Having A Hard Time Because Of Someone’s Actions?

Letting goDuring the service last Sunday, I was reminded of the story of Joseph and how his brothers sold him into slavery because they were jealous. But it wasn’t what they did that gripped my heart. It was his reaction when he was reunited with them years later!

Genesis 45:4-8 “I am Joseph, your brother, whom you sold into slavery in Egypt.  But don’t be upset, and don’t be angry with yourselves for selling me to this place. It was God who sent me here ahead of you to preserve your lives. This famine that has ravaged the land for two years will last five more years, and there will be neither plowing nor harvesting. God has sent me ahead of you to keep you and your families alive and to preserve many survivors. So it was God who sent me here, not you! And he is the one who made me an adviser to Pharaoh—the manager of his entire palace and the governor of all Egypt.

Have you been going through a really hard time because of someone’s actions? Having trouble trying to see the good in something painful? I have had trouble, especially in the past, of forgiving and letting go. I’ve wanted them to know what it’s like to hurt as they had hurt me or mistreated my family.

I’ve had conversations in my head that went a little like this:

Me: “But Lord, they hurt me so deeply and those I care most about! They can’t get away with that!”

God whispers: “Forgive them.”

Me: “But why Lord? They don’t deserve it! If I forgive they will think I’m ok with what they did.”

God whispers: “Extend grace to them.”

Me: “But why Father when they have not shown it to me; to my loved ones.”

Again He whispers: “They hurt Me when they hurt you, but you must forgive them as I have forgiven you. You must extend grace to them as I have extended grace to you. With their actions and in the pain you may have lost little but as My child, you have and will be given much.”Letting go

Joseph had every right and opportunity to have his revenge but he saw through the pain and instead extended grace and forgiveness because he knew that God had a plan for his life and God most certainly has a plan for us. Lamentations 3:37 “Who can command things to happen without the Lord’s permission?”

If I am holding onto the pain and anger placed there by others then my hands are too full to take hold of the beautiful blessings that God is trying to give me. Sometimes, He allows things to happen to empty our hands of all that mess, all that pain, all that bitterness so that he can fill them to overflowing with His goodness!

Ephesians 3:20 “Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us.”
I encourage you to let go of the mess placed there by the ex. Let go of the mess placed there by a family member. Let go of the mess placed there by a friend. Drop it and embrace all the good things God has planned for you.

Letting go

 

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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.

Love Him/Love Him Not

Heart

Today’s topic is about how we love our husbands.  It pertains to normal relationships.  This does not apply to abusive or cheating men. 

My husband is a very good man.  He is good to me and very importantly, he is good to my kids.  He is my best friend (we love being together).  He is my lover. (woot woot!!)  Now, if you are reading this, you are probably thinking about your husband in comparison and how he is or is not like my husband, or if single, thinking how you wish you had someone like him or how your ex was certainly NOT like him!  However, what you probably did not think about is the kind of wife you are or were and how that has shaped the kind of husband you have or want.  It is only natural to look away from ourselves to the outside influences especially if we are not in the best place in our relationship.  We tend to not stop and say to ourselves “how did I contribute to us getting to this point?”  No, if you are unhappy in your relationship you tend to use alot of finger pointing the other way.  I know that I am so guilty of this, especially in previous relationships. How often do we women fall into a pattern of thinking how he does not do this or does not do that or does not say this etc…  We become so obsessed with standards that he is not living up to that we discount our own behaviour. Don’t get me wrong, it takes both of you to make or break a relationship, but let’s face it ladies, the only thing you can change in this thing is yourself! I see alot on social media, the ladies posting actors, musicians, etc… pics talking about how gorgeous that man is or talking about the latest “colorful” book they have read that is nothing short of soft porn and all the while they are married.  I can’t help but feel how utterly disrespectful that is to your man.  What is sad is that I see it coming from the ladies way more than I see it coming from the men.  I think that if your man turned around and did the same thing you would be so angry with him and upset.  I think that you would feel inadequate and unattractive.  My husband takes care of himself and likes to be healthy by working out. In a previous relationship, my husband’s ex would see body builders on TV and say things like “why can’t you look like that”.  Now I don’t know if she said it often or only once or twice but it tore him down and has affected him more than I can put into words.  One of my ex’s loved to look at women.  Every where we would go he would comment on some woman.  I always felt that he was looking at every woman in the room but me no matter how hard I tried to look good and it cut deep and hurt me deep in my spirit.  It taught me that I do not ever want to treat the one that I love in that way!!  I don’t ever want my husband to feel the way I felt! 

In today’s blended family marriage is the upmost importance but can also be very fragile!  You have so much working against you but it is so important to be strong and together for your kids so that they don’t have to go through yet another divorce.  Stop and think right now about how you have been loving your husband and think about how you have not.  Ask God to show you how to love your husband the way He wants you to love him.

Song of Solomon 8:6
Place me like a seal over your heart, like a seal on your arm; for love is as strong as death, its jealousy unyielding as the grave. It burns like blazing fire, like a mighty flame. (NIV)

The Control Monster

If you are re-married and have kids from a previous relationship then you have fought the control monster at one time or another!  Let’s take a moment for honesty here and say you have fought the control monster and you have also been the control monster! (There! That didn’t hurt so bad, did it?)  If you are currently going through a divorce right now and kids are involved then you are either fighting the control monster or being a control monster right now! I had a friend confide in me the other day about some problems they are having while going through a separation.  The friend was basically driven out of the house.  Whenever they try to see the kids they are magically busy and the ex denies any time with them.  Whenever the friend tries to call the children, the ex will not let them talk and starts an argument about other issues.  It is so bad that the children have tried to sneak calls to the friend while at neighbors houses!  I would go into more detail but am afraid that I will infringe on privacy, but you get the picture.  Clearly that friend’s ex has become the control monster!  Another friend of mine has been fighting his ex for a few years now.  He is only allowed to his children very little and the children are being brainwashed by the mom against him all in the name of control!

Right after my ex left he decided that what we had agreed on was not good enough.  He started talking to others and decided that we were going to trade off our son every seven days.  He was still in pull ups and just over a year and half old!  I felt like that would be way too difficult for him at such a young age.  I told him that he could spend as much time with him during the week that he wanted but that it would be best for him to sleep in the same bed he had slept in since birth as much as possible.  My ex took him and withheld him from me for 5 days.  He would not let me see him or talk to him (I would typically call and sing nursery rhymes and songs to him over the phone even though he was so young. I just wanted him to hear my voice so he would know I had not left him.) Anyway, the ex also enrolled him in another daycare as well.  Those were the longest five days of my life!  I was forced to get an emergency court order granting me custody until our case could be heard.  I remember it was Saturday when he was withheld and it was Wednesday afternoon when I got him back.  When I showed up to pick him up, he jumped out the door.  I scooped him up in my arms and he wrapped his chubby little arms around me and kept patting my back saying mama over and over.  He literally would not let me put him down for two hours!  It was like he was afraid I would leave him and not come back again.  When we got to court instead of hanging my ex out to dry before a judge I decided to settle.  I ended up giving him 4 nights every other weekend instead of the standard two.  I decided it was best for my son to not have his parents in an all out war! I felt that revenge and hurting my ex was far less important than what was best for my son. That’s just one example of fighting the control monster.

There were also times when I was the control monster.  I had my daughter’s time decreased with her father when she started school but for the longest time I would not deviate from our court order.  I would not give extra time because I wanted to stay in control.  Now she is old enough to say when she wants to go and so we listen to her, both of us.  We work hard to communicate with each other on what’s going on with her and if she says she needs time with the other parent, we now work hard to make that happen.

So, why does the control monster come in and take over in some form or another in most cases? I think the number one reason is the ex wants to hit you where it hurts!  They don’t want you to be happy or move on with someone else. If they feel they “hold the cards” then they can do whatever they want and what they want is to hurt you but what they don’t realize is they hurt those children FAR more than they hurt you!  In a game of tug of war the rope in the middle is able to withstand the tugging.  But if you were to tug on it constantly back and forth over a long period of time the tugged part of the rope becomes weaker, frayed and worn out.  Your children are that part of the rope!  They will become frayed, weak and eventually broken! If you are in this situation and the monster is trying to take over, stop and ask yourself is this the best thing for my child? Or is this just a way I can get back at the ex?  Pray for wisdom to see through to the heart of the situation.  Pray for peace and wisdom in this very difficult situation and then let God take care of it and give any revenge to them if needed. 

Matthew 5:9 “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.”

2 Corinthians 13:11 “Finally, brothers and sisters, rejoice! Strive for full restoration, encourage one another, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you.”

The grass really isn’t always greener!

Bloom

It’s fall and it’s beautiful out there!  We are fortunate enough to live fairly close to beautiful fall color so we took the kids to a state park for a picnic and hiking for the day recently.  In today’s world, on today’s income, money is very tight so we have always tried to do day trips and things that are low cost or my personal favorite, free.  The kids love it.  When I was first divorced and when we first got married, it would really bother me because the other parent would buy so much and take the kids on expensive trips.  (Ouch! I know I just hit a nerve!)  Yes admit it!  You have probably even been more than bothered, you may have even been a little jealous of some of the things the ex was doing and buying!  (Ouch! I said jealous, haha!) After my little “moments”, however I would realize there is not a thing I could do about it other than be the best parent I could be.  I would think of ideas that I or we could do with the kids to make memories.  When I was a single mom with my two kids, I took my kids in the middle of February to the beach for the night.  During the winter, alot of hotels offer very low rates at the beach so I was able to get a room with a queen bed and bunk beds as well as an indoor pool!  At the time teen was 8 and lil man was 3.  They were in awe!  I took them swimming that evening and to the aquarium the next day before going home.  Do you know my kids to this day still talk about that trip!  Another time the same year my husband and I were married we took the kids about 4 hours away to a theme park and stayed for one night.  I had gotten discounts on the room and the tickets.  My husband was just starting college and we again did not have much money but wanted to do something fun before school started back.  We had an amazing time, the five of us!  All the kids, again to this day, still talk about it and beg to go back.  Between my single mom days up until now, a couple of our kids have been given costly gifts and taken on expensive trips with the other parent, but here is something that surprised me…..they never really talked about it that much, or seemed to be as impressed as I thought they would be!  They talk more about the little things that we have done than anything else.  So here is the absolute best advice I could ever give from one blendermom to another: If you really want to impress your kids give them your TIME.  I know you have heard that before but I can’t emphasize enough just how true it is.  When you find yourself focusing on what the other parent or ex is doing, spending, etc….stop right there and start thinking about what you can do to give of yourself, your time to your kids.  It’s not about what the other parent is doing or buying its about you loving the kids and making memories.  We have watched the movie “Flubber” and then made flubber.  We made pudding art with painting chocolate pudding all over waxed paper.  We have got the kids up to watch a meteor shower or see a gigantic full moon rising while singing the moon song.  We have been to countless parks and tried new walking trails.  We have turned off all the lights, especially in the summer evenings, opened all the blinds, and watched a lightening storm.  We have on numerous occasions when the weather was bad, gone to a local bookstore and had coffee (for us) and hot chocolate.  Then the kids would each get a new book and we would come home and read them to the kids.  The list goes on and on but you get the idea.  It doesn’t have to be expensive.  It doesn’t have to be grand.  Whenever you think the grass is greener, that’s when you need to water your own.  For other ideas, read my blog http://blendermom.me/153194395.  I would love to get comments and messages on what you have done to water your own grass and make memories. info@blendermom.me