“Good Deeds” and Reflections of a Real Single Mom

God’s timing is perfect…though sometimes curious.

Over the week-end I posted a hopefully encouraging blog dedicated exclusively to single mothers. Every word of it was true to my experience. A snapshot or sound bite of what it was like raising two daughters alone and without the benefit of child support.

Last night I went to see Tyler Perry’s latest film “Good Deeds”. Even though I had spoken to several people who had seen the movie, I was totally unprepared for what I saw. I believe it was his finest offering. I truly enjoy the message-filled antics of Madea, however “Good Deeds” is different. It grabbed my heart and reminded me of some of the most difficult times of my life. Without giving the whole story away, the movie resonated deep within me. It made me recall some of my lowest moments. It also made my heart smile at the unmatched joy of motherhood. There were some extremely hopeless situations that I had to navigate.  For whatever reason I rarely concentrate on those times.

My point is that doing the “single mom” thing is more than a notion. It can stretch you to the end of yourself. A daunting undertaking that will provide you with tears and laughter. Some of the highest days of your life and some lows that will make you believe that life couldn’t get any worse. Being a mother is the most important role a woman can play. Doing it alone is scary.

I’m writing to the single mom today to acknowledge that although we made it through, and ours is a quote unquote success story, the ending could have been very different. I personally know some women who worked hard and tried their best but their adult children are not doing so well. My only answer for how we survived is the power of God’s grace. He was gracious to us. Before you allow despair and depression flood your mind, before you give up, please know that the grace of God is sufficient for you in any situation. Call out to Him, He is as close as a single tear rolling down your cheek or the silent scream of your heart. Whatever else you do today, please call on Him, He is waiting for you.

I wept last night, both in the theater and on my way home. It was a good cry. A cry that was a reminder that your greatest challenge can produce your greatest joy. Last night through tears, I thanked God because we really did make it.

“…My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” 2Corinthians 12:9 NIV

Any Single Moms in the House?

Recently my oldest daughter celebrated a “milestone birthday”. She is the picture of every parent’s dream of success for their adult child. A loving wife, doting mother, competent business woman, school board member and a Women’s Ministry leader at her local church. She is a multitasking queen.

I have the privilege of watching her up close and personal from the comfort of her home. (Gotta love the “mother-in-law suite”) The life she has fashioned for her family is both inspiring and beautiful. My son-in-love is all about family. Together they have established certain standards for their family. They have dinner together every night barring a schedule conflict. The family dinner is the norm rather than an exception in their home. Their weekends and holidays are well planned events. Often those plans are simply playing a game together or just being in the same room while pursuing individual interests. Their family unit is traditional, strong, and loving.

Quite a different scenario from her childhood experience. Our family looked very different. My daughters are the product of my being a single mom. I was always juggling responsibilities. Doing the math and using creative options to accomplish goals. We were an impenetrable unit, doing life the best way I knew how. We were and still are “The Allen Girls”. There was an abundance of love coupled with some honest mistakes on my part. The good news is that we survived. I believed that I needed to fill the role of both mother and father, which by the way is an impossible task. So for all the single moms who are trying to do both jobs, stop it immediately! I’m here to tell you that when you accept the fact that your only role is to be the best mom that you can be, you will feel a weight lifted from your shoulders. God never intended for you to be both mother and father. His plan for the family looked more like the life my daughter is leading. However, nurturing the family unit with all the pieces in their proper place is still a challenge with it’s own set of problems. The truth is that raising children is a team sport. Attaining success in this arena must include Jesus as the captain. Single moms please know that God will give you all the grace you need to be an amazing mother.

I thank God for my parents and other extended family members who helped me out whenever necessary. My biggest area of gratitude belongs to my Heavenly Father. Somehow His hand was always present in my life even before I called out to Him from my bathtub on a day that I just wanted to quit. The grace of God sustained, encouraged and propelled me to a place of contentment in my vocation of single mom. My circumstances hadn’t changed, my perspective was different. I could depend on His grace to be my anchor. That single fact persuaded me to never give up.

So, to all the single moms in the house let me assure you that you can do this. As I reflect on how I put one through college and the other through cosmetology school, I have to just shake my head knowing that without God I wouldn’t be able to encourage you now. Our family unit wasn’t ideal but the God who makes “all things beautiful in their time” protected, provided for, and allowed us to have a good ending. He is not a respecter of persons. What He did for me and my family, He will do for you and yours. You only need to call on Him.
P.S. (the other daughter is a successful Hollywood hairstylist)

My daughters are my second greatest joy; my adorable GBs are my first. And my God, well He is above all things to me.

To all the single moms in the house, let me encourage you. You can do this!


There is music that makes you smile, tap your toes, maybe even wiggle your hips. There is music that invokes wonderful memories. And then there is message-filled music that touches a special place in your heart. Those songs can encourage, inspire and maybe even prompt you to compose a Blog!
It has been my “go-to” worship cd for months. I took the appropriate holiday break and listened to my favorite Christmas music, but when the season was over I returned to Martha Munizzi’s “Make It Loud”! It’s one of those cds that is good from the 1st to the last chord. I’ve had several favorite songs from it throughout the months. The lyrics to the song “I Know That You Love Me” speak to my heart every time I listen to it. This morning while peacefully singing along, the phrases “so I hold on to nothing, I know that You have me, with unending mercy because that’s what You promised me” caught my attention. I began to think about the word “promise”. Just how binding is a promise?Do you remember all the promises that people have made you and kept? Or do you only remember the promises that were broken? How many times have you broken a promise?

My conclusion: God is the only One who has never broken a promise! In fact He sent Jesus to the earth, to die on the cross for all of mankind and be the Guarantor of His promises to us. His Word (the bible) reinforces this truth throughout; I’ll simply share this passage of scripture in support of my conclusion: “For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us.” 2Corinthians 1:20 NKJ
The Lover of your soul, the Creator of all things aka GOD will not disappoint or ever break His promise to you! He remains the eternal “Promise Keeper”.