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Single Moms Devotional

The Single Moms Devotional

A 30  Day Guide of Reflection & Study

Designed for today’s Single Mom

 

Written By

Koddi Lester Dunn

Introduction

Daily Headings

  1. Thirst
  2. You’ve got GRACE!
  3. Thru the fire
  4. To whom much is given
  5. Make your baby kick!
  6. The Reward of Pain
  7. A Gift of Exchange
  8. Dream Again
  9. The Fire
  10. A word about respect
  11. Writers Bliss
  12. Burgers n’ fries
  13. The Power of Silence
  14. The Danger of Settling
  15. The Shower’s POWER
  16. Forgiveness
  17.  Endure.
  18. Check Your Roots
  19. 24 Hours in a Different World
  20. Use Another Word
  21. Faith is a VERB
  22. It’s just a fantasy
  23. Remember to breathe…
  24. A Message to our babies
  25. A Message to our Brothers
  26. Healing
  27. Finding the filter
  28. Step Into Joy
  29. Love
  30. HOPE

 

Introduction

Why Single Moms?

He was beautiful and smart. He had a bright smile, and a deceptive charm. A clear foot taller than I, he towered over me when he grabbed me. Pulling me into his arms He said that there was something special about me. Something was drawing him to me. Something in him wanted to be with me, and maybe even remain with me. He could see himself changing his plans. Reevaluating his choices. HE said, this would be or maybe it could be the moment that he had been trying to avoid. In 34 years of living he had yet to find the “one” and as he stared at me he admitted almost apologetically, “Koddi I… I…feel myself falling for you. I feel myself wanting to be near you.  I think I may want to become truly connected to you….” He paused. He sighed. He looked away.

I steadied myself. Was he about to propose? Oh my god. Was this the moment? I looked around my apartment. Nothing was where it was supposed to be.  It wasn’t nice enough. Not for him. Not for this kind of moment. I should have had a view of the city or the beach. I should have gotten my hair done. Oh no! My nails. I hadn’t had a manicure in weeks. Did I at least have on enough lotion? Am I pretty today? How will I look in the engagement photos? Will they think that he is too good for me? He is beautiful, and I am just me. There is no way this is happening. There is no way that he is going to ask me. But here he is and here am I and -Dang it Koddi, breathe! Just Breathe! — My Mind was racing. Even looking back now so many years later to that moment, I still cannot believe what he said next to me.

His words changed my world. “Koddi,” he said, “ I could love you, heck even fall in love you with you…..if , If,  if you didn’t have those kids.”

Damn.

His words felt like a kick in the gut. In an instant my smile and joy had been replaced with rage, sadness, and sudden devastation “What the hell are you talking about?” is all that I could mumble out. Each blink would reveal new waves of tears. They burned with all the emotions of heartbreak as they rolled down my face and on to my shirt. I had tried so hard to be beautiful. To be graceful. To be sexy. To be a badass boss chick, to only have this guy who I dared not even dream of tell me, I was out on a technicality. I had kids.

Later I would think of so many clever comebacks, but then – right there- in the moment, I was just frozen. Those mumbled words were the best response my broken soul could give. In a flash I saw hopes and fantasies morph into nothingness. For the first time in my adult life, someone who I thought I cared about was telling me, that because of my status, for him I was no longer qualified. He said something about being raised by a single mom, and he knows how hard it is, but still…he wanted someone new, someone without baby daddy’s or bad attachments. He wanted the kids he raised to be “his kids” alone and although I seemed to be everything he thought he wanted, he knew that I had the one thing he didn’t want. Kids.

A few moments later, he was gone. Our nice romantic evening had become our tragic end. I stood in the spot next to the fireplace in my home. I liked this home. It was a new rental for me and was so proud of being able to actually afford it. I didn’t care that the furniture was from goodwill or that my dishes did not match. My kids and I had a safe place to rest at night and I felt great about that. I looked around the living room, now that my company had left i slid to the floor. Wrapping my arms around myself, I cried deeply however, but not too loudly. I didn’t want to wake my sleeping kids.

As the pain from his words were changed to the frustration of holding on to years of disappointments my head begin to throb. The pain was pounding and then compounded as aches flooded my heart. That moment would be the beginning of nearly a decade of migraines. Off and on they would come, leaving me paralyzed for days at a time. Well past my 20s and into my 30s, migraines from years of pain would revisit me. That night the pain in my head consumed me. Robbing me of my super momma powers and now being accompanied by a sense of hopelessness, I remained on the floor, motionless. Deeply, silently. Helplessly. Done.

After dating for a few months, I couldn’t believe that seemingly out of the blue I was being dropped. What the heck happened.  He knew from our very first conversation that I had kids. I always told whoever I decided to date that I was a single mom. Actually, I would say, I am a single mom of 6 – just to draw a gasp – only to laugh and say, no I am kidding, it’s just two. I have a son and a daughter. Explaining life this way made me feel less “lose”. Yes, they have different fathers. Yes, I am raising them alone. Yes, I know it’s hard…blah blah blah. I had heard it all, even felt it all. No one is as hard as a single mom with a ton of potential then she already is on herself. Every time other friends would marry or even take vacations, you are reminded how you disqualified yourself from such experiences but choosing the wrong guy, way too soon.

So here I was again. Alone. After doing everything the right way. Some guy shows up, takes up space in my heart, handles my hopes and then without notice or rationale takes it all away.

I was done. I could not stand another moment of constant disappointment. I would never ever be good enough for love, and I felt like a horrible mother. Between the deep breathes and stiffened tears, I heard my own words. “how much heartache am I supposed to take?”

Walking to the bathroom, I looked around at my newly furnished master suite. It was me. Dark and soothing. Easy to relax to, but not enough to commit. Things that moments earlier were beautiful now just seemed dreary and dreadful. I hated it. I hated the bedroom. I hated my home. I hated my life. And yes, I heard myself say, “I hate me”. As I fumbled around in the medicine cabinet, I thought my kids will be fine. Zombie style moments took over my being. My mom is still alive, and she will take great care of them. She can fix all the things that I have done wrong. She can fix it all. She is better than me. I am done.

Grabbing the pain pills, I looked at the girl in the mirror and said, “goodbye child. I’m through.” Opening my mouth and letting the pills fall onto my tongue. They danced around inside my cheeks as I picked a glass of juice, still in a wine glass, and swallowed them all in one unceremonious “gulp. “Ahhh” I said just for dramatic effect. I was checking out of this place.  Everything was always a disqualifier. My dark skin. My short kinky hair. My slim boney figure. There was always a reason as to why I wasn’t good enough to love.  I laughed as a I thought I wear a makeup, a weave and put on a few pounds in the right place and still, I am just not worthy enough. No man will ever love me.

“Fine,” I thought, “I quit”. 

There was a peace that settled inside of me as I stumbled to the bed. My burgundy covers engulfed me and hugged me. “Thank you”, I said to no one and everyone. I laid there until the darkness came, and then drifted on my way.

He would always come to my room and shower me with hugs and kisses each morning, and this day – this Saturday – was no different. “Mommy, mommy,” He said, asking for cereal and snacks, my little boy unknowingly was pulling me out of my sadness. I smirked. “hmmm….I am still here. That’s odd. I tried to kill myself last night.”

“Mommy, mommy, can I have some cocoa puffs?” he asked again pulling my arms and eventually my whole self out of the bed.

I’d made a vow to myself and heaven years before that my children would never see my hurt or cry, so I tried to wipe away dried tears that had found their way to the outside of my face. Wow. I didn’t die. I repeated as I looked around the room. It was all still there, and so was i. Somehow fate had intervened and a power beyond that of my own kept me alive. I was breathing in a new day that I had not planned to see the night before and the joy of just seeing my son again was enough for me to realize how foolish I had been.

From deep within me, I heard, “No, you cannot die. Not this time. Not now. Your children need you. Your family needs you, and soon you will see that this world needs you. Your voice. Your spirit. Your story, it all matters. Write out what you are feeling. Live through the pain that is trying to destroy you, and others will make it because you did too.”

“Mommmm-y-y-y-y” my son was still calling me, now from the kitchen. He had gone ahead and grabbed the cereal.  He smiled from seeing me now up and heading his way. He was absolutely delightful. He didn’t care that no one else wanted to love me. He was oblivious to the pain my heart had endured just a few hours before. Nope. He was happy. It was Saturday, we had cereal, and he had all day to do nothing but spend time with me and play.  My daughter would arise later, but this early morning cereal routine was our time to steal away a few moments before whatever would happen in the day. We repeated it weekly. He grabbed bowls for he and I and looked back over his shoulder at me.

“Mommy I love you. You’re a good mommy.” He said to me.  His eyed assured me of my place in his heart. I was up. He was happy. Life was good.

“Thank you, baby. You know that Your Mommy loves you too.”

“How much?” He asked playfully.

I responded as on queue, “All the muches in the world.” we both laughed as he passed me the milk. I didn’t have a ring. But in that moment I knew that I already had everything that I needed to succeed.

Once again, this mommy wins.

 

Single Moms Devotional – Day# 1
Thirst…..

It’s the middle of the night when I was awakened by an internal need…….I was thirsty. Sounds simple enough, but as I laid in bed I realized that I was all out of juice and I really didn’t want tap water – so at that moment I realized once again the significance of thirst and how awful it fills when you have a need but it is unfulfilled.  So now it’s about 20 minutes later and I am enjoying a super-sized Baja blast from the late night taco bell……so the internal issue has been resolved….but the lesson was not over.  I realized that so often in life we have a thirst…..a real internal need that cannot be ignored and MUST be fulfilled. And I have been playing around with the scripture regarding Christ and the woman at the well. He told her that if she knew who He was – she would ask of Him to drink for He had water that would fulfill her needs and she would never thirst again. So as I have been going thru my journey recently I have inquired of Christ and His living water.  Tonight the secret has been revealed.  A thirst is an internal need that is only filled through an EXTERNAL action. So what do you do when your soul THIRST? What happens when you feel a void inside and nothing you know has removed it? You can find temporary drinks in a mate, or a job, shopping, money, accolades, or even a nice meal….but eventually the void returns and you thirst again.  So here’s the key – your souls thirst can only be filled thru an OUTSIDE ACTION that puts you on path to your purpose. PURPOSE – is what we fill when we know we are in right alignment with God. So when I am doing those things which God has created me to do – I am not thirsty. When I am making daily actions toward fulfilling HIS call on my life – I am not thirsty. When I know that I am not in conflict with HIS plan and will for me – I am not thirsty.  So if you find yourself- your soul – THIRSTY – then take a drink from the water of a LIFE FULFILLED. Take a drink from that water of walking in your destiny. Take a drink from the fountain of every day I am doing exactly what God has created me to do…….TAKE A DRINK FROM THE FOUNTAIN OF YOUR TRUE PURPOSE and never EVER thirst again. (I dare you to try it…..it is sooooooo good).

 

 


Single Moms Devotional – Day # 2
Single LADIES: You’ve got GRACE!

So I thought I was having a bad day – my beloved turned out to be a fraud. I had the ‘hurt knot’ in the pit of my stomach all day that comes when you realize your expectations – have been crushed. — So while driving home I begin the whole whets wrong me – victim stuff – that we all do when we have been betrayed. WHY do I have to go thru this – I am approaching 30 – and yet still alone – WHY! WHY! WHY! When………..I heard this.

You are not alone. I have given you my grace. Without a man you have been able to:
– raise 2 beautiful and respectful – intelligent kids -/ get the house of your dreams / drive a Benz / launch a global business / excel in your CHOSEN career field/ and help and inspire people all over the world……

I have given you witty inventions – secret treasures – and ambition galore.

Don’t let the enemy fool you into thinking that because you don’t have someone else’s name on you that you aren’t wanted or valuable. I HAVE GIVEN YOU MY NAME. – I HAVE FAVORED YOU – I HAVE PLACED MY HAND ON YOU AND I AM YOUR COVERING. Now, if a man comes along who is not a fraud and he can truly handle your favor – then WONDERFUL! But IF HE DOESNT COME – MY GRACE IS SUFFICIENT!

When you are overwhelmed – my GRACE covers.
When you feel alone – my GRACE covers.
When you want to be held – my GRACE covers.
When you need solace and peace – my GRACE covers.
When you feel out of place – my GRACE covers.
When you are the babysitter again – my GRACE covers.
When no one buys you flowers – my GRACE covers.
When no one says good job! – my GRACE covers.
When people try to misuse and abuse you – my GRACE HEALS and COVERS.
When you’ve fallen down – my GRACE covers.
When he leaves you empty – my GRACE covers.
When you don’t understand your path – my GRACE covers.
When they move on and don’t take care of their kids – my GRACE covers.
When no one holds your hand or holds you close – my GRACE covers.
When no one has your back – my GRACE covers.
When you can’t tell anyone that you are afraid – MY GRACE COVERS.
When you need to hear I love you – MY GRACE COVERS.

Single ladies – if you are a believer in Christ then you ARE COVERED. We don’t have to drink away the blues or sleep around with every thing that walks by – BECAUSE WE ARE NOT ALONE.

So when the enemy tries to attack your mind – even in the middle of a hurtful situation – do what I just did – ask God for his AMAZING GRACE – and watch how quickly He will COVER.


Single Moms Devotional – Day # 3
THRU the FIRE…

I was looking at a match recently – and held it up to a photo –
not trying to burn it – just studying what would happen – and I heard this…………….

The way you don’t get burned or even smell like smoke when you are going thru a fire….is to simply KEEP moving.

You can move right passed a fire – even go right thru flames – and not get burned – just keep moving. – Its only when you get STUCK – that you get consumed.

 


Single Moms Devotional – Day # 4
To Whom Much is Given…

Not everyone will get this – but those who are chosen will.

I am taking a few moments to trace his hand in my life….no matter how far back my mind wonders, I can now see the strategic moves he made on my behalf – sometimes even against my own will and wishes – in order to bring me to an expected end.

So now I am in the midst of the journey. He is blowing my mind with new revelations and encounters daily. The more I see of him the more I seek him. The closer I get to him – the more I want to see less of myself. I get it now. I get why I am undone. I almost get why he is preparing me. I am even becoming familiar with the skin of his favor. I must admit – some days it can be overwhelming….so much more than I could ever ask or think…..but most days – my encounter with Christ is simply bliss.

 

Single Moms Devotional – Day # 5
Make Your Baby Kick!

I heard this message from Bishop TD Jakes. He said, “Don’t spend time with anyone who DOESN’T make your baby kick!”

It sounds funny – but it is oh so true.  If their presence in your life doesn’t spark your dreams…..feed your spirit…..or provoke your destiny — then they are WASTING YOUR TIME! 
Understand that you have been called to a greater purpose. You are not just here taking up seats and space. There is life, purpose, and destiny inside of you – and all of creation is waiting on you to get into place! That’s why you can’t afford to deal with tag-along and folks with no focus now – The distractions they bring are too expensive.

Take a moment – go through your phone – and if you come across a name or a number that is not in line with where you are trying to go – then take a phrase from my dad and look at that listing and say – “Excuse me – you are FREE to leave!”

 

 

Single Moms Devotional – Day # 6
The Reward of Pain…..

The question is this: Why would a loving God — our father — allow us to live and go through pain? Painful situations? Painful circumstances? Painful relationships? Pain in our finances? etc..

Well – It’s all about the reward, and THE REWARD OF PAIN is that it often brings about a CHANGE. Pain requires movement and it comes to challenge anything in your life that has become stagnant. Pain is not about trying to make you hurt – nope, pain is about making you move! PAIN comes to MAKE YOU CHANGE.


Single Moms Devotional – Day # 7
A Gift of Change (Written Christmas Morning)

Change is in the air….

There is a change coming. Many of us feel it so intensely that it wakes us in the night and demands attention.

Focus. Don’t compare. Fight compromise. Trust His Word. Then Go.


Single Moms Devotional – Day # 8
Dream Again… 

I am scared…. Whew! I said it. I finally released the secret that my confident smile and glaring eyes truly hide. I am afraid to move forward, but yet to strong to just stay still. If you have ever had a dream pull you out of sleep and demand your attention, then you know exactly what I mean. It’s another long day and late night for me, but once again destiny is calling… I have to make it. I have to write it. I have to do it. I have to believe it.  I can’t wait for all the stars to align my way before I decide to move forward…..there is a purpose pulling me. A dream. There is an energy beyond my own that when I try to be still- it says – go now. Whats funny about all of this is that I have been here before. It was nearly ten years ago, and I was a sophomore in high school when my dreams begin to rule me. I was so driven and motivated by my perceived path that I did things the other kids around me weren’t even thinking about. I clearly remember then wanting to be a radio DJ – now. No, it couldn’t wait for me to get thru college…or even high school for that matter. I can even admit that my dream had taken complete control. Man, I was so fearless. I vividly recall writing every radio announcer in the city asking for an internship. I waited impatiently for letters in the mail, that all relayed messages of me being too young to qualify for any positions at their respective stations. However, my dream said no – don’t believe them – you can do this now. So I did.  Now, of course, that dream did not turn out the way that I had hoped it would. Through the grace of God and a whole ton of favor I actually worked at a very prominent station for the next two years…..even though every rulebook and tradition said no. Yes, I got the internship, and I still remember those days of family and friends hearing me hanging out with the afternoon drive DJs on the air. But then life happened. The station quietly let me know that I had grown out of place right along with my 18-year-old growing belly. So with my daughter’s birth being only a few months away, I walked out of their studio and did not return. So perhaps now you can understand why I am scared. My fire, my passion, my unwavering ambition has returned. However, this time I pray that wisdom remains close – so when I step up to the plate of life or that “Field of Dreams” again – I don’t just give it a good hit and make it to the first base – but instead this time……I hit a home run.  
Single Moms Devotional – Day # 9The Fire. I was at work in the midst of a mundane day when they called me into the office. My apartment manager was on the phone and as I said hello I could tell he was upset. Something bad had happened. I instinctively knew that something was wrong even before He said to me – Ms. Lester, we need you to come home. Your apartment is on fire. My heart sank. As I drove the 5 miles back to the complex my mind raced. What happened? Was anyone hurt? Was it my fault? What kind of damage was there? What am I going to tell my kids? Well, that grace that covers me yet prevailed. Yes, we had lost everything we owned, but it was a bottom unit and no one else’s was really impacted by it. No one had been hurt, and the sprinkler system had, for the most part, contained parts of the blaze, although there were soot and ashes on everything.  After I said my thanks yous to God and then to the firemen my maternal instincts kicked in and I immediately just wanted to hold my children. I decided to protect their peace as long as I could, and begin to simply pick up the pieces.  My parents who are normal staples in my life happened to be away on a cruise. My backups – my older siblings weren’t available either. A favorite aunt had just passed, and while one attended to the immediate family needs the other was literally in labor giving birth to my niece. I was alone. The complex gave me another apartment to live in – it was actually bigger than the one that had just burned. By the time my kids arrived, I whisked them away to our new bigger but empty home. We slept together on the floor that night, and I held them for as long as they would allow. But then the next day came, and when the kids went off to school – I went back in.   I spent that next day inhaling toxic fumes and fueling devastating images in the name of just trying to save something. But there was little too ‘salvage’ – the memories of my past was gone. Now again, there was a grace that covered me – and once I retrieved a few keepsakes I should have shut the door behind me and never returned…but I didn’t. For the following week and a half, I continued to spend time in there. I don’t know why. It was such a place of despair and isolation. I had moved them while dodging a bothersome landlord who I believed to be a bit unstable and had a manslaughter conviction that once revealed to me – I could not ignore.  So here I am sitting on ashes in a place that I found in a time of distress and would have to leave in a time of trauma, but yet still I could not let go. I couldn’t just leave – until I was forced out. After a few days, my body shut down. I begin to have severe lung pain and difficulty breathing. I missed an additional month of work due to a sinus infection among other ailments. However, I cannot complain – here’s why. The bible says in Psalms that “He maketh me to lie down…..”. That tells me that if God had to make David do it – then perhaps David didn’t want too. Perhaps David was too busy being a warrior to take the time to recharge his battery. Sometimes especially when we have gone through trauma we don’t want to rest. We want to keep moving or even keep dealing with it or looking back. However, there comes a time when we have to simply cut our losses and just move on. You have to force yourself to accept what happened and move away from sources of mental strain. Now, I can’t tell you that if I hadn’t continued to venture into the burned apartment every day that I would not have taken ill. I don’t know that. But I do know – that for all my trouble, once I gave my body and my mind a time to heal – a time of peace – I was a much better person for it. Fire victim and all……

Single Moms Devotional – Day # 10
A Word about RESPECT!

I would be heartless AND a hypocrite if I told you to never ask for help. If you need assistance to make it to stable ground in your life…. go for it. But now that FREE government aid will come at a high price. The state assistance groups may say to you – sure, go get that $8 an hour job, and as long as you are working there we will pay your daycare bill, help you with housing, and even disguise your lack with a debit card that clears grocery store checkout lines like a typical credit card. Just stay in your lane. Stay mediocre. Don’t get a promotion, and don’t ever aspire to make even $12 an hour, you single mom of 2, because you will lose it all. Yes, when you get a promotion or demand a better salary or pay rate – you will lose all of our additional ‘support’ services. All $40,000 worth of assistance that at $8 an hour we will provide you with each year. Again, it’s all free to you now – at low or minimum wages – just don’t move ahead. Don’t get married, because again you will lose our contributions.  What?@#?$@$#@$ Enough. I saw a bigger picture. I saw that if I stayed in a system that would only help me if I stayed down I would lose the drive that fuels my soul. So I took the path less traveled. It wasn’t easy. There were times when I struggled while my ‘callcenter’ friends made out like bandits…..but I aimed for better jobs knowing that in the end I would make up the additional $40,000 in government aide that I was passing up on. There were even times when my daycare bill was over $1000 per month, while I still carried all of the expenses of managing a home. There were no vouchers for rent or food then…but it was okay. I knew that I was WORTH MORE. I knew that if I fell into the trap of the handout – I was subject to remaining there forever. At the end of it all – I had a choice to make. I could take the financial hit now and grow thru the struggle….or I could let the State carry the financial load and my self-respect away.  I choose to believe in myself and protect my SELF RESPECT – because I realized – rather it was a state system or even some knucklehead man – as long as I ‘need you’…..you don’t have to hear me. My points become not as valid or important to you because I have allowed my lack and your supply to stifle my dreams and silence my voice. Ladies – I challenge you to make the commitment to not allow anyone or anything to take away the RESPECT and STRENGTH of an EMPOWERED & INDEPENDENT VOICE.

 

Single Moms Devotional – Day # 11
Writer’s Bliss…

Have you ever noticed how people who write often seem to have a certain ease to themselves? More often than not they could care less about the latest Hollywood gossip or buy the latest designer bag. Nope – most people who remain in touch with their authentic creative selves seem to have a deeper grasp on the true cares of life.  I’ve yet to meet a ‘shallow’ writer, not to say that they are all okay – but really when it comes to women who write – they seem to possess a richer quality of life that those of us who spend hours in front of the television don’t have. Not whats funny is I am a reality TV girl and have been known to relax away from the stresses of my day with a tall order of ‘must see tv’, but perhaps even I am growing a bit. I noticed that running to the nail shop or spending hours in the beauty salon doesn’t have the same relevance to me when I am birthing creative flows.  Now old habits can be hard to break, but today – although I am battling a few things right now – I chose not to self-medicate with the closest burger joint and the remote. Today I am writing it all out. The frustration of tough day will not sidetrack my purpose. I will write and write until it feels – “ALL RIGHT”…..

 

Single Moms Devotional – Day # 12
A word about Burgers & Fries…

Original Post: JUNE 2007 –  I’m 29 – and I hate to exercise, although I bought the tapes to help me do so.  – I’ve come to terms with my ‘adult’ size, and I’ve kissed away those days of being known as ‘skinny Minnie’. Now with all of that being said, I have these moments, when I am reminded by the Holy Spirit that my body is his temple. That when I take better care of it – I help to nourish my relationship with him…and even get the benefits of feeling better. SO – although I am probably not the ‘poster child’ for always eating right…..today I did something that gave me the slightest sense of pride. Yes, I still ordered my burger n’ fries…..but when the pivotal question was asked – I said “No Thanks!” I used a bit of self-control and chose NOT to “UP-size!” (Who knows – maybe next time I’ll order a salad!)

REVISED POST: OCTOBER 2007 Well the jury is in. After a summer of eating all those burger n fries – I guess it is not a shock that those burgers have landed on my thighs. It’s funny how a few months of eating whatever can just ruin your favorite pair of jeans. But hey – all is not lost. I may have gained some pounds, but I have also grown in Wisdom. The wisdom that says stops ordering sodas, and get a green tea. The wisdom that says – umm….unless you want to lose your entire wardrobe – it is time to order that salad. The wisdom that says stops avoiding taking walks just because you don’t like it when your legs get that tingly feeling….it goes away. The wisdom that says baby Jesus has already come and gone and you are not the Virgin Mary, so what you are caring is WEIGHT. (lol) The wisdom that says girlfriend you betta DETOX now…..because the holidays (and ham, turkey, dressing, and desserts galore) are right around the corner. So if you want to be able to fix a plate and eat in peace – get your diet under control…   

 

Single Moms Devotional – Day # 13
The Power of SILENCE

Most of us like and want to be heard. You need to know that all parties involved acknowledge your relevance and respect your point of view. You want to them to hear you. You want them to stop and listen. I get it. However, there is another power that comes when you stop talking. I have learned a few things about arguments, the first being that when everyone is yelling – no one is listening. The second being that when you don’t respond – you actually maintain control. Trust me – they will spend more time wondering and worrying about what you are thinking and why you didn’t respond… They will anguish over what you didn’t say and what your next move will be. They lose their peace over trying to find where you are. That’s why if you really want to win….then you must be quiet and be still.  It’s like hiding behind a brick wall. They are on the other side and can’t see you. The only way your enemy knows where you are – and what ‘hit’ has hurt you – is by watching your response. When someone attacks you – they need you to say ‘ouch’ in order to assess their attack and make the next move. So if you really want to maintain your power – just shut up. Keep control of your emotions and keep your mouth closed. Give’em the last word – and let them spend all night and the next day wondering and worrying about what you DIDN’T say.

 

Single Moms Devotional – Day # 14
The Danger of Settling

Ladies let talk about – heartbreaks. Ya know the worst heartbreak I ever received was not necessarily caused by the “Guy of my dreams”…..but instead by the one that I “settled” for.  Now we are all silly of enough to go out and make these lists of the qualities of the perfect mate – THEN – sometimes ever too quickly throw the list away when the next brah-man shows up at the door. You reason away his lack of this and that. Who cares that he doesn’t give you enough time, which was a priority on your list — he works and/or hustles a lot and his ambition is sexy. Oh and what about those 10 kids he has — well, you always said you wanted a big family. Now, of course, you wanted a man who was a ‘Christian’….but that doesn’t mean he has to attend services every week – or at all right? No no no – this one will do just fine. Forget the dreams of a mate who can fuel your ideas and passions. You quickly dismiss the thought of being with a man who would honor, treat, and showcase you like the queen you know you are. Nope. Life will be fine with bruh-man, and well – for the fantasy man that you had been holding out for – I guess you will just see him next lifetime. But answer this – what happens when brah’man lets you down? I have honestly never felt so stupid…or tried to reason out why I went against my instincts and stayed around with someone I knew from the moment we met – wasn’t worth it. Matter of fact – as I write this – I have a broken heart. I feel the unfathomable disappointment that comes when you know in your spirit you gave up your dreams and settled…..and for all of your sacrifices – you are still betrayed. I think the main reason the pain is so real is because you destroy a piece of your heart when you settle for the wrong mate. It’s like you willingly give up a part of your soul. You ignore all of the quiet and then glaring signs. Then when life happens and that fool shows you how foolish he really is – it’s hard to look at yourself in the mirror for a while.  Knowing that you SACRIFICED your heart to someone who was beneath your purpose, and to have that gift disregarded hurts more than having the man of your dreams not come along at all. BUT this is where the grace of God comes in to play. God in his wisdom will only let people pull you out of purpose and off track for so long. In this case, I was glad that I didn’t become another ‘baby mama’, and except for a few heart bruises, I will be okay. Time will heal me. The hurtful memories, however, seem to return in those quiet moments – when I think of the time I wasted – the love I gave – the dreams I pushed away for someone – some dude……….who wasn’t even worth my time. My heart is broken but this time I am the one who dropped it.  Now what is the lesson is this? It goes beyond don’t settle, but more importantly, DONT WASTE YOUR TIME. I lost 3 years dealing with some knucklehead – time that I could have spent getting closer to the real mate that God has prepared for my path.  But it’s okay. Its only 3 years and I won’t lose a 4th one. I won’t be that woman waiting for his ring, hoping that one day he would honor me. Honestly – I am grateful that the ring didn’t come. Imagine how trapped I would feel 5 or 10 years from now…..And for the record ladies – people are getting married every single day. DONT WASTE YOUR TIME TRYING TO CHANGE, FIX, OR SAVE ANYONE. You can encourage people to enhance their lives, but at the end of the day it’s their decision. Maybe he is just a dog. Maybe he is just too dishonest. Maybe if you let him go you will allow God to bring a quality man of good character into your life. Ask yourself if the person you are with is taking you closer too or pulling you farther away from your purpose……Better yet – ask yourself, who sent him (God or the enemy), and are you settling by allowing him to stay?  A male friend reminded me of this fable by Aesop. – The story is about a scorpion asking a frog to carry him across a river. The frog is afraid of being stung, but the scorpion reassures him that they would both die if that happened. The frog then agrees; nevertheless, in mid-river, the scorpion stings him, dooming the both of them, and when asked why explains, “I’m a scorpion; it’s my nature.” Ladies – love yourself, your purpose, and your kids enough to swim alone rather than die in the water with a fool holding on. Besides you never know who or what may be waiting for you at the other shore…

 

 Single Moms Devotional – Day # 15
The Shower’s POWER 

My kids are getting a bit older now, and have learned to not bombard me with non-essentials when I walk in the door from a long hard-fought day.  I don’t think it was anything I had to tell them, but through their own results they have learned that if you give me a minute for a shower – let me take off the issues of the day – I will be in a better mental space to deal with whatever that ‘matter is’. I actually stumbled upon this revelation by accident.  As a single mom, sometimes I would have a bad day and there wasn’t anyone to run and hide away with. There were times when I wanted to be strong, but needed to cry and felt the weight of young eyes looking at me for assurance and peace. So – when I would become overwhelmed with it all – I found myself alone and in then in water. Perhaps a nice warm bubble bath, if it was later in the evening, would suffice, but most times the leisure of going to bed afterward is not an option. So instead, I would step into my ‘therapy room’ for a little SHOWER POWER.  Behind the curtain, I could vent and lament the woes of my day away. I could wash off the residue of things that did not go my way. I would stay there and even pray there until my peace or a song came. Somehow – some way in a matter of minutes I felt my strength return. I knew I could make it a little while longer. I knew I would be okay because once again I had tapped into the realm of the Shower’s POWER. P.S. – On really tough days – multiple showers are okay 🙂

 

Single Moms Devotional – Day # 16
The freedom of Forgiveness…

I could sit here and be mad about the child support that doesn’t come regularly enough to meet the need. I could allow anger to fester in my spirit, and remain so justly because life hasn’t always dealt this single mom a fair hand. I could look around and let what others have done to me control me …….or I can take my power back, and simply forgive. I think it says something special to God about you when you choose to walk in His divine grace and forgiveness. No – everyday isn’t a good day. There have been times when my innocent babies gladly ate the beef noodles, or we had the ‘cereal buffet’ for dinner again, while their fathers lived lives much more carefree – but again that’s okay. Yes – I said it was okay. Now don’t close the book just yet – because the story isn’t over. Forgiveness is not about letting a higher power take revenge, and so you are free to release it. REAL forgiveness is if it is never settled in a way that pleases me or even appears to be just – I am still okay. If the back support is never taken care of, and they move on fathering other children – while your son and daughter are still due hours of attention and paternal care – it is okay.  Forgiveness says to the world and the other side that hey what you have done or didn’t do will not determine how I feel. I will not allow you to dictate my emotions, mood or attitude. I choose to forgive you in spite of yourself. I choose to take the higher ground and walk with God – KNOWING – that rather you do what you are supposed to, or not – MY CHILDREN AND I WILL NEVER GO HUNGRY, HOMELESS, OR WITHOUT.  God will not allow it. Choose to walk in the true love of Christ and pray for the other parent who may not be living up to their parental potential. Pray that before it’s too long their hearts and eyes are opened to the real weight and rewards of being a solid parent. Oh – and if they never come around, then you really need to move on in a positive light and protect your children from the damage exposure to a broken person can cause….. And don’t forget to continuously lift them up in prayer because no matter what it looks like – there can be NO PEACE in a mind that isn’t in right alignment with God.  (I think the King James Version says it best) 1 Tim 5:8 But if any provide not for his own, and especially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.

 

Single Moms Devotional – Day # 17
Endure

I wish I could tell you something right now …something that would be so powerful that it would reshape your destiny. Something so mind-blowing that it would launch you into a quest to overcome and reassess your place in the world. I wish that I had the words and life in me to give you all the tools you could ever need to make the rest of your days the best of your days….but I can’t. I can’t even promise you that all your struggles and troubles are over. I can’t say that mine is over too. All I can tell you is the truth – my truth, and that is – my dear, endure.

Heavy hearts, troubled mind, teary eyes, frustrations abound – but yet endure. You may lose some things – some friends – some loved ones in this game called life – but continue to keep playing. Let no man – no job – no friend – no hurt – no bruise or no pain keep you from moving forward. Endure.

We have to believe that all in all – when the dust clears – anything that was taken from us, or any advantage not given was not only God’s will – but a part of His plan. And even when we lose – we still win.

I had a flashback recently of a painful memory, and immediately my heart wanted to give in to the thought of defeat. I wanted to bombard the throne of heaven to ask the Almighty – why did He allow this to happen to me? Why was I exposed to such disappointment? Why did He knowingly allow hurt to come my way…….Doesn’t He love me? Why didn’t He protect me? Why? Why? Why?

As I continued to lament my frustrations I realized something. I realized how all had not been lost. I realized that the lessons learned would be lifelong and ever-giving. I realized that my pain had birthed in me a depth of Wisdom that had not existed in my life before now.

My lesson, rather I liked it or not, had truly become my blessing. My issue has become my gift, and it is my testimony to you. My calling has always been a direct result of my falling. I think Jesus said it best. Luke 22 reads, “Simon-Simon, Satan has desired to sift you as wheat, but I have prayed for you that your faith fail not, and when you are converted – strengthen your brethren.”

You must endure. Endure for yourself. Endure for the others coming behind you who will need to hear your story and know that trouble don’t last always. Be a vessel of truth. Be a testament of light in someone’s dark place today. Be a gift. Take notes from your painful but invaluable lesson – and choose to ENDURE.

 

 

Single Moms Devotional – Day # 18
Check Your ROOTS!

Have you ever seen that chick that is all dolled up with the latest fashions, designer bag n shoes, and what not? You see her from a distance and can’t help but admire her ensemble. She has got it together! Then….as you get a closer view, perhaps even as she is introduced to you-you get to see what the distance was hiding – her roots!

You realize – wow, now that weave is horrible. Can’t she tell her hair is a different shade of brown? Or perhaps it’s her hair color. The last time I checked, pitch black tresses didn’t just ‘turn into’ a blonde mane.

Ya know – -it’s funny how our “roots’ can tell our truths…..but don’t just limit this lesson to being about hair. No, no, no a good sew-in or a new application of hair color can resolve that. However, what about your internal roots? What makes you do the things you do? I guess the thing that I am asking you to examine is your motives…

Now this will require some quiet time and PAINFULLY TRANSPARENT self-reflection, but if you want to operate in your most authentic self – then you must seek to know YOUR TRUTH. Why do you do the things that you do? WHAT ARE YOUR ROOTS?

I can only give you my own experiences as examples. I recently took some time to think about some of my most recent moves….and the motives behind them. Did I buy a higher profile car because I really liked it or because I wanted to show others that as a single mom without outside help – I could get it? Did I buy the car because I wanted it or was it because I felt like I had something to prove? What were my roots?

Honestly, the latter was true. Both of my married siblings were riding good – and I didn’t want to be the one with the bootleg car – so I gave in to the upgrade. The thing about roots though, is that if not kept in check – they can grow wild and eventually they will tell on you.

Yes, I have the car, but it’s not the source of my joy. Most times it’s a headache because maintaining it has been hard, even though the car is fully paid for. I am actually ready to just give it away! The point is – had I not made a move based on emotions or based off bad roots disguising issues of self-esteem or personal value – I would probably have a nice car in my garage right now, that wouldn’t have the CHECK ENGINE light on…….again.

Know yourself. CHECK YOUR ROOTS.

 

Single Moms Devotional – Day # 19
24 Hours in a Different World…

The day started like any other. I hurried along preparing kids for school and myself for work. My mind was already speeding the obstacles and triumphs that I had planned for the long corporate day ahead of me – when I saw the lights.

My heart sank as the cop pulled me over. I nervously gathered my license and insurance details. The officer mumbled something about the expired tag or a broken tail light. Then he walked back to his car – while I waited. I did my best to play off my nerves, but within a few moments, I thought it best for me to pray. So I did. Then I prayed even harder when the second cop car pulled up behind the first. I felt scared so I quickly grabbed my cell phone to call my dad.

“Dad – something is wrong. The cops are about to take me to jail. Please come quickly.”

It turns out that there was a long-lost traffic ticket from several years ago that hadn’t shown up when I renewed my license months earlier – but HAD now come up in the system. The cop who was a brother, almost apologetically said to me that he had to take me in, but that it should only be a few hours before the entire ordeal was resolved. He was wrong.

As they mulled over paperwork, and arrange for my transport to another county – I waited. There I am – Ms. Corporate America herself, sitting in a JAIL cell full of other women. I looked out of place, but then again so did they. Only one or two appeared to be all too familiar with what was happening and even shrugged it off as no big deal.

We waited for food, there was no privacy, and there was no place to go. I thought, well it can get any worse when I realized that the day has gone, and I had been away from the outside civilization for over 8 hours.

The guard approached and said that the other county had chosen not to pick me up during the day, so I would have to wait for the evening team to retrieve me. However, I couldn’t wait in the holding cell anymore – I was headed to population.

I went through the next phase of stripping down and changing into the inmate clothes. I held on to all I had – an inner peace that said that it would all be over soon. Sometime during the night, the evening crew came, and before 9:00am the next morning I was back in the arms of those who love me dearest….I was home.

I wish this was the end of this story but it is not. My mind often thinks about those women I met in the jail’s population. Those mothers – some young – some older, who had just made a wrong choice or two. There were various types of reasons for their predicaments, most pertaining to some sort of abuse. They weren’t mean to me. They knew I was out of my element, and chose to protect me. They wanted to know about my life and why I was there. They assured my restless mind that I would be home soon, and indeed I was.

Now, of course, I have no way to contact any of them. I’d managed to write down a name and inmate number or two, but when it was time for me to go – in my haste the papers were left behind.

I’ve prayed for these women. – these mothers, these daughters – often. I can only hope to God that we all teach those we love to watch themselves more closely. The world, especially most law enforcement officers in America aren’t really trying to give us the benefit of the doubt on ANYTHING. One false move or one bad choice could hurt us and our loved one for years to come.

I will close with the story of one lady I met there who was from California. She had driven to Georgia with a man and somehow they both ended up in jail. I remember the offense being something that could have been explained away – like a bad check or something – but because she was with him – she was charged too. Her shame kept her from telling her school-aged child that she was behind bars. Instead, she would relay the message that “Mommy was still away….” She wanted desperately to go home or to at least have a day in court. She knew that it would come, but unfortunately, it had taken months….and without the means to post her bond – she was stuck. Her freedom had been taken away from her because of a bad choice and there was nothing she could do but simply wait it out.

It’s so tragic. So sad. So pathetic that her story isn’t the only story like this. I don’t know if she made it back home to California, I can only hope she did. What really bothers me most is the all too real possibility – that without the money needed to prove her innocence – she did not.

 

Single Moms Devotional – Day # 20
Use ANOTHER Word!

Use another word. Yes, I am challenging you to take yourself out of a victim’s mindset and instead go forth in wisdom and strength.  I realized this morning that I would never be able to fully walk in my freedom and to be honest, in true forgiveness if I continued to refer to those people that wronged me as the ones who HURT me. Every time I say, think, or even write that I was HURT – I am yielding my power over to those whose actions have caused me pain. Enough!  My experiences have taught me so much more about life, love, and the pursuits thereof! I would be silly to remain in a posture of weakness when God is calling us into his complete WISDOM.  If God can forgive us and even FORGET our sins, then if we want to walk in true victory we have to FORGIVE others.  So NO, bruh man you did not HURT me – I have found another word…..WHAT YOU DID WAS MENTOR ME. Yes, person who let me down or friend who wasn’t there when I needed you – again, you did not HURT me – you MENTORED me. I have learned and grown so much from the exposures and encounters that I had during our MENTORSHIP together and I thank you for all the lessons learned. Besides, someone needed to be the paper plates and plastic utensils of life that would teach me how to act, remain, and maintain when the real treasure – the China – was set before me. I needed you to mess up over so that I could know what to do in the presence of pieces that were oh so much more valuable to my life! So thank you for your time of MENTORSHIP. I learned a lot.  

 

Single Moms Devotional – Day #21
Faith is a VERB!

 Faith is a VERB! Do you know what a VERB is? A VERB is an ACTION word. It means you MUST DO SOMETHING! TAKE ACTION! For years I have heard and read the scripture from Hebrews 11:1, “…faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Now although I could quote it – I must admit I didn’t quite ‘get it’. The substance of the evidence, what? Then this morning real revelation came….FAITH IS THE ACTIONS YOU TAKE BASED ON YOUR BELIEF, EVEN IN SPITE OF WHAT THE THINGS AROUND YOU MAY TELL YOU. For example, if my FAITH tells me I am buying my own home, but my circumstances tell me no bank is going to give me a loan…..then it’s my FAITH that makes me TAKE ACTION anyhow, and in spite of the rejection letter – I start packing. If my FAITH tells me I am more than my situation, that I am an author, entrepreneur, executive and entertainment mogul…..but my circumstances say that I am just a ‘single mom’….then it is MY FAITH that makes me take actions like writing this book or reserving over 3 dozen domain names. FAITH SAYS that I don’t see what you may see when you look at me – I see where I am going. I seem my promises and potential. I see MY FUTURE and THAT belief IS MY “FAITH”. I can’t say that I have faith if I am not DOING anything. FAITH IS AN ACTION WORD. That’s why without FAITH it is impossible to please God. It’s not just about what you think – I can ‘think’ that I am a lot of things, and still just lie in bed every day.  However REAL FAITH says that my walk in Christ has to be about more. REAL FAITH says that my FAITH is a VERB. FAITH = ACTION. It’s all about WHAT YOU DO regardless of what is going on around you? FAITH….Is what you do!   

 

Single Moms Devotional – Day # 22
It’s just a fantasy!

For as long as I can remember, I have always been able to deal with my present realities better when I had a moment to escape away and hide in a fantasy.  As a child, and even now as an adult, most days I cannot even fall asleep until I have created a new day – or better day – in my FANTASIES first. In my fantasy worlds, I would see myself being that Top CEO or speak to thousands of women giving them encouragement and life lessons at the GA Dome. I would imagine every single detail. What I was wearing, what I said, how the people responded, how I nearly fainted at the end because so much of me had been poured out to the people. In my FANTASY I see myself giving all of myself to you.  I can even recall that in my fantasy worlds ten years ago – I would dream about the house I wanted…which is actually the house I am in now.  Everything that my mind created in those times of escape I am actually living in right now. The 2 story foyer, the brink front, open family room, the four-bed rooms…. it’s all here – because ten years ago it was all there…..in my FANTASIES.  Now here is something funny – I looked at the original paperwork on the home and found out that the first bricks were being laid exactly TEN YEARS AGO. I believe my FANTASY is what called this home into being. It just took a while for my FANTASY and my REALITY to hook up! Ladies – don’t ever go to bed without giving your future a chance to preview in today. Your thoughts are actually set in motion your realities of tomorrow. When you FIND YOUR FANTASIES….you will find the strength and the desire needed to make it through today, and you will get that bounce in your step needed to make your FANTASIES a reality! 🙂

 

Single Moms Devotional – Day # 23
Remember to breathe…

I think I have had to fight my way and battle everyone and everything for so long that sometimes it’s hard to put down those boxing gloves – even just for a minute.  Stress. Issues. Life – can force you to put up a brick wall barrier around yourself, when you really want to be free. For me solitude equals safety. I am social when I need to be, but honestly, I haven’t been free for a while – a long while. Recently some asked to be apart of my world and I think it scared the mess out of me. I immediately (based on my training) became suspicious of him. Why me? Why now? What do you need? What are you trying to take? What’s your angle? Then he said to me – I hear your walls talking, but what does “Koddi” think? The truth is “Koddi” could use a break every now and then. “Koddi” is unfamiliar with a life without hassles and cares – EVERY SINGLE DAY. “Koddi” is trying to carry the entire world on her shoulders alone, and needs to be reminded sometimes to just breathe. “Koddi” desperately needs to stop fighting – take a break from the battle lines – go enjoy a nice cool breeze and just…BREATHE. With all of my strength, wisdom, and endurance I often find myself trying to answer all issues and be all things to those around me. However, that is not my cause. I realize that for as long as I have been out conquering the world – I haven’t taken a break. Perhaps that is my edge. That is why I can be touchy – I am waiting for the next ball to drop to justify why I can’t be free. Why I can’t release. There is always something to do or someone to see. Besides, who’s going to watch the kids while I chill out on the beach? Who’s going to take the reigns of my list of worries? Who but me? Who else is not free? Who else needs to breathe? It is a challenge for me. To let go and just physically get away. Those opportunities for respite have been few and far between in the past – but perhaps today is a new day. Maybe this weekend, I’ll get the fam’ to watch the kids for me then enjoy the peace. Release control of trying to carry it all – and allow myself – allow my life – allow my spirit to just ……BREATHE. P.S. – Can somebody hold these boxin’ gloves? lol

 

Single Moms Devotional – Day # 24
A Message to our babies…

To the darling angels who have blessed us by being born, I want to say thank you. Being the child of a single parent is often a challenge. I am sure there have been times when you felt cheated or that life was unfair because of the singleness in our home. I know for me, it was not my plan to birth you this way, but nonetheless, I am glad you came.  You grounded me. You calm me. You help me to realize what really matters in life. Everything I am and have become would not have been possible without your interruption into my life. (smile). We will make it. We have a love that endures and that triumphs over any obstacle. We are family. You are important to me. You matter more to me than anything else, and everything I do is for you. I want you to be whole in your future. I want you to grow and learn in strength and wisdom.  I send to you my peace – my love. I pray you know that I wish you no hurt and no struggle. I love you – love you – love you….and even love you more every single day. – – –  143

 

Single Moms Devotional – Day # 25
A Message to our Brothers

Just the presence alone will make you do a double take. Then your smile that completes a matchless swagger that stops me cold. Yes – there is nothing like a strong, confident, and secure man. You are truly kings. You reign over us. You inspire us. When in your place of security – you conquer and cover us. The nations of the world fear your authority. The principalities of the world know that you were made supremely and indeed divine. You are our hearts’ treasure. We need you. Without you we are all less. Less whole – less healed – less real. I know communication between us is hard right now. There is no trust or true intimacy. But know that we are pulling for you. We know that society, the media, and even financial and educational systems seem to be warring against your success, but know that we yet believe.  We believe in your enduring spirit. We pray that you raise up and take back all that has been taken from you. You are from a lineage of warriors. You are the worlds first and best kings. We ask you to pull deep into yourselves and save your own life. Stop the destructive self-hating behaviors that will lead to your demise. Reclaim your family and your future. Don’t give up. Don’t give out. Don’t waste away….. Come back to us. Fight for us. Be integral. We love you. We need you to survive.

 

Single Moms Devotional – Day # 26
Healing

We can get it all. The dream house – the perfect career – even raise the world’s next set of amazing kids – but if we leave the earth with a damaged soul then our greatest potential goes undone. The bible says, beloved, I wish among all things that you prosper and be in good health EVEN as your soul prospers. – That tells me that God is concerned about the nature of my heart, mind, and emotions.

It’s not okay for me to do it all for everyone else then goes home and feel empty or loneliness. Yes, life may seem unfair, and especially for the single mom – it can appear that the disadvantages or numerous while the incentives are few. However, I encourage you right now, even when the money is low and the child support at best trickles in or for some of us never comes – still protect your soul. Don’t let life break your spirit or rob you of joy.

No. I can’t promise you that you have cried your last tear. I can’t say that this holiday season you won’t feel overwhelmed again sitting at the family dinner table knowing that the seat of your covering is empty. However, I can hope for you that you find the joy buried deep inside wanting to be released! I pray you see that although it may not have been easy – you have truly never been alone. Someway – somehow things have always worked out in the end.

When you are challenged to remember all of your trials – I hope today you will remember your triumphs too. I want so much for you to release anger, resentment, and even disappointment from your soul. It’s toxic. It’s too expensive and it takes you out of your truest form. You are a champion – a survivor. You are a love song.

Change the way you think and speak of yourself. Speak life. Speak hope. Speak peace – and your healing will come.

 

Single Moms Devotional – Day # 27
Find the Filter

Today I want you to try something. I need you to think of someone who is not in your clique or group. Perhaps it’s a manager or someone of a different race or background – but I want to challenge you to consider this person’s viewpoint of the world instead of your own. I want you to find their filter.

Now, this should be a simple task, if you can put yourself in a posture of listening. The truth of the matter is that no matter who you are – we all enjoy the attention. Everybody likes to have an audience. So I want you to seek out someone who is different from you and open up a line of dialogue. Give them your attention. When you do this I want you to put yourself into their world. I need you to see the world – see you – see your environment through their eyes. Find out why they feel and/or believe certain things about you, your situation, and your culture WITHOUT being offended. If you react or respond in a way that shows discord then they may stop talking – and for this lesson you want them to talk. So allow them to say, and accept their words as their truth – for out of the abundance of the heart – the mouth speaks.

For years I have worked successfully in sales. I truly believe that part of the reason I have had success working in various settings is because I learned how to find the filter of any potential client. I wouldn’t spend the opening of the conversation talking about the latest this or that or the monthly special. Instead, I would ask them about their goals and visions. I would make it my point to listen to them, and once the filter has been revealed give them a solution that would help them obtain the desired results. No one can really say that I SOLD them anything – but I gave them tools based on their filters. My entire sales career can be summed up in 3 paraphrased questions: How do you see yourself? How do you see the world? How can I use my tools to make those goals appear to be more real?

Finding the filter goes even beyond sales. This is a life lesson. Whenever someone has something you need or a perceived advantage over you – then you need to find the time to find their filter. If you listen they will not only tell you things you may not have known, but their filter now revealed transforms into a gateway of opportunity for your own advancement. And if I know your filter – then I know what I can let slide right on through you…

 


Single Moms Devotional # 28
Step Into JOY

Feelin’ weak or perhaps even a bit overwhelmed? Then it means you have stepped out of JOY.  The JOY of the Lord is your STRENGTH, and you must stay in that JOY to protect your peace and maintain strength, (and sometimes even your sanity)!  My dear – we have to make a choice. We can feel angst, fatigue, negativity, or we can choose JOY. In spite of whatever I am going through I am making a conscious decision to step into Joy. I know that when I allow JOY – not just my joy or a hollow happiness, but the burden barring, yoke destroying, the peace that passes all understanding – JOY OF THE LORD to strengthen me – then I am unstoppable.  His JOY will energize me. His JOY will come in and replace my sadness. His JOY will protect my peace of mind and get me thru not only this day – but EVERY DAY. So when the enemy comes in like a flood – or the kids are acting up a bit – or this bill is due and money is tight – WHATEVER the problem is – my solution remains the same….I will trade it. I will give that issue over to Jesus, and when I cast my cares on him – He will give me his JOY. So there – grab all your worries and cares and just say, “Let’s trade – Jesus!”, and step out of your situation and STEP INTO JOY.

 

 


Single Moms Devotional – Day # 29
Love

Love. A simple four-letter word that is as complex as ever. Out of all the devotionals I have written, this one is the hardest. I don’t know that I have successfully mastered the complete definition of what love is, however, I do know what it is not.

I know that love is gentle and kind. Love is not selfish or brash. I believe that love when it is right will sacrifice itself for the sake of. When I think of love and the way that I want to be loved – my mind often travels back to the story of Adam and Eve.

I believed with all my might that Adam loved this woman. I believed that without thought of the repercussions he ate of the forbidden fruit not because she gave it to him – but because he knew she had eaten it, and therefore he must cover her. His love for her meant that he would give up anything and risk his future for her. He ate the forbidden fruit for love’s sake alone, knowing that death would await him once he did. Wow.

Now of course, as is true today – sometimes love can battle with reason and many people believe that Adam sought to blame Eve for their transgression. However, I don’t know that I agree. I chose to believe that his response to God when asked about what transpired, was not one of blame – but one of a declaration.  “The woman you gave to me gave me this fruit and I did eat…”, as if to say to God – you gave me this person to love, did you expect me not to cover them? Of course, I ate it. When she did first – I had no choice. I had to cover her because of love.

If you take a moment and look even deeper into the bible you can find that Christ did the same thing for his bride – the church. He took on sin, which he knew would separate him from God, in order to protect and save his beloved – you and I. He would later find himself, just like Adam feeling abandoned and apart from God as a result of his decision. Christ knew then, just like Adam did, and just like any real man who loves his bride must know – LOVE covers and eventually CONQUERS all.

I challenge you now to think about the LOVE in your life or the kind of love you want. Does your love protect you? Does love provide for you? Does love find a way to resolve what ails you?  Is your lover mindful of you? Can he sense when you need an encouraging word or prayer? Will he go to God the Father on behalf of you? Will he sacrifice all – even separation from others for you? Does your love speak kindly to you? Does love degrade you? Does love ever make you feel less than whole? Does he honor you with truth?

Now, of course, there may be times of conflict, but does love yet remain to work it out or does your lover leave you to fend for yourself in the garden alone?

As we move closer to wanting and obtaining love relationships in our lives I pray that you take the time to consider the love being offered to you – and if it is not Agape – the GOD kind of love – the kind of love that wont cheat or betray – the kind of love that is there to help you and always stays – the kind of love that exist by choice and not by any particular deed done – If it is not this kind of everlasting – ever giving – ever honest & living love – that you will wait for a better one.


Single Moms Devotional – Day # 30
Hope

More than anything else – I think the weapon of choice by the enemy is to get you to give up your Hope. If he can steal your hope he has you bound and your future aborted. When you stop believing that things will get better – they won’t. If you give up halfway across the river then you won’t make it to the other side. No matter what person, issue or ailment in your life tells you otherwise – I pray today that you will lock arms with Hope.

Hope means that I know where I am RIGHT NOW is not the end. Therefore, I won’t make a bad permanent decision over a temporary situation. Hope means that I am confident in my savior and even when I can depend on no one else – I KNOW that HE KNOWS the way that I take. Hope says that in spite of what it looks like – Christ has my back!

We must understand that one of the greatest tricks of the enemy is to get you to not see the whole picture. He wants you to believe not in HOPE but in HOPELESSNESS. He is counting on being able to distract you with distraught. He wants your attention on your problems and then on your depression. He doesn’t want you to know that you can beat whatever he brings against you.

For me, one of the biggest issues I have had has been the embarrassment of my situation. Every time someone asked how many kids I had or who was their father(s) – I felt like I was being judged and/or criticized. I would sense in my mind that they were making a judgment about my future based on my past – It was an attack on my HOPE.  I perceived their faces to say – “Two kids? Two DIFFERENT fathers? Oh – So no one will ever want to be with you. No man will ever marry you know……You have no hope”.

Now was someone actually making this assaulting statement against me and my future every time they asked the questions of my status? I don’t know. However, it’s not about what people think about me anymore – It’s about what I think of myself. So YES, I proudly am the single mother of two beautiful children, and I HOPE you are amazed when you see how together we will shine.

At whatever cost please remember single mothers to protect your mind and GUARD not just your heart, but also your HOPE.

No matter what stage of your journey of singleness you find your life in right now – remember that our HOPE is not built on potential husbands, kids, education, finances, or careers – but on Christ Jesus and HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS.

Therefore, in the end, CHRIST has the very last say so. This means that my foundation and my future is solid in Him and because He has a plan and purpose for my life – I have his HOPE: and his HOPE makes me not ashamed.

 

About the Author:

Koddi Lester Dunn is a native of Atlanta (Marietta), GA where she was raised by Steve and Marilyn Lester. She has two older sisters and a budding high school career. After graduating from Marietta High School in 1996, as a Who’s Who graduate and recipient of a prestigious internship at the highest rated radio station in Atlanta (V-103), Koddi found herself pregnant, hopeless, and alone, all before turning 19.

Not to be defeated, Koddi gathered her thoughts and made plans to attend the local college and maintain a full-time job, all while raising her new baby girl, Stevanie. A few years later she would welcome a son, Stevon. Being a single mom of two was one of the hardest things Koddi faced, but her belief in God, family, and a deep since of purpose lead her to become a successful Sales and Marketing agent for several tech based corporations.

After being a single mom of two for over 10 years, Koddi met and married Wade Dunn Jr, (a single dad of 3: Akira, Gera, and Jeremiah) in 2008. Wade and Koddi would go on to have two additional children, Jaden-Christopher and Jordyn-Taylor, and would also be named managing partners for a successful online media & marketing company.

Today Koddi Dunn is a highly sought-after writer, mentor, and internet media trainer having worked with national and international clients and groups. Her continued goals are to write more books and offer stories of hope and inspiration to women, single moms, blended family moms, and entrepreneurs from across the globe.
For more information on Koddi Lester Dunn visit her online at KoddiDunn.com or follow her on social media.

Facebook.com/Koddi

Instragram.com/KoddiDunn

Twitter.com/KoddiDunn

 

For more single moms resources check out the 24/7 online video community and resource center founded by Koddi Dunn at www.SingleMomsTV.com

#OurTimeIsNOW

 

This book has been a publication of Pink Rose Marketing. For more information or to request a distribution package for your book please visit www.PinkRoseMarketing.com for additional details.