Now that my daughter is in high school she is bound to experience the woes of having dealings with high school boys from friendships to the idea of relationships. A boy at her school has already declared his love for her and told her, “You and I are going to be together forever. You are so beautiful and smart and I know that you have a good future ahead of you. That’s the kind of girl I need in my life.” She told him if that was so then why was he trying to talk to her and bragging about being with some other girl. I laughed hysterically because even at 14 she already has standards and knows the type of behavior she will and will not accept. She is unapologetic for having those standards. Way to go baby girl!
As I sit and write this blog post I think about past relationships, whether personal or business, and how often I held back to make those relationships work. There were many occasions I was told I was asking for too much or that my expectations were just too high. Hoping that things would work out for the best, I have often asked myself was it wrong to ask for what I wanted or to be up front about my expectations? NO, it was not!
It is VERY freeing when you realize that you are not the one with the issue for knowing what you want. It is perfectly normal to know what you want out of your relationships, how you want to be treated by family, and what you need from your job. It’s just not accepted because the nerve of you to know what you want. The nerve of you to make others uncomfortable for having to step up and be held accountable. Yeah you got some nerve and I applaud you!
Be Your Own Kind of Beautiful Photo By Damika Davis
Imperfect with all my flaws I am unapologetic about who I am! I will not apologize for wanting healthy relationships where I am treated with respect, being ambitious, having goals, and not going with the status quo. I have high expectations because what I have to offer is of HIGH worth. I am just grateful that my daughter understands this early as she was being pursued by this boy. He has high expectations of the type of person he wants to be with in the future but wants the girls he pursues now to have low expectations. Sorry buddy my daughter is learning to be her own kind of beautiful, have high expectations, and state boldly that she is not having it! That makes me a proud Mama 🙂
I have made many relationship mistakes in my lifetime many of which I had to pay for with my heart. Painful as those mistakes may have been they offered two valuable lessons. First, there is no such thing as a perfect person. Second, both parties in the relationship have to put forth the effort to make the relationship work. Relationships require being emotionally available, having realistic expectations, listening, actually talking, being honest, and admitting when you are wrong.
As a single mom, I use to find it challenging to date. Potential suitors found me too busy to make time for them because my daughter was my top priority and my working schedule was hectic. Being in a relationship, she still is my top priority and my schedule is still hectic so what’s changed? If you have been reading my blog posts you know that I am a big advocate of having balance which is an ongoing process to master. Yet, at the end of day we make time for the things that we want to do. If my heart’s desire is to be in a healthy relationship that could lead to marriage, I have to be willing to put in the work. It is also equally important that my significant other be willing to put in the work as well. That work in turn keeps the flame of love burning in our relationship.
Flame of Love Photo by Damika Davis
My moms who are married can attest to the challenges of keeping the flame of love burning in their relationships. From scheduled date nights or free weekends, that special time gives them an opportunity to make each other the focus of attention and not the kids. Who knew that men needed to feel important and want to be a #1 priority too!
Whether you are a mom who is single or married, scheduling time enables us to let our children and significant others know that they are important to us. This also allows us to give our children teachable moments of healthy relationships where there are real conversations (texting is a non-verbal substitute!), admission when there is wrong, and trust that encourages sharing what is happening in each other’s lives. Learning what loves is and how to love starts with healthy relationship at home. Our children won’t know what it takes to keep the flame of love burning if they don’t have first hand examples at home.
As a Mom I have come to develop a keen sensitivity, Mom senses, to knowing when my daughter was not feeling well or needed to get some rest. When she was little she cried at the top of her lungs for attention signaling to me that she was sleepy, she was hungry, or needed a diaper change. Now that she is a teenager, the signals are different. When she tries to fit as much into her schedule as possible from birthday parties, bestie outings, sporting activities, etc., Mom senses tell me to look for sassy responses, bags under her eyes, and check the status of her grades. All of which helps me to know when to draw the line on what she can or can’t participate in.
I remember when my daughter was a toddler and I failed to make sure she got her nap that day. I was busy doing things around the house as she played with her toys with the gentle giggling sounds that only a toddler can make. Suddenly there would be silence. My Mom senses asked, “Why is she so quiet?” Calling her name and getting no response, I ran into the living room only to find her head laying on the seat of the sofa and her feet planted firmly on the floor. She was so exhausted she was sleeping half standing up! It was as if she attempted to climb on the sofa to lay down but was just too exhausted to bring her little legs to crawl up onto the sofa seat. In a way she still does that today. She will keep moving until she is completely exhausted unless I tell her to slow down and get some rest. She always says she is not tired and then when we are home, I will find her in the living room sound asleep and…..sprawled out on the sofa. I can’t help but smile when I think of then and now.
Our children figure they have all the energy in the world to keep moving from one activity to the next but as Moms we need to be able to draw the line making sure they get the rest they need. Lack of rest can lead to our children having mood swings, weakened immune systems, and poor grades. Reflecting on my previous post Purposeful Scheduling I also have to ensure that my daughter’s schedule is balanced and leaves room for her to get rest. After long weeks of school, extracurricular activities, and homework I have to be able to draw the line and say, “No let’s sit this one out.”
Thousands of runners completed the Bank of America Chicago Marathon today. They trained and they endured to run their race and make it successfully to the finish line. While I may not have been a participant in the Bank of America Chicago Marathon, I have been a participant in the Chicago Half Marathon. There is nothing like coming around the last curve and giving it your all to finish strong to the finish line. In the same way runners finish strong in marathons, we should finish strong in what we do in life.
2016 Bank of America Chicago Marathon
I am glad to share that as of my last post the shift in my life has occurred and I embark on my journey (my marathon) in three weeks. For some, three weeks was too long to allow for transitioning especially after all I have endured. They also knew my struggles over the last twelve years. Yet regardless of how I was treated that doesn’t mean that I have to leave without having things in order. Meanwhile my daughter is on the sidelines observing and listening. As I proceed to this latest finish line in my life I am showing my daughter three things:
- Don’t leave on bad terms if you don’t have to.
- Leave things better than how you found them.
- Continue with integrity and good work ethic until the end.
Just as a marathon runner trains to finish strong through the pain and through exhaustion; I am teaching my daughter to finish strong through her adversities in life. We have to show our children how to maintain integrity and continue to do right even when it is not expected. We need to be the example of maintaining a good work ethic until the end. If we want our children to finish strong we need to show them what it looks like to finish strong.
Over the past few months I have been feeling as if a shift is about to occur in my life (Seasons of Change Blog Post). Not having any idea what the shift entailed, I knew for sure that I felt something in my spirit. The feeling was affirmed by way of a phone call in regards to something I inquired about almost a year ago. Now, I am patiently awaiting the outcome of this shift that can ultimately change my life. This shift would move me beyond where I have been planted these last 12 years.
I don’t find it a coincidence that it was almost 12 months ago of my inquiry and 12 years of where I have been planted. The number 12 represents God’s power and perfect government authority. I now reflect on the events of my life during this time. I can see clearly God’s timing of having everything in order. The order of me letting some people and some things go. The order of planning. The order of waiting patiently. The order that the foundations be set, structures are strategically put into place, and resources are made available. All of this occurring before the shift but while I dwell in possibilities.
Dwell in Possibilities Photo by Damika Davis
As we are blessed with each day to be alive, we should dwell in possibilities that with God all things are possible. Dwell in the truth that until we are in position to be where we need to be at the predestined time, God is working behind the scenes with all power and authority. While Emily Dickenson dwelled in the possibilities through her poetry, let your possibilities be in Hope (confident expectation) of all that God will do in your life when everything is alignment.