Nov 16 2011

Thanksgiving without Kids

Maybe you feel like this too…when it’s quiet around your house…you think something’s wrong.  Someone has gotten into something they shouldn’t have.

I’m about to have a lot of quiet in my house, and it’s not because the kids will be watching a movie. 

This weekend the kids are leaving to be with their Dad for Thanksgiving.  It’s my first holiday without my kids.  No handprint turkeys, no pancakes in front of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade

Thing is I grew up this way too…going back and forth every other year for the holidays between my parents that were divorced.   I know that this will make an unbelievable bond between my 3 sunshines, it’s good for them, hard for mama.  Not the way it’s supposed to be.  But, it’s the way it is.

I don’t know what to do with myself.  I am making plans though. 

I have a couple spa appointments, I’m trying to book myself…busy myself with distractions.   I have plans for Thanksgiving Day…excited about that.    I’m planning to sleep in…if I can.

Whether it’s your first holiday with your kids, someone you love, maybe you lost a parent or a spouse this year…know you’re really not alone. 

Every day I wake up…before my feet hit the floor I pray…God I know there’s nothing that will happen today that you and I can’t handle

My mom sent me this verse today:  1 Corinthians 10:12

“no test or temptation that comes your way is beyond the course of what others have had to face.  All you need to remember is that God will never let you down; he’ll always be there to help you come through it."

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11/16/2011 8:30:06 AM
Donna Calman United States
Donna Calman
HI Amanda,
I'm a Granma who wants you home with us for Thanksgiving.  We have extra sleeping arrangements and lots of love and blessings here when family is together.  We live in upstate NY and I'll have 7 grandchildren ranging in age from 6 to 17 with their parents/one parent.  Yes, I have divorce in my family, too, and it is soooooo hard to bear sometimes.  Don't know where you are, but man would I love to have you here.  Taking a trip yourself could fill all that void time.  What do you say?!!!!   God Bless, David and Donna
11/16/2011 8:32:35 AM
Colleen United States
Colleen
Unfortunately, I can SO understand the pain of divorce and losing those precious moments with your children.  It is incredibly painful, especially in the beginning.  I tried to focus on the positive--like how much I could get done without the kids around like cleaning out closets and other projects that you never get done with 3 kids around!  You have to have some fun too, though.  In time, you will enjoy the break more and not be as sad.  

I so appreciate your vulnerability and openness and how real you are.  It helps the rest of us to know we are not alone, and to know you are real!
11/16/2011 8:36:40 AM
Tonja Weber United States
Tonja Weber
I just wanted to take a few minutes to share my story with you. I am a single mom of three, 15, 11, and 9. I lost my husband to many addictions. The first year we he was still involved I did not know how I would survive without the kids I tried to stay busy, but ran out of things to do. It was in these bare times that God began to rip me apart and rebuild me. I came to treasure these amazing, but painful weekends.  Holidays are just plain hard. There is no denying this. Know I have the kids 100%, and they have no contact with their father. We grieve for this loss also. I miss those free days where God striped me bare. My prayer for you is that you allow time for God even though it will hurt.
11/16/2011 8:42:36 AM
Monica United States
Monica
Amanda it is a blessing that they get to go see a Dad who loves them when so many men struggle being a father and leave.  

Thanksgiving is just a day...you can have Thanksgiving when they come back.  It will even be more special because they get to have TWO Thanksgivings!  You could even tape the parades and play them on your Thanksgiving Day!

And I do believe you deserve a spa day!
11/16/2011 8:43:59 AM
Dana United States
Dana
Hi Amanda, I was listening to your story about this being your first Thanksgiving without your kids -- unfortunately, I was driving to work, and the tears made that a little difficult. <smile> You have such a tender heart right now, and I'm praying for you and for your children, as well as their father. God's blessings to you as you make preparations and as you go through this.
11/16/2011 8:45:27 AM
Chandra United States
Chandra
There is a sisterhood of the pain and challenges of being a single mom and my heart is right there with yours.  I, too, knew the pain of divorce as a kid and it was my main goal in all of life to avoid that for my family... but I couldn't. God is teaching me so much about Himself and His love and faithfulness... sometimes all I can do is hang on through the loneliness and heart-wrenching pain of an echoing house.  Jesus never leaves and He is there on the other side when I can see hope again.  Thank you for your vulnerability and example that is an inspiration for so many.
11/16/2011 8:48:52 AM
ellen United States
ellen
Am speechless, but i just wanna say I Love, and  u know ur not alone, stay postive.....
11/16/2011 8:50:13 AM
cindy davis United States
cindy davis
I will pray hard for you on Thanksgiving. It will be hard but the Lord will give u the strenghthen that you need. I was a single mom with three boys and I surrendered all to him  then I met my wonderful Christian God like husband and his ex left him with three kids so now we have 6!! God is awesome. He will do the same for you... I have a verse for his praise it is Rev 1:5-6 I will write it so you don't have to look it up.  And from Jesus Christ , who is the faithful witness,and the first begotten of the dead and the prince of the kings of the earth. unto him that loved us(and our children)and washed us from our sins in his own blood, and hath made us kings and preists unto God and his father: to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever.
11/16/2011 8:52:42 AM
shannon United States
shannon
Thanks Amanda for sharing your life with us, it makes me not feel so alone.  You see, I am going through a divorce and this will be my first year without a husband (I have no children) for the holidays but I am blessed with amazing friends.  I have 21 people coming to my house to share Thanksgiving with me this year. It's difficult for me to reach out but I know by having all these friends over to my home, I can be a blessing and give back to others and in turn not be so lonely during the holiday.  Thanks for always inspiring us.
11/16/2011 8:55:56 AM
Janiece United States
Janiece
Hey, Amanda! You are a really good DJ on K-love! I enjoy listening to your stories. Doing what you are doing this Thanksgiving is what I have had to do-do something with myself while my daughter (17 now) since 2006. It is hard the first time, but you will get through it and have fun doing things for yourself! It does not mean you don't wish they weren't there, but you need you and self-care time! I learned that! Hope you have fun, the kids have fun, and God Bless you!
11/16/2011 9:02:12 AM
Brooke United States
Brooke
Amanda,
I want to uplift you today. I was listening to KLOVE at work today (as I do daily) and heard you talking about the sorrow of seperation of being away from your little ones over the Holiday. I heard you discussing plans to stay busy and that is good but I think we sometimes try to fill our time too much with things to keep our mind from  sorrow or uncomfortableness when we shouldn't. I know that sounds crazy but sometimes the Lord uses these times to draw us closer to Him. I lost my father this last June 2nd at 7:21pm. I saw him unresponsive and he opened his eyes suddenly as if someone had shouted his name. I saw his face as he stared at something I couldnt see. I watched his face go from what is it look to a look of awe-struck wonder. His eyes were clear and he was not even aware of me but stayed fixated on the whatever he was seeing. This man couldnt lift his hand before but I watched him thrust his arm up and out. He was eager to go home even if my family didnt want it to happen. I knew he was going home soon. Why did I share that? Because this whole year I've put off facing the Holiday's without dad. Now they are here and I am forced to acknowledge that he is isnt going to be there when we gather in. He wont eat turkey and gravy or lead our family in Thanksgiving prayer. BUT he is with the Lord Jesus and how much more thankful I am now that I reflect that he is without pain now. How thankful I am that I will be with him and the Lord one day. The time I have to be without him and the sorrow I feel is for the moment only.It is like a vapor and will pass. The Lord draws closer when we are still, acknowledge our feelings and let Him fill our need. I want you to know that I love you, Sister. I want you to know HE loves you and I will pray for us both this Holiday and we should let Him fill our quiet time- rest in His love and assurance!
Your Sister in Christ
11/16/2011 9:10:54 AM
Keren Guevara United States
Keren Guevara
Hello Amanda, heard your story of you being childrenless this Thanksgiving..didn't cry externally because I am here at work, but internally I was weeping like you have no clue. Just want to let you know that you are never alone, God is with you and so are all your listeners. God Bless you, hope you have a bless Thanksgiving filled with the peace of the Lord the overcomes all understanding. Remember that Romans 8:28 says that all things work for good to those who love the Lord. Wink Take care!!
11/16/2011 9:14:02 AM
Amber United States
Amber
Thank you so very much for sharing your story about Thanksgiving today.  It touched me so much.  This will be a difficult Thanksgiving for my family as well because I just lost my dad to pancreatic cancer in September.  I will be praying for you as you go thru this difficult time in your life and ask that you do the same for me.  God will not leave us or forsake us but will give us strength to get thru whatever we need to.  Thanks for your ministry on k-love.  May God bless you and your family.
Amber
11/16/2011 9:17:38 AM
Kelly United States
Kelly
Amanda - it's just wonderful to know others you have never met, but are brothers and sisters in Christ, are praying for you.  There's something very sweet, powerful and uplifting about that!  Thanks for being willing to be vulnerable and transparent.  It shows you are truly on bended knees.  May we all lift you in prayer and remember you this next week.  
I pray, Lord God, that You might move in Amanda's heart in a mighty way on that Thanksgiving Day, so that she may not remember it as a day without her kids, but a sweet day she remembers as a day spent with You. May you whisper in her ear Your words of Love and Mercy.  May you even shout if that's Your will.  Romance her that day, Father, as only You can do.  In Your matchless, powerful Name, Amen and Amen.
11/16/2011 9:33:49 AM
rebecca United States
rebecca
Amanda: Poor do I feel your pain. This is my first holiday without my 3 young kids as well. I already feel like my heart is being ripped right out of my chest over this. I love the holidays and have always envisioned a life of specific wonderful traditions with my kids. Unfortunatley that is not to be. I have decided to be a better single mother than I ever could have been as a married mother, so I am simply going to move on with different traditions! God is good-we will survive through this!  
11/16/2011 9:49:13 AM
Barbara United States
Barbara
I cried with you this morning as I went through the same thing three years ago after 22 years of marriage. The first holidays are the hardest, but it helped deepen my relationship with God. Sometimes in the lonliness, He was all I had.
It will hurt, but you will come out stronger!
Have you heard of DivorceCare? If not, investigate it. It healped me heal from divorce.
Expect to feel lonely even though you will be around people. This is normal. The best advice I received was to start new traditions.
I will be praying for you.
11/16/2011 10:04:04 AM
Danielle Storm United States
Danielle Storm
Hi, Amamnda
Thank you for sharing your story about missing your children while they are away with their dad. I have a son that is 5yr from a previous marrage. Since then I have remarried and have two daughters I am a currently a stay at home mom and used to have my son at home with me everyday as well. This year we started a new schedule for my son so parenting time would be equal for my ex and I. Even Tho this is whats best for my son my heart hurts and doesn't feel complete until he is back home. Before the new schedule started I would Pray that God would give me the strength to get through everytime my son is at his dads for almost 5 days straight and I dont see him.  As a mother we want our kids to be all together and with us but when one is missing there is a emptiness inside. We serve an amazing and wonderful God that has given me the strenght to get through. Thank you for sharing and I pray that God gives you the strength that you need to get through. Look at it as time to focus on yourself and when they get home you will be a rested/refreshed mommy. May God bless you and your babies Smile  
11/16/2011 10:09:14 AM
Donna United States
Donna
I remember my first year of sharing the holidays, it was very hard, God brought me through it with more blessings, as my children have so many people that love them. It became a special time for me to have alone time..
11/16/2011 10:09:59 AM
Jodie Timmerhoff United States
Jodie Timmerhoff
Amanda,
You are such an AMAZING mother, friend (on the radio to me) and daughter. You are incredibly strong for our Lord gives you that strength always. I can totally relate to your pain as I too have had to struggle with the same pain as you are dealing with. Remember the enemy is there to seek steal and destroy your joys in life. I have to tell myself the same thing. But I tell Satan he will Not get the best of me.

Use the time you have as a "MOM reprieve" not as a "loss of ur kids"
Definately pamper yourself!!! I have found that during the times I don't have my kids which is every other week, I use that time for myself to renergize if you will. Think of this as an opportunity not a loss.

It is what it is because its God's master plan... His will.

Enjoy your "Mom reprieve" and DO NOT let the enemy steal your joy.

Love and blessing to you sweet friend and sister,
Jodie
11/16/2011 10:12:01 AM
Rob United States
Rob
Hi Amanda,
Thanks for that post, the music and the beautiful smile. This is my 2nd year of divorce and separation and the 1st year with the kids away over Thanksgiving. I hate divorce, but... I guess we have peace now. I became primary care-giver when I lost my job in the tech-wreck almost 10 years ago and then went into real estate to have flexibility to care for our 6 month old son and his older sister. I've noticed too that they have a special bond because while they have to go back and forth to mom and dad, they always have each other. I'm still trying to build consistency into my life and work as I go from focusing on them when they're with me to being depressed when they're away. I pray for my children that they are able to build healthy attachments and not repeat this tragedy of divorce in their lives. My heart and prayers go out to all of you. For me, I'm looking forward to Christmas together with the kids and taking them to see grandma, grandpa, auntie, uncle and cousins.
11/16/2011 10:19:17 AM
Laura United States
Laura
I have also been divorced with children and have had to split the holidays. I thought that I would be fine and that if I filled it up with other things than maybe I could get by without out feeling the pain. Even the holidays I shared with my kids were still hard because there dad and my husband was not there and the sense of loss was strong. While there were valid reasons why I had to be divorced I still felt the pain of my dreams of always having the prefect family unit were shattered.  When it came to family holiday traditions, I felt the pain very strong. I want to mention that my kids seemed distant and less excited on holidays.
I am taking a good course on Depression and I learned something that really stuck out to me. LOSS IS NOT LOGICAL and our brains can get stuck in a cycle of trying to make sense of it. This leads to depression. So when we are dealing with loss it is important to reconize our feelings and allow ourselves time to feel the pain so that we can heal and then let go.
The first year is the hardest. Make sure you do make plans to be with people who understand and will allow you to cry and offer a shoulder. When your involved with others try to be there(with your mind) this will help get you through. Don't forget that you are NOT alone. Your heavenely father is by your side and knows every tear that falls.
God sent me a wonderful husband who took us in and loved me and the kids like they are his own. When I went through the divorce I really didn't think this was possible, that some one would love me the way God does. I had to change my picture of the way life was going to be. God has been by my side the whole way, even when I have felt alone.
It takes courage to share and I believe you spoke to alot of others out there. I am sure knowing they are not the only one is very helpful. Thanks
11/16/2011 10:19:31 AM
Krystal United States
Krystal
I understand you on not having kids on the holidays. My husband had a son when we met from a previous marriage. And when it was just the 3 of us, we always celebrated our holidays on the day they were, rather we had my husband's son or not. Well, now we have 2 children together and my stepson is older. And we ALWAYS celebrate the holidays with him. It may not always be on the day they are meant to be celebrated, but we ALWAYS wait until my stepson is with us to do anything. This way my own biological children see how a family to be. We don't exclude my stepson from anything, trips, zoo visits, family events. My family plans around when he will be with us. It is very hard not to have him on the actually holiday, but I'm so thankful to have him in my life. He completely changed my life, before I even had my own children. Some parents never see their children, So I'm just so thankful for the time we have with him and my children. So we always wait and celebrate either after or before a holiday! There is no where saying, that Thanksgiving has to be on Thursday, or Christmas has to be Sunday. It is a time of being together with your family!
11/16/2011 10:20:41 AM
Sally United States
Sally
Hi Amanda!  I am a single mother also.  My girls are now 28 & 25.  I had to share holidays with my ex also.  In the beginning it was hard but as the years went by (they were 4 & 7 when we divorced) it got better & easier to let them go.  Yes, they will create a great bond with their father but to me more importantly, they will create a wonderful bond with their mother who let them share time with their father.  While keeping yourself distracted may seem like a good idea, don't forget alone time is good for you also.  Happy Thanksgiving!
11/16/2011 10:21:18 AM
veronica paez United States
veronica paez
Just came from a mediation meeting and it seems the same for me how do you do it, I want us all to be together despite differences. I pray we may be together as this crazy blended family created. Honestly I love being around my kids always, i do not want to miss a single cute thing they do...Pray that some how dad brings them home early so that I will be able to know they are safe and in their bed. thank you. God bless you and I will be praying for all parents that have not chosen the situation delt. I pray the children are surrounded by Gods protecting angels. Im sure it is scary for them not being in the arms of mommies who care way too much.
11/16/2011 10:30:14 AM
Ken United States
Ken
Wow, Amanda, my thoughts and pryers are with you as you endure this.  And as a child of divorced parents, I know, as you do, that it makes it doubly tough, because we know how hard it is on the kids.  But you are loving your kids, investing in them, and with God's grace, it will be okay...Rm. 8:28 "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him..."
11/16/2011 10:30:33 AM
MaryEliz United States
MaryEliz
I was very moved by your openness on the air!  I have been divorced for almost 6 years.  I admire your courage and humility in being willing to talk about the brokenness and pain! I sometimes believe that other Christians have it all together and I am the only one whose life isn't "ideal."  Vulnerable sharing such as yours today does a lot to dispel that lie and encourage me!
11/16/2011 10:30:59 AM
BJ United States
BJ
I remember my first holidays after my divorce.  I cried a lot...my heart broke at the fact I had to send her to a parent who was an alcoholic/addict and him and his family have no value system..I had fought so hard to get out of this and take her with me to only have her to have to walk yearly through so much dysfunction..my fear was turned into joy and I could see how much the Lord protected her and taught her things only the Lord could show her...it was truly amazing the light the Lord allowed her to see...I also did things with my other divorced friends from church and did some mommy things just for myself. The Lord gives us all kinds of feelings and your kids need to see how much you miss them by seeing you cry...and how much they are dearly loved...they need to see how excited you are when they return...and to hear about everything that means so much to them...they need to see mommy feels things too...unfornately they are and will always be caught in the middle...your job as their mommy is to make each holiday a memory in their mind...bake goofy cookies, play goofy games, watch a particular movie each holiday, have a sleepover time in your living room in sleeping bags...and they will rise up and bless you because of how you bear His light to them... we also have strong ties with my parents which helped...and we always did something either before they left or when they returned...you are still a family and you are still their mommy and they need to see how much you loved them and how much value they are even tho things are different this year...they are your most prized possession and you and each one of your children are Jesus' most prized possession...I lost my second daughter 2007 near Christmas with my first unborn grandson..so live is so near and dear to me and the ones I have here...for Christmas you can do the 12 days of Christmas...12 days before...my kids loved it...go to the dollar store and buy eahc one of your children one gift each day...create memories just with mommy and your adorable chilren...know also none of this has caught the Lord by surprise...He never grows weak or weary and never sleeps and he really cares about each little things part of how you feel and with be there beside you..hang in there and walk and pray
11/16/2011 10:33:03 AM
Phyllis Mitchell United States
Phyllis Mitchell
Just heard your comment Thanksgiving.  I never had to share the kids when they were younger, but now I do .  They are all married with their children.What we have done since the first one got married is one year it is Thanksgiving with us then it is Christmas  with their In-laws,  following year it is switch.  This work out fine until two kids moved out of state 6 yrs ago. Now we try to stay on schdule  but it is very hard so who ever comes home we figure something out even if it means Christmas on New Years, . Thanksgiving is harder since I work retail and the days after turkey day is working but we figure something out. When I don't have the kids I enjoy the holidays anyway by going to someones's house This year I will have a son home for Turkey day and another son home for Christmas and two that can't make either.  The Lord watches over us and cares for us deeply.

Phyllis Mitchell ,ewton KS
11/16/2011 10:40:36 AM
Lisa United States
Lisa
Dear Amanda,

  I am so sorry for the pain you are feeling right now. My heart breaks for you. I wish it didn't have to be this way for you and anyone else that is going through this. Celebrate with your children a different day and just keep loving them, as I'm sure you already do and know. Enjoy your day with the people you will be with. Our wonderful Lord with be with you and get you through! God Bless you and yours!
11/16/2011 10:50:53 AM
Phil United States
Phil
I share your pain. This is the first Thanksgiving since my wife left me for another man and subesquently filed for divorce. Although I have joint custody, this will be the first Thanksgiving without my kids. My biggest struggle is turning their care over to God - the man she is with has multiple criminal convictions for domestic violence. I am choosing to look at this as an opportunity to serve others by volunteering somewhere to serve at a homeles shelter - something I couldn't do when I had "family" (we always spent the holiday with my wife's family). So, it's a process of learning to trust God and looking for the blessings in the midst of the pain. I pray you will find the grace of God to meet your needs at this time. You have been such an encouragement to me with your open sharing about your family situation. Blessings to you.
11/16/2011 10:53:14 AM
Jodie Timmerhoff United States
Jodie Timmerhoff
PS. Amanda

I do a lot of xmas shopping for the kids when the kids go to their dads. Wrap em,stack em, and hide them.
11/16/2011 10:54:18 AM
Carolyn Dossett Karstrom United States
Carolyn Dossett Karstrom
Years ago my husband abandoned our family.  I have four sons and at the time it was devastating.  My ex-husband is not and has never been involved with my boys.  So, I didn't have the separation during Christmas and Thanksgiving.  But two of my sons are active duty military.  My Air Force son is currently deployed (this is his 10th time).  My other son is Army.  It has been 9 years since my boys have all been home at the same time for Thanksgiving or Christmas.  We've learned that Thanksgiving and Christmas can be celebrated and embraced anytime of the year.  The important thing to remember is the spirit of each holiday, birthday, etc and keep that in your heart each day. My heart ached for you this morning.  I said a prayer for you and remember God is faithful.  Our family motto is "Miles may separate us, but distance never will." May God bless you and your family.  
11/16/2011 10:58:51 AM
Terry Paul United States
Terry Paul
Dear Amanda,
I am from Tucson, Arizona a native born and bred here. I heard you talk during the pledge drive about being a single mom and the various adjustments that you have been going through. I heard the story that you told about when your friend came to your house and how you were so broken and she told you to go into your room and that she would watch the kids until you heard the voice of the Lord.Well every since that day the Lord has put you my heart to begin each day in prayer for you and also when I go to bed to pray. You see I was a very young mom and by the time I was 23 years old I had laid to rest two child and
I had two babies. I had been beaten every day for the last three years of my marriage so I had to have many surgeries. any way I had no idea what to do, but I just knew that amongst the chaos there was a great peace. So I pulled up my boot straps and plowed through. It was not easy to raise my boys, by the age of 12 my boys and i knew just about every juvinille judge in Pima county. But I knew that the Lord hears the cries of mothers. My thought to you is that I had a wonderful women at my church who said that in battles we suffer that she was praying to hold my arms up in the battle, and that what we expect the Lord to do for us or in our children id sometimes what we want the Lord to do with them and really what we have to do is them work out who Jesus is their lives. I just want you to know Amanda that in this battle of raising our children that I am standing in the gap and holding your arms up so that you may win the battle. I will tell you that my sons are 28 and 27 years old. My oldest is Pastor and worship leader for the church, and my youngest son works with special needs children and both of my sons have recorded many worship cd's. So just know that this mom in Tucson has adopted you and your children and i will continually to uphold your arms and your children arms. If you are ever in Tucson I would love to meet you,
May you see the fruits of your prayers come quickly to you, and please if you are having a bad day or need super extra prayer just e-mail at tpaul287@comcast. net. I would never had let you know, but the Lord kept nagging at my heart to write to you. Be blessed and have a totally ordained from God day.
Love your special mom in Tucson,
Terry Paul
11/16/2011 11:07:32 AM
Curtis Smith United States
Curtis Smith
Hi Amanda,

My name is Curtis and I listen every day all day. Welcome to K-love by the way. This is the first time I've written in, but wanted to share a story with you since you were talking about the holiday, and what will surely be more Holidays, without your kids.

  I am originally from the Denver, Colorado area and relocated to Frankfort, Kentucky about 8 years ago. I have 3 children by my ex-wife and they are all still in the Denver area to the best of my knowlege.

  When my marriage ended my ex was having an affair with a married man. She took the kids and disappeared. This was a big part of why I left Colorado. I was hurting, broken, and had no avenue to even speak with my children. To this day I still have not seen my children since the day their mother left. It has been almost 10 years now.

  In the past 10 years all the children have reached adult age and have been negatively influenced to such a degree that they still want nothing to do with me. The youngest (daughter) is now 19 and pregnant with what will be my 1st grandchild.

  I've had almost no interaction between the 3 kids in 10 years, only a couple phone calls lasting a few short minutes with 2 of them. A couple months back my daughter friended me on facebook and I now have an avenue to write to them, but so far there has been almost no dialog returned, but I write often telling how much I love and miss them.

  During the time I've lived in Kentucky I have found and been part of a wonderful christian church family,&immersed in Christian Baptism a few years ago. I have always been a believer since a kid, but how much different is it when you are really "plugged in" to the body of Christ!

  During a phone call with my daughter a couple years ago, and after trying to apologize emphatically for all the ways they must feel I failed them as a father, I explained that my biggest failure by far was not leading them to a life with Christ. I know she didn't understand and told me she didn't believe, but what a revelation to see my own spiritual growth to a point that I could admit my biggest failure was something she couldn't even comprehend.

   Needless to say I have spent 10 years worth of Holidays, birthdays, FATHER'S DAYS, and the rest of the years without my children. I miss them terribly, I pray every day for them and the restoration of some kind of relationship, even if it's just conversation by computer or phone.

  I have been remarried for the past year to a wonderful christian woman with 2 grown children and 6 grandchildren, the newest of which is just 6 months old. Although I still miss my children with all my heart, it has been so nice to have a new family that does care. And the baby at 6 months of course knows not of what "step" parents mean, and I have become "Poppy" to the youngest of the grandkids. What a blessing! All praise and Glory to God!

   Because I have spent the last 10 years away from my children as well as my Dad and Sister, and do not make enough to visit them in Colorado, I am also hoping that writing in might give me that chance to go home for the Holiday. I realize I may have to tell part of this story under a different heading, but I was hoping by telling my story, maybe there would be some encouraging words for someone going through something even worse than you or I are dealing with for the Holiday. Sometimes family in their absense might be your church family, christian friends, or maybe even like me, a "new family".

   I do not know if I stood in front of my children they would have anything to say to me, but I won't know if I'm not standing in front of them. That's why I'd like to go home for the  Holidays. Maybe one day soon. Thanks, for listening! Curtis
11/16/2011 11:09:27 AM
yvonne mann United States
yvonne mann
Hi Amanda
I was listening this morning as you spoke about not having your children Thankgiving and I could hear your tears but also I could feel them. I too will be without my only child Thanksgiving and Christmas she is incarcerated and today was the first time it hit me that our holiday traditions will be missed. I pray for you but.......you can always celebrate before or after a holiday it's not the day that's important for the kids it's the celebration! God Bless you you will make it through.
11/16/2011 11:13:56 AM
Michael Fisher United States
Michael Fisher
Hi Amanda,
I have gone through a divorce and had to share holidays with my first wife. So I know how it feels to not have your kids with you on holidays. However,your kids might have a father that doesn't care if he see his kids or not. So you can be thankful about that
11/16/2011 11:14:20 AM
Lisa United States
Lisa
Amanda,
Oh you had me in tears this morning during my commute. I started praying for you right then. As a single mom and a child of divorced parents, I feel ya!
It's going to be rough, sis, but hold on to God! Yes fill up the time with things to do but if you haven't made time for this, volunteer at a food bank or a place that's serving Thanksgiving dinner to the poor and homeless. I cannot begin to tell you how much this helped me when I felt all alone. God let me know that I wasn't alone and to reach out to those who are lonely.
Proverbs 3:5,6 got me through times like this and much worse. Hold on to God's promises for they are true!
There is a time for everything including tears. So cry! It heals the heart!
Love in Christ,
Lisa
11/16/2011 11:25:23 AM
Karen United States
Karen
Amanda,
You will be in my prayers, 12yrs ago I became a single mom 3 wks before Christmas, my boys were 2,7 and 10. We have been through many holidays, spring breaks and summers apart. Remember, you can celebrate anyday of the week and the bonus to celebrating Christmas after the 25th, you can go shopping at all the after sales!!
There are gonna be tears shed, I still do when I put my youngest who is now 14 on the plane, but enjoy your alone time to read,pray,or volunteer to help others.
Just know you are not alone and you will be in the thoughts and prayers of many.
11/16/2011 11:27:20 AM
Pedro United States
Pedro
Amanda Blessings to you and your family this will be my first year that my family will not be together to celibrate these days that we looked so forward to embrace and to remember Gods Blessings for the year.  See after twenty six years of marriage my wife who I planned to live with tell death do us part lift me in January.  It took me till July of this year to accept that her damands for devorce was her desire.  Not to make fun of the devorce but we are in the ninth enning with one out lift you see our devorse will happen any day.  Thank God my three kids are adults and living on there own but they still don't comprehend why this is happinning.  like you Amanda my house is very quite and it took a long time for me to know that God will never forsake us. he knows what were facing in life and is Present when we fill so lonely.  My daughter lives in Arkansas and wants me to go visit here for ThanksGiving.  Not sure I will because my two sons are in the military and are trying to come for the Holidays.  Amanda do not listen to the enemy's accusations against you as he has done to me, know that our Lord and Savior has a plan for us that we don't know but trust God for his Blessings will come to pass.  Amanda I listen to KLove and enjoy very much your encouraging words keep up Gods work.

Blessings

Pedro  
11/16/2011 11:29:54 AM
Bill United States
Bill
Hi Amanda

I am so deeply sorry for what you are going through. My thoughts and Prayers are with you at this very hard time. I have spent the last 6 years alone it is not easy but God showed me away out. He like you mentioned a few minutes ago how to reach out to others it does help.
I Volunteer down at the City Rescue Mission here in New Castle PA and that will humble you to your toes.
I have had a wonderful up bringing my folks where wonderful both are with the Lord now.
I was a fallen sinner and God came to me at my lowest time and has helped me so much since. I kno w some might say all i can do is Pray for you. That is the best thing one can do for you. That Brings God into the situation and of course he Loves us so much will be there for you. I saw a picture once on line that showed Jesus Hugging a young Lady going through a tough time. I would Like to pray now that Jesus is there for you now. Giving you the Hug i know you need so much right now.
I tried to call you wanted to God wanted me to but i could not pull that off. I am painfully shy and that is one thing i deal with God helps me through that also.
God bless you Amanda i might not be able to call but my thoughts and Prayers are with you.
11/16/2011 11:52:52 AM
Jerry United States
Jerry
Just read your story. Heart breaking, as I too will be without my son. We actually spoke on the phone a couple of weeks ago. You helped to encourage me that day. For that I thank you. I am astounded and so sad when I think of all the marriages and famlies the dark one has destroyed.

How I wish I could make my family whole once again. I hurt so much knowing that my son's time must be divided between parents. And to know that due to a judge's decision I will only be allowed to share 50% of my son's life...
Anyway please know you are in my prayers.
11/16/2011 12:03:07 PM
David United States
David
Amanda,

So beautifully written. God is in your life and is using you to shower his wisdom to others in similar situations to look toward him for the wisdom to move forward in the challenges they face.

Be the grace of God he has comforted and given you strength to see past you own wants and desires, and seek out to others your emotions and guidance.

How wonderful in a time of thanksgiving, you are there to give others Gods Thanks to all of us by his Love and his words.

Everyday is a challenge, holidays are added emotionally times that can impact a persons Faith, in your case you've done it right, by trusting in God and sharing or being witness to others.

Thank you.....You and your family are in my prayers.....Put on your Armor, raise your Shield, and fight off the demons of negativity with the Sword of Love......I have your back and will battle with you...
11/16/2011 12:45:42 PM
Kevin United States
Kevin
Amada
Just think about it...you're never alone...you have a gazzzillllion listeners out here whom allways love you and can't wait for you to come back on the air! I'm sure that most of us would welcome you to our places for Thanksgiving! Allways look to sky and see all whom care for you..along with our father God. You are real and a blessing to all of us,OK?

Kevin
11/16/2011 12:45:51 PM
Annette Clark United States
Annette Clark
Amanda,

Thanks for sharing from your heart and being honest.  It's the only way we can pray for one another.  I prayed for you immediately along with many many other KLOVE listeners, I'm sure.  I will continue to pray for you.  You'll get through this. We have room for one more at the table in Ohio too.....
11/16/2011 12:54:19 PM
Heather United States
Heather
Amanda,

I am a single mother of 3 children. One son (born May of 1999) & 2 daughters (born October of 2008 & May of 2010). Their father left right before Thanksgiving 2 years ago after 17 years together... I know how hard this time can be. But, I don't think you need someone to cheer you up or tell you it'll be alright. You know our Father, so you already know you'll be fine. But, I will say this - Abba is so proud of you. You are His little girl... his princess... and He sees you. Though I don't know how similar our paths are, we both know who holds us in His hands. And, this Thanksgiving, that's where you'll be. God is so good and I've seen it over & over again! This will be your time to celebrate HIM! May you be truly blessed, Amanda. Happy Thanksgiving.
11/16/2011 6:51:28 PM
Raquel United States
Raquel
Hello Amanda,

This morning when I heard your story about your children going away with their dad I was so touch and could hear the pain in your voice. I cannot imagine how hard must be to be away from your kids, but I pray to God that this Thanksgiving will be full of joy he will give you peace. You are a strong woman who made a huge change coming from the east to the west. I enjoy your show because all the stories you shared come from your heart and you are so real down on earth. I think we need to see the love of God through people like you who struggle but  find comfort in the only and One God Jesus. We have enough of christians who prentend everything is oK and nothing bad happens to them giving God no chance to Glorify his Name, but themselves.
11/16/2011 10:03:06 PM
Becky United States
Becky
Hi Amanda,

Thank you for sharing this morning. I was really moved by your sharing. I prayed for you while I was driving this monring. I feel your pain going through the Thanksgivng without your kids as I myself is a single mother for my son since he was 3 years old. He gets to spend all the holidays with me over the years except 4 Thanksgivings. As much as I love him, I had to let him spend time with his father at that time. I have to say that 4 days were very hard for me. I was in college at that time. I remember I tried really hard studying at his absence, but I could not do a thing. I did keep myself busy by doing house work though.

I pray that God will give peace. Remember, you are not alone. God is with you all the time. Pray for you.

I enjoy your show every morning. I thank God for you.
11/17/2011 5:43:40 AM
Stacy United States
Stacy
Hi Amanda

I really enjoyed hearing what you said yesterday, it opned up my eyes up alot as hard as it is. My saying is "it is what it is"   I am a grandma we have 1 grandson his parents (my son) are not together.  We get to see our grandson a lot during the year but when it comes to holidays, the mom gets him for it all, we have to work around her plans...  I wish things were differnt but, we have excepted these changes... What I am trying to say Thank-you for letting your kids be with their dad and his family..So last night we made the plans so our grandson can spend time with his dad and us after he spends time with  his mom and her family..  I really enjoy everything I hear on K-love  
11/17/2011 8:41:34 AM
Jennifer United States
Jennifer
"Our Story" will bless others! Thank you Amanda for sharing. I have been a single-parent for 9 years. My children are 9 and 10 years old. It is still a challenge to overcome the heartache and ramifications of a divorce; but, with God on my side, it has not only been possible...it is his miracle of blessings that has become my story to share. Praise God!

I pray that you will be showered with blessings and peace in your heart and your children feel God's Fatherly love during this Thanksgiving holiday.

Lovin K-Love....Jen

11/17/2011 10:56:43 AM
Brandi United States
Brandi
Thank you for being positive. I know I was struggling with letting my children go with their father for a dinner with his family. We are not divorced, but his family dynamics are very concerning to me. I struggle with letting them go to his family's home without me. I cannot attend the dinner as I have previous work commitments. I was feeling angry and bitter. I wanted to yell and say bad things about them, just because I don't want to see my babies go and be surrounded by their influence. I turned on klove to refocus and read your post. Thank you. Thank you for being Christ like. He knows we have pain and he wants to hear it, but he wants to take care of us. We need to trust as mothers, we give them life skills to make healthy wise decisions, we don't make their decisions. I pray your kids will follow Christ and that they will remember the strong woman you are to let them experience life with you beside them (both physically and in Spirit). I am so sorry you are hurting. But... you are right. Enjoy things you can't do with the kids. You will be more refreshed and ready for them when they get home! Thankfully, you don't have to leave them for months at a time. I know as a mother, even hours seem like days without your babies’ hugs and kisses. God is with us always and He will comfort you. I hope feel His hug this Thanksgiving.
11/17/2011 9:49:12 PM
deborah United States
deborah
hi amanda,
yes quiet hurts my heart too. my husband left after 21 years and our children were literally 7 years old the night he left, 9 years old 2 weeks later and 21 months old. he left me for a woman 15 years older just days after my mom passed away. i thought i would die... but God had other plans. im still alone and hes with her. i get my boys this year for thanksgiving. they just turned 13 years & 15 years and will be 8 years in january. he gained custody because he has more money and the law isnt always fair. my boys want to live with me so badly. i keep telling them in Gods time and we need to pray about it constantly. ill pray for you and your children and  hope that you will pray for me and my boys as well.may God bless you this holiday season.
11/18/2011 9:10:52 AM
Natalie United States
Natalie
Amanda,

Thank you so much for your openness with us listeners about your own struggles. I appreciate your trust in the Lord, your honesty and your sense of humor. You will be lifted up in prayer as your babes travel Smile
11/18/2011 9:49:23 AM
Rhonda United States
Rhonda
Amanda,
My heart breaks for you because this is an incredibly difficult thing, to be alone and newly divorced on a holiday. I am praying for you. I lost my husband in a car accident 14 years ago and God truly showed himself MIGHTY in my life as I walked through that experience with Him. I know Him better today because I leaned into him. I know you are in God's loving care today and have an awesome K-Love family around you but wanted you to know that we are praying for you. May God be so real in your life as you experience his great care and comfort. Blessings from Kansas City as you celebrate those things you ARE thankful for on Thanksgiving.
11/19/2011 9:56:56 AM
Linda Eslin United States
Linda Eslin
Amanda -

  I am SO encouraged by your willingness to share your heart!  I am a single mom too, and it hurts every time my son is with his dad.  His dad doesn't communicate at all and goes to church every once in a while, but really is just living a hypocritical life.  My son will be with his dad for Thanksgiving too, and even though it makes me sad, I will be with my parents and I know we'll have fun!  It's hard to always feel like we are always at Jesus's feet, but well, maybe that's just where He wants us Smile
11/19/2011 12:25:15 PM
Valerie United States
Valerie
Hi Amanda,

I just want to say thank you for being such an encouragement to me. I am a singe Mom of a special need teenage daughter. I listen to you ofen and want to say thanks for being who you are. God is definitely shining through you and your life.
I share holidays with my daughter's father and while it isn't easy, it's doable. I can tell you that God and His presence will keep you through this. At first, I wasn't comfortable with this, but then God helped me see the silver lining in the cloud. Not only does my daughter get to spend time with her Dad and his family and get blessed, but I receive a break, get refueled, or have some fun. I also can seek God uninterrupted. We single parents need a break.
Hope this helped.
You are in my prayers today.
11/19/2011 6:14:54 PM
Mark United States
Mark
Amanda, I had hoped to write sooner. First off, my prayers for you.  Not sure if I can offer any words that can really bring comfort.  How can anyone ease the separation of children.  I have been divorced for 13+ years and it still hurts when a holiday based on family, joy and thankfulness can't be fulfilled, but it is in those times we can remember the other firsts in separation - first day of school, first day of wanting to go to a playmates home by oneself, crossing the street ... In those times the answer is all the same, I pray for them. I pray they will feel loved and special as if with me. That they have a s great a day as if they were with me, because nothing is more important than they know they are loved. I have no doubt they will miss you terribly and the joy they will feel when they return will be immeasurably for them and you. I know they will be on your mind the whole time.  I promise I will pray for you they feel you love as if you were with them.
11/19/2011 6:15:35 PM
Mark United States
Mark
(ps God bless you)
11/20/2011 5:04:05 AM
Brady Hesseltine United States
Brady Hesseltine
I will defiantely pray for your heart not to be anxious on this day as the start of the holidays begin with Thanksgiving.  Truly I encourage you to be thankful for the health of your three sweet kids and know they will be home back in your arms sooner than you think.  I am away from my family and have been seperated from them since May.  All three of them are off to a different state this Thanksgiving and I just have to say to myself how awesome it is for them to get away and be blessed!  My heart is heavy daily but I know God truly has a plan for all of this.  Amanda I appreciate your sharing your heart and your daily desire to walk in His presence!
11/21/2011 8:37:04 AM
Wendy United States
Wendy
I listen all the time & just wanted to throw out a different way to look at the holidays without kids cuz they are with their dad.  I have 2 boys 17 & 21 who's dad never put them anywhere near 1st, rarely had them or asked for them for the holidays & know my boys have HUGE issues because of the "lack of their father" so while I know it's hard as a single mom to be away from them, they are so blessed their dad wants them & that they are getting to spend time with him!
11/24/2011 9:06:17 AM
Joe Thomas Jr. United States
Joe Thomas Jr.
Just a note to you .You are Beautiful, and at Mass this morning I said a Prayer for you and your family. Happy Thansgiving,Peace Love .Joe O....
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