family pic

family pic

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Crutch or Battle?

I thought I'd throw in a random post for the week on some things I've been wrestling over in my mind.

 I don't like to use the term single mom, because I don't want to look like I'm using it as a crutch.  I don't want it to be my "get out of jail free" card when I refer to myself as a single mom. I put a lot of responsibility on myself to still be the parent that my kids need.. even if I have to do it alone. 

But I also feel like there are certain things that I will never be able to do well with my children because I am a single mom. This week I have been determined to cook more often, have the boys brush their teach more often, pray more often with my kids, go to bed earlier...etc. 

I struggled because ALL of those things are very hard to do on my own as a parent. (Seriously, even just having your kids brush their teeth you ask.... Yes! Even remembering to have them brush their teeth). I could just cut myself some slack and say that its ok. I don't have to cook... we don't have pray together... my kids don't have to brush their teeth (their going to fall out anyway right ;)... 

But then I think, no... I have to keep trying. I can't give up cooking and go out to eat every night.. that would be expensive and foolish... I can't stop praying with them... God has called me to reflect Him to my boys... and I can't give up brushing teeth... because eventually those permanent teeth are going to come in, and they might fall out too :P

So what's the balance? I remembered today something one of my professor's said last semester regarding his weight. He said he thought he was doing ok as long as it was still a battle for him. It would be a problem in his life when he quit trying to fight that particular battle. I thought that could be a great application to single parents. 

Things are going to be hard... and messy... and we are going to fail... A LOT... but its ok as long as we don't give up. We have to stay in the battle and not throw in the towel because we are single moms. We have to keep getting back up.. over and over again. We are doing ok... as long as we don't stay down. 

Sunday, January 20, 2013

The Younger Years

My cousin Becca (my awana buddy) and I together at Disney

A couple of weeks ago I was ready to start moving forward with my new theme for my blog "Your Life Story". To be honest I'm a little overwhelmed by the topic now! I have to be careful about what I post and what is appropriate for all to see. So as I ponder through this I thought I'd start with a story a little more lighthearted to give you a glimpse of me during my early years.

Growing up I was.. hmmm... what's the word... awkward. I was a skinny lanky girl covered in freckles with a thick head of curly red hair. I just wanted to be like everyone else. I was constantly trying to play it safe, never taking risks, trying to just blend in. Every Sunday night I went to Awana at my church. I hated Awana. I could never remember to wear my vest, always forgot my 50 cent dues, did not memorize as many verses as everyone else, and was awful at the game time. Eventually I purposefully "forgot" my vest out of defiance... I bet that showed them :) For those of you who are familiar with Awana know that there are frequent theme nights. One week at Awana while announcements were being made, Cowboy night was announced and we were encouraged to dress up like Cowboys and Cowgirls with a prize given to the best dressed clubber. My little Awana heart was suddenly awakened. I could actually win this one... I definitely could never win a verse quiz or any of their athletic games... but Cowboy night.... (You see my little brother was currently going through a Cowboy phase and had the whole Cowboy get up) BUT was I willing to really put myself out there... was I willing to really stick out? Yes, I nervously decided. I would take a risk and go.all.out.

The next week I dug through my brother's toy box. I found toy guns complete with their holsters, a cowboy shirt, a fringe vest, a sheriff's badge (not really cowboy, but it made me think cowboy), and a plastic cowboy hat. I looked ridiculous... I wasn't wearing "real" cowboy clothes, but rather looked like a toddler who was playing dress up (not cool for a 4th grader). BUT I knew I could win best dressed in this outfit, so I kept everything on.

We were driving closer to the church and I was suddenly terrified to get out of the car. I think my mom was just as scared for me as I was. We just sat there in the car in front of the church and she said "Are you sure its tonight?" Thanks mom for the encouraging pep talk :P I decided I was just going to do it. I was just going to walk right in.

As I was walking into the gym I noticed the kids walking in with me were not wearing cowboy clothes. I started to hyperventilate, but reassured myself that they were just playing it safe, like I would have, and this is a good thing because I now had a better shot at winning. I kept walking to the gym.... and in horror realized I was the only one dressed up. My cousin (who made Awana worth going to) ran over to me dying laughing and told me Cowboy Night was NEXT week. I was MORTIFIED!

I think this story brings a good visual and understanding to what little Christina was like :) I did not have a relationship with Christ yet and my life goal was to fit it. You will see how this impacted me later during my teen years..

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Your Story

I'm wanting to make my blog a bit more specific, so I thought I'd hone in on a topic that I am very passionate about... (drum roll)... our life stories.  I became passionate about this topic a few years ago when I listened to a conference from Dan Allender about this topic. (Ladies who went of the ladies retreat a couple of years ago have heard all about this :) During that time I felt like I was in a place without hope. My vision for my life ever since high school was to be in the ministry. That was all I ever wanted to do with my life and it was devastating for me to give that up. I continued to settle for lesser desired dreams for my future and eventually I was in a place with no more dreams, simply longing for heaven. 

It was during this time that I heard a message about my life story. It completely changed my perspective about my life. I had previously read verses like Jeremiah 29:11 that states:

11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

I knew that the Lord had a plan for my life in my head... but I did not feel it in my heart. I felt like my past and present circumstances were a big mess and I was still waiting for my story to begin. Finally I truly believed that God was writing my life story... and He is good... therefore my story was good. What glorious freedom and joy I felt at that moment! After a few months of meditating over this fact, I not only came to grips with my story... but I also loved my story. As I began to study and read my story I began to see Him working in parts I had never noticed before. I would be lying if I said that I saw Him in every event of my life. There were some events that I was still confused about, but I had a new trust that God had a reason and plan for even those events I couldn't make sense of on my own.

I'm hoping to through some of my story and maybe have some "guests" come and share their stories in the future. I'll end with a couple of questions for you...

1. Have you gone through and read your own story? Many of us enjoy reading other's stories (reality tv, magazines, novels), but we spend most of our life trying to forget our own story. 

2. Do you love your story? You cannot tell your story until you love your story. 

3. Have you told your story? Sometimes we can't see the beauty of our story on our own. We need others to read it and help us interpret it. We need them to become our mirror and show us themes and facts we had never noticed before. 

*Each of our stories reveal a different aspect of God, which is why He gives each of us different stories. Have you thought about what God is trying reveal about Himself through your story?

Friday, January 4, 2013


Today I went through one of my journals. I only journal when I can't work out problems in my head and use it as a time to sort out my thought and cry out the Lord for help.. or at times cry out to Him in thankfulness. I have about 4 different journals and when I decide to write I just grab the nearest journal. So this particular journal I pulled out started with a praise to the Lord for what He had done for me... then the next article was a few years later and I was at rock bottom asking God why. It made me laugh to myself bc if you didn't notice the dates, you would seriously think I was bipolar! 

Reading through the writings brought some flashbacks to the different seasons in my life. I wanted to knock some sense into the younger me who continually wrote about some of the same struggles. At times I was also able to see some growth in me. I realized that growth is usually gradual... sometimes we don't even realize it until we remember ourselves a few years ago. But overall, I realized that there was nothing really great that I had done. Yes, there was some growth, but usually that growth resulted from God's direct intervention in my life. I thought about how when we share our testimonies, we often omit our sinfulness. Or if we share our sinfulness it is quickly followed by "but I repented from my sins and I was able to conquer those previous struggles... and YOU can be as great as ME if you do what I did!" But honestly, It is only by God's grace that we are free from our strongholds of sin. Really, what brings God more glory... stating our accomplishments, or stating God's intervention and grace when we couldn't get up on our own. 

After going through my journal I resolved to be more honest about my story and keep my focus not on my accomplishments, but on the greatness of God. I guess you could say that is my New Year's resolution ;)