Monday, December 1, 2014

The Life of the Lonely Extrovert

So many of you know me, but don't know that I have battled with loneliness since I was a small child. This might be confusing to many who read this because I am extremely extroverted. I am the person who can walk into a crowded room of strangers and less than an hour later know many of them personally. I have tried to protect myself from the dark grasps of loneliness with walls of social encounters. I place these walls up from those I socialize with to keep them from seeing how I fear they will not be able to accept. Even in a crowded room of friends I feel completely alone. 

Ever since I was a child I had this thought that nagged at me. The thought would tear me down and diminish my worth and make it impossible to be vulnerable. The thought whispers to my heart, "No body wants you around, they are just acting nice because they are kind but you are just a tag-along." In that moment I am brought back to being the little sister who follows her big brothers and their friends. 

I remember my mom staying up with me at night and praying with me that God would provide friends for me. For years I had thought that I was the most unpopular kid at school but I was rarely teased and bullied. Looking back I see how blessed I was to have people consider me their friend. 

The very castle I have built to protect me has become a fortress of solitude. It keeps me from connecting with others and the walls keep people who care so deeply for me at a distance. It allows them to share their struggles and vulnerabilities with me, but I keep mine locked up until I have dealt with them enough to share with others. I am living the life of the lonely extrovert. 


Monday, October 27, 2014

What to do when your kids are afraid of black people...

Let me start by saying this is not meant to offend anyone. Yet, I am sure it will offend someone. 

Two weeks ago my nine year old daughter was talking to me about the things happening in our hometown. She tries to hide her feelings and shuts down sometimes, so I saw this as an opportunity to help her communicate her feelings and to help her process everything she is seeing and hearing. She feels stuck. She is a biracial girl living in the middle of Ferguson, MO and she feels stuck. We have tried our hardest to protect her from media overload and to not overwhelm her with facts and yet she is still seeing and hearing things that scare her. While we were talking Abbie suddenly got quiet and looked away. She began to weep to herself. I asked her what was wrong. She looked at me and sheepishly said, "Mom, I am afraid of black people." When the words came out of her mouth, I could see the guilt written across her face. She was scared, angry, filled with guilt for the feelings of which she couldn't control. I wonder know if she saw my expression when she had said it. I don't know what my face said but when I heard her say those very words I felt as if I had been punched the the gut. It hurt emotionally as well as physically. I tried to soothe her telling her how proud of her I was for her openness and willingness to communicate her feelings. We discussed how there are good and bad people on every side with every race and background. We reminded her of all the black people who love her dearly and are wonderful people that we don't fear. We also talked about how not everyone feels the way those who are scaring her do (those looting and rioting). 

When we got home and I had some time to myself; I began to think about what she had said. Each time I thought of it, it broke my heart. I was shocked and confused because it was the last thing I had thought that one of my daughters would have to face. We had tried so hard to fight the hatred and judgements of others and to be an example of love and acceptance. How could my child be afraid of black people? I was concerned that this will negatively affect her as an adult. I don't want her to disconnect from one side of her background because of the things in Ferguson. I don't want her to harbor bitterness and anger in her heart which can create self-hate and internal racism. Just as she felt guilty for feeling afraid, I felt guilty for having a child who felt afraid. 

I wanted to fix the problem but I knew that it isn't something that will vanish and I needed answers. I turned to the places I usually find answers: the Bible, family, friends, and google. The title for this blog is because they were the exact words I typed into for my google search. I found that in this instance, as well as many others, the counsel I found in the Bible, with friends, and with family was far superior to google. This is I why I wanted to write this. Maybe I could share the wisdom I have found with other moms. 

What to do when your kids are afraid of black people.. or any group of people. 

  1. Listen. Allow them to communicate their feelings. They are going to have the feelings either way but by listening it allows it to not fester and grow out of control. It also strengthens the bond between child and parent to be able to accept advice and wisdom.
  2. Help them to view the situation or the fear from different aspects. Noting positive people who go against that fear. Also noting that whatever behavior is happening that caused that fear (rioting, bullying, ect.) comes from a condition of the heart. It is affecting everyone around them but it really is a thing that they need love and grace through. Also reminding the child that the person they fear is just a person too. They might be someones brother, father, sister, mother, or friend. So often we begin to see people as "the others" and stop seeing them as people created by the same loving God. They might be lost, hurt, or heart broken but they are still loved by God. 
  3. Acknowledge the power fear has over us. Sometimes we give fear very little attention and it does not affect us greatly but other times we can let it consume us. That little bit of fear can become infection and lead us to act out of hate and anger. I am always reminding my daughters and myself of who is in control, God. I can't be in control but He is and I need to cling to the faith in His promises. 
  4. Educating ourselves on people who lived through similar circumstances. Esther's family and people were being persecuted and her cousin Mordecai told her that she was made for a time such as this. Anne Frank who said, "Think of all the beauty still left around you and be happy." I think there is especially power in learning about people who are of the race your child is afraid of. 
  5. Encourage social interactions. I want my daughter's life to be filled with wonderful loving godly people of all races. Just as it is said "it takes a village to raise a child", I wholeheartedly agree. I can only bestow one perspective to my children and I have been giving an amazing supportive group of friends and family member that I can allow to bestow other things to her. We are going to let my daughter go spend some time with her Nana. I also am setting up some times for her to play with friends of mine who are black. I want her to face that fear and be able to say truths to herself to combat those thoughts. So when she thinks, "black people scare me" she can then think, "actually I know Ms. Jaye is amazing and I love her. She doesn't scare me so it isn't true." 
  6. Look for the blessings. Anytime we are filled with fear or frustration we can become stuck. By looking to the blessings and the things we are thankful for we can slowly get out of our tough spot and see things from a different view. 
When my daughter said those words it broke my heart. I never wanted any of my children to feel that way. If a child who is biracial has these feelings, how many more children are out there feeling stuck and afraid? How can we help them communicate those feelings and show them that race is not a thing to be afraid of, but hatred and injustice are? 

I love you all and am inspired by so many to be able to communicate my thoughts, feelings, and ideas. Thanks to a friend who recent wrote a post about her feelings, which inspired me to not stay in hiding with mine. 





Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Stuck - Poem for my oldest daughter

I wrote this poem based on what my daughter was experiencing being a biracial child in Ferguson, MO. She feels stuck. We are trying to form open communication to help her with her feelings. All of this is written off of what she has told me when we were talking, so while the format is mine the feelings are all hers. 

STUCK

All I see is black and white, literally and figuratively,
And I forget to see all those in between.
What does that make me?
Stuck
I see blacks angry at the whites for mistreatment,
And whites unable to understand the pain.
What does that make me?
Stuck
I have been exposed to so much hate,
And have to pretend to be brave for my sisters.
What does that make me?
Stuck
I was only a little girl with big dreams,
Now I don’t know who I am supposed to be.
What does that make me?
Stuck
I feel like a black girl in a white community,
And like a white girl in a black community.
What does that make me?
Stuck
Ferguson is the city I love,
and a place that I fear.
What does that make me?
Stuck



Tuesday, August 12, 2014

A Child's View of the Ferguson Riots

I thank God that my oldest daughter has found peace in writing and drawing, just like her mama. Recently I had posted a picture she had drawn and now she has brought me a letter she wrote to those causing destruction. I told her I would share with you all. 
This is the picture Abbie drew the other day... 



This is her letter...

I am sadPeople are trying to kill my Papa. I say do you want to be killed? NO. Then why would you do it. but God said shall not kill in the 10 commandments. I have a question. What are you teaching your kids? You're teaching them when you are mad you can be bad. I like this onebut some people like this one . Don't you want happiness? 
-Abbie

I spoke with Abbie and encouraged her to continue sharing her feelings. We also spoke about not allowing the frustration and anger to build into hate and bitterness. 

Monday, May 19, 2014

Food is My Drug of Choice

Food is my drug of choice. I use it to numb all the pain and frustration that I feel. 

Over the last week I have felt this heaviness weighing on me. It can be best described as feeling BLAH. It is like a damp cold blanket resting upon my body. I don't feel sad but I am just not happy and joyful. I remind myself of how faithful God has always been and how He is my strength through this but a moment later I call upon my other little "g" god, food. This other god brings me no hope, no relief or strength. It only brings be temporary numbing from the situation until my mouth is no longer full and my stomach is in pain. When I am turning to it I find excuses such as, "At least these chips are much healthier for me" or "I've had a long day, I deserve/need it." Yesterday I spent twenty minutes in Target staring at the candy section struggling to pick my poison. Choosing which one would best cover the tension. When I got home I shamefully hid the candy bars under the blanket so that I would not be judged and I would not be asked to share. I wanted to indulge and feel special and pampered. It leaves me disgusted as I look around and see the trail of chocolate wrappers and empty bags of chips scattered across my bedroom floor. 

There is a disconnect between my heart and my head. I know that God has freed me from these chains of bondage but I can feel the heavy grip of the iron on my wrists and the weight pulling me down. I call upon God to set me free, but I am only looking to Him for a quick fix. God can and will set me free but not though a snap of his fingers... instead through teaching me self-control and perseverance.  

Food is my drug of choice, but I don't need a drug. I need a healer. 

1 Peter 2:24 “He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed.”

Thursday, April 3, 2014

The Stages of Grief: Anger

One of the stages of grief is anger. It can be anger that is aimed towards the circumstance or can be aimed at someone/something else. For me it is often followed by guilt. 

So last night was filled with excitement but not the good kind. I got so angry at my baby that I ended up just breaking down into tears. 

My daughter Charlotte, who is almost eight months, is still yet to sleep through the night. She wakes every two hours to eat. I allow her only because she is very underweight and can use all the time eating she can get. She has been much more attached to me the last few weeks ever since she was in the hospital. A lot of crazy emotional stuff has happened and I know that she feels the tension even if she doesn't comprehend it. With everything that has happened I was surprised how well I have been able to keep myself composed. 

My surgery to have my gallbladder removed a week an a half ago has left my side extremely sore, especially near the incisions. The other night we tried to get Charlie to sleep in her own crib or even in her arms reach playpen. After throwing a fit for a few hours I placed her back in our bed and all night she kicked and pushed into my side. When I would try to turn over my back would begin to ache from the awkward position. When we got up in the morning I was in more pain than I had been in several days. My husband was kind enough to sleep on the couch so I could have the entire bed to myself and then when I had to have Charlotte in bed with me she could have more room. 

So last night started like any other. She fell asleep next to me when I was playing on my computer and once my head hit the pillow she woke up. (An evil trick that I have never been able to comprehend how they do it... do they place secret sensors in my pillow so they know when I am about to sleep?... Any way she woke up and I fed her. She decided to sit up and talk for an hour while I tried to plead with her to sleep. She wanted to stay attached to the boob and I allowed her to eat again, even though it had been only an hour. I scooted her back on her daddy's side and she began to crawl against me. I scooted her back and she got upset and began to cry then proceeded to roll back to my side and scratch at me. I again placed her back in her spot and turned my back to her in hopes that she would get the point. I heard her wrestling around then felt her little finger tips scratching and pulling at the back of my shirt. She wedged herself right under me. Frustrated I placed her in her playpen next to our bed, knowing that if I took her to her room she would wake up her two year old sister and that would be an even bigger issue. She began to cry and whine. I hoped for it to stop but it continued for a couple hours. That's when the anger broke in. "Shut up charlotte... just shut up.", I pleaded with her. She continued. I could feel the anger growing in me and tried to calm down by placing headphones on with peaceful music. It seemed as if she got even louder. "Shut up.. I told you to shut up.", I said much louder than before. I began to contemplate my choices. Could I place her in her car seat? No, it was in the car. Could I line the bathtub with a blanket and place her in there? No, she would go from crying and whining to a full blown scream and it would echo loudly in the small bathroom and would wake up the entire family. Could I leave, just go and crash in the van or at my moms house? No, it wouldn't be fair to the hubby and she would need to eat again. I knew the anger was not from her actions alone.. it had been building up for longer than I had realized and so I began to feel guilty for feeling angry towards her.  I broke... I was overwhelmed with anger and didn't even want to touch her. So I sat on the edge of my bed and began to bawl uncontrollably. 

My husband heard me and came to my rescue. He tried giving her a bottle with a little water but it didn't soothe her so he brought the two year old into our bed to sleep and put the baby in her own bed.  This gave me enough space that I was able to place my headphones on to drown out her screams and was able to calm down enough to handle the situation again. When I was a little calmer I was able to go feed her, swaddle her in a blanket, and place her back in her bed where, thankfully, she fell straight asleep. I tried to sleep but still felt a pestering anger at her for me being still awake and took a late night hot shower. The anger seemed to drip right off me along with the streams of hot water. 

I lay down and prayed. I prayed that she would sleep for more than two hours. I prayed that the two year old would sleep. I prayed that I wouldn't be in pain. I prayed that I could be filled with peace... then I felt led to pray for others and not just my needs. I prayed for my friend who lost her dad. I prayed for the couple who lost a child to SIDS  just the night before. I prayed for the young lady I began to talk to and minister to. Through praying for them I was able to see outside my circumstances and how small my woes were in comparison. I felt thankful for all my blessings and I began to tell God just how thankful I was. I thanked Him for my three girls. I thanked Him for my healing. I thanked him for my support system. I thanked Him for sacrificing his son for me. With each word of thanksgiving my heart was filled with more peace and I was able to sleep. We all slept. I woke up five hours later and Charlotte was still asleep. The two year old was asleep and her hand was on mine. My nine year old was sawing logs in her room. They had all slept in for me. Now that is something to be thankful for. 

James 1:19-20 My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry,because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.

Philippians 4:8 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 4:6  Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.


My nine year old suggested I post this video with the blog to make you all smile. 

Thursday, March 20, 2014

The Stages of Grief: Denial

I have always found writing very therapeutic especially in times that I can not completely process my feelings and thoughts. I decided that I would write my way through the five stages of grief. 

As a general background on grief, there are said to be five stages of grief. DABDA.. Denial... Anger... Bargaining... Depression... and Acceptance. I believe that everyone goes through all the stages when mourning but the length of time a person spends in each one varies greatly from person to person. For example some people might only spend a few seconds in denial while another can spend a day or week. All of the stages are our bodies way of processing and protecting us. 

Today I lost someone... well I didn't really lose them because I know right where he is. He is in heaven. He is a man of many names. Some call him Carvin, some call him Pastor Don, some call him father, grandpa, husband, and I called him P. Don. I met him when I was in a very broken place. I was recently separated from my spouse, I was caring for my daughter alone, I was without a church home, I was feeling completely unloveable, and I had no idea what God had in store for me and my family. I was bitter and confused. I was broken. To be honest on first time meeting P.Don I would have never believed the impact he would have on my life. I went to his church with my parents and through that event I ended up working at the church's daycare. Since I didn't have transportation I worked on the bus route with P.Don. We spent hours a day talking. We talked about life and about God. Pastor Don taught me to seek a deeper understanding of God. He taught me to not just blindly follow what others said but to search scripture for truth. He taught me that reconciliation with my spouse was possible. Most of all he taught me that I am lovable. That was one of my toughest lessons, just hearing the words would bring tears to my eyes each time. Far to often I would end up crying because he would push me to grow and while it was difficult I thrived. I would not only spend most days at the church but would go to the bible studies and hangout during the weekends. Pastor Don also taught me how to love others just through watching his interaction with everyone around him. He spent the time speaking to the parents of the kids. He would pray for them and evangelize to them... not by hitting them with the Bible but by understanding how lost and broken they were and reaching out through love.  After our reconciliation,  I would text my hubby to let him know that I was on my way home and I would type P.Don instead of spelling out the entire thing and  once he, Pastor Don, had heard me say it to my hubby and told me what it sounded like when I said it out loud. Instead of being offended he laughed and smiled. He was always that way... instead of being quick to anger he was quick to love. He has set the bar high for all the other pastors. I was trying to describe who he was to me and I couldn't quite articulate it. He was a friend, like family,  a mentor, he is P.Don. 

Denial is one of the first stages of grief. It is the stage I am still in. One day I was watching an interview of Kaley Cuoco (Big Bang Theory) on Ellen. She, Kaley, was describing how she had severely broken her leg in a freak horse riding incident. Basically the she got thrown from the horse and then the horse got spooked and stepped on her leg. When she was describing the events she said that she couldn't feel anything but she noticed her foot was facing her and she thought "oh that's going to hurt." That is kind of like what I feel right now. I can see how bad the damage is going to be and I know that it is going to hurt really bad but at this moment I don't feel it... I am numb. When I am in denial I become very logical and think through the things that need done and how I need to go about doing them but I don't spend time reflecting on the emotions. When those come I will completely crash so for now I need to prepare for the storm as best as possible. I feel heartache for his family and for all those who loved him but I don't feel the loss myself. I feel a little concerned that it will hit suddenly and hard when I least expect it, like when speaking to someone in public, but I know that I can't live in fear. When it gets tough I will have to keep putting it back at the feet of the cross and letting God give me the strength I need. I would not make it through if it weren't for the grace of God. 

2 Corinthians 1:3-4 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Do You See What I See?

Have you ever tried on someone else's glasses? I remember so many times when my curiosity was peaked and I would ask a friend if I could try on their new glasses. As I would pull their onto my face, my eyes would begin to strain and would blur. I would keep them on as long as I could and then I would remember my mom's warnings. She would say that wearing someone else's glasses could damage my eyes, yet I would still be curious and not take much heed to her words. 

Why do children feel this curiosity about something so basic as glasses? Part of me wonders if it has to do with wondering how others view the world. It is one very clear example as to how we each have a different perspective of our surroundings. Even today I still wonder what it would be like to try on some one's glasses. 

I have read that wearing someone else's glasses would not damage yours eyes but might cause temporary eye strain and a headache. But unlike physical glasses and lenses I believe that we have damaged our perception through using others' lenses, especially as women. Instead of the images becoming blurry they become distorted like mirrors in a circus fun house. 

When we place the lenses of modern society on we are bombarded with images that often shows women as objects. It often mutates the realistic and natural form of the female body making feet smaller, breasts bigger, waists smaller, eyes bigger, noses smaller, and lips bigger. When we view these and then look at ourselves we in no way meet the image that we are told we need to look like and our perception is so skewed that we even exaggerate the physical attributes that we do have. We no longer even see what is actually right in front of us. Are we to blame society and the advertisement agencies? While they should be held accountable for their actions we too are at fault. As women we purchase from the companies, we don't demand change, we judge others looks, and we look up things like "celebrities without makeup". How are we to teach our daughter's to not care about their appearances if we do?  

When we place the lens of other women on, we only see the very limited view of what they are willing to show. It reminds me of the political persona's that candidates present to the public. We compare ourselves to the "got it all together- do it all" persona of another woman. I create this persona all too well, but don't we all? I clean my house before I have visitors. I yell much less at my children in public than I do at my home. I put on clean clothes when going out and will at least do a basic fix on my hair, but if I am home I might wear the same sweat pants two days in a row and not touch my hair. I would never want someone to compare themselves to me and feel like they are inadequate in any way, because they are only seeing the side of me that I was willing to expose to the world. As women we need to be honest about our imperfections and we need to not compare ourselves to others. Here are just a few examples of the different perceptions we place on ourselves and others. 


If we aren't comparing ourselves to what society and others say, then what should we compare with? There are two things are are good gauges for comparison. The first being ourselves at a previous time. I often can see how  much I have grown and changed by looking back at where I have come from. The second place, and best place, would be God's word. His word shows us our great value to God, but also shows us where we need to grow.  


Our vision has been damaged and when we finally take off the lenses of the world it might take some time to reverse the damage. 

Galatians 1:10 Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.

2 Corinthians 10:12 We do not dare to classify or compare ourselves with some who commend themselves. When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise.

Romans 12:2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.


Thursday, January 16, 2014

Why I HATE Reading To My Kids

I remember the days that my daughter would return from school with little notes to all of the parents. The reminder was that we should be spending at least 15 minutes a night reading to our child. While many mothers saw this as a kind honorable reminder I saw it as a personal attack for a few reasons. The first reason was that I already knew the importance of reading to my child. I see the signs, hear the PSAs, and am even reminded by doctors and teachers. This was not a new concept to me. The second reason was because the note made it seem like they were saying, "it's only fifteen minutes of your day, isn't your child worth it?" It wasn't only fifteen minutes a day, to me it was FIFTEEN MINUTES a day. The final reason was because the picture of a mother happily and lovingly looking over her child's shoulder as he sat quietly and peacefully in her lap was in no way my reality.


So today I thought I would put a new spin on things and tell you why I hate to read to my kids. I hope that by the end of this either you will find some comfort in the fact that you are not alone if you also hate it, or to help you understand why some parents don't read to their children so you may better support and encourage them.

Why I hate reading to my kids-

It is Frustrating... As I sit trying to read the story Abigaile becomes fidgety. She starts to pick at her fingers and her skin. I try to focus on the book but my eyes keep being pulled to what she is doing. I lovingly place my hand on hers, our little sign that she needs to try to stop fidgeting, and search for my place in the book. She begins to gently  tap her pencil on the table and I again loose my place. I then ask her to stop and she having not even noticed her actions quickly sets the pencil back on the table. I find the word I ended on and try to begin again but can not seem to get my eyes to focus. I notice that the entire time I have only been repeating the first few words and I can't seem to continue. I feel like a scratched record that continues to skip. I am filled with frustration and shoot her the good ol' mommy scowl, but my frustration is soon turned into guilt because I know that it is not her fault that I can't focus.

It is Anxiety Provoking... As Elizabeth proudly and excitedly brings me a book her eyes beg for me to read to her. I agree and make room for her on my lap. I open the first page and boldly read the title page. When I flip the page I notice an avalanche of words pouring from each page and trapping me. I am filled with anxiety just at the thought of trying to read all of the words. I had hoped that since it was a child's book there would be more pictures. I try to decide if I could make up a story instead and lie about what the book says but it is too late. I am frozen in fear of the idea of climbing out of each page and making it to the summit. I close the book and pray that she will be distracted by another simpler book.

It is Embarrassing... As I begin to read I feel confident in my abilities. I have already pre-screened several books of which my daughters could choose, many of which I am very familiar with. I begin with a good pace and sail smoothly through the words and pages. Then it happens... like a wave crashing on board a ship I am caught by surprise and stumble on a word. I quickly recover and continue on with my face slightly flushed from the embarrassment of the error. As I continue to feel embarrassed I seem to have lost course. The words seem to become more and more choppy, like the the uneasy sea throwing a boat around. I begin to doubt myself and my skills as a parent wondering "What kind of parent can't even read Dr. Seuss to their kid?" I begin to wonder if they notice how much I am struggling and most of all I wonder if they are embarrassed of me as well.

This is what reading to my kids is like. This is the struggle of a dyslexic parent. It makes me wonder how many of those parents who don't read to their children are secretly facing similar battles. If that is the issue for someone.. I promise a little friendly reminder to read to their child won't help. They may need encouragement or help with their own struggle. I hate to leave things on a negative note and I wanted to offer comfort to those who also hate reading to their kids.

Why I make myself read to my kids-

They are Rewarding... I get to see my children's passion for reading grow. I have never read a book just for the fun of it, but to see my child do it is an amazing feeling. When I ask them questions about what they have read, their eyes light up and they so clearly articulate all the fascinating things they learned. My oldest daughter also struggles with dyslexia and I am able to watch her push through and learn to read. There is something so beautiful about watching your child overcome something you yourself have battled with.

They are Understanding... I often have to remind myself that my daughters don't care if I skip words, make up words, or even mess up words; they are just happy that I am trying to spend the time with them. For them it isn't about the book, it is about us being together and going some place in their imaginations that we could maybe never go in reality. I am truly my harshest critic and my children are my biggest fans.

They are Loving... I have learned just how loving they are through my transparency with them. I have learned to openly tell my oldest daughter when I am struggling with reading and together we push on and continue. It gives me a chance to also teach her that we aren't defined by our struggles but by how we handle them. I hope when she is struggling with reading that she can remember that she isn't alone. She gives me so much encouragement when I have a difficult time reminds me that her love for me is not based on how well I read to her.

The biggest reason I make myself read to them is so that they won't hate reading to their kids. I hope to break the chain. I also hope that they will not just tolerate reading but will find their own passion for it.

I have found that through making myself read to them it has gotten better and I have begun to enjoy it more. So I say out of a place of understanding and love, read to your kids. Not because you love it but because you love them.