About Linda McCutcheon

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

This Thankful Thing

We just celebrated our Canadian Thanksgiving reminding us of the many things we can be thankful for. For most of us, we are living in a free country, we have a roof over our heads, we have 2.5 children (never could quite understand that), and maybe even a pet fish. We were able to put some gas in the car, and food on the table.  Not so for many in our world.

How often are we thankful in an upside-down type of way.

Covid-19 has changed some of this in drastic ways.  It is hard to be thankful when our loved ones have had the virus and passed away. I am truly sorry.  We can’t see our family like we want, and we wonder what the next few months will bring. Small businesses are in big trouble, and just running to the grocery store means a mask (please wear one) and a line up.  Sometimes the shelves are pretty sparse.  Travel plans are on hold, and we need to make appointments with our financial institutions to tweet our money needs.  Even without the covid-19 pandemic, there are many who struggle financially, are working through a broken relationship, have heartbreak regarding their children, and job loss.  This thankfulness thing isn’t easy.

I think my attitude has been like a couple of things I found around the house lately.  I didn’t even realize how they got moved this way but I think it speaks loud and clear. Thankfulness can be in an upside-down way of thinking this season.

It is hard to understand when God’s word says:  

Whatever happens, keep thanking God because of Jesus Christ. This is what God wants you to do. 1 Thessalonians 5:18

I am far from perfect and I would actually rather skip this verse some days.  Just being honest here. 

This verse is from God’s perspective and can right this thankfulness thing because of Jesus’ all-time sacrifice of His death so we could have eternal life.  Pretty amazing!  With that promise, then when we have things in our life that are painful or tough to live through, we can be thankful for what Jesus Christ as done.  Eternal perspective can make us thankful.

Our world is in an upside-down state right now.  It is easy to have an upside-down thankfulness attitude.  For me, as a Christ-follower, I am trying to focus on what God has given me…a priceless eternal gift…and in turn I can work on my thankful attitude.  Will you join me?

May you have a thankful day.

OPEN YOUR TOOL BOX:

  1. Name 3 things you can be thankful for?
  2. Begin a thankful journal.
  3. Research how you can pass on your thankfulness to those around you in a safe way this season.

HAVE A THANKFUL DAY…YOU CAN DO THIS!

The Splash of Colours

Autumn is my favourite time of year. During these short weeks, I love admiring the colourful artwork God has splashed over creation.

The heavens keep telling the wonders of God, and the skies declare what he has done. Each day informs the following day; each night announces to the next. They don’t speak a word, and there is never the sound of a voice. Yet their message reaches all the earth, and it travels around the world. Psalm 19:1-4 (CEV)

 While a Single mom, I took many walks in the park which helped to relieve stress off my shoulders. Being a multi-tasker, I would grab a coffee, notebook, and head to my destination: PARK.  It was during those times of quiet reflection and writing out my thoughts and new goals made for some treasured moments.

Fall also meant packing up the outside furniture, cleaning out the flowerbeds, and dragging out the winter clothes in preparation for signs of snowflakes.  However, it also meant relishing in the beauty of the season.  God wants us to enjoy the beauty He has splashed.

When the girls were younger, I would get them in their PJ’s, hand them a cup of hot coco, and place them in the backseat of the car surrounded by cozy blankets.  Off we would go on an evening adventure.  I just HAD to show them the beautiful colours!  Over the hills the car would go, soon finding my precious girls sound asleep in the back!  As I carried them to their beds, I was happy for even the short time we had together viewing God’s beautiful artwork.

Think on this! God wants to paint your life in a beautiful pattern too. Everything about you He designed with a beautiful array of personality colours. You have a unique laugh, the way you process life’s issues, what things you have a passion for, and whether you are an introvert or extrovert.

It is the unique and different colourful leaves that make up an amazing scene.  The same is with us.  We are not cookie cutter human beings. My ex-husband left in the month of September. That September was the worst experience in my life.  I wasn’t sure I could make it.  Yet, as the next September rolled around, I realized I was making it with flying colours!  (Pun intended) For me, I had to re-learn how precious I was in God’s eyes as a unique person just like every leaf is designed.  I love September now.

We all need to believe that despite the rugged journey we may be experiencing, God wants us to not only enjoy the beautiful autumn scenery, but rejoice in the colourful personality He has created us to be.  Rejoice in YOU!

Winter is coming with millions of snowflakes, boots and big heavy sweaters. Why not take the time to enjoy God’s handiwork this season? It is on my To Do list!

OPEN YOUR TOOL BOX:

  • During this social distancing, make some time to take your kids for a walk around the neighborhood or in the car to see some pretty colours
  • Make some time alone for you to sit and enjoy this season with a crisp new notebook to write out some goals and thoughts that will bring positive healing
  • With Covid-19, we will never forget this Autumn, but why not do special memory that is safe and fun for your family. Make gingerbread men  cookies (yum), make a pile of leaves and jump in them, drink some apple cider and go buy some pumpkins…the list is endless.  You know how to Google Fall activities. You might find something that interests you all.
  • Enjoy God’s splashes of colour

YOU CAN DO THIS!

 

 

September with a Backpack of Decisions

Autumn has suddenly reached us as we flip our calendars to the month of September.  We have had so many changes these last few months.  It leaves us trying to figure out what is truth, what is needed to keep our family’s health safe, and what activities we can do safely but still make positive memories.

As I enter stores, I see little kids with face masks.  It seems they can adjust better than us adults.  I fight with trying to keep my glasses from foggy up, making sure my mask is with me as I enter stores, and rejoice when I can take it off.  We are learning what respect is for other people and for our own self-care.  Each week we are learning more and more about this Covid-19 virus.

Now school is upon us with Pre-school, K-8, high school, and college.

I truly sympathize as parents have had to make decisions about what to do with their children and school attendance.  Being a single mom for years, I would have wrestled with what to do and I do empathize with all of you.  We all have different life situations, so I feel we need not be judgmental and respect what others choose to do.  We are only responsible for our choices.

What I found, as my children went back to school, was the important of structure and schedules whether home schooled or in the actual classroom.  Kids don’t know it but they need boundaries and schedules balanced with some flexibility.  My counselor, years ago, told me this and I tried to follow it.  It was a game changer for everyone.

We can be encouragers to those whose kids are back it whether studying at home or in the classroom.  Pray for their protection, for their emotional well-being, and for the parents. These are stressful days, and we need to BE KIND.

Don’t stay far away, Lord, my strength comes from you, so hurry and help. Psalm 22:19 (CEV)

Don’t forget to make some Autumn fun mixed with homework. That fills the backpack full of memories! 😊

OPEN YOUR BACKPACK:

  • Pray for kids during this time
  • Help your children get back into routine
  • You, yourself, need the time to re-adjust too
  • Respect the decisions of those around you regarding school
  • Pray for the teachers, whether that is your new role and hat you are wearing or for the ones in the classroom
  • Pray for a vaccine
  • Respect others, and please wear a mask!

YOU CAN DO THIS!

 

 

LOST DREAMS

I met Zanne on social media after reading one of her devotionals and reaching out to her.  It has been wonderful getting to know her.  I asked her if she would be willing to share on my blog.  Truly, Zanne, thank you.♥

LOST DREAMS

Do you still have dreams? Or did you hit too many roadblocks on that last trip to dreamsville? To dream is natural and even healthy. As kids we wanted to be Olympians, superheroes, or princesses, but as the years yawned, we discovered capturing a dream is not so easy. Life gets in the way. Lost jobs, new expenses, failed marriages, unplanned pregnancies, illness or even death. For others it’s fear or low self-esteem. But these detours aren’t the death of a dream—it’s the failure to reroute.

Pretend for a moment, you’re on the way to an exciting event and you miss your turn. Would you give up and go home? Not likely. As your GPS repeated, recalculating, you’d reroute, and put on the gas. Same with dreams. Whatever your goals are—to perform in the arts, to be a medical professional, a business owner, or to make surfboards on the beach—it’s important to you! Giving up could lead to a sense of emptiness or even depression. Instead, try something new.

If your ambitions aren’t in immediate sight, engage them in new ways. Learn as much about your passion as you possibly can. Take online classes, read related books, watch associated biographies, find like-minded friends. Use the resources you have now, and while you wait for life to afford new opportunities, have fun doing what you love most. In other words, just because you can’t go to a dance academy, doesn’t mean you can’t dance!

Personally, I had two dreams. The first was to dance. An injury eliminated that one, so I turned to my second dream—to write a book. But the stars in my eyes soon faded when I discovered a writer can work for ten years, without pay, and still not be published—a luxury I couldn’t afford. So, I took another road. At age 38, when my children were older, I went back to school, obtained my Masters, and became a Christian Clinical Counselor. At this point, you’re probably thinking—Wait a minute, that wasn’t one of your dreams! But I didn’t give up my dream, it was just put on hold.

While I waited for life’s GPS to recalculate, I stayed busy. Instead of chasing my own dreams, I helped others’ find theirs. Meanwhile I wrote. I wrote therapeutic articles, devotionals for my friends, and short stories for my children. No one seemed to care if my work was published or not, and I had fun doing it!

The point is, instead of lamenting the loss of your dream, practice living it now. Live in the day you’re in and look forward to what tomorrow may bring. For example, that photography or video project you’re working on today, could go viral, and become tomorrow’s opportunity. The medical chatlines you’re enjoying now, could provide later tips for a medical grant. Those crafts you’ve listed on Pinterest could lead to a major business. And the dancing you’re doing, between dishes and laundry, might inspire your child or grandchild to perform in the Nutcracker Sweet Ballet. Remapping and rerouting plans, even if it means taking the long way home, can work!  I know it did for me.

Years later, as I continued to counsel, I finally finished my first novel—a psychological thriller. To my astonishment it’s been published and recently released. I’m now a full-time writer, but I know without a doubt, my years as a counselor made me both a better writer and a better person. I don’t regret a moment!

Now, it’s your turn to convert dreams into action! And on that next trip to dreamsville, you might consider one more thing—a reliable GPS system. I personally recommend the GOD model, a heaven-based navigational system specializing in divine reroutes, celestial rest-stops, and timely U-Turns. With our Heavenly Father at the wheel, not only will the best parts of the road-trip be the stops along the way, but the final destination will be absolutely dreamy.

Zanne Marie Dyer resides in Daytona Beach with her husband and three young adult children. With a background in family counseling, anger management, and individual psychopathy, she became increasingly interested in the psychology of the criminal mind. Her dream to write has resulted in the new mystery murder novel, Dark Motives. She is now working on a sequel, focusing once more on the detective, Jet Wholeman, and his unique style of tracking down homicidal killers.

Zanne currently has a staff position with Word Weavers International, and also provides pro bono counseling services at her local church. Her hobbies include reading the classics, water activities, painting, and spending time with her children and their families.

INFO at:  https://Linktr.ee/ZanneMarieDyer

Check out one of her fulfilled dreams in print!  You can find my take on the book in ‘Linda’s Library’ on this blog.  Can hardly wait for the sequel.

 Dreaming…You Can Do this!♥

 

ONE BIG BOAT, DIFFERENT PADDLE: Do You Praise When He Gives Help? Part 5

One of the many manners we were taught growing up were two words, Thank you!

While in our life boat, we will have many opportunities to say thank you to people but most importantly to God.

This is where I fail many times.  When God answers a prayer, even if it seems very small, we need to thank Him.  It is an important mindset to live a life being grateful and thankful.

When life situations blow into our boat, it is time to thank Him.  A beautiful sunset, a quiet moment to regroup, an encouraging word from someone, a financial provision, a little child’s hand tucked in yours, safety of friends and family, or justice served.  The list is endless.

God loves to give us things.  Are we really aware each day of those precious little things He bestows on us?  As long as we still have breath, we need to praise Him.

King David said, I will never give up hope or stop praising you. All day long I will tell
the wonderful things you do to save your people. But you have done much more than I could possibly know. I will praise you, Lord God, for your mighty deeds and your power to save. Psalm 71: 14-16 (CEV)

 Bow down and worship the Lord our Creator! The Lord is our God, and we are his people, the sheep he takes care of in his own pasture. Psalm 95: 6-7 (CEV)

For me, personally, I struggle to praise God during tough times.  Life is hard enough fighting waves in my life boat to then be told to praise God anyway.  I am sure you are much better at this than me so I need to keep working on it.

My friends, be glad, even if you have a lot of trouble.  You know that you learn to endure by having your faith tested. James 1: 2-3

I prefer enjoying the view and a calm ride in my boat than the wavy times with my paddle fighting to keep afloat. Do you feel the same way?

When we are in a thankful state of mind, it helps our attitude and perspective on life.  That is sketched on my life to-do list.

Well, that wraps up the series on One Big Boat, Different Paddle. It is important to remember we cannot compare our life to anyone else.  We have our own ride on the water.

So, the choice is ours.  Will we let God be Captain of our Life Boat clinging to our paddle that has been given us? Hope you will join me.

See you on the water!