As we begin a new year, what better time to plan for the future and set goals? But as single parents, we can find that difficult to do. Most of the time survival is at the forefront of our minds.
I often see three areas that trouble single mothers: the need for more education, the need for clarity of purpose and the need for boundaries in their lives.
NEED A DEGREE?
Many of the single moms I see for life coaching think they need to earn another degree for future job security. In some cases they do. I am an advocate for single moms gaining skills that make the most of their God-given abilities. Completing a degree or certification often makes a real difference in their earning potential.
If you are considering earning a degree, here are some questions you should answer first:
- When you complete this degree, how will it change your life?
- Do you have the time to complete the coursework?
- How will you finance the costs?
- What grants are you eligible for?
Some single moms are confused and have difficulty making decisions and moving forward. Without clarity, it is almost impossible to make sense of your life.
Although simple, these three steps also help bring clarity into your life.
- Dream a little. Write a list of possibilities you are considering.
- Rank the possibilities from the most to the least possible.
- Seek, truly seek, God’s will for the first step you take.
Another effective way to gain clarity is to spend time with the Lord. When you just can’t find the right words to say, find a quiet place and recite the entire Serenity Prayer (by Reinhold Niebuhr) aloud.
Give me grace to accept with serenity
the things that cannot be changed,
Courage to change the things
which should be changed,
and the Wisdom to distinguish
the one from the other.
Living one day at a time,
Enjoying one moment at a time,
Accepting hardship as a pathway to peace,
Taking, as Jesus did,
This sinful world as it is,
Not as I would have it,
Trusting that You will make all things right,
If I surrender to Your will,
So that I may be reasonably happy in this life,
And supremely happy with You forever in the next.
Another recurring issue for many single moms is a lack of boundaries. Some Christian women are misled to believe that setting boundaries is not Christian.
Identify areas where you need boundaries in your life. Once you determine an area in which you need a boundary, you will want to:
- Start with a less serious boundary—something simple that you can commit to.
- Have a supporter. Never do this alone. You will need a dear and loyal friend to lean on.
- Don’t expect family and friends to accept your newly set boundaries without resistance.
- Respect yourself.
Even if you desire to go to college, be aware of your value as a person without further education. If you are seeking clarity, know that you are valuable even in the midst of your confusion. If you lack boundaries, realize you have great value and deserve respect.
It is ultimately up to you. Respect yourself and protect your heart.
Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it (Proverbs 4:23 NIV).