A Note to Single Moms: Pick a Good Partner

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 Picking a good partner…. What does this mean? Choose a partner who follows your religious beliefs, someone who is responsible, a good provider, treats your kids well, treats you like a princess, who will share in the responsibilities of parenting. Someone who will elevate you, who will see to it that you AND your child(ren) are taken care of. Someone who you can be proud of, who will provide a good influence to you and your child(ren).

I have to point this out, though…. I’m not saying set the bar so high that you dismiss everyone. Some women expect the world from a potential mate, and have ridiculous expectations (He has to be at least 6′ tall, make a certain amount of money, drive a certain kind of car, have a certain type of career, etc. Meanwhile the woman making these demands doesn’t even have their education yet.) Material things don’t matter. Look at it this way- can you take your car, money, worldly possessions with you when you die? Will these things buy your way into the pearly gates? Then no, these things don’t matter.

A great provider in, my eyes, is defined as someone who can provide you with a better life and can make you and your children happy, and can lift you up into becoming the woman you should be. He can be an entrepreneur, a doctor, a sanitation man, a field worker, an attorney. The most important qualities are that he is a good person, a good potential husband and a great father figure. You and your babies deserve NO LESS. Don’t settle for a loser just because you don’t want to be alone- so many women do this, and it’s sad. There are so many men out there who have beautiful hearts, are great providers, are great partners. I know- I found one after my share of losers. He is wonderful… someone who has always encouraged me to be more than I am, someone who has always (without fail) been at every parent/teacher conference, doctor appointment, sporting event, etc. He has also made it his priority to make sure we had everything we needed, be it groceries, child care costs, a car, a house, etc. He has his flaws, yes. But he is still awesome. And to think- I almost missed being with this man, because I was committed to another who was a terrible mate and not the best father figure for my child. I thank God every day for blessing me….

Listen to me carefully:  You do NOT have to settle! There are wonderful men out there who will make excellent mates and parents to your child(ren). The key in finding The One is… preparing yourself to be the best mate you can be… by getting your education, following the Lord’s teaching, learning how to be a Proverbs 31 woman, being the best mother you can be… the Lord will put the right man in your path. But make sure you don’t have any unnecessary obstructions first. Don’t feel bad about cutting people loose who are not the best people/partners/friends for you.

 “Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered.” (1Peter 3:7)

A Note to Single Moms: Don’t Let Being Single Define You

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Just because you’re single and have a child or are struggling, be mindful of the company you keep. I have seen with my own eyes women who will bring a man into their home and around their child(ren), and allow that man to mistreat their kids, swallow abuse and neglect from that man, all in the desperate name of  “He helps me out with the bills” or “I don’t want to be alone”. Come on now, we can do better than that. LADIES, WE ARE OUR KID’S MOMMIES!  We are the only people in the entire world to our children and it is our job to protect them, love and nurture them and make sure they are successful! We need to set a good example for our children. Don’t allow ANY man to disrupt what should be a loving and healthy environment for your kids. Please understand, I am not anti-man; most men are wonderful and every child needs a father. We all have a mate that the Lord put on this earth for us. Don’t settle for just anyone who comes your way. You might find someone who appears to have the total package, but may be missing one (or a few)  integral qualities that you need in order to be happy and run your household according to what the Lord says is suitable for you. Take a good long look at your current situation. If he’s a bad father, a bad provider, a bad friend, runs up your credit, treats his mom badly, treats your children like they are burdens, or as though he doesn’t want them around…. then why even have him around? The bills will get paid somehow. You will find a partner eventually. But don’t waste your time on someone who you know deep down isn’t the right man for you… because you may well be impeding the work the Lord is trying to do in your life. If you’re caught up with some unsavory character, you might miss the man of your dreams. Think about it.

Your baby/babies didn’t ask to be here. Don’t allow anyone to mistreat them, because they are helpless and rely on YOU to protect and love them, and they deserve the absolute best. You deserve the best, you are capable, smart, beautiful, and you will be fine.

Definition of what love is: “Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful…” (1Corinthians 13:4-6)

A Note to Single Moms: Let Go of Your Past Hurts and Negative Thoughts

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 As a teen/single mom, I heard every negative thing in the book. I was told (by a high school guidance counselor, no less) that my son wouldn’t amount to anything and he would probably end up in jail, because he was a minority, poor, born to a teen mom, with no father in the picture. I could have used this as an excuse to sit and wallow in all the obstacles I had before me, and not made anything of myself or my kid. Did I? NOPE. I didn’t let what she said get to me. This made me set out to prove her wrong. I also had men in my life tell me nobody would want me with a kid, how valuable could I be if I were dumb enough to get pregnant so young, etc.  I was bullied in high school. I didn’t have many friends.  I let it all roll off. Why?

Because I was not going to allow  someone else’s opinion of me change where I wanted to be in life. People’s opinions of you are their business, not yours. We can choose to go where we want to go. I was raised by my grandmother to strive to be the best at everything I did.  So, I got my GED, earned my bachelor’s degree, and am halfway through my master’s degree. My son is now in college and I am so proud of him. “We won’t get anywhere, she said”…. NOT! Jesus affirms our worth. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” John (3:16.) If God loves you this much, who can be against you? No one. Pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and do what you have to do.

A Note to Single Moms: Develop a Relationship with God

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– Develop a relationship with God.

How do you develop a relationship with God?

– Pray. Some people might not know how, but what I do is I just talk to Him like I would talk to anyone. God wants to be part of your day. Tell Him what you’re grateful for, what you need, what you worry about, what you need help with, etc.

– Read the Bible. Everything you need to know about life is in the Bible. Learning about Jesus will help you:

  • Modify your thinking “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your     mind.” (Romans 12:2)
  • Let go of past hurts “Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.” (Ephesians 4:31)
  • Encourage you through your struggles “Weeping may last through the night, but joy will come in the morning.” (Psalm 30:5).

Find a church home. This can be difficult. It took me years to find my church home. A good rule of thumb is to visit a different church home every so often. Pick the one you feel most comfortable with. There is no right or wrong answer here; pick the one that works best for you and your family.

Surround yourself with people who are of God.  You will probably not notice the Lord working in your life in this respect, until after the fact. I found that when I began my journey of becoming a Christian, that is when absolutely everything went wrong. Family members became very ill, I lost loved ones, my relationship became strained, etc. Nothing was going right. However- the Lord was strategic about putting people in my life that would work on me, and I didn’t even realize it. I was hearing Scripture, being encouraged, being exposed to new thought processes. Eventually I started to venture away from what was my ‘norm’. Hanging out didn’t appeal to me anymore. Being around certain folks didn’t appeal to me anymore, either. I started gravitating towards people who were of God and could help me reach a  place that was better than where I was before. I started surrounding myself with people who would be a good influence. Be mindful of the company you keep. A good rule of thumb is: Evaluate your relationships. Let’s say you have been  around a certain person for one year, and that person has not benefited you, encouraged you, influenced you in a good way. If you are not a better person as the result of your friendship with them, it is time to cut them loose.

XOXO

NOTES to Single Moms

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Single motherhood is so challenging! You might struggle to pay bills, juggle all the responsibilities on your own, rob Peter to pay Paul, loneliness, and feeling inadequate because you can’t provide all of your kid’s needs, wondering why your life can’t improve, getting discouraged, giving up hope. I remember the frustration of working overtime, not having food in the house and dealing with a screaming child alone. It’s rough. But as a single/former teen mom who made it, I want you to remember that you can choose success, and you can choose a better life for yourself if you remember that you are not alone. God is with you, He will not leave you nor forsake you (Hebrews 13:5-6).

The keys to success are simple and I will summarize them for you according to what worked for me in the next few posts.

My Letter To God: About child sponsorship

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Dear God,

Please watch over my two kids, Jonas and Aaron, whom I sponsor. Bless them and keep them safe, healthy and happy, and keep their families safe as well.

Jonas is almost 18, please keep him encouraged, strong  and hopeful for his future. He wants to work in commerce. Please ensure that he passes along his education and his beliefs about you to his less fortunate peers. Guide him in his decisions, that he puts you first and consults you when faced with a problem or a decision to make. And please watch over his mother and siblings, that they have an abundance of food, health and love in their homes. I know what it is like to struggle alone with a child and not have enough to provide for him. I pray for her strength and resilience, and that her son becomes successful and makes her proud.

My little Aaron just turned 4. He is a beautiful little boy.  Please watch over him in his journey of life, watch over his grandma, who is his caregiver, and watch over his 3 siblings. I don’t know enough about his circumstances yet, because I just sponsored him and he hasn’t had the chance to write to me yet. Lord, please equip me with the right words of encouragement, to guide him, nurture him through letter-writing, and show him that someone else cares about him. Help me keep him uplifted in prayer, and please help me find a way to sponsor more kids, who so desperately need it.

I pray for all those involved in this wonderful ministry, from the board members to the pastors and the staff at all the outreach centers across the globe. They do a phenomenal job. I’d also like to pray for all the children who haven’t yet found sponsors, that they find sponsors too, and for those who are thinking about (or are already) sponsoring as well.

Lord I would like to thank you for the means and the opportunity that I have to make a difference in these kids lives. I have been truly blessed, and sometimes I worry that I get more out of our relationship than they do. It is amazing to me when I read a letter from Jonas and he says he and his family, half a world away from me and who I never met, take the time out to pray for me and my family, despite the adversity they face. Please provide me with the means to continue to sponsor these babies and more in the future.

Amen.

P.S.   As a side note, please grant me patience when my dog does dumb stuff like eats all the dirt out of my potted plants or scratches the paint on my door, or waits until i leave the room to eat out of the garbage. AMEN!!!

Compassion International- Why Do I Sponsor?

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I just sponsored my second child with Compassion International. For those who may not know about this wonderful organization, “Compassion International exists as a Christian child advocacy ministry that releases children from spiritual, economic, social and physical poverty and enables them to become responsible, fulfilled Christian adults.”

I had always wanted to make a difference in a child’s life, other than my own. There is so much need in the world, so much poverty that we wouldn’t even be able to wrap our heads around, and because there is so much need we have the tendency of wanting to help, but becoming paralyzed as to how to help. How could I make a difference, when there is so much that needs to be done?

The fact of the matter is, God doesn’t expect us to carry the weight of the world on our shoulders. However, I believe we were put on this earth to help others… and some scripture confirms this… “Defend the cause of the weak and fatherless; maintain the rights of the poor and oppressed.” Psalm 82:3.

I sponsored my first child several months ago and it is so rewarding. I get so much out of reading the letters I get from my child, describing his surroundings, talking about his dreams for the future and his family. The organization gives sponsors the opportunity to communicate directly with their child, and hosts trips to the child’s countries annually. The money contributed doesn’t all go into a vacuum, it goes directly to the child to help offset healthcare, food, nutrition, Bible study, and school fees and uniform costs. My first child is a teenager living in Uganda… the little boy I sponsored today is 4 and lives in Ghana. They are adorable; i’ll post pictures as soon as I can figure out how.

I’ve approached friends about sponsoring kids, and their reluctance to sponsor is understandable. It’s a committment not everyone is prepared for. I was also reluctant at first. But to put things in perspective, the amount of money it takes to sponsor one child costs less than most people spend on lunch in one week. Considering how far the $38 goes for each child, I can easily make the sacrifice and not buy those cute shoes at Ross, especially since I already have about 35 pairs of shoes. Just my thoughts….