Posted in Faith, Family, Morning Musings

Morning Musing: When Your Child Says Their Ugly

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

You’re beautiful, my sister is beautiful, my brother is handsome, and I’m ugly…No, parent wants to hear their child utter such words. But this beautiful morning my 7-year-old son did. I was taken aback by his statement. Why would he say such a thing? Who had told him he was ugly?

As a mom, my brain went on high alert. How do I fix this how do I convince him that he is not ugly?! Better yet what child do I need to yell at for saying such a thing to my darling boy?!

So I asked him,” Why do you think you’re ugly?”. “Well mom my teeth are crooked and my face looks weird”, he said. “Your face isn’t weird. You’ve got two eyes, a nose, a mouth, and two ears. And everybody’s teeth are crooked at this age. ” I replied.

As an adult, it’s easy to tell a child not to worry about what other people think. When we as adults are constantly worried about what others think about us. We live in a world that constantly puts pressure on adults and children to be like someone else.

Yes, we are becoming more accepting of different body types, and skin tones, but at the same time promoting an ideal of physical perfection. When is the last time you’ve seen a model with acne or movie star with crooked teeth? (That wasn’t part of their character.

For kids, the pressure is no different. Perfect skin. Perfect hair. Everyone needs to have a boyfriend/girlfriend or some unrequited love. Where are the shows about the kids who are just happy being kids? Not worried about boyfriends and girlfriends or what they look like.

Before my son had talked about being ugly. He told me he didn’t want to be alone. That he needed friends and a girlfriend. And I’m thinking to myself,” Where is he getting these ideas?”I for one am not a fan of kids having boyfriends/girlfriends in elementary school.

Crushes yea sure. But being in a committed relationship at 7 or 8. No, thank you. Let’s just be kids and have innocent fun. But at this age, he is already wrestling with the idea of loneliness and what the ideal boy looks like. And as far as he’s concerned it doesn’t look like him.

I don’t even remember being concerned with those things at that age. I don’t even think I started to really like boys until I was 10/11.

But back to our conversation.  My son decided to give his life to Christ when he was about 5. And as Christians, our self-worth and our self-esteem should be based on Christ.  I should have started with what I told him in the end.  It is often said that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. And as Christian’s our beholder is God.

…I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.

I reminded him of Psalms 139:14,”… I am fearfully and wonderfully made…”. That God has made each and every one of us unique. We are like a piece of abstract art made by the creator. Some people will think it’s beautiful and some just won’t get it. But to God we are beautiful we are his masterpiece. The work of his hands.

Low self-esteem was something I struggled with as a child. I could have shared my own personal story with him. My father always told me that I was beautiful, but there was a part of me that wanted that validation from the outside world.

It’s actually something that as an adult Christian I still struggle with. My husband constantly tells me I’m beautiful, but there are times that I still struggle with how I feel about myself.

As an adult, I have to remind myself that God created me as a unique individual and I don’t have to strive to be like anybody else. As a parent, it’s hard to see your child struggling with these issues, but the best thing we can do is be there for our children.

If I could rewind this scenario I know I would have addressed it differently I would have:

  1. Stayed Calm- The first thing I did was go into high alert mode and started to figure out how I could convince him in the 10-minute drive that we had to school that he was not ugly.
  2. Listened & Asked Questions- I did listen and I did ask questions. But I asked them to try to refute his reasoning as to why he felt that way. When instead I should have asked questions just to listen and absorb what he was saying.
  3. Asked God for wisdom- If you’re not a Christian, then maybe this step isn’t for you, but I should have prayed and asked God for wisdom on what to say to my son. Aside from you’re not ugly!
  4. Shared my own personal story.- Sometimes our kids think we have it all together. That we don’t struggle with anything. We’re adults we can do whatever we want. At least that’s how kids think.
  5. Prayed with him- I should have prayed with him before he got out of the car. School can be a harsh place for children.  As a Christian parent, I feel that it’s important to always cover your children in prayer. Especially, when they are going through something.

I would love to hear what other parents have to say about this issue. I have 3 more kids that I’m sure I’ll have to go through this with. So any advice is welcome.

If you can think of more tips or things that I could have done differently. Please share them in the comments below.

Until Next Time,

The Crafty Afro

 

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Posted in Crafting Corner

Superman Themed Corner to Corner Blanket

A few weeks ago I decided to send out a text to family and friends stating that I would only be making handmade gifts for Christmas this year. Then in my infinite wisdom, I proceeded to give a list of the things I could make…scarves, blankets, dish towel sets, etc. (Thinking they would pick something easy like the dish towel set.)

I’m not sure why I told grown people that I could make blankets. The largest blanket I have ever made was for a baby! And I was over making that blanket within a few days. Now I have two requests for adult blankets and one baby blanket!

I figured I would start with the easiest blanket first. My cousin is pregnant and her baby is due December 1st. Of course, she didn’t want a simple blanket, but a Superman blanket. So I scoured the internet for different superman baby blanket patterns.

And this is where I stumbled upon the corner to corner stitch and all the amazing blankets that could be made using this stitch. The stitch itself is not very complicated once you get the hang of it. It’s mainly single chain and double crochet stitches. If you know how to make a shell stitch then corner to corner is quite easy.

I decided to create my own version of the blanket instead of trying to follow the graphgan, which I wouldn’t have been able to do anyway, because I had no idea how to crochet a C2C stitch. I found a simple corner to corner written tutorial on Craftsy. Once I got the hang of that I was ready to try to create my own rendering of a Superman-themed blanket.

For this project I used:

  • Red Yarn – Studio Classic (1 ball)
  • Blue Yarn- Loops & Threads (1 ball)
  • Soft Yellow Yarn- Studio Classic (1 ball)
  • Black Yarn- Red Heart (1 ball)
  • Scissors
  • K/6.5 MM Hook
  • Darning Needle

The completed blanket was supposed to be a 36in square. However, my husband and I are superhero nerds (he’s a Batman fan) and as I was working on decreasing the number of chains he said that it looked like the Superman logo.

I was a little hesitant about following his suggestion and just leaving it as is, but once I finished the project I was very pleased with the results. ( He also suggested outlining everything in black.)

The measurements for the blanket are as follows: both sides – 24in, top 26.5in.

How to Make the Blanket

Increasing (Rows 1-31)

Starting with the red yarn you will create 15 rows (the last row should contain 17 blocks)

Change to blue yarn and create 15 rows (the last row should contain 32 blocks)

Change to yellow yarn and create 1 row (the last row should contain 33 blocks)

Decreasing (Rows 32 – 43)

In the next row you will continue to use the yellow yarn, but at this point, you will begin decreasing the number of blocks you have.

Decrease using the yellow yarn for 11 rows. The final row should have 21 blocks.

Tie off your yarn and weave in all the loose tails if you haven’t already.

Border

Starting in the bottom corner of row 1 single crochet around the entire blanket using the black yarn. When you get back to the corner tie off your yarn and weave in the tail.

At this point your blanket should look like this:

The Superman Logo

For this part of the project, you will only need the red and black yarn.

To create the S used for the Superman logo I followed the youtube video here.

This was the hardest part of the project. It took me a while to understand the directions in the video. To create this logo you will need to know/learn how to do a single chain foundation stitch and how to crochet stitches together.

In the video when she refers to the single chain side of the foundation chain she is talking about the side of the work that has single chain stitches. (It took me a few tries to figure this part out). I ended up making this logo twice before I got it right. Third times the charm.

Border

Once you have completed your logo, then you use the black yarn and single crochet around the outside of the logo and the inside. Make sure to leave a tail long enough to sew each part of the work to the blanket.

Your superman logo should end up looking like this:

Final Steps

The last part of this project is sewing the Superman Logo onto your blanket. I started sewing at the bottom of the logo and worked my way around, then I sewed parts of the S on the inside that I wanted to lay flat.

You can hide any loose tails you had from attaching the black yarn underneath the logo or you can weave them into the border before sewing it on.

Once you have attached the logo your finished blanket should look amazing! And you should give yourself a pat on the back for getting that logo done!

Final Thoughts

I really enjoyed working on this blanket and I hope my cousin likes it. If I could change anything about it I think I would have added more rows of the red yarn.

I also would have preferred for the black yarn not to be seen on the back of the work when I sewed the logo on, but I guess that’s what using a graphgan is for. I’m sure I could have hidden the yarn better during the sewing process.

If you have any tips or suggesting let me know. This is the first time I have ever provided instructions on how I created something. Please forgive me if there is a lack of detail.

If you decide to make this project please let me know or share a picture of it with me in the comments section. If you have questions about anything that I did please ask.

That’s one gift done. Now onto the next one.

Until Next Time,

The Crafty Afro

 

Posted in Family, Lifestyle, Morning Musings

Morning Musings: Step-Mom

In my previous post, I talked about a shirt that my oldest daughter wore and my issues with said shirt. I also mentioned that I didn’t buy her that shirt. Why?  Because her mother brought it for her.

See my eldest daughter, Kayla, is not my biological daughter.  She is my husbands’ daughter.  I have known this little girl since she was one and I consider our bond to be a special one.  And I have only on rare occasion ever referred to her as my step-daughter to other people.

So the other day when she snuggled up to me and called me her, “step-mom” I was a bit offended. I guess by now you all are saying what’s the big deal? You guys are a blended family that’s normal.

However, I did not willingly walk into step-motherhood. My husband and I just recently celebrated our 11th anniversary. Our eldest child is 7, followed by Kayla who is 4, my youngest son who is also 4, and my youngest daughter who just turned 1. I could spell it out for you, but I’ll let you put two and two together.

When I decided that I wanted Kayla to be a part of my life. I made a decision that she and her siblings would never refer to each other as step/half siblings. They are brothers and sisters. Period. This was something that I also made her mother aware of at the time.

I knew that she would never be allowed to call me Mom. So I came up with a nickname for myself hence I became MoMo to her. Even though sometimes she does slip up an call me mom, I just gently redirect her.

And that’s what I did the day she referred to me as her step-mom. I just gently reminded her that I was her MoMo and nothing else. I know for her mom it makes it easier to describe who I am without having to explain anything to people.

I am sure it’s all well-intentioned, but I don’t want to be Kayla’s stepmom. I just want to be her MoMo. Stepmom just seems like a bad word to me on top of being something that I never wanted to be. It kind of makes me feel slighted, even though I know that’s not the intent.

I feel the same way when people infer that we’re a blended family. But that is a story for another day.

It’s just a way to designate me as the woman that is not her mom, but the woman that takes care of her when she is with us. I don’t know? Maybe some of you are step-parents and get where I’m coming from or maybe you’re just like girl get over it. (lol)

It is just a name after all. But if you can or can’t relate please leave a comment or share your own story. I’d love to hear from other step parents.

Until Next Time,

The Crafty Afro

Posted in Faith

5 Ways to Tell You’re A Christian

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What is a Christian? How do you know that are you are one? Maybe you have doubts about whether or not you’re still in the faith? Or Maybe you’re just curious.

For whatever reason you find yourself scrolling through this post today I pray that you will be blessed by it.

Without further ado, I present to you 5 ways to tell you’re a Christian.

1. Christians have Confessed & Believe That Jesus Is Lord

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Photo by Edwin Andrade on Unsplash

Simply put to be a Christian you must first be a disciple of Jesus Christ. A disciple is a follower or student of a specific person or philosophy. So how does one become a disciple of Christ?

Romans 10:9-10 puts it plainly, ”If you declare with your mouth, “ Jesus is Lord.” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.”

This is the first step to becoming a believer in Christ. However, it is important to remember that this is a two-step process. People can confess with their mouths and not believe in their hearts what they are confessing. Which caused them to become false converts.

This may sound harsh, but I know too many people that believe they are Christians because they go to church every Sunday and attend bible study every night. If you have not confessed and believed that Jesus is Lord and believed that God raised him from the dead you are not a Christian.

It doesn’t matter if your father was a pastor or how much money you give to charity. You can not alumni your way or earn your way into heaven.

Jesus said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me (John 14:6, NIV).

When you truly confess Jesus as your Lord and Savior there is an inward and an outward change. 2 Corinthians 5:17 says, “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come. The old has gone, the new is here(NIV).”

2. Christians Should Be Free From Habitual Sin

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Photo by Diana Simumpande on Unsplash

In the beginning, it can be hard for a new believer to tell if they are actually saved. They may still curse, drink, smoke drugs, etc. But as they begin to mature and grow in their faith in Christ all of those things should begin to fall away.

Sometimes the changes are instant and sometimes the changes are more gradual. Becoming a Christian doesn’t mean you are perfect and that you will never sin. On the contrary, it means that you will constantly be at war with yourself or your “flesh” as the bible puts it and the holy spirit that now dwells within you.

1 John 3:6-9 that, ”No one who lives in him (Jesus Christ) keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either seen him or known him (NIV). “ New Christians can take solace in the fact that as they grow in their relationship with Christ that they will no longer engage in habitual/wilful sin.

Will you still sin? Yes. But as you mature in Christ you should sin less.

3. Christians Love Others

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Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

I think the most common thing I hear people say about God is that He is Love. However, it is just one of the many aspects of God’s character. An aspect that we as Christians are supposed to share with the world.

Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister. (1 John 4:20-21, NIV)

We are not only commanded to love our brothers and sister in Christ, but also those around us. We are even to love those that we consider our enemies and to bless those who curse us (Luke 6:27-36, Matt 5: 43-48).

This is in stark contrast to what the world teaches us. Which is to hate those who hate you and to get revenge on those who do us wrong. If we live this way towards our fellow man then it is impossible for us to claim to love a God that we haven’t seen.

I am by no means saying that it’s easy to love and get along with everyone. But we are to do our best to be like Christ. Which means we are to love others as Jesus loved us and he loved us (John 15:12-13, NIV) to the point of death.

4. Christians Do Good Works

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Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

Being a Christian doesn’t just stop with confessing and believing in Jesus. It requires us to change and grow by putting off our old sinful nature and loving other people.

From this abundance of love, we should produce good works. As James put it, “Faith without works is dead (2:14).” As Christians, we should be willing to help those in need. Not because we want to be seen by other people(Matt 5:16), but the compassion of Christ compels us too.

There are many people that believe that by doing good works they can earn their way into heaven. However, you can not donate your way or feed enough homeless people to get to heaven. It is only by believing in his son Jesus Christ that you can be saved.

Maybe you don’t know what you should be doing, but if you seek Christ he will show you. For we have been created in Christ Jesus to do good works (Eph 2:10).

Jesus is no longer here on earth with us to love on the lost and the downtrodden. We, his followers, are now responsible for being his hands and feet. We have been called to show the compassion Christ to the world around us.

5. Christians Do Not Deny Christ

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Photo by Nilton Oliveira on Unsplash

This last one seems like a no-brainer. I mean how can you call yourself a Christian and deny Christ? That means that your not a Christian.

However, have you ever shared something that happened to you or your family that you know could have only happened because God intervened and didn’t even mention him?

Or have your kids ever wanted to invite their friends from school to a church event, but you politely suggested that they not for whatever bogus reason you gave. When really you were afraid they would be mocked or feel rejected because the other kids might say no?

I know I have been a victim of that one. I had to get on my knees and repent! I had to check myself to make sure I was still in the faith.

Or have you ever failed to stand up for what you believe in because you were the only Christian in the crowd?

See it’s in these little ways that we deny Christ in our lives that people don’t think about. That if we don’t catch them can eventually turn into full-blown denials of Christ.

The bible says, ”Whoever is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels (Luke 9:26, NIV).”

What a shame it would be to get to the gates only to be turned away because we were ashamed of our Savior

Final Thoughts

I know many of you expected to read things like if you pray, read your bible, and go to church you’re a Christian. While it is true that these are things that Christians should be doing to help them grow in their faith and develop a relationship with Christ.

There are many people that do all of these things out of habit or ritual and have never given their lives to Christ.

I hope this list has helped you in your walk with Christ. For those of you who are Christians, I hope this list helped affirm some things for you or even caused you to stop and examine yourself.

If you are someone that claims to be a Christian because you attend church services regularly, you sing in the choir, or because your parents were preachers I encourage you to go back to the first point in this post.

If you have found yourself in a backslidden state I encourage you to reaffirm your faith in Christ and get back in the race.

If are reading this post and are not a Christian I pray that this post has touched your heart in such a way that it would draw you closer to Christ and that you would take that step to become his disciple.

Please leave a comment if you feel that I have left something out or you would like to share something that you learned or agreed with from this post.

Until Next Time,

The Crafty Afro

Posted in Uncategorized

Morning Musings: What’s Wrong With Being a Princess?

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Photo by Civalias Kune on Unsplash

Is it just me or does the world have something against princesses? My eldest daughter wore a shirt the other day that said” Future Princess Hero”.  At first, the shirt didn’t bother me, but as I kept looking at it I started to get irritated.

Why in the world was the princess marked out? I know not all girls dream of being fairytale princesses in fancy dresses and being swept away by their Prince Charming.

I was one of those girls. Pink?..No thank you…Frilly dresses?…No thank you…Makeup? No way! (Sorry, girls grandma or youtube is going to have to teach you how to put on makeup.)

Being swept away by Prince Charming…Possibly.

I get the whole feminist thing about Princesses being pictured as damsels in distress, unable to do anything to escape their captors. Yes, women are not helpless….blah..blah…I get it.

There is actually a feminist ranking of Disney princesses. Seriously?! I could go on about this, but I won’t. At least not today.

But is there something so wrong with being a princess?

Princesses can be smart, brave, loyal, fierce, hardworking, educated and talented. They can also be feminine, sweet, charming, and shy.

One of the articles bashes Snow White because all she did was sing and clean. She sounds like a stay at home mom to me. Taking care of 7 dwarves and their mess.  And how was she supposed to save her self when she was in a coma?

Wonder Woman is a princess and a warrior. She can hold her own with Superman and all of the other macho male superheroes. But she also knows how to be soft and vulnerable with those close to her.

So why did they choose to scratch out the word Princess to replace it with the word hero?  Society puts some much pressure on young girls as it is. Why can’t they be a Princess and a hero?

Maybe, I was just in my feelings that day. Still I think that shirt might disappear. I didn’t buy it anyway.

Until Next Time,

The Crafty Afro