Wednesday, September 30, 2015


By Angeline M Duran Santiago

There may be some of you that read the title I put on up here and you squirmed in your seat and said, "Oh, no, not another praise your child sermon when what today's kids really need is a big smack on their behind." 

So, nope, I'm not writing about patting them on the back and letting our kids do whatever they want, and nope, I am not saying we look the other way when they talk down to us, disrespecting and living like it's ok to grow up without manners and boundaries.

I am writing about praising your child for the right reason.

We should praise our kids when we know that we've spoken to them about something, that they keep forgetting to do or just won't do correctly,  at least one hundred and ten times and then suddenly, angelic voices fill the room and we find them doing the unexpected. In this piece I want to recognize my son, Jacob. I mean, I walk in and he'd doing homework. Wait. You didn't get that. I should be writing capitals all over the place, with sound effects like in the movie, "The Mask" with Jim Carey. My son is giving his all not just for football, but also classwork. 

It' s not easy getting our children to put their one hundred percent into hours of homework. Today's standards in school makes many kids feel as if they've failed way before high school has even begun. The way coaches treat their players it seems they've already determined the success story with being the kid who evens the team out. This world is full of messages to discourage and make you feel small.

But, as I walk in and see him doing great things, I praise him for remembering our talks. I praise him by saying, "I love to see what you're doing with your school work." I recognize that his bedroom looks pretty cool and that he has made an attempt to show me that he is taking better care of his responsibilities, especially in regards to the Type 1 Diabetes. 

I celebrate my son, as I hope you will do with your child as well, because I have to ask multiple times, "Do you have your homework? Do you have your glucose bag? Do you have your pump on? Did you check your sugar?" While all he may be hearing is, "Waaa Waaa Waaa Waaa" So, yes, I am clapping my hands and saying, "Whoo Hoo!" 

It's great to see him immersed in a math that I have no idea what the heck he's doing. And, oh my goodness, I must confess I feel such a relief when I ask him, "Hey, buddy, how's it going? Do you need my help with the homework?" (And inside I am like, NOOOOO, I don't know how to do this one!!!!!) Then, he says, "No, mom, thanks, I got this!" and I'm all like, "OK, sweetie, cause you know if you need my help, I'm right here for you, just let me know." But, I walk away and inside I am dancing and screaming, "YES!!!! He can do this on his own." But, then, I go and begin a google search on what he's doing for the moment of "just in case" he comes with a question. I will be like, "Oh sure, yes, let's sit down and look at it."

And, let me tell you, that's when faith really kicks in because if I didn't believe in miracles before, I will pray my heart out for one right then and there.

So, I'm proud of you my child. I am happy you are doing well and that you have remembered some of the things I have asked of you because they will bring you great success and victory. Place the Lord above all things in your life and He will always guide and bless you in all you do. I love you.
And, I pray, you will share with your child as well.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015


I not only take the time to write what's on my mind, I also take the time to read what other people have written. In reading what others share, I've come to read some of the most heartbreaking pieces. There are countless of things written about depression and many more on how people dealing with Type 1 Diabetes, and/or other sicknesses or physical conditions. My heart goes out to them because I have lived through many of the things they are living with daily, and even if I don't physically have those ailments, those I love and care for daily, are living with the reality of it all.

The one theme that seems to come out in most, if not all the writing, is how people and the young ones feel hopeless and abandoned. Their hearts share their pain, their burdens and their despair. You feel their anger, their cry and see their fists, closed and lifted up to heaven, blaming God.

Many times, I too, wondered where was my faith. I wanted to know why and how? I thought living right and doing right got me the good deal on life, but it's not that way. We live in a world that has lashed out against God and thus, has invited wickedness in as they pushed God out. We live in a contaminated planet that has carelessly dedicated itself to self destruction. It's not that God is powerless or doesn't care. Everything around us seems to be in self destruction mode and instead of seeking God's mercy, we become bitter. Instead of surrendering to His will and wait on His healing, we surrender to anger, to silence, to fading away in our pain.

You may feel abandoned in your depression and in your pain. You may feel abandoned each time you have to pierce your skin again and again to give yourself insulin. You may feel forsaken, each time you place that Asthma pump into your mouth and take deep breaths hoping your lungs accept the medication and open up your airways. You may feel forgotten and unloved, when sadness, loneliness and those dark moments cover you like a net and you can't break free.

My friend, I can tell you that in my discomfort, and through what I see daily, I refuse to believe God has abandoned me. I refuse to believe my son and my brothers, or anyone in my family that is sick, has been abandoned, forsaken and forgotten.

My son, in Jesus name, is part of God's healing plan. My brothers, my nephew, my mom, my daughter, my friends, you, you and you, we are all in the heart of God to receive our healing! I am looking into scriptures that remind me of God's promises. I'm learning to pray more and believe that what we bind on earth is bound in heaven and what we loosen on earth is loosed in heaven. I am learning to proclaim, "By His Stripes we were healed!" I am holding on to everything in the Bible about healing as true and real for my son and everyone connected to me.

Sunday, September 20, 2015


September 21, 2002.

A great day to be born like so many others. God blessed me with one more child. He gave me a warrior that has a faith to trust in the Lord. God has given me a child that is full of love and laughter. God has blessed me with a child that has met life and death in the face and continued to press on when life gets hard. 
Tonight I remember waiting in the hospital for the doctor to take me away into surgery so that my son could be brought forth into the world. 

At 3 in the morning, my precious son, already fighting for his life, was led away into the ICU to be taken care of. Once more, as it was not allowed with my previous two children, I was not allowed to hold him or kiss him. Those images we see in movies were not made true for me. As he was taken away, after being given a quick glimpse of my baby boy, my heart disappeared into prayer, a reminder to God that he had promised to keep His Word and fulfill it in my life. I had no strength to cry so I just meditated on what was left of my waking moments, meditated on God's presence and released the child I could not run to in the hands of the One who could be by his side from his first breath.

 I am in awe of what an amazing young man, my son has become. Lord, I thank you for my son. Although at times I have asked you why and why again, I choose to thank you for his life. I thank you for his courage and his never ending strength. I thank you for his ability to endure through hardships. I praise you for his life and for his future! 

Lord, I thank you that my son has his inheritance in you. I thank you that his name is not Type One Diabetes, but Healed, Redeemed, Restored and Victorious. Lord, I praise you because you make all things new and even when my eyes do not see what you are doing in him, in his body and in his heart, your hand is at work in him, doing great and mightily on his behalf.

There is nothing impossible with or for God. Every promise that is written in God's word is written upon my son, Jacob. God has already destined his success and his ability to soar high above the storms that may come. I love my son and am so proud of him. My football player, my joker always putting his arms around me, hugging me, loving me and telling me, "Mom, I love you!" What gift could be more precious than than? There is nothing more perfect than the gift of a child from the Lord and I am blessed!

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