Jesus loves us!

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This past week we finished up Vacation Bible School. I have been blessed to bring my third grandchild to this beautiful event. The latest is Abe, who is my 4 year old grandson. He is creative, vivacious, and was sooooo excited to go to his first “school”. I have to admit that after the first day I asked myself if I had the energy to continue with the week. We had at least 160 children overall, with three groups of 4 year olds, averaged six in each group.

I get fired up when I am around people, giving my best and giving it all. For these little people, I was animated, engaged, and provided a lap for any small person who would need a little encouragement or comfort. Two little girls in our “class” figured that out. 🙂 We learned this week that “no matter what…Jesus loves you!!” Whether we are wrong, can’t understand, afraid, or whatever we are feeling, Jesus never leaves us and always loves us.

I wondered how many children at VBS who ranged from 3 years old to 5th grade were from single homes or stepfamily homes. I know the percentage is high based on statistics of today’s world. I gave my all each morning and then collapsed upon returning home for at least an hour to have lunch and rest. The songs still play over and over in my head.

Yesterday at worship service, one little boy from my group saw me at communion and tugged at his momma’s sleeve saying, “That’s my teacher, that’s my teacher!!”, as he pointed and jumped up and down. Then he ran toward me. My husband and I were returning to our seats, but I scooped him up and his little arms snapped around my neck and squeezed as we walked up toward our pew and out of the way.

I am reminded of the tender hearts of our children…they are just as and perhaps even more….tender than ours. Children living in single homes or in stepfamilies need extra measures of love, hugs, and laps. We must remember that they did not choose any of what they are living through. Talk to your children, check in with them, ask about their day, what they are thinking about and feeling. And most of all, hug and hold them. Tell them you love them, are proud of them. This is true of ALL children…biological or stepchildren…they all need love and assurance. They need to feel accepted, protected, and wanted.

Last night I sat and watched a video of everyone and Abe dancing and moving to one of the VBS song videos, I smiled and my heart swelled. That little boy yesterday along with Abe’s discussions and singing songs from the week made it all absolutely fulfilling. Beautiful. Precious.

God’s blessings,

dori:)

Secretariat and Stepliving

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I own the movie “Secretariat”, I love horses. Each time I watch this dramatic film, I weep during each race, especially the final one. Secretariat wins the Triple Crown. There is a particular image that the jockey and horse have as they pull away from the other horses that is etched in my mind. The one above is close, but not “the one”. The horse’s legs are splayed out as the above picture, but his head is more stretched out into the wind, his mane and tail flying straight out, nostrils flaring, muscles tense…a look of incredible determination on Secretariat’s face. Well, at least I thought so. And the endurance of not only pulling ahead of the other horses, but each stride pulled him further and further ahead until he was 31 lengths ahead and crossed the finish line in record time.

I recently watched the movie again, thrilling to each race as if I’d not seen the story before. The feelings I experience are indescribable and I began to think this last time how much Secretariat’s last race that won him the Triple Crown reminded me of us stepmoms in our marriages and families. Here are a few thoughts:

We run the race each and every day, seeking to win our husband’s and families’ hearts.

We stretch ourselves to the limit with attempts to manage and organize and take care of and do.

We may start out lagging, but with efficiency and purpose we focus on the goal and accelerate as needed.

Our faces are in the wind as we strive toward accomplishments.

Our muscles and legs are operating at full capacity, running, stretching, enduring.

Secretariat’s look of determination with nostrils flared and eyes gleaming and every muscle attuned to what lie ahead…the finish line, the accolades, the accomplishment. That animal had the look of pure beauty..he knew what his purpose was. Stepmoms are beautiful and we know what our purpose is too.

We are capable of multi-tasking, juggling several things at one time, running full speed, aware of our goals and striving hard for them…with the finish line in mind. Most of the time the finish line is the end of the day! It’s difficult to raise ourselves above the schedules and routines to see that the true finish line is when we cross into heaven.

Marriage and raising a family is really hard work…raising children that must co-exist in another household can be even more hard work. I am reminded of one of my favorite verses…in a way it is what I am running toward, body fully engaged, face in the wind, nostrils flared, arms open wide, determination in my eyes and heart:

“His master replied, ‘Well donegood and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!”    Matthew 25:20-22

This is what I live for, strive for every day.  When I die and meet Jesus, I pray the above is what my Savior will say to me.

Divorce Care on the air – Tuesday’s podcast June 3rd

Please listen in on segment six of the Divorce Care program: What Does the Owner’s Manual Say? (God’s Word/Scripture). Here is the direct link: **http://www.nwrnetwork.com/listen/player.asp?station=wwib-od&file=HPX6-3-14.MP3.

With the divorce rates so high, especially in stepfamilies, this is a great podcast to listen to if you ever consider separation or divorce and how you can move toward this type of decision in the most grace-filled way. Many, I should say….most marriages are salvageable…they really are. However, some are not and in these situations, take your time, pray, seek godly counsel. Blessings to all, dori:)