You’re a Boss…But at What Cost?

I spend a fair amount of time in my car shuttling my daughter around, running errands, and rushing off to meetings. Traffic is enough to make me want to jump from a moving car (which would be ugly), so I entertain myself by singing aloud (much to my kid’s chagrin), listening to podcasts and thinking about my to-do list for the day. However, sometimes the greatest form of entertainment comes from the cars around me, especially the license plates! Do you see what people put on their plates? It’s fascinating and gives me a much-needed chuckle when I’m at a stalemate for 20 minutes! I came across one plate that made me pause, it said, ‘IMABOSS.’ It caught my attention because I thought about how being in power and control has a tight and detrimental grip on society. Everyone strives to be a boss! Authority, submission, and dependency are associated with weakness and is frowned upon heavily.
 
As a single parent, it’s normal for me to assume the title of boss. After all, I’m holding it down! I solely manage a household, cook, clean, pay the bills, mow the lawn, work, and do everything in between. Circumstances dictate that I’m in charge, so why is being a boss a bad thing? The issue creeps in when my independence clouds my need for dependence on the Lord. I get so caught up in trying to do all and be all that I forget that I could do nothing without God! When I’m in boss mode I also forget that everything I do should be to the glory of God and not the ego which cries out, “look at me I can do it all on my own, I don’t need anyone, did I prove myself yet?” Being a boss for me stems from pride, fear of failure, and ego. I’m not the boss, God is and I learn this lesson often.

 
Proverbs 3:5-6 tells us, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” When you’re the boss it is natural to lean on your own understanding, to trust in yourself to make decisions and plan out the course of your life. You are the authority in your life. For some of us who’ve been the boss for so long, submission and dependency conjure up feelings of helplessness and fear. There’s nothing worse for a boss than to feel a loss of control. The problem with being a boss is that there’s a cost.
Leaning on God is a gift that removes the unnecessary mountain of burdens we place on our shoulders when we want to be the authority. Bosses tend to believe that there way is the best way. They follow their own beat and stay on the path they believe is the right one, missing out on God’s perfect plan for their life. God’s authority is our protection, a shield that often stops us from ourselves! But if we are looking through our boss vision we can’t see God’s bigger vision for our life. When IMABOSS I spend countless sleepless evenings in a state of anxiety. I get caught up in a situation and because I’m super independent, I drive myself to the brink of insanity thinking about a solution, worrying about the next step, holding so tight to the situation that it consumes me. When I submit to God he takes it from me. He releases me, maybe not from the situation, but he unbinds me from the outcome. We can trust that God has it resolved and his grace is sufficient.
 
Being a boss is overrated. Being a child of God is the best position you will ever attain. There is a cost to being the boss, and it is a loss. A loss of God’s blessed assurance that he is in total control of your life and has the details all figured out. Do yourself a favor relinquish the boss title and relish in your title as a daughter of Christ.

Defeat the Darts of Discouragement and Fear Through the Shield of Christ

joshua

There are two powerful darts that aim to shoot us down, snatch away dreams and inject poison into our hopes and tries to deflate our faith. Those darts are fear and discouragement. Have you ever got shot in the gut by one of these darts? Most of us experience the unpleasant effects of fear or discouragement when we are burning up to do God’s work. When we are on purpose and intentionally trying to live out God’s will for our life, that when the darts come flying out of nowhere.

You know what I’m talking about, don’t you? Some of you are probably licking your wounds as you read these words. Maybe it was just a  few weeks ago that you had boundless energy to do God’s work. The path in front of you felt familiar because God had planted the seeds in your heart, to carry out his will and you felt fulfilled because that’s exactly what you were doing, then all of a sudden bam! You’re hit with a wave of fear, intimidation, pessimism and a stream of negative thoughts that scream how unworthy and ill-equipped you are to be on this path.  After the fear gets cozy it ushers in discouragement.  All the confidence and enthusiasm you were bursting with is slowly drained by the poisonous dart that has intentionally found its way to you.

Fear and discouragement are the heavy artillery used by the enemy to derail you and extinguish the fire you have as a follower of Christ. If you’ve been under attack you know how debilitating and paralyzing it is to your spirit. So, how do you loosen the grip of the enemy’s hold in your life?

Just as God commanded Joshua to be strong and courageous he commands us to do the same. How can we do this when we can barely see above the fear that’s clouding our vision and the discouragement that invading our heart? We can only do it through the assurance that God is with us always. If God who is all-powerful, omniscient, never-changing, who is limitless in possibility is always with us then fear and discouragement are already defeated. The Lord is our shield protecting us from the darts of the enemy. Through our faith and assurance, our courage and strength are born. We can be encouraged by the knowledge of the scriptures that assure us that God has our back.

When I’m in my groove and on my path of purpose a  huge mistake I make that gives the enemy a clear shot is when I become self-reliant. The courage and strength I experience in the beginning are born from Christ, but then that old prideful self-appears and foolishly  I start to rely on my own abilities, skills, and strength,  placing my protective shield in a corner. The enemy is crafty! When he sees I’ve taken off my armor he will take full advantage of my unprotected state, target my weaknesses and vulnerabilities with a full-on attack. Suddenly I’ve veered off course. I’m deflated,  doubtful and feel like a balloon that’s been popped. All that zeal for God is replaced with a hesitancy to go forward. Ladies this isn’t what God wants for us!

The key to strength and courage is allowing it to pour in through Christ. Let him fill you with his blessed assurance, let him wipe away the tears of discouragement and resuscitate you with a heart of encouragement! You have nothing to fear as long as you continue to be rooted in Christ. We don’t have to be strong on our own, we can’t! We need the Lord of infinite power to permeate our life to be a force field against the darts of the enemy so that we can become the masterpiece the potter had always planned!

 

Wisdom an Indispensable Friend … Proverbs 4:11-13

Ice Cream Party

In a world that has an insatiable appetite for everything material, there are only a few things that really matter and are consequential. What matters above riches is a relationship with Jesus,  wisdom, faith, and love. In these strange and trying times, I find myself angrier than usual, more easily offended and wanting to jump into the flesh in a New York minute. Everything seems a little louder, a lot more personal and there’s an underlying current of sadness and disappointment in and for the people in the world around me. I’ve been turning to the scriptures for solace and the word that is sticking in my head is wisdom.

Godly wisdom and not the world’s wisdom is an indispensable friend and guardian of my life as I weave in and out of situations that continue to surprise me. I am reminded to hold onto the instruction, to the God-breathed scripture and apply to my daily walk as a mom, a Christian and as a woman.  I am so grateful for the blueprint of the Bible as I continue to walk along this crazy path called life. I know in this flawed world there is one thing that is flawless and that is the wisdom of the scriptures and my Savior Jesus Christ.

10 Tips On Finding Your Rhythm As A Single Mom

Find Your Rhythm Through the Waves

Find Your Rhythm Through the Waves

Do you have a groove? I have a groove and it isn’t my awesome dance moves :) it’s my rhythm as a single mom. I found my rhythm and it works for me, but it didn’t come without some trial and error. Finding your groove takes time, practice and the ability to think outside the box, but your life runs so much smoother when you do, doesn’t it?

Today, I want to give you 10 Tips that may help you find your rhythm as a single mom and make life a little easier.

  1. Spend Time With God. Nothing, nothing, nothing made a bigger difference in my life than strengthening my relationship with God and spending time in the word and prayer. He is your partner, so go to Him every day and let God be your number one priority.
  2. Get Organized. You don’t have to be all OCD, but a little organization in your life will help you keep your head above water. There are different areas of your life that need to be organized, so start out with the one that seems to give you the most headaches. If it is your house, start a plan to organize it in a way that works for you. Then practice maintaining it by creating boundaries for you and the kids. Put systems in place that will make your day go smoother. Write lists, put up a central calendar with everyone’s activities and appointments, put a meal plan together, whatever will make your life smoother do it.
  3. Create Your Community. You need your people! It’s important to have good, reliable and kind people in your life. Reach out and create a community! Don’t go it alone. It’s important to have a support group and to be a support to others. Don’t be afraid to reach out because I can bet you some mom out there is needing you as much as you need her.
  4. Don’t Run on Overload. You are one person don’t try to be everything to everyone it doesn’t work. Know your priorities, don’t feel bad about saying  no, and know your limits. Saying yes to everything all the time will exhaust you and leave you feeling resentful. Evaluate what is important to you and spend your energy in the appropriate places.
  5. Don’t Compare Yourself. Comparisons are the devil. When you start comparing yourself you lose focus on your blessings. You lose the gratitude for all that God has done for you and instead you spend time wishing for a situation that isn’t yours. I’ve seen this time and again with single moms comparing themselves to other families and not believing their family is whole. Your family is as whole as you believe it to be, don’t allow your perception of others to form your reality. Listen, focus on creating the life you want for you and your family and do it!
  6. Keep Your Dreams Alive.Before you were a mom you had a life. You still have a life and it is enriched by your beautiful children, but don’t forget about the desires of your heart either. Go for your dreams! Be a role mode for your kids by teaching them to be tenacious in doing what they love.
  7. Stop Complaining About Your Ex. Listen, things happen, people get hurt and relationships end. All of it is hard. But, at some point you either make peace with your situation or you live in a state of conflict. This can be a long, arduous and painful process, but complaining doesn’t resolve anything it only keeps the hurt alive and leaves you angry and bitter. You are so much better than that! Take action, be an adult and remember what momma said, “if you have nothing nice to say, don’t say nothing at all.” Keeping the strife going  isn’t healthy and keeps you stuck. Also don’t get sucked into friendships with other single moms who make it their life’s mission to complain about their ex because it becomes contagious! Know when to move on.
  8. Communicate With Your Children’s Father. Communication is key and not always easy, but if you want your children to have the best life they can in this scenario then it is key. Follow the schedule, communicate about activities, and allow flexibility when it can be accommodated.  Everyone’s life will be better.
  9. Take Care of Yourself. Everything falls on your shoulders, but if you aren’t physically, mentally and emotionally healthy everything will fall apart. Ladies, take care of yourself. Eat well, exercise, and rest. Your kids need you more than anything so make loving yourself a priority and you will take care of everyone else by doing so.
  10. Think Outside the Box. When I become a single mom I started seriously thinking about how I wanted my life to look. My heart wanted to be at home. So, I started looking for telecommuting positions. Most people didn’t think it would work, but 3 contracts in and 3 years later it is working. Working at home has posed its own challenges, but I’m happier and I’m content with my lifestyle. Create the life you want and don’t allow anyone to discourage you on the journey. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box and try new ways that work for you.

Well, there are my tips! I hope you groove your way through this journey and find the rhythm that makes your life work for you!