SINGLE PARENTING: When Vacation Is Unfeasible

As a single parent and woman of virtue, I have to spend money wisely. I give God his portion and I budget the rest as best as I can. It’s hard but God guides me through. There are so many places I wish I could take my children but at the same time, I know we have to eat, have electricity, water, gas, food and clothing. I am not one who cheats the government system so I don’t receive and abundance of state or government benefits. It kind of hurts knowing I am not able to fulfill all of my children’s requests even though their needs are met. God had to remind me that when Jesus returns, I will not be asked about how many vacations me and my children went on. I won’t be asked about how many activities I had them involved in. I won’t be asked if I kept them and myself in name brand clothing and shoes. I will be asked about how often I took them to church. I will be asked about how I instilled church in their hearts. I will be asked if I made it a priority to teach them about the Lord, being respectful and showing love to others. I will be asked about how my role as a mother in their lives. I will be asked about how I influenced their relationship and walk with the Lord. These are things that I know Jesus will be discussing with me when He returns so these are the things that I focus on in the lives of both my children and me. Since my focus has been in these areas, God has blessed us in so many ways. The church I attend makes sure the kids are involved in all types of activities and trips. And the greatest thing that I embrace about this is that these activities and trips are Christ-centered. My children, at times, are so busy with this, that they don’t even ask about going other places. In due time, if it is meant for us to travel the world, God will make it all possible. As of right now, I thank God for loving us and also providing for us the way He does. If you are a single parent with children and understand where I am coming from, just keep holding on. Keep your children in church and make sure church is in their hearts. Make sure home represents the Lord. And don’t stress yourself out worrying so much because wherever the Lord is reverenced, He will surely provide. Don’t worry about what others say but focus on what The Father says. “Point your kids in the right direction, when they’re old they won’t be lost” (Proverbs 22:6 MSG). Be Blessed. –S.L.M.

 

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ALLOW GOD TO SET YOU FREE!

Well, it’s February 1! I have been taking a break from writing on my WordPress blog but I am back with more stamina and wisdom! Many often associate Black History with the word, “slaves.” Why? Because this was a time where African American went through so much. They were labeled as slaves but they were freed. They invented many great things but did not receive much recognition for it all. But thank God – He paved a way for us all to be segregated! But look at many of us now – some of us are slaves to SIN. Let’s be real. Some of us are slaves to MONEY, SEX, JOBS and OTHER PEOPLE. Being a slave to these things take us through so much and most of it is not ever good. We do any and everything to please others but we get no recognition at all. I am not here to judge anyone but I do speak of what I know. Being a slave to all of this means that some of us are chained down or addicted to all of this. When it comes to these things, many of us will do any and everything to get it all. And when you are chained down by these things, nothing GOOD comes from it. We idolize “these things” and don’t focus on God. These things can give us pleasure for a short time but eventually, that pleasure ends. And then….misery or failure kicks in. Allow God to unlock the chains of those things that lead you down a path of misery and failure. Allow Him to free you from those things that weigh you down in life. Stop idolizing things or people who can never give you temporary pleasure. God gives permanent pleasure. Allow Him to set you free from the “bad things” so that you can bless you with the “good things.” “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery” (Galatians 5:1 NIV). Be Blessed. – S.L.M.

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KNOWING THE TRUTH

Knowing the truth about how God sees you keeps you from believing the devil’s lies about you. Fooling around with listening to the devil can cause you to disregard your value. The devil will come in and whisper negativity in your ear. You won’t function at your best. You will always think that someone or something is out to get you. You won’t think that you are good enough at anything or for anyone. The devil will keep you from feeling, thinking and doing your best in life. God sees the best in you and wants the best for you. The Lord values your worth. In His Word, He tells of the love and greatness he has for you. His Word is Truth. Don’t waste your precious listening to the devil. He is a liar and only wants to destroy you. Spend time listening to the Lord. He is The Truth and wants to build you higher than you have ever been before.  The lies of the devil are designed to keep you in bondage. Knowing who you are in Christ frees you from that bondage. “And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8:32 NLT). Be Blessed.  –S.L.M.

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THE GREATEST GIFT

This Christmas, many will be focused how many gifts they get, what they are and what they cost. Many will be focused on spending time with family and friends. Blessed are the ones who know that the Greatest Gift is Jesus. He walks with us every day. He loves us despite all of our flaws. The Greatest Gift can live inside of you if you allow Him to. He brings joy. He comforts. He provides. And His Love is like no other. I am so thankful at the many blessings Jesus pours on me each day. The last past two years have been trying but Jesus has coached me through it. I felt as though I was trapped in the valley but God sent His Son to lead me out. I am still breathing and as long as I am, I know that God is not done with me yet. Situations that I thought could only get worse turned out to get better. Tears turned in the joy. Giving up turned into perseverance. That’s the Power of Jesus. Try Him! He is the Greatest Gift because He is Great. This Christmas, enjoy family, friends and gifts but make sure you embrace the Greatest Gift which is Jesus. Allow Him to live in your heart always. Lord, thank You for Your Son. Be Blessed. – S.L.M.

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KNOW WHO YOU ARE

“Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me” – Remember that phrase? Whoever said that really told a lie! Words do hurt. They hurt especially when they are harmful and come from loved ones. Many of us often take these hurtful words and allow them to stick to us allowing the words to label us. Before long, we are walking and operating in what others say about us. We must realize that what others say about us doesn’t define us but it actually defines who they are. Unhappy and bitter people are known to throw insults on others. Know who you are in Christ and hold your head up high. Rise above the harmful words of others. Be confident in Christ. In this world, people will talk about you rather you do good or bad so you must always know who you are to withstand it all. You are a child of The Almighty King! What others say about you really isn’t your problem; it is theirs. Be Blessed. – S.L.M.

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GOD HAS YOUR BACK!!

I have heard several beings blurt out, “My friends got my back!” or “My family got my back!” or “My Woman/Man got my back!” These phrases are often attached to situations where some type of support has failed out of one’s own efforts or some type of drama is at play. Well, let’s step into reality and note how the enemy has stepped in families, friendships, relationships and marriages. The enemy is destroying connections everywhere. We wake up each morning not knowing what to expect, and who and where it is coming from. Some of us can’t even walk straight because we have been stabbed in the back so much by family, friends, and mates. Allow me to let you in on something. Yes, these people can and will have your back. But is this what you depend on when you fall short in some area? Knowing that this support is not promised? The One who has your back is GOD. His support doesn’t come with conditions. His support doesn’t talk about you badly one week and be in your face smiling the next week. His support doesn’t help you just to say so. His support doesn’t turn backwards on you and decide to come back later on. His support is promised. Nothing compares to it. He is The One who gives eternal life. That is great support! God’s support is support that is unquestionable. God fights all battles for you when you surrender to Him. If you have good support on earth – wonderful! But the BEST SUPPORT and THE ONE WHO TRULY HAS YOUR BACK is THE LORD. “The Lord will keep you from all harm – he will watch over your life” Psalm 121:7 (NIV). Be Blessed. -S.L.M.

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WHEN WEARINESS SETS IN

Weariness can set in at any moment in our lives. I went from a dull and boring life to very active life within a matter of months. I was always use to waiting for others to come and do stuff with me or for me. But God caused some things to transpire in my life that caused my eyes to open. Now there is a full-time job, home, the children, their activities and church. I find myself getting weary very often. I had to learn to listen to God’s voice in all of this. God told me that all of what I have going on right now adds measure to my life and the lives of my children; therefore, He will supply all that I need to get through. So God tells me when to slow down or when to stop and rest. It took me awhile to listen to His voice but after running myself ragged, I learned faithfully! He gives me the energy I need to get through for that day. The next day, He gives me a new strength. God is Great Support with my children and I honestly thank Him for that. If it were not for Him, I would be a lunatic! He helps me to take a breather, activate patience and persevere. God helps me to do the same at work and with other demands. When weariness starts setting in, I know that God is telling me to slow down and find a resting place in Him so I can rejuvenate. If you are suffering from weariness on today, rather it is mental, physical or spiritual, pump your brakes and listen for God’s voice. I am almost sure that He is telling you to come find that resting place in Him for rejuvenation. “Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest” (Mark 6:31 NIV). Be Blessed. – S.L.M.

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FOR THE SINGLE PARENTS

Many who find themselves parenting alone call themselves “single” parents. I have as well. But when you really look at this closely, you are not a “single” parent. God is with you always. The struggles you have in parenting doesn’t go unseen by God. It never does. He knows and sees it all. God knows how you are struggling with bills and at the same time, you want to take your children out to a movie or to get pizza. God hears you at night when you are crying wondering how you are going to send field trip money to school tomorrow but at the same time, you need gas in your vehicle to go to work. God knows how hurt you are knowing the other parent is not in your child’s life at all helping out like they should. God knows. This is a time where you need to reach out to God even more. Depend on Him for EVERYTHING. He will never fail you. Pray over your children at night and in the morning. Pray for them during the day. Ask God to bring true Christians in your life that will help support and mentor to you and your children. God will do it. Some days, it may seem like He doesn’t hear because matters are getting worse in your household but He is listening and trust that He is working it out for your family. Tell God about the type of earthly help you need regarding your kids. Although He already knows, it is good to speak it out to Him.

You may find yourself getting all bent out of shape when the other parent is doing more for his/her other children and not yours. That is a mind trick of the enemy to keep you frustrated. Your priority is YOUR children. Do YOUR part with YOUR children and God will do the rest. How do you this? You do it by being the very best parent that you can be with all that you have. So many are caught up in doing the things that cost a lot of money but there are things to do that are free. Take them to park and run around with them….that is free. Have a picnic with them in the front yard or at the park……that is free. Take them to church so that they can learn about the TRUE FATHER….that is free. If your kids are older, trying cooking together…..that is free (hopefully, the food won’t cost a lot). Go for walks together…that is free. Listen to them when they need to talk…..that is free. There are many things that you can do with your children that doesn’t even spending a lot of money. And guess who is with you while you are doing all of this? GOD is with you so you are not alone nor are you a single parent. When the other parent has other children he/she is taking care of and not doing right by yours, I know it hurts. And God knows it, too. Allow God to deal with that other parent. Don’t indulge in envy, jealousy or anger because of it. These things are mind tricks brought on by the devil. These things will prevent you from being the best parent you can be towards your own children. Stay focused on your own without any desire to compete with others. When you stay focused on that and placed dependency in God, you will see better days.  You will successfully endure on those bad and weary days because your faith is in God and not man.

As for as finances, I honestly despise when the state has to step in and make a man/woman take care of their children but if you have made every attempt to ask for help from that other parent regarding your children, ask God for guidance in the matter and these attempts keep failing….then perhaps, God is showing you that you must do what you have to do to get the help you need for your children. Some parents choose child support out of spite; others do it because they have no other choice. You and God know what your situation may be and if you seek Him for answers regarding what to do, He will give it to you. My heart goes out to all who are raising their kids on their own. Some have great help; others do not. And it gets trying. People who have no children may give great advice but until they actually walk in the shoes of someone who has children, they can’t honestly relate. I am the mother of five children and I am not married.  I do have earthly support but not as much as I would like to have. But I am so thankful for God being in my life. Earthly support is great but GOD is so much greater. So, to the ones who are calling themselves “single” parents, do know that you are not alone. Tell God what you feel and what you desire, have faith that He will provide because He will. Keep Him first in all things and make sure that your children know about The Lord and His power. Many children are taught about so many things in regards to surviving in this life and sad to say, most of the time, God isn’t even included. So make sure that your children know about God. It doesn’t matter if children is raised up in a one-parent and two-parent household, they need to know about the TRUE FATHER. As I pray for all of you, keep me and my children in your prayers as well. Be Blessed.

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KEEP DOING IT FOR THE LORD

Whatever you do, do it for the Lord with all of your heart. Many will be inspired by what you do for the Lord; some will not be inspired. Many will help you and support you as long as they can; some will only find fault in all that you do. Many will see your spiritual growth and you will be a shining light to guide them out of a dark valley; some won’t see anything but the worst and will never take heed to anything you do or say. None of us are perfect and even though you may tell others that, they will still think that all you do or say is based on “your perfections.” They will view you as trying to be “better than them.” They will say that you are using God and you are nothing but a phony. These are the people that you leave in God’s hands. Only God and you know what you have been called to do so you do it with all of your heart. There are people in this world who needs to hear what you are saying and see what you are doing in your life. These are the people who are inspired by you. They see GOD in you. Don’t fail them just as God hasn’t failed you. Don’t swallow the insulting comments and remarks from the others about what you are doing for the Lord. Just focus on helping God’s people – the ones who will embrace what you are doing. After all, you are doing it for the Lord. No, you won’t be ever be perfect but do what you do with all of your heart.  You may fail on some days. You may get weary on some days. When it starts becoming unbearable, call out to God because He knows. “Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people” (Colossians 3:23 NLT).

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TRUE HEALING TAKES TIME

True healing takes time. Some of us lose sight of this. I even lost sight of this when encouraging others. What you may get over in a month, it may take another an entire year or more to get over it. Pain has a different effect on each one of us. I have come to despise when someone tells another person, “Oh, just let it go. Get over it already.” I feel that it is disrespectful to say that to ANYONE when you honestly don’t know what that person feels. Even if you have been in a similar situation, that person feels pain differently from you. How dare any of us say this to anybody without acknowledging how deep pain can travel? True healing comes from God. In order for healing to be complete, God has to have His hand in it. So telling someone to “get over it already” is basically rushing God. And we all know that God moves on His own time when dealing with each one of us. Everyone should be remindful of that. Life causes us to grieve over different situations in different ways. We really don’t know what another feels. So be careful when you are telling people just to “let it go already” because we don’t the extent of their pain. Some of us couldn’t even survive what another person is dealing with or have dealt with if the shoes were on our feet. So I, myself, stand in correction regarding this when dealing with encouraging others.

Most of us are quite aware of the phrase, “Let Go and Let God.” I have used it many of times in my writings. And yes this is definitely true. But where we go wrong at is not acknowledging that it takes time for some people to get to that point. That is where our prayers for others come in at. Instead of hearing someone vent and you responding with “You need to just let it go”, try responding with, “I am praying for you.” When we pray for others, God stirs that release up in their life. Healing is God thing. None of us can rush God. I can only imagine how many times a person who is experiencing pain wants to literally punch someone in the face when they tell them to “let it go.” Just keeping it real. If you are one who is dealing with something today and others are in your face pushing, “You should just let it go”, take a deep breath, grab a hold of God’s hand and tell them to let their pushiness go because God has you. If you are one that is constantly walking around telling others to “let it go” although you see it is best to – stop, recognize the power of God, pray for that person and let God do what He needs to do in that person’s life. Sometimes, our words can drive people further in distress without us realizing. It is better to pray for them and with them so that hurting people can experience true healing by the hands of a True Healer – GOD.

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