“It’s not about the cards you’re dealt.”
With a gorgeous desert backdrop and rarely hesitating to shovel some of his savory life tips my way, he leaned back in his patio chair relishing in a favorite cigar.
“It’s how you play your hand.”
At thirty-eight, I enjoyed more than ever hearing my dad’s superpower — wisdom. My dad’s always had a sweet way of pouring into my hungry heart.
I know there is pain that I do not know, nor will I ever know all the pain delivered by this worlds heavy hand. I’m a firm believer we all suffer in deep places of discomfort to a degree that is painfully hard for each of us. The point of which we feel that pain arrives at different seasons and ages for each of us.
It is what we choose to do with the cards dealt us that separates, as they say, the wheat from the chaff.
It seems like most recently I’ve had a wave of opportunities piled onto my plate. A warm and savory serving of uncomfortable opportunities.
I’m unsure if this is a sign of how fabulous I will be in the next ten years, love from a God who knows I am in need of His continuous mercy or both.
I like the idea of both.
Perhaps you know what I mean.
The email you had thoughtfully laid out, fuming with greatness, went to the wrong co-worker. With good intentions, you gave untimely advice on an honest whim that dug deep into a good friend’s heart who really just needed prayer and not your words of ignorant wisdom. Damage control from too many glasses of wine topped with a splash of your favorite mixed drink — at your husband’s work party.
We all have a distinct path that journeyed us down the worn out road where many have paved the way and never-the-less, we arrived at the same title. Single motherhood. This title, worn as a badge of honor, knows not your income, your social status, your faith background, your ethnicity or the desires of your heart.
Yes, at times, this cold world knows no discrimination to who journeys down its broadening stretch.
Stretched in too many directions, single moms have got a tall order of hectic on their plate. This plate, full of life’s stresses, doesn’t actually fill you up, instead, if we’re not careful, it will leave a momma hungry — and starved. I can recall a long season of being in desperate need of some good food. Not for the usual burger, slice of pizza or carton of ice cream, although that was and still is always welcomed. I was hungry for food that would feed my soul. Not fried chicken, chicken noodle soup or greens. No. Not that kind of soul food. But the kind of food that would set deep into my being and provide me the strength and hope to persevere the tough season I was moving through.
Being a single mom can do that to you. Turn you into a crazed and starving mad woman.
Looking back on that season, I didn’t consciously realize that I was barely hanging on. I didn’t know I was running on empty. I had been doing it for so long that it had become my new normal. Life was hard, but it was doable. I was doing it.
But I was barely doing it and at times I bet you are too.
It may have been a 30 or 40 feet walk to that church altar that early Sunday morning. In time, it would become my shortest walk making one of the biggest decisions of my life. I was somewhere around five years old. My mother wasn’t as convinced. Presenting me with questions hoping they might sink in and I would wait till I was a little older to make such a big decision.
Surprisingly and so unfitting to my character ;), I resisted her advice.
Thinking I knew full well what I was getting myself into, I marched down the aisle layered in a faded burgundy carpet to announce my decision to give my life to Jesus. Oh, the brave and innocent faith of a little child.
That faith and innocence didn’t last long…
The family unit is everything. It is the heartbeat of our nation. The beauty of our communities and the backbone of our American culture. It is this very vital and precious piece of our country that remains broken at its core. Seeking to heal from an oozing wound that is in desperate need of attention.
According to the 2012 United States Census, approximately forty percent of the children in our nation are being raised by a single parent. That is so very close to 1 in 2 children that are not living with both a mother and a father.
This statistic breaks my heart, perhaps because I know the reality of it. I know the pain that is so very real and alive in the homes and hearts of these “statistics.” Pain that is masked by the busy burden of keeping up and maintaining the daily routine.
Pain that is covered up because there just isn’t enough time to deal with it.