What Every Stepparent Needs To Know

http://www.kydzedu.com/ catalogue/books/ charedu-bks

Click here to read a very good article about a child’s perspective on stepmothers. Here’s an excerpt:

Everyone’s heard of stepmonsters: those evil second, third (forth?) wives who cruelly shuffle stepkids off to the sidelines and compete for their dad’s attention. This isn’t about them. I’m talking about stepmoms in crisis who are really trying to make it work. They all wonder why, after knocking themselves out for their 21st century Brady Bunch, they still end up with stepkids who treat them like they are auditioning for The Little Rascals Reality Show. On top of that disrespectful drama, toss in an already frustrated stepmom overhearing the little darlings bandy about the dreaded stepmonster jab one too many times – and snap. Off goes the wedding band, pop goes the Xanax, and out come the tears.

Hope For The Future

I have a diva room. That’s the blessing of having kids move out of your home. Suddenly you have rooms that no longer have a purpose. So I decided to make a reading room. My chaise lounge and a couple of shabby chic end tables in a pink and brown room with a leopard print carpet and curtains were the main pieces.

Notice an old typewriter that I found that reminded of when I was a kid before we had computers. Isn’t it cute all painted?

I also have my workout equipment in there, my treadmill and pilate ball and weights.

But there is one thing that I bought recently that brings me hope for my future.

Yes! It’s a hope chest. It was built in February 1950 and manufactured by Lane. It’s lined inside and the smell of cedar is nice and soothing. I so far have only put a few things in there just some plates my grandmother gave me, Time’s 2000-2009 special edition magazine, and some pillowcases my mother embroidered.

I am making a keepsake for a granddaughter that only God has met so far. I know she’s somewhere in my future and I don’t know where or when she will arrive but she has a gift waiting for her when she is a teenager and ready to receive memories of the women who formed the generations before her. I haven’t met her yet but I know her personality. I know she will be strong, wise, opinionated, and she will have a soul that is passionate and beautiful just as the women who came before her. I have hope for the future of an unborn baby, created before the foundation of the world to be born to her generation at her appointed time to enter our universe so I carefully put things away her.

I look forward to the day I will hold her in my arms and whisper my prayers for her future to her and let her know how long I have waited for her. I anticipate the day I learn the name her parents have given her. I have a vision of the time I will spend with her. Maybe there will be a day when she crawls around in the diva room! I’m not in a hurry and I can wait for as long as it takes. For now, I am content to  collect things for her, to have breakable things on the surfaces of furniture and have Lulu’s squeaky toys left on the rug.

As my husband sings, “I’m somewhere in the future and I look much better than I look right now.” One day, I will be a grandmother and it will be great.

Life’s Battles

http://www.flickr.com/ photos/rafamvc/ 2395345093/

Our most important battles occur when we face life’s enemies. There are three areas of your life that will be attacked.

1. Mental, emotional, spiritual, physical health will be attacked by these factors:

Unbelief
Anger
Low self-esteem
Sickness
Negativity
Bad eating habits
Drinking, smoking
Unhappiness
Drug abuse
Hopelessness

These are battles against your well-being. To be a whole person you must fight against these enemies who seek to kill you or at least destroy this aspect of your life. You will never fulfill your destiny when these battles are being won with your agreement. It is your choice after all.

The second area of your life that you will face battles in are your covenant relationships, God, your family, your church, your friends. The enemies of covenant relationships are:

Boredom
Jealously
Anger
Pride
Lack of consideration
Lack of motivation
Weakness
Selfishness
Poor self-image
Adultery
Fornication
Criticism
Lack of character, integrity
Injustice
Misunderstanding
Lack of honor and consistency

These are enemies that attack the area of your life where your relationships are involved. We were not meant to be lone creatures but a part of one another so these battles are lost when you turn away from or make decisions based on these attacks to your mind.

The next area of life’s battles is your prosperity. Prosperity is not only your money. It’s where you prosper, your attitude, your job, your time, your talent, your home and everything and anything that adds value to your life.

Laziness
Carelessness
A hoarding attitude
Failure to plan
Excessive debt
Poor credibility
Failure to plan
Ignorance
Lack of goals
Failure to honor God through your tithes and offerings

These are all enemies to prosperity. When any one of these battles is lost the results are that you find yourself in lack in that particular area of your life. Don’t allow this happen.

God gives us a weapon for every single enemy. Here’s the big thing you have to know about warfare – you have to get it into your heart that you can win! You can win. You have to KNOW the weaknesses of your enemy. David when he came across Goliath had the faith that he could win. The reason he did so well against the giant was that he’d faced smaller trials and had success.

Remind yourself of battles that you’ve won in the past. Don’t get caught up in the lie that nothing has ever gone right, there are things that you have been a winner at. Reach for those goals as markers that this battle is yours to win and then go for it! If you don’t go for it, you’ll never defeat it.

To Save A Life

There is a movie out in theaters right now that is a really great movie to go and see with your kids. I saw it yesterday and recommend it. I took my 15 year-old stepson, and we joined some friends at the theater. We both enjoyed it very much. If you haven’t heard about it, the link to find out more is here.

Two Encounters

http://www.zazzle.com

On Saturday I attended a birthday party of a great woman in the Lord. While I was there people were mingling about both family and friends. Some were saved and some not. It was a great mix of people. They all made me feel welcome into their family.

After being there about an hour and meeting a really great couple who had just come back from a trip to Vegas to get tattoos, which were fabulously done by the way, by Hart and Huntington (a very cool shop in the tattoo world) another family member came up to the table I was sitting at to say hello to the people she knew there. I was introduced as, “This is my Pastor, Susan Young.” The woman said hello and was talking when all of a sudden in mid-sentence she said,

“Did you say Pastor?” The other woman said, “Yeah.” She exclaimed, “Oh Sh**! and I’m here with a beer.”

She begins to try to hide her beer behind her back as she apologizes to me and I see her discomfort. I smiled and quietly said, “It’s okay and you’re fine. The bible says nothing about drinking a beer; it’s being drunk which is the issue. I am not here to stone you.” She smiled and instantly seemed to relax, she still left quickly, but later came back and sat down to talk. It makes me think though, why the reaction? Pastor Doug says it’s because we have the Holy Spirit and therefore conviction follows. That is a part of it, but also it’s because

we judge.

It makes me very uncomfortable when people feel weird around me. Did they have that reaction with Jesus? When he talked to sinners did they squirm and run and hide, or was he so captivating and loving that they accepted his invitation to talk, and to learn about his beliefs, and why he believed them. I am not talking about the demon possessed either, just normal people. Did the conversation and the man’s presence change them? I believe it did.

This woman’s language didn’t burn my ears. I am a word person, cussing doesn’t offend me when adults say it. The word CONVERSATE offends me more because it’s a non word! Her beer didn’t offend me. Personally, I think beer taste horribly and I don’t know why people drink it, the taste makes me shudder, but simply because it’s not my thing.

How many times have I walked into a room and the room hushed since I’ve been in ministry? It’s been too many times. Why? Because whatever it was they were doing they felt they couldn’t do in front of me. How many times has someone said a cuss word and then looked at me red-faced and said, “Sorry.” In those instances when they KNOW that I am a pastor and they are SAVED it’s a whole different ballgame. Then I believe it’s conviction but when it’s an unsaved person I wonder if they don’t know any better. The only thing they know is that Christians are judgmental. Why is it that people freak out when a person in ministry is near? Should they not be drawn to us by our love?

At the end of this encounter, I pray I showed Jesus to the woman with the beer, and as I left she asked where our church was located. Maybe I’ll see her someday. I pray I do. In the meantime, I was there to celebrate a birthday and be light in the dark, not by my judgment but rather by my love. Not by my tolerance of sin but my acceptance of those who don’t yet know Christ but will by my example.

I left the birthday party and went to the grocery store. As I was wandering the aisles two teens were in front of me. I have to admit, I notice where bodies are in relation to me but I don’t notice who those bodies are. In other words, I know people are in front of me but I don’t look to see who they are. This gets me in trouble a lot of the times. So the only reason why I know it was a boy and a girl was that the girl was cussing stupidly as only teens do. Every other word is a cuss word because they can. I noted that one of them used to come to church. I tried to make eye contact but he was having none of it. When the one who used to come to church finally said, “Hey, don’t cuss, that lady is a pastor”, now the talk got ugly as the words began to spew from this other teen’s mouth. She didn’t give a F*** who I was she was going to F-ing cuss if she wanted to– and well, you get the gist. Okay, in that instance it was a total different response from me. I didn’t even try to speak to them. Instead I began to pray for them. Wow, how incredibly sad that she despised authority and had not ever been taught respect for adults. I felt bad that their parents had been too busy to instill the moral character that it’s going to take to make it in society. They have a big wake up call coming. I did notice however that she wasn’t yet woman enough to face me. She said all of this as she walked away from me making sure she was yelling in the store and making sure all the people in the vicinity knew that she had been raised by wolves!

Two encounters, two different reactions to my presence, and I had two different reactions, all in the course of one day.