Parenting can be the toughest assignment on earth, but it can also be the most rewarding. What a privilege and opportunity to help shape the next generation!

Model P31 Moms by Bridget McCray 



When the Answer is “No”

Not long ago, my daughter asked about having a sleepover. Even though she’d recently had one as part of her birthday celebration, she wanted to have her friends visit again.

Ordinarily, I would have had no problem with that. She does well academically and in her extracurricular activities at school. However, I’d been observing that she had become a bit lax in some of her responsibilities at home.

I told her that this time, we would pass on the sleepover. Of course, she was disappointed. She asked if she’d done anything wrong. I simply said that I found myself growing weary of repeating myself about things she knows she’s supposed to do at home. Though she felt sad, she did understand.

I explained to both her and my son that part of my job is to rear them to be responsible citizens when they grow up, God willing. Though I want them to have fun experiences, their responsibilities come first before entertainment. I am happy to accommodate their social calendars as best I can but made it clear to them that I am not required to do so.

In talking with my daughter, I put the ball in her court. I asked if there was something I said about what she’d been neglecting that was untrue. She replied there was not. I told her that I’m looking to see consistency in what she does at home, not just doing things until she gets what she wants. She understood.

I shared that part of loving her and my son is discipline and that if I didn’t love them, I wouldn’t care what they did or didn’t do. My son chimed in and said, “We’d be spoiled brats! I hate to see people (who behave) like that!” Well, I think he got it!

Sometimes, it may be hard to decline a request when we look into their beautiful faces; yet as parents, we would be doing them a disservice by always consenting. Would we really be preparing them for life, if the answer were affirmative every time they asked for something? In my humble opinion, absolutely not!

We will be held accountable for the children God has entrusted to us. May we, as parents, seek His wisdom on when to say “yes”, as well as when to say “no”.

(This article was shared with my daughter’s awareness.) 



Bridget McCray
Contributing Writer


Author, H.E.A.L.T.H.: It’s Not Rocket Science (My Journey to a Healthier Me)

Available at Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com in both paperback and eBook formats!




Booking Information
Please visit www.bridgetmccray.com

Model P31 Moms by Bridget McCray 





Detour or End of the Road?

While on the way to teach a fitness class one morning, I was driving in the lane I normally use to get to the next highway. What I didn’t realize was that, due to construction, the traffic pattern had changed from the previous week. This meant the lane in which I was driving would no longer take me to where I wanted to go.

I felt frustrated because I’d missed my exit and knew I’d have to go farther than usual to get off the highway and get to the right path. I exited as soon as I could and pulled up my destination. The voice map said to turn left, yet my instinct said to do the opposite since that was the general direction I needed to go. 

I followed my gut, knowing there had to be an easier way to get to the correct highway and traveling in the right direction, which turned out to be the case. The detour took about ten minutes, yet I still arrived safely to my destination and was even 45 minutes early.

So…why did I share all of this? Life lessons, of course! I had to choose to:
1. Own the mistake (Having to make a detour for not paying closer attention)
2. Make the necessary adjustments, based on what I knew (General direction of my destination)
3. Follow my instinct (Actually, drive in the direction I “felt in my gut”)

As parents, are we willing to do these same things regarding our children:


1. Own the mistakes we make with them? Perhaps:
  • Not setting clear boundaries
  • Speaking to them as though they were less than human, in the name of “establishing authority” 
  • Ignoring them
  • Admitting that we’re learning too, and don’t always get it right
2. Make the necessary adjustments based on what we know? Maybe: 
  • Considering a change in our approach to communication to ensure they understand what we’re trying to convey
  • Discontinuing the notion of “that’s just how I’ve always done it”
  • Allowing them to respectfully have a voice
3. Follow our instinct? (For me, the Holy Spirit) 
  • Being willing to break traditions that are useless
  • Taking actions that may not make logical sense, but “something” inside says you should 

There is NO perfect parent on earth; that includes us. We ALL have room to grow, no matter the ages of our children. As long as we’re still breathing, there’s still time. What a blessing and a privilege to serve in this wonderful role, having opportunities to positively impact generations to come!

God has wonderful plans for His children for His glory. Be encouraged: A detour does not have to mean the end of the road! 
Bridget McCray
Contributing Writer

Author, H.E.A.L.T.H.: It’s Not Rocket Science (My Journey to a Healthier Me)

Available at Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com in both paperback and eBook formats!


Booking Information
Please visit www.bridgetmccray.com

Model P31 Moms by Bridget McCray 

Bridget McCray



Important Things?

Imagine a world where there were no broken children…a world in which no child suffered neglect at the hands of his (or her) own parents. “…but, I provide everything my child needs. He (or she) wants for nothing,” one might say.

Though the child may have every THING, would he have our focus if he needs to share a concern that a friend may harm himself, or would we be too busy looking at the big game or binge-watching our favorite show to listen?

Though the child may have every THING, could she tell of how she was selected to sing the solo in an upcoming play for which she auditioned, or would we be subtly distracted as we checked our various social media pages for the latest “news”?

There are so many people and things competing for our children’s attention. Yes, we provide things that they need, which is part of our parental responsibility. However, are we listening to them, I mean REALLY listening?

Do we take time to notice their body language, their facial expressions, and the tone of their voices when they try to talk to us? Is it possible that they just walk away, because we don’t even take the time to acknowledge their presence when they try to communicate with us?

Even as I write this, my heart is convicted, as I know I’ve been guilty of these things at one point or another. I want my children to know that they are loved and valued as part of our family. Besides the provision of basic life necessities, the “thing” our children need most is our time and attention. Would you agree?



Bridget McCray
Contributing Writer


Author, H.E.A.L.T.H.: It’s Not Rocket Science (My Journey to a Healthier Me)

Available at Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com in both paperback and eBook formats!

Booking Information
Please visit www.bridgetmccray.com

Model P31 Moms by Bridget McCray 



Broken

Imagine a world where there were no more broken children…a world in which no child ever had to endure the pain of his parents going through a divorce, never felt she had to question if she did something to make Daddy or Mommy go away, or experienced the feeling of “betraying” one parent because of having to live with the other.

Imagine a time in which there were no more broken children…a time when children were in an environment where there was transparency about both the joys the and challenges of relationships and were not “doomed” to repeat the mistakes of their parents without knowingly doing so.

Imagine a place where there were no more broken children…a place where before they existed, their parents came together in marriage only after much prayer, observation, and deep conversation, asking the hard questions about family history regarding relationships, finances, and other things, in an effort to avoid any destructive patterns that may have previously existed, in order to ensure a different and better future for generations to come.

Imagine…

Bridget McCray

Author and 2018 International Book Awards Finalist (Health: General category), H.E.A.L.T.H.: It’s Not Rocket Science (My Journey to a Healthier Me)

Available on Amazon in both paperback and Kindle formats!

http://a.co/6QWpcgO

For speaking engagements, please contact Bridget through her website at www.bridgetmccray.com


Bridget McCray
Contributing Writer

Model P31 Moms by Bridget McCray 




Humble Pie!

The mom, who woke up early to take her son to an athletic camp, only to discover that the camp doesn't meet on Fridays, and her son says, "I tried to tell you, Mom," and she "rips him a new one," only to find out that he was correct, after she called her husband to verify what was on the flyer and realized that she did, indeed, overlook that important piece of information, then bursts into tears for "chewing out" her son for no reason: Yep! It was I!

This happened last summer, yet I can still see it as clearly as if it were yesterday. I cannot explain how incredibly small I felt in that moment. Immediately after hanging up with my husband, I apologized to our son and asked if he would please forgive me for what I'd just done. His response, without a hint of anger or frustration in his voice: "Yes, Ma'am."

What did I take away from that situation?

(1) Effective communication in any relationship is critical. We all want to be heard, but how often do we listen… really listen?

Our children are people, too. They want to be heard, as well. If we don’t actively listen to what they’re saying, it is likely that they will stop talking to us, telling us what’s in their hearts. Is that something we would truly want to happen? I know I wouldn’t!

Why was I so busy or distracted that I did not allow myself to stop and listen to what my son was trying to say? What a relief that there wasn’t something more serious he needed to voice at the time!

(2) I was reminded that since I have two ears and only one mouth, perhaps I should listen twice as much as I speak. Hmmm…

(3) I was able to reflect on how imperfect I am as a mom. Even more so, I couldn't help but reflect with gratitude that despite my imperfections, I am forgiven.

Thank you, Son, for being an example of one who extends forgiveness. Thank You, Father, for Your Son, Jesus, Who offers forgiveness for all who come to Him!

I will choose to put my active listening skills to work so my children will know that they can share their thoughts and concerns, whatever they may be, with me. Will you commit to doing the same?

Bridget McCray

Contributing Writer

Author, H.E.A.L.T.H.: It’s Not Rocket Science (My Journey to a Healthier Me)
Available now on Amazon in both paperback and Kindle formats!
http://a.co/6QWpcgO

Cindy's Featured Book of the Week - H.E.A.L.T.H.: It’s Not Rocket Science (My Journey to a Healthier Me) by Bridget McCray 


Does one of these statements describe you?

* “I would like to get healthier, but don’t really know where to begin.”

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If either of these is your story, I invite you to find encouragement and motivation in my new book, H.E.A.L.T.H.: It’s Not Rocket Science (My Journey to a Healthier Me). In it, I share how I came to develop a practical plan for success in my journey to better overall health by using small, attainable goals to achieve long-lasting results.

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Model P31 Moms by Bridget McCray 


Life Lesson from
a Fifth Grader

About a year ago, my daughter, to whom I’ll refer as “Princess”, told me that a custodian from her school fussed at her for trying to go to the restroom when it was time for the custodian to clean it. (How would my daughter know when cleaning time is?) Of course, that did not sit well with Mama Bear. #keepingitreal

When I communicated to her teacher about what happened, the teacher said she appreciates that Princess doesn't ask to go to the restroom during instructional time and that she would speak with the custodian. I thought that would be the end of it.

Well, this same "fussing" happened twice more. Surely, Mama Bear would not have to go further with this! When I asked if Princess wanted me to speak with her teacher again, she declined, saying that she wanted to handle it herself.

Her way to handle it: Write a "thank you" card to the custodian to express her appreciation for the custodian's hard work every day. What?!? I was shocked but in a good way. Admittedly, this was NOT my first thought on how to handle the situation... that’s for sure!

When I arrived to pick her up from school, I saw Princess give the card to her. The custodian was reluctant to accept and asked what it was. When my daughter told her, the custodian thanked her profusely.

I told Princess that the custodian might not encounter people regularly who treat her with kindness. We don't know. I do my best to speak frequently with my children about the importance of treating others as we'd like to be treated. As followers of Christ, it is expected of us. It's not always easy, but it is necessary, and it's for our own good.

I was so proud of the way she handled the incident! The grace that she displayed was definitely convicting for me as a mother. I mean, I know how I’m supposed to treat others. However, knowing and doing are two different things.

I’m so grateful that God used my sweet girl to remind me of something simple I could do to make someone’s day a little brighter, even if I didn’t feel that particular someone deserved it. After all, isn’t that what the Lord Jesus did for me; for all of us?

Way to go, Princess! Mama Bear certainly learned a life lesson from a fifth grader that day. Thanks be to God!

#GoldenRule

Bridget McCray
Author, H.E.A.L.T.H.: It’s Not Rocket Science (My Journey to a Healthier Me)

Available now on Amazon in both paperback and Kindle formats!
http://a.co/6QWpcgO


Bridget McCray - Contributing Writer

Model P31 Moms by Bridget McCray 




To Buy, or Not to Buy?

Last summer, my daughter wanted to buy a necklace that one of our neighbors was selling. I told her that she could do so, but with her own money. 


After counting the cash she had at home, she was a little bit short. (She did have money in her bank account, but just didn't have much cash on her person).

After learning she didn't have enough to make the purchase, I told her to ask her brother if she could borrow the amount of money she was short. WHAT WAS I THINKING??

The very next moment, I realized that was a HORRIBLE idea!! Why on earth would I suggest that she borrow to buy something that she wanted, but did not need?? Temporary insanity!

After I'd come to my senses, I told her I'd said those words in error and that she would not be borrowing to buy the necklace. I suggested looking inside of her purses and other places around the house to find the amount she needed.

She did locate enough after checking in various places. She was frustrated that she had to search, but I explained to her why she was doing it. We had a refresher conversation about wants versus needs, as well as using cash versus borrowing for buying "fun things". In addition, my son was able to paint practical pictures for her to understand.

Not only was that a teachable moment for my children, but it was also one for me. I wonder how many times I've bought something I didn't need, but just "had to have" at a particular time. I couldn't even begin to count them! I wonder how much more I'd be able to do now to bless my family and others if I'd made wiser choices in the past. Hmmm...A sobering thought!

My husband and I speak candidly about finances with our children (a teen and a pre-teen). Though we cannot change the past, we can certainly do our best to prevent history from repeating itself in the next generation. We encourage them to ask questions, not to get into "grown folks' business", but to help them learn to make wise decisions.

Pride must be set aside in order for transparency to take place. To buy, or not to buy? That is the question.

#Proverbs22:7

Bridget McCray
Contributing Writer
Author, H.E.A.L.T.H.: It’s Not Rocket Science (My Journey to a Healthier Me)

Available now on Amazon in paperback and Kindle formats!