We hear a lot of stories from our parents, both heart-breaking and heart-warming. Sometimes, we hear something that we know you need to hear, too – and this is one of those times! Tammy’s confidence as a parent has soared in her work with us, and her children are the real winners! Her story is inspiring, and we are grateful that she agreed to share it with you.
We have all heard or said, “I hope I win on this scratch ticket,” “I hope that sale item is still available by the time I get to the store,” or “I hope it doesn’t rain today, everything is planned for outside.”
“Hope” can be such a throw-away word, used without taking the time to truly notice… that hope is so much more.
“Hope” can offer a healthy, positive guide through life.
When it’s Hard to Feel Hopeful
Sometimes we find ourselves in circumstances that we know in our hearts are not right, not healthy and not helpful to anyone.
I found myself there when we added two complex kids to our family of four. Although the boys could not have been more wanted and loved, life started getting really intense.
We found out a few things about the kids that we didn’t know before we adopted (not that our choices would have changed), which required a greater depth of understanding and compassion to care for them than I had anticipated. My anger management and stress level, along with the sea of extra appointments and new tasks to learn, created a state of chaos.
Things looked “normal” from the outside, but I was plummeting. In the chaos of it all, I realized that I had been brought up in an abusive home. Talk about adding insult to injury. I had no model for compassionate parenting. I was doing my best to hold steady, though a few years later, after we added two more complex kids to our family, I was beginning to fray at the edges.
One particular day, I was helping our youngest child complete some homework, which was in the way of some much-needed playtime for him. We made up a song for each part of speech (with a matching dance), so he could recall it easily. One of the little songs was, “A verb, a verb. A verb is an action word.” Cute, I know – but it ended up helping me a lot more than it helped him!
Hope is a Verb
Everyone has struggles. You conquer one and it seems like another one just waits for you around the corner. Add complex kids to the mix, and some days there are too many to count.
On one of those days, I needed something that would provide strength, determination and a deeper dedication to overcome obstacles. My son’s little song popped in my head (we had only sung it like a million times). Yes, hope IS a verb!
That was it! “Hope” is a word full of life and possibility. When action is put into hope, I can go forward. There may be big steps, or tiny ones (we have all had those days), but as long as I am moving forward, it’s a good and healthy thing. Hope invites the next, best step.
That next step can be extremely difficult.
Putting Hope into Action
It took me months to decide to go ahead with coaching. Honestly, it has been one of the best choices I have ever made. The guidance I have received has been priceless, and the care and love it’s wrapped in has been a pure gift.
There was so much that I was unaware of, and coaching has opened my eyes to new opportunities for healthy choices. Also, I have found here in this community a level of acceptance and understanding of my children that I have not found anywhere else, including from medical offices, many friends and family.
The well of hope here is deep; but, it required my involvement. I had been listening to calls and reading tips, and it was a new world to me, which was helpful. But I was still unable to move forward in any sustaining way to help my kids, or myself … until I began to ask for help (which I had been taught never, ever to do) by joining a coaching program. It has done more for me, and for my kids, than I can ever truly express.
One of the ways that hope radiates around our home is in a new strategy I came up with on a coaching call. It has become one of my all time favorites, cherished by me, and my son. We go on a 45 minute walk just about every evening before bedtime. Even though he may be climbing street signs, jumping people’s fences, or climbing “perfect trees” along our walking route, it gives us time to talk. I have found that as he is winding down, he is able to become more honest and transparent with me — and with himself, as well.
By the time we get home, he is ready for bed. Sometimes he feels like writing in his celebration journal (another coaching strategy I learned), which is good for him to read after a hard day.
Hope explodes when he tells me, “thanks for the walk, mom,” and then he hugs me and adds, “I really love you!”
Invest in the Future with Hope
Our night-time stroll is a little strategy that is more than just a walk around a few blocks. It is a priceless investment in my son’s future, filled with hope. It is a way for me to love him, to help him along, so he can one day be able to manage himself.
Mountains will always be a part of life, and we all have different ones to climb at different times.
Hope is available to everyone so you can take that next step, and climb that next hill. Because, after all, hope is a verb.