A New Christmas Movie..THE STAR

The Star

A wonderful and beautifully animated movie about the very first Christmas.

A special twist to the story of Jesus’ birth from the animals perspective all leading up to the Christ-child born in a manager.  You will get to know a donkey named Dave, a bird named Bo, three silly  wise men camels who are Felix, Cyrus and Deborah, and Ruth the Sheep to name a few.  It’s a journey of the life of Mary and Joseph who need to return to Bethlehem for their census and how Herod’s soldier and his mean dogs, Thaddeus and Rufus are on the hunt for them.  This journey is filled with humour and adventure. Our granddaughters enjoy the movie!

Grab some hot buttered popcorn and enjoy this movie made for all ages because the first Christmas is the reason for the season and the meaning of our everlasting future.

 

Thanks to Graf Communication and Affirm Films movie (with Sony Pictures Animation and Sony Pictures Entertainment) for the opportunity to see this movie.

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Loneliness with a Capital L

In our busy, fast-paced society, many live to have fun and party hard, yet loneliness can still pulse in their hearts despite trying to forget how lonely they really are.  One of the biggest issues of single parenthood is loneliness.  Let me share some of my chapter on loneliness for encouragement.

“Loneliness can grip our hearts, making it hard to breathe. It can make us very vulnerable to hold up a while flag of defeat and do whatever it takes to make us less lonely…I had to make some positive choices. The choice wasn’t to run out and find someone to ease the pain or be continually visiting people.  It was learning to be alone and be okay with it.

Life may take you on a journey for many years of being alone, or it may be for only a short time, but don’t become desperate. During this time of loneliness, make it a positive walk in your new shoes. Learn to love you, find out who you are, and be happy when you can do things on your own. It doesn’t have to be a curse.  Instead, turn it into a wonderful blessing.  Remember that today is what is—today.  Don’t panic about next week or a year from now.  Live in the moment, not for the moment. Life is what you make it…as miserable as Scrooge or as happy as Pollyanna.  Well actually, the best balance is somewhere in the middle!

Loneliness can be a springboard to sending you into some positive adventures, which will lead to true healing for you and your kids.

Loneliness is a fact of being a single mom. No special pill or liquid medicine can fill the loneliness void. It is what it is. When we can accept the fact that loneliness is part of our journey, we are well on our way to making positive choices and not ones of desperation.”

Don’t despair because there is hope. Take this time to work on you, learn who you are, and try some new challenges and adventures.  I did and I am so thankful for that time to define who I was.  Take the capital L and turn it into Learn, Laugh, and Love yourself….it will be amazing!

YOU CAN DO THIS!

 OPEN YOUR BACKPACK AND TIGHTEN THOSE SHOE LACES:

  1. Loneliness doesn’t have to be a curse, it can be a blessing!
  2. It can be a great gift handed to you if you are willing to unpack it.
  3. Take time to Learn, Laugh, and Love yourself.
  4. Understand that Loneliness is a part of being a single parent and embrace it for new adventures.

Next Blog:  ‘Tis the Season for New Traditions! Fa la la

Options to purchase book if interested

  1. Amazon.ca or Amazon.com
  2. www.Essencebookstore.com under http://essencebookstore.com/index.php?main_page=advanced_search_result&search_in_description=0&keyword=Linda+R+McCutcheon
  3. e-book at the Kindle Store, KOBO bookstore and the Apple iBooks Store*

 

 

Forgiveness:  Do I have to?

Has someone hurt you?  Sadly, some don’t seem to care that they did and some don’t even know they did.  Forgiveness is a hot topic and hard to choose to work on sometimes. If you want to live a life of freedom, choosing to forgive those that hurt you will reap priceless benefits and help you parent.

Along with single parenting are the feelings of hurt, pain, numerous changes, and…drum roll please….forgiveness.  Truth is, it can be easier to carry around bitterness and play the blame game.  Forgiveness is tough stuff but so life changing without a doubt!

In my book, Single Mom Survival Success, I share some important principles to help process this whole forgiveness issue in Chapter 11. I experienced it firsthand.

“Forgiveness is not something we flippantly do. I believe without a doubt that forgiveness is a process. As humans, we can never, never forget the pain that someone else has caused us.  Forgiveness, however, releases us from the power of that pain.

First, I had to forgive myself.  I started to unleash the painful past and take small steps forward, I began to not only forgive myself but love the person God had made me to be.  That didn’t happen overnight, but it did happen.

Do as God does. After all, you are his dear children.  Let love be your guide.  Christ loved us and offered his life as a sacrifice that pleases God (Ephesians 5:1-2, CEV).

Second, I asked forgiveness from God. God often gets blamed for people’s choices. This isn’t new to Him. Why would God allow such pain for me, and especially my little girls? I was angry with God, wondering why He wouldn’t fix it.  I had to make a decision how I would respond to God when tragedy and unfair situations hit me sideways the next time and the next.

So turn to God!  Give up your sins, and you will be forgiven (Acts 3: 19 CEV)

Why not take some time to process your journey as it is and ask God to forgive you for putting blame on him?

Thirdly, I forgave my ex-husband.  Marriages are not perfect, and mistakes are made. The bottom line is that as a single mom (dad), your marriage is done. The line has been drawn.  Pain and hurt are at the surface of your emotions.  It is time to stand at the crossroads of your life and decide if you will forgive your ex-husband (wife).

Forgiveness is not agreeing with his (her) decisions and freeing your ex from his (her) behaviour.  Some ex-husbands (wives) will never ask for your forgiveness or even admit they did anything wrong.

Forgiveness is not only a process toward healing, but it also frees you! It is deciding in your heart to let go of the ex-spouse’s unwise choices, his (her) lack of love and respect, and begin to let the wall of unforgiveness fall to pieces.  Take your time, but don’t take forever.

Instead, be kind and merciful, and forgive others, just as God forgave you because of Christ (Ephesians 4:32 CEV).

As you unleash forgiveness, you will find

  • A healthy heart
  • A healthy soul
  • A healthy attitude
  • A healthy mom (dad) for your kids”

OPEN YOUR BACKPACK AND TIGHTEN THOSE SHOE LACES:

  • Forgiveness brings freedom
  • Take time to process this in healthy ways
  • The benefits of forgiveness will give your health in your heart, soul, and attitude
  • Understand God is a God of Forgiveness

 YOU CAN DO THIS!

Next Blog: Loneliness with a Capital L

 Options to purchase book if interested

  1. Amazon.ca or Amazon.com
  2. www.Essencebookstore.com under http://essencebookstore.com/index.php?main_page=advanced_search_result&search_in_description=0&keyword=Linda+R+McCutcheon
  3. e-book at the Kindle Store, KOBO bookstore and the Apple iBooks Store*

Attending the School of Hard Knocks: Healing 101

Some courses in our educational system are harder than others while others are easy to learn and remember. Other courses are brutally challenging and take a lot of preparation. The same is true in life. Single Parenthood has you enrolled in the School of Hard Knocks. It can affect you physically, mentally, and spiritually.

I know this is hard work, but I can say without a doubt, passing this course, Healing 101, will be one of victory giving you an A+!

In my book, Single Mom Survival Success: Tools and Tips for the Journey”, I shared

“Healing from a life trauma affects not only your physical health but your emotional and spiritual well-being.  You have probably figured that out by now.  But there is hope. Gaining physical, emotional, and spiritual healing is within reach of anyone who wants it.

We are people of worth and not made of junk!  God weaved his thread of love and creativity in us.  He handcrafted us.  Rejoice!

You created me and put me together.  Make me wise enough to learn what you have commanded. (Psalm 119:73)

In whatever circumstance you find yourself, there is hope. Despite the mistakes we make or choices that fall in our lap that we don’t want, we are still a person of worth in God’s eyes.  He is waiting with open arms to hold you tight and lead you forward to be all you can be.

Completing each chapter in your Healing 101 syllabus will help you to gain incredible strength and healing.  This will be the beginning of something wonderful and new.  Healing 101 is a life journey…. Don’t be discouraged.  You will have days when you wonder if you are healing.  Keep plugging ahead and don’t give up.” (taken from pgs. 95,102,103,107)

OPEN YOUR BACKPACK AND TIGHTEN THOSE SHOE LACES:

  • Healing 101 from the School of Hard Knocks can be done!
  • Healing is possible and positive.
  • God thinks you are very special!
  • Always remember there is HOPE!

YOU CAN DO THIS!

Next Blog: Forgiveness

Options to purchase if interested

  1. Amazon.ca or Amazon.com
  2. www.Essencebookstore.com under http://essencebookstore.com/index.php?main_page=advanced_search_result&search_in_description=0&keyword=Linda+R+McCutcheon
  3. e-book at the Kindle Store, KOBO bookstore and the Apple iBooks Store*

Boundaries…A GOOD FENCE AND A GATE

Single parents (and for that matter, all parents), it is good to have healthy boundaries. It keep things in order and safe for the family. We all need a good imaginary fence to protect us with a gate to allow us some flexibility.

In my book, Single Mom Survival Success, Tools and Tips for the Journey, I said

Without boundaries, life can be one exhausting attempt to catch up. Some parents let their children run free range and rule the roost to experience all there is to life. Children have no concept of what real life consists of.  Setting wise boundaries will help them grown into healthy adults. In order to experience safeguards, they will learn that the word NO can be a good word.

In contrast, some families have such tight boundaries they can hardly breathe. That can make things harder, not easier. I suggest finding something that works for you and your kids as you journey on this new path. As you set safe and wise boundaries for yourself and your kids, you will be able to decide how rigid to build your fence or how wide to allow your gate to open. Consistency is very important. What works from some families will not always work for yours. (from page 26)

Having good and healthy boundaries is a gift you can give to yourself and your children. Found out what works best for you.

We certainly need God to help us because life is tricky and many times tough.

All wisdom comes from the Lord, and so do common sense and understanding.  With wisdom you will learn what is right and honest and fair.  (Proverbs 2: 6, 9 CEV)

If you are struggling with boundaries, why not find a wise, trusted friend, pastor, or counselor to help you process boundaries so you can decide what is good for your family. Remember that what is working well now, may need to be adjusted as time goes by and that is why a gate is important.

Boundaries really are a good thing!

OPEN YOUR BACKPACK AND TIGHTEN THOSE SHOE LACES:

  • Understand healthy boundaries are good for you and the children
  • Take time to determine what boundaries will help you and your children
  • Remember you have a fence to keep you all safe, but you also have a gate for flexibility and healthy changes.
  • What works for now, may need to be adjusted down the road.

 YOU CAN DO THIS!

NEXT BLOG: Healing 101

Options to purchase if interested

  1. Amazon.ca or Amazon.com
  2. www.Essencebookstore.com under http://essencebookstore.com/index.php?main_page=advanced_search_result&search_in_description=0&keyword=Linda+R+McCutcheon
  3. e-book at the Kindle Store, KOBO bookstore and the Apple iBooks Store*

Snippets from My Book: #1 is Fear

Over the next few weeks, I want to share some important topics from my book, Single Mom Survival Success: Tools and Tips for the Journey.

You may be a single mom, a dad, a loved one whose relative is a single parent, or a friend. Wherever you are on your journey, why not come walk with me. I want to encourage single parents that, you can do this!  I know because I have walked in these pair of shoes and carried a backpack of tools to help this single parent life.

SNIPPET #1: FEAR

The Monster called Fear can be defeated. Fear does not define us. Instead, it can empower us to be stronger as we fight and conquer.  No one has to try and be a superhero to fight the enemy. Learning ways to face it by asking God for His super power will assist us in dealing with it. 

Fear will not move you forward. It will halt you in your steps.  Remember you have on new shoes, so use them, girl! Take a deep breath and a step, then another. Slowly as you move forward, the fear will be left behind like a shadow.

When we begin to let go of fear, it gives us room to see our life as a new adventure with many possibilities.  There were be challenges, but fear won’t be the only response to those challenges. We gain strength that comes from knowing we can make choices that will impact us and our children in positive ways.

For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, do not fear; I will help you. (Isaiah 41:13 NIV)

As you work through your fears, with potential actions steps, it will help you dissipate them or provide some possible solutions.  The alternative is to stew and let fear overtake any joy you have.

 (taken from various paragraphs on pages 46, 47,48)

OPEN YOUR BACKPACK AND TIGHTEN THOSE SHOE LACES

  • Take some time to reflect on things that you fear and list them. As you face it, you will realize it doesn’t have to control you and there is freedom.
  • Take some positive steps to face this monster called FEAR.
  • Reach out to a trusted friend or counselor and share your fears.
  •  Claim Isaiah 41:13
  • Remember YOU CAN DO THIS!

Next Blog: Snippets from My Book: #2 Boundaries

Options to purchase if interested

  1. Amazon.ca or Amazon.com
  2. www.Essencebookstore.com under http://essencebookstore.com/index.php?main_page=advanced_search_result&search_in_description=0&keyword=Linda+R+McCutcheon
  3. e-book at the Kindle Store, KOBO bookstore and the Apple iBooks Store*