You’re not so bad yourself…

You know, I am highly emotional right now. 

I am crying at the drop of a hat.  Literally.  Don’t drop your hat.  I’ll cry.

And then, on Sunday, they spoke about our ministry that started in Poland when my husband served 3 cups of hot tea to a few homeless men that were at the train station in Poznan.  Today, those 3 cups of tea have evolved to nearly 100 tons of food being distributed in the same city each year through our ministry.  But I won’t get started on that because then you’ll have me talking all day.

Well, needless to say, I bawled my head off in church when they spoke of our foundation.  But they didn’t stop there.  They ended the service showing the story of a little boy, around the age of 12, looking for a forever family to take him in as their own.  He just wants a nice dad that will take him to the library.  A nice mom that will make him cookies.  Two nice sisters and one nice brother. 

Let’s just say, swollen eyes, snotty nose—and, yes, I was in public.

Oh, but it’s not just emotional stories.  I am tired because I am on the less than 10 weeks countdown to popping out a baby.  Woot-woot.  So yesterday I looked at my husband, who is actually in America for ONE more week before he heads to Ivory Coast, and say, “I am so tired I could cry.”

He said, “Well, let’s see it.”

And sure enough…tears.

On top of it all, I have gestational diabetes.  No, I am not the only preggo, aging woman in the world with this diagnosis.  But I just might be the hungriest.  So simply thinking about fasting for two hours after eating a meal makes me…You guessed it.  Cry.

Woe to all that encounter me at this stage of life 😉

Let’s continue, shall we?!  So, my daughter has officially been home for just over a week and I’ve already had to do the threats and the counting and the don’t make me call your dad thing.  It seems like a million times and she has literally only been home 9 days.  How is that possible?  It’s possible, my friends.  It’s possible.

So on top of being emotional, tired, and hungry—I am feeling a bit down about being a kick-awesome mom.  And then today I watched this…This amazing video where they brought in a bunch of moms.  And each mom was brutal about their failures.  And then they brought in their kids.  And each kid.  Well…I don’t want to ruin it for you, so I hope you’ll take a moment and see this video (And, yes, I cried):

This beautiful video made me pause and think. 

You know…I fail.

I get tired.

I threaten too much sometimes—and unnecessarily at other times, especially because she’s just being a kid.

I am impatient.

I am moody.

But, ultimately, I am mom.

And, yes, my daughter will remember my failures, but, I hope when asked to describe me, she’ll also remember my beauty.

After all, forever her mother I’ll be.


And the answer is yes!

How to speak to your children…Learning “Tongue Control”


Well, if we are truly honest, we parents do something big when it comes to raising children…

That big thing is called “FAIL!”

Yep.  If you are hesitant to admit it, just reread this post at the end of your day and let me know how perfectly it all went for you.

But I don’t believe that failure is a bad thing.

It could be, however, if we revel in it, wallow in it, or continue to live in it-making it our identity.

But let’s not do that.  Let’s take failure as an opportunity to learn, grow, and change.

Take a look at few big failures of our time or our history:

1.  Thomas Edison—told by a teacher that he was “too stupid to learn anything.”

2.  Abraham Lincoln—Lost jobs and runs for political office

3.  Albert Einstein—didn’t speak until 4, read until 7, and expelled eventually from school

4.  Walt Disney—fired for lack of imagination and good ideas

5.  Steve Jobs—fired from the company that he founded

6.  Michael Jordan—cut from his high school basketball team

Yep.  They definitely failed.  Above goes to show it’s true.

But here’s the catch.  They failed but they did not quit.

Let’s take a new look at these same “failures”:

1.  Thomas Edison—1000 failed attempts later he is the father of “light” or at least the light bulb

2.  Abraham Lincoln—Notably one of the most significant Presidents in the history of the United States

3.  Albert Einstein—Nobel Prize winner and world changer in modern physics

4.  Walt Disney—Mickey Mouse and the rest is history

5.  Steve Jobs—Used his firing to gain perspective, creativity, and came back a game changer-inventor of the iPod, iPhone, iPad

6.  Michael Jordan—Went on to become one of the NBA’s greatest players in history

We, as parents, need to keep in mind the famous mantra that we probably hear ourselves telling our very own children, “Try and try again!”

Or, in the words of Michael Jordan, I have missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I have lost almost 300 games. On 26 occasions I have been entrusted to take the game winning shot, and I missed. I have failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”

You see.  I have no doubt that you yell.

That you lose your cool.

That you say words that are not uplifting or kind—and YOU’RE the parent 😉

I have no doubt…

That you get frustrated.

Or that you lose your patience.

The list goes on.  And on.  And on.

But that’s okay.  Because for every item on that list, you have the opportunity to learn a lesson.  To teach a lesson.

When you yell.  Apologize.

When you lose your cool.  Apologize.

When you speak words that are unkind.  Apologize.

When you get frustrated.  Apologize.

When you lose your patience.  Apologize.

Apologize and then ask for forgiveness.

Children learn from us, the parents.  And part of growing is learning that we, the parents, are very imperfect human beings.   As much as we want to always be right, there are many occasions when we are wrong.

Showing your children that you can humble yourselves, admit what you did was wrong, apologize, and ask for forgiveness teaches your children a beautiful way to live their lives.  It shows human error, humility, and courage to change.

But you have to try hard to change.

You see—it’s okay if we fail.  We are imperfect.  But let’s not settle for failure.  Let’s strive for change.

Our children.  When they mess up.  We kiss and hug and tell them that we love them.   And, sure, they messed up or did something wrong.  But what is most important is that you tell them to learn from this—go forward and try not to make the same mistakes again.

When our daughter stole.  Yes, shoplifted, a mood ring from the local grocery store, we went through the entire process with her.

We gave her the opportunity to tell us if she stole or not.  She hesitantly admitted it.  Then we spoke to her that you don’t take something that does not belong to you.  We brought her to the store where she apologized and asked for forgiveness to the Assistant General Manager of the store, purchased the ring (using her money that she makes from selling her chicken’s eggs), donated the same amount of money to charity, and then donated the ring itself to a local clothing closet.

And we told our daughter that we loved her.  We were glad that she was brave enough to admit that what she did was wrong, emphasizing that we will always love her even though her actions will have consequences.  And, of course, we told her that we hoped she would never find it in her heart or sticky fingers to steal again.

You see—our daughter made a mistake.  And she suffered the consequences of that mistake.  But we encouraged her to not make that mistake again.  After all, it is not okay for her to run around stealing rings just because she feels that she wants it or is entitled to it—or even if she simply stole it because she had a bad day.  Wrong is wrong.  And she needs to learn to do what is right.

With our words, we sometimes forget that they are mistakes that also need to be rectified and worked on.

It’s okay to make mistakes, but we must try hard to not make the same mistakes.

The story goes that there is a dad and a son.  And the dad gives the son some nails and a piece of wood.  He hands his son a hammer and tells him, “Go ahead, Son, hammer those nails into the board.”

The son happily hammers away.

After he is done, the dad says, “Now go ahead and remove those nails.”

The son turns the hammer the opposite direction and removes every nail in the board.

Now this is where it gets real.  The father looks at his son and says, “Son.  In life, we are going to make mistakes or say things that we shouldn’t have.  Those mistakes and those words—those are the nails that went into the wood.  But we can work on rectifying our mistakes, asking for forgiveness, saying we’re sorry, righting our wrongs.  And that is pulling the nails back out of the wood.  But you see, Son, the wood—it still has the scars of the nails.  So be careful, Son.  Be careful of your words and your actions.  Because there will always be scars.”

Yep, parents.  We imperfectly fail.  And a lot of that failure comes in the form of how we speak or react to our child.

And although we are now the parents, we are still the students.  Students on the journey of parenting.  Part of that journey includes learning self-control.  Learning “tongue control”.

Each and every day we have an opportunity to set an example for our children.  To teach them how to speak and how to react.  And how to love.  And how to forgive.

Words are a powerful weapon.  And sometimes they do steal, kill, and destroy lives.  They have a great ability to scar.  But if we learn to grow up, practice self-control and edification, our words can build, encourage, and grow our children instead of tear them down.

Let’s not remain word failures forever, parents.  Keep going.  Watch your words.  Think before you speak.  And make sure that what you have to say is indeed for the growth, edification, and education of your child.

Helping them learn to grow and be the best that they can be.  Each and every day.  I know you can do it.

Just give it a try!

What’s so special about YOU?


You know…We are special, right?

I mean, after all, my mom tells me I’m special.  My dad tells me I’m special.  My husband tells me I’m special.  My daughter, Adelyne, tells me one million times a day that I’m special.  She has even said that if I am the only present Santa brings to her this Christmas season, she is okay with that.

In fact, on another occasion, she has said, “I want Mommy to do it because Mommy is special.”

My husband inquired, “If Mommy is special, what am I?”

She answered, “Handsome.”

At least he left happy with her response.

But, let’s even think about this a bit more…

What is it that makes me special?  What is it that makes you special?

We figure out what makes us special.  We take tests that tell us how we are special.  We apply for jobs and talk about our “assets” that are so uniquely special the interviewer should toss all other resumes and immediately call us for work!

Yes.  Special, special, special!

I studied Special Education in college.  When I became a teacher and it was time for the awards ceremony at the end of the year, I realized that none of my students would ever receive a special award from the school based on the school’s criteria.  After all, the school demanded great grades, superb attendance, active participation in school functions/sports/clubs/so forth, wonderful behavior.  As the list went on and on and on I realized that not a single student of mine would meet any of that criteria.


Because—they were crack babies or FAS kids.  They suffered from brain damage or constant epileptic seizures.  They had such severe learning disabilities that they couldn’t even read or spell rat/cat/bat/fat in the 7th grade.  Some smelled so badly it was required they took showers upon entering school premises in the nurse’s office for their sakes.  And, to be honest, the behavior of many of them was more gangster than Dangerous Minds.

Yet, to me, each and every one was so extremely and uniquely special.  Don’t get me wrong.  Many afternoons when the school bell dismissed the swarm of teenagers, I sat behind my desk crying—amazed that I made it through another foul language-laced day filled with fights and security escorting students from my room.  There were even times I wondered if the student was going to or planning on harming me.

And, still, each and every student remained special.  Somehow, in some way, I was able to look beyond what they had become to what they could potentially have in store.  In a sense, I felt as if I was the only one at times to think this way.

So, when the school ceremony came, I asked that I award my students, too.  The administration didn’t even blink.  Maybe they were growing accustomed to my varying ways.  And, on that candle-filled night, I (with my other S.E. teacher) awarded 2 of our students with awards that we deemed worthy of them.

At the end of the evening, one mom came up to me crying.  Her daughter was often the source of frustration to so many and even more frequently forgotten or dismissed due to her very severe medical disability.  This award, however, showed her mom that someone cared.  Someone, besides her, cared about her daughter and also knew that her daughter could one day be or accomplish greatness, in her own life, to the best of her ability.

The other parent, a single dad of two teenage daughters, just was…He just was.  Silent.  Strong.  Proud.  His daughter’s learning struggles were intense.  Yet someone recognized that she was a star and had potential and could become someone, in her own right, someday.  His lack of words spoke enough that no words were actually needed.

This…what I just wrote…this is how we at our foundation/fundacja Bread of Life feel about each and every person we work with through our foundation.

It’s not even that we feel it.  It’s that we know it.  If we look beyond what they have become and instead look at what they can become, then their futures are so bright.  In fact, so bright that we all better wear shades!

We have an expression at Bread of Life, “Rescue Even One!”  The people we work with truly are special-it’s just no one ever took the time to tell them, to discover it, or to honor them for their lives.

Now, isn’t that sad?  I think so.

What makes you special???  Perhaps it’s your willingness to help someone else realize they are special, too.

Related Articles:

Lying on the Street in Waste:

I Once Lit a Homeless Man’s Only Sweater on Fire:

The Day that Santa Died:


This article was originally written for our foundation on our now defunct blog page.  Our new foundation’s page is — Please check it out and help us Rescue the Forgotten!