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

Saturday, July 30, 2011


Neither Myth is True...So Live Victoriously!

We are a blended family. 
We own a black cat also. 

Our culture has developed the attitude that blended families don't work... and somehow think that black cats are unlucky. Both these premises are man created MYTHS.  
God didn't create black cats, nor stepfamilies, to be bad, evil or full of potential woesome results. Man's imagination + "stinkin' thinkin'" did.

This morning our 17 year old black cat Crash (would take a whole blog to explain why that name) was walking back and forth in front of our youngest daughter Amanda. She laughed and said 'Wow, Crash has walked back and forth in front of me 5 times so I'll have 35 years bad luck'.  We all laughed.  Crashed looked at us - he holds a very communicative personality - and barked 'meow'.  Crash does seem to bark when he knows he's being talked about.  I was one of those 'don't like cats' guys until this feline was adopted away from homelessness. Crash is my buddy.  I admit it.  Cat-lovers cheer here.

So what does the black cat myth and blended families have in common?  Cats are very consistent in their behavior.  Depending on their 'personality' that can appear to be 'aloof', or maybe 'playful', 'standoff-ish' or sometimes 'mean-spirited'.  Cats actually can be very loyal buddies if you treat them right and 'invest' a little time bonding with them.   

Often personalities and relationship dynamics within blended families can be the same.  Each child is unique, somewhat different in their own special way. Thus relationships should be developed and nurtured differently.  Some will come quicker, some may take years.  Perseverance is a foundational word you hear a lot from our team at The Bonded Family.  Perseverance comes from trusting God. Seeing what happens when you 'let go and let God'. Remember this saying when you feel exasperated or there is no hope.  "God's not done".

It's also a real 'myth' that stepparents and stepchildren can't get along. Just like spending time with a kitten will help one 'bond' with the cat, we recommend that you 'invest time' to discover what talents and treasure each child holds. What are their dreams, hopes and wishes?  Don't simply buy into the negative stepfamily myths.  The more you understand your unique or complex family situation - and that is one of the goals at The Bonded Family - the more success you will have. Understanding behavior is key.  It's why people share with us after our conferences "I wish we knew THEN what we've learned from you NOW".

Putting a stake in the ground and committing your marriage and family into God's hands is the absolute success criteria foundation.  Without it...you are built on sandy soil.  Some will 'turn away' right now reading this saying 'Oh that God stuff', yet the fact are the facts, the true stats are there.  Write us and ask about them.  info@thebondedfamily.com

Our children hear often that rock solid advice for VICTORY in life...

Scripture also holds a verse that speaks to VICTORIOUS LIVING. 
PROVERBS 15:15 shares...
'All the days of the afflicted are bad,
But a cheerful heart has a continual feast.'

Work on your heart.  Discipline your mind.  See the good in all people.  Look for the good in all situations.  Discover the good where you can't see it at first.  Guard against feeling 'afflicted' or you 'days will be bad'.   INSTEAD... say to yourself and ask God to strengthen you and give you a CHEERFUL HEART so that your days and life - and your blended family - will feel as a 'CONTINUAL FEAST'

Sometimes that takes coaching.  We can help. 

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Sunday, July 17, 2011

Keep Your Blended Family Antenna Up!

Your Blended Family
Rabbit Ears
Picking Up Stepfamily
Signals Around You.

Recently I was with my good friend Dr. Randy Shepard at a coffee place called GUSTO! in Lee's Summit.  We were discussing technology and college funding, two of his many areas of expertise.  In the shop was David Davies, another great friend of our ministry and a 'Bonafide Encourager' in every sense of the word.  He was across the room 'encouraging' (of course) a young man in some way.   I approached to say hello. 

After meeting his friend, the young man shared 'I've heard you speak. You shared at our early morning breakfast meeting last year' and then he, unbeknowst to him, inspired me.  He said 'You know, since you shared about the number of people facing struggles in stepfamilies in America, all of a sudden I now have my antenna up, and have found many people around me, that I pointed to your ministry'.

This is indeed what we are seeing as we put forth our message of encouragement, hope, practical tips and inspiration.  The more people know about the 'under the radar' demographic, the more they are 'willing to reach out'.  That is powerful. 

So here is our 'REACH OUT CHALLENGE' to YOU.
Picture walking around with these 'rabbit ears' on your head.

For generations rabbit ear antenna has been used to 'tune in' to a TV or radio signal.  I propose that you be a 'difference maker' in somebodies life.  Begin today to start 'tuning in' to the potential stepfamily frequency signal.  You may find signals and families all around you. See with over 23+ stepfamily there is absolutely the statistical probability that within your family, workplace, church or circle of friends that you know multiple cases of blended families.  Perhaps you'll notice a larger family that may not all resemble one another.  some match Dad, some more to Mom.  Or you may be witness to a conversation that is talking about a stepdad or stepmom.  Maybe even see or experience a drop off or exchange of children.  With your 'antenna up', you now are able to be a positive force in their life if you witness any challenges.  Yuo can say 'did you know there are organizations out there that can help?' Often times you may not know they may be struggling because they are having unique to their family stepfamily dynamic issues and don't want people to know.  YOU can now be a helper and a HERO!

Send them to check out our resources at THE BONDED FAMILY.


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Friday, July 8, 2011

Blended Families, Rough Water and a Guide

 Blended Families... Can Face Rapids and Rough Waters
Listen to the 'GUIDE' as to how to maneuver the rocks.

We've had some tremendous vacations as a Family.  We wrote recently of 'vacating' and it's 'bonding power', because you are 'away, alone and accepting'.  I can't stress the power of 'vacation' as a means to discovering each other and finding blessings and bonds in that time.

One 'Christmas vacation' was a small cabin, at a closed for the winter YMCA camp, just us, that left us with some great memories of 'owning' the Grand Lodge Hall, which we used to produce fun that was captured in video and will echo for decades. 
A 'Tradition' of stopping at Metropolis, IL and getting a picture with Superman lives on even today.  Great joy in youth, 'oh Dad' in teen years.
                    Our memory of visiting Washington DC for the 4th of July fireworks.  Remembering checking in through super tight post 9/11 security, sitting three hours in the intermittent rain on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.  Then to see the skies clear, and the DC Mall ablaze in a patriotic spectacular.  Voted all time best fireworks display by the family. 

WHITEWATER RIVER RAFTING was voted the 'all time, all timer' great family vacation time.  So by now you want to know what that has to do with YOU, and not just our family times??

In stepfamily dynamics you can be assured that there will be some 'rough waters', some turbulence, some 'hold on to your seat' places. Often just simply due to the  'unknown' of what sometimes lies ahead on your family journey.  Stepfamilies often feel like the 'waters are moving fast', that they are 'swept under', that the 'rocks' are seemingly going to 'sink their ship' or the 'marriage or stepfamily raft of life'.   Of this you can be assured.  Those rocks will be ahead.  The waters will swirl and splash.  The whitewater may try to 'throw you off the boat'.  In fact there are usually forces at work 'hoping' you'll be crushed, toppled or even die as a family unit.  Sometime former relationships and wounds will 'reach in' to your family.  Foremost remember that satan is real.  He wants marriages, children, families...all life to be miserable. It's a fact.

God gave YOU and I a message of ENCOURAGEMENT AND HOPE 'for such a time as this'.  In our weak moments, our 'I can't do this' moments, our 'I am going down' moments... read this, repeat this promise of God.  Yes...it is GOD'S PROMISE, not mine, Dr. Phil's, Oprah's or anyone elses...it's God personal commitment and PROMISE to YOU!
Isaiah 43 : 2 shares in Scripture (NIV):
Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
   I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
   they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
   you will not be burned;
   the flames will not set you ablaze.
The MESSAGE, another Bible version shares it this way...
"Don't be afraid, I've redeemed you, I've called your name. You're mine.
When you're in over your head, I'll be there with you.
   When you're in rough waters, you will not go down.
When you're between a rock and a hard place,
   it won't be a dead end—
Because I am God, your personal God..."
You see, God offers to be your GUIDE in life.  He knows best how to 'steer' through the rough waters, the rocks and the challenges.  In the picture above our 'GUIDE' is the only person visible.  Our family is 'below the water' so to speak, yet the 'guide' knows exactly how to lead us out of the rough waters.  I put my family's 'trust' in her hands.  People in general seem to only turn to God, to put their trust in Him, during times of catastrophe, serious illness or near death situation.  At The Bonded Family, we suggest turning to Him every day.  Giving thanks when the water is smooth and from where He's taken us already, asking Him to be with us in the journey ahead.  Not just in a crisis.   THE MESSAGE OF THIS BLOG.... LET GOD BE YOUR GUIDE IN YOUR BLENDED FAMILY.  Our research, data, experiences with thousands and success statistics prove it true.  If you think you know a 'smarter' way... perhaps you should check out this page on our website.  http://www.thebondedfamily.com/lifeinstructionmanual

Be sure and visit our website, THE BONDED FAMILY for events, resources and our new WEEKLY VIDEO BONDCAST COACHING.  Best resource for blended families available today for weekly LIVE Question and Answer sessions and topical discussions.  Plus get video mail with TIP OF THE WEEK.

Join over 12,000 fellow stepfamily 'TWITTER FOLLOWERS'
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And remember to Keep Looking UP!


Copyright, The Bonded Family 2011

Friday, July 1, 2011

College Funding Questions Arising?

BLENDED FAMILIES have unique options!

Listen to this FREE and VALUABLE PODCAST.

DR RANDY SHEPARD offers valuable insight, tips and suggestions, for parents, especially stepfamilies.  There are 'additional options' for blended families, because you have two households to review and draw ideas from that might extend tax savings and open up financial eligibility.


At The Bonded Family, we seek to help families in many areas.  
College funding being one of them.
Whatever age you child is, Fr. Soph, Jr, Sr or in college now...college funding questions could be on the horizon and Dr. Shepard can assist you.