One of the issues that was discussed and that the stepmoms had difficulty with is taking things personally. Especially in regards to our relationship with the stepchildren. Let’s unpack this a bit. Women are nurturers, lovers, God created us to be helpmates, we are sensitive, we are loyal…we can become momma bears if you get too close to our children! God created us to hold and carry seeds of humanity, His mighty hand works within us to form our precious babies. In Jeremiah 1:5 NIV) “…Before I formed you in the womb I knew you…” and from Psalm 139:14 (NIV) “I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Your works are well made, I know that full well.” We women who love and worship God realize the task at hand with children. Fathers are crucial for leadership, protection, security, guidance, a firm and loving hand in discipline and boundaries. Women hold things in, we embrace emotions because that is quite simply, how we are built. Our challenge, then, is to learn how not to allow our emotions to run our lives. Oh yeah, ding ding ding….but how do we do that?
Jan Silvious, Women of Faith speaker and author, in her book “Big Girls Don’t Whine”, gives a pearl of wisdom: “Until you take responsibility for yourself, you cannot become all God hopes you will be.” I love her book and it was one of the stepping stones that helped me understand that I have the power to control all of me…every inch of me. I can control my thoughts, actions, words. I can choose to feel, I can choose to let things go. You know what my measurement for “Do I go for it or do I let it go?” I ask myself, “Am I or someone going to die or get sick as a result of this?” “No?” Then, I let it go. I used to take so many things personally, let the memory run wild in my “personal recorder”…that part of my brain that plays and replays over and over and over what happened…. what I should have done, what should I have said, what I maybe should do!! Oh help me!!! And that was a big part of my recovery out of getting myself dragged into emotional drama and turmoil…. I cried out to God, “Help me.” And, of course, He did.
I regret some things that happened between my husband, stepdaughter and I over the years. I have repented and God has forgiven me and I’ve forgiven myself. Today, much less bothers me, much less is running rampant in my “personal recorder”, and much less is taken personally, therefore, much less stress. I have an enjoyable relationship with my stepdaughter and I continue to seek peace and harmony with her. I agree, the years when stepchildren are woven tightly into the daily living of a home, it can be overwhelming. Jesus understands. Other stepmoms understand.
Practice seeking to understand, being full of gratitude, model the love of Christ. Teens especially have so much going on in their body, much less a life they did not choose (divorce or remarriage). Let things roll away…little things that want to annoy you…let them go. It’s not worth the battle. If you need to vent, call a friend who is a godly woman and holds you accountable. My friends do. They love me and accept me and listen compassionately when I am hurting….but they would not allow me to whine mercilessly about trivial unimportant things. They listen and they correct me when I need it. They are so important to me!
One day I was folding my husband’s work laundry from the dryer. Why in the world he cannot turn his shirts right side out when he takes them off is beyond me. So, I think to myself…if he doesn’t care, why should I? I began folding the t-shirts one after another. Suddenly, I was brought to an abrupt stop. In my mind a thought settled…. “What if Jesus were standing next to me?” I quickly realized my husband doesn’t do this t-shirt thing to upset me…it’s just the way he takes the shirts off. Why was I taking it personally? Well, friends…I now do laundry, cooking, studying, sales…..all those womanly things….for Jesus. Focusing on Him in my life and my efforts in His Name has helped me grow and gain wisdom. When you feel left out, disappointed, disrespected, sad….take a moment and ask God if the situation is serious (“someone’s going to die or get sick”…figuratively speaking). Ladies, I believe if you consciously choose to take a step out of the emotion, don’t allow the drama, you can view it for what it really is and let it go.
I pray today’s post helps you. God bless you.