A Full Tank

Being a single Mom and financially stable, may not coexist at first, but it was the most rewarding season of my life. It’s been a long road, but rest assured the road will lead to greener pastures.

The journey of the single Mom offers a continual concern over money. We lived in the country and drove 30 minutes to the nearest grocery store. I’d become dependent on my truck’s gas gauge to be accurate and indicate when gas was needed, until that one time we ran out of gas. It’s unnerving to break down on a country road with your daughter, but we called for help and it came. That was the last time I depended on a gauge in my truck and from that day forward I kept at least half a tank of gas in him.

Time rolls by and you figure out how much you can spend each week. You ask for a raise at work and take side jobs for extra spending like Christmas and birthdays. You’ll pile pillows on the floor and lay down side by side only to stare at the ceiling fan. A conversation begins as light-hearted giggling, but becomes deeper until you realize your voices are now a whisper and tissues are needed. You’ll take turns cooking so they can be creative in the kitchen, knowing full well you’re going to clean up afterwards. Those are the most memorable meals.

Over time you make more money, or want fewer things, but somehow time and money line up. My truck has gone from having half a tank to a full tank, but he’s not the only one. My daughter grew into a young adult and moved into her own home this year, but thinking about everything we went through to get to this point has me writing this with a full tank.

Feature Photo by Reed Geiger on Unsplash

Reclaim the Fire

I snapped at a coworker. That’s not like me because I don’t typically relinquish my calm and lash out. An uncharacteristic move deserves a deeper look.

Discontentment has been hanging around for a bit. There’s weariness in staring at a screen. It was manageable with the one job I’ve had for years, but when I took on a second job this year, it’s became a lot. Both jobs require being online, but one more than the other. I’ve learned the skill of reigniting my flame when it grows dim, but sitting here today it feels I’m repeatedly using matches, and the box is almost empty.

When my daughter or I lose our spark where we are, we make a pro/con list. We list the reasons for staying (pro), and the reasons for leaving (con). This recently popped up in my Facebook memories.

“How do you know when you’ve outgrown that job, ministry and/or partnership? Here are 7 indicators that it may be time to move on. 1. You feel like your creativity is being stifled 2. You lack motivation for the thing that once motivated you and ignited your passions 3. You feel like it’s getting in the way of your true calling and purpose 4. You feel like you’re emotionally suffocating in that environment 5. What you offer isn’t utilized, valued or appreciated 6. You feel like you’ve maxed out on the growth, opportunities and/or resources that are available to you 7. You’ve prayed about it, and you feel a release to move forward These are not definite indicators, but they are certainly clues worth investigating.” David Burrus.

Of the seven things listed, six of them resonate. December is the month to examine and let go of what extinguishes our flame. Reclaim the fire.

Photo by Moodywalk on Unsplash

Get Disturbed

It’s refreshing to look back over your life and see how far you’ve come. My daughter will be 21 in August, but when we started this adventure, she was 13. I didn’t know what our new life looked like, but I did know, there had to better.

It was one of those agonizing moments of, Which will be worse? Staying where we are, or leaving?

The first part of making a new life for yourself is making a decision to do so. Once you decide, you can act. Are you disturbed with your life?

I was, but then I became complacent. There was the proverbial list of excuses for staying. Sometimes it’s easier to stay put, but nothing worthwhile is ever easy my darling. I had to let it disturb again. I had to let it bother me to the point of leaving.

Disturbed is not angry. Disturbed feels like a steady burden of unrest.

Is it time for a better life? Then it’s time to get disturbed.