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

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Endless Mercy and Grace

" When all these blessings and curses I have set before you come on you and you take them to heart wherever the LORD your God disperses you among the nations, and when you and your children return to the LORD your God and obey him with all  your heart and with all your soul according to everything I command you today, then the LORD your God will restore your fortunes and have compassion on you and gather you again from all the nations where he scattered you. Even if you have been banished to the most distant land under the heavens, from there the LORD your God will gather you and bring you back." Deuteronomy 31:27

You learn what you're made of in times of turmoil and unrest. Some people step out while others step in and ride every turbulent wave of chaos with you. For me, the latter has been my family.

We're at my sister's house today. My family is there. As I run out to my car to grab something I forgot, I sit and linger outside for a moment longer staring inside the large picture window that looks into her house. I can't help but smile. Inside is the perfect picture of love and family. My dad holds my son, while grandma leans in to hug my daughter. My sister and brother-in-law play host and hostess and scramble with last second preparations to make us all dinner. Love. Family.

My heart in this moment is filled with such warmth and thankfulness. I feel complete. I thank God for my family. We've been through so much - terror, turmoil and tragedy. Circumstances continually try to pull us down - to snuff out the light. But by and in God (literally), we persevere. We are a strong family. We are a strong family, because of the Lord and His endless mercy and grace found only in His embrace.

As childhood laughter fills my sister's house, I can't help but think I truly do have it all. It's been a journey to get here, and I know the journey is far from over. But, my God, I am so thankful for this moment.  

Endless Mercy and Grace
He bestows upon us His endless mercy and grace.
He watches over us and holds us in His Fatherly embrace.
Though we pass through many turbulent waves,
Jesus comes to redeem and it is us He saves.
Persevering in Jesus through times of great unrest,
It is in Him our souls are most blest.
My heart is complete and made whole
When acting out in love is the goal.
I turn the door knob and walk back into the house, stepping back into my life. I know I'm right where God wants me to be. He's here, and in this moment I'm home. In fact, there's never been a sweeter place to be. Gone is the terror, turmoil and tragedy. There is only triumph. Love does triumph.


"...And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that  you can endure it."
1 Corinthians 10:13

Now, before you judge too harshly my skills as a parent, let me just begin by telling you that my son is quick! He has phantom-like skills that enable him to move with cat-like precision and agility. I realized very early on (as the kid took his first step at 9 months old, was walking by 10 months and then went right into sprinting by 11 months) this skill will be his double-edged sword. Able to accomplish a lot he most undoubtedly will. However, it is glaringly obvious this skill will also get him in unfortunate predicaments. Of this, I am most certain. The story that follows is of the latter…

Feeling adventurous and craving adult conversation, we tried something new today – play date. So in preparation for this all out event I immediately began to prioritize what needed to be accomplished in order to make this successful. Step one: pray. “Dear God, please let this begin and end well. And, please, please, let there be nothing broken, destroyed or colored on upon our time of departure.”

Surprisingly the day had been going well. That was until I heard the crunching and chewing…I saw him there, mouth moving. I will be honest. The first thought that popped into my head was that I didn’t remember serving lunch yet. Perplexed, I tried to access my depleted and almost non-existent short term memory of the last five minutes (to which I then frantically tried to confirm that it had only been five minutes). What did I serve? I quickly realized I had never served lunch, and before the thought even came to an end I found myself diving to the ground ready to swipe whatever was in my little boy’s mouth out.

Like a detective scanning a crime scene for clues, I scanned the immediate surroundings looking for any evidence of what had been taken. As I looked to my left I saw it there– cat food. With a little cat-like precision myself, before he even knew what was happening, I lunged toward my little guy to sweep and scoop all remnants of the cat food out of his mouth. Crisis diverted. Well, almost, that is.
Scared and surprised, most likely by my rapid and unsuspecting diving motion toward him, the tears started to flow from my little guy’s eyes. I wiped his tears, held him in my arms and tried to provide soothing reassurance and gentle discussion behind the “why we don’t eat cat food.” “Although it might look tasty and tempting (in his defense it was very colorful looking), it’s not good for us to eat.” As I said these words to him, I couldn’t help from thinking how relevant this situation was to how I approach life with God.

There are many things in my path that often resemble the cat food. It looks good – tempting and colorful up front but the implication of indulging ends up being very costly. It’s as though I can almost hear God saying,  It’s not good for you. It will make you sick. I know what is good for you, yet you choose to eat something that will only hurt you and bring more pain. I am the Provider of your needs and what you are really looking for (and it ain’t the cat food). The cat food is the devil’s distraction, and it only leads you further from Me the more you eat and indulge in it.

Similar to the way I held my own child in my arms, trying to speak in terms he would understand, I wonder if God does the same for me. In His gentle, merciful and forgiving way, He holds me and tries to explain in terms I will understand why we don’t eat the “cat food.” He tells me, "...I am the way and the truth and the life.." (John 14:6).

Saturday, March 9, 2013


"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest."
Matthew 11:28
January 13, 2013

It is nearly 8 pm and my night is drawing to an "end" (as a single parent is there ever really an "end?!"). It is my one hour of quiet time before I take my nightly nap (of maybe five hours) and then once again proceed with my day. The blessing of being a single parent - maximize every moment.

I prayed to God with a heavy heart last night. I asked Him to help me in my exhausted, sleep deprived state. It has been a long (although one might say short) month of little sleep. Weekly trips to the doctor, 1 ER visit and a life and death experience (which is by no means a dramatic exaggeration). It doesn't get more "lifetime mini-drama series" than that. I asked Him in my weakened state to help me move this mountain tugging on my heart. Tired. Beyond exhausted. In tears. Feeling alone. Nothing left to give.

Beginning to feel forsaken, I asked Him for a sign - a message - hope - anything to know He was still here and that He didn't leave me. Abandonment. It could become my life's theme if I allowed it to be. As my day began to unfold I wondered if He had heard me at all. Silence. I felt, at first, convinced He surely had gone His own way.

The crying of a 15-month-old who would not sleep. The cries of a 3-year-old too afraid to sleep in her bed. Already going on too little sleep, it was all too much for the throbbing pain in my head. Where have you gone? I wondered aloud. Sandwiched in between my precious children, we huddled together battling sickness and over-exhaustion. I quickly realized there would be no plans today. My plans would be cast aside.

With little energy I picked up to read my devotions. 1 Corinthians 10:13..."And God is faithful..." He was speaking to me, but onward I trotted with the day. Noses to wipe and floors to clean. He would appear to me again, this time through the radio..."An encouraging word from 1 Corinthians 10:13..." He was showing me, speaking to me all of this time. He was telling me I'm here. I've always been. Continue onward I went, drained and spent.
In prayer I begged Him to help me. I'm afflicted, can't you see? Why does it seem as though you have left me? Patiently He stood by my side, waiting for me to see that He was there - my path's surest guide. I couldn't see it, though. I was too focused on the weariness and exhaustion I felt.
It is now well past 8 pm as I write this. Exhausted. Sleep deprived. I try to hang on as NyQuil tells me it's time to close my eyes. Determined to end the day with the Lord, I opened a new book as part of my nightly devotions. And low and behold, I kid you not, the author spoke from 1 Corinthians 10:13.

God has a way. Refuse to give up. Although empty is your cup, He will come to fill it up. God provides the way - in the small and big things of the day.

All day long He's been speaking to me, giving me the very words I needed to hear and showing me that He is most certainly near. But, I must make the choice to listen to His voice. 1 Corinthians 10:13. It is my confirmation verse. It was with that very verse that I pledged my love and dedication to the Lord over 20+ years ago. And it was with that same verse that He pledged his love and dedication right back to me today.

Where have you gone, my Lord? When I seek You with all of my heart I will find you. I know just where to look for You, for You live within. When I follow Your will, I hear You as You calm the storm within. You tell - command - it to be still. Oh, how loving You is quite the thrill!

Empty is My Cup
Empty is my cup.
But faithful is Jesus. He comes to fill it up.
God is the Truth, the Light and the Way.
With His awesome power, made new is each and every day.
In the small and big things of the day,
God always provides the way.
He speaks to me in the quiet and still.
And my soul He once again does fill.
Through His Word He gives me the words I need to hear.
And I am reassured that He is ever so near.
To You, Oh Lord, I cry out in this perplexed state
Wondering I do if this is now my tethered fate.
The walls close in around me.
Darkness submerges and consumes. I can no longer see.
I am filled with endless fright,
As the world tries to snuff out my light.
Inside oh how my soul does ache.
I pray, Dearest Jesus, do not allow them my soul to take.
The battle is endless and long.
I fear I cannot go on. Without Your presence, I am not strong.
How do I stand above it all,
When I know how easy it is to falter and fall?
I fear this life is one endless fight.
I try to hang on. I push forward with all of my might.
I plead, oh Lord, cast from me the darkness that does consume.
Free me from this deadly tomb.
To me in my wretched state You do draw near.
Who or what shall I then fear!
Stronger than anything or anyone in this world You are.
From the east to the west Thy power reaches near and far!

Never Forsaken

"David also said to Solomon his son, 'Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the LORD God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you until all the work for the service of the temple of the LORD is finished."
1 Chronicles 28:20
"I can't do it," are the whimpering cries I hear coming through the door. Soon the cries become pleas for my help. "Help me mommy." Oh, how I feel that in my heart - it pierces. I want to break that door down and come and rescue my baby. Helpless, I sit just outside the locked bathroom door trying to provide soothing comfort, support and encouragement to a scared three-year-old who has managed to lock herself in the bathroom. "Honey, listen to my voice. Be still. Be quiet. I am right here. I can't do it for you, but I will coach you through this. I know you can do this." "No mama," she replies back with a whimper. "Yes, honey. You can! I know it seems hard, but you can do this!" I want her to believe it - to know that she can do this. But, I can't force that attitude on her. She has to be the one to believe it - to feel it in her heart.
I wonder if God feels like this with us at times. He was (IS) a parent. He loves us so much that He doesn't want to see us struggle, but He knows something we don't by allowing us to go through the struggles. His ways are not our ways (Isaiah 55:8-9). Through many struggles of my own, I have come to learn a very valuable lesson. There is learning in the struggle. Often times though, instead of being silent and ready to hear His voice for direction and guidance, we allow ourselves to focus on the fear and anxiety. And then we try to exert our own control. The more we try to exert our control the more freaked out we actually become. Be still. Be quiet. I am right here. Believe that I am right here with you (Psalm 46:10). I can't do it for you, but I will coach you through it. I know it seems hard, but you can do this.
As God says in 1 Chronicles 28:20, never will He forsake us. He will not leave us to go at this journey alone. Do not be afraid. Don't give up. Push through it no matter how hard and difficult it seems. Keep Me at the center. Quiet the fear inside by focusing on Me. I am bigger than your worst problems. I AM (Exodus 3:14)...the Healer (Psalm 103:3, Exodus 15:26)...the wise Counselor you need and seek (Psalm 16:7)...the Protector who will watch over you as you sleep (Psalm 70:5, Isaiah 59:20, Jeremiah 50:6)...the Provider for your every need (Genesis 22:14).
I'm coming to learn that if God is allowing me to go through something big, there is something He needs me to learn. The struggle is for me to grow (I like to think that single parenting is for those of us on the "fast track." So much struggle and challenge surely equals growth at exponential rates!).
"Turn the middle part of the door handle to the right." "No did it, mama. Help me." "Honey, you're holding on to the door handle as you try to unlock it. Let go of the handle. Trust me. Try it." I wonder if those very words that come out of my mouth aren't symbolic.

My child, let go of the handle. Trust Me. Try it. (And if you can't get out, I'll break the door down to rescue you.) I will work all things for your good when you trust Me, when you love Me with your whole heart. And if you turn left when you should have gone right, I'll come to get you. I will redirect you, My lost sheep. For it is you I will surely keep. Never will I abandon you. Never have I left you. I've always been there, and it is Me you will finally see when you seek Me with all your heart. Because I am your heart's desire, I live in you. Since you have received Me, forsaking all the rest, you will be blest. You will know Me. You will hear Me. I will free you from fear and the mystery of Me will itself reveal.
Safe in My Father's Arms
Oh, Jesus, how great is Thy love for me.
So much so that it has set me free.
In moments of deepest despair,
Your love outshines. It is always there.
You call out to me,
Opening my eyes Your kingdom to see.
You have shown me how Thy love is most real.
For You have sown it within my heart to feel.
Safe in my Father's arms,
I am free from all evil and harm.
Like a lost sheep,
It is me that You safely keep.
You draw me near,
And there is nothing that I need to fear.
When I am centered in Your will,
You calm the storm within to be still.
Peace and joy abound,
As the Lord's presence I feel all around.
PS. She managed to get out. Deep down I knew she would. God always provides a way out (1 Corinthians 10:13; Isaiah 43:19).