept loving, even when I turned my back on them, and eventually my heart softened—to them and to God.

You may not have been prepared to be a teen mom, and there are probably others who are dealing with the same emotions. Do you know another young mom in the same situation? Reach out to her. Give some time. Offer a listening ear. Affirm her good decisions. Seek help together.

Today is the day you can make a good decision. Today is the day you can reach out to another mom. Today IS the day you are loving your child. Trust that as you do more of all three, it’ll be easier to do them more.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Worth Celebrating

In last week’s post, I mentioned that a friend invited me to share Valentine’s Day tea with her, to celebrate her recovery from an illness. Well, here is a picture to commemorate the day. Carolyn is now in full remission from cancer. Doesn’t she look amazing? 

As we sipped tea, talked, and nibbled yummy sandwiches and treats, I felt like we were both embracing a new lease on life. Both of us had been through a battle and were coming out as stronger women with a lot to thank God for. Since the tea room is run by Christians, Carolyn got to share her praise with our waitress and the owner (they had prayed for her) and write it on their wall of praise flowers in gold pen. What a gift to experience this moment with her, and to know that she chose to share her first major post-treatment outing with me.

When we got our check and I saw the reminder of how expensive the tea was, I chased away the twinge of guilt that tried to settle in and ruin the fun. Some things are worth a splurge—things like good friends, renewed health, fresh starts, and the opportunity to return to a place where sisters in Christ prayed and say, “Look what God did.” 

This was truly one of the best Valentine’s Days ever.

What good things has God allowed you to celebrate lately?

Saturday, February 08, 2014

Your Life Script

What Script Are YOU Writing For Your life?

When I say “script” I’m not talking about career goals or college plans. I’m not talking about current class schedules or finding the unique purpose for your future. While all of those are important, there are other parts of our life we need to script, too, such as:

  • Dealing with peer pressure from both guys and friends.
  • The search for popularity. How to find it. Or live without. Or be happy in between.
  • Relationships with parents. No matter how out of touch with reality they seem to be.
  • And living for God without turning your back on the world

When I was a teen I lived from day to day on every wave of emotion I experienced. On some days excitement and passion partnered up, pattering wildly within my heart. Other days, depression and anxiety were my silent friends. I lived each day as it came, with no plan for my future, for my relationships, or for my heart. I lived my life completely unscripted . . . and, well, it didn’t go so well for me.

After my boyfriend found out I was pregnant (again) he dumped me for good, and I dropped out of my senior year of high school. (It was too hard going to school—seeing him with someone else, and dealing with my own issues/mistakes/emotions too.) I decided to have my baby, especially since I was dealing with the heartache and regret of a previous abortion. And as my stomach grew, I became more and more depressed. Unlike some mistakes, an unplanned pregnancy is not one you hide very easily. Each day I walked around with the evidence sticking out before me like a basketball under my shirt.

During that painful time, I decided to give God another chance. I’d grown up in church, but during my teen years, decided I wanted to do my own thing. And when “my own thing” left me sad and alone, my grandma’s Bible study group invited me to join them. These sweet old ladies also welcomed me to church and threw me a baby shower (while my teen friends dropped out of the picture). These women showed me what the love of God is all about.

And it was during one of my depressing days, when I was six-months pregnant and feeling abandoned by both my boyfriend and friends, I gave my heart to the Lord. I told Him, “God, I’ve completely screwed up my life this time. If You can do better, please do so.” It wasn’t a fancy prayer, but it worked.

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Pray for the People Behind My Book

This week, seeing the cover of my latest book Running with Roselle prompts me to pray, not for increased sales or new promotional ideas (although those would be good things), but for the two people who became dear to me as I wrote the story—my co-author and his wife. Michael Hingson’s wife Karen has been in the hospital for over a week, battling severe pneumonia that turned into acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). The last I heard, her conditions was still pretty critical. I know Mike would appreciate your prayers.

I don’t think I ever said this to Mike, but God used him and Karen at a critical time in my life. In a year when I had a lot of negative going on, meeting Mike and writing his incredible story of growing up blind and surviving 9/11 provided an uplifting distraction. His determined spirit and refusal to let limitations hold him back inspired me as I was forced to step out in independence in new ways. Mike would say I could do it, I often thought, so would Karen. Because Mike is blind and Karen is a paraplegic, they have a special bond as a couple, depending on and helping each other while also sharing an understanding that only those who live with a disability on a daily basis really get. At a time when I’d grown a bit cynical about love, watching their relationship filled me with joy and hope. 

I thank God for Mike and Karen, not only because I had the privilege of writing about Mike’s unique life, his relationship with his guide dog, Roselle, and a miraculous escape from the World Trade Center, but because they are incredible people who came into my life at the perfect time.

So please join me in praying for Karen, and for Mike.

Can you think of someone that God brought into your life at the perfect time? Have you ever told that person what they mean to you and why?