Everything changed when I said, “I do.” That is exactly how I felt after I married my husband and became a step-mom to his 12 year old daughter. We had both been married before. I have two sons, the youngest graduated right before we were married, so our home involved only the two of us except for his daughter’s visitations.
It wasn’t long before we were mired down in triangulation, manipulations, loyalty issues, and lots of hurt and disappointment. “What happened and why and how were we going to get through this?”
We were married in 1998 and when I attempted to find marriage counseling for us, there weren’t any stepfamily therapists in our immediate area. I felt alone, confused, and disappointed. Thankfully God placed some women in my path that helped me understand what I was going through was quite “normal”. I stopped feeling like I was going crazy.
In 2003, I began study and graduated magna cum laude in 2006 from Concordia University in St. Paul, MN, majoring in Theology and Psychology. I have successfully self-published by first book "Everything Changed When I Said 'I Do' - Prescriptions for Living as a God-First Stepfamily" (https://www.facebook.com/GodFirstStepfamily/?fref=ts). I am currently working on my second book geared toward women contemplating marriage and becoming a stepmom. I facilitate Divorce Care at my church. I am a speaker and a blogger.
I have a great passion for God and for helping people….I pray that you find help here through browsing, sharing your experience, asking questions, or reading other resources I’ve listed.
Thank you for visiting my site and God bless you!
It’s EASY! Register online NOW at http://www.mypeacechurch.com under “Events”! If you need childcare, it is free up to and including age 9; however, we have limited space, so registration is important! This is going to be an amazing event! Stepfamily Rx speakers will be on hand for conversations, assistance, and encouragement.
There will be drawings for a free dinner at Johnnies Steakhouse, movies, t-shirts, and more! Any questions, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This event is sponsored by Peace Church, Thrivent, and Stepfamily Rx. For stepcouples, engaged stepcouples, single parents! Ron Deal of “The Smart Stepfamily” and other national speakers providing GREAT information! Lunch and snacks provided. $20 per person. FREE childcare up to age 9, must register early, limited space. REGISTER NOW ONLINE AT www.mypeacechurch.com under Events!
Oh yes, this year I have the awesome priviledge of helping host an AMAZING day listening to Ron Deal (The Smart Stepfamily) and several other national speakers. There will be Stepfamily Rx speakers available during breaks for Q&A. We will have some fun with drawings for dinner, movie tickets, t-shirts, table fanfare, and more!
YOU WILL NOT WANT TO MISS THIS!
SINGLE PARENTS? – Co-parenting skills will be presented by event speakers to help with communication, cooperation, and compromise. You are not alone!
STEPCOUPLES? – You will be in the company of other folks just like you including some of the event speakers that will offer information on getting through difficult days and how to look forward to and celebrate success.
BECOMING A STEPFAMILY? – This is definitely for you! Knowledge is power. Avoid just planning your wedding day, PREPARE for a stepfamily marriage!
One of the profound paradigm shifts I experienced last week at the Creation Museum and Equipping Families conference was that too easily we follow what we are told, what we see and what we hear. We want to be “in” and “popular”. Rather, God’s Word has an answer for every situation in our lives. God is our authority. Man’s word has resulted in deviation from God’s Word.
In stepliving we might feel we are “different, jaded, odd, dysfunctional, alone, etc.” when again so much of what I’ve lived and am living through exists in the pages of my Bible. (p.s. we are not any of those things different from anybody else!) Forgiveness, patience, endurance, kindness…are all ingredients for life and for stepliving.
The below article from Alistair Begg and Truth for Living is a testimony for us Christians that when things get tough, get unbearable….God is pruning, shaping, or forming us for bigger and better things. I can honestly tell you I am a living example of that!
I am very excited to announce my new title: Girl For God Ministries. This will enable me to broaden my speaking topic capabilities as well as continue on with Stepfamily Rx and other services listed on the header.
Struggling with other names and messages was frustrating until one quiet moment it occurred to me who and Whose I really am….a girl for God. Then it was just a matter of receiving help from a Christian man, Randy Brunette/Creative Visual Marketing, who put together the entire look.
My mission now is to truly serve God by serving others in as many ways as He opens the door to.
I recently had the great priviledge of visiting the Creation Museum that Ken Ham began and the Ark Encounter as well. My soul sang as the truth flowed out from the speakers and the exhibits. No more Hallmark Ark for me or my grandchildren….but that’s another blog!
Until next time…. “Blessed are those whose way is blameless, who walk in the law of the Lord!” Ps 119:1 ESV
Our minds habitually play tricks on us. We ponder, we plan, we expect, and we wait. And then .
Nothing goes as planned, as a matter of fact things seem to go even more topsy-turvy than we could have imagined. And so it goes in many stepfamilies.
Trying harder is NOT the best answer. As a matter of fact, emerging research shows less stress, less problems, when we stepparents assess a situation and lovingly step back. It’s not difficult to tell a step-teen (just an example!), “I feel that I’m annoying you right now, and I understand that people can do that to each other occasionally. I respect your space, let me know if you need anything,”
Please do not construe my words as avoiding, detaching, or isolating. We all need time-outs, privacy, quiet. TIME is your very best friend as a stepparent. What’s the rush….the kids never asked to be born, never chose their parents, and certainly didn’t choose death, divorce, or remarriage. Keep your Bible open, talk to God, you will be ok.
“Exceeded expectations…(knowing) we’re living under same conditions (as others)…I will share my experience!…appreciated hearing about being a child of divorce (from adult speaker)…helped me focus on my faith…loved it all!!…awesome to hear different testimonies…event was awesome…(appreciated) raw examples from (speakers’) lives…would love to hear teens’ perspectives.”
This is what keeps me going when the enemy wants to fill my head with any kind of failure or exhaustion. I see the participant’s eyes and faces, I hear the gratitude in their voice. The room was filled with the Holy Spirit. There was so much prayer on this day! At the end of the day, I asked my high school tech guy what his thoughts were. You know what he said in his first words? “I’d like to hang out in this next year.” WOW!!!!! Even though he is not in a stepfamily, he was impacted by the day, the speakers…and I asked him to pray about perhaps speaking as a teen and especially asking some of his step-living or single parent friends if they would speak next year. Honestly, I was STUNNED that he was so open and intrigued. Thank you Father God, thank you!
(L to R) Pastor Dave, Matt & Erin/7 children between the two, Dori Pulse/Stepfamily Rx, Krista/Sonset Point Ministries, Kim/LPC, and in back, Brandon/Adult child of divorce.