From the Blendermom Archives: Amazing Like God

This was a blog post I wrote last year after mother’s day but it still touches my heart.  I thought I would share it again……

So this past Sunday was Mother’s Day and as a mom and bonus mom, it was a great day. My kids showered me with lots of hugs, kisses, and “I love yous”. My youngest son still holds a bit of a soft spot in my heart because he is still at that age where I don’t embarrass him. He loves for me to hug him and hold his hand in public, say prayers and tuck him in at night, and write notes on his napkin in his lunch box. He drew me a special card that spelled out the letters in my name and described me. The very last letter of my name is ‘A’ and he wrote about me: “A is for amazing like God”. Other things were “nice as a flower” and “cute as a dog” but wow! “Amazing like God”. It got me thinking about the example I am to my son and my children. Those are some really big shoes to fill!

Webster’s definition of amazing: amazement, great wonder and surprise. The definition of God: the Being perfect in power, wisdom, and goodness who is worshiped as creator and ruler of the universe; a person or thing of supreme value. To me, my son thinks that as a mom, I bring wonder and amazement to his life as someone who is in authority with wisdom and goodness in his life. Proverbs 31: 28,29 NLT “Her children stand and bless her. Her husband praises her. There are many virtuous and capable women in the world, but you surpass them all!”

Heavenly Father, how do I ‘surpass them all’? How do I set that example of how a Godly mother should be? How can I truly be amazing as a mom? And God seemed to speak to my heart. It is by teaching him the commands of God about ‘loving thy neighbor’, ‘honoring thy father and mother’, and ‘putting God first in everything’. It is by tucking him in at night and praying with him. It is showing him my love with those hugs and kisses. It is leaving those little notes on his napkin in his lunchbox. It is by doing those things we do as moms that can make us amazing and wise and good in the eyes of our children.

Take it a step further and extend that to your bonus sons and daughters. Try to show them love, affection, wisdom and goodness. Be an example of what a Godly christian woman, wife, and mother should be in your home so that you can strive to be “Amazing like God” to your hand-picked God-given precious family! Deuteronomy 6:6,7 NLT “And you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands I am giving you today. Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up.”Image


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A Candle For Jack

Jack is a wonderfully gifted, inquisitive, articulate 9 year old boy with a beautiful, sweet warmth about him.  His strong determined mom is a blogger friend of mine and for the past year or so I’ve been following her powerful emotional story of co-parenting (if you can even call it that) with a narcissist.  For years she has struggled to move mountains to get the help and encouragement for this highly gifted child with an IQ in the 98th percentile. When Jack was 7, because of her efforts of trying to get him enrolled in the Gifted Academy, she lost custody of her son through a very broken court system. A court system that felt it was better to not look to experts in the field of gifted children but rather to the squeaky wheel that was screaming for grease.  Her parenting time has now been reduced to 8 days a month!

Since the custody change, Jack’s anxiety has increased to an all time high.  He has shared with his mom after crying uncontrollably for the first hour of most visits with her that his father is abusing him mentally, emotionally, and physically and since the courts are not monitoring him and this man has complete control, the abuse has escalated to an alarming level.  One small example of this is that Jack is afraid of heights so his father held him by his leg and suspended him over the railing of the deck 20 feet off the ground to teach him not to be afraid!  Countless times he has been called a baby, stupid, and an idiot.  He is not allowed to cry.  I could go on with many other examples.

I was deeply moved by this brave mom’s post, her message of hope that she has received from God through her son and her anxious fear as she goes to the court of appeals on April 15 to plead with them to overturn the custody ruling.  This is the link to this post and I encourage you to please read it!  You will be so inspired by this amazing little boy.

http://scatteredsmotheredandcovered.com/2014/04/07/one-word-365-submit-to-hope/

Today we had a prayer service at church.  A time where we can be prayed over, take communion,light candles and also literally carry our burdens and nail them to a wooden cross.  My daughter and I solemnly lit a candle for Jack.  And we prayed.  Prayer changes things and so I asked God would surround this situation with His almighty power.  I prayed that Jack and his mom would feel that power and strength in such a way that they would know a peace that they have never known in the midst of this raging storm.  I am asking that everyone will join me on April 15, in the middle of working, business of life, tax deadlines, etc…to stop just a moment and pray for this hearing.  Pray for this dedicated mom.  Pray for Jack.

I have been thinking and meditating on Psalms 10 which is such a powerful chapter.  Here are a few verses that really speak to me.  Psalms 10:10-11 ESVThe helpless are crushed, sink down, and fall by his might. He says in his heart, “God has forgotten, he has hidden his face, he will never see it.”  Verses 14, 17-18  “But you do see, for you note mischief and vexation, that you may take it into your hands; to you the helpless commits himself; you have been the helper of the fatherless.  O Lord, you hear the desire of the afflicted; you will strengthen their heart; you will incline your ear to do justice to the fatherless and the oppressed, so that man who is of the earth may strike terror no more.

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Pray for Jack.
   

A New Heart

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So here is a short devotional thought for the blendermom/stepmom….

Ezekiel 36:26 “And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart.”

During my engagement to my husband, I scoured the internet reading posts, forums, articles, etc….about blended families and being a stepmom. The relationship with my little 6 year old stepson was very important to me and I wanted to do things right. I remember reading forums, posts and articles about stepfamilies and stepmoms.

I was surprised at how many stepmoms are struggling.  There were numerous posts about how the stepmom can’t stand the stepkids, or how the stepchild tries to manipulate to get more attention from their father, or that the husband doesn’t understand.

The thing is, the father and his kids are a package deal.

Maybe you are one of those moms.  You may feel hopeless in your family situation but prayer changes things. Maybe it’s not the stepchildren, but your relationship with your husband that needs mending. God doesn’t want your family to fail. God wants your family to be strong, compassionate, and loving. And I truly believe it starts inside our own heart first.

I encourage you to pray for your husband and your children no matter how you “feel”.  Ask Him to help you see them through His eyes and ask Him to change your heart. Ezekiel 36:26 is a promise that God will change your heart if you are willing and open. Don’t think for one second that because your family was a product of divorce that God thinks less of you! Remember that Jesus lived in a blended family…

1 Peter 5:7 “Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.

Let God work healing in your marriage and family.  Let Him start by giving you a new heart.

The Other Mothers

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I don’t typically write about the “other mothers”. I feel strongly about sharing things about our blended family but there is a fine line between sharing my heart and gossip/slander. Yes there has been times where I have wanted to vent out my frustrations in my posts but other than making me feel better, how would that truly help the situation? However, I am going to share some thoughts on the subject and maybe give advice to other “blendermoms” who are stepmoms, biomoms, or like me, both. Be mindful that I am only speaking from a place where both parents are active in all 3 of my children’s lives.

1. Respect the biomom for who she is regardless of what you may personally think of her.

I know this may hit a nerve with some stepmoms because stepmoms are often not treated with kindness, courtesy, or respect. However, if the biomom is in the child’s life there is no one that can or should take her place.

I do not have a relationship with my son’s stepmom. When she was first introduced to my son, he was told to call her “Miss” and by her first name but 5 months later when his dad married her, they immediately started on a campaign to force him to call her mom because she was pregnant.

To read the rest of this article go to http://familyfusioncommunity.com/2014/01/30/the-other-mothers/ and let me know your thoughts on the “other mothers” in your life.

Do You Bring Blessings or Blow Horns?

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About a week and a half ago, last Tuesday, I was driving to work.  I was talking to my mom as I often do just like any other day.  My mind was filled with memories, Christmas lists, money worries etc……    I noticed a little ways up the road, a woman coming across a bridge up ahead.  Now, because of TV movies and watching too much of the news, I began to slow down my 75mph speed as a precaution in case this was someone who thought it might be fun to throw something off the bridge onto the cars below.  It all happened in a matter of seconds.  This woman had decided that she no longer wanted to live, came over the side and jumped off of that bridge, landing in front of my car on the busy interstate!

I swerved, screaming, trying to articulate to my mom what just happened.  I pulled over a little ways from the scene just to be safe and began jogging back to this nightmare that had just unfolded in my lane in front of me!  A small group had already gathered around her and I was surprised to see that the woman had already re-gained consciousness (after seeing her land like a rag doll and unconscious).  She was trying to fight us to get up while bleeding on the pavement.  I tried to soothe her, telling her that help was coming and that she was hurt.  I asked her if there was any phone numbers I could take down and call for her but she said she did not have anybody.  The paramedics and officers arrived.  They could not believe that this woman was not run over and kept saying it.  They allowed her to sit up as they examined her injured leg and face.  She is going to be just fine with just a scraped up face and broken leg!  As I was standing with the only other witness that cared enough to stop, a kind sweet faced lady on the way to pick up her daughter, we began talking of what we saw.  She did not see the woman jump like I did, only something in the road.  As I was trying to swerve, slow down and pull over she was trying to stop traffic that just kept driving around the woman and blowing the horn.  We could not believe how many just drove by blowing the horn and kept going!

On the morning of Christmas eve, my husband and I took our 3 kids to eat a late breakfast.  I mentioned that there was an elderly man eating alone and how sad that was at Christmas when the place was full of families.  Teen could not even enjoy her food because of it and wanted to go over and ask him to join us but is very shy about such things.  My husband and I wanted to as well but we made excuses such as he probably wanted to be alone or that he probably had a house full of family and wanted some time alone to enjoy his paper.  With a determined look, she went over to the man, wished him a Merry Christmas, and told him there was plenty of room at our table.  He joyfully accepted and for the next hour we were all entertained with stories of this gentleman’s life.  He introduced himself as Jim O’Neal, the “84 yr old Black Irishman”.  He insisted that he pay for our meal but my husband had gladly already paid for his.  We all left the restaurant that morning feeling happy and blessed.

These events got me to thinking about how we live our lives.  Do we stop our hectic pace and self-absorbancy and help those in need or do we just drive by and blow the horn?  Do we go the extra mile to bring a smile to someone’s face or do we make excuses to ease our conscious so we feel better about not going out of our comfort zone?

Christians, myself included, are commanded to “love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:39).  Let’s not also forget the golden rule to “do unto others as you would have them do unto you” (Luke 6:31).  There is verse after verse where we are to show Christ’s love through serving and loving others.  However, our selfish nature tends to fight with that kind of selfless love.  For this upcoming new year my prayer is that I allow God to continue to use me to bless those around me.  I pray that my children will continue to live out a life of serving God by being kind and loving others and that my husband and I can be an example of that love.  Who knows?  Maybe if we step up and go that extra mile there will be more people who don’t feel so empty and alone enough to jump off a bridge and instead end up sharing stories over a meal with new friends.

Are you someone that in this new year brings blessings or blows horns?

Our Blended Life..The Musical

DSC_2377I have many drafts of posts for my blog but not any that I feel God leading me to publish just yet.  I haven’t posted in a really long time because I’ve been busy writing for other family publications.  I wanted to share an experience I had with my son tonight.

I have been playing the piano “by ear” since I was around four and had to reach up to reach the keys.  I bought a used piano recently and it’s good therapy for me just to sit and play and sing some of the old songs I loved as a kid such as “Sweet Hour of Prayer”, “Rise Again”, and “He Was There all the Time”. 

After dinner tonight I sat down and started playing.  My youngest son who is nine came up and sat down beside me.  After a few times of singing the song he chimed in with his sweet boy voice.  Ya know, the sweet voice that doesn’t know all the perfect notes of the song and hits every few off key but catches back on quickly.

After that, I started playing an old song my parents used to sing called “Remind Me Dear Lord”, a song I have sung to him since he was very little.  A song he loves.  He suddenly said, “Mama I want to play that song!”  It never occurred to him that it might take a lot of time for me just to teach him the chords.  Any way, I told him that we should start by learning a C chord.  He quickly picked up on that and I showed him the key progression of C which the C, F, and G chords.  After trying, however, he because frustrated that he could not play the music like I played so I started playing a song I learned as a child:  “He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands”.  A very simple song to play in the key of C.  He caught on quickly and was soon playing a long with me, so I showed him how to put a little more into the rhythm by using his left hand.  That proved to be too difficult for him and becoming quite agitated our music lesson came to a frustrated end.

Later I started thinking about that sweet moment and how thankful I was that God had given me the ability to play so if nothing else I could teach my son about Him through playing and music and to make lasting memories.  How often do we have those precious opportunities with our children in our lives;  to share our gifts and talents at unexpected moments.  It wasn’t a perfect moment.  It wasn’t flawless.  However, that’s life and that’s how life is, isn’t it?  It is our blended family heartsong; those everyday teaching moments that shape us and make us who we are.  Sometimes it’s spontaneous.  Sometimes it’s off-key.  Sometimes it’s difficult, but it is in those precious God-given moments that gives our heartsong a melody!

Colossians 3:16 ESV “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.”

What’s So Great About 4?

Earlier this summer, I was driving down the road on the way to the grocery store, listening to the radio when the overly zealous radio DJ announces that if you are the 10th caller your name will be entered in a drawing to win a family 4-pack of tickets to go see an upcoming show at the local coliseum. I get to the store and begin my grocery shopping.  I head for the meat department to check out the sales.  I notice that there are packs of fresh ground meat hamburgers all conveniently made into large patties in packs of 4.  I chug home after finishing the task of grocery shopping, put things away and finally sit down and grab my laptop.  Although we had already had an amazing beach vacation at the beginning of the summer, I wanted to look up some prices for a possible trip toward the end of the summer.  I go to the various websites and search the packages and specials.  There is countless, and I do mean countless deals on theme park tickets, food, and  lodging for (you guessed it) a family of 4. Deciding that we did not have enough money I started looking into alternative options for the summer.  A local  water park at a lake 20 minutes from our home was running a special for a summer pass at an amazing deal for a FAMILY OF 4!  After this happened for the 4th time (pun intended) that day I started to ask myself, is society trying to tell us something?  There are so many deals and so many specials geared toward the family and every single one of them for family is limited to 4!  It seems there are so many differences of opinion out there about families and the ones that society seems to want to force upon us is referred to as being politically correct.  Is it that perhaps if you are a family of 4 you are politically correct and the ones that have less than or in my case, more than 4 are politically incorrect?  I can’t help but ask the obvious question here;  what’s so great about 4?  Is that society’s way of reminding us at every turn “ok you have 2 children, you’re done now”?!  Maybe, if you are a family of 3, well I guess it might not be too bad, you can bring a friend.DSC_2164

I asked my husband how he felt about the subject with all the family deals, coupons, or specials are geared toward families of 4.  He said that society certainly seems to be biased toward families that have 2 kids.  He says he feels like it is inconsiderate to the larger families and I am going to have to agree.  Wouldn’t it seem that if you have more than 2 kids would you not need the discount and specials that much more because you have more mouths to feed?  Seriously what are these companies thinking?  “sorry but we only have 4 passes kids so pick a number between 1 and 10  to see which one of you has to sit this one out”!  It seems that we are seeing more and more blended and expanded families these days.  I think it’s time we changed the standard! Who’s with me?? 

Psalms 127:3-5a “Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from Him.  Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are children born in one’s youth.  Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them.”