Thursday, April 7, 2011

Hope for the Single Parent

The statistics are heart-wrenching. I know them...I know them too well. As a product of many of those dreadful numbers, due to my own parents' divorce, I am anything but naive about the devastating effects divorce can have on children. So, walking into single parenthood eight years ago sickened me.

Would my daughter simply end up as another one of those statistics? Even well-meaning people made sure I knew what I was heading into. My heart was already broken over the shocking divorce, and now I was being told that my daughter could very well end up a pregnant, high school drop out, drug user, alcohol abuser, co-dependent maladjusted young girl. How's that for encouragement?

But God...

God became my encourager. Each time someone implanted one of those statistics into my mind, yet again, I would just kindly respond, "Yes, sadly I'm aware of what the numbers reveal, but I'm choosing to believe my God is bigger than any statistic." I repeated this over and over and over. I continued to acknowledge the "facts". I wasn't oblivious to them, but I just chose to allow them not to dictate my life as a single parent.

Prayer for my daughter became almost like breathing for me. A day wouldn't pass without my lips offering up prayers of thanksgiving, prayers seeeking wisdom and protection, and BOLD prayers asking that God would let her rise above the statistics, rise above what the numbers "say" about her.

I got a glimpse of God's answer to those prayers this past weekend.

While I know that she is still a teenager...meaning hormonally imbalanced and quick to change her mind...I know that the time spent on my knees during those difficult years of single parenting was not in vain.

This past weekend, my daughter shared with me her sense of God's calling into some sort of ministry it missions, orphan ministry, only God knows those future plans. And...only God can work that out in His perfect timing. She also told me that she has a heart for evangelism and for the "least of these". Whoa! This mama's heart is simply full right now.

Again, I'm not naive. I know that she has a few teen years left to go, but I continue to God is bigger than all the statistics!

I say all this to say...especially to my single parent bloggy friends...

...if you find yourself believing the forecasted numbers regarding your children

...if you find yourself doubting that anything good can ever come out of your single parent status

...if you find yourself believing the worst for your children but hoping for the best

...if you find yourself giving up...

I'm here to give you hope. Don't stop praying for your children, and regardless of what the statistics reveal, just know our God is bigger than all of them!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Scripture Memory Verse 7 - People Pleaser?

Happy Friday bloggy friends! I pray you are all gearing up for a fantastic weekend! As noted in a post earlier this week, we'll have a house-full of 7th and 8th grade girls for our church's DNOW (Disciple Now) weekend! So, pray for my husband. He'll be sooooo outnumbered! :-)

It's time to post the next scripture memory verse I'm working on in conjunction with Beth Moore's Siesta Scripture Memory Team. Can you believe it's April 1 already! Uh-oh...we only have 14 more days to finish our taxes. I digress...

Anyway, as I blogged about balance yesterday, I've prayed that God would give me nuggets in His Word that would quicken me whenever I start adding more "things" in my life that don't line up with His plans for me. I don't want to have to keep learning the hard way. I pray He stops me in my tracks immediately. In scouring the scriptures, He led me to some words from the apostle Paul that I'm also choosing as my 7th verse of the year to memorize. I think it speaks volumes to this balancing problem of mine, because most of the problem stems from trying to be a people pleaser.

Galatians 1:10 NLT
Obviously, I’m not trying to win the approval of people, but of God. If pleasing people were my goal, I would not be Christ’s servant.

That said, this will be a challenge for me to take to heart. Whenever the temptation comes to do more out of my own strength rather than out of obedience to God...I pray God will use the truth's in this verse to whisper to my spirit...

Leah, are you trying to win the approval of people again?
Leah, are you doing this to please Me?
Leah, are you acting as Christ's servant in this manner?

May I be so quickened that I can't take one small step out of God's perfect will for me!