My Husband · Promise of God's Protection

Patience and Understanding

“Let your hope keep you joyful, be patient in your troubles, and pray at all times.”  Romans 12:12

Whether this is your first marriage or second, marrying someone who already has children is quite the life challenge.  Many days it’s rewarding and wonderful, but if we are to be honest it is STILL a challenge.  I don’t think you’d be reading this right now if you weren’t faced with some obstacles, and I know I would not be writing and sharing with you had I not faced some of the same obstacles.  Thankfully, our roads converge today and we can be open and honest about one of the greatest emotional mountains you will climb.

Most romantic relationships and marriages go through a “honeymoon phase”.  The length of this blissful time when you and your partner are converging lives could be a few months or a few years.  When you immediately add a child that is not biologically connected to the both of you, often hurdles are in your path right away, and the starry eyes see reality.  Some days you will soar over them with grace, and some days you will be bandaging wounds.  But, your attitude towards the hurdles and what you learn from them can plant seeds of growth in your marriage or foster bitter resentments.  Attitude also determines your effectiveness as a stepparent.  Let’s face it, attitude has the ability to determine our quality of LIFE!

I’m sure there’s a key word that keeps popping in your research and devotions.  That powerful and oh so important word is – COMMUNICATION.  Along with prayer and a constructive attitude needs to be some quality talking time with your partner.  To be blunt, if you aren’t making time and really LISTENING to each other, you are building the foundation of your relationship on sand.  The very nature of blended families craves a rock-solid foundation for survival.  This takes both of you.  

There’s so much intimacy in understanding what your partner is going through.  As much as we want to be heard, our partner wants to have a voice as well.  Speaking for my own situation, there was a definite grieving period my husband experienced when his child no longer lived with him full-time.  He loved his little boy, and losing a daily connection to his son for a while was troubling for him.  

He also was fresh out of an emotionally draining divorce process that included child custody, child support, and alimony proceedings.  There’s little time to mourn the loss of a marriage when the best interest of a child needs to be the focus of attention.  Sometimes he was “distant” and I didn’t understand.  I tried to fill the silence in the air and fill the void in his heart.  Time would teach me that he was still processing so much change, just like all of us in the dynamic were trying to do.  Time also would reveal that the void would remain, but years of love would promote healing, joyful memories would solidify our bond, and I would hold a very significant and important place in his heart AND our family.  

I ask that you take today and focus on you and the love of your life, your sweetheart.  Your spouse should be the most important person on earth to you, and vice versa.  Honoring and loving Christ first and your marriage next before all others is the best way to honor and love your children. 

Individual/Group Discussion:

What mistakes do you not want to repeat in your relationship that happened in your previous relationship? 

What role do you see yourself playing long-term in the life of your stepchild(ren)?

Where are you and you partner making great strides together?  What areas do you want to ask God for guidance?

Take Care of YOU

Fill Your Own Vessel First – Guest Blogger Kristie Carpenter, The Blended Family Mom, Shares Some Wisdom

“I put off a lot of things when the kids were all here under one roof.  I focused on who needed to be where at what time. I facilitated family night. I felt mostly like hiding.  

I was so busy functioning just to survive that I forgot about myself. How about you?  Are so fiercely trying to keep your head above water that you have forfeited being freshened?

As busy are you are; as frantic as your family seems to be, you have to create the space for firm boundaries so you can form a thought from time to time.

Jesus stole away to seek the Father’s guidance. He created the space and time just to be in prayer and communication with God.  He sought that time with God to fill, replenish and rejuvenate His mind, body and soul – all to step back into His role and pour out Himself to those around Him. 

You cannot pour into others until you are a filled vessel.  If you are trying to give and give without receiving, then you are going to be pouring out impatience, anxiety, sarcasm, and lots of other nasty, not-nice qualities.  

Go get your Bible. Open it up and pick a place to start. I recently started First Corinthians.  Take some deep breaths. Ask God to show you something from the pages. Then pray over yourself and your husband, family, friends and anyone else you have had contact with who seemed like they needed some prayer. 

Fill up first…then pour forth!

Blessings in your Blending!”

Interested in One-On-One “Coaching and Coffee?” I would LOVE to connect with you, and help with your blended family journey! For those in the Abilene, TX area, I am happy to meet with you in person; for others, we can do these sessions via Skype, FaceTime, or Facebook Messenger … whichever works best for you! Email me at theblendedfamilymom@gmail.com for rates and more information!

(Women’s author, speaker and mentor Kristie Carpenter, aka The Blended Family Mom, has been a blended family/step mom since 2004; her blended family currently includes four children and four grandchildren. Follow Kristie on Facebook (facebook.com/theblendedfamilymom), Twitter (twitter.com/blendedfamilym), and Instagram (instagram.com/theblendedfamilymom/). Her books – “The Blended Family Mom,” and “Blended Mom Moments,” are both available on her website at theblendedfamilymom.com)

— 
Kristie Carpenter
The Blended Family Mom
theblendedfamilymom@gmail.com
WEB: www.theblendedfamilymom.com
Facebook: facebook.com/theblendedfamilymom
Twitter: @blendedfamilym
Instagram: theblendedfamilymom
BLOG: theblendedfamilymom.wordpress.com

Me :)

Solitude Leads To Gratitude


I’m an only child. I grew up with a lot of silence and space. Now, as an adult, I CRAVE silence and space. I get cranky when there’s too much noise. I don’t need lots of friends. I don’t have the desire to be in large crowds. I’m honestly very comfortable in my own skin, in my own surroundings.

Today has been a perfect opportunity to have silence and space. I think it’s been well over a year since I’ve had the house to myself for a large expanse of the day. Steve and Keegan are at a Colts/Titans game in Tennessee this evening. I teach with VIP KID and did not want to cancel any classes. I told them to have some great father-son time and make some good memories!

What do I do when I have those quiet but blessed moments of solitude?

  • I love uninterrupted reading time. When I’m not working on writing my own devotional, I read. I am reading about four books at the same time. I am devouring Rachel Hollis’ “Girl, Wash Your Face”, I’m reading “God Speed – Steering Through Triumph and Tragedy” by Chad Bonham for the third time, and I’m reading Dr. Lofas’ “Stepparenting: Everything You Need To Know to Make It Work”. I love her books, and they help me with material for my social media work for the Stepfamily Foundation. I LOVE books about self-improvement. There’s always room for inspiration and growth! I also read the Bible. I’ve finished the Books of Genesis and Job in my quest to complete the Bible in a year.
  • I write. Two jobs, being a wife and mother, keeping up with a busy home, and traveling afford little time to keep up with my blog like I want to. When I get that random quiet day or block of hours, I work on my stepfamily devotional, I blog, or I write my dear friend Jane. Everyone needs a Jane, a trusted same-sex confidant.
  • I nap. Yes, I admit that. I have asthma and get tired easy. I make no apologies for that. Sometimes that blessed hour of deep sleeps totally recharges my mood, my thought processes for work and writing, and…my skin. I always have a healthy glow after a good slumber.
  • I do housework. I’m not ashamed to admit that, either. I love a clean house. It really makes me feel refreshed and centered when I can see a clean kitchen and family room at the start (and throughout) the day. Just speaking for myself, it makes me feel accomplished even if the work day has been ho-hum.
  • I exercise. There’s something so therapeutic about putting on my headphones and blasting some classic grunge (I’m a 90’s girl) or some old school Metallica.
  • Last but never, ever least – I miss my man and our little family. Steve is my best friend in this whole world. I miss my husband. It’s good to miss someone. It shows they occupy a very important place in your heart.

Solitude makes me temporarily happy, but seeing my boys walk through the door at 5 am tomorrow morning will make this lady very grateful indeed. 🙂