Lovin’ Life to Save Lives

LL2SL_flyerI love to plan parties. Every birthday, the hubby and I pull all of the money we can together to make sure that our children feel celebrated. And it usually  works, to the point that when it is our birthday, they feel that we need to have a party too.

So of course we wanted to celebrate the first anniversary of Ava’s experience.

To read more about Ava’s story, click here

Though some will want to forget the day that we lost her only to have God return her sweet spirit to us 6 minutes later,  we feel the need to be ever thankful. The way that we show our thanks to the Lord is to share with our friends and family the importance of CPR training.

Are you CPR certified? Join us!

We teamed up with the Ecclesia Community Development Corporation to develop an event that is fun and educational. With Ava in mind, we are calling the event Lovin’ Life to Save Lives. On Saturday, March 19, 2016,  we invite everyone to participate in CPR Training/Certification at Greater Ecclesia Temple in Detroit. The event, which costs $25/person, begins at 10am and lunch is provided.

If you are certified, and would like to sponsor someone else, please message me today. Our goal is to make sure that no one goes through what we went through. My hubby saved Ava’s life through brief CPR training learned by watching tv. We want you to have the real thing.

Greater Ecclesia Temple is located at 9611 Iris Street in Detroit.


Real Love For Our Little PK

It’s a Saturday morning and my husband has gone to work. The little one, afraid she’s gonna miss something, ran into the room and curled up in bed with me. Wasn’t too much longer that she’s back to sleep. Looking at her, I want to protect her from everything that can even try to harm her intentionally or even unintentionally. Times are changing, Jason is starting to preach and we are delving further into our own service to God.  This means that we can’t always go to Jungle Java, or the park or spend uninterrupted family time together. Does this prove an intentional hurt to our daughter?

As parents in the ministry, my husband and I remain vigilant to balancing home life, work life and ministry life. So much of our time is spent away from the home that oftentimes we are happy that our daughter is able to adapt to our busy schedule. But as she grows from toddler into a real life kid, I worry that she will regret the times that we can’t go to the park or some other activity because Mommy and Daddy are busy. It’s a battle that we fight and sometimes we win; sometimes we don’t.

I also worry about the perceptions of being a PK (or in Syd and her cousin’s case, a PGK; Preacher’s Grand Kid). So many times people see all of the things that she has done wrong and seem excited to punish her for it. It’s almost as if they don’t remember that just because these children are children of a minister that doesn’t mean that they aren’t real-life kids that make real-life mistakes.

Thankfully, I have friends who are also PK’s to give me advice on keeping our daughter balanced, but I also found an article on Just Between Us, a website dedicated to help/equip women who are in ministry, that provided true advice on keeping this coveted balance. The message provided from the article is simple: remember that your kids are real kids with real feelings and fears.

Here’s the main gist from the article:

1.  Maintain a healthy balance between ministry and family.

“The most negative thing parents can do is neglect their children for the sake of ministry,” one student wrote. “Family has to be the number one priority. Neglecting family will drive children away from the Lord and ministry – the things that children see as taking their parents away.

2.  Relate to children as a parent, not as a preacher or minister.

“Let your children know that they are not responsible for their father’s success in his work,” another student wrote. “Let your children know that they are important to you because you love them.” The student went on to recommend encouraging children to express their emotions and parents to listen to them with respect.

3.  Spend time with your children.

“The most important advice I can offer a minister or any other parent is to make time for their children,” a student wrote. “Listen to them and talk about what they want to talk about. Take interest in their lives.”

4.  Pray for your children.

“Pray for your kids daily. Make prayer a vital part of family life,” a student wrote. “Parents need to teach their children how to pray.”

5.  Don’t assume that your children will adapt to new situations.

“They’re exposed to a lot and absorb many unhealthy things without you knowing,” a student wrote. Another added, “Do not assume kids will automatically develop good Christian morals and values merely because Dad is in the ministry.” Other responses included consistency between what parents preached and how they lived and the need for direct moral instruction.

6.  Protect them from people in the congregation who might hurt them.

“Defend, protect their children from the congregation’s criticism,” a student wrote. In another response, there was underlying anger and unresolved issues in a PK who still remembered “with sadness” how her mother did nothing while a deacon scolded her little brother.

7.  Keep the communication lines open and be vigilant.

One student confessed that the son of a deacon molested her regularly and she never said anything because she didn’t think anyone would believe her.

8.  Don’t single them out as different from other children in the church.

Responses included advice to avoid saying, “You must behave this way or that because you are the pastor’s child.” Another student wrote, “I hate being put up on a pedestal. I wish my parents would have let me talk through my feelings about those situations, but in my house feelings were not discussed.”  She added expectations of perfection are placed on them and that their parents can help by “allowing their children to be normal children who sometimes get into trouble.”

9.  Love them.

“The most positive things a parent can do,” one student wrote, “are to love their children unconditionally, involve them in ministry, encourage their spiritual growth, demonstrate a vibrant relationship with the Lord, and teach them to love people as Christ does.”

Another piece of advice involved setting up a support group where ministry kids can talk with other ministry kids their age about “the unique stress they experience as ministry kids.” “Part of what has brought healing in my life has been the experience of sharing with other PKs who have watched churches split and parents lose their jobs as ministers,” one student wrote.

Are you a PK or parenting a PK? Share your thoughts and comments!

Aldi vs. Grocery Store

Hi, my name is Workin’ Mama and I admit I used to think terribly of Aldi’s. I used to think so poorly of the store because a friend of ours gave us some chicken from there and needless to say it didn’t go too well.

So I decided that I wouldn’t shop at Aldi because they offered cheap products.  What a mistake that was. It’s funny how this recession has caused me to change my mind about a lot of things in order to put food on the table or offer entertainment for my family.

Convenience finally convinced me to take the chance. It was the youth department’s turn to cook in the kitchen at our church and I forgot to get the items I needed to prepare creamy chicken soup. My husband and I pick up a young person every Sunday and the only store close to him was Aldi’s. Nervously, I encouraged my husband to take me there so that I could get what I needed.

Instead of spending $20…I spent  $10 on chicken, onions, celery, chicken broth, half and half and noodles.  I was impressed. I was glad that I was able to save a few dollars in my pocket, err gas. Though I am still uneasy about purchasing meat there, I am thinking about using Aldi’s for all of my Super Bowl shopping…can we say potato skins, snacks and nachos on a budget?!

New Year Resolutions err…Decisions

It’s that time of the year again when everyone considers changes that they can make in their lives. More than 40 to 45%  of Americans go as far as making New Year’s Resolutions. And yet, many of those who make solemn vows to lose weight, give up smoking or stop procrastinating, often give up less than 3 months into the game.

As I ponder my own resolutions, I wonder how as my friend Marnette says,  make these resolutions into “decisions”. I turn to an article that I found on ehow.com that is written to help everyone make changes in their life.

My favorites from this article include:

  • Aim low. It goes without saying that most New Year’s resolutions are easier announced (or written) than done-but if you set the bar too high, you’re doomed from the start. Instead of a sweeping declaration like “I will lose 30 pounds by April and finally fit into that dress,” target a goal that’s more attainable, like losing 10 or 15 pounds.
  • Tell everyone you know. One school of thought says that New Year’s resolutions are best kept to oneself, but look at it this way: the more people to whom you announce your resolution (say, to get out of your dead-end job by spring), the more people there’ll be to prod you along if you fall behind. There’s no shame in seeking help if you can’t accomplish your resolution on your own
Instead of making a huge list, I have narrowed my decisions for 2011 down to two:
  • Lose weight…not looking to become my former 17 year old self, but a slimmer face and stomach would be nice
  • More face time with the fam…I work a lot of hours professionally and in our ministry, so I will need to cut back a little so that Sydney doesn’t think that the computer is a sibling!
Fingers crossed that I can stay on task!

Gasp! A trip to the museum is educational and F-U-N!

On Friday night, the youth group at my church visited the Detroit Institute of Art (DIA) as part of their “GET Honored” Weekend. The purpose of the trip was to congratulate the recent graduates and have a fun cultural experience. On Friday evenings, the DIA is open for free to Detroit residents, which made the trip even better. The only thing they had to pay for their meal at the Café DIA.

To make the night educational, I borrowed a scavenger hunt idea from my friend (Thanks Mike Odom!). It was simple really, but it encouraged them to visit all areas of the museum and really look at the art. Some of the pieces of art they had to find include:

  • A dancing girl
  • A silver necklace
  • An African drum
  • A knight in shining armor
  • An Egyptian coin
  • Factory workers

I added on to the hunt by asking them to indicate the author of the painting/piece of art, title and provide an observation of what they thought. The results were amazing. Not only did each of the participants find the objects, but they came up with keen observations. And most importantly, they want to go back and visit the DIA again…and soon.