Four Crazy Friends

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When I ask, “who are your crazy friends?” Who comes to mind? What names flash right through your head?  

After my divorce, I met a lady at church, who pretty much made it her mission to make me laugh again. And, boy did she ever! We would get together, watch movies, go shopping, talk about men, and scout out the single guys in church. Just picture two ladies, cruising around town, laughing, and listening to Taylor Swift very loudly!

               “I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling 22.

                Everything will be alright, if you keep me next to you.

                You don’t know about me, but I bet you want to.

                Everything will be alright, if we keep dancing like we’re 22…”

We were Thelma and Louise, just without the sad ending!

There was once a man, who was very sick. He needed help and he needed it desperately. He had four friends who wanted to help him. They heard of a healer, but their friend couldn’t walk. Well, these guys had an idea. “Let’s take him.” They carried this man to Jesus, but the house he was out was so crowded, they couldn’t get in. But, these guys were just crazy enough to find a way. And the only way into that house was through the ceiling. So, up they go, take off the roof, and lower him to Jesus. The Bible says in Mark 2:5, “Seeing their faith.” Jesus saw the faith of these guys and He forgave and healed their friend.

So, I’m going to ask a question. Who do you have in your corner who is crazy enough to do something wild and outside the box, just for you? Who can you count on to go all the way with you? Who is your tribe? Who are the ladies you can count on for anything and everything?

I’m pretty much an open book. I tell people about things in my life and things going on. But, it’s not the deep stuff. Not the things that are under the surface. My deepest feelings are only shared with a few. Just those ladies that are crazy enough to cheer me on or kick me in the butt, no matter what’s going on. They are also the one’s I like to hang around with; the ones I pray with, talk to, and text.

If you don’t have friends like this, go look for them. Ask God for some divine connections. You may meet them at church, at work, or at the grocery store. These are the friends who will hold you when you lose your job, who will laugh at your corny jokes, who will schedule a day trip when you need a break.

And although everyone needs four crazy friends, I believe single moms need them even more. At times, when the weight of all we do is weighing on us, we need the friends who are willing to go cray-cray when needed. Just think about that one man with four crazy friends! I’ve got to wonder what these guys did after their encounter with Jesus. The laughs they must’ve had. “Remember that time you couldn’t even walk? Dude, we carried you for miles! You owe us big time!” And, I’ve no doubt that man returned the favor, in whatever way he could.

Find your tribe, ladies.

Find the one’s who will be there when you need to cry.

Need to laugh.

Need to go crazy.

And, after you’ve found them, allow yourself some crazy, memory-making times! Take the pictures of you laughing and having fun. Show your kids how life can be absolutely amazing, even if the circumstances surrounding you may not be. Show them how God-ordained relationships really work!

Gwendolyn Irene

www.gwendolynirene.com

Mother's Day Single Style

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Mother's Day has become a Facebook contest. Who got the biggest bouquet? Who got a spa day? Who got breakfast in bed or didn't have to make dinner? Who got new jewelry? I'll be honest. Getting on social media on Mother's Day when you're a single mom kind of sucks. I envy the women that get to do and enjoy these things. Meanwhile, my daughter picked me some dandelions out of the yard that I still need to mow, put glittery lotion on my back that I know will never come off, stuck her dirty fingers in the cake batter that I was making for myself, and the closest thing to jewelry I'm getting is one of her plastic tiaras while we play princesses. Don't get me wrong, I am all for supporting mothers no matter what their situation is - single, married, one kid, ten kids. It's hard on all of us. But being a single mother is an entirely different ball game. Single moms don't get luxury days, and Mother's Day is no exception. We still have to work, do homework for our night college courses, cook, clean, do the laundry that's been piling up all week, and try not to stress ourselves to the point of a mental breakdown.

 

It's easy to be bitter, to pity yourself, to get wrapped up in the day-to-day, and envy those that have help. This year I've chosen to look at things a little bit differently. I know that at some point on Mother's Day, my daughter will get caught up playing with toys that I bought her, and the smile on her face will be more beautiful than any flowers you could buy. She'll want to bake or help me make lunch or dinner, and though I know it will be messy, her eyes will shine brighter than any diamonds in the world as she watches a lot of nothings become something we can enjoy together. And when we go to bed that night, we'll snuggle up and argue about who loves who more, and those words will be sweeter to me than any Hallmark card could ever dream of being.

 

I know Mother's Day will just be another day for a lot of us. Most of us won't get cards or boxes with pretty bows or a massage, no matter how desperately we all deserve it. But I'm choosing to see Mother's Day as a day to remind myself of all I've accomplished, all I've been able to give my daughter, all I've taught her, and to remind myself of all the love I get from her every single day. Flowers die, cards get thrown away, spa days are over as soon as you walk out the door, but spending the day reflecting on all I've had since becoming a mom and all I've learned by being a single mom is worth more than anything money can buy. As single moms we don't usually get the recognition we deserve, but we get all of that back tenfold in a love that some people will never know. And in case no one else tells you... Happy Mother's Day, mama. 

Jamie Arnold

Mother's Day

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I've sit here and tried to think of what to say and write about moms.

I mean Mother’s Day is coming up soon and for one day everyone focuses their attention on the mom in their life. We get cute thank you cards, flowers, and sometimes someone even to wash the dishes.

This past week has been super emotional for myself and my girls. We are in the process of moving after the school year so their last time of doing things have been very hard. Last night my oldest dealt with her first broken heart and I did not know what to say. My initial reaction is all men suck and he isn't worth your tears. And yet as I sit there watching this young girl who is bigger than me I was reminded she's still my baby. 

What makes a good mom? Is it because some of us volunteer countless hours at school, doing crafts, making Pinterest worthy costumes, or make it to every single activity they have? Is it the mom who is late all the time because, like myself, some days you just can't get it together? Or is it because no matter how our day is going or how much we want to hide and cry and deal with our own things we push that aside for them. To remind our children of who they are. 

I can't lie. There are days I let my kids eat carbs and sugar and veg out unmonitored in front of a TV. And you know what? That's ok. Because there are days when they are feeling unworthy, unloved, and need that extra push that I remind them I am there. 

My oldest graduated 8th grade, lost her dog, went to her 8th grade dance, and got dumped this week. Her dad never texted, called, or showed up to any of her things. And the best compliment I got was from her this week. She told me it was ok because she knew no matter what I would be there. 

We judge ourselves so harshly on how other moms do things that we forget God gave us the kids he did because they needed a mom like us. So, I did what I would always do. I let her cry. Then I said suck it up buttercup. You are better than them. They don't deserve you. And I finally got a smile. 

Being a mom isn't some words strung together for a definition. We need all types of moms. However, we must learn that we are doing the best we can as well. So, if you didn't get those cupcakes made it is ok to go buy them. Chances are that smiling little face will beam just as brightly just knowing you are there. 

Christina Snider