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November 5, 2019

What gives me the most hope every day is God's grace; knowing that his grace is going to give me the strength for whatever I face, knowing that nothing is a surprise to God.

-Rick Warren

Raising children is an uncertain thing; success is reached only after a life of battle and worry.

-Democritus

When my guys were little, bath time was the highlight of the day. When I picked them up from school, I would always ask, how was school today. I’d get the compulsory “Fine”. I’d follow up with, did anything exciting happen. This provoked more thought and I m...

April 2, 2019

Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.

-Lao Tzu

Aretha Franklin died last year. Her songs set the soundtrack for many through the years. I enjoy reading biographies. Learning a person’s journey is such an important component of appreciating where they currently are in life. In Ms. Franklin’s bio, they gave a description of her early days and then noted “and after her mother died”.  Reading this I knew that her life took a tremendous shift. The foundation of your life changes after the death...

February 18, 2019

Motherhood is more than bearing children, though it is certainly that. It is the essence of who we are as women. It defines our very identity, our divine stature and nature, and the unique traits our Father gave us.  Sheri L. Dew

It didn’t occur to me that I am odd until I started seeing these same qualities manifesting in my adult children.  Now there are plenty of things that I do that are just strange, but I believe they are a result of necessity. Being the child of parents who grew up in the Great Depression, we were raised to be frugal. The...

August 1, 2018

You're not a dream,You're not an angel,You're a man

I'm not a queen,I'm a woman,Take my hand

We'll make a space In the lives That we'd planned

And here you'll stay Until it's time,For you to go

Recorded by Roberta Flack

I promised you the story of how I became a single parent. In the last entry, We’re Moving Where? You heard how I got to be a Georgia resident. In retrospect, I can see the patterns so clearly, but at the time, I was relying too heavily on experience and good common sense. Clearly I was out-matched.

My husband thrived on attention – a p...

June 30, 2018

We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us.

- Joseph Campbell
 

Have you ever known someone for a while and then all of a sudden, you see them differently? Our courtship had been a world wind to say the least. He’d returned to Atlanta after graduating from Morehouse and was working in the city. I was earning my graduate degree at night and working during the day. He seemed like a nice enough gentlemen – educated, well spoken, and supportive of the church that we both attended. When he finally worked...

May 25, 2018

Nothing is so strong as gentleness, nothing so gentle as real strength.

-Saint Francis de Sales
 

Several harrowing stories have been told about public housing, especially in New York. Originally created for families who couldn’t afford to pay rent to private landlords back in the 1930s, this housing option opened new possibilities to families. In the 1940s legislation was passed to provide this housing to returning World War II veterans. Strict rules were imposed on the residents including eviction for unwed mothers and property damage fines. Th...

April 4, 2018

An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.

Benjamin Franklin

Knowledge is power. Information is liberating. Education is the premise of progress, in every society, in every family.

Kofi Annan

It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge.

Albert Einstein

One of our family objectives was to excel in education. My mother was a teacher and she passed that teacher spirit to me and my sister, who is also an educator. Having three sons, I wanted to give them every possible advantage in the classroom. So much...

March 1, 2018

Necessity dispenseth with decorum.

-Thomas Carlyle

No matter how old you are when your parents pass away, you feel like an orphan. My mother passed away a few months before my oldest son graduated from high school. All four of my grandparents were gone before I was 4 months old.  I was really looking forward to having my mom there. My father passed away when my middle son was 8 years old.

It is funny the things that remind me of my mom. I have some my mom things, a few of her clothes, even though we weren’t the same size. I keep saying I am going t...

February 1, 2018

I hold it that a little rebellion now and then, is a good thing…

- Thomas Jefferson

When you have children it is just a matter of time before it rears its ugly head. Children naturally march toward the point when they can be independent, but sometimes that happens earlier than parents anticipate. It is at this point that you have to decide which battle to fight.

My younger two tried to toe the line for the most part. To tell you the truth, the few moments that I would identify as rebellion were not as bad as some other parents have experienced. I t...

December 21, 2017

"We all have dreams. But in order to make dreams come into reality, it takes an awful lot of determination, dedication, self-discipline, and effort.”

— Jesse Owens

I get questions about my (first) husband from time to time and I make it a point to focus on the good memories. The story about the Penn Relays is particularly appropriate for this time of year.

He ran track in high school and college. I didn’t know him then, but I had seen pictures.  The Penn Relays take place in April in Philadelphia.  This is a very competitive opportunity to showcase...

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Who Am I?

My name is Stephanie Valentine and my story centers around my Thoughts, Insights, and Perspective on being a parent.

 

My focus is finding the balance of being a nurturing parent and self perservation - which is the first order of survival.

 

My prayer for my sons is that they will continue to support, encourage and protect each other in line with the Ecclesiates 4:12 verse: Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.(NLV)

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