Check out this video to see how you can take the gifts you have been given and use them to bless your family! https://www.facebook.com/theblendedfamilymom/videos/780180385493317/
Check out this video to see my challenge and encouragement for Dads. https://www.facebook.com/theblendedfamilymom/videos/776401752537847/
Check out this video to see how I figured out that we all need a helping hand at times. https://www.facebook.com/theblendedfamilymom/videos/772229412955081/
Check out this video to see how I learned that our families need love, attention, and being intentional with our time with them. https://www.facebook.com/theblendedfamilymom/videos/768624543315568/
Check out this video to see my challenge to do One Thing for 30 days. https://www.facebook.com/theblendedfamilymom/videos/765040120340677/
Check out this video to learn about a love not your own. https://www.facebook.com/theblendedfamilymom/videos/761682654009757/
Check out this video to see my message to stepmoms and stepkids alike. https://www.facebook.com/theblendedfamilymom/videos/758330397678316/
Check out this video to see what I told one stepmom-to-be on how to better blend. https://www.facebook.com/theblendedfamilymom/videos/754997614678261/
Check out this video to see how I learned to not be intimidated by the “perfect” Proverbs 31 Woman. https://www.facebook.com/theblendedfamilymom/videos/747899365388086/
Check out this video to see my compact life, marriage and blended family plan! https://www.facebook.com/theblendedfamilymom/videos/744001385777884/
Check out this video to see how I learned to choose love. https://www.facebook.com/theblendedfamilymom/videos/739840189527337/
Check out this video to see how God delivered me from what I thought were impossible situations! https://www.facebook.com/theblendedfamilymom/videos/734966933347996/
Check out this video to see how – in the “rabbit holes” of life – we sometimes find our purpose. https://www.facebook.com/theblendedfamilymom/videos/730932677084755/
Check out this video to see how I figured out that you – fellow blended family mom - and I are “normal!” https://www.facebook.com/theblendedfamilymom/videos/726488730862483/
Check out this video to see how I learned how to take my thoughts captive and overcome a master manipulator! https://www.facebook.com/theblendedfamilymom/videos/722742451237111/
Check out this video to see how I learned that there are lessons to learn from kittens and stepchildren alike! https://www.facebook.com/theblendedfamilymom/videos/718955968282426/
Check out this video to learn about God’s ‘No-Fail’ Recipe!
Check out this video to see how I learned to stand firm, hang tough and decide - choose - to be steadfast. https://www.facebook.com/theblendedfamilymom/videos/712316428946380/
Check out this video to see what I learned about how our political system can be somewhat compared to our blended families. https://www.facebook.com/theblendedfamilymom/videos/708270346017655/
Check out this video to see how the word “moxie” is helping me craft my life this year! https://www.facebook.com/theblendedfamilymom/videos/704886716356018/
Check out this video to see how I learned to be "joyful in hope!" https://www.facebook.com/theblendedfamilymom/videos/701178346726855/
Check out this video to see how I learned to let God use me in a mighty way! https://www.facebook.com/theblendedfamilymom/videos/696950583816298/
Check out this video to see how I learned to encourage, guide and mentor my kids … both bio and step. https://www.facebook.com/theblendedfamilymom/videos/692937460884277/
Blended families … It can work. Check out this video to learn more! https://www.facebook.com/theblendedfamilymom/videos/688839637960726/
Check out this video to see why each New Year is filled with hope! https://www.facebook.com/theblendedfamilymom/videos/685397108304979/
Check out this video to see why the Christmas story still amazes me. https://www.facebook.com/theblendedfamilymom/videos/681966148648075/
Check out this video to see how I learned how forgiveness took pounds off and added years to my life! https://www.facebook.com/theblendedfamilymom/videos/678817282296295/
Check out this video to see how I learned to look at every member of my blended family with compassion. https://www.facebook.com/theblendedfamilymom/videos/675072619337428/
Check out this video to learn about the greatest gift of the season! https://www.facebook.com/theblendedfamilymom/videos/670697886441568/
My Thankfulness List may look a bit different from yours ... some may find it morbid. I find it liberating! Check out this video! https://www.facebook.com/theblendedfamilymom/videos/666661883511835/
One of the great lessons I have learned in life is that “Sin always rises to the top.” Check out this video for more! https://www.facebook.com/theblendedfamilymom/videos/663206583857365/
Check out this video to see how I kept from jumping off a cliff in my blended family. https://www.facebook.com/theblendedfamilymom/videos/659868694191154/
Check out this video to see how I learned a life lesson through puppy poop! https://www.facebook.com/theblendedfamilymom/videos/656147874563236/
How do you make a marriage work where there is 69 percent disagreement? Check out this video and I’ll explain it to you! https://www.facebook.com/theblendedfamilymom/videos/652446401600050/
Do you know the ABCs of communicating with your stepkids? Check out this video to learn more! https://www.facebook.com/theblendedfamilymom/videos/648246075353416/
Watch this video where I share two more tools to building a better blended family! https://www.facebook.com/theblendedfamilymom/videos/644084679102889/
Check out this video where I share two tools that are key to building a better blended family! https://www.facebook.com/theblendedfamilymom/videos/640348462809844/
What to do when faced with a difficult ex-wife? Check out this video to see for yourself! https://www.facebook.com/theblendedfamilymom/videos/636937659817591/
Ever feel “consumed” by problems with the ex-? Check out this video and see my solution. https://www.facebook.com/theblendedfamilymom/videos/633564323488258/
Watch this video and see how I learned that “love is an action!” https://www.facebook.com/theblendedfamilymom/videos/630243483820342/
I learned humility the hard way in my blended family; check out this video to see how! https://www.facebook.com/theblendedfamilymom/videos/626785914166099/
Have you ever noticed how things of great value usually come at a great price? Check out this video! https://www.facebook.com/theblendedfamilymom/videos/623421691169188/
You are now the “master chef” as you blend your family. Blend carefully. Check out this video for more! https://www.facebook.com/theblendedfamilymom/videos/620210914823599/
I was recently asked to speak to a group of women and share my story of how to become an Overcomer in Christ - in heels no less! Check out this video for more! https://www.facebook.com/theblendedfamilymom/videos/617099205134770/
God is compassionate and very, very patient. He is not looking to ban us from His existence; He is looking to draw us into His presence and His plan. Check out this video for more! https://www.facebook.com/theblendedfamilymom/videos/613846352126722/
Your dance in this blended family comes with sudden moves, hidden obstacles, and maybe a dip or two. Jesus is the perfect partner – let Him lead. Check out this video for more! https://www.facebook.com/theblendedfamilymom/videos/610309665813724/
Many of you are beating your heads against a wall trying to be this amazing wife and step mom - building a strong marriage as well as setting up a new home and creating stability and security for his kids. I'm going to give you a strategy to maybe make the journey a little less frustrating. Check out this video for more! https://www.facebook.com/theblendedfamilymom/videos/607024496142241/
Pray about what God has gifted you with. No matter how big or small the gifts are, lift them up to God and ask Him to bless them. Check out more in this video! https://www.facebook.com/theblendedfamilymom/videos/603632989814725/
What can we learn from six little verses in one chapter of Psalms in the Bible? Check out this video to see for yourself! https://www.facebook.com/theblendedfamilymom/videos/600627933448564/
I've been researching, learning and praying -- and I think I just might have a “green thumb” for planting – and growing - a blended family! Learn more in this video! https://www.facebook.com/theblendedfamilymom/videos/597596467085044/
Why don't we use our ears more, allowing those around us to trust they are being heard, and we value their thoughts and opinions? Check out this video for more! https://www.facebook.com/theblendedfamilymom/videos/592348510943173/
Your blended family is going to be a struggle at times. You need people to pray for your family. We all need a helping hand at times. Maybe at some point, you will be a helping hand to someone else! Check out this video for more! https://www.facebook.com/theblendedfamilymom/videos/589856431192381/
Check out this video to see what I learned recently when Dan and I updated our Wills. https://www.facebook.com/theblendedfamilymom/videos/586064851571539/
As a stepmom, you have tremendous potential to make a difference in your stepchildren's lives. It may not be recognized at this time, but it will impact them. Check out this video for more! https://www.facebook.com/theblendedfamilymom/videos/584098858434805/
Check out this video, and see what I told a "soon-to-be-stepmom" on how to handle a his kids/her kids situation. https://www.facebook.com/theblendedfamilymom/videos/581720395339318/
God did not leave us to be wives, mom and stepmoms without a guidebook. Check out this video for more! https://www.facebook.com/theblendedfamilymom/videos/575410569303634/
You are a one of a kind! Focus on doing what God called you to do - and that is to be the best wife and mom and stepmom you can be. Watch this video for more! https://www.facebook.com/theblendedfamilymom/videos/575402629304428/
Are you carrying hurts and resentments from the past? Watch this video and see how you can “unshackle yourself.” https://www.facebook.com/theblendedfamilymom/videos/573425556168802/
As a blended family mom, I know you are in a hard place today. Watch this video and be encouraged. https://www.facebook.com/theblendedfamilymom/videos/570001489844542/
Check out this video to see how I learned to overcome feelings of inadequacy as a blended family mom. https://www.facebook.com/theblendedfamilymom/videos/568475776663780/
Check out this video for thirteen virtues you can call your own. https://www.facebook.com/theblendedfamilymom/videos/565262566985101/
Check out this video to see how you can “put on a little kindness” in your blended family. https://www.facebook.com/theblendedfamilymom/videos/561615090683182/
How do you build up the members of your family? I believe people rise to our expectations. Check out this video for more. https://www.facebook.com/theblendedfamilymom/videos/559412800903411/
Check out this video to learn more about my Basic Four B's to build a better blended family: Boundaries. Balance. Budget. Brainstorm. https://www.facebook.com/theblendedfamilymom/videos/557006734477351/
Check out this video for a special letter to Stepdads. https://www.facebook.com/theblendedfamilymom/videos/551761415001883/
Tim Burton's "Alice in Wonderland" captured my attention because Alice had a list. Her list looks different from mine, but I'm going to follow her example. Check out this video for more: https://www.facebook.com/theblendedfamilymom/videos/547637472080944/
Love your kiddos like they need to be loved - with action and by feeling. Hear more in this video! https://www.facebook.com/theblendedfamilymom/videos/547214672123224/
After watching the Tim Burton movie version of “Alice in Wonderland,” I found myself drawn to Alice's responses to falling down a rabbit hole. Hear more in this video: https://www.facebook.com/theblendedfamilymom/videos/543215839189774/
Beat the statistics and build your life and marriage on the only foundation that is unshakable - whether it’s your first marriage or your fourth. Check out more in this video! https://www.facebook.com/theblendedfamilymom/videos/540252999486058/
Ever consider that you were placed in your blended family for “such a time as this?” Check out this video for more: https://www.facebook.com/theblendedfamilymom/videos/539698199541538/
Ah, February - the month that brings about so much anxiety in a woman's heart. Valentine's Day is either loved or hated. Check out this video for more: https://www.facebook.com/theblendedfamilymom/videos/532566450254713/
I have a love/hate relationship with the Proverbs 31 woman. I certainly was not like her in my first marriage. As a blended family mom, I fall further away from even being able to stand in her shadow. The more I have thought about her, the more I wanted to see what she would look like today. Check out more in this video: https://www.facebook.com/theblendedfamilymom/videos/532545226923502/?video_source=pages_finch_main_video
What is family? I think I have this figured out finally. It is the collection of people God has placed in my life - so they may be loved and served by me. Check out this video for more: https://www.facebook.com/theblendedfamilymom/videos/532302090281149/?video_source=pages_finch_main_video
You are normal. I wish someone would have shared those words with me when I was up to my eyeballs in misery and thinking; "I can't take this anymore. God, why would you do this to me; I don't see this family ever blending!" Hear more in this video: https://www.facebook.com/theblendedfamilymom/videos/528146190696739/?video_source=pages_finch_thumbnail_video
As a new wife back in the 1980s, I remember a saying about marriage being 50/50. At the time, that saying made perfect sense. Hear more in this video: https://www.facebook.com/theblendedfamilymom/videos/525971920914166/?video_source=pages_finch_thumbnail_video
Life may have dealt you some hard knocks, but I'm telling you, the beauty of endurance and diligence, patience and compassion, love and a willingness to follow God and His plan - in obedience - will bring about a sweetness to your life that you never imagined. Check out this video for more: https://www.facebook.com/theblendedfamilymom/videos/524687844375907/
You can walk in freedom only Jesus can give you, and that precious freedom is your belief in Jesus. Check out this video for more: https://www.facebook.com/theblendedfamilymom/videos/519913888186636/?video_source=pages_finch_thumbnail_video&theater
You can walk in freedom only Jesus can give you, and that precious freedom is your belief in Jesus. Check out this video for more. https://www.facebook.com/theblendedfamilymom/videos/519913888186636/
How many pounds of unforgiveness are you carrying? The hurt and bitterness really don't weigh much at all at first. Your unwillingness to forgive others will weigh you down. Check out this video for more! https://www.facebook.com/theblendedfamilymom/videos/515463315298360/
We can learn so much from Jesus’ examples of compassion. What if you looked at each member of your blended family with compassion? Check out this video for more: https://www.facebook.com/theblendedfamilymom/videos/513276325517059/?theater
Before we, as moms, go into hyper drive with holiday preparation, I want to remind you of the most precious gift you will ever receive. See and hear more in this video: https://www.facebook.com/theblendedfamilymom/videos/510997142411644/
No matter what season of life you are in, be thankful. The season may be difficult, but just wait; God works in every season, and every situation, and then before you know it, the season changes. Check out this video for more: https://www.facebook.com/theblendedfamilymom/videos/509773225867369/
I've been thinking about kittens and step children. You might laugh, but there are lessons here for us step moms to consider. Check out this video: https://www.facebook.com/theblendedfamilymom/videos/507541226090569/
Are you in a tough marriage? Are you not bonding with his children? Is this blended mom thing too difficult? So many questions you can keep asking, but God is telling you, I picked you. Check out this video for more: https://www.facebook.com/theblendedfamilymom/videos/vb.243279719183389/505493289628696/?type=2&theater
I recently asked my stepdaughter, Emily, to think of several helpful pointers for blended family moms from the stepchild's perspective. Check out what she said in this video! https://www.facebook.com/theblendedfamilymom/videos/vb.243279719183389/503486403162718/?type=2&theater
Before you start a recipe, you always check your ingredients to see if you have what it takes to make it. The wonderful thing about God's recipes, is that the ingredients always seem to show up just when you need them! Check out this video for more! https://www.facebook.com/theblendedfamilymom/videos/vb.243279719183389/501630593348299/?type=2&theater
My new book is NOW AVAILABLE!! Go to my "Purchase" page to order your - SIGNED - copy today!!
The biggest problem with blended families is that usually both husband and wife go into the marriage with a “wait and see” attitude. They hope it works, but they have already allowed an “escape clause.” Check out this video for the best way to go "all in." https://www.facebook.com/theblendedfamilymom/videos/499449056899786/
Today is “get a backbone” type of day. I am concerned that we talk and teach “happy” and “hang in there,” but don't look at the reality of this life not being about smooth sailing and being happy. Check out this video for more! https://www.facebook.com/theblendedfamilymom/videos/497950257049666/
This blending of broken families just may be the hardest thing you have ever attempted. But be creative and open to keep trying new things until something works. Check out this video for more! https://www.facebook.com/theblendedfamilymom/videos/vb.243279719183389/495217877322904/?type=2&theater
If you are in a difficult marriage, an impossible stepfamily situation, or a single mom just trying to figure things out, let the woman in this video's stepmom be an example of the beauty of what can be when you stand firm and hang tough and decide - choose - to be steadfast. https://www.facebook.com/theblendedfamilymom/videos/493724460805579/
I love Fall! I embrace the change of season, the weather, decorations, smells, and tastes. Check out this video for more! https://www.facebook.com/theblendedfamilymom/videos/vb.243279719183389/491645631013462/?type=2&theater
God uses some rather unusual tactics to get my attention. I'm particularly fond of the time He used poop to make a point. Check out this video for more: https://www.facebook.com/theblendedfamilymom/videos/490808587763833/
I'm rockin' my Superhero StepMom cape today ... how about you?!? Check out this video for more: https://www.facebook.com/theblendedfamilymom/videos/488784264632932/
Did you know that 69% of all conflicts in marriage are perpetual ... meaning they have no resolution? Check out this video for more: https://www.facebook.com/theblendedfamilymom/videos/vb.243279719183389/483446228500069/?type=2&theater
You and your husband may never be on the same page of parenting, but I would like to give you some ideas for preventive maintenance. Check out this video:https://www.facebook.com/theblendedfamilymom/videos/483432168501475/
Does your blended family dynamic include a list of impossibilities to work through? Do you need an outside perspective and some help figuring out how to blend this family? Check out this video for more! https://www.facebook.com/theblendedfamilymom/videos/vb.243279719183389/474704782707547/?type=2&theater
Today, I want to ask you focus on how cleanliness and organization could be a help towards a smoother life, a calmer home atmosphere, and maybe, just maybe, a more positive mindset that will allow you to not only be on top of things inside your home realm, but then also to extend your gifts and talents outside your home. Check out more in this video: https://www.facebook.com/theblendedfamilymom/videos/vb.243279719183389/474586376052721/?type=2&theater
Parenting is tough. There isn't an instruction manual given with each child at birth, so we either parent as our parents did, or we disagree with how we were raised and do something totally different. Check out this video for more! https://www.facebook.com/theblendedfamilymom/videos/vb.243279719183389/474500119394680/?type=2&theater
Cows and hope. This has been my journey for over a month. I believe I had lost hope. I trusted God for my future and ministry, but quit allowing myself to dream and have hopes about how the ministry could potentially look like. I was doing the work but not expecting anything amazing. Check out this video for more:https://www.facebook.com/theblendedfamilymom/videos/vb.243279719183389/472054739639218/?type=2&theater
In one of my favorite movies, an actor says, “"If someone prays for patience, do you think God gives them patience or does He give them the opportunity to be patient?” What do you think? Check out more in this video: https://www.facebook.com/theblendedfamilymom/videos/vb.243279719183389/467384640106228/?type=2&theater
I love tools. I have already shared some tools with you to use in your blended family - lighting, and the tool of obedience to God - even though it may not popular - and possibly more difficult. As I have been thinking about tools we have to make a difference in our families, I keep hearing the words, grace and mercy. Check out this video for more! https://www.facebook.com/theblendedfamilymom/videos/vb.243279719183389/467371083440917/?type=2&theater
I love to create - whether it be woodworking, crafts - or even home improvement projects. It's fun to be struck with an idea and actually have all the supplies needed to make the idea come to fruition. Check out this video for more: https://www.facebook.com/theblendedfamilymom/videos/vb.243279719183389/464882577023101/?type=2&theater
Take some time today to think about one thing that you can easily and intentionally do for the next 30 days that would help you extend your love over your step children and bring about stronger relationships ... check out this video for more! https://www.facebook.com/theblendedfamilymom/videos/vb.243279719183389/461603404017685/?type=2&theater
For the month of July, I am offering YOU the opportunity to get a FREE e-copy of my first book, "The Blended Family Mom: Interactive Devotionals to 'Stir and Mix' Your Blended Family" ... all you have to do is E-MAIL ME (through my Contact Page)!! ALSO ... if you want another copy for a friend (or fellow blended family mom), I'm running a SPECIAL ($1 for the e-book; $5 (plus s&h) for the printed copy). To order from my web site, go to the Purchase Page.
Specifically place positive words into your children's lives. Encourage them to dream and then - back up their dreams! Then - and this may be the hardest - go ahead and let yourself hear you say something good about you! Check out this video for more: https://www.facebook.com/theblendedfamilymom/videos/vb.243279719183389/459165274261498/?type=2&theater
Act and the feeling will follow. I love this saying! How many of you blended moms married into your new family and automatically fell head over heels with your newly added children? I'm hoping many of you did. Check out this video for more! https://www.facebook.com/theblendedfamilymom/videos/458025001042192/
"I've lost hope." I hear these words quite often from my readers. I've been there myself. I didn't have anyone in my life who had traveled my same path and didn't have the encouragement to keep my spirits up. I want to be that encouragement for you today. Check out this video ... https://www.facebook.com/theblendedfamilymom/videos/vb.243279719183389/455655004612525/?type=2&theater
Can you relate to this? This blended family is hard enough trying to figure out how to parent your stepchildren, remove established boundaries between your kids and his kids and help everyone grow in this new mix of a family. And then we add some verbal digs from an ex-wife… sometimes makes me just shake my head! Check out this video for more! https://www.facebook.com/theblendedfamilymom/videos/vb.243279719183389/450785638432795/?type=2&theater
As step moms, we all have a set of tools we can use to draw our step children into this new family. So get your pen and paper and draw up some plans; then implement! Check out this video for more: https://www.facebook.com/theblendedfamilymom/videos/vb.243279719183389/448573148654044/?type=2&theater
If you are questioning why you decided to attempt being a step mom, take a look at this video: https://www.facebook.com/theblendedfamilymom/videos/vb.243279719183389/437535293091163/?type=2&theater
This video/audio is for the StepDads (don't tune it out, though, moms!). I am aware of the heavy responsibility you carry to provide for your family and home. I am aware that leaving for your job every day seems more like an escape for a moment of peace; to not be pulled from one problem to another. Blended family dad: be the brave and courageous leader I know you are. Dads AND moms: listen to this video, and be encouraged!: https://www.facebook.com/theblendedfamilymom/videos/vb.243279719183389/442757619235597/?type=2&theater
Happy Mother's Day to ALL the moms out there ... step, blended, "other," traditional ... whatever term you use to be a mom. You are special, and I pray your kids - all of them - let you know just how much you are loved!
This one's for you, moms! https://www.facebook.com/theblendedfamilymom/videos/vb.243279719183389/441154132729279/?type=2&theater
What can we learn from cows about being in a blended family? Find out in this video! https://www.facebook.com/theblendedfamilymom/videos/vb.243279719183389/437532863091406/?type=2&theater
Thank you Huffington Post for the opportunity to tell my story! http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/04/24/tips-on-parenting-in-a-blended-family_n_7104390.html?ncid=tweetlnkushpmg00000042
I'm curious to know how many women that marry and become step moms jump into their new family dynamic with guns blazing and an attitude of you're the “new sheriff in town.” I remember thinking that Dan's ex-wives didn't have a clue on how to be married or stay married so I was gonna straighten this man out ... his kids ... my kids and this new home. I know some of you are laughing at this point ... probably because you felt the same way as me! Check out this video, and then share your "sheriff" story with me ... I'd love to hear about it! https://www.facebook.com/theblendedfamilymom/videos/vb.243279719183389/429497350561624/?type=2&theater
Thank you Huffington Post for the opportunity to tell my story! http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/04/24/tips-on-parenting-in-a-blended-family_n_7104390.html?ncid=tweetlnkushpmg00000042
I had to learn the hard way that I couldn't come in "with guns blazing" in my blended family and change the world. I learned that I had to step carefully because the carnage of the past is still very present in the live of my husband and his children - not to mention what me and my children have had to live through. Can you relate??? I encourage you to step carefully and humbly as you let this new family know that you are here to love, serve, guide and provide. Check out my latest BLOG post for more: https://theblendedfamilymom.wordpress.com/2015/04/24/humility/
If you are able, I would encourage you to attend this Summit! Dan and I went last year, and were blessed beyond belief! Check it out here: http://www.familylife.com/BlendedandBlessed2015
So you may not be "feeling" your blended (or traditional!) family dynamics today. Let me encourage you to trust in God and remain steadfast. Check out this video: https://www.facebook.com/theblendedfamilymom/videos/vb.243279719183389/429495040561855/?type=2&theater
Have you ever noticed how things of great value usually come at a great price - such as time, labor, finances, and sacrifices? You are not expected to make this blended family thing work - God is. God wants your dedication and perseverance - He will show you what His power and love can do. You will one day look back over the years and be filled with joy knowing that you are reaping a harvest because you were steadfast. Check out my latest BLOG post for more! https://theblendedfamilymom.wordpress.com/
Livestock Lessons for Step Moms! Yes, God gives me many different ways to understand Him and get His point across. Even the beauty of a stuffed bovine toy was used to help me understand some family life dynamics! Check out my latest BLOG post for more: https://theblendedfamilymom.wordpress.com/2015/04/14/livestock-lessons-for-step-moms/
Have you come into your new family with your own expectations? Have you decided that your marriage would work a certain way? Have you assumed your step children will love you immediately and do things as you want? Do you believe that your husband will realize that your way of parenting is the best? Check out this video for some more insight on expectations: https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=429476323897060&set=vb.243279719183389&type=2&theater
How many times have I created grand scenarios in my life involving family, friends or experiences only to end up in the realm of reality with a bitter taste in my mouth? If I would have walked into relationships and situations with little or no expectations, I would not have been so disappointed. I guess I have set myself up for failure too many times. But the good thing about doing things the wrong way, is that at some point you hopefully learn how to do things the right way! Check out my latest BLOG post for more: https://theblendedfamilymom.wordpress.com/2015/04/10/expectations/
Your blended family's blending may look desperate and hopeless. Today, you might completely relate to how Jonah (in the Bible story) was feeling in the belly of that whale; your marriage is rocky due to the past haunting you, and the present holding back; your step kids may be resistant to any kindness you show them; your kids may be resentful that a new regime has taken over. So many barriers, and yet, if you will quit trying to be everything for everyone and follow God in obedience, you will be able to repeat Jonah's words, "with a song of thanksgiving, I will sacrifice to You." Check out this video, and be encouraged: https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=427540334090659&set=vb.243279719183389&type=2&theater
Your dance in this blended family comes with sudden moves, hidden obstacles, maybe a dip or two. Quit trying to lead. Stop expecting another human to be able to lead in the way you need and desire. Check out this video ... I pray it encourages you: https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=421609888017037
I enjoy watching people dance. You can tell how long they have danced with each other by their fluid movements and in-sync patterns. It's almost as if you can't tell where one partner ends and the other starts – it’s quite beautiful. This one-ness didn't just happen. Trust and faith, understanding and adjusting come with time, patience and practice. The smallest pressures of a hand can signal when to turn, twirl, go forward or backward, slow up or quick step. Check out my latest BLOG post to learn more: https://theblendedfamilymom.wordpress.com/2015/03/27/are-you-trying-to-lead/
I just love each and every one of you on this journey. You have a special heart to even think about attempting to be a part of a blended family. God has given you what you need to be where you are. This family needs you. And … you need this family. Check out one of my favorite BLOG posts, and be encouraged: https://theblendedfamilymom.wordpress.com/2014/11/25/hang-in-hang-on/
Psalm 23. One small chapter. Six little verses. Six keys to an abundant, exciting journey. Check out this video for encouragement on your blended family journey.
I remember somewhere in the recesses of my brain from childhood memorizing Psalm 23. I didn't have all the symbolism figured out - just knew that it was a chapter that was to comfort me during dark times and encourage during challenging times. Not long ago, I was going through my Bible and found this chapter sectioned out from a previous lesson or sermon. I never realized that this chapter basically contains six different characteristics of how our walk with Christ should look. It stood out to me and is still drawing me in farther. Check out my latest BLOG post, and let it encourage you for your journey.www.theblendedfamilymom.wordpress.com
Turn up the heat on your blended family ...check out this video: https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=413547175489975&set=vb.243279719183389&type=2&theater
If your blended family is really struggling to mesh, be comforted in knowing that your qualities and actions will be remembered - maybe not today - maybe not this year. But they will definitely begin the process of melting harsh attitudes and hardened hearts so that some blending can take place. Check out my latest BLOG post for more: https://theblendedfamilymom.wordpress.com/2015/03/14/turn-up-the-heat/
Step/Blended Family Moms: you ARE going to find numerous times where you are in a situation you don't want to be in, or having to do something you don't want to do. I pray you are encouraged by this video: https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=413537358824290&set=vb.243279719183389&type=2&theater
The next time you are frustrated with your life as a step mom, try going back to the very basics of love. Learn more in this video: https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=408204872690872&set=vr.408204872690872&type=2&theater
If you want to know about flowers, you go talk to a florist. If you want to learn about cars, you could get to know a mechanic. But where would you go to find out everything there is to learn about love? Check out my latest BLOG post to see: www.theblendedfamilymom.wordpress.com
Love is patient; love is kind; it does not envy ... hmm, let's stop there. If you are a woman who is in a blended family and have never felt the twinge of jealousy from your husband's past relationships - then I believe you just might be a saint! LOL. Check out this video for more: https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=407097216134971&set=vr.407097216134971&type=2&theater
I was privileged to guest blog for fellow blended family mom, Katy Flint; check it out here: https://t.co/tB4uBM0o2n
“I finally met the man of my dreams … this new marriage will be wonderful!”
“His kids are great … it won’t be a problem to step in and be a step parent!!”
“Parenting stepchildren is no different than parenting my own kids.”
Did you ever make any of these statements, or think any of these thoughts? Did you find them to be totally true in your new blended family? Check out my latest BLOG post to see how these myths were initially true for Dan and I, and how we learned to live successfully as a blended family: https://theblendedfamilymom.wordpress.com/
There are several causes of resentment in our lives; what people say about us, what they think about us, and what they do to us. When I first married Dan, his ex-wife and I would periodically talk on the phone when there was a situation with one of the kids. Resentment abounded ... she caused chaos; she caused doubt in my mind regarding my ability as a parent, and then, she posed a threat to my marriage. Check out this video for more: https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=403323073179052&set=vr.403323073179052&type=2&theater
I enjoy thinking about all the romantic aspects of love … the kindness, tenderness, compassion, kisses and hugs. I believe that the more we focus on the beauty of the loves in our lives – the positive things – the more joy we seemingly have. But what if we can’t move forward in love due to some hurts and resentments from the past. Check out the "rest of the story" in my latest BLOG post: https://theblendedfamilymom.wordpress.com/
Being the step parent in a marriage is like walking on eggshells … especially in the area of discipline. I raised my children with a wooden spoon to the backside when needed. Dan didn't use swats to discipline his children. So how did we figure this out? Well, let's just say hindsight is 20/20. Check out this video for "the rest of the story!" https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=401632766681416&set=vr.401632766681416&type=2&theater
Daily love. Daily dig into the dreams and desires of your family. Daily love them based on compassion. Learn more in this video: https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=400688630109163&set=vr.400688630109163&type=2&theater
What a privilege to "guest blog" for Marriage365! Check it out at http://marriage365.org/some-encouragement-for-blended-families/ ... and please visit and "Like" their Page! www.facebook.com/marriage365
Your blended family needs your love to be a maturing love - growing day by day as you love, nurture, guide and serve them. Yes, I know it can be difficult to love a step child. It can even be difficult at times to love your own “flesh and blood!” But the beauty comes from how the love blooms and grows. Find out more in my latest BLOG post: www.theblendedfamilymom.wordpress.com
In your blended family, you have some that you have 'home grown' and then some that just came with the 'new garden' you are tending. You are going to have to learn how to grow them, nurture, love and, yes - be thankful for them. Learn more in this video:https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=398684686976224&set=vb.243279719183389&type=2&theater
Sensitive. Supportive. Sympathetic. Straightforward. Spontaneous. These five words can have a huge impact in your blended family. Find out more in this video: https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=397749113736448
As a step mom, you don't have to be perfect. Be truthful with kindness. Check out the "rest of the story" in my latest BLOG post: http://theblendedfamilymom.wordpress.com
Every little chance you get, take the time to stop and teach your children how to do something - walk them through the process. Explain the steps. Tell them the whys and how’s of life. You are one of the greatest influences in their lives. Check out the "rest of the story" in my latest BLOG post: http://theblendedfamilymom.wordpress.com
I bet there have been many times where you clench your fist and grit your teeth and wonder why some people just bring out the worst in us. They have nothing positive to say. Their actions borderline on being malicious, and you can bet that there is some kind of drama going on in their lives at any given time. The dynamics of your blended family can easily lend itself to being associated with people like this. Divorce is a nasty beast. Dysfunction seems to grow bitterness. And now, you are in the middle of it. You have a choice; you can either throw gasoline on this already furious inferno, or you can step back and build up. Check out this video to learn how.https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=394731710704855&set=vb.243279719183389&type=2&theater
As a stepmom, you have tremendous potential to make a difference in your step children's lives. It may not be recognized at this time - but it will impact them. Check out my latest BLOG post to read the "rest of the story." http://theblendedfamilymom.wordpress.com/
This blending of broken families just may be the hardest thing you have ever attempted. But be creative and open to keep trying new things until something works. Be strong in your conviction to stand firm and not let the world tell you that this can't be done. Read more in my latest BLOG post: www.theblendedfamilymom.wordpress.com
How do you fall in love with your step-children? How do you not feel jealous when your husband has this connection with them that you don't share? How do you not let this jealousy turn into bitterness that ends up spewing onto your marriage? Don't worry, this is pretty normal. I lived through it. I'm sure my husband lived through it too since we both came into our marriage with two children each. Check out my latest BLOG post for the "rest of the story."
Your blended family is unique. Mine came about from death and divorce, included four children ages 13 up, and a grandchild and one on the way ... all living with us. That was back in 2004; hindsight is always good to provide us with clarity. Check out this video for the "rest of the story." https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=392044457640247&set=vb.243279719183389&type=2&theater
Had a great time doing an interview with the Granite State Moms (http://facebook.com/granitestatemoms) today! Check out the interview here: https://soundcloud.com/granitestatemoms/granite-state-moms-interview-kristie-carpenter-author-of-blended-family-mom
Let the River Run
"Hear ye, hear ye! Come one, come all. Give me your tired and broken, and martially challenged." Have I included everyone yet? LOL. I have to stop and laugh because the two hardest things you will probably ever do - be a spouse and be a parent - are two things that we usually go into without any training! Oh sure, we see other folks handle their marriages and parenting like pros. He brings her flowers every week, their children are born potty trained, and they are the do-gooders of the neighborhood. But the other 99.9% of us are lucky to just make it to the end of the week and remember where the potty is! Get the "rest of the story" in my latest BLOG post -- www.theblendedfamilymom.wordpress.com
As you live daily as a wife in a blended family, as you try to help encourage, guide and mentor children that are not yours biologically, and as you attempt to love and bring unity into this family of broken units, remember that you are covered. Listen/watch this video to learn how: https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=388790004632359&set=vb.243279719183389&type=2&theater
"Blending" Something Special
I'm thankful for the past ... it has grown me, taught me, stretched me, and given me wisdom for the future. I'm thankful for this new year because it provides new opportunities to create something awesome from what I've been given. I'll keep doing what I've been doing well. I'll tweak some things that need adjusting. I'll throw out some ideas, opinions, and emotional baggage that have been weighing me down. I'm thinking about all of this as I've been making homemade spaghetti sauce this morning. I used bits and pieces of old recipes; I used fresh ingredients; I added some sausage and bacon (leftover from breakfast!). Of course, the fragrant seasonings and the rich red wine add some wonderful nuances. Just as each ingredient adds that special touch, so does each member of your family - no matter how blended, dysfunctional, extended, or maybe even traditional!!! Spaghetti sauce would be boring if it only had tomato sauce in it. Your family is the same. Take each family member and blend and stir, create and simmer. As the "chef" in this family, you have the wonderful ability to take the bits and pieces of brokenness and combine to something amazing ... so get cooking!!
Have you checked out my latest BLOG post?Http://theblendedfamilymom.wordpress.com/ Happy New Year!!
Happy New Year! I hope you can get excited about what is in store for your in 2015. Check out this video to see why!https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=381734995337860&set=vb.243279719183389&type=2&theater
Check out my latest BLOG post to learn about "The Gift of Forgiveness." Click on this link: http://THEBLENDEDFAMILYMOM.wordpress.com/
Check out my latest BLOG post to learn about "The Gift of Compassion." Click on this link: http://THEBLENDEDFAMILYMOM.wordpress.com/
Check out my latest BLOG post to learn about "The Gift of Love." Click on this link: http://THEBLENDEDFAMILYMOM.wordpress.com/
Claim your victory, blended family mom! Accept your free gift ... the Gift of Salvation!! Check out this video link to learn more: https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=381732928671400&set=vb.243279719183389&type=2&theater
If you missed the KTAB4U segment on Wednesday (or you'd like to see it again), please click on this link: http://www.bigcountryhomepage.com/story/d/story/blended-family-mom-holiday-traditions/15511/szFHTzMLqEmTFxh_FAMSUw. Let me know about your Christmas "cooperations" by leaving a comment!
25 Gifts of Christmas - Day 25
I'm praying this last gift will take you through the rest of your life ... to Live, Laugh and Love. My first husband died at such a young age - 32, yet he still taught me many things. He LIVED -- he enjoyed life. We may not have had much, but we took the time to go on vacations, be spontaneous, and spend quality time with family. You have lots of choices in life - choose your spouse; choose family; choose to make a life worth living! He LAUGHED. I can still remember how his face crinkled up when he laughed ... I look for that in my kids' faces. Experts say that a good belly laugh will help aid your digestion, and it will help your immune system and your emotional system! Life is gonna be tough - find your way through it with finding the humor in it! He LOVED. He had some challenging family dynamics, but was always ready to “go back into the ring” for another round (LOL)! The beauty of this is that his heart showed through - his determination to not give up and to keep reaching out. I have lived to see that pay off. There is, however, one catch to today's gift: you will never fully experience it without the joy that comes from knowing a Savior – Jesus Christ. He gives us a purpose to live; He gives us a happiness to laugh; and He gives us the ability to love deeper and more fully. If you do not know Jesus, I'd like to introduce Him to you. He brings all the gifts that will satisfy your deepest longings. He will lift burdens, bring purpose, provide a way, and protect a path. He IS life, laughter and Love … Merry Christmas!
Tune in tomorrow (7:45am and 3:45pm) to hear "The Blended Mom Moment" on KGNZ (radio - FM88.1 in Abilene/surrounding area; online at KGNZ.com). Tomorrow's topic is "The Gift of Salvation."
25 Gifts of Christmas - Day 24 Today's gift is Jesus … the greatest Gift of all! John 3:16 tells you how to receive this ultimate Christmas gift: "For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, (Jesus) that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life." Christmas can come with so many trappings of lights and presents, parties and food. Make sure you take the time to open the most priceless Gift you will ever open -- a Gift that will give you eternal life in Heaven, a Gift that will bring purpose and meaning to your life, and a Gift that will offer peace and hope. Please message me if you want to know more about the Gift of Jesus ... it is a Gift worth sharing! Merry Christmas!
Excited to be doing a segment on KTAB4U today! Tune in at 4 p.m. on KTAB-TV (Abilene/area) to see us talk about "Yours, Mine, & Ours!" If you don't live in the Abilene area, the segment will be available for viewing later this evening at http://bigcountryhomepage.com/ktab4u
25 Gifts of Christmas - Day 23 Today's gift to you is the beauty of Mary, the mother of Jesus. Let me remind you that she was not perfect or sinless, but she did believe in God and His guidance in her life. She trusted Him. Back in that time, her pregnant, unmarried status could have gotten her stoned to death. Yet she remained trusting in the Lord and what an angel had told her. In your blended family, you need to trust God and follow His plans for your life. You may have had a rocky, sinful past, but God has a plan that will amaze you. Your blended family may be too tough to endure, but hang in there ... He takes the impossible and makes miracles. You have that same beauty of Mary … it was her faith! Merry Christmas!
25 Gifts of Christmas - Day 22
My gift to you today is the characteristics of Joseph, the earthly father of Jesus. I guess he was the first dad in a divine blended family! First of all, Joseph believed in God and was considered a righteous man. Secondly, he humbled himself and protected Mary from humiliation when he was faced with them not being married (yet) and her being pregnant. Lastly, he was a man of honest means - he worked, he had a trade and he passed that on to his Son. What an amazing example to us. In your family, you will do more good when you walk in a manner pleasing to God. The obedience can be tough ...walking in humility may be unpleasant ... the “daily grind” of work and life in general is often mundane. But just as Joseph, you never know who God has placed in your family that will grow up and make a huge difference in this world! Merry Christmas!
25 Gifts of Christmas - Day 21
Today's gift is the symbolism and grandeur of the Wise Men who traveled far to worship Jesus, the Messiah. These men had read God's Word and believed. They were watching and waiting for Jesus' coming. They also knew the significance that this birth would bring the world. Their gift of gold symbolized Christ's divinity. Their gift of frankincense was used as a fragrant offering in worship to God, symbolizing Jesus' willingness to be an offering - a sacrifice to God for us. Their gift of myrrh was used as an embalming agent - symbolizing bitterness and affliction - which Christ would suffer for us. There is so much more to this story. Open your Bible and ask God to show you the wonder of the Wise Men. Merry Christmas!
25 Gifts of Christmas – Day 20
Today, my gift to you is a shepherd. Not exactly a glamorous job in Biblical times … or today for that matter. It is definitely one of solitude, enduring the weather, and probably a bit smelly. Shepherds represented the lowliest of folks in the day of Jesus’ birth; and yet God sent a host of angels to bring them the news … first. I take great comfort in knowing that God's gift -- His Son -- was meant for ALL people. I don't have to have a title, wealth, or royal lineage to receive His gift. The angel told the shepherds: “I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all people.” That is good news! Merry Christmas!
25 Gifts of Christmas – Day 19 Today's gift is a bit ethereal -- angels! Imagine with your family sometime today about the host of angels that came to a field of shepherds, announcing the wonderful news of a Messiah being born. The word “angel” comes from the Greek and Hebrew words meaning “messenger.” So just as God created a star to guide the Magi (wise men) to Jesus, God created the heavenly hosts to proclaim Jesus to the people. “Hark, The Herald Angels Sing” was God’s own spectacular way of announcing the birth of His Son. Be a messenger this Christmas - and announce the joy we have in celebrating a baby who came to be our Savior. Merry Christmas!
If you missed today's edition of The Blended Mom Moment, please click on this link to hear it: https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=377083639136329&set=vb.243279719183389&type=2&theater
I'd love to know your thoughts on "The Gift of Forgiveness" ... please send me a message via and Contact page!!
25 Gifts of Christmas - Day 18
Today my gift to you is a star ... not just any star, but the one that led the Magi - Three Wise Men - to where Jesus was. After research, I am gifting you a star that has no explanation. Comets and supernovas, planets and eclipses can be speculated but never concrete conclusions.Today I want you to look up to the heavens in awe, and picture a time long ago when God was sending a Savior to this earth for you and me. His birth was not heralded in pomp and circumstance with royal processions and loud acclaim. God chose to do something grander than that - a star that led worshipers to where Jesus was. A star created by the hand of God to mark the start of something new - something better - something that would save you and me. Get ready this week for the celebration of the greatest gift ever given - share the amazement of the star with your family today. Merry Christmas!
SO thrilled to be a part of The More Than Mom show today! Hannah McMinn and her team did a great job with the interview ... made me sound MUCH smarter than I am ... LOL!! Please check it out here ... and subscribe to her podcasts on iTunes!! https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/more-than-mom-show-pursuing/id917730360?mt=2
25 Gifts of Christmas - Day 17
Let the Christmas pre-week pampering continue! Today's gift is HEALTH – and a reminder to take those vitamins and/or eat all your veggies! I don't know how many holidays I have spent being Wonder Woman and then when the big day finally came, I was on the verge of getting sick. It is so important that you pace yourself, rest, drink your fancy water (see Day 1), and take some vitamins! Not only do us moms make Christmas special, we want to be able to enjoy it too! Merry Christmas!
25 Gifts of Christmas - Day 16
Wow ... only four more Christmas parties, only seven more people to get gifts for, only two batches of divinity to make, only ... This week can almost kill us moms! So close to Christmas and yet still so far away with all the "to do's" on the list. Please accept my gift today of stealing away and locking a door and pampering yourself just a bit. I truly believe that when we take care of ourselves, we can better take care of others - and that includes mentally! Merry Christmas!
Just finished a wonderful, fun interview with Hannah McMinn, of The More Than Mom Show! The interview will air on iTunes on Thursday (the 18th). Check out (and Like) her Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/themorethanmomshow
25 Days of Christmas - Day 15
Did you take time to sit quietly and reflect yesterday? Today’s gift is something that will not only warm your heart, but will also warm your tummy! Yesterday, I gave you the gift of silence. Today I want to continue along this same vein and give you the gift of a warm, yummy coffee or tea. Again, the holidays can be hectic, and blending of families has a way of compounding that chaos. It’s important to take time to stop and sip a cider, or lavish over a latte! Drink something warm to help you “keep your cool!” (HoHoHo) Merry Christmas!
25 Days of Christmas - Day 14
Today my gift to you is silence. That may seem to be a very strange gift, but in the middle of this hectic holiday season, I encourage you to make time — take time — to sit quietly and reflect on the many blessings God has given you. Your family is not a mistake. You and your husband bring a unique quality to your blended family. Every child brings a wonderful personality along with amazing opportunities to raise them up to learn to accept and love others. Let your heart lead them. Let their hearts bring you joy the way that only a child can. Oh, silent night, holy night. Merry Christmas!
25 Gifts of Christmas - Day 13
Did you light a candle to remember someone yesterday? Post a comment and let me know who you remembered ... Here's today's gift: My gift to you today is creativity! Sometimes we think that we are not creative enough or crafty enough to do something with our kiddos “from scratch!” Believe me ... YOU can! I got to make Christmas ornaments with kids and grandkids during a recent visit. We used the special-edition holiday Coca Cola bottles; we emptied the soda, then poured in some paint and swirled it around. Then we took fun stickers (bought intentionally with each child in mind) and stuck and taped and such! I personalized mine with our name and the year. You can then tie ribbon around the cap and hang from the tree. See ... isn't that easy! Every child in your home needs and wants to spend time with you doing something that will inspire creativity, warmth and love. In fact, you need that in return also! Merry Christmas!
Today's "Blended Mom Moment" topic: "The Gift of Compassion!" Tune in at 7:45am 3:45pm (CST) on KGNZ (FM88.1 in Abilene); online at www.kgnz.com
25 Gifts of Christmas – Day 12 Today my gift to you is the gift of remembrance. I encourage you to remember the loved ones who have passed away. Today is my first husband Mike's, birthday. We lit a candle in remembrance and thankfulness for his life. I love how Dan has been so very understanding and loving towards me and my children and even joined in celebration of Mike's life. Today, light a candle with your family to remember those who have passed on, moved on, or moved away from your blended family. After all, this new family is a culmination of those that have been a part of your entire lives. Merry Christmas!
If you missed today's Blended Mom Moment - "The Gift of Compassion" - or want to hear it again, please click on this link: https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=374829199361773&set=vb.243279719183389&type=2&theater
25 Gifts of Christmas - Day 11
Did you get your "glitter and bling on" yesterday! My gift to you today is music. Not only can music soothe a savage beast, it can set a mood, change an emotion, and create an atmosphere. Whenever I'm asked to sing, the song slowly transforms me as I practice it over and over. Turn off your TV, shut down your iPad, and turn on some Christmas music. Let the messages of joy, love, and peace wash over and through you. Hum along, sing out loud - even if you can't carry a tune! The point is to listen, sing and then embrace this beautiful season and the amazing Reason we celebrate - JESUS! Merry Christmas!
25 Gifts of Christmas - Day 10
I'm looking forward to getting your "cookie" pictures ... post a comment, or send them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org! Here is today's gift: Glitter. Yep, I'm giving you the gift of glitter (and bling) today. Now, I'm a 'power tool" kind of gal, but there's a song that goes something like ... "IT don’t mean a thing if you ain’t got that bling! Do wop do wop do wop do wop" (Kristie's version LOL). I was at a “soap and skin” shop the other day and they had a body spray with sparkles. I just had to have it. I don't dress up much; I don't think I'm pretentious; but somehow this can of glitter makes me feel like a diva! I sprayed it on my hair yesterday and just felt a little prettier all day! Life is short - stick some bling on it … Merry Christmas!!
25 Gifts of Christmas - Day 9
Here's today's gift: Today I “gift” you the wonder of cookies! I believe they are “magical!” Whether you get all the kiddos to help you make them, help you eat them, or make extra and take to a friend who is down or a neighbor you don't know, you will undoubtedly find the smiles and sounds of "mmmmm!" Today, my 88-year-old dad and I are making oatmeal cookies with different goodies in them - chocolate chips, coconut, cranberries, or raisins. I'm sure one batch will have all the goodies in it - I call that a “kitchen sink” cookie! I’d love to hear about your favorite cookie -- post a comment, or send me a picture of you baking your favorites! Merry Christmas!
25 Gifts of Christmas - Day 8
How did you do on your letter/email from yesterday? I'd love to know! Send me an email: email@example.com Here's today's gift: "Whatever you need to think to get you through the day." This is one of my favorite sayings … often used when I find I am in disagreement with others (smile). After all, we are not cookie-cutter people. God made us all uniquely different in looks, thoughts and feelings. So my gift to you today is forgiveness; because somewhere between you getting out of bed and the next 30 minutes, I bet you are going to have a feeling or two hurt. Allow folks to be human. Quit expecting perfection, and realize that we all are just trying to get through the day. Experience some freedom today -- shake off the “shackles” you've been holding onto against others; those chains are only strangling you, not the one you haven't forgiven. Merry Christmas!
25 Gifts of Christmas - Day 7
I'd love to see your "whimsy" photos (from yesterday) ... send them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org!! Here's today's gift: Let's get real! This blended family thing is tough - especially when you are dealing fairly often with your hubby's ex! Or ... what if you are the ex?!?! The gift I'd like to share with you today is compassion.Take this gift and do something bold and courageous! Yep, write a letter or send an email to the step-mom to your kids or to your husband's ex. You don't have to express an undying devotion to this woman - just acknowledge how difficult your family dynamics are and that you appreciate and respect her role in this new dynamic. Don't expect anything in return and don't be upset if you get an 'earful' from her if she is not very receptive to your act of kindness. Just know that you received a gift and then you passed it on! Merry Christmas!
Powerful words ... please take time to read this:https://womenwithworth.wordpress.com/2014/11/30/a-open-letter-to-my-daughters-stepmom/
25 Gifts of Christmas - Day 6
Are you ready for some "whimsy!" Here's today's gift: So, the house is decorated and lit up, the gifts are bought for the Christmas parties and the music is almost all memorized for the Christmas concert. All good, right? Well, sometimes the holidays can get a bit emotional - I mean, sometimes I feel sadness in this festive time of year. I don't know if you experience this or not, but my gift to you today is to remember a bit of whimsy! Take some time to snap some pics of your hubby and kiddos with some of your favorite Christmas decorations. Make some time to engage in this beautiful time of year and capture some smiles! I know me and my six-foot metal man did! LOL Merry Christmas!
Today's "Blended Mom Moment" topic: "The Gift of Love!" Tune in at 7:45am or 3:45pm (CST) on KGNZ (FM88.1 in Abilene); online at www.kgnz.com
25 Gifts of Christmas - Day 5
Did you find a way to "blend and bend" yesterday? Here is today's gift: Today's gift is the special memories. After my first husband died, I didn't want anything in my life to remain the same - I even bought new dishes! But as much as I didn't want reminders of the past, there was still much value from allowing memories into my present. My mom and I made a Christmas tree during the 1970's when ceramics were popular. How funny that I really wasn't to keen on it when she was alive...but now it is one of my favorite things of hers that's been left behind. As you blend your family, you will need to give and take in some areas and then compromise in other areas. Remember to allow your husband and his children to bring into the season the special memories from their past into the present. Don't feel threatened - but encourage them that their hearts are safe to share. Merry Christmas!
If you missed the "Blended Mom Moment" today (or if you want to hear it again!), please click on this link: https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=371876372990389&set=vb.243279719183389&type=2&theater. Be blessed in knowing the best Gift of the season - Love! Let me know your thoughts!!
25 Gifts of Christmas - Day 4
Did you find a way to spread the "gift" of light yesterday? Here is today's gift: Today I want to give you the gift of blending and bending. How do blended families do 'tradition'? When Dan and I married, he had a Christmas tree-top angel and my kids and I had our tree-top angel. So whose angel was going to be on the Christmas tree? Such a small blip in life but I remember having some negative feelings about it. As usual, my brain kicked into gear to try to find some common ground - and I did! It was a star! I took both of our family angels and placed them in a curio cabinet where special mementos are kept. We then went and found a new tree top ornament - together. Sometimes blending your family means 'bending'. As this season gets chaotic and stressful, look for ways to bend so that your blended family will not be distracted from the real Reason for the Season! Merry Christmas!
I almost always have a project going - or at least I am scheming and dreaming of my next one. Home improvement is my thing. I may not be a master craftsman or the most dazzling designer, but I do have skills. I call myself the Southern Engineering Domestic Diva! Check out this video to hear the "rest of the story!" https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=371099733068053&set=vb.243279719183389&type=2&theater
25 Days of Christmas - Day 3
Did you enjoy yesterday's "gift" of precious family? I hope so! Here is today's "gift": Today's "gift" is the gift of light. I encourage you to find or make something with your family that could be given as a gift or used as a reminder about how Jesus' light permeates thedarkness and warms the heart and soul! My Christmas craft this year is lighted glass blocks. Yes ... if you are related to me, now you know what you are getting for Christmas (LOL)! Last year, the project was lights in glass bottles (if you would like to know how to make these, check out Pinterest or give me a holler!). Merry Christmas!! Check out my BLOG for a picture of my "light" gift! http://theblendedfamilymom.wordpress.com
25 Gifts of Christmas - Day 2
I hope you enjoyed the first "gift" of Christmas ... please keep up with us to see what "gift" is next each day! Here is "gift" #2: Oh the joys of precious family, a roaring fire and matching PJ pants! My second gift is to remind you that amidst all the hustle and bustle this season, don't forget to light a fire (or light a candle!) and get the marshmallows, Hershey's chocolate and graham crackers out for some S'mores! Yes, they are ooey and gooey - kinda like your blended family! I usually burn the outside of my marshmallow to a lovely charcoal black - but still - when it hits your mouth, the flavors collide and the taste is heavenly! Share this campfire classic with your family this season. It may be messy - just like a blended family - but it can also be one of the yummiest experiences you have ever had! Merry Christmas! Check out my BLOG for a picture of me and my daughters making S'Mores!
What do liver and turnip greens have to do with your blended family? Read my latest blog post to find out! http://theblendedfamilymom.wordpress.com/
Cleanliness is next to Godliness! I don't know how much I have ever believed in that statement ... but somewhere down deep in my perfectionist heart, I have justified some common sense in that saying. Check out this video for more: https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=370366806474679&set=vb.243279719183389&type=2&theater
25 Gifts of Christmas
I decided to count down to Christmas a little differently this year; and since there are an increasing number of you out there following my blog, Facebook posts, Tweets, etc. (thank you, by the way!!), I’m inviting you to make the journey with me! I hope you are blessed, encouraged, and maybe even get a little chuckle too! I’ll do my best to post it at the same time every day (@Noon CST) so you’ll know when to be on the lookout for the post!
Day 1 I want you to remember to enjoy the simplicity and beauty of the season - the birth of a baby and the magical time that must have been - angels, shepherds, wise men...oh my! So I want to be a part of this special time and offer gifts to you! My first gift to you is to offer you health. Please take time to take care of you...cuz nothing is going to get done for anyone else if you are down and ill. Go get a wide-mouthed water bottle (I got a Voss) and then you can add a touch of festive-ness! I used fresh cranberries, lemon slices, sprigs of spearmint and slices of cucumbers. I try to make this up the night before so that ingredients have time to flavor the water. (This is also a great combination for a detox - you might as well shed a pound or so!) I, of course, had to drill a hole in the top of the lid to put a long straw and then put some decorative stickers on. Normal is so blasé to me! Besides, life is short - might as well glam it up a bit! Merry Christmas!
What are their (your kiddos) favorite cookies? Check out this video to see why it matters to your family. https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=369182179926475&set=vb.243279719183389&type=2&theater
Today's "Blended Mom Moment" topic: "Give This Thankfulness Thing a Try!" Tune in at 3:45pm on KGNZ (FM88.1 in Abilene); online at www.kgnz.com
I love my "other" daughter, Emily! She also gave me some great material for my latest blog post - her perspective on how best to help blend your family!! Check it out here: www.theblendedfamilymom.wordpress.com
Don't miss your reward! What do I mean by that? Check out this video and you'll know.https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=368239716687388&set=vb.243279719183389&type=2&theater
Give this thankfulness "thing" a try. Check out my latest blog post for more: http://theblendedfamilymom.wordpress.com/
What are you thankful for this year in your blended family? Check out my KTAB4U interview from yesterday to hear about mine, and get some ideas for spreading your thankfulness to others! http://www.bigcountryhomepage.com/story/d/story/the-blended-family-talks-things-to-be-thankful-for/26947/9u2AMh7P6UuRwl3qPwvrxw
You and your husband may never be on the same page of parenting, but check out this video for some ideas for preventive maintenance:https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=367496350095058&set=vb.243279719183389&type=2&theater
In other words, there are some things you can do so you remove temptations and situations where disciplining would have to come into being. Personally, I think that is kinda smart!
How are you on the whole "cleanliness is next to Godliness 'thing'"? Check out my latest blog post for more: http://theblendedfamilymom.wordpress.com
Today's topic on KTAB4U: "Things to be Thankful for in Our Blended Families! Tune in at 4pm on KTAB-TV (Abilene area). If you don't live in the area, you can view the segment later today online at http://bigcountryhomepage.com/ktab4u
What are some of the things you've been praying for in your family? Check out my latest blog post: http://theblendedfamilymom.wordpress.com/
Do you remember the movie "Evan Almighty"? One of my favorite sayings is in that show. Check out this video/audio to hear more! https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=363218447189515&set=vb.243279719183389&type=2&theater
I have a love/hate relationship with the Provbers 31 Woman. Check out my latest blog post for more: http://theblendedfamilymom.wordpress.com/
Today's topic on KGNZ Radio: "Thankfulness!" Tune in at 3:45 p.m. on 88.1FM in Abilene (and the surrounding area), or listen online at kgnz.com.
If you missed the segment on KTAB4U yesterday, click here: http://www.bigcountryhomepage.com/story/d/story/the-blended-family-mom-talks-thankfulness-share-it/12693/hiycSDRRHkmbZFKmAJFwnA
If you are interested in seeing other segments, or watching other videos we've recorded, please visit the Archive page
God chose you for your blended family. Check this out for more: https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=361739314004095&set=vb.243279719183389&type=2&theater
There are few things in a blended family that can be more challenging than the dynamics surrounding the ex-spouse. I hope you are encouraged by the thoughts in my latest blog post: http://theblendedfamilymom.wordpress.com/
Today's topic on KTAB4U: "Thankfulness: Share it with Others!" Please join me as we discuss how our blended families can take our thankfulness and impact the lives of others. Tune in at 4pm on KTAB-TV (in Abilene/area); or online at www.bigcountryhomepage.com/ktab4u
Tomorrow's topic on KGNZ (radio): "Solar Lights!" Tune in at 7:45 a.m., and 3:45 p.m. to catch "The Blended Mom Moment" ... 88.1FM in Abilene, or online at www.kgnz.com
It was a great segment on KTAB4U w Kimberly Sears yesterday ... it is so important for us blended family moms to be thankful, and find fun ways to show our husbands and families how thankful we are! Check it (the segment) out here: http://www.bigcountryhomepage.com/story/d/story/blended-family-mom-talks-being-thankful/30900/Wvrm58v5bU-prqYmX7sqHA
Tomorrow's topic on KGNZ (radio): "God of the Impossible" Tune in at 7:45 a.m., and 3:45 p.m. to catch "The Blended Mom Moment" ... 88.1FM in Abilene, or online at www.kgnz.com.
I almost always have a project going - or at least I am scheming and dreaming of my next one. Home improvement is my thing. I may not be a master craftsman or the most dazzling designer, but I do have skills. I call myself the Southern Engineering Domestic Diva! My daddy raised me to come up with ideas and then figure out how to make them happen. I think that is a wonderful gift he has given to me. So the project of the month is solar lights. I know you can take these lights and just stake them in the ground. Been there and done that. But I wanted something more permanence and beauty. I found great ideas on the Pinterest website and it wasn't long before I was purchasing lawn timbers, concrete and solar lights. My 88-year-old dad helped - he held the timbers while I ran the circular saw. I put three varying heights of the timbers in a plant bucket and then filled around with concrete. This way I can dig a hole in the ground, place the bucket in the hole and then all you see is the timbers with the lights sticking out of each end. My hubby drilled a hole in each timber so that the solar lights just slip down inside each hole. We got to set them out the other night to see how they would look and how far apart to place them around our front and back yard. I was so pleased to see how they looked - it added permanence and beauty. And ... then it got me to thinking. Solar lights don't really work without the gathering of sunlight into their power cells. Without the power of the sun, their light grows dimmer and dimmer - and then when there are long periods without any sun, the solar light is lifeless. Our Christian walk is so much the same way. So many of us decide we believe in God and ask Jesus to come into our hearts. We start off reading our Bibles and going to church. The light of Jesus shines brightly within us. Then the storms come. The clouds cover and darkness hits. We forget to open our Bibles and just don't feel like getting up and getting dressed to make it to church. The light of Jesus is still there - the power cell is still ready to receive - but we have not absorbed enough of Him and His Word to be able to emit much light to anyone else around us. Psalm 119:105 says, "Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path." In other words, we have the glorious provision of Jesus to guide our lives - but the power to light the way comes from absorbing the amazing and wonderful word of God - the Bible. In John 8:12, Jesus says, "I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life." As a wife, as a mom - as a woman, decide today to get some Son. I'm not talking about tanning! I'm talking about the Savior - Jesus Christ. Stop the busyness and get your power cell recharged. Find a quiet spot to pray and visit with God. Plan ten minutes today to open your Bible and start reading. Listen to the Bible on your smartphone. Whatever you do, make sure you expose yourself to the Light -- His Light - that has the power to guide your life and then in turn, will help light the way for others. Now that is what I call heart improvement - and that certainly adds permanence and beauty!
If you missed yesterday's segment on KTAB4U check out the link below; it was wonderful to share more of the perspective of the stepchild ... thank you to my "other" daughter, Emily, for making these two segments extra special!! http://www.bigcountryhomepage.com/story/d/story/the-blended-family-mom-gives-the-perspective-of-a/12080/PVsNEA835UqhC2_NrrKuZg
Today's topic on KTAB4U: "Perspective of the Stepchild." Please join me as we continue the conversation on how best to blend your family ... from the insightful perspective of my stepdaughter, Emily. Tune in at 4pm on KTAB (in Abilene and the surrounding area); or online at www.bigcountryhomepage.com/ktab4u
God of the Impossible Combining my family with my husband's family seemed impossible. We had a 20-year-old with a baby and one on the way. We had a 17-year-old with Asperger's Syndrome. We had a 16-year-old in the throes of high school and hormones. Finally, we had a 13-year-old who just wanted a dad again and the hopes of a big, fun family. I think we had only been married a little more than a month when Dan and I realized that in order to blend this bunch, counseling was our next step. We needed help and an outside perspective. I was overwhelmed and felt utterly under-equipped. Have you ever felt like that? Does your family dynamic include a list of impossibilities to work through? Do you need an outside perspective and some help figuring out how to blend this family? I have some hope that I would like to share with you. First and foremost, we serve a God of the Impossible! I sang a song recently, titled "God of the Impossible" by Sarah Reeves. I love the chorus: "God of the impossible; maker of all miracles. I stand in awe of you. I am so amazed by how You reach into my brokenness; make me beautiful again. I believe, yes, I believe that nothing is impossible with You." Luke 1:37 says "For nothing is impossible with God." This is the same God that formed the earth with just a word; the same God that set the stars in place and calls them by name; the same God that knows the very number of hairs on your head. This same God wants you to - and will help you - walk this blending process into victory. Second of all, get plugged into your local church. There is just something about living in community with other believers that are willing to walk along with you on your journey. You are going to be surprised at how many other families are in this blended family "boat!" If you find that you need some additional help, this brings me to my next point: mentors and counselors. These people are instrumental in walking you through situations and guiding your path. I know mine did! Lastly, there are devotionals and books that will help give you perspective on blending your family - like mine! In 2005, when I was searching for help in blending my family, there wasn't much out there. I remember being so upset because I found devotionals for soccer moms ... but not stepmoms? What was the deal? I will say, though, in recent years we are finally getting more pertinent information out there for those struggling to blend their family and fine-tune their recipe for a happy, healthy family. There are devotionals, books, study guides, and DVD series. There are numerous blending family bloggers and social media stepmom sites. Do a little research yourself and find something that you believe will give you the insight, help and hope as you learn to 'stir and mix' your own blended family recipe! So the next time you start feeling overwhelmed and under equipped -- just grab some of your hair and start counting! Our God is the God of the impossible!
Green Thumb for a Blended Family I wish I had a green thumb. It seems that I can kill a plant pretty fast! I do enjoy beautiful plants and flowers, but maybe the secret is in just knowing how to actually take care of each plant according to its needs. Maybe if I really cared, I would read books and find research on how much water and sunlight is required, when to fertilize and how much to prune my plants. This leads my mind to Matthew 13:3-24 - it's the parable of the Sower or Farmer. This passage tells us about what can happen when we plant seeds in various conditions. I want us to take a look at this through the lenses of a blended-family mom. You are the Farmer. The seeds you are planting are your words and actions towards your children and step children and even your spouse. Verse 4 says that seed was scattered along a path and then birds came and ate up the seeds. This makes me think of the many times that I flippantly made comments that were not very sincere. The result was that it didn't impact the kids - they still felt miles away as far as our relationships were concerned. Verse 5 says that some seed fell on rocky places where there was not much soil so they grew quickly but then withered from the heat of the sun. I'm sure you can think of some hard and rocky things that have happened in your blended family. If there was not solution and forgiveness, then, just like the small delicate plants, their hearts withered up. Verse 7 tells us about seed growing among thorns which eventually were choked by the thorns. I see this as the hurtful verbal daggers that can be so easily thrust into our families hearts - and, as the old saying goes, "Be sure to taste your words before you spit them out!" Once you have said something that pierces the heart and soul, it can be forgiven - the problem is that it is never forgotten. Verse 8 is our victory verse - telling us about the seeds that were planted in good soil. In other words, your step children have found a fertile, lush, well watered and tended place to grow! Your home is a place of sanctuary and your voice speaks positively over all in your home and also your husband. You carefully seek out each plant and check to see if it has enough water, and nutrients. You are on guard for the weeds that seem to creep out of nowhere and you are quick to pull them up by the roots. You make sure they have enough sunshine to be able to go in turn and shine on others. Now we come to the part of God's multiplication - verse 8 goes on to say that the seed that grows in good soil can produce a crop - a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. I want a bumper crop from my family. I want all of them to know that they can grow up and have wonderful, godly families. I've been researching, learning and praying -- and I think I just might have a green thumb for planting a blended family!
If you missed today's broadcast of The Blended Mom Moment, please click here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XLdXmvFyGPk&feature=youtu.be
(due to their pledge drive) KGNZ is re-broadcasting the "Blended Mom Moment" from last Friday again tomorrow. Titled "Please Respect the Blood," I hope you'll tune in at 7:45am and/or 3:45pm ... 88.1FM or online at www.kgnz.com
Today's topic on KGNZ (radio): "Please Respect the Blood" Tune in at 7:45 a.m., and 3:45 p.m. to catch "The Blended Mom Moment" ... 88.1FM in Abilene, or online at www.kgnz.com
If you missed the KTAB4U segment yesterday, click here: http://www.bigcountryhomepage.com/…/…/ufT39cyM8k2H_7DwEzZ9Zw Let me know what you think! I loved having my "other" daughter, Emily, on with me!!
SUPER excited about today's segment on KTAB4U! My "other" daughter is here visiting (with her four beautiful children) from Arizona, so she is going to be joining me on the show; we'll be talking about successful blending from the stepchild's perspective. Please tune in at 4 p.m. on KTAB-TV (in Abilene and surrounding area). If you don't live in the area, you can view the segment later today at http://www.bigcountryhomepage.com/ktab4u
Go All In for a Priceless Treasure
I am a visual learner. I believe that's one of the reasons that the parables in the Bible help me make sense of what Jesus wanted His followers to see. As with most of us, we tend to view God's Word through our own life looking glasses - and as a blended-family mom, that is how I want you to view today’s Blended Mom Moment. Matthew 13:44-46 is the parable of the Hidden Treasure and the Pearl. It says, “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it." In Matthew Henry's Study Bible, he says, "Jesus is the true Treasure - the Pearl of great price. In Him there is an abundance of all that which is rich and useful. He that has found this treasure hides it, which denotes a holy jealousy, lest Satan come between us and it. Those who would have a saving interest in Christ must be willing to part with all for him - leave all to follow Him. Of course, the Bible and Matthew Henry are talking about our pursuit of God - the gospel. We hopefully will realize the magnificent value of Christ and gladly give everything up to have the redemption and salvation that only comes through Christ, God's Son. When is the last time you exhausted your everything for something of great value? This life is so short and yet we seem to chase everything around us except for the things that will benefit us the greatest - such as our relationship with Christ and our husbands and families. Do you find yourself walking around with your fists clenched tightly? I challenge you today to sit for just a time and open your hands, palms up, in an act of giving all you have and all you are to God. That includes your spouse and your family, home and friends, work and possessions. Christ is the priceless treasure that you should be willing to 'go sell all' and claim and cling to and cherish. Your blended family is another priceless treasure that you have the opportunity to 'go sell all' for. The biggest problem with blended families is that usually both husband and wife go into the marriage with a 'wait and see' attitude. They hope it works...but they have already allowed an 'escape clause'. When Dan and I married, we updated our wills. We each left everything to each other - in the hopes that we would take care of the other's children. That was so hard!!!! But knowing what a precious treasure is - I gave up everything to truly have a marriage that was built on the trust of God. Open your fist - go all in - you have the opportunity of a lifetime to possess treasure that will continue to grow in beauty and strength and value.
Today's topic on KGNZ (radio): "Go All In!" Tune in at 7:45 a.m., and 3:45 p.m. to catch "The Blended Mom Moment" ... 88.1FM in Abilene, or online at www.kgnz.com
Do you have a "green thumb" to grow your blended family? Find out more here: http://youtu.be/tTE66hhNKNw
If you missed yesterday's segment on KTAB4U - "Get Outside Your Own Bubble" - you can watch it here: http://www.bigcountryhomepage.com/story/d/story/the-blended-family-mom-talks-getting-out-of-your-b/38846/6Ic1b79Uoka6kdwQRkMK1A
Today's topic on KTAB4U: "Get Outside Your Bubble!" Tune in at 4pm on KTAB-TV (in Abilene, TX and surrounding areas), or check out the segment later today at: http://www.bigcountryhomepage.com/ktab4u
If you missed the KTAB segment on Monday, click here to watch it: http://www.bigcountryhomepage.com/story/d/story/the-blended-family-mom-talks-how-it-takes-time-for/13391/NBwKl_GgfEKV7DA7oeeakw
Today's topic on KGNZ radio: "Green Thumb for a Blended Family!" Tune in at 7:45 a.m. and 3:45 p.m. to 88.1 FM (in Abilene and area), or online at http://www.kgnz.com
Respect. As an American, what is that? An appreciation of someone’s age. An acknowledgement of someone’s expertise. A deference to someone’s education. An act of chivalry. A Good Samaritan. A putting aside of one’s own feelings or attitudes. A time to truly reflect on the journey and sacrifice of another. A time to mourn a sacrifice. A loss. A gratitude of heart for the opportunities afforded you at the cost of someone else. As I stand overlooking the too-numerous headstones at Arlington National Cemetery, I believe it is time to stop taking advantage of our freedoms. Freedom fought for and gained, but we have taken it to persecute others – taken advantage of others all in the name of “our rights.”As a servant of the Most High God, we have freedoms and rights – to give everything we have, to serve with all our energy, to forgive completely, to bear each other’s burdens, to give up entitlements, and to walk humbly before our God. Micah 6:8 says, “Mankind, God has told you what is good and what it is the LORD requires of you: to act justly, to love faithfulness and to walk humbly with your God.”Respecting our freedoms is likened to driving. We have the freedom to drive whenever and wherever. Our freedom is abused and taken away – at our expense and also at others’ expense – when we drive on the wrong side of the road or disobey speed limits and traffic signs and signals. These laws were not meant to inflict restriction, but to enable all to enjoy the freedom of movement. Our American citizenship is the same. Respect the laws. Respect each other. Respect yourself. Be humbled in the knowledge that your life and pursuit of dreams has blood on it. A mother’s son or daughter was killed for you to say what you want, express your opinions, and meet in assembly and serve your God.I cried today at the Changing of the Guards ceremony. No name. No legacy for a family. Yet you walk in that soldier’s sacrifice for freedom. Watch what you say, because it was paid for at a price. Be careful what you pursue in your happiness because those dreams and aspirations are soaked in blood. As an American, respect the blood.Romans 3:25 says, “For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life, shedding his blood.” Jesus paid that ultimate sacrifice for you. He was beaten and bruised, cursed and crucified – for you and me. Why? To walk in freedom.
Take some time to think about the word respect. What does it mean to you as an American? What does it mean to you as a Christian? Take time to respect the blood.
Today's topic on KTAB4U: "Blended Families - It Takes Time!" Tune in at 4pm on KTAB-TV (in Abilene, TX and surrounding areas). If you don't live in the area, check out the segment later today by clicking on this link: http://www.bigcountryhomepage.com/ktab4u
ALSO: Please e-mail me your questions: Questions@theblendedfamilymom.com
Blended Family/Step Mom: you are a Superhero! Find out why here: http://youtu.be/_W0Pq3QoY0w
In life, we have business meetings, parent teacher conferences and church committee meetings. Remember to make time for marriage meetings. In other words make your marriage a priority and schedule periodic retreats and getaways with your honey!!! Dan and I were able to learn new things about each other this weekend. Some secret places were discovered. I feel more connected to him than ever before.
Today's topic on KGNZ (radio): "Rock That Cape!" Tune in at 7:45 a.m., and 3:45 p.m. to catch "The Blended Mom Moment" ... 88.1FM in Abilene, or online at www.kgnz.com.
Proverbs 12:4 -- An excellent wife is the crown of her husband, but she who brings shame is like rottenness in his bones. You are a step parent. That is about the same as calling you a SuperHero! Not only have you decided to become a wife and take on that lifetime challenge, but you also have thrown in children - whether they be yours, his...and quite possibly some 'ours'! The day I married Dan, I became a wife, stepmom, and grandmother. I think my SuperHero cape has some bling on it for that! LOL I had a good marriage before Dan and then 7 years of widowhood. That is a lot of time to think about things that went well in the first marriage and things that didn't go so well. I wanted to make sure that with Dan, I was going to be a more godly wife, more mature in my living and thinking. As the Proverbs verse said, I wanted to be an excellent wife that would be the crown on Dan's head. I certainly didn't want to make his bones rot! There were a couple of things that I did that hopefully helped Dan in this blended family marriage. I let him lead - well, most of the time I tried to let him lead! LOL 1 Corinthians 11:3 says, "But I want you to understand that the head of every man is Christ, the head of a wife is her husband, and the head of Christ is God." Your husband has a very large responsibility to Christ - which is under God. If hubby makes wrong decisions for you and your family, he is the one to take the heat for that. So I take Dan's responsibility as my husband very seriously. I believe, therefore, it is my job to help make that responsibility as joyous and pain free as possible. When we are faced with decisions or obstacles in our marriage, I am there to help him talk through scenarios and possibilities. I offer opinions - without penalties. For example, I don't offer my opinion and then tell Dan that his opinion is dumb or wrong. I trust in God to take care of me - and that includes trusting God to lead Dan and our family. I would like to encourage you to start thinking about how your actions and words are a crown on your husband's head. Can you picture it? Is his crown tarnished? Does it still have a nice round shape or does it look like a truck ran over it? Have some of the jewels fallen out? I am hoping that Dan's crown doesn't have too many scrapes and dings on it. I want his crown to be breathtaking - shiny, elegant, beautiful, hard-working, creative, respectful, loving, thoughtful, helpful, gentle and giving. Remember, his crown is a reflection of you. So, get out your cape, you Super Stepmom - and if you have a tiara - I would rock that as well!
Today's topic on KTAB4U: "Hearing is Not Necessarily Listening!" Tune in at 4pm on KTAB-TV (in Abilene, TX and surrounding areas). If you don't live in the area, check out the segment later today by clicking on this link: http://www.bigcountryhomepage.com/ktab4u
ALSO: Please e-mail me your questions: Questions@theblendedfamilymom.com
We can all be better listeners ... with our spouses, with our kids, and with our friends. Click here to learn more:
The Friends of the Abilene Public Library are hosting the annual Abilene Author Showcase to feature Abilene authors with books published in the past year. It will be held on the second floor auditorium of the Abilene Public Library at 202 Cedar. We will have books available for sale; please come out and say hi!!
If you missed Friday's broadcast on KGNZ radio, check it out here: http://youtu.be/Rzelt-1KntA
Today's topic on KTAB4U: "Listen to Your Family!" Tune in at 4pm on KTAB-TV (in Abilene, TX and surrounding areas). If you don't live in the area, check out the segment later today by clicking on this link: http://www.bigcountryhomepage.com/ktab4u
ALSO: EMAIL me your questions: Questions@theblendedfamilymom.com
I love the story of Esther in the Bible. She was supposed to find a husband in her town of Susa where her Uncle Mordecai had raised her. She was supposed to marry a Jew. She maybe had hopes and dreams of marrying one of the local boys that had caught her eye. She was supposed to stay close to family since both her parents had died early in her life.
So many supposed things, but God had other plans. Esther was swept up into a harem at the royal palace. She was with strangers, and suddenly living a strange life. She also had to be secretive about her being a Jew. Now comes the good part. King Xerxes finds favor with Esther and through a wonderful mystery romance, she saves the Jews and becomes queen!
How many dreams and hopes did you supposed would happen in your young life? Did you ever suppose you would be married more than once? Did you ever think you would have to go through the agony of divorce or abandonment? Did you ever dream of having step children? I'm gonna guess that these were not a part of your grand vision for your life.
Let me encourage you though - you are an Esther! Don't ever think that you have messed up your life so badly that it can't be amazing and influential from here on. Don't ever think that your circumstances prevent the happy ending. When we face the most struggle in our lives, I believe that God is working the hardest to shape, mold and create us to become mighty women for Him and His kingdom. Esther 4:14 says, "And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?" Esther went through unsure times, fearful times, and then truly relied on God to show her how to save her people and herself.
As a blended family/step mom, you are probably facing many difficulties. I know that I have been jealous of my husband's relationship with his children. I lived in the knowledge that for the first few years of our marriage, my husband would have prioritized his children over me. My daughter didn't want anything to do with my new husband for almost 2 years. I had issues with how much authority I actually had with my step children. The list goes on. But years ago, I was encouraged when I read the story of Esther - and maybe I was placed in this blended family for "such a time as this." My accomplishments are not as glamorous as Queen Esther's - but being an instrument used by God to blend two families and keep a marriage intact is a pretty nice claim to fame!
I am SOexcited to finally have the second edition of the book! I love the look, and am especially excited to have the endorsements from Gary Thomas and Dave Willis included on the back cover! A special thank you to my husband, Dan, for the new design! I still have a few copies of the first edition, which I'm offering at the special price of $5 per copy. If you'd like a copy of the new, second edition, I'm offering those at a special price of $10 per copy for the month of September. Order today, and I'll be happy to sign yours!! Just click on the "Purchase" link at the top of the page.
Are you a good listener? I've been told I am - even though I want to dole out advise and opinions to whoever will listen! LOL Seriously though, if you don't listen - you will never learn. We can learn so much from the people around us just by closing our mouths and opening our ears. Your family probably sometimes has to scream so that they can be heard. Why not put an end to that! When your spouse or children start sharing, talking - communicating...stop what you are doing and open mind and heart to connect with this person. Give them time to spit out whatever is on their mind. Dont interrupt. Don't hurry them. Just breathe and be ready to hear the thoughts that they have desired to share with you. The cool thing about this is that in your process of listening, you are teaching them to do the same thing - offer the same courtesy when you have something on your brain! Remember the old saying - You have one mouth and two ears so listen twice as much as you speak!
If you missed "The Blended Mom Moment" today on KGNZ (88.1FM in Abilene, TX; www.kgnz.com), click on this link to hear the segment: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QfQ0ozgZoOw&list=UUkjnTw5ZaZzsIvrTE8lKDvg ... Let me know what you think! Please email your questions to: Questions@theblendedfamilymom.com
So you fell in love with this man and married him. Perfect. Except it's not all perfect. His children. How do you fall in love with them? How do you not feel jealous when your husband has this connection with them that you don't share? How do you not let this jealousy turn into bitterness that ends up spewing onto your marriage? Don't worry, this is pretty normal. I lived through it. I'm sure my husband lived through it since we both came into our marriage with two children each. As I look back and reflect on how God grew us through that time, I want to pass on a tip that just might help you on your journey. First of all, it's okay to feel uncertain about your new step children. This takes time. After all, it took me awhile to fall in love with Dan - why would I expect to fall immediately in like or in love with his children? But, we were forming a family and I needed some help to overcome my 'hard-hearted Hannah" feelings. Feelings...let's start here. So many times, we cannot trust our feelings. They are based on inward perceptions or outward influences. So let's try to stuff those feelings in an old pillowcase. Now just a side note: in a psychological realm, stuffing your feelings is a bad thing... but for now we are going to just place them temporarily out of reach! Now, we are going to think about an action that we can take to show respect, caring and community - vital components within a home. One of the easiest ways to take an action to move closer to someone is to pray for them. Philippians 4:6 tells us, "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God." Jeremiah 29:11-12 says, "For I know the plans I have for you", declares The Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you." Through the years, as I have prayed for my step children, I have voiced to God their challenges and struggles. Just by sharing those things with God, He somehow softened my heart towards those kids. God started showing me how tough the past had been on them. How they had to endure and survive decisions and environments that were not their choice. Somewhere in my little black heart, this awareness and awakening of their circumstances made me want to be more compassionate towards them. I tried to engage with them in a friendlier manner. Yes, you could almost hear the little droplets of water that were melting from my frozen heart. LOL It is amazing what God will do when you pray to Him. It is amazing how He doesn't always change a situation in your life when you prayer for it...but instead changes your heart and attitude about the situation. So I guess in many aspects, that old cliche is true..."act and the feeling will follow." Take action today by praying for your kiddos. Tell God the good, bad and the ugly about them. As you share with Him, I believe that He is going to shed light on their pasts and also give you the compassion to see them in that light ...then you will be able to love them like they need to be loved - with action and by feeling
Today's topic on KGNZ (radio): "No Second Guessing!" Tune in at 7:45 a.m., and 3:45 p.m. to catch "The Blended Mom Moment" ... 88.1FM in Abilene, or online at http://www.kgnz.com/
If you missed today's segment on KTAB4U, click on this link to watch it:http://www.bigcountryhomepage.com/story/d/story/the-blended-family-mom-give-100-percent-with-your/16837/b2GrNff0qEaTZ6XYrAwRsg
Tomorrow's topic on KTAB4U: "Go The Extra Mile ... It's More Than Just 50/50!" Tune in at 4pm on KTAB-TV (in Abilene, TX and surrounding areas). If you don't live in the area, check out the segment later today on their web site: http://www.bigcountryhomepage.com/ktab4u
ALSO: Please EMAIL me your questions: Questions@theblendedfamilymom.com
If you missed the segment on KGNZ today, click on this link to hear it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dd0EOAOLHPQ&feature=youtu.be
Today's topic on KGNZ (radio): "Speak Positive Over Your Family!" Tune in at 7:45 a.m., and 3:45 p.m. to catch "The Blended Mom Moment" ... 88.1FM in Abilene, or online at http://www.kgnz.com/
If you missed the segment on KTAB4U today, click on this link to watch it: http://www.bigcountryhomepage.com/story/d/story/blended-family-mom-why-people-second-guess-their-p/28297/NKPn0U2-j0WC68d0WWz6MQ
Today's topic on KTAB4U: "No Second Guessing!" Tune in at 4pm on KTAB-TV (in Abilene, TX and surrounding areas). If you don't live in the area, check out the segment later today on their web site: http://www.bigcountryhomepage.com/ktab4u
Also: please email me your questions: Questions@theblendedfamilymom.com
If you missed today's segment on KGNZ, click on this link to hear it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yg1Ysn49xVU&feature=youtu.be
Tomorrow's topic on KGNZ (radio): "Loving Your Stepchildren." Tune in at 7:45 a.m., and 3:45 p.m. to catch "The Blended Mom Moment" ... 88.1FM in Abilene, or online at http://www.kgnz.com/
If you missed today's segment on KTAB4U, click on this link to watch it: http://www.bigcountryhomepage.com/story/d/story/the-blended-family-mom-what-are-you-passing-to-you/23296/b3XioD4HfEGfaS1iYYwpjw
Today's topic on KTAB4U: Making an Impact with Your Stepchildren! Tune in at 4pm on KTAB-TV (in Abilene, TX and surrounding areas). If you don't live in the area, check out the segment later today on their web site: http://www.bigcountryhomepage.com/ktab4u.
Also: please email me your questions: Questions@theblendedfamilymom.com
Being the step parent in a marriage is like walking on eggshells. Especially in the area of discipline. I raised my children with a wooden spoon to the backside when needed. Dan didn't use swats to discipline his children. So how did we figure this out? Well...let's just say hindsight is 20/20. You and your husband may never be on the same page of parenting, but I would like to give you some ideas for preventative maintenance. In other words, there are some things that you can do so that you remove temptations and situations where disciplining would have to come into being. Personally, I think that is kinda smart! Let's first talk about SECURITY as a preventative maintenance strategy. Let your children see your husband and marriage as your priority. Security comes from knowing that their home is safe and their parents are in love. Security comes from knowing that mom and dad are working together as a team - there is not a power struggle that the children can play one against the other. Let your children see you hugging, kissing...whispering something into hubby's ear and then smiling, touching his arm and holding his hand. This may cause fits of giggles and comments of 'eww, gross', but the security in their hearts and minds is priceless. I'm going to assume that you have already been building your marriage and home on the foundation of Christ - if not, I would encourage you to seek what this looks like through a local church or Dan and I would be more than happy to work with you. When your first foundation is Christ and then you set your marriage firmly on that foundation - it is unshakable. That kind of security in a child's heart and mind will deter much acting out and misbehaving based on their insecurities about you and your husband's relationship and how they can play you against him. The next preventative maintenance strategy is simple - BE THE PARENT. Be the authority. I see minutes turn into half hours and even longer as moms and dads 'negotiate' with their children regarding bath-time, or time to eat or going to bed. We want to be kind and gentle parents so we end up asking our children, "are you ready for a bath?" or we may say, "it's bedtime so go get ready." If the children are playing or otherwise engaged, of course they are going to not be ready for bath time and getting ready for bed gets side tracked by the box of toys in their room. Your child needs to know that you are 'the one in the know',the 'go-to', the 'buck stops here' parent. So instead of asking your child if they are ready for the next item on the agenda, just go and get your child and hold them in your arms or take them by the hand and tell them its bath time and then put them in the bath - or walk them to their room and put jammies on and put them in bed. No asking... no long drawn out conversations trying to win out over a 3 year old. You have just removed many obstacles and opportunities for the child to fail and the need for discipline and consequences. You have just removed the power struggle or the idea that they even have a choice. You have removed the opportunity to get frustrated with your child when they have not complied with your first or second request. This also teaches the child many things: When mom says we are doing something...we just do it. And.. you have just added many many minutes back into your day so that maybe you can have a chance to put your feet up after chasing children around all day. The last strategy is to FOLLOW THROUGH. Follow through with your 'threats'. How many of you have been in a store and told your child that if they didn't stop acting up you were going to give them a swat or take away their candy or not let them have the happy meal toy...or whatever? How many minutes are wasted with this 3 ring circus? My trust and security as a child came from always knowing that my parents meant what they said - they followed through with what they said. If I acted up in church and they said, "you're gonna get it when you get home", then when we got home, they sent me to my room and told me they would be in shortly. Sometimes I got a lecture but most times I got a swat. And I know I deserved it! (By the way, I appreciate how they also disciplined me in private) The important part of this is that they said it and then they did it. This was especially important as a teenager. I didn't push my limits very often...I knew the result. There was that trust and foundation already built. I'm hoping you will do that with your children too. One of the greatest gifts you can give your child along side of love, is trust. Don't let them doubt you...don't let them think you can be played or swayed. Colossians 3:21 says, "Do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged." Wow...think about how many times our children may act out just because we have not set some strategies in place that would help them to feel more secure, know that we are diligent parents and they can trust what we say. If you will do these things, you just might not have to walk on so many eggshells!
Step moms = Servant Leaders! You serve your husband and help him lead this new family. You serve your kids/step kids by loving, nurturing, instructing. You lead them by example and respect. Big job - but we have a BIG GOD!!!! Don't become discouraged...this family is gonna take some time to bond, blend, meld. Be encouraged...because through your diligence and patience, (lots of patience...LOL) this family will start looking like a beautiful masterpiece that only God could create! Don't miss the masterpiece that awaits. Ephesians 2:10 "For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them."
Click on this link to view today's Blended Mom segment on KTAB4U:
Cleanliness is next to Godliness! I don't know how much I have ever believed in that statement...but somewhere down deep in my perfectionist heart, I have justified some common sense in that saying. Of course, I know that you can have a perfectly clean home and live a life of kind words and deeds - and yet still be hell bound. I know that you can live in a home of filth and have strongholds of sin in your life and yet be heaven bound. But at this time, I want to focus on how cleanliness and organization could be a help towards an smoother life - a calmer home atmosphere - and maybe, just maybe, a more positive mindset that would allow you to not only be on top of things inside your home realm, but then be able to extend your gifts and talents outside your home. For years, I have related my being a homemaker, mom and wife to the following Bible verse. 1 Timothy 3:12 says, "A deacon must be faithful to his wife and must manage his children and his household well." A deacon is a servant-leader who ministers to the physical needs of church members. A man is chosen to be a deacon when his personal and home life show signs of management and control. Now, I'm not a deacon, but I take my responsibility as wife, mom and homemaker in much the same way- I'm a servant-leader in my home. Therefore, I am not as effective and able to give to my church and other outside activities when my own home and life is in disrepair or unorganized or wallowing in filth. If I can't keep clean clothes on my husband's and children's backs...if it takes tons of time to find simple everyday living items...if cooking dinner means I have to clean up dishes from two previous dinners...then I should probably step back and take a good look at how much effort I am putting into outside my home and make a decision to make some changes and go back to square one - just taking care of my husband and my kids and my home. I'm not saying that you should quit your job or give up a meaningful volunteer position, but I am asking you to look at your life and consider whether you have a good grasp on the home front so that you can be free to work and volunteer outside your home. Many women have a pretty good balance and know their limitations of how far they can spread themselves. But why do many of us feel we have to jump through so many hoops to please so many other people outside of our home? Why do we feel guilty when we don't stay late every evening at work? Why do we feel pressured to be on every school and church committee? And then we wonder why our husbands seem distant and why our kids don't behave. We dread coming home to the chaos and the growing indifference. Does any of this sound familiar? It's ok if it does. But it's not ok to keep it that way. Your husband and children and home are a reflection of you and your priorities. If any of these three are lacking...believe me...they will soon be shouting for your attention. A husband might turn to another woman to find a more interested and attentive admirer. Children may start acting out in school and their teachers will be keeping your email inbox full. Your home may look more like a battlefield than a place of refuge, security and a place to build dreams and encourage strength and growth. I know that this sounds pretty dismal - but I'm wanting you to evaluate and then adjust as needed. Truly, the church committee will not stop meeting just because you made a decision to resign. The women's organization will still be able to put on the yearly extravaganza even though you won't be doing table centerpieces. Please hear me...there will be a time and a place to volunteer and create and sponsor. I'm just asking that you make sure that it is not taking time that could be used to strengthen and gird up the home front. Take 1 Timothy 3:12 to heart...love your husband and manage your children and home well. Cleanliness and organization and quality time may not be next to Godliness, but I figure it sure doesn't hurt!
Parenting is tough. There isn't an instruction manual given with each child at birth. So we either parent as our parents did us, or we disagree with how we were raised and do something totally different. For instance, when I was little and asked how babies were born, my parents didn't tell me -- they bought me a four-volume encyclopedia set on the human life cycle -- that was a little overwhelming … I was only about 7 or 8! So when I had children, I decided to be very open and honest with them and be able to talk about anything with them. It has been a good and rewarding change. But with good there is always the bad. I had some really ugly areas that needed change. After my first husband died, I was trying to have my life and my home under complete control. So when things were out of control - which was often since I had an eight- and five-year-old - I would lose my temper and the kids bore the brunt of that. I would just go into a rage over the dumbest things. There would be a toy out of place, or cookie crumbs on the floor, and I would go ballistic. After several months of this, I was sitting quietly one evening after the kids had gone to bed, and I started replaying my every conversation and every interaction I had had with my kids throughout that day. It broke my heart. As I relived each moment, I felt like a monster. I also felt God telling me that my kids didn't deserve this; they had already lost one parent … the one who played with them and just loved being with them. I needed to give up my need for a perfect house, and being in control of everything, and just let them be children. I needed to be a loving, playful parent. Yes, discipline still needed to be there, but the raging and ranting like a banshee had to stop. I decided then that I would have the right to discipline only if I took the responsibility to love, nurture and play with my kids. I will say that this mom changed some things. I chose to ignore some of the crumbs, and let a toy be left out occasionally. I started playing with them - just spending time with them and being together without chores and my need to control my universe. Things became better -- the kids responded easier and I was so much more relaxed. Then I became a stepmom and that “monster” showed up again. I was in a place where I saw only negative - I only criticized - I only found fault. Again, God had to show me that until Dan's children saw my love and trusted in that love, they would not accept or understand my discipline. As the new wife and stepmom in your family, I encourage you to build your relationships on love, trust, play and fun. At some point, you will need to step in and discipline his kiddos, but make sure you and your husband have decided how this should look. Next, choose your battles. Not every offense needs a scolding. Many times, Dan and I would both be there to discuss the offense and the consequence of the child. Little did I know that this action would actually bring about respect from the kids for our marriage. So I guess we did something right! Ephesians 6:4 says, "Fathers, don't exasperate your children; instead bring them up in the training and instruction of The Lord." If God had not grabbed hold of me after my first husband died, my children would soon have become exasperated ... I would have pushed them away and they would have run to the first set of open arms they came to - which can be very dangerous in today's world. God had to get my attention again - with Dan's children. I'm glad I listened - because I now have relationships that are in a good place. That is priceless! Please take the time this evening to replay how you have talked with your kids and how you have interacted with them today. Brace yourself for some harsh reality. Ask God where you need to change. Ask Him to help you set aside the demands and worries of the day so that you can focus on your precious children and have a tremendous impact on them that will carry them throughout their lives. Remember, without the responsibility of love, there is no right to discipline.
Eighteen years ago today was the worst day of my life. The death of my husband was heart crushing in a most physically painful way. Today I can rejoice, though. God has shown me constant care and provision. He has given me a testimony and a purpose. It says in the Bible that through ashes comes beauty. How true. Through brokenness comes healing and restoration and a brand new design from God's own hand. You may be in a broken place today. But cling to your Lord your God. He has a beautiful design and plan for your life. He will restore you. He will bring the beauty from the ashes that surround and consume you. Trust and rest in Him. Be patient and allow Him time to create the perfect choreography in your dance of life!
Blended Mom Moment #9
As a new wife back in the 80's, I remember a saying about marriage being 50/50. At the time, that saying made perfect sense. In other words, you bring half your effort into the marriage and I'll bring half my effort into the marriage and somehow that will add up to a 100% awesome marriage. Mathematically that may work. But I found that in relationships, it just doesn't. I realized that the 50/50 equation was wrong in my first marriage. My husband had kidney disease and his kidney function was down to only about 5%. We had some decisions to make. He could go on dialysis and be put on a waiting list for a new kidney - which could take years - or he could go ahead and take one of my kidneys. There was not a 50% option. I was either 100% willing to donate a kidney or not. My husband didn't live long enough for me to donate him a kidney ... but God tenderly showed me that I gave 100%. I was willing to be cut open and give an internal organ to benefit my husband. Willing to go the distance. In your family, you are going to have to give 100% - go the distance. I'm not saying that this will be easy. I'm not going to tell you that the benefits will pay off in a year or two. You need to adjust your mindset to know that it takes about 7-9 years for a couple to start feeling married. That's a long time. What so many couples do is give up after the first few hard years. I wish I could just encourage each couple that is ready to call it quits to just hang in there. Seek counseling. Find another couple that is willing to walk along side you and your husband in your marriage. Be open. Be honest. Go all the way - all 100%. This same principle applies to your children. My husband was really trying to be a father figure to my daughter, but she was not interested in the least. Day after day, Dan grew weary of reaching out to her. One evening, I was getting ready to go tell the kids goodnight and I asked him if he was going to come with me. He told me that it was useless. After a year and a half, he said that he had repeatedly reached out to her half-way and she never reached back out to him. At that moment, I told him that as the adult, he was responsible for going 100% - to show her that he was willing to keep trying - to be there for her even though she showed him rejection. This struck a nerve with him and so he reached out again to her... that night was different. He went with me to her bedroom and stood at the doorway and asked her about her day. He inquired about what she was studying. He made positive statements to her and then he did something funny ... he reached out to her in humor - mimicking her little squirrel voice that she used at times. It was the beginning ... it was 100% from Dan ... right to her heart. There were hugs ... and I'm sure I probably cried. That relationship is wonderful now ... caring, concerned and loving. Because of going 100%, my daughter has a wonderful father figure. My husband has added a daughter that brings lots of joy. I have the benefit of a whole, healthy family. 2 Corinthians 9:6 says, "Remember this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously." Have you really given all you can give to your family? Have you continued to reach out to a step child that either can't or doesn't know how to reach back to you? Have you decided that your husband is worth every ounce of effort that it will take to have a successful marriage? I am begging for you to go all the way - go the distance. Sow generously. As someone who has hung in there ... I'm telling you that the harvest is bountiful and beautiful.
Today's topic on KTAB4U: Family Night and Nuggets! Tune in at 4pm on KTAB-TV (in Abilene, TX and surrounding areas). If you don't live in the area, check out the segment later today on their web site: http://www.bigcountryhomepage.com/ktab4u Also: please email me your questions: Questions@theblendedfamilymom.com Blessings in the Blending!!
Today's topic on KTAB4U: Act ... and the Feeling Will Follow! Tune in at 4pm on KTAB-TV (in Abilene, TX and surrounding areas). If you don't live in the area, check out the segment later today on their web site: http://www.bigcountryhomepage.com/ktab4u
Why do we give up so easily? Why do we barely break a sweat and then call it quits? We do the same thing in relationships. We try to reach out to someone else a couple of times and then when rejection or indifference comes, we throw our hands up in the air and say that we tried. Where is the guts and glory in that?!? My 88-year-old dad taught me that if a problem came up, you kept looking for solutions until you found one - in other words - there 's more than one way to skin a cat! LOL. When my husband and I first married, my daughter wanted nothing to do with him. Dan was getting tired of trying to reach out to her. One evening I asked him to come with me to say goodnight to her. He kinda mumbled something about "what's the use". He said he had reached out to her half way for months and she wasn't returning an inch! That's when I told him that its not a 50/50 relationship...you are either all in or all out. We need to reach out 100% in our families - first to our spouses and then to all the children included in your family. I love those old sayings... "put your nose to the grindstone", "if at first your don't succeed, try, try again"! Let's get real ... your relationships - your family is going to be really hard work. I'm challenging you to hang in there and "find another way to skin a cat"! Dan finally 'wore' my daughter down ... now there is respect and laughter and love!! It took 100%!!! If you want more out of your relationships ... check to see how much you are putting into them!
Today's topic on KTAB4U: "Completing an Impossible Project." Tune in at 4pm on KTAB-TV (in Abilene, TX) for all the details! If you're not in Abilene (or don't get KTAB TV) you can view the segment later today on their web site: http://www.bigcountryhomepage.com/ktab4u If you have questions you'd like answered, please email me: email@example.com ... thanks!!
Blended Mom Moment #8
I have a love/hate relationship with the Proverbs 31 woman. I certainly was not like her in my first marriage. As a blended mom, I fall further away from even being able to stand in her shadow. The more I have thought about her, the more I wanted to see what she would look like today. So I have tweaked Proverbs 31. I'm praying that God will forgive my paraphrasing and that you will hopefully see that you are closer than you think to this saint of a woman! May I present, the 2014 Proverbs 31 Woman. “A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth more than rubies. Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value. She brings him good - not harm - all the days of her life. She selects a wreath and burlap, and works with eager hands to create the perfect door hangar she pinned on Pinterest. She is like the 18-wheelers - traveling about and bringing her food from Walmart, HEB, and Natural Grocers. She gets up while it is still dark - fumbling for the K cup that will help her function and oversee her family up for the day and fed. She shows good judgment with her purchases - evaluating possible return in the future. She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks. (after all, we carry a purse, diaper bag and the baby in the car carrier - all with one arm!) She sees that her trading and garage sale-ing is profitable, and her lamp does not go out at night ... she is already planning tomorrow’s dinner from the Crock Pot Sisters! In her hand she holds the tools and crafts that will open up a world of texture and colors to her preschooler - all the while wearing proudly the splatters of apple sauce and dried play dough on her yoga outfit. She participates in the food drives and clothing drives for the needy. She periodically purges her home to find things that would benefit somebody else and networks with others through Craigslist, MOPS and AbileneMoms.com. She has planned ahead ... there is always an assortment of coats and sweaters and mittens to protect against the annual snowfall that we hopefully get! She layers her children ... because she also knows that when it snows, there is a possibility that it will get up to 70 degrees that same day! She makes her bed (let’s just leave it at that … LOL). She is dressed as a woman representing her Heavenly Father - modestly - keeping herself covered in respect to her husband and also helping other men not to leer and lust. Her husband is respected at his work - his co-workers knowing that his wife takes the time to sometimes make him a lunch ... or bring him lunch. His clothes are presentable. His countenance shines knowing that whatever the day may bring, his wife loves him and supports him and is proud of him! She goes through her closet and finds fine garments to sell at My Sister's Place! She walks daily in the knowledge that God is in control of all! That gives her the strength to get through today and the confidence to laugh at the days and the drama to come! She shares her wisdom from WebMD and her favorite Motherhood blogs. She shares her time-saving recipes from the Crock Pot Sisters website with other moms to make their lives easier. She watches over the affairs of her household and does not succumb to the lure of Crushing Candy or Pinning on Pinterest for hours. Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all - you fear the Lord - you are to be praised.” Moms, take heart. I know that being the matriarch of your home and taking care of your husband and his / yours / y'alls kids, cats, dogs and hamsters can be overwhelming. Just remember that Rome wasn't built in a day - and neither will your family! Pray daily for God to show you where He wants you and where He wants you to invest your time and talent and energy. Then after a month or so, I challenge you to take a look back on what you have accomplished. I think you are gonna be giving that Proverbs 31 Woman a pretty good run for her money!
Today's topic on KTAB4U: "Evil Thoughts: Take Them Captive!" Tune in at 4 p.m. on KTAB TV (in Abilene, TX) for all the details! If you're not in Abilene (or can't get KTAB TV) you can go on their web site and see the segment ... http://www.bigcountryhomepage.com/ktab4u If you have questions, you'd like me to answer, please email firstname.lastname@example.org ... thanks!!
I need your help! I want to hear from you. I would like to know what questions you have about being a blended family mom. I want to know what your biggest challenges are. The things I have written about are from my own little "bubble" in this world. I'm interested in knowing how much we have in common as moms. I'm also interested in knowing what you have gone through that I haven't. So, please take a little time to share your thoughts with me. The best way from here is to use the CONTACT page ... thanks so much!
Blended Mom Moment #7
Speak over your family ... and no ... I don't mean yell (LOL)!
For years, I have spoken positive statements over my children. I have also done that with my husband. (I'm trying to do that with me!) What I have found is that my children have 'risen' to those statements. I would say things like, "You are so smart; you are so talented; God has an amazing plan for your life; you were given special dreams and desires - go for them," etc., etc. As a 26 year old and a 23 year old they are doing just that! I have spoken statements over my husband such as, "I believe you can do anything God puts in your path; you are an amazing husband; you are such a nurturing dad; etc. Well ... Dan (my husband) went from doing public relations at a small museum to being a hospital administrator in a few short years. No big college degree -- just a belief in himself, and hopefully hearing that his wife believed in him also! What are the words coming from your mouth on a day to day basis? Are you instilling positive thoughts in your husband's and children's minds? There is an old saying..."Garbage in, garbage out." I believe it. Whatever you pour into others' minds, you can expect to receive the same back from them in the future. I challenge you to say something uplifting and encouraging to every
person you cross paths with today. Specifically place positive words into your children's lives. Encourage them to dream and then - back up their dreams! Let your husband hear about the positive things he does for you and your family. Then ... go ahead and let yourself hear you say something good about you!
Blended Mom Moment #6
Love is Cookies! Yep, cookies helped me build a bridge to my stepson. I had heard the quotes, "Love is an action" or "Act and the feeling will follow." I even knew they were Biblically based - I John 3:18, "Let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and truth." When our new family first formed, I figured Dan's kids would automatically warm up to me. After all, I'm an optimist and have good friends and a sense of fun and humor about me. They were coming from a place of insecurity. They had been in this new marriage situation before - in fact, twice. They were probably wagering how long Dan and I would last. Tragic, but true. So through tears and frustrations, I cried out to God to help me reach out to these kids. That's when God showed me that even Oreo's can be used to reach a heart! LOL. Dan's son had helped me out earlier in the day and I wanted to 'show' him my thanks. All I had was some Oreo's. I took some and arranged them on a plate in the shape of a smiley face. I have never received such a big bear hug! Sometimes, as moms, we just want our kids to know that we love them. Sometimes, they need an action. So what are your kiddos' favorite cookies? :-)
Blended Mom Moment #5
I love the story of Noah. Talk about your one man against the world! In Genesis 6:5 it tells us that God saw the wickedness of man in the earth and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. The passage goes on to say that God was sorry he created man and so He was going to destroy man along with all other living creatures. Then comes these short and beautiful words in verse 8; "but Noah found favor in eyes of The Lord". So if I had never heard the story of Noah, I probably would have assumed the fairy tale version where God waved a magic wand and removed all the bad people and Noah and his family lived happily ever after. After all, Noah found God's favor - he was considered special and loved. Well, God is God and fairly tales are just that... not real. Instead of making it easy on Noah, God requested that Noah build a boat - a gigantic boat. It was about the length of a football field and almost as wide. I can't imagine making something like that from wood - by hand - with God-given exact specifications. It doesn't tell us how long it took Noah and his sons - the point is that he did it. So let's take the sheer enormity of this project and then throw in his neighbors and townspeople teasing and hurling insults at Noah. Again, I can't imagine continuing to work day after day on something impossible and then also have to endure absolutely no support from those around him. Can you relate? When I married Dan I was expecting the fairy tale version. But God wanted something more from me. He required me to build a family. He had specifications. It was an impossible project. It took years and years (and we are still building). I had friends who thought I was heading down a wrong path. The marriage statistics were absolutely against us. Yet God provided tools for the project and patted my fanny and told me to get going! Looking back, I can honestly say that it was the hard work that brought about the greatest results. It was the tears and sweat that brought the most joy. It was the trials and struggles that brought about the sweetest victories. God saved Noah and his family for God's special purposes. God is going to 'save' your unique, beautiful family also - for His glory and His purposes. Here's the challenge though - you are going to have to start building. God will supply all the tools you need. You have an opportunity to show the world how a family of second, third, fourth or more chances can survive the storms and live. So you better get started ... cuz I'm smelling some rain!
We were blessed to receive another "plug" about the book yesterday ... this time from Columnist Glenn Dromgoole, in his latest column in the Abilene (TX) Reporter News. Thank you Glenn!
Texas Reads: Some Texas books Mom might enjoy
By Glenn Dromgoole
Mother’s Day is coming up, and here are a few Texas books she might appreciate:
Blended family: Abilene writer Kristie Carpenter, author of “The Blended Family Mom” (Tate Publishing, $12.99 paperback), knows her subject first hand. The book offers 35 weeks of interactive inspiration, with thought-provoking stories, practical experience, Scripture verses, suggested activities, and a space for readers to jot down their own ideas. “I have found that everything in life that is worthwhile requires sacrifice,” she writes. “Your blended family requires sacrifice. Through your sacrifice and perseverance, God will bless you and your family.”
Carpenter will sign copies of her book from 3:30 to 5 p.m. on May 10 at Mardel Christian and Educational Supply, 4705 S. 14th. Here is the link:
Blended Mom Moment #4
One of my favorite movie lines is from "Evan Almighty". This particular dialog just speaks to me over and over ever since I heard it. Here 'tis: "If someone prays for patience, do you think God gives them patience or does He give them the opportunity to be patient? If they pray for courage, does He give them courage or give them the opportunity to be courageous? If someone prayed for the family to be close, do you God zaps them with warm fuzzy feelings or does He give them the opportunity to love each other?" How many times have I prayed that God would help me be more loving. Yes ... I wanted the magic fairy wand! But God gives us what we need ... not always what we want. God put me into a blended family that other children required nurturing, understanding, compassion - love. I'm not writing this because I have mastered this ... but I am writing because God is alive and working in me! Hallelujah! Be careful what you pray for ... God is always going to work His best for you!
Blessed to be featured in an article in the local Abilene, Texas newspaper (Abilene Reporter News) today ... thank you, Sherilyn and Belinda, for your kind words!! http://www.reporternews.com/news/2014/apr/19/abilene-authors-diary-of-being-a-blended-family/
He is RISEN ... He is Risen INDEED!!
Here is video from our interview this morning on KTAB in Abilene, TX. The audio is a little weak, so turn up your speakers ... we're still learning about all this technology stuff!! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DD7bhLyHd0g
Blended Mom Moment #3
Day 5 after abdominal surgery! I think I will live! This surgery has been much like going through tough, hard times in your family life. But what I have learned then and now is that if you will just take some time to sit back and breathe and rest in God, He will bring you through. It isn't anything you can do within your own power. And if you think you can, it may bring about a longer 'healing' process or mess things up even more. Gather your family. Pray together. Let them know what's going on and that, more than ever, you need each other. God has such an amazing way of taking those trials and struggles and bringing beauty out of each one! Love y'all!
Thank you to fellow blended family mom, Janice Lim, from Manila, Philippines, for her wonderful blog post about the book! Here's the link: http://therollercoasterride.com/2014/04/book-review-and-giveaway-the-blended-family-mom-by-kristie-carpenter/
Blended Mom Moment #2
Do you know what helps us Blended Family Moms? I'll tell ya...it's having coffee with other blended family moms! Shout out to Stephanie Ellison who lives out loud and can laugh at the quirks and realities of blended families. You may think that you are the only BF Mom that has ever had evil thoughts...Nope! Lurking behind that patient smile and calm, reassuring eyes is a brain that is going full throttle on hubby's ex...or his kids! LOL But here is your opportunity to make the situation better or worse: you can focus on everyone else's negative... or you can take every thought of yours captive to the obedience of Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5). No matter how you got to be this mom in this family...no matter how your husband ended up with you....no matter how his/your/y'alls kids ended up where they did... you can make a positive, God-impacting difference today. And, it all starts with your thoughts. It's so easy to target the ex and throw verbal darts. It's so easy to find fault with his kids. But beauty and blessings come from sacrifice. So take a higher road. Take a good look at the people in your lives and try looking at them from God's perspective. Jesus died on a cross for you...and for them. The ground at the foot of the cross is level... So refresh yourself and sit back and enjoy your favorite beverage and shine some positive light into the realm that God has entrusted you with and take a friend with you!
Blended Mom Moment #1
The cold hard fact - fellow blended family moms - is that our marriages have been born from brokenness ... your side or your husband's (or both). Statistically, the odds are not in our favor. I'm Dan's (my husband) fourth wife so last time I checked, we have about a 14% success rate! But ... that does not include God in the picture. That does not include coming into this marriage and bringing understanding about priorities and what you can expect from each other. Consider these three areas of 'the bigger picture' of your marriage:
1. Your husband is to be your highest earthly priority. That statement causes much angst; I know because I've been there. This also brings much security; you see, kids see and hear everything. They also wonder if this marriage will last. You have an opportunity to show the children what a successful, strong marriage looks like. So choose to respect and honor your spouse and prioritize him.
2. Number 1 takes time. It took Dan about 5-6 years before he could truly prioritize me over his children. I knew that this process would take time (thank goodness God gave me patience). We discussed this - I cried over it - we tried to understand, but at least we confronted it. Please do this with your spouse. You can't move towards oneness in marriage without healing some brokenness, and having a patient, understanding heart towards each other and the paths that ultimately brought you together. The payoff is huge!!
3. Number 1 and 2 can be done and marriage can be pretty good. But I want you to have an extraordinary marriage. That means you need an extraordinary factor - God. God created man and woman for oneness. We blew that. God created us for marriages lasting a lifetime. We blew that too. But God, being a 'bigger picture' God, provided us a way to still achieve oneness and extraordinary - His Son, Jesus. This Jesus, born of a virgin, walked as man on this earth, always pointing us to the love of the Father. Then he did the unthinkable - He was beaten and mocked, torn and bruised for our sins - our brokenness - all of them. Then to show His authority over death, He arose from the grave after three days. He is victorious over sin - over death - over your brokenness. He can and will take the fragments of your life and turn them into a beautiful mosaic - He can. He will. You have to let Him, though. By doing things our own way, we tend to mess things up. I want something more. I know and believe its possible. I am living proof of that 'possible'. I want you to have that too.
Prioritize your husband - wait patiently for you and him to prioritize each other and then shoot for the moon - give your life and marriage to Jesus - it's gonna be beautiful!
Today is the day ... the public release of the book!! Please support our ministry to blended (and traditional) families and marriages by purchasing your copy today ... and PLEASE tell your friends and family about the book.
“Every mom in a blended family has some tough moments, which is why you need some encouraging ones as well.
Blended Mom Moments will pick you up and keep you going, one moment at a time.”
Ron L. Deal, Director of FamilyLife Blended, and author/coauthor of "The Smart StepFamily" and "The Smart Stepmom"
"I love the rawness of the book (The Blended Family Mom) and its honesty ... it has 'healing ministry' written all over it;
it will be a blessing to many couples ... thanks (Kristie) for gifting this to the church."
Gary Thomas, Best-selling author/international speaker
"Offering hope and inspiration, Blended Mom Moments gets right to the heart of the matter. Stepmoms everywhere will enjoy Kristie Carpenter’s wisdom,
practical advice, and month-to-month encouragement. Stepfamilies need support, Kristie delivers!!"
Laura Petherbridge, International speaker and author of "The Smart Stepmom", "101 Tips for the Smart Stepmom", and "Quiet Moments for the Stepmom Soul"
"Raising a healthy and happy blended family is one of the most complex challenges you'll ever face, but this book can help you do it well.
Kristie's wit and wisdom will give you extraordinary tools for the journey.
Blended Mom Moments will provide a yearlong source of hope, encouragement and practical tools to help your family thrive!”
Dave and Ashley Willis, Founders of StrongerMarriages.org
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The Blended Family Mom!