One of the tips in my Ebook “15 Tips to Avoid Single Mom Burnout,’ that can have a significant and transforming impact on your life is forgiveness . Be generous with forgiveness to others and yourself. Living a life without forgiveness keeps you stuck in the hurting place, but doesn’t move you forward to the healing place. Forgiveness isn’t always easy, in fact it may be one of the most difficult things you’ll ever have to do, but it will allow you to walk through the next door in life and shut the one behind you. The key word is behind…when you hold onto hurt, anger and wrongdoing you are staying behind in a place that no longer fits who you are in the present! Sometimes the hurt and trauma is so deep that you can’t forgive on your own, that the only way it can happen is through God . Remember this, God forgave us so who are we not to forgive others? Maybe you’re exhausted because you can’t forgive yourself. Sweet sister, please, please, please know that there is nothing you did or will ever do that the love and grace of Jesus will not cover! Forgive yourself because God has already done so! Free yourself and others with generous forgiveness and live your best life.
We can live either by faith or by fear ! One is life thwarting and the other is life-givingOne allows you to rest in the assurance that God has a plan for you that is better and more beautiful than you could have ever dreamed up for yourself! Fear robs you from living out God’s plan for your life. Fear keeps your gifts, talents and abilities under wraps. Fear keeps you living in a paralyzed state of doubt and anxiety . Fear snatches away your dreams and tells you that you’re not good enough, smart enough, and that amazing things happen to other people not you! Faith gives you Christ filled courage and gives you the confidence to step out in the unknown, expecting God’s best even in the midst of obstacles. It’s your choice whether you will live in faith or fear. Make the choice that leads to being an active participant in life and not an observer full of potential that lies dormant and stops you from living authentically!
Timeouts are not just for toddlers! Listen, kids stretch your patience like a gumby doll. Sometimes it’s just all too much right? The whining, the crying the back talk (if you have teens you get me), the constant running around, homework, housework, work-work, and everything else in between can seriously make you lose it. It’s okay you are only human and sometimes you just need to scream in a pillow, or just be alone for a minute. Or maybe you’ve already had enough and blew up, and everyone is looking at you like you lost your mind. It is time to put yourself in a time out! Why do we put toddlers in a timeout? Because it helps them to calm down. They may fight it at first, but usually after a few minutes, they stop crying, are breathing normally and have turned back into the sweet cherub you know and love. They may even say sorry in that adorable voice that makes your heart melt. Why? They had a moment to just sit and deal with their emotions. We need that moment every once in a while to regain some peace and restore our sanity!
In my e-Book, “15 Tips to Avoid Single Mom Burnout,” I give practical tips on finding ways to give yourself a timeout regardless of the age of your children. One of my favorite time outs, is simply sitting in the car in complete silence. That time is delicious! Finding a moment to breathe will prevent blow-ups and will save you from regrets that come when mom is burned out!
January has been a rough month, taxing emotionally, financially, mentally and spiritually. December 31st filled me with promise for an amazing start to 2019 and if I’m being honest, it’s been anything but amazing. Financially, I had some setbacks, that really put me in a bad position and you know how frustrating that can be, right? Then, I found out an old friend of mine had passed away, in the most unexpected and awful way. It rocked me to my core and to be honest I think I’m still in shock. We were such good friends growing up and although we grew apart, I never stopped wondering about her and trying to keep up with her life, because well, that’s what you do when you love someone, it doesn’t fade away. It’s a complicated relationship, but I’ll just say, my heart was and still is broken. The sadness didn’t stop when another friend lost a dear loved one unexpectedly as well. On top of the fact that work was ridiculously stressful and I had to travel, I’ve been feeling really depleted.
I can feel the walls closing in and as they are closing my mind is going to that stinking thinking place filled with insecurity and doubt. Do you ever go down that road? It’s isn’t a fun trip. There are days where I feel absolutely useless. I take two steps forward and twenty steps back, and I want to scream, “God, what is going on?” I cry, uncle! I mean I’m trying here! I’m sure that’s the problem, I’m trying and not surrendering. How hard it is to just let go and let God? Although I know His way is the best way, and that he already knows the obstacles I will face and has it worked out, it’s still not always easy for me to surrender. That’s that pesky human ego side that fights the spirit tooth and nail.
I’ve been digesting the verse in Lamentations because it is a much-needed reminder of the Lord’s never-ending compassion and mercies that are new every morning. January has been a beast, but I can look back and see God’s compassion coming through. Whether it is Him calming my heart and mind, or a friend bailing me out of a tough unexpected financial situation, or help with my child after school, or a meal on the house from a kind person when I was traveling for work, God was present and his hand was in every situation. I didn’t have to do a thing but allow Him to work. He will never allow us to be consumed because His love is so great, so awesome and consuming! God’s love covers us and carries us. I pray that if you are feeling brokenhearted and weak that you read Lamentations and think about God’s mercies in your life…they are present, I promise you. Allow yourself to be consumed by his compassion and not your burdens.
There are a lot of unfair stereotypes, judgments and expectations on single moms, that are simply untrue. It is easy to get caught up into what others think about you. I want you to use discretion about who you allow to speak into your life. You are not a statistic and you are not in a box. I know many single moms who do not resemble this downtrodden struggling caricature of a false narrative. Is life hard at times? Heck yeah! And it’s hard for moms who are married, for single dads, and everyone else on earth! Single parents do face certain issues that are unique to their circumstances, but that doesn’t justify the labels that are thrust upon single moms.
Listen, you are a unique child of God! You are not a statistic and you’re identity is not in your marital status it is in Christ. You are fully equipped to create and live the life you love. Other people don’t have the right or the power to create your narrative, unless you allow them. When you allow other’s expectations, judgments and stereotypes to seep into your mind, you create feelings of inadequacy in yourself. You can start to believe and act in a way that fulfills those stereotype and you my friend are too smart for that! Your book has many chapters to fill, write them with God and the vision you have for your life in mind!
In my upcoming eBook, “15 Tips to Avoid Single Mom Burnout,” I will hit upon 4 points that will help you to create your narrative on your terms!