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Misconceptions: The Single, Working, Homeschooling Mama Part 2

karen part 2

Today is the continuation of the interview with my friend Karen.  You can read the first part of her story here.

D: At night, when its quiet and you’re alone with God, what do you pray for the most when it comes to mother in and working?

K: Oh boy what a question. Where do I start with that one? Well, what I pray for the most really …… it’s really difficult with her father. I pray a lot that the Lord would give her a better father.  I’ve been praying allot that the Lord would either shape up the one she has or give her a better one.

I pray the Lord’s will a lot, because in all these situations it’s hard to know what is best so I pray and ask the Lord for what’s best. And I pray and ask him to help us to walk through whatever that is.

I have a plaque on my wall and it says, “All things work together for good to them that love God” Romans 8:28. I’ve had to cling to that one a lot.

To get personal, another thing I pray for is simply just help, sometimes I’m just so tired and so stressed, I’m just feeling so overwhelmed that I don’t know what to pray for, that I don’t know what area needs help then so I just say lord I need help. And sometimes I can pinpoint something to be specific, and I’ve noticed that when I can be specific He usually always answers. Sometimes in a good way and other times in a way that I really didn’t want it to be answered but it was help. I do pray a lot, about being so tired of feeling stressed sometimes, that I do pray for a husband, a Godly husband. But then other times its just like Lord come and sweep up all this mess and just make it better.

I also pray a lot for the Lord’s guidance and wisdom to see His hand through all this and to know the right decisions to make. I do pray a lot that the Lord would help me with Sarah, and just help me to know what to do because sometimes she’s so strong willed that it’s just tiring. sometimes I think that if she just wasn’t so strong willed that all will be just so much easier. I also pray a lot for Sarah, that she wouldn’t be influenced wrongly by her father and his family. I’ve seen their influence on her life all ready and it just discourages me at times. I hate to see his bad behavior rub off on her, I hate it. In the past there have been many times he’s told her to do things simply because I know he was trying to agitate me.

I pray a lot that the Lord would just protect her and keep her. And then there’s been other times where it’s been like the garden of Gethsemane prayer, Lord take this from me, make it better, change it do something Lord just don’t make me walk through it please. But then I found after that prayer there always happened to be a prayer of okay Lord, but let your will be done. And I knew I would have to submit to it because only His way is the good way, but it was so very hard sometimes, especially the times when I saw my daughter being affected by it. There have been numerous other prayers I’ve prayed. There’s sometimes I just cried, or just laid there not knowing what to say or how to say it, just laying there sometimes in disbelief. 

D: Share any negative, rude, judgmental and / or condescending comments people have made to you about your choice to work and home school.

K: Oh I’ve tried to forget most of them. But, there have been times that people may have said in a certain way that it’s really hard, you can’t do it. Or, in another way they may have said that Sarah would be better educated in school or better socialized. There have been other times that people have basically said that I couldn’t do both work and home school. If they really knew about homeschooling then they wouldn’t have said the things that they have said.

More than anything I feel like in many places I’ve been put in box. I been put in a box of I’m just dreaming in fairy land or I can’t really relate, or know just different things that they have characterized me in that they have separated themselves from me and they’ve isolated me because of their perspective.

That’s one of the things I struggle the most with, being categorized and being put in a box. Well, there’s not many working, homeschooling single moms, I don’t know any, so needless to say its a lonely box. I try to reach out to others and show them I don’t need to stay in this box, but then they just shove me back in my lonely box, pick up their box and move on.

D: How does it make you feel to hear these hurtful things?
K: Mostly it makes me feel lonely, misjudged, categorized, condemned, hated for no reason just because I’m different or choose walk a different path. That’s one of the things I struggle with the most. At first I would try to explain to people why I made this decision. And then as time went on I just let people have their opinions and move on.

Alot of people think, that living the different life is glamorous, but walking a road that no one else walks really is lonely. It’s really hard sometimes being lonely and then being misunderstood. I’ve heard somewhere that the definition of alone is not being alone but being misunderstood or not being known. During these last few years  I really felt misunderstood which caused me to feel alone in that little box that people want to put me.

It can be really frustrating at times too, its like standing outside of this bubble where everybody lives in wanting to get in, because the path that God is leading me down is so different than everybody else is. It really can be lonely being a single mom and loneliness can be can be weary, and most likely a single mom is already tired from all she has to do already so that’s not good. Because then tiredness causes a person not to want to reach out to make friends when that’s what a single mom really needs the most is friendship.

D:If a woman knows a mom who is juggling both things like you, what can she do to help and support her?

K: When I first read this question I thought “Oh boy, I can make a list on my needs,” but it would be a really long list.  I would say just be her friend and encourager, her cheerleader.Do what you can or just pray and ask the Lord to show you what you could do.

And finally,

D: What scriptures do you hold on to the most when the days are long and the tears are flowing like a river? What gets you through these times?

K: Well, I’ve mentioned Romans 8:28, Psalm 91, Psalm 37, Psalm 23 and many other verses on how God leads those with young and is our husband and father and cares for the widow and fatherless and how he’s close to the broken hearted, etc.. I’ve learned to cling to many scriptures and to stand on Gods word till I see His hand in it all.

I have to remember that God sees and I have to look back and remember how He was there for me.  Other times I just need to lay and cry and sob my eyes out till there’s no more tears and hope God hears and will answer my prayers and other times I just need to let it out, all that worry and fear and just have a yelling fit at God.

That doesn’t happen often but when it does I just feel that its better to get it out and lay it at His feet, no matter how it comes out. Weather it comes out in tears or questions or anger or whatever, it needs laid down so we don’t need to carry it anymore. Because it is a way too heavy load for anyone to carry, we just gotta let it out and trust what He says in His word. I often in hard times have to say out loud, “Lord, I trust you”, to force my focus off of what it shouldn’t be on and back unto God.

Oh, its a journey isn’t it?   That’s how we learn I guess, we all learn on this journey of life no matter how hard or easy it its.

Well, blessings to all and thanks for taking the time to hear my heart.

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Karen is such an encouragement to me that no matter what “life” hands us, God is in control and when we seek and follow His leading He will bless us.

 

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Comments

  1. Karen is an encouragement to me too! I love her! This post makes me want to do something special for her, but really, I CAN be that cheerleader she needs! 🙂 -Linda-

  2. Karen; I cried through this! I am a single mother. I have home schooled my children from birth; and now I work in two direct sales companies. Right now, neither business is earning enough to pay the bills (I’m just getting started) and now their father is trying to reduce his obligations by forcing me to go work outside the home and put the children in school. Unfortunately, the way the law works, a judge can force me to put them in school if he feels it’s best for them. My son has special needs and really needs to be home. So we are now in a court battle over this. I have a legal aid attorney because I can’t afford to pay one; fighting my case seems to be the last thing on his mind.

    My prayers, too, are similar. I pray constantly for that husband/father to help teach my children what marriage is truly about; how God designed it to be. I cry every time my daughter asks me to find her a “real” daddy. I cry every time they go on a visit because I know my son just wants to play video games and not really spend time with his father; and my daughter goes because she’s desperate for male attention, no matter how bad it is.

    He abused me verbally, emotionally, and financially. However, no one is listening to me and/or helping me to fight it. He continues to harass me on the phone. Last night I was told that I wasn’t even human and that I was everything he abhorred. He calls me lazy for wanting to continue to educate the children. He never considered staying home and educating them to be work of any kind.

    He has cut off most of our expenses and pays us very little until the court gives him a set amount. So we are now living with a family member in a one bedroom condo – that’s two adults and two children!

    It’s a daily struggle. I feel like my world is so small. My own family keeps telling me to put the children in school and just go get a job so I can give them better/more things. I have only one babysitter and no local friends. Of course, that doesn’t really matter much because I don’t have any money to go out anyway.

    Ok, sorry, this has become too long. Thank you for posting this! While I don’t want anyone to have to go through this, it is nice to know of other people walking the same path. Please feel free to put Karen in touch with me.

  3. Hello Heather,
    Thanks for speaking your heart, cause you know, that’s really what we need during real tough times, just to be able to vent without a formula or an opinion or pointed finger on the other side. We need those people around us who will be led by God to speak what He wants them to speak instead of what they want to say. I so remember walking down the path you have described above. It is so very hard, I remember wondering if I’d be able to endure and make it through sane. I just saw a dark ugly tunnel in front of me showing a life of despair and shattered dreams. But during those really really hard times I think all we can really do is cling to God like a life preserver and He’ll get us through it. I am here today alive and sane to say that I made it through those really hard times. The Lord pulled me through as I clung to Him. Sometimes I think that’s all we can do is cling to Him. But you know what, when we cling to Him He won’t let us down, even though we may not understand and things may seem to get worse, He is right there working through it and holding us. I remember clinging to a verse during those hard times, Isaiah 40:11b, He gently leads those with young. It also says in Gods word that He is close to the broken hearted. These are things I had to cling to to keep my head above water. Sometimes I was sure that my head wasn’t above the water, but thought that I was drowning. But I am alive and well and a stronger person for going through the toughest thing, like you are .
    I would encourage you to, if you can amongst all the craziness right now, get to know some key scriptures you can stand on, ask God to show you some and He will. Get quiet with Him and ask Him to guide you and show you the path. Sometimes we have to walk the hardest of paths to get to the greatest of freedom. I can stand here and testify and say that you can one day be in a spot where the things that torment you today, won’t be able to touch you.
    Hope this helped and brought encouragement. I will pray for you, I so understand your pain, fear, etc.. Know and realize that in stress you must be gentle on yourself and learn to categorize things in priority order and if things in the less priority “box” don’t get done for over a year, just be ok with it. Be able to give yourself grace because you are going through a time where your body is using lots of energy due to all you are facing. Let yourself receive grace and mercy and know what you can and cannot do right now and be ok with that even if others aren’t.
    Blessings to you dear one, Keep in contact please
    Karen

  4. Heather,
    A year and a half later, I’m reading this and wondering how things are going for you now? Also, what state are you in?

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