DON'T STARE AT ME
I don’t know how many times I walked into a room as a young(er) single mother and felt everyone was staring at me and all of my sin was on display. My inability to ‘keep’ a husband was a reproach I had to bear.
I WANTED TO SCREAM “QUIT STARING…IT’S NOT MY FAULT”
But I didn’t, I let that silent scream of ‘you don’t understand’ remain tucked away and it began to grow into a root of bitterness and judgment of others. I was abandon by the husband of my youth and I wanted to blame and find fault with everyone and everything else. I pointed my finger at others, until the day when I realized that my own bitterness, judgment and unforgiveness were keeping me from the One I needed more than anything else. I needed and desperately wanted to know love; my heart was becoming dull and hard and I was ready to be delivered from the pit of despair.
So like the Schulamite in Song of Solomon 1 I cried out “tell me oh you whom my soul loves…where can I find you”. I spent myself trying to please Him and make myself acceptable to others, but none of this satisfied my heart and the desire I had to be wanted.
It was during this time that I found myself mentoring 4 college girls and as I have looked back over my journey into wholeheartedness, I realized that mentoring those young women was one of the BEST things for my heart. I was in search of a loving Bridegroom and these young ladies wanted to know Him too.
I discovered a key to finding Jesus; He gives us that key in response to the cry “WHERE CAN I FIND YOU“. We are told by the good Shepherd in Song of Solomon 1:8
If you yourself do not know,
Most beautiful among women,
Go forth on the trail of the flock
And pasture your young goats
By the tents of the shepherds.
In other words: “pay attention and care for those younger and more vulnerable than you”. Maybe your young goats are your children; if so, tend to their hearts, help them discover Jesus, feed them on the Bread of Life, help them find rest in His loving embrace. Care for those who are less mature than you.
God was so jealous for me to understand HIS LOVE that He placed these young women in my life so not only would I be praying and studying the Word, but I would be SHARING it too. If you want to get the word of God IN YOU start sharing the little you know and then go learn more truth and share another little nibble.
Giving to others what Jesus has given to us multiplies it IN us.
So don’t be afraid to discuss your morning devotional with your children, or pray with them on the way to school. Over dinner discuss what they dream about at night and ask the Holy Spirit for interpretation (God used to speak a lot to a few of my children through dreams).
Or grab a friend at work and start to discuss what you are reading in the bible; take a college girl out for coffee and listen to her story and how she is pursuing God. Commit to writing a few encouraging e-mails or texts to a friends each day. Sent a photo of a devotional that means a lot to you and a short prayer. The key is be intentional about feeding others who are seeking the Bread of Life. You will be amazed at the exponential growth in your own life as a result.
What is one way you can commit to give to someone this week?
MAKING MEMORIES CREATES CONNECTEDNESS
When we create good memories with our children we become connected. This was so evident in my life as a new single mother. My oldest daughter (13 years old) became angry, apathetic, and withdrawn when her dad left. I tried everything to reach her: my own angry responses, kindness, threats, my own form of withdraw but nothing seemed to reach her.
I decided early on in the process of my divorce that I would be committed to taking time away with my children. I needed it for my own well-being. Our lives were so intense and we needed a break, even if it was only for a long weekend. It was during one such long weekend that I had an AH-HA moment with my daughter. We were in a cabin (during off season…it’s cheaper) and she came and sat on my lap. I realized she was still the same little girl; in that moment God opened up my eyes to see the impact and importance of time away. She was tender again, she longed for love and affirmation no matter what her walls said and it took pulling her away from friends and the familiar for her to open up and connect with me and her siblings.
Making memories was monumental in our journey as a family.
Although getting away on a trip together is a great way to build memories as a family, the reality is many single mothers can’t do this. However, we serve a creative God who wants us to make memories, memorials with our children. All throughout the word of God, He directs the fathers to ‘tell your children’ about the miracles of old, REMEMBER He says. I believe He wants us to create those impacting, important, fun times with our families.
AS YOU LOOK INTO 2016, THERE ARE SOME WONDERFUL WAYS YOU CAN BEGIN NOW TO BUILD MEMORIES AND STAY CONNECTED TO YOUR FAMILY AND THEM TO YOU.
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. Philippians 4:6
God wants us to be connected with our children more than we do. He is CREATIVE, He is the GOD WITH A PLAN, He has ALL RESOURCES. Let Him know the desires of your heart when it comes to making memories with your children and ask for His help.
Put it in your calendar now
Plan a weekend a quarter or a night a month…just set aside the time NOWDSCN5721
WRITE DOWN A LIST OF IDEAS
If you don’t have some ideas down on paper it will never happen. Include seasonal ideas such as a trip to an apple orchard for the fall etc.
PREPARE YOUR FAMILY
Depending on the ages you might get some complaints, especially if you have not intentionally connected with your kids in the past.
Sit everyone down together (Family Meetings are GREAT). Be INTENTIONAL with them.
Don’t let anything get in the way of follow through. Our kids must know our word is true. Many have been hurt time and time again by unkept promises. It is better to start small with something doable than to promise a trip to the beach when you have never left the city.
This is JUST as important as the planning and preparing. We want our children to learn how to think, to engage in the world around them. Ask two simple questions:
What did you love.
What did you learn.
(from John Maxwell Intentional Living: Day 16 Create a Memory and Visit it Often)
Don't Stop to Ride The Camel...it will cost alot of money. Don’t Stop To Ride The Camel…
It will cost big bucks!
Thank God for what He gave you, for what you learned. Thank Him for being a Good Father.
I believe Single Mother Families can thrive
I believe that our children can have a solid hope for the future
I believe that we as mothers can do small things such as being intentional about connecting with our children that will increase their chance for successful marriages, careers, and family life.
Let us know how you create memories with your children?