About Linda McCutcheon

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

Hello 2022…All Aboard!

2021 has been a tough year, to say the least. Sometimes it feels like life will never be ‘normal’ again. It isn’t just Covid-19 but there is so much unrest in our world, with the people we know and even within ourselves.

During our first weeks into 2022, I want to hand you a ticket to climb aboard and join me in looking at some amazing promises that can bring a sense of hope and encouragement.  At each stop on our life travels and events, we have constants that we can lean into.

#1 We can have a full life.

A thief comes only to rob, kill, and destroy.  I came so that everyone would have life, and have it in the fullest. John 10:10 (CEV)

Jesus knows all about the world’s past, present and future. His offer to give us a full life hasn’t changed since the beginning of time.

People are still trying to prove to be better than anyone else.  Some climb the corporate ladder leaving those around them and their family behind in the dust. Lonely people are grabbing on to anyone and anything to make their life feel more fulfilled.  Some try to justify to themselves and everyone around them that the actions they are doing are okay. Many are living in despair.

As a Christ-follower, the good news is we have the resources from Jesus to live a full life.  I didn’t say perfect or without stress but a life knowing the King of King loves us, and wants to help us as we enter 2022 and beyond.

Jesus lavishes His love on us and believes in us. With that assurance, we can climb on board for another year of direction. I have had to ask questions such as:  

  • what is in my heart that needs to be thrown away?
  • what life purposes will bring Glory to Jesus and how do I need to obey?
  • what steps do I need to open my heart to see God’s Truth and make a difference in the way He wants me to do it?

As I stand at the beginning of 2022, my heart’s desire to be responsible for my own life. I can’t change other people’s choices.  Many are out to rob, kill and destroy.  I need to focus on the full life Jesus has for me.

Those can be tough and challenging but in doing so, I know without a doubt I can have life and have it in the fullest. With that, then I know how to engage in others lives, and be a voice for Jesus.

Jesus absolutely loves helping us to live a full life.   Do you want to climb aboard and say, Hello 2022!

Next time:  #2 Hello 2022…All Aboard

IT”S THE MOST WONDERFUL TIME OF THE YEAR!

I smile when I hear this Christmas song, It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year.  It is usually while I am racing to pick up groceries, making Christmas lists, running to appointments, and doing a bit of gift shopping.  Sometimes, it is NOT the most wonderful time of year.

While a single parent, it was a tough season.  This ‘wonderful’ time had couple get-togethers, little family traditions, and shopping with the spouse anticipating when the kids opened their presents.  But then came the not-invited parties, shopping myself, fighting with the wrapping paper, and paying the Christmas bills in January. 

Years later, I still make lists, cross things off, re-make new lists, and frown when I forget the Christmas baking in the oven too long.

I believe this is the time of year to be overly sensitive to those who are really struggling and sad.  Life is rarely a hallmark movie, or a beautiful Christmas card picture.  This time of year, there are lonely singles, widowed, strained extended family relationships, a struggling marriage, the homeless, those financially over-strapped, and most of all; those that don’t understand the true, wonderful meaning of Christmas. This makes it NOT so wonderful.

Too often, Christmas is about doing and doing and doing (yes, I over emphasized that) and not enough about reflection.  Our world is in such an upside-down mess especially right now.  Families are fighting over decisions about vaccinations for Covid-19, people have lost loved ones from the disease, many unemployed,  and a mountain of fear. Many are homeless, others are marginalized, some are struggling with mental health or a life-threatening disease.  The list goes on and on. There seems to be no peace despite being the most wonderful time of the year.

Jesus was born to rescue us from all this.  Born, himself, in a less than clean and comfy place, He knows our daily struggles. He understood those religious leaders who only wanted their own financial gain. He understood and helped those that had physical and mental ailments.  He loved the little children when others only believed they needed to be silent.  His whole purpose on earth was to give His life as a sacrifice so we could reach Heaven.  He still understands today so we can rest in His arms. We can trust His love and respect when others won’t give us that.

For me, that is what it means when it says, It’s the Most Wonderful Time of Year.  It gives me hope and peace.  

We can sing holly jolly carols, open our doors to family, and reach out to those that no one loves. During this wonderful time of year, we can love ourselves, not judge others, fight with Christmas lights (oh man, did I struggle this year!), and even in pain, rejoice because of Jesus Christ. He gets us.

Merry Christmas and may you find His true Peace and ultimate Love this Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. Luke 2:11

We can believe this!

November Truths

The colourful splashes of October have fallen to the grown in my yard and the warm breezy days are now cooler.  My trees are looking bare letting me know that a new season will soon be here. (My laptop had a hard drive problem, so I am sorry this is a bit late.)

November reminds me sometimes of my spiritual state. Just as the leaves have fallen off the trees, so has my sense of faith and trust in the living God.  Maybe you don’t struggle like this, but I believe alot of us do.

Some feel guilty because ‘religious’ people have told them they should never doubt or question God.  That leaves a lot of Christ-followers feeling pretty defeated. I would like to introduce them to King David, Elijah, Job, or one of the 12 disciples nicknamed Doubting Thomas.

  1. We are Human

God never expects us to be perfect here on planet earth.  He just asks us to live out what Scripture says and live by faith however small that may be right now.

What God does want from us is to be perfectly honest with Him.  For me, I talk with Him throughout the day and even in the night hours.  I cry, blow my nose, sometimes ask Him why, but always ask for help. 

2. We will have times of dryness

Just as there are seasons, we will have seasons of dryness in our own spiritual life. Let’s call it my made-up words, ‘dead-leaf syndrome’. It is a part of our life just as drab as the month of November can be. 

Sometimes, I look at other people who seem to get ahead, have prayers answered, and look like they live life without struggle (or so it seems). Some look like the tree in this picture that still have the leaves on yet others are just as I feel like the empty trees. 

I have been given a path and it is my choice how I will handle it.  Nothing is gained from comparison.  This is between God and me.

If I had a mathematical solution or a button to push to get rid of the dead-leaf syndrome and  the many struggles in life, I would use it and send you the link.

There will be people who will judge and say things that aren’t even Biblical. That is why I choose to have trusted, close friends who will encourage me and help me journey through life.  The words of Scripture are like a balm to my soul. 

What can we do?  Don’t give up.  We are human and we question most things in life.  So we have to deal with this season in our life. I have found over the years, that some have turned and walked away from God and blame Him for life’s problems. I feel so sad.  I would encourage everyone (that includes me) to recognize it and keep moving forward to God.  Ask God to show you what is going on, what you can do about it, and then begin with a mustard seed of faith.

November can also be a positive month to work through some life lessons and truths.  Life still hurts, we still have questions, but the God of King David, Elijah, Job, and Doubting Thomas is still here waiting to hear us with His loving heart.

Today is a new day.  Some may have some pretty heavy stuff going on.  I get it, I really do.  Don’t give up, keep reaching out to God and let Him hear your heart.

Sheila Walsh wrote a book called, It’s Okay not to be Okay. She has walked this journey. You can find it in my “Linda’s Library”  tab on this blog if you are interested in reading a review.

or

http://www.bakerpublishinggroup.com/books/it-s-okay-not-to-be-okay/389852

Don’t be afraid. I am with you. Don’t tremble with fear. I am your God.
I will make you strong, as I protect you with my arm and give you victories.
Isaiah 41:10

Let’s do this!

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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