Tuesday, January 26, 2016

The Start of Something....

9 Breakthroughs to Living as An Empowered Single Parent is NOW available at Amazon.com! If you are a single parent or know one - it's perfect for "The Start of Something...."




















Happy New Year! It's still January, I can still say Happy New Year right!? Well  the new year is underway...the first month of 2016 has already come and is almost history! I was talking with a co- worker of mine who manages the workout area/gym track at the school where I work and she said of course on January 1st., the gym was crowded with all the newbies 
going the wrong way on the track! But now after a few weeks, the well intentioned new years resolutioners have dwindled and the track has resumed a comfortable spacing between regular walkers and runners. 

While I don't make resolutions, I do reflect on the past year and meditate and let it go, promising to bring with me only the things that help me. Easier said then done. Sometimes, I get frustrated though at myself because I feel like I work on some of the same principals over and over again. Not because I don't care or I forget the prinicpals; sometimes, I am just caught up in the day to day management of life. The routine, the striving (and forgetting what I am striving for), the ordinary days, the celebratory days, and way down at the other end of the tunnel are those prinicpals that I should be keeping top of mind everyday. I used to ask God how am I supposed to remember all of these things. I wish I had a photographic memory so that I could remember the Bible word for word, especially The Proverbs. So much wisdom in Proverbs. But that's why God sends the Holy Spirit to help us remember what we need to know at the time we need to know it.  I'm only human and in the midst of striving to be a good parent, daughter, friend, person, Christian and colleague where does one thing end and the next thing begin. What is the next thing? How are we to know? As single parents how do we know what's next for us and for our children? and what to do?


One of my favorite scriptures, Jeremiah 29:11 says: "For I know the plans I have for you", declares The Lord,  "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future". (NIV)  I am so moved by that scripture as one of God's most comforting promises.  Could this new year be the start of something new and different in your life and mine? Of literally taking hold of that promise?


 I always start the year by reading something inspirational for a sustained period of time. Meaning a 30 or 31 day period or a 45 or 90 day period. So this year, I am reading Stormie Omartian's "30 Days to Becoming a Woman of Prayer." My goal is to read it again for two more 30 day periods so by March I will have gone through the book 3 times. Each day is a different principal (forgiveness, relationships, health/body, interceding, controlling what goes in your mind) and a prayer. The prayers are intense when you are really meditating on and the Lord reveals things to you during your prayer time, which is why I decided to re-read the prayers each day for 90 days. I feel like it's the start of something.  A breakthrough to some of the principals that I have been recycling. Isaiah 43:19 says: "See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland". (NIV)  For me, being a good steward over my finances, patience with my 81 year old mother and my students, daily replenishing my soul and taking a page out of TV Executive dynamo Shonda Rhimes ('Year of Yes') book literally, my own 'year of yes' are my main objectives.  So I have made some concrete goals to meet and I am working towards them. For example, a friend of mine suggested purchasing Dave Ramsey's Total Money Makeover. He said he reluctantly went along with the plan when his wife brought it to him but now is so glad they did it. I believe that when you make a declaration to the Universe and pray on it, God will send resources to help you make it happen. 

How about you? What are you starting? It could be something you have tried before but that's ok, we are all human right? What has been stirring up in your spirit in your quiet moments or while you are riding the train to work? What plans does God have for you and your children? Have you asked Him?  Please share your thoughts below. Continued Blessings and here's to your Empowered Single Parent journey. 


                                                                                                                                                 

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Find the Sweet Spots in your (Single) Parent Life!



Psalm 34:8 –
“Oh Taste and see that the Lord is good”

It is so easy to get lost in the daily grind of raising children and trying to make something of this daily life. And with the holiday season upon us, it’s easy to let stress choke off any sense of fun or happiness. Routines can take its toll on your family togetherness. Let's not let the real meaning of the holidays get away from us: togetherness, hope, joy!

Find something everyday for at least five minutes that gives you pleasure. Before you know it, you will be adding to this experience that adds joy to your life. Your children will see your example. I have recently found an app called "Calm" which helps me to meditate for at least five minutes. It gives you any background you want: a rainforest, beach, waterfall, etc., to help you relax and take 5 minutes (or more) to relax and revive. 
 
Enjoy nature – I love the wind and the air before a storm and I love the smell of rain after it rains.

Family game night is always fun! Pull out the games and for at least 15minutes try to get lost in the laughter of the game and spending time with your family (without cell phones of course)! Recently, my daughter and mom and I played UNO for the first time in a long time. We had a blast laughing and playing. Choose some of your favorite holiday games or get some new ones. Low on funds: check out your local Salvation Army or thrift store for games that people have given away.



Get moving – put on one of your favorite oldies and dance around! Your toddlers will love it! Your teenagers will think you have lost your mind but then they will smile and join you. Or you can put on “Just Dance” or have your teeen teach you the latest dance. Take a yoga class or rent a video from the library.


I know it's winter but you can do something out of the ordinary! Take a walk in the crisp air to the ice cream parlor! Or bake your own holiday treats. Box some up and give away to the local senior citizens home and keep some for your family!



Rediscover time with your pet. Studies have proven the benefits of pets have in our lives. They bring us joy and companionship. So don't look at Fido as another responsibility; see him as the family friend and get out and get your exercise (which also increases endorphins) and take Fido for a walk!


Go on that date with the man or woman you have been turning down. You never know, you might find joy in a new relationship! One of the best examples is in Tyler Perry's (2014) movie: 'Single Wives Club' and the character Lytia played by actress Coco Brown kept putting off Terry Crews' character Branson until she finally gave in and had a great time and he was great to her children too!

Celebrate something ordinary with your kids- make a pizza with a pizza kit and have a movie night!

Finally, what you are doing is creating wonderful memorable moments and experiences, which create even more wonderful memorable moments and experiences! When the tough times come and they will, you have some joy reserves to pull from. Scientifically, you are creating endorphins. 

Everyday Health Magazine describes endorphins as "Endorphins are morphine-like chemicals produced by the body that help diminish pain while triggering positive feelings. They're sometimes referred to as the brain's "feel-good" chemicals, and are the body's natural painkillers...Endorphins help relieve pain and induce feelings of pleasure or euphoria. They play an important role in the brain's reward system, which includes activities such as eating, drinking, sex, and maternal behavior". God made our Endorphins so let's increase them and increase our Empowerment as Single Parents!

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

WHAT I WILL TELL MY DAUGHTER....

author and daughter - March 2013


(I wrote this when my daughter was about 4 years old; she is now 13; In honor of her upcoming 14th birthday in October, I wanted to publish this in celebration of her life!)

Nicole & one of her best friends - Barney
I will tell my daughter many things...throughout our years together. She may not understand them all right now. I know I didn't understand many things my mother told me until my 20's, and my 30's!  There were some "aha" moments. Times where I actually put it together and thought, "that's what she was trying to tell me!". Parenthood is just one big revelation! The things that are revealed about ourselves and how God works through us to bring a new generation forth is miraculous! I'll start by telling my daughter God made her a miracle, that she is his masterpiece.

Ill tell her to mind her manners and to make sure she says please and thank you. Ill tell her to look both ways before she crosses the street and I will tell her to play fairly and not to fight. As a single parent, I will teach and tell her how to protect herself and teach her things like toasting her own waffles or making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches so mommy can finish her grad school homework. And when she gets older and can understand the depths of my love for her ...I don't know when this will be..but I will tell her that she changed my life. For Good. She probably won't understand it as I didn't really grasp the power of love until I had her and reflected on my own mother's love for me.

But I will tell her anyway, that she is a gift from God and although I almost made the insane and asinine "decision" to not go through with the pregancny because I was afraid and fearful that I would not be a good enough parent, but I'll tell her that because God's love for me and her was stronger that any thing I could ever imagine, that her life is a testtimony of God. That God wanted her here.

I will tell her how blessed I am to have her as my daughter and that her smile shows the brightest even on my cloudiest days of days...that her "hey mommy" is like a symphony when I hear it and rivals anything Bach ever wrote and that those words mean more to me than I can ever express. I will tell her that her laughter and her silliness light up my world and I'm so amazed at how we have the same humor and we "get it"...that she is truly an angel from God. I will tell her that when I look at her, I know that God is merciful and forgiving.
somebody wasn't having a good morning

Happy at Christmas - Santa Mommy did good!
I will tell her that she has inspired me to dream many dreams I could have never dreamed without her. I will tell her that she "grew me up" and I will tell her that now I am not just talking about making the world a better place, I am taking action to do just that. I will tell her that on the days when it seems as though the world is not kind and there are some people that she will encounter that don't have her best interests at heart, she can still go on standing on her faith in God because He has been there for her and with her from her very inception...

I will tell her that I didn't know I could love someone as much as I love her and that she taught me how to love outside myself more than I could ever know!

author & daugter's first trip - to California (she was 3 years old)





Dawn Edwards writes for her blog: Empowered Single Parents to encourage, inspire and uplifet single parents. She writes under her pen name Randi Knight at dedwards1.blogspot.com
She is a high school counselor, former radio hostess and a single mom to Nicole!


SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS AND SENTIMENTS ABOUT HOW SPECIAL YOUR CHILDREN BELOW!

Monday, August 31, 2015

Smart buys in September for Empowered Single Parents

Forthcoming book by Dawn Edwards:
"9 Breakthroughs to Living as an Empowered Single Parent"
As I did my reading today and came upon an artilce by Bankrate about the great buys that you can rack up on and save money at the same time! As a single parent, I love to hear about how I can save a dime or two! For instancem, I didn't know that September is a good time to stock up on fish or raosting chickens that feed the whole family and still have left overs for the next day... Love coffee??? What about Free coffee!?? Even better right! Well, Tuesday September 29th is National Coffee Day and some establishments will give you coffee for free that day and broadway tickets deals about and are also items you can save on...and if you are planning on traveling to see extended family during the holidays, watch out for travel deals during the month of September!

To get more out of your dollars and live as an Empowered Single Parent, check out the article at:

http://www.bankrate.com/lite/smart-spending/september-bargains-in-supermarket-1.aspx


Image result for national coffee day 2015

Saturday, August 29, 2015

What's Good Single Parent?

For some of us as single parents – the headlines of our lives always read like the sensationalism of a daily gossip magazine that hearalds all the seemingly negative situations in our lives: “If it’s not one thing it’s another,” “Why can’t I get ahead,” “I wish I had a husband/wife” “My bills are more than my paycheck.” I have used these anecdotes a time or two and vowed that I would stop using it because I know full well that our words have power. The circumstances and everyday routines of our single parent lives can sometimes push us into a corner, a rut, make us focus on what we perceive to be lack rather than a lesson. I know, sometimes, your spirirt cries: "I don't want another lesson!" I understand! 







It’s easy to get the idea that the single parent life is full of strife and struggle. Jesus said that we will have trouble in this life but He also gave us assurances that He will help us carry our burdens and that we can rest in Him: 
"When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze."
(Isaiah 43:2) 

Living an Empowered Single Parent life  is not about gloom and doom and struggle. It’s harder, yes, as a single person with little ones depending on you…but even in that, God said that He would not give us more than we can bear. And whatever your purpose and lesson is in this phase of your life, as Paul said, I have learned to be content in whatever phase of life that I am in (paraphrased). So we too can be confident and happy in our single parent life focusing on the good in your life:

  1. My wonderful friends and family who are supportive to my single parent life. They understand and help me out when I need help.
  2. I'm blessed to have two great careers, radio and God made a way for me to attend graduate school to obtain my degrees in counseling and psychology so I can continue to be a blessing to others! 
  3. My daughter is healthy, who is learning, growing and developing into a wonderful young woman of God
  4. We have a roof over our heads, clothes on our backs, have never missed a meal (come close a few times!) and wonderful neighbors that have become like family and help me watch over my daughter.
  5. Wisdom and prosperous ideas that bless my life and others!
  6. This blog is too short for all my blessings!

No one is saying that it is easy. On the contrary. It’s probably the hardest thing you have ever had to do. But through the Grace of God, everyday you find new strength, new resolve, a fresh anointing to pick yourself up, despite the overdue bills on your table, despite trying keep everyone happy and get something that possibly resembles 8 hours of sleep (what is that?!), and Inspite of everything, you have peservered!  

So now instead of the gloom and doom headlines, do as Joel Osteen teaches and use the power of "I am" and replace those negative headlines as I have with: "I am more than a conqueror", "I am the righteousness of God and I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!" "I am blessed! My children are blessed! My finances are blessed! My home is blessed! My workplace is blessed!" "Everything that I have and all that I am belongs to my Source, I am helped and all is well!" Here's how you put that in action: (1) When you are making dinner after a long day and all you want to do is go lie down, think, "I am making this dinner for myself and my family with love", (2) Maybe you want to go back to school or are desiring to own your own business and can't think of what you want to do, think, "I filled with divine wisdom and prosperous ideas to help myself, my family, my community, my church and the world!" or (3) simply, "I am grateful for all that I have (love, joy, peace, protection) and I am making room for more abundance in my life!" 


When you sharpen your focus so can zero in on the good, you become an Empowered Single Parent!

Leave a comment below about What's Good in your life and how you keep yourself focused on the good! 



Connect with Dawn Edwards (Randi Knight) on Twitter@randiknight915
https://www.facebook.com/dawncedwards

Be sure to leave your email address to learn more about Dawn's Upcoming book: "9 Breakthroughs for Living as an Empowered Single Parent"



Saturday, August 8, 2015

Empowered Single Parents: Trust your (Parenting) Instincts

Empowered Single Parents: Trust your (Parenting) Instincts: Parents know that raising children is certainly not a task not for the faint hearted. Sometimes one can question the decisions that the...

Friday, August 7, 2015

Trust your (Parenting) Instincts



Parents know that raising children is certainly not a task not for the faint hearted. Sometimes one can question the decisions that they make when it comes to their children’s welfare. Most of us are just trying to do the best we can. There is a commercial that makes me laugh - the company is selling a new fancy washing machine that has a quick washer on the top for quick jobs. The parents rush in because the baby is crying because her favorite toy is missing; mom asks "where is backup (name of the toy) and dad says intensely "this IS backup____" he gives her the toy back after rinsing it off in the new fancy washing machine and commands her to get in there - quickly- and says "don't let her see the fear in your eyes!" Hilarious! But sometimes parenting can be that way...we are on the battlefield! Literally, battling to keep our children protected, safe and away from evil elements. We are fighting principalities remember! And sometimes, while on the battlefield it's easy to doubt your instincts about your parenting tactics!

Recently, I was talking to one of my girlfriends (she gave me permission to share our conversation!) about these teen age years and we bantered about all the things that can happen and do happen at parties where young people get together and the sometimes impossible choices they make because they ARE teenagers and their frontal lobes aren't fully developed! LOL!  We reminisced about how our parents took turns driving us to and from our social gatherings when we were teenagers. I admitted as I am sure most  
parents do that I try not to worry about my daughter attending some of these gatherings  - because while I know her and her friends, I can’t control everyone else who is attending the party. Case in point, my daughter told me about the one party where the police were called because two girls began fighting and all the kids were told by the police to leave the residence. I was flabbergasted as I went to visit the grandmother who owned the residence where the party was held and asked her about the adult supervision and so on. I felt I had done my parental duty. I guess that doesn’t mean that things will always go smoothly. My daughter called me as she walked with friends and told me not to panic but that she had begun walking home. I told her I would meet her as I raced to get in my car and pick her up. It was about ten o’clock at night.
 
My girlfriend, who has been a single parent since the passing of her husband, said that as her daughter is now a senior in high school, she doesn’t really have to go and meet parents but rather trusts her daughter to make decisions. I retorted jokingly (but really not!) that I would be looking in on the events that my daughter is attending even up until she is a senior in high school! That’s when my girlfriend offered that once when she took her daughter and her friend to a party, her daughter called her not less than 20 minutes after she had left them at the party to come back and pick them up. Her daughter sensed that the environment she had just walked in on was not where she wanted to be and whatever was going on she did not want to be part of it. Score one for single parents! My girlfriend made her point: She has instilled in her daughter the foresight to notice and be aware of her surroundings and the sense when there is trouble on the horizon and trusts her to make good decisions.

My daughter recently exhibited that at least for right now, I can trust my parenting instincts and the good sense I try to instaill in her. There was a pool party she had been invited to and asked permission to attend. A few days later, she told me that she changed her mind about attending because there were girls that she knew were of a negative element announcing on social media that they would be attending the same pool party. She didn’t attend. Turns out, an incident happened where a girl used a taser on another girl and the party and the police were called because the party was too loud and past curfew.

No parent wants to lock their children up because that doesn’t work. Trust me I know from personal experience. The moment I declared my independence from my father I ran straight to a man that was 10 years older than me and had no clue about what I was getting into. I was 18.  I want her to enjoy her childhood despite the dangers at every turn!

So I look for teachable moments all along the way:

1. Pray over your children’s safety and everything that concerns them. Lamentations 2:19 says: “Arise,cry out in the night, as the watches of the night begin; pour out your heart like water in the presence of the Lord. Life up your hands to him for the lives of your children, who faint from hunger at every street corner". (NIV) 

2. But don’t just pray. The word says ‘faith without action is dead’. TALK to your children. I cannot stress this enough. Talking to them about being aware of themselves, their surroundings, how to choose wise friends and all the things that life can throw at them is not going to make them go and have sex or go out and rob a store. But NOT talking to them about right choices and consequences for wrong choices will leave them open for the devil’s attack’s and idle experimentation that could lead them down the wrong road.

3. This part of my journey can be taxing but I am learning that my kid is actually listening to me. Sometimes I know my words go in one hear and out the other but it seems on some of the important stuff she is actually listening! So instead of questioning myself and wondering if I am doing the right thing, Ill continue to pray to ask Spirit for guidance and wisdom…because He is my co-pilot and knows the flight plans so I don’t need to second guess the destination keeping me an Empowered Single Parent.

By Randi Knight
Twitter: @randiknight915
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randiknight1.blogspot.com
randiknight1@gmail.com