Do you want a different life for your kids than what you have experienced so far, single momma? Read and put into practice these seven steps, and life will be different for your kids. I guarantee it.
SEVEN: Forgive those who hurt you. Hurting people hurt people. It’s an equation that is as true as two plus two equals four. Author Andy Stanley has notably shared: “When you forgive, your past will remind you, but it will not define you.” Forgive those that have physically, emotionally, and spiritually hurt you.
SIX: Forgive yourself. You’ve made mistakes. I get it. We ALL do. Do you think you have cornered the market on making mistakes? If so, I believe there is a Liar (Satan) whispering to you that you have totally screwed up and are unredeemable. Don’t listen!! When you get your focus on Christ and recognize his truths, you’ll know you are forgivable and find a way to forgive yourself.
FIVE: Protect yourself and your children. Too many women I have mentored have been raised in homes that were not safe homes. Consequently, they have no idea how to create a safe home for their children. Guard that front door, ladies! Don’t allow movies, cable, games—and people—into your home that will deceptively lure your children away from Christian values and toward a lifestyle (oh, so many!) that will hinder the healthy growth of their spirits.
FOUR: Surround yourself with healthy people. What are you feeding your soul? I know from experience how easy it is to finally have a moment of peace and squander that time with endless TV viewing, snacking, or surfing the net. When we don’t pursue health for our souls on purpose, we too often end up crabby with our kids and never feel really rested. It’s time to be tired of that vicious cycle. Part of being healthy is having good friends. Make the time to find a friend (or two!) that knows how to laugh, supports your dreams, and will walk alongside you when the going gets tough.
THREE: Provide for your family. This one is easier said than done. Making ends meet in a world that feels increasingly hostile toward the average family feels like an upriver swim during a flood. Don’t give up! Perhaps thinking outside of the box is one option to look at. I recommend looking at a website: Christian Work At Home Ministries (cwahm.com) to discover the possibility of finding some extra income while at home.
TWO: Learn to truly love yourself; it is a commandment! If we really want to love our neighbors (our kids), we must first learn to fully love ourselves. Self-care for moms is so important, but can be too easily put on the bottom of the list—or worse, not on the list at all. You can’t afford a babysitter? Feed the kids, get them all settled with an activity in their bedroom(s) and take 30 minutes to do something for yourself that feeds your soul. Those of you that just scoffed at that idea—that your kids would never be quiet for 30 minutes—I hear you. I’ve been there. If 30 minutes is too long for your little wailers, start with 15 minutes. You’re working towards some quiet moments of sanity, momma.
ONE: Pursue God, not man. Of the single moms I have mentored, this one is the “biggie.” Hollywood depicts damsels in distress and men that come swooping in to save them and change their lives forevermore. It’s where the “stinking thinking” comes from: “If I just had a good man, all my problems would be solved.” Don’t fall for it!! Author Jennifer Magio shares: “Pursuing a new man will not erase the hurts of the old man.” You deserve a Holy Word version rather than a Hollywood version of a man.
As you stop focusing on “getting a man” turn your attention to getting closer to the Man—the One who died on the cross for you and your sins. He is your rescuer. Here’s proof: Isaiah 46:3-4 “Listen to me…you whom I have upheld since you were conceived, and have carried since your birth. Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.”
When you’re tired of struggling to “get it right” in life, it may be time to let it rest, go to your Rescuer, and finally get the peace you’ve wanted deep down all along. Then you can pass that peace on to your children.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Sandy McKeown is an author, speaker, mother of five and grandmother of six. She speaks often before audiences, offering hope, has several stories published in anthologies and her first book, Some Miracles Need a Mom, is coming soon. Her passion is to help families pursue miracles for the ones they love. She can be reached at SandyMcKeown.com.