Because you and I met through business you may not know that I was severely abused as a child. For many years I was regularly beaten and sexually molested. The scars from these experiences took decades to heal.
When I was in my early twenties, I was working for a law firm and learned about an organization that trained volunteers to advocate for abused children who had been removed from their families and placed in the foster system. I trained to become a certified Guardian Ad Litem and worked with CASA as a Court Appointed Special Advocate for 5 years.
When I chose to become a parent myself, I was terrified. I knew that I didn’t want to raise my children as I had been raised, but I didn’t know how to parent any other way.
Before delivery, I begged my nurses at the hospital to give me some parenting advice. They had lots to share with me about a healthy childbirth process, but no advice on what to do once I took my baby home.
As always, God provided me with an Angel. A nurse who heard my concerned pleas, told me about an organization that offered court-mandated parenting classes. She said she wasn’t sure if they would take me as a new mother, but it was worth a try.
Jacob was an easy baby and we went everywhere together in his early days – including parenting classes.
I took all the parenting classes I could get my hands on, then began teaching parenting classes and eventually coordinated the Parent Education program for Family Outreach.
I didn’t sit down to write you a love note about parenting this morning, but I do want to share with you a powerful distinction that I think may be helpful for you.
CASA is an organization that provides a way to keep foster children from getting lost in the system. Their mission is to help provide advocacy that results in safe, permanent homes for children who have been removed from their families due to abuse.
CASA is an intervention after a trauma.
The Parent Education that Family Outreach offers is a way to change a cycle of abuse. It provides families with an opportunity to learn a new way of being. This results in healthier families and a healthier society.
Parent Education is the prevention of trauma.
For this Friday’s message, I want you to think about this distinction in your own life.
This Sunday is Easter Sunday. This is a time of rebirth and new beginnings. Is there a shift that you are ready to make?
If so, can you make it with a preventative action rather than waiting for an intervention?
When I reflect on my own life, one of the greatest gifts I have been blessed with is a strong, healthy body.
Because my health was so very strong for so many years, I was not burdened or slowed down. Because of this, I believe my opportunities for achievement were greater than many who suffer with chronic pain or illness.
Now I don’t know where you are in your own journey with health, wealth or love.
What I do know is that you and I are connected because something is calling on your heart to make a difference in the world.
We only get one body in this lifetime, my Friend.
This miraculous body of ours carries our mission driven soul.
Self care is not selfish. The bigger your mission, the more vital it is that you start taking care of you.
This week I have 2 gifts for you.
The first is a short video where I share the acronym I created to help me remember what steps I need to take daily to stay on track with my own self care.
The second is an article I recently read in Inc. Magazine that has some powerful insights on how self care affects our leadership and results.
I’ll be offliine next week hosting our Led Life Retreat in North Carolina.
Enjoy the Easter holiday, be well and take good care of yourself.
I’ll see you back here on April 21.
|P.S. You’d have to ask my adult children what they think, but I believe parent education changed the trajectory of my family. My beautiful babies grew into healthy, happy, communicative adults. I am so grateful and so proud of them! xo|