The Blame Game

blame.JPG

My heart is heavy. I feel sorrow, compassion, grief, righteous anger and disbelief at the state of the American family and society. Like tens of thousands before me, I wonder how we ever got to this level of chaos and insanity. Fractured is a great word to describe it. The trickle down (or up) effect is huge. Individuals are broken, therefore negatively impacting their families and friends. Those people continue the cycle in their communities, workplaces, families, political parties, and so on and on and on until an entire country is infected and plagued with lack of common sense, failure to exercise moral conscience and insists that everything is right. Everything that is unless it is not what they want.

What causes such an outrageous explosion of idiocy? The blame game. For several generations now, especially the last two, people have been told nothing is their fault. One is violent because of one’s childhood, a rapist is created because of a domineering mother and not because of personal choice and accountability. Someone once told me that she was not responsible for her actions because “I have an addictive personality.” That one came straight from a rehab facility. She had been taught there to pass on the responsibility for her actions and blame someone or something else. Do alcoholics drink because they have an inherited gene? No, it is because of personal choice. That gene does exist however it does not force the elbow to bend and the mouth to imbibe.

Blaming anyone other than self goes back to the beginning of humankind. In the garden of Eden, two people lived the perfect life. They had everything they needed and wanted, including a personal relationship with God Himself. Then everything changed. Eve was approached by a sinuous deceiver and she decided that she wanted more; she wanted to be God. She was already made in His image, had His love, protection, provision and everything else she needed and wanted. He even gave her an amazing husband who adored her. That man, Adam, was the first being ever created. He was the original, everyone who came afterward has been the copy. Adam was with Eve when she made a conscious choice to do wrong. Afterward when they were lovingly confronted by God, Adam was the first living creature to play the Blame Game. He created it. He blamed his beautiful, beloved wife and God also. “It was that woman YOU gave me. She gave me the fruit and I just ate it. Not my fault. The blame lies with her and with You.” Then Eve blamed the serpent. All these thousands of years later, we still play the Blame Game and have perfected it.

Not my fault, not my fault! So now we live in a country where people do what they want, what is right in their own minds and not what they should be doing. Our culture is saturated with ungodliness. Women kill unborn babies because…. just because they desire to kill unwanted or inconvenient babies. Parents change the gender of a child because they want a boy or girl or genderless offspring. Men live as women and vice versa. Then they demand to use restrooms that fit their own definition of who they are and refuse to accept nature’s designation. Then when something awful happens, it is not their fault. Meanwhile children are involved and that is always my first earthly priority. God remains first in my life.

Our children are being raised to play the Blame Game and they are expert at it. Recently a teenage boy I know became angry and shouted to the full volume of his voice at a teacher. Others who witnessed the incident thought he was going to strike her and he was removed from the classroom. He felt justified because she snapped at him. After days of counseling, his first response to the question of why this all happened was “she snapped at me” with no accountability or admission that he had interrupted her over and over.

My point of all this is to remind us all that we have choices to make and will feel the consequences. Those often last a lifetime and affect future generations. It divides families, friends, communities, societies and individuals from God. Divisionism causes fractured relationships, broken people. We must stop blaming and accept responsibility. Together we all have beauty, gifts, talents and potential. However, we must look to the great Composer of life so we can live with one accord to create a harmonious symphony. Acts 1: 14 and 2:1 (The Holy Bible) states that hundreds of people were of one accord. That is an amazing place to be.

Let us, Recycled Moms, strive to be in one accord while maintaining integrity of conviction that comes with knowledge of God’s plan for our lives. Do not play the Blame Game. Let us take hold of our failings, our mistakes, our responsibilities for our children and all people in our vicinity. Never compromise. Never blame. Love in a godly manner and not according to what the world declares love to be and it will all end well.

I am aware these are controversial words and not politically correct and I do not care. Truth is always true and it is time we be strong and of good courage. Speak up for children, for God and for what is right. I have chosen to do just that and I blame no one for this post. I accept full responsibility and pray it brings glory to God, the truth speaker.

Advertisements

Times! They Are Changing!

 

clock

Life is simply amazing and wonderful. As the few remaining loyal followers of this lonely blog can attest, my attention has been elsewhere. I promise (and mean it this time) that will not happen again. I sincerely love this blog and enjoy writing content for here. Being a single Recycled Mom demands a great deal of time and I have allowed that, and work, to keep me away. But as the title of this post states, times are changing.

July 31st will be my last day at my job. That will free up my days and allow me to devote more time to my fast growing boy, our home, and this website. I will work some twelve hour night shifts in another position to provide for our expenses. That will be perfect. As a night-time caregiver, my clients will sleep most of the shift, so will my boy, therefore it will not seem I am away from him so long. Also, I can write at night and keep up regular posts here. I am currently writing a historical fiction novel along with a greatly exaggerated memoir of my childhood. I will have time to work on those at night also. I tell you people, God is GOOD. All the time!

I want to give an update on my young man. He is no longer a boy. He looks, sounds and smells like a man! Yes. He has a stubbly chin, a deep voice and sweats something fierce. He has life plans and is putting those into action. He joined the Civil Air Patrol (I highly recommend it for young men) and plans to earn entrance into the Air Force Academy from there and then go directly into the Air Force as an officer. All this at age fourteen! I admire him and am proud of him beyond measure. I give God all the credit and glory. Our Pastor deserves credit also. He has sowed much time and love into my young man.knows he has to be physically in shape to make his dreams a reality. Every morning he appears fully

S. knows he has to be physically in shape to make his dreams a reality. Every morning he sleepily appears from his bedroom fully dressed with his running shoes on and we drive to a local park where he runs a mile. We do it again every evening. He is so dedicated that he never misses his runs. His time is almost at the goal set. He runs in the pouring rain, in 102 degree weather and when he does not feel well.

Can this really be the boy who was unfocused and griped because I forced him away from the television and video games? No, it is not. This is a more mature young man who knows what kind of life he wants and intends to achieve that future. He is a godly man in the making, respectful, courteous and kind. He hugs me goodnight and goodbye, tells me that he loves me and makes me proud to be a Recycled Mom. Few days go by that I do not think of the ones that cast him aside and left me to raise him. They will never know the joy they have missed or the incredible gift they bestowed on me. I am grieved and full of pity for his birth parents; the feelings of confusion and anger have long been dead. They will never be resurrected.

The body that held a womb that God blessed with life somehow did not also host a heart selfless enough to put that life first. The man God designated as a father, mentor, trainer, and leader chose to step aside and let another guide this child. I feel incredible sorrow for those two human beings who failed to grasp the amazing bounty of parenthood. And I thank God for thinking of me and having faith in me. He placed His tiny, precious creation in my hands and has sat on His throne watching all these years. I have many regrets and bitter repentances; have pleaded for forgiveness from Almighty God and my boy when I have been mean spirited or petty. I could give many reasons why. I was exhausted mentally and physically; I had a multitude of worries, yadda, yadda, ad nauseam. Those would be excuses but not reasons. I have finally overcome those failings and continue to work on many others.

That brings me back to the title of this blog post. I needed to change my life so I can spend these last priceless years with my boy; yes MY boy. Very few rare people get to be Grandmother and Mom (Recycled Mom) to a child. To a young man. To a soldier. To a man of God. I shall forever treasure my titles and my experiences.

Thank You God for changing times, redeeming lives and boundless blessings. I pray that one day, You will look at me and say, “Well done Recycled Mom, well done!” To my beautiful young man, I hope you will one day remember me as the one who loved you enough to fail in many ways but never in the act of loving you. Those times never, never change.

 

DSC_0139.JPG

The fireworks are for You, God

Father, Redeemer, Healer, Provider, Teacher, Maker of Time.

Look what the Lord has done!!!

 

More on Homesteading to Protect Our Recycled Kids

DSC_0124 text

I hope all of you have thought more about homesteading. I kept the first post short and unfocused for a reason. The decision to remove one’s family from the addictions of society is huge. Just to remove video games and/or television likely will create a family crisis. I know a family whose son attempted to run away from home when he was told his Xbox would be taken away for a month. Another family’s daughter threatened suicide and tried to jump out of a moving vehicle when her cell phone was taken. These and many more stories reflect the influence of technology on children and young people. It should cause us to be very, very concerned.

I will continue to state that electronics be removed from one’s home regardless of lifestyle. If one chooses the simpler choice to homestead, there is reason to make it happen even sooner. We cannot work hard to garden, raise livestock, prepare for winter, keep our home clean and organized, raise children and all the other work that goes into a self-sustainable lifestyle while spending hours in front of a screen. These things steal the minds and life of our kids and indeed our own. Being entertained instead of keeping busy is a copout.

Another small step to becoming more independent is water retention. Water truly is life and we will quickly die without it. Rain barrels placed beneath gutters is a simple way to start. This water can be filtered and used for drinking and cooking or to water a garden and animals. It is fun to see children get excited about such a foundational issue as water. Scour resale stores, flea markets and yard sales to find some barrels. Also five gallon buckets will be needed to carry water to the garden or wherever. These can be purchased for only a few dollars or for free by asking at restaurants and other places.

When we give our children these back to basic physical things to do, their brains develop differently than when simply being entertained by television or video games. Other people invented those things, the shows and games are the product of another’s intelligence. Our kids have their own gifts and we, as parents, are responsible to see they develop them. Another benefit is that our kids will become more fit physically. As they work in the yard raking leaves, mowing or just picking up sticks, they get the exercise that most Americans are missing. Building muscle as fat deposits are burned off, gives one more energy and common afflictions decrease. Diabetes is better controlled or even eliminated by losing weight and exercising.

There are many, many benefits to living a more self-reliant lifestyle. One does not have to pull up stakes and go off to liv in a tent in the woods. My goal is to help people see that relationships are strengthened when we spend time together in worthwhile pursuits. I have always detested the term “quality time” because it suggests other, non-quality, time is acceptable. It is not. All time spent with our Recycled Kids must be quality even when we are laying games, preserving food, chasing a chicken or whatever.

Another huge benefit is that kids will eat what they have grown. We were at a meeting just last evening where a local teacher handmade authentic eggrolls. Literally half the children refused to even taste them. One had never had eggrolls but declared she did not like them. I was appalled. For years, I have seen kids refuse most foods. They have been spoiled to eat only processed and fast foods. These same little ones probably would eat the tomatoes, sweet peppers, potatoes, etc. that their own little hands heled grow if given the opportunity.

Seriously readers, when I was a child, it never occurred to us to refuse the food that was put before us. We just ate what Mama prepared. My own child and Recycled Boy do also. Sure, there are a few foods we are not crazy about and that is natural. This phenomenon of kids dictating food purchases and meal planning is out of control. Back to basics on the homestead can curb this and allow parents to once again run the home. Rant over!

Safety is yet another benefit of turning off or severely limiting television, internet, social media, etc. In or own area, an eleven year old girl, a fourth grader accidentally got on an inappropriate website. She was playing a game when a link popped up; she clicked on it and found herself on a pornography site. The perverts there immediately pounced on her and eventually convinced the girl to disrobe in front of the video camera on her laptop. They of course captured screenshots and now her nude image is forever out there on the internet for pedophiles to stare at and imagine perversions. This sort of thing can happen to your child, to my child. Kids are naïve and easily manipulated. We must protect them in ways that were not even imaginable when we were young.

April is Child Abuse Prevention Month. Think of ways to protect your Recycled Kids and also to get them involved in a hands on way of life. They will thank you for it one day. I keep telling myself that (insert laugh here). Seriously though, they really will. Get your thinking cap on. Plan your future and lay one more brick in the foundation of life for your children. We will be ridiculed for being different, for pulling out of the rat race. The strong, confident, healthy child we raise into adulthood will thank us though so persevere on to victory! We can do this. We are Recycled Moms and are strong and courageous!

DSC_0428 edited with text

Homesteading With Kids – Baby Steps

Good day Recycled Moms. I did not post last week because we have been working hard, making plans and putting them into action. I watch the world we live in, see society become even crazier, people more perverse and know I do not want my children living like that. So we will be separating ourselves even more from the ways most Americans live. How is that possible?
Cut back on screen time. Most people, kids and adults, are addicted to television, tablets, computers, video games and telephones. Cut the cable. Little on there is worthwhile anyway and the time spent in front of a screen is out of control. These figures are from 2014 and likely have increased since then.
“In the United States, people spend an average of 444 minutes every day looking at screens, or 7.4 hours. That breaks down to 147 minutes spent watching TV, 103 minutes in front of a computer, 151 minutes on a smartphones and 43 minutes with a tablet.” (Source BGR)
Imagine what could be accomplished if that time was spent growing food, building a home, preparing for winter, etc. The physical and mental health of every child and adult would improve. Relationships grow stronger when parents and children spend time together so hours spent on the homestead bring families closer. We have not had television for years now and my Recycled Boy lives without video games. We play board games, cards, Bible study, plan our future and the hours fly by.
Sit down as a family and decide how you want to live. Some people go totally off grid, some stay connected to electrical power and city water. That is okay. Not everyone has resources or ability to purchase a hundred acres and live off the land. I don’t. It is possible to homestead while living in an urban environment. I do recommend leaving the city for country living if possible at all. There are just too many hindrances, influences and temptations in a city environment. We owe it to our children to remove them from that polluted place. The pollution is spiritual also and contributes to depression, poor behavior and even suicidal thoughts.
Learn to be self-sufficient wherever you are. Grow food even if it is just a few items. This allows the new homestead family to learn through trial and error. Research how to garden, to can, dehydrate and preserve foods. Get the children involved. The more they learn and stay busy, the less they will miss video games, etc. Also they need these skills so they can survive in the future.
I do not want to sound like a conspiracy theorist BUT I truly believe society as we know it will cease to exist. The power grid will go down and it may be months or even years that we will have to survive on our own. So many people depend on grocery stores for every bite of food and my own family did too. We are working to be more self reliant.
It is possible to live without electricity, running water and all the gadgets we take for granted. Eliminate them gradually and get accustomed to doing it manually. Our latest life change is to not use the clothes dryer at all. I grew up in an era where we hung clothes on a line. If it rained, well they got an extra rinse. If they froze, they dried at some point. No one went without clothing in the meanwhile.
I will be posting more about homesteading in the future. I truly believe going back to a simple way of life can benefit our children and ourselves. Stay tuned and make plans to unplug!

DSC_0029.JPG

Real Food for Real Kids

 

Hello Recycled Moms. The topic of today’s post is one most moms have wept over. Most children in America are picky eaters and junk food addicts. The processed, chemical and preservative laden foods (and I use the term food loosely) are causing great damage to our children. The rise in childhood cancers, autism, diabetes and even heart disease is alarming. We, as moms and caregivers, must step up and take control of the health and future of our kids. It takes time and great effort but the payoff is beyond measure.

DSC_0249

portabella mushroom cap with squash mixture

The typical American diet has not introduced our children to fresh vegetables, homemade pickles, whole fruits and other God created foods. It is time to change that. It is best for a child to eat a large variety of foods from infancy but never too late to start. I realize this will be a shock to most kids and they will rebel. Persevere Recycled moms and you will see victory.

We cannot start by demanding a chicken nugget and French fry addict forsake those and start eating spinach, broccoli, carrots, sweet peppers and other healthful foods instantly. Make junk food portions smaller and add one spoonful of a new God created food. Be strong and encourage the child to “just taste it by eating one spoonful.” Many children will love the food and that one battle can be history.

There are many ways to add new foods to a child’s diet. The entire family should eat the same breakfast, lunch and dinner. In most countries, people do not have the great variety we do in America and have not developed the habit of picky eating. Indeed, when I was a child, we ate what Mama placed before us. It would never have entered my mind to whine about it or to proclaim that I hated a certain food. We can bring this attitude back to our own homes and dinner tables.

I will add the disclaimer that we all have foods we prefer not to eat and that is okay. My own grandson does not like coleslaw so I do not force him to eat it. I also do not plan meals around his or my own preferences. I do not consult him on what he would like for breakfast or any other meal. He eats what is placed on the table with the rare exception of not liking certain foods. Even then, he receives one spoonful and must eat that. A child’s taste buds are not well developed and he or she has no experience with food variety. What one does not like today may become a favorite soon but that can never happen unless the child is encouraged to branch out and taste foods.

Again, this is going to take time and a mountain of patience with most children who have been let eat what they want. These little diet dictators must be overthrown though so they can grow up to be healthy adults. We are the adults, we are the ones who pledged to care for them. That means making tough choices and sticking by them.

My own grandson just had fresh sweet pepper slices with his sandwich and proclaimed them wonderful. They were eye pleasing red, yellow and orange. Make it fun for the children as much as possible. Put your food down if necessary. Lead by example and eat fresh, whole healthful foods. Do not buy junk foods, cookies, candies and other processed items. If they are not in the home, temptation will not be there either.

11078101_838917282847799_5620719148294535910_n

To Snitch Or Not To Snitch

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” Philippians 4:8 NIV

quietly

Hello Recycled Moms. Today, I am talking about a subject that recently affected my own grandson “S”. At some point, most children experience this. When one sees another child doing something wrong, he or she has to choose loyalty to the wrongdoer or confession to preserve safety.

My grandson chose to tell me that his friend “J” had done something very wrong, criminal in fact. He knew his friend would feel betrayed and would be angry but concern for his friend’s future overrode the demand for secrecy. His friend indeed was upset and in a rage. He called S. a snitch among other not so nice names.

S. felt awful about telling on his friend and I explained to both boys that being a snitch is simply to act as an informer and information is knowledge. Parents must have knowledge and information so we can protect the children in our care. I must confess that J. never grasped the concept and left very angry and feeling betrayed. The situation still allowed for a teaching moment that I hope will stay with both boys for a lifetime.

While my heart remains concerned for J., I know my main responsibility is to my own child and his training. I applauded S. for his courage. It took a lot to tell me when he knew J. would be angry and maybe not remain his friend.

file000834482034

Recycled Moms, I tell you all this so you know you are not the only one going through these trials and your kids are not either. Encourage them to never have secrets from you. Secrets are dangerous and lead to disaster. Open hearts keep family members close to one another and increase the protective instinct. So encourage your children to tell you everything. I have taught S. that he can tell me anything. I do not promise there will not be consequences for actions that were wrong. I do promise I will not be angry, that I will support him and will do everything in my power to make it right again.

Let your children know that the child who told them not to snitch is being a bully and bullies are only concerned about their own welfare; they do not want to be found out and reported. As in our case, a child may be threatened if he or she tells, but again, secrets (silence) impede safety. Silence does not promote safety in any manner at all. Let the child know it is okay to feel scared and even feel badly about having to snitch.

We must learn to make choices in life and there will be thousands of them. The best way to know in the future how to choose is to start today in positive ways. Choose right, reject wrong. Choose legal, refuse criminal. Choose morality, say no to immoral behavior.

Also, it is important, vital even, to not promise something you cannot maintain. Never promise any child that you will keep secret what he or she confesses. Let the child clearly know you must pass on the information so they can remain safe and the person they are telling about will be safer also. Let them be present if they wish but never push them to be confronted with a situation that makes them feel unsafe.

Will your child tell you everything and never keep a secret? Probably not. They are kids and will act like kids. That makes us feel betrayed, hurt, offended and perhaps angry. Remember there are degrees of lying. Lying by omission is only one and most children do not have the capability to understand that. Just encourage total honesty and pray for everyone involved. Remain watchful around certain children who might be bad influences on your own child but know we cannot place kids in a bubble. Let natural consequences play out and encourage the right kind of snitching.

sw_Listening_sa209430.jpg

When Siblings Are Not Together

grandfamilies

Grandchildren are like fine chocolates. We always want just one more. The delicious filled centers of the chocolates are forever a surprise; part of the enjoyment is the fact we never know what we will get. The experiences our precious littles bring is the same. They each have a unique personality and come with surprises. Some of those unexpected circumstances are not pleasant and leave a bitter aftertaste.

Some of us Recycled Moms are raising only one grandchild while others have any number of blessings. But what happens when other grandchildren are living elsewhere? I know of grandmothers who grieve daily because they and the children in their care are deprived of siblings. Due to divorce, out of wedlock pregnancies, drug abuse, mental illnesses and a myriad of other issues, siblings are often split apart. How do we Recycled Moms deal with this?

Each family must decide based on the issues. Some of the grandchildren are not even aware they have siblings. If the possibility of them meeting and having a relationship is basically nonexistent, do not even mention the other child (or children). It simply has not value and causes even more pain especially if the other child is with the absent parent. Having stated this, I add a disclaimer. Never, ever lie to your grandchild. When asked a question you would rather not answer, be honest but with minimal information. My own grandson once asked if his birth mother is dead and I simply said, “I do not know. Let’s pray for her.”

There is no clear cut answer. Almost eight million children live in grandparent households (or with other relatives). Three million grandparents report they are totally responsible for their grandchildren including all needs. This astounding number certainly makes the breath catch and makes us aware there are eight million hurting hearts. The number of siblings living outside these homes are unknown. We do know it presents a unique problem in America and that will continue into adulthood unless our precious grandchildren are given the security they deserve and crave.

Think about this Recycled Moms and have an idea of how to handle the situation. It might occur and to all of us. Remember to always speak positively about the siblings and to love them also. This is important o our grandchildren know our love is unconditional and encompassing enough to include people outside of the home. We never know what the future holds; we might one day find ourselves caring for the siblings also!

You are doing a great job with your little ones and you can indeed handle this is it become a factor. I have faith in you and so does God. He provides all we need and has all the answers.

Children live in a world we scarcely remember. The hardships, disappointments, heartaches and pressures of life leave us with a heart-scar. Children do not have that and see the world through eyes of wonder and color. Let us foster that by including anyone important to them. Our heart has room; it expands to hold just one more and one more and one more…..DSC_1347 thermal