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Sunday, November 9, 2014

A Modern Day Fish and Loaves Story- You In?



So, you remember that story of the Fish and Loaves in the bible?  


The bible tells a story of Jesus and the fellas He hung out with (disciples).  They had a ton of folks to feed and not nearly enough food to do it with.  The freak out factor set in immediately with Jesus's main dudes when they realized this, so the Son of God did what only He could do.


"Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke them. Then he gave them to the disciples to distribute to the people."




I'm sure the disciples were thinking, "Hey, Lord.  That's crazy cool.... but did you see HOW MANY of them there are out there?  There are thousands to take care of.  5 loaves and 2 fish is awesome, but .... that's not gonna cut it, Lord.  These people need us.  There is NEED here, Lord."



I bet they were paralyzed in their fear and shaking in the faith.  But they walked it out, anyway, because they had that little mustard seed of faith thing going on ... the part of them that knew that God was up to something insanely cool and they were going to get to be part of it.



That's us, guys and gals.  Today.  Right now.  That's us.  
Here's our crowd....

Approximately 15 million people are parenting solo.  
In the United States, 80.6% of those are single mothers.Median income for a single mother home? $25,493 in 2012 (1/3 the median for married couple families at $81,455).
It is estimated to cost $245,000 to raise a child from birth to 18.


 I won't do the math.  I think you get the idea.  This is sacred ground.

Black Friday ads may excite the masses, but when it's difficult to make it through the month financially, the holidays serve up a whole 'lotta fear for so many of these moms that I get to love on.


Good news?  The bible says 365 times that we should not fear. :)  That's one for every day, y'all!   We're about to CHANGE this season for as many SMC moms as God will allow us to love on!




Jeremiah 29:11 says (in a nutshell) that God has a plan and the plan is for good and not for harm.

I want you to help me walk out that plan and celebrate the absence of fear so that these ladies FEEL the love of God's kids.  We GET TO serve! Right?
With the crowd back then, Jesus knew that He needed to meet their physical needs so that they could hear Him for their every need.  We just want to do a little of the same here.

Christmas is about CELEBRATING the One True King, and with God's help, I've had so much fun helping relax a handful of single mothers into that celebration over the last 2 years.  Eyes off the financial constraints and eyes ON the One that loves them most... 




I know.  I know.  You want in. :)  
Here's how...


Click here to send a financial blessing that is gifted straight to a single mom. (Directions in the link for paypal - send to wordstoexpress@aol.com via FRIENDS AND FAMILY only- or Christie will contact you with directions on where to send a check. 100% goes to a single mom for Christmas purchases. Period.)  

GIVE ONLINE OR BY CHECK HERE 



As with the Fish and Loaves story, no amount is too small.  Know why?



Because JESUS is here. :)


Just like back in the bible days, His very presence changes things.  $20 turns into a blessing that you never imagined.  I saw $300 take care of 2 large family Christmas blessings last year.  God's power to change lives is off the charts and Christmas is the perfect time to share the love.

Want to see what the results of Jesus looked like back in the day?

"They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over."

AMAZING! I serve the God that brings home LEFTOVERS!  MORE THAN ENOUGH! :)


God's in charge.  I'm just opening up the chance to be part of the miracle for some precious families that I'm blessed to walk with.  

It's time to serve the socks off of the women who are raising 50% of the future.  Are you in?  
Let's do this.  

Love, Christie

-------------------

DETAILS:  Single Mom Central is my online ministry.  We're not a non profit, so this is not tax deductible.  We're just God's girls loving on God's girls in the way He showed me to do it after my divorce.  He told me to get in the center and I did.  
Right now there are 150 women in our private group. Some with needs.  Some positioned to bless another sister in need.  We all work together for God's best for each family.

I will be providing contribution information on this page to show the total contributions and the # of families those were connected with.

Questions?  Email me at ChristieAitken@gmail.com .




http://www.SingleMomCentral.net Twitter: @ChristieAitken
Google+: +Christie Aitken



Saturday, October 18, 2014

Broken Doughnuts and the LOVE of Krispy Kreme

I first posted it on Facebook in 2013.  It was a sweet, precious, defining moment on my Mommy journey.  It was an incredible learning moment for my kids.  It was shared around the world as autism families said, "I get it", and those who didn't understand autism got a glimpse of what it's like.

I noticed today, though, that I never gave it a place at http://www.ChristieAitken.net .  We were busy dodging autism meltdowns in that season and learning how to do life in a way that complimented the beautiful creation that is my little buddy. :)  I'm not sure that much blogging was going on back then as a result.  We were busy, busy folks on a mission for simplicity.

The mission for simplicity still exists; however, it's a new autism day.

Walk with me back to 2013...
______

By now you have most likely read the "broken cheeseburger" story.



Our hearts were collectively touched this year as we read of a precious child on the autism spectrum, the family that loves her, and a waitress/restaurant franchise that learned of the intricacies of autism.  They not only responded, but responded instantly with something that far exceeds customer service.  They responded in love and the world, in turn, responded to Chile's with the same. 


Once you've read that story, you can never look at a cheeseburger in the same way.  Every time you go to take a bite, the picture of that sweet baby kissing her "healed" cheeseburger will cross your mind... and it's wonderful.

I relate to the story even more because I'm the parent of a child on the Autism spectrum... and tonight our version of a "broken cheeseburger" was a "ruined doughnut."


You see, as a modification to the dining in experience, we've learned the value of the Krispy Kreme drive-thru.  I mean, come on... doughnuts without ever leaving the car?  I think so! :) And so, we partake in the experience of what Louie Giglio calls "the Kreme" about once a month.

I was particularly impressed that my son asked for a "doughnut with custard-- not creme" tonight.  That's some big strides in the language department and specificity that would make every OT and speech therapist in the world smile for days.  It definitely made this Mama smile as I placed our order.  

We bought our doughnuts.  One for each child.  Pulled out of the drive-thru and passed them out immediately.  (Because WHO waits for doughnuts! Right?)

The smiles were all over the place... that is, until the tears began.

And the tears turned to sobs...

And the sobs turned into the most panicked look I have ever seen on my child's face.

"You RUINED my doughnut.  It's ruined! It's ruined! It's ruined!"  <insert the saddest sobbing ever here>

I had NO idea what was wrong and I must be honest when I say that I was frustrated at first.  Autism is like a great mystery and even the most well read and pro-actively educated parents must play detective to some degree to find what works for their child's place on the spectrum.



The pieces were just not fitting in this moment.  I could SEE the anxiety in his face.  This was not bad behavior.  It was not a tantrum.  It was a child locked inside his own language parameters who was clearly trying to tell me something... and I didn't have the key to unlock that moment for him.

And then I saw it.  The doughnut's chocolate covered top had a blemish in the icing.  To this girl, that little break in the icing would have meant nothing... but to my little guy?  It was "broken"... completely ruined.  All that he could see is that this doughnut would not work the way a proper doughnut would work.  He just could not "unsee" everything that was wrong with this custard filled piece of heaven.


So, what do you do?  Well,  I figured out what to do all because another parent was brave enough to share their story.  I remembered the cheeseburger story referenced above and that the little girl's family had been willing to order and pay for another cheeseburger because the moment she was having was not by choice, but rather a signature of her autism. 

Their example gave me one to follow tonight and I was delighted to drive back through the drive through to see our server, Ms. Chan, and order the "not ruined" custard doughnut again.



My little fella's tears dried up in an instant and he managed to get out a "thank you" to our new friend through trembling little lips.  His tear stained little face managed a teeny smile at Ms. Chan, too... and she warmly smiled back at him as she handed him a Krispy Kreme hat and ensured that my oldest son received one, also.  Finally, she looked at me and promptly said with a smile, "No charge."  (So much for the dry eyes, huh?)  


To some this is just a $1.50 doughnut.  No big deal at all. Customer service is a "should" and this woman did a fine job at doing what she "should" do.

To this Mommy, though, tonight was compassion, love, awareness, and community all rolled into one.  Tonight was not a "should" of customer service... it was a choice well made by a woman who is changing lives with her heart for people.

See, here's the even bigger story, folks...

When we share our stories, the world gets to love with us.  


As we relate our life experiences, we give the next parent another way to handle a situation that might otherwise baffle them.  When YOU reach out and say, "This is what my world really looks like" and don't lean to only the highlight reel, you have a part in changing the world. 

Our stories spread far beyond our moments and the places that sometimes look broken or frantic in our lives.  God uses the broken moments for healing each time our story is told... and it's contagious.  So share.  Share this story.  Share your story.  For the love of all that is wonderful, SHARE.

In celebration of OUR moment this evening, I dedicate this post to Krispy Kreme in Montgomery, AL and to our new friend, "Ms. Chan", at the drive-thru there.   Her manager has already been called and her corporate office will most definitely know that she's an asset to the Krispy Kreme name.  If you're ever in town, go pay them a visit and thank them for being love in action... one doughnut at a time.


ChristieAitken@gmail.com, 2013
http://www.ChristieAitken.blogspot.com
http://www.Roundtable-Solutions.org
Twitter: @ChristieAitken
Google+: +Christie Aitken



Monday, October 13, 2014

Officially Red- How To Be It - World Dyslexia Day

So, you've heard about people using RED for dyslexia awareness and you want to be legit.

We understand.  We understand.  (If you don't get the reference, go talk to your parents.)


Anyway, we get it. We want you to know the roots of this campaign and be #OfficiallyRed, too!

You can join businesses, states, cities, and other countries around the world in the OFFICIAL campaign for all things red.

We did THIS in 2014.  It was a crazy cool way to show your heart for the 1 in 5 who have dyslexia.  


Pretty cool, eh? :)

We think so, too.

So what about 2015?  HOW DO YOU JOIN THE TEAM?

Well, truth be told, there's a lot of ways to go red, but only ONE way to be #OfficiallyRed.
Here's the scoop...

1. READ THE STORY.  The Original Red Story- From Seeing Red to Redeeming Red

2. REGISTER.  CLICK HERE TO GO OFFICIALLY RED (group or individual listing).  We will plug you into a place that you will LOVE being involved!  Locally, globally, online... whatever works BEST for you!

3. SHARE THE EVENT.  Hit FB, Twitter and beyond with your logo to declare that you are #OfficiallyRed by sharing THIS link:

WORLD DYSLEXIA DAY - CLICK HERE TO JOIN!









HASHTAGS TO USE (just type in your post)
: #RoundtableSolutions           #DyslexiaRed
                                                                                #RedeemingRed                    #WorldDyslexiaDay
                                                                             

HOW TO REDEEM RED?

* Wear Red                           * Rockin' Red Shoes              * Red Hats
* Light Up Red                     * Red Silly String Fights        * Red Fire Trucks
* Red Face Paint                   * Red Costumes                     * Red Ribbons
* Red Pep Rallies                  * Red Banners                        * Red Balloons
* Red Themed Parties           * Drive a Red Vehicle            * Red Artwork
* Red Silly Socks                  * Red Jerseys                          *Go Red YOUR Way!


YOU can be the change for the #1in5 and beyond.  Are you ready to be Officially Red?  We are!

OTHER FUN?
CHECK OUT 2014's FLASH MOBhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tVf3X0z0UTg  The 2015 UPDATE will be posted VERY soon!

You can perform ONLINE via video OR LIVE with our Official Tower and Capitol Lighting in Montgomery, AL.


AMBASSADORS OF HOPE- Applications COMING SOON for the Roundtable Solutions Dyslexia Ambassadors of Hope (Dyslexia) VERY soon! 



What a GREAT adventure with wonderful friends by our side!


May the lives of the 1 in 5 and beyond be forever changed because God trusted us with this piece of the puzzle. This time next year?  There will be stories of tutoring, volunteers, speaking engagements, and so much more.  World changers live within the heart of Roundtable Solutions... and we're looking for others.  Will you join us?

Love, Christie, Beau, and "D"
Roundtable Solutions


©Christie Aitken, 2014, 2015
http://www.Roundtable-Solutions.org 
http://www.ChristieAitken.net
Twitter: @ChristieAitken 
Google+: +Christie Aitken 
FB: http://www.facebook.com/ChristieA 







 


Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Confession... I'm looking for "the 1"

Single gal confession?  I'm looking for "the 1."  


{{Oh wow.  She just said that.  


On the internet.  For the WORLD to see.  

Bless her sweet little heart.}}




Yes.  I'm going there.  I'm looking for "the 1" and I need your help.


{{Well, isn't SHE quite the brassy one! Goodness gracious. She's either bold or desperate.  Either way, this sister is one hot mess.}}





Okay, okay.  




I give.

I AM looking for "the 1", but it's not exactly what I might have lead you to believe. 



Ulterior Motive, meet my friend, Good Cause.
  

First, I think we can all agree that if I were "lookin' for love" that a blog post would certainly define looking in "all the wrong places".  Agreed? 

So, if I'm not looking for someone to put a ring on it (future hubby, please take note, this is a CRAZY GORGEOUS one that would not make me sad at all when God says it's time :) )...



Then what in the world am I babbling about?


Today I took a step back and looked at WHY I do what I do... 

and it brought me to this post.

Why did my kids and I ever take on something as grand as World Dyslexia Day or Roundtable Solutions or the #RedeemingRed campaign?

Why do I have this drive to get out of the box learners to accommodations?  

Why is it like AIR to know that students are finding their God-given purpose because teachers and parents are working with them in the way they are hardwired to learn? 

And my answer was the same as it was the first day this crossed my mind....the 1.  I am desperate to find "the 1"... over and over again.





The "1" on that day was a boy sitting in front of me who had no idea how brilliant he really was.  He had no idea that God created Him with purpose and passion.  




And then there was another "1"... and he didn't speak understandably until he was 3 years old... but he said his first sentence in a therapy swing... and he made the OT and I cry as we watched God's plan unfold in his little life.

Then there was the "1" who had surgery and rocked a wheelchair, and later crutches, at the beginning of a school year.  But instead of worrying about what was or what mind be scary later on, he makes plans for his own pizza parlor and will readily tell you that he's a superstar. :)  I agree.





There are more "1's" out there, though.

I'm looking for them now.  I'm looking for the 1 that's still without accommodations in school, making it painfully difficult to meet their God-given potential.


I'm searching for the 1 out there who can't afford tutoring, but needs it as much as anyone else.  The parent that sits there wondering how they can help when there is more month left than money, but the learning needs are screaming for more than what a school day can cover.

I'm desperate to find the 1 who has heard they are less than what God created them to be... and to love them as they dive in and discover that Jeremiah 29:11 was written about THEM.  That God had them in mind when he wrote it and that He thinks they are one of His best ideas ever.

I want to find the 1 with dyslexia. The 1 with autism. The 1 with langer giedion syndrome. I want to find as many of the 1's out there as God will bless me to find.


But I can't do it alone.  A search of this magnitude needs more "1's" searching for the 1.

It will take our hearts.  It will take a lot of 1 dollar bills.  It will take all of us together  in pursuit of the 1.



My search follows the example set so beautifully in Luke 15 in the bible.  God goes after "the 1." He doesn't count how many have made it to where they need to be and then say, "Whew. That's some good numbers we've got going. Let's rest now.  Our stats are pretty good.  This is a good "win" ratio."

No. No. No. He ALWAYS goes after the 1 that is still in need.
Here's how you can join our search for the 1:


1- Give $1 dollar for the 1.  
http://www.gofundme.com/




2- LIKE us on Facebook http://www.Roundtable-Solutions.org and tell a friend!



3- Contact us about volunteering your gifts, talents, and passions. ChristieAitken@gmail.com 


I'm looking for the 1.  Every.  Single.  Day.


Join me.  I dare you. :)  




©Christie Aitken, 2014
http://www.Roundtable-Solutions.org 
http://www.ChristieAitken.net
Twitter: @ChristieAitken 
Google+: +Christie Aitken 
FB: http://www.facebook.com/ChristieA 

Sunday, September 14, 2014

From Seeing Red to Redeeming Red... The World Dyslexia Day Story

True confession?  I started out seeing like any other parent.  I was the mother of a very bright kindergarten student who loved learning.  With lunch box packed and new backpack in tow, he went into his first year of formal schooling and I expected things to be great.



And things were great... until they weren't.

He loved math, but he couldn't sit still.  He loved being read to, but he didn't read a single word all year long.  He thought his very short name (Beau) was super cool, but he flipped the order of it and the letters in it on a regular basis.

The fact is that this year that was supposed to be slam full of fun filled learning was (even with the sweetest teacher on the planet) turning into the first year of tears, frustration, and a lot of academic ouches.


I knew he had dyslexia. I had no paperwork to support my observation, but my heart knew.  We were told by specialists that it was too early to test.  We were told by teachers that every child flipped their letters and had the troubles he was having.

But I knew.... I KNEW he had dyslexia.



The years rocked on and the papers that came home had a LOT of red marks on them.

This word was misspelled.  That sentence wasn't in the correct form.  That math problem never got finished.

He was seeing red, and so was I.  

Children LOVE to learn and I was just angry that this was the way his school years were unfolding. Surely it wasn't supposed to be like this?

We finally received his dyslexia diagnosis.  What a relief! DYSLEXIA and ADD.

To be honest, though, not much changed on the education front.  I went to meeting after meeting where fantastic educators tried to figure out how to best teach a dyslexic student through traditional measures.  I sat in many meetings with educators who just said, "We not required to accommodate dyslexia in this state."

I would leave with hope.  I would leave defeated.  I would leave and know that nothing was really changing.  It was a roller coaster, but I knew that most of these teachers wanted desperately to help him.  These experts wanted to know more.  We were just stuck.


Every day I built my son up by having him say our own personal survival words, "There's no one above me.  There's no one below me. I'm made in the perfect image of Jesus Christ."  I'm convinced every family needs something like this that speaks to what they believe, whatever that may be.

I wanted him to know the LEADER that God called him to be, and that God's plan didn't change just because spelling class was hard for him or reading wasn't his game just yet.

Truth be known, though, I talked a really good game with my son (and meant every word of it), but I left most every meeting and every school year seeing red.


Skip a few years....

My youngest son has an autism diagnosis.  In April 2013 we were driving by a tower in our hometown where they were lighting it up in Autism's signature color of blue to spread awareness. 


My youngest son was too overstimulated to get out of the car and admire the tower, so we drove around it several times... talking about how they were celebrating him and the wonderful person God created in him.

And then the question came....

"When are they going to celebrate me, Mama?"  My oldest son, Beau (who has dyslexia) asked me that question.  



I went from SEEING RED to knowing that I had to REDEEM RED for my child.  We had to celebrate our children with dyslexia, and I needed to step away from the fight for a moment to just to stare at the celebration that needed to occur.

I mumbled something about "maybe next year, baby", but immediately knew that October (Dyslexia Awareness month), would never look the same for us.

Things got busy, as they always do, in the months that followed.  As expected, though, October 1 came and it was time for a celebration.  What to do?

I was inspired by the Purple Light Nights (Domestic Violence Campaign) that my amazing advocate friend, Katie, was working with.  She taught me how to get the RSA Tower in Montgomery, AL lit up, and the story began unfolding.

Based on available dates, our very first Dyslexia Day was on October 16th, 2013.  We wanted the 15th (to represent the 1 in 5 who have dyslexia), but this was a solid start.... and that's all we needed. World Dyslexia Day was born when the RSA Tower in Montgomery, AL agreed to light their tower in red for us.  

Why red?  Red is not only a color of power and redemption, but also my son's favorite color.  We were determined to take it back from being that nasty little color that plagued his spelling papers and turn it into not only HIS color, but that of every other person with a dyslexia diagnosis.



Over the next two weeks, volunteers poured out from every corner.  My son's dyslexia was becoming a PARTY instead of a pain to him.  He was wearing it more like a super hero cape and less like a burden. He was becoming PROUD of who God created him to be.  We wanted EVERY person with dyslexia to feel this.

As the party went on, the first news interview came and I realized that this was going to be bigger than just some little block party.  We needed a group.  We needed a vision for the party to continue long after Dyslexia Day.... and we wanted the party to be for my son, for his brother, and for EVERY exceptionality and disability.  We wanted to bridge the gap for every family and celebrate the children they loved who learned a little bit differently.


Roundtable Solutions was born in October 2013 and we've never looked back.

Shoot to today?  We are now a 501(c)3 non profit... and the vision is being furthered every single day. Collaborations are so sweetly happening to raise up others as we raise money to impact every student, teacher, school, and group that God allows us to love on.

And the word about #WorldDyslexiaDay and #RedeemingRed is SPREADING!  Every year, more groups, individuals, and communities light in #DyslexiaRed to take this message far and wide... to every corner of the world.

We're continuing to move forward with my then 10 year old co-founder's vision... to spread the dyslexia love through World Dyslexia Day on October 15th of each year and friends have come on board through Roundtable Solutions to help further that mission.

Decoding Dyslexia Alabama came on board with the vision in 2014 as one of our featured groups. We love their heart for the children of Alabama.  They "do dyslexia" beautifully.  Parents with passion that we are delighted to call our friends.

Shoot to 2015, and there are too many groups to count.  We've been blessed to work with the Alabama Dyslexia Advisory Council, Alabama Dyslexia Friends, Scottish Rite, ALIDA, Alabama Game Changers, Students First, and more.


We were delighted to be one of so many voices that worked with these groups celebrating and serving as Alabama's State Board of Education amended the Alabama Administrative Code to INCLUDE dyslexia on October 8, 2015.  We believe that years of work, experience, prayers, and faith came together to create such a beautiful step forward for the state that once said, "No.  We don't do dyslexia."  Friends, ALABAMA now DOES dyslexia!  Praise God!



The fact is, the party is no longer just at the RSA Tower in Montgomery, but at RSA Properties across the state of Alabama, the State Capitol building, and more....

In schools, front yards, family rooms, and classrooms....

Red cakes will be baked.  Red silly string fights will be had.  Red ribbons will be hung.  Red will never look the same.

We are LIGHTING UP, DRESSING UP, and DECKING OUT the world in #DyslexiaRed, friends, and we do it for a few reasons.

1- TO CELEBRATE- We celebrate dynamic kids who learn in unique ways.  All of them!
2- TO SERVE- Roundtable Solutions will use the funds we raise to connect kids with services and meet needs.  We will bridge gaps as God allows!  Just as the gaps have been bridged for Beau along the way.

3- TO ENCOURAGE- We will continually use our resources to connect parents and students with each other, services, answers, and solutions.  We believe in you.  We want you to, also.

The nation will shine bright in red to celebrate our kids and the historical Silver Linings of dyslexia will shine all around these parties.  Our kids ARE the silver linings of the challenges that dyslexia brings! We won't forget where we've come from as we're blazing a well lit trail for where we're going!  There is beauty in both places.

Redeeming Red is a story of redemption, empowerment, and taking back what is beautiful.  It's our Dyslexia Power Color.  World Dyslexia Day on October 15th (1 in 5 have dyslexia) is our day... every single year. In the middle of a calendar slam full with meaningful moments, it's the single day during Dyslexia Awareness Month where we say, "This one is for you, 1 in 5."  



From the heart of one Mama and the vision of one child, we want you to know that we see you.  We hear you.  Roundtable Solutions is working to be a group that helps equip you and points you to resources that empower you and challenge you, like many of our friends on this journey.  We want to celebrate the work you have done.  We want to hug you in the hard times and walk with you each step of the way.





All because God allowed US to walk through some really, really hard times.  What a gift that He trusted us with that journey.  I imagine He's entrusted many of you with the same.  Yes?

I take you back from the party for a moment.... because I'm still just a mom with a child that needed services.  God has opened the doors wide for us to be a voice in this equation, but we are not the only voice.  We are not the only story.








EVERY story matters... and we want to hear yours.  The celebration is wherever YOU are and in the spheres of influence that YOU are encouraging.  Please send your story to info@Roundtable-Solutions.org.  It would be our honor to not only learn about your journey, but share it with the world.

We hope you will join us as Roundtable Solutions and friends continue the mission to Redeem Red on World Dyslexia Day each and every year.  www.WorldDyslexiaDay.com

Copyright © 2013, 2014, 2015 by Christie Aitken. All rights reserved.
BLOGGING LOVE: www.ChristieAitken.net
NON PROFIT LOVE: www.Roundtable-Solutions.org
MINISTRY LOVE: www.SingleMomCentral.net


*World Dyslexia Day, Redeeming Red, Dyslexia Red, and Roundtable Solutions- TM by Christie Aitken/Roundtable Solutions.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

I Love to Tell HIS Story


I woke up this morning to the most excited note from one of my Single Mom Central moms.  She wanted to let me know that I had been chosen as an Honorable Mention for The Life of a Single Mom's Single Mom of the Year program. 




Here's the thing... I was so extremely humbled and honored by this, but was a little nervous that sharing it would point people to "look at me" instead of "look at what God's done."  

The ONLY good in me is because of Him, so any time I share, I want it to point to God... the One who loves me most. 


I received an email from TLSM on yesterday, but wasn't going to say anything to anyone. 

God had a different vote on that.   :)




You see, there's this press release out there.   Turns out that God doesn't like for His story to go untold.  :)  So here I am...  sharing HIS story.  I'm in the story along with other women, ministries, churches, and more, but it's ALL about Him.

ONLY God can take the moments that we think might break us (divorce, death, and more) and use them as a chance to say, "I see you, sweetie.  I see you, and I see EVERY single parent out there.  You.  Are.  Loved."  


Only God can take our "hot mess moments" and turn them into a "hot off the press MESSAGES" of how HE is changing lives!

I almost cried when I read the press release today and saw that 2014's National Single Mom of the Year, Lorri Linkhart (Beavercreek, Ohio), said that, too.  Her words were, "I'm stunned... I have been praying for a sign from God that He sees me, and this is it."





So, how did this honor from the ministry at TLSM take me back to God today?  It reminded me that I'm CALLED to step out of my comfort zone and tell my LOVE story... every single time God gives me the chance do so.

Love story?  Yes, indeed.  Here it is....

The Creator of the Universe sent His son to come down and sweep this single mom off of her feet, and into the sweetest relationships ever.  When the world looked and saw a failed marriage and deemed my home a "broken home" and my kids as future statistics, Mercy said "no."  He called us "righteous, holy, and redeemed."  He deemed this family complete with Him at the helm, and He teaches me daily how to lead my family to His heart.  He reminds us that anything else He ever does in our lives is icing on an ALREADY BEAUTIFUL cake that He has made because He loves us.






He sent Jesus to heal this heart... to fill in the gaps, holes, and ouch spots that this side of heaven can leave.  The grace poured thick through Jesus on the cross, because God CHOSE to SEE ME... that grace still brings me to my knees.  God now looks at this broken vessel and sees only the beauty that is Jesus.  Amazing grace, anyone?




He gave me the Holy Spirit to be my Best Friend... to be the One I call at 3 in the morning when I just need to talk, to guide me in God's plan for me, to fill me when I feel like I can't do one more thing, and to draw and woo me daily closer to the heart of God.  That last part is my favorite. :)  I love being wooed.

Then He put me in the middle of His kids.... specifically His girls... single, married, younger, more mature, outgoing, soft spoken, quirky, fun, bold, learning, teaching... and He grows this circle daily.   He put Godly men in the path of my boys through the local church, and He continually gives me the LOVE of my church family as a whole.  The body of Christ followers that we are in has been such a place to grow, serve, lead, and love.  I remain incredibly grateful and in awe of the gift that is Church of the Highlands.


So, how does the circle of God's kids keep growing?  Well, if the circle is to continue growing, our stories of His love must be told.  WE are sometimes the only glimpse of God that people see, and His heart is to always reach the one that hasn't yet heard that He loves them with complete abandon.

That's where some other beautiful souls come into this Single Mom of the Year mix.  I'd love to extend congratulations to Erica Howard of Bellevue, WA, and Sally Killoran from Wickenburg, AZ. for also being honorable mentions.  Two beautiful women of God!

And another precious soul that God has chosen to be a voice of His story? Lorri Linkhart - 2014's Single Mom of the Year!  



Lorri, I'm just smiling over here as I read and re-read your quote.  He definitely sees you, beautiful lady. I keep looking at every piece of this saying, "Only God."  I can't wait get to know each of you better and to hear your stories of God's faithfulness in your lives.

Thank you to Jennifer Barnes Maggio and TLSM for all that you do.  Your ministry touches my heart and reminds me that the body of Christ is being equipped daily to love on single parent families in the most beautiful way.   




Jennifer said it beautifully, "Our God is much bigger than any statistic written on a sheet of paper.  The power of God changes lives, offers freedom, and erases pasts.  Two of out three single moms aren't attending church.  As the body of Christ, this should move us to action."  (See Press Release.) 

His story is still being written in this heart and in those of so many others.

Last but not least, my personal story includes two precious young men that are the only reason I get to wear the title of "Mommy."  These two are my first and favorite ministry, always.  





The fact that God has entrusted me with these two makes me brave. Their favorite verse is Neh. 8:10, "The JOY of the LORD is my strength."  And boy has He shown me that through these two!

They know their Source and they know it's not Mommy.  They love me, but they LEAN to their Heavenly Daddy. I'm just the shepherd sent to guide them back to the One who will never disappoint them.  It's my GREATEST honor to raise up these men of God.  When God looks at them, I KNOW He's sees WORLD CHANGERS!  May heaven's roster change because these two were breathed into existence.  Thank you, God for my blessings!




So here, the most important thing I'll write today.  It's about YOUR story.  Yes, YOUR story.

Who is author?  If you don't have one, I have a suggestion. He's the best around.

Let God pen your story and make it HIS story.  






How?  Ask Him.  It's that simple.  He's waiting with pen in hand at the door of your heart, but He's a gentleman.  He'll knock, but then He'll will wait for YOU to let Him in.

Open the door.  Hand Him the pages, empty or full.  His grace erases everything anyway and gives you a new name... a new story. Write HIS word on your heart while HE is writing His love story in your life.

And every time He gives you a chance to share what He's done, be courageous and take it. God likes it when we tell His story.  It's why we're here.


ChristieAitken@gmail.com , 2014
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