Update 2013

Family
These are just some of my reasons to be thankful.

In the almost two years since I last posted to Single Mom Smiling, there have been many changes to our lives and many things which have sadly remained the same. Here are just some quick bullets of what is going on in whatever order they appeared in my mind! It is so hard to give just bullet points here, and I suspect that the next several posts will take these individualized bullet points and explain them more thoroughly.

First, the Bad:

  • We did lose the house in foreclosure.
  • My credit rating dropped from an A rating to an F, better than only 2% of the population. 
  • Finding housing for a single unemployed mom of five boys was not easy.
  • My mother cashed in part of her retirement to buy us a house. I don’t know what we’d have done without her.
  • I have sent out over 125 teaching applications and have gotten nothing more than a summer school job teaching about 90 minutes away from home. I start that job next week. Wish me luck!
  • The court system never came through for us, and, like many single parents AND THEIR CHILDREN, we would be living in poverty if it weren’t for the wonderful people who have lifted us up. 
  • Next March, maintenance ends and we will be in desperate shape, but that is a worry for another day as I try to live in God’s presence and not worry about what the future holds.
  • My ex and his girlfriend (from here on I’ll call her the OW, the other woman) live together, a loss of values I am powerless to protect my children from.
  • OW now occasionally comes to the boys’ games, making my stomach turn as she goes out of her way to sit with my friends, encroaching further into my life. I wonder what she is thinking??? 
  • Blaming the economy, my ex has taken a pay cut of over $40,000 and sometimes works very little but still manages to take expensive trips with his wealthy OW and buy lavish gifts for the boys, and yet the judge agrees that the economy is bad and continuously lowers his child support.
  • OW is in the process of buying an expensive house, and I keep thinking of the house I lost worth 10% of what she is now spending, and how much I’d love to have that house back.
  • The boys continue to take trips with OW and their father, stay in nice hotels every month, and receive expensive gifts from them. I continue to wonder how to pay the week’s grocery bill.
  • I finally asked for jail time if my ex did not pay. He owed almost $20,000 for the past 10 or so months. I got a lump sum  when he received his tax check. Thank God for that check. 
  • I had to stop substitute teaching – daycare was too expensive, and my ex refused to pay his court ordered share. Like many women, it was just another battle I couldn’t face while being spread so thin. Something had to give.
  • George was diagnosed with a disease called HSP, Henoch Schonlein Purpura. It lasted for a long time and was scary, but he is better now, and I thank God for the health of my children about a thousand times every single day, which brings me to the other side.
Now, for the Good (because there is always good!) :
  • ALL MY CHILDREN ARE HEALTHY AND WONDERFUL!!!
  • We have a roof over our head and heat when it is cold.
  • We continue to be surrounded by some of the greatest people.
  • While I know that some the pain will always remain, some of the sickness in the pit of my stomach has dissipated in the years since my husband left.
  • I have taken a computer programming class, and learned that I am capable of doing more than I ever thought I could. I am smarter than I thought I was. 🙂
  • My oldest son, Troy, turned 16 and has his driver’s permit! I say that with both the joy and fear that only a parent of a new driver can understand.
  • Matt begins high school in the fall and continues to do well in his accelerated courses. He has his sights set on going to Clemson to be an engineer – or a real estate agent! Oh to be 14!!!
  • George is healthy and thoughtful and wonderful. Of all my children, he is the one I worry the most about right now, but that can change day to day and year to year. Please keep him in your prayers.
  • Noah, once called, “my most challenging child,” has made a 160 degree turn (not quite 180, but close!) I am amazed at how sweet he has become, offering to help without being asked and doing his schoolwork without being told. He has very few temper tantrums, and I LOVE spending time with him.
  • Kaleb – Kaleb is sweet and adorable and funny and smart and athletic and artistic and ready to conquer the world. He is also a handful! Please keep me in your prayers. He may cause me more than a few gray hairs! 😉

The greatest thing that has happened over the past two years is that my faith in the Lord continues to grow as I continue to learn more about His love for us. I continue to count my blessings and have learned to take each day as it comes, one at a time. I try not to think about how hard things will get if my plans do not work and to instead trust that God’s plans will work, which is a dumb thing to say. God’s plans always work, I just have to get out of His way!

Thank you for rejoining me on my journey as Single Mom Smiling! My scripture verse today is the same as the one I first used in Single Mom Smiling.

*The photo above was from 2011. We have come a long way since then! 🙂

God Bless…

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For I know well the plans I have in mind for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare. not your woe! lans to give you a future full of hope!

Jeremiah 29:11

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Pregnant and Alone - 2013