Monday, October 21, 2013

Day 14:: Creating a sanctuary

photo credit: Universal Pops via photopin cc

When I was in third grade, I packed my bags and headed to camp for the first time. Three days away in the woods of Lake Springfield Baptist Camp. Enticing promises of canoeing and swimming and games and fun and friends. Excitement in the air with nervousness like a cherry on top, I embarked on this new adventure.

Upon my arrival, I realized I only knew a couple of campers, and they weren't in my group. Then I discovered I would be sleeping on the top bunk of a rugged, drafty, bug-infested, glorified shed. The bathrooms were secluded, dark and smelly. And it didn't take but one night to be covered in a million mosquito bites, miserable and homesick.

At the end of that three days I was never so happy to be home. Walking into the arms of my Mom, I think I could have stayed forever.

Don't we want to create a safe and secure place for our children to come home to? A refuge where the worlds problems melt away and we can let our guards down and be safe? A place where a new set of problems do not meet us at the door?

As single mommas, creating that kind of security can sometimes be a challenge. Especially when our shoulders are overwhelmed with our own worries. We need to make sure we are not burdening our children with worries they do not need to have.


For me, sometimes the biggest worry is a financial one. Especially when the kiddos are asking for the latest and greatest piece of technology way out of my price range. Or when they are subtly, not-so-subtly dropping hints of what they want for Christmas that is way out of my budget.

I made a decision to be honest and real with my kids about some of our financial struggles, because I want to try and instill some fiscal responsibility. It is never too young to teach the differences between wants and needs.

However, I never want them to fear if we will have food on the table or if I can pay the light bill or the mortgage. I want them to know and understand that yes, we do have to watch our pennies and spend wisely, but that I will do everything possible to make sure they have a warm and cozy place to come home to.

We pray in faith together asking God to help provide for us. I may not share the specific burden I have with them, but I do want them to see faith in action. And I also want them to know from Who our provisions come. If I can't pray in faith, I wait until I can.

When our prayers are answered, we rejoice and they are able to see God's hand in our lives. I truly believe that it strengthens their relationship with the Lord and it shows them that at anytime, they can go to Him with their burdens.


It is inevitable that life changes. As we move forward with our children, there may be times where change will effect them, no matter how hard we may try to protect them. A move, a change in schools, a change in schedule with our jobs. These changes we can not control but we can do our best to make the transitions smoother.

Some change we can control. After my sister's divorce, her ten-year-old daughter went to her Dad's for the weekend. My sister saw the opportunity to paint a bathroom and redecorate without interruption.

At the end of the weekend when her daughter returned, my sister was surprised to find that the change upset her. In her daughter's eyes, she went away and came back to everything being different. It somehow crushed her sense of security. My sister was always careful from then on to be sure and communicate any plans on change.


I am not into the dating scene yet. I personally am just not ready. However, as I move forward and consider the idea a little more, I have made a personal decision in regards to my children and a new man.

I hope to implement a 'six month rule': to know and date someone for at least six months before I introduce them to my children. I would like to make sure that a relationship is going to sustain for awhile. I feel my children have already experienced too much loss from their father and mine's divorce. The last thing I would want to do is have to experience another loss.

I may not always have control over that situation. I doubt very much that I find one man to date and marry on the first go around. But I can make sure that they do not have a new man coming into their lives every couple of months. I do not want to model that kind of behavior for them nor do I want to cause any more heartache than what they have already experienced.

I hope you take some time and think about other ways you can create a sense of security and safety in your home.

A place free of worry, but reliant on faith. A place full of consistency and lacking in instability. A place where the feelings of sadness and fear and chaos from the outside world is replaced with a refuge of love and safety once they step through the door. They crave it and need it and we can do all we can to provide it.

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