To write a good sequel, one needs to either be consistent in her writing or leave a big enough space to show growth of the characters involved. Those characters need to then set out with greater wisdom and skills on a similar, but different, mission. That's what I am hoping to do with SIngle Mom Smiling now as I change it's focus from giving voice to the devastation and evil of divorce to providing direction on overcoming that nastiness and learning to live one's best life.
I am not sure if anyone still reads my little Single Mom Smiling blog. I haven't posted in a while. I got caught up doing what needs to be done to do to get ahead in the world. I have also spent a lot of time learning and challenging myself and my old beliefs about who I am and my place int he world. I can't say one ever "moves on" from divorce, but I can promise that there are things we can do to put ourselves in a good place mentally, emotionally, financially, but most of all spiritually.
Here's a little of what I've done over the last 14 years...
I worked hard, got a good job, and raised/am raising five fantastic young men. I got 7-12 math certification using a pathway that had never been done before and that people said could not be done!
I drove around the United States meeting interesting people and appreciating this great and beautiful country. I camped in Yellowstone, toured the Field of Dreams, and ran onto the Braves' homefield with my little boys. I have studied the US Constitution and our history, visited forts, parks, local, often under appreciated stomping grounds, and historic landmarks as well as tiny, out of the way Churches, immense cathedrals, and solemn sacred grounds.
I participated in events that uphold Catholic American values and left my heart singing - events like the annual March for Life and Glenn Beck's Restoring Honor in Washington DC.
I visited friends from as close as New Jersey and Maryland to as far as Tulsa and Dallas, Fargo and Helena. I met new friends and people I only spoke to for a short while but that I hope to meet again in Heaven one day.
I have been on tv and radio shows and have had my writing appear in international magazines.
I even received training by amazing US Spec Ops including Green Berets and a Navy SEAL!
Did I mention I raised five fantastic young men too!
It's true, 14 and a half years after my husband left, I am living a very imperfect and wonderful life!
That said, I look around and see our world in chaos and wonder what I have to offer. Then I think back to what started me on the journey to being Single Mom Smiling.
I published my first post on Single Mom Smiling 12 years ago this week. I didn't know much about blogging or marketing or anything that would make this little blog successful. All I knew was that God was calling me to write and share because the heartbreak that was happening to us would happen to others as well. I wish I could say I was wrong, but it doesn't take a rocket scientist to see how the destruction of the family has escalated since my boys and I were suddenly abandoned back in 2009.
I didn't know then that Jesus had told Saint Faustina over 100 years earlier that the final battle between Him and Satan would be over Marriage and family. I didn't know casualties would not just be counted among the divorced, single parents, and, worse, our children, but in the escalation of IVF, abortion, and lgbt-ism and heartbreaking crimes against Natural Law and our God who creates such laws.
I believe a lot of the problems of our world today happen because people have gotten caught up in doing what needs to be done to get ahead rather than living out our mission and true purpose.
Our purpose is simply to, as the Catholic Catechism states, know, love, and serve God.
Wow! Do we overcomplicate things!
I am guilty of overcomplicating. In doing so, I know I have failed to know, love, and serve as I am designed to. I need to find the balance between what I need to do to provide for myself and my family and what God calls me to do and trust God to provide when I act in faith. That finding balance and acting in trust is where today's post comes from.
I now have a job that provides a good salary and that I enjoy, but I still believe God has called each of us to do more than get a good job, work until we retire, and die. He calls us to holiness. He calls us to redemption. He calls us to use our place in life to reach others. He calls us to evangelize and save souls.
Knowing this, I have to ask how well I have been helping others in situations similar to where I've been. Have I opened my heart and my mind to pouring into others as I wish someone had poured into me? Have I implemented a plan of faith to help those struggling with divorce, single parenting, abandonment, abuse, neglect, and crisis pregnancy as I felt God call me to do? Have I taught others to overcome and use the skills I've received in research on mindset, resilience, peace, and happiness through top universities, military friends, and silent reflection in Confession, prayer, and Adoration?
The answer is that I have not done as well as I could have. I had other things to do. How will I tell Jesus that when I meet Him and He wants to say to me, "Well done my good and faithful servant," but instead I tell Him I got caught up doing what needs to be done to provide for myself alone?
I would rather not find out!
It is time I get back to writing, coaching, and, (soon) podcasting! One of my biggest hindrances to doing this lately has been my desire to publish only perfect pieces. In this desire, I have not published anything! In totaly transparency, I am not sure if it is fear or pride that caused that, but either way, I am saying no more to it and yes to God!
My plan is to write once a week by keeping my writing time to an hour or less. Yikes! That means there will be plenty of imperfect posts, but at the same time, more messages and (hopefully!) help to those suffering and afraid. We need each other in this crazy world.
My focus in future posts will not be on me and my story, but on how you can change your life and find peace and happiness independent of what others think or say or do. My plan is to focus on three pillars that go into living a good life.
- Building Relationships,
- Daily Routines,
- and Self Care.
My time is almost up, so I will talk more about these three pillars next week. Thank you for your patience and for sticking with me all these years. I hope you join me next week too!
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