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! ....................

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

BLENDED FAMILY Lessons from a Walmart Morning


Follow this guys lead in your Blended Family.

It was a recent blustery, snow-filled Saturday morning and I was off to grab some waffle mix, eggs, milk and cantelope for a 'Dad's Waffle Breakfast Morning'.  Not enough Saturday's free, so I was excited to enjoy that family tradition.  Good 'bonding' time and hey, I even like my own waffles, so while the kids slept I went to Walmart early to grab the 'stuff'.

As I thought I would be in and out, little did I know I would leave the store with much more than food for family, but bigger than that...food for life.  To share with you.

While I was in the waffle mix aisle, I could not help but overhear the joyful voice, from the next aisle over, of a youngster repeating his Father's words and mentoring.  I heard the little voice say 'I am a happy boy!' repeating his Dad. Then it was 'I can grow up to do great things!' following the coaching, then an interesting comment that really sparked my interest,  'I look for the good in people!' followed by 'God made me special!'.

By this time those of you that know me, understand already that my cart was wheeling around the corner to go meet this 'Super Dad'.  Surely I thought I would find Zig Ziglar's first cousin, Anthony Robbins himself, or maybe just some high school football coach in a cap with a whistle around his neck who knew the power of inspiring his players.  Or perhaps one of those 'hired WalMart Greeter' people who usually are fairly fired up individuals themselves.  They seem to naturally have a smiley face on and love people thanks to Sam Walton's legacy.

You see the voice I heard, but could not see, from across the top of the waffle and cereal aisle divide certainly was certainly a character shaper and a giant of a man.  I wanted to meet him and shake his hand!  Tell him I love what I heard!

So when I spun my cart down that next aisle and looked ahead I did not see any of those wondermen of motivation I spoke of, but instead a man in a torn overcoat, scraggly beard and a weary walk.   After greeting the man and telling him how powerfully he impacted me from across the aisle top, he simply said 'I want Joey to grow up with more positive voices in his little head than I did'.  God's gonna make him better than me'.  Wow!  After hugging the man and telling him God's already blessed this little guy with you, I asked little Joey 'are you happy?'.  He smiled big and blurted out 'I'm a happy boy!'

I had earlier especially been taken by the boy following the wisdom of... "I look for the good in people". Worth repeating. 'Look for the good in people'.

Especially in stepfamilies, too often a parent or child is 'looking for error' in a relationship instead of following that wonderful wisdom...'look for the good'.

Blended Families or any family.   Learn from a scraggly bearded man, who might just have been an angel so I can share this story with you.  Encourage your children.  Be a positive and Godly force that echos into their future.

Scripture shares in Proverbs Chapter 17 and Verse 22...
A cheerful heart is good medicine,
but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.
Go tell somebody THREE THINGS that you like about them.
It will be...good medicine.  And God just may give you one more step on the journey 'from Broken to Blended to BONDED'.

Visit our website    http://www.thebondedfamily.com/

Keep Looking UP!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Blended Family Tree

NOTE: Sunday, in our weekly Blended Family Fellowship Class ...Rebecca shared wonderfully about 'tree trunks'.  Made me think about a 2008 blog worth repeating.
See Your Blended Family Tree Grow

After a recent snow and ice storm, I helped my Father-in-law cut down and haul away a very large branch of a giant tree that he had planted long, long ago. It was a towering willow tree planted along a small lake. It had stood the test of time over 37 years. Now one of the willows large cut up branch lay ready to become firewood for our families. As I looked at the ‘tree rings’ depicting the chronology of that tree and the large branch, a smile came over me in a big way … there is a message for Blended Families in this tree.

Each year that a tree is alive it grows another ring, making its trunk wider. The thickness of each ring depends on what the weather, the climate, lightning strikes, fire damage or the storms were like during the year in which it grew that ring. A wide ring indicates faster growth (good conditions), whereas a narrow ring or scar of some sort indicates poor growth (bad conditions). When a tree is cut, the rings can be "read" like a diary of the ‘history of life’ of that tree. Families also can have ‘tree ring’ story in their chronology diary... and by God's hand we can have good growth.

In Blended Families we too have seasons of life or our own family ‘tree rings’. Often in blended families, despite being ‘branded’ broken, there is much joy, happiness and many good seasons, and yes occasionally some will probably be not so good. That is normal. Like all of life, God gives us seasons we go through in order to see His hand in our life. He wants us to know that placing our trust in HIM offers strength through all the seasons. So that our ‘tree rings’ will show genuine growth.

We encourage you to take this to heart in your step-family. Often times in divorce, remarriage and new blended family / step-family life the ‘storms’ seem to be just a little stronger, the ‘heat’ feels a little hotter, and the ‘winds’ seem to blow more powerfully against us, testing the strength of our tree. Parental interaction, children’s behavior and emotions, financial challenges, and cooperation with former spouses can all offer ‘climate’ that sometimes seems to try to knock down or knock out a family.

We encourage blended families / step-families who we coach through difficult situations to look first for patience, perseverance and victory through trusting God. We respect the secular viewpoints that offer insight into the dynamics of step-family life, yet as we have invested years of research, reading, interviews with families, and conversations with family therapists and professionals, we continue to find the real power is in God’s Hands. The foundation of your blended family, your ‘tree ring’ and family chronology success in this sense must be fully planted in the Word of God. The greatest growth of your tree ring can be found through planting, and your family by the streams of living water.

In Psalms 1: 1-3, we are offered perfect wisdom to follow;

Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked,
or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers.
But his delight is in the law of the LORD,
and on his law he meditates day and night.
He is like a tree planted by streams of water,
which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither.
Whatever he does prospers.

So that your ‘blended family chronology’ will prosper, through the “storms” and “climate” challenges, you and your spouse must plant yourself as the parents ‘by the streams of living water’ and draw a line in the sand for your family by fully trust God. He is the root and the trunk, you are the branch. Then you may ‘see things with new eyes’ and ‘hear things with new ears’.We encourage blended families to look for God in all things, good and some seemingly bad, and keep your ‘roots’ firmly planted in prayer and in God’s Word daily. You can be ‘like the tree…which yields fruit in season, whose leaf does not wither. Do not walk in the counsel of negative people, or those who mock biblical wisdom. Stand strong, you will get through it. If you trust God, your tree will stand and reach up to the sky and one day you will see its fruit.
Our family tree, and our own blended family chronology, has had some thick rings with great years of growth, and some rings where you can sense the storms came. In all times, we kept the ‘roots’ planted in God’s Hands, even when the world might say we should crash. We have seen God’s goodness and His glory, and He has firmly planted in our hearts to pass along the encouragement, hope and motivation for you and your blended family.