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 My oldest daughter (13 years old) became angry, apathetic, and withdrawn when her dad left.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?
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.”
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?
PROMISES FOR OUR CHILDREN…WHAT WILL YOU DO WITH THEM?
Amidst wars and rumors of wars, the fear that is being disseminated through the media, ISIS, Ebola, marshal law, economic collapse and the upcoming elections, in my heart I found myself pondering the question…and what of the single mother?
Then one day, I stumbled upon a promise in Jeremiah 49 that caused me to “be still, and know that He is God.” In Jeremiah 49, God Almighty declares the destruction He will bring to Edom (Esau). He declares that Edom will become an utter wasteland. In the midst of a prophecy predicting a most horrifying destruction that was to come upon Edom, in one of the most depressing books of the Bible, God declares this promise…
“Leave your fatherless children. I will keep them alive; and let your widows trust in me.” ~Jeremiah 49:11
As I considered these words, I began feeling God’ heart, His thoughts and His emotions towards the widow and the orphan, towards me and my sons personally. His love for us is so other than that He charges Himself with being the One who will look after and take care of these women and children who will soon be left without a husband, without a “redeemer” in the natural. As I meditated this word, my heart began to connect with and appropriate this promise. I could feel it beginning to settle in my soul like an anchor in deep waters. The trust and confidence that among the midst of the chaos, darkness, and destruction of the world all around us, in this final hour God has not forgotten, nor will He forget, that He is the God of the widow and the fatherless.
These words are spoken from Abba Father, and are an exhortation to us as single mothers to remember just how great the Love of God is towards us, and a reminder to place our confidence in Him, the One whose is Father, Defender, Maker, Liberator, and Leader. He is the Father to the fatherless and, the defender of widows, the maker of a home for those who are alone, the liberator who frees the prisoners, and the leader who leads them to prosper. (Psalm 68:5)
NOW THAT HE HAS GIVEN THE PROMISE WHAT DO I DO WITH IT?
Let’s take this extravagant promise (and any other promises God has given you) from Abba Father and make it our point of departure TODAY! Together let’s pray the promise, directly from God’s Word, believing for ourselves and our children as well as for single moms and their children everywhere.
If you’ve been paying any attention to the “signs in the heavens” through the recent blood moons and the solar eclipses, you may have had a sense in your heart that God was “saying something” through the signs. He is! He is shouting from the heavens: pre-prayer…it’s time to watch and pray!
“There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars. On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea. People will faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world, for the heavenly bodies will be shaken.” ~Luke 21:25
So what’s stopping me?
We must enter into the place of prayer with wisdom, understanding that hindrances to prayer exist. The enemy will do whatever he can to make you give up. He wants you to be negligent, faint hearted, impatient, and fearful.
However, God uses delays to turn our desire into His desire, and to prove we are worthy. (Proverbs 13:12; Hebrews 11:17) It’s in the moments that we are experiencing the mystery of prayer: delay, denial, and seeming failure, that we must remember the Words of Psalmist:
“Until the time that His word came to pass, the word of the LORD tested him. The king sent and released him….and set him free.” ~Psalm 105:19-20
Abba, I speak into those reading this now the spirit of grace and supplication. We thank You, Holy Spirit, for teaching us how to pray believing, to pray without ceasing UNTIL! I thank You for great grace to take hold of the inheritance of prayer and intercession to raise up memorials of Your supernatural power, answers to prayer, and of promises fulfilled, in Yeshua’s name. Amen.
By: Viola Jackson
SEASONS OF CHANGE
The cooler weather and the falling of the beautiful leaves is upon us…another season…more changes. Switching out closets, changing the clocks back, preparing for holidays, etc.
Having been a single mom for 12 plus years, and having raised 4 kids to adulthood during that time, I have seen a lot of seasons. I believe God intended them to be a place of hope, yet we can often feel overwhelmed with the required shifting and changes.
Some of you are in a season of:
• adjusting to being newly single.
• being weary of being single.
• seeing break-throughs in amazing ways
• just barely holding on to your faith that He will provide.
• having no grace for the kids
And there are many more scenarios….
Wherever you are today, I want to encourage you to STOP, look back, note the Lord’s provision and mercy, and recount the ways He has met you in whatever you have been doing. Give thanks OUT LOUD and REMEMBER His faithfulness. RECOUNT it…. It’s like pouring water into the garden of your heart.
“Light is sown like seed for the righteous and joy and gladness for the upright in heart” ~Psalm 97:11
I learned this, years ago, when I was severely depressed after a very traumatic betrayal of infidelity from my husband, and the ensuing required public confession in our church. There were days I could hardly function and everything seemed so dark and overwhelming. I was told by a counselor to make a list of 3 things a day that I would accomplish. Then I had to be thankful for them, even if my list of 15 more things wasn’t touched. I have done this ever since and it really helps keep your heart from being overwhelmed! In addition to this, I also had to find something to affirm or be thankful for in my situation. Some days it was as minimal as thanks for that hug, affirming the kindness of one of my family members, and being grateful for someone helping with chores.
I’m leaving you with the words of a song the Lord gave me in 2005:
In this season of change I choose trust Lord
When my way is disrupted and questions remain
Cause my heart and mind to align to the plans You’ve ordained.
In this season of change I choose trust Lord
Fear is laid at Your feet
Your Word says You’ll lead me in right paths
My call from You remains
To worship You and honor You
In all I say and do
Whether Or not I feel you
Just be – and worship You
To worship You and honor You
In all I say and do
No Matter what I see Lord
Just be – and worship You
Guide me through this season of doubt when life’s a mystery
Until I’m past the darkness and my clouded eyes can see
That though invisible Your tangible and oh so very real
Leading me, guiding me, with Your eye on me
Take a moment – whether in the shower, or driving, etc and give thanks to the Father for His provision and care for you! Then recount his goodness and affirm someone in your world.
Written by: Laurie Morris
SHOWING OUR CHILDREN THE FATHER’S HEART
When I found out I was going to be raising my 4 children without the presence of a father in the home, I went to the Lord and said “GREAT, I don’t even know how to be a mom and now I have to be MOM AND DAD?”I sensed the Lord place a truth in my spirit, “Misty, I did not create you to be a dad and I am not asking you to be a dad…just point them to Me.”
So, over the years I have attempted to do just that, direct my children to the Father. However, I have also come to realize that I am in Him and He is in me. So, if that is a true statement then I too carry the reality of the Father’s heart in me.I am currently reading a book called 21-Day Dad Challenge featuring daily devotionals from some of the leading voices in the Fathering Movement.
Sometimes as I read I weep, because I hurt for my children, I ache for what was not; knowing that at any moment the heart of their father can turn and I continue to pray it does so; but more than that I am seeing how things I have done for my children, with my children, on behalf of my children have literally been the Father’s Heart.
Following I point out 5 simple things that I believe are in the Father’s Heart that we as mothers can reveal the Father to our children by doing.
1. Don’t be afraid to let the jealous heart of the Father rise up in you and provoke you to protect your children.
I have 2 beautiful daughters. Oftentimes I would end up walking behind them, on a few occasions I noticed men looking at them in inappropriate ways, I didn’t hesitate to stop and say something to these men about they way they looked at my girls. My girls would feign embarrassment, but in the end, I knew they were glad that someone was standing up for them.
2. Enter the world of your children.
How many times would I have much preferred to bake something or do crafts, but alas, my youngest two were boys. So I learned to play chess, I learned to build a campfire and put up a tent. And I have taken the controller and attempted to play a few video games or sat and listened as they explained the story line of the game.We get some good laughs out of these times together.
3. Play with them.
When you picture the perfect dad, don’t you see an image of Dad on the floor, giving horsey rides, playing airplane, wrestling, kicking the soccer ball. Do It. Play with your children. And in the process you might just discover the child in you…I did.
4. Do something dangerous with your kids.
Dads are risk-takers.It doesn’t matter what age, the risk might be going to get a late night ice cream cone with a 5 year old, or tubing with your teen, even rolling down a grassy hill with your little one. Let them see you embrace life and take risks.
5. And don’t neglect the kids mom! That’s YOU.
A great dad will make sure his wife is cared for, without the presence of that man in the house, make sure you let your children see it is important for mommy’s heart to be well attended.
Most of the time you won’t ‘feel’ like doing what your children want to do. Single Mothers are tired, overwhelmed, want ‘down time’ for themselves. But I encourage you to push through those times. Go on a journey of discovery into the Father’s heart.
Remember the Word Says “we have to be like a child to enter into the kingdom” So many of us with the worry of the world have forgotten to how to be childlike. With all the pressure to achieve, and be everything we have missed out on being childlike. As you engage with the Father and begin to engage your children you will discover that childlike place in your heart. And you just might have FUN!
Please hear me when I say, we are not able nor do we want to replace the role of the Father, I am encouraging us once again to SEEK the heart of the Father, know that HE lives in us even as mothers and equips and empowers us to in part reveal His heart to our children.