To the Single Mama on Mother’s Day…

I know you’re out there, sweet single mama.  In fact, according to current research by the U.S. Census Bureau, there are almost 10 million of you out there just in the United States alone.  You may feel unseen, unknown, or forgotten by those around you, but you are not.  And Mother’s Day is a great time to remind you of that.

For some of you, Mother’s Day may serve as a painful reminder of what you used to have – a husband who cherished you and made sure you felt special and pampered on this day to thank you for all you do for his children.  Or maybe, you’ve never had that and it’s never been a day where anyone made you feel special.  Kids are kids – and they will argue and make messes on this day like any other, easily making Mother’s Day feel empty and void, like something just to “get through.”

But I want to remind today that you are special.  You.  You have been supernaturally chosen by your Heavenly Father to parent those particular children, with their unique gifts and challenges.  He knows how weak you feel and how unequipped you think you are to lead your family well.  He is very aware of how invisible and alone you feel most days in what usually is quite a thankless job. He sees every tear you cry after your children have gone to bed, and how you crash every night from exhaustion as you try to juggle work and home and parenting all on your own.  And He longs for you to know that He’s right there in this with you even when you can’t feel Him close by.

What you’re doing – what we’re doing – is so very difficult.  There are many days when it’s easy to ask “why?” and question God and cry from the weight of it all.  There are nights when all you can do is open a tub of ice cream and binge watch some Netflix to try to escape the heaviness of this world and the challenges of this single parenting journey.  And that’s ok.

You may never understand why God has allowed some things, or why life has to be so challenging.  I sure don’t right now.  But we can both know today that we are being held by our Maker.  He sees us, He loves us, and He has not forgotten us. He celebrates you when you feel forgotten, and He cheers you on when the days are long and hard.

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You are beautiful, cherished, and loved.  And you are enough.  Your children don’t need all those extra things you look around and see that other two-parent families have that just aren’t possible for your family right now.  I know you wish you could give them more.  But really, in all actuality, they just need you.  You… with all your scars and fears and mistakes.  Because, like in the old velveteen rabbit story, they will see real.  And they will see brave.  And boy, how this world needs to see more transparency and bravery.

So go celebrate you this weekend, even if you feel like no one else is.  Celebrate both the physical and the emotional stretch marks that you would rather hide.  Celebrate the recent days when you didn’t think you could make it through, and you did by His strength and none of your own.  Celebrate the highs and the lows of parenting your precious children, because life and motherhood are gifts.  And celebrate most of all because you are His masterpiece. He’s creating something beautiful with your life journey and your family’s story, even with all the bumps and bruises along the way.

And that is worth celebrating.  Through Mother’s Day and beyond.

 

Happy Mother’s Day with love, from another mama just like you who needed these reminders.

christydsiggy2013

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On Father’s Day…

Last week, I found myself sick and waiting for a half hour to see the PA at the CVS clinic near me… and this is what I had to look at.  It was hard.  Really hard.  I felt as bad emotionally after that as I felt physically, and maybe even worse.   It’s that time of the year that we used to love that we now dread… Father’s Day is nearing. 
We used to love Father’s Day.  It used to be a time when we gathered pictures, I created scrapbooks, and the kids made up tickets for back rubs and hugs that we couldn’t wait to shower on B on that special Sunday.   Some of the best pictures I have of him and the kids are in those scrapbooks that we will always keep and cherish. 
But now… I repeatedly find myself cringing as it approaches.  Every commercial or store sign that flaunts the commercialism of this holiday that now painfully and constantly reminds us of our loss.  I enter Mama Bear protective mode as I analyze how my kids will handle all the reminders that circle around them.   I look for ways to try to have a little family fun to just try to survive the day.  And I most of all pray earnestly for their little hearts, that their Heavenly Father will continue to fill the void their earthly father’s death left in their lives. 
And, of course, that’s the “churchy” answer to this whole thing.  That pat spiritual answer that is supposed to make those without a father feel better.  And down deep, I do believe it.  I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that my Heavenly Father is all powerful and full of love for His children, and cares deeply about those growing up without a father.  His love can fill that void. 
But how does He usually show His love?  Through others.  Through those who have experienced His love and want to pass it on.  Through those who are burdened to care for those who may not be experiencing the life they dreamed of living.   Through those whose own difficult stories have changed their outlooks on life, choosing to live their days with purpose and impact on those with whom they come into contact. 

So this Father’s Day weekend, that’s my request.  Not just for my own fatherless children, but for the thousands of children in this country alone who are growing up without the blessing of a father.  Be that blessing.  Don’t just tell them of their Heavenly Father, but show them.   You can give a family a gift card to go have some fun together – or better yet, you can take out some kids you know, who need a positive and loving male role model in their lives, for some fun they won’t soon forget.    Show them that they are loved, they are special, and they are not forgotten.  Perhaps, when those children see that love demonstrated in a physical and tangible way, they will see a beautiful portrayal of their Heavenly Father’s love in a better way than they ever will without your presence in their lives.  
Just because you took a little time to truly care.  
If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!   -Matthew 7:11

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Thanksgiving fun for little adventurers

If you are looking for a fun scavenger hunt to do with your kids on Thanksgiving that helps them learn more about the history of Thanksgiving, look no further!  The My Kids Adventures site is featuring a great one by Susan that we had so much fun participating in.  There’s a great free printable that will need to be cut apart, and each clue tells you exactly where to hide it.    Then comes the … {…Read More}