Welcome to the Overflow on-line community. This is Liesel and Natalie and we are hosts of this blog. We will take time to introduce ourselves later this week. For now we want to talk about why we are here and why we want you to hang out with us!
What do you do as a woman parenting alone when you have a second to yourself? In the carpool line as you wait, after the kids are in bed, or when the child(ren) are away, what do you set your mind on? As two women who have lived through many seasons of this life, we understand that these are the moments when an awareness of circumstance and loneliness tend to steal what could be moments of rest.
We just looked at each other and laughed. There was a time when if someone would have asked either of us, "What do you do with your moments of rest?" we would ask them when those moments grew legs and ran away! Are you wondering where those moments are? Let's be real. Moments in the carpool line are spent going through a laundry of list of things you need to do, laundry being one of them. You know that you're the only one to knock out that never-ending list, and after the kids are in bed, it is your "me" time to watch mindless TV or scroll through Facebook and Instagram, finally turning off your mind for the day. (At least turn it off enough to wind down and sleep for four hours. That was a generous number.) We get it. There's no condemnation or judgement here. We have been there. We know those nights very well. We know the spirals of isolation and comparison that tend to rob us of true moments of rest.
We want to invite you to do something else with us. What if we use those moments to redirect our hearts and minds to something different? Perhaps it's something you've never considered, or maybe it's just something that you need to be reminded of. You're not alone. Okay, so yes, physically you are alone, but you don't have to be.
Let us explain. The hope for this blog is not to be an exclusive place for one or two people to post their ideas and realities for people to "yes and amen" about. We really want this to be an online space for us to gather together, learn from and with one another, and really understand what is our call as unique and dynamic women. What is abundant life as moms parenting alone, as friends, as sisters, as members of society (because, really sometimes we forget), and as daughters of God. God invites us to be connected, and Jesus even prays in John 17 that we would live in unity with each other and with him.
This is the whole idea of us getting together here. Jesus says, "I am the true vine, my Father is the gardener." If you're a woman raising children alone, somewhere along the line life took a disappointing, unexpected turn for you and your children. We want to stay connected to him with you. Jesus is simply calling us to link up with him. Part of linking up with him is surrendering your situation, looking outside of it- especially on days when your situation is blinding and self-defeating. If you feel faithless, God is still faithful. You have not been cut off. You have not been thrown away. You have been loved from before our Earth's foundations were formed. You are a treasured possession right now, where you are in this very second. It's a promise that when we allow God to connect us, we will bear fruit. Your children need you to bear fruit. They're hungry for it. That won't happen (not the good kind of fruit) unless you are connected to The Vine.
A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back to back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple braided cord is not easily broken. (Ecclesiastes 4:12) This is the Word of God. This is for you. We want to talk about real life stuff. His Word never returns void. There tends to be such an absence of hope when it is only our own voice in our head. Will you let a new voice into those moments we talked about a few minutes ago, and come talk about this God with us and what his place is in your story? (If you haven't seen God in your story, we would love to hear from you, too. We've also been there. We couldn't see him anywhere. You can read more about that in our personal stories in our next post on Thursday.)
What we are planning for you, our new friend, is to provide a place for you to be a part of, to gather and share, to be heard, to grow and learn, to be real and brave in transparency. We want to press into learning what it means for us to actually be "a daughter of God" in the midst of reality right now. You are a woman who parents alone. We want to journey with you into understanding. Life gets so heavy and sometimes it feels like the world is on your shoulders. Your list of tasks feels all-consuming, and there are emotions and needs that you have that tend to take the back seat for your children. Listen sister, this lifestyle is a weight much lighter when shared.
We will provide resources for you beyond this blog to equip you to have fun with your children outside the walls of your own home. (We like specials, coupons and all that jazz... Because sometimes it's like manna from heaven in the desert with little ones!) We already have a list of guest bloggers that we cannot wait to introduce to you! They're hilarious, honest, lovely, wise and downright awesome sisters in Christ and friends in life.
Here's the thing, it's not an online community unless you communicate! We really do want to hear from you. We want you to comment, share yourselves, share the blogs with other women raising children alone, or just share with people who need to understand what it's like. We want know you! In the same way that our friendship is infused with compassion, grace, mercy and understanding, we want the same thing for you here.
Now, go subscribe and let's get to know each other more. It's really easy! We'll just show up in your inbox and you'll show up in ours when you comment (or you can email us directly, too)!
We want you to know, we are a part of a church family in Houston that is already praying for you and loves you deeply wherever you are.
We really do love you!
Liesel and Natalie