Declutter, Decompress, and Delight

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My parents have recently moved to a retirement home with 24/7 nursing care.  What has impressed me is the things we collect over the years. I am working through some of my stuff as well and all I will say is, “good grief!”

So, it is with our own personal spiritual life.  It is easy to live life not realizing that from time to time we need to do a reality check of how we are doing. We can,

 Declutter

Life has a way of building up resentment, bitterness, judgement, and stinkin’ thinkin’. 

It’s healthy to be content, but envy can eat you up. Proverbs 14:30

Out of your heart come evil thoughts, vulgar deeds, stealing, murder,unfaithfulness in marriage, greed, meanness, deceit, indecency, envy, insults, pride, and foolishness. Mark 8:21-22

Without even knowing it, our attitudes and thoughts can build up and before we know it, we are dealing with some junk we need to take to the dump!

King David knew all about that, and he prayed,

Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin. Psalm 51:1-2

What a great prayer to start each and every day to declutter things in our heart as we plow through every 24 hours.

  • Decompress

Focusing on my own life, instead of comparing to other people, will help me decompress on what is MY reality.  Do you agree?  Right now, in whatever circumstance we are all facing and what situations life has handed us, we are able to decompress and see what is really important and true for our own personal life.

If we spend our time wishing we were like the neighbour down the street or if you are a single parent and see the Ex getting ahead or somehow hoping to win big money, we never will be content with the here and now.

I remember talking to a single mom who was putting herself through higher education while looking after her kids and she said, I am thankful for my health and my kids.  Life was tough for her but she was able to decompress and take positive stock in her life.

  • Delight

Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4

Delight is the foundation for de-cluttering and decompressing life.  Seeking the Lord and understanding who He is with His love and compassion, will grip our hearts and give us His desire to walk through life.

I have found when I am focusing on the Lord and what He has done for me, I am able to see clearer what He has in store for me. All of us matter to Him.

I say to the Lord, You are my Lord; apart from you I have no good thing. Psalm 16:2

This week is going to be crazy busy for me so I need to work my hardest to delight in Him and give Him my best.  Will you join me?

We all know life isn’t a bed of roses, but God has given us the ability to de-clutter, decompress, and delight.

We can do this!

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The Ostrich and the Eagle

I believe most of us like to plan our lives, have our calendar planned for the month, and a sense of order to our lives.  We know that doesn’t always work out.

Some days being an ostrich seems like a great idea. Sticking my head into the sand and pretending there were no problems or pressures seems like a fantastic idea!

Single parenting can be overwhelming and exhausting.  Sometimes the issues come all at once and it feels like a landslide.

  • The school calls about your child being ill and they request you come pick he/she up.
  • Because your child is sick, you have to take time off work and your boss isn’t very flexible.
  • As you pick up your child, a strange noise starts coming from under the hood of your car… just great!
  • You load your laundry into the wash machine only to find it won’t spin anymore.
  • Caller ID says your ex is calling you

Sound familiar?  Yep, being an ostrich is just the ticket.  Well, not really but we all experience these times. It’s real and it’s normal!  If there was a word I could say or dance I could do to fix things instantly I would. 

However, I want to encourage you:

  • You are normal
  • You will get through this
  •  You can lean on:

1.  God …He can be trusted

2. A support group or trusted friend

It is time to say good-bye to the Ostrich and learn to be an Eagle. Did you know that am Eagle can carry 4 times its weight?  As a single parent, you carry a super heavy load called Life.   As you use your wings, you will get stronger and more confident and be able to handle more of the unknown.  I had to flap my wings a lot but got stronger with each situation! I know you will to!

But those who trust the Lord will find new strength. They will be strong like eagles soaring upward on wings; they will walk and run without getting tired. Isaiah 40:31 (CEV)

You can do this!

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The Butterfly and Me

I was sitting on our deck a couple of days ago and saw this butterfly just hanging outside its cocoon but still attached.  The next day I checked in on it and it was gone.

It brought back memories when I first became a single mom.  Days were so tough and my emotions were like a plate of spaghetti!

The example of the life stages of butterflies helped me process my life.  It is told if you try and help a butterfly out of their cocoon it will die.  It needs to struggle and fight and work itself out to become a strong and healthy butterfly.  When it has struggled and freed itself, their wings are then fully developed so it can take off and fly to what the world has to offer them.

It was the same for me, and it can be for you.  The Reality to become strong and capable for what the world hands us means we need to struggle and wrestle to become that person.

Positives can come from hardships if we so choose to understand that.  Who I was back then and who I am today is the difference between a cocoon and a butterfly.

I hated the struggle. It was tiring, exhausting and just plain hard.  As I started to heal and process life in a healthy non co-dependent lifestyle, my wings slowly start to flap and I was able to fly!   I had to land and re-group, work through issues again while facing new ones, but I knew I could fly.

I began to collect butterfly trinkets, sang R. Kelly’s song, “I believe I can fly” and kept flapping my wings.  It was time to leave the confines of the cocoon and leave the old life behind. Flying to new adventures was the healthier way.

How about you?  Where are you in the stage of the life of a butterfly?  The stronger you become, you will be able to fly higher and longer with more confidence.  Be assured you will need to land and re-group realizing you can’t be on a high all the time.  Just take one flight at a time. Don’t be hard on yourself, just keep flapping!

I have great respect for butterflies.  They struggle and work hard and  we get to  enjoy them as they fly by knowing they have fought to where they have become today.

I hope to see you flying around! 😊

Check this out:  https://ansp.org/exhibits/online-exhibits/butterflies/lifecycle/

Talk soon!

Alone and an Advoctor

Are you standing alone?  Do you feel you are fighting the battles of life all by yourself? I hear you.  Single parenting can be a very weary journey.  It’s not only the fact to provide all the physical, spiritual and emotional support for your kids, it is also standing in the gap to advocate issues for all of you.

Is someone harassing you at work?  Some people can just be plain miserable.  Does trying to work with your Ex feel like an uphill battle?  You say white, the Ex says black. Are you helping your child work through some bullying issues?

Whether you want to or not, you need to put on your advocator hat. Because,

  1. You need to fight for your kids
  2. You need to fight for yourself
  3. You need to let God fight for all of you

1.You need to fight for your kids

As parents that is the one thing we are called to do. To protect, to raise, and be the best example for them. Many times, I had to stand firm and make sure that my girls had some choice and say for their own health and well-being.  Kids at school can be so cruel and bullying is a very real part of children’s lives.  Adults can demand as well and feel they deserve what they want and kids have to follow no matter what.   I had to advocate for my kids and make sure they were ok.  Some didn’t understand but that’s ok.  I did what I felt I needed to do.

Despite me trying to be on top of things and knowing what was going on in my kids lives, about 20 years  later I almost drop to my knees in shock when I find out things that happened. Other kids can be so cruel.  So, may I encourage you to keep asking and checking in on how things are going.  Guaranteed there will be things you won’t know until years later, but keep asking. Just do your best….and let them know you are a safe person to share things with. We just have to do our utmost best and pray protection.

Children are a blessing and a gift from the Lord. Psalm 127:3 (CEV)

2.  You need to fight for yourself

What I mean about fighting for yourself is that there are people out there, and possibly an ex, that will try and make your life miserable. Having a healthy game plan and understanding your worth will give you strength to do this. Having boundaries, and a couple of wise friends to stand with you is a great battle plan.

If someone is in your face or telling you to do something you feel uncomfortable with, or you can’t afford something or don’t have time to do, I found a great solution was to say that I would think about it and will make a decision later.  It helped me stand back and not feel pressure to make the decision.  They may not like it but it is your life and your decision for you and your family.

Remember you are a person of worth in God’s eyes and being treated with respect and dignity is so important. 

To me, you are very dear, and I love you. That’s why I gave up nations and people to rescue you. Isaiah 43:4 (CEV)

3.You need to let God fight for all of you

Who better than the God of the Universe to stand with you and advocate on your behalf?  Pretty awesome. 

When I felt desperately alone and I faced issues regarding the kids and myself it was a lonely place.  That was the time, I prayed and claimed this verse over and over again.

You won’t even have to fight. Just take your positions and watch the Lord rescue you from your enemy. Don’t be afraid. Just do as you’re told. And as you march out tomorrow, the Lord will be there with you. 2 Chronicles 20:17 (CEV)

You don’t need an advocator’s degree.  You just need to know that you can make wise and healthy decisions for you and your kids. That is a good choice to move forward.  Remember that God will advocate for you and He will help you with decision making.  Just ask.  Stand firm…You are worth it.

YOU CAN DO THIS…

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ALONE and Awesome

A person is awesome

The food is awesome

Your outfit is awesome

The movie is awesome

Your BFF is awesome

Your hard work is awesome

I’ll add another one to this list, without a doubt, YOU ARE AWESOME and I will tell you why.

A – You are Appointed by God.  Right now, right in your circumstance, right in a world pandemic, and right in your current state, you are where you should be.  It may not feel great all the time, the pain may be deep, the struggles are certainly real, and the unknown may feel daunting.

An encouraging thought despite overwhelming issues is that you are chosen and appointed to be here. God has entrusted you to be on planet earth for a reason.

Over the years I have struggled with my purpose.  It’s hard to understand purpose when day to day routine is just that.  I see women climbing the corporate ladder, and the ladder I am climbing is to clean dust off the ceiling fan!!!

The best remedy to refocus is to stop comparing ourselves with others and focus on the giftedness we have. Remember your purpose is unique to you. God trusts you and has appointed you to just be faithful each day.

Life gives new opportunities as well, so don’t lose hope.  It could be just around the corner.  It has for me and sometimes quite unexpected.

You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit…John 15:16

W – You are Worthy

One of the best advice I got as a single mom was that I was a person of Worth and need to be treated that way.  I had to learn to believe that in my heart, to set boundaries to protect who I was, and understand how I was to be treated. It is not being selfish it is being smart.

For example, many people kept telling me to start dating as a single mom.  It wasn’t time and I had to stand my ground.  I was busy raising my two girls and wanted that as a priority.   I was Worthy as a single person and it was right for those 12 years alone.

Take the time to find out how Worthy you were made by God and engage in some important decisions based on that.  Be treated with respect and worth and you in turn can do the same for others. 

Just because you are alone, doesn’t mean you are less of a person or you haven’t reached your potential.  You are awesome just for who you are and so Worthy. These can be exciting days.

The Lord your God wins victory after victory and is always with you. He celebrates and sings
because of you, and he will refresh your life with his love. Zephaniah 3: 17

E – God is Eager to help you

God adores you. He thinks you are awesome and so Eager to assist you while on earth.  He placed you here and won’t dessert you.   If you are a child of God, he has Eternity taken care of for you too!  Now that is AWESOME.

Believe in God’s Eagerness to help and don’t give up on your life situation and God.  My aunt used to say to me, ‘You never know what is just around the corner’. 

The Lord our God will lead the way. He will fight on our side, just as he did when we saw him do all those things to the Egyptians. Deuteronomy 1:30

Let’s recap:

You are Appointed, You are Worthy, and God is Eager to help you= AWEsome

You might be alone but remember…You are AWEsome and then SOME.

Until next time…. Alone and The Advocator