That phrase is as repulsive as nails on a chalkboard as it evokes disdain and cringing facial expressions in our society. But, that is my identity, my label. I won't shy away from it, because it plays such a great part of who I am today and who I've always been.
Here I am as a teen...
And shortly after,
into a teen mom...
Please be careful little eyes what you perceive.
Please be careful little ears what you overhear.
Please be careful little feet where you lead others.
Please be careful little mouths what you say.
Please refrain from the poison of judging our youth who are expecting new life.
The encouragement I received during my teen pregnancy is still with me today.
Loving encouragement breeds beauty and restores hope to the hurting.
One of the greatest things I heard when I became pregnant was from a very dear friend of my Mom's. She was standing at our front door blessing us with her words of grace and dignity: "There is no shame in new life, Lisa. New life is a celebration! It is now time to celebrate.". Her genuine words caused me to propel forward with a renewed spirit within. I will never forget that moment.
I carried her words with me in the upcoming months as I physically and mentally prepared for parenthood. Chris and I, at eighteen years old, instantly changed our mindset to adults when we realized we had the responsibility of new life ahead of us. We did whatever it took to plan, prepare, and be the parents our firstborn would need us to be. Don't put limitations on our humanity based on an age. People will thrive or fail, regardless of age. Besides, whether we succeed or fail should be of no consequence. We should always "go into the world and do good to others". Your loving encouragement may reverse a dying heart into a thriving one.
Your words matter.
Your actions matter.
Make your human interactions purposeful.
Here is a excerpt from my journal then:
"Dear Lord...What a trial this has been...I desire Your peace. I am torn in every way, and I need You now more than ever before. Draw me into You. I have so many questions..."
Over a decade later, I still have questions as a parent. The questions started with conception and they will never stop. Our days are unpredictable. We can't perfectly map out our future. And looking back, I wouldn't want to. There is mysterious intrigue with the unknown. It keeps our faith steady and keeps our spirits humble. But I do know that I can live passionately in my present moments and fully experience my todays.
I have always been ambitious and I had big goals for my life. I had plans for my young future but those "plans" were silver and I was given gold instead. Don't hold your "plans" too tightly to your chest. There are times when those plans need to fall to the floor as you continue walking so you'll be prepared to catch the treasures along the way.
Chris and I shortly after our Cameron was born
The night our firstborn arrived is cataloged away into my soul. Chris and I were very expectant. As our eyes locked that last night of being carefree, we knew that this was the beginning of something new and the end of anything we had ever known. Our own childhood was instantly cut off that night as we stepped boldly into the life of adulthood. We were two kids, crazy in love, and ready to take on the world together. Chris and I are still trying to take on the world, with our arms now full of gold.
Renew the courage within
and realize that your present trial
may be your future gift.
me with my precious little baby
The loudest whisper I want to leave each of you with is to please be kind. Next time you see a young girl, with wide eyes, unsure of her steps as she is on the edge of motherhood, encourage her, don't judge her. Next time you see a young guy with hat on backwards, standing by his girl, treat him like a man and he will stand up taller. This will enable him to care for his new family in this cycle we call life.
Chris and I are forever grateful
for the angels with big wings that graced their backs
who gently led us in the truth during our time of despair.
You know who you are...and so do we.
This post is linked to: Under the Table & Dreamin, Think Pink Sundays, Seasonal Sundays, Met Monday, Making the World Cuter, Tuesday Tutorials and Tips, Tasty Tuesday, Tempt My Tummy, Tip Junkie, Get Your Craft On, Works for Me Wednesday, Blue Cricket Design, Transformation Thursday, House of H, Tablescape Thursday, Show off Your Stuff, Strut Your Stuff, Show and Share Day, Foodie Friday, Frugal Friday, I'm Lovin It, Tickled Pink, Friday Flair, Design Dazzle, Be Different Act Normal, Funky Junk Interiors, Weekend Wrap Up