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…

Nativity – The Light in the Darkness

Fear of the Dark When I was young, my family took a trip to New Mexico. While there, we toured Carlsbad Caverns. One of the things I remember most about that tour was when the park ranger turned off the lights. There we stood, darkness all around us. In hindsight, the lights were not off for all that long, but it was the first time I had experienced true darkness. No streetlights or moon and stars to give a faint glow. Only emptiness, silence, and the feeling of darkness becoming palpable, real, an entity to itself. I remember thinking that…

Advent – Thoughts on Waiting

Time expands to an infinite stillness, years seeming to pass between each second. How often have we experienced time like this? How often does anticipation of something wonderful make it seem like time will never let it happen? I know I felt this way about the birth of my son. As time drew closer for his birth, it seemed like he would never arrive. Finally it was time. We drove to the hospital and checked in. We got to our room, fully expecting that labor would begin soon. And nothing. Nothing at all. Time slowed to a crawl. The sun…