Lessons in Single Mom Gratitude This Thanksgiving

Lessons in Single Mom Gratitude Thanksgiving drawing of turkey and my son and meLessons.

If I had to sum up all I was thankful for in one word, this would undoubtably be the word I’d choose: Lessons.

I was thinking about this post while running around doing different Mom-type things and wondering how to express all I was most grateful for. What would I write about? Like every other person on the planet, my life has highs and lows, but I was most grateful for the ability to see the Good through it all – most of the time anyway! ūüėČ

I am grateful for my Faith in God the Father who Loves me,

in Jesus Christ who shows me what Sacrifice & Forgiveness truly means,

and to the Holy Spirit who is an almost tangible presence in my life every time I get up again.

I am grateful for my children who make me laugh until I cry,

who make me so mad that I cry,

who frustrate me until I cry,

who fill my life with such Joy they sometimes I can’t help but¬†cry.

I am grateful for the sense of humor that keeps me from being a mushy puddle of teardrops.

I am grateful for my Mom who gives and gives and gives and asks so little in return.

I am grateful for my Grandfather and Aunt who support me and come to rescue me with dinners out and laughter and corny jokes.

I am grateful for my friends and family who brought me help in the form of food and firewood and Christmas gifts when times were tough.

I was grateful for my online community who had reached out, who pushed me to learn more about my faith when I thought I knew it all, who trusted me enough to share¬†painful¬†secrets I’ll treasure and never disclose.

I am grateful for the Second Amendment and our ability to protect ourselves because an order of protection is paper thin.

I am grateful to the guys, all law enforcement or Military, who have taught my boys to handle a weapon.

I am grateful that my boys may be able to protect and provide for their families in ways I could not have before.

I am grateful for our law enforcement and Military and the fact that for too long I foolishly took for granted our safety and freedom and provisions and protection.

I am grateful for the words above the judge’s head – “IN GOD WE TRUST.”

I am grateful for going for government assistance because I saw firsthand the emptiness of the souls on those lines.

I am grateful for being denied government assistance because it taught me that you can thrive only outside of the welfare system.

I am grateful for being turned down for¬†easier jobs¬†because it challenged me to go for 7-12 math certification and showed me I’m smarter than I’ve been told I was.

I am grateful for the abuse I’ve suffered because it has softened my Heart and strengthened my Spirit¬†and has allowed me to reach out to others in a way many cannot.

I’m grateful for that ability to reach out because it led me to begin my women’s life coaching business (TRP Life Coaching) and allowed me to¬†bring others out of their stuck and muddy places to¬†dream and achieve again.

I am grateful my husband left because before I was an extension of him and now I’ve asked God to make me an extension of Him.

Heck, I could even be grateful for the other woman because now my husband was her concern. ūüėČ

I¬†am grateful for¬†having¬†to hand over my children¬†because other wise I’d think I was owed my time with them¬†and now I¬†¬†realize they are not my children but God’s¬†and I can¬†treasure our time together as a gift from Him to us both.

I am grateful for¬†the chaos and loudness and mess five boys brings because without it I wouldn’t treasure the time alone.

I am grateful for crawling on my hands and my knees in the dark

because without this¬†I wouldn’t have found the Cross.

The more I thought about it, the more I found to be grateful for and the longer my list became. It’s hard to pick just a few things, and I realized my post could go on and on (and if you’ve read some of my other posts, you know I have a tendency to do that! ūüėČ )

But the thing that tied it all together, the thing that I was most grateful for as¬†I looked over my list was the lessons I’ve learned. I¬†realized that I was¬†far more¬†grateful for overcoming things that were hard than I was for things that were handed to me.¬†¬†For without hardship, we learn nothing.

Without adversity we never learn what we are capable of. Without learning what we are capable of, we never learn who we are Created to be. Without learning who we are Created to be, we never learn to help another become who he or she was Created to be. Without helping others, without living our calling, without serving God in this way, we can never learn true Joy.

And Joy only comes from hardship, from perseverance, from lessons learned when you decide not to stay stuck.

They say every cloud has a silver lining. I say every darkness¬†has a lesson, but¬†it’s up to you to open your heart and mind and be ready to accept it. It’s up to you to turn over the false control you think you have and open yourself to learning your way through what you don’t have in order to be grateful for what you do have – and for what is to come!

Without the hardships, I’d have been taught nothing, and so, while I continue to compile my list of the countless Blessings that are there when I rest enough to notice them, I will always be¬†most grateful for the lessons¬†I’ve learned along the way.

I am grateful for learning that, in darkness, even a small flame shines most brightly and becomes a beacon to others, and that each of us can be that flame if we choose.

I am most grateful for the lessons that have given me the appreciation I couldn’t have learned any other way.

I am Praying for You and Hoping you continue with your lessons and enjoy a Peace-filled Thanksgiving.

What you are most thankful for? What’s the most valuable lesson you’ve learned?
Share in the comments or on social media by connecting with me on¬†Twitter,¬†Facebook,¬†G+,¬†Pinterest, or Instagram,¬†which I’m still trying to figure out!

And, as always, thanks for commenting, liking, following, and sharing!

God Bless…

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When Your World Crumbles Remember Where Your Home Is

When Your World Crumbles, Remember Where Your Home Is - Single Mom GospelJesus looked at His accuser, “My kingdom does not belong to this world.

I can’t count the number of¬†times I sat¬†in courtrooms awaiting judgment, wondering what injustice would be brought upon my children and me next, confused by what was happening and the fact that¬†no one wanted to hear my side, frightened by the man who had claimed to love me so deeply only a short time before, concerned for the children I was now solely responsible for, children I’d have to feed and clothe and help with homework and cart around to practices and Scouts and religion classes, children I’d have to teach to be real, Honest, Strong, Faith-filled, Hopeful Loving Men, children I’d have to teach how to treat a Woman while I was being so badly treated myself. How could I do that?

Materially, we lost our house in foreclosure. We relied on family and friends for help to pay mounting attorney bills and then were forced to settle when my ex refused to pay his court ordered share. Local Churches and Pastors and private anonymous Good folk deposited money into our mailbox providing us with food and heat to supplement the firewood my boys and I chopped and hauled in from the backyard. Our elementary school provided Christmas and Thanksgiving dinners. The local hospital provided Christmas presents.

I’d always had an A credit rating.

More painfully, I’d always been the one to help people,

I’d always been the one to give.

And my pride took a beating.

What had happened to bring us to this point?

How could the decisions and actions of one man and the other woman have such devastating consequences on innocent bystanders? How could I lose everything I had spent years building so quickly? What had happened to my world?

It’s impossible to put into words the devastating consequences of divorce, the feelings of loneliness, rejection, worthlessness that last for years, not to mention the sheer financial hits and physical exhaustion that comes from parenting alone. It’s easy to fall into the pit of self-pity and think you’ve lost everything.

But that’s not the end of the story, and we see this clearly in Sunday’s Gospel.

Jesus too must have felt that rejection. We feel innocent and cruelly accused, rejected for wrongs that aren’t really so bad in the scheme of things, and abandoned for others who put their own desires above children who desperately want and deserve a loving, united Home, but the truth is none of us is innocent in the failings of our Marriage.

We may not have deserved the treatment a heartless, self-centered spouse gives, but each of us did things, said things, thought things over the course of our dating and married relationship that we would change if we were truly the people our Father created us to be.

None of us is God. None of us is perfect.

But Jesus was.

And the injustice He must have felt, the confusion, the concern He had for His brothers and sisters forced to continue life on this earth without Him must have been great.

Jesus truly was innocent, and in His innocence He found some Peace.

Evil cruelty could take away all He had that was of this world Рeven His life.

But it couldn’t change who He was.

It couldn’t change where He was truly meant to live

not just for today, but for eternity.

My kingdom does not belong to this world.

We too are called to live eternally in Heaven

where Justice prevails,

where Love abounds and never leaves,

where Hope is unnecessary because Hope has been fulfilled.

When the day to day struggles of court battles and child custody, financial devastation and job loss, concerns about housing and childcare, survival and inner turmoil about who you are, who you are meant to be, and where you will end up threaten to overtake you, remember

You Are Not Alone.

Your kingdom does not belong to this world.

You are Blessed.

You are chosen.

You are royalty.

And, by keeping the Faith, by striving to Love when Love seems impossible, by doing the next right thing, by asking and offering forgiveness when forgiveness is the last thing you want to offer, by not sinking to the level of those who choose foolishness over Goodness, you will find your Home.

And for the rest of eternity you will know the fires of Hell that nip at you in these days have left no ugly scars but have refined you and made you shine. You will know that these struggles made you more beautiful and provided an amazing testimony for those who watch you perhaps without your even realizing it.

And when you are called Home, you will see this was just the conditioning you needed for the journey.

Be in the world, not of the world. You are being called to share an eternity in¬†Your Savior’s Home.

Remember Jesus’ words,

My kingdom does not belong to this world.

And neither does yours.

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God Bless…

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Imagine There’s No Heaven After the Paris Attacks

Imagine There's No Heaven - John Lennon Paris Attacks - Sun & SkyImagine there’s no heaven
It’s easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky

That John Lennon’s song played at¬†the scene of the Paris attacks was understandable.

I understand some of the pain and fear of a terrorist attack. My husband was in New York City at the Trade Center site on 9-11, and I woke up November 14th, 2015 immediately thinking of Paris knowing the fear, confusion, and anger the French must have woken up with that morning Рif they had been able to sleep at all.

When people use religion as a weapon, especially when it involves¬†a violent terrorist attack on¬†innocent civilians, it’s easy to blame religion rather than the one detonating the weapon.

It’s easy to point fingers at faith, an invisible, intangible idea that will not defend itself. It¬†becomes an even easier target than human¬†victims as it is¬†victimized twice: once by the evil doer who detonates the weapons and then by those who point fingers and spout views like those expressed in John Lennon’s “Imagine,” pulling others in to the false belief that…

If there is no religion, there will be peace in the world.

But pointing fingers takes the easy way out. It makes people feel better by blaming something that some will wrongly see as a common enemy, ignoring that there is usually more than what meets the eye.

When going through a divorce, it’s easy to point fingers at the abandoner. There is no Good excuse for having an affair, for abandoning responsibilities for¬†leaving your spouse to carry the burden.

There is even less excuse for turning your back, even part time, on your children.

It’s easy to point fingers at the departing spouse and point out real wrongs.

It’s harder to look within ourselves and see where we have gone wrong. What harmful words were uttered aloud or under our breaths. What lustful looks were¬†given to that movie star, that lead singer, that guy in the grocery store? What big house, better car, tropical family vacation did we long for?

What should we have done differently that might have changed our spouses?

The difficult questions often go unasked and go, even more often, unaddressed as we point fingers and make feeble attempts to “get on with life.”

Pointing fingers at religion,

imagining there’s no Heaven,

does the same thing.

The truth is though,

there is a Heaven

and there is a Hell.

and religion is not to blame

but people are.

And we need to take a good long look in the mirror and ask questions of ourselves.

In our politically correct world, we must ask about our attitudes regarding religion. Many people will say they believe in God, they follow a certain religion but that their religion is no better than anyone else’s. They mistake the meaning of COEXIST for equality and, while coexisting is important, it’s also important to¬†remember that not all religions have equal value.

If you follow a religion

that is equal in value to every other religion,

what’s the point in following your¬†religion?

Isn’t it hypocritical to say you’re a believer but don’t believe that what you say you believe in is any better than what anyone else believes?

Think about that.

And then keep asking questions about your faith.

Is it that having no religion would make the world a better place or is it that having our actions reflect the dictates of our religion would make the world would be a better place?

If we followed the 10 Commandments, if we believed Thou Shall Not Kill meant more than just a physical death, if we believed that it also referred to a crushing of the spirit how would our world be changed?

If we believed Thou Shall Not Covet referred to lust of any kind,  and we gave until it made us uncomfortable because there are those who cannot live without our help, if we were willing to inflict blindness to avoid lusting after someone who is not our spouse, how would our world be changed?

If we actually followed the two greatest commandments¬†Jesus gave us, “Love thy neighbor as thyself,” and “Love the Lord thy God above all” how would our world be changed?

Is religion the problem or is it the way we, in our imperfect humanness, act, think, feel when we forget or imagine there is no religion?

It is important to show evil doers that we won’t cower in fear, that we are brave even when we are afraid, that we will be faith-filled even when Hope is attacked. It is important to keep shopping, to keep going out to eat, to attend concerts and sports stadium, and to just¬†have fun, but that can’t be all there is.

Imagine all the people
Living for today…

That is exactly what “they” want us to do, those who point fingers at religion, those who use religion as a weapon. They want us to turn from all that is Good about our Faith, to turn to darkness.

And many will fall to that call.

But there is a Heaven, and there is a Hell, and after the Paris attacks, after every attack on Christians that we do not hear about but that terrorize so many innocents throughout the world, victims and terrorists wake up on the other side of life and face that reality.

So while we celebrate life and spit in the eyes of evil doers, let us not lose sight of what is most important.

Let us not lose our faith. Let us not point fingers at our religion and all that is Good in it. Let us show the world that we can Love in all circumstances, that we can be a Light in the darkness, that we can chase the darkness away only with Light, not with more darkness.

It is important to realize that there is a Heaven and there is a Hell and that each of us will go to only one of the two.

Celebrate life, mourn the victims, be aware, but be careful to not blame religion. Be careful to ask yourself the hard questions and discover how you can be a Light so others are drawn to faith instead of pointing fingers at it.

Never Lose Your Faith. Christ is Good. The Holy Spirit is STRONG, and The Father Will Judge.

Be awake. Be Good.

Be more like your Christian Religion calls you to be and never imagine less.

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God Bless…

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When Time Is Up…

When Time Is Up - Clock

Did you ever feel God was speaking to you, that the coincidence that just happened was just too. . . well, too coincidental to be coincidence?

Could Sunday’s Gospel have been a coincidence?

Could those who chose our Sunday Mass readings years ago have known what the Western world would be feeling in the days after Friday the 13th of November 2015?

Or could God have planned the Gospel knowing we’d read it while still reeling from the worst attacks on the French since WWII? Could He have planned that reading for a time when we might be more attentive to our own vulnerability specifically to remind us to prepare for our own end?

It can be hard to believe in God‚Äôs plan when the world is so full of hate and anger, betrayal and pain, but¬†maybe¬†Sunday’s Gospel reading from the¬†Book of Mark¬†was planned for that day to remind all¬†of us that we never know when¬†our time is up.

As we realize that the majority of those killed in Paris Friday were under the age of 30 and let the reality of that sink in, we realize those victims could not have imagined their end was near, and the timing of this particular Gospel seems beyond coincidence.

It is a reminder to each of us that we don’t know when our time on earth will end, a reminder that one day we will get no more second chances.

Part of Friday’s tragedy is that we often expect fool’s mistakes in our young. We expect them to get a second chance, to become faith-filled tomorrow.

We expect tomorrow to come, perhaps decades down the road, but it will come someday.

But for 129 Parisian victims (at last count)

tomorrow will never be here.

For 129 victims, time is up.

They were victims who could not have woken up that morning knowing they would not climb into bed that night.

They could not have savored their last morsel, thinking it would be like their last supper.

They could not have known, when walking through those doors to the restaurants, the stadium, the concert halls, that that moment of fun would be their final entertainment.

They could not have said good-bye one last time knowing it would be their last farewell.

They could not know their time had come.

We cannot know when our time will come.

But we know it will.

The Lord tells us to be watchful. In every hour, on every day, to be awake, to not get caught sleeping.

We have to wonder how many of those who died were in a state of Grace,

and how many counted on tomorrow to find their faith.

We have to wonder how many of us are in a state of Grace,

and how many of us count on tomorrow.

The Lord says very clearly in Sunday’s Gospel,

“Be watchful! Be alert!¬†

You do not know when the time will come.”

We wonder whether those young people knew the Lord, but in our wondering leave judgement to God and look at ourselves instead. For even among the faithful, the Lord Hopes for more than we give.

In Luke Chapter 12, we find accounts similar to those in Mark. We again see the call to be watchful, to not let the master catch his servants unaware, to not count on tomorrow, and we see a call specifically to believers in verse 48,

“Much will be required of the person entrusted with much,

and still more will be demanded of the person entrusted with more.”

The Lord knows every detail of the lives of those killed in Friday’s attacks, just as He knows every detail of our lives. He will judge the young victims according to His understanding, not ours, just as He will judge us according to His standards, not ours.

So, while it is easy to say we are saved because of Christ’s Love for us and our belief in Him, and while I know this to be true, I also know that precisely because of our belief more is expected of us.

The Lord expects more of me in my job, my play, my socializing both in person and online.

He expects more of me in my relationships, with my children, my parents, my family, my friends.

He expects more of me in my voting, my volunteering, my caring for the world He created, and most especially for His precious, voiceless children.

He expects more of me in the honor and glory I give in my prayer, my Adoration, my meditation on each verse of the Scriptural Rosary, my Bible reading, my immersion in the Mass, and in my submission to His will over my own.

We do not know when our time will come. We must seize the day, not to celebrate as the world sees it, but to live Joyfully for the Lord for the celebration that will come.

It is painful to write, more painful to dwell on, but I wonder how many of those who died suddenly are now at the feet of God, asking to return, as the rich man did in Luke Chapter 16, to warn those left behind.

They cannot return, but their lives and deaths serve as a warning to us and we must not let their passing be in vain.

Live each day like it is your last. Do the hard stuff. Love even your enemies. Spend time with the Lord. Offer forgiveness because you are forgiven. Start each day thankful and willing to make a fresh start, thankful for your second chance.

Live each day like you WILL meet your Judge – because you will.

And much is expected of those who believe.

For the sake of His sorrowful passion,

Have Mercy on us and on the whole world.


Please join your prayer to ours for the souls lost due to terror in Paris but also around the world

Eternal rest grant unto them O Lord.

And let perpetual Light shine upon them.

May they rest in Peace.

May their souls and all the souls

of the Faithful departed, rest in Peace.


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God Bless…

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Thank You to Our Veterans – Love a Single Mom

20151111_112705Every time I kiss my sons

as they lay own to sleep

I thank the Soldiers who keep watch

for the children that I keep.


And when I thank the Lord above

for the Hope tomorrow brings

I pray that Angels flying high

guide the Airmen and their wings.


And when 2016 rolls around

and I get to cast my vote

The media’s opinion¬†I’ll care not about

but the Marine’s I will note.


And when the storms come rock my boat

and winds begin to blow

I’ll think of¬†Sailors at the helm

and the Blessings that I know.


And when the boundaries I set up

are put under attack

I’ll think of those who guard our shores,

Stand strong, and push right back.


And when food runs low and pantry’s bare

and handouts crush lost souls

I’ll grab my gun and feed my lads

and keep focused on our goals.

And when I’m tired and want to quit

because Life. Is. Just. Too. Hard.

I remember somewhere in this storm

there are others keeping guard.

For in a world not far away

but one too far to see

A Family sobs in fear this night

 The cry of the unfree.


They’d gladly trade the life we have

the work, the struggle, the pain,

For most of what we complain about

is what they Hope to gain.


While in this land of plentiful

we bitch and moan and cuss

And take for granted all

That has been Sacrificed for us.


So yes, life can be hard at times

I often want to hide

But there are those both far and near

who keep our Hope alive.


And we owe to them great gratitude

and many prayers profound

For in this land of plentiful

opportunity can be found.

There are just no words I can give that will ever express the gratitude I hold in my heart for what you have given to me and, more importantly¬†to me children. Your Sacrifice and your family’s Sacrifice is appreciated today and every day.


Happy Veteran’s Day

Thank You for Your Service!

God Bless…

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10 Great Things About Being a Single Mom in America


The Poor Widow Gave All She Had. What Are You Giving?

The Poor Old Widow Gave All...November 10, 2015While the rich poured money into the offering and walked away no less wealthy for it, the poor widow put in all she had and left with nothing.

We don’t know what brought¬†the widow to this point or what became of the woman after Jesus spoke of her in Mark Chapter 12, Sunday’s Gospel, but we do know this woman placed her Hope in the Lord, not in the few pennies¬†that would¬†feed her another day. We also know that, unbeknownst to her, her quiet sacrifice was noticed and appreciated by the Lord.

What the widow gave contrasts greatly to today’s obsession with self-recognition and instant gratification.

“Look at me!”

“Look at what I did!”

“Look at how great I am!”

“Pay homage to me and¬†my achievements!”

“Like me! Comment on me! Share me! Follow me!”

We’ve become a¬†total contrast to the poor widow while Jesus¬†looks quietly on.

Jesus also notices something that involves an even greater contrast than our self-promoting society and the humility shown by the poor widow.

He notices how much we are willing to put in…and how much we choose to hold back.

The old woman gave all she had without looking for recognition, a pat on a back, or a social media following. Today, many of us work hard for what we get, but we also hold back our best efforts in areas that matter the most. At the same time, we still expect recognition for giving what we do. We feel we deserve certain things, and both sides of the socio-economic spectrum tend to look down their noses at the other.

The wealthy tend to look down on those on government assistance for being lazy, for not trying harder, and for taking their hard-earned tax dollars. The wealthy tend to buy jewelry, vacations, and evenings out because they deserve them.

The poor tend to scorn the wealthy, jealous of the education they receive, the connections they have, and the material possessions that are out of the reach of many. Those on government assistance tend to collect food stamps, WIC benefits, and healthcare because they deserve them.

What if we stopped pointing fingers and became the poor widow? What if we stopped looking for what we think we deserve¬†and looked at how we could give our all instead? What if we stopped¬†relying on someone else to jump in and save us and reached for what we could do with a True Savior’s¬†help instead?

After all, what do any of us really deserve

and what would we get if we were more like the poor widow?

What if we truly gave all we had

without caring who saw or what we gained from our deeds?

What if you gave all you had?

What if you gave all you had to your education and pushed your children in theirs?

We’ve seen poverty stricken sons of single parent become amazing role models.

Flukes don’t break the odds. Giving all you have does.

What if you gave all you had to your health and fitness?

We’ve seen turnarounds in ADHD children, in obese adults, in so many other areas.

Flukes don’t make turnarounds. Giving all you have does.

What if you gave all you had to your job?

We’ve seen secretaries become CEO’s of corporations¬†and many shatter glass ceilings.

Flukes don’t rise to the top. Giving all you have does.

What if you gave your all to learn about issues and vote because you realize it does matter?

We have a presidential candidate that promotes the values of the poor widow.

Flukes don’t stand on values, don’t make strong nations. Giving all you have does.

What if you gave your all to your Marriage and your Family?

What if you expelled words like separation, divorce, and hate from your vocabulary?

What if you stopped playing the martyr and tossed out phrases like staying together for the kids?

What if you woke up today and vowed to find the value God, in His perfect Creation, must have put in your spouse?

What if you saw that value as more valuable than the faults we all have?

What if you recognized your spouse as a Child of God, Loved by God, held in God’s protective embrace?

How would you act toward, speak to, and think of your spouse while he or she is in the arms of the Father?

How will you explain to the Father that you gave your all when He knows what your all amounts to?

How will you explain to your Father why you quit when Jesus and so many of His followers gave so much more and never quit?

How would your Marriage and Family be different if you stopped looking at what others give and simply vow to give your all no matter what the return?

How would you be different if giving your all was not dependent on earthly award?

Strong, Loving families don’t just happen. You¬†must give your¬†all.

What if you gave your all to God?

What if you truly lived the 10 Commandments as they were meant, if you recognized greed as putting things above God, if you recognized destructive words as killing the spirit, if recognized lust as adultery?

What if you truly lived the two Commands Jesus gave – Love your neighbor as yourself and Love the Lord your God above all?

What if Sunday Worship trumped sporting events and birthday parties and family vacations and you never missed a Mass?

What if you humbly gave the glory to God for your successes, big and small, rather than take the credit yourself?

What if you handed over your struggles and sorrows to Jesus on the Cross rather than let them weigh you down, rather than toss them onto the backs of loved ones through blame and accusation?of

What if you paused each day to find the Beauty in God’s Creation and then helped spread that Beauty to those who do not see it?

What if you gave all you had to the offering plate and expected nothing in return?

Saints¬†aren’t just good dead people. They are people who give their all, just as you are called to do.

Notice, none of these questions ask about the other person. None ask what if your neighbor, your child, your spouse…

Your Joy, your accountability, your giving does not come from them. It does not rely on them. You are called to give all, not to point fingers at others who fail to do so. You are called to be the poor widow, when the world is watching but also when no one at all is around to see.

The poor widow gave all.

What are you giving this moment?

What excuses do you give for not giving your all?

Was the poor widow really so poor after all or did she have something most of us don’t know to ask for? How rich would your ¬†life be, if you were to become the poor widow?

What is holding you back from attaining all the poor widow had?

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God Bless…

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Catholic-Christian Wives Submit to Your Husbands???

A Blue Bride- Wives Submit to Your Husband - Single Mom

It is the wife’s duty to submit to her husband.

Say that to any modern woman and immediately watch her hackles rise. Say it to any man and he may stand a little straighter and snicker a bit, but if honest, most men will admit to not wanting a doormat for a partner.

And yet isn’t that what the Bible tells us?

Wives submit to your husbands. Wives be subordinate to your husbands. The wording varies slightly. The message does not.

What exactly does this mean, this submissiveness a wife is supposed to display? Is this in the Bible simply because the Bible was written thousands of years ago (an amazing fact we tend to forget the significance of!) or is there any chance God knew what He was talking about and that wifely submission still applies today?

I recently spoke on this topic and asked the group the following questions, which they had no problem answering and seeing the need and the logic behind.

Who is the leader of the country?

The President

Who is leader of the Army?

The General

Who is leader of a baseball team?

The manager.

Who is the leader of the Catholic Church on Earth?

The Pope.

Why then did they stumble over the next question…

Who is leader of the Family?

Here, those hackles rose. Here, there were a uncomfortable squirms. Here, I saw rolled eyes, shaking heads, and mocking grins.

Surely there is no one head of the Family! Surely wives have as much say as husbands in the Family. Surely I was not suggesting that there be one leader, a man, who makes the final decision?

And yet, in every other “team,” from a child’s school project to a large corporation, from a volunteer committee to a community organization, a leader emerges.

A Good and Strong leader knows he is little without his aids, those whose opinions he or she values and takes into serious consideration before determining what is best for those depending on him, but there is generally one leading body.

Today’s families are lacking that leadership. Why? Have we “raised” the role of women to the point where there is¬†no need of male leadership, of ¬†male role models? Do we believe that a single Mom is as capable of providing the same type of leadership for her family as a Good Husband and Father?

Has man, through the pursuit of self-pleasure and in a quest to prove himself powerful, diminished himself to the point of obscurity, to the point of being obsolete?

Is there more to this wifely submission? Do we blind ourselves to the message by getting caught up on that one phrase,

“Wives submit to your husbands,”

Is there more to the Bible’s message and is it meant only for bygone generations or does it apply today?

Reread this portion of Paul’s letter to the Ephesians.

Wives and Husbands. Be subordinate to one another out of reverence for Christ. Wives should be subordinate to their husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is head of his wife just as Christ is head of the church, he himself the savior of the body. As the church is subordinate to Christ, so wives should be subordinate to their husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ loved the church and handed himself over for her, to sanctify her, cleansing her by the bath of water with the word, that he might present to himself the church in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. So [also] husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one hates his own flesh but rather nourishes and cherishes it, even as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body.

For this reason a man shall leave [his] father and [his] mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.

This is a great mystery, but I speak in reference to Christ and the church. In any case, each one of you should love his wife as himself, and the wife should respect her husband.

Eph 5: 21-33

We get caught up in¬†the phrase telling women to be subordinate and ignore the meat¬†of the message even in the opening line and the meaning of the word subordinate as it is used here, “Be subordinate to one another out of reverence to Christ.”

It is not just wives being told to be subordinate, but all God’s people. Be subordinate. Serve Christ by serving one another. Service requires strength, humility, Grace. There is nothing weak in the¬†subordination of servitude. In fact, weakness is only for those who serve themselves.

Look at the rest of the passage. Twice it mentions wives being subordinate. The entire rest of the passage speaks of how a husband should treat his wife. The husband is told to be the savior of the body that is the Marriage and the Family, just as Christ is the Savior of the Church, of His people.

The call to husbands gets even more challenging¬†as we read on. The husband is told to love his wife, to “hand himself over to her.” What Strength this requires, Strength, not domination, on the part of a Man! What weak man can truly Love another? What weak man can hand himself over to a woman? Does not a weak man instead make feeble attempts to prove domination¬†over those around him?

A husband is called to sanctify and cleanse his wife leading her to the Church through God’s Grace so that the two may present themselves to the Church, to the Lord in splendor, without wrinkle or blemish.

The husband is told to love his wife as his own flesh. Today we get caught up in easily accessible pornography and semi-porn and it is hard to know where lines should be drawn. How would the world be different if a man honored a woman’s flesh rather than looking at a woman’s flesh as a gift owed to him? Would knowing a husband valued his wife above all others make submission¬†joyful rather than distasteful?

It is amazing how we get caught up on that one verse,

Wives be subordinate to your husbands,

But we ignore the rest of the message.

Men, read the rest of the message before asking for submission.

Men, be MEN. Be the savior of your Marriage. Be the savior of your Family. Love your wives. Hand yourself over to her. Sanctify her. Cleanse her. Love her. Nourish her. Cherish her.

Men were not given an easy job;

they were given a vital job.

How many Men will stand up for that call? How many men will rise again after falling, knowing falling but not necessarily rising, is something we all do?

How many women will help their Men succeed in their mission as leader, protector, provider?

When the message is taken in context, it may be even more important today than it was 2000 years ago. We need strong leaders in our Church, in our nations, and especially in our families. Submitting to a worthy Man is not a sign of weakness or inferiority. It is a sign of Wisdom.

Men must¬†understand¬†how absolutely necessary¬†they are. When a Husband leads his Family as Christ leads the Church, he makes himself worthy of submission, and submission to a worthy Man doesn’t seem so bad after all.

Are we, ¬†Men and Women, Husbands and Wives ¬†strong enough to submit and to be worthy of submission, to leave finger pointing aside, and to follow Christ’s¬†call?

photo credit 

God Bless…

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The Meaning Behind the Fly in My Soup

Tomato Soup BowlI recently published a piece about ¬†A Fly in My Soup. I’ll be the first to admit it was a weird sort of post so why I’m writing a second part to it is beyond my comprehension, but I’m going to anyway.

The post was about a dream, and in the dream I had a bowl of tomato soup. In the soup was a fly struggling to stay above the broth. Upon closer inspection, I realized the fly was my husband (Weird? Yep, but I told you that already!) I was amazed at how he was tossed about so easily at any little ripple in the movement of the soup. I was amazed at his anger when no one had placed him in the soup; he had gotten in there by his own doing. He could also get out if he wanted, but that would take hard work. I was amazed at how insignificant this man who had shared so much of my life, my hopes, my dreams, my love, and my plans for our future had become.

He was literally a fly in my soup, annoying and a bit gross, but that’s about it.

I wondered how that was possible? How could I have moved on while he still seemed so caught up in anger and revenge when he was the one who had wanted to move on? How could he, whom I had thought was larger than life for so many years, have become this shriveled speck that I pitied even more than I disliked? How is it that generally the person causing the divorce still has so much anger so long after getting what he or she wanted?

I thought about the soup analogy and my understanding of how I could send that soup back and order a new one, a better bowl, and why that was true. What gave me the confidence that I would have better waiting for me?

In a restaurant, we are greeted by the host, the maitre-de. It occurred to me that in my life Jesus is my¬†maitre de; He opened the door, showed me to my table, a table¬†He’d prepared knowing I’d enjoy the view even when I wasn’t yet ready to look up yet, even when I was still slurping on soup from some other restaurant, a¬†restaurant that serves flies because its patrons don’t realize there are other places to go with better Food.

Every restaurant has a chef, and in my dream, the Father is my chef. He is the one who creates new meals and cooks up new recipes. He is the one who isn’t afraid to mix together ingredients I would never have thought of combining. He is the one who can take remnants of past meals and make them savory and enviable. He is the one creating¬†the food we crave several times throughout the day.

But how do I tell the chef I’d like a different bowl? How does the chef deliver that food to me or give me the openness to try a¬†dish that looks foreign and strange and just way far out of my comfort zone, especially when my mouth has been burned in the past?

It is the waiter that goes back and forth. He delivers the food. He gives compliments to the chef. He groans with volumes and noises beyond what my limited language can deliver when I allow a fly in my soup and then blame the chef for putting it there.

There is only one who can do that. The Holy Spirit is my waiter. He is with me through every bite of my meal, hovering in the shadows, waiting to be called for whatever purpose I call Him. He never gets tired of being summoned and always offers more,

“Would you like dessert, coffee, another glass of water, perhaps some Bread and Wine?”

The fly in my soup bowl reminds me that,¬†when I’ve finally had enough of eating around the flies in my bowl, I can call¬†the power of the Holy Spirit to help me work through my mess. It means when I hand Him the corrupted soup and ask for a new serving to be brought to me, He will run my request to the Father, and together they will groan over the most recent fly in my soup, forgetting all the flies I’ve foolishly placed there myself. ¬†It means when I turn over my bowl to Him, I don’t have to clean up my mess single-handedly; He will help.

I’m not a big eater of tomato soup. I like it, but I’d rather have lentil or ministrone or pasta fagioli (I hope some Italian can help me with that spelling! My spelling is horrendous, but the soup is superb! “fagioli” CORRECTED Thanks to Sheri!!! :) )

Why tomato soup?

And then I saw it, the fly that was my husband, struggling, bobbing, first above and then below the surface, drowning bit by bit in the red liquid. The red liquid that maybe wasn’t soup at all, but the Blood of Christ. In denying his sins, my ex had shrunken himself and placed himself alone at the Mercy of Christ, to be washed by His Blood – just as I had been not too long ago.

I saw myself as the fly in the soup, knowing I too had needed help, a lift up, and dousing in the Blood of Christ to make me realize how I had gotten into that restaurant in the first place (Still do!)

My lip still curls at the thought of that husband-headed fly in my soup, but I pity him even more too, not realizing he is drowning, not realizing what a¬†gift the liquid that consumes him is. I pick up my efforts to pray for his healing and a lifting of him to where he belongs at the Lord’s Table, and I commit to stop placing my spoon in the bowl, watching ripples toss this poor creature about.

Will you do the same for your ex?

God Bless…

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Calling Out Again and Again…

Keep Calling Out - Gospel Blind Man Cane - Single Mom Smiling“Mommy,



It’s funny, not in a laugh out loud¬†sort of way, but in a funny, sweet, melt your heart kind of way. I’ve¬†always been the parent¬†my kids went to when something was wrong.

When they didn’t feel well, they wanted to cuddle with Mom. When something bad happened at school they came home to milk and cookies with Mom¬†(True at least when they were little! I miss those days!) When Firefighter and Jerry Rice, our guinea pigs, died (now that’s a story!), it was Mom who provided comfort.

But it’s also Mom they go to when something bad happens, even when bad isn’t so bad but they just don’t feel like dealing with it, like when they are¬†carrying groceries in from the car and drop¬†a¬†bag of flour leaving a mess you can only imagine! Or when the toilet clogs and there’s no one but the clogger and Mom. Or in a multitude of other ways. My boys know they just have to call, and I’ll be there – eventually.


“Just a minute, kiddo,”

And sometimes that “Just a minute, kiddo,” means¬†“Just a minute, kiddo,

and other times it means. . .


(Yes, I have thought that through many times)

But even in those toilet unclogging, chick flick watching, lock myself in the closet to consume massive amounts of fat which will deposit itself in my midsection for years moments, my heart still loves that call.

Mooooommmmmmyyyyy . . .

Moooooooommmmmmm . . .

No matter how old the kid is, the sound of him calling my name, even in his (and my) worst moments, is beautiful, frustrating sometimes yes, but always beautiful.

And I thought of this Sunday’s¬†Gospel and how amazing God is.¬†¬†When that blind man called out and was told to shush by those nearby, he refused. Like a child, he kept it up, calling out to Jesus, until Jesus called out to Him and then cured Him because of¬†his faith.

Jesus never turned His back on the man. He never told Him to shush or to wait one more minute while He finished a more important task. Jesus never had one of those¬†toilet unclogging, chick flick watching, lock myself in the closet to consume massive amounts of fat¬†moments – and not just because He didn’t have flush toilets or preferred more manly films either!

Jesus is truly One with God our Father, and He never gets tired of us calling out to Him. He never turns His back. He never tells us one more minute when He doesn’t really mean one more minute, and unlike me in my human value of time, God isn’t interested in solving every problem in an instant. He knows we have eternity to see things as they are, and He is willing to let us work through things so we draw closer to Him and to each other.

When the time is right, the Lord¬†cures. All you have to do is keep calling out. Be the blind man. Admit what you cannot see. Know you don’t have the ability or the right to see more than you do in this moment, but do not be content in this moment.

Be at Peace in life, but be greedy when calling out to the Lord. Ask for more of Him and less of you, and you will be offered gifts of sight beyond what you imagined.

You are a precious Child of God, and far more than¬†any Good parent Loves his child, God Loves you. Don’t listen to the crowds that silent you. Don’t listen to those who tell you you are not Good enough. You are created in the image and likeness of God, and Your Father wants to hear from you.

Call out to Him and be ready for His response whenever and however it comes.

photo credit

God Bless…

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3 Radical Changes the Catholic Church Can Make: Marriage, Divorce, Annulment, Remarriage, & the Body of Christ

Butterfly - Catholic-Church-Changes-Marriage-Divorce-Annulment-Remarriage-Body-of-Christ-This weekend wraps up Pope Francis’ Synod on the Family, part of which addressed the issue of divorce, the annulment process, remarriage, and one’s ability to receive the Body of Christ in Holy Communion.

Two camps have emerged in recent times: German clergy, led by Cardinal Kasper, who push¬†to accept¬†remarriage of the divorced without an annulment and allow those remarried to receive the Body of Christ in the Eucharist (Wasn’t Martin Luther also German? My faithful, German,¬†Catholic Grandmother would have much to say about all this – must be where I get it from!) and those who want to preserve the indissolubility of Marriage and the Sacredness of the Eucharist and deny¬†its gift to those¬†living with another outside of the Blessing of Catholic Church Marriage.Continue Reading