About Linda McCutcheon

A Single Mom who survived successfully- and found who God intended her to be while raising two girls.

Farewell February!

I have to say January and February are my least likable months. How about you?  I live in a place where snow and ice storms along with very frigid weather are constant for at least 3 months.  Just getting ready to go outside makes me look like Ralphie’s brother, Randy, from The Christmas Story movie.  By the time, I am dressed, I am exhausted!  Covid-19 has not helped this year

It has taken me a few years to realize that my energy and attitude levels are not always what they should be during these months. So, I acknowledge it, try and work through it on my own, talk to people in my corner who are what I call, Safe People, and make a plan of action.

Making a game plan is what I need especially during for these months. I get my sewing machine busy, read uplifting books, watch some funny shows, go for an outside walk with my friend once a week (yes, I look like Ralphie’s brother), do more crafting, and brave the cold and snow by snowshoeing.  If our ATV can get through the snow, we go on rides as well. It has been harder this year with not being able to connect with extended family and friends.   I bet you are feeling the same way

.I remember as a single mom, it was especially hard and I was thankful for those friends and family who were just a call away.  It can feel very lonely at times especially when some around us are not affected in the same way.  That is okay, I am not them, they are not me.  

As I embrace the realization that some months of the year are not my favourite, then I can work at solutions. I know some people need medication and grateful for prescriptions to help them do life. We all need to care for ourselves as God’s creation and then, in turn, we can manage life and care for others.

The scriptures are also comforting and encouraging to me.   Numerous people in the Bible struggled too.  It’s called being human.

Psalm 42:11 Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise Him, my Savior and my God.

Psalm 27:1 The LORD is my light and my salvation– whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life– of whom shall I be afraid?

I am happy February is leaving, but I am also glad to have worked to embrace my struggles.  If you are like me, I hope you can do the same little by little.

Don’t be afraid to reach out if you would like some encouragement and a listening hear. Also, here are a couple of links if you are interested.

https://www.focusonthefamily.ca/get-help/counselling#counselling-request

https://thelife.com/about/get-a-mentor

We are going to get through this.

Black and White and the Colours Between

Recently, after a snowfall, our property was touched with a gorgeous scene of black and white. (no filters) I paused in the beauty of this quietness.

As with life, some people live only with black and white reasoning.  Others, like it mixed with a bit of colour, while others live in full rainbow spectrum!  I bet you can think of people in each of those examples.  It makes for a very interesting world, right!

As the numbers of my age keep increasing (lol), the more and more I am working at letting myself, people, and life situations be covered with more grace…God’s grace.  If not, I might as well put a paper bag over my head and crawl back into bed. 

We are all unique, we have been raised differently, we have chosen our own opinions, and work at doing life. That can make for some stressors but we can only choose for us.  What I do know, and have hope and peace within my soul, is to live by God’s colours.  Some things are very black and white yet many other life issues and choices He provides us with splashes of colours. 

Yesterday morning, our property wasn’t black and white but a pallet of wonderful shades.

In making decisions and choosing how to live, I want my life colours to be mixed with GRACE.  All of that is found in Scripture.

We won’t agree with others and others won’t agree with us. As my mom used to say, ‘We have to agree to disagree’…and by the way, her name is Grace.

But he’s already made it plain how to live, what to do,
    what God is looking for in men and women.
It’s quite simple: Do what is fair and just to your neighbor,
    be compassionate and loyal in your love,
And don’t take yourself too seriously—
    take God seriously. Micah 6:8 (The Message)

Whatever colours the world is displaying, we can’t go wrong on choosing God’s colours of how to live.  People will continue to splash colours of their own agenda, so I will do as Micah says….take God seriously. We can’t go wrong with that all mixed with grace.

We can do this!

VISION 2021

I was reminded today about seeking a vision for the coming months. I have my projects numbered and my non-fiction books lined up on the shelf.  The challenge for me was to re-exam God’s vision for me. He knows me perfectly.

Some of you are single parents and getting through one week at a time is claiming the mountain.  I remember those days and bless you for climbing it each week.

Some of you are struggling with financial pressures. It has been a hard year and still is.  Employment may be sporadic at best or you have to cramp yourself into your bedroom to work from home while the kids are fighting outside the door. Car repairs and rental obligations are still hounding.

Some of you are very lonely. COVID-19 has made this an especially difficult season and depression is a battle. We are struggling with the fear of this pandemic leading to a heavy heart.  Physical touch seems few and far between.

Some of you are struggling with God and how living this life has been placed in your lap.  Yes, life is unfair.  I know that first hand. Life is also fragile. One week goes into another and you stare out the window wondering where He is.

How can we find vision in 2021…God’s vision… in this crazy world? 

YOU ARE NOT ALONE. Let’s do this together!

First: Ask God.  He wants to share it with you.

Second: Begin to look around for opportunities and situations. Have you thought of doing something new or a passion and burden that is on your heart?  

Would you be willing to ask God to reveal and open some doors?  Don’t worry if something doesn’t work out, try something different. Life is also an exciting journey.  Sometimes we think it has to be something big or grand.  Not at all.  Doing what God and you have worked at together is the best. 

The other day I saw someone knitting mittens for an organization. Other’s offer meals to those in need and then drop it off at their doorstep. I see a lady and her husband grocery shopping for seniors every week. Some give their time to help with yard work.  Some have a passion for helping those who are struggling financially…wow…that was a gift for me when I was raising my girls.  What about a phone call to a person who is lonely or needs some encouragement?  What about starting a book you always wanted to write? How about looking into a class that may help you in a job or something to start your own business.  I know of someone taking an online sign language course and she loves it. The list is endless and God made you very exclusive with unique talents and gifts.  He will help you see your vision.

Third: Put a plan into action. Don’t feel pressure if it takes a few months or years to get there. If you don’t know how to start, perhaps chat with someone that can help you see outside the box.  It may mean stepping outside your comfort zone but it might just surprise you.

I wrote a book for single parents because I was one.  I encourage and mentor women because I want them to be all they can be and to be vision-filled as well.  Those were some things I was passionate about and God kept nudging me to do.  For me, what will vision 2021 look like?  Not sure, but I am going to move ahead.  How about you?

I am rooting for you!  Onward to 2021 Dear Ones!

Christmas and the Unassuming

Charlie Brown gives a wonderful rendering of the story of Christmas.  Let’s look a bit deeper to the people that played an important role in that true story.

In the Judean Hills, five miles from Jerusalem, sat an unassuming town called Bethlehem. It wasn’t a place for majestic concerts, political debates, or a vacation package for Club Med. Just an unassuming little town. God loves the unassuming.Mary was engaged to Joseph and traveled with him to Bethlehem. Luke 2:5

There, the Christ-child was born.  Not in a palace, or a house, but a stable where the best mattress was a bed of hay.

Mary and Joseph were also unassuming.  They were people without rank or popularity.  Joseph, was a hard-working carpenter and Mary looked forward to a life with Joseph.  Their obedience, despite what it looked like to other people, had met with angels and been given a phenomenal and miraculous task.  Their humble willingness is a great example.  God loves the unassuming. 

The angel greeted Mary and said, “You are truly blessed! The Lord is with you.” Luke 1:28

While Joseph was thinking about this, an angel from the Lord came to him in a dream. The angel said, “Joseph, the baby that Mary will have is from the Holy Spirit. Go ahead and marry her”. Matthew 1:28

The Shepherds were unassuming.  They were uneducated, stinky, gruff and outdoorsy men (we have sheep and they can be pretty stinky and I do a lot of bleach loads after working with them). These shepherds were hardworking but no one really paid much attention to them.  They were able to see a heavenly choir and meet the Christ Child before anyone did.  God loves the unassuming.

That night in the fields near Bethlehem some shepherds were guarding their sheep.  All at once an angel came down to them from the Lord, and the brightness of the Lord’s glory flashed around them. Luke 2:8-9

After the angels had left and gone back to heaven, the shepherds said to each other, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see what the Lord has told us about.” They hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and they saw the baby lying on a bed of hay. Luke 2:15-16

God sees what the world cannot. God can still use CEO’s and people in high places too but we mustn’t forget everyone is included in God’s plan.  No status required.

When we begin to feel under valued or that we haven’t done much as the world evaluates, God loves us and never gives up on us.  We are valued. 

The Christmas story proves it.  Unassuming doesn’t mean worthless, it means humble and that is all God wants.  The town of Bethlehem was the place and Mary and Joseph and the shepherds got in on the first act of Jesus’ life.  How awesome is that.

Today, whether we living in a small town or a huge city, whether we are a CEO, parent at home, or a factory worker, student, etc. etc., God is excited to use us if we choose to believe in the humble/ unassuming entrance of Jesus and is sacrifice for us.   

Then after her baby is born, name him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” Matthew 1:21

God loves you and has chosen you as his own special people. So be gentle, kind, humble, meek, and patient. Colossians 3:12

I love this true story of Christmas.  It is for everyone and for all time.

Open Your Best Christmas Present:

  • Read the account in Matthew 1 and Luke 2.
  • Realize that unassuming aka humble is what God loves.
  • Understand that God’s gift to you is the greatest gift of all. Its priceless.
  • God loves you and believes, without a doubt, you are valued. That is why He sent Jesus.

Merry Christmas and see you in the New Year!

Fa la la blah blah blah

The table has been set and extending into the living room.  Favours are at each place setting, and the smell of turkey and hot apple cider fill the home.  Cars are starting to pull in and suddenly the walls are filled with laughter and catching up with family.  A pile of shoes at the door remind me…family is home.

What a sweet memory.

This year, the table won’t be extended and the chatter will be so much less. The group sing songs are postponed.  I know I will look back on this year with pause.  This is the year of the “Bubble”.

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But listen, we can still set the table beautifully, decorate the house, cook a turkey and celebrate the birth of Jesus.  Christmas is upon us and that won’t change.  What I am thankful for  is the bubble I have.  This year, this season, this bubble is our Reality.

We need to embrace it, respect it, and celebrate it for 2020.  Easy, no!  Sad, yes!  But family is also in the heart and we can celebrate in different ways.  This is for a time. 

Exciting new is that Jesus’ birthday hasn’t changed.  He came for one purpose and that will never change.  I am forever grateful for His birth and ultimate sacrifice for us.

So, we need to, as my grocery list topper says, “put your jiggle on”.  Maybe this is the year we will focus on Jesus more instead of all the commercial pressure and appreciate O Little Town of Bethlehem, and Away in a Manager like never before.

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But the angel said, “Don’t be afraid! I have good news for you, which will make everyone happy. This very day in King David’s hometown a Savior was born for you. He is Christ the Lord. Luke 2:10-11

Jesus really is the Reason for this Season.  That gives me cause for Fa la la la la.

Let’s remember to do the 4 “F’s”:

  • Find time to put your jiggle on
  • Find creative ways to connect with friends and family during this Christmas season
  • Focus on Jesus’ Birth and the significance of what He did for us
  • Fa la la la la la la