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.