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Category Archives: Family Life

I am not sure if I know of anyone who wakes up and decides they want to be a single parent, I know I did not.  At a very young age I became one but I was determined to not allow my son to feel as though he was inadequate because only one of his parents made the choice to be a parent.  I aimed to be the perfect parent but quickly learned they do not exist.

Every day throughout the day I prayed God would protect my child and be the father that was not present and provide love as though it was from both mom and dad.  Even when I was not sure how God felt about me, I knew how God felt about my son.  I made sure every Sunday was devoted to being in church.

Very early on in single parenting I learned very quickly that it is not all about me.  I did not make time to have a “pity party” because I felt I had to fight any labels society would throw at me or my child. When I became tired of fighting I looked into those brown eyes and gained my second wind to keep pushing through.  I was determined to do my best in making sure to give my son the best childhood I could possibly give.

The verse we stood on together was Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”.  It did not matter if it was for a test, entering a new grade level, or trying out for band, this is what we believed together.   Together through the Lord, our unique parent and child relationship became a family.

As you are parenting, remember we all go through seasons and yes, you are equipped.  Dream for your children, but do not forget to dream for yourself.  It is never too late to dust off your dormant dreams or start with a new one. Trust me, seeing your children cheering you on at the finish line is one of the most rewarding feelings.

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Take a Break

Have you ever been in an environment where you felt that you were the only one that had nothing important to do? Those around you are listing off their appointments and tasks and sounding very accomplished while you are feeling guilty for not having a similar list. This feeling is not uncommon for those of us who live in a country that demands long work days .God works contrarily to this viewpoint. He commands a day of rest for all of us.

God’s command for a day of rest is simple yet important and is something we should not ignore. Yes, there are times in which we should offer our help to lessen the workload of others, but there is also the necessity of reevaluating and prioritizing our work so that we can reestablish a Sabbath even when contrary to our desires.

Our chosen Sabbath day may not necessarily be Sunday. For many believers, church means work and, so it should be to some extent. It takes the work of many to make church a great place. Our rest does not need to be the same day as church nor the same day every week, and it can be difficult to find this day; however, God Himself rested as written in Genesis 3:2. We are made in His image; we should rest; and we can on our Sabbath day.

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Developing Talent

My sons were near opposites growing up. Barnabas could sit in front of a computer for hours while Jacob could not sit still for more than five minutes. Dean and I often found tension between monitoring Barn’s time on the computer and finding new ways to keep Jake quiet (we even began paying him!). What we saw as annoyances in the moment became our sons’ causes for success; Barn is a web designer and Jake is a pastor.

Their talents in those areas came early, but we did not recognize them. This made me wonder: how are we, as parents, developing and helping to enhance our children’s talents if these talents are hard to spot? Our children may have talents that we never had and thus could be easily misunderstood when they emerge. We can help develop these talents by embracing our children’s differences and celebrating them. This will develop a positive foundation should these differences develop into talents that fuel life-long passions.

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The heart or inner person is like the roots of a plant. Disease in the roots remains hidden until the plant produces growth above the ground. The nature of that growth reflects the diseased roots. What has occurred on the interior has affected the exterior. Problems in a person show in external behavior. The physical body reacts according to the problems in the inner person. A person may harbor certain responses to situations, and initially these responses are not seen. Over time though, as pressure mounts, these harbored responses are displayed through words and behavior.

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As parents, we can sometimes find ourselves worrying over whether or not we have invested in our children. Days can pass with us running about for work, errands, events, or even time spent with one child over the other. We want to care for our families, but so many other things begin to take over. At the end of the day, we are left wondering and sometimes worrying!

Philippians 4:6 instructs us not to worry but to pray and let God know what we need. Dean and I took this to heart in the early years of our boys’ lives. Each night from the time the boys were two till the final days of their elementary life, we would pray with the boys at bed time. It was our personal, one-on-one with our boys—a time they would not let us miss!

These small moments before bedtime were where we would pray (sometimes a basic prayer thanking God for the day) and talk about the day. These talks developed into conversations about the struggles the boys may be facing and/or the good things that were happening. This time benefited both them and us; the boys were developing a practical relationship with God and strengthening their relationship with us and Dean and I knew that we had invested in our boys and thus would have one less worry that night.

Bedtime was the best time for us, but there may be another time that benefits other parents. When we find what works for us, we can develop those special times in the lives of our children.

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