By Dena Johnson Martin, Crosswalk.com
Today's post is a two-part series by my friend, Samantha Ferguson. She's an amazing single mama and photographer in Birmingham, Alabama. If you are looking for someone to take some great family photos, make sure you check out His Hands Photography.
I was researching a few months ago about encouraging things to say to a single mom and I came across a blog post from Huffington Post. It was sweet, perfect, and FUNNY!
From Huffington Post, 7 things to say to a single mom:
- Your kid is going to be so proud of you.
- Of course it’s OK to leave him/her with a babysitter!
- It’s also totally OK if you didn’t reeeeeally miss your baby too much.
- A family is a family, no matter who the major players are.
- Your hair looks great!
- You are enough.
- You’re doing awesome.
I have been a single mom for 680 days. Some of you have been a single mom a lot longer than that and some of you less, so honestly when I was preparing what I was going to share tonight, I felt inadequate. I am no expert and there are many days where I am counting down the minutes until I can put my babies to bed without feeling guilty.
So on Monday evening, I was multitasking with 27 different tasks at once and I had a moment. Who knows what I mean when I say I had a moment? Not a feel good happy, everything smelling like roses moment but a how in the world am I going to make it the next two minutes moment. A moment where if I had time, I would schedule a nervous breakdown…. And I just stopped and said to God, who am I that you would ask me to encourage other single moms when I am a hot mess?
That is when he reminded me that He is enough and he would give me the words to say.
So I continued the 27 things I was doing and attempted to cook dinner and my can opener broke, in mid can. I swear God has a sense of humor and laughed with me as He watched me open the rest of the can just so I could finish dinner.
That night after the kids had gone to bed, I spent some time praying about what He wanted me to share. I knew I would share the 7 things to say to a single mom but that was from a secular website. What did HE want me to say? And that is when He started giving me things Father God wants to say to a single mom.
He gave me 11 beautiful promises for you with His word to speak to your soul.
1. You are honored.
This one was tricky for me. I have often read
She gets up while it is still night; she provides food for her family – Every single mom I know must get up early to provide for her family.
She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks. – You have to be strong and work hard to accomplish everything that you need to do to survive.
Her lamp does not go out at night. – I know that I work late into the night after the kids go to bed just to get a little ahead or catch up on everything that is expected of me.
She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy. – Single moms are the most generous people I know. They do not think twice in offering childcare to another mom, offering a meal, running an errand. Whatever need they see, they are eager to serve.
She carefully watches everything in her household and suffers nothing from laziness. There is no laziness in being a single mom. There is no one to take up the slack. We must watch over everything.
Her children stand and bless her. Our children see all that we do and even if they are not at the point of blessing up publically, one day they will see all the sacrifices that you do for them and they will bless you.
Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the LORD will be greatly praised. Reward her for all she has done. Let her deeds publicly declare her praise. A mom who is following the Lord will be rewarded for her hard work. We will be honored publicly by our children become men and women of God and also by God honoring us in His way. He sees all your hard work and He is proud of you.
2. He cares about the details.
In fact, even the hairs on your head are all numbered.
You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed. How precious are your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered! I can’t even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand! And when I wake up, you are still with me!
How many times do you run your fingers through your head and pull out a handful of hair? I start to worry that one day there will be no more hair to pull out. But the remarkable thing is that God knows every single hair on your head. He has so many thoughts about YOU that they cannot be numbered. Try holding a handful of sand and count the grains. You will tire quickly—and that is just a handful. If he cares that much for us, He is in the details of our lives.
I have so many stories where God provided a way for me. Groceries on my front door when I arrived home, wonderful blessing… but the deliverers didn’t know they chose my son’s favorite cereal. Through some amazing God events, someone anonymously sent me a cherry red Kitchen-aid mixer for Christmas one year. I wept like a baby over my dream gift. When my children wanted to play softball and baseball this year, I didn’t have the funds for all the equipment I would need. But God provided cleats, gloves, pants, and a bat. Everything was provided for my babies. It isn’t a big deal to the whole world that my kids play ball but it was to me and God was in the details enough to provide everything we needed.
3. His GRACE will fill in the gaps.
My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.
So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.
When we are at our weakest, His power comes in. I have pleaded this
4. You can’t do it all, but you don’t have to.
I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit.
He gives strength to the weary, And to him who lacks might He increases power.
He promises UNLIMITED resources to empower us with His Spirit. We can’t do everything we need to do. It’s impossible! But He promises He will give us strength when we are weary and resources when we need them. He promises to increase our power and strength. There are days where I don’t think I can make it another hour, but all I have to do to is call out to the Spirit to increase my strength and power. He is faithful to answer.
Image courtesy: ©Thinkstock/digitalskillet