Have you ever been dealing with some crap that you wish you could unload on a total stranger? You don’t want to burden the people close to you. Maybe you just need some help processing how you feel at the time, but don’t want to be judged along the way? Maybe you just want to hear all about someone else’s crap, so you can feel a little better about your own. Well, I don’t know about you, but I find myself here quite often these days.
I am a 38 year old wife of a Deputy Chief of our local fire department. We have five kids that range in age from 12 to 22. We’re a blended family, two girls, three boys. I work two days a week as a caregiver and when I’m not managing our home or spending time with family, you can find me in the gym. I love God with all of my heart, but haven’t found a church home yet. My passions are spending quality time with my family, reading, writing, cooking, my plants, fitness, and pretty much all things beautiful. I find beauty in the small things and am sometimes overwhelmed by the big ones.
I wrote the above post two months ago to the day. As you can probably tell by the first paragraph, I wasn’t in a very good place. I was angry and hurting. I needed a friend and didn’t have one, not the kind I needed at the moment anyway. I needed a non friend. I needed a stranger. I suppose that’s where a bartender may have come in handy. Come to think of it, I could have used a drink too. I wanted an outlet for myself that I could be open, honest, and real without being seen. My plan may have worked, but like a dummy, I came home and told my husband that I started a blog. Well…in order for my plan to work, nobody could have know that. I outed myself on my very first day. Cut myself off at the knees before I even got started, so I was stumped.
When I write, I have to be free. I can’t think of what might hurt someone’s feelings or offend someone I love. At least that’s not what I wanted for this blog. Have you ever heard the saying, “It’s lonely at the top”? It applies just the same to people at the head of their families. Us parents and wives are looked at for guidance, answers, and to lead. We have to keep it together, be the soft place to land or the strong one that speaks the truth in love. That’s a lot of pressure people. Sometimes the feelings that come along with being a step parent aren’t all good, but they still need to be dealt with and processed. How do you do that if you have no where to turn? You can’t go to your husband because it could and most likely would hurt him and put him on the defensive and that would be bad for everyone. It’s not that you don’t love your step kids. There are just so many variables involved sometimes, it makes my head spin. For example, the kids are here at our house every other week. Every time they come home my husbands stress level triples and who does he take it out on??? Me and my kids! What the heck?! He doesn’t see it at all. When I’ve tried to talk to him about it in the past he just gets defensive. I did however find a way to disarm this problem.
I was really struggling with it on that particular day, so I prayed. I write out my prayers, kinda like a letter to God. It helps me to organize my thoughts and release any bad energy I might be holding on to. It turns out I did have someone to turn to. I told God all of my feelings and why I felt that way. I also told him how I wanted to feel and what I wished things could be like. He softened my heart, once I got all of the crap out. He told me that “Love covers a multitude of sins”. I was to disarm this battle before it became a fight. His way, not the way of the world, but the way above worlds. I needed to stop focusing on my husband and his behavior, but on what really mattered, our kids. He actually gave me a formula. Here it is:
Time = Love
Interest in their interests, builds value
Value builds worth
Worth builds relationship
Relationships grow more love
Love softens hearts
It turns out for whatever reason my husband felt that he couldn’t trust me and my kids to make his kids feel loved and welcomed in our home, which I’ve always been very clear was ALL of our home. Just because they leave every other week doesn’t make this any less their home. They just have two homes and that can be a very cool thing! Once I put more effort into bonding with my youngest two (I never, or should I say, very rarely refer to them as my steps. In this post it was simply not to confuse you) my husband was able to let his guard down some and behave a little bit more normal. The love I have for our kids defused the resentment that was building from the situation. For that I am very grateful! The challenges will always be there, but overcoming them is what makes us conquerors. To every problem there is a solution. Finding it is the journey. We’re blessed to have a God who has all of the answers. “Trust in the Lord with all of your heart and lean not to your own understanding. In all of your ways acknowledge him, and he will direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:5,6
Until next time, my non friend