MOM, SC Mission Statement

MOM, SC is a Christian Ministry Outreach.

Single Mom Mission Outreach (SMMO) is an outreach to provide hope, healing and encouragement for single moms and children from single parent homes.

MOM, SC believes that when we are connected together in faith we flourish.

"Come, follow me," Jesus said, "and I will make you fishers of men." Matthew 4:19

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Spiritual Warfare

"Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes."
Ephesians 6:10-11
I never quite understood spiritual warfare before I met in head on. I'd even, humbly, admit I was naive to its existence. But I would get a 'crash course' on it whether I wanted to believe it existed or not. I learned some very important lessons about the devil and his thrifty and cunning ways of deception...
First, he'll use anything he can to lure you into depths of despair, and once there he will try to keep you there. He will shackle you arms and legs to a ball and chain called, "self." He will attack you where you are weak, get you to give into that 'selfish desire' and will then hold you there held captive by the shame you feel because you allowed yourself to give in to it. Or, rather, maybe someone has done something to you - has inflicted pain that cannot be expressed to the degree appropriated through mere words. Sensing your pain, he entices you to feel justified (you don't surely deserve this). And then just before the curtain closes, he will take from you that which will end the show for good - your hope (what's the point you ask yourself).
In hindsight, I can now see many incidences of spiritual attacks on my life, one of them being my fear of SPing. You see, my fear was that I wouldn't have enough patience. Would I be able to give my children enough love? Could I possibly teach them everything they needed to know? My thoughts were flooded by "cant's," "no-ways," and "not-possibles." This thinking had taken a hold on my mind. They had become 'strongholds' originating from the devil who was so "graciously" (NOT) sharing them with me. As long as I continued to think this way, I couldn't move into being the mother God wanted me to be.
So...I asked God to come to me in my fear of being a SP. I did this by reading His Word, talking to Him about every aspect of my life and writing (that which I believed to be from Him). I asked Him to give me peace and quiet my troubled mind from thoughts of "can't" to "will do!" And...God responded by showing me what an amazing gift He gives to those who choose to follow Him. "For who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ" (1 Corinthians 2:16-17) and our minds have been renewed when they are in Christ (Romans 12:2, Ephesians 4:22-24).
Here's another amazing gift. God recognizes the whole world is under the control of the evil one  and that the devil is the ruler of this earthly existence (1 John 5:19) . This is why He gives us His authority and power to fight the devil (Colossians 2:9-10). He gives us His power and comes in our suffering and struggle to partner with us. More "mysteriousness" yet again as one might ask how is this possible? This does not make sense to my "logical human brain!"
I've been a SP for over a year now (and it is still strange for me to write that). There have been days I have gone to work on two and a half hours of sleep and have then had to come home and care for my babies by myself. There are still days when I wake up more exhausted than when I went to bed. Physically, there is no explanation that could logically explain this repetitive cycle of extreme sleep deprivation minus the crash and burn result (let us also not forget the mere fact that these sentences are somehow fitting together to produce a coherent thought is witness to God's magnificence).
I do not claim to know much, but what I do know is that every time I ask God (okay - plead) for His strength to cover my weaknesses He does. No longer are my thoughts focused on "cant's" and "not-possibles," because with God all things are possible (Philippians 4:11-13). God is more powerful than anything the devil can try to throw at us. But, here's the thing. God will not force Himself upon us. He waits for us to seek out His help, and He offers this amazing gift called PEACE (Isaiah 26:3, Psalm 107:13-14). Who couldn't use a little more P.E.A.C.E. in their lives?!
Here's a little something I wrote to help remind me "it's a battle out there" and I have the Lord's authoritative power to fight against it. It is based from Ephesians 6:10-18.
Put on the Armor of the Lord
 This morning as I rise,
I pray for Your guidance to be wise.
Please cover me with Your grace,
And set the breastplate of righteousness firmly in place.
Buckled around my waist, may the belt of truth be tight.
With fitted feet, may I be ready with the gospel of peace and prepared for the day's fight.
The helmet of salvation please put upon my head.
You give me the shield of faith in order that I may be led.
In hand and heart I take with me the Spirit's sword.
And combat the enemy with the Word of the Lord.
Be with me in this day.
This, I most certainly do pray.  

Sunday, August 26, 2012


"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight."
Proverbs 3:5-6
As I sit to write this, all is currently calm (strange, rare moment for a SP mom). My children are napping (yes, at the same time, and yes I am incredibly proud of this even though I cannot really take any direct credit for synchronizing their circadian sleep rhythms). In less than 24 hours all will not be calm, all will in fact be incredibly chaotic as I try to maneuver two young children who rely exclusively on me to get them up and moving and out the door in order that we all get where we need to be on time (envision a scene fit for a comedy sitcom really). I have set the bar high for myself this year. I WILL make it to work more days on time this year than last. Okay, so I guess it's not that high of an expectation considering I probably averaged close to 3 days on time last year... I digress.
Another transition is just around the corner (whether I am ready or not). Honestly, I am wondering how I will manage and how this will all shake out (if I'm being completely honest, I'm fearful). After this humbling admittance, I hang my head in the realization I am not putting my trust in God. I am, in fact, relying on my incompetence to do this by myself. Hmm...interesting revelation...When I'm focusing on my incompetence I only make myself more fearful, but when I look towards God's strength and trust that He wants to do good in my life the fear dissipates. He's moving me (and my children) to the next chapter in our lives.
My thoughts are drawn to Peter. He was initially trusting as God called him to come out from the comfort of his boat to meet Him on the water. When his eyes were on Jesus, the One he loved and trusted to do good in his life, he got out of the boat and started walking. Then, all things went down stream (literally, he began to sink). Fear had crept in. He saw the wind and took his eyes of Jesus (I wonder if he then thought to himself, "I'm walking on water! This doesn't make any sense now does it?! How am I doing this?!"). He couldn't have it both ways. As long as he felt (and entertained) the fear, he couldn't also put his trust and love in Jesus. He had to choose what it was going to be.
I wonder at this point if what Jesus really wanted to say was, "Ah, Peter! Really?! You were just walking on water like 2 seconds ago when your eyes were on me! Remember that?!" Actually, thank God (yes, literally) that He isn't like that with us and gives us continuous grace, love, forgiveness and re-teaching (yes, lots and lots of re-teaching). What Jesus in fact said as He reached out His hand for Peter (which I imagine was said with much more love), "You of little faith," he said, "why did you doubt?" (Matthew 14:31).
So, I'm having a "Peter moment," wondering how I'll manage the new transition. But, when I look beyond my incompetence and fear, I see Jesus holding out His hand ready to catch me just as He did for Peter. He asks me why I am doubting Him and reminds me (ever so gently - thank you) that He has brought me through. He doesn't let me go. He tells me it's time to get up and go, to do the work He has planned in advance for me to do (Ephesians 2:8-10). I am reminded (and humbled by His grace) that I'm focusing on myself and not living for Him. God will give me His grace to accomplish His work. He doesn't send us out empty handed.
He Doesn't Let Me Go
When I feel like the world is too much for me to handle,
He doesn't let me go.
When I feel as though I no longer matter,
He doesn't let me go.
When my spirit feels down and heavy-laden,
He doesn't let me go.
When I feel alone and want to retreat in isolation,
He doesn't let me go.
When the biggest trial and test of my life is in front of me,
He doesn't let me go.
He comes to me and says, "This I need for you to know - I will never let you go!
Though this earthly life will be filled with tests, seek me and I will give you rest. For I am your Father, Redeemer and Lover - the great Protector and Provider. I send with you my grace as you go to this new place, and My love I bestow upon you. Always remember I am with you - through and through."  


Saturday, August 25, 2012


"...for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want."
Philippians 4:11-12
Do your circumstances define your happiness? Life has definitely not turned out the way I thought it was going to. I'm so far from my "original game plan," that it would be so easy to throw up my hands and admit defeat in frustration. I'm throwing up my hands, alright, but not in the way you might think. Instead of burying my head in the sand, I'm looking up and those hands are up in praise to God for what he has so graciously taught me.  
Sometimes it is so tempting to perseverate on the things I've lost. I am convinced it is the quickest way to lose any and all joy - just focus your thoughts on the things you've lost. Now, follow this by focusing entirely on your circumstances. These two "companions" go hand in hand for being joy-killers. And, not surprisingly, the world often judges your level of success by them.
I never realized before just how much I based my happiness on my circumstances. If my job was going well, I enjoyed going to work. If my kids were behaving themselves, then it was a good day for motherhood. If the job wasn't going so well, it was most likely time to start looking for a new job. If the kids weren't behaving themselves then it was time to... (no, I wasn't going to write THAT!). I think you get the idea. My circumstances dictated my feelings and my thinking more than I had realized. My happiness was tied to what was happening around and to me. But God showed me it isn't about me and my happiness. God loves me, of this I'm sure, but that doesn't necessarily equal God wants me to be happy. It's not the purpose of life.
When we base our happiness on the ever-changing circumstances around us, we'll never be "happy enough" or "have enough." Our definition of happiness will always be changing with our circumstances. What made me happy yesterday may not make me happy tomorrow. When your "happiness-meter" is constantly changing, how do you find true happiness? And that's when God came to rescue me from this self-focused dependency.
The more "things" I lost, the more of God I gained (I'm learning to love how God works - so mysterious He is!). My "traditional family" was the first thing to go. I turned to God and begged Him to restore it. He said no and to trust Him. My health was next (which was unnerving as I was pregnant). God said to trust Him. Shelter and finances came next. At this point I was pretty much on the floor begging God for mercy. In complete despair I yelled out to Him letting Him know I had nothing left. He said, "I know you think that." And when He confirmed that I had lost all worldly comforts, I finally realized why God had changed my direction. 
He showed me I had gained exactly what the deepest part of my heart longed for - Him. You see it wasn't until I lost circumstantial happiness that I learned to turn to Him for everything. I had nothing to turn to for comfort except to Him. The pain of what I had been through was so great. When I finally surrendered my "nothingness" to Him, He gave me everything I needed (there's that mysteriousness again!). And He (so graciously) taught me something remarkably mysterious. Great pain can only be healed by a greater and more powerful God. There is nothing the world can do to heal a broken heart that has been inflicted with so much pain, only God can restore and redeem a broken heart.
The more I turn to Him, the more I learn about who He really is and the more my love for Him grows. And the joy I feel is like no other, because any emptiness that I felt is no longer there. He is my happiness. He is constant. Having a relationship with Him is true joy, because (as my three-year-old so eloquently says) Jesus lives in my heart. There is no worldly comparison for what Jesus has given me (another amazing gift!)!
In Pain I Gain
This pain I feel draws me near,
To the One my heart loves so dear.
For out of the pain I desire the greatest good there is.
I long for Him wanting desperately to know that I am His.
In loss and pain,
Is when I learn the highest purpose and the truest gift I gain.
You, Dear Jesus, I have learned are the best.
For You, I would give up all the rest.
You came to me in my deepest need,
And from the oppression I have been freed. 


"Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men."
Colossians 3:23
Ever wonder how you got here as a SP? Life is never what we quite expect or plan it to be. Not many of us start dreaming about being SPs at an early age, and very few of us think of it as the 'highest calling' (let's face it - there is also pretty convincing evidence all around us that it's not).
I never 'desired' to be a SP, because I knew the hard work that was involved (as much as I could without going through the experience firsthand). For much of my professional career I have worked with many SPs and their children. And, quite honestly, I would always sigh with relief and thank God I was not one of them. How exhausting! Parenting with two people was exhausting enough. I wondered how they managed...
There are the sleepless nights (which are grossly underestimated when contemplating whether or not to have children), the changing of dirty diapers (again, grossly underestimated) and the meeting of endless demands of "little people." Who could have possibly predicted these "little people" could have so many demands that are all apparently equally important! And, young children really are not open to learning lessons about prioritizing greatest needs first (nor are they interested in hearing mom's math lesson about one person outnumbered by two people making endless demands...). The point is, it's exhausting work!

But, God loves us and wants to do us good (another amazing gift - I'm so undeserving of that). He delights in doing us good (Jeremiah 32:40-41). Even when my feet have been in the fire, God has blessed me by showing me how to walk with Him. By doing such He has taught me that there is nothing man can do to me that God cannot redeem for good and that can trumph His ultimate goodness. The bigger the struggle, the more powerful God is. In it all, I gain a deeper relationship with Him (which is the 'longing for more' in each of us).

So, then I wonder what would God say to me in my leading role as a SP? Ever wonder what He might say to you about the "work" you're doing as a SP?
I wonder if God would start out by saying this IS in fact the 'highest calling!' I'm pretty sure He's aware how tough this is, that's why He never intended for us to do it alone. I wonder if He'd then follow it up with a big ole lesson on character building, which of course would include perseverance development! What other job in the world teaches the virtues of patience, sacrificial love, forgiveness and joy (and to the degree) than that of parenting our children?! We have a hand in molding the future. How can this NOT be the 'highest calling?!' When I think of it in this way, I understand what a gift and privilege I have been given to be a mother and a SP.
I am reminded daily just how much help I need to do this "work" effectively and efficiently (and, oh, how my three-year-old's tantrum of epic proportion "gently" reminds me when things have gone completely in the opposite direction of effective and efficient...see how our kids are always looking for ways to be ever so helpful!). And here's the thing about our loving God. When you ask Him for help, He will always provide it. He's promised to always be there and never forsake those who call upon Him. God takes care of all of His children. God knows you can do this (and do it well) when your eyes are on Him. He will provide the strength. 
When we commit everything we do (changing dirty diapers included) to the Lord we can experience joy and a grateful heart (Proverbs 16:3). When we see things with a Christ-centered focus, we learn to see that everything we do has the ability to be blessed by God. In that blessing there is joy!

There are difficult days. Oh, how there are difficult days, and days when it is hard to see the joy (aka sleeping battles with three-year-olds). But, remember, God can take anything and turn it into good (another amazing mystery of the Lord).
I'm learning that how I look at SPing makes a huge difference. When I think about how this is what God has called me to do, I approach my daily tasks differently. Instead of seeing SPing as never ending tasks, I see challenges to be conquered, relationships with my children to be fostered and I see opportunities to serve God through the love and service I give to my children. It's exhausting, but God gives me strength every day to do it and in this there is great joy. Never have I felt more privileged to be the mother to my children. God appointed me to be their mother, just as He's appointed you for your children. He doesn't expect me to do it all alone. He doesn't expect you to do it all alone either. Come to Him for rest (Matthew 11:28).  
Carry Me Jesus
When I am weak and unable to speak, carry me Jesus.  
When my spirit is low and I think I can no longer go, carry me Jesus.
When all I want to do is cry and know the answer why, carry me Jesus.
In you, Dearest Jesus...
I am made strong.
You give me the right words to speak.
You lift my spirit high and make it soar.
You push me to continue to go.
You catch my tears and calm my fears.
When you carry me Jesus.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012


"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God."
Phillipians 4:6
"Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you."
1 Peter 5:7
Honestly, I had a hard time understanding these verses. I worried about everything, and as a parent what's not to worry about?! There is the safety of our children, the safety of our children and THEN the safety of our children! And, for many of us as SPs, there are greater periods of time when our children are not in our care.
For so long (this is an ongoing issue by the way), I did (do) the exact opposite of what is spoken in these verses. I justified my worry as "doing something." I figured God had enough to worry about, seeing as He was running a universe and all. So, worry became functional for me. I thought if I was worrying, God would understand I was trying to "fix things" myself. God helps those who help themselves, right? Not exactly how He works...
God helped me to see that worry was the exact opposite of what He wanted me to do! This was a humbling realization, as my intention was not to make worry my idol! But it had become exactly that. Instead of going to God in prayer about the things I feared, I tried to handle all of these things myself. And by doing this, I didn't understand who God was at all.
God, who equals love, drives out all fear through His perfect love. By not surrendering this to God and trying to fix things myself, I was in this perpetual circle of fear. If I managed to quiet the thing that was worrying me at the moment another thing would take its place. Finally, in an act of desperation, I begged God to take it away. God answered my prayer, just not in the way I would have preferred (isn't that usually how it works?)...
You see, all of the things I feared (abandonment, betrayal, loss of health, wealth, reputation and yes single parenting!) actually happened to me. It was the most frightening time of my life. Its been a year since the great "unraveling" of my life was initiated. But, from where I stand now I can see there was no other way. God stripped me of each of my "worldly comforts" and allowed my worst fears to come to fruition. I'm still standing. But, when I stand now, I stand with a completely different perspective of purpose and what life is all about.
Sure, in the eyes of the world I could pretty much be classified as a failure but in the eyes of the One who loves me more than anything, I am right where I need to be on my spiritual journey. I am now of the camp that when God comes to rescue you from the depths of a hell on earth, you are never the same! Through the actualization of my worst fears, I have learned that, "For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Romans 8:38-39).
I am learning that when I bring my fear to the Lord, He takes it from me. He is the perfect love that casts out fear (1 John 4:18). It is an amazing, mysterious gift! In my suffering from anxiety, God has used it for good in order to bring me in closer relationship with Him. "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose" (Romans 8:28).  
The more I understand who God truly is, the more I learn that He doesn't want me to fight fear alone. He knows there is no way possible that I can do this on my own! So, He tells me to go to Him in prayer, and HE will cast it out with HIS love. Anytime I feel the fear start to rise, I take it to the Lord. I ask Him to help me and to show me why I am fearful. I go to His Word and start reading (some days I read a lot!). By doing so, He gives me peace. It is another amazing, mystery of the Lord!
Here is a catch phrase I use in order to help me remember to surrender my anxiety to the Lord:
 "Exchange your worry for prayer, and God will always be there."
So's the question: What are you fearful of? 


"We also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope."
Romans 5:3-4
Consider for a moment what you have learned as a SP. Maybe some of you are thinking at this point, "Yeah, I've learned how short my fuse is, just how little patience I actually do NOT have and just how much parenting exposes my best me (NOT)!" No, no, no...Now, that you've got that out of the way, truly think about what you have learned and gained being a SP. I can think of a couple things: patience (um, yes, even though I am reminded daily just how much of a work in progress I really am in this area), self-sacrificial love (it SO isn't about me as a SP) and an appreciation for the "little things" (never has "clapping" been more thrilling then when my 10 month old does it with that cute smile of his!). I could go on and on...But, what if I told you the things you know now couldn't have been learned any other way than through your journey as a SP?
I often think my kids have taught me more about the love and grace of Jesus and about what the purpose of life is really all about than what I have actually taught them. Think, for a minute, about the characteristics of Jesus. He was (is) patient. He was (is) loving and so much so He gave His only Son to die for us in order to live (James 3:16). He was sinless. We are not. He took our sins on Him so we could live (ah, amazing gift)! And He loves unconditionally. No matter how much we mess up, He still loves and forgives us (amazing gifts!). So, when you consider how Jesus was (is), what do you think He is trying to teach us as SPs? What have you learned as a SP that another experience couldn't have taught you?!
God's all about growing our character. He cares about the people we're becoming. Are you wondering how a short fuse and little patience makes you into a person of character? I did! Consider what suffering does. It teaches us something about ourselves. When people found out I was raising a newborn and 2 year old by myself and working full time I often got a look of bewilderment and what followed was a series of questions wanting to know how I was managing it. What I really wanted to say was, "Really?! These gigantic bags under my eyes, disheveled, unkempt hair and sluggish demeanor aren't telling enough?!" I also heard, from well-intentioned loving people: "You find out just how strong you are in a situation like this," and "You are a lot stronger than me, I never could do that!" Quite honestly, these were the last things I felt! In fact, I learned just how weak I really was and how incredibly strong  God is! 
In my weakness, He makes me strong with His power and love (2 Corinthians 12:9). I finally have come to truly understand what this verse means! I couldn't have known that without the suffering and the struggle. As I sit (closely) towards the outside of the fire (instead of being in the center of its flame), I can see what happened to me had to happen. I don't think I could know the peace and joy I now have (ironically, I didn't experience this kind of joy and peace when I thought my life was "good"). I wouldn't know the Lord the way I know Him now, and I believe God knew that too (and was why He allowed it to happen). 
He knows what He had to allow to happen in order to get my attention, to bring me closer to Him. I still had a choice. I could have turned and walked the other way, but I know He came to rescue me. I also know He loves me and didn't want me to suffer (it was probably harder for Him to refrain from dousing the fire with water and to not allow me to walk in the flame at all). But, because He loves me so incredibly, He had to take it all away to show me just how much He loves me! He shows me that He can fill every one of my needs. I don't need to rely on worldly things that can't even begin to compare to the blessings I've received from being with Him. Another amazing mystery of the Lord! 
Out of Tragedy Comes Triumph  
That night I heard your prayer.
I answered it by telling you I'd always be there.
You did not hear me then.
You understood something big was about to occur,
But never expected your life to become such a blur.
I knew what lie ahead for you,
And, oh, how My heart ached as I knew what you had to go through.
Before it even took place,
I saw you there, on the floor, tears running down your face.
If only I could tell you what I meant by, "I give you My grace."
But in allowing you to suffer and endure the pain,
I knew a deeper relationship with Me you would gain.
Your gut-retching despair was the richest blessing in disguise.
It has brought you to Me and in that you have become wise.
Because it is the Lord your God you with your heart fear,
I reveal the mysteries of the Lord, and to Me, I hold you dear.
Oh, My precious child, there was no other way to make you like Me in each and every way.
And, oh, how for your broken heart I do pray.
And that your soul will hurt no more one day.
Do not lose hope and heart.
It was time to say good-bye to lesser dreams - allow them to depart.
My plans for you are bigger and tip the scale.
Do you not know the Will of the Lord can never be thwarted to fail.
This realization comes only from the trial
And from suffering for a while.
Now the time has come. I have made you new.
My glory and grace can now shine through you.
That night I heard your prayer.
I answered it by telling you I'd always be there.
You did not hear Me then - way back when. You hear Me now.
I speak to you from within, and you truly come to know Me the more you turn from sin.
My heart aches for you as yours does for Mine.
You are My beloved and My love for you makes you shine.