Its been 16 wks of school and I can tell you there has been nothing normal about school 2020 style. Sapphire started her Freshman year so excited even with the fact she’d have to do it from home…then reality set in. By week 4 she would have a daily cry and a stomp around the house because of her perception of poor communication, lack of understanding  and general frustration with school from home. 

Honestly, out of fear I kept her home.  Back in June I said God what would you have me do? Should I let her back in school with the virus raging. Then a peace came over me and I knew i wouldn’t have to make the choice. And I didn’t…they closed the schools for the first 9wks. God knew my concerns about her going so in true FATHER form he allowed me to take the safe route and learn the lesson. He knew I had to see Sapphire struggle before I would let her go back to school willingly. 

So after 9wks of crying and feelings of loneliness we were able to switch to going on campus twice a week. And then SHE WAS BACK. My happy-go-lucky, social butterfly, fashionista was back. Sapphire went from a depressed and stressed freshman to a fun loving delight in a week. I had not seen the decline into depression on her because I enjoyed staying home and we would still take small trips here and there so I thought it was enough. I didn’t realize how sad she was until she was waking me up in the middle of the night crying that her life sucked. The first night I talked her through it…the 2nd time I called in the calvary….my sister circle, prayer, and the church counselors. They all stepped up and spent time talking with Sapphire but the ultimate change was me getting over my own fears and allowing my social butterfly to bloom. 

Now she’s in school and has funny stories for me every day. We wear a mask and wash our hands and the school does an excellent job of keeping the children safe. Now if we could just keep the boys away…🧐

Over the last 3 yrs I’ve noticed a consistent theme in my prayer life: wanting to be different. You’d think at nearly 38 yrs old I’d be over feelings of inadequacy, but nope… in my mind I still second guess EVERY THING I DO (insert exhausted emoji here). I try to see myself as God see’s me but I can’t see past issues with body image and my ability to say the most inappropriate things that keep me embarrassed long after the conversation is over. So yea, I’ve found myself in this constant cycle of “God why did you make me like this!” And then Saturday happened…

I was invited to a small dinner party to celebrate the 4th of July: just me and 2 couples in their 70’s. Don’t let the age fool you, the 4 of them kept me in stitches! What’s the Christian term for piss and vinegar?….that’s these 4! We talked about everything from politics, to race, religion and PDA (insert vomit emoji here) nothing was out of bounds. And because of age, race, and culture everyone had differing opinions. Finally we landed on the topic of children and I got quiet. Cue inadequacies. What could I ever contribute to this subject because these people had done it “right”…. married for 40+ years, financially stable, in ministry, biblical scholars, and plus their children are now my age!!! I was definitely the Daniel Son to their Mr. Miyagi. But as they talked candidly about the recent loss of my dear friend Erica, her brother 25 yrs earlier and the continued prayer for another child I started to understand why God made me just this way.

As I listened to each story of raising children it was clear the child could have benefited from someone they could relate to while trying to find their way. Someone who was considered “different” but loved to have fun and had a solid relationship with God. Perhaps if they had a friend who loved God but also loved rock music, crazy hair colors, and tattoos they would have been able to see themselves in the body of Christ…or where they could fit. I believe they would have connected with me a lot quicker than a straight laced conservative parent or someone who looks like their conservative parents.  All I could think was “I could have reached him” and there’s still time to reach others!

I see that my awkward ways help me to attract non-traditional individuals to our Father’s love. Those who feel they don’t fit in at church but want/need the connection. Is there a standard that Christ Followers should have? Yes. However, I want to implore you to check your heart and determine if your standards are biblical truths or tradition. Jesus said that it’s not okay to simply follow the letter of the law but not live out the intention (heart) behind the law (Mathew 23:23-26, Romans 7:6). We need compassion, justice, and mercy for people we don’t agree with or who don’t look like us in order to lead someone to Christ. And these qualities come from realizing your own short comings and quirks. God sees my tattoos, piercings, and loud mouth as opportunities to stand out for Him. And the more I see it as an asset the more He can use it for His glory.

It’s weird and uncomfortable to be around people that don’t understand you but these are the exact times where God can be glorified. So here’s your chance!  God wants to use you. Just like you are…you’re enough!

In my previous post I talked about the family unity that has prevailed in spite of being quarantined in small quarters. Often times, when we speak truth and encouragement in faith…the devil will try to test it. And that he did…

Last week Sapphire came to me in tears, face completely defeated and broken.  I tossed my laptop on the couch and cradled my baby on my lap. She’d just had a conversation with her father.  Seems like the financial pressures and his job being furloughed got to him. He allowed his temper to get out of control and he yelled at her. Sapphire said he made her feel like his situation was all her fault because she’s always asking for things. Well, she’s 13 yrs old…she’s always asking for the next best thing. At this age she is not in a place to know when to ask for things (or not). Nor is she at a level of maturity to deceiver responsibility and not accept someone’s issues as her own. So she cried, long and hard, because she’d messed up everything with no way to fix it. I know this was an attach of the enemy because usually her father is on her side and wouldn’t make her feel bad. But the devil will use anything to stir up a fight.

I wanted to call and curse my ex-husband out!! Make him feel as low as he made my baby feel. But instead, I rocked her in my lap. I dried her tears and reminded her of a few things. Number one, her dad lives 1000 miles away and cannot take anything. And two, if he was close enough to try, our Texas family wouldn’t allow him access to us. Then we talked about who her Heavenly Father says she is…a blessing from God (Psalms 127:4), a child of the king (1 John 3:1), and that God knew her before she was born and has a plan for her life (Jeremiah 1:5).  I let her know that she’s not in the way and not too expensive. Reassured her that mom can take care of her needs because our Heavenly Father provides everything we need. We discussed the idea of resources we have to aid in our lifestyle vs the source: God who is sovereign and through him all blessings flow.  By the end of the conversation we both were laughing and wiping tears way.

Because the devil knows my trigger points and what can provoke me he created a conflict. This usually would have created a heated argument and that emotional push and pull with Sapphire in the middle.  But not this time. I took a step back and allowed God’s word to fight this spiritual battle. As I reassured Sapphire with scripture i definitely encouraged myself, too. I’ve learned this continued reassurance is the most effective way to combat the devil and heal a broken heart. This fight I took to the Lord in prayer instead of defending myself or Sapphire. The lord will fight this battle. 


Sapphire’s 10th Birthday

They met in Second grade and wanted to spend every minute together. They were together so much that their moms became best friends too.  Then they grew up and things changed. Middle school happened: social groups changed, interest changed, and then physical distance (final nail in friendship coffin).  Our families went from seeing one another everyday to twice a month. 

Different as night and day. Arie is the skater girl in all black, into gaming, dark moody songs and lover of all animals. Sapphire is the social butterfly, loves makeup, hair, and shopping, with a soft spot for people in need.  Because of there differences there have been hurt feels that had to be managed.  So when Cora and I decided our families should shelter in place together I had concerns about how long the peace would last.

Then Friday I looked outside and saw the girls laughing and playing on the trampoline and it made me smile.  I remembered all the misunderstandings, frustrated talks on the drive home and my demand for servility. So to see them genuinely hanging out and discussing college choices…mind blown! During this quarantine theses two have stayed up late chatting, sat together to do school work, they even tag team teasing Devin (the little sister). Not one argument…yet. Not saying that they are the bests of friends (still different as night and day) but they care about one another and look out for one another again. I see God doing a new thing in this friendship and in the lives of our families. The peace of God is in this house and love & patience is abounding. 

Although these are scary times I choose to see the benefits of the shelter in place….quality time! I hope you find glimmers of hope for your family as well. 

Deuteronomy 31:6 “Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.”

I’m the ‘what if’ type…I run through different scenarios in my head and what I would do if this or that would happen. This coronavirus outbreak was one of my ‘what if’s’…being sheltered in place with limited resources and having to protect my child.  Fears that we’d get separated and I wouldn’t be able to get back to her, she’d be lost and afraid. And the whole social isolation…the worse punishment ever! Yes, it feels like a punishment, I am 1 of 7 children so I’m just used to being around people. I need community and not ashamed to say it! Can we say worse fears coming to life!  

Just as I started to feel my anxiety rising, I was reminded in prayer of all the time my heavenly Father has covered me and protected me. I started to think about times when I had $20 to buy food for the week, when my employment was uncertain, when all my friends started to move away and yet I’d made it through those times so why fear now?!?  As I spent time just thinking and processing this whole thing, I could see God’s hand at work. Every trail he’s taken we through in the last 10yrs has been chipping away at my fears about safety, health, and stability. God has been strengthening me and stabilizing me this whole time. Now I’m more than confident that I am not alone, He’s always been there: leading, guiding, and protecting. Psalms 23 Says He is my shepherd I have everything I need.  And when I walk through shadowy places I don’t have to fear because he is with me.

Single Parents- I know it feels like the weight of the world is on your shoulders but know that you are not alone. Spend time talking to God and allow him to talk back. He will give you wisdom on how to stay safe, witty ideas to home school your kids and inventions on how to make the dollar stretch. If we allow him, God will carry the weight of our issues: we just have to give it to Him.

A scripture to consider

Matthew 6: 25-34 (Do Not Worry)

26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?

27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life[e]?

28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin.

29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.

30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith?

31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’

32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.

33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Rejoice Always. Pray without ceasing. In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

With everything going on in my life it has taken forever to get this post together. I was thinking God why am I even doing this I don’t have the time or energy. And to be honest what would I even write because I’ve not felt very qualified to speak on the subject of parenting with the way Sapphire has been acting lately.  I’ve been overwhelmed by work, ministry, and Sapphire so to be honest most days I’d rather run away then share my experiences. And then I laughed and thought…content for the blog. God you’re providing content.

In an effort to figure out what to do with Sapphire’s flip mouth and even flippier (it’s a word i just made it up) attitude I reached out to our village.  I talked with several friends about how they’ve handled issues with their kids previously or what they are doing now.   I saw that we were all having issues with our children and intuitively knowing the right method of discipline was impossible. No one wants to be as hard as their parents were but couldn’t let the child get away with the behaviors (ugh it’s all just exasperating). But I found peace in knowing that no one has the right equation that would total the perfect amount of act right in a child. No, we’re all remembering childhood experiences, subtracting negative integers, and adding in a lot of GOD.

For years the devil tried to make me feel like Sapphire’s behavior was because of my choices; that it was only my child acting out so perhaps it was due to something I did or did not do. The bible says in Rev 12:10 the devil is the accuser of the brethren and for a long time I accepted it because I had really done all the things he had accused me of. I had asked for forgiveness but I thought I was still guilty of the crime. The guilt robbed me of a lot of joy, peace, and sleep. And allowed Sapphire to use of manipulation as a pawn to get most anything from me or her father (kids come out with the ability to manipulate).  Until I understood that I was no longer on trial for my sins and errors. Jesus had stepped in, essentially “done the time” for my crimes, and I was free to go and sin no more (John 8:11). I’ve over come that accusation by the blood that Jesus shed and the word of my testimony (Rev 12:11).

Well then why the heck are our kids acting up?? Here’s my perspective. Among other things, kids are naughty because they are human, born in a fallen word, and have the same free will you and I have.  I’m sure we can go back and forth about sins of the father and generational curses and get really spiritual but that’s another topic for another day. The one thing we all can agree on is we must pray for our children!

Last Sunday I got the idea to start a prayer journal for any kid I knew struggling with something or had a transition coming (middle school, high school, college).   Seriously, out of all the books and journals around the apartment I couldn’t find a single one at 4:30 am! So I grabbed a stack of computer paper stapled it and wrote Remember at the top.  Each page has a child’s name, a scripture, and a handwritten prayer.  Everyday I pray these prayers and will continue to do so until I see God move in the lives of our kids.  And turns out the stack of computer paper was the best idea because I’ll be adding additional sheets sooner than I thought. Everyday I am on the look out for parents (married or single) who need a listening ear and someone to stand with them in prayer for their child.

If you’d like to be added to my prayer journal, In the comment section: leave your child’s first name and the scripture you are using to stand on in faith during this time. If you don’t have a scripture still add the name as I trust the Holy Spirit will lead me in prayer for you.   

The First One….(bites nails)

Welcome to Average Mom: Great God a single-parenting blog focused on raising Godly children by setting Godly examples. Join me on this wild adventure as I tackle teenage angst, dating, education, and fostering her relationship with Jesus Christ. And yes, I’ll have to discuss my stance on dating as a christian and single parent! It’s sure to stir up some opinions :). I’m excited to have you accompany me on this journey as we’re sure to have lots of laughs, tears, and authentic love. I’m just getting this blog going, so stay tuned for more. Make sure to subscribe for notifications on new posts. when I post new updates.