More Privacy Please

There is an epidemic in our society and I believe one of the main causes to be social media. As much as I love the world of social media and use it personally and daily, what it has done is create a window into everyone's life.  You see the good, the bad, the joy, the details and quite a lot of things that really shouldn't be public at all. I blame social media for a lot of the reason marriages and relationships are deteriorating. 

The temptation to do or say things on social media is causing an "open diary" and people overshare too often. Not only do people share too many details with their "friends" but people also have developed an entitlement to know each and every move that their "friends" are making. Back when I was a kid there was a lot of privacy. I didn't have to worry about my mom putting up picture after picture of me on Facebook and catching those embarrassing moments for all of her friends to notice, comment on and laugh at. It was private and I was able to grow up with a sense of security in my surroundings and with trust for those that I confided in.  I was also choosy with who knew what and when.

I have a deep concern for both aspects of the spectrum. Parents put up numerous pictures of their kids on Facebook without privacy settings, comment about private conversations with their children, rant about their children/relationships/feelings and just simply post too much. Knowing that social media is forever, what you say about your children, their other parent, their situations, etc will follow them, and you, for the rest of your lives. When you are struggling as a single parent, sometimes our feelings are clouded by our overwhelming emotion or just plain stressful situations. The intimate thoughts we have are just that, intimate and should remain private. Have a mentor, yes but please keep your personal information and feelings private. You'll run into judgemental people who then feel owed an explanation for how you feel rather than just supporting you.  That will be stressful.

Then there is the other side of the coin. People need to mind their own business. Who you date, how you are coping with this or that and the details and decisions of how you raise your children are your private business. Be careful what you write on Facebook and keep your situations clear of anything that will interfere with your parenting.  Others should not have the ability to get to your children with details you are still figuring out how to parent them through.

Example:  You lose your job and don't know what you are going to do financially.  Make sure you've parented your children through this and that you are emotionally stable for the multitude of questions you are going to receive and play interference for before you post on social media.  It will only add to the stress of the situation to draw numerous people in with their "good intentions". 

What I'm getting at is that we need privacy now like we did 30 years ago. 

Be choosy. Be careful. Most of all, use good common sense when putting anything up online.

What Children Need to Succeed in School

Everyone around me is eagerly awaiting Fall and the aroma of pumpkin spice can be smelled in most coffee shops. As much as I love this season and the peaceful feelings of the holidays nearing, it is certainly a time for my family that has started out by jumping from one stress to another. Most of the stresses have been good, some not-so-good, but all of which we will be able to look back on and see God's hand.

Along with the start of a school year at a new school for my son, who is now freshly in middle school, we have moved into our new house and are living in boxes. It's a delightful time of making memories and building our future, but I have to admit that the stress felt overwhelming last week when my son brought home a less than ideal progress report card.  Reality quickly set in that my focus has not been exactly where it should be. I was depending on him to self-manage with homework and studying while I focused on all of "life" that was happening around us. In my efforts to keep the house and activities in a forward progression, I neglected one very important element; my son's focus and environment. He didn't even have a good place to sit down and do his homework, let alone focus on his studies.  Now, I will admit that I felt terrible at first but I quickly turned that guilt into determination to do better for him and us.

He has a desk.  He has a work area.  Best of all, he has my undivided attention while he does homework, organizes his backpack and prepares for his day at school.  I feel a lot less stress now that I've refocused my attention.  I believe he also feels less stress with being more prepared.

This wasn't easy, though. I mean, we are literally living among boxes that need to be unpacked, chores that need to be done and so much to prepare for in the coming weeks. To sit and just "be there" for him is very difficult.  I find myself up later than I should and scrambling to do the other items. BUT, my priority is that my son is on the right track and that he is enabled to be the best he can be.  In my opinion, even greater than an area to work is that he knows I am standing right beside him as he, himself progresses forward. To me, what our children need to succeed is the support, encouragement and accountability of their loving parent(s). Without that, no amount of a great work area set up will be worth our investment. Our children need us. He will eventually be enabled to work more independently, but for now my time is the greatest gift.

Here's to better grades!




Bless the Lord, Oh my soul!

Do you remember where you were on September 11, 2001? Were you sitting at home watching television? Were you at work agonizing over the tragedy along with your co-workers? Did you fear for people who were in harms way or for those who had already been killed? Maybe you even knew someone who was affected and maybe you, yourself were directly affected as a result of the terrible events that unfolded that morning across the United States.  Today seems like the perfect day to write about using every breath and ounce of my being to sing praises to the Lord for all he has done and will continue to do!

I distinctly remember what I was doing on that otherwise sunny and beautiful morning.  I had just sat down with my cup of hot tea to prepare for the day at the office and my then, husband had just left for work.  I never usually turn on the news, but for some reason this day I was inclined to waste the last few moments of my morning watching the television before heading to work. I tuned in just in time to see the second plane hitting the south tower of the World Trade Center.

As many of you can relate, utter shock, horror and disbelief came at me all at once.  Not understanding the meaning of anything I was seeing, my first instinct was to cry. Cry for those affected and cry in fear of how this would affect my world as I knew it.  My first instinct was not prayer, peace or turning to the Lord in any fashion whatsoever.  Fear, worry and a feeling of being unsafe in a once seemingly safe world took over me. Eventually, like many, I did turn to God and prayer mostly asking why and what would be next for our nation.  As the hype of prayer and turning to God faded around our country, I began to realize how easily the nation will turn to a God that it regularly shuns when faced with fear, worry and lack of safety. It felt to many like no other option.

The reaction of that day the weeks following are a good example to me of how I am NOT supposed to be living. I am not supposed to turn to fear or worry but am to turn to God. I am to teach my son through my actions that despite the world crumbling around us, whether literally or metaphorically, that God is the answer and that He is where we find our refuge. May we never forget that our ultimate peace is found in Him.

Watch for the "Red Flags"

Stopped at a red light I realized that I had enough room in front of me to scoot up a bit and allow the person who was sideways in the lane beside me to fully merge behind me into my lane. As they moved into the lane behind me, the car that was hindered from driving through their lane without pause honked their horn. For a split second I thought about how rude that was and how people lack patience.  That was until the passenger in the truck that I moved up to help, flipped off the driver that honked his horn. The passenger laughed and then looked at his girlfriend for approval, whom was seated in the crook of his arm in the middle of the truck.  She laughed too.  As we drove off, they changed lanes and went ahead of me.

I felt sadness for that couple.  Sadness for the men and women who aren't taught respect in every circumstance and for those who lower their standards to accept such terrible behavior. How I wish I could tell all singles how important behavior is.  Settling for bad behavior when dating is a red flag to what is to come.  In that particular situation I wondered about how that couple argues.  Do they curse each other out? Do they flip each other off? If he so easily treated a stranger that way, how much worse would he treat the one who is closest to him? You've heard the saying that you hurt most the ones you love and that is because you are comfortable. How much worse does he treat her? How much worse does she treat him?

This made me think of all of the red flags that can pop up in the dating scenario. Especially as we choose to date as single parents, we are to be on guard for behaviors that can cause agony later. We are not only choosing our future mates but we are setting a standard and example to our children.



Do you have the same moral and spiritual beliefs?
Do they make smart financial choices?
Are they trustworthy? Would you trust them with your deepest thoughts?
Are they someone that you would want your son or daughter to grow up to be or be with?
I've also heard to watch how they treat a waiter/waitress.  Did they tip and say please and thank you?

These are just five but I encourage you to have your own standards and stick by them. Don't settle for what is anything less than best for you and your children.



Too Much "Stuff"

In my previous blog I told you that I was in the middle of packing and moving. In this process there is about 1 month where we will need some of our things to continue the day-to-day living. I chose to pack up everything that we wouldn't need for the next month to make the move day that much more smooth. As you can imagine there are boxes upon boxes stacked up in my house.

I realized something very convicting while packing. When faced with the choice of to pack or not to pack, I found that I have way too much stuff! For example, I have 7 skillets of various sizes. I can't remember the time that I used each of those sizes because let's face it, I have my favorite. So I kept that one out. Why do I need 6 more? What purpose will they serve sitting in my cabinet awaiting the day that I grab them instead of the other? Then we have glasses and cups.  They are coming out my ears! Why so many? Do I really host that many people in my home where I need to prepare like that?


In life, we always feel we need more of something or we need the next new thing. Why is that? Why can't we be content with what we have? Why do our kids need bins of toys? I remember growing up with some toys but it was never an issue to have a clean room because I didn't have too much to find a spot for. I don't think it is because we buy happiness but I do believe it is because we have the philosophy that "more" means "success".  Success to me has taken on new meaning.

My son is happy and healthy. My home is clean (for the most part) and serves it's function. I have a job and am able to provide.  The "things" in life get in the way of seeing the true treasures and that is our family. As small or large as we are, TIME is most important. Spending money on treasures that we will not use 5 days from now just takes away from the ability to spend time. The more you spend, the more you feel you need to make to keep up with those habits.

Live simply. Live smart and take notice to what you spend your time and money on. If you are still unsure if you have "too much" then do what my friend Daniel Day suggested.  Start at your front door and thank God for each item you see as you walk inside. It won't be long before you realize how much you have to be thankful for.

P.S. I did this with my son and he stopped thinking he was deprived. :)

God Will Take Care of Me

I am in a really cool phase in life. I have taken the plunge after years of renting and decided to buy my first home.  When I made this decision it was both scary and exciting all at the same time. I went through the phases of self-doubt about whether or not I could really afford to do such a thing but after budgeting and analyzing my expenses the answer was YES!

I am currently "in contract" which is supposed to end August 31.  I am busily packing up our lives and the juggling act with this has been a journey in itself to be quite honest.  My son is beginning middle school next week and so all that comes with a new school and new requirements and is coupled with the high emotions of moving from the only home he remembers. On top of these two major life events, my vehicle is needing to be replaced due to a dying engine. I haven't been given much time that it will continue to drive us around.  On top of that are many other little occurrences that would cause one to question their sanity and at times I found myself doing just that. Actually saying to God, "This is it! This is all I can handle. No more!" You know what happened? More. That's right. God wasn't working on my agenda and capacity but His.


That is it! God's capacity. I can't fathom that.  I can't begin to understand what He is doing to provide, protect and love my son and I. He has always been faithful and gracious. Why would that change now? The answer is simply that it wouldn't. God does not change. I change. I move from Him but He hasn't moved. I can go through this time counting my blessings or I can focus on the things that I cannot control and be stressed.

I have a choice. I make that choice as often as I remember and that is to choose to be joyful despite what appears to be concerning around me. God has always provided and taken care of us and He always will. My journey may look different than others but the fact is that He always cares for us.

A New Direction

When I first began writing this blog, it was for the purpose of being helpful to others through my journey. I have realized lately that it has turned into more of an advice column rather than telling my journey.  Advice is great, but isn't really needed in this avenue.  When we all learn from each other is through the example of living. I learn from other writers that I follow and hopefully set the good example as well.

You will see a slightly different twist to my blog. I am going to write about life and truly about my journey as a single parent. I am taking a huge leap of faith here to just write honestly the feelings that I encounter. I am not an expert in how to single parent, but I sure do live this life 24/7. I am blessed to raise a beautiful 11-year-old who is beginning his own journey in life. I pray that you are blessed by the blogs that I write and that you will give feedback based on your life experiences as well.

-  Meg