Somehow I missed the single parent swim lessons. Someone just picked me up and threw me in the deep end – and then threw 5 children on top of me! I’m a pretty strong swimmer, but could someone signal break so I could go sit in the hot tub?
This isn’t the pool we planned on jumping into…ever. Personally, I was hoping for a nice tropical pool with a safe little wading area. Nope. I’m pretty much in the deep end and I think my pool is somewhere north of Alaska!
Don’t know if the pool analogy works for you but I think the word drowning in exhaustion, work, laundry, parenting, and paper kinda works. Occasionally I get a gulp of fresh air, but then I have to dive back down. My body is tired of paddling. My mind is murky from too many decisions and too little sleep. My emotions are numb from trying to carry my children’s pain and heartache as my own. My spiritual life is in an SOS state as I continually throw my hands up for help. So how do we get out of the pool or better yet to the lounging chairs?
5 STROKES TO SUNBATHING
- Freestyle Seek freedom from our expectations and those of others. Think of your favorite family times. I love when all 6 of us snuggle together and read a great book, talk for a little bit, play a game and simply exist together. Granted, those nights usually end with dishes undone, laundry unsorted, and papers leaning precariously on the desk, but what sweet times. Not every night can be bliss, but allow yourself time to just be Mom or Dad without the pressure of completing the millions of tasks before you. We know everything will be waiting same time, same place tomorrow. Enjoy today!
It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.
Stand firm, then, and do not let yourself be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.
- Backstroke Don’t look back! Focus ahead! What do you want for your family in 6 months, 1 year, 5 years or more? Do you have aspirations for yourself and your children? What memories and family traditions do you want to have with your children? Set some goals and plan some family time. There’s hope for tomorrow!
But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead,
I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
- Breaststroke No need to stay down! When your head goes under and you have a bad day or month, get back above water again! With everything on our shoulders the opportunities for blunders are boundless. Our children need to be secure in our love and the love of the Lord. This will cover a multitude of flubs. Hugs do wonders too.
Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. 1 Peter 4:8
- Side stroke Find someone to come alongside you. There are people who have walked this path who can offer you guidance, encouragement, and support. There are friends who would love to help you. There are groups who can offer a venting venue. Be blessed by friendships!
Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.
1 John 4:11
- Butterfly Enjoy your life! Find things that bring smiles and send you flying above the water. Enjoy your children and the beauty they bring to your life. Realize that there are many things to be thankful for daily. Grab those things which bring you joy and peace and hold fast. Do not lose your joy in the midst of your difficulties. There is beauty and love all around you – find it!
You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothes me with joy,
that my heart may sing your praises and not be silent.
Lord my God, I will praise you forever.
We didn’t choose this pool, but we do get to choose how we react to the water. Will we sink to the bottom in fear, frustration and failure or will we rise to the surface in hope and joy? Will we teach our children to sink or swim when life gets tough? Let’s be such strong single parents that we will be able to use our experiences to be life guards someday and help other single parents climb out of the deep end!
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in our troubles,
so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.
2 Corinthians 1:3-4
Ready for more inspiring words of healing and faith? Check out Making Sense Out Of Your Past
Feeling uplifted? Click here to learn more about Sue Birdseye’s new book When Happily Ever After Shatters