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.
One of the saddest days for me, as a single mom, was the day my daughter saw her father for who he really is. The day she could no longer lie to her heart. The day she called it for what it was. That was almost 6 years ago. That day, life for us didn’t get any easier. It actually got harder.
Today, I’m speaking to the single moms who are raising their littles with a father who’s been a perpetual heartbreaker to your babies. And you, mom, continue to catch the tears on your shoulders over and over through the years.
I have walked away from too many articles like this one and this one . I’ve come across too many books, like this one and this one. I’ve left one too many front row seats where “professionals” held the mic and delivered the age-old message of the negative impact of “bad mouthing” the other parent. I’ve left those books, articles, and speeches fighting back the shame of my emotions from the truth I have spoken to my daughter through the years about who her father is. Feeling ashamed that I didn’t try hard enough to parent with crazy.
For too many years, I’ve listened and entertained the idea that my child will be eternally damaged by my words of poor expression.
I call total bull shit on this theory and for the record, parenting with crazy doesn’t exist.
I opened my eyes in the bedroom of my quaint little two-bedroom apartment in Las Vegas to face another sunny Sunday morning. The night before I had gone to bed with plans to attend church. Now that morning had arrived, I wasn’t that interested. I hesitantly moved toward the bathroom to prepare myself for the day, because I had begun to make a habit of disproportionately committing to plans I made and ridiculously attempting to fit in a mold I never cared for.
At that time in my life, God was becoming increasingly more important. It was for these reasons I felt obligated to get up and go to church. After all, it was Mother’s Day, and I was the lucky single mom to a precious, beautiful, tanned skinned, brown eyed 10-year-old baby girl.
So what was the problem?
Cultivating Contentment. Can I just start off by saying this has GOT to be a life-long learning lesson that presents unique challenges with every new and old season we encounter.
It has proven this way for me and many of my friends. Even those that I think have mastered life’s problems, seem to land in places of discontent.
Like an unfinished piece of art.
I struggled with finding contentment most when I…
I had fought relentlessly for this day to arrive. I had worked hard to see it through. With duct-tape, band-aids, a bulletproof vest and little one in tow, I made my way through college. And I wasn’t going to let anything get in my way of graduating in the next month until I hit what seemed like a steel wall.
How was I going to wrap up this last quarter of college when I couldn’t type my papers and do the research from home. Cause who wants to take their 5-year-old to the library? How was I going to pay rent with no money? How was I going to maintain a clear mind to do all that is required to participate in life AND provide love and care to a 5-year-old little girl who just needed her momma? Too many things were falling apart and I wasn’t able to fix them all.
I wasn’t enough.
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.
December 2002 was my first Christmas as a single mom. We had the quaintest two bedroom apartment with hardwood floors. I loved it. It was all ours. Just me and my girl. Safe and far away from angry outburst and late nights brimmed with bitter fights.
In preparation for our first Christmas together, that little girl and I bundled up and set out to hunt for the perfect tree. Although it was just her and I, it was a tradition I always did with my dad and I wasn’t going to have it any other way.
During my ten years of being a single mom, besides earning a Bachelors in Communication Science, I think I also earned a doctorate in Frugal. I believe I may have acquired a double major in Thrifty & Just Don’t Spend.
It’s been over five years since my family screamed that debt free scream in our living room and I still fight the urge to recycle EVERY plastic baggy I come across in our home.
I remember the days I would buy a four pack of toilet paper for my family of two and it would last us TWO weeks! I think we must have been really busy and drinking little to no fluids because I am not sure how that happened.
Paper towels? Same thing. Only I would make one roll last us an entire a month. What?!
Although I have yet to delve into my debt free story, I hope to do that soon, I wanted to give you three powerful and awesome little jewels to help you right now. I want to keep you motivated in this debt free run you are on. So here are three FREE things you can do RIGHT now to get ready for a debt free life.