Confession: When you have been born and raised in the church, brace yourself, you get tired of church. Sometimes when you are a regular attendee of church you can get weary or just plain tired. Right there is where most people will begin a rant about God and be not weary in well doing. I said church. Not God. Not well-doing. There is a difference. As an adult child of a pastor, I still get tired or bored with the routine of church, the politics of church and I get weary of the outsiders and former insiders looking in from the outside judging the church not knowing how to separate the church from people and the Divine.
The first time this happened to me I didn’t know what it was. I could hardly put it into words but, my actions had no problem expressing how I felt. I stopped going to church. For six months I did nothing much except got a Word from a pastor on T.V., read or visited my home church from time to time. I didn’t know what I had lost. The church was excellent in Word and knowledge but, I could not get past the red tape of leadership and I could not use my gifts. In hindsight I could see that as being the problem mostly for me…not for them so much. The Word at that church changed me from a hearer to a person who could apply the wisdom of the Bible to my life. It gave me insight and understanding I can use for the rest of my life. I am a better person and woman because of it. I think it was just time for me to leave. I had gotten what I came for and I gave what was required.
After six months I found another church home. It has been about three or four years…my zeal has wavered again. It wasn’t until last week I found out it was called “zeal”. It came to me on a Sunday morning sitting in my den looking out the window. I asked over and over what is wrong with me? I can’t feel anything. The word ZEAL popped in my mind. You have lost your Zeal again. Well, who’s fault is that? And the same voice said “Ultimately, yours. You are responsible for your zeal.”. I will start the next blog next week on why you are responsible for your zeal. Note: There are many reasons we will explore about why you lose your zeal and what you can do to get it back and keep it! By the way, you can also lose a zeal for anything and I hope this series will help someone.
The Holidays can bring about depression and anxiety for single parents. I could say well, it’s not about the gifts but, what I should point out is it goes beyond the gifts as to why a single parent may experience some anxiety and depression.
A single parent may have struggled the entire year and the very thought of purchasing anything outside of the budget (or means) brings about a feeling of insufficiency. It may bring about thoughts of “If only there were two parents” and truth be told I have seen everything from a single parent sacrificing to get things (for Holidays and Birthdays) and then find themselves behind on bills, in a viscous cycle of debt to becoming extremely moody and bitter and the children begin to associate this time of the year with lack, shortage and insufficiency in the material sense. And as adults they let you know this is how they feel about the holidays and birthdays. Holidays and birthdays stunk as children therefore, they stink as adults.
When you are spending money to fill a void of not feeling like “the parent” it’s not about the children. It’s about YOU not feeling like you are enough as a parent. It may be competition with the other parent to show you can do as much as they can without them. And the truth is, I have seen single fathers on child support struggle financially and whether they admit it or not, they also become depressed or bitter during this time of the year because they too have to find extra money to buy things for their child/children. They too go into further debt during the holidays or birthdays. So there are many sides to a story.
Listen, single parents (fathers and mothers), you need to know your parenthood success is not built on gifts of the material things but are built on the gifts of love and time. It is built on the gifts of pouring into your children principals, values, morals that will last a lifetime while those toys and clothes will be a thing of the past in a week.
If you are not in the mood for the Holidays or Birthdays because of what you can’t buy then you are missing the entire point of these days. Re-evaluate the reason for the season and what it means to be thankful your child saw another birthday.
Keeping gifts and celebrations within reason creates children that are grateful when you provide extra and grateful when there is little or none because they know you love them and care for them and that is ALL that matters.
I know you are single and it’s the holidays but when you lie down tonight and count your blessings being single just might be one of them. You could have ended up in some sad relationships, some jacked up marriages and don’t lie to yourself talking about you would rather have that than to be alone…no piece of “tail” is worth a peace of mind. Some say it’s better to have a “piece of a man/woman than to be alone” but I hardly ever want a piece of anything! So don’t exchange your PEACE for a PIECE. Sleep in heavenly peace…
Saturday Morning Musings: Until you stop looking back in the PAST at your EX and what you two USE TO have, you will NEVER be able to uncover the JEWELS that God presents to you in the PRESENT. You’ll keep hurting other people. You’ll miss WHO YOU SHOULD HAVE pining away over WHO YOU USE TO HAVE. My advice: Let it burn. He or she is the past. Let there be no remnants of what use to be and let there now be new memories of what is with whomever you are with. And if you are not with anyone prepare your self to have no residue of him or her in your mind. Clean up for the NEW. Let it burn. Let it fade. Celebrate the NEXT not your EX.
In a relationship, if I give you my time and heart then that is the “much that has be given”. You are absolutely right much will be required from you. Time is precious. You cannot get time back. My heart is priceless so if I give that I expect much in return.
There is a “Spoon Theory” used by those of us who have an autoimmune disease such as Lupus or Rheumatoid or Fibromyalgia. I will get to the relevancy of that shortly.
I woke up with much energy. I slept in a little. I went to the outlet mall in Mississippi which is only about a 25 minute drive from where I live. I went in one store with my daughter, my mother, and my sister. We left there and stopped for a late lunch on the way back. I dropped them off and came home. I felt my energy waning right after I left the outlet. I thought if I could get home and get some rest I would be fine to go to an event with my old classmates. I purchased tickets last week. I have had my dress and shoes and accessories planned for a week.
I came home but, I had to get back out because the dog (I am dog sitting for my brother-last minute) needed food. I came back home and I couldn’t relax. I know I needed to but, I just couldn’t. I asked myself, what the hell happened to all of my energy? I only went to the mall and back. Then I thought about the Spoons. I just started using this even though I have known about it for some time.
So where did my 12 spoons go?
Two loads of laundry this morning and folded one= 1 spoon
Clean up room (didn’t finish) = 5 spoons
Get dressed=1 spoon
Pick up sister and mom, drive to outlet=2 spoons
Help daughter pick out clothes=1 spoons
Drive home and drop off mom and sister=2 spoons Out of spoons at this point but, I have to do more
First, let me say I don’t generally use the term “baby mama” but here I used it to grab the attention of readers. This one is dedicated to the single fathers, divorced single fathers or however you became a single father is none of my business and this is a judgement free zone.
If you want to instantly decrease the drama of the child/children’s mother here is part one. Brace yourself:
Stop sleeping with her. You are keeping a connection physically for you but, emotionally for her. If you are sleeping with her to see your kids or out of convenience I challenge you to grow up and find a better way to see your children such as petitioning the courts to get proper visitation rights and not giving up or giving excuses. If you are sleeping with her to keep her from sleeping with another man, I suggest you get over her and focus on your children.
Stop leading her on. Maybe we will get back together next year, in the future, in out of space. Your leading her on is an indication you are still tied to her. I thought you said you were over her? Not.
Stop parading a slew of women in her face. Why are you doing this anyway? Is that not petty? Another indication you are trying to hurt her for hurting you. It’s called spite. If you have a new woman say so or don’t say so. If you are now married then establish the line and make it all about your children.
Put your child or children first but, let her know you are not the babysitter you are the father who does not mind watching your child/children on the days you are not scheduled. She doesn’t get to interrupt your plans for her plans every weekend so she can hit the club or the Quan ( a new dance craze). The moment you say no she has a problem but the moment you need to rearrange it’s a problem. Tell her if you have to be flexible then so does she and mean it. Either it’s going to be rigid or flexible with both parents.
Digest this and Part 2 will come later. My book Healing the Single Mother is available on amazon.com