Updated: Mar 9
Blending step-families doesn't seem to ever get "easier," but it also doesn't seem to ever stay the same.
Here's a brief recap: My son's dad and I divorced when he was just one year old. Two years later, I met and married my current husband when my son was 3, his son was 4, and his daughter was 5 (see our adorable wedding photo?!). We enjoyed equal joint physical and legal custody of his two children with his ex-wife for the first five years of our marriage, then she moved across the country with her new husband and baby. After many battles, broken dreams, emotional and financial stress, and heartache, it ended up that his daughter moved with her mom and his son stayed with us. We now are raising - and homeschooling - our two boys and get to visit with his daughter a couple times a year. Our relationship with my husband's ex-wife and her husband is not particularly close but my ex-husband is about to marry a wonderful ❤ woman who has two kids of her own. Our family is a glorious mess of blending step-families! I daily praise God for this family He's allowed me to be a part of - in spite of my sin, mistakes, shortcomings, He still loves me and lavishes me with grace upon grace and I am so grateful!
I have so much for which to be thankful:
I have the fully complete and totally undeserved love, forgiveness, and salvation from my Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ.
I have a supportive, loving, God-fearing husband who still makes my heart skip beats after more than ten years (and seriously single-handedly prepares the most wonderful meals).
I have kind-hearted, thoughtful, hard-working sons who love me and teach me just as much about life and love as I teach them about reading, writing, and arithmetic on a daily basis.
My ex-husband and I have an agreeable relationship, and his soon-to-be wife loves my son and his brother, and respects me, my husband, and our family relationships.
My relationship with my husband's daughter, while it's never regained the closeness we had the first five years of our marriage, is improving enough that she actually seems to want to be around me - sometimes!
SO...what do I do about the ungrateful, discontented, sad, lonely, out-of-sorts feelings that tend to plague me in seasons?
Of course, I lay them at God's feet, praying fervently for Him to make all things right for His glory and my good. But, sometimes I find myself sneaking over to that pile of worries and picking them back up again. 🤦🏻♀️ Can you relate to this?
I wonder why it's so difficult sometimes to focus on the most lovely moments of being together and easier to mourn the loss of being in each others' lives consistently?
Unfortunately, I think I do know why...I am still struggling with FORGIVENESS. I find myself feeling angry and bitter over other people's selfish choices....and then I am reminded of Romans 12:18 "If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all."
Some synonyms for PEACEABLY include:
Affably, Agreeably, Amiably, Amicably, Cheerfully, Graciously, Happily, and of course, "Shalom"
Inspired by God, Paul tells us "So far as it depends on you, live in peaceably with all" reminding me that I have no control over what others do! I ONLY have control over MY responses to them. Now, of course we are going to feel angry sometimes - and that is OK in the case of righteous anger. After all, Matthew tells us in chapter 21 that Jesus Himself turned over the money changers tables in His Father's House. He, Who never sinned, had a righteous anger. Therefore, I know that it is ALSO all right for ME to feel angry when someone has done something wrong or hurtful!
But, what I DO about that righteous anger afterward (forgive OR let it stew and grow bitter) is my choice! And I choose - for my children, for my husband, for my own health - to forgive...and forgive...and forgive! It's a process, you know. It's not "one and done."
Thank You, God that You continue to forgive my sins, that You toss them as far away as the east is from the west and that YOU forgive completely, totally, and finally. Please, help me become more like You, Jesus! Amen.
Connect Point Moms helps you create stronger relational connections with the children in your life. This starts with being aware of your own stuff so you can BE PRESENT with your children in the moment you're in, and then knowing and using the best ways to communicate with them! For quick, helpful videos on topics like this one and more, find "Kate Connects" on YouTube!