Step-Parenting for Adults

MemoriesParenting is forever. Sure, the details change through the years. And for the most part the load often gets lighter. But children are always on your heart. You will ALWAYS be a mom or a dad.

And the same goes for step-parenting. Some of those realities have become especially clear to me recently. I married late in life – I was 48. My husband had two adult sons with families of their own. I became a step-mother under perhaps the easiest of possible circumstances. And yet there was still a very real process of adjustment in becoming a family.

I had it easy. My husband was very clear about where I stood in his heart, and I never felt I had to compete with his boys for his affection. His sons and their wives welcomed me gladly into the family, and we never felt any resistance from them about our marriage. There have been no fights with an ex-spouse, no shuffling kids back and forth between two parents, or any of the other painful dramas many step-families must address.

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Five Daily Choices in your Relationship

Happy CoupleLet’s be honest – sometimes we just don’t feel like it. We don’t feel like being kind, or loving, or healthy, or spiritual, or much of anything else. Sometimes it feels easier to just snap! Or pout. Or go away somewhere.

Yes, there are times we all feel like binging on self-pity, or anger, or negativity. It may feel just as appealing as binging on potato chips or ice cream. And just as damaging!

There are a few basic things we each need to pay attention to in preserving our mental health and keeping our relationships strong. Most of us need enough sleep, reasonably good nutrition, and a measure of physical health. We need to be in relationship with other people who care about us and are supportive when we need them. We need mental stimulation, spiritual nurturing, and a growing relationship with God. The more of those factors are missing in our lives the more emotionally vulnerable we will be, and our relationships will most certainly suffer.

But even though we may feel like acting badly, we have a choice. And that is never truer than in our closest relationships.

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You Are More Powerful Than You Think

You Are More Powerful Than You Think

In your marriage, you are more powerful than you probably realize. There were very few things that surprised me when I got married. I was mature, I knew my husband well, and we took the time we needed to be sure.

But one thing DID surprise me, and at times still does. I’m still sometimes amazed at how powerful I am in my husband’s life.

It’s not because I have tried to change him, or that I’m especially “strong.” I don’t have any magic formula. And I don’t think I’m all that unique in this area.

I believe both husbands and wives often underestimate how much impact they have, or at least can have, on each other. You waste time and energy trying to force your spouse to change, when if you realize where your power really does lie, you’ll be much more successful than you ever imagined.

This kind of power can be used in both good and bad ways. You have the power to hurt and to heal, to build up or to tear down, to make your spouse dread coming home or anxiously look forward to seeing you again during every moment you’re apart.

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Chocolate Covered Strawberries

Chocolate Covered Strawberries

Love, romance, and Valentine’s Day.  Perhaps you are like many others, making the sellers of heart-shaped baloons, teddy bears, flowers, cards, and chocolate covered strawberries very happy again this year. My favorite is the chocolate covered strawberries, and Thanks to my wonderful husband there are two dozen in the refrigerator right now! (Or at least there were earlier today: they aren’t lasting very long!)

What is it about the human heart that responds to love – or wants to? I think it’s the way we are made, and the way God intended it to be.

I know what it’s like to be single and lonely: I was that way for 48 years. I also know now what it’s like to be married, in love, and thrilled with the joy, comfort, and security a healthy marriage can provide.

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