I want to take a few minutes to share what Memorial Day means to me as a single parent and why I can be thankful.
Single Parenting Woes
My Memorial Day reflection has me thinking about the plight of single parents. Single parents are often tired, overworked, underpaid. They often live in inferior housing struggling to do the jobs of two people. They work early in the morning to get children ready for school and late into the night, sometimes working 3rd shifts. Getting children into bed and the house cleaned up takes hours instead of minutes.
Their precious children often go to lower quality schools coming home to empty houses with no one to check homework or make dinner or be sure they shower, brush teeth, and have clean clothes. No one reads them bedtime stories. Children miss the security and love of having undivided attention and a consistent routine.
At the end of the long day, parents and children fall into bed exhausted and sleep too little, too often lying awake wondering how they can possibly do it all over again tomorrow with little hope for life ever getting easier.
I could go on and on about the woes of single parenting, but I think too many single parents know they difficulties already and no matter how many woes I add, there will always be more.
Memorial Day Reflection – Why Single Parents in Free Countries Can Be Grateful
Sometimes I sit and look over those single parenting woes and pause, not because of the length of the list or the despair I feel, but because I can be thankful for how fortunate we are.
We may not have the jobs we want, making the money we want, with the hours we want, but we can work.
We may not have the houses we want, where we want, but we (most of us) have housing.
Our children may not go to the best schools, get the homework help we would have given, or have family reading time, but they go to school, they have homework, and they can read.
Our children may not have home cooked meals, but they seldom experience true hunger thanks to the generosity of local food pantries, churches, and neighbors.
Our children may not shower or brush their teeth as often as we would like (be honest! ), but they have clean, running water and are healthier and cleaner than most of the world’s children.
Our children may not get bedtime stories read to them, but they have the opportunity to write their own life stories.
Do Not Let The Sacrifices of Our Troops Be in Vain!
Memorial Day reflection means I must be thankful for those who have been killed in the line of duty, defending out freedoms, giving us the ability to rise above what would be nearly hopeless situations in many other countries. While single parents do not have an easy time in America or other free countries, I cannot help but thank the Lord that we live here.
About a year after my husband left, I saw a Compassion International slideshow. In it, there was a woman (I’m assuming the photo was taken somewhere in Africa) perched on the edge of a cot. The room was dark. In the darkness, surrounding the woman, were five boys. None of them was smiling. All were very thin. Their clothes were tattered, faded, and filthy.
I had always been grateful for living in America, but that woman’s face, those children surrounding her, they are forever etched in my mind.
Please, single parenting is hard, but please do not waste another minute feeling sorry for yourself or thinking there is no way out. Women in other countries are not allowed to read, are not allowed to work, are stoned by falsely accusing husbands and fathers. We must give thanks for our positions and become strong to help those who cannot help themselves.
On Memorial Day and every day, be thankful to the Lord for all you do have. Always thank the troops and their families who have sacrificed for you and the country God has given us. Never forget to be appreciative and do better so that you can help others.
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