Stepfamily Rx seminar – Taking things personally.

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.

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4 thoughts on “Stepfamily Rx seminar – Taking things personally.

  1. I can relate to many of the examples you have in your blog. I feel I have taken many things too personally. I know I have to “let go and let God”, sometimes not so easy to do. My issues are not with a stepchild, but with a daughter, as you know. I need help in forgiveness and trust. I can forgive her and feel I have, but I have put up a wall, with her, because I fear being hurt again, again, as this has been a pattern. I have been the one that has stood by her, when the entire gave up on her, but now I have stepped back as I feel I need to take care of myself and stay out of her drama. I feel guilty, that I am not the mom I should be. I continue to pray for her to get healthy emotionally, spiritually, physically from her addictions, right now that is all I can do for her. I am letting God take care of her, as I have learned that I can’t do it by myself, and it is all in his hands. I don’t know if this can relate at all to your stepfamily guidance, but I know you are there for me and have prayed with me through the years. We have learned to love God together and are true sisters in Christ. I admire you so much and pray for your success in all of your endeavors. God bless you and your ministry.

    • Thank you, Randi, for sharing! As women we all relate to each other with our emotions and nurturing, whether it is bio children or stepchildren. You hit a key spot in forgiveness when you mentioned a “wall”. Forgiveness does not mean trusting the person that hurt you. Forgiveness in my heart between me and God is only MY freedom from bitterness, hard-heartedness, pain, and all negative emotions. I release all debt of the action to God. At some point in time, although this is not essential, if I see it is reasonable and appropriate, I may approach the person and say that I was deeply hurt and that I have forgiven them. Additionally, my loving and ongoing Christ-like behavior may be an example to them and they may approach me and express sorrow and regret…they may see my “freedom” and wish to be relieved of their personal “bondage”. The key here is that I am not going to wait for them to do that. I am going to release any animosity about them in my heart to God and He will and always has helped me. I just didn’t focus on Him my entire life….as you know. 🙂 You were instrumental in bringing me to a full relationship with God, then the Holy Spirit picked up where you left off. 🙂 One more thought: Tough love is not easy, but there are times in our lives it is essential with those we love. Our children may utter “I hate you!” or other painful words, but we must remember that they too, are speaking this way out of pain, and more importantly…they are watching us….our strong, steady, purposeful walk with God does not waiver. We tell our children we love them, we want the very best for them, and we regret they feel these things, but we love them enough for them to make their own choices, we cannot control them, they can only control themselves. The very second we succumb to their unhealthy and/or demanding behaviors, we’ve become enablers ourselves and are essentially cheating them. God never said our love for Him would be easy, He just said it would be worth it! God bless you, dear friend. dori:)

      • God bless you, Dori. You have help me with dealing so many things and this is one of the most helpful. I will read and re-read this. Thank you so much for your great advice. Sometimes we know things, but just need to hear someone say it. I love you.

      • We are precious to each other! I love you, too! dori:)

        “Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires…. ”  (James 1:19b-20 NIV).

           

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