Craft overload

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I LOVE creating things. I have tried so many different crafts and projects and have the leftover supplies to prove it! And I keep finding more things I want to try! I have been wanting to make myself a pretty way to hang my necklaces; something I could make and enjoy as a functional art piece.

Just now, I was wandering a friend’s pinterest craft board and stumbled on the most wonderful handmade necklace hanger. If it wasn’t 10:23 at night, I would be running out to the store to get supplies. 🙂 I can’t wait to try this out. I may even add it to my etsy page, which is quickly becoming the excuse for me to keep creating more art.

I’ll be sure to post pictures when I finish it!


Unplugged Days

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As a working from home mom, it seems I am never far from my computer or phone. WIth my work, I am on call a lot, even if not actually working. I am waiting for work to come in and it has to be done quickly. So I get to spend a lot of time with my daughter, but she often feels like she is competing for my attention.

For years, I was so desperate for work that I made myself available every hour of every day, except for Sunday mornings when we were at church. And the one or two days I did take off every year, I spent worrying about missing work. As a business owner, if I am not working, I don’t get paid.

Then last year we went to visit a dear friend of mine. I took my computer with me most days and we often had to stop what we are doing so I could do a bit of work. It wasn’t much of a vacation. I even sat outside the local library at 11:00 at night to use their wi-fi!

We spent 3 days at the beach on that trip. One morning, I told my daughter that it was going to be just us 3 girls that day. No phone, no computer, no work making us stop and wait. Her entire face lit up as she jumped up and yelled YAY!

That was the best day we had in a long time. We played until we were exhausted and laughed more than I can tell you. We spent hours playing in the ocean waves and riding rides on the boardwalk. It was pure joy.

My daughter now asks me to leave my phone at home. I can’t always oblige, but I have found that one of the best things I can do (for BOTH of us) is to take that time together, completely unplugged. At mealtimes I take a break and don’t bring my phone to the table. And when we go on outings, if I can take the time away, I do. I tell her ahead of time that this outing is just her and me, no phone, no computer.

Whether it’s a whole day off on vacation or an hour at the park, these times reassure her that SHE has my full attention and will always be more important than any work.


Filling the Cupboard

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I have just realized something new about myself. I can judge how worried I am about my finances by glancing in my cupboard. If I haven’t had much work lately and am getting nervous, I start stocking up on food.

Recently, Annie’s mac n cheese was on sale for $1 at Target. I ended up buying 17 boxes over 3 visits. I think we have enough to last a while now!

But I remember times when my daughter was 2-3 years old and I didn’t know how I was going to keep food on the table. I had nightmares that I went to Target and there was no Annie’s mac n cheese on the shelf; I couldn’t get it. That Christmas, my cousin remembered my dreams and bought me a box of Annie’s and a gift card to Target. I will never forget that.

We always ate. God always provided. Sometimes it was through simple acts of kindness by so many different people who cared about us.


Made for Me

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I love autumn. When the weather finally gets cold enough for jeans and sweatshirts; the air is crisp. One of my favorite things is when I can finally use the quilt that was made just for me.

My ex-husband’s grandma made us a quilt for our wedding that we slept under every night. I always ended up without cover in the middle of the night and I teased my him about it. So his grandma made me my own quilt. It is huge! It would probably fit a California King size mattress. On my full-size bed, it reaches the floor on both sides. I love it. Even though my marriage ended, I still consider her my grandma, too. And I love having this special thing she made by hand, just for me.


My Single Mom Prayer

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I have been learning so much about prayer in the last few years. My prayers were sincere before. Bringing something important in my life to God; usually something I couldn’t do anything about on my own. Then my marriage was crumbling. My prayers became the place where my private grief poured out. I didn’t share my pain with anyone but God for a long time. I began to learn that God was the only one who could reach all the way in to the darkest pain in my heart and hold on tight. I began to tell him all of my fears. I began to be completely honest with God. No longer trying to be what I thought he wanted, pretending to be much more together than I am. I finally learned to admit that I am completely human and completely in need of a savior. Not just to die for my sins, but to cover me with grace and mercy each and every day.

I now come before my God with absolute honesty. In need and asking him to fill that need. As a single mom, I often worry that I won’t be enough for my daughter. How can one mom be everything a child needs? By herself, she can’t. But with God’s amazing grace and love, he will fill in all the places I miss. That is my prayer. That God will partner with me in raising this fabulous child and grow her into exactly who he wants her to be. In spite of my humanity.


My Single Mom Life

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Early on in this journey, I was given the book “My Single Mom Life: Stories and Practical Lessons for Your Journey” by Angela Thomas. This book is invaluable to me. I have read it several times already and refer to it often. Angela is so open, honest, encouraging and hope-giving. I am sure there are other books out there that would encourage you as well.

Find an author who inspires you, a blog you like or a someone you can meet with in person. This is a hard road, but you don’t have to walk it alone. God made us for community; to be involved in each other’s lives. It can be really hard to reach out when you are struggling, but that is also when it’s most important. Get the help you need, so you have energy and love to overflow onto your kiddos.


Now I’m Home.

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After my husband left us, we finished out our lease in a place several hours from my family, then moved home. I hadn’t lived in the area since high school (20 years before!) I am slowly but surely working to build our home and community here.

My Big Breakthrough happened a few weeks ago. I ran into my sister at the grocery store. Somehow, seeing people I know at the grocery store makes me feel at home. Seeing my sister there?? Stopped me in my tracks. We haven’t lived close enough for that to happen ever in our adult lives.

NOW I’m home.


Good Morning, Sunshine!

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My girl is pretty good at mornings. She doesn’t wake up crabby and it only takes her a few minutes to get going. But some mornings, she has real trouble actually getting out of bed. She just wants to lay there and “imaginary”, as she calls it. Lovely on a Saturday morning, but a little tough on a school day. Then I saw this video online. It is our current favorite song and I made a video of it on my iphone. Now every school morning, I take my phone in and hand it to her with the video playing. She gets to watch it one time (usually dancing around by the second chorus) then she hops up to begin her day.

And if SHE wakes up first? She comes in to my room singing it to me.

Problem solved. Joyfully.

 


So here we are…

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I am a Jesus girl. I grew up in church, went on a mission trip when I was 14. I was in AWANA, youth group, bible study. I had no question that when I grew up and got married, I would be married forever. Divorce happens to other people. Not me. I believed that right up to the end. Then I found myself as a single mom, living away from my family, wondering where life would go from there. That was almost 3 years ago. The road has definitely been rocky, but my daughter and I have come a long way in those 3 years. I can’t wait to share some of my lessons with you. I would love to share the hope that got me from that devastating day to this bright one.