SINGLE PARENTHOOD AND COPARENTING GODS WAY

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I wanted to shift gears and talk to you guys about a little something different. Its something that is very near and dear to my heart and I don’t see a lot of blogs, or books about it. I want to talk to you guys about single parenting and co parenting.

Most of you guys know I am the mother of 2 beautiful children. My children are 14 and 3 (soon to be 4). They are 10 years apart and they are by the same man. No, we were never married. He was my childhood sweet heart and I thought I was in love.

Although we aren’t dating each other we now have two children that we have to raise. Being a single mom is really hard. But I am grateful that I do have help. He’s a really good dad. Financially, physically, and emotionally, he is there for our children. However, being a single mom and co parenting can still be really rough!

Some days I find myself upset or angry just at the situation itself. Just for me simply being a single mom. Its not what I wanted out of my life but I often have to remind myself that it was a choice that I made to sleep with someone that I wasn’t married to. The bible tells us that sex is for marriage only. Although we are free to make our own choices, we are not free from the consequences of that choice. Therefore, when Im frustrated, I have to remind myself that I made a choice.

My kids dad and I get along very well for the most part and it wasn’t always that way but co parenting is still extremely hard! I once wrote a Facebook post about how I felt like co parenting was a lot like a marriage. Theres a lot of compromising involved.

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There is a misconception about compromising though. People seem to think that it means 50-50. That couldn’t be farther from the truth! Compromising at times means you don’t get what you want at all! Here’s the thing to remember, when you are in a coparenting relationship its not about what YOU want anyway!! Its about whats best for the children involved. There so many times that I go along with things that I don’t necessarily agree with and he does as well.  If it isn’t going to hurt my children mentally, physically, or emotionally, there are things I just have to let go. You pray about it and move on.

One of the best things you can do for your children is to get along with the other parent. Not just tolerate them, but truly get along. You may be dealing with a parent that isn’t contributing like they should. They come around when they want to, send money whenever for the child and phone calls are few and far between. That doesn’t mean you can’t get along with the parent.  Im not saying its easy. But it is definitely possible, Understand that it is the best interest for your children if you get along well. Getting along means that when you all are in each others presence you are still able to smile and make small talk. It means your body language is open and inviting.

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I watched a documentary called Fatherless Sons. It was talking about how men in particular don’t know how to navigate through the hurt and the anger that many women hold on to. So even if they aren’t  the best dad in the world, they have a hard time coming around because they know they aren’t doing what they should be doing for the child, but they don’t know how to handle the hurt and the anger , the snark comments, the rude body language that the mother gives off. Listen, Im not saying you don’t have a right to be upset if the opposite parent isn’t doing their part. But what I am saying is that ITS NOT ABOUT YOU! You have to let go of how you feel and understand that child just wants to be able to see and/or talk to their parent even if it is only once in a while.

You may be dealing with a parent that has much different views than you. That is where I encourage you to pray about each situation and ask the Lord to lead and guide you on what to do. The bible says in Proverb 3:6 “In all your ways know, recognize, and acknowledge Him, and He will direct and make straight and plain your paths.” In other words tell the Lord you need His help and he will lead and guide you on what to do.

Instead of nagging and complaining about what their dad doesn’t do, I’ve learned to pray about it. Not asking God to change their dad but asking God to show me how to handle the situation. Most of the time God changes me, my mindset or my attitude and while Im being changed, somehow their dad heart is changed  and things somehow end up running smoothly. On the flip side there are times when I walk away frustrated but always knowing this will work out for my good. Romans 8:28

My biggest issue was letting go of the past hurt, anger, and resentment and things that were done to me. He broke my heart, and when I would get upset about something concerning the children, all of that would come back up and I lashed out horribly. It made it very hard to coparent. (I know Im not the only that has dealt with this and I still struggle with it from time to time.)

I remember a while back after one argument with my kids dad, I was so upset all I could do was pray. I started praying asking God to change their dad and help him to see how he was wrong, and the Lord told me You need to change. I was like what???? I’m a single mom, I have these kids full time, why do I need to change. But the Lord showed me I was handling our parenting disagreements from a place of hurt and anger and not from a place of peace and love. I had to learn to let go of all that to effectively co parent. The Lord truly changed me that day. If you are struggling in this area I encourage you to give that hurt and pain to God. Let Him heal your broken heart. Its a process, and it takes time. Although, I still struggle with it from time to time, I always remind myself that its not just about me, but its about my children and whats best for them. I don’t want them to see their parents arguing, fussing and fighting all the time. I want to always create a peaceful atmosphere for them. I want them to feel whole and complete and never torn between their parents.

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Another issue I had was throwing it in his face how little he has the kids vs how much I have the kids. I always feel like I have them more than him. For example, My children are with their dad one day a week and every other weekend. Although it may not seem like a lot. Im grateful because some parents done get that. Let me let you  in on a secret. The parent that the children live with is typically the parent that will have the kids the most. Its just the way it is. You can’t focus on the quantity of time spent because it won’t be equal. I enjoy being a mom and I enjoy having them full time. I’ve learned to focus on that fact.

I used to always feel like  if we were married, I wouldn’t be so tired, or I would have more help, or this or that. But when I hear other married women talk, many times they have the same issues as me! As a mom and/or wife you are the keeper of the home. Titus 2: 4-5 says  “…train the young women to be [a]sane and sober of mind (temperate, disciplined) and to love their husbands and their children, To be self-controlled, chaste, homemakers, good-natured (kindhearted), adapting and subordinating themselves to their husbands…”  If you aren’t married, I look at the husband part of the scripture as your home. I have to submit myself to what my home needs. I can’t run and go and do all this stuff and leave my home unkept. Also, please stop and take a moment to read Proverbs 31: 13-31. It talks about the role of a wife and mom.

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Disclaimer- Please understand that I am NOT saying that a father does not have responsibilities for the children. What I am saying is that many of the responsibilities you have as a single mom are responsibilities you would have even if you were married. I can’t speak on a fathers role because Im not a father. But what I can tell you is even if he isn’t doing his part for the kids it doesn’t mean you aren’t going to do your part for the kids.

Being a single parent is not how I imagined my life would be. I had the same picture in my head that every other little girl has. I wanted the husband, 2.5 kids, big house with the white picket fence. LOL  But I made a choice, and because of my choice my life is a bit different than what I imagined. But guess what? THATS OK!!! Single parenthood did not stop Gods purpose for my life! And for that, I am so very grateful.

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Thats what I love about serving God is that even when we stray, He is still right there holding us. Just waiting for us to come back to Him. Ever since I  truly gave my life to God my coparenting relationship is a lot easier, that doesn’t mean that things run smoothly all the time. It doesn’t mean I don’t get upset or have to compromise.

When I say that it is easy it means that now, I know that whatever happens, God has my back. I pray for my children daily, and I pray for their dad as well. I pray for his well being because if He is well, I know my children benefit too. Our road wasn’t always easy but with maturity and prayer I believe we are raising children that know both of their  parents love them dearly even though we aren’t all in the same household.

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Even if you don’t have a good relationship with the opposite parent, still lift them up in prayer daily.

You might be saying, well Andrea, my kids opposite parent is a deadbeat. They don’t call or come around. My advice to you would still be to always speak life to your children regarding the other parent and still keep them lifted in prayer. Seek God on what to say to your children and allow the Lord to guide you.

I really hope this helps someone. It was on my heart to talk about single parenthood. Its not always easy, but you can and will get through it. You can have joy and peace through the process.

I co parent

Blessing to you all! Praying for you always

Andrea F.

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DONT GIVE UP!

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Hey y’all!!

When you read the above picture that should have made you shout for joy right there. If it didn’t, read it again, read it over and over again. Read it slowly and meditate on where the Lord has brought you from.

Did you read it again? Ok, you should at least be smiling from ear to ear now! God has brought you a long long way! He didn’t leave you. and the fact that you are still here, should be proof that God LOVES you!

When I read that post, it really started me thinking about my past. Not in a  bad way, but just remembering how the Lord kept me. When I think about it, I get happy and excited, and my heart is filled with gratefulness!

Some of us are battling some SERIOUS, SERIOUS stuff, illnesses, death of loved ones, depression, and so much more.

But I want to tell you. DONT GIVE UP ON GOD BECAUSE HE WONT GIVE UP ON YOU.

We sung that song at church on Sunday  (He’s Able, by Deitrick Haddon) and it really resonated with me. The song says “don’t give up on God cause he won’t give up on you, He’s Able”. We pray, we get excited, and we have hope, that God is going to do what we are believing in Him for, and then after a couple of months we don’t see it. So we get discouraged and give up. We stop praying, we stop studying our word. We start speaking defeat and start complaining. BUT, don’t give up on God! He didn’t give up on you!

How long did it take you to surrender your life to Him? How many times have you prayed and gave up? How many times have you went back to your old way of thinking and living? Several times right? ( I know  have) but He never gave up on you. Even though He didn’t SEE his plans unfolding for me due to my disobedience, He never gave up on me. He kept loving me, blessing me, and welcomed me with open arms when I truly gave my life to Him. So don’t give u on God!

You have to stay in faith that God is working your situation out. You have to see yourself the way God sees you. He sees you VICTORIOUS! You have to think it, believe it, and meditate on it. You have to take possession of a victorious lifestyle.

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I don’t know what some of you are going through, but God is the answer to whatever you are facing. God can turn a situation around in the blink of any eye, If you just trust him.

Philippians 4:19 says And my God will liberally supply ([i]fill to the full) your every need according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.

Psalms 91: 7-8 says A thousand may fall at your side, and ten thousand at your right hand, but it shall not come near you Only a spectator shall you be [yourself inaccessible in the secret place of the Most High] as you witness the reward of the wicked.

St. John 16:33 I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have [perfect] peace and confidence. Ithe worldyou have tribulation and trials and distress andfrustration; but be of good cheer [take courage; be confident, certain, undaunted]! For I have overcomethe world. [I have deprived it of power to harm you and have conquered it for you.]

Luke 12:32 says Do not be seized with alarm and struck with fear, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give youthe kingdom!

Don’t you see that God loves you?! You just have to stay in faith. BUT HOW?? I know, you are saying, “How do I stay in faith, How do I keep going? That’s a lot easier said than done, You just don’t know what I’m going through.”

You are right. I have now idea what some of you guys are facing BUT, I know I serve a God that is bigger and stronger than ANYTHING you are going through. You stay in faith by staying in the word of God. Every time that situation comes up, you speak the word of it. Don’t dwell on the problem, you dwell on the word of God.

I heard  a minister once say, this is not about  positive thinking. This is about WORD thinking. Its believing Gods word over your situation.  It’s about not complaining about it, but trusting in what God said. When you know a situation has been worked out, you don’t have a reason to complain because it’s over and done with. You KNOW it’s worked out. Well that’s the same with whatever you are facing. You know God is on you side.

I follow a minister, Heather Lindsey on Facebook and IG and she always says, whatever you give attention to will grow. So the more you plant seeds of complaining, the more that seed will grow. It will get bigger and bigger and you will tell more and more people. How do you feel when you are complaining? Not good! But what if you gave attention to the word of God? How much better do you think you would feel if you planted seeds of the word of God? Your faith would increase, your peace would increase, joy would increase. Give attention to the scriptures and let it grow in you.

I am a big complainer and I have to check myself on it often. I have to remind myself to focus on the word of God. I’m also grateful for friends that remind me too.

1 John 4:4 says Little children, you are of God [you belong to Him] and have [already] defeated and overcome them [the agents of the antichrist], because He Who lives in you is greater (mightier) than he who is in the world.

God is so great on the inside of you! YOU have no reason to fear. There is a gospel song that says, Don’t wait until the battle is over, you can shout now. You can be excited right now, because you know you are a winner with God on your side. You KNOW you are VICTORIOUS!

Most of you guys know, I’m on a weight loss journey. I recently started working with a personal trainer. She has me doing some exercises where I feel like my muscles are just about to give out! lol but when it gets really hard, and I feel like I can’t go anymore, she always reminds me “you’ve got this, you can do it.” It gives me that extra umph I  need to keep going. One day she told me, “tell your body to shut up, and keep going.”

That really resonated with me, because that’s the same thing we have to tell out emotions. We have to tell them SHUT UP!!! You will not control me! I KNOW, THAT I KNOW, THAT I KNOW, what the word of God says about my situation and I’m going to trust in that word and walk VICTORIOUSLY right now! I’m not going to wait until the battle is over, I’m going to be at peace and be happy, right now!

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My own Pastor has been preaching a series “Its Time for Change” and I believe in my heart, Its time for us to stop giving up. I wrote a post like this before in the past, but sometimes, I need a reminder to just have faith in God. Its time to stop trying to do things the worlds way and do things Gods way. Its time for us to stop making excuses as to why we are always depressed, mad, or sad, and its time for us to start thinking about the above statement. Here it is again:

1606897_10153294653803273_964605225924790377_nYou have made it so far. You are still here to tell your story, to give a testimony. No, Life is not perfect, no, you might not have everything you want, but you are still ALIVE.

Don’t give up on God. He won’t give up on you. Believe Him, Trust His word. Some of us are so close to receiving our blessing but we quit just short of receiving.  You have survived. You are still here. You CAN make it!

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I’m praying for you all!

Andrea F.