From one Solo Mama to another: Fellow blogger Alexis has whetted my appetite for a Hallmark movie coming up this Saturday night, April 9, called Hearts of Spring. She’s written an eloquent review on her blog, God is Love.
Click here to read the review.
Who wants to join me in watching it this weekend?
What will our nation look like without fathers? Click on the link below for one writer’s grim take. It’s not pretty.
Isaiah 9:6: For to us a child is born, to us a son is given. And the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Thank you, wonderful people, for helping me increase my readership. As a token of my appreciation, here’s a link to my Kindle book which is absolutely free until 12/26. Enjoy!
In my first year of single parenting, the internet was a mere infant. Most family and parenting magazines were targeted to intact families. Women who kicked their abusive husbands to the curb were still looked upon unfavorably in most evangelical circles, especially among the older generation. [Someday I plan to blog about that tough first year.] When I did find reading material targeted at me, it made me shudder. The statistics were dire: children of single moms were more likely to drop out of high school. Daughters were more likely to get pregnant as a teen, and sons were more likely to engage in delinquent behavior. Both were more likely to use drugs.
I couldn’t win for losing.
But I also knew my sons didn’t HAVE to take the path to loserdom. Check back again for more on how, with the help of God and a support system, my sons overcame all those negative forces threatening to take them under.
How much easier if I’d had this:
The founder is herself a single mother. If you are too, I encourage you to save this link and refer to it frequently.
Blessings to all,
In Beauty for Ashes Part I, I promised you a visual example of God’s ability to make something spectacular out of lowly ashes. As I mentioned in my post, it’s fairly close to home. Mt. Mazama, tucked into the Cascade Range in Oregon, is even more beautiful as a crater than she must have been 6,000 years ago as a mountain.
Isn’t it amazing how God can take a barren wreck and turn it into a work of art?
Isaiah is one of my favorite Bible books. It may seem stuffy and archaic to some, but to me, it magnifies the glory of God. Certain sections in the last third of the book get delightfully apocalyptic in a Back to the Future sort of way. Like Daniel. Or Revelation.
Tucked inside all this rich, end-times prose, you’ll find this jewel:
“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me,
Because the Lord has anointed Me
To preach good tidings to the poor;
He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to the captives,
And the opening of the prison to those who are bound;
2 To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord,
And the day of vengeance of our God;
To comfort all who mourn,
3 To console those who mourn in Zion,
To give them beauty for ashes,
The oil of joy for mourning,
The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness;
That they may be called trees of righteousness,
The planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.” (Isaiah 61:1-3, NKJV)
If you’re a solo mama, you probably know a lot more about ashes than you do about beauty, and mourning than joy, heaviness than praise. But how comforting to know the Lord promises to console those who mourn. Like those of us who mourn the loss of a marriage. Stability. Companionship.
Do you see anything missing in the passage? What about God’s promise to take away my troubles and give me everything I ask Him for? You mean, it’s not there?
So much for health, wealth and prosperity.
I keep having to come back to this verse every time I start thinking I don’t deserve my lot in life. Railing at God for the trials He’s forcing me to endure.
But if I didn’t mourn, how would I ever know his sweet comfort? If I didn’t know ashes, how could I know beauty? Comfort is much sweeter in the valley than on the mountaintop.
Next time, we’ll talk about a real-life example of beauty from ashes. And it’s about 60 miles from my home.
I love Cats The Musical. Picture a tribe of human-sized cats slinking around dark alleys under the moonlight, discussing deep subjects like happiness and the meaning of life. Then Grizabella leaps onto the scene, singing that heart-tugging number we’ve heard a million times on the radio, TV, and in karaoke bars, Memory– the anthem of single mothers everywhere.
All alone in the moonlight
I can smile at the old days
I was beautiful then
A time I knew what happiness was
Let the memory live again
~~Written by Trevor Nunn
Poignant, bittersweet. Celebration of a former life, Mourning over loss. The song turns dark, depressing, finally ending on a note of hope:
Look, a new day has begun.
But sometimes, during the dark days, before the new day dawns, we can barely make it through the now. And what about our kids? They suffer the most when a parent leaves. As I mentioned in a previous post, my divorce took its toll on my kids in numerous ways. If the divorce hadn’t happened, would they have been drawn to more respectable friends, instead of judging potential companions by their “cool” factor? Would my under-achieving son have lived up to his potential?
Sad to say, we’ll never know the answer to these questions until we get to heaven. In the meantime, I found the ministry Focus on the Family a wonderful source for solo mamas. The attached article tells how we can let God heal broken hearts…not only ours, but our kids most of all.
For your Maker is your husband; The Lord of hosts is His name. (Isaiah 54:5).
If you’re a single parent, do you sometimes find it hard to attend church or other public events, because you know you’ll see all these happily married/taken couples everywhere you look? Sometimes it’s easier just to stay home.
The Lord knew how we’d feel, even 3,000 years before we were born. Because He came up with Isaiah 54.5. True, He’s talking to the nation of Israel, yet I’ve always found it a comforting verse. “But I want a husband with skin on,” you say. “Someone I can snuggle with at night.”
I wish I could tell you that God has one for you. I don’t know if He does or not. Which brings up a pet peeve of mine from my single-parenting days: well-meaning folks who claimed God had someone just for me. How presumptuous. There is no way a mere human can possibly know what God has planned for someone else.
But until He does send Mr. Perfect-for-you, cling to God as your husband. I’ve found His presence just as comforting as any man’s. Plus, He’s altogether perfect. Not merely Mr. Perfect-for-you. God can read your mind. A human husband can’t, as we’ve all found out the hard way. His love runs deeper and wider than the ocean, more intense than any man’s.
My kindness shall not depart from you. (Isaiah 54:10)
Blogger: Last time we talked, we promised my readers we’d share your secret to keeping your sanity.
Solo Mama: When my oldest was about to enter high school, I discovered a prayer group for moms called Moms in Touch. It’s a national organization with a specific prayer outline and Bible verse for each meeting. Once a week a group of us moms meet at the leader’s house for focused and structured prayer for our kids and their schools and teachers. Basically, we pray the Word of God over our kids.
B: Have you seen any changes in your family since you started?
SM: For myself, my weekly prayer powwow gives me hope—that God will answer the cries of my heart, that my children will grow up to be God-fearing adults, that He’ll watch over and protect them when I can’t be there. Group prayer infuses my heart with peace like a sweet-smelling herbal tea.
B: What about your kids? Have you noticed positive changes in them?
SM: I have. The biggest change, or rather, miracle, happened to my developmentally-delayed son. The wannabe chef. In two years, he went from being a C/D student to an A/B student. God led me to the perfect therapy program for him, and provided the funds to pay for it. I firmly believe that God heard and answered the cries of this mom’s heart.
B: Thank you for sharing your story with us. Do you recommend that single moms seek out these sorts of support groups?
SM: Absolutely, especially if they involve prayer. This group has taught me how trustworthy the Lord is, and has shown me how tender His heart is toward children.
When it comes to honoring the noble and valuable role that women play in our world, are we bending over backwards so far, we’re falling on our rears by becoming man-haters? According to this blog, some in our world are insisting that men pay for the wrongdoings of previous generations of men who degraded women. Until men’ve thoroughly paid for the sins of their fathers and grandfathers, they say, the belittling will continue.
I’m saddened by the way men are portrayed on TV and in movies. Think Homer Simpson, that donut-lovin’ national symbol of buffoonery. The father in Malcolm in the Middle, a little boy married to a strong, wise woman who really ran the show.
I agree with this blogger that this is NOT true equality. And equality won’t happen until BOTH genders are honored and treated with respect.
For those of us in the United States, last Sunday was Father’s Day. This is a day set aside in the U.S., as well as 57 other countries, to honor fathers and the concept of fatherhood. After all, none of us would be here if it weren’t for a father of some kind, even if his role only lasted for a few seconds.
But on Sunday, Father’s Day was hijacked.
The video, included below with a commentary by a gentleman who strongly disagreed with it so you can hear both sides of the issue, featured several adult children of single mothers discussing their mother’s hardships as she struggled to raise her children by herself. Most of them said she was both father and mother to them. At the end of the commercial, each person interviewed ended with, “Happy Father’s Day, Mom.”
Now, please understand that I admire single…
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