The search for peace continues. I just went back and read the first post of Single Mom Smiling. I had said that I want to be the one smiling and to bring peace to my life, to my children’s lives, and to the lives of others.
Over the years I have found so much to smile about, and I certainly have found more peace in my heart than before; however, more than four years later I sometimes wonder if peace will ever be possible.
Five children do not often lend themselves to peace. They are with their father this weekend so I spent hours folding laundry and cleaning the downstairs playroom, but you would never know it to look at it. I did loads of dishes, but the floor is still a mess. I straightened my room but need to donate clothes and downsize so much junk I’ve accumulated. It amazes me how much work is involved simply in keeping the house to a minimal disaster area.
I am still searching for the job God wants me to have. I cannot count the number of resumes I have sent out or the jobs I have applied to. While I am grateful for my 7-12 math license (How hard that was for me to achieve!) I know my state of mind while taking those tests and classes do not reflect my true ability, and I wonder if my weak transcripts could be hurting my chances of finding a teaching position. I am also feeling more and more strongly that teaching is a thing of my past, not my future but I am not sure where to go next.
Financially, things are definitely better this year. I have Child Support Collection Unit automatically collecting money from my ex’s paychecks. Not long ago he was threatened with having his driver’s license revoked, and I strongly urge other single parents to stay on top of support collection and on top of the agencies which are supposed to be watching out for you. Most agencies are overwhelmed and understaffed and cannot necessarily have your best interest at heart.
The threat of losing his driver’s license motivated the boys’ father, and we received a large check, but I still feel that yucky feeling creep up on me when I think of how quickly that support drops when maintenance ends in March, and I wonder what will become of us and how I work even more than I do and still help the kids and do what is best for them.
My kids are doing well overall. They, like all of us, have their moments and their ups and downs. I need to find more time with them, bedtime stories, family game nights, Scout achievements, ball in the backyard. Time is still my greatest obstacle.
I am beginning to wonder about dating and am doubting the choices I might make there. That makes me doubt myself and wonder if I should just commit to a life of singleness forever. I need to be careful of what message my dating sends to my children, of any man lucky enough to enter their lives, and of what a dating relationship means to who I was compared to who I am meant to be. That is a lot of pressure!
The Search for Peace Continues
Yes, the search for peace continues for me, but it is very different now. Now I know the pain and fear and doubt that will come to every life, not just mine, is temporary. Even in this world, the negative is only as permanent as we make it. If I choose to dwell in misery and chaos, I will be surrounded by misery and chaos. If I choose to live in joy and peace, I will live in joy and peace.
The other thing I have learned over the years is that peace is only truly possible with God. I do have many questions, but I know God will provide the answers. I may not like those answers right away, but I know they will help me learn and grow closer to him. That in itself provides a measure of peace, a calming of the storm I might have once created myself.
So despite the insanity my life can sometimes offer and despite the fact that I continue the search for peace, I have achieved a measure of acceptance for the measure of peace possible on earth and I can also have peace by looking forward to the only complete peace we can ever know: The peace that comes when we are called home to live with our Lord.
Peace be with you