Ready, Set, Go!

Does that phrase sound like your daily grind?  Waiting each week is a new schedule that needs to be checked off as each event comes and goes! When that is done, the next 7 days starts yelling, “Come on!”

The older I get, I find myself not having the same stamina I had 10 years previous. However, I also realize that some things are just not as important anymore and that some things will just have to wait.

I read a little booklet years ago called “Tyranny of the Urgent” by Charles E. Hummel and this will be on my list to re-read again for 2018.  It is a 32-page booklet that can be downloaded or purchased, packed with information about what is important in life.  Would you care to join me?

https://www.amazon.ca/Tyranny-Urgent-Intervarsity-Press/dp/087784092X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1514381849&sr=8-1&keywords=the+tyranny+of+the+urgent

We have goals and resolutions for this year and that is important. What I find for myself is the need to have balance and boundaries while achieving them. It is good to ask why we have these goals, what is really important, and what will they accomplish.  Most importantly, where does God fit into them all? When God is the focus, then our time management will center on what is priority in our home, our kids’ lives, and our career.

What will 2018 be for you? It’s a New Year, a New Start, and a New plan of action.  There will be unscheduled things that pop up so you can then have perspective to know what is the best to do first.

I want to give you, again, my favourite verse that sets this year in motion.

The Lord said:

 Forget what happened long ago!
Don’t think about the past.
I am creating something new.
There it is! Do you see it?
I have put roads in deserts,
streams in thirsty lands. Isaiah 43:18-19 (CEV)

Hello January!

OPEN YOUR TOOL BOX:

  • Check out the booklet, Tyranny of the Urgent
  • Take some time to decide what is important for you and your kids
  • As you face each week and balancing scheduled and unscheduled events, evaluate what is the most important to do and what can wait.

YOU CAN DO THIS!

Advertisements

The Story of the First Christmas

Just as Linus told Charlie Brown in The Charlie Brown Christmas, we too need to be reminded of such a blessed time of year because of the True First Christmas Story.  Read along with me and why not read this to your kids.

“About that time Emperor Augustus gave orders for the names of all the people to be listed in record books. These first records were made when Quirinius was governor of Syria.

Everyone had to go to their own hometown to be listed. So Joseph had to leave Nazareth in Galilee and go to Bethlehem in Judea. Long ago Bethlehem had been King David’s hometown, and Joseph went there because he was from David’s family.

Mary was engaged to Joseph and traveled with him to Bethlehem. She was soon going to have a baby, and while they were there, she gave birth to her first-born son. She dressed him in baby clothes and laid him on a bed of hay, because there was no room for them in the inn.

 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. The shepherds were frightened.  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. You will know who he is, because you will find him dressed in baby clothes and lying on a bed of hay.”

Suddenly many other angels came down from heaven and joined in praising God. They said:

“Praise God in heaven!
Peace on earth to everyone
    who pleases God.”

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.

 When the shepherds saw Jesus, they told his parents what the angel had said about him. Everyone listened and was surprised. But Mary kept thinking about all this and wondering what it meant.

As the shepherds returned to their sheep, they were praising God and saying wonderful things about him. Everything they had seen and heard was just as the angel had said.

 Eight days later Jesus’ parents did for him what the Law of Moses commands. And they named him Jesus, just as the angel had told Mary when he promised she would have a baby.”

Luke 2: 1-21 Contemporary English Version (CEV) https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Luke+2&version=CEV

Merry Christmas Dear Ones. May your season be filled with Peace and Joy because of Jesus’ birth.  

See you in 2018!

 

‘Tis the Season for New Traditions! Fa la la

Everywhere we look there is Christmas lights, Christmas movies on the television, a tree with homemade decorations and twinkly lights. ‘Tis the season of Peace and Joy, but maybe your heart feels void of that?

For some, Christmas is a reminder of a hurtful and painful memories. A loved one has passed away, a child is overseas, or a divorce still vibrates off the walls of your home. Christmas was like that for me for a number of years. I was now a single mom planning Christmas for my girls.  I had a good support system but it was still hard to process Christmas present with Christmas past.  It meant a conscious effort to make new traditions and new memories while slowly moving ahead.

The traditions the girls and I made weren’t enormous.  In fact, they were the little things we did that gave me a sense of joy despite the circumstances.  It was baking together, picking a silly Christmas movie to watch with a bowl of popcorn, sleeping by the tree, or driving around looking at the lights.

The word, New, can become the new normal.  It won’t erase the old memories, but it will help for a new life with new traditions. What do you think you and your kids could do this year for a new tradition? Maybe it will build on an old one or be something totally different.

What about these suggestions:

  • volunteering at a mission or soup kitchen during this season
  • make cookies for some neighbours ( I know you will have a mess to clean up)
  • make handmade Christmas cards for the people on your street?
  • Find another single parent and kids and go see the Christmas lights? When there was opportunity, we would go to a live nativity production.
  • Check out your local town’s festive schedule and see if there is something that interests you.
  • Check out the numerous free concerts and productions to attend at local churches.

My favourite verse talks about new traditions,

Forget what happened long ago!
Don’t think about the past.
 I am creating something new.
There it is! Do you see it? Isaiah 43: 18, 19b (CEV)

So…Fa la la…’Tis the Season to make new traditions….the sky is the limit!  You will be glad you did.

OPEN YOUR TOOL BOX:

  • Make a point to try one new tradition this season. If that one doesn’t work, try another
  • Remind yourself that the word, NEW, can be a good and positive thing
  • There will always be a past, but you can make the best of the present
  • Memorize Isaiah 43:18, 19b

YOU CAN DO THIS!

A New Christmas Movie..THE STAR

The Star

A wonderful and beautifully animated movie about the very first Christmas.

A special twist to the story of Jesus’ birth from the animals perspective all leading up to the Christ-child born in a manager.  You will get to know a donkey named Dave, a bird named Bo, three silly  wise men camels who are Felix, Cyrus and Deborah, and Ruth the Sheep to name a few.  It’s a journey of the life of Mary and Joseph who need to return to Bethlehem for their census and how Herod’s soldier and his mean dogs, Thaddeus and Rufus are on the hunt for them.  This journey is filled with humour and adventure. Our granddaughters enjoy the movie!

Grab some hot buttered popcorn and enjoy this movie made for all ages because the first Christmas is the reason for the season and the meaning of our everlasting future.

 

Thanks to Graf Communication and Affirm Films movie (with Sony Pictures Animation and Sony Pictures Entertainment) for the opportunity to see this movie.

Loneliness with a Capital L

In our busy, fast-paced society, many live to have fun and party hard, yet loneliness can still pulse in their hearts despite trying to forget how lonely they really are.  One of the biggest issues of single parenthood is loneliness.  Let me share some of my chapter on loneliness for encouragement.

“Loneliness can grip our hearts, making it hard to breathe. It can make us very vulnerable to hold up a while flag of defeat and do whatever it takes to make us less lonely…I had to make some positive choices. The choice wasn’t to run out and find someone to ease the pain or be continually visiting people.  It was learning to be alone and be okay with it.

Life may take you on a journey for many years of being alone, or it may be for only a short time, but don’t become desperate. During this time of loneliness, make it a positive walk in your new shoes. Learn to love you, find out who you are, and be happy when you can do things on your own. It doesn’t have to be a curse.  Instead, turn it into a wonderful blessing.  Remember that today is what is—today.  Don’t panic about next week or a year from now.  Live in the moment, not for the moment. Life is what you make it…as miserable as Scrooge or as happy as Pollyanna.  Well actually, the best balance is somewhere in the middle!

Loneliness can be a springboard to sending you into some positive adventures, which will lead to true healing for you and your kids.

Loneliness is a fact of being a single mom. No special pill or liquid medicine can fill the loneliness void. It is what it is. When we can accept the fact that loneliness is part of our journey, we are well on our way to making positive choices and not ones of desperation.”

Don’t despair because there is hope. Take this time to work on you, learn who you are, and try some new challenges and adventures.  I did and I am so thankful for that time to define who I was.  Take the capital L and turn it into Learn, Laugh, and Love yourself….it will be amazing!

YOU CAN DO THIS!

 OPEN YOUR BACKPACK AND TIGHTEN THOSE SHOE LACES:

  1. Loneliness doesn’t have to be a curse, it can be a blessing!
  2. It can be a great gift handed to you if you are willing to unpack it.
  3. Take time to Learn, Laugh, and Love yourself.
  4. Understand that Loneliness is a part of being a single parent and embrace it for new adventures.

Next Blog:  ‘Tis the Season for New Traditions! Fa la la

Options to purchase book 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*

 

 

Forgiveness:  Do I have to?

Has someone hurt you?  Sadly, some don’t seem to care that they did and some don’t even know they did.  Forgiveness is a hot topic and hard to choose to work on sometimes. If you want to live a life of freedom, choosing to forgive those that hurt you will reap priceless benefits and help you parent.

Along with single parenting are the feelings of hurt, pain, numerous changes, and…drum roll please….forgiveness.  Truth is, it can be easier to carry around bitterness and play the blame game.  Forgiveness is tough stuff but so life changing without a doubt!

In my book, Single Mom Survival Success, I share some important principles to help process this whole forgiveness issue in Chapter 11. I experienced it firsthand.

“Forgiveness is not something we flippantly do. I believe without a doubt that forgiveness is a process. As humans, we can never, never forget the pain that someone else has caused us.  Forgiveness, however, releases us from the power of that pain.

First, I had to forgive myself.  I started to unleash the painful past and take small steps forward, I began to not only forgive myself but love the person God had made me to be.  That didn’t happen overnight, but it did happen.

Do as God does. After all, you are his dear children.  Let love be your guide.  Christ loved us and offered his life as a sacrifice that pleases God (Ephesians 5:1-2, CEV).

Second, I asked forgiveness from God. God often gets blamed for people’s choices. This isn’t new to Him. Why would God allow such pain for me, and especially my little girls? I was angry with God, wondering why He wouldn’t fix it.  I had to make a decision how I would respond to God when tragedy and unfair situations hit me sideways the next time and the next.

So turn to God!  Give up your sins, and you will be forgiven (Acts 3: 19 CEV)

Why not take some time to process your journey as it is and ask God to forgive you for putting blame on him?

Thirdly, I forgave my ex-husband.  Marriages are not perfect, and mistakes are made. The bottom line is that as a single mom (dad), your marriage is done. The line has been drawn.  Pain and hurt are at the surface of your emotions.  It is time to stand at the crossroads of your life and decide if you will forgive your ex-husband (wife).

Forgiveness is not agreeing with his (her) decisions and freeing your ex from his (her) behaviour.  Some ex-husbands (wives) will never ask for your forgiveness or even admit they did anything wrong.

Forgiveness is not only a process toward healing, but it also frees you! It is deciding in your heart to let go of the ex-spouse’s unwise choices, his (her) lack of love and respect, and begin to let the wall of unforgiveness fall to pieces.  Take your time, but don’t take forever.

Instead, be kind and merciful, and forgive others, just as God forgave you because of Christ (Ephesians 4:32 CEV).

As you unleash forgiveness, you will find

  • A healthy heart
  • A healthy soul
  • A healthy attitude
  • A healthy mom (dad) for your kids”

OPEN YOUR BACKPACK AND TIGHTEN THOSE SHOE LACES:

  • Forgiveness brings freedom
  • Take time to process this in healthy ways
  • The benefits of forgiveness will give your health in your heart, soul, and attitude
  • Understand God is a God of Forgiveness

 YOU CAN DO THIS!

Next Blog: Loneliness with a Capital L

 Options to purchase book 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*

Attending the School of Hard Knocks: Healing 101

Some courses in our educational system are harder than others while others are easy to learn and remember. Other courses are brutally challenging and take a lot of preparation. The same is true in life. Single Parenthood has you enrolled in the School of Hard Knocks. It can affect you physically, mentally, and spiritually.

I know this is hard work, but I can say without a doubt, passing this course, Healing 101, will be one of victory giving you an A+!

In my book, Single Mom Survival Success: Tools and Tips for the Journey”, I shared

“Healing from a life trauma affects not only your physical health but your emotional and spiritual well-being.  You have probably figured that out by now.  But there is hope. Gaining physical, emotional, and spiritual healing is within reach of anyone who wants it.

We are people of worth and not made of junk!  God weaved his thread of love and creativity in us.  He handcrafted us.  Rejoice!

You created me and put me together.  Make me wise enough to learn what you have commanded. (Psalm 119:73)

In whatever circumstance you find yourself, there is hope. Despite the mistakes we make or choices that fall in our lap that we don’t want, we are still a person of worth in God’s eyes.  He is waiting with open arms to hold you tight and lead you forward to be all you can be.

Completing each chapter in your Healing 101 syllabus will help you to gain incredible strength and healing.  This will be the beginning of something wonderful and new.  Healing 101 is a life journey…. Don’t be discouraged.  You will have days when you wonder if you are healing.  Keep plugging ahead and don’t give up.” (taken from pgs. 95,102,103,107)

OPEN YOUR BACKPACK AND TIGHTEN THOSE SHOE LACES:

  • Healing 101 from the School of Hard Knocks can be done!
  • Healing is possible and positive.
  • God thinks you are very special!
  • Always remember there is HOPE!

YOU CAN DO THIS!

Next Blog: Forgiveness

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*