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*
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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*

Personal Interview

Karen Van Den Heuvel has a webpage you would enjoy. Check it out! Heath tips, exercise, recipes, and interviews.  All that good stuff we need in our life.

http://www.karenvandenheuvel.com

Her blog is called Thyme for Writers. She asked to interview me and I wanted to share it with you.  Also for the next few weeks, I will be sharing some topics from my book that I hope will inspire and encourage you in your journey.  Until next time,

I would like to welcome Linda R. McCutcheon as my guest today on Thyme for Writers. Her path to writing came about as she faced a new challenge in life — that of of single mother. Here is her story… . 

SINGLE MOM SURVIVAL by Linda R. McCutcheon

Suddenly, I became a single mom with two young children. I was faced with going back into the workforce, healing my broken heart, and learning who ‘Linda’ really was. Many times, I was working two jobs, taking night school courses, and keeping the home together. Exhausted? You bet! Overwhelmed? You bet! Empowered? Absolutely. I didn’t think I would be single for twelve years and I had many discussions with God about that, but He knew best. Who would have thought I could take the battery out of the lawnmower, use a saw, or balance my little paycheck? I learned much from taking night school courses, but the most I learned was from the School of Hard Knocks knowing I could trust God to protect my little family. Keeping endless schedules, working full-time, and spending weekends alone were challenging. God kept saying ‘just hold on’. Because of that, the girls and I became a team. We still smile and talk about our family traditions. God did bring a wonderful man into my life because I trusted in Him to ‘hold on’. It was so surreal when my daughter and I were dating at the same time. Many days weren’t easy but hard work paid off.

Writer, Pen, Paper, journey, writer's journey, tips, write, author

As a single mom, I began to put my thoughts on paper and little-by-little doors opened for me to publish articles for on-line magazines. I always have a piece of paper and pen handy because you never know when an inspiring thought might come! There was nothing more satisfying then to know I was encouraging and helping others as I told my story. I certainly didn’t know I had a gift for writing or how much I loved to express my heart through the written word. It was an amazing time for me to continue to heal and understand this new Linda. Because of my life experience, I help mentor women on-line, have a blog for single moms, and published a book to inspire those who are on the same journey. My greatest joy is knowing that God is using me to reach others all over the world reassuring single parents that YOU CAN DO THIS! and claim Isaiah 43:18-19.

Single parent, survival, writing, tools, tips, journey
SINGLE MOM SURVIVAL SUCCESS: Tools and Tips For The Journey

I have walked in the shoes of single parents whose path is tough, challenging, and many times downright frightening. These pages are written to encourage single moms (and dad’s) in their journey. For me it was the most challenging but most blessed as I choose not to be defeated. I share issues such as loneliness, grieving, contentment, making memories with the kids, forgiveness, and re-entering the dating scene. There are questions my daughters asked which will hopefully help in discussions with your children. You will find questionnaires to inspire and help as you move one step in front of the other. Hopefully this backpack of helpful tips can help you believe that YOU CAN DO THIS; not only survive but succeed!

Buy Links (e-book will be out in October)

1.Essence Publishing
http://essencebookstore.com/index.php?main_page=advanced_search_result&search_in_description=0&keyword=single+mom
2. Amazon.com/ca
https://www.amazon.com/Single-Mom-Survival-Success-Journey/dp/1460007956/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1504818239&sr=1-1&keywords=Single+Mom+Survival+Success

Social Media Links

Bi-monthly Blog: www.singlemomsurvivalsuccess.com
Facebook: Linda R McCutcheon https://www.facebook.com/lindar.mccutcheon.1

Sleeping Bags and Flashlights!

Wow! The summer holidays are now a memory and the routine of getting the kiddos settled into school and the endless schedules are upon us.

May I share one more summer fun memory? It was camping with family.  As the summer came to a close, the nights got cooler and the sun set much earlier.  It was so much easier to put the kids to bed when it was dark!

The girls had little battery operated lanterns to shine some light if they got scared. (pictured hanging from the camper roof) The warm sleeping bags and flannel PJ’s kept them warm as the night temperatures dropped.

 

It reminds me of God’s help when I was scared of the seemingly ‘dark’ future and the chill from the reality of walking the single motherhood journey alone.

  1. God gave me His light to lead me one step at a time.

Your word is a lamp that gives light wherever I walk. Psalm 119:105

I can’t count the number of times I was afraid to move forward with life decisions especially being responsible for the children’s well-being.  Do I move? Will this job provide? A guy asked me out so should I go?  For those of you who are a single mom, you understand.

The words of Scripture gave me the direction I needed. For example: I had been thinking about moving away from the town where my life had turned upside down.  I wanted a new start and a new beginning. The kids had already adjusted to a move across town to save on rent, settling into away weekend visits with their dad, and mommy working outside the home. What to do, what to do!

The answer came one morning as I was reading God’s Word, Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress.  He led them by a straight way to a city where they could settle.  Psalm 107:6-7   In just a few months, the girls and I had settled into a new town and into a great rental place, and I had a new job.

  1. God was there to wrap His love around me just like a fluffy sleeping bag. The truth was that life was lonely with no companion. God promised the words in Scripture, He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. Psalm 91:4   (rampart means a protective wall. I had to look it up.)

During these days as you journey as a single mom, remember that life is like camping.  You have a light to guide you when you feel it is dark all around. You have the warmth of God’s love like a fluffy sleeping bag to comfort you when you feel life is cold and dreary.

Camping may be over until next year, but you can remember God has your back.  He will guide you with His light and protect and keep you warm 365 days of the year.

OPEN YOUR TOOL BOX: I see a flashlight and a sleeping bag!

  • During this busy school season remember that God will guide and protect all of you
  • Take time in God’s word to encourage you in this journey called Single Mother Hood
  • Remember the lessons of a flashlight and a sleeping bag

YOU CAN DO THIS!

All Saints Movie

With so little good Television for the family, here is a great movie to take your family too.

A church in Smyrna, Tennessee has the For Sale sign on their yard.  The doors are closing because the mortgage payments are huge and the congregation small.  Pastor Michael Spurlock’s (John Corbett) commission has been to close the beloved doors. What happens over the next few months sets the scene for a very interesting challenge in the lives surrounding this town and its church members.

Karen Refugees have arrived with no job and food is scare. They enter All Saints church seeking help and despite language barriers and an end expiry date, what happens to the lives in that little church will stir you. What makes is so inspiring is that it is based on a true story. They may be small in number but they are mighty in action.

I was privileged to have this sneak preview for the Upcoming movie out March 25th thanks to Graf Communication and Affirm Films.  Grab your family and enjoy this must- see movie!

Marshmallows and Sticky Fingers

I am not a fan of marshmallows but there is something fun about roasting them, even if just to give them away to someone eagerly waiting for it.  Throw it between two graham crackers and a slab of chocolate and you will always want s ’more!

I found time sitting around a crackling fire pit, fighting off bugs, and watching the stars twinkle, gave time to chat, laugh, and even sing those silly songs.

It brought the family together and ended the day on a good note. Often times joining us were grandparents, cousins, aunties and uncles to join in the fun.  For a busy single mom, it gave me time to sit and relax. I found this picture of million years ago with a dear Aunt of mine, who has since gone to be with Jesus, doing just that.  (I’m in the back ground in a dark sweater.  Check out those vehicles and my grandfather’s sporting dark socks and good shoes at the beach. Good times!)

Too often our lives become one big catch up, so we need the time to chill, get our fingers sticky with marshmallows and sing Kumbaya.

King David knew all too well that our soul needs rest and hope. He knew that trusting in God would help us all through un-rest in our life.

He said, Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him. Psalm 62:5

Life moves so fast. Memories sitting by the campfire with my children holding sticks full of marshmallows over hot flames will always be cherished.  I was a single mom with many burdens, but those times of pauses sitting by a crackling fire pit and watching them lick their fingers helped lighten my heart.  Over twenty years have passed, and I still sit with my girls by a fire pit licking sticky fingers.

Summer is already coming to a close, but make your own special memories with your kiddos that you can keep tucked in your heart when the burdens are heavy.

It might not be marshmallows, but try and do something relaxing and fun with your kids while the days of summer are still upon us.  When the cool winter months are here, those memories will warm your heart.

OPEN YOUR TOOL BOX

  • I see a roasting stick and a bag of sticky marshmallows
  • Plan an adventure with your kids
  • Take some much needed time to relax even if just for a few hours
  • You will be glad you made a good memory when the winter months are upon us
  • Find TRUE rest, like King David, in God.

Next time: Sleeping Bags and Flashlights

YOU CAN DO THIS!