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.

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

Social Media Links

Bi-monthly Blog:
Facebook: Linda R McCutcheon


While grocery shopping, I looked in the direction of some  noisy commotion. A mom was trying to concentrate on her list while three of her children were in a state of chaos. We looked at each other and I said, ‘Day One of summer vacation!’

ID-10013720These next few weeks can be stress-filled trying to find some inexpensive and free activities to help pass the time. As a single mom, one of your hats you wear tied on is the Chief Activity Co-ordinator.

I was so glad to share some of my summer moments with other mom’s and their kids while the school doors were locked. I encourage you to gather a group of other single moms or girlfriends to plan some adventures. Don’t forget to take pictures so when those cold winter months have closed in, you and your kids can flip the pages of the album to warm your hearts.

Check out Pinterest for some creative ideas.

I went on the World Wide Web to search for some free activities to do with kids. It brought me to the website called, ‘’. There are many other websites giving great suggestions as well. I was given permission to use this article and hope these suggestions will encourage you as you creatively plan some wonderful memories this summer.

“Where to Find Free Activities and Events in Your Area Published on – August 7th, 2009 (by J.D. Roth

This is a guest post from Lynn, a long-time reader of personal-finance blogs. Lynn is a potential Staff Writer for Get Rich Slowly. She is the CFO (Chief Financial Officer) of her family, and is working hard to increase her financial health after years of many poor financial choices.

…The internet turned out to be a great resource for us and I thought I would share what I’ve learned with you.  Of course, internet sources vary greatly depending on where you live so this is a generic list that I hope can be helpful to everyone.  By all means, if you have suggestions, feel free to share with everyone in the comments!

  • TV & Radio Stations — Most of our local stations have an online community calendar.  While not everything listed has been free, I have found some great gems.
  • Newspapers — Our newspaper’s online version has a community calendar.  They also sometimes post articles about free events (they tend to be right before the event so they are last minute finds).
  • Hospitals — I never knew our local hospital sponsored so many free activities to promote good health!  The free activities around us are often geared towards kids but the whole family is invited.
  • Cities/Towns — Municipalities around us have event pages to promote what is happening.  Free concerts around us are pretty popular.
  • Local Tourism Sites — Our local tourism sites have given us ideas regarding free places to visit and explore in our area.  They also have a calendar that we check for free events.
  • Bookstores & Libraries — When it comes to finding free presentations by authors or literacy programs for children, bookstores and libraries are the place to look.
  • Sporting Goods Stores — I was surprised when I came across a local sporting goods store with a calendar of events.  One near us sponsors things like free get-together bike rides.
  • National & State Parks — some state parks in our area have free nature programs and hikes for families during the summer.
  • Schools & Colleges — One school in our area has an online newsletter on their website that includes upcoming local activities for families.  I’ve found quite a few free things to do from that.  The local college advertises free seminars and concerts.  Both of these are usually more active during the school year.
  • Historical Societies & Museums — In my experience, there is usually a fee for events sponsored by historical societies and museums.  However, at least once a year the ones near us have a free open house and some link to free historical seminars at other locations.
  • Target Stores — They are sponsoring free and reduced fee activities this summer.  The activities are in major metropolitan areas, but if you are near one there are some great offerings.  For example, admission to the Portland Children’s Museum is free on the first Friday of the month.
  • Search Engines — I’ve found a few obscure free things to do just by searching for “free events [my town]” or “free activities [my town]” on Google.

The sites I find are bookmarked and checked weekly.  The small amount of time I spend to check them is worth it since the free activities and events we attend feel like little splurges to us.  They are fun and they are free!”ID-10041895

To me, it looked like a good start for some research in planning summer fun. It may even help to keep your sanity and from hearing the words, I’m Bored! 

Happy Summer!


ID-100169204OPEN YOUR TOOL BOX: Oh My!  So much to do ~

  •  Remember spending time doing simple activities make for important memories
  • You don’t have to run ragged because everyone needs quiet, down times
  • Sit down with your kids and let them choose one activity they are interested in doing
  • Grab some disposable cameras for your kids and have fun planning a photo album
  • Call another single mom and plan an activity with all the kids this week
  • If your kids say they are bored, have a list of household activities they can help you with!
  • Switch off childcare with another single mom during work hours

You can do this!

March Madness

This time of year we used to have ‘March Madness’ sales promising amazing bargains.

IMG_0228As single mom’s, it is easy to get caught up in the madness of any month.  Do you find yourself angry or just mad with life?

For me, sometimes I was just plain mad.  I questioned why life was this way. Fear of finances and unknown decisions from my ex were a burden.  The fear of being alone for the rest of my life sent me into a panic.  Have you had those thoughts?

On a positive side, being mad without sinning can help us to tie our shoe laces tighter and March On and March Forward (see previous blogs).

My caution to you, dear ones, is the negative side of being mad.  It loses perspective for a better life leading to a life of resentment.

Anger can be determent to one’s health.   The website says that “Anger is a powerful emotion. Uncontrolled anger may cause increased anxiety, high blood pressure and headaches, and trigger fights or abuse.”

This is certainly not a positive alternative. It isn’t to say you will never be mad; however, the Bible encourages us not to stay there.

Ephesians 4:26 (CEV) “Don’t get so angry that you sin. Don’t go to bed angry.”

Begin to let go of anger and make steps for the good of your family. You might be saying, Yah but Linda, you don’t know my situation.  I don’t.  I am truly sorry for your pain.

Stamping my feet and wondering why God wasn’t answering me NOW didn’t help one iota for me.  I had to take charge of my feelings and be a positive influence on my kids.  If not, it would have lead to unwise decisions.

Life was unfair! I was tired and lonely. I felt like an octopus with so much responsibility.

When issues came up, I had to ask God for His perspective. There were moments of silence and the situation didn’t always change.  I had to trust that He would help me.

ID-10021187I challenge you to search the Scriptures yourself so God can touch your heart and filter it through His own.  He knows the injustice and burdens of your life right now even if you can’t see a solution.  I had to claim verses like

Psalm 37:7-8 (CEV), Be patient and trust the Lord. Don’t let it bother you when all goes well for those who do sinful things. Don’t be angry or furious. Anger can lead to sin.

Surrendering my feelings of Madness and trusting God wasn’t easy. Was it right? Absolutely! As I released my anger, healing begin. It was a conscious effort on my part. Give Him your anger, He will help you.

Stores may advertise March Madness prices but giving God your madness has no price tag. It is priceless for healing.

ID-100169204Open your Toolbox.  Crank it open!

  • What makes your anger boil right now? It is best to take it off the burner to cool.
  • Is your negative anger affecting your kids?
  • Consider counseling to gain perspective and healing.
  • What are some steps to live a positive lifestyle?
  • Ask God to filter your anger through His heart.
  • Memorize Psalm 37: 7-8