TIps on how to be the best mom..like me.

Me with my sons on Mother's Day
Me with my sons on Mother’s Day

Being a Mom or Dad isn’t easy. It seems like it gets even more challenging with things like facebook, instagram, pintrest where now you get to see how amazing all the other mom’s are and all the areas you are not. It’s easy to get overwhelmed and feel down on yourself when you see how outstanding other mothers are.

Here are 4 mom’s that I just “idolize” in how amazing they are.

Sue.

Sue has 2 jobs and still finds time to do it all. She never misses a teachers birthday or special Holiday. She makes sure her kids have amazing lunches, snacks and meals planned. All healthy, I can’t walk into her house to pick up my son without something simmering on the stove. She makes a priority to be at as many of her kids games as possible. All the people who are part of her boys life she shows appreciation too and brings in special treats for special days – even St Patricks Day. It amazes me how she has time for all these thoughtful things. My son always talks about how much he loves his #2 mom and her great food and of course the pool!

Monique

Monique and I have been friends for years before children. I recall she became my hero they day she found out  she was having twins. Monique is another one who seems to do it ALL. She homeschools her 3 while owning her own business. She is an artist and always has the most creative projects. She has so much detail to everything she does. Her children do Karate, girl scouts, cheerleading, football, youth group, homeschool co op and more. Most of which Monique still finds time to volunteer and help in the success of.

Francine

Francine has 4 children. Whom she also Homeschools. She always has great detailed lesson plans. Plus her children have many allergies so she makes so many things from scratch, including her own laundry soap. I am always blown away by how much she does and how clear it is her husband and children are her # 1 priority.

Bethany

Bethany's beautiful family.
Bethany’s beautiful family.

Bethany has 3 amazing children also. One of her sweet children has a as she refers a special brain.Brogan Jack was born on August 3, 2011, it wasn’t long before we found out about his special brain!
Brogan has been diagnosed with Microcephaly, Polymicrogyria, a malformed cerebellum and a gene deletion. He had a large brain tumor removed in January.” 

Bethany has spent weeks at a time in a hospital with her sweet boy. But has always had the most positive posts. She makes sure to prioritize her time so she spends time with all of her children. She is one of those people no matter what always looks amazing in pictures. Her sweet children always look like they stepped out of a catalog their clothing is always so perfect! Her courage and determination inspire and humble me.

 

So my point is – as a parent – I have often compared myself to these amazing mom’s and gotten down for not being as amazing as they are. I am sure many mothers and fathers have felt the same way at times.

Letter written by my son for Mother's Day
Letter written by my son for Mother’s Day

But the point is being the best parent YOU can be for your children. Using your skill sets to help your children. I am not going to be making amazing crafts with my boys – it’s not what I am gifted in.. but I will take my boys out 4 wheeling or create workouts with them to prepare them for their said sports. I will teach them how to run a business and make the healthiest meal choices.

I can though be inspired by these amazing mom’s every day. Seeing the focus they have the determination and applying it myself. Asking myself everyday – what have I done today to invest into my children.

That’s really how to be the “perfect” parent. Invest. Time, resources, love. Be their biggest fan. Every day – ask yourself – how have I invested into them today – how have I let them know I am their biggest fan.

So who is to decide what a perfect mom or dad is? All I know is I can be the most perfect mother for my children possible.

Family Day walking tour in Providence
Family Day walking tour in Providence

*To be on “Team Brogan”  and find out more about Bethany and her family visit www.TeamBrogan.us Find out more about Brogan and ways you can donate to help the family afford items that will improve Brogan’s therapy and quality of life.

You can Also follow them here on Facebook

4 Ways to make your interactions more powerful

Worcester SharksThis weekend my Rock star staff and I had the amazing opportunity to perform on the Ice for the Worcester Sharks. 125 of our members came – had an amazing time ABD style.

 

Sometimes one person tells you to...
Sometimes one person tells you to…

When we finished performing – waiting by our table was a young man and his mother. He was so excited to see me he ran over and gave me a huge hug. He then began quickly speaking about how good it was to see me again, how much he had missed me, and how excited he had been when he realized it was me on the ice.

He shared how he would soon be 18, how time flies. He shared how the last few years had been incredibly challenging for him. He had gotten himself into some bad situations, but he was turning his life around. He shared how much I had inspired him. He even commented how close we had been. How excited he was to be back, and get back to our relationship.

 

The thing is, I hadn’t seen him in at least 6 years, so I didn’t recognize him (12 & 18 a lot of growing happens). I have known him for about 15 years, since he was 3, But I only saw him a handful of times between the ages 3 & 4. Then again years later when I visited his school for the ABC of success seminars I do for school children.  He then took martial arts classes from us for a while.

 

What amazed me is in that 15 years the few times we interacted had such a powerful influence on him. It got me thinking, you never know how powerful your impact is on people. You don’t realize how giving positive encouragement that 1 time could drastically affect the influence how people see things. As I thought on this I recalled being in 5th grade and a science teacher who’s 2 minute chat and 5 second praise changed how I saw my potential as a student. See the teacher I had the previous year always noticed everything I did wrong, every mistake, every short coming. Entering 5th grade I fully believed I was a “bad” student and not very smart. We had just had our first science test of the year, the class did not do well. The teacher discussed the importance of studying – how it makes all the difference, then said only one student in all of the 5th grade classes got a 100 on the test. She then pointed me out and comment that I clearly was a smart student and was going to have a very successful school year because of my work ethic. I did, I had my best school year ever…because she took a moment to praise my success.

 

I promise, that teacher probably does not remember me, or that day, but I do. I remember and it had such an impact on me here I am sharing it now. Just like the young man I saw this weekend the positive energy she fed into me had a massive effect.

 

So how can you change someones outlook?

1. Point out the positive, in everyone you come in contact with. 

 

Yes, even your coffee barista should hear how much you appreciate their energy and passion.

 

2. Don’t harp on the negative.

 

My teacher the year before only cared about everything I did wrong.. I don’t ever recall her saying anything positive about me.

 

3. Make the praise public.

When ever public “brag” on those around you.. children, friends, spouse, coworkers, employees. Don’t keep their victories a secret. Just like my teacher that day – she highlighted me to all my peers.. boosting my confidence and helping to bring the best me to the surface.

 

4. Never Assume it doesn’t matter.

I never would have thought my interactions with this young man would have been so intense, the was clearly a major influence and after many years he still saw me as someone he could trust and rely on. It does not seem like this young man had very many positive people in his life who poured into and cared about him. My few interactions showed him a life worth living.

 

So every day, be a positive encouraging force..its not always easy, BUT ITS ALWAYS WORTH IT. 

 

btw you can check out the video of the instructors performing last saturday at the Worcester Sharks here,

 

ABD Team at Sharks game

#liveitloveit #alifeworthliving

I Knew They Were Christians..

IMG_4211

I knew they where christians shortly after I first saw them. The family of 4, 2 young boys..father and mother. What gave it away, where they carrying their bibles? Was their joy overflowing? Did they have their I love Jesus tshirts on? Maybe bible verse bumper stickers? Did the Holy Spirit jump when i saw them?

None of the above, I knew they where christians by their scowl….
We had taken the family to Lake George and the Shcroon lake area. We where excited from the break of the hustle and bustle to spend time with our boys. We decided it would be fun to visit the caves near Schroon lake. Clearly we where not the only ones, the caves where very busy that day. I had first noticed this family in the gift shop prior to starting our hike… I noticed them because it appeared the father was scowling at me.. the wife glaring. I looked around and noticed nothing amiss…assumed it was my imagination and went back to my family to enjoy our hike.two adults
This family started before us and we ended up running into them again at the first look out point…. this time they again glared, but at my whole family. It was then I recognized that look and was transported back to my teenage years…………
I grew up in church. I loved being a christian, I was homeschooled, as where most of the people my age in that church. I recognized that look, because I had been on the receiving end of it all of my teenage years. I thought that was how christians greeted each other, with a look of disgust as if you where not worthy of their time…. you had to climb the christianity ladder to be noticed.judgemental1
During those years I cried myself to sleep in pain and  heartache almost every night because I wasn’t good enough. I recall an announcements that a leader was needed for children’s church, when I volunteered I was told someone else had asked to do it.. I found out this person didn’t want to but was told they where the only one who was available. I was no longer allowed to sing solos in church after singing Petra & Dc Talk ( not even the raps etc.. ballads!!) I received letters from “concerned woman” about my tight clothing ( I was a size 4 wearing size 12 hand me downs…not sure how that could be considered tight…skater/baggy was the style) My pain at that point was overwhelming, the hurt overbearing.
cranky
I didn’t see at that time that it wasn’t me that was broken, but the lens in which those people where using was.
Then at 16 I was at the breaking point, the starts of an eating disorder, suicidal, severely depressed……. I started martial arts. There from the first moment I was accepted by all the cool kids and all the not cool kids lol. Kids-adults instantly welcomed me into their “family” loved me for exactly who I was, even though our style was different, liked different music, had different interest. I was loved, for me. No need to prove myself, or “earn” a place…ironically the place where rank matters on the floor, it did not matter in real life. But this was “the world” I had been warned to stay away from. The “heathens” who did not attend my church and homeschool like me. The wicked ones who wore the wrong clothes. Why then could they love unconditionally?
I knew they where christians by the way they judged us. Then, I noticed the cross he wore.
The rest of our hike we passed them countless times, each time being treated as if we had leporasy or something. I did a “check up from the neck up” –we where not being rude, we where patient, quiet, respectful, no inappropriate joking, everyone was dressed appropriately. I am not sure what we had done to offend them. My son finally asked me, “Mom, why do they keep looking at us like that?”
cranky-calvinists
I am blessed to say after my teenage years I have been part of 2 amazing church families who have loved on us like Christ commands. This small experience brought me back, made me think- If that is how my faith is represented, no wonder people would not want to be a christian. As I thought of it at this park, I was almost ashamed to have the same faith as this family who would, without knowing anything about us (even if they did know anything about us) treat us in such a cold fashion. I confess that at a point I was guilty of   the “scowl” to those who had not yet “ranked” as a christian.
“My son finally asked me, Mom why do they keep looking at us like that?”
I  believe it breaks our saviors heart that our churches do not love as he commands. That a teenage girl can find unconditional acceptance in a sport, but not in her church family. I strive to love, even when it isn’t easy. even when I don’t understand. When I find myself starting to cast assumptions or judgement – I recall that girl and her pain.
Whether you are a christian or not, I think the importance here is to remember, what we say and how we treat people can have an even deeper impact then what we see. Instead of pouring coals of judgement onto those you interact with, pour into them instead and help them to develop into the person they can be.
If you are searching for a church home that doesn’t judge and rank, I would love to have you join us at mine! http://www.fellowshipne.com is warm and welcoming and ready to get to know you….and not talk about you.