Dear Single Mom at Easter

#DearMom

Are you ready for Easter bunnies, egg hunts, special Easter clothes, and the official start of spring? It feels like we just celebrated Christmas, but here we are–Easter is right around the corner.

Whether you’ve been a single mom for a short time or what feels like a lifetime, single parenting at the holidays can be difficult. Lonely. Isolating. Stressful. Those are just three words that we often hear our Shepherd’s Village moms saying around the holidays.

That’s why we wanted to write you this letter. Holidays bring up emotions that can be troubling for our spirit. Those emotions beg us to answer questions that have no good answers.

Why can’t I have a healthy relationship?

What damage is this holiday going to cause to my children?

How can I afford all the gifts, clothing, and expectations for this holiday?

When am I going to stop making bad decisions that cause me and my children so much pain?

If you’ve heard yourself asking one or all of these questions, I hope you can recognize how this kind of thinking beats up our mind and our souls. Their tone can be summed up in a single word: SHAME.

Christian counselor Ed Welch says, “Shame is the deep sense that you are inherently flawed, unacceptable, and unworthy of love because of something you’ve done, something done to you, or something associated with you.”

Mom, this Easter, we want you to silence Shame and listen to Love.

Opening Your Ears to Love

The root of shame often stems from what you’ve heard. Maybe you remember sitting around the holiday table, your family fighting over significant or insignificant issues. Family dynamics can be hard. People from the same family share different beliefs and opinions. Familiarity enables us to say things without considering in ways our words can hurt.

Your ears have been opened your whole life. You’ve been listening. What have you heard? Word of love or words of shame?

Mom, this Easter, open your ears to LOVE. Know that you are not what others have said about you. You are not what others have done to you. You are what JESUS has declared over you.

She Knew Shame

No one in the Bible sensed shame more keenly than the woman who had “a discharge of blood for 12 years,”  She is outcast. Lonely. At one point she may have had so many hopes for her life—marriage, family, life in the community—and all of those seem over for her.

A woman had been sick for twelve years with a flow of blood. She had spent all the money she had on doctors, but she could not be healed by anyone. She came behind Jesus and touched the bottom of His coat. At once the flow of blood stopped.

Jesus said, “Who touched Me?” Everyone said that they had not touched Him.

Peter said, “Teacher, so many people are pushing You from every side and You say, ‘Who touched Me?’”

Then Jesus said, “Someone touched Me because I know power has gone from Me.”

When the woman saw she could not hide it, she came shaking. She got down before Jesus. Then she told Jesus in front of all the people why she had touched Him. She told how she was healed at once.

Jesus said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace.”

Luke 8: 43-48

Mom, you may not be bleeding or sick, but you are well-acquainted with this woman in the story. She was hidden and felt invisible. Her isolation was as much her choice as anyone else’s—shame does that to people. It makes incredible women like you want to hide, lest you get exposed and more humiliated. Can you relate to that?

Right now, you may be hiding in the crowd (or behind your cell phone screen), wondering what it’s like to be exposed in all this mess before Jesus. You don’t want to go to church this Easter, showing up with your kids and without their father. You don’t want to be judged. Just forget all that.

That’s Shame talking.

Listen to Love…

Dare to Believe

What keeps people like this woman in the Bible–like you–from coming to Jesus is very subtle despair. It’s not that she doesn’t know she needs Jesus’ help; it’s that she thinks if he knew the truth about her, he’d never help her. But that’s just not true.

That woman dared to believe. She dared to step out into the crowd, to reach out and just touch the robe Jesus was wearing. Did he judge her? No. He is called her his daughter.

This Easter, if you’re reading this, we believe Jesus wants you to know that you are not damaged, second-rate, unworthy, or unloved. You are a precious and beloved child whom he has created and redeemed specifically for his purposes.

You are precious enough for him to shed his blood to buy you back. It’s time for the shame others have put on you gives way to the honor he has declared over you.

The woman went home “in peace”—you can too. Stop listening to others and the voices from your past. Start listening to the voice of the one who calls you his beloved daughter!

What He Says About You

Today, let these words of LOVE be sung over you. Play this song on repeat until you believe it to be true.

Our hearts are full of anticipation for what God is going to do in your life and your family this Easter, and we can’t wait to see what he does through our faith and prayer.

We would love to pray for you. Visit our Need Prayer? page on our website and let us know what you’re going through. There is a 24/7 Prayer Line available to you, as well as a prayer form you can send directly to our team. Each one of our staff has been where you are. There’s no judgment here.

Single mom, you are not alone. We want you and your children to face your future with confidence and hope–and LOVE. So much love!


Making Resurrection Rolls

Looking for a fun and memorable way to tell your kids the story of Jesus’ burial and resurrection? This Resurrection Roll recipe is deliciously simple, and it brings with it the ultimate meaning of Easter Sunday.

Start with a marshmallow. Talk about how sweet and good it is. It will represent Jesus in this fun baking, story-telling activity.  Tell your children that although Jesus was perfect and had never sinned, he died on the cross and took all of our sin on himself–paying the price we couldn’t pay to God.

Before going into the oven, you’ll cover the marshmallow with a refrigerated crescent roll, representing Jesus’ body being placed in the darkness of the tomb. Throughout the baking process, it will disappear! Sound familiar? The fluffy treat vanishes from the bread, symbolizing the way Jesus vanished from the tomb. While Christ paid for the sins of humanity and ascended into heaven, the marshmallow simply leaves a sugary finish on the cinnamon-infused crescent roll.

Ingredients

  • 16 large marshmallows
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cinnamon
  • 2 (8-oz.) cans crescent roll dough

How to Make Them

Preheat oven to 350˚

1. Combine sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl.

2. Unroll crescent roll dough, and separate each roll along perforations.

3. Roll marshmallows in melted butter, and then in cinnamon-sugar mixture. Place one coated marshmallow in the middle of an unrolled crescent dough segment, and roll the marshmallow until completely covered by the dough, pushing in sides as you go. Pinch seams on either end to seal each roll.

4. Place rolls on a cookie sheet and bake at 350˚ for about 12 minutes.

5. Immediately after removing rolls from the oven, brush with remaining melted butter and then sprinkle with remaining cinnamon-sugar mixture. Serve warm.