Tuesday, January 24, 2012


Tonight there is something weighing heavy on my heart that I feel I must share with you.

I know life as a single mom is not easy without worrying about the outcome of your children in 20 or 30 years. Some days, it is all I can do to keep up with laundry and dishes and changing diapers - but I have realized, these are such small matters! I have recently purchased the movie "Courageous" and have watched it several times. Each time I see it, I come away with something different and perplexing.

These words are not mine, but they are powerful and I believe every one of them and I hope you come away with the same profound sense of responsibility as I have.

"While so many mothers have sacrificed to help their children survive, they were never intended to carry the weight alone. We thank God for them.
Research has proven that children also desperately need a Daddy.
God desires for every father to courageously step up and do whatever it takes to be involved in the lives of his children. But more than just being there and providing for them, he is to walk with them through their young lives and be a visual representation of the character of God, their Father in Heaven.
 A father should love his children and seek to win their hearts. He should protect them, discipline them, and teach them about God. He should model how to walk with integrity and treat others with respect. He should call out his children to become responsible men and women who live their lives for what matters in eternity.
 Some men will hear this and mock it. Or ignore it. But I tell you that as a father, you are accountable to God for the position of influence He has given you. You can’t fall asleep at the wheel only to wake up one day and realize that your job or your hobbies have no eternal value – but the souls of your children do.
Some men will hear this and agree with it, but have no resolve to live it out. Instead they will live for themselves and waste the opportunity to leave a Godly legacy for the next generation.
But there are some men who, regardless of the mistakes we’ve made in the past, regardless of what our fathers did not do for us, will give the strength of our arms and the rest of our days to loving God with all that we are and to teach our children to do the same and whenever possible, to teach and mentor others who have no father in their lives, but who desperately need help and direction.
In my home, the decision has already been made. You don’t have to ask who will guide my family – because by God’s grace, I will. You don’t have to ask who will teach my son to follow Christ, because I will. Who will accept the responsibility of providing and protecting my family? I will. Who will ask God to break the destructive chains in my family’s history? I will. Who will pray for and bless my children to boldly do whatever God calls them to do? I will. I accept this responsibility and it is my privilege to embrace it. I want the favor of God and His blessing on my home. Any good man does. So where are you men of courage?!  Where are you Fathers who fear the Lord?! It’s time to rise up and answer the call that God has given to you and say, “I will! I will!” ~ from Courageous the Movie
Obviously, we are single moms because there is not a man in our lives who is willing to step up and be all that God has called him to be. For now, we have to be the ones to guide our children. We have to be the ones to teach them to follow Christ. We have to be the ones to break the destrucive chains in our family's history. We have to pray for and bless our children to boldly do whatever God has called them to do. We must accept this responsibility. We must not take it lightly. We are shaping our children to be the men and women they will be for the rest of their lives, and it is terrifying. But, by the grace of God, we are not alone in our struggles. We are not alone in this fight. We have been called to raise up these children in their fathers' absences. If you do not stand up for your children, model integrity and respect, and bring them up in a way that is pleasing to God, who will?
If you are fearful, as I was, that you are not strong enough or are not smart enough or are not faithful enough to do what God has asked, don't be. He is there for us. All you need to do is ask.
We are big on music in our house, and I'd like to leave you with the lyrics of a song by Casting Crowns, also called "Courageous":

"We were made to be courageous, we were made to lead the way. We could be the generation to finally break the chains - We were made to be courageous!
We were warriors on the frontlines, standing unafraid. Now we're watchers on the sidelines, while our families slip away. Where are you men of courage?! You were made for so much more! May the pounding of our hearts cry "We will serve the Lord!"
We were made to be courageous and we're taking back the fight! We were made to be courageous, and it starts with us tonight! The only way we'll ever stand is on our knees with lifted hands! Make us courageous, Lord make us courageous!
This is our resoulution, our answer to the call. We will love our wives and children - we refuse to let them fall. We will reignight the passions that we've burried deep inside. May the watchers become warriors, and the men of God arise!
We were made to be courageous and we're taking back the fight! We were made to be courageous and it starts with us tonight! The only way we'll ever stand is on our knees with lifted hands! Make us courageous, Lord make us courageous!
Seek justice, love, mercy. Walk humbly with your God.
In the war of the mind I will make my stand. In the battle of the heart and the battle of the hand. In the war of the mind I will make my stand. In the battle of the heart and the battle of the hand ...
Seek justice, love, mercy. Walk humbly with your God." ~ Casting Crowns  

Good night for now, Mamas. These words gave me hope, courage, and strength. I hope they do the same for you.


Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Do not judge lest ye be judged ...

Nothing peeves me more than people who don't even know me underestimating me.

Recently I was at the grocery store and a woman came up me and said "If I had two little boys that close together, I'd just die. You must have help at home." BAH! So I told her, "No, I don't have any help. I am a single mom. And I manage." The look on her face was a mix of embarrassment and surprise and though she walked away without another word, it reminded me of a time when I didn't think I could do it either.

Until today, actually, I didn't even realize I AM doing it. I am working. I am paying my own bills. I am buying my own groceries. I am being a mother to my children. And I am doing it on my own! (Well, not totally - I'm absolutely certain the Big Man upstairs has a lot to do with it!)

I paid for my children's doctor appointments today. With MY money that I earned - does that mean I'm rich? No. It means I'm going to have to watch what I spend for the rest of the month. But I did it - I was able to get my kids the level of care they need.

Is it easy? No. Is it what I imagined for my life? Absolutely not. Do I like it this way? Well, not especially. But I am going to be thankful for every day I have a roof over my head and I'm able to put food in my babies' mouths. I will be grateful for my job, however stressful.

And, I will keep praying. Praying for strength, for wisdom, and for guidance. For my babies' futures - that somewhere out there I will find a man willing to step up and be the father they need.

In the mean time, I will be the best mother I can be with the knowledge that I have.

Thanks for listening,

<3 ~SMF~

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year!

Hello there, blogging world! Sorry it's been such a long time since my last post but it's been so busy!

As I reflect on the past year, my babies and I have been through so much - and have so much to be thankful for.

In January I was still having this internal battle about whether or not I had made the right choice in leaving my children's SD. It didn't take long to come to the conclusion that I had. Even so, it was heart wrenching. Just because he treated us poorly didn't mean I had no emotional investment - it was still very hard to leave.

By February, my mom and I were ready to kill each other and the job hunt had been unsuccessful. I was going to pull my hair out. But God is always watching out for me and the restaurant I had worked at in high school needed help and they called me - and just like that I had a steady job. We celebrated Nathan's first and Luke's second birthday and it was a little bit tense with both sides of family there, but my kids had a good time and there was cake!

March. I was still putting my applications in everywhere I could think of. I was filing for child support and starting to get divorce papers in order. Working at the restaurant was my lifesaver - I took comfort in the mundane tasks that I was confident in doing and had enough money to pay my phone bill and have gas money.

April and May brought good news and bad. I was selected to go through the 3 month interview process to be a 911 dispatcher. I was so relieved to have this prospective job! On the other hand, I had gone to court for child support and SD was ordered pay me, but he refused. So I had to go back and get the court to take it out of his paycheck.  I spoke with a lawyer about the divorce papers and she walked me through the process - it seemed easy enough until we got to the custody part. I still have not come up with a custody arrangement that I am comfortable with.

June. June brought so much excitement and anxiety all at the same time. I started training to be a 911 dispatcher, but I had to find care for my children as my mom started working as well. It was a day to day battle to find someone reliable and trustworthy as I couldn't afford daycare. I was working 12 hour night shifts and finding little time to sleep. It was hard, but fortunately I'm stubborn and I took on the challenge.

July, August, and September are a blur. I found a reliable babysitter in the same town where I work. She is fantastic and my kids love being at her house. Score one for Mommy! I looked and looked and looked for a place to rent but so far had turned up nothing I felt safe having my kids live in. By this point, my mom was ready to kick me out because there are some things we just don't see eye-to-eye on.

In October I found a wonderful apartment with a fenced yard and a garage that is only five minutes from my sitter and about 5 minutes from work. Yippee! We moved in at the first of November. But meanwhile on the job front, I was ready to quit! The training is so disorganized and what is expected of the trainers would make anyone grouchy! Some days I really had to talk myself into going to work because the mental strain was almost more than I could handle - but still I pressed on.

December brought family and thankfulness. This year has been rough, but I am so much stronger for it. I was able to provide my babies with a great Christmas all by myself and I was making my way in a few short months where in two years of marriage, I had not been able to. I have proven to myself that if I just keep at it, I can accomplish whatever I put my mind to and it is liberating!

Looking back, the year doesn't seem so long and all those things I thought I might not make it through? Well, I made it. Happy New Year!