Thanksgiving is almost upon us and you have reasons to be thankful as a single mom! However, this time of the year can be a very sad time for many single moms. Maybe you’re the single mom who is approaching the holidays with angst…praying for Thanksgiving and Christmas to go away as quickly as they’ve snuck up on us. I found DivorceCare very helpful during the divorce process and I recommend these Surviving the Holidays videos for tips to help you through the season.
Or you may be that single mom who has learned to love her life and is looking forward to enjoying Thanksgiving traditions with her friends and family. Maybe you’re somewhere in the middle…you’ve learned to cope with the holidays (after all, what can you do?)… you’re somewhere between loving your single mom life and wishing you could go back to life as you knew it.
Either way, the holidays are almost here. I’ve been thinking about all my reasons to be thankful in this season as a single mom and I thought I’d share it with you. I’m hoping that my musing will help you reflect on your personal reasons to be thankful, and make this time of the year a joyful time for yourself and the people you love.
Should single moms walk in joy? Do we really have reasons to be thankful?
I’m asking this simple question, ridiculous as it seems because there are some who think that single parents, especially divorce single moms have no business being joyful and should have no reasons to be thankful. They think we should go about life with our heads down and faces covered with shame.
I pray that you are so grounded in the love of your heavenly father that you recognize the self-righteous pride that’s tucked neatly behind those views and you walk with your head held high, shoulders square, confident in the love of the One who will never fail you.
You are loved…just as you are! Never forget that. When the clouds are grey and it feels like nothing is working in your life, remind yourself of this fundamental truth.
6 Reasons to be thankful as a single mom
Here are 6 things that should make you skip as you walk and leave your heart bursting with joy.
1) I’m grateful for a fresh start! So should you.
You have been given the gift of a fresh start. Open it! Have you ripped off the ribbons? Do I hear the crinkling of the brightly colored wrapping paper as you bury your hands in the treasure in front of you? You have the gift of a reset in your hands…a fresh start!
I don’t know if like me, you got here through the valley of divorce or if something else brought you here. But it doesn’t matter! You have been given a fresh notebook…what story will you scribble within its pages? Will you write more of the same sad story that’s speaking from your past? Or will you cooperate with God, and write a new story of courage, hope, peace, and love? What will you choose? It’s up to you. You can’t change your past, but you can choose a different direction for your future. Choose well! Grasp the reset that you have been presented with and write a new story that’s so incredible that folk won’t believe that the woman in the old story was you.
God, speaking in Isaiah 43:19 says “For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.”
(New Living Translation Bible)
2) Light travel
Yes! Now you can travel light! You can let go of all the baggage, the dead weight that you’ve been hauling around. You are free from that stuff now. Don’t pick it back up! The dead weight in your past may be people that you thought you needed, bad choices that you kept making or even deep-seated emotions from the things that tried to break you. You can walk free from all that. Take only what’s needed for where you’re headed.
If it won’t help you on your journey, why are you still hauling that junk around? Get rid of it all! Let go of the people that need you to be less so that they can feel more. Stop revisiting the familiar places and things that only lead you to pain and emptiness. Let go of the anger and the hurt. Choose to forgive…you can’t travel far if you’re hauling junk with you. Choose to travel light.
Would you like some additional help? Read these great resources to help you deal with the challenges of your single mom life
3) I’m grateful for a peaceful home
I’ve heard several fellow divorced moms share how their homes are so much more peaceful now that they’re divorced. Some have shared that their children had been asking them to get divorced for years and are so much happier. While this is a sad reality that is not at all what God intended for the family, it’s true for many of us.
Your home can now be a true sanctuary for you and your kids. No more walking on eggshells or enduring emotional and physical abuse. Don’t feel guilty that you’re happy about this. Don’t feel guilty that you’re not sad that your marriage is over. You may have done your grieving during the marriage that didn’t look at all like God’s plan. You can enjoy the peace of God that now fills your home, and enjoy your children again.
4) I’m grateful for the freedom to make the right choices…guilt-free
Many divorced women formerly suffered in marriages where they often compromised their core beliefs in order to keep the peace. Maybe you wanted to serve others more, give more of your finances or do something that filled your emotional tank. But you couldn’t because your spouse didn’t agree and you knew that “rocking the boat” wasn’t worth the resulting turmoil.
Well, now, you can! You can go back to the core of who you are and tap into your creativity. You can take that dance class, paint, garden, tithe, serve… do things that feed your soul. The only person you should be answering to now is God. Make sure you and your heavenly father have an intimate relationship so that you know the godly boundaries that He has for your life as you walk in the freedom that you can now enjoy…guilt-free.
5) New friendships
Personally, one of my many reasons to be thankful as a single mom has been the new friends that I’ve made. I’m not proud to admit that many of the other divorced single moms that are now precious to me are people that I wouldn’t have even noticed if I were still married. This is not because I was being mean or avoiding them, but single moms existed outside of my “married bubble”…I didn’t understand divorce and was so wrapped up in my own life that I missed the opportunity for great friendships.
I’m grateful for these women and proud to be counted amongst this courageous, can-do group of amazing women!! If you wonder who wonder woman is, she’s a single mom!
I hope you’ve also made some amazing new friends in this season of life. If you haven’t, I encourage you to reach outside of your comfort zone and build a community for yourself and your kids. Don’t do this life alone! It’s much harder that way.
6) A new heart
I’m grateful for the woman that God is making me in this season. He’s given me an empathy for others that I didn’t even know I lacked. He’s also building me up and teaching me how to love myself. I didn’t realize how much I depended on the opinions of others and subconsciously looked for their approval for my own decisions. The public nature of my divorce experience and the shame that I struggled with afterward brought me to a place of deep self-acceptance that I didn’t know that I needed to get to.
As God has healed my heart, I’ve learned that though imperfect, I’m enough. I’ve learned to love the woman that I see when I look in the mirror and to see myself the way God sees me…priceless, worthy, whole. I love how I’m becoming clay in His hands, knowing that He knows what’s best and that if I trust Him and keep my hand in His, all will be well.
How has God changed your heart in this season? The trials of divorce and single motherhood have the potential to make you bitter or make you better. Let God soften you through this experience and give you a new heart that’s more open to light and love!
What are you thankful for today?
What are some of your reasons to be thankful? Please share below and encourage someone else.