“So that this will be a sign among you. In the future, when your children ask you, ‘What do these stones mean to you?’  you should tell them…” Joshua 4:6

A picture collage hangs on our wall filled with smiles and beautiful pictures of the beach. Why? It is a continuous reminder of God putting an exclamation point over our family during a time of hurt, deep pain, abandonment, and the stings of divorce. Each time my kids and I talk about that trip to the beach, the backstory of God providing a week at the beach always comes up. It must! He gave that gift of sweet memories to us as a balm on our wounds.

Like Joshua and the Israelites, placing visual reminders of God’s faithfulness, we too need to have reminders around us of God’s love and faithfulness in our lives. Placing things in your home as a continuous reminder gives a focal point when the days are difficult and times are confusing. Your children need you to share stories of the exclamation points God places on your life.

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The backstory to Joshua 4 is the Israelites preparing to march around the City of Jericho and preparing to enter the Promised Land. God was up to something big. God knew that generations would come later and see the stones placed in the river and ask about them. When they asked, they would be told the great story of when God made a way when there seemed no way. The Israelites trusted a process, a plan, and obeyed, God took care of the details.

Decorating your home with memorials of God’s goodness is honoring to the Lord. Whether it is a special Bible verse, pictures of you and your family that reminds you of “exclamation points” – God’s gifts, or your hand written post-it notes of encouragement and love left for your children are not done in vain. God used ordinary stones in Joshua 4 to be used as a reminder of the extraordinary. Let us never underestimate what we deem ordinary. God shows up in the ordinary to point us to what He will do and make it extraordinary. In every ordinary moment that suddenly turns extraordinary, there is a backstory of what God did.

As a single mom, it is easy to be so focused on all that lies before you and everything you must accomplish on any given day. I think that is what Joshua and Israelites were doing as they prepared to march around Jericho. However, God had them do something that seemed odd and out of the way. But God knew that when He is preparing the way for extraordinary, He needs to have us do something ordinary and use ordinary things. Stones. Stones were everywhere. Ordinary. Stones found in a river. Ordinary. When God sends us to do the ordinary there is a purpose. The stones did not provide the miracle. The stones were there to always point back to the miracle maker, the all-powerful God.

Buying Groceries – an ordinary stone. This opens conversation to the Provider. Job security- an ordinary stone. This shows your children God’s faithfulness. Laughter – an ordinary stone. This proves to you and your children that He sings over you. Tears – an ordinary stone. This makes way for you and your children to know the Comforter. There are so many ordinary stones and the Lord will use them to remind you that He makes things extraordinary and behind the ordinary is an extraordinary God.

Joy Anisa HeadshotJoy Anisa would have never dreamed that her life would be filled with such incredible sadness that comes with loss. She never would have imagined that she would experience the personal effects of emotional and mental abuse, the silent killer of the soul. She is in awe of how God is the keeper of her soul and He has kept what she committed to Him. He would not allow her soul to be destroyed! Joy Anisa is married to Jeff, a bi-vocational pastor and they live in Conyers, GA. Their oldest daughter, Meighan, is serving for a year with the London City Mission in London, England. Their son, Caid, is a sophomore at Eagles Landing Christian Academy and plays football. A graduate of She Speaks with Proverbs 31 Ministries, Joy’s story will inspire, encourage, and bring laughter through the tears.

The Life of a Single Mom logoThe Life of a Single Mom is a national, faith-based, nonprofit that exists to see that no single mom walks alone. To date, we have worked with more than 1,500 churches & community groups to start or improve a single mom’s support group in cities throughout the U.S. and beyond. We have a large array of books, curriculum, training materials, and online instructional videos to support ministry leaders who lead single moms. Our single mom programs focus on empowering single moms to grow spiritually, emotionally, financially, and parentally through a number of projects including: Single Mom University, Single Moms Across America, the National TLSM Single Moms Conference, and a variety of programs throughout the U.S. For more information, visit www.thelifeofasinglemom.com