…. single motherhood

I posted this photo and a short run down who I am and why I do the things that I do in a Facebook group a couple weeks ago, and I felt even more moved to do and share a bit that has been on my heart lately.  

(And, this is totally not a Valentine’s Day post! Lol.)

Of course with a nudge to be vulnerable, can come thoughts of judgement and “who do you think you are?”, “no one cares”, “they’ve heard enough”, and more. But, I’ve learned to take certain thoughts captive and lay them at the feet of my Heavenly Father believing that what he’s given me is purposeful. I’ve also realized that those questions are almost meant to cause you to second guess yourself, but when you know that you are valuable and were created with intention, you can answer those same questions boldly & empower yourself bh speaking life! Respond with exactly who you are + why your voice, your service, your heart, and perspective are needed………. by someone. Whether everyone agrees or not. There is a reason you endured that season & like Psalm 34:3 says “Come, let us tell of the Lord’s greatness and exalt his name together.” Sharing reminds you of whose you are and gives you (and others) a reason to worship! So, yes…. your story matters!

But, I wanted to address the struggles of the single mama and let her know that she isn’t alone. 

Now. As a second disclaimer….. I don’t think single moms are any better than married or coupled mamas. We all wipe booties and have kids sitting in our laps while we poop. But, the difference is that we’re loaded with the work of two but with the same 24 hours and in some cases, less “time” to do those jobs………. and, yes, family dynamics vary which affects every mama’s experience, but at the end of the day one is less than two. Whew. That’s done. 

Less discipline. Less support. Less backup. Less help. Less margin in the budget. Fewer experiences. Less downtime. Less tidy-ness.  More guilt. More pressure. Less time. LESS.

And, mama, I know you’re tired. We all are. I literally turned off the lights in the living room and dining area & just came to my room. There’s laundry on the couch, the kids’ puzzles are on the floor, but house will wait. Because, right now, mama needs to rest and that comes first.  Wellness is my number one priority right now. I’ve come to be okay with being tired & wanting to do nothing but crawl into bed at 9:30p and go. to. sleep. It seems like we pride ourselves on being “so busy” and “exhausted”. But, who really benefits that?
And, there are days questions of inadequacy and doubt can be overwhelming; literally second guessing every aspect of my parenting and abilities. Am I disciplining them enough? Can I actually build a successful, sustainable business AND work 40hrs a week AND parent well AND keep my house organized and together? Can I take another hand hitting me on my thigh asking for something for another hour until bedtime?? …… because how can I possibly be doing a good job at this?!

When I first split from my ex husband, I used to stress so much about the house looking so perfect, my kids behaving a certain way, and things looking like I had it together. I wanted to be the divorcee/single mama who bounced back and did it well.  As if we never missed a beat…….. In reality I was sleep deprived, resentful of the things I had to do to take care of my kids, and tried to do it all everyday. That got old so quickly and I’ve learned that it is okay to not always have everything together. I was fighting so many stigmas and perceptions and wanted to beat it. I didn’t want to look like my circumstances. I wanted to …… focus on myself in a selfish way. Everything was about what I wanted and what I needed and how all of these things are keeping me from doing this, and I was blind to the gift I had. 

Having to do it all yourself (most days) sucks. It’s not the plan (I believe) the Lord had for families and there are real consequences for that. No qualms about it, it’s hard. and I wouldn’t say that it’s a “gift” in itself. What comes out of it is the blessing. Which I’ll be writing more and more about in the coming weeks……

But, know……. that if you’re a single mama or in the process of becoming one, and you are struggling with the moment to moment and daily demands of your family, kids, home, and your own wellness know that you can make it. And, learn to enjoy the time you have with your babies and rest the days you don’t. 

It’s not easy, but the Lord is El Roi….. he sees you and has gone before you to work what is, what has been, and what will be for your good and his glory!!

…… he’s even been at the struggle of bedtime and kids getting out of bed 8 times! In those moments he’s offering you the patience and endurance you need to nurture & console your baby + be consistent with putting them back in their own beds. 

He’s offering you the beautiful opportunity to lean into him & trust him. He cares about what concerns you …. which includes ruining them for life after you’ve given up and just allowed them to sleep with you. What I’ve learned and accepted is the fact that I do love much more than I fuss, that I’m patient much more than I lose it, that I love my kids deeply & tell him multiple times a day. Rhyann and Logan are happy…. they are carefree, generous with hugs and kisses, laugh and play loudly everyday, all day and that has to mean something, right?!  

They’re happy and so is their mama. Even with the stress + frustrations of work, having very little downtime, and juggling so many things…….. even though life can be pretty uncomfortable at times, there’s so.much.good happening at the same time. It’s hard not  to be anything but hopeful & grateful, & just pleased. Paul said he knew what it was to live with plenty and to be in need…. he learned to be content in both situations because he can do all things through Christ. 

So that’s pretty much where I am right now. Feeling incredibly well mentally,  emotionally, & physically. I am still taking my plant based supplements which has caused this pregnancy to be completely different than the twins’ pregnancy. Between being regular (praise God!) and not having to deal with constipation and just being uncomfortable, my cravings are controlled, I have sustained energy throughout the day & my body naturally slows & gets tired at about 9p. Lady go round, my feet swelled horribly and after seeing the start of that last week, added another supplement and haven’t had a swollen foot since! These products have been a major difference maker & I’m glad that I’m still able to take them while I’m growing a healthy baby!! Such a gift!

Mama. I’m with you. I get it. And, doing it solo or not….. this parenting gig is hard, but so worth it!!! Do your best and go easy on yourself ……………. the kids will be alright!


… January!!

This month has  f l o w n by so quickly, it seems unreal!

I celebrated my 35th birthday and it was incredibly fun!! I was surrounded & celebrated by so many friends and family…. it literally made my day so special!! I actually had the girls with me most of the weekend which was special, too!! 

…. even snapped a few pictures with my friend, Monica, to celebrate!

…. big sisters are doing so well!! Three so far hasn’t been the nightmare I expected, even though we are working a lot harder on listening and obeying!! They’re good, sweet kids and I literally love spending time with them!! They’re getting so stinking big, talking so much, and are exploding with personality!! They love dressing up, especially Logan, and reinacting Frozen scenes! Not only do they reinact along with the movie, but they will play scenes out randomly throughout the day!! Pure entertainment!! 

This weekend, I took one side of their crib off and upgraded their cribs to little tot beds! They love them and have been doing a fairly good job sleeping in them! Rhyann had gotten out of the habit of staying in her room over the past couple of weeks, but Logan is a champ at staying in bed. It’s been a sweet transition, so I hope that little change is one of many that will move them mentally from “babies” to “big girls”.

So far, the pregnancy has gone incredibly well! I’ve eased my way into the 2nd trimester and almost halfway to meeting this sweet girl! She’s moving around quite a bit and thankfully growing stronger and larger each week, so I’m able to feel more of her activity!! …… and, nope. Haven’t bought a thing and haven’t begun planning a shower. Not sure if this is a subsequent child type thing or what, but I’m seriously NOT motivated but am starting to think a bit more about both of those things. Not stressed this go round, because I know it will all come together!! Lol. I’m still feeling absolutely fantastic and not pregnant at all!! Aside from getting winded much easier and wanting fries, nothing seems to be much different! Still taking my suppies daily which I know has had a huge impact on my heath and wellness this time! I truly wish they were a part of my regiment with the twins pregnancies. I’m not nearly as exhausted, moody, stopped up, swollen, and in pain as I was before. Thank God!! It’s making this experience so much more enjoyable & I’m grateful! I crave water and fruit (and, again, fries) so my weight gain has been steady…. although I only gained about 35 pounds when the girls, I’m curious as to how much I’ll gain this time. So far, only about 7-10 lbs which is perfectly fine for me! 

I had an opportunity to sit down with a sweet new friend and chat a bit about my experiences with emotional + mental wellness which was so much fun!!! Talked a bit  about my wellness-life during my pregnancy and divorce and how counseling afterwards has been such a blessing for me! Learning how to deal with emotions, find & live in peace, and just plain old heal from various kinds of traumas and life happenings has been life transforming for me in so many ways! If you’re struggling with anything, no matter how small or deep rooted you think it is…. I’d absolutely encourage you to find someone to talk with!  

 Overall, things have been going well and I’m looking forward to every single day I get to be a mama and do things that matter! There is nothing more inspiring than to see that the work you do is making an impact in the lives of others…. nothing more empowering than the tangible support, encouragement, praise, & recognition of  your work and efforts…. nothing like being surrounded by people who love you and have your back! Those things alone make each day valuable, enjoyable, and abundant. There is nothing more peaceful than knowing that the Lord has placed you in a certain place that has opened your eyes to a life you could have missed.  One of such deep personal growth that has a direct hand in developing you into the person you’ve always knew you could be but didn’t know how you would get there. 

Today, our sermon at church was titled “A Change of Plans” and I had tears rolling down my face because so many things have not gone the way I dreamed they would, or even wake up thinking they would go….. but to know that the Lord is with me in my circumstances and that he uses those very things to bring himself glory and give me beauty in place of ashes and a reason to rejoice is worth it! That phrase: a hope and a future ring out so clearly to me. Reading the word and seeing again and again how the Lord promises to go with us, to protect and guide us is enough. Trusting that he vindicates and makes all things right, that he hides us until just the right moment. That he is concerned about our deepest cares and comforts us is empowering within itself. So thankful for those lessons I’ve learned while walking though the “plot twists” of life. 
So, because I know the questions are burning: …….. yes. I drive a mini-van. And, it’s awesome. The best thing since ultrasounds. And, yes the baby has a name! Yay! And, yes. Again. Those are my favorite boots!!

Can I also say that after a twin pregnancy (that is automatically high risk) and being able to see my girls EVERY time I went to the doctor, just hearing a heartbeat through a Doppler doesn’t make for nearly as exiciting appointments. But, I’m always thankful to hear a strong heartbeat! Just saying I’d also like to SEE the kid, too! Lol. 

So excited about February…. I love Valentine’s Day so it’s always a pretty fun month for me. Absolutely planning to raid the Dollar Bins at Target because they have the best Valentine’s Day nonsense and I need it all. The banners. The socks. The plates and cups. The dish towels and everything pink, red, and white!! Lol. 

Do you guys go all out? Do you get your kiddos gifts? What are all the things?? Last year, the girls and I went with my sister in law and her girls for a Valentine’s Day dinner (at Chiptole.. kid friendly. Hello!!) for cupcakes! It was so sweet! I loved it and I’m pretty sure we decided it would be our thing. 

Hope you guys had an awesome first month of the year!! If you’re starting again in February.. there’s no shame in that! Focus on your health and wellness, building a solid second/third stream of income, committing to save + tithe… plan those trips, buy the bag, do the things you are being pressed to do! It’s not an accident, trust God and GO!


…. a word for the new year 

For the past few years, I’ve begun the new year with a word. A word that made me pause, one that meant a lot…. but I honestly couldn’t tell you what those words were at this point. And, I think that’s okay. One, because I have a horrible memory, but also because even if I don’t remember the exact word their purpose has always been felt throughout the year & they stick. This year….. I don’t have a word. I have a phrase. One that was prayed over my church during Watch Night service that causes streams of tears to roll down my face because I get it. I feel their intensity, remember how those words sounded during that prayer. Because I consider the love, grace, forgiveness, and mercy that had to overflow from the Lord as he spoke them over a people who had been through so much devastation. 

That phrase is: a hope and a future.

The last quarter of 2017 was rough for me for many reasons, but it ended with gratitude and so much anticipation for what the Lord was and is doing in my life. I felt unworthy, I felt as if I’d ruined my future & sold myself short……… I felt as if I was 3 bench presses away from ending my superset and literally had nothing left to give while more weight was being added to the bar with the expectations of finishing it out with the same energy, ability, and ease as if I’d just begun….. while looking at my trainer look at me telling me to “Do it.” I’m like “How?!” feeling defeated and then it clicks….

“My strength is made perfect in your weakness.” “Be still and know”. “Abide in me and I’ll abide in you. Apart from me you can do nothing.” “You are mine.” “The Lord gives good gifts to his children.” “I shall provide all you in according to the riches and glory in heavenly places.” ………. “I have come to give you a hope and a future.” 

… the truth that I know overshadowed every fear, every bit of shame, every ounce of impossibleness I’d felt, and caused me to stand and keep going. The belief that this new thing the Lord was doing and the struggles I’m enduring are necessary to get to what is waiting for me. The belief that the Lord has plans to give me a hope and a future is enough. So every year I begin reading The One Year Bible. Every year I read more of it than I did the year before, lol. I haven’t gotten through the entire Bible yet but I am committed to reading daily. (Y’all hold me accountable!) … but on my first day’s reading I saw things in the Genesis scriptures that I’d never seen before. In the few days that have followed after, I’ve continued to see more and more of God’s character in ways I’d completely missed before. 

In Genesis, I saw how the Lord declared that everything he’d created was good. I saw that everything he created was done in order, with intention, and not rushed. I saw that he named his creations. That what he says & plans come to pass and that he provides everything we need to live & accomplish his plans for us. 

I’ve also seen how the Lord watches over us and guides us in Matthew. In the New Testament reading, it tells of how an angel constantly led Jospeh to act during the pregnancy of, birth, and early life of Jesus. The protection that came from earnings and direction could only happen if the Lord was watching over him and his family. When Jospeh was afraid, there was the angel. When he’d made a decision, there was the angel. When enemies were on their way unbeknownst to Jospeh, there was the angel. 

This seems so basic, but is so exciting to me because it’s exactly what I need, what we need, to believe and trust in order to “be okay” no matter what comes our way. This gave me hope. Recognizing that while a lot of what I’ve been struggling deeply for the past few years weren’t purposed to break me, but in an effort to root me deeper in Christ. It made me realize that the things that happened over the past few months were incredibly hard and uncomfortable, but taught me to rely that much more on God; his grace is sufficient and he provides every step of the way. That what was and is happening isn’t okay, but it will be. That comfort in belief that things will work out is not built on the hope that people or their decisions would change, but rooted in the truth that the Lord is with me, he cares for me, he is watching over me, has a plan for me, and is providing for me. He freely gives forgiveness, hope, peace, joy, protection, guidance, and comfort in every situation we are in. And on top of all of that…. everything the Lord does is good. It is good, and he sustains us. He keeps us. He loves on us so well as we are going through this life that is said to be full of trouble. 

I’m excited about my commitment to read daily. I need to read, hear, learn, believe, & know so that my faith is strengthened. So that I can approach life’s circumstances confidently and boldly, without feelings ruling and controlling my behavior. 
As my pastor said last Sunday, when “….we have the Word in us, our faith is matured.” As our faith grows so do we. Our perspectives change, our responses different, and our interactions with this life are controlled and more Christ-like. 

If there’s one thing I’m certain I want this year, it’s a deeper maturity in Christ. To believe without a shadow of a doubt that with him and through him, his plans of a hope and a future for me will come to pass. I’m believing that for myself and for my daughters this year. Believing that we will experience a year of overwhelming freedoms, success, victory, provision, grace, and joy even when we are in the valleys as much as when we’re on the mountain tops. 

I’m believing the best for you, as well. That you would allow the Lord to lead you and you, that we all, take seriously his commitment to us. Life is hard, but our God is faithful and he will see us through. 

Happy New Year!