Sunday, September 22, 2019

A Reason for your Season

When you have issues with your blended family, do you often wonder why? Sometimes God lets us go through these issues because down the road we can help another stepmom overcome the same issue.  I know when issues or problems arise the last thing on our mind is how will this help someone else out down the road. The first five years of a blended family always has issues or problems that arise up because your blending two families together that has two different values, rules, structure and traditions. That is why it is so hard in the beginning and why so many married couples give up before the blessings and before the blended family can mold into something wonderful.  My best advice is once you get married to find a counselor that specializes in blended families regardless if you are having issues or problems yet. Why we go through seasons of trouble, issues or problems in our blended families is to help us grow stronger together. When you go through a season of issues or problems try to look at the big picture over all behind the season. 

Follow these steps to help you overcome your season:
  • Don’t give up!
  • Pray and seek God for answers
  • Turn to a blended family counselor for help
  • Seek a stepmom or blended family group on Facebook or seek out a church small group for blended families if applicable.
  • Get Blended Family book resources
When we look to God in our times of trouble, we must trust that God will show up and make a way to overcome our season. God wants us to build up our confidence in us so that we have Faith that God will always be there for us.
Don’t turn to family or friends that aren’t knowledgeable about blended families. They can’t offer you great sound advice. We need to “look beyond the place where you are at right now and see the new thing God is doing” in your blended family. (Victoria Osteen; 2019).  We go through seasons to help us grow closer to God. When things are going great in your blended family, do you still turn to God and seek him out still? I know I am guilty of this myself. When things are going right that I often get away from God.  I don’t mean to do it that though, but I get lost in the good things that are going on and forget to praise him when my family is blending well. 
When we have the right attitude, you can look at every season no matter how challenging it may be, and we can make it through by setting our eyes on God.  We can’t always control our environment but what we can control is our thoughts and attitudes.
“Do not be anxious or worried about anything, but in everything (every circumstance and situation) by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, continue to make your requests known to God” (See Philippians 4:6). Experts say it takes anywhere between three to five years to transition in a blended family. It takes longer when you have a high conflict biological mother too.  The first year is the hardest.  Don’t give up on your blended family. The seasons are going to happen we need to overcome them.  Just know whatever season you are faced with God is on your side.  He’s your biggest cheerleader. You can also “believe you are valuable gift to your family” (Kathi Lipp & Carol Boby; 2015).
It’s just like Jonah waited until he was in the belly of a whale to finally cry out to God for salvation.  Don’t wait until the middle or the end of your season to inquire of God.  When life’s harshness invades your soul, it can be very difficult to pull yourself out. But this is when God’s Spirit already alive within us is activated by our faith.  God doesn't want us to stop living when things get hard but to keep looking to where he is leading our blended family.  Just like when David in the bible, he poured out his heart in worship every day and night to God, David discovered strength his faith rose up.  In your season meditate on God’s word and worship him every day.  He will bring you out of your season.  When you go through a season where you don’t understand, it’s not the end of your blended family.  Keep praying, keep believing, keep hoping because God is for you.  Trust him and believe in him and embrace the good things he has in store for your blended family.  You may be in this season for a reason.  A reason may be to grow and get stronger and to become more of a united blended family. Lastly another reason why you may be going through your season is because it will be used to help someone else’s season down the road. Just look beyond the season you are in right now and see the new thing God is doing in your blended family. Don’t give up, keep strong, keep praying and believing that the best is yet to come with your blended family.

Kathi Lipp & Carol Boby; 2015 but I'm not a wicked Stepmother. Secrets of Successful Blended Families.
Victoria Osteen; 2019 Exceptional You. Seven ways to live encouraged, empowered, and intentional.

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

They are Family Too

I have been married for ten years now but together for 12 years and my mother still doesn’t treat my step kids like they are part of the family. Meaning around the holidays or their birthdays she never buys them anything or even sends a card. However, my Father on the other hand recognizes them every year. Both of my parents are divorced though. It’s so hard to bring this up to my mother because she’s a narcissistic person and she will find a way to turn it around to be my fault somehow. It really hurts me when she can’t accept my step kids as really part of the family.  It’s been very hard and embarrassing when Christmas or their birthday approaches because of that reason. Regardless if she likes it or not, they are part of the family just as much as my own kids are.  My Father seems to get it, wish my mother did too. Even when I have birthday parties for my step kids and invite her, she finds some reason why she can’t attend. My husband says it doesn’t bother him, but it bothers me.  Because I am a stepdaughter too and growing up my stepmoms’ parents treated me very nicely and always got me gifts for my birthdays or Christmas and it made me feel like I was accepted into their family.  They really did care and love me, and I felt it from them. When I got married to my second husband my mother in law at the time would always buy things for my stepdaughter but nothing for my son, which was her step grandchild.  It really hurt my feelings and I always had to explain it to my son because he did ask why she always bought things for Shelby (my stepdaughter) but nothing for him.  Now getting back to my current husband, his family have always accepted my kids since day one and have treated them equally even though they aren’t biological to the family. Wish everyone was more accepting of step kids in every family because they are family to, they might not be biologically related, but they are related by marriage and love. The younger the stepchildren are the harder it is to explain to them why they didn’t receive a gift from their Grandparents. A rejection or recognition of the stepchildren just feels like a rejection of your spouse.  Your spouse is a package deal as you already know that when you married them, however parents don’t always accept the package deal, which is sad because they are missing out on a wonderful relationship that they could have with the step grandchildren. It’s not blood that makes them family it is love. Children that have loving and supportive stepparents and step-grandparents is all what a child needs to have. The more adults that surround a child with love and support is what’s best for the child.
What you can do about it is…
  •         Pray about it and give it to God first before you do the following steps.
  •         Have the talk with your parents and tell them how hurt you are that they don’t recognize the stepchildren as grandchildren of their own.
  •         You can also put your foot down and say if you don’t accept my stepchildren as your own grandchildren then I will not accept gifts for the biological grandchildren either.
  •          Limit the amount of time the grandparents get with all the kids.

The power is in your hands meaning if they don’t accept the stepchildren to then no more visits from any of the children step or biological. Usually by then they will change their ways. You forget how much power you hold with your parents especially when they want to see their biological grandchildren.
Have you ever been put in this situation of stepchildren or biological children not being recognized or celebrated on their special days?