¿Habla español?

A Gift for Single Parents

Karen Stefacek
Mother of Jada, Age 6
Children’s Pastor at Desert Vineyard Church

We all have different life experiences, but as single parents, we typically have a few things in common:

  • We carry a lot of responsibility: family income, raising children, managing family finances, health and safety, home and lawn care, grocery shopping and meals, taking out the trash, changing the light bulbs...the list can seem endless!

  • We don't often get a break or the luxury of a hand-off to another adult for what needs our attention, especially when it comes to our children.

  • We can feel alone in this journey.

These are realities I relate to and they move me to lean upon Jesus deeply and daily.  They also tend to lead us all to a conversation about time.  

Do you find yourself feeling stressed about time?  Are you often feeling as if you never have enough?  What thoughts circulate in your mind about time?  Do they lean toward lack or abundance?

I'd like to share a key that has made a great difference for me.  I participated in a professional training at which it was suggested to embrace the perspective that time is a gift.  Time is a gift.  Instead of being the source of anxiety, time could become a source of joy, peace and fulfillment.

As I've begun to look at time this way, some new practices have started to form:

  • I have become much more aware of (and grateful for) little pockets of unexpected extra time that come my way.
  • I've had a greater liberty to say "no" to what others expect of me, when I know God is not expecting it, to keep balance in life.
  • I've been more intentional about scheduling Sabbath (rest) and fun for myself and my daughter. If it's on the calendar it usually happens. If it isn't, it rarely does.
  • I have worked harder at planning, which tends to create more peaceful days.

With this perspective, I've also realized a sweet increase in joy in my family life.  Moments matter and become precious.  A couple of mornings ago, my Jada snuggled into bed with me at 5:45am.  She lay there for a few minutes and then asked, "Hey Mom? How would you feel about a quick game of rock, paper, scissors?"  I laughed out loud and we played till 6am.

The pandemic we are experiencing now has brought so many hardships and challenges to nearly all of us.  If you are a single, working parent, now also managing your children's education at home, I feel your pain!  It can be overwhelming at times; don't hesitate to reach out to someone in our church family for help.  Prayer, an understanding conversation, a peer counseling session...these are all here for you!  

But also consider that your gift is time!  Looking at time with this attitude promises to be the beginning of a new day.  I can attest to this myself.

Finally, we single parents have another common life experience: we all have the same amount of time.  We have the same 24 hours in each day, the same seven days each week, the same four seasons and 365 days each year.  We get to decide, with God's help, how to use it.

The next time you are tempted to complain that, "if anything gets done at my house, I'm the one who does it," or worse, you fall into the downward spiral of a victim mentality, remind your soul that time is a gift.  God loves you with the same never-ending love as everyone else and he is able to direct your path, order your days and guide you to fill the precious time you have with what really matters!

No Comments



1 Kings 12 Days of Christmas 20 minutes 2020 Acts Adonai American way America Antelope Valley Apostle Paul Apostle's Creed Bibile Bible study Bible Birmingham Book of Acts But God COVID-19 COVID Calvary Charlies Angels Christian Voter Guide Christian home Christmas Church Colossians Communication Confessional Prayer Corinthians Dallas Willard David Devotional Doing Life Together Eastertide Easter Ecclesiastes Emmanuel Ephesians Epiphany Esther Father in Heaven Father's Day Father Galatians God With Us God first God is good God of peace God still Moved God's Will God\'s Will Good Friday Gospel of John Gospel of Luke Gospel of Mark Gospel of Matthew Happy Father's Day Hawaii Hebrews Holy Spirit Hosea How are you doing How to Pray I want that Instagram Isaiah 43 Isaiah James Brown James Jenna Bush Hagar Jeremiah 29:11 Jeremiah Jesus John 3:16 John Hughes John Wesley John Judy Garland King David Kingdom Come Kingdom of God Leadership Lectio Divina Light of the World Lord Love is Love your neighbor Luke MLK Malachi Mama Bear Mark Martin Luther King Jr. Mary Matthew Memorial Day Merry Christmas Micah 6:8 Micah Molly Ringwald Monday Night Manna Mother Hen Mothers Day Nancy Drew Nehemiah New Testament Old Testament Only God Knows Paul Pentecost Peter Philippians Prince Phillip Prince of Peace Proverbs 13 Proverbs Psalm 10 Psalm 139 Psalm 23 Psalm 40 Psalm 42 Psalm 46 Psalms of Joy Pursuing the Presence of God Queen Elizabeth Revelation Romans Ruth Haley Barton Savior Sermon Sheridan Voysey Son of God Son of Man Son Spider Man Sunday School Surprised by Joy TV Target Thanksgiving The Free Market The Lord's Prayer The Sound of Music Timothy Titanic Today Show Twelfth Night Veggietales Voter Guide Wizard of Oz Women in Leadership Women of Faith Women's Bible Study abide abstain accused act justly action adoration adventure advice advocate afraid allelon alone anchor anger answers anxiety app art ask attack authority awe awkward back to school balance baptism be kind be open be prepared be still and know beaten and condemned beauty and struggle beauty belief believe belonging betrayed by a kiss betrayed black friday blackbelt blameless bleeding woman blessed blessing blog body bond bookmark book boundaries breadsticks broken brotherhood burden butter called by God called by name called carbs care cause celebrate centered in Christ challenges change childbirth children choice choosejoy choose christian christ chronic illness church nerd alert church online citizen civil rights clean hearts cleaning comfort comment community compassion into action compassion compost confession of faith confession conflict resolution conflict confusion connection connect consumer culture contemplative prayer conversation with God conversation corruption court tv court creation creative juice creativity cross crucified and kind crucified crucify dad dating daughtership daughters death defense delight denied depression differently abled disabled discernment discipleship discipline discovery discrimination distracted divine divinity do good do the action donate doughnuts dreams dream early church eating disorder eden election emotional health emotions empathy encouragement endurance enjoy enough excess expectations failure faithfulness faith fall family dynamics family fun family of God family systems family fangirl fasting fast favorite scripture favorite things fear feel find and follow Jesus fine flexible forgiveness forgive free time freedom free friendship friends fruit funeral fun future gaining faith galaxy garden generations generosity genesis gift give it away give life giving goals god good news good shepherd gospels gospel government grace of God grace grass is always greener gratitude gravy great cloud of witnesses green bean casserole green thumb grief grieve grit groups growth ham hangover happiness harmony harsh truth head healing healthy habit heart sick heart help holding tight holidays holiday homeless homeostasis homeschool honor hope deferred hope how the Lord speaks how to read scripture how to talk about loss how to worship how to humanity human humility humor innocent inspiration intercessory prayer intimacy introvert invitation isolation join journal journey joy just believe justice kids kindness kind kingdom of heaven knock lament laughter learn lent let it be life together light listen live loneliness longing losing faith loss love in action love mercy love story love the Lord love loving like Jesus magi map marathon march marginalized marriage mashed potatoes meditation memorial memories mental health mentalhealthmonth messiah momlife mom motivated by joy mourn moved with compassion move mystery navigate need neighbors neighbor new beginning new normal new season new year newlywed news new nickname normal not alone not easy note to self nothing but joy nourishment now and not yet nowandnotyet nurse offering one body online overflowing with gratitude pain pandemic parenting parents pastor patience patient peacemaker peacemaking peace perseverance personal prayer perspectives perspective petition phillipians pity planted by water plan play something podcast politics potatoes practice of confession practicing gratitude pray for pastors pray without ceasing prayer request prayerwarrior prayer praying praywithoutceasing pray preach prepare presence of God present priortize prize promise of God promise prophetic psalms psalm purpose quarantine questioning God questions quiet race read reconciliation reconnect recovery reevaluate reflect regather regret rejoice relationships relationship remember repentance repost research resilience resources respect rest resurrection retreat rhythms riot road to the cross roles routine ruby slippers rules sabbath sacred sadness safe at home safe salvation scalloped potatoes schedule scripture about justice scriptures about fear scriptures about joy scriptures about peace scriptures about race scriptures scripture searching seasons season seek self-care self-denial self-differentiation serve serving share shelter at home shepherds signs silence simple pleasures single dad single mom single parent sing sinking sink slowly smile sober social distancing social media soil solitude sonship soul care soul music spiritual disciplines spiritual health spiritual practices spirit spring stars starting point star stayathome still good stop and look up storm storytelling streams of water strength stress struggleisreal study success sudden suffering of Christ suffering summer support surrender take heart talking with kids teacher tears technology template thank God the truth is out there the truth will set you free the way the truth and the life theology thessalonians think thisistheday time tithe to be honest together traditions transformed transition trauma treasure tree of life trials trust and obey trust in the Lord trust truth turkey understanding unfailing love unity universe vacation vice president virtual voices volunteer vote vulnerable waiting waking up walk humbly we cannot go back weather wedding welcome welcoming prayer wisdom wise counsel woman at the well woman caught in adultery women pastors women wonder worry worship yield youmatter zoom