Are you living your dream? Do you remember what your dream is? My husband and I were sitting in a restaurant in Oklahoma the other night trying to find something on the menu that worked for our fast, when we were approached by a nice lady. The restaurant was featuring a local jazz singer and our table visitor wanted to hear the singer from our side of the room. We engaged in a conversation with her and shared that we live in the Kansas City area, but I was borned a raised in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
She was excited to hear that I had graduated from "world famous" Booker T. Washington High School and informed me that the singer had attended the same high school, but was about five years younger than me. She left our table and mentioned to the performer our commonalities. She waved and we waved back. Later on during a break, the singer came over to introduce herself indicating her brother grraduated in my class. I immediately knew the family and inquired how the brother was doing. Then I remembered that their mother had been my favorite literary/english teacher.
My mind went back to high school where Mrs. Ungerman had read my first short story entitled "My Fishing Trip", later retitled "Falling in the Water," and strongly encouraged me to think about writing someday. Now I remember, she was the first one to plant the seed in me to become a writer someday. This dream has remained tucked deep in my heart since she first inspired me. I then wanted to share the news with Mrs. Ungerman that I had published my first book, only to learn that she passed away several years ago. I was saddened that I could not thank her personally for inspiring me.
Who has planted the seeds for your dream? Whether or not you have achieved your dream, take the time to thank those who have encouraged and inspired you to be the best you can be. It may be a parent, a sibling, a teacher, a minister, church member, a classmate, a friend or a step-parent. Whatever you do, don't miss the opportunity to share with your dream planters how they have made a difference in your life. Do it today!
One of the challenges of living-in-step is being labeled a "STEPFAMILY". Once married, you are either a "Stepmom" like myself, a "Stepdad", or if you are a child, you become a "Stepchild". Let's face it. No one has ever celebrated becoming a stepchild, because of all of the negative connotations associated with the word step.
How often have you heard someone say ..."They treat me like a stepchild!? In other words, meaning you are treated badly. Or, have you ever heard of the "wicked Stepmom?" Since fairytale days, Stepmoms have been portrayed as Cruella Deville, who rode in on her magic broom to sweep the man off of his feet. Once she puts the spell on the man, she then convinces him to send his children off to boarding school, never to be seen again.
Okay world, I'm tired of step-people taking a bad rap. It's time for all stepfamilies to take a stand. It's time to take STEP to a new level. Let's not call ourselves "stepfamilies or blended families anymore. I recommend we call ourselves Step+families. Why the plus sign? The plus sign repesents positive. Plus means: with the addition of; a surplus, or gain. Plus is synonymous with the words: Advantage, Bonus, Benefit, Good things. Not to mention the + sign is the symbol of the cross.
Are you starting to get the picture?. Stop thinking of your family as being less than, and begin to celebrate living-in-step. Let's start a campaign to change our titles. I am no longer just a Stepmom, I am now a Step+mom. I'm beginning to like the sound and sign of it. Let me know what you think, but I'm feeling better already!
Now that most of our children are grown, I can count on all of my fingers and toes the number of times I have heard the statement "I'm grown now". This is the statement that so easily comes out of the mouths of used to be children once they turn eighteen. The term is fequently stated when they are ready to do something you may not have agreed with when they were seventeen, like getting a tatoo or a piercing God knows where. Or when they want to stay out all night or go somewhere they couldn't before.
What is the real definition of grown up? I used to think it was when a child turned eighteen. Truth is, they may be an adult now, but they are still part of your budget. The next time I hear the term "I'm grown now", I think I'm going to redefine what grown up is. Meaning... grown ups pay their own cell phone bills, buy their own clothes and cook their own meals.
Oh for the days when our children only played dress up. Now dress up is for keeps. Have you ever thought you misplaced an article of clothing or shoes only later to see them walking out the door on your "grown up" child?
As I handle all of the grown ups we have, all I can do is pray. I try to remember that I did my best to "train up a child in the way he should go." Now I am waiting for the promise "and when he is old he will not depart from it". I better get back to praying.
Janice R Love, Author
First Lady, Mom, Stepmom and Divorce Ministry Coach