Being a single parent is tough. Some days you feel like you have the whole world on your shoulders. As if trying to raise your kids all by yourself wasn’t difficult enough, most single parents also have financial burdens that the absent parent leaves behind. Sometimes when I’m at the grocery store I see these moms with their 3 inch heels, their new Michael Kors bag, their new nails nicely painted, their hair nicely curled and in place, a fresh face full of make up, and I think about how I must look walking in Wal-Mart in my workout pants (that I don’t work out in), my long wrinkled shirt, my messy hair up in a bun, and my face with two-day old make up on, if any, trying to stop my kids from killing each other, all the while trying to look graceful. HA! I have to so shamefully admit that I have, on more than one occasion, finished homework at 3:00 am, when I had to be up for work at 6:00 am, and sat at the kitchen table and stared at the dirty dishes in my sink and cried…and cried. Most days I am exhausted. In a book I’m reading called Chase, by Jennie Allen, the last chapter I read talked about the bible story of David and how he defeated Goliath. The book asks us to think of the Goliath in our own lives and reflect on how that hinders our relationship with God. I would have to say my Goliath’s are definitely regret and guilt. Regret and guilt are something I struggle with constantly. The “what if’s” on my list are endless. When I see the moms with their careers already in place, with the big houses, and the summer vacations, my heart breaks for my kids because I am not able to offer them everything I wish I could. I do my best and have worked up to three jobs at once, and somehow it’s still not enough. I think to myself how much easier it would’ve been if I would’ve had my kids after I finished school, after I had my career set, after I had my own house, after I was married. Knowing that my bad decisions have affected my kids in a negative way absolutely destroys me; my heart breaks for them. The other day I was so tight on money I had to get my kids stuff they needed at the dollar store. That night I cried because I felt so bad that I couldn’t get my kids something better, then I laughed at myself because I was crying, then I cried again because I was so ashamed of being such a pathetic, shallow, human being. I remember a lot of things from my childhood, but the brand of my clothes isn’t one of them. I remember how proud I was of my mom for working so hard, how happy I was when she played mud fights with me even though I knew she was tired, how amazing it made me feel to know I had a mom who loved God with all her heart. I remember how much it meant to me when I would see my dad, even if it wasn’t that often. I don’t remember where my mom bought my clothes or shoes or school supplies, in fact, I had a mother who taught me that stuff didn’t matter. What she taught me was to always stay humble, to love people, and to always be kind. Most importantly she taught me to love God above everything else. I mean, isn’t that what truly matters? Lord knows the least thing we need in this world are more entitled kids who think the world owes them everything. So I choose to instill in my kids the same things my mother instilled in me. Love for God, and love for people.To respect other people and authority, and to stick up for yourself but to always be kind. To work hard for what you want, but to always stay humble. These are the things I choose to teach my kids. I want them to know it doesn’t matter if they don’t have a fancy house, a fancy car, or the best brand clothing. I want them to know it doesn’t matter what you look like, or where you shop. I want them to know God loves us unconditionally, even if we shop at the Dollar Store.
“For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” -1 Samuel 16:7 ❤