Editor's Note: The following is a report on the practical applications of  Theresa Whitehurst's book, God Loves Single Moms: Practical Help for Finding Confidence, Strength, and Hope, (Revell, 2010).  

Life as a single mom can often be hectic, and the constant stream of responsibilities you have to handle without a spouse's help can distract you from your own needs while you're busy focusing on your kids' needs.  But you're not just a parent; you're also a child whose heavenly Father wants you to pay attention to the girl inside your soul.  The happier you are as God's child, the better you can serve as your kids' mom.

Here's how you can rely on God's help to nurture the girl within you so you can be the best mom possible for your kids:

Recognize that God is on your side.  As a single mom, you shouldn't feel ashamed or worry that God is somehow disappointed in you.  Realize that God loves you just as much as He would if you were married.  Trust God's promise that He treasures you and stands ready to help you with the challenges you're facing.

Choose thriving over surviving.  Don't settle for less than the best that God wants for you in life.  Whenever you face important decisions, shift your focus from merely surviving to thriving.  Aim to do more than just handle problems successfully; decide to follow your dreams and enjoy fulfilling God's purposes for your life.  If you plan for the best for your kids and yourself, your attitude will help you experience the best.  Give your doubts and fears to God and ask Him to replace them with fresh faith and confidence.

Take an inventory of you and your kids' lives.  Evaluate the state of various areas of your lives to determine what's going well and what needs improvement.  Consider such areas as: you and your kids' physical and emotional health; your relationships with God, each other, your kids' father, and other loved ones; your career; your kids' school performance; your finances; your schedule; your home organization; and the individual dreams and goals of you and each of your kids.

Make positive changes.  Study the information you've gained from taking an inventory of you and your kids' lives.  Then pray for the wisdom you need to discern what specific changes you should make.  List both short-term goals and long-term goals, as well as steps you plan to take to reach those goals, and dates by which you hope to achieve them.

Take good care of your health.  Taking good care of yourself will strengthen you so you can take good care of your kids.  Pause regularly to consider how well you're feeling spiritually, emotionally, and physically - and if you need something, don't neglect yourself.  Set and maintain healthy habits, such as making time regularly for prayer and silent reflection, taking breaks from work for fun and relaxing activities, getting enough sleep and exercise, eating nutritiously, drinking plenty of water, and visiting a doctor for regular checkups.  Pay attention to the way you talk to yourself in your mind - your inner dialogue of thoughts - and notice when you're being negative.  Ask the Holy Spirit to renew your mind regularly, helping you fill your mind with positive thoughts and replacing unhealthy thoughts with healthy thoughts that reflect God's truth.  Whenever you catch yourself tempted to say or do something wrong because you're tired, pause and pray for the strength you need to make the right choice in that moment.

Take good care of your kids' health.  Pray for the patience you need to help your kids even when you're tired and distracted.  Make time to notice how your kids are feeling every day.  If any of them seem depressed, angry, lonely, or anxious, make an appointment with either their pediatrician or a professional counselor to evaluate their health emotionally, mentally, and physically. Constantly encourage your kids to discover more about God's purpose for their lives and the talents He has given them, and give them opportunities to develop and use those talents to contribute to the world around them.