Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Modern Day Samaritan Woman

Poison Apples, Magic Mirrors, Prayer and all that Jazz

 Poison Apples, Magic Mirrors, Prayer and all that Jazz

If you have read my introduction you will know that I have been blessed with a new husband, who came along with children of his own.

This meant that the day I said

“I do”

was the day I became an instant step-mom.

However, as with all things that really matter it didn’t come with a handy “How to do & don’t ” Manual. I had to and still have to figure it out step by step.

One of the HUGE advantages of being a step mom is I get to have a “Do Over”… My own children have grown up and left home and their flight from my nest left me with a nasty case of “empty nest syndrome”. I was a home school mom for sixteen years and very involved with my children’s lives. We lived intentionally day by day, always present in the moment. Someone once said 

“The greatest gift you can give to someone was to be present with them in the moment, whatever the moment was.”

Although I am very proud that my children have grown up into productive, honest citizens producing their part for our economy (preparing them to take their part in the world was the whole point of home-schooling) I missed the growing up days.

All too soon it was over and I had mixed feelings about it. On the one hand, I was delighted that I would never ever, ever have to solve another math problem again and I would never have to kill an hour or more while music, art, whatever lessons were being had (of which there were many), but on the other hand those years with my children were the most productive, amazing years of my life and they passed by too quickly. Can you believe I missed the mess and the noise and the constant rush from one thing to another? All the things I had wished would pass were the very things I missed.

Roll on June, 21st 2014 and all of the above changed and suddenly I was a mom again, with real children, demanding real attention and bringing their own peculiar brand of personality into the mix. The only difference being that these were not my own biological children. They belonged to someone else, so although I had all the “mothering instincts and skills” it was not quite the same.

Some of the challenges we faced were:
·         We didn’t have the benefit of growing up together and becoming acquainted with one another’s idiosyncrasies and habits. Something. that just happens automatically when you have your own children from birth.

AND
·        My husband and I had different parenting techniques.

So being the practical person that I am and determined to be in the moment, intentionally living day by day alongside these wonder new and “strange” new people in my life I knew I would have to approach things in a different manner. 

What had worked and sometimes failed with my own children would not necessarily be the same with these “new children”.

I spent a lot of time thinking about the best way to approach the “Step Mom” scenario and after a short while I realized I would not be successful in any way, unless I invited God into the dilemma and simply prayed for each one of my step children, as I have done for my own children all of these years.

The question was how and what to pray for?

I decided to utilize my diary in order to keep track of my prayers and also as a self-accountability tool. I write down my prayers for all the children (mine and his) every single day. Sometimes I find it amusing because I will find myself thinking “Do you really expect God to read the prayer, or do you think He will forget what you are asking for.” I found that praying for the children gave me the advantage of foresight and additional tolerance and thanks to the Holy Spirit my prayers started to bond me to the children in ways that no “How to do” manual would. 

 Poison Apples, Magic Mirrors, Prayer and all that Jazz

“When you pray for people a change happens inside your own heart. Even as you are directing your prayers in the direction of another, it is your heart that becomes soft and malleable to the Lord and then He is able to place compassion, patience and even wisdom into your spirit for that person”.

I believe that He placed a genuine heart felt affection and love for my “new” children into my heart. This is very important because God cares a great deal about these children. They are His creation.  How I treat them and handle their hearts and concerns matters. They are as real to me and as special to me as my own are. Yet, I know this did not happen by itself or because of my “greatness” as a Mom. Prayer works in very unexpected ways.

This is all new to me, so day by day I do what I can and pray very hard and intentionally for wisdom and guidance as I go about the task of living and home making. I don’t by any means claim to be an expert and the above mentioned isn't meant to function as a “How to do & don’t” Manual. It is simply a record of my own experience at the very beginning. I have no doubt that more challenges will follow but I have discovered that prayer is the key to all challenges faced in all types of relationships.

What about you? Have you faced the same challenges? Or perhaps others? How did you as step parent bond with your step children? Or perhaps you are the step child. Do you have any words of wisdom that would enable us, the step parents to understand and love our step children better?

*Hugs* till next time.

AriƩte