Unexpected children

 

I just finished reading an article on Christianity Today , it was an interview with Bristol Palin regarding her new book and the topic of abstinence. I agree and disagree with some of her points of view, but the thing that shocked me the most were some of the comments in reaction to the article.

In the interview she states that her son “Tripp is the light” of her life  and a reader characterized her comment as one that sends an erroneous message to other teens. How saying that you love your son is wrong? I understand and agree that having a child out of wedlock is a sin, but is a sin of the parents, not of the child. So what is the recommendation here, she should be ashamed of her son?

She sinned. She admitted it, she repented. Who are we to judge? Are our sins any different? The Word says to us,  “You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from the other person’s eyeMatthew 7:5

A child born out of wedlock already comes with a list of situations that will affect their whole life. They will experience the absence of a nuclear family life, probably even the absence of a parental figure. Most out of wedlock children come from unskilled parents that will try to raise them the best way they can, but without the proper skills. They may experience feelings of rejection and abandonment. Should we encourage out of wedlock children? No! but once they are here, what impact we as a society contribute to their futures?

Where is our love and mercy? What happened to no condemnation?

As a society and as Christians we need to reevaluate ourselves on how we contribute to child abuse and exploitation. How our attitudes and our lack of involvement in our children’s lives may create some of these issues.

  • Do you know where your teens are? Who they keep company with?
  • Do you read the things they post in social media? (Good Lord I still get horrified with things I read in the walls of very underage children whose parents I know!)
  • Do you know who they talk to?
  • Are you afraid to talk to your children about sex and its true purpose? Or do you just tell them not to do it and wish for the best?
  • Are you the first one to reject someone who becomes pregnant outside of marriage?
  • Are you judgmental of single parents?
  • Or maybe you don’t judge them but give them no assistance, even when you are able.

I think its time to stop pointing the finger at others and see where our own contribution to the problem is. These new children did not ask to come into this world, but they did and they have a divine purpose. God knitted them too in their mother’s womb No, we should not encourage and make it seem like out of wedlock pregnancies are cool, but once the child is here, those children deserve the same love, affection and chance as any other child.

Food for thought

Blessings

You choose!

As we mature in life we have an idea of who we want to become or better yet what is God’s purpose in our lives. How to we achieve those goals has a lot to do with our decisions.

It has been said that if you encourage a child to do great things and equip him, he or she will have a better chance to achieve his or her potential. The good news is that even if our childhood was less than perfect as adults we have the control in our hands to determine what are those things that we are going to allow in our lives to encourage or discourage our purpose and future.

We decide the people we include in our lives.  You may think that’s not accurate as you didn’t choose your relatives. Although that is correct, you do have total control on how much time you spend with them and the level of interaction you have with them.

You may think that as a parent or child caregiver you have no control over your environment; it’s the total opposite. It is the responsibility of parents and caregivers to watch over their children. Children can present limitations to the things that can be done, but if you’re really honest with yourself the way you handle parenting can also affect that relationship on how enjoyable or not it becomes. The parenting experience could include the child in achieving God’s goals in your life and in creating a learning experience for the child of how to achieve their own goals throughout their lives.

We decide the type of entertainment we participate in. This believe it or not is important as it can form opinions, emotions and thought patterns that supports or discredit our believes with the information we expose ourselves to.

We decide our involvement in certain activities. In doing so we need to weigh how productive those activities are to our goals. In other words, is is worth to spend extensive time and resources to things that will not further our purposes? Sometimes we do.

What’s the point of all this you may ask? In our walk of life sometimes we feel like there’s not enough time, not enough energy, not enough resources, but the reality is that sometimes our decision making process drags us through a path of many steps with little resources.

God had goals for you, you have goals for yourself. Sit and discern your decision process and how your environment is affecting those things. Take the control back. You choose!!!

 

Blessings

Thinking of Lost Angels

Today  I just to make a stop to talk about some angels that we’re missing on this earth. In the last few weeks I’ve been thinking a lot about how many children are dying in the hands of their caretakers. It’s is sad when a society gets to that point where their kids are not safe with their own parents or those entrusted to care for them.

The bible says:

Matthew 18:6 

“If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea”

The only consolation that we can have is that they are not suffering anymore, that they are enjoying eternity with our Heavenly Father and that if any justice is not achieved on earth, divine justice will prevail. Join me in praying for the families of these angels and for the true repentance of those who hurt them. Let’s remember some of these lost angels.

JonBenét Ramsey                             Caylee Anthony

  

 

Lorenzo Gonzalez Cacho                  Conner Peterson

   

 

Michael and Alex Smith       Noah, John, Paul, Luke and Mary Yates

             

 Paulette Gebara              

 

 

Kyron Horman (hope we still find him alive)

 

 

sadly many more… 

Behind the name

WordPress gave us a  prompt some time this weekend, Where did your name come from? (or something to that effect). My full name is Natividad. People tend to think that I was born around Christmas as it sounds very close to the word Navidad, which is Christmas in Spanish. Ironically my birthday is in July. I’ve been sang “Feliz Navidad” many times at the sound of my name.

I can’t deny that I didn’t like much of my name growing up. It has so many letters that it usually didn’t fit in any form with squares provided to enter your name. Since I moved to the continental US it has been funnier because people struggle to pronounce it and some make it a personal challenge to say it well. At this point I’m used to it and when I’m in a public place and hear someone with their tongue tied trying to say out a name, I know they were calling my turn. I have not been mistaken once.

The fact is I received my name after my paternal grandmother. My father who had six daughters told my mother that he had always wanted to give one of his daughters his mother’s name and had never had the chance, so my mom agreed. I never met my grandmother as she had passed away when I was born. I think I’ve seen some old pictures of her.

Now as a writer working on branding my name I’m actually grateful for the name I have. I like the meaning of my name. It means being born and I’ve been in life situations when I’ve been given the opportunity of being born again and start life all over.  Also I’m glad that I have a different name that way people will recognize my name when they are looking for my books.

Ah Mothers!

As we celebrate Mother’s day I’ve been thinking about the mother’s in the bible that have exemplified in one way or another the life that mothers live.

Eve

I’ll be honest and say she was not the first in my mind, but this is a mother that deserves a lot of credit. Everyone remembers Eve just for what she did wrong. Granted, she messed it up for all of us, but Jesus fixed it so time to forgive and forget. She had to experience it all alone. There was no girlfriends to call when Adam was giving her a hard time or someone to show her the secrets of childrearing.  To top it off she had to endure the murder of one of her children all by herself. She deserves some credit for the mother she was.

Sarah

Oh Sarah! I’ve always seen her as one more evidence that God can make a way out of nowhere; and that when he makes a promise, he will come through no matter when it comes to fruition. I can only imagine this woman pregnant so late in her life and having to take care of a baby, running around with him. Not forgetting that after she gave her maid to Abraham to have a baby, the little brat had an attitude towards her. Too much drama for your later part of your life.

Hannah

Hannah had begged for a child for years and promises God that if he gives her a son she will give him back to him. So God gives her a son and so she did. Can you imagine dealing with years of fertility problems and then giving your son up? 

 

 

 

Mary

An engaged 14 year old engaged to be married, when she’s told she’s pregnant from God in a time where adultery was punished with death.  Mary didn’t belong to the “but social club” and she should have lead it. Yes, the club of us who every time God tells us that he wants us to do something we go but God… and I’m not saying she didn’t ask questions, but she did what she was asked. The “but social club” is for those who set up the excuse and don’t do. Then she had to give birth in a manger. No Pitocin, Lamaze; not even a clean room. For the first few years when a mother is enjoying her baby, she was running around like a fugitive trying to protect him from being killed.

I’m sure that Jesus got on her nerves every now and again. She was not too happy when he was 12 and he got lost in the city to be found at the temple. Finally having to see her son murdered in front of her eyes. How many mother’s have had to endure such pain?

Ana

I’m not talking about Mary’s mother and this one is not in the bible. I’m talking about my own mother.  She did the best she could with what she had. She sacrificed her life as a single mother working really hard to give her children what she felt was the most important things: The fear and love for God and a good education. Although our worship has changed paths, she taught me that without God there’s nothing in life and that we are to be grateful for all our blessings. She taught me good work ethics and to pursue my dreams. She supported me through the rough patches and bragged about my accomplishments. She too deserves credit for all of them!

I found the parents!

Every time a child does something wrong the obvious question is, where are the parents? After looking at this commercial closely I felt sadden. I found the parents! One allying against their partner and the other one too scared to exercise his authority.  I’m not starting a campaign against “Tide” but it is sad that a household name would take advantage of one of the symptoms of our decay as a society to profit from it.

 

There’s so much wrong with this commercial, it’s a sad true of the reality we’re living. Families are not working together in raising their children, children blatantly defying their parents and the parents feeling powerless to exercise their authority.

Here are some points that I saw in this:

  • Common values: This girl is a teenager; someone bought or allowed her to buy said skirt. It is obvious that both parents are not in accord with what is appropriate and not.  That itself it’s a recipe for disaster, ““Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand” (Matthew 12:25)
  • Respect: It is obvious that the father figure is not respected in this scenario; his opinion is not only ignored but blatantly undermined as the girl parades her now clean skirt in front of her father knowing that she’s defying his wishes. She feels empowered to do so, as her mother approved her behavior.
  • Alliance: The mother allies with her daughter against her husband, forgetting that he’s the co-parent. She also undermines him in trying to protect his daughter. This is one of those examples were parents try to be their child’s friend instead of their parent and when the child goes out of control they seek the other parent to step up to the plate. By then it’s too late, the child doesn’t respect either. Parents should work together to raise their kids, not against each other. “Whoever spares the rod hates their children, but the one who loves their children is careful to discipline them” (Proverbs 13:24)
  • Powerless: The saddest part is that the father felt that there was nothing he could do. He had to resort to try to ruin the skirt to avoid his daughter from wearing it. At what point will parents understand that they are the adults and that they make the rules? This father should have felt empowered to disapprove of the piece of clothing upon being bought or seen for the first time on his daughter and not have to resort to tricks to avoid confrontation. Parents, the teenager that “hates” you now for making them follow the rules, is the one that will be grateful when he or she grows up.  I’m not a parent, but from what I’ve seen the ones who grew up with parents as friends were the ones that once out in the world were lost feeling that they were being treated unfairly because the world will make them follow the rules and suffer the consequences of their actions.

 

Food for thought…

Facebook News Feeds, really?

Yesterday was the big day, Super bowl XLV where the Green Bay Packers and the Pittsburgh Steelers were going for the grand honor of being the best of American football for 2011. Congratulations to the Packers on their win. Disclaimer to all football fans: I know very little about football, so forgive me in advance for any wrong terminology used in this post. The subject is not football anyway.

I like to watch the Super bowl, just because of the commercials. Advertising agencies get very creative with these mini movies that have very little to do with the products they’re selling and more to do with the entertainment of the viewers.  In between commercials I admit to be smitten watching the Puppy bowl on Animal Planet. It makes more sense to me to see the puppies playing, no offense, that’s just my preference.

The thing that came to my attention was the commercial for the new Chevy Cruze.  Their pitch was that the car reads your facebook status while driving. Really? I know social media plays an important role in our modern life, but our facebook news feed? Is that how shallow we have become as a society? Just like a friend commented sarcastically, “Of course we need to know that our farm is ready for harvest”. One thing is to reunite with friends, have fun online, but we are creating a new undisguised addiction that could be unhealthy for both children and adults.

People have lost their jobs for things they have posted in social media or the use of it during inappropriate times. We see commercials were families at the table are not communicating; instead they are using text, e-mail to communicate when they are in front of each other, and we laugh at those commercials, but that’s becoming our sad reality. Slowly we are buying into a culture of alienation. There’s no time for family, prayer, creativity, reading or to look at ourselves, we’re too busy being entertained.

Not to be a hypocrite, I have a facebook and twitter account. I look at my Blackberry more times than I should. I play Farmville and Café World, but I do enjoy a good conversation with a friend or a family member. I like to have silent times to actually place my thoughts in orders. I like the silence in the sweet presence of my Creator who doesn’t speak through the noise. All this is kind of hard when you spend your time entertaining yourself with other things. I think that like with other things moderation and balance are the key word here and we’re losing sight of it.

Just my opinion.

Disclaimer: images taken from the internet, they are not mine. Page me if credit required-therisingmuse@gmail.com

The Road to Nanowrimo

Never underestimate the places were God puts you. I’m not saying that it was God’s will for me to be sick for the last week, but  he knew I needed to stop the train of life I was running and there was a lot that I had been praying to hear from him, but had not stopped to listen. Few days in bed shivering with fever, dragging to do every move and knocked out on medication will do wonders to your spiritual ears.

For the last few weeks I’ve been working on the anticipation of my yearly writing main event, Nanowrimo. This is the race to write a novel in a month of 50,000 words or more. Last year was the first time I ventured to do such thing and I was nervous due to the unknown. It’s worth mention that Nanowrimo was the precursor of The Rising Muse. I had so much writing energy after being in writing boot camp that I needed to channel it somewhere, that’s how The Rising Muse was born.  It also gave me the opportunity to finally finish a novel, which in itself was a great accomplishment, winning the competition was not bad at all. The rest of the year has been dedicated to editing the fruits of my labor (hint, hint to my editor, get yourself in gear, we’re trying to publish a book here! LOL!)

Anyway, at 52 hours from facing the challenge one more time, I’ve taken the time to review my life within the last year and see how far God has brought me during this time.  A lot of things have happened in the last 12 months.  I don’t work in the same position, I don’t drive the same car, and I don’t live in the same place. My spirit and my love for God are not even at the same level. I do have more responsibilities, but I wouldn’t trade it for the past. I have new friends, 20 less pounds (that I hope not to gain in November, it tends to happen); a total new life.

In my writing career, what have been those accomplishments in the last 12 months?

  • My first publication, the short story “The Janitor”
  • Winning Nanowrimo, “ The Road Home”
  • Starting my blog, “The Rising Muse”
  • Starting a Spanish Version of the blog with a collaborator (yes, Yanira you deserve a lot of credit too) “TRM en Espanol”
  • My second publication, the story “Obedience and Willingness”

I look at it and I can’t believe it myself. Someone asked me today which was the  accomplishment  I was most proud of in my life ; I responded allowing God to shine through the talents he gave me and letting him use my gifts and mistakes to touch other people’s lives. So to him the Glory of all he’s allowed me to do!

Now at 51 hours the clock continues to race for me to start writing, “Breaking Free”. I think we’re doing better this year. Last year my novel didn’t have a title until the very end. I think we have a good start. Last year the anxiety was because I didn’t know what I was facing. This year the anxiety is because I do know what’s coming.

I want to take the opportunity to thank God for his love, mercy and for giving me this gift. I thank all my readers, my friends and family for your support. Thanks to Yolanda and Jeff for inviting me for the second year to their house for Thanksgiving allowing me to write instead of cooking. I promised a pie and a cake, Publix may end up doing them for me…LOL! To Seth, my editor, for loving me and putting up with my Spanglish writing. Only he understands the things I write, especially when I write in a hurry.

To those around me, remember, as of Monday there’s no cooking. My dog will appreciate visitors to let her out and I will appreciate anyone bringing me a sandwich, a smoothie (Carrie hint, hint), a soy chai latte or (Noe hint, hint) just listen to me fuss about how this story is not coming along. Let the writing begin!!!! 50 hours to go!!!

Natalicio

Natalicio is another word for birthday in Spanish. I happen to be counting another one of those in my calendar. I woke up this morning thinking about my daily routine, even complaining about things here and there and then I stopped myself.

New Years Eve is not the only day to make inventory of your life, every time another year of life is added is good to see where you are, especially in comparison to where you’ve been. I started by thinking where was I for my last birthday. I remembered having a family dinner and a small gathering at home. I am grateful for the efforts but I was not in a good place.

This last year has been filled with hard lessons and great challenges, but has also been filled with the Mercy and Grace of Jesus Christ. I look at myself in the mirror and I’m definitely not the same person I was. I have grown a lot and thank God it has not been in my dress size. I have made new friends, have taken new risks and I can look at the future with purpose.

I also reviewed that God has allowed me to live this far, not saying that I’m old, but any enterprise more than 20 years is a long journey. I looked at my life with gratitude. I have a God that has provided for me every single day. I have never gone to bed without eating, unless I wanted to and I obviously don’t chose to. I’ve had a roof over my head all my life. I’ve always had clothes to wear, and all of you should be grateful for that too. My bills have always been paid, a delay here and there, but that’s my stewardship challenge, not lack of provision. I can’t even count the many times God has saved my life from trouble. I stopped my pity party and looked at life in a different light. I made a decision. Today was the day to move forward; to start looking at life for its blessings.

I felt filled with joy and left my house to live the first day of my life, it was truly my birthday; my day of birth. To complete my joy, friends and family overwhelmed me with demonstrations of love. I was already happy to be alive and have the Lord, everything else was icing in the cake, and I had tons of it, all fat free as it was all involved in love.

Even if it’s not your birthday today, take an opportunity to look at the blessings in your life. Be mindful, your job may not be perfect, but at least you have one. Your check may not be enough to allow you to travel, but your bills are paid. You may not have the latest fashion but you’re not naked. You may not be able to eat at a fancy restaurant, but you don’t go to bed hungry. Be grateful for all you have and all the blessings God has poured into your life and experience your own birthday.

As promised…

Internet is back up, Halleluiah! As promised, upon my return I was going to add another one of my short stories for your delight. Please go to e-reads page and click on “Loud Silence” or simply click on the link below and enjoy this dramatic story of a woman who had it all and basically snapped.

Feedback is always welcome and thanks for your patience while I was away.

Happy Reading!