Spirit of Shut Up!

Hey y'all!!!

I had to get on here and "spill the tea" as people say. On who? ME!!! Yes, Me! I'm a mess y'all. lol Well, I can be a mess at times. As many of you all know I like to encourage single moms and encourage them to develop healthy coparent relationships with their kids dad. But just because I talk about it doesn't mean I am perfect and get it right 100% of the time. What Im about to tell you is a time where I completely got it wrong.

My kids dad and I were talking about a coparenting issue. He was making some totally ridiculous statements about coparenting that I knew were utterly incorrect. However as he was saying it you could tell that he was just having a horrible morning and more than likely what he was saying was not even accurate in his eyes, but he was upset so he was just rambling a bit. Now, as he was talking, I began to say, well, that's not right and that sounds crazy, and started to break down the situation from a different perspective. He completely blew me off and started yelling at me and told me I couldn't comment on the situation and I didn't know the full story behind what he was speaking on and etc, etc.  Well, I kept at it I said well I don't have to know the full story to tell you that you sound crazy right now! Needless to say this became a whole argument where he ended up hanging up on me. I was PISSED! Now, I've told you him and I have come to a place where we have mutual respect for each other so I was livid he would revert back to his old ways and hang up on me like a kid in high school.  You think I let it go??? NO! I called back a couple of times. No answer. Then I texted him and tried explaining myself in a very nice nasty way. SMH… Then, I told him I felt like we were just having simple conversation and if we couldn't have a simple conversation about this articular issue then he shouldn't talk to me about it at all. WOW!!!!!

 

WOW! Y'all I am so ashamed at myself. Really I am. I was so wrong. So so wrong. Let me explain. First off, when he called he sounded like he was already having a bad day.  The Lord showed me a powerful lesson in this scenario. EVERYTHING doesn't need a response! Sometimes your kids dad may just need to vent about the kids or dad issues and that's ok. Sometimes you may need to just let him say what he's going to say about the situation and just listen. In this case the situation didn't really effect me personally. He was just expressing an opinion on something. You don't have to necessarily agree with his point of view. Just listen. Let me tell you, I'm not that great at it when it comes to my kids dad. See, the kids live with me. Im with them more often. Nobody knows them like I do. Nobody sees them through the lens I see them in. He doesn't know their thoughts, feelings, quirks, or anything else better than me so what could HE possibly tell me about MY kids????

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WRONG! WRONG! WRONG! They are his kids to, he knows them. He may not know them the way you do, but he knows them. I don't believe parents will every see their kids in the exact same manner even if it's a two parent household.  Theres a difference in a moms relationship with the child and the dads relationship with the child. There are things the kids share with mom they may not share with dad and vice versa. So, give dad some credit. He knows the kids to. And if you are dealing with an absentee parent, then believe by faith and pray for dad to truly know you all's child. So yes, this message can still apply to you as well.

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Where I was wrong is I didn't allow the Spirit of Shut Up to come up on me. ha! seriously, I should have just listened and just said a quick prayer. What is the spirit of shut up? It's that moment when you want to pop off at the mouth and tell him about his self or speak your mind, but you know that's not what God is telling you to do and it wont help your situation. That's when you have to get you some Spirit of Shut Up!

Wait Andrea, I thought you said we need to set boundaries with dad?? So why is he talking to me about something that doesn't directly affect me anyway??? Well, you have to remember there will be times you all are going to converse and when a situation comes up you have to be able to discern when its the right time to have that conversation. That is where your relationship with God comes in. I told you guys a few blogs back that its important to pray about your coparenting relationship. Ask God to show you how to navigate it, what to say, how to say it, and to help you discern the appropriate times to have  productive conversations. I didn't do it in this scenario and look where it got me. I was mad and aggravated and so was he.

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Some of you may be saying, well why do I have to be that considerate of him. He aint my husband! Well look at like this. It's really good practice for marriage. I'm not married but I talk to many women that are and all of them have told me about times where they had to  allow the Spirit of Shut Up to fall on them. LOL  Everything just isn't worth an argument. Every time something comes up it just isn't always the best time to address it. You have to start looking at some of your difficulties as opportunities and lessons you will one day need. The Spirit of Shut Up can be applied to many situations you may go through in life.

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God tells us in 2 Chronicles 20:17 "You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the LORD will give you, Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the LORD will be with you." See, there are battles (arguments) we just don't have to fight. People look at those scriptures and often times apply them to giants they're facing but it may not be a giant. Your battle may be that small irritating thing in your life such as dealing with someone who hurt you, upset you, or just can't seem to agree with. Let God fight the battle for you. You just sit back and discern when its time to have that conversation. Even then there may never be a right time. Some situations may need to sit dead for God to work out only.

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Be encouraged single moms in your coparenting relationships. Dad is someone you should always have some sort of relationship with and an open line of communication with. You won't  handle every situation correctly but I believe God honors your sacrifice in trying. He will honor your sacrifice in trying to make thing better and more civil for your kids.

So the next time you guys are talking and you feel the conversation going in a way you can see become an argument just remember to ask the Lord to allow the Spirit of Shut up to be on you. and remember its practice for your one day spouse. Just be grateful for the preparation. ūüôā

slow to anger

Love ya'll

Always praying for ya.

Andrea F.

 

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B-A-B-Y M-A-M-A This goes out to all my Baby Mama’s!

Hey y'all!!!

Let me start off by saying baby Mama/Daddy is a term that me and my kids dad do NOT use. It feels like a derogatory term and we just choose not to say it. The title is from a song Fantasia sang many years ago as homage to Single Moms.

Today I really want to talk to my fellow single moms. If you read my previous blog about setting standards and trusting God for your mate, this is some what a continuation of that blog.

baby daddyMany of us are trusting God to send our one day spouse but not only must we have a Godly standard but we should be asking ourselves are we emotionally ready to receive him? How can we expect God to bring someone new in our lives when our heart, mind, and emotions are all wrapped up with someone else? The passenger seat is full. There's no room for anyone else. Can I be the first to say, It's time to cut those emotional ties with your kids dad.  Don't believe the lies when people say, fathers can always come back to the mother of their kids. NOPE! It doesn't have to be that way if you don't allow it. Sometimes you have to just break the ties and move on. Is it easy? ABSOLUTELY NOT! You guys created the most important person in your lives, together. And in many ways you will be connected to your kids dad forever but you don't have to stay emotionally and physically connected.

 

There was a time when me and my kids dad did everything together. I was the one saying I wanted a commitment from him and he didn't feel the same. When I started on my healing journey I knew I was having a hard time getting over him. He was ALWAYS around. He would come over and help with the kids and give them baths and we would have dinner together. We would have family outings together, we would be lovey dovey. He would even refer to us as a "we" in terms of just about everything, even things not concerning the children. After while I realized it was to much! How can you get over someone when you're always around them?? You can't.

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I dealt with it for about 10 years; that emotional back and forth. I thought I had to. I thought thats just the way it is. And when someone questioned it I would alway say, we have kids together of course we will be around each other. But I got to a point where I was so sad and hurt over our situation and I started asking God to heal my heart and truly help me get over him. I had asked God to do it before but this particular time I truly meant it. I believe God truly heard my prayers.

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God started showing me things. God showed me how my kids dad was saying and doing certain things to keep me emotionally connected to him. Like how if he felt me pulling away, he would do and say things to emotionally reel me back in. God showed me how their dad was at my house to much, He showed me I needed to distance myself from their dad and their other side of the family. God just started opening my eye to things and slowly I started making changes as God led me to. I remember one of the first things, I had a conversation with my kids dad about him being at my house so much, I asked him to scale it back. At first he was ok with it and he honored my wishes. but after a few weeks it got old and he started with his old habits again. Popping up wanting to see the kids, asking what I cooked for dinner so he could have dinner with us, etc… Thats where things got hard. I had to remind him of our convo. It became hard because I wanted him to be there. I wanted him to come over and for us to be a family. But I realized it wasn't  healthy for us to keep going in the same cycle. Listen, just because you have kids with someone doesn't mean you have to allow them total access into your life. ITS OK TO SET BOUNDARIES. It's ok to set certain days for him to see the kids or come and pick up the kids. Its not about being mean to dad or preventing him from seeing the kids, it's about setting some boundaries to guard your heart.

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During these times I really had to pray and ask God to help me. I cried a lot during those times because everything  I was familiar with was being pulled from under me. I felt lonely. Im not super close with my family so I felt very alone. Plus the physical help he was giving me with our kids on a daily basis was gone so I was feeling stressed and tired a lot of days. But as I kept praying and asking God to heal me, I kept hearing in my spirit, "trust me through the process."

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Even though we weren't seeing each other as much we were still talking all the time. the Lord told me to cut it off. Of course it was hard, but I really wanted to be healed. There were days I questioned God, like why did it take all of this??? His response to me was, How bad do you want it? How bad do you really want to be healed from a broken heart. When the Lord started putting that in my spirit I made up in my mind I would walk by faith and not by sight. This was a very difficult season. Many of you all know my mom died many years ago, I had ended relationships with close friends and I wasn't close with family. I have never felt so alone in my life. I felt like no one understood what I was going through and dealing with. After all, their dad wasn't a bad guy. He treated me well, he was a good dad and he really had a genuine love for us. But he wanted to emotionally use me. He wanted to spend time with me, tell me he loved me, kiss, cuddle, and have sex without committing to any type of relationship. Please don't think Im placing the blame totally on him because I allowed this for many years. In the back of my mind I always thought one day He would choose me. Crazy, right???!!!

 

There came a time where we had to stop talking altogether. If it wasnt about the kids  I stopped conversing with him. If the conversation drifted another way I would just stop talking until it got awkward and we both would just get off the phone. Again, another hard thing for me because he would be mad and upset with me and constantly asking whats wrong. but there was nothing wrong. We just needed boundaries and the emotional ties we had to each other needed to be cut. The Lord just kept pressing, how bad do you want it? How bad do you want to be healed?

Listen, once a relationship is over. It needs to really be over. And that includes the kids other family. Yes, I said it! Cut ties with the other family. You personally staying connected to them is not helping you get over him. I used to spend all my holidays, bdays, and any other celebration with their dads family. Along my process the Lord started telling me, don't go over there. Another thing that was extremely hard for me. His family was my family. They were there for me all those years ago when my mom died and I loved them and enjoyed being with them. But again, that voice. How bad do you want to be healed? So I listened. I spent years going to his families house even though he would bring other women at times. I would be so hurt and so sad, but I toughed  it out thinking this is how it had to be because we weren't in a relationship. All the while, many times after we would leave we would end up with each other. And because of my own insecurities and thinking I was in love, I allowed it.

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I remember when the Lord told me to delete their their dad and his family from social media. I was like why Jesus?? lol I was scared of what they would say. After all, we all had a good relationship. But God told me you don't need to be on social media seeing everytime he's hanging out, and pics of him and his girlfriend, or angry when you see he's hanging out but you had a rough time with the kids, or he told you he had something to do but it was hanging with his friends. You need to heal. You need to guard your heart. So I listened. I just kept hearing in my spirit, how bad do you want it?

I am here to tell you, you DO NOT have to allow a coparent to pull you in emotional and you CAN have a successful coparenting relationship. Where we are now took years to develop. I wasn't super strong everyday during that process. There were days I was chasing him and days he was chasing me. But I knew it wasn't healthy for me and I knew I wanted God to heal my broken heart. So I kept praying, kept listening to God and kept asking him for the strength to follow His instructions.

Although their dad and I are in a really good place as coparents, let me let you in on a secret. sssshhhhh… There are still moments we struggle at times setting certain boundaries and not being to close. But God always reels me back in and reminds me how far Ive come and how FREE I feel now! I don't want to go backwards.

When I started this blog I wanted to talk about coparenting because you don't see much about it. There's not a lot of info out there on how to navigate a coparenting relationship and what its supposed to look like.  Those years I spent in emotional turmoil with my kid dad turned out to be such a blessing. I heard a minister once say "Out of our greatest struggles, come out biggest testimony."

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I am here to tell the next single mom God can heal your broken heart. You can be healed from that relationship even though you still have to see and be around him. God can and will lead and guide you and you can have a successful coparenting relationship. He did it for me, He will do it for you!

be free

Love y'all! Always praying your ya!

Andrea F.

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.