If single parenthood has taught me anything in life, it’s this:
It is possible to live your life in 24-hour spurts.
In fact, in the beginning of my single mom status, it was literally all I could handle emotionally and physically. I prepped and was ready for the next day, and had no energy left to plan any further than that. If it didn’t fall within the next 24-hour window, I gave it little thought. I couldn’t let myself. Life was about survival. Moment to moment.
But, nearly two years into this, I’m beginning to get a firmer grip on this new life. I’ve done the work to try to heal and move forward, and I’m starting to see that there is room for a bigger picture. It’s time for me to expect more from myself. More from life.
Maybe you should too.
Because when we live moment-to-moment, we focus on the problems to be solved, the tasks to be done. And while there is a period in single momhood when that is likely a necessary approach to take, we can’t stay there forever. We need to remove those tent pegs and remember that there is more to life than the immediate. The frantic. The urgent.
We need to remember that God has a purpose for us that goes beyond just surviving.
Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I entrust my life. — Psalm 143:8
I’ve somehow forgotten that in recent months. In fact, this summer was the first one in many years that I completely forgot to do a summer bucket list with my kids. It’s something we’ve always enjoyed doing, and typically created one the same week that school ended. It gave us dreams to look forward to. A plan for fun. Ensuring that we didn’t miss out on the things we wanted most out of our summer.
But, because I wasn’t as intentional as I’d been in years past, the summer flew by us with barely anything done. No trips to the beach. No visits to museums or zoos we’d been longing to go to. No big slumber parties with friends to celebrate our new freedom.
We missed out, because I was still lingering moment to moment and forgot to look forward.
But those days are over, sweet friends. For me and for you.
If you are in a place where you’ve healed a little, grown a little, and are beginning to realize that there is more out there that you want in life, I encourage you to take the plunge. Expect more from your future.
More fun in your family time.
Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans. — Proverbs 16:3
Because if we don’t, we risk the hunkering down that pain can sometimes cause as we hide to protect ourselves. And if we stay in that mode too long, we will forget that we are also in a season with our children that won’t last forever. We’ll come out of our shells of protection just as our daughters are walking across that stage to accept their diplomas, or as our sons are looking at their first car, and realize that we allowed precious years to go by where we didn’t shake ourselves out of our rut and get back to life.
So shake it off.
Seriously, there’s a theme song and everything for this moment.
Shake off the pain of what’s happened to you, the pain of your loss—maybe even the pain you’ve caused—and reach back into life.
Because we not only get one chance at life, but one chance at being a mom with our children in our homes. Let’s fill those homes with laughter, and joy, and the example that life can be hard, but God is bigger and will help us to overcome. Let’s number our days well, so that we capture the bigger picture of what God is calling us toward.
Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom. — Psalm 90:12