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Solo Parent Society
Solo Parent Society

Solo Parent Society

The Solo Parent Society podcast is hosted by author and founder Robert Beeson to help single parents raise healthy kids, and grow themselves through conversations with other parents who have walked, or are still walking the 'Solo Parent' path. Plus experts on the things that Solo Parents face the most. The mission of Solo Parent Society is to provide the resources, community, and support that enables a single-parent to discover whole-heart wellness so that their family can thrive.

Latest Episode

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How to Have a Balanced Home Life

1/19/2021

Our homes have become more than just a traditional home for us during the pandemic. It's now our workplace and our kids school too. That's why the topic of balance at home is so important. Our lives look so different than they did a year. Even without the challenges of COVID-19, a single parent home can be chaotic. We are juggling all kinds of things. So, how do we create a stable, balanced home life for our kids?

Here are 5 suggestions:

Develop a support network. Raising kids is difficult even with two parents. Without a network, we can easily become overwhelmed. Having a support system strengthens, reinforces, and encourages us as parents bearing the weight alone. Having people in our lives who fill us up is crucial so we can create a balanced home life for our kids to launch from.

Create a routine. This can be a game changer as a single parent! When we build a framework for our schedule and daily needs, we add consistency that can help us move forward with less chaos. Set a specific bedtime, get your kids alarm clocks so they can learn to wake up on time, decide on simple meal ideas that you go back to often. It's hard to put these things in place but once you do, they become the best friend of a frazzled single parent! And, kids need routine. Routine gives kids security

Take time for yourself. When we invest in ourselves, we are investing in our home life too. This may sound counterintuitive but taking care of yourself pays dividends at home. When you are centered and present, you provide an anchor of stability for your kids. A single parent who finds daily moments of peace for their own hearts is in a much better place to establish balance at home for their kids.

Stay positive. This isn't always easy, but we can choose our attitude. Yes, we will have days full of tears but after the tears are over, we have a choice. We can walk out of that trusting God and walking in the truth that He is with us. We can choose joy. Smile - often, be kind, hug your kids! Notice the good things your kids are doing. If you find yourself complaining, turn it around and find thing to be grateful for. This is where the rubber meets the road. Ask God to show you how to maintain a positive attitude even when life is complicated, because our hope is in Him.

Set aside time for your kids. We need quality time with our kids, and not just family time but individual time. Be deliberate about setting aside time to focus on each one. One on one time highlights their importance and makes our kids feel seen and loved. If your schedule is overwhelmed, it doesn't have to be a ton of time. Quality time trumps quantity. Our intentionality matters more than the amount.

As you seek to put practices like these in place, remember to give yourself grace. We are all works in progress. Balance in any area is challenging, so give up the ideal of being able to do this perfectly. Perfect balance is impossible, but your efforts will pay off. Stay encouraged, single parents! You may not be able to measure the effectiveness of what you're doing to stabilize your home in the immediate, maybe not even in the next five years, but your kids are watching and they are carrying it with them.

Single parents, as you seek balance in this new year, you are not alone. As you walk the journey of solo parenting, we want to offer encouragement and hope any way we can. Join our Solo Parent Society community by participating in one of our online groups meeting Monday through Saturday every week. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram (@soloparentsociety). Subscribe to our weekly podcast via AccessMore or wherever you get your podcasts and download our Solo Parent app FREE in the app store. We love to connect single parents to resources that offer hope and help. If you want to donate so we can reach more single-parent families, go to www.soloparentsociety.com. Questions? Email us at info@spsociety.com.

Previous Episodes

How to Have Balanced Thinking

1/12/2021
00:28:50

Single parents, we know you have so many balls in the air. In the chaos, your minds are often filled with jumbled thoughts too. Each of us has limited ability and time to meet the expectations placed on us. Living deliberately can elude us. Often our focus is on simply keeping our kids healthy and fed as our thoughts swirl with work issues, financial strain, and questions on just how we are going to get it all done.

This week we are talking about balanced thinking. We know how important our minds are in shaping how we feel, how we choose to live our lives, and how we parent. If we can be more balanced in our thinking, we can be better parents for our kids.

Three strategies to renew our minds and have more balanced thinking are:

Choose your battles. Let go of consuming thoughts. Give yourself permission to let some things go. You cannot give equal time to everything.

Right size your expectations. Remember, you are not two parents. You are only one. You are capable of only so much. Take the pressure off yourself!

Redefine success through God's eyes. Realize that you are living for an Audience of One, our heavenly Father who loves us. Living through the lens of God's acceptance and approval helps us redefine our priorities and choose what is most important instead of living according to the push and pull of what the world tells us.

For complete show notes and links go to - https://soloparentsociety.com/blog/2021/01/11/how-to-have-balanced-thinking 

How to Find Daily Spiritual Balance - Jake Smith

1/5/2021
00:42:45

Balance: How to Find Daily Spiritual Balance

"Any theology or any way of living that doesn't lead back to loving God and loving others with all of my heart, mind, soul, and strength is actually bad theology." - Jake Smith, founder of Plumline www.shamahway.com www.jakesmithjr.com

We want to be deliberate about finding balance in 2021 and that starts with our spiritual lives. And that's what we talk about this week on our podcast - how to find daily spiritual balance.

Finding balance is difficult for all of us but single parents find it particularly challenging. Many of us don't experience consistent balance. Rather, we tend to live going between highs and lows as we try to juggle everything on our plates while being a solo parent.

Our guest this week is Jake Smith, a former pastor who created a non-profit called Plumline which is centered on personal development and spiritual, emotional, and relational health. Plumline offers weekly groups that lead individuals through a process that helps them integrate their heart, mind, soul, and strength as they relate to God, themselves, and others.

If we are to find godly balance in our lives, integrating these areas is essential.

Jesus talked about this in Mark 12 when he answered the question spiritual leaders posed, "Of all the commandments, which is the most important?" Jesus' response was to quote the Shamah. "The most important one," answered Jesus, "is this: 'Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.' The second is this: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no commandment greater than these." In Matthew 22, he addresses the same questions and says, "All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments."

"If we want to summarize what Jesus is all about, or if we want to summarize the Scriptures, in a nutshell, Jesus did that for us. He said this is essentially the core of everything. Any theology or any way of living that doesn't lead back to that, loving God and others with all of my heart, mind, soul, and strength is actually bad theology. So, when we talk about balance, we can pull from what Jesus said is most important by looking at our spiritual anatomy - our heart, our mind, our soul, and our strength. These are unique parts of us, and we need all four parts to developed and interconnected. This is how we can show up to life and to our relationships - with our kids, with our colleagues, at work - with the fullness of our design." - Jake Smith

So, when we talk about balance, we need to consider these four parts of our "spiritual anatomy" that Jesus talks about in the Shamah because this is how he asks us to relate to God and to others.

What does it look like to show up to my life with my heart, my soul, my mind, and my strength, in an interconnected way, to the people and things who matter most?

Elizabeth, a single mom through divorce, has been part of Plumline groups for the past year. As an Enneagram 7, she tends to avoid her feelings and run from them. She tends to go toward the area of strength first and foremost, but Plumline has taught her that she doesn't need to be afraid of the other areas. It's given her the ability to trust God more and understand that her feelings help her connect to Him more. Elizabeth uses the Shamah Way app to check in daily on how she's feeling, be honest about it, and pay attention to all the four parts of her spiritual anatomy. Just identifying what she's experiencing in her heart, mind, soul, and strength, helps her walk through her day with God, integrating all of them, rather than just one or two.

The tendency is to live dominantly from one or two of these parts. Some of us live from our minds as "thinkers", others live as "doers" acting in their strength most. If we only live from our feelings, we may become overwhelmed emotionally and get stuck, not acting in our strength when we need to. The key to daily spiritual balance is paying attention to each of these areas and living from a place of integration. Instead, we often overuse an area we are comfortable while neglecting other parts of ourselves that may be more difficult for us to access or acknowledge.

For example, we may excel at strategizing and putting a plan in place but be less able to recognize our feelings. When this happens, we may show up for a heart conversation with our mind instead and miss an important opportunity to connect with someone we care about at a deeper level. When we overuse or underuse any of these areas, we find ourselves imbalanced, hindered in our ability to connect in a healthy way with God, with ourselves, and with others.

Learning to live from a place of integration with all four parts is a daily spiritual practice. It's called spiritual practice because we need to do "daily reps" in each area. We must practice within the arena of the four significant parts of you. As single parents, the deck is stacked against us in using each area because we are often so busy getting through our day and getting things done, we use our minds and strength only and neglect our heart and soul. A key area of practice for single parents is being intentional about paying attention to those parts of you too.

If you need to find ways to practice daily spiritual balance, this podcast is a great place to start!

Single parents, as you seek balance in this new year, you are not alone. As you walk the journey of solo parenting, we want to offer encouragement and hope any way we can. Join our Solo Parent Society community by participating in one of our online groups meeting Monday through Saturday every week. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram (@soloparentsociety). Subscribe to our weekly podcast via AccessMore or wherever you get your podcasts and download our Solo Parent app FREE in the app store. We love to connect single parents to resources that offer hope and help. If you want to donate so we can reach more single-parent families, go to www.soloparentsociety.com. Questions? Email us at info@spsociety.com.

Emmanuel: God With Us in Newness

12/15/2020
00:39:16

 The holidays can be very difficult for single parents. The one thing we can count on is change, like changes in tradition and changes is time with our kids. What we once knew is often now very different. Gd promises He will turn all things to good and that He is doing a new thing in our lives, but the idea of newness and change can still make us uneasy. Our dreams that have been shattered leave us picking up the pieces while walking into a new frontier. We don't know how things are going to turn out especially after facing the unexpected already.

How do you embrace the new and encounter God in newness?

1. Identify past dreams and past realities - Be authentic and take inventory of what you have lost and how you are feeling. Take time to grieve specific losses. If you move on too quickly, you can stay stuck and carry the pain with you. As you embrace God in newness, acknowledge your dreams but also acknowledge your realities. Sometimes loss can make us look at the past through rose colored glasses and remember things more utopian than they were making it harder for us to move on.

2. Pray about what could be. Become willing to dream again. Confess to God if you are afraid of dreaming again. Ask Him to help you dream about a new future, new possibilities, and a new you. Change is hard but staying the same can be even worse. Ask God to be with you in the new so you don't miss the opportunities planned for you in the now.

3. Accept that new is the new normal. Start to live in a state of anticipation. Began to believe that what is coming is better than what you left behind. New can be scary but it is also full of possibility.

Newness can be scary for anyone. As a single parent, Marissa, shares that when she first became a solo parent after her husband died, she longed for an unbroken world where all things were made new and better. What she realized though is that brokenness in the world doesn't change but we can be made new despite that. Past experiences and losses, while hard, can serve to change us, to make us new and different. Like Paul, we can learn to embrace any circumstance provided God is with us. But embracing change is hard because what comes next may not be what we want. There is uncertainty in "new". Old feels safe and reassuring because even if it wasn't best, we still knew what to expect, and in many ways that feels comfortable.

To embrace the new, we must first identify our past dreams and past realities. We must take time to accept that what we once had or hoped for is no longer possible. The ideals and dreams of where our life was going must be examined. We have to face the reality of what is happening now. We all want happy kids, effortless parenting, a perfect home. We often look at our lives through a Hallmark filter that isn't realistic. It represents hopes and dreams but not our real-life experiences. Before we embrace the new, we have to realize that some of our ideals were not congruent with our actual lives. Looking back is important because we can't grieve something until we identify it. It's impossible to move into the new without letting go of those ideals and realities. It's helpful to see that our lives weren't perfect in the past anymore than they will be now or in the future. Accepting and acknowledging this helps us grieve and then let go.

Maybe the newness this year means you can't provide as many presents for your kids as you want to or maybe your house doesn't have Christmas lights outside. But, instead of presents, remember that your kids want your PRESENCE. Instead of Christmas lights, your kids want to see light in your eyes when you look at them. Embracing the new can bring up grief but it can also help us realign our priorities. As we do this, we may experience transitional hurt. We feel the excitement or joy of what is ahead while also feeling the loss of what we are moving away from.

As you move toward the new, second, ask God to be with you. Pray about the future. Ask Him what is next and what is best for you and for your kids. Let Him be part of the process. We may have ideas of what is best but God's ways are different than ours. We sometimes think the areas of loss in our life must be filled with something that is the same as what we had before but God often provides something else, something better. In our longing for what we had; we can miss what He is giving us instead. Especially when His plan in the new surprises us. Isaiah 57:15 says, "I live in a high and holy place, but I also live with people who are sad and humble. I give new life to those who are humble. I give new life to those whose hearts are broken." We can go to God honestly, humbly, and share our broken hearts with Him. He will meet us there and be with us in the hurt. Rather than cling to the old, we can ask Him to help us embrace the new. God is a multiplier. He can take the little bit of faith we have and turn it into something amazing and wonderful.

Sometimes asking "what if" questions can help us look ahead with God. "What if the old tradition needed to be changed anyway?" "What if the plan I had was leading me to a worst place only I didn't know it?" "What if what God has in store is even better than what I had before?" Asking questions like this allows an opportunity to embrace the idea of new with curiosity. Robert Beeson said that prompts like this, while journaling, helped him let go of the past and move toward the new with more openness. This process is cathartic. Offering the future to God allows Him to start painting something new on the canvas of your future. Psalm 37:5-7 says, "Commit everything you do to the Lord. Trust him and he will help you. He will make your innocence radiate like the dawn and the justice of your cause will shine like the noonday sun." As we let God into our future, He will help us each step of the way. He will bring light to what we once thought would be dark days.

After first acknowledging and grieving our past dreams and past realities, and second, inviting God into the newness with us, third, we can accept that new is our new normal. This season is different. And, it is supposed to be. We aren't here by chance. God can and will shape our experiences, past and present, into His plan and will for our lives. Even when things are new and uncertain to us, they are not surprises to God. Knowing He holds our lives and future in His hands can help us embrace the new as our new normal.

When we submit our lives to God and dare to dream again, we can trust Him to redeem our experiences. He won't restore things exactly as they were but He can bring forgiveness, healing and redemption to those events. And He will go with us into a new future.

Our tendency is to want God to bring back what we once had, to replace what we lost. Instead, God often brings us something different but better. Maybe we think redemption should mean we get married again, and quickly, but that isn't how God works. God's idea of new isn't always our idea. God can make new out of things in ways we didn't know were possible. God can resurrect dead dreams. He can bring to life places in our hearts that we thought would neve live again.

The newness of God isn't in the replacement of all things but in the redemption of all things. And He can and will bring that redemption. Accepting new as the new normal means a future full of hope and light. Healing happens as we walk ahead with Him. Finding God with us in newness is a process. We first need to accept and acknowledge the past, ask God to be with us in the new, and to embrace new as our new normal.

Single parents, as you embrace newness in this season, you are not alone. As you walk the journey of solo parenting, we want to offer encouragement and hope any way we can. Join our Solo Parent Society community by participating in one of our online groups meeting Monday through Saturday every week. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram (@soloparentsociety). Subscribe to our weekly podcast via AccessMore or wherever you get your podcasts and download our Solo Parent app FREE in the app store. We love to connect single parents to resources that offer hope and help. If you want to donate so we can reach more single-parent families, go to www.soloparentsociety.com.

Questions? Email us at info@spsociety.com.  

Emmanuel: God With Us in Hope - Kristi McLelland

12/8/2020
00:41:43

We are in a crazy time this year, and on some days, it feels hopeless. We are trying to get through the pandemic, move on past the election, and find a new perspective for 2021, but there's just so much going on. We want to look ahead with hope but what are we hoping in? Is it a political outcome, a vaccine, a change in our circumstances?

When we look to these things for hope, we can set ourselves up for a cycle of disappointment and despondency. Today we are talking about finding hope in Emmanuel, God with Us.

We are so thrilled to have Kristi McClelland with us on our podcast this week. Kristi is an author, professor, speaker, and biblical culturist. Kristi teaches the Bible through its original historical, cultural, linguistic, and geographic context. This approach helps build a bridge to help us understand the world and culture of the bible to know what the authors meant and show us who the living God is, what he's like and what it's like to walk with Him.

When Kristi was 21 years old, as a senior in college, she lost her father unexpectedly to cancer just a few weeks after diagnosis. It was devastating and felt like the rug was pulled out from under her. Her whole world changed in a moment. As she was mourning and hurting, she would sleep with her Bible under her pillow so she could read a psalm or just a few words of comfort.

Now, years later, Kristi has faced other reasons to need comfort and hope, just as we all have. We all need anchors of hope and, as believers, we have a living Hope in Christ - a hope that is alive, breathing, walking around, able to meet us in our troubles. In times like these, Kristi prays, "Lord, I need your hope to find me because I don't have it in me to find it." I'm upside down, I feel disoriented, so find me, find me and usher in that hopefulness." Kristi describes Living Hope as different from hope that is experienced as a feeling which is how it's talked about in other world religions. "Our hope is not based in a certain theology, rhythm, or practice. Our hope is based on a man, a living resurrected man. It's not just that Jesus came but that He is still here, living, moving, breathing, having his way, shepherding us through our lives." So, hope isn't a thing, it's not a feeling. "Our hope is living because Jesus is alive and, in our lives, right now, shepherding our lives in ways known and unknown in mystery and uncertainty. We're all going to fool around and make it - because of Him. We are going to fool around and make it through this season, as we have every season of devastation and loss that comes before, because it's not just that He came to earth. He came to earth, He is here, and He's coming again one day. So, we live in the twilight of who He is so it's Living Hope."
After the loss of her Dad and again now in 2020, Kristi shares, "We've all had longing and aching this year, for things past and for things ahead. The Bible says God longs for things too." Kristi says this truth is found in Isaiah 30:18 which says, "Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you. He rises to show you compassion." Kristi learned it when she lost her dad and she's learning it again this year. "Compassion is the fusion of two words. "Com" means "with" and "passion" comes from "pathos" which means "pain". So, compassion in the Biblical world is not an emotion. It's a location. Compassion means positioning yourself with people in their pain. The Bible here in this verse is saying that the Lord longs to position himself with us in our pain. He rises to show us compassion. "You think of all those seasons in life when maybe you've thought, "Oh I need to clean myself up before I come to God" or "Why am I having another meltdown?" "Why can't I get it together? Why is everybody else smarter, quicker, better, faster, stronger than me, and I'm the one behind, struggling?" The Bible tells us that this is where God locates Himself - with us and among us in our pain. "When we are the most undone, He is the closest. When we are fundamentally disoriented, He comes so near, to be with us in our pain." And when we are hurting, isn't that what we need? We just want to know we are not alone. Kristi has been thinking about this verse so much this year and asking God to locate Himself with her in the pain. If we know God is with us and among us, that Living Hope will see us through.

But, so often we are in a rush to get through the pain. We want to get past it and not have to sit in it and learn from it. Kimberley Mitchell, cohost on the Solo Parent Society podcast, shares that she and founder, Robert Beeson, talk about this often. We want to avoid the pain, but God meets us on some of our most broken, hard, painful days! It is in some of our darkest times that some of the greatest moments with God occur. Often, we think instead, "when this breakthrough happens or when my kids are acting better or when I get married, then we will feel hope". But this is misplaced hope.

How do we find hope in God in a wilderness or desert season? In the Western world, Kristi says we often ask, "How did I get here? What did I do to get here? And how do I get out of it?" whereas the ancients in the Middle East ask very different questions. They understand that God does some of His best work in the wilderness and in the dessert. The Jewish people equate the wilderness as a place we go to hear God's voice, to hear His Word. Moses was in the dessert when he heard God speak from the burning bush. Elijah fled to the dessert to hear God's still small voice. Jesus was in the dessert 40 days and 40 nights when angels came to tend to Him. "When you find yourself in a wilderness, don't try to get out of it. Hunker down and start listening." It's in the wilderness where we get our word from the Lord. Kristi says rather than trying to get out of it, position yourself to hear the word of the Lord in this. In Hosea 2, the Lord says, "I will allure her to the dessert and there I will speak tenderly to her." This verse is one we can hold on to as single parents. This passage goes on to say that we will no longer call God our Master, but we will instead call him our Husband. In our dessert season, God wants to meet with us and deepen His relationship with us. In the wilderness, we become fused to the Lord in a new, more intimate way that the mountaintop could never teach us.

We can't change the pandemic; we can't change our circumstances, but we can attune our ears to God's voice. We can listen for His voice in the dessert. He is with us in our pain. Sometimes we struggle and strain so much trying to get out of the wilderness, that we miss His word to us. This is where our transformation happens.

In our weekly Solo groups, this is what we want to do. We don't want to struggle to get out and to avoid the pain but rather we want to take time to listen for God's voice in the pain. Rather than numbing out through eating, Netflix, alcohol, sex, or whatever it is we turn to, we need to instead allow God to sit with us and meet with us in it. There is so much happening out of our control right now, but we need to stay present and not run from this season.

One of the ways we can do that this year is by allowing ourselves to lament. This is a practice that was used often by Jewish people in the Bible. There are all kinds of liturgies and songs of lament. "In Judaism and the biblical world, both joy and sorrow are considered to be communal emotions." Rather than individual private expressions, in Jewish culture, they celebrate and mourn together. Lament is a communal, spiritual practice. When we don't numb out, when we stay alive and present in our lament, lament transforms and matures us. It purposes and accomplishes things in us that are different than celebrations and joy. Just like sore muscle after we work out are something we accept as part of the process in getting stronger, the soreness of lament is evidence of the work being done in us too. When we numb out, we become overwhelmed by anxiety. We must ask God for the grace to embrace lament and not resist it. Kristi shares, "If we numb out, we come out of a dessert season, no different than when we entered it. If we try to escape it, we will not be transformed by it. We must learn to lament with our community, to feel the sadness, to journal it, to not avert our eyes but to investigate it, and past it with Living hope. When we do that, we come out of it stronger and a little bit more mature." Don't miss the work God wants to do in you with lament. When we do that, we have more of ourselves to give to others when they're in their dessert season.

How do we lean into community during lament?

When we feel overwhelming feelings and when we are tempted to isolate, Kristi says this is a red flag. Practice reaching for community when nothing in you wants to. Have safe people you can be honest with and tell them you are getting stuck in isolation and need help getting out. Loneliness is a big issue for single parents and reaching out is hard but it's so important. It takes courage to reach out and acknowledge you're not doing okay. Be honest and seek out what you need. Yes, it feels vulnerable and humbling, but isolation can rob us of our hope. Expressing a need awakens compassion from others. Be brave and embrace lament - with God and with others. He longs to meet you there. He is Emmanuel, God With Us. He is our Living Hope.

We are facing so much globally and in our daily lives but, single parents, as you face the challenges, you are not alone. As you walk the journey of single parenting, we want to offer encouragement and hope any way we can. Join our Solo Parent Society community by participating in one of our online groups meeting Monday through Saturday every week. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram (@soloparentsociety). Subscribe to our weekly podcast via AccessMore or wherever you get your podcasts and download our Solo Parent app FREE in the app store. We love to connect single parents to resources that offer hope and help. If you want to donate so we can reach more single-parent families, go to www.soloparentsociety.com. Questions? Email us at info@spsociety.com.  

Emmanuel: God With Us In Our Struggle

12/2/2020
00:36:01

God With Us In Our Struggle

The holidays can be difficult because they bring up so many emotions for all of us. Especially as single parents, it can be hard to celebrate when we are facing painful memories of lost dreams, broken family traditions, and at times, being apart from our kids. Our reality is far different from a Hallmark movie storyline. Celebrating the season can be a struggle because it highlights the pain of parenting alone. 

Because we know the reality of loss can peak around the holidays, we want to offer some strategies that might help you embrace the truth that God is with us in grief. 

1. Identify and confess your strugle. We need to acknowledge and admit that our grief is real. We need to stop being afraid of it. There is no shame in grief. Yet, sometimes we shrink back from naming and facing it. But grief is a normal part of the human experience. Grief is a sign that our losses and pain matter because we matter. When we love someone and lose them, it's sad. There is a painful void left behind. When we lose the dream of a typical family, it hurts.

2. Accept struggle as normal. It's normal to feel grief and to struggle, especially during the holidays. We need to let ourselves feel it. We need to let go of the desire to push it aside and ignore it. If you are a single parent, you know a lot about grief and feeling loss. These feelings can become even stronger during the holiday season when the losses are highlighted. Remember though, you are not alone, and to struggle with grief and sadness is normal. 

3. Invite God into your struggle. Don't be afraid to let your heart be known by God. That is where intimacy and trust are born. Go to Him honestly with all you are feeling. Don't hide the dark places from Him. Let Him enter your highs, lows, and everything in between. He will meet you there, where you are. 

4. Finally, recognize God's presence with you in struggle. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted. He is acquainted with grief and He will be with you in it. We can find a sense of peace even in sadness and loss because God promises to be with those crushed in spirit. 

Single parent, Elizabeth, shares her experience with grief especially around the holidays. Christmas is hard being a solo parent. It's just not easy. The loss of extended family because of divorce is painful. It just is. Seeing pictures of past celebrations pop up on your phone or just having memories come to mind is like a stab to the heart. Ornaments from past years highlight the changes we've experienced. Your kids leaving to go be with their other family hurts and feels like a loss in itself. Reminder after reminder comes up even as you're getting through Thanksgiving Day and putting up a Christmas tree. 

Even as the waves of emotion wash over you, it's important to remember too that grief and gratitude can coexist. We can be thankful for our children's connection to their other parent's family even while we experience sadness at not being with them. And, it's normal to have FOMO - fear of missing out - when we know traditions are continuing that we are no longer part of anymore. Being disconnected and excluded from special memories and experiences with our kids is hard. 

That's why this topic is so important. Grief around the holidays is real and normal. It's healthy to acknowledge and accept it. We can also hold on to the truth that God is with us in that grief. He is Emmanuel. Especially during this pandemic, when everything feels heightened, it's even more necessary to invite God into that reality. We are all under more stress and more easily triggered. We aren't necessarily in the best place ourselves so we need God to be with us even more. 

How do we embrace Emmanuel - God with us - in struggle?

Identifying and confessing grief is the first step. We all experience sadness and hurt, but what we do with those emotions varies. We each handle our feelings differently. Some of us find ourselves staying busier, avoiding quiet times when the feelings will inevitably surface. Distractions are easier than facing the sadness. Sometimes, our tendency is to try to control things, or work hard to numb out and ignore our grief. Others sink beneath the weight of the feelings and wallow and wade in sadness, perhaps isolating, unable to function. These reactions are common. But we don't find genuine health or wholeness in these responses, only temporary relief. Rather, admitting and identifying our grief helps us process it. It's normal to feel this way. Rather than suppressing it or becoming overwhelmed by it, we need to accept it and let ourselves feel it. 

Grief that goes underground can become depression, anger, bitterness, or cynicism. We might find ourselves ignoring our feelings of hurt, sadness, and loneliness only to act them out in impatience, irritability, or isolation. Naming and facing our feelings is the first steps to experience God with us in grief.

Next, as we recognize and normalize our grief, we can start to notice our default settings. Are we avoiding it, getting stuck in it, or pretending it's not there? Instead of reacting by default, we can be patient with ourselves as we process it in an intentional way, with God and with safe people in our lives. 

Grief doesn't mean you're in a bad place. In fact, sometimes the most incredible breakthroughs happen because of a breakdown. Instead of trying to escape our grief, we can sit with God in it. It's normal to feel sadness and hurt after loss. And, it's normal to be triggered emotionally because of our story. This is just part of life. 

As we get honest about these losses and all that is going on inside of us as a result, we can bring our whole heart to God. Instead of reacting in a "knee-jerk" kind of way, we can cope with our feelings of grief more intentionally. We can acknowledge and accept them and bring them to God.

Another thing to remember about grief is that it can make us long for what we once had. Even if what we lost was toxic or harmful, it's normal to sometimes want it back. Don't be surprised if you miss, sentimentally, what you once had. It doesn't mean you want your former partner or old life back. Rather, missing those things is a reflection that you experienced a loss that still hurts. These thoughts and feelings are a normal part of the grieving process. We might even idealize and long for those things again. But just because we miss being a family unit or being married doesn't mean you should go back to it. Feeling sadness at the loss doesn't mean it's a healthier or better path for you or for your kids. 

Transitions as single parents are hard. Having mixed emotions and thoughts of regret are normal and will happen as we grieve so it's especially important to ask God to be with us in it. We need the peace of His presence and His guidance as we move ahead. 

The more we identify and normalize our grief and struggle, and as we invite God into it with us, the more we can offer that experience to our kids. We can empathize with them instead of subconsciously trying to manage their feelings. Instead of modeling avoidance or numbing out, we can help them acknowledge and accept sadness and grief as normal. Our example gives them permission to feel all the emotions themselves and to process them in a healthy way. We can sit with them and talk through it so they don't feel alone. 

So, how do we invite God into our struggle? What are practical ways we can recognize His presence in it? We can invite Him in by expressing it honestly. We can do that through tears, journaling, talking out loud with trusted friends about it, and admitting when we are angry and afraid because of the losses we've experienced. We can ask God to be with as we feel sad, hurt, and lonely. Sometimes it helps to imagine sitting at God's feet or to visualize being held by Him, as we grieve and cry. That picture of Him, acting as our loving Father, one who brings comfort and who cares deeply about us, is helpful. 

Worshipping God while we're facing our grief helps too. It reminds me us of who He is and what He has done. His Word can bring comfort even as we are feeling painful things. When God says He is with us, it's not just words on a page. He sent His Spirit to comfort us, to guide us, and to help us - in the here and now, in the reality of our pain. We can pour out our hearts to God. We can give it all to Him as we picture Him near us, acting on our behalf. 

Another thing to remember is that God doesn't restore everything the way we expect or the way we might want. God with us in grief doesn't mean He comes and gives back whatever we lost. Rather, He redeems us where we are now and where we are going. He gives us a richer understanding of who He is and all He has done for us. 

Psalm 34 says the Lord is near to the broken hearted and saves those crushed in spirit. God walks with us along painful pathways. He will not leave us to face them alone. We can bring our hurts to Him and He will help us with them. Sometimes it is only in going through hardship that we realize and recognize His presence. Confessing and acknowledging our pain helps us know God in a deeper way and this intimacy with Him is transformational. God may not restore our circumstances, but He restores our heart and redeems our hurts. In the process of facing our pain, God will meet us in it. We can feel His kindness, mercy, and grace in our suffering. God transforms what we bring to Him. He can make beauty from ashes. He truly is Emmanuel - God with us, no matter what we are facing.

As you walk the journey of single parenting, we want to offer encouragement and hope any way we can. Join our Solo Parent Society community by participating in one of our online groups meeting every week. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram (@solopa rentsociety). Subscribe to our weekly podcast via AccessMore or wherever you get your podcasts and download our Solo Parent app FREE in the app store. We love to connect single parents to resources that offer hope and help. If you want to donate so we can reach more single-parent families, go to www.soloparentsociety.com. Questions? Email us at info@spsociety.com

Worth: How to Teach Our Kids Self Worth

11/24/2020
00:25:24

Worth - Teaching Our Kids Worth

We live in a time where our kids are being battered around by all kinds of voices and comparisons, more than when we were kids for sure. 24/7 they are hearing lies about ways they don't measure up. Depression, anxiety, and suicide are on a serious increase. As adults, we are facing these things too, but we have history, context, and experience to know that these things come and go but our kids don't.

Especially during the pandemic, the hopelessness, and questions about "Am I worth it" can be very loud voices. With current events like this, it's more important than ever to notice what our kids are going through and identify how they are feeling about themselves. Teaching our kids how to have a healthy sense of worth is paramount.

All this month we've been building our idea of worth using the acronym VIP, value, identity, and purpose. We are going to use these same ideas to explore practical ways to teach a healthy sense of worth to our kids.

First, psychologists agree a good place for parents to start is by modeling what healthy self-worth looks like themselves. We don't have to be perfect or have everything figured out to do this. The process is as important, if not more important, than being able to show our kids we know and understand our value, identity, and purpose.

Teaching our kids is reinforcing their value, identity, and purpose in our every day lives. Identity and purpose will come later as they grow in their own story and along their own life path. But we can teach our kids value from day one to create a foundation of healthy worth.

Teaching value is first found in understanding who God is. We often measure ourselves by comparing ourselves with other people. We may not have the same characteristics, traits, or attributes as someone else and we can determine incorrectly that somehow means we are less valuable. But the good news is that value has everything to do with God and nothing to do with us. When we start with who He is, we can accept that our great Creator who hung the stars and moon and created everything on earthy also thought it was important for each of us to be created. He loves us dearly and brought us to life because we each needed to be here. His decision to create us demonstrates our intrinsic value.

But how do we teach this to our kids? We can do this in three practical ways every day.

1. Show affection

2. Speak affirmation

3. Create space

Show Affection

We can first encourage a sense of worth in our kids by showing them affection. Our kids need to know how much they are valued by us. They need to know we are so glad they are here, and they are not an accident.

We can't assume our kids know how proud of them we are or how glad we are to be their mom or dad. We must demonstrate it by showing them affection. Our kids need daily reminders that we are happy to have time with them and that we enjoy being around them. We can show them this with hugs, sitting together and just being close to them, or telling them with words or acts of service that they matter to us. Showing affection can look lots of different ways, like being at their sporting event, remembering their favorite things and taking time to know what's important to them.

With older kids, don't let them isolate to their rooms too much. It's normal for teens to want some space but make it a priority to be near them when you can - after work, at meals, at bedtime. Use eye contact and body language to show them you care. Being in each other's physical presence helps our kids develop a sense of their importance and their value. Smile and let your eyes light up when they enter the room. Set aside other things whenever possible to show them they are worthy of your undivided attention.

Speak Affirmation

Not only does showing affection build a sense of value but so do words of affirmation. Kids need our affection and our presence, but they also need to hear we are proud of them just as they are. Robert Beeson, Solo Parent Society founder, shares that these words matter to us as adults, so they matter to our kids. After putting together a successful event recently, Robert shared the highlight wasn't the accolades he got from colleagues but rather the simple words of his dad saying, "I'm very proud of you and your mother would be too. I'll always love you." These words meant more because Robert wanted to hear them while he was growing up, but they weren't expressed very often. Kids need us to show affection AND they need to hear affirmation from us. Words matter and kids need to consistently hear that you love them and that you're proud of them. Speaking affirmation helps them know they are valued.

If this is an area that you missed from your parents as a child, be the one to break the cycle. Change the paradigm and intentionally speak words of life and love into your children. The more you speak affirmation to them, the more they will grow in security and in knowing their value. Especially for kids who have experienced divorce or the loss of a parent, we must be deliberate in letting them know they are seen, and we must also talk to them about how God sees them. Not only can we build them up with encouragement as a parent, we can build them up in the truth of God's word. Reinforcing their origin as children of God is critical in them understanding their value.

Psalm 139:14-16 says, 

" For you created my inmost being;

    you knit me together in my mother's womb.

 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;

    your works are wonderful,

    I know that full well."

Our value is determined by God. As parents, we can reinforce that sense of worth with our kids. This value goes beyond the bond of family or humanity. We can remind them that God thought it was just as important to create them as it was to create their favorite sports hero, gaming pro, or whomever they admire most.

Create Space

The third point in creating value is creating space to be with our kids and spend time with them. We reinforce their value by showing them they are important enough for us to carve out time to just be with them. God shows us the same value by prioritizing our relationship with him too. He wants us to talk to Him and to spend time with Him. When we express the same desire to be with our kids, we help them understand their value. Play video games with them, build Legos with them, create space to meet them where they are and show them you enjoy time with them. This teaches our kids that they are valuable and reinforces a healthy sense of worth.

We teach our kids a further sense of their worth when we help them embrace and discover their individual identity and purpose. Just like we need to pay attention to our history, story, and life path, we can pay attention to our kids' journey too. When we intentionally notice our children's strengths and weaknesses and celebrate both who they are and who they are not, we teach them to embrace their unique design. None of us are good at everything but that doesn't make us less valuable. And, we can encourage our kids to try new pursuits even if they won't be the best at it. This gives our kids freedom and permission to explore their identity and purpose without expecting perfection or a specific outcome.

Single parents, we help our kids understand their worth by reminding them their value is determined by their Creator. Our voice can remind them they are here by design and are valuable just as they are by showing our kids affection, speaking affirmation, and creating space for them.

As you walk the journey of single parenting, we want to help you any way we can. Join our Solo Parent Society community by participating in one of our online groups meeting every week. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram (@soloparentsociety). Subscribe to our weekly podcast via AccessMore or wherever you get your podcasts and download our Solo Parent app FREE in the app store. We love to connect single parents to resources that offer hope and help. If you want to donate so we can reach more single-parent families, go to www.soloparentsociety.com . Questions? Email us at info@spsociety.com .

Worth: Discovering Our Purpose

11/17/2020
00:29:56

Worth - Discovering Your Purpose

Worth is made up of our value, identity, and purpose (V.I.P.). Understanding each of these elements helps us know we are VIP's in God's kingdom. Each one of us has intrinsic value because we were created by our Creator. We each have a unique identity shaped and informed by our history, story, strengths, and passions. And, we were created on purpose for a purpose - to walk out the plan God set in place and to do the works He planned in advance for us to do.

Discovering your purpose is part three of our series on worth. Your purpose is a path. It's a process of discovery, not a destination. There are two distinctives to pay attention to in discovering your purpose. They are your design and your path.

The first is our design. To understand our purpose and unlock our power, we must value our design. This starts with knowing and believing we are uniquely created by the Designer for a specific purpose. When we are anchored in this knowledge, we can embrace our unique design. Some of us believe we have to fit in, perform, or look and behave in certain ways to accomplish our purpose. Instead of trying to fit into these boxes, we need to look into God's word to discover our design. Our design isn't found in fashion magazines or other worldly measure like career achievements or accumulating material things. This isn't God's design.

God's design for us is not the same as that of culture or society. "Comparison is the thief of joy" and when we look to worldly standards to measure our design, we can easily lose sight of our godly purpose. We need to be intentional and look to God instead to discover our gifting and purpose. Luke 13:20 says, "He asked, "To what can I compare the kingdom of God? It is like leaven that a woman took and mixed into three measures of flour, until all of it was leavened." Yeast is tiny and unseen yet it acts throughout the entire batch of dough causing it to rise. Start asking God to reveal the "leaven" He has placed in you. Look for those areas that are evidence of His Spirit acting inside of you for His kingdom. God created you with unique gifts to be used for unique purposes. Take some time to explore how He designed you.

Former single mom, Kimberley, shares something her daughter said when she was 8 years old. "Hey Mom, the word "us" is part of "Jesus" so that means we belong together. Jesus and us." Yes! So simple and yet so profound. Jesus and us. We were made for connection with Him. We were created to know and follow Him. Both our design and our path our part of our purpose.

And His purpose for our lives is so much better and higher than our own. When we open ourselves up to God and His purposes for us, it can look a lot different than we expect but it is so much better. Robert Beeson, founder of Solo Parent Society, says his solo season revealed more of God's plan for him than ever before. It is at rock bottom that we sometimes find our deepest connection to God and understand ourselves more than could have in any other circumstances. Being intentional about our solo season and asking God to show us who He created us to be can be pivotal. We can come out on the other side transformed, ready to embrace our design and the path we are on, however unexpected.

And our path is the second part of discovering our purpose. Often when we think of purpose, we think of it as a destination or something we determine. And that just isn't the case. Purpose is not an objective, it's an outcome. Purpose is found in our design and in the path that God has us on, even when that path includes hardships, trials, and brokenness.

Everything happens on purpose for a purpose. Sometimes we get in a rush. We get impatient and we want to see the ending, but God gives us "just enough light for the step we're on". Our purpose is found in trusting God in the unknowns and in the difficult places. God wants us to be fully present in our daily lives, right here and now. Knowing and following Him isn't found in an end result, but rather in being used by Him as a vessel in everyday moments.

Purpose is like a train station. We find it along the way as we obey God and go where He calls us. It isn't found at the ene destination. It is found in the present and often in the simple things - being kind to those around us, making a difference in small but profound ways, as we love God and others right where we are. [6.5 m]

Even when life throws us curve balls, our purpose remains. Wake up every day and ask God, "What do you want me to do today?" and then go do it. That is purpose! Sometimes God's ways surprise us. Sometimes He slows us down or shuts doors we wanted to be open, but we just need to follow Him and ask Him what He wants us to do. When we realize we aren't in control and let go, it's the perfect opportunity to discover real purpose.

Single parents, ask God, "What does purpose look like for me today?" Purpose is found in the belief that He goes before us and in remembering what He has already done. There is so much right in front of us that we don't see. Discovering our purpose is found in stopping and taking inventory to discover our unique design and see the things on our path to pay attention to and trust God in. That is where we find our purpose.

If 2020 is teaching us anything, it's that life can change on a dime. Our greatest purpose is not found in a specific title, destination, or accomplishment. Our greatest purpose is as a child of God. Our design and our path are all because of Him. We bring our design - our loaves and fishes - to God and He multiplies them as He chooses, along the path HE has planned for us. As we surrender, and bring Him whatever we have to give, He does what only He can do and uses it for His plans and His glory.

Our value is because of God, inherent in all of us as sons and daughters of God. Second, our identity is the story God is writing in our lives, the testimony of God's faithfulness. Finally, our purpose is found in our design and the path God has planned for each of us.

Ephesians 3:20 says "Now to Him who is able to do infinitely more than all we can ask or imagine according to His power that is already at work in us." Our value is unshakeable, our identity is as children of God, and our purpose is found as we follow Him on His path for us. It is His job to do "infinitely more" than we can "ask or imagine". Start journaling as you ask God about His design and His path for your life. Ask Him what "loaves and fishes" He has given you to be used for His purposes. Ask Him to reveal His plans for you. God's purpose for you is in progress. It isn't over simply because life has surprised you with unexpected twists and turns. There is so much hope in Him. Embrace your design and your path and follow Him into your purpose.

As you walk the journey of single parenting, we want to offer support and encouragement. Join our Solo Parent Society community by participating in one of our online groups meeting Monday through Saturday every week. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram (@soloparentsociety). Subscribe to our weekly podcast via AccessMore or wherever you get your podcasts and download our Solo Parent app FREE in the app store. We love to connect single parents to resources that offer hope and help. If you want to donate so we can reach more single-parent families, go to www.soloparentsociety.com.

Questions?
Email us at info@spsociety.com.  

WORTH: UNCOVERING OUR IDENTITY

11/10/2020
00:41:36

Worth: Uncovering Our Identity

Single parents have often walked a challenging path experiencing hurts and obstacles along the way. These difficulties can shake their sense of worth leaving them feeling empty and unsure of who they are. Regaining a sense of worth is found in recovering our sense of value, uncovering our identity, and realizing our purpose. 

Each component builds on the other. The first one, our value, is unchangeable and intrinsic. God determines our value which is foundational to our sense of worth. The second component is our identity. Our identity is made up of characteristics that distinguish us from one another. It's our individual stories that set us apart. Finally, our worth helps inform our purpose. We were created intentionally by God to fulfill good works planned for us. When we have a solid understanding of our value, identity, and purpose, we can walk with confidence in our worth, knowing we were created by God, on purpose for a purpose. 

One of the components needed for a healthy sense of worth is uncovering our identity. We can gain valuable knowledge of who we are through four facets: 1) our history, 2) the setbacks we've experienced, 3) our unique strengths, and 4) our individual passion. 

History 

First, our history starts with our family of origin. Part of understanding our identity lies in understanding how we grew up and how it impacted us. Whether raised in a big family or as an only child, whether under ideal circumstances or difficult ones, our upbringing has shaped and molded us into who we are today. Understanding our history helps us understand our identity today. The story of Joseph illustrates how our family of origin can shape us. Joseph was a favored son and his brothers became jealous as a result. His childhood experiences of having dreams and being able to interpret them are a big part of his family history. Your family history matters too. 

Setbacks 

Another facet of our identity are the setbacks we've faced. Each one of us has experienced different hardships and difficulties that inform our identity and sense of who we are. Joseph was betrayed and sold into slavery by his brothers. He was accused of something he didn't do and was thrown into prison. These hardships impacted his identity just like we are impacted by our own. Adversities like divorce, abuse, illness, or betrayal change our life trajectory and the way we see ourselves. Some alter our identity while others reinforce it or cause us to reinvent part of who we are. 

Strengths 

Like our history and setbacks, our strengths are another facet of identity. Our unique talents and strengths help us understand who we were created to be. Some of our experiences develop these strengths and others reveal ones we didn't even know were there. Each strength informs part of our identity. Taking inventory of our strengths is an important part of recognizing our worth. One of Joseph's strengths was charisma. He first found favor with his father and later with those he encountered while he was a slave and in prison. Joseph also knew how to interpret dreams. This gift from God gave him an advantage and set him up to gain stature in Egypt. Knowing our strengths is a key facet to knowing our identity. 

Passion 

Passion is the final facet in discovering our identity. We can find our passion by looking at the things we are drawn to, like nurturing kids, being creative, or starting a business. When we take the time to understand our individual passions, we gain a greater understanding of our identity too. Sometimes the turmoil we have faced as a single parent can rob us of some of our passion, but these same adversities can also fuel it. 

Taking time to recognize our passions is a key facet in knowing our identity. Joseph's passion was always in being a leader. Even while home with his brothers as a younger son, he demonstrated leadership sharing the dreams that set him apart. Later, he continued to lead in Potiphar's house, acting with excellence and confidence. Ultimately, he became an important
leader in Egypt, second only to the king. His passions were part of his unique identity with his history, setbacks, and strengths. 

Understanding Your History and Personal Setbacks 

These four facets inform our identity as single parents too. Single mom, Elizabeth, shares that discovering her identity, particularly after divorce, has been a healing process. Understanding her history by looking back, with a counselor, at her family of origin has been a significant part of that. While some of her memories have been hard and painful, others are positive and
include fond memories she wants to create with her own kids. Overall, this discovery process can be a gift because it allows us to reshape some of the "default settings" from the past, and instead, choose another way. 

Like our personal history, the setbacks we experience also impact our identity. Former single mom, Kimberley, shares that she had hopes and dreams that crumbled when life didn't go the way she expected. The broken pieces left her feeling like a failure, but God used those things to transform her into who she is today. Elizabeth shared that some of the hardest setbacks in her life have now given her greater empathy for others struggling with their own hurts. She goes back to Genesis 50:20 again and again, knowing that what others meant to harm her, God can use for good. 

Know Your Strengths and Passions 

Along with understanding our history and setbacks, single parents can also discover their identity by finding their strengths. This process isn't always easy. It can be hard to identify our gifts and talents especially after we've been hurt, rejected, or when we feel like we've failed. One of the ways you can do this is by starting with God. Asking Him who He says you are. Let Him reveal the strengths He has innately put in you or that He developed in you through your story. 

Finally, we can discover our identity through our passions, those things that we love to do and that bring us joy and satisfaction. Sometimes when life kicks us around, we can feel so defeated, we lose sight of our passions. But God's calling and gifts are irrevocable. He has good plans for each one of us. Ephesians 2:10 says, "For we are God's handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." Finding our passions is part of discovering our identity. Just like our strengths, we can start by asking God what He has planned for us and how He wants us to use our passions. 

Knowing Your Worth 

Worth is a huge topic. To have a healthy sense of our worth, we first must start by knowing our intrinsic value as God's beloved children. Then we can look at our identity, the unique stories we each have that set us apart from others. Our history, the setbacks we've experienced, our strengths, and our passions all shape our identity. Taking time to understand each facet helps us identify who we are in Christ. But this doesn't always happen quickly or easily. Be patient with yourself and ask God to guide you each step of the way. 

As you walk the journey of single parenting, we want to offer support and encouragement. Join our Solo Parent Society community by participating in one of our online groups meeting Monday through Saturday every week. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram (@soloparentsociety). Subscribe to our weekly podcast via AccessMore or wherever you get your podcasts and download our Solo Parent app FREE in the app store. We love to connect single parents to resources that offer hope and help. If you want to donate so we can reach more single-parent families, go to www.soloparentsociety.com.

Questions?
Email us at info@spsociety.com.  

WORTH: RECOVERING OUR VALUE

11/3/2020
00:00:00
Divorce, unplanned pregnancy, death of a spouse, or leaving an abusive relationship can shake our sense of who we are. So much of our identity gets wrapped up in the roles we play, and we sometimes let our value be defined by external circumstances. Four things that can help when it comes to knowing our value is 1) reverence, 2) refuting lies, 3) replacing lies and 4) remembering the truth . Reverence Value starts with reverence, ascribing worth and honor to God. This is the most important anchor point for our value. We have a Creator who sits on a throne. To understand ourselves, we must understand Who created us. We are not mistakes. When we know and believe that God is real, powerful, and praiseworthy, it helps us realize our value too. We were intentionally designed for a purpose by our Creator. This is the foundation of our value. Our value starts with God. Knowing Him helps us understand ourselves and our value. Solo Parent Society founder, Robert Beeson, began to reverence God  more when he began to make space to just get still before Him. As a single dad, he found himself questioning things and needing rest. Ultimately, he started asking God to help him in his unbelief. In those quiet, honest moments, he began to realize how big God is and how powerful He is. In the stillness, he started to reverence God and to realize that God put him on this earth for a reason. He started to realize his value in a deeper way. Nothing we say or do changes our value. Our greatest accomplishments or failures do not affect our value. We are made in God's image, covered by His grace, and empowered by His presence. We are His and we belong to Him. This is the most amazing testament to our value. We were created in love by our Divine Creator. Refuting lies To recognize our value, we must also be able to refute lies. Each of us has been damaged in some way by false beliefs about ourselves, lies we've been told or believed from our family of origin, a significant other, former spouse, or other people. These voices diminish our value, so we need to identify what those voices are saying and recognize them as lies. The enemy wants us to believe the lies. He has come only to "steal, kill, and destroy". As lies confront us, we must ask instead, "Who does God say you are?". Sometimes we feel comfortable believing lies. We get so used to them, they become normal. The truth can be more difficult for us to believe but we must intentionally identify lies and refute them. What is one lie you need to refute? For the complete show notes with links, click here-https://soloparentsociety.com/2020/11/02/worth-recovering-our-value/

TEACHING KIDS ABOUT MONEY

10/27/2020
00:00:00
Many of us feel ill-equipped to be single parents already. When faced with the responsibility of teaching and guiding our kids, we can feel in over our heads. Some of us never handled money in our relationship so this is new territory for us. Others don't feel like we have a handle on our finances ourselves so how can we teach and pass down to our kids' important lessons about money. We know it's important but many of us feel the need for resources on how to do that. Most of us are not experts! How and where do we start? Single mom, Elizabeth, works at Ramsey Solutions and shares her insight and experience. First, Elizabeth reminds us that money can be an overwhelming subject that sometimes triggers shame or feelings of inadequacy for anyone but especially single parents. Often, single parents are just keeping their heads above water and when you don't feel like you have enough to budget, many think why budget at all? However, there are some lessons we can teach our kids regardless of our specific situation. Smart Money, Smart Kids One of the lessons parents can take to heart from "Smart Money, Smart Kids" written by Dave Ramsey and Rachel Cruze is that it's better for kids to learn lessons about money when they are living with their parents rather than learning the hard way later on. Teaching them small but important money principles while they are in our house can help prevent them from making huge mistakes that could haunt them for years when they are out on their own. You don't have to teach them everything at once! You can spread out age-appropriate lessons as they grow up. Age-appropriate lessons For example, at ages 3-5 years old you want to consider what type of chores they can do around the house. Even two or three small things like putting their cereal bowl in the sink in the morning and picking up their dirty clothes each day can teach them responsibility. When they complete these chores, reward them, and teach them early that hard work is something to be proud of. At ages 6-13, they can do more daily chores and you can reward them with more on a weekly basis. You want to create a "real world mentality" that teaches them that if you work, you get paid and if you don't work, you don't get paid. Once they turn 14, you want to send them out of the house and let them earn money through babysitting, mowing lawns, and finding their first job at a grocery store or local business. They can open a bank account and began depositing their checks and budgeting their money for their own expenses like saving up for a car, contributing to auto insurance, and paying for gas or other special items they want for themselves. Share, don't scare Just like we need to learn about money through intentional steps one building block at a time, the same applies to our kids. As you are learning how to budget and track expenses, invite your kids into that conversation. Rachel Cruze says, "Share, don't scare". Sit with your kids and help them understand the concept of budgeting and if we choose to buy one thing, we won't be able to choose another thing. Help create a healthy reality around money by discussing it openly in age-appropriate ways. For the full show notes and links click here - https://soloparentsociety.com/2020/10/26/teaching-kids-about-money/

THE MINIMALISTS - HOW TO LIVE MORE WITH LESS

10/20/2020
00:00:00
"Sometimes it takes a car crash to realize you were driving irresponsibly." When his mother died and his marriage ended in the same month, Josh Millburn had to reexamine how he was living. He had spent his twenties focused on making money and climbing the corporate ladder. He wracked up a lot of debt and was focused on so called success and achievement. In our society, we know that means accumulating more and more stuff, believing that "if we just get one more thing, I'll be happy". The average American household has over 300,000 items in it. But stuff never fills the void, it only widens it. Josh woke up to that reality and embraced a minimalist lifestyle, writing an ebook called "The Minimalist Rulebook: 16 Rules for Living with Less." Living more deliberately with less is now Josh's way of life. After the financial crisis of 2008, Josh realized his money and stuff were doing the opposite of what he wanted. They weren't making him happy. They were getting in the way of what was truly important. Too often we live with overindulgent consumption and sometimes a big event is needed to wake us up. For single parents, the changes that lead us to parenting alone often act as a wake-up call or "car crash". Covid has had the same affect for many too. We find ourselves reevaluating our lives, our priorities and our decisions. When Josh found himself reevaluating, he discovered that it was time to redefine what brought value to his life. Rather than letting his belongings give the impression of adding value, he started to examine everything he owned through a different lens. He started asking himself what he needed to let go of and what was important to keep. In this process, he found out that sometimes we assign equal value to all the things in our life even when they don't add the same benefits. Instead, we must be intentional in determining what adds value and what doesn't. In doing so himself, Josh began to embrace a minimalist lifestyle. He now only owns things that serve a purpose or bring him joy like art or music. The Minimalist Rulebook Josh uses a set of "rules' to determine what he keeps and what he eliminates from his life. These are found in his e-book, "The Minimalist Rulebook: 16 Rules for Living with Less", available free on his website (www.theminimalists.com). These rules aren't meant to be rigid or exhaustive. They are meant to be used like a recipe. You put several of them together to get the result you want. For example, we sometimes justify holding on to things "just in case". Josh says these are the three most dangerous rules when it comes to hanging on to things. To overcome the "just in case" mentality, Josh says you should never hang on to anything "just in case" if it is something you can replace for $20 or less without having to go out of your way more than 20 minutes. Another rule is the 90/90 rule. Ask yourself, have I used this in the last 90 days? If not, ask yourself if you will use it in the next 90 days. If not, give yourself permission to let that item go. When it comes to the minimalist lifestyle, Josh says don't start with nostalgic or sentimental items nostalgic like letters, cards, and kids' craft items. Deal with these "memory box" type items after you've made progress in streamlining other areas first. Don't start eliminating there. Instead, Josh says a tactic he uses for people to get started is "the 30-day minimalist game." This helps you start small with things that are easy to let go of so you can build momentum as you minimize. A good place to start might be with clothes you don't use anymore. Josh also suggests that when it comes to sentimental items, it helps to keep in mind the idea that if everything is precious, nothing is precious. Sometimes we water down the value of things simply by having too many of them. We don't need nearly as many clothes, or kitchen gadgets, or accessories as we think we do. Paring down to the essentials, our favorites, and those that are most useful, helps us identify the truly important items. This immediately ups their value because of how much they are used and appreciated. Fewer items makes each one more valuable. In choosing what to get rid of, it can also help to remember that we will never lose the memories of what an item represents. That experience and memory is not bound up in the thing. It's something we keep alive in our hearts and minds. One way to streamline sentimental items is to take a picture of those items that we don't need and that aren't functional. We can keep a digital record of items we get rid of and yet that we want to remember. Less is More Another principle of the minimalist lifestyle is that we don't need more things to make us happy. Rather, we discover we can be happier with less. Fewer things can allow us to lead a bigger, more abundant life, full of experiences and not with things. An underlying discontent in society seems prevalent. We often internalize beliefs because of societal influence and advertising. These beliefs are absorbed from the culture around us but don't necessarily reflect what we truly value individually. We need to challenge those beliefs and ask instead what we really value personally. When we subconsciously fall into the habits and values of those around us, we must then consciously choose another way. It's so important to examine our habits and choices and determine what we value. Then, from that place of awareness, we can choose what to keep and what to eliminate in our lives. Curbing our Appetite Patrick Rhone, author of "Enough", says "You think more money will give you more security. The problem is you don't have control over making more. The thing you do have control over is spending less. You do have control over having less. And by having less you automatically stretch what you do have." Some practical ways we can curb our appetite for more and live more deliberately with what we have is by starting in our homes. Our homes and material possessions are a physical manifestation of what is going on inside of us. If our homes are cluttered, we will also have emotional and spiritual clutter. When we deal with the external clutter, we can start to deal with the internal clutter too. As we face the clutter in our lives, we can choose to only bring things into our lives when they augment or enhance them. We can evaluate things we need versus things we want and live more deliberately with less. The "No Junk" Rule Another principle in The Minimalist Rulebook is the "no junk" rule. The things we own can go into three piles, the essential pile, the non-essential pile, and the junk pile. The essential pile for all of us looks similar including food, clothing, and shelter. They will vary but the same components are needed for meeting our basic needs. As our lives change, our piles will change too. Things that added value in one season of life, will not add value in every season. Non-essentials aren't things that meet basic needs but those that enhance our life in some way. These things add function and value or bring joy. Unfortunately, most of the things in our lives fall into the junk pile. It has stopped adding value, it isn't functional, and it doesn't bring joy. We need to get rid of the junk pile. Teaching Our Kids Priorities As we address the clutter in our lives and decide what is essential, what is non-essential, and what is junk, we can identify what we prioritize. As we evaluate, we model this kind of deliberate living for our kids too. Josh shares that the word priority was never intended to be plural. It only became plural in the 20th century. We can only prioritize a few things and only one can be our top priority. We have become distracted, giving our attention to too many things allowing them access twenty-four hours a day. Part of a minimalist lifestyle is looking carefully at what we value and that includes how we spend our time and our money. Teaching our kids to do the same empowers them to make different choices according to what they value and believe. As you walk the journey of single parenting, we want to help any way we can. Join our Solo Parent Society community by participating in one of our online groups meeting every week. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram (@soloparentsociety). Subscribe to our weekly podcast via AccessMore or wherever you get your podcasts and download our Solo Parent app FREE in the app store. We love to connect single parents to resources that offer hope and help. If you want to donate so we can reach more single-parent families, go to www.soloparentsociety.com. Questions? Email us at info@spsociety.com.

CHRIS HOGAN - BUDGETING MADE SIMPLE

10/13/2020
00:00:00
Single parents, relying on one income, often face financial challenges, whether it's always been that way or due to divorce or loss of a spouse. Variables such as child support, alimony, or a lack of either are factors that add to the complexity. Chris Hogan, financial expert with Ramsey Solutions, shares that even with these unique circumstances, the solution for single-parent families is similar to what every household needs - a clear road map to follow so they can move toward financial stability. Chris is passionate about empowering people to gain control of their finances by making budgeting simple. He shares that regardless of the amount of income or expenses for any household, the common denominator to gain control over your finances is to begin using a budget. A budget is a tool For some of us, the idea of budgeting seems scary and complex, maybe even overwhelming, or impossible. Chris shares that using a budget doesn't have to be any of those things. Rather, a budget is a powerful tool for healthy control over your money and a huge step toward personal freedom. Budgeting brings freedom The first step in developing a budget is understanding how much money you have coming in and going out. Determining how much income you have and knowing your expenses helps you begin to gain control over your finances. Rather than looking at a budget as a restrictive tool or punishment, we need to change our mindset, and look at it as a tool for personal freedom and success.  Financial guru, Rachel Cruze says, "A budget gives you permission to enjoy" and this echoes Chris' approach. A budget is meant to be used for our good so that when we do want to spend money on dinner out or buying something we want, we don't have to be nervous about our card being declined or a bill being unpaid. A budget is a tool we can use to have a life we can enjoy while knowing our obligations are covered. Developing a budget, knowing your income and expenses, is the first step toward that freedom. Figuring this out will take several months but it's time well spent. Proverbs 27:23 "Know well the condition of your flocks and give attention to your herds." What comes to mind when you hear the word "budget"? Do you see it as a tool toward financial freedom and steps toward the life you want? Why or why not? The Four Walls Next, it's necessary to be aware of the four walls we must take care of first. These walls are housing, food, transportation, and utilities. Notice, says Chris, he doesn't include gifts in there, shoes, or golf clubs, or even eating out. Instead, we must take care of essentials. Especially during the pandemic, incomes have changed, hours have been reduced, and more than ever before these four walls must come first. Budgeting must be intentional. If we know these four walls are regular expenses, we prioritize them. Look at the things that are taking away from these priorities. For example, Chris says if you're eating out three or more times a week, that is taking up a substantial portion of your budget. Reduce eating out to twice a week at most or even better start cooking at home. This is a huge money saver and a way to take control. The definition of insanity is to keep doing the same thing over and over expecting a different result. If nothing changes, nothing changes! Taking control of your finances means learning. Learning is uncomfortable but our kids are looking to us so it's important to become an effective leader for them. Redefining our dreams Another part of the budgeting process is redefining our dreams. When we have control over our finances, we give ourselves the power to reimagine our future. As we learn to manage our income and expenses more effectively, even if the pie we are dividing up is smaller, we gain the ability to make new dreams a reality. Chris knows budgeting for single parents can be overwhelming. Single parents are busy and often exhausted. Chris says he thinks "Single parents put so much pressure on themselves. They want everything to be perfect for their kids but kids really want your time and your presence. They just "like" stuff but what they really need is your time." Chris says we need to give ourselves grace. We won't solve our financial situation in one afternoon. And, it's okay and healthy to ask for help. He urges single parents, "Find someone who is better at this than you are and ask them to help you. We've become too prideful in our society to ask for help. I think it's a downfall." If we, as single parents, want to gain control of our finances, become a good example for our kids, and provide effective leadership for them, we must give ourselves grace, be willing to learn. and be willing to ask for help. This insight applies to so many areas, not just finances! Proverbs 15:22 says, "Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed." To get the complete show notes - including the '7 STEPS TO FINANCIAL FREEDOM' click here - https://soloparentsociety.com/?p=1993

FINDING PEACE AND SECURITY WITH MONEY

10/6/2020
00:00:00
Finding peace and security with finances is often challenging but it is especially so for single parents. During COVID-19, the stress is even greater. So, how do we find peace and security with our finances? It's tempting to believe the solution is found in having more money, but more money doesn't bring more peace. Rather, peace is found in the presence of God regardless of our financial situation. This can seem like a difficult truth especially when we are juggling so much when it comes to bills, reduced household income, and the complication of child support. But peace can be found during the chaos of single parenting. Whether we have a lot of money or are living on a tight budget, a mindset of abundance and trust in God as our ultimate Provider helps us move into peace with our finances. Three perspectives will help us find peace and security in Him. Check what we value Generosity Gratitude Check what we value First, we need to check what we value. In talking with people who have more money than they need or with those who need more than they have, we find that regardless, our peace is found when we keep money in its rightful place.  Whenever money takes the place of God, whether too much or too little by our standards, that's when we lose our peace. It's not bad to want something but it is important to identify how badly we want it. If our desires gain a higher place in our hearts than God, our priorities are out of whack. Mark 12:41-44 tells the story of a widow who comes to present her offering at the temple.  While many others put large amounts into the treasury, she puts in two coins, worth very little. Jesus calls his disciples and tells them, "Truly I tell you; this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything - all she had to live on". God isn't looking at the amount of money we have or do not have. He is looking at our hearts and our priorities. This widow knew where her treasure was. She was not afraid to give all she had. She demonstrated her security in God and not in her last two coins. When Jesus saw this,  He recognized her devotion to God and gave his full approval for her actions. Like this widow, we need to check our hearts and identify what we value. Money is never meant to be our master. We were never intended to value it above our relationship with God. Yes, we use money for the things we need but it cannot become a source of happiness, pride, or something we rely on to raise our kids according to godly principles. Money is intended to simply be a tool. Whether we have a lot of money or a little, money cannot bring peace or security. If we let money define our peace or security, our values are out of line with God's intention. Especially as Americans, we have so much already. Money can bring temporary pleasure, but our finances cannot be our source of peace and security. We need to check where our values are. Do we trust God and His ability to provide or are we counting on a worldly supply? Philippians 4:19 says "My God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory. We must regularly check our hearts and determine what we value most. CHECK OUT ALL THIE SHOW NOTES AT - https://soloparentsociety.com/2020/10/06/money-finding-peace-and-security-in-our-finances/

IAN CRON - Healing through the lens of the Enneagram

9/29/2020
00:00:00
Our guest, Ian Cron, is an Episcopal priest, a trained psychotherapist, and author and expert on the Enneagram. His book "The Road Back to You" is a key resource for understanding the Enneagram. Ian recently shared how this personality tool can be part of our healing journey. Ian discovered the Enneagram in 1994 through a book written by Richard Rohr from a Christian perspective. The Enneagram started as a spiritual formation tool used by Evagrius Ponticus, a desert father, in the 8th or 9th century. Much later it began being used by Jesuits and then beyond that into more common use. In brief, the Enneagram is a personality theory that identifies nine different types, each of which is characterized by a dominant motivation or need. The Enneagram Types in Summary Type Ones are called perfectionists. They have an unconscious motivation or need to perfect themselves, others, and the world. Type Twos are called helpers. They are motivated by a need to be needed, loved, and appreciated. Type Threes are called performers. They are motivated by a need to succeed, to appear successful, and to avoid failure at all costs. Type Fours are called romantics or individualists. They are motivated by a need to be special and unique. Fours have a perception that they are missing something essential in their core makeup and the only way they can recover it is by projecting an image of specialness or uniqueness or specialness. Type Fives are called investigators. They are motivated by a need to conserve energy, to gather knowledge and information as a way to fend off feelings of inadequacy or ineptitude. Type Sixes are called the loyalists. They are motivated by a need to have safety, security, and support. Type Sevens are called enthusiasts. They are the joy bombs of the Enneagram. They are motivated by a need to avoid painful or distressing feelings by chasing after and planning adventures, escapades, and a future filled with unlimited possibilities. Type Eights are called challengers. They are motivated by a need to assert strength and control over the environment or over others as a way to mask feelings of vulnerability or tenderness in themselves. Type Nines are called the peacemakers, sometimes the sweethearts of the enneagram. They are motivated by a need to preserve inner and outer peace, to avoid conflict at all costs, and to maintain their connection to others. The Enneagram as a Way to Understand Ourselves and Others  We can use the Enneagram as a way to understand ourselves and others better and we can use it as a tool to promote healing. Sometimes people will find out their type and take it no further but it really can be used in a profound way as a powerful spiritual technology designed to help people experience deep personal healing and change. Ian says we aren't actually our personality type. We aren't a "one" or a "two", rather, the word personality is derived from the word "persona" which means mask. Our personality is made up of adaptive strategies, coping mechanisms, early childhood programming, some temperament hardwiring, but for the most part, it is the way we learn as a child to move through the world and get your needs met. Your personality is in large measure a 'cover story". The Enneagram reveals to you who you are behind your personality. You are not your personality. You have a personality. There is an original essence that had to adopt a mask to survive but the mask that helps you survive in childhood will kill you in adulthood. If you continue to use those survival strategies, they work against you as an adult. The Enneagram reveals the "imposter" of our personality. When we do the personal work of the Enneagram, we remain the same person who is still motivated by the need of our type but we gain freedom from using those coping strategies in unhealthy ways. Interestingly, notes Cron, each of the nine motivations or needs is in direct opposition to the gospel. For example, the belief that I need to be perfect in order to be loved (Type One) or I need to be needed in order to be loved (Type Two) or I need to be successful in order to be loved (Type Three) or I need to be special in order to be loved (Type Four) and so on for each type. For the complete show notes with links click here - https://soloparentsociety.com/?p=1955 To order our guest's book, "A road back to you" - https://www.amazon.com/Road-Back-You-Enneagram-Self-Discovery/dp/0830846190/ref=sr_1_1?crid=W28PLOOE337T&dchild=1&keywords=a+road+back+to+you+book&qid=1601332683&sprefix=a+road+back+to+you%2Caps%2C152&sr=8-1

TEACHING OUR KIDS FORGIVENESS

9/22/2020
00:00:00
Forgiveness is freedom and we want our kids to understand that too. So many times as single parents we can be so overwhelmed processing our own stuff that we can, understandably, overlook teaching and guiding our kids through important life lessons that we are learning ourselves. This is a perfect time to be passing down wisdom, but it's hard to do that when talking about forgiveness, because in doing that we have to address the offending issue - and sometimes that is our ex. So how do we teach our kids the value and the steps of forgiveness without creating more division and opening up wounds Today we are going to focus on a few principles to effectively teach our kids the value and how to forgive. 1. Create a safe environment 2. Highlight the benefit 3. Teach the method 4. Model what it looks like For the complete show notes and links click here https://soloparentsociety.com/2020/09/22/1963/

CHIP DODD -SHAME: FORGIVING OURSELVES

9/15/2020
00:00:00
How do we get past the things we've done or left undone, the weaknesses we have and the shame that we carry around? The concept of forgiving ourselves is difficult but important. Chip Dodd, author, speaker, counselor and resident expert for Solo Parent Society, talks about shame and forgiveness. Chip shares there is a big difference between guilt and shame. Chip says, "We are all made to belong and matter. That is essential."  Healthy shame is when we recognize our need for connection, love and care. Admitting these innate needs is the experience of healthy shame. This is the common human experience. Chip says, "We are all made to need, to feel, to desire, to long and to hope. The gift of healthy shame is humility. We are all made out of dirt. I need you. You need me. I make mistakes and so do you." Healthy shame also says, "I'm not God and neither are you." This recognition of being human allows us to feel empathy for ourselves and for others and leads us to compassion. Guilt is whenever we do something that goes against a healthy value system. Guilt occurs when we do something that harms someone. Guilt occurs when we cause something, whereas shame is an awareness and understanding of our shared humanity. Healthy shame leads to good guilt. Good guilt is guilt that leads us to seek forgiveness for something we've done. Good guilt enables us to pursue relationship with someone we've hurt. Good guilt is restorative. Toxic shame on the other hand is not innate. It is something we take on when we are rejected often enough to internalize it into negative feelings or perceptions of ourselves. Toxic shame is not a healthy awareness of our humanity. "Toxic shame is contempt toward myself for being human", according to Chip. This rejection of our normal humanity and needs is what typifies toxic shame. Toxic shame doesn't come from God. It comes from those around us who have rejected and hurt us. "We begin to identify ourselves according to the relationships we experience", says Chip, and this is where toxic shame comes from.  With toxic shame, to be in need is humiliating. With healthy shame, to be in need is humility. Toxic shame leads to seeking relief often in the form of addiction or unhealthy performance. In his book, Hope in the Age of Addiction, Chip shares that addiction is a reaction to toxic shame. We overcome toxic shame by embracing healthy shame. Healthy shame is the portal toward overall health.  For the complete show notes and links click here - https://soloparentsociety.com/2020/09/15/shame-forgiving-ourselves/

3 STEPS TO LETTING GO

9/7/2020
00:00:00
To move forward after we've experienced hurt in our lives, we need to forgive and let go. But letting go is far from easy.  Letting go and having a painful emotional state lifted is a process and one that is relevant and necessary for everyone, not just single parents. We've all been hurt, and a natural reaction is to want to protect ourselves from future pain. We do this by holding on to the pain of the past to remind us not to risk going through that again. But this control is just an illusion. Even with our best efforts, we can't avoid the possibility of future hurt yet we hang on tight to our hurts hoping that the memory will keep us from being vulnerable again. If we forget, we might get hurt again. Protecting ourselves feels like our number one priority. But relationships require risk so we must let go if we want to live into our future and open opportunities to connect in meaningful ways again. Accepting that hurts are a normal part of life is necessary, and that acceptance opens the door to being able to let go.  Letting go is difficult when you are still in contact with a person who has hurt you or someone you love. It can be triggering to engage with that person especially if their behavior continues. Even if hurts aren't happening anymore, we can still hang on. And sometimes, we have a hard time letting go of mistakes we've made or shame we are carrying but letting go is important if we are to move on with freedom and health.  Letting go is a process and a necessary one as we are healing. To let go and move into freedom and health, there are three things we can do to help with this process, and these are things we can do daily:  Confession Surrender Patience To read the full show notes click here - https://soloparentsociety.com/2020/09/09/3-steps-to-letting-go/

6 STEPS TO FORGIVENESS

9/1/2020
00:00:00
If you are a single parent, there is no way you haven't been hurt by someone or something. Whether it be betrayal, abandonment, maybe even God allowing a spouse to die, we have all been wounded in some way. We have good reason to be angry for what we have been through. Often, the idea of forgiveness isn't something we even want to do. We know God tells us we should. We have heard it is the right thing to do. But no one can just flip a switch and act like nothing bad ever happened or was done. If you have struggled with forgiveness, we have found six steps to be helpful in working toward forgiving those who have hurt you.   Ephesians 3:17-20 says, "And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord's holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God."  First, let's define forgiveness. Psychologists generally define forgiveness as a conscious, deliberate decision to release feelings of resentment or vengeance toward a person or group who has harmed you, regardless of whether they deserve your forgiveness. Equally important is what forgiveness is not. Forgiveness is NOT saying: -You were not hurt by what the other person did. -Your pain is gone. -Life can now pick up where you left off or feel the way you did before, as if what happened never happened. -You no longer believe the other person was responsible for causing harm. -You excuse the other person's behavior. -You no longer view what happened as important. -You share the blame for what happened. -You can ever forget what happened. Entering into forgiveness does not mean any of those things. Forgiveness does not deny hurt or pain. It does not excuse what happened or make you forget. It also doesn't mean you are responsible in any way, nor does it mean you need to reconnect or stay connected to someone you need to forgive. Rather, forgiveness is a step that brings you greater freedom as you discover the grace to let go of the need to exact justice or vengeance, or to carry the weight of anger and pain any longer. Forgiveness allows us to take back our freedom and ability to move forward, lighter and with less pain.  Our Benefit There are many benefits to forgiveness. A John Hopkins study concluded the act of forgiveness can reap huge rewards for your health, lowering the risk of heart attack; improving cholesterol levels and sleep; and reducing pain, blood pressure, and levels of anxiety, depression and stress.  Forgiveness also benefits our kids.  They are watching - every action, every word you speak, every facial expression, every action is being seen by your children, who will eventually emulate millions of things you and your ex do. For their sake, we need to intentionally move toward healing. We need to take steps toward forgiveness. We need to be free of our anger and bitterness so we can leave a legacy of grace for them.  God's Command  A significant reason for moving toward forgiveness is because God commands us to do it for our good. Ephesians 4:32 says, "Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you." Whenever God commands us to do something, it is always with our best interests at heart. His perfect sovereignty and knowledge of what we need to thrive as humans is rooted in His deep love for each one of us. If He calls us to do something, we can be confident He wants what is best for us and knows better than we do why it is important. And He doesn't leave us alone to walk it out. It is His Spirit that empowers us to take each necessary step toward forgiving those who have hurt us. It won't be by "might or power" that we are able to forgive but "by His spirit", a foundational truth to stand on as we consider the steps we need to take to forgive. So, how do we forgive? In talking this through with our solo parent team, and in researching the act of forgiveness, we identified six key steps. For the complete show notes and links click here - https://soloparentsociety.com/2020/09/14/forgiveness-six-steps-toward-greater-healing/

HOW TO FIND CONFIDENCE

8/25/2020
00:00:00
Unexpected circumstances can shake anyone's confidence. If you've lost a sense of strength and identity, you are not alone. You can overcome what you've lost and find your confidence again. When others attack us verbally or with their actions, we can internalize it and feel like a failure. When we are a single parent, we sometimes lack confidence in being enough for our kids because we are not both mom and dad. We may feel like we don't measure up because we are parenting alone. Often, as humans, our confidence is misplaced anyway. We look to outside parameters to define how we feel about ourselves. We give other people the power to shift our self-esteem because we look to them to know who we are and to define if we are valued or not. Being divorced just highlights these insecurities and can increase our tendency to seek approval from others. But this is not where confidence is found. We need to know who we are and find our true identity but often the roots of insecurity go deep into our past and become echoed by our current circumstances. There are two important things to keep in mind when seeking to find confidence again: You are not enough You have to change what you measure Get the complete show notes and links here - https://soloparentsociety.com/2020/08/25/how-to-find-confidence/

FINDING THE COURAGE TO TRUST GOD

8/17/2020
00:00:00
Single parents have often gone through hard circumstances that can make them wonder if they can trust God. Divorce, death of a spouse, sometimes betrayal or abuse leave us asking, "How can we trust that the God who allows this to happen cares about us?" Sometimes we reach a place where we no longer feel comfortable trusting anyone. Going through a solo season can lead to further self-reliance and a desire to control things to avoid more hurt. It can be hard to trust anyone other than ourselves.  In talking with single parents about the solo parent journey, we find different responses to trust. But, when circumstances happen unexpectedly, it can be very hard for anyone to trust God again. Today we discuss three key steps to trusting God even when we feel like the rug has been pulled out from under us. They are:  1.Do it anyway. 2.Track God's faithfulness. 3.Ask God for joy. For the complete show notes and links click here.  https://soloparentsociety.com/2020/08/18/finding-the-courage-to-trust-god/

CHIP DODD - HOW TO HAVE COURAGE TO PARENT IN BROKENESS

8/11/2020
00:00:00
Single parents, we know many of you experience incredible emotional upheaval as you adjust to parenting alone regardless of the reason, whether divorce, death of a loved one, or a personal decision of your own. That takes courage in and of itself. But then we end up needing continued strength and resilience to raise our kids as a solo parent in the aftermath of our own pain and struggle. Facing the reality of being a single parent is daunting. We don't want to damage our kids and the fear of our own inadequacy is real. How do we find courage to parent in our brokenness? We talked to expert therapist, mentor, speaker, and bestselling author, Chip Dodd, to explore how to overcome these fears and move ahead with courage. Chip recently joined the Solo Parent Society team as our resident counseling expert and regular contributor to our podcast. Chip offers so much insight and wisdom in understanding healing and wholeness broken into 3 steps. For the complete show notes click here - https://soloparentsociety.com/2020/08/10/how-to-have-courage-to-parent-in-brokenness/

HOW TO HAVE THE COURAGE TO TAKE ACTION

8/4/2020
00:00:00
After becoming a single parent, you can feel stuck.  It is difficult to stand back up and have the courage to move forward. Fear can hold us back from taking risks and acting on what we know is beneficial or necessary. Sometimes we tell ourselves a negative story about how things will go and that keeps us from moving ahead. Things like having important conversations with our kids, setting boundaries with an ex-spouse or former in-laws can seem bigger when we are walking alone or don't have a strong support system. Sometimes, feelings of being beat down or less than can keep us from doing things we should.  We all need to learn how to face our fear and confront the obstacles to taking action. Our Solo Parent team researched and discussed how to do this and identified three steps to finding courage to take action. These steps are:  Reframing Planning and preparing Doing it scared To read all the detailed show notes with links click here - https://soloparentsociety.com/2020/08/04/how-to-have-courage-to-take-action/

JOHN ELDREDGE - Building a healthy core community

7/28/2020
00:00:00
"What strikes me about Jesus is he is a remarkably true person. He never changes his personality to fit in with whatever crowd he finds himself. He is simply himself. He never plays to his audience. " Author, leader, and therapist, John Eldredge spoke with Robert Beeson and Kimberley Mitchell about the value of building a healthy core community. John emphasizes that Jesus chose to have a core community. He modeled its importance during his ministry on earth. We see this when he was in the Garden of Gethsemane, the crucible of his life. He asked his disciples to be there with him and to stay with him. Then he invited three of them in even closer, to be part of his inner circle. Jesus', God in human form, demonstrated the need to have a few people in our life with whom we can be our authentic selves. Jesus provides this example but today it seems as if a close core community is hard to develop. John shares that we are busy, often isolated, and prioritizing the wrong things. Many relationships are impacted by social media. As a therapist for thirty years, John knows the value of face to face human connection. Today, he discusses priorities we can all look for in building a core community. For the full show notes and links click here - https://soloparentsociety.com/2020/07/27/building-a-healthy-core-community/

CULTIVATING OUR KID'S COMMUNITY

7/21/2020
00:00:00
Divorce changes life for our kids in profound ways. Their community is disrupted as they adjust to their parents living separately, going between two homes, and experiencing a new normal. During times of change, kids need community more than ever before. We need to be very intentional with who our kids are hanging out with and who has influence in their lives and how they are using their time. As kids grow up and become teenagers, they stop looking at their parents as the center of their universe. Their peers become more important to them and the voices of other young people around them speak the loudest. Whether you became a single parent through divorce or loss of a partner or for another reason, community can look different for our kids.  Today we look at three ways to help our kids cultivate community, for the complete show notes and resources click here- https://soloparentsociety.com/2020/07/21/cultivating-our-kids-community/

REDISCOVERING SPIRITUAL COMMUNITY

7/14/2020
00:00:00
"My name is Jessica and I'm a single mom. Since my divorce, I'm really struggling to find where I fit in at church. It seems like everyone who attends are families. And it's so strange, but after attending for six years, I just feel like I don't fit in anymore. Now, when I walk into church with my two kiddos, I feel like people are wondering what the story is, like, "Where's the dad?" Maybe it's just me, but I feel people are judging me because we couldn't keep our family together."  Single parents experience spiritual community in different ways. Some don't feel welcomed or seen by the church especially after divorce. Some have felt hurt or wounded by the church. Some attended church with their ex so going to church alone after divorce can feel awkward. Others continue their connection to church but overall, statistics tell us that 67% of single parents do not attend church. The primary reasons cited are because they feel they will be judged or that they don't belong.  Single parents need to have spiritual community, maybe more so than ever before, because we are parenting alone. Today we discuss how to rediscover Spiritual Community - For the full show notes and links - click here - https://soloparentsociety.com/2020/07/14/rediscovering-spritual-community/

REDEFINING FAMILY COMMUNITY

7/7/2020
00:00:00
Redefining family after divorce, loss, or transition is challenging, not only because of hurts experienced but because there's no exact road map for every situation. Family dynamics are complex, no matter how we became single parents, whether through death, divorce, unplanned pregnancy or anything else. Relationships without former extended family, our ex-in-laws, becomes an even more complicated road. One thing we need to keep in mind as single parents is that although we have lost spouses and relationships, our children never do. Those extended family members will always be part of their (and our) lives. Navigating these relationships is tricky and internally conflicting. Depending on where we are in these relationships, the process of moving on to a new normal as single parents is complex. Redefining family community looks different for all of us because our experiences are different. Some single parents are grieving a change in family community. Some are rebuilding a family community. Some are relieved to have a change in family community. Three single parents share their experiences with these different dynamics. FOR THE COMPLETE SHOW NOTES CLICK HERE - https://soloparentsociety.com/2020/07/07/redefining-family-community/

PAUL COLMAN - Overcoming Codependency

6/30/2020
00:00:00
A common experience we hear about often from single parents is codependency. "Codependency is a behavioral condition in a relationship where one person enables another person's addiction, poor mental health, immaturity, irresponsibility, underachievement. A core characteristic is an  excessive reliance on other people's approval for a sense of identity. It can be a serious condition that wrecks relationships often unseen or identified until it's too late." Codependency hurts us because we are never meant to be the end all for somebody else and it hurts them because they end up becoming entitled or reliant on others for their own happiness.  Grammy nominated musician and mentor, Paul Colman, shares his wisdom, strength and experience after learning some hard lessons about himself and about codependency during divorce. Paul started therapy after his wife asked for a divorce over ten years ago. The process was challenging, but through it, he learned he struggled with codependency. Wanting approval from others had become an idol and a drug. Codependency was a disease that plagued him, but it was hidden by the image he projected. What he found out through therapy and by getting to know himself, is that he didn't need the projection, he just needed to be present for those in his life.  Read the rest of the show notes https://soloparentsociety.com/2020/06/30/overcoming-codependency-paul-colman/ To get Paul's music search 'Paul Colman' on Apple Music or Spotify or PaulColman.com

DR. JOHN DELONY - A sound mindset

6/23/2020
00:00:00
Finding peace after divorce, during change, or life transition is difficult. How can single parents manage the chaos of crisis and find peace in the midst of this?  For insight, we talked with Dr. John Delony,  a mental health expert and leading voice on emotional wellness with extensive experience in crisis response. For the full show notes click here - https://soloparentsociety.com/2020/06/23/a-sound-mindset/

CHIP DODD - The gift of emotions (Whole Heart)

6/16/2020
00:00:00
Finding peace while we are in the middle of the pain can seem impossible but when we get in touch with the gift of our whole heart we also find peace.  Chip Dodd, counselor, mentor, speaker and best-selling author, shares how embracing our emotions leads to wholeness and peace. In his book, "Voice of the Heart", he invites us to begin to know our hearts better so we can know ourselves and from that place, live more fully in relationship to God and others. Chip says a broken heart is a heart that needs something, it's a heart that needs healing and rebuilding. When we bring our broken hearts to God, He promises to bind them together again. He wraps his love around the broken places and bring healing, peace and wholeness. For the complete show notes with links and resources click - https://soloparentsociety.com/2020/06/16/peace-and-the-gift-of-our-emotions-whole-heart/

Finding Peace Through Contentment 

6/9/2020
00:00:00
"My name is Stacy. I'm a single mom of two. I just wanna feel and be content. Especially in the world of social media, I struggle with having to see everyone's picture perfect life on the screen. Somehow I feel like I got cheated and its hard for me to live in the moment and feel content." Can you relate? Peace. How do we find it in our world of comparisons and the challenges of being a single parent? Contentment is a pathway to peace... but, that sounds like a tall order. Our team of solo parents met to talk through how we can find peace even when inundated with "highlight reels" on social media and the constant pursuit of more and better. Sometimes our fear and loneliness fuels our discontent and discontentment destroys our peace. We hear that comparison is the thief of joy. It's hard to go anywhere without feeling like you're not good enough or don't have enough, particularly when you feel like your family doesn't fit the norm. After the upheaval that led to becoming a single parent, our hurts can lead to feelings of being less than. Single parents know this reality. In our solo parent discussion, we found three practical ways to help unlock the secrets to finding peace even during hardship. Mindset Perspective Humility GET THE COMPLETE SHOW NOTES AND LINKS HERE - https://soloparentsociety.com/2020/06/08/finding-peace-through-contentment/

How To Have Peace For Our Future

6/3/2020
00:00:00
"With COVID, job security, and finances I just wonder how everything is going to work in the future. I know that God's got this, but I just can't help but worry."  These are the words of a single dad. Have you been there? Are you there now? When you have so much going on as a single parent, life can seem like a journey to survive instead of to thrive. How can single parents have hope for the future in midst of their daily grind and the concerns we face raising kids alone? Worry is something we all experience at one time or another, sometimes regularly. The future can be scary, and that fear is compounded because we are doing it alone. Add in the pandemic and current events, and it can be overwhelming. But there are ways to deal with worry even when our anxiety peaks. How do we find the peace God promises us that passes all understanding while wondering if we can pay the bills this month and managing all the tasks on our to-do lists?  For the complete show notes and links click here - https://soloparentsociety.com/2020/06/01/how-to-have-peace-for-our-future/ ?

Relational Growth

5/26/2020
00:00:00
Let's face it - a soured relationship is what put us in this difficult situation we are in. As Solo Parents many of us have experienced betrayal, rejection and we are very aware that we have failed at successful marriage relationships. The idea of thinking about working on 'relational growth' may bring feelings of 'I've seen that movie before, no thanks'. We can tend to resist anything that requires trust, extensive time and 'putting ourselves out there' to potentially get hurt again. The problem is that we are made for community. As tempting as it is to isolate and keep the walls up it is critical to grow healthy relationships. Growing healthy authentic relationships are a cornerstone to a healthily Single Parent. To read all the show notes and insights from this week's podcast go to https://soloparentsociety.com/2020/05/26/relational-growth/

DAVE RAMSEY - Personal Growth

5/18/2020
00:30:47
On today's episode, hosts Robert Beeson and Kimberley Mitchell, talk with financial expert, Dave Ramsey about personal growth. Personal growth can seem like a far-off goal when our lives have been turned upside down. Dave shares what personal growth looks like for him and what it can look like for solo parents too. Dave went through his own "shattered season" when his business went bankrupt, but he allowed that to shape his future. Now, he's on over 500 radio stations, he's a bestselling author, and he's a household name. Yes, our lives can feel shattered, "But," Dave reminds us, "good things can come out of manure". Things like bankruptcy and divorce are an ending but they are also a beginning. "You can't go back, so all you can do is learn, get better, and go forward." Dave says personal growth is about using the rear-view mirror to glance behind us we don't make the same mistakes again, but to use the windshield more, so we can move toward new things intentionally. We can't always choose our circumstances, but we can choose what we put into our spirits and brains. "These things aren't likely found on TV or Instagram but instead in a book, in a Bible Study, in a Sunday school class", Dave emphasized. And making personal growth a priority is essential, "...just like you would with exercise and brushing your teeth". Dave also shared another key to personal growth is "naming the enemy to take his power away". It's easy to blame other people, play the victim card and get stuck. Dave has been there. Proverbs 13:12 says, "Hope deferred makes the heart sick." "That's human", says Dave, "we get to have those moments, but we can't stay there." Instead, we must move toward the second part of that verse, "When desire comes, it is the tree of life." "We need hopefulness instead of hopelessness", says Dave, and "Nobody can steal our hope, we have to surrender it." So, it's also up to us to take it back. We can do this by naming blame and hopelessness and identifying a third enemy, fatigue. "It is emotionally expensive to be shattered", says Dave. "We feel like we've been hit by a train, but we have to say, I'm not going to become a victim. I'm not going to surrender my hope. I'm going to rest, lick my wounds, and fill up the glass with something good." "That", Dave says, "is the personal growth part." In the shattered spaces of our lives, terrible things do happen, but we must be careful not to focus only on those things. We must be deliberate about naming the good things in our lives. Dave said, "Get up every morning and make a blessings list. Gratitude is a powerful emotion and grateful people are highly attractive." And who doesn't want to be attractive? Personal growth isn't easy, but it's necessary and empowering. When we come through a difficult season, we are no longer under the illusion of having it all together. We can surrender to not being perfect and realize God loves us anyway, just as we are. He forgives us and we can forgive ourselves too with hearts full of gratitude. Then we can move forward into new things and greater personal growth. Don't miss the rest of Dave's insights on personal growth! Follow Solo Parent Society on Facebook and on Instagram (@soloparentsociety) Learn more at www.soloparentsociety.com. You can also download the free Solo Parent Society app for iPhones or Androids from your app store. To learn more about Financial Peace University, visit Ramsey Solutions.

Big Announcement

5/5/2020
00:13:59
We've got big news!

HELEN SMALLBONE - HOMESCHOOLING IN THE PANDEMIC

4/21/2020
00:37:15
A COVID-19 CRISIS EPISODE

3 STEPS TO FINANCIAL STABILITY

4/6/2020
00:30:05
Single parents often face financial insecurity. Finding a place of stability takes time, especially after divorce or other unforeseen circumstances. In today's podcast, Robert Beeson and Kimberley Mitchell talk about ways solo parents can find financial stability. For solo parents around the country, finances are a huge stressor. Paying the rent and bills is a struggle complicated by child support or the lack of it. Sometimes we rob Peter to pay Paul and the unknowns can be terrifying. Our security isn't found in money, but money issues can cause us to feel insecure. Ultimately, God is our Provider but being wise about money is essential. So how can we, as solo parents, move toward greater financial stability? There are three ways. 1. Budgeting: You can't spend what you don't have. The principles from Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University are a terrific framework for greater financial health. Creating a zero-based budget is the first step. A zero-based budget means you only spend what you earn so start by calculating your total income each month. Then, write down everything you spend money on. This is eye-opening and can help you find hidden areas of expense. Putting it down in black and white is an empowering exercise. Knowing what you earn and what you spend gives you a sense of control. Budgeting doesn't limit what you spend; it tells you what you can spend! Spending more than you earn isn't freedom. It's bondage. Getting into debt is a trap. Having a clear written budget gives you freedom because you can move ahead and spend with confidence. 2. Create an Emergency Fund: For solo parents, building an emergency fund is crucial because unforeseen expenses can be especially devastating for those on limited incomes. Saving money for emergencies can seem overwhelming when you are barely making enough to cover macaroni and cheese and gasoline, but it's a key to financial health. If you don't have a fund to lean on, you will find yourself using a credit card. So how can we create an emergency fund? One tip is to look for things you have around your home that you can sell on eBay, Buy Sell Trade, or at a yard sale. Get creative because this step is so important! 3. Accountability: It can be scary to disclose your budget to another person, but it's important to find someone to share this with. While difficult, it's important to know that you are not doing this alone. It's helpful to have another person you share honestly with about what you choose to spend on. Making responsible choices is important for our financial stability, but it's also important because we are teaching our kids how to handle money too. Finally, part of honoring God is honoring him with our finances. As we are faithful with our budget, being generous is also important. It reveals trust in God and His provision. While these principles aren't easy to apply, especially on a limited and sometimes inconsistent income, they are valuable. Even if you need to take baby steps, move toward these principles, one step at a time. God is our Provider and our source of security, but, over time, these steps will lead to greater stability for you and your kids. The effort and commitment are worth it. For more financial health resources, check out Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University. To connect with other solo parents, find us on Facebook, Instagram, and at www.soloparentsociety.com.

DISCOVERING WHOLENESS

3/31/2020
00:37:22
In today's podcast, we deal with the topic of wholeness as part of our stability as single parents. Wholeness is defined as the state of being unbroken or undamaged but being a single parent can leave us feeling devastated and less than whole. It's especially challenging after some of our experiences and while feeling added pressure to have it all together for our kids. On today's podcast, Solo Parent Society founder, Robert Beeson, podcast co-host, Kimberley Mitchell, and single mom, Marissa Lee, discuss wholeness as something we find not in spite of brokenness but because of it. This may seem counterintuitive but brokenness can actually serve us well when we let God transform us through it. How do we do that? We need to anchor ourselves to Him and then wait for Him to repair and transform us. Anchoring: The act of dropping an anchor is an active process that requires knowing where you are. You can't lower an anchor in mud. It has to be dropped somewhere it will actually hold. As solo parents, we may find ourselves wanting to escape the storm of our brokenness but we cant. Instead, God promises to be with us in it so don't despise the storm. Embrace it as the place where God will meet you and anchor yourself to Him in the midst of it. How do we do this? Specific ways to anchor: Know where you are. Before you drop your anchor, assess your situation honestly. You can't go back to the shore you came from and you may not know where you are going. Instead, accept where you and then you can drop your anchor. Anchor yourself in God's Word. Single parents need to be equipped. We need truth and hope. Surround yourself with it. Play worship music. Find a key verse and use it as a screensaver, memorize it. Especially as solo parents, we cannot be self-reliant. We have to let the anchor of truth hold us firm. Once we are anchored in truth, then what? Well, then we wait. Waiting: Waiting isn't passive. It requires focus and determination to wait when we would rather run from our brokenness. Instead, we must accept where we are, lower our anchor and wait on God to repair us and see us through. Specific ways to wait: Take our thoughts captive. As we wait for God to open the next door and show us next steps, we must take every thought captive and make it obedient to Christ. Our thoughts are powerful and 70% of them are negative. We have to identify these negative thoughts as lies and speak back to them with truth. We have to be careful which voices we listen to. We need to remember we have a God who saved us! He wins in the end and He is with us in the wait. Be present. While we wait, we need to be present. Be present with your kids, with yourself and with God. Get quiet and still. Allow space for God to speak. Accept what is and find the beauty in it. Be patient with yourself, with your circumstances and with God. Let go of the past and the future. What matters today is what you do right now. Just do the next right thing. Remember, wholeness is not a destination but confidence in the One who created us. So, don't run from brokenness God is at work in it. Be expectant. Be patient Look for God in your brokenness and you will find Him. Anchor yourself to Him and wait. You are closer to wholeness than you ever thought. Find us on Facebook and on Instagram and at www.SoloParentSociety.com.

TAMMY DAUGHTRY - SUCCESSFUL CO-PARENTING

3/23/2020
00:52:35
Co-parenting can be so challenging - especially when the values and boundaries are not shared between the parents. Unfortunately, it is our kids that get the short end of the stick when our parenting dynamics are unhealthy. We discussed this with Tammy Daughtry, a marriage and family therapist, author, and founder of Co-parenting international. Tammy's basic co-parenting principles involve paying attention to: 1. The 'Handoff' This is how we manage the exchange of the child. (which will happen hundreds of times in a child's life) It can be volatile or even just a convenient time to discuss co-parenting business. Agree to never talk about co-parenting issues during the handoff. Children are always watching, and we want to make this exchange tell a story that things are ok; they don't have to be emotionally torn apart. To do this effectively we: Prepare our child for the exchange - Don't ever express frustration about the other parent when getting ready. Be the encourager about the opportunity to spend time with the other parent with positive reinforcement. Prepare ourselves - We must prepare ourselves emotionally to not let our emotions show and impede the exchange. Give them the emotional permission to go be with the other parent, either verbally or in body language. Do this by setting our emotions aside for the hour leading up to and during the exchange. Once we have handed off, have a sounding board that we can process all that we are feeling with. When our kids come back, again, set our negative emotions aside and just listen and encourage the exciting stories they have come back with. If there are negative stories, listen without piling our own feelings on. Our children have competing attachments. In a married family structure, loving mom (or Dad) doesn't have any negative influence on the other parent. In a divorced situation, a child can begin to feel guilty or ashamed for loving or missing the other parent, which can trigger the parent. We need to compartmentalize our emotions so that we do not put our kids in a situation where they begin to feel shame or guilt for their love for the other parent. 2. Managing the difference in 'cultures' between the two homes. ( This is assuming there is nothing that poses a threat to our kids emotional or physical well-being ) When we have a different approach to our ex, related in the way we raise our kids, look at it like our kids live in two countries. The dynamics and value systems may be different, and we have no control over either. We need to just focus on the 'country' we are leading. Stand strong with statements like - " I know that in their house things are done another way, in this house we _______" without diminishing the 'culture' of the other home. 3. Empower our kids to have a voice when they are being put in the middle. Let them know they are free to say to either parent, "I am not comfortable talking about that, I would rather you ask (other parent)" when they are put in a position of being asked questions about the other parent. 4. Be a role model on how we do hard things. There will be times when our child doesn't want to go to the other parents. Understand that the chances for a healthy child dramatically increases when both parents are in a child's life (assuming there is nothing dangerous), so invest in creating memories with both parents. Resources Co-parenting App - Appclose FREE resource - 10 things kids of divorce wish they could say to their parents. Coparentinginternational.com Facebook.com/SoloParentSociety

SOLO PARENT CRISIS RESPONSE - CoronaVirus (COVID-19)

3/17/2020
00:39:15
Today is Tuesday, March 17. We are entering uncharted territory here in the US and certainly around the world. The President has declared a State of Emergency in our country, and we all know the complications that has and is presenting. When you are already struggling to get by as a single parent and the country is thrust into emergency, we know it can be scary, and an advanced sense of isolation can set in. So we wanted to gather some insights and tips to help you and your kids cope in this time of unknowns. How do we help our kids? (DETAILS HERE) 1. Do your homework - be the source 2. Let them lead - they are getting lots of info, so ask, "tell me what you have been hearing" through social media, friends. Let them establish what they are ready to hear. 3. Tell age-appropriate truthful answers - be the trusted voice in their life. ie. "I will always tell you the truth." 4. Find the helpers in the situations. Every crisis has them. This helps shape a positive way to look at things. (first responders, doctors, and nurses, our government) 5. Talk about / make things that they can control ( let them dress weirder or choose foods that usually you don't let them eat) 6. Give them places to process emotionally (journaling - talking) 7. Limit exposure to the news 8. MOST IMPORTANT - Manage your own anxiety because they pick up on it. How do we deal with it emotionally? 1. Focus on the Spiritual realm. Spend twice as much time focusing on the truth than on the news. Pick a verse and hold on to (Put it everywhere. Write it out -  make it your screen saver) (33 Great Verses) 2. Remember the faithfulness of God. Single parents are incredibly resilient. Focus on how He has been there for you and continue to rely; He will continue to sustain. There is nothing to fear. 3. Find a sounding board but not your children 4. Exercise * Dealing with anxiety - Deep breathing exercises gets us back to the correct thinking and redistributes blood flow to correct part of the brain - Grounding techniques. Focus on something specific, try this with your kids, say "pick as many things as you can the color red." How do we deal practically? 1. Create a Preparative list - the exercise forces the perspective - It provides direction in the off chance we need it, if we don't have time to think. - List the core things we need (if we can't leave the house for 2-4 weeks) Meds Non-perishable food Water List contacts and numbers in case Let it become a project with our kids 2. Let our kids know the plan Wash hands whenever we come into the house. Hang a sign at the door to remind kids. If we eliminate what comes in, we are better prepared Leave shoes outside 3. Find humor / be silly. Funny movies, games, stories 4. Be the kindness that someone needs 5. Make it quality time (Check out our podcast on this) Join our FB Community for updates and live broadcasts - HERE

DR. MEG MEEKER - GUIDING OUR CHALLENGING KIDS

3/16/2020
00:42:10
Parenting alone can feel overwhelming especially with strong-willed kids who test limits. We know consistency is important but what can we do when our kids continually test boundaries? We talked with parenting expert Dr. Meg Meeker, a leading authority on parenting teens and children's health, bestselling author, pediatrician and a mom. Here are her baseline tips: 1. Don't feel like you have to be both parents. You are only one person. That's enough. 2. Parents need to intentionally find ways to have one on one time with their kids every week. Connect. Look them in the eye. Ask them how life is and listen. 3. Timing matters. Give your kids space after school or athletic practice. Bedtime can be a wonderful time to connect. 4. Our approach matters too. Go in gently. Don't lead with correction. Sit at the end of the bed. Ask questions but don't demand feedback. Say, "I haven't seen you much this week. How's life?" 5. Keep going back. Your persistence lets your kids know you simply want their company. They will open up but only if they think they can count on you and that you will listen. A sudden change in demeanor or pulling away can signal that something has happened outside of your home. Use the same curious, persistent approach. Ask, "You're not your usual happy self. Is there anything you want to talk about?" Go where they are, they need to know you are in it with them. If your child doesn't want to talk, try asking about their friends. They may share more openly if the focus is not on them, especially if they are embarrassed or think may get in trouble. When they do share, don't overreact. Remember, acting out and defiance aren't usually about you as a parent. Unhappy kids are defiant. "Inside of them, curled up, is a little kid who is in a tremendous amount of pain." Give them language to express themselves. Say, "I understand something is going on and you're really angry but even when you're mad you can't _____." Let them know their feelings are okay while giving them ownership of their behavior and the consequences. "If you say this or do that, then I'm going to have to take your phone away. I hope you don't put me in that position." For single parents, don't let guilt make you reluctant to set limits. Meeker says our message needs to be that life includes pain and we understand. Let them know it's okay to let their feelings bubble up to the surface and that you will be there to help them process. If a rebellious child is making bad choices, and the behaviors aren't dangerous, Meeker says hold on and stick with them through it. Most kids will eventually develop enough maturity to get past it. But, if they are doing dangerous things, you have to monitor their behavior closely. Sometimes rebellion is a test to see what you will do. They want to know how far you will go to get them. They may scream, be mortified, and say they hate you but, as a parent, you must do the hard things. Dr, Meeker says, "Your job is to raise a healthy 25-year-old not a healthy 18-year-old" because their brains aren't fully developed until then. Meeker adds, "No situation is beyond fixable. Don't parent out of fear. If your child is in danger, recruit some help and go after that kid. Let them know you are not going anywhere. Kids who are pursued feel so loved." For more - www.meekerparenting.com FB - @SoloParentSociety INSTA - @SoloParentSociety

DR. MEG MEEKER - GUIDING OUR CHALLENGING KIDS

3/16/2020
00:42:10
Parenting alone can feel overwhelming especially with strong-willed kids who test limits. We know consistency is important but what can we do when our kids continually test boundaries? We talked with parenting expert Dr. Meg Meeker, a leading authority on parenting teens and children's health, bestselling author, pediatrician and a mom. Here are her baseline tips: 1. Don't feel like you have to be both parents. You are only one person. That's enough. 2. Parents need to intentionally find ways to have one on one time with their kids every week. Connect. Look them in the eye. Ask them how life is and listen. 3. Timing matters. Give your kids space after school or athletic practice. Bedtime can be a wonderful time to connect. 4. Our approach matters too. Go in gently. Don't lead with correction. Sit at the end of the bed. Ask questions but don't demand feedback. Say, "I haven't seen you much this week. How's life?" 5. Keep going back. Your persistence lets your kids know you simply want their company. They will open up but only if they think they can count on you and that you will listen. A sudden change in demeanor or pulling away can signal that something has happened outside of your home. Use the same curious, persistent approach. Ask, "You're not your usual happy self. Is there anything you want to talk about?" Go where they are, they need to know you are in it with them. If your child doesn't want to talk, try asking about their friends. They may share more openly if the focus is not on them, especially if they are embarrassed or think may get in trouble. When they do share, don't overreact. Remember, acting out and defiance aren't usually about you as a parent. Unhappy kids are defiant. "Inside of them, curled up, is a little kid who is in a tremendous amount of pain." Give them language to express themselves. Say, "I understand something is going on and you're really angry but even when you're mad you can't _____." Let them know their feelings are okay while giving them ownership of their behavior and the consequences. "If you say this or do that, then I'm going to have to take your phone away. I hope you don't put me in that position." For single parents, don't let guilt make you reluctant to set limits. Meeker says our message needs to be that life includes pain and we understand. Let them know it's okay to let their feelings bubble up to the surface and that you will be there to help them process. If a rebellious child is making bad choices, and the behaviors aren't dangerous, Meeker says hold on and stick with them through it. Most kids will eventually develop enough maturity to get past it. But, if they are doing dangerous things, you have to monitor their behavior closely. Sometimes rebellion is a test to see what you will do. They want to know how far you will go to get them. They may scream, be mortified, and say they hate you but, as a parent, you must do the hard things. Dr, Meeker says, "Your job is to raise a healthy 25-year-old not a healthy 18-year-old" because their brains aren't fully developed until then. Meeker adds, "No situation is beyond fixable. Don't parent out of fear. If your child is in danger, recruit some help and go after that kid. Let them know you are not going anywhere. Kids who are pursued feel so loved." For more - www.meekerparenting.com FB - @SoloParentSociety INSTA - @SoloParentSociety

CREATING QUALITY TIME WITH OUR KIDS

3/10/2020
00:28:41
Quality time with our kids is important! But how do we manage it, especially as single parents whose time is already so limited? And, sometimes we feel added pressure to make the time together a big deal. It helps to consider that kids remember the time you spend with them much more than the things you do. A recent study in the Journal of Marriage and Family says the quality of time is much more important than the amount of time parents spend with their children. It isn't about endless hours spent together?it's about how you choose to spend the time that truly matters. So, how do we, as single parents, create quality time moments with our kids when time is one of our rarest commodities? We considered four ways to create quality time with our kids: Rituals: Build quality time into the normal rituals of daily life. Instead of trying to add in more activities, make the ordinary moments count. Routines:  Establish routines that become meaningful ways to show up for your kids while you're in the car, during meals, and at bedtime. Random: Look for opportunities that pop up unexpectedly and make the most of them. Fun memories can come from quality time "on the fly". Responsive: Be aware of the times your kids need you to respond in the moment. Some things can't wait. Stop what you are doing and make your response to them a priority. Here are some suggestions single parents came up with to establish quality time in these areas: Start seeing times with our kids not as a chore but as a privilege Be deliberate about being 'present' in moments Remember your kids don't need "big" moments. Sometimes just being in the same room together for homework, bedtime or watching TV is enough. Do chores together. Make projects a family event. Even loading the dishwasher together can be quality time. Go to where they are and join them in what they are doing. Don't expect them to come to you. Be present in ordinary moments like picking them up and during car time. Stay off your phone when in their presence. Connect face to face with your kids whenever possible. Schedule it and let this be a non-negotiable on your calendar. Find something that can be done every day. Examples: read together at bedtime, make bedtime prayer a routine time together. Eat together with no technology. Create a list of easy activities or experiences you can choose from when the opportunity arises. Examples: Waiting for a sibling to finish an activity, google knock-knock jokes or play "Would You Rather?". Stop by the pet store or humane society to pet the dogs and cats, stop by the playground and play tag or swing for 20 minutes. Throughout your day and week, look for random moments where you can just enjoy being with your children. Have FUN! Be silly. Whether in the rituals and routines of your daily lives or in the random moments that pop up here and there, take every opportunity you can to be responsive to your kids.  If they had a hard day or seem out of sorts, put what you can aside and give them your undivided attention. Even 5-10 minutes can pay off. If they have a question, put your phone down and make eye contact. Demonstrate you are there when they need you. With quality time, especially as single parents, it comes down to being deliberate with what we have and intentionally carving out simple moments to be special. Remember, it's not about quantity, and it doesn't have to be big, it just needs to be authentic and real. Join our community - facebook.com/SoloParentSociety

RAISING HEALTHY KIDS

3/3/2020
00:35:49
Parenting is meant to be a team sport, but now we find ourselves having to do it alone. Often we ourselves already feel beat up, defeated, and even like a failure, so to parent from that position, with no checks and balances, can seem overwhelming. Knowing that parenting in and of itself is hard, we can find ourselves wondering, "How can I raise healthy kids on my own when it is designed to done as a team with my spouse.?" To address this pervasive fear, Solo Parent Society has pulled together 5 anchoring approaches to help raise healthy kids. These are not behavior modifiers for correction; rather, these are simple but profoundly helpful approaches to developing successful and healthy adults. Giving focus and deliberate effort to instilling these principles while our kids are in our care will better prepare them for their own enriched lives as adults. We call them our 5 R's: RELATIONSHIP This principle is paramount to all the others. We must teach (and model) the value and power of healthy relationships. Teaching our kids what healthy relational dynamics look like includes: -Learn that people are all different -Our emotions in conflict shouldn't match others who are elevated (Staying calm and not reactionary) -The power of really listening -There is a time to keep our mouths shut -Allowing them to teach us - and when they do TELL THEM -Pursue peoples hearts, not compliance RESPECT In a society that seems to have lost this fundamental principle, we must teach (and model) the importance of honoring others. It starts with them showing respect for our position in their lives - our job is to keep them safe, their job is to be a kid. Showing respect goes just beyond the parent-child relationship to include: -All of those in authority - adults, the other parent, teachers, government as examples. It is OK to differ from those in authority but it is critical to show respect. -The opposite sex - teach chivalry -Other races, traditions and people with differing opinions -Honoring others by making eye contact, shaking hands and being comfortable making conversation RULES While relationship and respect are fundamental principles, we must teach that in life, there are absolutes. Everything we do costs something - there is a cost to not being able to do whatever we want whenever we want it, there is also sometimes a more significant cost to getting our way all the time... called consequences. Rules and consequences are essential to teach the way the real world works, but always remember rules without relationship (trust) equals rebellion. RESPONSIBILITY Helping our kids develop an independent and contributing mindset is an investment into their future. Teaching them to fish over just bringing them a fish helps guide them into strong individuals. We can do this by showing them: -There are things they can do on their own -Helping out around the house develops a contributing mindset -The importance of a good work ethic - we work hard to accomplish what we want RISK Along with all the other principles teaching them that taking risks are an essential part of life. Embracing the famous quote, "What if I fall? Oh, but my darling, what if you fly?" -Failure is not bad - failure is often the best teacher, especially while they are in a safe place... in our care. -Teach our kids through modeling and discussing the importance of taking chances. These R's are not meant to be the exhaustive list of do's and don'ts - the point is to be deliberate about what we are investing into our kids' lives to mold them into successful and healthy adults. The goal is not to just correct our kids into compliant children but to guide them with anchoring principles that develop their character.

KNOWING GOD'S LOVE

2/24/2020
00:26:23
As a single parent, sometimes we can feel like there's a wall between us and God because we believe we've failed and are a disappointment, so we see ourselves as unworthy. For some of us that have lost our spouse to death we may feel angry for God letting this happen. These things can lead to comparing ourselves to other people that seem to have it all together spiritually or otherwise. Here is the good news, knowing God's love can actually be more intimate during this solo season than in any other season, and it is the basis for everything we try to be about at Solo Parent Society. Here are the 3 areas of focus that we employ at SPS that help us encounter God's love. Confession Confession is expressing the good and bad - The doubts and praise. Ultimately it is about expressing with our mouths (or writing it down) our completely transparent and honest feelings. A few questions that might be helpful: How do you feel when you think about coming into God's presence? What do you think he may be disappointed in? Proud of? If you were to name a feeling that my be creating a wall what would that feeling be? The goal is to authentically be known in our most intimate state by God and at least one person and/ or a journal. Absolutes This is where we search out truth about what we have confessed. This could be as simple as a google search - "What does the bible say about anger/shame/doubt/ fear?" This step must take place AFTER we have transparently confessed what might be causing a wall between us and God. Whatever the wall is search scriptures about what God says about that. Study what God promises to take care of and find evidence of His faithfulness in our lives. Write those promises down and post them on the wall - Example Isaiah 54:4-5. Acceptance Taking what we have uncovered in our heart - Confession - and what we discover in our head - Absolutes - now we need to incorporate into a life style. One way is a remembering exercise. Step 1. Remember Practice remembrance by taking the time to list all of the ways God has worked in your life. Here are some helpful categories to write out some experiences: Childhood Teen years (middle and high school) Early adulthood (18-25 years old) Adulthood (25+ age) Other areas like in motherhood/fatherhood, marriage, etc. Step 2. Recognition Practice recognizing all the small ways God works in your life every day. This is a daily practice of gratitude. For example, each day write down three things for which you are grateful. Try to not repeat yourself. Write down new things or new ways to express gratitude even about a recurring blessing. You will likely have to get creative, which can cause you to be more aware of where and how God is at work in your life. Step 3. Repetition Continually repeat these practices. This isn't a one-and-done. Go back to your lists and add to them. Ask God to reveal the ways He is at work around you so you don't miss anything. Our busy lives can often distract us from what is most important. The old adage "Count your blessings" may seem trite or cheesy, but in the Solo season, this attitude can be strategic in your growth and healing. God's Love is personal and intimate. The obstacles or disappointments we believe create a wall between us and God are often the very things that create an opportunity to discover a more intimate relationship with Him. God doesn't love me for what I do for Him, He just loves me, even when I do nothing at all... that is wild, wild stuff! Join our community Facebook.com/SoloParentSociety

Knowing God's Love

2/24/2020
00:26:27

As a single parent, sometimes we can feel like there's a wall between us and God because we believe we've failed and are a disappointment, so we see ourselves as unworthy. For some of us that have lost our spouse to death we may feel angry for God letting this happen. These things can lead to comparing ourselves to other people that seem to have it all together spiritually or otherwise.

Here is the good news, knowing God's love can actually be more intimate during this solo season than in any other season, and it is the basis for everything we try to be about at Solo Parent Society.

Here are the 3 areas of focus that we employ at SPS that help us encounter God's love.

Confession

Confession is expressing the good and bad - The doubts and praise. Ultimately it is about expressing with our mouths (or writing it down) our completely transparent and honest feelings. A few questions that might be helpful:

How do you feel when you think about coming into God's presence?

What do you think he may be disappointed in?

Proud of?

If you were to name a feeling that my be creating a wall what would that feeling be?

The goal is to authentically be known in our most intimate state by God and at least one person and/ or a journal.

Absolutes

This is where we search out truth about what we have confessed. This could be as simple as a google search - "What does the bible say about anger/shame/doubt/ fear?" This step must take place AFTER we have transparently confessed what might be causing a wall between us and God. Whatever the wall is search scriptures about what God says about that.

Study what God promises to take care of and find evidence of His faithfulness in our lives. Write those promises down and post them on the wall - Example Isaiah 54:4-5.

Acceptance

Taking what we have uncovered in our heart - Confession - and what we discover in our head - Absolutes - now we need to incorporate into a life style.

One way is a remembering exercise.

Step 1. Remember

Practice remembrance by taking the time to list all of the ways God has worked in your life. Here are some helpful categories to write out some experiences:

Childhood

Teen years (middle and high school)

Early adulthood (18-25 years old)

Adulthood (25+ age)

Other areas like in motherhood/fatherhood, marriage, etc.

Step 2. Recognition

Practice recognizing all the small ways God works in your life every day. This is a daily practice of gratitude. For example, each day write down three things for which you are grateful. Try to not repeat yourself. Write down new things or new ways to express gratitude even about a recurring blessing. You will likely have to get creative, which can cause you to be more aware of where and how God is at work in your life.

Step 3. Repetition

Continually repeat these practices. This isn't a one-and-done. Go back to your lists and add to them. Ask God to reveal the ways He is at work around you so you don't miss anything. Our busy lives can often distract us from what is most important. The old adage "Count your blessings" may seem trite or cheesy, but in the Solo season, this attitude can be strategic in your growth and healing.

God's Love is personal and intimate. The obstacles or disappointments we believe create a wall between us and God are often the very things that create an opportunity to discover a more intimate relationship with Him. God doesn't love me for what I do for Him, He just loves me, even when I do nothing at all... that is wild, wild stuff!

Join our community Facebook.com/SoloParentSociety 

Knowing God's Love

2/24/2020
00:26:27
As a single parent, sometimes we can feel like there's a wall between us and God because we believe we've failed and are a disappointment, so we see ourselves as unworthy. For some of us that have lost our spouse to death we may feel angry for God letting this happen. These things can lead to comparing ourselves to other people that seem to have it all together spiritually or otherwise. Here is the good news, knowing God's love can actually be more intimate during this solo season than in any other season, and it is the basis for everything we try to be about at Solo Parent Society. Here are the 3 areas of focus that we employ at SPS that help us encounter God's love. Confession Confession is expressing the good and bad - The doubts and praise. Ultimately it is about expressing with our mouths (or writing it down) our completely transparent and honest feelings. A few questions that might be helpful: How do you feel when you think about coming into God's presence? What do you think he may be disappointed in? Proud of? If you were to name a feeling that my be creating a wall what would that feeling be? The goal is to authentically be known in our most intimate state by God and at least one person and/ or a journal. Absolutes This is where we search out truth about what we have confessed. This could be as simple as a google search - "What does the bible say about anger/shame/doubt/ fear?" This step must take place AFTER we have transparently confessed what might be causing a wall between us and God. Whatever the wall is search scriptures about what God says about that. Study what God promises to take care of and find evidence of His faithfulness in our lives. Write those promises down and post them on the wall - Example Isaiah 54:4-5. Acceptance Taking what we have uncovered in our heart - Confession - and what we discover in our head - Absolutes - now we need to incorporate into a life style. One way is a remembering exercise. Step 1. Remember Practice remembrance by taking the time to list all of the ways God has worked in your life. Here are some helpful categories to write out some experiences: Childhood Teen years (middle and high school) Early adulthood (18-25 years old) Adulthood (25+ age) Other areas like in motherhood/fatherhood, marriage, etc. Step 2. Recognition Practice recognizing all the small ways God works in your life every day. This is a daily practice of gratitude. For example, each day write down three things for which you are grateful. Try to not repeat yourself. Write down new things or new ways to express gratitude even about a recurring blessing. You will likely have to get creative, which can cause you to be more aware of where and how God is at work in your life. Step 3. Repetition Continually repeat these practices. This isn't a one-and-done. Go back to your lists and add to them. Ask God to reveal the ways He is at work around you so you don't miss anything. Our busy lives can often distract us from what is most important. The old adage "Count your blessings" may seem trite or cheesy, but in the Solo season, this attitude can be strategic in your growth and healing. God's Love is personal and intimate. The obstacles or disappointments we believe create a wall between us and God are often the very things that create an opportunity to discover a more intimate relationship with Him. God doesn't love me for what I do for Him, He just loves me, even when I do nothing at all... that is wild, wild stuff! Join our community Facebook.com/SoloParentSociety 

THE IF, WHEN, AND HOW OF DATING.

2/18/2020
00:30:00
It can be overwhelming... conflicting, complicated and all consuming.  Conflicting - Exciting and terrifying Complicated - We are not just making decisions for ourselves, it effects my kids... potentially my ex. All consuming - Making room to do this means I am sacrificing another area and I am already spread thin. NOT TO MENTION finding a mate /or not is probably the biggest decision we will have to make. 3 elements to factor in as we consider dating again. 1. Identify where I am - self awareness Name you fears, it brings freedom - with awareness brings healing Name your feeling - its ok to be excited as much as afraid Who am I - am I someone that someone would want to date? What work do I still need to do? What are scars - Replace the word 'baggage' with 'bonus'? What are hopes? Give lots of grace - see this is not a one shot chance 2. Define what you are looking for, what we need and where you want to go First of all when thinking about this don't envision a specific person. Create a check list  - Write down what's important related to Career Family - existing and or future Age Faith How they treat people How they treat their kids Disipline Kindness Why do I want to be remarried?          Companionship?          Emotional stability?          Financial stability? What did you love about your last relationship What are non negotiable Pray - God, what am I missing? 3. Create Plan  - Patience or proceed Patience is self explanatory - and remember it is a season - you will not stay 'in the waiting'... expand your friend group circle so loneliness doesn't compromise the waiting. Proceeding Check list Pray - submit the conversations If using a dating app -Use caution - don't put to much out there -Take time -Be completely honest -Be patient -Proximity -Meet at public place -Don't let them in your house -Set boundaries -Be true to you -Don't move too quickly - Especially physically  - Casual sex is anything but casual. It comes with burdens, shame and complicates healing and can create emotional confusion. -How quick you introduce to kids - protecting kids from getting to attached -Be open to new Remember,  to date or not to date is one of the most important decision we will face as a single parent and it deserves a carefully thought out position, and tons of prayer.

The If, When, and How of Dating

2/17/2020
00:30:04

It can be overwhelming... conflicting, complicated and all consuming. 

Conflicting - Exciting and terrifying

Complicated - We are not just making decisions for ourselves, it effects my kids... potentially my ex.

All consuming - Making room to do this means I am sacrificing another area and I am already spread thin.

NOT TO MENTION finding a mate /or not is probably the biggest decision we will have to make.

3 elements to factor in as we consider dating again.

1. Identify where I am - self awareness

Name you fears, it brings freedom - with awareness brings healing

Name your feeling - its ok to be excited as much as afraid

Who am I - am I someone that someone would want to date?

What work do I still need to do?

What are scars - Replace the word 'baggage' with 'bonus'

What are hopes?

Give lots of grace - see this is not a one shot chance

2. Define what you are looking for, what we need and where you want to go

First of all when thinking about this don't envision a specific person.

Create a check list - Write down what's important related to

Career

Family - existing and or future

Age

Faith

How they treat people

How they treat their kids

Disipline

Kindness

Why do I want to be remarried?

         Companionship?

         Emotional stability?

         Financial stability?

What did you love about your last relationship

What are non negotiable

Pray - God, what am I missing?

3. Create Plan - Patience or proceed

Patience is self explanatory - and remember it is a season - you will not stay 'in the waiting'... expand your friend group circle so loneliness doesn't compromise the waiting.

Proceeding Check list

Pray - submit the conversations

If using a dating app

-Use caution - don't put to much out there

-Take time

-Be completely honest

-Be patient

-Proximity

-Meet at public place

-Don't let them in your house

-Set boundaries

-Be true to you

-Don't move too quickly - Especially physically - Casual sex is anything but casual. It comes with burdens, shame and complicates healing and can create emotional confusion.

-How quick you introduce to kids - protecting kids from getting to attached

-Be open to new

Remember, to date or not to date is one of the most important decision we will face as a single parent and it deserves a carefully thought out position, and tons of prayer.

The If, When, and How of Dating

2/17/2020
00:30:04
It can be overwhelming... conflicting, complicated and all consuming.  Conflicting - Exciting and terrifying Complicated - We are not just making decisions for ourselves, it effects my kids... potentially my ex. All consuming - Making room to do this means I am sacrificing another area and I am already spread thin. NOT TO MENTION finding a mate /or not is probably the biggest decision we will have to make. 3 elements to factor in as we consider dating again. 1. Identify where I am - self awareness Name you fears, it brings freedom - with awareness brings healing Name your feeling - its ok to be excited as much as afraid Who am I - am I someone that someone would want to date? What work do I still need to do? What are scars - Replace the word 'baggage' with 'bonus' What are hopes? Give lots of grace - see this is not a one shot chance 2. Define what you are looking for, what we need and where you want to go First of all when thinking about this don't envision a specific person. Create a check list - Write down what's important related to Career Family - existing and or future Age Faith How they treat people How they treat their kids Disipline Kindness Why do I want to be remarried?          Companionship?          Emotional stability?          Financial stability? What did you love about your last relationship What are non negotiable Pray - God, what am I missing? 3. Create Plan - Patience or proceed Patience is self explanatory - and remember it is a season - you will not stay 'in the waiting'... expand your friend group circle so loneliness doesn't compromise the waiting. Proceeding Check list Pray - submit the conversations If using a dating app -Use caution - don't put to much out there -Take time -Be completely honest -Be patient -Proximity -Meet at public place -Don't let them in your house -Set boundaries -Be true to you -Don't move too quickly - Especially physically - Casual sex is anything but casual. It comes with burdens, shame and complicates healing and can create emotional confusion. -How quick you introduce to kids - protecting kids from getting to attached -Be open to new Remember, to date or not to date is one of the most important decision we will face as a single parent and it deserves a carefully thought out position, and tons of prayer.

Avoiding the Blind Spot of Family Love

2/10/2020
00:26:25

We all want to love our kids well. Loving them while we are in a position of feeling broken and vulnerable can create problems - blind-spots. Sometimes we tend to spoil them, shielding them from life's natural consequences because they have already had so much trauma. Or we can be triggered by seeing our ex in their behavior and inadvertently withdraw. Coming out of a relationship that leaves us with scars can leave us with blind-spots related to how we see and give healthy love to our family.

Ultimately, we should parent our kids as God parents us. God parents us by investing in long term character over short term gratification.

Even with all good intentions, we can develop blind-spots in 3 primary areas.

-Overcompensating

Making sure our kids have the latest and greatest.

-Not giving consequences

Not holding them accountable for their behavior or choices.

-Crossing emotional boundaries

We can become either become dependent or the opposite we withdraw.

Not addressing any and/or all of these blind-spots can create long term ramifications for our kids. ( Narcissism, entitlement, or failure to adapt are examples of the mindsets that our kids will take into their future relationships, both personal or professional.)

In general, a good question to ask ourselves when we are facing any situation with our kids is a self-assessment - "Am I trying to make my child happy, or am I trying to do what's best for my child?"

As single parents, we have so much other drama in so many areas of our lives, it is natural not to want to create more tension with our kids. Nevertheless, it is essential to address these blind-spots to create the most potential of our child's future successful relationships.

-Overcompensating

Changing the way we look at things. God doesn't give us everything we want. He is more interested in developing our character, which sometimes is hard. We need to continually self assess what our motivation is - are trying to make them happy or build character. We need to remind ourselves that 'withholding' their temporary relief or pleasure is a form of love.

-Not giving consequences

Overlooking behavior or making excuses for behavior might alleviate momentary discomfort, but it can create long term ramifications. What we permit now will grow. We need to be very clear about Ground rules and expectations (often in writing), and then be consistent and be willing to escalate consequences. That is equipping our kids to know that is how the world works. If we fall short, don't give up... get back up and keep trying. Also, expect to be tested with harder and harder resistance... It actually means you are doing things right.

-Crossing emotional boundaries

It makes sense that our kids are the safest place to invest our emotions... or that things they do can trigger memories of our ex's behaviors. We need to remind ourselves that these are human beings that need to see healthy love modeled. We are not in equal emotional places. So we need to seek outside adult friendships to process through the tough stuff and feel the intimate care of others. If we are prone to withdraw, schedule time to just being present. Go to where they are and what interests them, and just be there with them.

As single parents, it is natural to have blind-spots that looks a lot like love. We need to parent like God parents - paying attention to what is being build rather than immediate happiness. Being brave enough to disappoint - and always parent from a position of love, not fear or immediate gratification. REMEMBER, we were chosen to guide and mold the humans entrusted to us.

Join our community at Facebook.com/SoloParentSociety 

AVOIDING THE BLIND-SPOT OF FAMILY LOVE

2/10/2020
00:26:21
We all want to love our kids well. Loving them while we are in a position of feeling broken and vulnerable can create problems - blind-spots. Sometimes we tend to spoil them, shielding them from life's natural consequences because they have already had so much trauma. Or we can be triggered by seeing our ex in their behavior and inadvertently withdraw. Coming out of a relationship that leaves us with scars can leave us with  blind-spots related to how we see and give healthy love to our family. Ultimately, we should parent our kids as God parents us. God parents us by investing in long term character over short term gratification. Even with all good intentions, we can develop blind-spots in 3 primary areas. -Overcompensating Making sure our kids have the latest and greatest. -Not giving consequences Not holding them accountable for their behavior or choices. -Crossing emotional boundaries We can become either become dependent or the opposite we withdraw. Not addressing any and/or all of these blind-spots can create long term ramifications for our kids. ( Narcissism, entitlement, or failure to adapt are examples of the mindsets that our kids will take into their future relationships, both personal or professional.) In general, a good question to ask ourselves when we are facing any situation with our kids is a self-assessment - "Am I trying to make my child happy, or am I trying to do what's best for my child?" As single parents, we have so much other drama in so many areas of our lives, it is natural not to want to create more tension with our kids. Nevertheless, it is essential to address these blind-spots to create the most potential of our child's future successful relationships. -Overcompensating Changing the way we look at things. God doesn't give us everything we want. He is more interested in developing our character, which sometimes is hard. We need to continually self assess what our motivation is - are trying to make them happy or build character. We need to remind ourselves that 'withholding' their temporary relief or pleasure is a form of love. -Not giving consequences Overlooking behavior or making excuses for behavior might alleviate momentary discomfort, but it can create long term ramifications. What we permit now will grow. We need to be very clear about Ground rules and expectations (often in writing), and then be consistent and be willing to escalate consequences. That is equipping our kids to know that is how the world works. If we fall short, don't give up... get back up and keep trying. Also, expect to be tested with harder and harder resistance... It actually means you are doing things right. -Crossing emotional boundaries It makes sense that our kids are the safest place to invest our emotions... or that things they do can trigger memories of our ex's behaviors. We need to remind ourselves that these are human beings that need to see healthy love modeled. We are not in equal emotional places. So we need to seek outside adult friendships to process through the tough stuff and feel the intimate care of others. If we are prone to withdraw, schedule time to just being present. Go to where they are and what interests them, and just be there with them. As single parents, it is natural to have blind-spots that looks a lot like love. We need to parent like God parents - paying attention to what is being build rather than immediate happiness. Being brave enough to disappoint - and always parent from a position of love, not fear or immediate gratification. REMEMBER, we were chosen to guide and mold the humans entrusted to us. Join our community at Facebook.com/SoloParentSociety

Avoiding the Blind Spot of Family Love

2/10/2020
00:26:25
We all want to love our kids well. Loving them while we are in a position of feeling broken and vulnerable can create problems - blind-spots. Sometimes we tend to spoil them, shielding them from life's natural consequences because they have already had so much trauma. Or we can be triggered by seeing our ex in their behavior and inadvertently withdraw. Coming out of a relationship that leaves us with scars can leave us with blind-spots related to how we see and give healthy love to our family. Ultimately, we should parent our kids as God parents us. God parents us by investing in long term character over short term gratification. Even with all good intentions, we can develop blind-spots in 3 primary areas. -Overcompensating Making sure our kids have the latest and greatest. -Not giving consequences Not holding them accountable for their behavior or choices. -Crossing emotional boundaries We can become either become dependent or the opposite we withdraw. Not addressing any and/or all of these blind-spots can create long term ramifications for our kids. ( Narcissism, entitlement, or failure to adapt are examples of the mindsets that our kids will take into their future relationships, both personal or professional.) In general, a good question to ask ourselves when we are facing any situation with our kids is a self-assessment - "Am I trying to make my child happy, or am I trying to do what's best for my child?" As single parents, we have so much other drama in so many areas of our lives, it is natural not to want to create more tension with our kids. Nevertheless, it is essential to address these blind-spots to create the most potential of our child's future successful relationships. -Overcompensating Changing the way we look at things. God doesn't give us everything we want. He is more interested in developing our character, which sometimes is hard. We need to continually self assess what our motivation is - are trying to make them happy or build character. We need to remind ourselves that 'withholding' their temporary relief or pleasure is a form of love. -Not giving consequences Overlooking behavior or making excuses for behavior might alleviate momentary discomfort, but it can create long term ramifications. What we permit now will grow. We need to be very clear about Ground rules and expectations (often in writing), and then be consistent and be willing to escalate consequences. That is equipping our kids to know that is how the world works. If we fall short, don't give up... get back up and keep trying. Also, expect to be tested with harder and harder resistance... It actually means you are doing things right. -Crossing emotional boundaries It makes sense that our kids are the safest place to invest our emotions... or that things they do can trigger memories of our ex's behaviors. We need to remind ourselves that these are human beings that need to see healthy love modeled. We are not in equal emotional places. So we need to seek outside adult friendships to process through the tough stuff and feel the intimate care of others. If we are prone to withdraw, schedule time to just being present. Go to where they are and what interests them, and just be there with them. As single parents, it is natural to have blind-spots that looks a lot like love. We need to parent like God parents - paying attention to what is being build rather than immediate happiness. Being brave enough to disappoint - and always parent from a position of love, not fear or immediate gratification. REMEMBER, we were chosen to guide and mold the humans entrusted to us. Join our community at Facebook.com/SoloParentSociety 

3 Keys to Practicing Self Love

2/3/2020
00:24:21
Some of us think that self love is only self serving. An incorrect belief that in order to parent well, our kid's needs come before our needs, and often we over compensate. The problem is, we can't give what we don't have. Often we spend so much time focusing on other people we don't spend enough time loving and caring for ourselves. Self Love if often viewed as a reward or a special treat we give to ourselves... but it goes far beyond that. Love is an activity not a quality. Loving yourself requires more than just a mindset, it requires action. 3 keys to practicing self love can be broken into the following steps. 1. Mindset Reset We have to start resetting how we view self love. Understanding that loving ourselves well brings value to how we love our kids. Self love = loving our kids It requires committing to making this a priority Give grace, not putting so much pressure on ourselves - be patient - a mind reset wont happen overnight TRY THIS - Right notes on bathroom mirror - reminding of who we are / our identity - Psalm 139 - Verbalize - say it out loud - say it till you believe - examples "I am worth taking care of, I am not my mistakes, I am not my past, I will live into my best days still ahead of me, God chose me to parent these kids - He will equip me." - Write down an inventory of what we have accomplished by ourselves Above all - Give grace - metamorphosis takes time 2. Boundaries Often we overcompensate for the hurt our kids have been through and let our boundaries down. Focus on establishing simple boundaries that provide margin to our lives. With our kids - Don't take every phone call - let them know every question they may have is important - but there is a difference between important vs immediate - Have them start to discern if the question they have is urgent and requires an immediate answer or if maybe they could text vs phone call or even write things down to bring up later. Create Space - be deliberate in carving out alone time. Let them know that everyone has a need for space and teach / model what that looks like next time you are asked "can I sleep in your bed". With our Ex / Family / Friends Get out of volatile conversations. Ask for schedule changes etc. to be put in writing. Express appreciation to our ex or family members for wrestling with trying to do the right thing. Deescalate. Don't say yes to every opportunity. Protect your time and remember saying 'yes' to something means saying 'no' to something else. Prioritize time with 'life giving' relationships 3. Fill your cup Do things that bring you joy Cooking, Gardening, Painting, Reading Try something new - allow yourself to pursue something exciting. Don't be afraid to ask for help create space - trade time with other single parents. Do things that you can complete, even as simple as making the bed. Remember: Self love is not selfish. If we don't do it for us, do it for our kids because we cant give what we don't have. When I enrich my own life, I'll be life-giving to others too. Join us on Facebook - Facebook.com/SoloParentSociety - You are not alone!

3 Keys to Practicing Self Love

2/3/2020
00:24:25

Some of us think that self love is only self serving. An incorrect belief that in order to parent well, our kid's needs come before our needs, and often we over compensate. The problem is, we can't give what we don't have. Often we spend so much time focusing on other people we don't spend enough time loving and caring for ourselves.

Self Love if often viewed as a reward or a special treat we give to ourselves... but it goes far beyond that. Love is an activity not a quality. Loving yourself requires more than just a mindset, it requires action.

3 keys to practicing self love can be broken into the following steps.

1. Mindset Reset

We have to start resetting how we view self love. Understanding that loving ourselves well brings value to how we love our kids. Self love = loving our kids

It requires committing to making this a priority

Give grace, not putting so much pressure on ourselves - be patient - a mind reset wont happen overnight

TRY THIS

- Right notes on bathroom mirror - reminding of who we are / our identity - Psalm 139

- Verbalize - say it out loud - say it till you believe - examples "I am worth taking care of, I am not my mistakes, I am not my past, I will live into my best days still ahead of me, God chose me to parent these kids - He will equip me."

- Write down an inventory of what we have accomplished by ourselves

Above all - Give grace - metamorphosis takes time

2. Boundaries

Often we overcompensate for the hurt our kids have been through and let our boundaries down. Focus on establishing simple boundaries that provide margin to our lives.

With our kids -

Don't take every phone call - let them know every question they may have is important - but there is a difference between important vs immediate - Have them start to discern if the question they have is urgent and requires an immediate answer or if maybe they could text vs phone call or even write things down to bring up later.

Create Space - be deliberate in carving out alone time. Let them know that everyone has a need for space and teach / model what that looks like next time you are asked "can I sleep in your bed".

With our Ex / Family / Friends

Get out of volatile conversations. Ask for schedule changes etc. to be put in writing.

Express appreciation to our ex or family members for wrestling with trying to do the right thing. Deescalate.

Don't say yes to every opportunity. Protect your time and remember saying 'yes' to something means saying 'no' to something else.

Prioritize time with 'life giving' relationships

3. Fill your cup

Do things that bring you joy

Cooking, Gardening, Painting, Reading

Try something new - allow yourself to pursue something exciting.

Don't be afraid to ask for help create space - trade time with other single parents.

Do things that you can complete, even as simple as making the bed.

Remember: Self love is not selfish. If we don't do it for us, do it for our kids because we cant give what we don't have. When I enrich my own life, I'll be life-giving to others too.

Join us on Facebook - Facebook.com/SoloParentSociety - You are not alone! 

3 Keys to Practicing Self Love

2/3/2020
00:24:25
Some of us think that self love is only self serving. An incorrect belief that in order to parent well, our kid's needs come before our needs, and often we over compensate. The problem is, we can't give what we don't have. Often we spend so much time focusing on other people we don't spend enough time loving and caring for ourselves. Self Love if often viewed as a reward or a special treat we give to ourselves... but it goes far beyond that. Love is an activity not a quality. Loving yourself requires more than just a mindset, it requires action. 3 keys to practicing self love can be broken into the following steps. 1. Mindset Reset We have to start resetting how we view self love. Understanding that loving ourselves well brings value to how we love our kids. Self love = loving our kids It requires committing to making this a priority Give grace, not putting so much pressure on ourselves - be patient - a mind reset wont happen overnight TRY THIS - Right notes on bathroom mirror - reminding of who we are / our identity - Psalm 139 - Verbalize - say it out loud - say it till you believe - examples "I am worth taking care of, I am not my mistakes, I am not my past, I will live into my best days still ahead of me, God chose me to parent these kids - He will equip me." - Write down an inventory of what we have accomplished by ourselves Above all - Give grace - metamorphosis takes time 2. Boundaries Often we overcompensate for the hurt our kids have been through and let our boundaries down. Focus on establishing simple boundaries that provide margin to our lives. With our kids - Don't take every phone call - let them know every question they may have is important - but there is a difference between important vs immediate - Have them start to discern if the question they have is urgent and requires an immediate answer or if maybe they could text vs phone call or even write things down to bring up later. Create Space - be deliberate in carving out alone time. Let them know that everyone has a need for space and teach / model what that looks like next time you are asked "can I sleep in your bed". With our Ex / Family / Friends Get out of volatile conversations. Ask for schedule changes etc. to be put in writing. Express appreciation to our ex or family members for wrestling with trying to do the right thing. Deescalate. Don't say yes to every opportunity. Protect your time and remember saying 'yes' to something means saying 'no' to something else. Prioritize time with 'life giving' relationships 3. Fill your cup Do things that bring you joy Cooking, Gardening, Painting, Reading Try something new - allow yourself to pursue something exciting. Don't be afraid to ask for help create space - trade time with other single parents. Do things that you can complete, even as simple as making the bed. Remember: Self love is not selfish. If we don't do it for us, do it for our kids because we cant give what we don't have. When I enrich my own life, I'll be life-giving to others too. Join us on Facebook - Facebook.com/SoloParentSociety - You are not alone! 

How To Have Spiritual Balance

1/27/2020
00:25:59

As single parents, sometimes our schedules and all the tactical things we have to get done can eat up our time and suddenly we find that we don't have time for God. We can get disconnected from a sense of spiritual balance and lose our sense of belonging. Often, we may not feel connected to anything, which can make us isolate even more.

There are many things that can create a disconnection from God. Sometimes we go to other people or things for our security and connection point. We can create idols without even realizing it. Sometimes we feel forgotten, broken and end up feeling nothing. We can feel so damaged that we wonder so why would anyone want us and that we are a disappointment to God. So we wonder where we do we even fit anymore. 

So how do we get back to the place of finding true spiritual balance or alignment - for some of us maybe for the first time.

Spiritual balance isn't just about memorizing Bible verses. It's about true connection. This comes from embracing two components:

Spiritual identity

Spiritual connection

Spiritual identity is working toward connection based on whose we are. It's operating from our actual identities instead of the false identities we tend to create.

Before we became physical beings, we were actually spiritual beings. We're a soul with a temporary body. As we grow up, the we take on new identities based on how the world sees us. An identity built from shame, burden, performance, family, career, etc. All of these physical and emotional things can become our identities. They cover up the real "you" - who God created us to be.

We start letting the physical and emotional things become our identities, but they aren't healthy identities.

When those things are taken away, it's extremely uncomfortable. We don't know who we are anymore. But God wants us like this - He wants us dependent on Him instead of those other things. Those things aren't as important as we think they are. Those things being taken away can be the most important thing to ever happen to us. The reason for that is God wants us to know His love is based on who we are, not what we do. We are deeply loved daughters and sons.

This is our true identity.

Keeping your true identity front and center can be difficult. Some ways to do this are:

Writing affirmations or reminders of who we are and posting them around the house and office. Or just speaking the truth out loud. These can combat the lies that are always flying around.

Once we are more in tune with who we are, we can begin to open ourselves up for Spiritual Connection. But we have to create intentional space to do this - schedule your priorities.

Once we create space in our schedules, it's important to learn the ways we connect.

Connection can happen in journaling as a prayer to God and being completely vulnerable with Him. Another is through worship music. Meditation, visualization and being still can also help us connect in a deep way.

If you're just starting off and need to take a first step, start by being more still. Lean in and ask God to show you what He's trying to teach you in this time of growth and learning. God is glorified in your weakness and He will make all things perfect. Focus on getting to the core of your spiritual identity and then find intimate connection.

Facebook.com/SoloParentSociety 

How to have Spiritual Balance

1/27/2020
00:25:54
As single parents, sometimes our schedules and all the tactical things we have to get done can eat up our time and suddenly we find that we don't have time for God. We can get disconnected from a sense of spiritual balance and lose our sense of belonging. Often, we may not feel connected to anything, which can make us isolate even more. There are many things that can create a disconnection from God. Sometimes we go to other people or things for our security and connection point. We can create idols without even realizing it. Sometimes we feel forgotten, broken and end up feeling nothing. We can feel so damaged that we wonder so why would anyone want us and that we are a disappointment to God. So we wonder where we do we even fit anymore.  So how do we get back to the place of finding true spiritual balance or alignment - for some of us maybe for the first time. Spiritual balance isn't just about memorizing Bible verses. It's about true connection. This comes from embracing two components: Spiritual identity Spiritual connection Spiritual identity is working toward connection based on whose we are. It's operating from our actual identities instead of the false identities we tend to create. Before we became physical beings, we were actually spiritual beings. We're a soul with a temporary body. As we grow up, the we take on new identities based on how the world sees us.  An identity built from shame, burden, performance, family, career, etc. All of these physical and emotional things can become our identities. They cover up the real "you" - who God created us to be. We start letting the physical and emotional things become our identities, but they aren't healthy identities. When those things are taken away, it's extremely uncomfortable. We don't know who we are anymore. But God wants us like this - He wants us dependent on Him instead of those other things. Those things aren't as important as we think they are. Those things being taken away can be the most important thing to ever happen to us. The reason for that is God wants us to know His love is based on who we are, not what we do. We are deeply loved daughters and sons. This is our true identity. Keeping your true identity front and center can be difficult. Some ways to do this are: Writing affirmations or reminders of who we are and posting them around the house and office. Or just speaking the truth out loud. These can combat the lies that are always flying around. Once we are more in tune with who we are, we can begin to open ourselves up for Spiritual Connection. But we have to create intentional space to do this - schedule your priorities. Once we create space in our schedules, it's important to learn the ways we connect. Connection can happen in journaling as a prayer to God and being completely vulnerable with Him. Another is through worship music. Meditation, visualization and being still can also help us connect in a deep way. If you're just starting off and need to take a first step, start by being more still. Lean in and ask God to show you what He's trying to teach you in this time of growth and learning. God is glorified in your weakness and He will make all things perfect. Focus on getting to the core of your spiritual identity and then find intimate connection. Facebook.com/SoloParentSociety

How To Have Spiritual Balance

1/27/2020
00:25:59
As single parents, sometimes our schedules and all the tactical things we have to get done can eat up our time and suddenly we find that we don't have time for God. We can get disconnected from a sense of spiritual balance and lose our sense of belonging. Often, we may not feel connected to anything, which can make us isolate even more. There are many things that can create a disconnection from God. Sometimes we go to other people or things for our security and connection point. We can create idols without even realizing it. Sometimes we feel forgotten, broken and end up feeling nothing. We can feel so damaged that we wonder so why would anyone want us and that we are a disappointment to God. So we wonder where we do we even fit anymore.  So how do we get back to the place of finding true spiritual balance or alignment - for some of us maybe for the first time. Spiritual balance isn't just about memorizing Bible verses. It's about true connection. This comes from embracing two components: Spiritual identity Spiritual connection Spiritual identity is working toward connection based on whose we are. It's operating from our actual identities instead of the false identities we tend to create. Before we became physical beings, we were actually spiritual beings. We're a soul with a temporary body. As we grow up, the we take on new identities based on how the world sees us. An identity built from shame, burden, performance, family, career, etc. All of these physical and emotional things can become our identities. They cover up the real "you" - who God created us to be. We start letting the physical and emotional things become our identities, but they aren't healthy identities. When those things are taken away, it's extremely uncomfortable. We don't know who we are anymore. But God wants us like this - He wants us dependent on Him instead of those other things. Those things aren't as important as we think they are. Those things being taken away can be the most important thing to ever happen to us. The reason for that is God wants us to know His love is based on who we are, not what we do. We are deeply loved daughters and sons. This is our true identity. Keeping your true identity front and center can be difficult. Some ways to do this are: Writing affirmations or reminders of who we are and posting them around the house and office. Or just speaking the truth out loud. These can combat the lies that are always flying around. Once we are more in tune with who we are, we can begin to open ourselves up for Spiritual Connection. But we have to create intentional space to do this - schedule your priorities. Once we create space in our schedules, it's important to learn the ways we connect. Connection can happen in journaling as a prayer to God and being completely vulnerable with Him. Another is through worship music. Meditation, visualization and being still can also help us connect in a deep way. If you're just starting off and need to take a first step, start by being more still. Lean in and ask God to show you what He's trying to teach you in this time of growth and learning. God is glorified in your weakness and He will make all things perfect. Focus on getting to the core of your spiritual identity and then find intimate connection. Facebook.com/SoloParentSociety 

HOW TO FIND MENTAL BALANCE

1/20/2020
00:26:43
With all the demands of raising kids on our own with less than optimal resources, money and time it is VERY easy to become mentally overwhelmed. To work towards emotional / mental balance it is important to identify two categories to focus on. * Things we have control over  * Things we don't have control over When we face unpleasant situations it is natural to react with anger, worry, fear, anxiety etc. Finding emotional balance helps us to attain flexibility and promotes stabilization between our mind and body. In other words, emotional balance teaches us how to respond to negative emotions and thoughts without just getting stuck in them. The most important component to mental or emotional health we have complete control over - our perspective. Defining the correct perspective dictates our quality of life and is the root what we model for our kids, of how we communicate and experience every encounter and thought It starts and ends with this - God is in control - nothing has caught him off guard. We are constantly surprised - He is never. And He can be trusted with wellbeing and our ability to face anything we are facing. That being, there are things we can do that will bring balance to our emotional / mental state. First, let's identify things that we do have control over. They might be mundane things like - feeding the kids, being fully present, showing up to work, how I speak to my ex , finding community, pausing / meditation and then there are the more internal things like choosing the right perspective, being grateful, giving ourselves grace or pursuing humor. A recent healthline article offers some different approaches."The less-dominant side of your brain is the area that controls feelings of self-confidence and optimism. When you think about something other than your daily worries, you increase activity in the neural structures of that area of your brain. Reading - Beyond the mechanics, reading helps you visualize the subject matter on the pages before you, and imagine what voices sound like in the written dialogue. it can stoke the imagination and ignite so many different parts of the brain. Be positive with yourself Positive affirmation is one avenue to increased mental proficiency. Play games - Games that test reasoning and other portions of your brain are fun ways to keep your mind sharp. (Even video games)" Now let's tackle the harder side of mental balance - things we have no control over: That might be our ex's behavior, the complexities of day to day, unexpected issues - kids being sick, people's perception of what caused the divorce or how we are parenting. Here is what Psychology Today says this about facing things beyond our control. "When you find yourself worrying, take a minute to examine the things you have control over. You can't prevent a storm from coming, but you can prepare for it. You can't control how someone else behaves, but you can control how you react. Recognize that, sometimes, all you can control is your effort and your attitude. When you put your energy into the things you can control, you'll be much more effective." We have found these questions helpful. When facing things that we may have little or NO control over ask yourself: What am I actually feeling? anger, disgust, fear, happiness, sadness, or surprise What can I learn? Prayer - God, what are you teaching me? Whats the next right thing / response? What am I grateful for? Facebook.com/SoloParentSociety

How To Find Mental Balance

1/19/2020
00:26:46

With all the demands of raising kids on our own with less than optimal resources, money and time it is VERY easy to become mentally overwhelmed. To work towards emotional / mental balance it is important to identify two categories to focus on.

* Things we have control over

* Things we don't have control over

When we face unpleasant situations it is natural to react with anger, worry, fear, anxiety etc. Finding emotional balance helps us to attain flexibility and promotes stabilization between our mind and body. In other words, emotional balance teaches us how to respond to negative emotions and thoughts without just getting stuck in them.

The most important component to mental or emotional health we have complete control over - our perspective. Defining the correct perspective dictates our quality of life and is the root what we model for our kids, of how we communicate and experience every encounter and thought

It starts and ends with this - God is in control - nothing has caught him off guard. We are constantly surprised - He is never. And He can be trusted with wellbeing and our ability to face anything we are facing.

That being, there are things we can do that will bring balance to our emotional / mental state. First, let's identify things that we do have control over. They might be mundane things like - feeding the kids, being fully present, showing up to work, how I speak to my ex , finding community, pausing / meditation and then there are the more internal things like choosing the right perspective, being grateful, giving ourselves grace or pursuing humor.

A recent healthline article offers some different approaches."The less-dominant side of your brain is the area that controls feelings of self-confidence and optimism. When you think about something other than your daily worries, you increase activity in the neural structures of that area of your brain.

Reading - Beyond the mechanics, reading helps you visualize the subject matter on the pages before you, and imagine what voices sound like in the written dialogue. it can stoke the imagination and ignite so many different parts of the brain.

Be positive with yourself Positive affirmation is one avenue to increased mental proficiency.

Play games - Games that test reasoning and other portions of your brain are fun ways to keep your mind sharp. (Even video games)"

Now let's tackle the harder side of mental balance - things we have no control over: That might be our ex's behavior, the complexities of day to day, unexpected issues - kids being sick, people's perception of what caused the divorce or how we are parenting.

Here is what Psychology Today says this about facing things beyond our control. "When you find yourself worrying, take a minute to examine the things you have control over. You can't prevent a storm from coming, but you can prepare for it. You can't control how someone else behaves, but you can control how you react. Recognize that, sometimes, all you can control is your effort and your attitude. When you put your energy into the things you can control, you'll be much more effective."

We have found these questions helpful. When facing things that we may have little or NO control over ask yourself:

What am I actually feeling? anger, disgust, fear, happiness, sadness, or surprise

What can I learn? Prayer - God, what are you teaching me?

Whats the next right thing / response?

What am I grateful for?

Facebook.com/SoloParentSociety 

How To Find Mental Balance

1/19/2020
00:26:46
With all the demands of raising kids on our own with less than optimal resources, money and time it is VERY easy to become mentally overwhelmed. To work towards emotional / mental balance it is important to identify two categories to focus on. * Things we have control over * Things we don't have control over When we face unpleasant situations it is natural to react with anger, worry, fear, anxiety etc. Finding emotional balance helps us to attain flexibility and promotes stabilization between our mind and body. In other words, emotional balance teaches us how to respond to negative emotions and thoughts without just getting stuck in them. The most important component to mental or emotional health we have complete control over - our perspective. Defining the correct perspective dictates our quality of life and is the root what we model for our kids, of how we communicate and experience every encounter and thought It starts and ends with this - God is in control - nothing has caught him off guard. We are constantly surprised - He is never. And He can be trusted with wellbeing and our ability to face anything we are facing. That being, there are things we can do that will bring balance to our emotional / mental state. First, let's identify things that we do have control over. They might be mundane things like - feeding the kids, being fully present, showing up to work, how I speak to my ex , finding community, pausing / meditation and then there are the more internal things like choosing the right perspective, being grateful, giving ourselves grace or pursuing humor. A recent healthline article offers some different approaches."The less-dominant side of your brain is the area that controls feelings of self-confidence and optimism. When you think about something other than your daily worries, you increase activity in the neural structures of that area of your brain. Reading - Beyond the mechanics, reading helps you visualize the subject matter on the pages before you, and imagine what voices sound like in the written dialogue. it can stoke the imagination and ignite so many different parts of the brain. Be positive with yourself Positive affirmation is one avenue to increased mental proficiency. Play games - Games that test reasoning and other portions of your brain are fun ways to keep your mind sharp. (Even video games)" Now let's tackle the harder side of mental balance - things we have no control over: That might be our ex's behavior, the complexities of day to day, unexpected issues - kids being sick, people's perception of what caused the divorce or how we are parenting. Here is what Psychology Today says this about facing things beyond our control. "When you find yourself worrying, take a minute to examine the things you have control over. You can't prevent a storm from coming, but you can prepare for it. You can't control how someone else behaves, but you can control how you react. Recognize that, sometimes, all you can control is your effort and your attitude. When you put your energy into the things you can control, you'll be much more effective." We have found these questions helpful. When facing things that we may have little or NO control over ask yourself: What am I actually feeling? anger, disgust, fear, happiness, sadness, or surprise What can I learn? Prayer - God, what are you teaching me? Whats the next right thing / response? What am I grateful for? Facebook.com/SoloParentSociety 

PHYSICAL BALANCE MADE SIMPLE

1/13/2020
00:24:31
The idea of 'having balance' seems impossible as a single parent. Typically our physical needs are at the bottom of the list of priorities. The problem with that is that is not sustainable - and just like a car that we never get serviced or the oil changed, inevitably we will find eventually ourselves in crisis. Small maintenence steps can equal longer, healthier outcomes. Physical balance effects everything else ion our lives - we must move towards wellness before we hit physical crisis. It's more than just working out or eating right, we want to look at this a little more holistically so we have broken physical balance into 3 very simple categories: Fuel / What we put in our body Rest - recharging Activity  The idea is if we can just start taking even one (or by all means more) simple, proactive steps in each one of these categories we will move towards balance. Here are some simple ideas to move towards physical balance: FUEL / WHAT WE PUT IN OUR BODIES Stay away from late night snack Drink enough water - It fills you up Healthy snack on hands - vegetables ,  hummus, cheese, nuts, fruit Portable snacks with you - in the car - granola bars Avoid fast food - make it a reward, not a regular Cook bulk on weekend and store so you are not tempted to just pick up fast food Research and take supplements REST Nap when kids are napping - even when there are things that need to get done Turn off screens after nine - again I thought of it as reward to be able to relax ('my time') but ended up staying too late "Your bedroom is a sanctuary, not a family room," says single-parent expert Leah Klungness, Ph.D., who believes single parents should lock the bedroom door, guilt-free. "Once your children are beyond the toddler phase, it is a good idea to get a timer and teach your children to leave you alone for three to five minutes to start with, giving you time to decompress with a quick shower or some breathing exercises." ACTIVITY Walking                   Find a friend once a week and commit to walk together                   Walk on lunch breaks instead of sitting Plan outdoor activities with kids                    Go outside and toss a ball                    Go to the park Join a gym Get an activity tracker Let it out!                    Let your anger and frustration out - get a punching bag One popular website talks about creating your own dance party                   Crank up the music and move This not by any means an exhaustive list - In fact, leave comments on other ideas...  but, let's all commit to just finding one thing in each category and move towards physical balance. We can at least do that and build from there.  Join our community https://FaceBook.com/SoloParentSociety

Physical Balance Made Simple

1/13/2020
00:24:35
The idea of 'having balance' seems impossible as a single parent. Typically our physical needs are at the bottom of the list of priorities. The problem with that is that is not sustainable - and just like a car that we never get serviced or the oil changed, inevitably we will find eventually ourselves in crisis. Small maintenance steps can equal longer, healthier outcomes. Physical balance effects everything else ion our lives - we must move towards wellness before we hit physical crisis.

Physical Balance Made Simple

1/13/2020
00:24:35
The idea of 'having balance' seems impossible as a single parent. Typically our physical needs are at the bottom of the list of priorities. The problem with that is that is not sustainable - and just like a car that we never get serviced or the oil changed, inevitably we will find eventually ourselves in crisis. Small maintenance steps can equal longer, healthier outcomes. Physical balance effects everything else ion our lives - we must move towards wellness before we hit physical crisis.

FINDING BALANCE - Christy Wright

1/6/2020
00:29:50
As a single parent, life can seem completely out of balance. Too much of everything else... Not enough of you.  Today - best selling author, certified business coach, speaker, Dave Ramsey personality and daughter of a single mom, Christy Wright walks us through transformational steps we can take to find balance when everything seems out of control. Find out more about Christy here - https://www.businessboutique.com

42. SELF CONFIDENCE

10/14/2019
00:08:07
As single parents, we walk around with a lot of wounds. Wounds from things people have said to or about us... in court, in arguments. Not to mention feeling 'less than' as a single parent juggling so many properties alone. Add to that, the voices in our head that remind us of regretful things we might have done. All of this can drain us of a sense of self-confidence. Today hosts Robert Beeson and Kimberley Mitchell discuss the struggle of suffering from a lack of self-confidence and offer a few 'hacks' that helped them walk through feeling the same way.

41. MANAGING FINANCES

10/7/2019
00:07:22
As uncomfortable as it can be to talk about it, it is essential to talk about OUR money - (or lack thereof). When we lose our financial partner through a divorce or death, it can feel isolating and overwhelming to figure out our finances alone. Today hosts Robert Beeson, and Marissa Lee discuss Solo Parent hacks related to managing our finances.

41. MANAGING FINANCES

10/6/2019
00:07:22
As uncomfortable as it can be to talk about it, it is essential to talk about OUR money - (or lack thereof). When we lose our financial partner through a divorce or death, it can feel isolating and overwhelming to figure out our finances alone. Today hosts Robert Beeson, and Marissa Lee discuss Solo Parent hacks related to managing our finances.

40. THE POWER OF BUDGETING

9/29/2019
00:07:19
When you hear the word 'budgeting' does you mind automatically go to the feelings of restriction and giving up Starbucks? There is a different way to look at it - it is studying your financial story and then taking charge of it. No matter how much money we have, rather than letting marketers sway us, it is important for us to be in control of our dollars. Today hosts Robert Beeson and Marissa Lee discuss the Power of Budgeting.

40. THE POWER OF BUDGETING

9/29/2019
00:07:19
When you hear the word 'budgeting' does you mind automatically go to the feelings of restriction and giving up Starbucks? There is a different way to look at it - it is studying your financial story and then taking charge of it. No matter how much money we have, rather than letting marketers sway us, it is important for us to be in control of our dollars. Today hosts Robert Beeson and Marissa Lee discuss the Power of Budgeting.

39. FORGIVENESS: LETTING GO

9/23/2019
00:06:59
How do you let go of things that are done to you or said against you? Divorce, by design, brings out allegations (true or false)against you. Not to mention the damage that has been done leading up to divorce. This is not easy! Today hosts Robert Beeson and Marissa Lee discuss the importance of letting go and the process of forgiveness.

39. FORGIVENESS: LETTING GO

9/22/2019
00:06:59
How do you let go of things that are done to you or said against you? Divorce, by design, brings out allegations (true or false)against you. Not to mention the damage that has been done leading up to divorce. This is not easy! Today hosts Robert Beeson and Marissa Lee discuss the importance of letting go and the process of forgiveness.

38. HOW TO FORGIVE YOURSELF

9/15/2019
00:06:52
Does it seem sometimes that there is a tape that replays in your mind, over and over, reminding you of something you are not proud of. Maybe it was something you said to, or in front of, your kids, a regretful, out of character action, or maybe it was a moral failure that haunts you. We know it's not healthy to carry shame but it feels harder to forgive ourselves and move on. Today, from personal experience, hosts Robert Beeson and Marissa Lee discuss how to move in the direction of forgiving ourselves.

38. HOW TO FORGIVE YOURSELF

9/15/2019
00:06:52
Does it seem sometimes that there is a tape that replays in your mind, over and over, reminding you of something you are not proud of. Maybe it was something you said to, or in front of, your kids, a regretful, out of character action, or maybe it was a moral failure that haunts you. We know it's not healthy to carry shame but it feels harder to forgive ourselves and move on. Today, from personal experience, hosts Robert Beeson and Marissa Lee discuss how to move in the direction of forgiving ourselves.
PART TWO of our conversation with Jonathan Cain, from the rock and roll hall of fame band Journey. In this episode, Jonathan dives deeper into his failed marriage, a family member's struggle with addiction, his father's death and Steve Perry leaving the band.

44. DON'T STOP BELIEVING - JONATHAN CAIN OF JOURNEY

7/28/2019
00:36:03
We have a summertime treat! EVERYBODY loves the band Journey, in fact, in 2009 the song 'Don't Stop Believing' became the top-selling song in iTunes history. They are one of the top-selling rock bands in the history of music. Jonathan Cain is a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame band Journey and the writer of most of their hit songs, including 'Don't Stop Believing.' But like we all know, there is often a difficult story behind what the public sees. We had the opportunity to sit with Jonathan and talk about his fascinating journey (pun intended) through some challenging and even tragic events that God turned around for good. Among many other things today, you will learn the inspiring story behind the song 'Don't Stop Believing.'

3 KEYS TO A MEANINGFUL FATHERS DAY FOR SINGLE MOMS

6/14/2019
00:06:01
Fathers Day can be painful for single parents. For mom's, it is a reminder of a failed or lost relationship, a loss of what could have been. For fathers, it can remind of how disconnected we are, if we are not with our children every day. Dads, despite how little or how much time you spend with your kids, never underestimate the power your influence has on them - keep being fully present. They need you! In the episode, we will focus our attention on the single moms, and discuss 3 ways to make this a meaningful father's day. Mom or dad, Happy Fathers Day!

37. HOW TO FIND VALUE IN YOUR 'VALLEY'

5/20/2019
00:06:06
In our darkest / hardest seasons(valley) we can find purpose and hope. Today Robert discusses 2 facts that will help us discover the value of the 'valleys' we face.

43. THE SCIENCE OF WHY PEOPLE AVOID SOLO PARENTS

5/13/2019
00:32:34
Feeling like we 'don't belong' is a very common thing we hear from Solo Parents. Did you know there is actually a scientific reason that people avoid single parents? Turns out there is and today, in this fascinating episode, guest Marissa Lee explains this phenomenon and how to respond.

36. UNLOCK YOUR ABUNDANT LIFE

5/6/2019
00:05:35
Even in the midst of being overwhelmed it is possible to experience an abundant life. Today host Robert Beeson discusses 3 keys to unlocking your abundant life.

42. HOW TO 'BE' IN THE STRUGGLE - CHIP DODD

4/22/2019
00:38:34
'Struggle' is a single parent's middle name. Often we can get so overwhelmed by what life brings us we stop paying attention to the opportunity struggle brings. Today, Author and counselor Chip Dodd PhD of Sage Hill walks us through how to do more than just survive the struggle. Check out Chip's books and resources at http://chipdodd.com

35. HOW TO GET YOUR KIDS TO OPEN UP

4/14/2019
00:05:55
The older our kids get the more distant they seem to become. How do we ensure we stay (or get)connected when they start pulling away? Today we discuss ways to get our kids to open up in this 5 min session.

41. RAISING BOYS - ROBERT NOLAND

4/1/2019
00:32:51
41. RAISING BOYS - ROBERT NOLAND by Solo Parent Society

40. CHRISTIAN PARENTING PRINCIPLES - ROBERT NOLAND

3/19/2019
00:33:57
40. CHRISTIAN PARENTING PRINCIPLES - ROBERT NOLAND by Solo Parent Society

34. REJECTION

3/11/2019
00:06:32
34. REJECTION by Solo Parent Society

33. IT'S NOT OUR JOB

3/3/2019
00:04:19
33. IT'S NOT OUR JOB by Solo Parent Society

39. MANAGING CONFLICT - KIMBERLY BEST

2/25/2019
00:39:18
The person who once was your closest friend may now be a familial foe with whom you must learn to co-parent. For the sake of our kids, we want to co-parent well. Kimberly Best, a professional conflict mediator, shows us ways to find solutions no matter the source of conflict. https://www.bestconflictsolutions.com

32. REDUCE STRESS

2/17/2019
00:06:04
32. REDUCE STRESS by Solo Parent Society

31. OBSESSION - THE SECRET TO WHOLENESS

2/10/2019
00:04:36
31. OBSESSION - THE SECRET TO WHOLENESS by Solo Parent Society

38. 3 KEYS TO FINANCIAL PEACE - ELIZABETH COLE

2/4/2019
00:36:02
Money is a constant struggle in the Solo Parent family and affects so many points in our lives. Elizabeth Cole, an executive at Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University, shares 3 tactics that can help you take control of your finances. FREE RESOURCES - Path to Financial Peace - the Seven Baby Steps explained: https://www.daveramsey.com/baby-steps/?snid=start.steps EveryDollar - Free Budgeting Tool: www.everydollar.com How to get out of debt - the debt snowball explained: https://www.daveramsey.com/blog/get-out-of-debt-with-the-debt-snowball-plan?snid=start.debt-b Encouragement from Rachel Cruze on her show, The Rachel Cruze Show: https://www.rachelcruze.com/show (this is a podcast and YouTube show)

30. SHAME

1/27/2019
00:06:57
30. SHAME by Solo Parent Society

29. NOTHING WASTED

1/21/2019
00:04:24
"But in the end, what leaves you broken?, makes you better" - PLUMB

37. WHEN KIDS TALK (THEIR PERSPECTIVE) - SERENA A.

1/14/2019
00:34:54
So often we get caught up in the craziness and chaos of solo parenting that we are not in tune with what's going on in the minds of our kids. Today we get to hear from a daughter of a solo mom and get an insightful view of things from her perspective. We are so grateful for the courage of Serena stepping up to share with us today.

28. WHEN I AM NOT ENOUGH

1/7/2019
00:06:35
As single parents we all feel like we are never enough. Truth be told - we aren't. In this REAL QUICK episode host Robert Beeson walks us through a simple exercise to help.

27. GOD WITH US

12/23/2018
00:05:12
27. GOD WITH US by Solo Parent Society

Christmas Special

12/16/2018
00:23:25
Merry Christmas!!

36. AMERICAN NINJA WARRIOR - MAGGI THORNE

12/10/2018
00:23:59
Today, in a special episode, American Ninja Warrior Maggi Thorne shares her story of walking through life as a Solo Mom.

26. THE POWER OF SURRENDER

11/28/2018
00:07:31
Do you ever find yourself at a loss for how to handle something or what to say? Sometimes it seems that in spite of us wrestling in our minds with finding the right approach to life, we come short. Today host Robert Beeson discusses a practical and reliable solution for when we find ourselves 'over our heads'.

25. HOW GIVING THANKS CAN CHANGE EVERYTHING

11/20/2018
00:11:23
Going beyond feeling grateful to choosing to give thanks, even for struggles, is a game changer. In this 10 min Thanksgiving episode host Robert Beeson explains how it transformed his life and sets us up for a rich holiday season.

35. NAVIGATING ADOLESCENCE - MATT VAIRETTA

11/14/2018
00:31:51
If you have a teen in your house, you know the struggle is real. If you don't, more than likely you will at some point. Dealing with teens and their complex lives and attitudes can be tricky. Matt Vairetta is a Nashville based youth leader that formed a parent advisory team and asked what the top issues parents were dealing with with their teen. Then he brought together experts in the different areas to speak to parents about their primary concerns. On this episodes Matt discusses the top three issues- 'social Media', 'anxiety / stress' and 'identity' and speaks to his primary 'take aways' from the seminars he held. His full length discussions and more topics can be found on his podcast called 'Navigating Adolescence'.

24. WHAT'S WRONG WITH ME? SOMETIMES I MISS MY EX.

11/7/2018
00:08:11
I know it sounds crazy, but if we are honest we sometimes have those moments when we wish we could have them back. Not because we miss the drama or toxicity or even the person, but more about the loss of a dream. Today we wrestle with the fleeting, some times lingering, thoughts of missing our ex. With host Robert Beeson.

23. THE POWER OF PERSPECTIVE

11/1/2018
00:06:55
Forget 'thinking positive' - this principle is far bigger, deeper and reliable than that and will shape what you experience in life. With host Robert Beeson.

34. GUIDING OUR KIDS THROUGH HURT - LINDA JACOBS

10/24/2018
00:29:45
It's hard enough when we feel hurt or betrayed, but when our kids are feeling the pain of loss and the confusion it can bring it's a whole other level of hurt. Watching those we care for going though something that they had no part of creating can feel overwhelming. How are we supposed to help them process though these adult feelings knowing that we are wounded too? Today, author and the creator of Divorce Care for Kids, Linda Jacobs shares insight on leading our kids through hurt.

22. SELF ESTEEM

10/17/2018
00:05:26
22. SELF ESTEEM by Solo Parent Society

21. WHEN GOD DOESN'T ANSWER

10/10/2018
00:07:10
It's easy to feel stuck. Like our prayers aren't answered... maybe not even heard. As single parents it is so important to remember that there is a much bigger picture to what is going on. A view that we won't be able to see. Today our host Robert Beeson discusses what to do when God doesn't answer.

33. LIES - LEEANN COURVOISIER

10/3/2018
00:29:24
Lies create chaos! Anytime we face a loss or unplanned situation - divorce, death or unwed pregnancy people talk. A natural reaction is to try to correct or control the things being said about us. Lies are always on repeat in our minds, so how can we get control of the things being said about us ... or equally important - the lies we tell ourselves. Today, founder of ReRoute.net Leeann Courvoisier gives practical insights into dealing with lies.

32. CLARITY IN THE CHAOS - LEEANN COURVOISIER

9/26/2018
00:30:20
We all have those moments of feeling the utter chaos of Solo Parenting. Juggling all that we have to do: the needs of our kids, the demands of our work, the pressures of solo parenting... it seems there are more issues and responsibilities than there is us. Today, the founder of ReRoute, Leeann Courvoisier shares her story and how she counsels other Solo Parents though the chaos of parenting alone. Find out more about Leeann's work with solo parents at ReRoute.net,

20. JUMP INTO LIFE

9/19/2018
00:05:07
So often we feel overwhelmed... like we have nothing more to give... like we are at the end of our rope. Those are the times we need to be reminded that often the antidote is to 'just do it'. Today host Kimberley Mitchell discusses jumping back into life.

19. REFRAME DISRESPECT

9/12/2018
00:05:01
As our kids get older, disrespectful attitudes develop. Sometimes we wonder, who are you... what have you done with my little boy/girl? When we know how much we do for our kids, it's hard to not want to express that when we are faced with ungrateful or hostile words from them. Maybe there is more going on that what they are saying... Today we discuss how their words of disrespect may actually be compliments. With host Robert Beeson.

31. THINKING THE UNTHINKABLE, SUICIDE - JOYE LYNN

9/6/2018
00:31:03
It's really hard to admit it, especially out loud, but at one point or another most of us Solo Parents have felt so low that we feel we just cant go on. Or we just don't want to go on. If we are honest, sometimes it sounds like it would be easier if we were just not here anymore. But, there is hope. Today, in a very courageous conversation, Joye Lynn discusses how she got to the place of actually pointing a loaded gun at herself and how she found the hope to not go through with ending her life. If you have ever been in the same place, know that there are people that care and want to help. Suicide is more devastating than what you are facing right now and there is hope - Please call for confidential support if you are in distress 1-800-273-8255 - National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Here are the verses that literally saved Joye's life Isaiah 41: 10-14 10 So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.?I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. 11 "All who rage against you will surely be ashamed and disgraced;?those who oppose you will be as nothing and perish.?12 Though you search for your enemies, you will not find them.?Those who wage war against you will be as nothing at all.?13 For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand?and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.?14 Do not be afraid, you worm Jacob, little Israel, do not fear,?for I myself will help you," declares the Lord, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel. Deuteronomy 31: 8-9  8 The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged." Joshua 1:9 9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go." Psalms 23 1 The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.2 He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, 3 he refreshes my soul.?He guides me along the right paths for his name's sake.?4 Even though I walk through the darkest valley,[a]?I will fear no evil,  for you are with me;?your rod and your staff, they comfort me. 5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.?You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.?6 Surely your goodness and love will follow mall the days of my life,?and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. Psalms 9: 7-10 The Lord reigns forever; he has established his throne for judgment.?8 He rules the world in righteousness and judges the peoples with equity.?9 The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble.?10 Those who know your name trust in you,?    for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you. Psalms 27 1 The Lord is my light and my salvation? whom shall I fear??The Lord is the stronghold of my life? of whom shall I be afraid? 2 When the wicked advance against me to devour[a] me,?it is my enemies and my foes who will stumble and fall.?3 Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear;?though war break out against me, even then I will be confident. 4 One thing I ask from the Lord, this only do I seek:?that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life,?to gaze on the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple.?5 For in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling;?he will hide me in the shelter of his sacred tent and set me high upon a rock. 6 Then my head will be exalted above the enemies who surround me;?at his sacred tent I will sacrifice with shouts of joy; I will sing and make music to the Lord.... 11 Teach me your way, Lord; lead me in a straight path because of my oppressors. ?12 Do not turn me over to the desire of my foes, for false witnesses rise up against me, spouting malicious accusations. 13 I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. 14 Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.

18. WHAT TO DO WITH ACCUSATIONS

8/29/2018
00:04:24
It can be maddening when we hear things that are said about us that aren't true. Or sometimes a little true but completely exaggerated. What do we do with that? Try to defend ourselves and our reputations or maybe just start to isolate from others? Today we are discussing how to deal with accusations and the frustration that it brings, with host Robert Beeson.

17. ONE WORD TO SHAPE A LIFE

8/22/2018
00:05:40
5 minute REAL QUICK episodes for single parents. In a chaotic single parent life it is easy to forget the power of our words to our kids. Those words are shaping the kind of adult they are going to become. With host Robert Beeson.

30. WHO AM I ? (FINDING IDENTITY) - PAIGE HARLEY

8/15/2018
00:30:02
When the bottom drops out and all the things that we use to hold on to as part of our identity fall away, it's easy to feel lost. We hold on so tightly to the things that we do (mother, wife, husband, executive, teacher) often we mix up those roles that we play with who we are and so when there is a change to any of those roles we go into an identity crisis. Today Paige Harley, a high conflict mediator, discusses how she personally started discovering her true identity and created steps to move towards it.

16. NOT WASTING THE WILDERNESS

8/8/2018
00:05:18
5 minute REAL QUICK episodes for single parents. Being deliberate in the difficult season we are in can be transformational. Some of the most precious moments can be in the midst of the darkest days. With host Kimberley Mitchell.

15. METHOD IS EVERYTHING

8/1/2018
00:04:41
5 minute REAL QUICK episodes for single parents. Taking a second to think about HOW we communicate is as important as WHAT we communicate. With host Robert Beeson.

29. SHAME, FORGIVING YOURSELF - AUDREY FRESHWATER

7/25/2018
00:33:23
We are all very aware of our shortcomings. Being a solo parent can become an isolating time where we are constantly hearing the voices of accusation and blame. We can feel stuck, hopeless and small. Today counselor Audrey Freshwater gives us insight into overcoming those feelings and getting past the crippling effects of shame.

14. TAKING CARE OF OURSELVES

7/18/2018
00:05:57
5 minute REAL QUICK episodes for single parents. Two fundamental ways we can take care of ourselves. It's super important to make these a priority. With host Kimberley Mitchell.

13. THE POWER OF BEING FAMILIAR

7/11/2018
00:06:23
5 minute REAL QUICK episodes for single parents. Trusting God is easier when you are 'familiar' with Him rather than just 'aware' of Him. Host Robert Beeson explains 2 ways to gain this familiarity and in turn really trust the path that you are on.

28. CONSTANTLY MOVING - ALISON LAMMOT

7/4/2018
00:31:48
Being a solo parent is almost synonymous with moving often. Up rooting and then replanting. How can we protect a sense of stability for our families when it seems like everything is in transition a lot of the time. Alison Lammot is a counselor and professor as well as a single parent. She and her son are very acquainted with moving a great deal, today she shares her adventure with us and provides practical insight for creating stability, even in times that seem any but stable.

12. CO-PARENTING - BEING KIND

6/27/2018
00:05:55
5 minute REAL QUICK episodes for single parents. This week we discuss the very important, and sometimes difficult, idea of showing kindness to the person that represents pain and conflict in your life. OUR KIDS ARE WATCHING AND LEARNING - are we teaching them the qualities we want them possess or are we just reacting from our own wounds? It's natural to feel anger and even resentment after divorce but it is critical to be deliberate on how we choose to treat our children's other parent. With host Kimberley Mitchell.

28. SOUL REST - CURTIS "CZ" ZACKERY

6/20/2018
00:29:05
Is it even possible to find real rest for our single parent souls? With so many demands on our lives and so many voices competing for our attention, how do we slow down long enough to know real rest? Today author and speaker Curtis Zackery (CZ) brings us practical steps from his new book, SOUL REST, to find the rest our souls need. Sustainable rest that we were intended to experience from the dawn of creation. Get his book here -https://www.amazon.com/Soul-Rest-Reclaim-Return-Sabbath/dp/1683590627/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1529530711&sr=1-1&keywords=soul+rest+curtis+zackery

11. 'REAL' TIME WITH OUR KIDS

6/13/2018
00:05:00
5 minute REAL QUICK episodes for single parents. This week we explore spending 'real' time with our kids. We spend A LOT of time with our kids... its important to make the moments count. Our kids wont remember how clean the house was or how they never missed a soccer practice... but they will remember the 'real' time we spend with them. This a good reminder on how to turn the 'duty' times into rich connection times. It's what will ultimately form our kids into the champions they were created to be. With host Kimberley Mitchell.

10. ANGER

6/6/2018
00:06:06
5 minute REAL QUICK episodes for single parents. This week we explore Anger. It's very natural to experience this feeling, but it's critical to know how to deal with this feeling. Anger is one of the more repressed emotions we single parents carry around... but it always comes out in one way or another. We need to choose to be deliberate about processing anger before it starts to become a permanent characteristic of our life. With host Robert Beeson.

27. FORGIVENESS = A BETTER PARENT Part 2

5/30/2018
00:29:31
Forgiveness is incredibly hard to come by, especially when we believe our ex doesn't deserve it. Shannon DeGarmo, the author of 'The Bounce Back Woman', woke to the sick realization that her husband was living a double life. Within months, he was in prison and she was suddenly a single mom with two young children, a mortgage, no job, and no college education to fall back on. Today Shannon, in episode part two, shares how forgiveness helped her become a better parent and gives practical advise on questions like "If I forgive am I condoning what he / she did" and "How do I forgive something that has been done to my kids"?

26. FORGIVENESS = A BETTER PARENT Part 1

5/23/2018
00:27:17
Have you forgiven your ex? Forgiveness is incredibly hard to come by, especially when we believe our ex doesn't deserve it and many times hasn't even asked for it. Shannon DeGarmo, author of The Bounce Back Woman, knows the true meaning of betrayal. At age 26, she woke to the sick realization that her husband was living a double life. Within months, he was in prison and she was suddenly a single woman with two young children, a mortgage, no job, and no college education to fall back on. Today Shannon, in part one of two episodes, shares how forgiveness helped her become a better parent and how to start down that road, even when we don't really want to.

9. LONGING

5/16/2018
00:06:49
5 minute REAL QUICK episodes for single parents. This week we explore 'longing' - Is longing the same as loneliness? Often we deal with the ache of being alone or feeling 'less than'. Maybe there is a different way of looking at longing... Maybe longing can actually lead to finding wholeness. With host Robert Beeson.

8. WHEN 'THE HARD' AND 'THE GOOD' HOLD HANDS

5/9/2018
00:04:12
5 minute REAL QUICK episodes for single parents. This week 'When 'the hard' and 'the good' hold hands' - sometimes we find ourselves at the end of our rope. Overwhelmed, lonely and exhausted. It's important to pay attention in those times to the beauty that is being born, even in the struggle.

25. LETTING GO OF CONTROL - GRANT HENDRICKSON

5/3/2018
00:33:22
Chances are you don't feel like you have things in your life under control. In fact the life of Solo Parent often feels more like chaos than controlled. Kids, bills, the ex (the list goes on and on) - keep our minds clamoring to find the illusive sense of predictable control for our lives. As if losing his marriage to divorce and finding himself a solo dad to three girls wasn't enough, nothing could have prepared Grant for the stage four diagnosis he was given. Today Grant shares the many struggles of facing a life beyond control and helps us see the power and serenity of releasing the the illusion of control.

7. A CRITICAL CHOICE

4/25/2018
00:05:35
5 minute REAL QUICK episodes for single parents. This week 'a Critical Choice' - after the devastation of divorce, or loss, you are left with a critical choice that will shape your future.
How soon after divorce or death do you consider dating again? Do I tell the kids when I do start dating? How do you deal with the ache of companionship? There are so many questions and so many opinions about dating as a single parent. Today Robert and Kim, who are both now remarried, discuss the lessons they learned about dating as single parents. And Kim reflects on the three most critical things to reflect on if you are considering dating again.

Going Solo by Robert Beeson | CHAPTER 1

4/3/2018
00:28:19
Hope and Healing for the single mom or dad. As parents face the difficult reality of a broken home, a sense of being completely overwhelmed can shut down the perspective they need to find restoration. Parents need to know that they can choose to define this season of their lives, instead of becoming defined by circumstances. They can deliberately look toward God and come to a deeper understanding of His true nature, power, and intimate care. As this former Christian music industry executive shares his story of divorce, his seven years as a single father, and his transition to a second marriage and a blended family, he also offers readers some hard-learned lessons and insights on being an effective, empathetic, and empowered single parent, answering crucial questions such as: How do I find peace when everything around me is chaos? How do I manage meeting needs when I have nothing to give? How and where do I begin again? The author addresses the fears and exhaustion of single parenting, while revealing the keys to gaining strength and courage for each day. He also shares how he found his "solo" relationship with his heavenly Father through his "solo" parenting season. Readers will learn five helpful habits and practical healing principles they can immediately apply in this season of life. BUY IT HERE - https://amzn.to/2GMAbRB

Going Solo by Robert Beeson | SAMPLE

3/30/2018
00:04:56
Hope and Healing for the single mom or dad. As parents face the difficult reality of a broken home, a sense of being completely overwhelmed can shut down the perspective they need to find restoration. Parents need to know that they can choose to define this season of their lives, instead of becoming defined by circumstances. They can deliberately look toward God and come to a deeper understanding of His true nature, power, and intimate care. As this former Christian music industry executive shares his story of divorce, his seven years as a single father, and his transition to a second marriage and a blended family, he also offers readers some hard-learned lessons and insights on being an effective, empathetic, and empowered single parent, answering crucial questions such as: How do I find peace when everything around me is chaos? How do I manage meeting needs when I have nothing to give? How and where do I begin again? The author addresses the fears and exhaustion of single parenting, while revealing the keys to gaining strength and courage for each day. He also shares how he found his "solo" relationship with his heavenly Father through his "solo" parenting season. Readers will learn five helpful habits and practical healing principles they can immediately apply in this season of life. BUY IT HERE - https://amzn.to/2GMAbRB

23. TECHNOLOGY AND OUR KIDS - MATT MCKEE

3/28/2018
00:29:47
Do you feel overwhelmed trying to keep up with all that technology is feeding our kids? It's hard to know where to even start when it comes to forming appropriate guidelines for their media consumption and use. Matt Mckee is the author of 'Parent Chat: The Technology Talk For Every Family' a founding member of Disney's home technology filtering device called 'Circle' and as if that's not enough... he's a pastor too. Today Matt discusses all the facets that we need to be aware of when it comes to our kids and technology and give very practical advice on how to best guide our homes.

6. CONNECTING WITH OUR KIDS

3/15/2018
00:04:47
5 minute REAL QUICK episodes for single parents. This week 'Connecting with our kids. With so little time and so many obligations sometimes we forget the importance of a genuine relationship with those we love the most. It takes work, but it doesn't have to be complicated. Today - how to foster an authentic connection with our kids.

6. CONNECTING WITH OUR KIDS

3/14/2018
00:04:47
5 minute REAL QUICK episodes for single parents. This week 'Connecting with our kids. With so little time and so many obligations sometimes we forget the importance of a genuine relationship with those we love the most. It takes work, but it doesn't have to be complicated. Today - how to foster an authentic connection with our kids.

5. BETRAYAL

3/7/2018
00:06:58
5 minute REAL QUICK episodes for single parents. This week 'Betrayal' how to deal with the devastating reality of being betrayed

5. BETRAYAL

3/7/2018
00:06:58
5 minute REAL QUICK episodes for single parents. This week 'Betrayal' how to deal with the devastating reality of being betrayed

22. 7 PRINCIPLES OF EFFECTIVE DISCIPLINE - COS DAVIS

2/28/2018
00:34:00
Do you have a hard time finding the balance of being too strict and too permissive? What seems to work on one kid falls short on another... When it comes to discipling our kids it is definitely not 'one size fits all' BUT there are basic principles that can guide our approach. Today Cos Davis, a licensed therapist and author of multiple books including - 'Parenting With A Purpose' discusses 7 baseline principles for effective disciplining of our kids.

22. 7 PRINCIPLES OF EFFECTIVE DISCIPLINE - COS DAVIS

2/28/2018
00:34:00
Do you have a hard time finding the balance of being too strict and too permissive? What seems to work on one kid falls short on another... When it comes to discipling our kids it is definitely not 'one size fits all' BUT there are basic principles that can guide our approach. Today Cos Davis, a licensed therapist and author of multiple books including - 'Parenting With A Purpose' discusses 7 baseline principles for effective disciplining of our kids.

4. FINDING QUIET

2/15/2018
00:07:35
5 minute REAL QUICK episodes for single parents. This week, 'Finding Quiet' - A single parent's life is full of noise! Whether it's the literal noise of a busy life or the voices in our heads it IS possible to find the quiet our soul needs... Here's how.

4. FINDING QUIET

2/15/2018
00:07:35
5 minute REAL QUICK episodes for single parents. This week, 'Finding Quiet' - A single parent's life is full of noise! Whether it's the literal noise of a busy life or the voices in our heads it IS possible to find the quiet our soul needs... Here's how.

3. Co-Parenting (The Drop-off)

2/7/2018
00:04:50
5 minute REAL QUICK episodes for single parents. This week - 'How we drop off our kids to the other parent is so important! Here's a quick tip to help minimize stress on your kids.

3. Co-Parenting (The Drop-off)

2/7/2018
00:04:50
5 minute REAL QUICK episodes for single parents. This week - 'How we drop off our kids to the other parent is so important! Here's a quick tip to help minimize stress on your kids.

21. CREATING CALM, IT IS POSSIBLE - JEROMY DEIBLER

2/1/2018
00:39:29
Do you ever feel like there is nothing but chaos surrounding you? Is your life so full of noise that a sense of calm seems impossible? Today Spiritual Advisor, Life Coach and creator of the podcast Return and Rest, Jeromy Deibler discusses simple, practical methods of creating a more centered and grounded life that helps us find the elusive calm that we all need.

21. CREATING CALM, IT IS POSSIBLE - JEROMY DEIBLER

1/31/2018
00:39:29
Do you ever feel like there is nothing but chaos surrounding you? Is your life so full of noise that a sense of calm seems impossible? Today Spiritual Advisor, Life Coach and creator of the podcast Return and Rest, Jeromy Deibler discusses simple, practical methods of creating a more centered and grounded life that helps us find the elusive calm that we all need.

20. HOW TO REDUCE STRESS - JASON GIBSON

1/17/2018
00:23:14
Stress is one of the number one issues we face as single parents. Today we hear practical tools to reduce the level of stress that is costing us more than we think. Jason Gibson is the director of the BabbCenter, a leading counseling center in Nashville TN. He is a learning and behavioral consultant working with treatment facilities across the US in dealing with social, emotional or behavioral issues.

20. HOW TO REDUCE STRESS - JASON GIBSON

1/17/2018
00:23:14
Stress is one of the number one issues we face as single parents. Today we hear practical tools to reduce the level of stress that is costing us more than we think. Jason Gibson is the director of the BabbCenter, a leading counseling center in Nashville TN. He is a learning and behavioral consultant working with treatment facilities across the US in dealing with social, emotional or behavioral issues.

2. BOUNDARIES WITH OUR KIDS

1/3/2018
00:04:56
5 minute REAL QUICK episodes for single parents. This week - we discuss the importance of BOUNDARIES WITH OUR KIDS with host/author Robert Beeson.
Jay has a pastoral background of over twenty years and a personal encounter with life-altering grief, having lost his first wife in a sudden accident leaving him as a widower and solo father for over three years. He is now remarried and raising a blended family of four children, three dogs and is a proud grandfather. He is a member of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy. A sought-after speaker and co-founder of the Center for Modern Family Dynamics as well as co-produced the national curriculum, "One Heart, Two Homes: Co-parenting Kids of Divorce to a Positive Future." Today Jay explores his own days as a solo widowed parent and discusses issues like: *What kept you going through that season? *What is one thing you would want to make sure someone in your shoes heard you say to them - from your personal perspective? *Tell us about some of the common challenges in co-parenting that you encounter in your practice and how to deal with them.

2. BOUNDARIES WITH OUR KIDS

1/3/2018
00:04:56
5 minute REAL QUICK episodes for single parents. This week - we discuss the importance of BOUNDARIES WITH OUR KIDS with host/author Robert Beeson.
Jay has a pastoral background of over twenty years and a personal encounter with life-altering grief, having lost his first wife in a sudden accident leaving him as a widower and solo father for over three years. He is now remarried and raising a blended family of four children, three dogs and is a proud grandfather. He is a member of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy. A sought-after speaker and co-founder of the Center for Modern Family Dynamics as well as co-produced the national curriculum, "One Heart, Two Homes: Co-parenting Kids of Divorce to a Positive Future." Today Jay explores his own days as a solo widowed parent and discusses issues like: *What kept you going through that season? *What is one thing you would want to make sure someone in your shoes heard you say to them - from your personal perspective? *Tell us about some of the common challenges in co-parenting that you encounter in your practice and how to deal with them.

1. SOOTHING LONELINESS

12/23/2017
00:05:27
5 minute REAL QUICK episodes for single parents. This week we discuss a tip to soothe the loneliness we all feel in this Solo season with host/author Robert Beeson.

1. SOOTHING LONELINESS

12/22/2017
00:05:27
5 minute REAL QUICK episodes for single parents. This week we discuss a tip to soothe the loneliness we all feel in this Solo season with host/author Robert Beeson.

A VERY SOLO CHRISTMAS

12/19/2017
00:33:05
Robert and Kim discuss their Solo Christmas struggles and how they got through them. Also; * 6 TIPS FOR A BETTER SOLO CHRISTMAS * 3 SOLO PARENT 'FAMILY TRADITION' IDEAS Merry Christmas!!!

A VERY SOLO CHRISTMAS

12/19/2017
00:33:05
Robert and Kim discuss their Solo Christmas struggles and how they got through them. Also; * 6 TIPS FOR A BETTER SOLO CHRISTMAS * 3 SOLO PARENT 'FAMILY TRADITION' IDEAS Merry Christmas!!!

18. RECOVERING FROM ABUSE - Paula Mosher Wallace

12/14/2017
00:38:11
Recovering from Abuse Paula has endured a long string of emotional, physical and spiritual abuse in her life at one point leaving her suicidal. She shares her, and others, pathway to healing in her book Bloom in the Dark, her TV show Bloom Today and today on this episode. Paula shares her story and discusses issues like: Defining abuse No longer being in an abusive marriage but continuing to fall into abusive situations / relationships The idea of 'resetting' and starting a new normal.

18. RECOVERING FROM ABUSE - Paula Mosher Wallace

12/13/2017
00:38:11
Recovering from Abuse Paula has endured a long string of emotional, physical and spiritual abuse in her life at one point leaving her suicidal. She shares her, and others, pathway to healing in her book Bloom in the Dark, her TV show Bloom Today and today on this episode. Paula shares her story and discusses issues like: Defining abuse No longer being in an abusive marriage but continuing to fall into abusive situations / relationships The idea of 'resetting' and starting a new normal.

17. HOW AND WHEN TO HAVE THE SEX TALK - DANNAH GRESH

12/6/2017
00:41:36
Dannah Gresh is a best selling author of over 25 books, creator of Secret Keeper Girl live events, a sought after speaker specializing in sexual theology and parenting, featured in her own TED talk, quoted in many publications and broadcasts including TIME magazine and the Fox Network and a regular on the Focus on the Family radio show. Today Dannah guides us through WHEN AND HOW TO HAVE THAT SEX TALK WITH OUR KIDS and discusses; * The importance of addressing sex with our kids. * Tips on preparing for the talk. * Good ways to help our kids feel comfortable. * Some suggestions on what to say, how detailed do we get? * What would you say to those of us that are primary parents of the opposite sex child - what would your approach be? * What is we have waited too long to have the initial conversation and our kids have already experimented or even experienced sex - What is important for them to hear from their parent? * How to foster open, ongoing communication about sex with our kids?

17. HOW AND WHEN TO HAVE THE SEX TALK - DANNAH GRESH

12/6/2017
00:41:36
Dannah Gresh is a best selling author of over 25 books, creator of Secret Keeper Girl live events, a sought after speaker specializing in sexual theology and parenting, featured in her own TED talk, quoted in many publications and broadcasts including TIME magazine and the Fox Network and a regular on the Focus on the Family radio show. Today Dannah guides us through WHEN AND HOW TO HAVE THAT SEX TALK WITH OUR KIDS and discusses; * The importance of addressing sex with our kids. * Tips on preparing for the talk. * Good ways to help our kids feel comfortable. * Some suggestions on what to say, how detailed do we get? * What would you say to those of us that are primary parents of the opposite sex child - what would your approach be? * What is we have waited too long to have the initial conversation and our kids have already experimented or even experienced sex - What is important for them to hear from their parent? * How to foster open, ongoing communication about sex with our kids?
Robbin Rockett is a clinical psychologist and the founder / host of Solo Parent Life podcast, she is also a Solo Parent. Based on her private practice, what she has learned from her podcast and of course her personal experience she shares the TOP 3 THINGS SOLO PARENT FACE and answers questions like: * What surprised you when your professional training and expertise had to become personal in your own solo parented life? * What would you say to a single mom or dad out there who is feeling alone and overwhelmed?
Robbin Rockett is a clinical psychologist and the founder / host of Solo Parent Life podcast, she is also a Solo Parent. Based on her private practice, what she has learned from her podcast and of course her personal experience she shares the TOP 3 THINGS SOLO PARENT FACE and answers questions like: * What surprised you when your professional training and expertise had to become personal in your own solo parented life? * What would you say to a single mom or dad out there who is feeling alone and overwhelmed?

Thanksgiving Special

11/17/2017
00:29:59
THANKSGIVING SPECIAL The holidays can be a very lonely season; today we discuss how to soothe loneliness. AND Robert's top 5 tips from season one.

Thanksgiving Special

11/16/2017
00:29:59
THANKSGIVING SPECIAL The holidays can be a very lonely season; today we discuss how to soothe loneliness. AND Robert's top 5 tips from season one.

15. UNPLANNED PREGNANCY PARENTING - Jordyn Thomas

11/15/2017
00:32:59
Jordyn Thomas was at the top of her game! A successful single music executive in the vibrant Nashville social scene, until one afternoon everything changed. She found out she was pregnant. She was going to be an unwed solo mom. Today, Jordyn shares her journey with us and discusses: *The hardest part of dealing with an unplanned pregnancy and how to cope. *Solo Parenting a toddler *The idea of dating again as a Solo mom

15. UNPLANNED PREGNANCY PARENTING - Jordyn Thomas

11/15/2017
00:32:59
Jordyn Thomas was at the top of her game! A successful single music executive in the vibrant Nashville social scene, until one afternoon everything changed. She found out she was pregnant. She was going to be an unwed solo mom. Today, Jordyn shares her journey with us and discusses: *The hardest part of dealing with an unplanned pregnancy and how to cope. *Solo Parenting a toddler *The idea of dating again as a Solo mom

14. PARENTING AFTER LOSING A SPOUSE - Missy Cook

11/8/2017
00:36:32
Missy Cook, wife and mother of 3 boys, woke up early on morning to her young husband suffering a massive cardiac arrest, who passed a few days later. Facing the trauma of her experience and now becoming a solo mom raising her boys on her own meant everything about life changed all of a sudden. Missy, a leader of a Solo Parent Society group in Nashville, TN shares her heartbreaking story and guides us through answering questions like: On top of overwhelming grief, what were some of the primary feelings you felt in the days following your husband's passing? How did the boys handle it initially? Looking back what were the 'life lines' to you in that season? Is there anything that you wish you handled differently? You now lead a Solo Parent Society group focusing on Parenting After Losing A Spouse, what would you say are common themes that come up from others that have lost a spouse? What would you say to others listening who may have lost a spouse, that feel all the things that you felt?

14. PARENTING AFTER LOSING A SPOUSE - Missy Cook

11/8/2017
00:36:32
Missy Cook, wife and mother of 3 boys, woke up early on morning to her young husband suffering a massive cardiac arrest, who passed a few days later. Facing the trauma of her experience and now becoming a solo mom raising her boys on her own meant everything about life changed all of a sudden. Missy, a leader of a Solo Parent Society group in Nashville, TN shares her heartbreaking story and guides us through answering questions like: On top of overwhelming grief, what were some of the primary feelings you felt in the days following your husband's passing? How did the boys handle it initially? Looking back what were the 'life lines' to you in that season? Is there anything that you wish you handled differently? You now lead a Solo Parent Society group focusing on Parenting After Losing A Spouse, what would you say are common themes that come up from others that have lost a spouse? What would you say to others listening who may have lost a spouse, that feel all the things that you felt?

13. INSIDE THE LIFE OF A SINGLE DAD - Brian Myers

5/24/2017
00:40:11
Brian manages Church and Community relations for a dynamic non profit ministry focusing on helping people in need with food, clothing and financial assistance. He is a world traveler serving and teaching in over a dozen countries. In doing that God gave him a heart for orphans, opening his home to adopt three children. He also has two biological kids and has been solo parenting all 5 kids for the last 3 years. In this interview he discusses the daily challenges and the ways he stays centered in a crazy, non stop life.

13. INSIDE THE LIFE OF A SINGLE DAD - Brian Myers

5/24/2017
00:40:11
Brian manages Church and Community relations for a dynamic non profit ministry focusing on helping people in need with food, clothing and financial assistance. He is a world traveler serving and teaching in over a dozen countries. In doing that God gave him a heart for orphans, opening his home to adopt three children. He also has two biological kids and has been solo parenting all 5 kids for the last 3 years. In this interview he discusses the daily challenges and the ways he stays centered in a crazy, non stop life.
Paige is a Licensed Mental Health Therapist, with a passion to help youth and their parents navigate the world of adolescence.  She is a national speaker for parenting groups, family ministries, professional counseling conferences, and has been featured on TV, radio, and web-based media. In this interview she answers questions we have like: What's really going on in my kid's head? What are the most common issues you hear from kids of divorced families? What are the top 3 things Solo Parent kids need from their parents? Learn more about Paige at paigeclingenpeel.com
Paige is a Licensed Mental Health Therapist, with a passion to help youth and their parents navigate the world of adolescence.  She is a national speaker for parenting groups, family ministries, professional counseling conferences, and has been featured on TV, radio, and web-based media. In this interview she answers questions we have like: What's really going on in my kid's head? What are the most common issues you hear from kids of divorced families? What are the top 3 things Solo Parent kids need from their parents? Learn more about Paige at paigeclingenpeel.com

11. Kimberley Mitchell's Story

5/10/2017
00:50:37
After a toxic marriage of 12 years Kim went through a devastating divorce and became a Solo Parent to her son and daughter. She spent the next 7 years raising her 2 kids and learning incredible lessons about who we really are, what grace and hope really mean, and how to keep life moving forward - embracing it or missing out on an adventure. Now she is the co-host of this Podcast and of SEE HEAR LOVE - a Christian women's web TV show. In this interview she discusses: Her biggest fears becoming a Solo Parent. Advice to someone living in an abusive situation. Where and how she found strength. Dealing with loneliness and dating again.

11. Kimberley Mitchell's Story

5/10/2017
00:50:37
After a toxic marriage of 12 years Kim went through a devastating divorce and became a Solo Parent to her son and daughter. She spent the next 7 years raising her 2 kids and learning incredible lessons about who we really are, what grace and hope really mean, and how to keep life moving forward - embracing it or missing out on an adventure. Now she is the co-host of this Podcast and of SEE HEAR LOVE - a Christian women's web TV show. In this interview she discusses: Her biggest fears becoming a Solo Parent. Advice to someone living in an abusive situation. Where and how she found strength. Dealing with loneliness and dating again.
Amber Fuller is a single mom who juggles raising two children, coordinating global missions, leading woman bible studies, an active role in Celebrate Recovery and launching Solo Parent Life groups for a large church. God met Amber in a deeply transforming way during the pain of separation and divorce. In this Interview she shares her perspectives on: * The most challenging parts of co-parenting. * Maintaining sanity with all the moving parts of doing it on your own. * Finding peace and calm in the daily chaos.
Amber Fuller is a single mom who juggles raising two children, coordinating global missions, leading woman bible studies, an active role in Celebrate Recovery and launching Solo Parent Life groups for a large church. God met Amber in a deeply transforming way during the pain of separation and divorce. In this Interview she shares her perspectives on: * The most challenging parts of co-parenting. * Maintaining sanity with all the moving parts of doing it on your own. * Finding peace and calm in the daily chaos.

9. CO-PARENTING - TAMMY DAUGHTERY

4/26/2017
00:44:24
CO-PARENTING - TAMMY DAUGHTERY Tammy is the author of "Co-Parenting Works! Helping Your Children Thrive After Divorce." (Harper Collins) She is also the founder of Co-Parenting International, an organization to help divorced parents raise healthy kids. Tammy was also a solo mom co-parenting her daughter for 8 years. She shares insight on: 1. What are some baseline principles to co-parenting that set our kids up with a solid foundation? 2. What do you do if your ex refuses to get on the same page? 3. When am I ready to date again and how to navigate that with our kids? Find out more about Tammy, her books and ministry at www.CoParentingInternational.com

8. ROBERT'S STORY - ROBERT BEESON

4/19/2017
00:51:46
ROBERT'S STORY - ROBERT BEESON For years, Robert's career as a Grammy Award winning music executive flourished and, by appearances, his family did too. But what was brewing below the surface eventually claimed his intact family. Robert's wife left him to raise his three daughters on his own. Robert discusses his 8 years as a single dad, starting Solo Parent Society, and his upcoming book.

7. CONFRONTING ABUSE - D'ANN MITCHELL

4/12/2017
00:43:14
CONFRONTING ABUSE - D'ANN MITCHELL After her husband was convicted and served time for a felony crime, D'Ann wanted to believe the worst was behind her, but she says it was just beginning. This solo mother of 5 shares her story of a terrifying, but often conflicting, road of living with an abusive husband, and father, both during and after their marriage. She shares the surprising things she learned about herself, the ways she found strength and the hope that so often eludes those who live with, and often don't speak of, the reality of abusive relationships.
DR. JOHN CHIRBAN - PUTTING KIDS IN THE MIDDLE (Part 2) Dr. John Chirban has been a Professor at Harvard University for more than thirty years, a founding member of the Advisory Board and frequent guest of the Dr. Phil show. In writing his latest book, Collateral Damage: Guiding and Protecting Your Child Through the Minefield of Divorce featuring a foreword by Dr. Phil McGraw, 10,000 parents and kids were interviewed about the effects of divorce. Dr. Chirban continues to share some of his discoveries from his recent research answering questions like: How much is too much to share with our kids? How do I defuse defamatory stories that my ex might be sharing with my kids without getting defensive? What are the primary things that we need to communicate with our kids? Dr. Chirban's brand new book, Collateral Damage: Guiding and Protecting Your Child Through the Minefield of Divorce featuring a foreword by Dr. Phil McGraw is available everywhere. http://www.drchirban.com
(Part 1) Dr. John Chirban has been a Professor at Harvard University for more than thirty years, a founding member of the Advisory Board and frequent guest of the Dr. Phil show. In this transparent and emotional interview Dr. Chirban discusses the importance of an authentic relationship with our kids and how to create one. Dealing with his own divorce and Solo Parent journey has made this issue very personal to him. In writing his latest book, Collateral Damage: Guiding and Protecting Your Child Through the Minefield of Divorce featuring a foreword by Dr. Phil McGraw, 10,000 parents and kids were interviewed about the effects of divorce. Dr. Chirban also shares some of his discoveries from his recent research, answering questions like: What are practical steps we can take to build a good relationship with our kids? And, what are some good 'starting points' to open authentic communication with our kids? Dr. Chirban's brand new book, "Collateral Damage: Guiding and Protecting Your Child Through the Minefield of Divorce" features a foreword by Dr. Phil McGraw, and is available everywhere. http://www.drchirban.com
LINDA JACOBS - BUILDING A HEALTHY SINGLE PARENT FAMILY UNIT (Part 2) Linda continues sharing insight from last week's episode. As one of the country's forefront leaders in the area of children, divorce, and single-parents, she dispels the myth that there is something 'un-normal' about a single parent family unit and shares the important steps to building a healthy single parent family unit. Having been both divorced and widowed, Linda learned firsthand the emotional and support needs of broken families. She created DivorceCare for Kids in 2004, and is a children's ministry director, children's program developer, speaker, author, trainer, and therapeutic child care center owner. Linda has spoken into the lives of millions of single-parent families and their children. She can be reached via the contact form at blog.DC4K.org
LINDA JACOBS (Part 1) ANGER & LONELINESS Anger and loneliness are some of the most common feelings that Solo Parents deal with. Learning to live and process through both is difficult. Today, Linda Jacobs, one of the country's top leaders in the area of children, divorce, and single-parents, guides us through her personal encounters with these sometimes overwhelming realities. She also exposes questions like: What would you say are the top 3 universal issues we face as single parents- And how did you deal with those? What is one thing that you learned about yourself during that season? Having been both divorced and widowed, Linda learned firsthand the emotional and support needs of broken families. She created DivorceCare for Kids in 2004, and is a children's ministry director, children's program developer, speaker, author, trainer, and therapeutic child care center owner. Linda has spoken into the lives of millions of single-parent families and their children. She can be reached via the contact form at blog.DC4K.org
BRIAN HARDIN - BETRAYAL AND BEAUTY Brian is the founder of Daily Audio Bible, the largest Christian podcast in the world, with over 100 million downloads. Prior to that, he was a Grammy and Dove nominated music producer. He is an internationally sought after speaker and author of 2 books: Passages and Reframe. But what few people know is that before all of this notoriety, Brian faced a dark season of betrayal and then life as a fellow Solo Parent. Today, in this very transparent interview Brian discusses: 1. The devastating blow of betrayal. 2. The correct perspective during legal entanglements. 3. The surprising upside of being a Solo Parent. 4. How to find calm in the chaos. 5. Finding beauty in the devastation. Visit DailyAudioBible.com to learn more about Brian's daily podcast.
As single parents we have to be careful to establish appropriate boundaries especially with our kids. A growing trend of kids with 'emotional entitlement' can be traced back to overcompensating parents, which is a common occurrence with single parents. Today, counselor Sissy Goff explores this often overlooked facet of a single parent's life as well as giving her perspective on questions like: 1.What are the most common fears or issues you hear from kids of divorced families that they may NOT be sharing with their parents? 2. Based on your new book, Are My Kids on Track? The 12 Emotional, Social, and Spiritual Milestones Your Child Needs to Reach, what are the most significant stumbling blocks Solo parents face with their kids and some practical ways to guide our kids through them? 3. From a KID'S perspective, what is one thing that a parent underestimates about the impact of their Solo season on a kid, and one thing they worry too much about? Sissy Goff, M.Ed., LPC-MHSP has served as the Director of Child and Adolescent Counseling at Daystar Counseling Ministries in Nashville, Tennessee for 24 years. She is the author of eight books including her newest book, Are My Kids on Track?, as well as Raising Girls. Sissy is also a sought-after speaker across the country and a regular guest and contributor to media shows and publications. Visit www.raisingboysandgirls.com

THE 6 STEPS TO FORGIVENESS

12/27/0999
00:00:00
If you are a single parent there is no way you haven't been hurt by someone or something. Whether it be betrayal, abandonment maybe even God allowing a spouse to die - we all have been wounded in some way. We all have good reason to be angry for what we have been through. Often, the idea of forgiveness frankly isn't something we even want to do. We know God tells us we should. We have heard that it is the right thing to do. But, no one can just flip a switch and act like nothing bad ever happened or was done, we have found the following 6 steps to be helpful in working towards forgiveness. First, let's define forgiveness Psychologists generally define forgiveness as a conscious, deliberate decision to release feelings of resentment or vengeance toward a person or group who has harmed you, regardless of whether they actually deserve your forgiveness. Equally important is what forgiveness is not Forgiveness is Not Saying ... -You were not hurt by what the other person did. -Your pain is gone. -Life can now pick up where you left off, you feel the way you did before, as if what happened never happened. -You no longer believe the other person was responsible for causing harm. -You excuse the other person's behavior. -You no longer view what happened as important. -You share the blame for what happened. -You can ever forget what happened. There are many benefits to forgiveness. Our benefit John Hopkins study concluded the act of forgiveness can reap huge rewards for your health, lowering the risk of heart attack; improving cholesterol levels and sleep; and reducing pain, blood pressure, and levels of anxiety, depression and stress. Kids Benefit - They are watching - every action, every word you speak, every facial expression, every action is being watched by your children, who are eventually going to emulate millions of things you and your ex do. We need to be free of our anger and bitterness for our kids. We need to leave a legacy of grace for them. Gods command He commands us to do it for our good. Ephesians 4:32 Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. The six steps to forgiveness 1.Recognize it is necessary - We must recognize the benefits and importance. 2.It is a deliberate move forward- it is act of the Willard remember, Forgiveness is a Process 3.Check expectations - the offending party doesn't have to recognize the fault 4. Pray for the offending party 5. Be grateful for the path - Gratefulness unlocks forgiveness 6.Surrender - Let go of the outcome - remember that hardship helps us remember the beauty of dependency on God. Forgiveness, ultimately, is about freedom. When we need someone else to change in order for us to be OK, we are a prisoner. Without forgiveness, we're shackled to anger and resentment.