Jennifer Maggio is considered a leading authority on single parents and womens issues. She is an award-winning author and speaker who draws from her own experiences through abuse, homelessness, and teen pregnancy to inspire audiences everywhere. She is founder of The Life of a Single Mom Ministries and writes for dozens of publications. She has been featured with hundreds of media outlets, including The 700 Club, Daystar Television, Moody Radio, Focus on the Family, and many more. For more information, visit thelifeofasinglemom.com.
Well, for my 5 or 6 highly-refined, cultured readers, I must caution you. You probably won’t have a clue where I’m going with this. For the rest of you, enjoy!
As I travel and speak in different venues, I try to be very open and real with my audience. Therefore, my stories are usually pretty uninhibited. I am reminded this morning of one story in particular.
As I’ve shared often, I didn’t come from money or refinement. I wasn’t in Charm School learning how to cross my legs and smile ever-so-slightly, as my Southern gentleman swept me off my feet. Quite the opposite. I grew up on a farm with dirt between my toes, picking peas and corn, and driving tractors. My dad married a total of six times, and there was always drama! It wasn’t uncommon to hear of adult women at a basketball game duking it out or two high school girls cat-fighting over a boy. In fact, in high school, I witnessed two girls getting stabbed, a gang fight breaking out, and a classmate getting his head pounded open, later needing stitches. That was my life. (Just wait…’m going somewhere with this.)
I’m sure it won’t surprise any of you, then, to hear that I found myself in a few brawls through my childhood years. One of my famous forms of defense was “the windmill”. I would throw my arms up and duck my head. I would then rotate my arms wildly out of control, swinging my fists violently, in a circular motion. (Hold on….get the visual.)
I shared this visual with a large audience of single moms one night and you can imagine the uncontrollably laughter of seeing this Southern Belle "fight" with her enemy in thin air.
What’s the point? The point is simply this. It’s important to fight the good fight. It’s important to throw our heads down, stick out our arms, and fight.
So, what are we fighting for? We are fighting for our HOMES– to make them safe, healthy, and wholesome. We are fighting for our CHILDREN — that they may know the happiness that some of us never had. And we are fighting for OURSELVES — to live in the fullness of life with joy, peace, and love. It’s amazing to me that today's society will often advocate punching someone in the face long before they will advocate fighting for sexual purity or violence free video games or clean language in the home.
I don’t know about you, but I”m not going to be the parent that yearns to become my child’s friend, in hopes that he/she will like me. I’m committing to challenge them, even when they don’t like me! I’m not going to allow my finances to determine my worth. I’m not going to let my career define me or my past enslave me. My fight is to ensure that my children and my life reflect living the life God intended for us to live — a life of true freedom.
(Note: For those to whom it wasn’t painfully obvious...and you know who you are... I am NOT advocating a fist-fight, but rather a spiritual one! “We wrestle not against flesh and blood…..” )
Author/speaker, Jennifer Maggio, is one of the nation’s leading authorities on single parents and women’s issues. She is an award-winning author and founder of The Life of a Single Mom Ministries. She currently oversees one of the nation’s largest single moms support groups and has helped to launch more than 1500 others in churches around the globe. She is a regular on radio and television. For more information, visit http://www.thelifeofasinglemom.com.