The “Triple Threat”

Triple ThreatFor all you theater fans, you know that means the actor that can sing, dance and act. For all you sports fan, you have a favorite player who is fabulous at all three of the skills of running, passing, and kicking. How about your favorite three flavors of gourmet cupcakes?

For some of us, this means, being a single-parent home-schooler of a special needs child.

It is true that in this role, we have to wear many hats…too many, really, if we try and be what we are not. Anytime we try to be the missing parent, we will get burned out. Anytime we try to make up to a child for the pain of losing a parent, or of their being disabled, or the many ways our own weaknesses and foibles may affect them, we reach too far, and extend ourselves in a way that is not sustainable long term. At some point, we will weary of the load, and feel the need to chuck some of it. That can be good to do, but a bit shocking if it comes suddenly and without warning.

We are far better taking stock of who we are, what skills and abilities that God HAS blessed us with, and walking out this journey inside those boundaries, and trusting God to make up the rest. “Listen! The LORD’s arm is not too weak to save you, nor is his ear too deaf to hear you call.” Isaiah 59:1

I remember the day that I stopped trying to be the father of my boys, and resorted to just being their mom. I cried and beat my pillow and my Lord sat by my side, and held my hand, and listened to the cries of my heart. He understood my desire to be ALL to my boys, but sweetly told that me that He had been there the whole time, fathering my boys, and that “letting go now”, wouldn’t change anything, except to lighten my stress load.

There were many times after that, that I would be exasperated by one of my children’s attitudes, and wishing for the physical presence of a man, with a deep voice. In my lack of knowing what to do next, I would throw this problem at the feet of my Husband, and say, “Well, you know that I am out of ideas, please take this child and Father him!” Not more than a few hours or days later, my wayward son would experience a lesson so made in particular for him, that I knew it was his Father teaching him in a way that I could never have invented.

This same type of experience was had when needing help discerning where to seek and find the next therapy, or help in providing for my children, or in needing a kind word of encouragement for myself.

God has used our neighbors, clients, doctors, chiropractor, and even a couple of lawyers to support and encourage me, and to parent my children.

Over the years, I have stopped looking at my life as my biggest threat, but as the biggest opportunity to drink deep of the cup that my Lord fills for me, to over-flowing. We have supped with Him, sharing His sufferings, as well as the everlasting mercies He shows to the fatherless and widow!

“Be still in the presence of the LORD, and wait patiently for him to act,” and above all, rejoice in the life that you have! ~ Psalm 37:7

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6 Responses to The “Triple Threat”

  1. S says:

    Holly, I am new to your site and was referred by the Single Mom’s With Autistic Children page on FB.

    Thank you for this wonderful site. I, too, am single parenting a special needs child. Last year I started referring to God as my Husband and I feel so lucky to have stumbled upon your site. Praise the Lord.

    • Holly Nelson says:

      Oh, Sheila, I am so thrilled to hear from you! This is quite a journey, single-parenting, and raising special needs children, isn’t it? While at times, I must admit, I do feel like I am losing it, deep in my heart, I am embracing the adventure. I have learned so much about God, compassion, kindness, and community that I would never have learned before. Please stay in touch, I really want to be part of your community! I know you have insight for me that is important for my growth! Praying for you, my friend!!

  2. Inga says:

    Hi Holly,

    I came across this blog a few days ago, and am glad I did. I am also a Christian single mom of 3 (by adoption, so I’ve always been a single mom). I am currently on maternity leave, and have homeschooled my son during this time. I really want to continue, but am scared to death about money. We are barely making ends meet now. I want to keep both my young kids home next year, but of course I need to make a living. How have you managed? I have been feeling convicted both about educating my kids at home and about financial responsibility and stewardship, and still trying to work out how those might fit together! I would love to hear how you decided to stay home, and how you manage those two conflicting goals. Thanks, Inga

    • Holly Nelson says:

      Hi, Inga, and thanks for heartfelt question. I hear your concern to follow the voice of God for your life and am so impressed that you want to share your life with children that needed a good home! God is always there to help us with the inspiration and answers that are needed to fulfill the conviction He puts into our hearts. I have lain many a night on my pillow, asking God for direction on how to be the stay-at-home working, homeschooling single mom I knew He was calling me to be. He has never fallen short of giving me ideas. In my early days, I did day-care, and home schooled my boys along with the children under my care. I worked all three shifts to make ends meet, and to help the single mom’s that brought their children to me. I Like to think that I was not only being practical, but was also a Godly influence of those young hearts and minds.

      As time went on and day-care was on longer my desire, I did all kinds of things. I have had the following home businesses, one or two at a time, to make ends meet: baking, sewing, quilting, housecleaning, Mary Kay Cosmetics Sales Manager, and finally, God gave me the desire of my heart, to take my creative streak and to use it to develop websites for businesses (my current position). In all, I was self-employed, and used basic skills that I had a passion for to meet the needs of my customers.

      I took all three boys on my cleaning jobs when they were older and it was a family business, no babysitter needed. That saved money, taught them great work skills and allowed us to lead a simple but debt-free life.

      Recently, I was talking to someone who likes to type and has done transcription work from home. Another friend is an editor and has built up a great business from her home. There are so many things that could be turned into a home business with enough time, networking, and diligence.

      I am praying that you will find the passions of your heart, what really makes you tick, and that God will bring people into your life to help encourage your journey! Please say in touch, as I cannot wait to hear how God answers these prayers!

  3. Inga says:

    Hi Holly,

    Thanks for the encouraging words. I guess I should have added that I have a career i love and that uses my gifts- I am a teacher by trade. So homeschooling has been great- I already knew what I was doing. But of course, I can’t teach a typical day, and keep my school-aged kids at home and teach them myself all at the same time! I have special needs children as well- my daughter has FASD, and my son has fetal alcohol damage and many other issues, so teaching them seems like the direction God is leading. I like several of your suggestions, and am already doing some daycare. I will keep you posted about what God and come up with. I have noticed some gluten-free recipes on your blog. Do you or one of the children need a gluten-free diet? My daughter cannot have wheat, dairy, or red food dye. It makes the simple lifestyle you referred to a bit of a challenge- her bread is $6, and of course, i can’t buy any pre-packaged foods on sale- she’s allergic to all of it. Thanks again for the blog- I am enjoying it. Inga.

    • Holly Nelson says:

      I wonder if you could develop a tutoring business that you could do at home eventually? Or do a big part of your homeschooling during the summer, and afternoons and evenings the rest. You might have to do year round school to get all the required hours in. We have done that at times, when my work took over and school slid a bit. We ended up with a LOT more hours than required in every year, so I know we could have pared back some, and still been fine.

      We don’t have to be gluten-free here, but I know so many people that are, I like to include as many yummy recipes that don’t have gluten as possible. I do understand your comment about food prep. For a number of reasons, we do not buy prepackaged food either. It does take extra time to eat healthfully, but we have simplified it quite a lot. Nature provides a lot of prepackaged foods and we try to eat as many of them as possible. Fruits with a peel, avocado, nuts that have been shelled, nut butters, carrot, celery, cucumber and broccoli sticks, protein shakes. That is all we eat throughout the day. We have a good hot cereal breakfast, and a good protein and veggie dinner at night.

      BTW, you can sign up to get my posts by email in the top right corner. Praying for your success!

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