Look Back, Move Forward
Looking back, when many single moms first connect with Shepherd’s Village, they are clearly emotional, exhausted, and stressed. They are struck with the reality of being on their own with a child (or children) to raise, bills to pay, a household to run, and only 24 hours in the day. It’s daunting.
Over time, things change. Through support and resources, those same single moms begin to realize that their lives, although difficult and demanding, come with great rewards. They begin to look ahead with hope and confidence.
The Journey is Both Behind Us and Ahead of Us
We are all standing a particular point in our lives. Today. Right here. Right now. This moment in our lives like the pin on a very large map. There is a benefit in looking back and seeing how far your journey has taken you. There is also the beautiful opportunity to take our eyes off our current location and make a plan for where we’re going next.
If you’re a single mom, whether by circumstance or by choice, you’ll no doubt hit some hard bumps and sharp turns, even with the greatest plans for your future. Don’t make the journey alone. Partner yourself with Shepherd’s Village. No matter where you live and no matter what your circumstances, we have encouraging resources available for you. We also have a 24-hour prayer line available to help you see God at work in the midst of whatever storm you’re facing.
Celebrate the Good
As you look back, don’t focus on the struggles of this past year–or the past several years. Focus on the good that has happened. Sometimes to get to the best things in our lives we have to endure some uncomfortable suffering. Even on the most thorny path, there is always some kind of beauty waiting to be seen.
As Shepherd’s Village looked back, here’s what we saw…
Over the years, we’ve had…
- 289 single moms graduate from residential our program
- 785 kids receive love and hope for their future through our program
- 15,500 non-residents impacted by the resources we offer through Shepherd’s Village
- 1354 total people gave or renewed their lives to Jesus Christ for salvation
- 3 of our graduate moms receive habitat for humanity homes over the last two years
- Over $37,000* given in scholarship money to allows moms to continue their education.
*This money was provided through our Shabby 2 Chic store from 2012-2018.
In 2018 alone…
- 2 moms graduated from our residential program
- 4 new residents entered our residential programs
- 2 moms are in process of working on their habitat houses
- 5 scholarships, totaling $7000, were given to single moms
- 15 non-residents were helped by our resources
- 9 people gave or renewed their lives to Jesus Christ just from our new website alone
- 2 of our moms received associate degrees
These accomplishments were not easy–for us or for the single moms and their kids. Yet, look at what has happened! So much good.
Plan to Ahead
We don’t just want to look back, though. We want to look ahead. We have many great things planned for 2019, in hopes to give even more to single moms and their children. There is still so much work to be done and so many ideas we have.
As we complete our goal setting for 2019, we want to also encourage you to go into the new year with a plan in place. Set the stage for your success.
Five Ideas to Move Forward
1. Assemble a support team. Add us to your list. Let us know what you need from us. However, don’t stop there. Make an actual list of people you want to pursue this year and who might be a good support to you as a mom, as a woman, as a mentor.
2. Ask for help. This may sound like it’s not a goal, but it really is. Remind yourself that you can’t do it alone, and you shouldn’t. Once you’ve assembled your support team, consider ways you can ask them for help. Also…how can we help?
3. Re-adjust priorities. Remember, you’re not Wonder Woman. Write down everything that requires your attention. Number those things in order of importance. Take your time and evaluate everything you’re doing and everything you think your kids need to be doing. Make adjustments as needed so you’re focused on the most important things first.
4. Kiss guilt goodbye. You should plan to quit at least one thing in 2019. Our suggestion is, quit feeling guilty. Make a list of positive things you can tell yourself when guilt comes creeping in. Replace the guilt-script with truths like…
I’m not perfect, but I’m also not a failure.
My kids DO need me.
I am not my circumstances. This moment will not define me.
5. Set new goals regularly. It’s so important to set goals for yourself beyond New Year’s resolutions. Set goals each day, week, and month. These goals will give you something to look forward to and can keep your spirits up and keep you moving forward.
You may have long-term ambitions, like going back to school for your degree, losing weight and getting healthy, starting a new relationship, or moving to a better location.
Those are all wonderful possibilities for you. But many single moms can only get to those bigger things by creating sanity-saving smaller goals that open the door to much-needed personal time. Daily goals can be as simple as listening to music, writing in your journal, getting outside for fresh air, doing some form of exercise, or spending a few minutes a day in quiet reflection.
Whatever you need–commit yourself to it by assembling your support team, asking for help, re-adjusting priorities, kissing guilt goodbye, and believing that the goals you set today will be next year’s “look back” at your success.
“The rear view mirror is small so we can see a little of where we came from, but the windshield is large so we can can look ahead to the great Future that God has before us.”
-Phyllis Alderman, Founder & Director of Shepherd’s Village