Stop searching for your other half. You’re whole already. 

I’m not searching for my other half, because I am not half.

Mind blown. Why did I feel pressure to search for my other half? As if I wasn’t fully and wholly enough just as is. As if there was something missing. Something needed to complete me, to complete my family.

Photo Credit: Steve Brandt at Creative Compassion Photography
A dear friend pointed this out to me a few months back, as I voiced how I longed for my son to witness me in a healthy marriage. For him to watch healthy interaction between a husband and wife. I voiced my concern of a man not being daily present in his life. That me, being only mom couldn’t teach my son the things a boy learns from watching a father. When that friend challenged me, I realized that even though I felt confident to raise my son on my own, I still struggled with being me, only one person. Only half of the typical two parents many children have present daily.

Society, and often times religion, like to impose the necessity of a partner to be considered complete. That idea that children need two parents to thrive. Not just that, there’s the stigma that both a male and female are needed. And I call bull–bullion cubes on that one! The reason I felt inadequate, is because I was told and made to believe that parenting alone is just that, an inadequate way to raise a child.

Photo Credit: Steve Brandt at Creative Compassion Photography
As people, we often follow in the direction others have proclaimed over us, or generalized over a group of people. It creates a cap on success, communicating a limit to the success rates. As if before we start we’ve already been proclaimed as a person destined to struggle. Because of that, we enter into situations expecting difficulty. Expecting to endure unnecessary hardships and trials.

I’m here today to tell you that through my personal experience I’ve learned that’s a lie. A freaking delusion. I orchestrated under a mindset of confidence but yet feeling inadequate because it’s me alone. Failing to see the very truth, that I’m far from missing my other half.

I arrived to the battlegrounds of single motherhood ready for just that, a battle. Preparing myself by scrounging for the tools to help defend against the hardships that I thought were bound for me in the dreaded roll of [insert blinking red sign] “Single Motherhood”.

Photo Credit: Steve Brandt at Creative Compassion Photography

As time went on I realized all I needed to do was just “be”. To change my mind set on my self. Open my mind to see my self the way I was designed. Whole! NOT half way complete. Only then I was able to see my self through that new identity, through His lens. One of kingdom identity. Where God proclaims over me that I am Enough. Through re-wiring my brain I saw that I was equipped. Designed to thrive. Made in His image, and through the union with Christ I lacked nothing. See, my dear friends, Christ bridges that gap for us. Where we lacked. We now lack nothing in Him. I don’t lack a half. Because with Him I’m whole. Single motherhood my booty. There’s nothing negative about this role. I’m a mom, there’s nothing single about what I do.

Photo Credit: Steve Brandt at Creative Compassion Photography
It doesn’t take a mom and a dad to raise a child. It doesn’t require two people, 4 hands. It requires loving humans, loving on the tiny human and breathing empowerment through Truth to parent them. I’m in no way dismissing the impact a village can have. I believe my village, the people that have lavished love and support on me, are the whispers of the Father’s heart. Reminding me I can do this–and why I can.

Single motherhood was never intended to be a burden. Not a hardship. It might be a result of a broken relationship. But that brokenness doesn’t continue into the next chapters role of continued parenting.

Nothing is broken about “single” parenting. It’s just an old mindset that needs to be rejuvenated to see things new.

Breathe deep and plant your foot down for that next step, confidently. You’re enough. I am enough. Because He is never lacking, and we lack nothing in Him!

Advertisements

Super Mom Self Care 101: Part 1

The struggle is real! How to care for all those around us without running on empty.  I’ve been there and I know you probably have too. 

The first time I realized how critical this is was during my divorce. A newly single mom, stressed beyond words. Feeling like I was running on empty. I had forgotten in the chaos to take time for me.  

On my Column Hello World. It’s Me! at True-Conversations I am writing a two part series on self care and how us, as moms, can make that happen! 

 But the tricky thing is to make sure that we don’t lose ourselves. We need to carve time away each day for ME. Am I just “mama”? Or am I Sarah who’s favorite role she plays right now is “mama!” Yes! That is me, I am Sarah! And you, sweet friend, you are YOU! Who is also a mama! But who are You…

When you travel on a plane and the flight attendant instructs, ”In the event of an emergency… If you are traveling with a child or someone who requires assistance, secure your own mask first, and then assist the other person.” I’ve realized that this is exactly how it is with motherhood. Here we are in chaos that surrounds us. The emergencies of the day might be toddler sized but they are there.

Head over to True-Conversations to finish reading! Look out for next weeks column on learning to Thrive while being Super Mom. 

Power of the Bikini 

Can we just be real for a moment. It’s the end of summer. Did you feel the pressure–to have that body ready, to look great with a solid ass and stomach “beach ready”? I’ve felt it. The ideal body, by a deadline. And if that deadline arrives, without the body having achieved that exact look, the fear of criticism clouds confidence to wear that bikini proudly.

Moms, heck women in general, why do we do this to ourselves! We hate on our bodies. Let’s be real, that’s what it is: hate.

The body I live in became something I felt wasn’t good enough. Yet it was strong enough to carry a tiny human, house it, and nurture it. Moms, we have so much to be proud of our body for! Yet, I’m guilty of picking out the flaws of my new mom body to focus on. I allowed those thoughts to consume me. But no longer.

10 months ago I made the choice to love my body. To see it through a new lens, a lens that many others saw it through already, yet I was not.. I was seeing it through lenses that had expectations that didn’t need to be there. 


So here’s my journey into loving my skin, my new body! Setting aside high expectations, extending grace, wearing proudly what I used to label as flaws.

Setting aside high expectations, extending grace, wearing proudly what I used to label as flaws.

Three years ago I gave birth to my son. I wanted to be a mom, I desired to bring life into this world. I never desired my body to change permanently, I didn’t give it permission. The “new baby” high wears off and I realized my body was nothing like I had wanted. But regardless of how we exercise, eat, etc during pregnancy, our bodies in many ways change in ways we have LITTLE control over. 


Even after baby is born, we can experience frustrations as women in our new post baby body. Our bodies are re figuring how to work, how to metabolize, our bodies have changed. In ways we couldn’t of prepared for or predicted.

This is something that has been so humbling to me. Prior to baby, I was fit, toned and had a flat stomach without that classic mama pouch. I lived at the beach weekly in a bikini. I never thought about finding a suit to camouflage the fact that, oh you know, I grew a human. Until I did grow and birth my precious son.


When I went shopping for a bikini I just wanted to wear whatever style I thought cute on the hanger, like I used to. But, I found myself trying on more than 14 different bikini bottoms simply discouraged of this new stomach that even once baby weight was gone, was still there. Most likely, this new belly isn’t going anywhere. I was hopeless, discouraged, and even angry at my body for not bouncing back.

“Cover it up, hide it. It’s time, I hit the moment that’s talked about… The moment I needed to accept the reality I’ll wear one piece suits from now on….” is what went through my mind. That was when I realized how damaging my mind set was. I felt I’d never look good enough again. My life dream of having a baby happened and now I felt inadequate in my appearance. I wanted hide the very evidence that I carried that child.

I am living my life dream, I’m a mom. My body is strong, capable, and beautiful. I worked my ass off to get back into shape and finally after 2 years post baby, I was at pre birth weight. Who cares if my stomach isn’t to an old ideal of “perfect”.

It’s perfect for this chapter in my life. It’s perfect to remind me of Life. The life that my body grew and nurtured for 9 months. My new body is perfectly imperfect, by my OLD expectations. But my new expectations are to love myself, be proud, and confident in this body for what it’s done and how it keeps up with an ever active toddler.

It’s perfect for this chapter in my life. It’s perfect to remind me of Life.


Perfectly beautiful is: confidently stepping on the beach, not just accepting my new body, but embracing it. Loving it because beauty isn’t defined by 6 pack abs, beauty is defined by the beholder. Proudly wearing my bikini to empower other women that YES, you too are anything but flawed from growing a human.


I want to say to those of you who feels less then perfect, like you’ll never obtain the prior pregnancy self: You are beautiful, your body ran the marathon of pregnancy. The last thing your body deserves is to be hidden, out of shame and self criticism. Instead, it should be worn victoriously. Carrying and birthing a baby is an extremely strenuous thing on a woman’s body. You mama, crossed the finish line in that extensive race.

You are beautiful, your body ran the marathon of pregnancy. The last thing your body deserves is to be hidden, out of shame and self criticism. Instead, it should be worn victoriously.


Let’s celebrate that victory with saying “bye-bye” to shame and buying a cute bikini to display this body who won that race! And when I see you, a fellow mama at the beach, I’ll smile a big smile as we pass. Because I honor you, and I join with you in loving our new bodies! I join you in displaying to our kids what beauty is all about.

And when I see you, a fellow mama at the beach, I’ll smile a big smile as we pass. Because I honor you, and I join with you in loving our new bodies! I join you in displaying to our kids what beauty is all about.


I had a great bikini body before, but now it’s a new kind of great bikini body. Our kids think we are the most beautiful women. Why can’t we see that and live that?


Don’t work out at the gym for that beach bikini body. Work out at the gym to be strong enough to run around for hours on the sand with your babies and kids. Most importantly, your worth isn’t in your body, or it’s strength. 


(Photo credits: Steven Brandt and Wilhelmi Studios) 

Open Letter to My Mom

As Mother’s Day approaches, here’s a letter to my mom, and all the moms out there. A big thank you! For the impact they have had on us.

Dear mom,

I remember when I was 16 I sang the song “Wind Beneith My Wings” to you. Every word, is even more true today. You are my hero.

“Did you ever know that you’re my hero. And everything I would like to be? I can fly higher than an eagle. For you are the wind beneath my wings “

But here’s why.

Thank you for showing me what strength in a women looks like. Being real, raw and authentic in who you are. The trials you’ve gone through. The inner battles you’ve faced. You showed me a strong women is one who isn’t afraid to show moments of weakness. The importance of being vulnerable and the encouragement to others it is.

Thank you for demonstrating the importance of being a fighter. For your self, for your health, for your family, for your children. You showed me no fight worth fighting is ever too big! The ability to rise above. You showed me that even if winning the fight takes years, it just is that much sweeter when the victory arrives.

Thank you for showing me what drive looks like. To take initiative, go after what you want. The drive that keeps any set backs from stopping you. To see a wall as just another obstacle that requires a plan B, C, or D, but never means impossible.

Thank you for being a defender of the weak. Defender of the weary, and help those you can’t carry on. Thank you for showing me the blessing of helping and standing up for those who need it most.

Thank you for your dedication as a mom. Assuring you provided us with the best opportunities, experiences, education, and most of all you were dedicated to make sure we were nurtured and loved. Your dedication in doing all that took more mental strength, physical energy, and sacrifice in ways Im just beginin to grasp. You took your job as a mother seriously, and didn’t follow the trends with out doing research (the reason I research everything in my own life).

Your dedication was selfless, and I’m forever grateful for that.

Thank you for putting your self first. For showing me the importance of making sure I care for myself before I help others. I saw you prioritize time for your self, your hobbies, your passions, and your sanity (and lord knows I know you needed it raising me LOL). I grew up thinking it was normal, every mom took time to rejuvenate, to continue their hobbies, while still knowing how to prioritize kids. What I realized is very few people from that generation knew how to take time away to focus on growing who they were aside from motherhood. I’m so grateful that growing up I saw this demonstrated daily.

That brings me to this point. Thank you for showing me that motherhood doesn’t define a women and take away from who she is at her core. I saw you as mom, my mom. But I also saw you as a creative, passionate women, who loved many different hobbies, history, art, and had a passion for her home state of course! Motherhood was a part of you, of your calling, of your passions.

But you were not just a mother. To me, you were a incredible well rounded, educated women who continued to follow her passions along side being a mother.

Thank you for creating an environment of security where I could come to you with any questions I had. Thanks for always making time to answer the tough questions, and have the tough talks. For cultivating a place where I could feel safe, be vulnerable to disclose secrets, fears, joys, failures, successes, and dreams.

Thank you for knowing me better then I knew myself at times when I needed it most. For the times I tried to be strong but you could tell I was hurting. The time in college with mono symptoms and I told you I’d be fine. But you knew better. You dropped everything and drove up to be there for support, because, I did need you.

Thank you for all the many sacrifices you made. The countless sleepless nights. The vacations put on hold to instead take vacations us kids would enjoy. The financial sacrifice of quitting your business to school us kids full time at home. Countless hours you put in to volunteer at the Ice Rink so we could figure skate competitively. The weekends dedicated to drive us to those competitions. Financial sacrifice you made to allow us kids to pursue sports we took so much pride and joy in. The sacrifice of peaceful quiet home, because the world now probably knows raising me was not in anyway what would be called “quiet”. The sacrifice of sanity haha… Just kidding. But for real, thanks for all the emotions you poured into being a mom that empathized with us in trials, hurt, and in victories. For your time. Energy.

Thank you for believing in me. Being my cheer leader for me in times that just down right sucked. By believing in me, you instilled confidence. I believed in myself. My abilities. My dreams.

 Thanks for seeing my potential, for speaking truth to me that I could do anything I wanted to do.

Thank you for reminding me always to be true to my self. My convictions. My faith. To NOT be engulfed by the judgment of others. But to stand firm in being me.

Thank you for taking joy in motherhood and in me. The joy on your face when I reached a goal. The radiance your face displayed when I was young and couldn’t wait to show off a project I was proud of.

Thank you for demonstrating unconditional love for my father. Displaying love and respect for him as your husband. The dedication to and priority your marriage is. The manor in that you speek about him as your husband, our father in an honorable, uplifting way.

Thank you for demonstrating how to love, and what love looks like. Loving with out limits, with out discriminating, with out fear. Fully and selflessly. For showing me the importance of having love be the motivator to everything we do.

Thank you for the hugs. The kisses. The positive display of physical touch. The healing ability a hug has when the heart is weary. The tender touch of a mother of reassurance.

Thank you for extending grace to me, and others. Showing me what grace looks like. The importance of second chances. The gift of a fresh start, with out shame and guilt. The source of our Grace, the Jesus who gave everything for it.

Thank you for showing me forgiveness, the power of it. How holding on to others wrong doings is toxic and debilitating to one’s journey and relationships. For showing me how essential it is to ask for forgiveness, the humility to admit ones wrongs. The act of repentance. Making amends.

Thank you for holding me to a high standard when it came to manors, respect for others, and those in authority. For teaching me the importance of being respectful to others, even if I don’t agree with them.

Thank you for demonstrating a solid work ethic. The key to taking self initiative in a job, and in life. Being flexible. Accommodating. Teachable. and the importance of open communication.

Thank you so for teaching me life at times is just not fair. That being entitled isn’t an option in life.

Thank you for teaching me how to see life through a positive lens. The positives above the negatives in life circumstances; through trials that arise. Whether it be people or situations that are outside my control.

Thank you for providing me with the opportunities to travel different places as a child. Introducing me to different cultures, different experiences all over the US. Encouraging a love of travel, the desire for adventure. And of course how to navigate through any airport system. 🙂

Thank you for sharing your love of history, the beauty in different cultures from all different times. Thank you for introducing me to the beauty of music, the art of theater, the love of performing. I love that we share in these interests today.

Most of all, thank you for displaying the heart of Christ to me. The importance of having faith, a relationship with God.

As an adult, I’m thankful for our relationship. How it’s adapted, changed, and grown to what it is today. Thank you for your friendship. Sharing in both laughter and tears. For your encouragement. Words of affirmation. Still believing in me. The random sweet letters. Your continued unconditional love for me; but also now shown through unconditional love for my son, your grandson.

My goal. Desire. What I strive for. Is to be a mother like you. Who loves. Teaches. Equips. Guides. A steady presence of strength that holds a family together in love that conquers all things.

I love you, forever and always I’m proud to call you My Mom!

-Love from me! Your one and only oldest, strong willed, spirited, energetic daughter
(Image by: Steven Brandt)