Monday, January 26, 2009

Sailing Away to a Good Night’s Sleep

"People who say they sleep like a baby usually don't have one."—Leo J. Burke

Most single parents live sleep deprived. The only sleep I got in fourteen years occurred when my sons visited their father. A concerned friend took the liberty to put my name into a drawing for a 7 day/6 night cruise on the fabulous new Gypsy Queen Cruise Line on the flagship Neches Belle. It departs from downtown Beaumont, TX. All airfares, transfers, food, and drinks are included with dinner at the captain's table as his personal guest. The first night's haute cuisine promises a scrumptious menu featuring fillet of catfish, hush puppies, collard greens, and all-you-can-eat boiled Louisiana rusty crawfish! Yum!

Love the Cup Holder

This cruise also includes the famous, 'Ole' Muddy Midnight Skinny Dip, with cruise hosts Eulla Bell and Krissie Joe.

If I win this much needed cruise, I plan to sleep like a baby.

Sunday, January 25, 2009


"How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How vast is the sum of them! If I should count them, they would outnumber the sand."—Psalm 139:17-18 (NASB)

The lack of validation is another difficult aspect of solo parenting. Religionists accuse us of failure, causing the downfall of society. The school only calls—to complain. I long to hear a teacher say, "Your child is awesome!" The procrastinator boss calls—to shorten the already-too-short deadline. No "thank you's," just more stress. The kids call out in the night—they're scared or missing their dad. Their dad calls—to complain about their behavior, which is all my fault—not related the consequences of his life choices.

Disheartened, sometimes I feel trapped by invalidation, which makes me question, Why do my sacrifices go unappreciated? My commitment to my family? My hard work? Why so little encouragement? I'm sleep deprived, overworked, underappreciated, and long to hear someone say something—anything—life giving.

Too many times, I've given and given only to receive in return the painful snakebite of betrayal. Yet, how often do I look at someone and think, "Wow, you're beautiful." "You did an awesome job." One day I decided to give what too often I long to receive. If I think, "Your eyes are stunning," I say it to friends or strangers. Why just keep it to myself? One woman's cheerful attitude at the Wendy's drive thru never fails to lift my spirits. So I told her, "Thank you, I love coming through this drive-thru because you are so friendly." She beamed.

When others overlook you, God loves and appreciates you, because he made you. You are the Creator's creative creation. Unique. Special. Loved. Some hypothesize that there are 7,500,000,000,000,000,000, or seven quintillion five quadrillion grains of sand in the world. And God's precious thoughts about you outnumber every grain.

If you're struggling with feeling disqualified, invisible, misunderstood, or unappreciated, click here to see a video that I hope will encourage and remind you that God wants to fill the deep dry well of longing for validation.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

In His Time

'For I know the plans that I have for you,' declares the LORD, 'plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope. 'Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you.'— Jeremiah 29:11-12 (NASB)

Where are you today? What is your heart feeling?

Are your circumstances and future a mystery? When I was at my lowest and felt absolutely hopeless, the words to these songs—He Who Began a Good Work and In His Time— breathed life into my shattered dreams.

He who began a good work in you

He who began a good work in you

Will be faithful to complete it

He'll be faithful to complete it

He who started the work

Will be faithful to complete it in you

When marital abandonment threw me into deep despair, I used to sob as I sang this verse. It captured how I felt and what I desired—to be safe, secure, loved, and cherished.
If the struggle you're facing

Is slowly replacing

Your hope with despair

Or the process is long

And you're losing your song

In the night you can be sure

That the Lord has His hand on you

Safe and secure

He will never abandon you

You are His treasure

And He finds His pleasure in you

When my circumstances were at their ugliest, in the midst of pain, I needed hope that I could enjoy life again. I clung to the words of the song "In His Time."

In His time, in His time,

He makes all things beautiful in His time.

Lord, my life to You I bring,

May each song I have to sing,

Be to You a lovely thing, in Your time.

In Your time, in Your time,

You make all things beautiful in Your time.

Lord, my life to You I bring,

May each song I have to sing,

Be to You a lovely thing, in Your time.

"He makes every thing beautiful in his time."— Ecclesiastes 3:11

Call on God today. El Roi, the God who sees, knows where you are today. He longs to hear your voice. He's waiting.

Click here and savor the visuals and inspiring words of "The Interview with God."

Monday, January 5, 2009

Ahhh…a New Year

"Sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God."—Colossians 3:16b, NIV.

I no longer make New Year's Resolutions. Why? For too many years, I resolved, "I will diet"—and other than a few lost pounds—I've never accomplished my weight loss goals.

My resolution for 2009? No more resolutions.

Instead, I've adopted one word—gratitude. Every day this year, I want be aware of and tell God, "I'm grateful for…" I suspect my hopeful look towards the future without regard to prickly circumstances might end up being harder than making a few unkept resolutions. I want to intentionally guide my feelings, thoughts, opinions, words, and ways to sing a new praise song to God every day. As I express my thankfulness, I want to remember that gratitude is more than uttering words, my ethics live them.

These encouraging words by author Melodie Beattie speak biblical truth regarding many struggles solo parents face, "Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos into order, confusion into clarity.... It turns problems into gifts, failures into success, the unexpected into perfect timing, and mistakes into important events. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow."

I Want 2009 To Be…

"Another year to live!

To banish worry, doubt, and fear,

To love and laugh and give!

This bright new year is given me

To live each day with zest . . .

To daily grow and try to be

My highest and my best!

I have the opportunity

Once more to right some wrongs,

To pray for peace, to plant a tree,

And sing more joyful songs!"—William Arthur Ward