Saturday, September 28, 2013

A gift unexpected, uneven, unpopular

1. Validation from coworkers
2. Extra time with the girl
3. My family and our lack of preoccupation with the material (compared to our community)

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

3 gifts funny

1. Funny how I am looking for funny gifts, on a day that has been nothing short of challenging and exhausting. Thankful for always having reasons to be thankful.
2. Booty shaking in the front yard that embarrasses my family. Thankful for a booty to shake and a family to embarrass. :)
3. My niece, Hannah, trying to convince me to tell her what we bought for Grace's (her sister's) birthday present. Funny that she thinks I will believe her when she says she "won't tell". :) Thankful to share a laugh on the phone.

Monday, September 23, 2013

3 gifts quiet

1. The car with no radio and no phone. A sanctuary on wheels.
2. 5 a.m. and everyone is asleep. Getting dressed with no interruptions.
3. Laying in bed with my loves watching a movie. Not total silence, but my heart is quiet -- and full.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

3 gifts in information

1. Direction
2. Confirmation
3. Opportunity

Thursday, September 19, 2013

3 gifts in conversation

1. Reminders of friendship
2. Validation
3. Future opportunities

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Gift fixed, folded, freckled

1. Mazie in a couple of weeks! :)
2. Laundry -- Mark does all of it!
3. Skin freckled from warm sunshine. Enjoying every last moment of summer.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

3 gifts ugly-beautiful

1. Devastation of floods and the beauty of community help.
2. A lifetime of wickedness redeemed in a single act of grace.
3. Sin revealed gives way to new life.

Monday, September 16, 2013

3 gifts shared

1. Shared laughter playing tickle.
2. Shared love for family dinner night.
3. Shared joy at having the girl back home.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

3 gifts paired

1. Mark and me
2. Mazie and her walks
3. Summer gazpacho and fresh-made guacamole

3 gifts drawn

1. Anger drawn out of me, seemingly out of nowhere, reminding me that healing is an ongoing process. Bitterness has no place in my heart.

2. Charlotte drawn thank you notes that will finally make the mailbox this weekend. The joy they will bring makes me smile.

3. Thankful that I can always draw on a firm foundation of faith.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

To moms of children with stepmoms

The emotions are running high -- buzzing. Sometimes that works in my favor for writing. Today, I am not so sure. But, this message is critical. I just left the house of the mother of my stepchild. She was beyond rude and out of control. She made me feel stupid and small in front of her child. Apparently, she was upset because I picked up her daughter for soccer (as she directed), but then I stayed for practice. When she found out her daughter didn't need her cell phone in case she (mom) was late because I would be there with her daughter,  she became hysterical. That led to a completely nonsensical tongue-lashing that I received from her in front of her daughter. I am embarrassed, but I am more sad for my stepdaughter -- and sad for her mother.

If you are a mother of a child with a stepmother, and that stepmother sees your child as much as you do, please know that I have the utmost respect for the heartbreak that you have come to know. As a stepmother, I understand that I will never understand the carried-for-9-months, out-of-the-womb bonding that you know. And, I can't imagine how it feels to not have that bonded child with me 100% of the time. I only know the pain because I see it in my husband on "transition day". But, because I am called on to pinch-hit. Because I have a responsibility to care for another's child 50% of the time with her father. Because I made a commitment to be part of a family with my stepdaughter. Because I genuinely love to be in her life and watch her play, I leave you these thoughts.

Moms, your sons and daughters love you unconditionally. Their love for you is because of the bond you share. They will never love another mom-like figure more than they love you. There may be plenty of mom-like figures in their lives -- grandmas, aunts, teachers, friends.... Just because that mom-like figure might be your former husband's wife does not change how your children see you. Your role in their lives is never threatened. Even if another woman tries to forcibly step in and usurp your authority. It just won't work. Their love for you is that strong. You will ALWAYS be "Mom".

Failing to understand this results in misdirected anger and frustration -- and the only ones who really get hurt are the ones you love so much -- your children. So snap out of it! Most often the real source of that threatened feeling is your inability to love yourself. Moms of kids with stepmoms, please understand this clearly -- God Loves You!! He wants you in a relationship with Him so that He can fill you with all the love and grace and wisdom you need for all the stuff that life brings on. He is the only one who can heal the pain, and be the emotional Source that you need every day.  If you want a phenomenal relationship with your children, understand God's incredible love for you and trust that your children love you unconditionally.

Monday, September 2, 2013

3 gifts summer

1. Memory making with family and friends.
2. Fresh fruits and veggies.
3. Warmer weather and lots of sunshine!!