God, Don't Forget Me: Waiting for God to Answer Prayer in Desperate Times

God, Don't Forget Me: Waiting for God to Answer Prayer in Desperate Times

Waiting on God in desperate times is hard. We know God is all powerful. We know He blesses His children. We know He has a perfect plan.

But boy, does that thing about His timing being better than our timing sting.

And you’re not alone in that. Hannah was a woman who was dealing with some serious anxiety in the midst of seemingly unanswered prayers (I know, join the club, right?!). But the most beautiful thing about Hannah’s story is what God did to transform the heart of a desperate woman, while she waited on answered prayer.

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Mother's Day for the Single Mom

Mother's Day for the Single Mom

I recently overheard a single mom talking to a friend of hers about Mother’s Day.

“I just hate that I have to make my own breakfast and buy my own gifts. It’s not supposed to be like this.”

I know it’s easy to be frustrated about Mother’s Day, especially if you focus on what you get or don’t get. Truth be told, there are a bunch of married mothers out there who will also be upset today about what they get or don’t get.

But the honor that comes from being a mom isn’t found in brunches. Your value isn’t declared in whether or not you get breakfast in bed or monogrammed gifts. Sure, I like cards and flowers as much as the next girl, but I’m overwhelmed with joy when I consider Mother’s Day as an opportunity to reflect on the beautiful ministry that motherhood is, and the honor God has bestowed upon me in it.

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God Is Not a Fortune Teller: Kicking Fear of the Future to Find Power in the Present

God Is Not a Fortune Teller: Kicking Fear of the Future to Find Power in the Present

Have you ever felt anxious about not knowing what the future holds?

Scratch that- I know you have. Maybe I should ask, how have you been dealing with feeling anxious about what the future holds?

A friend of mine and I recently found ourselves in this situation. We’re both in similar seasons of life, each of us recovering from the aftermath of a sin-ravaged marriage. Both of us wondering what the Lord had ahead for us in our lives, desperate to know what God was planning next. So we did what most Christian women would do in this situation– we prayed.

We prayed alone. We prayed together. We prayed via text. We prayed for answers. We prayed for reassurance. One of us may or may not have tried laying out the proverbial fleece before the Lord (see Gideon’s story in Judges for all the deets on that).

But when the answers didn’t come, we felt stuck. Frustrated. Like we were bound to mess it all up because we couldn’t hear God’s voice. And then each of us heard the same gentle word from the Lord, on the very same day–

“Daughter, I am Your Father– not a fortune teller.”

Seriously. My friend and I hadn’t been together for days, and yet each of us received this same revelation from God. Girlfriend, believe me when I tell you we were convicted. We had been going about this all wrong!

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Let Go and Let God: 15 Ways God Fixes What's Broken

Let Go and Let God: 15 Ways God Fixes What's Broken

My mind can be pretty goofy sometimes. As in, I can piece together bits of unrelated information and come up with a totally far off conclusion, yet I’m absolutely convinced it’s 100% true.

Anyone else like that? Yeah, I see you hiding back there.

I’ve done this with everything. Checking for “intruders” in the middle of the night. Circling the block to make sure that speed bump (which I totally SAW) was not a child or an animal.

Believing that if I don’t worry about a situation, then the worst case scenario will absolutely happen.

There was a time I absolutely believed that if I gave God control over my life that I would have to accept things might go badly. That not only could the worst case situation happen, but that just by letting go of it, it would.

What a big ol’ lie.

Whether or not you struggle with clinical anxiety, fear is still a giant threat to our emotional and spiritual health when going through a major life change like losing a spouse through divorce or death. Fear can make us do things that really don’t make ANY sense, just because we are convinced that appeasing our fears is better than the alternative.

But God has HUGE promises for those who give Him room to move in their lives- and He’s a big God so make room!

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Parenting Tips for Single Moms: 5 Easy Ways You Can Be More Effective

Parenting Tips for Single Moms: 5 Easy Ways You Can Be More Effective

Single mommin'. When it comes to parenting alone, it's hard to figure out what battles to pick, and even harder to determine just how to go about disciplining when you need to.

(Especially because the whole good cop/bad cop thing might not really be an option anymore.)

Disciplining solo might not be ideal, but when you realize that God Himself has called you to raise His kids, you can trust He will strengthen and equip you to do it when you seek His ways. After all, in 2 Corinthians 12:9, the Lord says, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness” (NLT).

Even your weak areas can’t stop God- in fact, that’s where He says He works best!

That being said, seeking to understand weaknesses in our parenting strategies can help reorient us to God’s way of doing things. In this post, we’ve got a list of 5 practical strategies you can easily implement (like today) to up your parenting game and grow great relationships with your kids in the process.

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Seven Things Every Single Mom Needs (But Will Never Ask For)

Seven Things Every Single Mom Needs (But Will Never Ask For)

When my marriage first ended, I hated referring to myself as a “single mom.” I hated the connotation of it, like a giant “F” for Failure had been stamped on my forehead.

Like I had been handed a membership card to a club I never wanted to be in.

But over time, I realized that I did not need to let the term “single mother” define me, but rather describe my situation. And the fact is that being in this situation has some unique needs and challenges that are summed up pretty well with the words “single mom.”

(Because “lonely-woman-raising-three-kids-while-being-solely-responsible-for-managing-a-household” is too long.)

As I’ve walked this journey, I’ve come to understand just how much the Lord has ministered to me through the people around me (in ways I didn’t even know I needed). But I’ve also realized just how much I neglected the needs of the single moms around me in my “pre-single mom” days. And not because I didn’t care, but because I didn’t understand.

If you’re a single mom struggling to help those in your life understand, or if you have a single mom in your life that you want to reach out to, check out this list of Seven Ways to Support a Single Mom.

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Trusting God {When Your Marriage Doesn't Work Out}

Trusting God {When Your Marriage Doesn't Work Out}

Every “Pick Up Friday” starts the same. It’s generally uneventful. I give my kids "one more kiss” (about three or four times), and my heart sinks a little watching them rolling their suitcases out the front door.

It sinks because this is not the life I wanted for them. Not by a long shot.

To make the most of it, I immediately jump into my jammies and head to the couch to enjoy a quiet dinner-and-a-movie for one. I rummage through my secret “mama stash” of chocolate (which I do not have to eat in the pantry because there are no kids around). And just when I feel like it’s all going to be okay…

…bedtime comes.

The sadness sets in. The silence becomes overwhelming. What seemed like a weekend of quality alone time turns into a countdown of when the pain of missing my kids will end. And I start asking God, “Why?”

Couldn’t there have been another way?

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{Why Does It Have to Be This Way?} Hope for Single Moms

{Why Does It Have to Be This Way?} Hope for Single Moms

I know you’ve been there. That day when NOTHING goes right. That day when your kiddo gets sick and you don’t have childcare. That day when you discover a past due bill that didn’t get paid. That day when you collapse into your empty bed, which for some reason seems emptier now than it ever has before.

That day when you realize, yet again, that you are a single mom.

Okay, I know some of you would say this is everyday. But you know there are those days that just stand out from the rest (and I’m not talking in a “gold star” kind of way). The days that make you wonder, “Did it really have to be this way?”

It’s a hard question. And sometimes it seems there are no good answers. But we are loved by the God of answers, who never leaves us stranded without hope.

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5 Essential Tips to Heal from Divorce

5 Essential Tips to Heal from Divorce

Truly healing from the heartbreak of divorce starts with shifting your thoughts away from the man who was your earthly husband, and turning your heart to the Lord, who desires to be your Heavenly Husband.

Closeness with God is an exceedingly precious experience because God’s love is extravagant, beyond anything any man could offer. What’s more, our God doesn’t just want to completely heal you from your divorce (as good as that is). No, His desire is even greater– that you would discover a brilliant new life as the woman He made you to be all along. The woman He made you to be before the divorce.

Before the wedding.

Hold up. I know what you’re thinking– “Heavenly Husband? How do I even do get close to God like that?” We’re going to break it all down in our 5 Essential Tips to Heal from Divorce.

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From Hurt to Healing: God is Your Husband

From Hurt to Healing: God is Your Husband

Divorce is a two part trauma; not only are you losing a long term relationship, but you probably also feel that you’re losing part of yourself.

And it’s so in-your-face, even in the simplest ways. Like how long did you identify yourself as “So-and-So’s Wife” or “Mrs. Fill-in-the-Blank”? Every check. Every field trip form. Every doctor’s appointment. And then, all of a sudden, you stop. Stop identifying yourself that way. Stop being that version of yourself.

Stop being what felt like you. But if we’re honest, that process probably began a long time ago.

As time moves on, you’ll begin to see a glimmer of yourself as just yourself. Just you. And the most beautiful adventure begins. The adventure to becoming the woman you were meant to be, all along.

There’s no quick fix to recovering from a divorce; it takes time. But healing well is the key to a hope filled, satisfying future.

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Single Moms are CHOSEN

Single Moms are CHOSEN

Okay girl, let’s get real. As a single mom, I know you’ve felt forgotten about. Overlooked. Maybe even shamed. You may have been told that being a single mom marks you as a failure, and (gasp!) you may have even believed it. 

But what if I told you that God has a special place in His heart, just for single moms? That you have been CHOSEN by Him for a unique and specific purpose?

I know what you’re thinking- “Lord, couldn’t you have CHOSEN me to like, win the lottery?” As great as that sounds, what God has chosen you for is something so important, so valuable, that winning the lottery just wouldn’t cut it.

And He’s going to use the brokenness of your singleness to do it.

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3 Tips to Handle a Narcissist's "Smear Campaign"

3 Tips to Handle a Narcissist's "Smear Campaign"

Just because a woman’s relationship with a narcissistic abuser ends, does not mean the abuse itself will stop. In fact, a separation or divorce may give an abuser the impression he does not have to “play nice” to keep his target attached to him, and he may continue to abuse with less restraint than before.

When a woman begins to distance herself from her abuser, she limits the supply of attention he once received from her. He may go looking for validation elsewhere, and begin to discredit and defame his target to “win” others to his side (especially friends and family). This is what’s known as a “smear campaign.”

If this is happening to you, it can be so frustrating and disappointing (I mean, these people were a part of your life too). You may be wondering, “What do I do?”

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Abuse is Idolatry: 5 Tips for Going "No Contact" as a Biblical Way to Deal with Abuse

Abuse is Idolatry: 5 Tips for Going "No Contact" as a Biblical Way to Deal with Abuse

If you’ve been in a relationship with an emotionally abusive man, you have no doubt described the experience as living with “Jekyll and Hyde.” One day, he’s charming Dr. Jekyll. But all of a sudden, something shifts and vicious Mr. Hyde is revealed.

This is a hallmark of narcissistic personality disorder (also known as narcissism).

It’s a dizzying and exhausting experience, one few people can understand unless they have experienced it. However, once a target of abuse is able to identify these shifts in behavior (and what fuels them), she has the ability to distance herself emotionally from his destabilizing tactics. Read on to see our 5 tips for going no contact as a biblical response to abuse.

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Don't Trust Yourself. Or Anyone Else, For That Matter: A Lesson in Trusting God

Don't Trust Yourself. Or Anyone Else, For That Matter: A Lesson in Trusting God

Once a woman begins to discover she is being used as a pawn in an abuser’s game of manipulation and self-fulfillment, she may experience waves of confusion. She doubts whether or not she can trust herself, and wonders if she can ever trust her abuser (or any other person for that matter) again.

But when we place our trust God, it becomes far easier to discern His presence in the lives of others, and know with whom we should align ourselves.

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5 Habits that Enable Your Abuser {+ 5 Ways to Stop Enabling Him TODAY}

5 Habits that Enable Your Abuser {+ 5 Ways to Stop Enabling Him TODAY}

Enabling, is a very real part of abusive relationships. Enabling happens when a victim engages in behaviors that hide abuse and shield the abuser from the consequences of his actions. Enabling allows abuse to worsen by keeping this evil shrouded in darkness (where it just LOVES to grow).

And while abuse is never a victim’s fault, she may be unwittingly contributing to its longevity through enabling. In this post, we’re going to talk about 5 key things abused women do to prolong abuse (and 5 ways you can stop enabling an abuser, TODAY).

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Am I Co- Dependent? The Consequences of the Codependency Myth in Abusive Relationships

Am I Co- Dependent? The Consequences of the Codependency Myth in Abusive Relationships

It can be hard to make sense of the relationship dynamics in an abusive marriage. There’s a natural tendency to think in terms of cause-and-effect logic, in which the wife is given some responsibility for her husband’s abuse, due to being a “low performing” or co-dependent spouse.

Not only does that kind of thinking hurt victims, it isn’t biblical.

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How Do I Know if My Abusive Husband is Really Changing?

How Do I Know if My Abusive Husband is Really Changing?

One of the most difficult aspects of breaking the cycle of abuse lies in a woman’s ability to rightly identify what is happening to her as abuse in the first place. However, even when she can begin to describe her husband’s behavior as abusive, a new struggle for discernment of the truth begins.

I mean, knowing whether or not a man is changing seems so subjective, right?

Thankfully, the Bible offers us a very descriptive account of what true change and repentance looks like, taking what seems subjective and creating a standard by which women can properly assess what’s really going on.

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5 Things Your Church Can Do RIGHT NOW to Stop Domestic Violence

5 Things Your Church Can Do RIGHT NOW to Stop Domestic Violence

In Part I of this series, we discussed the raging epidemic of domestic violence in Christian churches and pastors’ self-reported unpreparedness in handling it. And while ongoing education is the mission of organizations like Agape Moms, we’ve developed a list of five meaningful steps Christian leaders and pastors can take RIGHT NOW to safeguard their congregations and help families struggling with these issues.

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By the Numbers: The Silent Epidemic of Domestic Abuse in Christian Churches

By the Numbers: The Silent Epidemic of Domestic Abuse in Christian Churches

Domestic abuse is an insidious, silent epidemic in the Christian community. Sadly, 37% of pastors surveyed say they believe that domestic and sexual violence does NOT occur in their congregations.

With nearly 1 in 3 American women suffering domestic abuse at some point in their lifetimes, It doesn’t seem likely that nearly 40% of churches are completely free of this issue.

The greater likelihood is that these churches either don’t know how to identify cases of abuse, or do not have the kind of culture in which victims are encouraged to come forward to seek help and healing. In the meantime, women and children are terrorized by the effects of intimate partner abuse as victims struggle without guidance and support from a spiritual community.

But it doesn’t have to be this way. But identifying the fact that there is a problem is the first step.

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