Have You Felt It?

Have you felt it? an abandoned stone firepl

Have you felt it? I know I have. It’s that slow creepy feeling coming back – again. It’s not depression exactly, but…

Have you felt it? That fear creeping into your throat, choking you, gagging you. Have you fought back tears and clenched muscles too tired, too weak to support you anymore? Have you been overwhelmed, seeing no answers to your situation?

I Have Felt It

I know. I have been there too. I have felt it. I have lived it.

Five boys.

That still amazes me. How was I so incredibly blessed to have been given FIVE AMAZING LOVABLE boys.

And how am I good enough for them? How do I provide for them? How do I get a job and still help them with homework and laundry and dinner? How do I find work? How do I support them on whatever I can make?

I want to cry for the injustice of it all. I want to stamp my foot and scream at the system that keeps women and children bound in poverty and fear. Invisible chains. (more…)


Posted in Life is Hard and tagged by with comments disabled.

Jesus Heals All Who Reach Out To Him

 

Jesus heals all who reach out to Him  - A white Cross in a field at sunset

Reach out to the Cross.

Jesus heals all who reach out to Him! How is that for exciting information? Think about that for a moment.

What is it that troubles you most?

As a single parent, I have struggled with many issues over the years. There have been concerns over employment, healthcare, finances, housing, car needs, and more.

My worst struggles were intangible and indescribable:  worthlessness, abandonment, terror, confusion, and exhaustion among others. These are struggles no anonymous monetary gift, no angel on a Christmas tree, no food pantry donation can possibly fix. In fact, at times, I think those gifts, as needed as they absolutely were, as appreciated as they absolutely were, helped to crush my spirit just a little bit more. It was hard and humbling to accept help when I wanted to be proud, when I was used to being the one to help others.

If we cannot turn to  friends, family, or community for healing, how do we know Jesus, someone we have not seen and cannot touch, will help? What if Jesus decides not to heal? What if Jesus turns His back? (more…)


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5 Reasons I Check on My Children Even When I Trust Them

Green Traffic Light - I check on my children.

Giving a green light doesn’t mean I won’t still check on my children.

Parental Responsibility is Not About Teen Trust

Many people would question why I check on my children even when I trust them. Let me give you a recent example.

Friday night, my son was asked to go to a girl’s house to work on a book project. I believed it was a legitimate project and I trusted my son, but I only vaguely knew the girl and had never met her parents. I didn’t think there were any off color reasons for them to be getting together, but I still needed to check.

Why would I check on my children if I trust them?

God the Father is the only perfect parent. He loves His children and never leaves them. This side-by-side parenting is not only apparent when the children are doing wrong. It is also there when His children are doing right. In an attempt to follow His example, I will continue to check on my children even when I think they are not doing anything wrong. Here are 5 of many reasons why. (more…)


Posted in Teens and tagged , by with comments disabled.

Parental Responsibility vs. Teen Freedom

Parental Responsibility shown through a green traffic light for teen freedom

Parental responsibility does not end when you give your teen a green light.

At some point, most parents experience conflict between parental responsibility and allowing teen freedom. As a single parent, the conflict is much more pronounced. Single parents have no one to bounce ideas off of, no one to play good cop-bad cop with, no one to hold our hands if something goes wrong. Conflicts concerning teen freedom are among the things I dislike most about being a single parent.

Parental Responsibility is Not About Teen Freedom

The other night, my 14 year old son, Matt, asked to go to a friend’s house, a female friend’s house, to work on a project. It was 8:00 on a Friday night, and, while I substitute teach at the kids’ schools, I did not know this girl well and had never met her family. I got that sick feeling in my stomach that comes from not knowing what my parental responsibility was in this situation.

I asked him all the right questions, but I didn’t know her family and 14 year olds still need some form of supervision in certain situations.

Do I let him go? Do I just say no? Do I check on him? There were no clear cut answers and no one to ask for an opinion or to share the parental responsibility. (more…)


Posted in Parenting, Teens and tagged , by with comments disabled.

Armed Forces Day – Thank You to Those Who Serve & Their Families

Armed Forces Day - Thank you

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Posted in Holidays, Military and tagged , , , , by with comments disabled.

Bring My Husband Back – Free Will

Jesus used free will to die for us. Why wouldn't He use His power to bring my husband back?

Would the Lord use His power to override my husband’s free will?

God, I Demand That You Bring My Husband Back

Ignoring God’s plan for individual free will, I demanded that God bring my husband back. I asked. I begged. I pleaded, but I also demanded. I loved my husband with everything I had, and when he walked out suddenly, I was devastated.

I reasoned that since I had done all I could, albeit imperfectly, to follow God’s plan for our marriage, God should want our marriage to work out too. Because of this, He should bring my husband back to my boys and me. I completely missed the fact that my husband had to make that choice on his own.

As months passed, I began realizing that my husband did not leave simply because we were both a bit panicked over our surprise pregnancy. I had originally thought that once I had the baby and he saw that the baby was healthy (we had some reason for concern) and I started looking and feeling better (I was also very ill with the pregnancy), my husband would come back. (more…)


Posted in Praying for Redemption, The Other Parent and tagged , by with comments disabled.

Inner City School Summer School Teaching

Teaching summer school in an inner city school may mean less technology like the Smart Board shown here

Being a single parent has changed how I see my students and my teaching.

Last night, I was called for a summer school teaching interview at an inner city school. I am so excited even if it is just summer school! Please Lord help me get this job!

The school district that called me is an inner city school about an hour from my house. While I am definitely a country girl, I have always wanted to work with disadvantaged students, and summer school is a great place to start!

Early Ideas on Inner City School Teaching

When I was younger, I thought I’d work in an inner city school telling my students that they could get out of tough situations. I thought  that I had all the answers. Now I know that I was being was naive and self-centered. I have learned a lot from my students, but I have also learned through my own difficulties, and they have changed my approach to teaching. (more…)


Posted in Employment and tagged , by with comments disabled.

School Concert Embarrassment – Yawn!

Dressed for his school concert and not a yawn here!

Dressed nicely, wide awake, and ready to go!!

We’ve all seen those videos of the kid with the less than stellar school concert. You know the ones I am talking about:  the kid singing with more gusto than talent, the kid dancing happily to his own rhythm, the kid who runs out holding himself to use the bathroom.

It’s really funny when it’s someone else’s kid!

Fourth grade chorus is not optional so I recently dragged my nine year old, Ryan, to his spring concert.

Somehow he picked out a nice outfit. It was wrinkled, but it matched, and all our stuff is ALWAYS wrinkled since ironing is not high on my “What we need to do to make it to tomorrow” List, even for the school concert.

You have to understand that while there are always kids who are so together and dressed nicely (one of Ryan’s best friends was on the risers right behind him dressed sharply in a dark suit and tie), my guys, and Ryan in particular, have never had any compulsion to dress for the stage. When I say he was dressed nicely, it means he had on khaki shorts and a plaid, collared, button down shirt, but I was swelling with momma pride for him!

(I found out later that Zack had told Ry that his grade depended on how nicely he dressed. haha! I LOVE that kid! :) )

The spring concert ends with the chorus singing, and I was looking forward to being able to see my cutie pie’s round little cheeks up front. I figured he might not actually sing. I’m not sure any of my kids has actually sung in his school concert, but I was looking forward to watching him pretend to sing.

As Ryan walked out onto his riser, I picked up the video camera, and he immediately ducked behind the people who were filing onto the riser ahead of him. It wasn’t a little duck. No, he dropped down so he was literally hiding behind their legs and peeking out sticking out his tongue at me.  (more…)


Posted in Funny and tagged , by with comments disabled.

Eating Breakfast with Kaleb

Eating Breakfast  - Kaleb in his PJ's

I have to find more time to eat breakfast with this cute face!

For four years I have been working so hard to try to survive, to get ahead, to move, to clean the house, to update my teaching certification, to get a job, to do a million other things, that I have neglected some of the little things which mean so much to my boys, simple things like eating breakfast. When was the last time I ate breakfast with Kaleb, my littlest guy? (more…)


Posted in Real Life, Touching and tagged by with comments disabled.

“Do You Want to Be Well?”

"Do you want to be well?" Jesus asks as he reaches out to the man.

What are you willing to do to be well?

Jesus approached the man at the pool and asked him, “Do you want to be well?” (John 5:6) Of course the man replied that he did want to be well. The problem was that the man did not know how to get to the place of healing on his own.

I think we can all agree that YES! we want to be well. We want our hearts to heal, our minds to stay focused, and our lives to be positive, and yet, we don’t know how to get there. The question becomes then, not whether or not we want to get well, but how do we get to that healing place? What are we willing to do to receive that healing?

Recovering from, what is often, the pain and shock of becoming a single parent is not something that happens overnight. We read the Bible and see Jesus heal people instantly. He says the word, touches their eyes, or simply tells them to, “Rise, take up your mat, and walk.” (John 5:8) and they do! We want to be well as instantaneously.

If only it was so easy for us to receive our healing! How I would love for Jesus to walk up to me on the street, touch my heart, and say, “Rise, take up your children, and walk.” and yet, I cannot see Him and too often I cannot hear or feel Him, so how do I get to that healing place? (more…)


Posted in Healing and tagged , , , by with comments disabled.