To the Single Mom

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    Being a single mom is hard, really hard. As a single mom you handle all the hardships of motherhood alone, run an entire household alone, deal with the daily struggles of life alone, and on top of all of that; if you don’t want to stay alone forever  you have to navigate messy complicated world of dating.

     

    Life for a single mom is busy and stressful…. a full time job, endless to do lists, appointments, activities for the kids, commitments, deadlines, cleaning, cooking, bills, babysitters, trying to find time to date, maintain a social life and implement self-care. It’s overwhelming, exhausting and just too much to handle sometimes!

     

    To the single mom who can relate, I have a few reminders for you…..

     

    You are strong.

    I am your God, I will strengthen you.

    Isaiah 41:10

     

    You are capable.

    I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. 

    Phillipians 4:13

     

    The Lord God goes with you, He will never leave you or forsake you. 

    Dueteronomy 31:6

     

    You are valued.

    We are God’s masterpiece. 

    Ephesians 2:10

     

    You are loved.

    Nothing can separate us from God’s love.

     Romans 8:39

     

    You have a purpose and plan for your life.

    Nothing can stop God’s plan for your life.

    Isaiah 14:27

     

     You can rest.

    Come to me all who labor are heavy burdened and I will give you rest.

    Matthew 11:28

     

    Never forgot these things!  Life as a single mom is difficult, stressful and overwhelming but it can also be full of so much strength, joy, peace and beauty!

     

    Write a your favorite verse (or two) on a post it note and place it somewhere you will see it everyday as reminder. What’s your favorite statement above? Leave a comment, I’d love to hear from you!

     

    Until next time, let’s live bright!

    August 18, 2019

    Look for the Good

    This world is filled with darkness, pain and challenges…Illness (physical and mental), car accidents, getting laid off, losing loved ones, financial struggles, divorce/separation/break ups, (just to name a few) PLUS the everyday struggles that come along with being human (unexpected bills, running late, problems at work, relational struggles, being overwhelmed/stressed/anxious, etc.). Every time I turn around it feels like something is falling apart, not working out, or stressing me out. Life is seriously hard. Hard stuff happens to each of us every day, sometimes every hour of every day. And this will always be the case, until the day we die. Real uplifting stuff right?!

     

    We live amongst hardships and pain so it’s easy to live with a negative mindset; it is natural but this is not how it has to be. There is good to be found every single day. It can be really hard to see the good amongst all the bad, but I promise if you look  it’s there. The good in your day may be taking your dog for a walk, finding a quiet moment to yourself (as moms we know how rare this is!), having movie night with your kids, getting lunch with a friend, or enjoying a hot cup of coffee before the day begins. These are all good and beautiful blessings (which are often overlooked) that bring joy to our lives.

     

    But that’s not all the good we can find in our lives. It may sound crazy, but there is actually good in the bad parts of life as well. If we look hard enough we can find good hidden in the bad. For every experience we go through we can focus on the good or we can focus on the bad. I tell me son (and myself!) to “look for the good” when something bad happens. Whether we see the good or bad in a situation is up to us. Here is an example that happened to me earlier today….

     

    About 3 weeks ago we adopted a little dog named Honey into our family. Long story short, we had an emergency vet appointment this afternoon that ended in no answers to what was wrong with Honey, a $500 bill (which is ALOT of money for me), my son screaming and crying because we missed the movie we were supposed see and a harsh reminded that I’m doing this all on my own. I left the vet office with tears running down my face feeling stressed, overwhelmed and alone (I was focused on the bad in this situation). When I got in the car I decided to “look for the good”. I took a breath and thought what good could be in all of this. It’s good Honey is alive and she has medicine that will hopefully heal her body. It’s good I have some extra money coming in this month to help with the bill.  It’s good we can see the move another day since I’m off work this week. And this is a good opportunity for me to show my son first hand how to handle it when something upsetting happens (because I was upset too!). Looking for the good completely changed my perspective and attitude. The situation hadn’t changed, but I had. I drove away feeling so much better than when I was focused on the bad.

     

    But that’s still not all… not only can we look for the good, we can look for God. God gives us the sweet blessings in our life and he also gives us the ability to see the good in the bad times. God is good and he gives us good. So when I “see the good” I always thank God for it because James 1: 4 tells us Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights. Let’s be real, it’s not always easy to see the good, some things really suck! But the more we practice this the easier it becomes. I have opportunities to practice every day in the big challenges (being a single mom, finance struggles, mental health issues) and the small challenges too (running late, messing up at work or loosing my temper with my son). I hope you can look for the good too today, and everyday!

     

    Leave me a comment about a time you were able to look for the good. And until next time, Let’s Live Bright!

    August 7, 2019

    Shine Through

    When I saw the sky yesterday evening (pictured above) it stopped me in my tracks. The dark clouds were overtaking the sky, it looked like it was going to start to downpour any minute. But right there in the middle of the big dark clouds poked the sun. It looked as if the sunlight was pushing apart the storm clouds with everything it had. The clouds parted down the middle and the bright light shone through; and it was beautiful!

     

    This instantly reminded me of my life. So many times the dark clouds of life are pressing in on me. I feel overwhelmed, anxious and like the bad/hard stuff of life is just too much to bear. But I push on! In the midst of my challenges and trials I work hard to stay positive, look for the good and not be overtaken. I feel like that light pushing through the clouds. I can’t  do it on my own though, but with God (The Light of the World) I can. Every single day He helps me push past the challenges and the pain so that I can see and be His beautiful glorious light. And so can you. You don’t have to be overtaken by the storms of life, you can overcome and shine through! And oh how beautiful it is when you do.

     

    John 1:5 The light shines in the darkness and the light will not be overcome.

     

    Share about a time you have shined brightly through the storms of life. I’d love to hear from you!

     

    Until next time, let’s live bright!

    July 31, 2019

    Killing Comparison

     “Comparison is the thief of joy.” Theodore Roosevelt

     

     There may be some areas of your life that you’re not thrilled about; such as financial struggles, your single status, problems at work, challenges with your child, lonliness, stress…just to name few possibilites. When these things are pressing heavy on your heart it’s easy to fall into comparison. Looking at others, seeing that they have the very thing your heart longs for or that they don’t have the same difficulties you do is when comparison sneaks in.

     

    Seeing an adorable married couple with thier kids (while you are struggling to parent alone), your friends moving into happy relationships and getting married (while you stay habitually single), a friend getting  hired for her dream job (while you are still trying to figure out your life), coworkers discussing their big summer vacations (while you can’t afford to go anywhere), scrolling through pictures on Instagram of people out with friends having a blast (while you are home alone again)…..And in sleaks comparison.

     

    Comparison doesn’t work alone. It brings its friends jealousy, envy, discontentment, hurt, saddness and pain with it. Even though no one wants to experience these things they come when we compare. Comparison can ignite in an instant and cause long lasting damage. Personally, I am very susceptible to comparison and it has brought a lot of unwanted pain into my life. I know how easy it is to drown under the negative emotions of comparison.

     

    So what can we do to fight against comparison? Here is what I’m trying…

     

    1. Do a Social Media Detox

    Social media is one of the biggest ways to invite  comparison into your life. Scrolling through hundreds of perfect pictures of the very thing your heart longs for isn’t easy. Sometimes it just becomes too painful for me. Taking a break from social media helps me take a step away from the temptation of falling into the comparison trap.

     

    2. Write a Daily Grattitude List

    I’m a little obsessed with gratitude. I make a list in morning during my quiet time, I write a few things I’m thankful for every day in my planner and my son each say something new are grateful for during our nighty prayer. Grattitude helps keep me tuned into a positive perspective and it reminds me of all God’s sweet blessings that are already in my life.

     

    3. Focus on What Brings You Happiness

    Take your focus off what makes others happy (or at least what you think does) and instead focus on what makes you happy. This could be a hobby, a club, a pet or anything. Doing this you will spend less time worrying about others and more time bringing true happiness into your own life.

     

    Doing these 3 things helps kill comparison in my life; which leads to more peace, contentment and joy. What helps YOU overcome comparison?? Leave a comment below!

     

    Until next time, let’s live bright!

    July 1, 2019

    A Spot of Sunshine #7

    Phillipians 4:6-7

    Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

     

    I’m ligitimetly bad at memorizing Bible verses. I mean I try, but I can never seem to remember a verse when I need it. But not today. Today the passage above flooded through my mind, right when I needed it, during a panic attack at work.

     

    During a very difficult moment God brought this passage to my memory and I recited it over and over. I left my cubical and went outside for a walk. I talked to God, told him what was bothering me and asked  him to help me. As I walked and prayed, I started to calm down and feel better. A peace began to settle over me. The problems were (and still are) there but I felt more at peace about them. In this passage God doesn’t say that he will take away what causes the anxiety, but He does tell us that He will help us through it by giving us his beautiful peace.

     

    The very last part of the verse may be my favorite. It says that God will guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. What I think this means is that the more we take our anxiety, our problems and the hard stuff of life to Him the more he can help guard (protect) us from such pain. Just as we passionatly protect our children,  God too is a loving parent who wants to protect us.

     

    It’s easy to become anxious as a single mom. We are dealing with A LOT, but we don’t have to go through it alone. God longs for you to take all your stress and challenges to him. He wants to help you, give you peace and protect you. Will you let him?

     

    Until next time, let’s live bright!
    June 18, 2019

    A Month of Love

    May was a rough month, an emotional rollercoaster going mostly downhill, fast. But it’s a new month, a fresh start, and I’m really ready for that. I’m realizing I’ve been very focused on myself (my pain, my hurt, my problems). It’s easy and natural to do but it’s not helpful or healthy. To get my focus off myself I need to refocus on something else. So I am going to refocus on others, specifically loving others.

     

    That is my goal this month. Ive already started and it’s been really great so far. It’s not easy, it’s not glamerous and it makes me lay down all my pride but I know it’s worth it. It is a way I can glorify God, help others and better myself along the way too. The key to loving others is having no expectations for anything in return. I consider myself a loving, giving person. But if I’m honest, many times I’m hoping the person will recipercate the effort, or at least show a little gratitude…but that’s not always the case. And that is where a lot of my pain comes from; I feel hurt and the relationship feels one sided.

     

    But real love is wildly generous and expects nothing in return. This is how God loves us; free of any of any ties, requirements or demands. Remembering God’s great love for me helps me to love others. This love is beautiful, powerful and can truely change lives.

     

    Will you join me in loving better and brighter? Leave me a comment of how you can love on someone this month. I’d love to hear from you!

     

    “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” John 15:12-1

     

    Until next time, let’s live bright!

    June 4, 2019

    Musical Motivation: 100 Bad Days


    AJR is one of my favorite bands. They have upbeat and relatable songs. I’ve seen them twice in concert and they are so much fun! One of my favorite songs of theirs is 100 Bad Days. It’s a song about how things go wrong in life and it sucks. But it is those very things that make up our stories and who we are. So instead of fearing the bad days we can embrace them.

     

    100 bad days made 100 good stories. 100 good stories make me interesting at parties. Oh, I ain’t scared of you, no I ain’t scared of you no more! 

     

    I love this. I love the realness of this song. They admit that life is hard and we all have bad days; but the bad days don’t need to define or stop us. This is one I listen to on repeat when I’m having a rough day. The words encourage me and the beat kills those bad vibes. Thanks AJR for reminding us that the hard times are actually adding to our life, our stories and ultimatetly our successes too.

     

    Check out the video below and let me know waht YOU think.

    May 25, 2019

    It’s Ok Not to Be Ok Sometimes

    Saturday night was rough. I won’t go into details but I was hurt and it brought back a lot of painful memories and thoughts. And on top of that, I was feeling extremely lonely and isolated. I really try to be positive, look at the bright side and to trust God through it all. But sometimes it’s just too much and I can’t. I can’t muster up the strength to react with positivity and joy. Sometimes I need to let the emotions and the pain wash over me and have their way. I need to feel them and let them do their thing. And that’s just what I did.

     

    I prayed, I journaled, I cried out to God and then I just cried. Yet still the pain and loneliness remained. And it was too much. If you have read some of my latest articles you will know I’m giving up TV this month. But I desperately needed a distraction. So I gave in, grabbed a couple of beers and binged on Netflix until 2 am. Not the wisest or godliest choice but it’s what I needed in that moment to make it through the night. The next day was better but honestly this week has been hard.

     

    I share this with you to show you I’m not perfect and I don’t have it all together…and you don’t have to either. Although I try to keep the faith, trust God’s plan, and stay positive all the time, I still have bad days (and some reallly bad days too). And that’s OK. It’s ok to feel angry, it’s ok to cry, it’s ok to be weak, it’s ok to have a really sucky night. It’s a process, not a pass or fail test. The pain won’t last forever and it really is Ok not to be Ok sometimes.

     

    Maybe you can relate? If so, leave a comment. We are in this journey together and I’d love to hear from you!!

     

    Until next time, Let’s Live Bright (or as bright as we can).

     

    May 23, 2019

    Breaking Free

    I’ve made a lot of mistakes in my past. There are things I think about now that make me cringe or that even make me sick to think about. In the moment it seemed fine but self-reflection and time have a way of shedding new light on the past. I can see my mistakes, my errors, my sin more clearly now. I can see how those choices affected me and put me on a negative path, a path that I wish I had never set foot on. I know what I’ve done wrong and what I need to do differently.  I stand strong and with great assurance that things will be different next time. Until I’m face to face with that same choice again. Then all my strength and the know-how are gone. I am weak and I easily give in again, stepping right back on to that no-good-for-me-path yet again. And this is how the cycle goes, over and over. While I have made some changes and I make the mistakes less often, I still continue to fall into the same struggles. Why do I face these same demons over and over? Why can’t I be stronger, better? Why can’t I change once and for all? Will I ever break free?

     

    Maybe you can relate? Paul could. He shares in Romans “I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. As it is, it is no longer myself who does it, but sin living in me. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do-this I keep doing.”  This is a little bit of a tongue twister, but Paul is saying that he desires to do what is good and pleasing to God. But he keeps failing and he can’t seem to carry through with his good intentions. Paul gets it, that the struggle is real (even 2,000+ years ago!).

     

    So what do we do?? How do we combat the struggles of our past that try to overtake our future? How can we actually take control of our lives and do what we set out to do? How do we break free of the sin in our life? Later in the chapter, Paul tells us how. He says it is only through Christ. Through Christ we can have to power to overcome our past and live a life that is full of freedom and hope.

     

     Tips for Breaking Free from our Past Struggles:

    1. Read and meditate on God’s Word. Find verses that speak to your struggle then read and think about them often. Place the scriptures in a place you will see them often (for me it’s my planner). Pray after reading the scripture, asking God to help you to overcome your struggle.
    2. Don’t put yourself in situations that will likely lead you back to your struggle. This one is hard for me. But I am trying really hard to be cautious and careful where and who I spend my time and with. This is especially difficult when you are lonely and long for connection, but the wrong connection is far worse than none at all.
    3. Think about where you want to be in a few years. Is what you are doing (staying stuck in the same sin and struggle) helping or hindering you from getting there? Really think about it and then make the changes you need to move in the direction you want your life to go.
    4. Stay close and accountable to people who will help you stay strong. This is another hard one for me. I want to keep my struggles and sin to myself, but the more I share with positive godly influences the stronger I will become.
    5. Finally, have grace for yourself. Remember you are human and we will all continue to fail for the rest of our lives (real encouraging I know). We shouldn’t beat ourselves up when we do slip up. When you fall short, talk to God about it and take steps to learn from it. God knows our heart and that’s what matters most.

     

    I am writing this because I am living it all right now. Will you join me in breaking free? How do YOU break from your past struggles and sin? I’d love to hear from you. Please comment below (click on the title and scroll down if you don’t see the comment box).

     

    Until next time, Let’s Live Bright!

     

     

    May 14, 2019

    Look for the Light

    Life as a single mom is hard. Heck, life in general is hard. While that’s not an uplifting way to start an article, it’s the truth. So often I feel completely exhausted, stressed, overwhelmed and anxious. Today was one of those days. I could list the reasons why, but I’m sure that you have a list of your own. Today it felt like a little black storm cloud was hovering over my head. Not that anything particularly horrible happened, it was just an overall down feeling day. Life is full of these little (and big) troubling days. The Bible actually says “In this world, you will have troubles”, not if but when. So what do we do about the troubles, the hard days, the hovering storm clouds?

     

    Look for the light.

    We look for the light when we…..

     

    1. Look to God. God is light. God is love. God is all things good. When it feels that nothing is good or right or fair, look to Him. Even though the verse above tells us we will have troubles it also says we can have peace in Christ (John 16:33). I’ll admit that this is not my first instinct when I’m having a bad day. But I will tell you that when I do turn to Him it always helps. Pray and read his Word; it will brighten your heart and your day.

     

    2. Look at your blessings. Even when it doesn’t feel like it, we have so much to be thankful for, sooooo much! Just start making a list (mentally or written down) of everything you have to be thankful for today (big and small) and it will definitely brighten your perspective and your mood.

     

    3. Look for what lights you up. What brings happiness, peace and fulfillment into your life? Think of one thing that does and then move towards it! Is it being outside? Take a walk after work with your child (That’s what I did tonight and it really helped. The picture above is from our walk). Is it reading? After putting the kids to bed curl up with a good book and a cup of tea. Would a new job spark the light in you?  Then get on Indeed girl and start applying! Whatever lights you up, take steps towards it today.

     

    Turning towards God, remembering your blessings and doing what brings you joy will help move that dark storm cloud aside and let the light in. It may not be easy, but it will be worth it. I’d love to hear what you think about the list above. Leave me a comment and share which is your favorite way to brighten a bad day.

     

    Until next time, Let’s Live Bright!

    May 8, 2019