Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘single moms’

I am always nervous when I step out to serve in any way. I wonder if I will fail or embarrass myself. But more often than not I end up being blessed more than I could ever imagine.

This is precisely what happened on Saturday 9/25 at the WBGL Single Mom Saturday. The Terre Haute location was Burger Chrysler Jeep and they were absolutely AMAZING! They gave each mom and oil change and car wash. On top of that, with the financial support of WBGL, an alternator was replaced for a single mom who had been having to have her vehicle charged every two weeks at Auto Zone to keep it going until she could get it fixed, an emergency fuel issue was fixed making a vehicle safe for a single mom and her kids, tie rods were fixed for one of the volunteers and a few other repairs were made making life a little easier for the single moms served.

Thanks to the donations of my generous church family at Terre Haute First Baptist Church, I was able to give the 16 single moms each a $25.00 gift card for a local gas station. We were also able to give away diapers to those in need of them.

I love days like this! I still get nervous, but God always gives me the words and the courage to go forward in His will and it is so worth it when I see the tears of gratitude form in the eyes of the moms.

There is nothing better than getting out and serving others! I am challenging you to serve someone this week and let me know how it goes.

Read Full Post »

I have officially launched LIFE Single Mom Ministry! I have launched a ministry blog, but I will still be posting here to share whatever God lays on my heart. I will also be continuing my posts for single moms on this blog. The ministry blog will be completely ministry related with a post thrown in here and there on single mom statistics and how we can serve the single mom family.

To visit the LIFE Single Mom Ministry website click HERE

To visit the LIFE Single Mom Ministry Facebook page click HERE

Read Full Post »

LIFE Single Mom Ministry has been launched! YAY! The ministry has found a home at Terre Haute First Baptist Church. I have just launched and am working on the Facebook page, website, single mom group, ministry cards, etc. but I was able to partner with my daughter Cree and her high school students to make Mother’s Day care baskets for 10 single moms at a local addiction recovery house. They are going through the hardest fight of their lives and they would have been ignored otherwise. I was also able to connect a disabled, single mom in another county with a church close to her to help her with some yard/housework. I am excited to see how God uses this ministry and the local community to reach the single mom.

I will be starting in person LIFE groups the 3rd week of August as long as pandemic restrictions allow. I am excited and nervous about this. I am excited because I believe this will be the real launch of the ministry. It will be so much easier to minister to these single moms and their children when we can meet together and build those relationships. It is so much harder to reach out when you can’t have that face-to-face connection. I am nervous because I will be leading the group. I keep pushing myself and God shows up, but it is still a day to day decision to choose faith over fear.

I will update as I get some things accomplished. It is a process and I am learning as I go. For now I invite you to visit the LIFE Single Mom Ministry Facebook page.

Read Full Post »

As a single mom, the one thing that has always bothered me about the Church as a whole is the focus on marriage. You can walk into any church and know that couples will be accepted more readily than a single person. This makes sense I guess. Through the ages, marriage has been the normal progression of life for the majority of people. But, times have changed. People are NOT getting married as quickly as they once did, marriages are dissolving at an alarming rate and parents raising children alone are now the norm. Society is changing. The Church, however, is not.

There is one church that is trying to change the perspective of it’s congregation and I am blessed to be a member there. This past weekend at Terre Haute First Baptist Church, we met the candidate for our Associate Pastor of Discipleship position. He has experience in working with different age groups and I was very impressed by him. He was giving us some practical advice to carry with us in the week ahead and I was struck by the wisdom of his words.

He said (paraphrased):

“When you meet someone new this week, instead of asking, ‘Are you married?’ say, ‘Tell me about your family’.

Something so simple can break down those barriers to building a relationship that God can work through. When I approached our pastor about starting a single mom ministry, I mentioned the apathy of the Church towards the single mom. I mentioned that the majority of single moms do not feel welcome in the Church. He answered that (again I am paraphrasing here) the Church has held tight to the tradition of marriage and has a difficult time accepting anything different.

When a single mom walks into a church with kids in tow, the assumption is that she is married. If you ask, “Are you married?” you will push her away. If you say, “tell me about your family” you will open the door to a conversation. I can tell you this because of my own experiences with the dreaded “are you married?” question. My typical answer now is, “I’m married to God.” This answer is my truth.

The latest statistics say that 85% of the 15 million single moms (raising 22 million children) in the United States do NOT attend church. We need to do more to bring in the single mom without adding shame. Marriage is the ideal for many people, but not for everyone. Without knowing the single mom’s story, that one insensitive question can remind her of the pain of an abusive marriage, a failed marriage, the shame of a one night stand, etc. We need to have compassion from the moment a single mom walks thru the doors of our churches. We need to build a relationship with her. Yes, we may have to confront the sin, but from a place of compassion and love following the example of Jesus.

“Tell me about your family” Gives her the option of telling you what she wants you to know right now. Help her to feel safe in the conversation. The rest of the story will come when she feels comfortable enough to share it.

The Church should NOT treat the single mom as someone to ostracize. She should not be shamed and made to wear an invisible, but still flesh burning scarlet letter. Her children should not be treated as though they are “less than” because they are being raised by a single mom. The Church MUST do better if we are to change the heartbreaking statistics.

Traditions can be changed. Ideals can be changed. Sometimes they must be changed to keep up with an ever changing society. The Church can change, but we must be willing, as Christians, to change our perspectives. We must be willing, as Christians, to embrace other lifestyles that may challenge those long standing traditions of the Church. It can be done. If we are open to showing the love and compassion of Jesus. If we are open to letting go of our own preconceived ideals of what a family should look like.

TELL ME ABOUT YOUR FAMILY

Read Full Post »

I was blessed to be featured in a Single Mom Spotlight for Arise Single Mom Ministries. Arise Ministries is based in Oklahoma where they minister to local single moms, but they also have a national presence through conferences and online Bible studies.

Below is the article I wrote for the Single Mom Spotlight:

As reality sank in and I realized that my marriage was over, I became terrified of the future. I was afraid of having to raise my kids alone. As my dreams of a country house with a white picket fence disappeared, I found myself dreading the days to come. What was I supposed to do now? The future stretched out in front of me like a barren desert, and I felt hopeless.

I’ve been a single mom 20 years now. I understand the road you might be walking on today. Like me at one time, maybe you’ve lost hope for the future or you feel your life will never be the same. Well, the truth is your life will never be the same, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be great. In fact, God is doing a new thing!

If you’re finding yourself in the wasteland today, maybe these five truths will jumpstart your journey in a new direction. They helped me, and I know they will help you as well.

1. Forget the former things. This is a direct command from God. Don’t dwell on the past. We’re instructed to let go of the anger, bitterness, hate, and any other negative feelings taking up residence in our hearts. Start looking ahead to the promises the future holds for your household.

2. Have faith. We can choose to believe God wants only the best for us. I can testify that God has shown up for my kids and me in ways that were sheer miracles. He has provided and protected us. He has given me a passion for writing and for serving single moms. This new mission keeps me going when times get tough.

3. Change your perspective. This can be hard, but there are times when we need to make the best of a bad situation and find the good in what seems to be an impossible circumstance. When we focus on the positive, we improve our own mental health and the emotional well-being of our kids. God is providing a new way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland. The future is a blank canvas, and we get to choose if we want to embrace it.

4. Build community. Community is so important. It can be difficult to walk into a church alone with kids in tow; however, we need a church family to love and support us in our role as a single mom. So don’t give up searching for the right church for your family. Ask God to lead you to the right faith community that will become a village for you and your kids.

5. Create traditions. This new season is a chance to develop new traditions. What a fun opportunity for your family to think of creative Saturday morning activities and new ways to celebrate holidays and birthdays.

Yes, things have changed and the future can look like a wasteland. But remember, God is still at work. This can be the beginning of a new adventure! -Patti B.

Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; Do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland. —Isaiah 43:18

To learn more about Arise Ministries click HERE

Read Full Post »

I have had a passion to disciple single moms for 14 years now. At the time that God started to plant this seed in my heart, I was in the middle of the storm myself and was not ready to minister to other single moms. I have now been a single mom for 20 years. I have raised 5 children to adulthood. I have grown in my own walk with God and am now in the place to disciple and serve other single moms who may be struggling. As I was writing the steps of this program I found myself wishing that I had had a program like this while I was stuck in the mud of my single mom journey. For the first years of my journey I was so caught up in my own anger and bitterness that I could not see that my kids were dealing with their own emotional stuff. I was not able to effectively help my kids navigate their own issues, because I was carrying a burden of my own. This was a major factor in my wanting to create a discipleship program that not only addressed building a lifestyle of prayer and Bible study, but would bring healing of present and past hurts through the love of God, allowing single moms to parent from a place of wholeness which in turn will bring healing to their children.

LIFE stands for Living Intentionally For Eternity. As Christians we choose to live intentionally for Jesus. Every decision is intentionally made to glorify the God that created us. Our reward for living intentionally for God? An eternal life in the presence of our Lord and King, Jesus.

The 10 steps of the LIFE Discipleship program:

  1. Discover who God is– In order to grow in our relationship with God, we need to know who God is. We can not build a strong, intimate relationship with someone that we do not know well. Intimate relationships take time and nurturing. My own relationship with God has taken years of prayer, Bible study, obedience and trust to grow to the point of faith that I am at now. I know who God is in every season of my life. I trust Him to be an ever present refuge in this life of uncertainty. The Christian walk is a journey. I am not perfect. I still have days when I feel disconnected from God. This is always do to something on my end causing the disconnect. In those times, I pray harder, dig deeper into the Bible and search my heart for issues that need resolved. But because I know that God will never leave me nor forsake me(Deuteronomy 31:6) I can work through the issues and maintain my faith that God is still present in my life.
  2. Discover your identity in Jesus– When I became a single mom I did not know that God loved me. My marriage of 7 years had just failed. My husband had left me for another woman and I felt alone and abandoned. I felt unworthy of love. If my husband did not love me enough to stay, why would God love me? It took me many years to realize that God loves me more than I could ever imagine. He loves me so much that He has counted every hair on my head (Luke 12:7). In time I have come to fully realize how valuable I am to God. You are valuable to God too! God looks upon us and our struggles with love and compassion. We need to know who we are in Jesus in order to live lives of confidence and courage, knowing that we are victors because God is the one fighting for us.
  3. Identify sin patterns– We can not grow in our relationship with God when we are living a lifestyle of sin. We will continue to feel disconnected from God until we recognize the sin in our lives. Being the imperfect person that I am, I had to own the sin in my life and deal with it in order for my relationship with God to grow. We are creatures of habit and it may be necessary to assess the activities in our lives on a regular basis to make sure that we are not falling back into sinful patterns.
  4. Find freedom through repentance– Once we identify the sin in our lives, we need to repent of that sin. This is not an easy step. It means confessing our deep dark secrets to God and trusting that He will understand and forgive. The good news is that He is a God of grace and will forgive when we confess and repent. He understands our human nature and knows that we will continue to sin. That doesn’t mean to give up and not try. It simply means that we will occasionally fail in our attempts. The bad news is that God already knows when we blow it. When you sleep with that guy that you aren’t married to, God knows. When you get drunk with your kids in the house, God knows. God sees it all! He is that light in the darkness and there is nowhere that you can hide.
  5. Find freedom through forgiveness– There are 2 sides to this one. We have to be willing to forgive others(even when they don’t ask!) and we have to be willing to ask God and others to forgive us when we sin against someone else. Forgiving others frees us of the burden of anger and hate. Asking forgiveness frees us of the shame we feel when we know that we have wronged someone. I have had to do both and neither one is easy, but both are necessary in order to move forward in peace.
  6. Heal the wounds of the past– Let’s face it, we carry our pasts into our present. How many of us will blame present lifestyle choices on our childhood or past relationships? At some point, we have to let go of the past and take responsibility of our choices. Somewhere in our growing up we reach that point where we have to surrender the past and start to choose our own values and how we want to live. Letting go is difficult, but we will never move forward when we have one foot stuck in the past.
  7. Overcome fear and anxiety– I have been paralyzed by fear and anxiety. Life as a single mom comes with uncertainty and hardship. I don’t know a single mom who hasn’t worried about how she was going to pay the bills or living with anxiety that the car will need tires or other repairs. We fear that our kids will grow up and repeat our mistakes. God does NOT give us a spirit of fear(2 Timothy 1:7). We can rest in the assurance that nothing escapes God’s notice. He sees all and He has whatever you are facing taken care of. He has your back, now and always.
  8. Discover your God given life purpose– God has a plan and a purpose for all of us. He has a special calling for each of us that call Him, Lord. This will be the fun part of the program. Searching your heart to find what you are passionate about. What is it that tugs on your heart? For me, it is serving single moms. It has been a long time in the making, but God is faithful and everything happens in His timing. It is exciting when God puts things together in a way that only God can. It gives you that push that you need to move forward. When we have confidence in God, mountains begin to move.
  9. Transform your life– God can and will transform your life, but He expects us to be partners in this journey. He expects us to do our part to transform our lives. We need to make a habit of prayer and Bible study. We need to find time to spend alone with God in prayer and worship. We need to find a community of believers to share our lives with. We need to simplify our lives so that God is our #1 focus. We need to make a plan that incorporates these disciplines into the fabric of our daily lives. We need to be intentional in our thoughts and activities. God needs to be at the center of our lives and family, not material possessions or a schedule full of energy draining activities. When we simplify our lives and focus on Him alone, we will see a peace and calm come over our homes that only God can bring.
  10. Maintaining a Godly lifestyle– In order to maintain any type of lifestyle, we need to make a commitment to the plan. We also need to be accountable. We need to check-in on a regular basis to see how we are feeling and if any changes need to be made. We need to remember to stay intentional in our pursuit of God. We also need to remember that this life is a journey, but the end goal is an eternity in the presence of God and Jesus. To me, that is well worth the effort.

As you go through the steps, you will use a journal to document your journey. Writing down our thoughts, Bible verses, experiences, and prayers helps us to “get out of our heads.” It also allows us to go back and see how God has transformed our hearts, lives and families.

This program was definitely a labor of love for me. I prayed over each step, wanting each single mom to find healing, as well as, implementing the necessary disciplines that allow us to grow in our relationship with God. This is not a Bible study that I expect single moms to do alone. I am here as the discipleship coach 100% of the way. I am in this for as long as it takes.

Read Full Post »

Dear single mom,

Have you ever prayed about an issue or a circumstance, just to have God say no? It can be frustrating. Especially when God gives no reason behind the answer.

I have been praying non stop for over 2 1/2 years for my son-in-law to gain full-custody of his 2 sons. Without going into detail, I will say that the boys would have a more stable environment with my daughter and son-in-law. They have spent the last 2 1/2 years in a custody battle with his ex-wife. 2 1/2 years and $16,000.00 later the ruling is that everything will remain the same. This “same” arrangement has not worked in the past and I don’t see how it will work any different now, but this is how God answered my prayers.

WHY?

I still ask this question. Where is the justice for my son-in-law? Where is the justice for the boys? Why? We are to pray for justice for the oppressed and when we do, God leaves things the same way. Why?

God does not owe me an explanation. Part of being a Christian is trusting in God’s will. We have to believe that despite the way things seem, God is still in control and is working all things for the good for those who believe in Him.

This has been a difficult year. We have struggled with a pandemic, national division, fear and anxiety over who will be President, and division in the Church of America. We have seen anger and violence in the streets. We fear for ourselves and our children. We watch as Satan seems to gain more ground in this nation that was founded on Christian principles. We watch and we pray.

Luke 22:42

“Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.”

Jesus did not want to die, but He was willing to do the will of His Father. He trusted His Father. He could have changed His fate, but He did not. He trusted the will of God.

We can not change who will be President. We can not change the ebb and flow of a pandemic. We can not change the hearts of those that are hell bent on violence and destruction. All we can do is:

PRAY…and

BURY OURSELVES IN THE BIBLE

Jesus prayed…and

Jesus buried Himself in God’s Word.

It is okay to pray for what we want, BUT we have to remember that God knows best. Praying God’s will should be our #1 priority. Ask for what we want, but ultimately we need to be willing to surrender the outcome to God.

When we bury ourselves in the Bible, we can stand on God’s promises and we grow in our faith. We can pray God’s Word back to Him, trusting in the outcome.

When God does not answer a prayer the way we want or think it should be answered, we have to trust in the ultimate goodness and love of God. There are times when we will not understand the answer to our prayers. We have to have faith that God has our best interest at heart. He knows ALL and sees ALL and only He can protect us from an unknown danger or set up a future miracle.

I am challenging myself to pray one simple prayer in ALL situations: Thy will be done.

I urge you to do the same. We can not change the outcomes of events. If Something is God’s will, we can only trust that He will be with us in the times of trouble. Do not worry!

Keep praying! Don’t let the chaos of today cause you to doubt God’s will for tomorrow. The schemes of the devil can not change God’s will. God may say NO, but we can stand firm trusting that it is for our best.

Read Full Post »

James 1:13-15

13 When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; 14 but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. 15 Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.

Dear Single Mom,

Temptation is a part of life. Some temptations aren’t necessarily going to lead you into sin (if you splurge occasionally and buy that item that makes you smile). Other temptations WILL lead us into a lifestyle of sin and should be avoided at all costs. According to James 1, God does NOT tempt us. It is when we are led astray by our own evil desires that Satan gains a foothold into our lives and sin is able to slip in the door of our hearts.

We have to be constantly on guard.

1 Peter 5:8

8 Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 

We need to be alert and of sober mind. Do not allow anything to alter your mental capacity to think straight.

How do we fight temptation?

Luke 22:40 tells us to pray that we will not fall into temptation.

We trust God:

1 Corinthians 10:13

No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.

James 4:7 tells us to submit ourselves to God and to resist the devil and he will flee from us.

There are 3 questions you need to ask yourself when facing a temptation:

If I do this will I bring glory and honor to God?

If I do this will I be setting a good example for my children?

Is this something I would want my children to do?

If the answer to these questions is NO then DON’T DO IT!

I know that facing down the devil when he is tempting us is not always easy, but allowing him to lead us into sin will only lead to a life of chaos, pain and emptiness. Do not give in to his manipulation tactics, his lies and his deception. He does not want what is best for you. He wants to separate you from the one who loves you, GOD.

If you are facing temptation today, submit to God and resist the devil. Resist him and he WILL flee. I am always here to pray and encourage if you need the extra support.

God loves you single mom and so do I!

Read Full Post »

 

Article #4 is up!

This is my last article with The Life Of A Single Mom Ministries. It has been a blessing to be able to love millions of single moms for Jesus through their website. I am looking forward to where God will lead me next!

It has been a tough year for so many people, but it has been especially difficult for the single mom. This has been a year of job losses, financial hardships, child care issues, homeschooling, etc…Read the rest of the article here.

 

Read Full Post »

 

 

Dear single mom,

Have you ever picked up the Bible, but put it back down feeling overwhelmed? I have! The Bible can be intimidating! You have this BOOK of 66 separate books that somehow fit together and point us to Jesus. The New Testament is easier to read than the Old Testament, but where do you start?

There are experts and non experts who swear up and down that EVERYONE MUST read through the Bible at least once. I actually did that one year. What did I retain or get out of it? Absolutely nothing. WAIT! WHAT??? Okay, I’m sure I got something out of it since it is the Bible and it is alive and all, but really, it was such a fast paced plan that I felt that it became something to check off of my to-do list rather than something I WANTED to do to learn more about my God. I got bored and bogged down somewhere around Numbers and almost gave up. I continued to muddle through, but my passion for the project was gone and I don’t remember much about what I read.

So, what do I suggest? 

Study one book at a time – With the Holy Spirit’s guidance, choose a book of the Bible to start with. As you read through it, answer the main questions: When, What, Why, Where, Who, and How. How does this book fit into the overall scheme of the Bible (God’s plan to bring restoration through Jesus)? Are there verses in this book that are commands that you can apply to your daily life? How is God speaking to you through this book? I like studying one book per month. Some books will take longer and there are those that are short enough that you can study 2, 3 or more in one month. Read 1 or 2 chapters a day or whatever is comfortable to you. This is NOT a race! Remember, the goal is to RETAIN what you study. The goal is to FEEL the Holy Spirit as He works through His Word. The goal is to GROW in your relationship with God as you read through His Word.

Journal – There are different methods of Bible journaling and you can look them up on the internet, but I find that I get the most out of my study when I answer the questions that I listed above. I also, like to pray scripture. I will write down the verse(s) in prayer form. Praying God’s Word back to Him can be powerful. When you read a scripture that speaks to your heart or a situation that you are dealing with, write it down and reflect on how God is using this verse to encourage you, guide you, or speaking to you in any other way and then pray that verse back to Him.

Listen – If we pay attention, God will speak through His Word. The Holy Spirit works through the Bible bringing it to life for those who believe. The Bible has the ability to transform lives like no other book ever written. If we listen, God will use the Bible to speak to us and give us the wisdom we need to muddle through this thing called life.

I encourage you to start reading the Bible today! Start in the Gospels where you can read about the life and ministry of Jesus from those who walked with Him. The 4 Gospels are written by 4 different men, to 4 different people groups, from 4 different perspectives. I am always here to walk beside you in your single mom journey. Contact me if you need encouragement, prayers, support, or anything else. Be blessed single mom!

 

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »