Remembering Our Single Mothers

When Travis has to go out of town, I quickly jump into single-mother-mode. He’s gone for ten days this time, and we’ve got two days down, but who’s counting?

Maybe it’s that instant flashback to my mother as a single mom. We were 9, 17, and 19, the three kids, watching her do this crazy dance to supply our needs and keep her soul intact.

So when he’s gone and it’s just me and the boys, I think a lot about women like her, but with little tiny toddlers running around, painting on the walls and eating snack after snack, wrestling on the living room rug.

Do you know anyone like her?

Who is the church in this space?

Barbara Brown Taylor says,

“God has no hands but ours, no bread but the bread we bake, no prayers but the ones we make, whether we know what we are doing or not.”

In my few days alone, hands have reached out. I’ve felt a little sick, a little energy-depleted, and friends have reached forward with offers of macaroni and cheese and baby-sitting.

Do you know what it means to someone when you reach out of yourself and take care of them?

2015-07-22 20.43.48 2015-07-22 10.10.13The boys brought a little red bucket to the Emory gardens, and Hannah filled it with okra and rosemary, with cucumbers and tomatoes.

We spent a full day with David and Jeanie, napped on two little white beds. I sat and looked out at the water, watched the birds that flit from branch to branch and talk to each other about how God provides.

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And tonight, Eliot will spend time with his best friend.

And we are so taken care of.

Hands reach out, and we are gathered in, and we remember all that is good.

I am a single mother for eight more days, and then my partner and best friend comes home.

But I remember that struggle when I was nine, when my mama’s whole being carried too heavy a load.

So, can you remember the single moms in your circle?

In your neighborhood?

In your church?

In line at the grocery store?

In your city?

And use the hands you’ve been given to make bread. Use them to buy a cup of coffee or tea.

Use them to make macaroni and cheese, use them to hold a child so she can breathe a few breaths in quiet, so she can re-energize and re-start.

Then maybe we can all see it, the way Love moves and transforms and brings all fresh life, even if it’s only for a few hours at a time, before the heavy lifting begins again.

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“…if only we let love do its slow, meandering work.” -Rachel Held Evans

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