Parenting: My Personal Struggle with Fear

sister shirtWhen my daughter, my oldest child, was in preschool through elementary school, she was so spunky and smart with just enough stubbornness to call it determination mixed in. I truly felt she would conquer the world, a neatly packaged redheaded blue-eyed force to be reckoned with. When the middle school years hit, she changed. The bullying started and she became fearful and worried more and more.

Many nights I’ve knelt by their bed and prayed over both my son and my daughter, but I’ve spent a lot of time worried for my sweet sensitive girl. Her dad and I divorced when she was three. I remarried when she was five and he left me two years later. When she was sixteen, my youngest son at age ten was diagnosed with an incurable brain abnormality and underwent brain surgery to help restore flow between his brain and spine. To say our whole world flipped upside down that year would be an understatement.

I have been remarried now for nearly ten years to a good Christian man and stepfather. I’m a stepmom to a very determined handsome high school freshman. My son, now thirteen is doing very well and surgery, although scary, has been an answered prayer. We have worked very hard to blend our family and move forward.

My daughter is a sophomore in college now. She is still spunky and very smart but her struggle is real. She wrestles with who she is versus who she thinks she should be. She worries that she is not good enough to succeed.

why i didn't rebel 2I have been reading a book by Rebecca Gregoire Lindenbach called Why I Didn’t Rebel. In it Rebecca shares her own personal encouraging story of how she made it through the difficult teen years while staying true to her values, faith, and family.

The other day I was reading her chapter on Expectations where she wrote: “Looking at all these stories, I saw a pattern emerging:  families who expected their kids to rebel were scared, and families who didn’t expect their kids to rebel had a lot of faith in their children.” It was like gaining admittance into a secret room where parents are typically not allowed and God used her words to illuminate some shadowed corners of my soul.Why I Didn't Rebel

It revealed to me that unconsciously I’ve been parenting from a place of fear rooted in guilt. The more she struggles the more fearful I become because in the innermost part of my heart, I worry that my failures will cause her to rebel and ultimately fail. I know this is not what God wants for my family or my daughter.

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. 2 Timothy 2:7

Parenting is hard and divorce and remarriage is messy. Blending a family only makes it more complicated. Why I Didn’t Rebel is like a breath of fresh air. Drawing me out, helping to replace my pessimism with perspective straight from the proverbial green grass on the other side. It tackles issues parents face today while giving candid insight on balancing them with healthy boundaries and expectations that actually work.

Why I Didn't RebelFor 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. Jeremiah 29:11

Thank you Rebecca for allowing God to use you to write this book to rekindle hope in parents who may be struggling with discouragement. My girl may just conquer the world after all.

 

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All That Granny Did: Leaving a Godly Legacy

Back in June, I had the honor of having a very emotional heartfelt piece about my granny published on The Unveiled Wife.

My sweet granny passed away three years ago today so to celebrate her, I thought I would share my post about her amazing Godly legacy and steadfast faith. All That Granny Did: Leaving a Godly Legacygranny-and-me

 

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


Forgiveness

This was my very first post on this blog back in June 2012.  It was on my heart today and I felt it needed to be re-written and re-posted.  Thanks so much to all my readers and comments.  It has meant so much to me!

My 2nd marriage lasted just over 2 years.  We were having problems, particularly spiritual issues.
I begged him to get pastoral counseling with me but he didn’t(and still doesn’t) think counseling is scriptural. We were still managing to stay together, however, in spite of our problems until we were told by a family member that our pastor at the time was talking about me behind my back.  He said that my husband had a “tiger by the tail when he married me”.  I was hurt and totally offended. I wanted my husband to defend me and be upset with me but he seemed to defend the pastor.  We called the pastor immediately but he would not return our calls for a week and finally he did call.  He apoligized, but tried to justify that what he meant was I wear the pants in the family by that statement.  (Was that really supposed to make me feel better?) He honestly didn’t know the workings of our marriage and had not right to give his opinion to others.  I was still very hurt and offended but tried to make peace with the situation.  My marriage after that was never the same and 5 months later we were separated.  I felt that my husband didn’t go to bat for me and placed the pastor as more important, so to speak.  Why am I writing this today?  I think that the dynamics of a successful blended family are somewhat different then other marriages.  It is very hard to put your marriage first above your children, especially when half is your own flesh and blood but not the other half but it is all the more important that you do!  You have to learn and practice loving your spouse more.  Do not misinterpret what I’m saying.  This does not mean your blended children get less love and “sloppy seconds”.  It just means your marriage to your spouse takes higher priority.  Think about it:  the stronger and together your marriage is the stronger you are able to be FOR your children.  If you and him are divided then it filters down to the children and does not help them in any way feel safe in this blended family. They have already been through the horrors of divorce and you can bet that they are very scared that they will have to go through another!  Being strong together shows them what a healthy relationship is and gives them comfort that everything is going to be ok. 

This brings me to the above example of my second marriage and the topic of forgiveness.  As I sat down for my quiet time with God this morning it felt that God was saying I need to forgive.  Now obviously we need to work on forgiving our ex’s, but I’m talking about forgiving that pastor. You see, all these years, I have blamed him for the downfall of my second marriage.  Matthew 11:6 KJV says “Blessed are those who are not easily offended”.  Another verse and a favorite is Eph 4:31-32 “Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.”  So in thinking about your precious blended family today, think about forgiveness. Is there a person (other than the ex) that you feel played a role in the downfall of your marriage or relationship?  Open your heart up to forgiveness and letting that go.  I promise it will lighten the load and make you feel more refreshed and able to give your focus and energy to your family who deserve it way more than that person who offended you!