A “sense of failure” and other post-Paschal thoughts

Some readers may notice that May was silent around here. I am sure I’m not the only one who struggled with a post-Pascha mailaise of some kind or other. For many of us the days of Bright Week seemed like a continuation of the struggle of Lent as “life” just never seems to relent for many of us. When David Dean, my co-leader here at the Living Water Blog, asked for help with topics and guest posts we had a wonderful and enthusiastic response from several in our Ancient Faith Single Parents Outreach group on Facebook. Today’s Guest Author is…

When Lent Is Challenging The Little Things Matter Most

This past week the children and I commented that “suddenly” we find ourselves nearer the end of Lent than the beginning. All the one-day-at-a-times and one-prayer-at-a-times have strung together several weeks of “good struggle” and here we are, prepared or not, approaching Palm Sunday and another Pascha. Whether this Lent has been deeply challenging or a mostly-missed season for you, we single parents have been juggling the gratitude-to-complaint continuum right along with you’all! From car breakdowns to illnesses, bills piling up and job changes, family and ex conflict struggles and new levels of forgiveness Lent never fails to challenge us…

A Single Parent Psalm for Lent

The struggle is real. For every one of us during Lent—single parent or not. And yet for us single moms and single dads there are nuanced layers that sometimes threaten to swamp us with otherness. Our marathon isn’t unique—we struggle with the same passions and temptations as everyone. Yet, when we go home to our children after work the partner-less, half-empty house seems to point at our failures in an unavoidable way. Scarlet letter anyone? Every single mom and single dad I’ve spoken with longs to be seen while striving to be invisible at the exactly the same time. Of…

All Alone Without A Service in Sight on Theophany

The wisest way to proceed in life, I’ve often been advised, is to go slowly. Don’t make impulsive decisions. Don’t respond to emails immediately. Set down that phone and PRAY before you reply to a text. And. Attend services every chance you get. If that’s the only advise I ever receive from my confessor I’d be well counseled and just as “falling short” as ever! It seems that I’m always behind, rushing to catch up and never, ever the calm, collected, prayerfully peaceful individual I daily ask God to create in me. This New Year is no exception and I…

Christmas – New Years – Begin Again

The famous quote “If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans” is such a familiar refrain for those of us who’ve been single parents for longer than a minute that it nearly goes without saying. Somewhere between “waiting for the other shoe to drop” and “if I expect little I’m not disappointed” the faith component of “one-day-at-a-time” living is often overshadowed by a sense of despair rather than the beauty of surrender. And yet, the cliche rings true for most of us. When you’re going through … Just like the thoughts that come when someone says “I…

Remedies for Loneliness

Since writing the post on Loneliness — the theme picked as most-vital for single parents in the Facebook group when we first began the Living Water blog — both single parents and those who love us have challenged me with the question “So what now?”   Simply acknowledging our ostracization, isolation and deep loneliness is a mere bandaid when we wake up alone every morning and go to bed alone every night. Reminding ourselves (or worse, when other well-intentioned folks tell us directly) that everyone feels alone and many others besides single parents feel ostracized and isolated—think of parents of…

Theme : Loneliness and Isolation

Without any doubt the single parents greatest struggle is with a deep sense of aloneness and the nagging ache of loneliness that seems to haunt us. This was powerfully underlined when David and I first asked for the members of Ancient Faith Single Parents group on Facebook to vote on themes we might address here on the Living Water blog. Loneliness along with feeling alone and isolated received the most votes of any topic. All of us single parents recognize that we aren’t the only category of church folk to experience this…teens, young adults, the only Orthodox person in a…

A little more about our authors: Elise Photini and David Dean

Living Water was born when I (Elise Photini) read Melinda Johnson’s first call in the Ancient Faith Ministries outreach group on Facebook for us single moms and dads to share what we wanted the church to know about our struggles in a blog post. I confess I was wary at first. After so long struggling in invisibility I wondered what might take place if we were “outed.” And I further confess that I was quite sure, in my weakness, that nothing would truly change… After all, what can one blog post do? For years I’ve felt the aloneness, the ostracizing…

Introducing LIVING WATER: Prayer and Praise with Single Parents

Invisible. Alone. Shamed. Ignored. Outcast. Silenced. Unseen. Helpless. Victimized. Unaided. Uncelebrated. The list could go on and on. Single mothers and single fathers have come to me time and time again with the same stories of the struggle to remain in the faith when the people around them remain so human. How are we to transcend what feels like persecution within our church families while we are trying to recover from personal trauma? Our heart cry is to be seen, heard and … This new project from Ancient Faith Ministries is the heart cry of many single moms and dads…