I’ll never get it right

According to the preacher’s sermon today on family, I’ll never get it right. First, I’m a single parent. Secondly, I’m a divorced single parent, which compounds the problem.

Because I’m a single parent, the chances of me being able to give my kids everything they need are slim. Because I’m a divorced single parent, not only am I not able to provide for my kids they are also doomed for life because they dont have what only a dad can give them – and somehow that’s my fault. It doesn’t have anything to do with their dad choosing not to be involved in their lives for anything more than a financial contributor.

I’ve been a divorced single mom for the past six years and have tried my best to instill a sense of family (through the church), and a sense of service and work by example. I have good kids who are willing to help when asked, and occasionally on their own. I’m proud of them for that. It’s disheartening to think that they are doomed to marital failure all because they don’t have a positive male influence in their lives everyday.

If God can, then why doesn’t he step in and fill in the gap so that my kids can succeed in their current and future relationships?

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Unlovely mess

It’s been awhile since I’ve truly experienced a closeness with God, a relationship where I feel him wrap his arms around me and just hold me while my heart silently pours itself out to him in a desperate plea for anything that would let me know that he is near. Sure, I know how to see God’s hand in circumstances. I know that he moved me from the apartment that my kids and I were in into a much larger rent house. I know that he has provided a way for the increased rent to be paid for a year. And I’m finally seeing why God moved me from the job at the church that I loved into my current job, but even in all of that my heart is empty. I long for it to be full. I long to feel love and to feel loved.

I don’t know if I’ll ever experience that emotion again.

We live in a society when experience no longer matters. Where education is key to life itself. The more you have, the best you are, apparently. One’s value to others is measured by a piece of paper. If one happens to possess both, how fortunate for them.

In the meantime, the rest of us aren’t worthy to be dirt on the bottom of a shoe.

#MeToo

#MeToo is the latest social media awareness to sweep the nation. In light of the breaking news stories of a prominent Hollywood producer sexually assaulting actresses of many ages over the years, one of those actresses began this #MeToo movement to show other women that they are not alone. Even though I am a victim of childhood sexual assault, I didn’t jump on the #MeToo bandwagon until I read another blog on the issue. That author broadened the spectrum by including female victims of sexist remarks or actions validated with personal stories. I don’t think there’s a woman alive who could say she hasn’t been a victim of sexism in America. Women generally have been and continue to be thought of as the weaker sex, one whose ideas or thoughts are as important as a man’s, one who is belittled simply because.

It hit me this morning that #MeToo is not too different than Black Lives Matter and those NFL players who have taken a knee during the National Anthem for the past year or so. Their purpose is to show oppression of people of a different skin color. #MeToo’s purpose is to show the oppression of women.

Historically, black people were owned and sold as slaves by predominately white men, beaten and abused for anything their owners could blame them for. Women are beaten today, but we call it domestic abuse, and women are sexually abused in word and action simply because we are seen as objects to be used as men see fit.

Oppression in America is alive and well, and it needs to come to an end. America is supposed to be about equality, opportunity and freedom, but oppression limits those things. I am writing this today to say, I am aware of oppression in America and am against it, but I refuse to take a knee on this one. I choose to stand as one who is equal to my male counterparts. As I said in a previous blog, we don’t bow down to any man, woman or country, so I choose to stand.

#Iamastander

Alone in a crowded room

Well, here I am. 40-something years old. Single/divorced mom of two teens. Two Associates degrees, a low paying full-time job, a mountain or two of student loan debt, and until yesterday, homeless at the end of this month. The only way to get ahead is to cheat the system – which I won’t do because 1) that’s not how I operate, and 2) I’d be the one to get caught. It’s better to just be honest from the beginning. Seriously, I don’t know what I have to do to get ahead in this world.

I’ve worked overtime, two jobs and at times three jobs just so I can feed my kids, pay my bills and put gas in my car, but it’s still not enough. I’ve done what I know to do. Work, get on top of my finances, tithe, go to church, volunteer, take care of my kids, be nice to people, pray, read my Bible (not enough, sadly), but it’s not enough. I can’t get ahead.

So I ask you, what do I have to do to stop being stuck where I am? I have two associates degrees (one in accounting), and I worked as a bookkeeper for five and a half years before I was laid off because of restructuring (seems everybody and anybody can do bookkeeping work, so they didn’t need me), but it means nothing. I also worked as a financial secretary (administrative assistant) for a year but was “encouraged” to find something with benefits. I thought things were going well, and I was told that I wasn’t being fired, but it sure seemed and felt like it. Anyway, I found a full-time job with some benefits but for less money. So, I didn’t move up, I just moved on. The only people who were happy about that was my former employer. (insert sad, hurt, and angry emojis here).

I feel like an absolute failure as a mom, as a provider, as an employee, as a friend…maybe I am. Nobody wants me. I can’t keep a husband, I can’t keep a job, I can’t keep a house or apartment…I’ll never learn to be Ruth.

#hopeless #helpless #pitiful

Leave the Man Alone!

This morning started out as usual: I woke up before my alarm, hit the snooze buttons (yes, plural button), read a passage of scripture, answered some emails and checked social media for the current news. Instead of news, what I found was post after post after post of political nonsense. Republicans were/are mad because Democrats are picking on Trump’s faults, and Democrats were/are mad because Republicans are picking on Obama’s faults. Until today, I’d been able to scroll past this childish behavior. Enough is enough.

I don’t understand being so obsessed with politics that you can’t get past the fact the we have a new president that no one agrees with or the fact that Obama is no longer president. Here’s the truth: those who voted for Trump hoping he could, at the most, fix America or, at the very least, fix or reverse Obama’s policies – it’s not going to happen. Trump is not a saviour. There’s only One, and Trump isn’t it. Nor is he satan. There’s only one of those, too, and Trump isn’t it. Leave the man alone!

Now, for those who can’t get past the fact that Obama is no longer in office, get over it. Whether you love him or hate him, he has graduated to the title “Mr. Obama” or “Former President, Mr. Obama. He doesn’t sign off on policies, laws or executive orders anymore, so he isn’t a factor. He wasn’t a savior or satan either. Again, there’s only one of each of those, and he is neither. He served his terms and handed the baton to the next brave soul willing to take on the mess we call America. Leave the man alone!

Both of these men along with more than 40 other brave men before them have sacrificed their lives, their families, and even their futures for you and me. If you and I aren’t willing to do as much, then we have no room whatsoever to talk or judge what these men have done or are doing. So leave them alone!

A lot of energy has been wasted by those who choose to buy into this political nonsense and keep the rumor and gossip mills going. If only we put half as much energy into our jobs and relationships as husbands, wives, fathers, mothers, children, friends, employers and employees…well, I imagine America if not the world would be a better place.

Beautiful

Earlier this week I had the privilege of getting out of the house and making a quick grocery store run to get my daughter some lunch to take with her on a field trip with her school.  I don’t know what I expected when I stepped outside other than near total darkness and frigid temps, but a breathtaking sunrise wasn’t it.  The sunrise depicted in this photo greeted me as I stepped around the corner of the apartment building where we live.  I was awestruck by its beauty.

I’ve thought about this moment all week and decided that God coordinated that sunrise for me to know that He sees, and He knows everything about me and all that I’m going through. He painted this beautiful sunrise to send a message to me that just like the sunrise and just like the 3-year-old violet in my office that has been dormant for three years but is finally blooming this year, my life that feels as if it has been dormant and gray for the past year will once again be beautiful and desirable if I keep watering it faithfully.

8 The whole earth is filled with awe at your wonders;

    where morning dawns, where evening fades,

    you call forth songs of joy.

You care for the land and water it;

    you enrich it abundantly.

The streams of God are filled with water

    to provide the people with grain,

    for so you have ordained it.

10 You drench its furrows and level its ridges;

    you soften it with showers and bless its crops.

11 You crown the year with your bounty,

    and your carts overflow with abundance.

12 The grasslands of the wilderness overflow;

    the hills are clothed with gladness.

13 The meadows are covered with flocks

    and the valleys are mantled with grain;

    they shout for joy and sing.  – Psalm 65:8-13 (NIV)

Thank you, Lord for painting that beautiful picture of my life right there in the sky for me to see and for me to know how deeply you care for me.