Welcome to a Blog for Blended Families !
Blended Families often seek Encouragement, Hope, Motivation and Insight. Join us here each week for practical & powerful ways to rise up & defeat those challenges that can weaken, damage or destroy your family.
.................... God has a plan for victory for YOU! ....................
.................... God has a plan for victory for YOU! ....................
Friday, February 29, 2008
On our Wedding Day in the top picture you see 5 wonderful children, as part of our blended family wedding. We encourage that to happen for all couples who are creating a 'step-family'. It is an important passage, a value and connection that takes place not only that day, but years later when the picture is viewed and better understood. It can be a positive message to a child that they fully are 'a part of something God has His hand upon'. It also allows them to be a part of the specialness of your wedding day.
The second picture holds the same wonderful five children at the wedding our our oldest. The picture also holds the girl in the flower girl wedding dress... the 'baby', the 'Ours', the sixth child that was and is wanted, and cherished, by all. This "Ours" daughter is often called the 'glue' of the family because her innocence, joy, and love for all equally offers a special unity to the family. She belongs equally to all in the family, and that is a gift from God to all of us.
Everyone loves her, hugs her with the most special of hugs, and there are no step-family dynamics or feelings outside of pure love for her.
I remember the pre-Thanksgiving night in 1996 when we gathered the five children in the living room... then ages 4,5,6, 10 and 13... for a special 'family meeting'. We shared that they were going to have a little brother or sister. Their smiles and eyes rose up, and if one could see into the heavenlies, you could see their very spirits unite together in a special way. They would have something 'together' and equal. Our youngest child shouted 'I won't be the baby anymore!' and all laughed with joy at the innocence and pure thrill in his voice.
Much has been written and psychologically analyzed about adding an "ours" child to the mix of a new blended family. Should we have a child together? When? What will it do to the other children? How will they feel? Is an 'ours' child a good thing in a blended family? First pray and be sure that the foundation of the marriage is resting with God and solid is your first pillar in the decision. If the love you have for 'family', and 'each other' and 'children' is secure...then we shout out 'Trust God and know He doesn't make mistakes.' Don't let the doubt and fear creep in. Fear and doubt come only from the devil who wants you to fail anyway, right? Know this. Don't anticipate battles with it.
REMEMBER to grab your Bible and head to EXODUS 14 : 13-14
Moses answered the people, 'Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the LORD will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. 14 The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still."
The LORD can and will fight your battles for you if you trust Him. We have seen this happen in our own lives and in the lives of other step-families. Some will doubt this. Remember...the Red Sea did part. :-)
We believe children in step-families truly in their 'heart of hearts' long to 'belong' and seek 'togetherness' in a complete way. They do want the acceptance, connection, and peaceful relationships because that is a basic child-like attitude... to want to have that special sense of family. That's why at The Bonded Family we are proponents of including children in the wedding, and yes, if an 'ours' child is wanted, to trust that God is with you in that.
We do not think that hyper-analysis of how an "ours" will affect the overall family should be allowed to be more than that...hyper analysis. In our own lives, and in working with hundreds of blended families across the nation, we have found that it is most often 'outside interference' that creates any rejection of that basic need to safely belong together. Taht interference is common and damages children and the new family. It is something you have to live through long term and trust God can and will handle and not our 'self'.
We can share that the positive value to a blended family of having a new 'ours' is big. The 'ours' child not only unites the 'yours' and 'mine' together, but it offers the marriage - which should come first in God's eyes - a special gift that no one can take away. There is nothing more special than seeing these six together.
It is by chance that we became a blended family, but by God's Hand we became a family. We would encourage those parents contemplating have an 'ours' child to first look at their marriage and place it in God's hand. Then joyfully and robustly go for it!.
Sunday, February 3, 2008
SUPER BOWL RESULTS !
Blended Families Win !
As I write this Super Bowl XLII has just begun, the Giants - the underdog - are driving, and all over America many are cheering. I don't know who will win this game, but I do know that in most cases we are a nation that traditionally shouts out 'America loves the underdog!'
Sometimes in the dynamics of stepfamily life, an 'underdog' role is one that is worn by families, parents or children as often the 'arena of life' presents itself with bumps and challenges. This blog entry is about how to find the way to victory..... in the Super Bowl of life.
Speaking of Super Bowl participants, I want to share a fantastic book and it's relationship to step-family life. In this last year it has been my privilege and honor to get to know Coach Les Steckel, who is the President / CEO of FCA (Fellowship of Christian Athletes). In 2006 he authored his autobiography entitled 'ONE YARD SHORT, Turning Your Defeats into Victories'. It is a 'must read book' for blended family parents. The title is derived from the final play of the 2000 Super Bowl between the St. Louis Rams and Steckel’s Titans, a play that has been called the most exciting play in Super Bowl history. (I remember our family - half cheering the Rams, half cheering the Titans - as our blended family of eight watched that incredible sports moment.)
Steckel’s book chronicles his life journey and his compelling stories and testimony makes it tough to put down once you start. I am in the middle of reading the book currently. It is a 'MEGA-ENCOURAGEMENT BLESSING' book that offers us yet another testimony to trusting in God and His incredible Hand. Anyyone in a blended family, adult or teen should read this book. It isn't just a sports book, a guy book, it's a life book. Moms, Grandmas and Daughters will love it also.
HOW DOES "ONE YARD SHORT" RELATE TO BLENDED FAMILY LIFE? Often in the dynamics of stepfamily life one feels like you are often behind, things look tough, it is 'fourth down', that you want to 'punt' and hope seems lost. That's when we really do need to 'put on our headset and call upstairs to get the next play to call'. What I mean by that is to 'look to God for your next move, how to handle a child or marriage scenario'. He will answer. He may not always give us the 'play' we want to call, but the PLAYBOOK (BIBLE) we are called to draw from does not offer mistaken advice. Check out the playbook of life (the Bible).
Find a Bible that holds in the back a "Concordance" or 'topics list'. There you can find answers to blended family common questions in areas like... patience, perseverance, hope, forgiveness, self-discipline, encouragment and most of all the promise you can trust of 'peace that surpasses all understanding.'
YES YOU CAN be a Super Bowl Champion-like Blended Family if you let our Lord God Almighty lead you in calling the signals in your family. Check out your playbook (Bible) today.
For more information on Coach Les Steckel and FCA, go to: