ROADBLOCKS AND BARRIERS
ob·sta·cle ˈäbstək(ə)l/ noun
barrier, hurdle, stumbling, block, obstruction, bar, block, impediment, hindrance, snag, catch, drawback, hitch, handicap, deterrent, complication, difficulty, problem, disadvantage, curb, check;
fly in the ointment, monkey wrench (in the works) “blindness is not the worst obstacle I’ve had to overcome.”
Roadblocks and Barriers! It seems that for as long as I have lived in Kansas City, they have been making repairs to the infamous Red Bridge Road. This road is a main road to get to and from the north and south sides of town. I travel it daily some days, more than once. You can always expect the “flag man ahead” sign, or the bright orange “Detour” Which invariably is over the river and through roads. LOL
Recently, I came upon my usual “detour,” it was night and there were no “flag men” or sign warning me what was up ahead. I was caught off guard, I slowed down, it was dark and could barely see ahead. Without hesitation I instantly and methodically, made the usual turn and by memory took the detour.
When I came out on the other side, I looked back and realized that while there had been road work going on during the day and all the equipment was out, none of it was actually in operation everything was parked, while the road was not smooth, it was indeed unobstructed and clear. The workers had “closed” down for the night, which allowed drivers the ability to go through.
As I drove on, I began to think about how easy it is for us to gravitate to the “usual” and how we allow obstacles and detours in our personal lives to dictate to us whether or not we should go forward. We don’t even try to move on.
Instead, we make the “usual stop, or the usual turn” and never realize that the road had long since been cleared. I wonder, could it be that such familiarity with delay, disappointment, and obstacles has become second nature to us and we have become accustomed to our own mindset obstacles?
Could it be that we have set up these “life barriers” and “fortresses” in our minds and they have been in place for so long it has stopped our inability to move forward?
We find ourselves out the gate, anticipating that something won’t work, that something is holding us back or that there is an obstacle ahead that can’t be overcome and simply won’t allow us to move forward. What if the obstacle isn’t really there or it’s there but it’s not “our” obstacle; much like the parked utility vehicles on Red Bridge Road? What if we ignored it or walked around it or even right through it? Would we, could we advance forward; accomplish our goals; fulfill lifelong dreams? What if we focused on our intentions and abilities, our strengths and are past accomplishments instead of the boulders in our path, or doing it “the way we have always done it”?
I don’t know about you, but the year is soon coming to a close. I’ve set new and lofty goals for next year. I plan to
Some of these are goals, others are dreams all, are possible. I know, there are a lot of obstacles, decoys and detours in the way: ability, money, confidence and mindset. Can I recognize them for what they are “temporary?” and get my eyes off them? Can I work around and through them? I believe I can. I suppose there will always be a “Red Bridge Road” to face in life but I take confidence in knowing The “ONE who built a BRIDGE and covered it in Red” It’s the Red Bridge Road of the Spirit and I can cross over, I only need to be willing.
What about you?
What is a goal you’d like to achieve but think there are too many obstacles in the way?
What if they are temporary, momentary or simply parked but not in your way? Are you going to let those obstacles hold you back?
Why not take a moment today and rewrite on a fresh clean page new
goals, dreams, hopes, aspirations.
Why not believe again? You’re a single mom, and while it was a detour, it is NOT your obstacle. You are strong, courageous an overcomer.
You can do it and Christ will be glorified in your accomplishments and your successes.
You are a Warrior Bride. You can do all things through Christ who strengthens you! Philippians 4:16. Let’s go forward in 2015 as an Isaiah 57:14 Army of Single mom’s who dream, who build, and remove every obstacle. Women who have made a way in their own lives and prepared a way for The Lord!
“Build up, build up, prepare the road! Remove the obstacles out of the way of my people.”
COMBATING THE HOLIDAY BLUES
In this season of holiday celebrations, a common tactic of the enemy that hits us as single moms is depression. Our aloneness can be highlighted by all the family gatherings and parties. We see couples together at gatherings and talking about gifts they are receiving and giving, and this can really bring a sense of isolation and feeling unloved. Our financial situations are emphasized by the extras needed to get gifts for our children and families. Some of you, like me, have had painful things happen at this time of year as well.
In my journey – Christmas in particular was also a time of great loss. My late husband David was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer on Christmas Eve of 2001. We told our kids Christmas day. My dad’s sudden death also happened on December 20th when I was 12 also has caused this time of year to feel like I was sinking into sadness and quicksand of depression and isolation. These events colored my view of this time of year for years….that’s the bad news.
The good news is that the Father always wants to redeem our places of pain and loss and make the places of death come to new life like a flower in the desert. But we have to LET Him do this and ask for His perspective of our wells of despair. He did this with my story and my childrens….
Ten years ago, I began asking the Father to redeem the holidays for me and my kids. The following year, my first granddaughter was born on Christmas Day! My step-dad, Tim, had a dream a few months before her birth that she was going to be born on Christmas day as a sign of new life and hope for our places of loss…..and she was! But I had to let her be a promise of hope and joy, even though life didn’t look like what I wanted or expected. I could have continued to partner with self-pity and the colored lens of grief. But I didn’t – I opened my heart to the Father’s perspective and redemption. It was a process of coming into joy and I’m not saying there were no more tears ever this time of year…but they were minimal and I was able to quickly cross over into hope and joy and thankfulness. Here are some things I did, and you can as well, to move from isolation and sadness to joy:
I encourage you in this season – if you are lonely reach out to someone else. If you are not lonely –then reach out to someone else as well!
Father I ask that Your comfort and hope would surround the one reading this. Bring creative ideas for them in their giving to their kids, and to themselves. Heal the pain of their past. Bring springs in the desert of their isolation. Restore and renew the way that You faithfully do! In Jesus name
-By: Laurie Morris
GOD’S CHOSEN HUSBAND AND FATHER
There is a song from my high school days called, “I Need a Hero” that asks the question women have asked through the ages: Where have all the good men gone?
The song goes on to list the qualities of this hero that so many women are looking for: a white night, strong, fast, fresh from the fight, sure, larger than life, a super-man.
I see so many single mothers searching and longing for this hero to sweep her and her children off her feet, to rescue her. My question is, what is it that we SHOULD be looking for in a man? What are the qualities that are important to our Heavenly Father that should be important to us.
This year as I began reading the story of the conception and birth of Jesus, I realized that God the Father has given us the qualities that are important to HIM. He has shown us the kind of man that He looks to, a man that He chose to raise His Son, Jesus. It would do us good to pay attention to the Lord’s leadership in this arena of life…What are those qualities that are so important to our Father in heaven?
Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: when His mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child by the Holy Spirit. And Joseph her husband, being a righteous man and not wanting to disgrace her, planned to send her away secretly. But when he had considered this, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife; for the Child who has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.” Now all this took place to fulfill what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet: “Behold, the virgin shall be with child and shall bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which translated means, “God with us.” And Joseph awoke from his sleep and did as the angel of the Lord commanded him, and took Mary as his wife, but kept her a virgin until she gave birth to a Son; and he called His name Jesus.
What does your list for the ‘dream man’ look like? Does it include these qualities that are so important to the Father?
By Misty Honnold
GIVING GOOD GIFTS
Every holiday I struggle with the thought of giving good gifts. My favorite Christmas story is “The Little Drummer Boy”. I can identify with his predicament of having nothing to give. I love Christmas: the lights, music, cooking, and festivities of the holidays, but the idea of purchasing gifts, the challenge of finances for the gifts, and feeling like I had nothing good to give has always been an emotional heartache.
Like any good mom, I want to give GOOD GIFTS to my kids. I long to give them something they will remember and say “that was the best present ever”. But, I have yet to find that eternal present; one that won’t become obsolete, they won’t outgrow, or break. My children are grown now, and I have failed to give them that present that will stand for all of time.
However, I find tremendous hope in the Word of God about giving gifts. Peter and John, like me, had nothing to give a lame beggar man. They informed him they had neither silver nor gold; however, they had something far better, something eternal: the revelation of the Healer. God even tells us that He is a GOOD FATHER who loves to lavish His children with the gift of Himself.
So as I am confronted with Christmas ads, holiday gimmicks, and a desire to give good gifts to my children and others, I think about the greatest treasures I have given them over the years, things that will not collect dust or decay over time. These treasures will be just as priceless when they pass them on to their children. These are gifts that we should seek to give to our sons and daughters. I have given my children an inheritance that money cannot buy.
I could not give my children any of the above without knowing it for myself. We cannot give what we don’t have. Because I longed for my children to have more than I had, because I wanted to see them soar, I had to choose to find my way to the One who says we will ‘mount with wings like eagles’, and soar myself.
What will you give to your children this holiday season?