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Posts Tagged ‘single moms’

 

 

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!

 

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Dear single mom,

I know that prayer can be intimidating, but think of it as a conversation with your best friend. God wants to hear about our lives. Yes, He does already know everything, but He wants US to share our lives with Him. He wants US to WANT to share our lives with Him.

Prayer is a conversation with God. God hears us when we pour our hearts from a place of desperation, pray for our kids, intercede on behalf of someone else or a situation. God is also a loving God who wants to bless us. He wants to give us good things, but we need to ask first. We need to pray in order for God to work in our lives and our situations. We need to pray according to His will, making sure that our motivations are in line with His word, 1 John 5:14-15 And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him. James 4:2-3 You do not have because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.

It took some time for me to really get comfortable praying. It isn’t something that you can “learn” how to do by reading about it. You simply have to dive in and “Just Do It!”

Here are 3 ways of praying that have transformed my prayer life:

  1. Continual Conversation – As I go about my day, I focus on the presence of God. I can feel the presence of the Holy Spirit in everything that I do. I carry on a conversation as I go about my business. I thank God for the good, the blessings as I come across them (they can be little things, like a rainbow, harvesting vegetables from the garden, flowers blooming in our garden, or the simple kindness of a stranger). I cry out to God when I read about injustice or an accident that has happened. I pray for the victims of crimes as I read about them. I pour out my heart when someone hurts me or I am facing a situation that causes me heartache. I also, pour out my heart when I know that I have acted in a way that dishonors God. I start my prayer when I get out of bed and I end it at the end of the day, when I ask for protection during the night. When I carry on a continual conversation with God throughout my day, it reminds me that God is with me always. I can feel His presence in a very real way and it is AWESOME!
  2. Journal – I love to write, so journaling is a given for me. I don’t have a fancy journal or do any fancy artwork in it. I have a five subject spiral notebook (they have more pages) and I simply write as my heart desires. Some days, I write pages and pages or some days I write half a page. There may be 2 or 3 days when I don’t write. Because I am in continual conversation with God, I am still praying, but there are times when pouring out my heart in a journal helps me process better. It’s just the act of writing it out that seems to bring some peace. Sometimes getting it out of your head and on paper can make something that seems complicated seem pretty simple. Sometimes we get a different perspective when we get out of our heads by writing down our thoughts and prayers.
  3. Listen – As I go about my day focusing on the presence of God, I listen to what HE has to say to ME. I keep my heart open to the little ways that He may be leading me or the whispers of advice that He may be giving me. Conversation is not just about talking, it is about listening too. God will speak to us, but we need to be listening.

I used to be intimidated by people who prayed the big, eloquent prayers. I’m not any more. God is going to be more willing to answer the simple prayer of a single mom who sincerely prays, “Lord, help me” than the long, flowery prayer of someone who is just looking to build him/herself up. God is not looking for perfection. He is looking for a sincere, obedient heart.

I encourage you, single mom, to get a notebook and write out a prayer to God. Don’t think about what you are writing. Allow your heart to speak from the experiences of your life and you will be surprised at what flows out. It may feel awkward at first, but it will become more natural the more you focus on God. Open your heart and allow God to become real in your life and you will see the miracles that believing in Him can bring.

 

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Dear Single mom,

Did you know that you are beautiful? YOU ARE! I know that it is hard to feel beautiful when you are exhausted from juggling job, kids, homework, housework, and the to-do list. It is hard to feel beautiful when you are up to your ears in dirty diapers, piles of laundry, a sink full of dishes and the other daily messes that kids of all ages tend to make. But, what you see as the dirt and mess of an overwhelmed mom, God sees as the beauty of a mom who has made the decision to do the hard thing. God sees the beauty of a mom who is there for the long haul and who is not going to quit when the days are long and the kids are sick.

This is what God says about YOU:

Zechariah 2:8

For this is what the Lord Almighty says: “After the Glorious One has sent me against the nations that have plundered you—for whoever touches you touches the apple of his eye

2 Corinthians 5:17

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come. The old has gone, the new is here!

Galatians 3:26

So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, 

Romans 8:17

Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.

Genesis 1:27

So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.

Jeremiah 1:5

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”

This is not all that God says about you. I encourage you to do your own research to see what else God says about you. You are STRONG! You are WORTHY! You are LOVED!

If you need prayer, a compassionate ear, or an encouraging word, please contact me. I am here for you, single mom! I have been where you are and I am here to walk your journey with you.

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Luke 9:1-3

When Jesus had called the Twelve together, he gave them power and authority to drive out all demons and to cure diseases, and he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal the sick. He told them: “Take nothing for the journey—no staff, no bag, no bread, no money, no extra shirt.

Luke 10:1-4

After this the Lord appointed seventy-two[a] others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go. He told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field. Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves. Do not take a purse or bag or sandals; and do not greet anyone on the road.

Luke 22:35

Then Jesus asked them, “When I sent you without purse, bag or sandals, did you lack anything?”

“Nothing,” they answered.

I read Luke 22:35 as part of my daily devotion time and it stuck with me. In Luke 9, Jesus sends out the disciples, telling them to take nothing for the journey – no staff, no bag, no bread, no money, and no extra shirt. In Luke 10, Jesus repeats the command not to take a purse, bag or sandals. Jesus wanted His disciples to trust completely in God to meet their needs. When they return, Jesus asks them, “Did you lack anything?” They answer, “Nothing.”

This passage brings to mind the Israelites in the Old Testament:

Deuteronomy 29:5 

Yet the Lord says, “During the forty years that I led you through the wilderness, your clothes did not wear out, nor did the sandals on your feet.

For Forty years God kept the clothes and sandals of the Israelites from wearing out and in Exodus 16, God provides manna and quail for the Israelites to eat.

I know that I have lacked faith on more than one occasion. No matter how many times God provides for me, I always wonder if He will continue to do so. It is in those moments that I hear Jesus in my heart, ” Do you lack anything?” “Have you ever lacked what you truly needed?” “Have I not always provided for you and your children?”

I am reminded that God has always provided for me and the kids. He has provided in ways that I can only describe as miracles. I still at times let the doubt creep in like a thief in the night. I let that doubt (fear) keep me from God’s will for my life. I allow my Anxiety (fear) to keep me from taking that giant leap of faith. I let that worry about the future (fear) keep me from stepping out of my comfort zone to obey God’s direction. WHAT IF GOD SUDDENLY DECIDES TO STOP PROVIDING?

He could decide to stop providing. I’m not anyone special. I don’t deserve any special blessings. God COULD at any time stop providing for me, BUT I know that He won’t. How do I know that?

In Mark 5:36 Jesus says, “Don’t be afraid; just believe.” Jesus was speaking to Jairus, the synagogue leader. Some people had just come and told him that his daughter was dead. Jesus spoke those words of comfort, “Don’t be afraid; just believe.” He speaks this word to us today, as well. What giant leap of faith is God asking you to take? What mountain is God asking you to move? How far out of your comfort zone is God pushing you? Are you afraid that God will decide to stop providing? As long as you don’t give up on Him, He will ALWAYS provide for you!

DON’T BE AFRAID; JUST BELIEVE!

HAVE YOU LACKED ANYTHING?

If God provided for those grumbling Israelites for 40 years in the wilderness, He will take care of you. Pray for the faith to conquer the fear that holds you back. Not every day is guaranteed. If not now, then when?

 

 

 

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My second article is up!

The road of single motherhood is paved with a million tears. My kids always tease me because I can cry at the drop of a hat. Sometimes, we would be watching a movie and they would look over at me to see if I was crying. I am a sensitive person, and I feel every harsh word, every criticism, and every cold shoulder intensely. I have often felt that no one understands me…click here to read the rest of the article.

To learn more about The Life Of A Single Mom Ministries, click here.

To connect to The Life Of A Single Mom Ministries Facebook page, connect here.

 

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I have been blessed with the honor of being a 2020 featured expert for The Life Of A Single Mom Ministries. This is an international ministry that has served 406,000 single moms in the last decade through Single Mom University, Conferences, and other programs, as well as, reaching out to churches that want to start a single mom support ministry in their community. Founder, Jennifer Maggio, is THE leading expert on single moms and how children who are raised by a single mom are impacted. Jennifer leads the way in educating and empowering single moms and Jennifer leads the way in empowering churches to start support ministries that bring the love of Jesus to single moms and their children.

I was honored when I was asked to be a 2020 featured expert. I had thought of being on the featured expert panel, but never dared to dream of actually making it. I never believed I was good enough. But, in doubting myself, I doubt God’s power in me and through me. Every word I write is God breathed. I am simply the pen in the Author’s hand.

Being a single mom is the hardest job that I have ever had. But what happens when things start falling apart? Click HERE to read the rest of the article.

To read more about Jennifer Maggio and The Life Of A Single Mom Ministries, click HERE.

To connect to TLSM Facebook page, click HERE.

 

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Look Up Child By Lauren Daigle

Where are You now
When darkness seems to win?
Where are You now
When the world is crumbling?

Oh I, I-I-I, I hear You say
I hear You say
Look up child, ayy
Look up child, ayy
Where are You now (where are You?)
When all I feel is doubt?
Oh, where are You now
When I can’t figure it out?
Oh I, I-I-I, I hear You say
I hear You say
Look up child, ayy
Look up child, ayy
Look up child, ayy
Look up child, ayy
Look up
You’re not threatened by the war
You’re not shaken by the storm
I know You’re in control
Even in our suffering
Even when it can’t be seen
I know You’re in control
Oh I, I-I-I, I hear You say
I hear You say
Look up child, ayy
Look up child, ayy
I LOVE this song by Lauren Daigle! It is that windows down, sing at the top of my lungs kind of song. The kind of song that reminds you that no matter what life is throwing at you right now, LOOK UP! God is still on His throne and He is still in control.
I remember the dark days of trying to deal with my own emotional baggage from a failed marriage and still try to take care of five kids without messing them up to much. I remember the pain and anger of lost dreams and living a reality of poverty and struggling alone. I remember the days of doubting myself as a mom and not knowing if I would ever get it right.
I know that you have your own story, your own single mom journey, that you are struggling through. Maybe you are wondering how you will ever get through it.

 

Psalm 121:1-2

I lift up my eyes to the mountains— where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.

Whatever you are going through today, LOOK UP CHILD! Lift your eyes unto the hills! Your help comes from the Lord and if He made the heavens and the earth, He can certainly help you in your situation today.

When the world comes against you, LOOK UP CHILD!

When you don’t know how you will pay your bills, LOOK UP CHILD!

When you are facing a custody case and could lose your kids, LOOK UP CHILD!

When you are desperate for answers, LOOK UP CHILD!

You are NOT alone in your struggle single mom! Let me know if I can pray for you or walk with you through your journey.  You are never alone!

 

 

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I have spent 18 years as a single mom. That is more than twice the amount of time that I was married. There have been good times, as well as, bad times. There have been moments when I felt like I was nailing this single mom thing and then there have been times when I knew without a doubt that my kids would need some serious counseling because of me. My kids aren’t kids any more. They are adults who are growing into their own lives. My youngest, Ty has 11 months until he is 18. It is a bitter sweet moment for me. I’m not going to lie, I have had moments when I wished my kid’s childhoods away. Times when I thought that life would be so much easier if they were all grown up. Have I done enough to get them through the challenges that they will face in life? I hope so. I tried. I have always made them my priority. Amid the failures, God has blessed me by being ever present in this single parent journey. I wanted to mark this bittersweet moment by reflecting on the lessons that I have learned as a single mom.

  1. I Have Learned How To Pray – Through the ups, downs, tears, tantrums (not just from the kids!), joys, sorrows, anger and overwhelming love, God has taught me to pray. Not just the run of the mill prayer list prayers, but deep, heart wrenching, conversational prayers that has drawn me closer to God. I have learned to listen to that soft whisper of the Holy Spirit. Prayer is everything. Prayer is the number one thing that draws us to the heart of God. As a single mom, prayer has truly become my life-line.
  2. I Have Learned To Have Faith – God has shown me many, many times that HE LOVES ME! God has also shown me that HE LOVES MY KIDS! He has answered prayer after prayer (some spoken, some unspoken) and He has provided for us in ways that are truly miracles to me. At times when I felt like I was at the end of my rope, God was there for me. There were many times when I felt God’s presence comforting me, wrapping me in that peace that only God can give us. I will admit that there are times when my faith wavers, but God knows my heart. My faith in God is what keeps me going when I want to give up.
  3. I Have Learned Life Lessons From My Kids – I have learned so many lessons from my kids as they have grown and matured into responsible, compassionate, loving adults. They never cease to amaze me. They have had their bumps, but they always bounce back and as I watch them become adults, I gain wisdom for my own journey. Click HERE to read a series of posts I wrote on lessons I have learned from my kids.
  4. I Have Learned That They Are All Different – As they have grown into adults, I have learned that my kids are all different. Once upon a time I thought that they would ALL go to college/tech school, have great careers and live a happy life. I have learned that life and purpose are not one size fits all. They have each taken different routes, as far as, school and work. They each have different passions, strengths and weaknesses. The other part of the lesson for me has been to allow them each to figure things out for themselves. I give advice, but ultimately they have to figure out what is right for them. So, I encourage them each to do what only they can do.
  5. I Have Learned That Quality Time Can Be Simple – When the kids were little, we ate dinner at the table. We would share how our days were, share positive insights about each other and laugh much. We would go to the park and have picnics. At times, simply being together was enough. We didn’t have to be doing anything exciting or expensive, sharing life seemed to be enough.
  6. I Have Learned That I Am An Example Of Jesus To My Kids – It took me forever to get it through my head that I am a role model for my kids. I am that person that they will emulate. I am that person that they will get their values from. I behaved badly in the first few years. I was wracked with anger, bitterness and overwhelming hopelessness. No excuses though. I was setting a horrible example for them. Thanks to my friend, the Holy Spirit, I finally figured it out and started to be a role model that they can emulate. Am I perfect? Not a chance! Do I mess up? Absolutely! Every day! But I try. I don’t always get it right, but with God by my side, I do my best and leave the rest to Him.
  7. I Have Learned That Kids Have Feelings Too – I never really considered how the divorce affected the kids. I was so caught up in my own feelings that I never considered that the kids were hurting too. I never considered that they might be confused or have fears of their own. I have learned that, but a little late. Our kids feel the same emotions adults do. We all to often dismiss our kids feelings, but I have learned that if we ignore those feelings they will manifest themselves physically and usually not in good ways. Our kids deserve to be heard.
  8. I Have Learned To Apologize – I have already said that I have made mistakes. My kids have seen me at my worst and I have learned that even moms need to apologize. It shows that we are human. If I expect my kids to feel remorse for a wrongdoing then they need to know that there are times when we need to apologize when we blow it.
  9. I Have Learned That My Kids Aren’t Perfect – If I’m not perfect, why do I expect my kids to be perfect? As parents, we all to often, expect our kids to be perfect, to never misbehave, and to never fail. Why do we do this? We aren’t perfect! We misbehave! We fail! Why do we put these unrealistic expectations on our kids? We want better for them, but placing unrealistic expectations on them creates unneeded stress. My kids have had hard times. They have made bad decisions. I have learned that I have to grant them room to grow and learn from their mistakes.
  10. I Have Learned The Art Of Surrender – In my single mom journey I have had broken down cars or no car, I have worried about my kids, I have lived in poverty and I have wondered how I will ever survive. It has not been easy. I have struggled with trying to control everything. I have placed unneeded stress and anxiety on myself by thinking that I had to control everything. There are some things beyond our control. I have had to learn to surrender the challenges to the only one who controls ALL things: GOD.

It has been one heck of a roller coaster ride! It isn’t over yet! I will always be a single mom. My kids may be adults, but they will always need me. I still have Ty to guide into adulthood. I’m sure that as they grow they will continue to teach me life lessons. You are never to old to learn and grow and my kids have been my best teachers. Thank you Cherokee, Kiowa, Cree, Talon and Ty. You five are my heart!

 

 

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Proverbs 20:22

Do not say, “I’ll pay you back for this wrong!”
    Wait for the Lord, and he will avenge you.

 

After my divorce, I was filled with anger. I felt like I was being abandoned. My hopes and dreams lay scattered at my feet and I was furious at my then husband for what was happening. I was full of rage and I was determined to pay back the wrong that had been done to me.

I’m sure you’ve been there, single mom. You are Filled with so much anger that it keeps you focused on that wrong that has been done to you. That rage takes your eyes and heart off of what’s important: your kids. It’s easy to get sucked into that hurt and anger. It is normal to feel that revenge will help you feel better. It is normal to want that person that caused you pain to suffer too.

I’m here to tell you, single mom, that revenge will NOT help you feel better. I won’t go into detail about my own childish behavior, but I will tell you that my actions left me feeling guilty about the example I had set for my kids. I regretted behaving that way in front of my kids and I felt like the worst mom in the world.

Did God avenge the wrong done to me? Well, sort of. In my situation, He changed my heart towards my now ex-husband. The more I trusted God and leaned on God, the more I felt my anger melt away. I still get angry at times, but I trust God to take care of the situation for me.

Your saying, “well, my ex-husband beat me, he deserves everything he gets.” That may be true, but your #1 priority has to be your kids. Allow God to work in the situation. He WILL fight for you. If you focus on your children and allow the Holy Spirit to melt that anger in your heart, God will protect you and fight for you. I am NOT saying to not fight for justice in your situation. If you have to take someone to court or get a protective order to protect yourselves and your kids, then absolutely do what you need to do to protect yourself and your children. I am saying to seek justice within the law and not seek revenge based on anger and rage. Our God is a God of justice and He will bring justice in your circumstance. You are a daughter of God, He loves you and He will fight for you.

My challenge to you: Allow the Holy Spirit to heal your spirit and melt the anger in your heart. There will still be times when something happens that makes you angry. If you need to seek justice within the law, then do so. Trust God to bring justice. Your kids need a mom who is at peace and is focused on doing what is best for them. Allow the peace of God to fill your home. Do not allow the anger and chaos of Satan to enter your home. Your kids feel what you feel. Let go of the hate and rage and trust God to work.

If you need prayer or an encouraging word, just drop me a line via my contact form. I am always here to help, my single mom friend!

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standing-on-a-line

 

Mark 4:40

He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?”

I didn’t wake up one morning and decide that my life would be better as a single mom. I doubt that any of us was thrilled at the prospect of being a single mom, but that is where life has taken us and I for one was more than a little afraid. I was afraid of ending up homeless. I was afraid of losing my job, because my car broke down, again. I was afraid that I wouldn’t be a good enough mom. I was afraid that in my own messed up mental and emotional state that I would cause irreparable damage to my kids. I was afraid that I was in this single mom journey alone. I was scared and I felt like no one in the world cared if I failed.

It has not been easy. I still struggle paycheck to paycheck. In the effort of being transparent, 2015 was the first year I made $20,000.00. I live in poverty. I try to baby my car, because it seems to always be on the verge of breaking down. My kids are getting older and their lives are getting complicated, so I try to find the right words of wisdom to parent them by. My youngest is now 15 and I feel the nudging of the Holy Spirit calling me into a new season of life. Life as a single mom is a struggle. It has NEVER been easy. But, in that struggle I see the many ways that God has shown up as my heavenly Husband to provide for us and protect us. Even in the chaos, I see the blessings of God all around me and I am forever grateful that He has had mercy on this single mom.

I know that life as a single mom comes with a certain amount of fear. We are expected to provide and protect our children on our own. We look at families with two parents and think to ourselves, “how am I ever going to make this work?” You WILL make it work. We have too, because no one can do it for us. Our children depend on us to take care of them.

How can you make it work?

Trust the ONE who loves you. Trust the ONE who loves your children. Your heavenly Husband is waiting to take the burden off of your shoulders, if you will let Him. God can take those problems, those worries, those cares, those fears, that you have been carrying around and He will carry them for you. Trust Him to partner with you in this single mom life.

Psalm 34:4

I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears.

If you have read any of my blog posts, you will see that worry is still something I struggle with. I am getting better at knowing what I can’t control and surrendering it to God. He is in control. He controls ALL things. Why worry about something that I can do nothing about? Sometimes, this is an hourly challenge; laying my worries and fears and the feet of the ONE who loves me. The peace I feel when I give it to God is immeasurable. Why do I insist on hanging onto something I can do nothing about? It just makes me crazy in the long run.

Have faith, single mom! Trust God in your struggle. Give the worries and fears to Him, even if it is minute by minute. Eventually, your faith will grow and you will begin to see that God IS faithful. My faith has grown. I am still a work in progress, but I have come a long way in the 16 years I have been a single mom.

My challenge to you: 

I want you to reflect on the question that Jesus asks His disciples, “Why are you so afraid?” I want you to list your fears, as a single mom, in a journal or a piece of paper and give them to God, one by one. Read the fear aloud and say, “I trust you, my heavenly Husband to take care of _________ and I surrender it to you.” If you would rather use your own words, go for it! The point is to let go of our fears and allow God to share the burden with us. He is our partner. A partner who will NEVER let us down.

 

 

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