Can This Day Just End Please?

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Ever have one of those days you wish would just end?  One of those days where you find yourself saying “can I get a do-over?” or “Calgon take me away?”   Today was one of those days for me.

Pink eye is going around my kids’ school and guess who got it…me!  And guess who had to go to business meetings with those pink scary looking eyes?  Yep, me.  (Picture people shaking my hands while cringing…that kind of thing).  Many people saw Bob Costas cover the Olympics on national TV recently while he had pink eye.  People have commented on how he handled that with grace and humor.  I will admit to sitting in business meetings this week praying “Dear God please give me the grace, humor and strength of Bob Costas because right now I just want to hide under a rock. Please God, help me be more like Bob Costas.”

As if it wasn’t bad enough, on my plane ride home while getting comfortable in my aisle seat, a man sat in the middle seat next to me. This man was a tall man, well over 6 feet tall. This was not going to be comfortable for him or us (sardines that we were, all packed in our aisle).  And then he opened his can of tobacco chew. Clearly he was planning to chew (and spit) during the flight.  Big chew/spit bottle in hand.  It was a clear plastic bottle so I could see all of that lovely spit and chew.  When we got up in the air he opened his spit bottle to spit and wouldn’t you know it, due to the air pressure changes, the bottle of tobacco and his spit sprayed all over me.  Yep, all over my face, hair, shirt, chair, and even in my food.  I was covered in chunks of his tobacco and his spit.

This is when I just wanted the day to end.  A do-over please.  Trust me, I realized that in the grand scheme of things this wasn’t major or tragic, but nevertheless I wanted this bummer of a day to end.   Me and my pink eyes and my tobacco crusted chest, we wanted an end to this day and new fresh start.

So today I am thankful that in stressful situations (big and small), during life’s valleys and heartaches, that God offers us rest.  Under His wings we can find peace and comfort that only He can offer.

Today I reflect on Psalm 91:4  “He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.”

What are you thankful for?

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Aliens, UFOs and the Stepmom

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Some dear friends of ours went to a resort for a romantic getaway.  When they got there, they discovered there was a UFO convention there.  They said there were a lot of interesting people and events there.  I’m sure this wasn’t exactly what they had in mind when they scheduled the weekend at the upscale resort.  But I’m sure they made the most of it and had a wonderful time.

I can’t help but wonder:  what are the parallels in the Stepmom world?  Romantic newleyweds encountering “aliens” and “UFOs”?  Say no more, right?  As a stepmom one encounters a lot of strange situations and “aliens” that she hadn’t expected to.  If you are a stepmom and reading this, I bet you can think of lots of “aliens” and “UFOs” that you have had to gracefully deal with.  So many times you thought you were going to have a romantic evening with your husband but a UFO convention cropped up.

I’m thankful today that God gave me a wonderful spouse to weather storms….er….aliens and UFOs with.

Ecclesiastes 4:9-10, 12:  “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor:  If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.”

What are you thankful for today?

Happy Valentine’s Day, Dear Stepmom

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Expressing love to my stepkids is hard for me. Not because I don’t want to, but quite the opposite.  I would love to hug on them, squeeze them, kiss them, tell them how wonderful I think they are…constantly.  I have to refrain from overloading them.  I do this because they already have a mom, and a dad.  They are not 100 percent comfortable with a stepmom.  It takes years to adjust, and I have known some adults who are still distant from their stepparents.  And if I’m really truthful – they never asked for me, a stepmom, in their life.  So I try to be a positive influence in their lives without overstepping my role, playing second fiddle to mom and dad.  And yes, I’m jealous when they hug their dad and not me.  And yet I understand the complexities they face and the adjustment that slowly moves forward with time.  But then….there’s Valentine’s Day.  A day when it seems the whole world expresses love to each other.  Sweethearts, spouses, grade school children sharing Valentine’s. This is a day when just about everyone is more open about their love for one another.  Heck, this is the day that it’s super socially acceptable to express such love!  So every year on Valentine’s Day I write a “love letter” to each of my stepkids.  I tell each one how special they are to me, what I adore about them, what I admire about them, how lucky I feel to be a part of their lives and what a blessing it is to watch them grow into such lovely young adults.  And my little stepmom heart lept with joy last year when one of my stepkids smiled and said “oh yeah, we do this every year don’t we!”.  (could we have a blended family ritual forming here folks?)

Today I am thankful for an overly commercialized secular holiday that helps me show my love to my stepkids.  I’m thankful for the power of love and for a Savior who showed us the greatest love.

I’m focusing on this verse today:  Proverbs 10:12 Hatred stirs up conflict, but love covers over all wrongs.

What are you thankful for today?

 

 

 

The Heart of a Wicked Stepmom

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Sometimes I think I must have the heart of a wicked stepmom.  Maybe the fairy tales are true.  Or maybe I’m a sinful human being (just like everyone else) and I need a heart adjustment from time to time.   Maybe sometimes the stress isn’t about the ex or the kids or my husband or the visitation schedule or a lawyer bill or (insert blended family stressor here).  Maybe sometimes it’s a matter of my heart. I remember when my stepkids were young and my husband would talk with them about their hearts and sometimes the need for an attitude adjustment and a heart adjustment.  It was amazing for me to watch him speak to them about God’s word and then witness the transformation in the kids.  Ok sometimes it involved standing in the corner or taking the cell phone away.  But still.

Today I reflect on Psalm 51 v 3-4, 10:  “For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me.  Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight..Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.”

Today I am thankful for my husband who continually speaks God’s truths to me just when I need it and for God who continually forgives me and renews me.

What are you thankful for today?

My Pursuit of Thankfulness

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There’s so much stress in a blended family.  And stepmoms find themselves right in the middle of it!  Loyalty conflicts, parental alienation, being the “outsider” in your own home, balancing a new marriage with the blending of a family, the collision of a joy-filled new marriage with the grief your stepkids can feel over the loss of their family, court battles, expensive lawyer bills.  The list goes on and on.  At times the pressure has felt like it could destroy our marriage and family (just look at the divorce rates for second marriages!).   During this journey my husband and I made the purposeful decision that all of this stress would not break us.  It would be an opportunity to grow closer to each other and to the Lord.  I often think about the Bible verse I Thessalonians 5:18 “give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus”.  There have been many times as a stepmom that I have really struggled to find something to be thankful for.  Most of us stepmoms eventually have an eye opening realization about the complexity of our situations and say to ourselves at some point “wow – this is not what I signed up for!”  But God tells us to be thankful in all situations.  So I have decided to be purposeful as a stepmom and challenge myself to continually seek out reasons to be thankful.

Today I am thankful that God commands me to be thankful in all situations and that He gives me the strength to persevere.

What are you thankful for today?