Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Secret whispers from a teen mom

Today is my firstborn's birthday and my soul is reflecting on an October 12th eleven years ago.


Teen
Mom.   

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, 
quickly transformed
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




Cameron Skyler

And today:
 


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. 
Thank you.




 
This post is linked to: Under the Table & Dreamin, Think Pink Sundays, Seasonal SundaysMet Monday, Making the World Cuter, Tuesday Tutorials and Tips, Tasty Tuesday, Tempt My Tummy, Tip Junkie, Get Your Craft OnWorks 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 

53 comments:

jeana said...

Beautifully said! I had our first baby 10 years ago at age 17. I got quite a bit of support as well. You're right. That was a time in our lives when we needed so much encouragement. Thanks for this =]

d e l i g h t said...

Touching post and wonderful words of advice!

Sunshine said...

I love being your mom, Lisa, and this post made me cry.

Jane said...

What a beautiful and heartfelt post, Lisa. Your journey has been such a blessing to you and Chris...and to so many others. Those reading your thoughts will gain a perspective that often is lacking, given the sensational television and publication blasts that portray Teen Moms as victims and just downright icky people. May your encouraging words touch many...

My sister was a teen mom. She did not receive a lot of support from our parents...it was a time when teen pregnancy was swept under the carpet and never discussed. Thankfully, my aunt was there for her.In fact, they went through pregnancy together. My sister has been happily married for over 50 years, to a wonderful, and highly successful man...the father of her children. And those children grew up to be wonderful and successful adults and parents.

As you have shared...with love, support, and hard work, teen moms and dads can thrive.
Blessings on you, Chris, and your three wonderful sons.
Hugs,
Jane

Savvy Seasons said...

Very touching and inspiring post, Lisa. You are a wonderful writer and your thoughts and emotions come through so genuinely.
Many Blessings,
Liz

Teresa said...

Teen Mum always bring a smile to my face. It speaks to me of someone who made a decision and got her life around it...

In fact, I find myself envying the teen mums' strength and endless stamina.

No one loves like a child and a teen is in that transition phase. Blessed be those who choose the hardest path and stick to it - like you did. Blessings to your Mumsy Heart and your bundle of joy.



P.S. the way life is evolving some people gape when I say my first baby was born when I was 21 LOL

Becca said...

Wonderful post, Lisa! I also love the pictures! It feels longer than eleven or so years ago when you told me you were pregnant. What a stressful time! I always knew you were going to be an amazing mother. Someone for me to emulate. Those boys are so blessed to have you as their mother!

Judy@cutest-little-things.blogspot.com said...

Very inspirational, Lisa. We tend to paint people with one wide brush and fail to stop to see that everyone has something that they're struggling with...the world would be a better place if people treated others more kindly.

Love the photo of you bathing your baby :) That just captures it all...the joy, the love, the hope.

My father always believed in treating "children/teens" as adults. He greeted all of our friends as "Mr." or "Miss." We thought it was odd at the time, but our friends respected him for it. Your heart reaps what it sows.

Beautifully written heartfelt post. Don't change a thing about being *you*.

Judy@cutest-little-things.blogspot.com

portatoredichrist said...

I love you Lisa Renee Miller Moore! Our journey has been filled with so much life. I have always been grateful that you are the mother of my sons. And I eagerly anticipate the days when you can be the grandmother of my granddaughters.

You were an amazing teen. You are an even more amazing woman. I guess that explains why Cameron is such an amazing boy.

As I read this post, I thought back the people who reached out to us, "back in the day". God tells us there are treasures stored up in heaven. I can think of some people, who during that time, probably scored a mansion with enough acreage to start a small nation. It is amazing how their acts of kindness shaped who I am, and in turn, who our sons are.

Our journey has been long. Our lessons learned were not easy. And I would not change a single day with you. Will you still be my wife, Lisa? Because nothing could make me happier. My life without you is unimaginable and terrible to consider. But my life with you is a life lived to it's fullest.

Jen said...

BEAUTIFUL post Lisa. Being a mom is a treasure and can be such an integral part of one's personal identity.

God's blessings come in so many forms.

Designs By Pinky said...

THANK YOU for this BEAUTIFUL, heartfelt post! When I had my son, I had JUST utrned 20 and my hubby had JUST turned 19. We did NOT get alot of support, but some. I am so glad you got the support and love you did. My son is 43 now and my daughter is 40. They are my HEART! My hubby and I ahve traveled this road together and are still best friends. Your emotions really touched my heart. Thank you again. XO, Pinky

Gmama Jane said...

I am ashamed because I have been guilty of judging even though I've always been kind on the outside. God knows the judgement that was in my heart and He will forgive me. I will forever remember your words...I am changed. Thank you from a repentant heart.
Blessings
Gmama Jane

Blondie's Journal said...

This is such a touching post...I feel tears in my eyes! You are a wonderful writer and you really opened my eyes up in so many ways. Bless your heart for telling your story. And Happy Birthday to your sweet son.

XO,
Jane

Just me said...

Thank you so much for your touching words. Brought tears to my eyes as I remembered when my daughter, at age 17, found out she was pregnant. Unfortunately for her she didn't hear kind words from people she held dear in her heart. I was so proud of her decision to make all the calls to share the good news with the family instead of hiding behind mom's apron. Sadly, the first people she told, turned on her and told her how wrong she was. What hurt the most is they were family, close family, the one's you count on to be there for you through thick and thin. Unfortunately, thanks to their reaction, that closeness was irreversibly lost. Too many things said, hurtful things that would never be taken back. Thankfully my daughter had others to turn to who were there for her, with support and understanding. The few that chose to step away, lost. They lost not only a niece, a cousin, a friend but they also lost the opportunity to be a part of not only one beautiful baby girl's life but also three others that followed. My daughter is a sweet, loving person who is raising 4 sweet, loving daughters. I couldn't imagine life without them!
Some people understand what a good word is worth, unfortunately others do not. I feel sad for them, for what they lost and what they are missing but I have tried my best and been blocked along the way. They chose their path.
I cry a tear of sadness for what my daughter went through but I also cry a tear of joy for the love and kindness you were given.
Your boys are blessed to have so much love around them! Keep up the good work!

Randi~Dukes and Duchesses said...

That was such a beautiful post ... it brought tears to my eyes. I used to counsel at a crisis pregnancy center and I've spent lots of time with young expectant girls but you allowed me to see them through a different light ... thank you for sharing that.

Terry said...

After reading this post, I know it's true. I named my daughter Lisa because every Lisa I have ever known has been a strong woman. See, I know it's true and this was an amazing article. You are a writer. Do you know that?

Terry said...

Oh and by the way, my daughter's full name is Lisa Marie Moore!

LARRY MILLER said...

As for her Dad, I am very proud of you and you are a wonderful Mom !! I love you very much !!

Jensamom23 said...

What wise and inspiring words. Thank you. (Love the sink bath photo!)

b. said...

Chris' words are always so loving and sincere.. a real man is real and open and he always is!

You guys are so blessed and so perfect for each other!

b. said...

PS beautiful post!!

Karima said...

Wow - what a wonderful personal post - thanks for sharing. Saw you on linky party and now gfc following you, Karima www.karimascrafts.com

Heidi said...

Thank you for sharing your story. It was beautiful...only thing more beautiful was the reply your husband left you.

Never be ashamed of your story. You chose a very courageous path and one you should be proud of. So many don't.

And you are right, the path we walk may not be the one we may have chosen...but God's plans are always best, even when that is hard to see at first.

Heidi@HomemadeBeautiesByHeidi

Nancy said...

Such beautiful pictures! You are such a wonderful Mother. One of my best friends in HS was a teen Mom too and I know it was hard for her when dumb people judged. Sometimes living in a small town can be hard that way. You always seemed so mature to me, I never even realized you were only 18! Hope Cameron has a great Birthday!

Ashley said...

i had my 1st child at 21 and i was unwed and you would have thought i was 12 years old the way i got treated in my southern baptist town...i really enjoyed reading about you and your family...

Burlap Luxe said...

Stumbled across your post, it is beautiful, My sister was a teen Mom and I remember her sadness so well, her support system much like yours and welcoming her new life into the world blessed so many.

This is a powerful post, and like non other I have read, a message everyone should hear, perhaps you could enter it in Womens World magazine paper so everyone can read your message!

So beautiful that you and Chris are still together, God has big plans for you both and what a testimoney to waliking in faith.

Blessings to you and your family.

xx
~Dore

Southern Princess said...

So very happy I found your blog and this post in particular. I had my first son 12 years ago when I was 18. While my immediate family stood by me, all my friends did not. Teen mom was a very dirty word in a small town. To this day, I tried to reach out to one old friend, hoping all this would have passed. It still has not. She was unreceptive and down right rude. No matter, I have shielded my sons from people like that as I am teaching them to love and understand their fellow man. Kudos on such a well written post. xoxo

The Quintessential Magpie said...

First of all, Happy Birthday to your cute boy! I hope it is the best one yet.

And, Lisa... I remember you talking something of this in another post, but this is just so very touching. And you are right. We need to be so careful what we say to other people because they carry those wounds in their hearts for a lifetime, OR they rise up and take wing because we've enabled them to fly. I'm so glad for those angels who stood by you and behind you and surrounded you with love. God bless them every one!

You are a beautiful couple and have such a beautiful family. I pray that you will have a long and happy life together. Be blessed, my friend, but something tells me you already are!

XO,

Sheila

Myfriendscallmesuzy said...

I am a new blogger and funny thing just the other day, I almost mentioned that I too was a teen mom and decided not to. Im now inspired to not shy away from it. It is very much a part of who I am.

Although I was much younger then most. I gave birth to my son when I was only 15. Yes, I was still very much a baby. But I love my son more then any person ever could. My mother tells me I was born to me a mom. I mothered my younger brother who is only a year younger then me from the time we were toddlers. So when it was time for me to be a mom myself it always came naturally.

I remember though the judging stares and whispers. Alot of the reason I didnt blog it. So thank you for this post for telling all who read it that although young mothers and fathers we are still people. People with feelings. Words can either hurt or help. But once said and heard they cant be taken back.

My family was very suportive. Not a single one of them turned their back on me. I was able to raise my son with tons of help and for that I am blessed. However my friends, were young and had no responsiblity as did and soon lost touch. I do not blame them though and have some what reconected through the years. But I do not regret any thing that has happen in my past. It has mad me who I am today.

Thanks again so much for this post. It has been one of the best I have read in a long time.

Myfriendscallmesuzy said...

Oh and My 1st sons name is Cameron also, Cameron Lee. :)

Cathy said...

I enjoyed your post. I also was a teen mom, pregnant at 15. My beautiful son is now getting his Masters degree and my husband and I are still together 25 years and 4 more kids later! We always had the support of our family and that made a huge difference at that time in our lives.

Tracy said...

Okay. This was a good post. Always trying to better myself, I will take your words to heart and try to lift up rather than judge.

Jenny said...

Lisa, what a beautifully poignant post.

I hope this message 'takes'. Tolerance and kindness and encouragement is always the right way to go.

Beautiful pictures. Beautiful you. Beautiful family.

kt said...

Thank you for your post.

My own mother had me when she was 17. I don't know if she was ever able to shake her feelings of guilt & embarrassment. She could have made other choices--but I am proud & grateful that she didn't.

I became a mother @ 19 & she was my greatest source of support in my journey into motherhood & being a young wife.

Bless you.

Desire Empire said...

What a lovely post. I did it the other way around and had babies in my late 30's and early 40's.

You are right that new life is to be celebrated, which ever way it is brought into the world.

Andrea Brand . Charcoal and Crayons said...

Absolutely inspiring. I was truly moved as I read your post... so full of love, grace, and wisdom. Thank you for sharing your beautiful story.

Michelle said...

Happy Birthday Cameron!

What a beautiful post.

I too had my firstborn when I was 18 though I am not sure I was surrounded by the encouraging people you were. I love the quote by your mom's friend, "There is no shame in new life, Lisa. New life is a celebration! It is now time to celebrate." What amazing perspective. While inside I was so excited to meet my little boy and loved him more than anything I was ashamed of what other people thought and how they judged me. Encouragement not judgement are what is needed.

Now that I am out of the middle of the struggles of being a teen mother I have often thought about giving back and helping other moms going through similar circumstances.

Thanks for sharing!

A Mother and A Daughter said...

This is such a touching story. God can turn any situation into something beautiful. I love the picture of you as a young mother giving your baby a bath. So sweet!

StacyM said...

I was also a teen mom. I had my first at the age of 14. Unfortunately I had many bad events prior to my pregnancy. I was molested from age 9-12 & then raped at 13. The person that molested me was a family member, my grandfather. He always told me that was my job...my place in life. If I was ever to amount to anything that a man would want then I'd have to act as he told me. I became pregnant from my first ever boyfriend. I was just providing him w/ the things in life that I was taught & forced to do. I didn't know any different. I dind't know that men could be nice or caring. I lost a lot of friends & some family members disowned me. I was kicked out of school when I began to show too. Both parents tried to get me to end my pregnancy, but I just couldn't. I eventually got married to another man & had my 2nd baby at 21. I was divorced shortly after. I wasn't about to stay in an abusive marriage. I raised both children on my own with some help from my mom that eventually came around. they are now 22 & 16. It was the hardest thing that I have ever done. They were not & are not the easiest kids to handle. They act out tremendously b/c they miss their fathers. The men have made minimal effort to have a relationship with their children. Most days I dont know up from down. I'm so happy that you had the supprt that you needed. I am truely jealous that I did not. Your post did make me cry & I'm still crying as I write this. I hope more people actually stop & think before they make ugly comments & judge you for something that you may not have had complete control over. Good luck & God bless.

Amy said...

This is very touching. I have always said you can do what ever you put your mind to. Having a baby is hard no matter what age. It isn't all just fun and cute. It is work, but the harder you work the more joyful it becomes. As it gets easier another challenge presents itself. It is never easy as a parent, but it is rewarding.

ThisHomeOfOurs said...

I am from the South so there are teen moms everywhere. I however never see a good story to tell. The live off their parents. No jobs or plans of college even though they have time since there parents take on the care of their kid. I run a daycare and the Grandparents pay the bill and do the dropping off even though the parent doesn't work but doesn't take care of their kid either. Maybe it is the day and age. Kids are lazier now and parent give them everything. So they just don't have the mind frame that you had. You become a parent you have to act like one and make a life for your child and yourself. But the teen moms here in SC only want to be moms when the welfare and child support check comes.

Erin {Lavender and Lemon Drops} said...

What an amazing post! I am a daughter of a teen mom. Now that I am grown and raising children of my own in my adult years I can't even imagine how hard it was for her! I love that you remind us to not judge but to encourage. It is after all the positive things in life that make us want to better ourselves! Thanks for sharing :)

Gina said...

Just now stumbled upon your blog, as I was getting ready to link up my post. Just wanted you to know, that your words were beautiful, and touched my soul. I too was a teen unmarried mom. Not quite as young as you, I had just turned 20 when my daughter was born. She forever changed my life, and just reading your post brought back all those feelings I had back then. Now almost 14 years later, and I still deal with the emotions of that time in my life! Thank you so much for being transparent and open.
Gina

Gina said...

Just now stumbled upon your blog, as I was getting ready to link up my post. Just wanted you to know, that your words were beautiful, and touched my soul. I too was a teen unmarried mom. Not quite as young as you, I had just turned 20 when my daughter was born. She forever changed my life, and just reading your post brought back all those feelings I had back then. Now almost 14 years later, and I still deal with the emotions of that time in my life! Thank you so much for being transparent and open.
Gina

Kelli @ The Turquoise Piano said...

Beautiful post. Thank you.

Amanda said...

This moved me! Thank you for these raw and loving and honest words... and thank you for glorifying the Lord in all you do!

Holly Lefevre said...

I have tears in my eyes...and let see if I can keep this comment short...I am the reason my parents are married - they would have probably married eventually, but I hurried it along. I was born 2 months after my mom turned 18, but here they are 40-ish years later still married. I have another friend who gave birth our Junior year and she and her hubby and still together with 3 beautiful kiddos.

I can only imagine what my mom went through, in fact for years I refused to believe she was pregnant in her wedding photos.

It is simply hard to be a parent no matter what age you are, but I can only imagine what a shock to a teen that would be. OK it is late and I am babbling...but Lisa, this was amazing!

Its So Very Cheri said...

Lisa,

What a sweet encouragement you are. I have someone I want to share this with. I am posting on facebook too.

Cheri from Its So Very Cheri

The DIY Show Off said...

This touched me as well, Lisa. 2 decades ago at almost 19, I became a mom. I'm so thankful for the love and support during that time and I remember being judged too. I believe there's a reason for everything and I'm humbled to have been chosen by God to be my daughter's mother. Happy birthday to your beautiful son. I admire your strength and faith and love your story. :)

Janny said...

Thank you for this! It was so good to read

Sue@House Pretty said...

I just found your blog. I have to admit, I have been one of THOSE people. I never said anything, but God knows what I was thinking.

But, believe it or not, I can now see at least one benefit that you too would have over a lot of other people. You needed to learn responsibility at a young age, and that has the real possibility of actually having you further ahead financially in the long run! God bless your family!!

Rachel • cREaTe said...

such a sweet post! came here via pinterest - found my artwork on there. :) the small mother teresa canvas is actually mine. it was for sale & sold in my shop last summer: http://www.etsy.com/transaction/30772747 [shop link: http://www.etsy.com/shop/cREaTebyRET ]

THANKS for featuring it on such a sweet post. the sweet words by your mom's friend gave me chills - what a beautiful thing to say, i can see why it stuck with you!

The Tablescaper said...

Beautiful post. Congratulations on your wonderful family.

- The Tablescaper