“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans for your welfare, not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11 HCSB
“This wasn’t the life I envisioned for you.”
My well-meaning mother spoke those words to me at the beginning of my relationship with Steve. Her words stung, but she wasn’t saying them to hurt me. She loves me very much, and I really believe she would give years off her own life to spare me the hard and cruel lessons the world can teach.
I was raised to love Jesus and pray. I was raised to remain a virgin until my wedding night. I was raised to do the speed limit, to eat my vegetables, and to get a good education.
I was not raised, at least in my Mother’s opinion at the time, to fall in love with a man who had a three-year-old and an emotionally unstable ex-wife.
My Mom’s soft green eyes looked at me with worry and sadness as she wrung her hands and listened to my latest woes and drama. The blissful beginning that most dating couples face was soon replaced with a stressed out boyfriend, a little boy who missed his dad, and an ex whose disturbingly long phone rants would carry on during (and well past) dinner. Sometimes the only reassurance Mom could give me was a sincere but troubled, “Honey, all I can do is pray for you.”
Little did I know at the time that Jesus was guiding me through one of the darkest valleys of my life and he was raising me up in His OWN way.
Fast forward quite a storied, beautiful and sometimes difficult 17 years. My Mom’s frequent and intentional prayers are felt like warm rays of light all around me. Steve and I are at a good place, a joyful place. My Mom and Dad quickly saw the measure of the man who became my God-fearing and magnificent husband. My Mom now says, “I can’t imagine life without Steve and Keegan. My sweet Lynnette, you are blessed beyond measure.”
Sometimes our limited minds cannot understand the struggle God has purposely planted in our lives. My friend, there is beauty in the struggle. There’s also unexpected elation, gained wisdom, and grace. We can’t comprehend with our human eyes the perfectly designed tapestry of life Jesus has planned for us.
What our loving and great-intentioned family and friends want for us might not align with what GOD wants for us.
Step-moms and step-dads, you will get a bevy of advice during this journey, some good and some not at all. Ask for a discerning heart as you wade through the muck of good intentions. Ask the Lord for wisdom and listen closely as He directs your footsteps. He won’t lead you astray. Your life belongs to Him, and HE envisions for you to be a beautiful story of His mercy and love.
Pray With Me:
“You hear my cries for help, Lord! You ease my despair. Sometimes I get really stubborn and fiercely independent in my thinking. I start out doing things my way, forgetting to relinquish the control to your able Hands. Reel me in today, Lord. You love my strong spirit but you WANT me to depend on you. You are CAPABLE of handling all of this I’m going through for good. I hand it all over to you, and I TRUST you.”
This song is a Mumford and Sons song. I am 100 percent convinced it was written just for us. I’ll be happy to share it with you though. ☺️❤️
I remember you as a boy. Your innocent, saucer-shaped brown eyes looking up at me. Your hand always finding mine, our hearts always looking for security in a time of trouble. Three years old and 28 years old, walking into the great unknown
Sometimes it feels like we grew up together. I had so much to learn about the world. I wanted to shield you from the ugliness of life at the same time. Time would heal us where the wounds were still tender. But your little soul was determined to
You loved even though you were told not to. Your arms were always stretched wide, almost as if you wanted to hug the world. You made room for everyone. You still do. You warm many a forlorn spirit with your hugs and
I saw you smile today. Your eyes were glimmering mischief as you gave me that funny little smirk. Joy danced in your laughter as you shared a funny tale with your Dad and I. It’s times like this when I want time to stand
“Be still and know that I am God”, the Lord says. Be still in the moment and enjoy the boy. Before our very eyes, the time passes quickly and you become a
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. 🙂