Small Accomplishments

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This summer, I was able to take my kids on their first real vacation to Kansas City, MO. It was the first vacation I paid for with my own money as a single parent. It was just a simple three-day vacation over a weekend, but for my kids and I, it was a huge deal. I never thought it could happen, because I started out a part-time job that barely covered anything and I was sure I would never see vacation ever again. As silly as it sounds, it was a significant accomplishment for me.

For me, it was a moment. I felt all the time and effort I put into something to give to my kids worked out. I scraped and saved, and I sold a few extra paintings just so I could pull in the last bit of funds to cover gas and have plenty for meals and a few souvenirs. All my hard work in the months prior had paid off, and I had something to show for it.

It is these small victories that can be a ray of hope in the challenging life of raising kids alone. These small accomplishments truly feel larger than life when you start at the place where keeping the lights on is hard enough. When the time to sleep is a luxury, it becomes so discouraging to think you will ever get to the point of seeing progress or reward for all your hard work.

Six months after my separation, I was hitting my lowest point. My part-time job was not giving me enough hours for some weeks, and too many for others. I didn't have a car. My paychecks could barely cover the bills. I was so exhausted from work and trying to keep a stable life for my children. I felt hopeless.

In my early days of being a  single parent, I found comfort in Psalms. Several verses reminded me of God's compassion and grace toward those who are broken-hearted.

"The Lord will give strength to his people; the Lord will bless his people with peace." Psalm 29:11

"The LORD is near to the broken-hearted and saves the crushed in spirit." Psalm 34:18

I think God holds a special place in His heart for single mothers -- these strong women who take their roles as mothers to a whole new level. God made us courageous, resourceful, and incredibly strong. He doesn't make life easy, that is for sure. But He certainly did not make it for us to give up. He created us to thrive, and to live to the fullest. Sometimes, it will take one small victory at a time. It can be the first day you wake up full of ambition, the first paycheck you earn yourself, or even the first time you actually get a full night's sleep in a long time. It can also be when your children come home from school with smiles on their faces, excited to tell you about their day or simply getting them to eat vegetables. It's these little victories that show we are warriors, builders, and dream makers. God gives us hope and walks beside us, building a brighter future.

Closer to a year after my separation, I got a new job. The pay was not much more, but it had regular hours, and I could get home in time to get my kids off the bus. I was also crazy enough and decided to go back to school to finish my degree. I am scheduled to graduate in the Spring of 2021. I still live paycheck to paycheck, but after a lot of hard work and prayer, I do see the small accomplishments of rebuilding a life for myself and my children.

NaTacia Z.

See more blogs from her at her site https://blessedsinglemom.wordpress.com

Never Give Up

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Oh wow, this month of April had been a crazy month. I decided to finish my book and I was so excited when the month started to complete it. However, the night before Easter I was so sick I couldn’t eat. Then a few days later there was a fire in my childhood home. It was crazy and surreal. Then a week later I came home from work to set my things down and head back outside. When I turned around there was a snake entering through my doorway. I haven’t been a fan of snakes ever. Then a few days later I got word someone dear to me had died. These unexpected things just kept coming one after another.

It has been hard not to give up. A few years ago when I had a broken leg and arm, had a two-year-old, and lost my job. It was hard not to give up when I really wanted to.  When I had those days, that life threw me sideways for a day, week, month, or a season I didn’t want to get out of bed. I didn’t want to try anymore. I was exhausted and ready for a new start. I don’t know what you a face in this season of life that has knocked you flat on your face. We all deal with unexpected things in life. It is hard put on a smile or just to make it through the day without crying.

Sometimes we lose our job,

become homeless,

the relationship crashes,

sickness comes in,

or a loved one dies.

“Never give up. Today is hard, tomorrow will be worse, but the day after tomorrow will be sunshine.” Jack Ma

 

There is a time and season for everything but never give up. Don't stay in the place of loss and pain. You must keep fighting for your life even if it is moment by moment. There is only one thing that has kept me moving through all this pain and loss….it is God. When the tears are coming down my face and I am not sure how I will make it through another day, I turn to Him.

 

1.     I turn on YouTube and search for worship music lately Elevation Worship is my favorite.

2.     I sing even if I don’t know the words in my mess.

3.     I start praying about every worry and pain I have and give it to Him.

 

By the time I hit the last step I am usually not crying anymore because I believe in God’s love for me.  I change my mind about my circumstance and choose hope. I know I have a purpose and a future. I know my life will not end because of unexpected life events. I begin to stand on these words and memorize them.

 

Keep praying

16 Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

 

Remember God is Good

For the LORD is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations. Psalm 100:5

 

He will never leave you

Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the LORD your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you. Deuteronomy 31:6

 

All thing He works out for Good

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28

 

He still knows everything that happens and is not surprised.

9  remember the former things of old; for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me, 10  declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, my counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose, Isaiah 46:9-10

 

So, momma if life is dishing out more than you can handle know God is still ever present in your life. He stands beside you, holds you, and tells you how much He loves you.

Stay Strong,

~Esme

http://vestigespirit.com/