Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Navigating in the Blended Family by Becky Norton Farmer

Navigating in the Blended Family: Blessings and Challenges

So, an update from my last blog entry, Michael and I just celebrated our first wedding anniversary on June 9th with a family trip to Tennessee with all 4 kids and my parents.  When we joined our family, I had two girls ages 12 and 14 and Michael had one girl 15 and one boy 12. Now WE have a glorious family of 4, ages 12-15! What a blessing! I wish that I could say that it was always that way. 

When we decided to get married, our pastor counseled us and said, “You guys are fine, and I am not worried about your relationship. Your biggest challenge will be with the children." There was not a truer statement ever made.  Imagine placing 4 kids ages 12-15 together in a home, who only knew each other as acquaintances and say, OK, now you are a family!  Well, that is exactly what happened. I cried more tears each night over the family dynamic in our home than I have cried over anything in my life. The three girls hated each other, and our son, bless his heart, just endured the situation.  Differences in parenting styles, different temperaments, little hearts that were trying to adjust to mom and dad getting remarried, all combined for a not so pretty picture. My precious husband, whose parents divorced when he was just 7, would tell me, “Be patient. Give it time, and God will work it out”. Well, for those of you who know me, patience is not my strong suit! My father, who also experienced divorced parents, also gave me the same advice, “Baby, it just takes time. They will all get along one day."  I would call these “family meetings” where we would sit around and share our feelings. Talk about AWKWARD!!! AWKWEIRD is more like it. Getting teenagers to talk at all is a challenge, but to speak nicely about a situation is even harder. The meetings would end up in everyone saying how much they disliked one another and the situation and someone crying, usually ME! So I cried out to God daily to please mold my family into one that at least liked each other and could live together peacefully. I began to wonder if  we would ever be normal again. 

But our God is so amazingly merciful and graceful that He mends the broken hearts and restores and heals relationships! Our kids now laugh and play together, do each other’s hair, call and text one another when they are apart and even want to spend the night with each other when they are at the other parent’s house for the weekend. I cannot praise God enough for the miracle that has occurred in the lives of our children.  Little by little, week by week, just as my husband and my daddy told me would happen, they all began to get to know each other and even like each other. Our family is finally a family and only God can get glory for that. It is nothing that I or Michael did, only our Heavenly Father.  They still have their spats and disputes, but just as normal brothers and sisters do, not as enemies who cannot stand to breathe the same air! 

I have had the privilege to not only mother two of the most beautiful, talented, smart, funny and precious girls in the world, but now I get to be mother to another beautiful, amazing, kind and funny girl and also to mother a son, who is generous, considerate, kind and wonderful! My cup runneth over! God has blessed me with a second chance at love to the most amazing man a woman could ever hope to marry and to be the mother to the coolest 4 kids on the planet. So if you are struggling in your blended family world, the only advice I can give is to pray fervently and be patient. In God’s time and with your love and prayer, He will make  a family into one that honors  Him and reflects His love and mercy. 

1 comment:

  1. From one Bonus Mom to another, Thanks for sharing.


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