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.

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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

Fall Fairs and Family

One of my sweetest memories in the Autumn was going to a Fall Fair with the girls and my family. It involved loud ear-piercing music, sugar laden candy floss, big greasy French fries (yum), long line ups for rides, huge crowds of people, but most of all; it also involved big smiles from the girls.ID-1008940

They had a limit to the amount of money spent on rides and when that was done, they visited the farm animals and tried a few games on the mid-way. My first year as a single mom, the girl’s Aunt thought they each needed a fish and paid for them to play ring toss to acquire such a  pet.  At that time they were 7 and 4 years old.  Result: My sister-in-law paid about 10 times the amount for a 25 cent fish!

Each of my daughters left the booth excited to be holding a bag full of water and a baby fish . To their horror, one bag had fallen over in the van leaving one without the much-needed water.  Later, at Grandma and Grandpa’s house, we had a little ceremony watching it swirl down the toilet never to see again.

Besides that unfortunate event, the three of us had such fun with my family as we talked and laughed together and screamed while flying on the rides. Fall Fairs and Family made our autumn season.

These were days of encouragement for my little family. Just for a while, all the responsibilities and pain of our life was left back at the gate entrance. 1 Thessalonians 5:11 described what these times did for us.  “That’s why you must encourage and help each other, just as you are already doing”.

img025 (2)By the end of the day, I was walking on my ankles, feeling grimy and nursing a headache from the loud music and endless crowds. However, my heart was full with the love from my family and seeing the girl’s big smiles. We were with one less fish and yet, we left with a heart full of memories until next time. (The man in the picture is my twin brother!)

ID-100169204OPEN YOUR TOOL BOX: I see there is a Fall Fair in your area!

  • As you begin to make new memories, healing will begin. I challenge you this Fall season to make one new memory bringing a smile on all your faces! Who knows, it might become a tradition.
  • Why not make one tradition that you can do alone as well.



Packing the Suitcases

Suitcases were packed, lists checked off, and now it was time to give hugs and say so-long to the girls.  Summer vacation had arrived and they were off to spend time with their dad.

ID-100255232Hello and Good-byes are a part of a separated/divorced home.  Unfortunately, the children can be the most affected as they pack for one home to another, and then re-pack again.

This time can be emotional for everyone involved. A Mom’s heart is heavy saying so long praying the children will adjust. You may find yourself feeling very overwhelmed and anxious. There is a re-adjustment for moms to return to a quiet, empty house.


This is what helped me adjust.

1. Schedule a time to talk on the phone with the kids. If the ex is willing, schedule a time to talk to the children mid-vacation.  Try to be positive and excited with them about what they are doing.  Thank your ex for this time to talk to them. I found it was best not to chat to them before bed so it didn’t get them upset missing me before settling in for the night. Once they left for a holiday, my girls knew they had an option to chat and it seemed to relax them.  I assured them I loved them. I let them know I hoped they would have a fun time and would see them soon.

2. Trust God- Release your children to God. It can be a helpless feeling for you.  Maybe your children have a hard time with adjustment or anxiety. There are new house rules and your ex has to adjust to having the kids around full-time. Maybe you have a fear that the kids won’t want to come home. Single moms have shared their concern about the environment their children are going to. I encourage you if things become negative for your children during this time; you have a plan in place.

I wish I had an easy solution but I don’t.  What I do know, is that God sees and He says to give Him your worries. Can you ask a few trusted friends and family to partner with you in prayer?  You don’t have to do this alone. Even in the best of situations pray and trust.

Psalm 94: 18-19 `When I felt my feet slipping, you came with your love and kept me steady.  And when I was burdened with worries, you comforted me and made me feel secure’.

100_04843. Refresh yourself. Schedule time to read, have bubble baths with lots of candles, go to a movie, work on a craft, grab a bike and go for a ride, meet with girlfriends, and paint your toenails! It is hard to schedule time for yourself when the kids are home so this is the time to pamper yourself.  Make a list of things you would like to do and have some fun. You don`t have to feel guilty about doing this.  This is your time to become refreshed. I found myself packing a picnic lunch, getting in my car for a destination unknown with a lawn chair and book. I called it my ‘Linda Time’.

Let summer not only be a time to pack suitcases, but a time to trust God and refresh yourself.

ID-100169204OPEN YOUR TOOL BOX.  You have a free pass to refresh yourself.

  • Release your children to God
  • Schedule a time with your ex to talk to your kiddos
  • Make a list of some things you have wanted to do but never had the time
  • With this list, make sure you do some
  • Ask a few people to pray for all involved during this separation
  • Dust off the bike and go for a ride!