Are Single Mothers Forgotten?

Being married for almost 16 years with two sons, the struggles of single mothers are often forgotten here at Mom's Peace Bites.

Can a married woman fully relate to a single mom? Do we really understand what they deal with on a daily basis in the rearing of their children and making ends meet? Are we sometimes hesitant to follow a single mother's blog? Why?

I can't imagine having to run a household by myself along with repairs and yard work. I can't imagine having to discipline a teenager alone or be mom's taxi without a relief from time to time. If I had to do it, I'm sure I'd jump right in and adjust, but I don't and I'm thankful.
It's easy to get caught up with my little family complete with husband and children, but I have a friend who reminds me there are mothers with a family minus a male companion.

"Hey! don't forget about the single moms!" This is what the Mom in Apt 10b continually says to me. She is an advocate for single moms and makes sure they are not forgotten in the MotherHood. Single mothers deserve waaay more recognition and appreciation than they receive and the Mom in Apt 10b won't let us married moms forget it.

The directions for her new place follows.
Travel across Blogland, turn left on Internet Alley, go across a few browser bumps and stop at Apt10b. Leave her a note to let her now you dropped by!

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Census Bureau Is Taking Me Away From My Home

I found out yesterday that the upcoming 2010 Census may temporarily take me away from my home. How can this be? Well, people from many walks of life use census data to advocate for causes, rescue disaster victims, prevent diseases, research markets, locate pools of skilled workers and more. I fall into the research market group.
I found out the U.S. Census Bureau is recruiting temporary census takers, so I voluntarily jumped at the opportunity. I chose to work in the administrative office instead of walking around neighborhoods and knocking on doors. I took and passed the test, so now I'm waiting to hear if I'll be temporarily removed from my home for hire. At $12 an hour, I hope they take me away soon.

Secondborn went with me to take the test and as we were walking back to the car, my sweet son said, "Mama, what about me?" I quickly let him know he was my priority and I requested to work evening hours only. I thought it was cute that Secondborn was concerned about Mama going to work and leaving him. It's only a temporary job - very temporary, but you too, can apply to be temporaily taken away from your home by the Census Bureau by visiting their website and getting more information about job openings in your city.

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Thinking Like a Child

A dear friend of mine became a grandmother over the weekend – a young grandmother I might add. Aren't they both cute?

Born strong and healthy, this newborn baby is in the best position of his life. He is completely dependent on his mother and others to care for him. Although born with a brain with the potential to absorb new information, this newborn baby can’t even think for himself. Until his brain begins to absorb new information, someone else will think for him. Someone else will provide all his needs. Because of the love his mother has already shown him, he is absolutely safe and secure and doesn’t have a single concern of any of his needs.

Wouldn’t it be nice to be a baby and actually know how good you have it? Well, a Life Lesson for LaVender reminded me that my adult mind should be exactly where the newborn baby's mind is – simple and completely dependent. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying I'm not supposed to use my brain! For example, if I’m down to my last dollar, I’ll try to figure something out instead of allowing God to give me spiritual direction and listen to His plan. God should be my first thought…not an afterthought.

Unfortunately, my brain has reached a point to process, consider, evaluate, and analyze people and situations. I think waaaaay too much, but I'm getting better.

I never would have thought sharing the joy of a friend’s newborn grandson would take me here, but it did and I’m grateful. As a mother and wife there are many things required of me on a daily basis as I raise the boys and support my husband. I don't have enough mental space to handle it all, so having the mind of a child is a welcome matter!

Mark 10:15 (NLT)
I tell you the truth, anyone who doesn’t receive the Kingdom of God like a child will never enter it.”

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Loving My New Shoes!

I'm feeling a freedom to be ME that I've never felt before and it's exhilarating!

Wife, mother, teacher, daughter, sister, friend, neighbor, businesswoman, author, baker, momsweb, plus a few other hats I wear all have expectations that I will never meet and it feels good to not care about anything except just being me - the unique woman I was created to be.

Something happens in the mid forties and it keeps getting better and better. I love it! Not only is my physical body changing, but LaVender is changing - every part of me. I'm evolving into the older, wiser, bolder, more beautiful, extraordinary LaVender. Yep, I'm stepping into my new shoes with no apologies for who I am. Sound a little vain? Oh well! I'm calling it confident. LOL

I heard this song yesterday and as I listened to the words, I put my arms in the air, closed my eyes and swayed to the beat of the music. The words fit me perfectly - just like my new shoes.

We were all created to be extraordinary in our simple ordinary, yet the many hats we wear hve a tendency to hide the woman in us.

For those of you close to or new to your forties - embrace the new you and wear your new shoes with class and confidence!

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Momsweb Monday Meditation - Raggedy Rituals

I recently read that mid January is the time most people walk away or forget about the resolutions they made. I also read the daily rituals we have in our life is indication of whether our lifestyle is stuck in the sea of complacency or moving forward. Naturally, I thought of my own rituals and asked myself a few questions.

- What do I do when I awake each morning?
- What do I do before I go to bed each night?
- Is there anything I do or say on a daily basis with the boys?
- Is there anything special Hubby can look forward to each day?
- What am I doing for my business on a routine basis?
- What do I do throughout each day that may improve my life or the life of someone else?

These rituals, habits, routines or whatever I choose to call them play a bigger role in my life than I gave them credit for. Daily habits control the direction of my entire life.

The direction of my family, marriage, business, and even my physical, spiritual, and financial life can change or remain the same if I just take note of a few raggedy rituals and make some changes.

Although I didn’t make any resolutions, I always strive to be a little better today than I was yesterday. I won’t ever be perfect, but why not change those things that I have the ability to change? Why not go a little higher this year? Why not?

Most important of all rituals to me are the spiritual ones – my daily focus on God and being Christ controlled in all my ways is my priority. I believe if my vertical relationship is in order, everything else in my life will fall into place.
How about you? Are you making any changes? Are there any raggedy rituals in your life?

Luke 9:23 (NLT)
Then he said to the crowd, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross daily, and follow me.

I Disagree

After 15 years of marriage, involvement in marriage ministry, sharing with other couples, years of church teaching, and watching older married women, I no longer agree with many aspects of the teaching I've received in regards to marriage. When did the teaching begin? Waaaaaay back! I think I've been programmed since junior high school.

It seems the more intimate I become with God and the more I study and research, certain things aren't making much sense to me.

If you've followed my blog for any length of time, you know Hubby and I have had our struggles in marriage and have recently began blogging more about our marriage to encourage other struggling couples. There wasn't a marriage blog out there that I could relate to, so I was led to begin one of our own. I'm SHOCKED that Hubby agreed, but like I said, it was truly Spirit-led.

We've been through the fire several times and I've come to the conclusion that many of our issues stem from wrong teaching in regards to our roles as husband and wife, submission, money, sex, and everything else relating to marriage. We are ONE and it seems everything I've been taught has attempted to separate our union.

I don't expect anyone to agree with me, but I will no longer be silent about what I feel so strongly about. I've been going with the flow, but no more.

I'll be sharing frequently about marriage at UN Happily Married and including Hubby's unexpected reactions to my enlightenment on our marriage.

Have a wonderful weekend and BE TRUE TO WHAT YOU BELIEVE!

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Picking Firstborn's Friends

I admit, one GREAT thing about homeschooling was being able to have some control over the boys' company they kept. I admit again, I'm a control freak and would love to completely program my children in every aspect of their lives - there, I said it.

Firstborn had some sweet friends while homeschooled, and I was able to establish a relationship with his friends, but now since public school has become a part of our life, it's been just a little difficult for me to know the company he keeps and I don't like it one bit.

I know he's only a freshman, and it'll take some time, but who are these boys in the picture? "Hey! WHO ARE YOU? What's your mama's name? Where do you live? Where IS your mama? What kind of student are you? What type of grades do you make? Uh...can you tell me how Firstborn acts while he's out of my sight?"

Yep, these are questions I want to know and unfortunately, besides a name...that's all the information I know about the boys in the picture. Some of them are on the basketball team with Firstborn, so I'm slowly being able to maneuver myself into their little private lives as we attend games and practices.

I HAD to snap a few pictures to keep myself from going over and joining in the fun. I wanted to know what they were laughing about. Yep, that's the kind of mama I am and Firstborn probably would have died - no, he probably would have killed me instead. Firstborn is the one sitting down, in the black jacket with the purple shirt and black tie. He's facing the camera with his mouth wide open laughing hysterically.

One GOOD thing about this is I know Firstborn has been raised right and he's a sweet boy. Perfect boy? No, but he knows right from wrong. He'll make some unwise choices and he'll be pressured by his peers, but I've done my part.

For mothers of young children, pour good values, morals, and character into them NOW, so you can send them off into the world knowing WITH PEACE that you've done your part.

And you know what? Later that night, Firstborn gave me the scoop about what they were talking and laughing so hard about. Yippppeeeee! LOL

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Momsweb Monday Meditation - One Way

I examined my aging body in the mirror last night as I completed my nightly 35 jumping jacks and lackadaisical leg lifts. I attempt to do this nightly before taking a shower, yet sometimes just collecting the energy for a shower is enough physical exertion for me.

I’m already experiencing the benefits of exercise as my body matures, so I understand fully the importance of it, yet last night during our family prayer, a Life Lesson for LaVender was received.

As hubby earnestly thanked God for watching over our family and keeping us, I thought of how selfish I am in doing my part to keep my temple. My temple is the Holy Spirit's dwelling place, so I must keep it in shape to be fully used by Him as a woman, wife and mother. It’s funny how I’ll ask for more strength and energy, but I’m lazy about doing my part to receive it.

What if God was complacent in His giving? What if He didn’t feel like waking me this morning? What if He felt like complacently giving me breath? I know I'm selfish, but never recognized it on this level. I’ve been traveling on a one-way street as I expect God to deliver, yet I deliver when I feel like it.

I’m reminded I must do my part if I expect God to do His part and praying for healing when I’m not well is not my part, but doing what is necessary for temple maintenance is – daily exercise, drinking lots of water, eating in moderation, and adequate sleep.

Wow! God sure has a way of breaking it down with me. This increased intimacy that I’ve been having with my Keeper is offering more wisdom, knowledge, and an awakening to a new life!

What about you? How is your temple maintenance?

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Increased Intimacy

I have to laugh at life sometimes to keep from crying and I've been doing a lot of laughing lately! LOLOL

Since the beginning of this new year, it's been one thing after another. I haven't blogged since the previous post and my words within that post have definitely been tested - day after day. More than a few of those "unplanned" days have happened along with the mess carried over from 2009 - bills, bills, and more bills.

One thing has improved and that is my intimacy with a very special friend. This friend has always been a part of my life, but lately it's been like an addiction! I've never had an affair before, but I've been waking earlier than usual to have longer conversations with him. I just can't seem to get enough of him. The anticipation to hear his voice excites me! Just thinking about him puts a smile on my face and melts my heart.

Unlike hubby, this friend makes me feel like I am the most important person in the world. The way he listens to me makes me feel like I'm his only concern - top priority. He is never rushed or consumed with other things when I talk. I always have his undivided attention, which makes me feel like a special woman. The way he holds and comforts me can't be explained.

Having this intimacy with someone other than hubby has actually increased intimacy in my marriage. Hubby notices something is different, but he doesn't need to know everything. Do I feel guilty? Not at all and I would encourage you to develop this type of intimacy with a friend also. Well, not just any friend - my friend. His name is Jesus. I can't imagine living my life as a woman, wife, or mother without Him.

If you don't know Him, I'll be happy to introduce Him to you, but just remember...once you become intimate with Him, you'll keep coming back for more!

Monday Meditation - What I Know About The Unknown

My mother gave me a 2010 calendar perfect for a family with an active schedule.
It has stickers labeled for birthdays, meetings, haircuts, practices, games, appointments, and anything else you can think of. I began to fill the month of January with the cute stickers and an assurance of knowing in advance some of the things we have planned.

My false assurance in our plans led to questions about the unknown. What does God have in store for me in 2010? What if God gave me stickers labeled surgery, car repossession, death, or hubby’s termination from work? Well, the truth of the matter is, not only do I not want to prepare for those days, I don’t want to know about them! Taking one day at a time sounds great to me!

I did okay in 2009 as my family experienced a few joyful and painful events. We’ve had some financial challenges, some health concerns, and even an unfortunate run in with the law. Those days weren’t on the calendar, but we’re still here and going strong!

The comfort in the unknown is knowing there is one thing that will never change – God. He will be right there as promised – available to help, guide, comfort, and counsel. A new year can be a little intimidating and so can a new day, but knowing God’s word is solid as a rock offers faith and confidence. God said I could cast my cares on Him. He said He’d never leave me. He said ALL things work together for those who love Him.

A mother never has to manage the scope of the family alone. We work directly for the son of God and He works directly through us - our hands are His tools as He directs us throughout our planned and unplanned days. How about you? Will you depend on God to carry you through 2010?
Have a magnificent Monday in Motherhood as we walk confidently into the unknown year!

Isaiah 40:8 (NKJV)
"The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever.”

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