Monday, September 6, 2010

Light Your Candles!

Our Single Moms' Ministry at my church has been amazing. What a courageous, beautiful group of women God put together! Each doing their best, with God's help, to be the best single moms they can be. God is good. (By the way, please be praying as we start our fall semester Sept 14th!)

The book we just finished My Single Mom Life by Angela Thomas (a MUST read for any single mom in any situation) talks about not waiting for a special occasion or until you feel "worthy" to light your candles, or use the best dishes, or invite friends over for dinner. Our children will miss out if we wait!

This also parallels her advice that we don't have years to devote to "bettering" ourselves. If we wait years until we arrive at some contrived place to start being a great mom, our kids will be all grown up! We have to be amazing moms NOW!
This includes inviting friends and playmates for our kids over to what if our house is a wreck or we don't have a huge home-cooked meal. No one will notice! There will be enough to go around, just make it work!
I also believe this applies to starting or continuing traditions. It's sad how I went through a time when I didn't know if a family of three like ours was complete enough to start new traditions or that it might be too painful to continue traditions we already had.  Blessedly, I came through that phase pretty quickly.
Caroline and I decided it would be fun to always have chocolate chip pancakes for breakfast on our birthdays, starting with Thomas's!
My new, wonderful friend Shannon reminded us of this "don't wait for life to begin" idea when she gave her example of how she shared a dinner with her daughter's playmate at the spur of the moment. Do you think the girls remember what they ate or what the place settings looked like? NO! They will remember a warm, fun time sharing life!
After hearing her talk about how she is not just thinking about this advice, she's living it; I wanted to do the same. I wanted to light our candles! And use those serving dishes usually reserved for "special" occasions! My children are special and they deserve it!
Later that same week I told Caroline we were going to have candles at dinner and she ran around the room so excited and telling Thomas all about it, it was adorable. I got everything ready, our cantaloupe, ravioli and sauce (from Bertoli's, I think, I know I didn't make it from scratch--i'm admitting it. Who cares!?) and put it in our fancy serving bowls and then went to find candles.
And then I couldn't find any. Not one!
I wasn't going to let this stop us. I remembered what Shannon said, she said she didn't have candles in nice matching holders, she just used the ones from around the house. Scented, or unscented, in a jar or on a plate--it doesn't matter!
So the only candles I had were a few in a drawer meant for a birthday cake. WHO CARES!? Caroline and Thomas sure didn't! We lit them and ate a meal that would normally be forgotten, but now has been made a memory!
Now, go and light your own candles! :-)