Stepfamily Rx seminar coming to Peace Church Sept. 14th 2013

An incredible experience this evening as I was interviewed on WEAU news with Judy Clark. She is an amazing professional and we thoroughly enjoyed each other, with time to chat before the 5:00 news and during commercial breaks. The next interview will be Tuesday, September 10th at 10:00 a.m.

This post is to display information regarding the upcoming Stepfamily Rx seminar on September 14th:

Where: Peace Church, 501 E. Fillmore Ave., Eau Claire, WI

Time: 9:00 a.m. to Noon – $10/couple  $5/single

Free child care, snacks and beverages will be served.

Call the church office for reservations: 715-834-2486.

Previous attendees had all positive feedback and wanted more! Don’t miss this very informative seminar laced with my passion and humor!

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A chat at the nail salon

Today I was finishing up the details of emailing a broadcast of my upcoming seminar, organized some sales work, paid bills, and then decided I needed to get myself “girlified”. So off to the salon I went and while getting a pedicure, overheard the woman sitting next to me chatting with her nail tech about her interesting job at a local hospital’s hospice.  I shared what I was up to and when “like” people get together, even if total strangers, our commonality trumps all intimidation or introvertedness. She told me she had married a man who had no children…. when her two children were small, aged 7 and 4. They had one child together. That was many years ago, today the three do not talk to each other.  I shook my head sadly, appreciating the melancholy look on her face. Much resistance, pain, and all the “normal” dynamics that occur within many stepfamilies with children. She said, “I made so many mistakes”.  I comforted her and said not to feel guilty as we parents ALL make mistakes. I gave her the blog address and asked her to please visit this site and share…she said she had many stories, as she waved her hand getting up and leaving her pedicure chair. We shook hands and again I reminded her to not lose touch with me. We can all help each other…heal from previous feelings of hurt and guilt, help those in the midst of step-living, and certainly mentor and coach those entering marriage that will create a stepfamily. She agreed that preparation was absolutely essential. I sure hope to see you here, fine lady….

Blessings all, dori:)

A Successful Stepfamily Story…

A friend gave her permission to use the following in my book; however, I wanted to share it in my blog as well. We need to hear the beautiful and successful stories as well as the difficulties and struggles of step-living. Enjoy…I sure did:

“I think the main thing was the love my dad always gave me. (I don’t like to call him stepdad and never did)  He was never known that way to me, though I always knew I had a biological father–who my mother communicated to me didn’t want me to be born. Somehow having me didn’t help her first marriage and held her back from fulfilling her dreams–lots of responsibility felt as a toddler. When my mom and “dad” (how I will refer to your term stepdad) got married, I was 2 and I asked why my last name was different and that if I wasn’t a Smith, I wasn’t part of the family–don’t ask me how a 2-yr. old comprehended that, but I did. So, I got to go by Smith and was very happy about that. Later, I legally took the name (at 20) though I’d always gone by Smith and my “dad” was so happy and proud. He never made a difference, at least that I noticed, between my brother and I (and I could never think of my brother as a step) He’s just always been my brother.

These early impressions somehow set me up to be a pleaser much of my life so people would want me around . I had come to believe, at some level, I might not have truly been wanted, so I’d better be a really good girl and do what others told me. It’s taken me most of my life to overcome this, with the Lord’s help, and not allow myself to be dominated by others. It’s also important for parents, be the bio or step, to try not be negative about the other parent as the child picks up on that, even very very young. Because of my mother’s hurt, I only heard negative and rather awful stories about my bio dad and as a little child that came across that I must also have these bad qualities–another reason I must “please” others so they would like and value me.   

 Another strong memory is of a 4th grade teacher who put both my last names up on the school wall–she had all the kids’ names up and proceeded to call them out (like a roll call) and when my birth name came up and I didn’t respond, she asked me “Didn’t I know?”  “Don’t you know who you are?” It was a rather mortifying experience for a 9 year old, but none of the other kids seemed to pay much attention. I was an adult before I even told a friend my “dad” wasn’t my biological dad–He’s always been and always will be my “dad” to me. When I saw my mom on my birthday this year and she asked me what I wanted to do, I said that I wanted to visit “dad’s grave” and put flowers on it. We sat on the grassy hillside and sang the old gospel and family hymns I remembered from growing up. My “dad” was always there to encourage me, believe in me, and always had wise words and common sense advise. He never once raised his voice to me or even got mad at me that I remember, but I was a pretty good kid. His life continues to inspire me to live well.

 I believe the good Lord puts “real” parents in children’s lives be they  bio or step. It is also in Him we find our value and purpose. Anyway, hope this helps another–that’s what we’re all here for, really, to serve others and glorify Jesus.”    –Lil Smith