(L) Plates Under Shepherd, please make way

Prince

Prince

Let me first begin by saying, I never intended to be gone for so long. A lot has happened since my last entry. Where do I begin. Today marks an incredibly special day for our family. As with many days in this journey of parenthood, but some more so than others. The prince started his new chapter today being his first day at Secondary/high School.

I cannot begin to tell you the dreams I’ve had leading up to this day. The one that really stands out for me took place last week. Depending on your experiences with dreams and its interpretation you will understand why this particular one disturbed me so greatly.

I woke up, in frustration and for the life of me could not understand why he allowed these boys to surround him and roll him on the floor like he was their foot toy. In my anguish I ran out bare footed across the road, what appeared to be a two-minute journey seemed like an endless task, almost as though staircases were being formed each step I attempted to take. Finally arrived at the school with my invisible ‘S’ on my chest to confront the boys I had seen from a distance using my boy as their foot toy. Angry and ready for kill, I started to enquire about one particular boy, he was more so prominent in the dream that the others. They told me his name was Pinocchio. Like, Seriously, of all the names! To make matters worse, he was nowhere to be found. It would appear to be that ‘Pinnochio’ was a figment of my imagination, but I saw him. Convince once he was found I was going to  kill him, I pressed on.

Thankfully I woke up, it’s all a dream, I sighed a sigh of relief. Or was it. Earlier on that morning I shared the events of my dream with Cameron, and a few friends. Somehow I wasn’t able to separate myself from the dream and reality. I kept asking him why he allowed these boys to kick him without even trying to defend himself. Couldn’t you fight back. You just laid there… I could hear myself go on. To my amazement he laughed and reminded me. ‘Mummy it was a dream. It was not real and neither was Pinocchio. Trying to make sense of the dream I spoke with another friend, and from this conversation brought about a great interpretation of what Pinocchio represents. Not only was he a figment of my imagination in my dream but when we hear the name Pinocchio the first thing that comes to mind is the wooden boy, not even a real boy. A puppet who  lied and each time he told untrue stories his nose would grow. He was just like the devil, a liar. Nothing he says should be trusted. Pinocchio was not real, and neither were the events that took place in my dream. I kept telling myself, In fact he was so unreal that he could not even be traced. For days I began praying to be rid of the fears and apprehensions I had borrowed. Hoping that they would soon find their way back to where they belong.

Get yourself together Jewel! L plates on I was ready to take my lessons and go for the test. Embarking on this great journey into high school was more overwhelming for me that I had given thought to. I had to get myself together, fast and soon. I started reminiscing on the early years, remembering the sweet memories of the nursery and reception days. It seemed like it was only yesterday that we danced together to our favourite Taylor Swift song on his prom night at primary/junior high school. A thousand question, tick tock through my mind, as the days went on. A thousand lies, answered back, accompanied by fear.  Would he remember everything I’ve taught him? What if he struggles in school and doesn’t excel academically? Will he make friends?  

I am your shepherd, you will lack no good thing (Psalm 23) such a simple  but yet profound promise. God was reminding me as He usually does in times when trouble seem to overwhelm my heart, that everything I need, He has already provided. This seem to work for a few days. It would appear that for as long as I kept on believing this I was okay. Somehow it was not a consistent feeling, because I was not a consistent believer.  I had not submitted completely to this promise. Jewel when will you begin to be still and know that I am your Husband. Was that my thought, or was God speaking to me. Of course it was no audible voice but I  heard it in my heart, and I like what I heard. After all He was and is the master of our household and always in charge. I am, and always will be, his under shepherd over our son.  Why did I think that borrowing worry, anxiety, fear, doubt and unbelief was going to get me anywhere other than a nervous breakdown.

Some days passed, something had to change and quick. Cameron was due to come back from his summer vacation at the grandparents. My parents are such blessings, two summers in a row they’ve sent for him to visit them in Toronto, giving him  a  summer adventure that he never forgets. With only five days remaining, It would appear that I was experiencing every emotion arousing my nervous system similar to the behavioural symptoms of a teenager in love. The excitement leading to butterflies, sweaty palms, over eating, causing me to have  nausea, it was evident that the fear of the unknown was beginning to take its grip. A girl clearly in love, with her first-born.

Finally, the day had arrived. Surprisingly calm like a peaceful sunday afternoon. I waited at the airport arrivals enjoying people,  as I watched families being reunited. Each embrace told its own story. With tears, came laughter and smiles followed as couples embraced one another and husbands in excitement to see their wives with flowers in tow. Business men in their suits and one luggage and the people who wait for them, anxiously pacing up and down, some fixed on their phones or tablets. Allowing my mind to escape I started to write our story of when he would turn the corner.

 

IMG_0764IMG_1901IMG_1894

Movie scenes of extreme public display came to my thought, would I run across the aisle or play it cool. Catching a glimpse of myself in a reflection I saw how tired I looked,  to be fair I hadn’t slept much the days leading up to this day. Moments that seemed like decades passed, I was getting tired of waiting now. Butterflies got increasingly worse, feeling sickly and convinced that I was going to throw up, there he was. He had arrived and everything with my world was all right again. I went to greet him, cold shoulder and a fake smile. Not the images I envisioned. Disappointed and hurt I took him to the toilets to have a private word. All the while having a conversation in my mind. He didn’t have to be so rude and so cold towards me. If this is how he’s going to be after I’ve been stressing out over him he might well have stayed…suddenly something interrupted my thoughts. ‘Mum I’m sorry- I shouldn’t have been rude,’ since our last conversation on the phone yesterday about secondary school I’ve been so anxious that i feared coming back home.

What have i done? Could it be I’ve allowed my borrowed fears to infect my baby in this way? How did I let things get so bad?

Right there in the toilets, I said lets pray. I kissed him and apologised to him, and told him that everything was going to be ok. Our God was in control. It was evident that both of us were in a place we’ve never been before, experiencing emotions unknown to us. However I knew as his parent, and the under shepherd over his life that it was my duty to ensure his mind remained in perfect peace. Fear not, there is nothing to fear. Terri Savelle-Foy’s softly spoken voice came to my mind. For the next few days I started playing her podcasts on overcoming fear.  Isaiah 41 vs 10 becoming our new door post (not literally of course) though it’d make an interesting point of conversation with visitors.

Days passed, and every tick list complete. Uniforms bought, reconnection taking place. New family rules and expectations for the new year ahead discussed. It would seem that everything that was terrifying me/us had become a thing of yesterday. We tried on the uniform again, took pictures, sent to family, spoke to the parents, its incredible to witness how involved they are even though they are miles away. The relationship they have with Cam always makes me jealous (in a good way) each time I hear them engage in conversation with the prince and first grandchild of our family, melts my heart.

Cant stop, won’t stop. That is how I’ve come this far, it’s all I know.  The word, my very own parenting guide-book. Even when I attempt to depart from it, lord knows I’ve done for many years. It is my anchor, and that’s the mandate for my parenting success.

The day for school had finally arrived. Today I woke up, somehow it felt like christmas morning in my house. With a great sense of peace,  I opened my mouth and gratitude flowed out. Thank you Lord! Read my word for today and couldn’t help but smile.  ‘Be still and know that I am God.’ Psalm 46 vs 10. Moments like that never cease to amaze me, apt word and so timely. Cameron woke up, I helped him get ready, and as he put on the tie I felt a few tears slowly scrolling down my cheeks. I promised I wouldn’t cry, but I was overwhelmed by the sheer goodness I was experiencing in that moment with my first-born.  We enjoyed some Israel Houghton, danced, sang, took some more pics, and prayed. Today our prayer was Lord thank you!

I am so honoured to have been chosen for this task. More so, privileged to raise such an amazing kid. Thankful for another school term, another year, divine health, provision, a roof over our head…

We had talked briefly a few days ago about the do’s and dont’s that mummy should adhere to. i.e. holding hands. We came to a compromise that I could hold his hands but he rather I didn’t do it near the school gate. Of course I was okay with that, I sure  made myself believe that I was. We got passed the gates and now time for him to leave me and walk into his new school. Feeling like the scene in the Father of the Bride where Steve Martin watches on reluctant to let his daughter go but knew the time had come to do just that. I released my hand from his arm. Holding back the tears, when all of a sudden he held my hand and squeezed it tightly, softly he whispered. ‘Thank you mum‘ and he walked into his new school. Shoulders back, head up, swag on point lol with a huge smile on his face. I breathed a sigh of relief. Gods signature was all over my baby. Now sitting at a cafe waiting for my breakfast to be served. I sense a huge feeling of gratitude.

Ps I Love you

A Single parents journey to Raising a modern day knight

cropped-season-of-open-doors-107.jpg 

All your children shall be taught by the lord, and great shall be the peace of your children.  Isaiah 54:13

These days I find myself saying ps I love you. I find myself wanting to say a lot more that than, but for now those are all the words I am able to muster.

I cannot make sense of the changes that are taking place in Cameron (my son), things are quite desperate. I feel like I’m living with a stranger and someone has crept into my home and switched bodies with my loveable son whom I once enjoyed. I do not understand what is going on, but I know that I am longing for our relationship to work- really work.

Cameron Zion, born on the 27th October 2002. My brown eyed Prince, my sweet boy, my entertainer, a young man destined for greatness. To me Cameron has…

View original post 1,130 more words

Ps I Love you

cropped-season-of-open-doors-107.jpg 

All your children shall be taught by the lord, and great shall be the peace of your children.  Isaiah 54:13

These days I find myself saying ps I love you. I find myself wanting to say a lot more that than, but for now those are all the words I am able to muster.

I cannot make sense of the changes that are taking place in Cameron (my son), things are quite desperate. I feel like I’m living with a stranger and someone has crept into my home and switched bodies with my loveable son whom I once enjoyed. I do not understand what is going on, but I know that I am longing for our relationship to work- really work.

Cameron Zion, born on the 27th October 2002. My brown eyed Prince, my sweet boy, my entertainer, a young man destined for greatness. To me Cameron has one of those personalities that just moments in his presence you find yourself at peace. When Cameron enters a room, his presence depends an explanation. He is a Daniel in this generation. He carries an amazing anointing in his life. I tell him this often. An old soul, a mind that transcends beyond his earthly age.

Before Cameron was born, I had dedicated him unto the Lord. I wasn’t sure of how I were to bring up this baby alone in this world.  Despite the difficulties and challenges we have faced together over the decade. One of the things I cherished the most about being Cameron’s mummy was the bond and love we share. It was as though somehow we had been separated at birth. He was the male to my female. Like two peas in a pod, we rhythmically and succinctly walked life together in harmony. My best friend, someone whom I not only love but like. It was a revelation to me, the day I discovered I actually liked my son. Its a a rare find- I speak with so many mums who find that notion crazy. In our world it is our norm. Cameron would say to me out of the blue- ‘I like you Jewel Macauley.  I don’t know if he still does, like me, these days. It sure doesn’t feel like it.

Cameron, my first ministry. To me, this has always meant that the Cameron was a gift, an assignment, that God had blessed and entrusted me with. My job and my responsibility was to make sure that at every stage, and phase of his journey in this world, to honour God with his life. To train him up in the way that he should go; and when he is old, he will not depart from it. Sometimes I think that God gave me this assignment because He knew that was the only way he would get me to stay on course, the number of times I’ve fallen off track. (he has a sense of humour my Dad)

So, why do I feel like I’m messing up. Its nothing, yet its everything. For the past few months it would appear that my compliant child has become one of those children you see in these horror movies, with grunts and all. Im having to cope with attitude where everything is done with grumbling. Conversations start off as a debate and ends with silences. Its as though simply engaging with me these days is a chore, a bore and its beginning to take its toll on our relationship.

I would describe myself as a student mum. I study everything. I did not have the best up bringing, and do not understand what it takes to raise up a child. So I heavily rely upon God first and foremost, the Bible, books about raising boys, other mediums like focus on the family, to name a few. I understand that to raise a man you must first think like one. Hmmm, I can testify that women aren’t as complicated as the world make us out to be. Raising up a modern knight in this generation that is fast changing, and challenging with Christian values is not easy, but its worth it. And it is the best and only way. There is a part to play, for me I must remain watchful, and prayerful, at all times. Irrespective of how busy my days are I still find the time to play with him,(apparently men engage better with play) it works, sometimes. If I am to study him, I must make time for him. In order to have conversation that flows, its imperative that I hear him, and not just listen to him. I love to see him smile and to hear his laughter. Words fail me each time I see his smile and hear him laugh, I get this great sense of victory. I remind the devil that the curse is broken. You see the cycle does not have to follow in your children’s lives. I might’ve had my smile stolen and my  laughter silenced as a child, but each time I see  and hear Cameron, I thank God for recompense.

Everyone that knows me, understands how important my assignment is to me. This means, before all else, I seek his Father. Our heavenly daddy. I will tell you something I’ve learnt over the years about raising up Cameron with God. God is the perfect parent. He is the dad, that lets you extend grace even when you feel like strangling your child. He is the mum, that encourages you give an embrace when the last thing you want is to be in the same vicinity as the child that has gotten on your nerves for the last time. He is the grandparent, that spoils without a reason. He is the uncle, that listens to the stories, you have heard a thousand times, and would care to hear anymore. God has taught me over this decade how to be gracious,  how to forgive even when you don’t feel like it, show patience when giving up seems the easier option, and to lavish without a reason. So often time, He will interrupt my emotions, and speak to my heart to go and do the thing I would rather not do. Many seasons I have found myself at the moments where He has taught me to be humble with my son. I have learnt that saying sorry is not a sign of weakness but strength. The most important of all for me,  is when I get to say, ps I love you. This lets Cameron understand that though he was punished for bad behaviour, i.e. taking away his privileges especially when it comes to WWE. Nothing could ever take away the love I have for him.

So, back to this stranger I’m living with…HES CHANGING BEOFRE MY VERY EYES. I think back on the times in my life when this change would’ve freaked me out. But today, I rejoice, that although I am not where I would like to be (married with four children, a dog and living by the sea) I am not where I used to be. My present circumstance does to write my future possibilities. I have a greater awareness that what is happening is just another chapter in our journey as parent and child.

Be encouraged that even when you visit stages with your children  that appear to be challenging, remaining consistent by telling them you love them, will carry you through the next period of your journey together. ps. i love you is the ship that rides the stormy waters of the turbulence seasons in our journey as parent and children. 

A Seed with purpose

Jeremiah 1:5

“Before I formed you in your Mothers womb, I knew thee and before thee out of the womb, I santified thee, I have set thee to be a prophet to the nations.”

This is a message I wrote on October 27th 2012 on the day that marks a decade of Raising a modern day Knight.  I hope it inspires you.
Today I will be celebrating 10 years of raising a modern day Knight. As I make preparations for my young man’s entry into double digits I am amazed by Gods sheer goodness and faithfulness over our lives. It is such an honour and  privilege to know that out of 70 billion women He chose me. Make no mistakes about it. Our God is a God of strategy.
I believe that God has equipped me with wisdom beyond my years to train and raise up my son in this generation. And I would love to share my story and our journey with you. My son is blessed to be raised in the home that has been established by grace. Unlike the homes I grew up in.
My childhood was dysfunctional in many ways. I spent most of my childhood years moving from one home to the next. I recalled the early years I lived with my dad’s relatives. I remember the older kids being lazy, extremely angry and physically abusive. I recalled the nights I stayed awake afraid of who would enter my bedroom door. For years I had been molested by several members of my dad’s family and other relatives. One day I had decided to be brave and told him about what had been going on. The last thing I remembered that night was rocking myself to sleep covered in cuts and bruises from the beating he had lavished on me. My mother had moved with my older brother to another country because she could not take the abuse anymore. I wished she had taken me with her. But my reason for staying alive was that one day we would be reunited again. My motivation for a better life was to be nothing like my parents. My childhood was hostile, filled with fear: from being kicked across the room by my father, to being forced to eat bleach because  I had told lies. For years I would relive the images in my head, the mental anguish and emotional scars, the sexual violations to a young girl and no one to help me escape from what seemed to be a living nightmare. I made myself a promise that when I grew up and I had children, there’re life would nothing like mine was.
It finally seemed like everything was going to be ok. I had found myself back in church. The journey had been a gruelling one. I had developed a mental disorder during my teenage years called bi-polar. I didn’t understand much about what it meant. I just knew that every day was a gift. Some days were worse than others and I had a choice to stay alive and keep fighting. In 1993 I started to hear voices, it wasn’t clear what they were saying to me but it was apparent what they wanted me to do. I found myself with a knife in one hand cutting what seemed to be my wrist. All the while banging my head on the wall, everything was so dark. I couldn’t see light, it was as though I had been sentenced to a dudgeon and all my thoughts were blurred.
Married at the age of 35 and two kids, one boy and a girl. That was my dream. In 2000 I lost my virginity to a guy that had promised me the world. I had been in a sexual relationship for two years. I was in university, living on my own with prospects of going into theatre and pursuing my dreams of becoming an actor. My love for acting stems back into my school days. The stage was my escape, I enjoyed acting, it was my passion. The thrill of taking on another character always gave me a surge of adrenaline. In my summer years I would attend acting school and took up script writing. My dream was to one day open up my own summer schools for young people from dysfunctional homes.
I did the test twice and still unconvinced I went to the doctors for an internal check up. Confirmed my worse nightmares; she told me. I could hear her, but I couldn’t see her. Everything seemed blurred. My worse fears came true. A baby?  But I’m still a baby myself. I was only now embracing life after so many years of struggle. I soon dropped out of university in order to support myself and my baby. I knew his life deserved a chance. My family and everyone around me told me to abort. I had never been pregnant before, I somehow knew deep down that there was a purpose for me carrying this baby. He was a gift from God to me, I needed him and he needed  me.
I did something I had never heard of before. I didn’t attend a church and I definitely had no intentions of going to one anytime soon. But I found myself speaking to God. I used to do this a lot growing up. I grew up in the church as my father was a Pastor. But I was never truly introduced to Jesus. In my teenage years I rebelled from the church and things of God because of the double lives and the hypocrisy of the church people that abused me and my anger was still towards them. But thank God that by his grace I  was never angry with Him.
In my first trimester I had my first attack of depression after what seemed to be a long time before my pregnancy. I was doing so well up until that point. This particular day I remembered hearing the voices again. This time they wanted me to kill my baby. I was already in crazy love with this seed I was carrying there was no way I would kill this baby. If it was a fight they wanted I was ready to fight. My stance was different, I had something/someone to fight for now. My baby.
I knew I wanted better for this child, this seed I was carrying deserved the very best. So on that day I decided to dedicate him unto the Lord. I wasn’t very clear on what I was saying more so that I felt it was the right thing to do.
God had been to me the perfect parent throughout the storms in my childhood and still through the silent years when I turned my back on His church. It was evident that his natural dad wasn’t going to be present and afraid and alone I knew there had to be another way.  I gave my life to Jesus at the age of 17. I never had a personal relationship with Him until the age of 21, but then I had an affair with the devil from the age of 23 for 5 years. Back and forth I tugged with my relationship with this man from Galilee. The one friend that has never left me. The one friend that saw me bleeding and cleaned me up, and crown me with jewels. The friend that saw my worth when every other man took my worth, and told me I was precious.  He pursued me aggressively and at every milestone He let me know He was always there. I was beginning to fall in love again. But I didn’t know how to go back.
I can honestly say with all my heart that I have never once felt unaccompanied in my parenting. He overwhelms me with his grace. I have people from all walks of life telling me what an excellent young man I have, and my reply to these people is always. My son has an excellent Father. And that is what I aim to share with you in these posts.  I cant tell you that it has always been easy. As a parent I have been through some dark and challenging times but I had to keep trusting in the Lord.
My baby was abused at the age of 15 months, again by people I trusted. I could’ve asked him Lord why did you allow this to happen but I knew just like He was right there in my childhood and brought me out, He was right there in this situation. Different problems, same God! When we were homeless and was living in shelters, without a place to call home I could’ve asked Him Lord why have you forsaken us- but again I knew it was just a passing storm.
My journey hasn’t been easy but Im still standing. If  you are reading this right now and thinking to yourself “well you don’t know my issues or the circumstances that I am in”, you would be right in saying so. I don’t know, but I know a God that does.  The same God that rescued me and gave me back my smile.  I can testify that through the storms and the battles of raising a baby in this world if it hadn’t been for the Lord who had been my help I honestly do not know where I would be. It is not by mistake neither is it by coincidence that He has blessed you to carry this seed. The word of God tells us that before we are even formed in our Mothers womb He knew us. He chose us and set us apart. Be honoured to know that He chose you. God wants me to tell you this. Today if you find yourself at a crossroads of making a decision about whether or not you are to keep your child. Trust in Him. And make the decision to not abort this seed.  Though it may seem impossible right now, be assured that the God of possibilities will surely be your present help in time of need.
Signed
Thankful