The older I get the more I am aware that I don’t have all the answers. I still have much to learn from the wisdom and experience of others. However, there are a few statements I can make about what I know for sure.

I’m positive each person has inherent value. We are all created by God and therefore are important to and cared for by him.

I’m positive we can all make a difference in the world by recognizing the needs of others and seeking to help meet those needs.

I’m positive the year ahead has good surprises in store. I’m excited about reaching out to more single moms online and in my community.

I’m positive I am always learning. I look forward to growing in understanding and encouraging others who are now going through the same struggles I experienced.

I’m positive that God will never abandon the people who believe in him. I have seen the evidence that God has protected and provided for me – even before I was aware of his influence – and now I am certain he will never leave me alone.

I’m positive God has a plan and a purpose for every life, and if we listen for his guidance and follow him, he will direct us exactly where we need to be.

I’m positive everyone wants to feel heard. Every woman wants to share her story and know her experience has purpose and meaning. What is your story? Leave me a comment. I want to hear it.

I’m positive I will never bungee jump, sky dive, or hike the Grand Canyon, though I admire people who do.

I’m positive that going to the dentist is important for my health, and I’m grateful to the people who perform this valuable service.

I’m positive I enjoy: long walks, sunrise, fall weather, cool evenings, talking with my friends and family, and connecting with my readers on this blog site.

What are you positive about today? How does your faith influence what you know to be true?

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Happy Friday!

I am very grateful to be included in a community of amazing moms and writers on this Mom's Blog Network.

Please read my article "5 Things I Learned From Being A Single Mom" appearing today.

What have you learned from your single parenting experience? What have you appreciated about your time as a single mom?

 

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The crowd pressed around the little table, everyone nudging, leaning, and reaching. The organizers of this event had wrapped dozens of donated books in plain brown paper and labeled them with short descriptions of the stories concealed inside: “Shirtless men with swords,” “Rich people problems $,” “Rare eye disease vs. power of love.” I selected “For when you have to flee the city due to the zombie apocalypse,” and escaped the mob.

We chose our books based on the scantily-worded descriptions, not knowing what we had gotten until we slipped away and peeled off the paper to reveal the history, mystery, or fantasy concealed inside. With only a few clues, we made a decision and trusted we would enjoy the story that ended up in our hands.

So many times in our lives we make choices based on a few scarcely-revealed details: “Romantic marriage proposal,” “Exciting career opportunity,” “A stranger needs our help.” We have to choose a path and trust that our decisions will lead us to a happy ending.

We cannot know how our story ends until we open the package and uncover the story beneath. Faith means facing the unknown with trust and excitement instead of fear and uncertainty about the future. It is receiving what we’re given with the belief that God always knows the outcome, and he will place the right volume into our hands.

In the car I opened my “zombie apocalypse” package and found Scott and Helen Nearing’s The Good Life, the true story of a couple who left New York during the Great Depression and moved to a farm in Vermont. The Nearings dug their gardens and built their stone house by hand. They didn’t know what to expect when they left the city, but their books tells the story of the great future they found.

And it reminds me that sometimes we come to the table expecting an apocalypse and discover the good life instead.

What surprise are you unwrapping today? How do you feel about the story that awaits you?

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Growing up in a small town, I made a weekly walk up a steep hill, through broiling summer sun or chilling autumn air, to a place that was, for me, an escape and solace from the world outside – the public library. In the peace and quiet of the old library building I could hide behind the shelves of science fiction paperbacks and read all the Ray Bradbury books I wanted. I have learned a bit about life through years of regular library visits.

Be quiet and listen. Before cell phones, libraries were peaceful oases of furtive whispers, shuffling feet, and rustling pages. I learned to recognize other regulars by their murmuring voices and stifled coughs. We discover more about other people when we are receptive and observant. When we stop talking and simply listen, we hear more of what others have to communicate.

Learning is active. Before the Internet and cable TV, I had to pull a book off a shelf, crack open the cover, and spend hours reading words from a page. I learned to critically consider what I read, draw my own conclusions, and apply new information to my own situation. True knowledge requires effort. We should not passively accept whatever we are told; but we are capable of forming our own thoughts, considering the alternatives, and making our own decisions.

Everyone is welcome. Before Facebook and social media, the library was a public living room where I could meet up with friends and help each other with our homework assignments. I learned to ask questions and explore new ideas. True community should be available to everyone regardless of socioeconomic standing, background, or belief system. To grow in understanding and compassion, we have to connect with others, build friendships, and share our resources.

Today I live in a larger city, and I drive to the library a few miles from my home. The automatic doors swing open to greet me, computer kiosks wait to check out my books, but the library remains largely unchanged. In the quiet and comfortable atmosphere, I am always ready to learn something new.

What have you learned from listening to others in your community? How do your share your resources to encourage each other?

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