IN A MANNERS OF SPEAKING: P.L.E.A.S.E!!!

Ever since I can remember, I was taught to say please and then I, in turn, taught my two girls to say this wonderful word. Saying Please softens requests, shows respect, and is a twin to the words, Thank you!

id-100116540I must confess, over the years, I have prayed to God over and over again, asking Him to PLEASE answer my prayer. I mean, really, I knew what was best for me and my children. Surely if I said, please, in my most heartfelt tone; it would come to pass.  Thank the Lord, it didn’t!

If things weren’t going my way, it was easy to start the bargaining game if God would PLEASE answer, then I would be the best for Him in return. I thought I could help God to see the big picture.  It felt like the television show, Let’s make a Deal. Hum…

Maybe you have found yourself in the same shoes that I walked while a single mom.

  • When my ex walked out the door, I begged God to bring him back home.
  • When I wanted a certain house to rent, I begged God to have that particular one.
  • When I was tired of being single, I begged God to bring a man into my life.
  • When I had a painful issue to deal with my ex, I begged God to have things settled now.
  • When I wanted the pain and confusion for my girls to stop, I begged God to stop this roller coaster.
  • When I wanted a certain employment opportunity, I begged God to give me that one!

I did say PLEASE!

prayAll these are valid questions and prayers to ask God. There is absolutely nothing wrong with saying please and asking. God wants us to tell him our hearts desires.  However, I found that when I begged and demanded, I lost perspective that God knows best.  With these requests, I had to TRUST God to filter my prayers for life circumstances and decisions.

When I did that, panic and control were no longer in the equation.  In retrospect, I can say that God had things going on behind the scenes I knew nothing about.

I still can start to beg and demand from God saying please when life issues overtake me. I can wipe my tears, blow my nose, and cry out to Him. We all do that because we want to fix life. Then, a quietness overtakes me when I remember,

Please, Lord, hear my prayer and give me the understanding that comes from your word. Psalm 119:169

Asking God to please help and guide us is what we need to do. Trusting Him to work it out is just as necessary.

id-100169204PLEASE! Open Your Toolbox:

  • What are you asking God for right now? Will you trust God with your prayers?
  • Memorize Psalm 119:169

YOU CAN DO THIS!

IN A MANNERS OF SPEAKING: I’m Sorry!

Two words; life changing. Two words; healing. Two words; really, really tough! Two words; so necessary.

id-10098856Saying these words and hearing it said to us can help heal a wounded heart and spirit. No one is perfect so it is imperative to have these words in our toolbox to reach in and take out. The words, I’m sorry, can sometimes be just behind a set of gritted teeth. It is isn’t easy to say those two words, yet the benefits far outweigh holding back.

It isn’t taking blame for something we haven’t done, and not useful to say those words that hold no meaning. Voicing it with sincerity builds character and respect. A humbled heart is a freeing heart.

TWO LITTLE WORDS can help us move ahead in life,

  • When we have lost our temper with the kids. It can be like a salve to their spirit.
  • When we tell our ex-spouse we are sorry for our part in the marriage demise. (There may not be an opportunity to say this due to circumstances, but let God know). It will be a balm to the soul even if the ex may never acknowledge it or continue to blame you.
  • When we goof and say unkind words to the people in our life. Relationships can bring out the best and worst in people. Having those two words at the tip of our tongue can bring about a positive outcome.

Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much. James 5:16

  • When we blame God for our state of being a single mother because we aren’t seeing any solution. Confessing our attitude will release us to live a life of true freedom.

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9

id-10077229Having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ will be the foundation for a freeing life. It reminds of a trapped butterfly released to soar to what it was called to be. It will guide us into all Truth, will help us raise our kids, and help us when we need to say,

I’m Sorry!

id-100169204OPEN YOUR TOOL BOX:

  • Ask God to guide in all your relationships
  • When you need to say, I’m Sorry, ask God to prepare the way for an opportunity
  • Teach your kids to say, I’m Sorry when it is needed
  • Praise God that He forgives us when we say we are sorry to Him.

YOU CAN DO THIS!

IN A MANNERS OF SPEAKING: A Box of Compliments

Compliments can be a dime a dozen, but SINCERE compliments are like mittens on a cold day, a steaming cup of coffee, and a multi-vitamin to get us through the day!

As single moms true compliments can be like a cold drink walking through the desert. Feelings of inadequacy, a failed marriage, and heavy responsibilities can leave one feeling pretty empty.

Hearing words that I was doing a great job raising my girls or that they were proud of me for standing for Truth  made my heart skip a beat and brought happy tears to my eyes. I wasn’t out looking for compliments but it certainly filled my empty box of emotions.

I know for a fact that some single moms are so desperate for love and affirmation they grab the first man that enters their life. Others used the credit card or alcohol to sooth their hurting heart causing even more grief and even more need of compliments. It is easy to get into that trap.

A truth fact:

id-100259050-1The one steadfast and sure box of compliments comes from God.  He doesn’t lie, he doesn’t manipulate, or leave us if we are in a relationship with Him. (See tab “Relationship with God”).

This is the month of ‘love’ making life feel pretty low on the love ladder for some.  Let’s see what God has to say about us. His compliments are tested and true. We just need to run to Him and let Him lift our spirits and give us a steady foundation for everything that is swirling around us.

  • But I will sing about your strength, my God,and I will celebrate because of your love.You are my fortress,my place of protection in times of trouble. Psalm 59:16
  • Your love is a treasure, and everyone finds shelter in the shadow of your wings. Psalm 36:7
  • The Lord’s kindness never fails!If he had not been merciful,we would have been destroyed.The Lord can always be trusted to show mercy each morning. Lamentations 3:22-23
  • This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. 1 John 4:14 (NIV)
  • He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. Psalm 147: 3 (NIV)

id-100393715God is love and He wants to fill your life box with His true compliments. Remember this,

God wants to invest in your life and encourage you each step of the way.

I know I always say this at the bottom of every blog but it is because I believe it with all my heart.

YOU CAN DO THIS!

Stay strong in God’s Truth and God’s Love and you are going to make it!

ID-100169204Open your tool box: (or your Heart Box)

  • Take one of these complimentary verses and put it to memory. When you have memorized it, go to the next one. They will be like a vitamin.
  • Trust God that He is rooting for you, loves you and your kids, and wants to have a relationship with you.
  • God’s compliments are true blue.
  • Say one sincere compliment to your kids every day this week. Watch how they are encouraged.

  I’ll say it again, YOU CAN DO THIS!

 

 

 

IN A MANNERS OF SPEAKING:  How Are You?

The phone rings and we ask, How are you? We greet someone in the produce aisle and say, How are you? We bump shoulders with other parents at the recreational center or with co-workers and ask the same question, How are you?

So I ask you, How are you? No really, HOW ARE YOU?

I remember so vividly wondering why I was on planet earth, if I was doing ok as a single mom, and if life was going to remain the same day-in and day-out.  When people would ask how I was, I would rather have said sometimes “awful, frustrating, lonely and unfulfilled!” Maybe you want to say the same thing. A caution is that not everyone needs to hear our situations and we need to respect our need for some privacy.

For me, the wisest thing was to invest with friends that understood my situation and I could trust them with it.  When they sat with me and asked, How are you? I knew it was deeper than the usual greeting.

  • id-100279125Do you have someone in your life who hears your heart in a confidential way? If you don’t, commit to praying for that person to enter your life.  A true, blue girlfriend is a gift when they say, How are You?

In the Bible, history records stories of true friendship like Ruth and Naomi; David and Jonathan, and Paul and Barnabas. These friends are like the gum on the soul of your shoe, the peanut butter than goes with chocolate (my favourite!), and the hand that holds the tissue box!

Some friends don’t help, but a true friend is closer than your own family. Proverbs 18:24

Whatever your situation, there is a friend who will be there for you 24/7. That is God!

  • id-10024154God wants to walk this journey with you as a single mom.  No need for a coffee date or a scheduled time written on your calendar.  God is saying to you, How are you, as soon as you reach out to Him. It is like this picture of a door always open for you to enter in.

Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you; therefore he will rise up to show you compassion. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him! Isaiah 30:18

Our Lord, you always do right, and your decisions are fair. All of your teachings are true and trustworthy…help me to understand them and live. Psalm 119: 107, 144b

January is just about gone and February is beginning.  People will ask: How are you?  True Friends will ask: How are you?  When God listens, I can guarantee your journey will be lead with more peace, contentment and joy if you will just trust Him to lead you because; He truly knows how you are.

id-100169204OPEN YOUR TOOL BOX:

  • When you meet someone this week and they ask, How are You, filter how much to say.
  • Thank your true friend who is there for you.
  • Journey through February with God who loves to know how you are doing and wants to help lead you in your life journey.

 You can do this!

 

In a MANNERS of Speaking: Good Morning!

The bedside alarm sounds like a fog horn piercing my eardrums as it tries to welcome a new day!  Fact is, this is a New day, and New Year and a New start! So, I say GOOD MORNING TO YOU!

id-100477650A hot cup of steaming coffee, a bagel in the toaster, and the kid’s lunch bags sit lined up on the counter.  Some days, the words ‘Good Morning’ can seem the farthest thing from our minds!

For me, Monday was a toughie because it meant a full week of kid’s activities, homework (theirs and mine), a long commute to work, housework, and paying those dreaded bills.  By Friday, I felt I was walking on my ankles.  Single moms, I want to give you a gold star with the embossed words in it that say, Good Morning!

What is so good about it? You may not have had some choice in your life direction, but there is a  choice to look at the life God is extending to anyone who desires it. Let me share from experience that each and every day, despite life’s daily routine, was really GOOD!

  • Life was crazy with schedules and issues but as David said to God:

Guide me by your truth and instruct me. You keep me safe, and I always trust you. Psalm 25:5

  • When I feel alone and spent:

Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. Lamentations 3:22-23

  • When I needed wisdom to raise my children and how I dealt with other relationships:

We can be proud of our clear conscience. We have always lived honestly and sincerely, especially when we were with you. And we were guided by God’s wonderful kindness instead of by the wisdom of this world. 2 Corinthians 1:12

  • Wondering what a New Year would bring:

…and you gave me a new song, a song of praise to you. Many will see this, and they will honor and trust you, the Lord God. Psalm 40:3

id-10039081This is when we can say, “GOOD  MORNING GOD!  It’s you and me today.  Help me to sing a new song, guide me to live with honestly and sincerely, and be reminded how much you love me. Guide me in all things that are Truth. Amen.”

Will we still have issues and find ourselves saying, Good Grief, from time to time? You bet, but with God helping us each morning, afternoon and evening, we can say with confidence,

GOOD MORNING!

id-100169204OPEN YOUR TOOL BOX:

  • Put to memory the Scriptures verses above
  • Trust God that each morning is GOOD!
  • As the New Year unfolds, ask God to be your Guide and your Encourager!

YOU CAN DO THIS!

 

 

HELLO JANUARY! 

 

id-10055125We are faced with twelve new months.  No one really knows what will unfold this year so it may feel daunting but it can also be REALLY EXCITING!

Here are 12 questions representing 12 months. I try work on a list every year. Maybe this will encourage you to set some positive steps for yourself during these next 365 days that God has given to you.

Here we go!

  1. Can you list some new goals to accomplish this year?
  2. Who can you pray for this year? The Ex, your kids, a neighbour, a co-worker?
  3. What is the pulse of your relationship with God?
  4. What can you do to help your health needs? Taking care of yourself like exercise, healthy eating.
  5. What Godly characteristic can you work on this year? And help your kids develop?
  6. Can you be content as a Single mom this year?
  7. How can you better yourself in your work and career?
  8. Is there a fun new skill to try? For example:
  • Writing/journaling
  • Sewing/knitting
  • Volleyball/snowshoeing
  • Walking group
  • small group Bible Study
  • Scrapbooking
  • Changing the car oil…you read that right! I knew a lady who had her own overalls to do that.
  • Cooking class
  • Training for a charity walk
  1. What Bible verses can you memorize every month for encouragement?
  2. What two non-fiction books will help you to grow (check out Linda’s Library) or www.christianbook.com
  3. What five dreams would you like to see accomplished in the next five years and the steps to start the process. If one doesn’t work, try another! We are not failures when we are trying!

id-10093822Lastly, but so important:

 

  1. CELEBRATE WHO YOU ARE AND BE YOURSELF! Love yourself as God’s special creation. Challenge yourself and don’t be afraid to learn who you are and all you can be.

Each morning let me learn more about your love because I trust you. I come to you in prayer, asking for your guidance. Psalm 143:8

I am so glad that because of my personal relationship with Jesus, He is my Guide, my Wisdom, and My Strength. How about you?

NOW….WATCH YOUR ADVENTURE HAPPEN IN 2017!

Let’s walk this journey together, because I know…

YOU CAN DO THIS!

id-100169204Open your tool box:

  • A new year and new challenges await you!
  • Be encouraged, don’t be afraid. Begin to make a list and some new goals.
  • Welcome the New Year with anticipation.
  • Believe that God will never leave you or forsake you.
  • Claim Psalm 143:8

 

 

Can we Skip Christmas? HOPE for Single Moms!

The smell of freshly baked gingerbread came from the kitchen and the lights on the tree glowed as I sat for a few minutes and enjoyed the moment. But it hasn’t always been this way. There was a time when I simply did not want to have Christmas at all.

id-100381120Just dragging the tree out and decorating the house left me feeling like my body was encased in cement.  Here was a season of hope and I felt numb. I could hardly wait to package up the tree, box up the decorations and put them in storage.  I could always try and imagine that the New Year would be better.

For some, Christmas time is a hard season. Hurtful memories and reminders come from childhood memories, an unfaithful spouse, a broken home, a death, still waiting to conceive a child, or a loved one fighting for our country. Whatever the reason, the feeling sits in the pit of the stomach.

I can’t candy coat it. We have to realize the Reality for what it is.  Yet I can say, because I’ve been there, that there is hope!  I believe it…I’ve lived it!  Your life, your walk may seem in despair today … but from my heart to yours… I know YOU CAN DO THIS!  This isn’t the time to throw in the towel or give up.

May I share 3 things with you that I learned in my journey through days of despair?

  1. Don’t give up!

Believe that there is a very special reason you are here. Do you know that a God of Love created you, very specifically? Listen to these verses from Psalm 139: 13, 14, 16b, “You are the One who put me together inside my mother’s body and I praise you because of the wonderful way you created me.  Everything you do is marvelous! Of this I have no doubt….even before I was born, you had written in your book everything I would do.”

God believes in YOU.  He took the time to specially create your own DNA and place you on planet earth.  Outside circumstances come into our lives that are not marvelous, but it doesn’t change the fact that God wants us to move ahead. He wants to walk with us through the hard parts.  He thinks you are that important and now is the time to start believing it.

You have a gift to open this Christmas.  It is spelled with 4 letters — H O P E.  You can’t put a price on that.  It is the gift God want to give you.

  1. Don’t forget to take care of yourself!

When hopelessness threatens to swallow you, do something for yourself that will encourage you. In times of despair for me I went to the library for books, went for a walk to think or pray, started to make a list of goals and dreams, or simply changed my furniture around.  You will find what is healthy just for you. A friend gave me a journal book and I started to write down some thoughts and tried to put things in perspective.  Maybe it is time to set an appointment to see your medical doctor. Take care of YOU!  You are cherished by God who made you His treasure. The Psalmists continues to say in Psalm 139: 24b…”but lead me in the way that time has proven true.”  Grab hold of God’s heart. He really does care and wants to walk you through this. HOLD ON!!!!

  1. Don’t be exclusive!

One of the easiest things is to curl up and let the world around go on without us.  It feels like you can’t deal with anything.  I know. That is when you need to reach out for help.  I had to do that and now I am blessed with some good memories and some new dreams started. One Christmas when I was alone I helped at a dinner where people came who had nowhere to go.  It helped to reach out to others. In the quietness of your room allow yourself the freedom to grieve.  Just don’t stay there. It is okay to ask for help. Reach out.

Life can sometimes seem very low but don’t give up. There is always Hope.  Circumstances may not change right away, but the gift of God’s Hope and His Peace is forever.

Psalm 119: 142-144  “You will always do right, and your teachings are true.  I am in deep distress, but I love your teachings.  Your rules are always fair.  Help me to understand them and live”.

Today my body doesn’t feel like cement, and even though there are still scars and hurtful memories, they don’t control me. God has taken the deep distress of those hard days and did as He promised in His Word: “He always does right” and brings new life out of the broken pieces.

From my heart to yours …please never give up. There is hope.  Grab hold of it offered from the hand of God and watch your journey begin.

YOU CAN DO THIS! 

id-100377271OPEN YOUR CHRISTMAS PRESENT:

  • God gave you a gift this Christmas…His Son, Jesus Christ!ID-10065440
  • Watch https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jT9VlqNDmIg and let Linus remind you what Christmas is truly all about.
  • Don’t lose Hope! Ask God to guide you during this season.

Merry Christmas Dear One!  See you in the New Year! Linda