Your Blended Family Is Going To Fail.

Your Blended Family Is Going To Fail.

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Being a spouse can be difficult.
Being a parent can be hard.
Finding balance in family life and doing your best to get it right is rough and takes mountains of patience.

Even trickier than all of that is trying to pull it off in a blended family.

I tried to look up statistics on blended families and it became overwhelming. What it boils down to is that about 50% of American families are blended, meaning the adults in the family have children from previous relationships.

My family is blended. Well, my family is chopped, minced, and then blended. Even though we don’t use the terms step or half, the reality is that we have step parents, step kids, step siblings, half siblings and we even have my sister who we’re raising as our daughter.

We’re the poster family for blended families.

Being a blended family is tough work. You don’t just have to figure out how to make life inside your home work, you also have to figure out a way to make life between two or more homes work. Navigating co-parenting with another family is not for the faint of heart and is another post all together.

I’d like to say we get it right all the time and that love always trumps the hard times but I’d be lying.
I’d like to say grace is always given when we tread on bumpy terrain but I’d be lying.
I’d like to say that we never doubt the choices we’ve made but sometimes none of our choice make any sense at all and I wonder how the heck we got here in the first place.

Blending families takes more than most of us are equipped with and because of that the failure rate is through the roof.

The brutal reality of it all is that your blended family is going to fail and over and over again you’ll fail at trying to make it work.

You’ll fail at never having feelings of resentment.
You’ll fail at swallowing your pride.
You’ll fail at relinquishing some control and allowing another person discipline your child.
You’ll fail at showing compassion and grace.
You’ll fail at keeping jealousy under wraps.

You’re family will fail at not being territorial inside your own home.
You’re family will fail at making love completely equal between all its members.
You’re family will fail at pretending it’s easy.
You’re family will fail at wanting to make it work.

But through all the rough spots you’ll find immense beauty.

There will be the moments where the light shines through the cracks.
There will be the moments when the broken pieces will come together to make a stained glass window where others will look through and see nothing but beauty. They’ll see all the different colors, shapes and sizes and stare in awe at how it all came together so perfectly.

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There will be the times when you watch your spouse love on and parent your child as their own and it will bring up a love so deep you can’t even imagine how it contains itself inside your heart.

There will be a time when your spouse’s child kisses you and tells you that they love you and you’ll wonder how you ever lived your life without them.

There will be times when your children walk hand in hand with your spouse’s children and you’ll know that you are teaching them to love far beyond any boundaries.

Your blending family is going to fail.
They’re going to fail over and over but they’re also going to prove that love and grace can outshine any darkness.
They’re going to show others how broken things can be mended, maybe not back to the way they were but to a way that lets the light shine through the cracks and heal the hurts.

What happened after my ex husband and I threw away our custody agreement.

Every other weekend.
Wednesdays from 6pm to 8pm.
Christmas on even years.
Thanksgiving on odd years.
30 day extended visitation in the summer.
Spring break every other year.
No moving out-of-state.
30 days notice with a job change or move.
Child support.
Child support review every 4 years.
Insurance provision.
Split copays.

We were exhausted after the first year of trying to follow along with each detail. Details that were somewhat standard and very general to accommodate a broad span of families. Details that were permanent and signed by a judge. Details that never changed, even when our lives did.

Following these instructions laid out for us made us tired, angry and confused.
We were tired of times and dates and who has her when and what time she needed to be where and on and on. We were angry because of expectations that seemed impossible. We couldn’t always get her by 6pm or drop her off by 8pm, life just doesn’t work like that and occasionally you’re late or early or can’t do it at all. We were confused because it’s a mess.

Have you seen a custody agreement? There’s such a division of time and dates that your calendar is so marker up it looks like a two-year old got ahold of it with box of markers.

Our custody agreement was stressing us out, making us miserable and was causing us to argue. It was crippling the need for us to figure out how to work together as a team.

So we threw it out.
Chunked it.
Shredded it into a million pieces.
Burned it at the stake.
WE GOT RID OF IT!

We’ve never looked back, not once.

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Instead of being controlling jerks, we decided to give each other some slack and truly stop to think about what was best for our little girl.

Our entire relationship changed after that. The dynamics of co-parenting made a positive switch and we became better parents and better friends. Our daughter became happier and we were all less stressed.

When we threw out the papers we communicated better and developed compassion and understanding towards each other.

We took the time to listen to each other and find out what worked in each of our families. We stepped outside the box and created our own custody agreement that basically say that she’s equally both of our daughter. If she’s with him or me, she’s with family and that’s what matters.

We decided to simply share in the joy of raising our little girl together and to see each others relationship with her as equally important as our own.

We decided to respect each other and each other’s spouses.

When it comes to holidays we just share our time with a huge dose of understanding and grace. We made a choice to not be married and with that we knew that neither of us would have our daughter full-time. For that reason we know that she won’t be with us for every holiday and we’ve learned to not only accept it but to be grateful that she is with the other part of her family getting loved on.

As for child support and insurance, I have no idea what the original papers say. We settled on a child support amount 14 years ago and neither of us have mentioned it since. The person who provides insurance is the person who has the option for the best insurance, that might be him or that might be me. We just do it. We just insure her because she needs insurance. There’s no battle over who carries it or who’s paying more, we just do it. It’s for her and we need to provide, PERIOD. If he thinks about it he’ll he puts money in her school lunch account, if I think about it then I’ll do it. As long as she has lunch money I couldn’t care less which one of us put it in there. When she needs clothes, which ever one of us is in a position to take her shopping does it. They’re her clothes and as long as she has what she needs then I couldn’t care less who bought the clothes, him or me, who cares. My husband and I provide in every way that we can and he and his wife provide in every way they can. She benefits and she is taken care of. Bottom line, it’s all about her.

It’s far more complicated for us to constantly refer to papers drawn up by lawyers (lawyers who don’t know the heart of our family or our ever-changing needs) than it is to meet up or call each other and talk about the changes like adults. It feels good to have my ex husband call up on any given day, not an assigned day by a judge, and let me know he’s picking up our daughter for a dad night.  I can’t tell you what that does to our daughter’s self-esteem and self-confidence. I will say yes to that phone call every single time.

Our daughter isn’t a possession or a puppet. She’s not a pawn or weapon. She’s a little girl who never asked for divorced parents and she needs to feel equally important and cherished at both homes. She needs to see her parents love each other and work together as a team. She needs to see us give each other grace and mercy. She needs to know that broken things can be fixed, maybe not back to the way they were before but in a way that works and is healthy.

I’m not going to lie, it take a great deal of self-respect and respect for the other parent. It takes releasing the need to be in control of everyone and everything and it means that you won’t always have your way. It takes accepting your ex’s decisions in dating and/or marriage and realizing the importance of co-parenting in a healthy way with them as well.

Co-parenting this way means you’ll need to stock pile huge amounts of grace, forgiveness and mercy because you’re going to need a ton of each.

Throwing out the papers made us better people. It made us like each other again and took an unnecessary pressure off both of our shoulders. It made us better parents.

It might be easier said than done, I honestly don’t know because it was the best decision ,as parents of a broken home, that we could have ever made.  We love our daughter far more than any ill feeling we ever had towards each other and because of that we were able to rise above. Because of it our daughter has two stable homes with four parents that adore her and work together in her best interest at all times. Because of our decision to parent this way, our daughter has one big family full of love and abundant grace.

*Side note: I’m well aware that  this can’t always be the case and that sometimes the “other parent” is not healthy for the child. I’m talking about co-parenting situations that can be healthy and productive but have things standing in their way that don’t need to be. Just throwing that out there before the comments start coming in.

5 Inspiring Friendships Between Bio-Moms And Stepmoms. Check out #1!

Completely humbled today. My blended family’s story is featured on the Huffington Post in an article on 5 Inspiring Friendships Between Bio-Moms And Stepmoms. We are featured alongside Jada Pinkett Smith and her coparent. I absolutely love our beautiful blended family. I’m thankful for my awesome husband, ex husband and daughter’s Stepmom for rocking this coparenting thing.

Check it out here!

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Why I Choose To Have An Affair.

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An Affair by definition is a sexual relationship, a romantic friendship or passionate attachment between two people.

My husband and I have been married for 9 years. I’ve been having an affair for over four years now. Had I known how wonderful it was going to be I would have done it years before. I’m happier and healthy because of it and I’m not ashamed.

Many years ago I was sitting in a bible study and the man speaking told the room full of ladies “Have an affair with your husband or someone else will”. That ran through my head for days. I knew he was right but kids were tugging at my skirt, the bank account was beyond tight and both my husband and I were at our jobs more than we were in front of each other. I was tired. I put the kids first, myself and my marriage last and lost all sense of why my husband and I married each other in the first place.

In 2010 our marriage crashed like an airplane that lost both its engines mid-flight. While picking up the pieces of the wreckage we discovered our black box, the heart of the matter, the secrets of the cockpit. Through that I realized that I wasn’t a good wife. I had been a great mom, I was confident in that, but I fell extremely short in the wife department. I failed at being a good and strong wife who put her husband first and let him lead the family.

So I started having an affair.

I’m not going to lie, it took effort at first but after a while became second nature.

I began an affair with my own husband 4 years ago and it changed our lives.

We had let our marriage slip and our focus went to treading water in an effort to keep our heads up and not drown in all the hits life had for us.  So we made a choice to turn our focus back to each other and all the reasons we fell in love in the first place.  We began an affair with each other. We rebuilt our sexual relationship, romantic friendship and passionate attachment to each other.

He rubbed my back and played with my hair without me begging. We held hands everywhere we went which seems so simple but surprising how quickly you can lose it. We kissed, and not just a goodbye peck but truly kissed each other and meant it. Even a goodbye peck was held a few seconds longer and began to mean so much more. We said I Love You and not just because it was part of the script but to truly remind the other where we stood with each other. We talked. We talked about everything and anything no matter how much it hurt.

We stopped letting the children rule the house and our schedule.  Date nights became more frequent and more private. We no longer met up with friends when we had a kid free night. Instead we went to places were we could focus on each other and each other only. We sat in corner booths in dark quiet restaurants, looked each other in the eye and reconnected. We took our marriage back and made it top priority because its crucial in a family. If the marriage fails, the family fails.

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We love these little people but they no longer control our house.

When my husband and I started having an affair with each other, we restored our sexual relationship and our passionate attachment to each other. We not only loved each other again but we liked each other too.

All the relationships in our lives matter and take work but our marriage is by far the most important to continue to grow and nurture.  My marriage is the heartbeat of my family, its health is vital. Getting married was easy and fun but maintaining a strong and successful marriage takes hard work, sacrifice and extreme dedication. When I said my vow of for better or worse I meant it. I didn’t take the vow of for better or bail if things get painful.

The most important change we made when our affair started is to put God in the center of our marriage and our lives. Without Him as our firm foundation we were simple standing on shifting sand. He makes all things new and beautiful. He heals the broken-hearted. He restores our lives and wipes away our sins. He is our redeemer.

I won’t lie and say that everything is my home is perfect and that my husband and I never have low moments but I will say that with God and our renewed sense of who we are together, we are stronger than we’ve ever been.

An Open Letter To My Daughter’s Stepmom

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To My Daughter’s Stepmom

I never wanted you here. You simply were never part of the plan. Growing up and dreaming of my family I never included you.   I didn’t want help from another woman to raise my child.  The plan was for my family to include me, daddy and our children, not you.  I doubt you ever wanted me in your life. I doubt you planned to mother a child that you didn’t give birth to. I can bet that your plan for your family included you, daddy and your children together, not me or my daughter. I can almost bet that when you dreamed of becoming a mother it would be the day you gave birth and not the day you married your husband.  I’m pretty sure you never planned on me being here.

But God has plans that far exceed our own and when my little family dissolved to form two families I knew you would be coming.

In my mind you would be a terrible beast and my daughter would not want you to mother her at all, ever! I was hoping that you would be semi unattractive and prayed my daughter wouldn’t look up to you. Her daddy would know that he was settling for second best.  Evil swirled in me because I never wanted to face the fact that another woman would mother my child in my absence.

Then you arrived.

When I first met you I’ll admit you weren’t what I had in mind and a twinge of jealousy shot through my body. You were supposed to be hideous, remember? But you weren’t, you were stunningly beautiful. You were supposed to be a mean old hag, remember? But you weren’t, you were a young, sweet woman.

My plans were foiled.

I realized by the look on your face that meeting me was just as hard as it was for me to meet you. My heart immediately softened.  Dang your kind smile! I was planing on really hating you. Why are your ruining my plan?!

I wanted to resent you but you made it impossible and I quickly grew thankful for you.

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You’ve accepted our daughter from the very start and have unconditionally loved both  her and her daddy, that’s a true gift to all of us.  You’ve included our daughter in everything you do and make her feel loved and accepted. You put her relationship with her daddy above yours and only a brave and courageous woman knows how to do that with such grace.

I knew when her daddy and I decided to divorce and live in separate homes there would be times when she would need me, her mommy, and I wouldn’t be there.  I’m so thankful that you are there in my absence. I’m grateful that you have mercy on her teen years and never reject her.  She needs a mommy at your house and you’ve done an amazing job being that for her.

You’ve respected my position as mom from the very start. I appreciate that you always check with me when you question if you are making the right decision with her. I know our situation is rare. It’s not often that a mom and stepmom text each other to remind each other that they love and respect each other. You are a gift.

Because of you and your courage to mother our daughter the way that you do, she will be a better woman. She will grow up with more love than I could have ever imagined. It wasn’t her choice to have divorced parents and even though I wouldn’t wish that on any child I am so thankful that she now has 4 parents who love and respect her and each other. She’s compassionate because of it and understands that a failure in one area can turn into a blessing in another.

I don’t see you as a fill in for when I’m not there. You are her mother when she’s with you and when she’s with me. She’s excited to call you and tell you her stories when she’s at my house and that makes my heart want to jump from my chest with joy. I fill with pride when you wrap your arms around me and squeeze for a genuine and loving hug each time we see each other.

I am extremely aware of what it looks like when a mother cannot emotionally accept her childs stepmother in their life. Gratefulness pours heavily from me that we are able to rise above anything like that and do what is truly right for our daughter. Thank you for being mature enough and respectful enough to co-parent with me.

I promise to always respect your input for our daughter. I promise to never lessen the position you hold in her life or make you feel like you are not her mother. I promise to raise her to be grateful to have two strong and brave women in her life that have the courage to mother her together. Even though our situation is peaceful I pray that she is never in it, but if she ever finds herself here I promise to set an example for her of what co-parenting should look like.

Precious woman, you are a rare and beautiful gem.

God bless you and I love you.

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All The Single Ladies, All The Single Ladies…..

Everyone please give a round of applause to our sweet sister Renee who bravely wrote for W3 today. Take it away Renee…

A Perfect Match

Match, eHarmony, Zooks, and even Christian Singles, I have done them all! I could very well have at least a full winter wardrobe with the money I have spent!

I’m hoping that some of you ladies can relate and I am not a lonely penguin in an icy sea!

The thing is I am a women who has been in a few long relationships but in the end still single. I have lived most of my life wondering what it was that I must be doing wrong.

What’s Wrong With Me!

Do I get boring after a while?

Do I ask too much?

As I have gotten older I have gain some weight, is that it??

Am I too predictable?

Is my cooking horrible?

Is my family too difficult to get along with?

Am I too independent?

Match Me!

I figured if anything these on-line dating sites would give me the answer. Each sites questionnaire takes about an hour maybe longer. I was guaranteed to be matched with the perfect one!

Well I was not a match for any man.

Sometimes days would go by and no match. Or worse I would get a match that was completely off the wall!! I was really convinced that I was going to be alone forever.

By no means am I taking away from those who have found love on these sites! I actually know several couples that are extremely happy! But it just was not for me.

I shared my frustration with close friends and after analyzing it all, like we women do, we realized one thing, the most important thing that I had missed.

I was missing God in my quest.

My Perfect Match

He already knows my perfect match. All I need to do is trust Him.

I did not need to put myself out there to be picked. God has already picked for me!

He has not promised when or how, but because I believe, because I have laid this in His hands, I will wait as long as it takes. God WILL send me a loving, Christian man who will love me as He so loved His son, and boy am I excited!

So ladies if you are single and you question every day why you are alone…remember your not. God is there and He will bring you earthly love!

Let’s Pray

Gracious Father thank you for never leaving us. Help us to rest in You and have faith in your plans for us. Comfort us when we feel like we are alone and remind us that you are here.  When we are chasing the things that we want gentle remind us that you have already paved our path for us and all we need to do is have faith in you.

Did you know that penguins mate for life?? I can’t wait to meet my penguin!

Family Scars

World War 3

Way back in my other life I spent about 90% of my time with two of my cousins. We did everything together. We were the three amigos.

When were were in our early twenties we spent much of our time doing whatever we wanted.

One wild night after a little too much drinking we went back to my apartment to hang out and hopefully pass out. Somehow a fight ensued.

When I say a fight I mean a knock down drag out fight.

I won’t name names or say who did what to who but at one point there was a bic pen shoved on someones leg, a bottled throw in someones face, someone got choked, someone got slapped and someone got their face smash on to the concrete in the parking lot.

Yes, it was only the three of us involved.

The night ended with our aunt driving 45 minutes to pick on of us up and the other two finally hitting the pillow and passing out.

Talk It Out

Early the next morning the phones started ringing. We mostly wanted a recount of what exactly happened the night before and to figure out why we were so mad in the first place. It turns out that one of us said something to the other to express their feelings and the one on the receiving end took it the wrong way. All out war followed.

But we are family. We love each other and just because we had one disagreement we were not going to throw our love for each other away. We sat down and talked it out. We laughed in the end at how out of hand we got but we all apologized, accepted apologizes and moved on. We would have never cut each other out of each others life over a disagreements, never.

Just Not Worth It

Sometimes you just have to swallow your pride, give or accept an apology and move on so that you don’t lose someone who is important to you. Life is just too short to hold a grudge or refuse an apology. It’s not worth it. You might wake up one day and not have the opportunity to forgive or accept someones forgiveness. I is it really worth it to be right?

We also need to set an example to the little eyes that look up to us.

Your Family’s Not Perfect, Never Will Be

We are all flawed, we are all a mess and if your pretending that your family is perfect then take a rest, you must be exhausted!

It’s okay if your aunt drives you crazy, that your husband doesn’t pamper your ever need, that your kids don’t make perfect grades, that you sister always tells you what you need to do or that you your ex doesn’t parent exactly the way you want them to.

The beauty of it is that you are family, the family that God designed. It’s okay to be frustrated and it’s okay to forgive and most importantly it is okay to ask for forgiveness.

However, it is not okay to stab your cousin in the leg with a bic pen.

Let’s Pray

Merciful Father thank you for giving us the ability to forgive. Thank you for the families that you so carefully designed for us, weather they be by blood or in our hearts. Teach us how to set our pride down and pick up forgiveness. Even though you have created all of us and the families that we have, none of us are perfect and we all fall short of your glory. Help us to see beyond ourselves. When we have our backs turn to our family to prove a point, gently take us by our shoulders and turn us back to them. In Jesus name, amen.”

I have a very small scar on my left thigh. It’s about the size of a bic pen. It is a sweet reminder of how far my cousins and I have come and how much we have grown. Oddly enough I do not regret that night. I have come to appreciate the scars that life has given me and the things that they have taught me. I pray that one day I can forgive everyone that has created the scars within me and that the people that I have left scars on can one day forgive me.

There’s A Blue Rocking Chair. Building your relationships on shifting sand.

By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as an expert builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should be careful how he builds. For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. If any man builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, his work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man’s work. 1 Corinthians 10-13

You Built What?

My husband loves to build stuff out of wood. He has a “man shed” in our back yard and can spend hours in there.

The man shed has a pink Barbie Jeep in it but we won’t go there.

He has it wired so that he can listen to music or watch football while he sands, drills, saws and hammers away at anything that he can get his hands on.

I love on Saturdays when I can hear his music each time the saw pauses. Our girls are constantly in and out of that shed checking out what he is building and seeing if it is for them. He always lets them join in and hammer a few nails.

He never goes out and buys a bunch of wood from Home Depot. He prefers to reuse stuff he finds or rebuild something that is broken. He completely refurbished the radio flyer wagon that he and his brother used as kids. I love to see our girls use it.

One day after he had spent the majority of the day out in his shed he called me out there to see his latest redo. He had pulled out a bunch of random, worn, withered wood that was stored under the shed and made a rocking chair. I was super confused.

Me: What’s that?
Him: A rocking chair.
Me: Ya I know but how did you do that?
Him: I don’t know, I just made it. Sit in it.
Me: Did you follow some sort of instructions?
Him: No, I just made it.
Me: Well its beautiful but I’m not sitting in it.
Him: Me neither.

It was beautiful. He had even painted it blue, but neither one of us was brave enough to actually try it out.

Wood work is his hobby not his profession. He didn’t have a master wood worker instructing him on how to make the chair so that it would be beautiful AND sturdy. We settled on it being beautiful and left it as more of a piece of art than a functioning piece of furniture.

The same thing once happened with out marriage.

We spent years building a marriage. We put hard work into it. We managed to maintain our home, work our jobs, raise our kids and every once in a while when the saw stopped, you could hear our music.

Moments of the music weren’t enough to make us dance.

The saw became louder and longer and the music became less and less. We created what looked like a beautiful foundation but we both knew that it wasn’t sturdy enough to bear the weight that we were putting on it.

We thought that we could create our family master piece without the instruction manual. We thought that we could build a life without our Master Creator. We never sat in that blue rocking chair but we did rock the weak base of our marriage and it crumbled into scrap wood.

God was sitting on our front porch shaking His headed waiting for us to invite Him in.

The rebuilding

When we were standing there staring at the pile of rubble that we had created we knew we had to make a choice. We could light it on fire and call it a loss or we could pick up the instructions and rebuild.

We picked up our bibles and invited God to be the Master of our marriage.
He became our shed, our saw, our drill, our sander and our nails. He carefully rebuilt us with patience and precision. He used new, fresh materials and got rid of the wilted, weathered wood. He made sure that He built our foundation to be unshakable. He made our walls sturdy and strong and then carefully put on a roof that could withstand the harshest storm.

When He was done He signed His name on it and claimed it as His master piece.

The devil was out of luck and had to walk away from a place that he used to love.

We must build our lives on the foundation that God has laid for us. I’m not just talking about our marriages. God must be the foundation for our friendships. He must be the foundation for our jobs and our hobbies. Our children should be secure in the fact that their lives started on the sturdy ground of our Savior. If you are dealing with an ex-spouse, a teacher, a boss or a student make sure that you allow God to be the center of the relationship.

Are you standing on firm ground? Was your foundation made by the sturdy hands of our Savior? Are you waiting for the saw to stop so you can steal a moment of the music?

If you are standing on shaking ground tear it down and grab the manual. Cry out to God to steady your foundation. Let Him be your Master Creator.

Let’s Pray

Mighty Father thank you for giving us an instruction book to be our guide. Help us to let go of our need to build our lives with our own hands and let us give it all to You. You are the only foundation that we can stand on without fear of destruction. When we are working the saw, the sander, the drill and the nails, turn it all off and remind us to dance to the music. In Jesus name, amen”.

In my husband’s defense, he did build us a stand for the TV in our bedroom. It is strong and sturdy and serves it’s purpose.
We weren’t even afraid to set the TV on it.

“Wanna Go Around”

“Want to go with me?”

When I was in middle school boys used to asked girls to “go with them” or “go around with them” which really meant that they wanted the girl to be their girlfriend.

We never really went anywhere.

My dad was relentless in teasing me about this. He always wanted to know where we were going to go or what we were going to go around. I never had a real answer. I had the same crush from 4th grade until I was a sophomore and we were “going around” for much of that time.

We never physically went anywhere.

Any time the girls found out that one of the boys was going to ask a girl to go with them we would start buzzing like little bees. The boy would ask the girl out and that was the end of it. We never really even hung out or talked to the new boyfriend after that.

Times are changing

My oldest daughter is now at the same middle school I was when we started going around. It’s just not the same anymore. She comes home and tells me stories that make my eyeballs pop out.

The boys aren’t just asking the girls to “go around” anymore. A boy asked my daughter to be his girlfriend last year and she told him no. She said that they were just going to have to break up at some point and that would be awkward so why even do it in the first place.

Score one for mom and dad!

If you have little kids,  start talking to them now about the birds and the bees and everything in between or else someone else will. I have been brutally honest with my daughter about all of this since day one so we really never have an issue but it is crazy what the kids are talking about these days.

We are blessed that our daughter comes home every day and gives us every single detail about what happened, what was said and who did what at school. There’s nothing like having a kid with a motor mouth.

Some of the things that she tells us are very sad.

Oh I wish the boys were still just asking the girls to go around. I wish that the girls knew exactly what Christ wants for them and that the boys respected it. I wish the boys knew exactly what Christ created them to be and the girls where submissive to His word.

Jesus pursues us relentlessly and makes it very clear what He wants from us. He wants all of us. He wants us to completely surrender to Him and let Him live through us.

Beautiful.

l am so thankful that Jesus doesn’t leave us at “want to go with me?”

I’m so grateful that once He asks us to be His, He doesn’t walk away and go hang out with His buddies.

When we say yes to Jesus, He is all in. He doesn’t ask you to be His and then leaves you or is too shy to talk to you. He wants to consume your every thought. He wants to be our first love and if anyone wants to find us and pursue us, they must first go through Him.

My daughter wears a ring that reads “I will wait for my beloved.”

Let’s Talk About Sex

We often talk about how wonderful sex is and how God designed it to be an amazing experience.

Sex is a gift from God.

We have abused and misused that gift. We have not held that gift to the standards that we should. Sex was designed for a husband and wife so that we can be one and so that we can be fruitful and multiple.

My daughter knows that God has already picked out her husband and crafted him to be a perfect fit for her. She knows that sex with him will one day be one of her greatest gifts but she must save it for him.

She is already learning to respect a man that she hasn’t met. She is already learning to be submissive to him and to cherish herself for him.

She will not settle for a man that pursues her, gets her and then walks away from her. Her standards for a husband are a reflection of her love and respect for Jesus and she wont settle for anything less.

Don’t Settle

Have we been settling for less? Have we been settling? We don’t have to.

I’m not just talking about sex, marriage or dating, I’m talking about Gods promise and design for us. I’m talking about letting Him live through us every day and the reward we receive because of it. I’m talking about saying no when the devil wants to date you, use you, entice you and make you stray from the one who truly loves you.

It’s hard to hold on to something that we can’t see but that’s what faith is. God has something wonderful in store for you, don’t ruin it before it gets to you. Be still and wait, it’s coming in His time and that is the best time.

Let’s pray

Gracious Father thank you for putting blessings in our lives when you know we are ready instead of when we think that we are ready. Watch over our younger generation and help them to hold tight to the belief in Your gift for them. Keep the devil far from them. Remind them that You have the perfect design for them and help them to respect the one that You have picked out for them. Remind us to not settle for anything less than Your perfect gift and that waiting for Your gift will be one of our greatest rewards.

In Jesus name, Amen.

The purity ring that my daughter wears is getting a little and she said she might need a new one. I think that I might let it get so tight that she can never take it off. That’s good parenting, right?

The Other Man

This is a repost but God has been telling me to repost it, so I’m obeying. I pray that whomever God wants to see it is reading it now.

My Secret

Several years ago I brought another man in to my marriage.

I had just had the triplets and my husband was working all the time. Myself esteem was gone. I didn’t feel pretty or loved. I know that my husband loved me but he was working odd hours all the time and when he was home we were just simply surviving.

We had 5 daughters under the age of 6, one income and a stack of bills. He didn’t have time to pamper me and I didn’t have time to show him much love or appreciation. Our marriage became all about the children and work.

We forgot about us.

So I met a man.

It was innocent and unintentional at first. I would meet my friends every Thursday morning and while I was there he started showing me attention. I eventually fell in love with him and started seeing him twice a week, sometimes more but I thought about him all day everyday.

He seemed to always be available to me, he showered me with affection and never once did he judge me. He also thought I was beautiful.

I couldn’t tell my husband what was going on with this man. I don’t think he even cared. We had become absent in each others lives.

I started taking my girls to meet the new man. My husband had no idea of the relationship his wife and daughters were forming with this man. The man begged me to tell my husband what was going on but I was too nervous, I didn’t know how he was going to react.

My husband was a lot smarter than I was giving him credit for. He knew it was going on. He knew that I was taking my girls to see him.

Our marriage hit rock bottom.

Meeting The Other Man

I desperately wanted to save our marriage but my husband was worried that we wouldn’t be able to find forgiveness for each other. We began staying up all night, holding hands and talking through everything that had gone on over the years and how we had gotten to this point.

About a week after this started my husband told me that he wanted to go with me to meet this man. I was so scared.,

I never went to sleep that night.

What was going to happen when they came face to face? Was my husband going to hate him and be bitter or would he understand? The next day my entire family went to meet this man together.

My husband held my hand so tightly that it hurt.

We sat down and my pastor introduced my husband to the man. It was obviously the Holy Spirit speaking through my pastor because it was as if we were the only people in that huge church of hundreds. He told my husband all about Jesus that day and how with Him all things are possible. My pastor told him how in love Jesus was with me and with him and that not only would He never leave us but that He has always been with us.

My husband fell in the love with the man that I had fallen in love with years before. My husband gave his life to Jesus that day and agreed to let Him be number one in our marriage. He accepted Him into our home and agreed to have Him guide us in raising our daughters.

I finally had both of the loves of my life together and better than that ,Jesus became the main love in my husbands heart. I wasn’t jealous at all the he put Jesus in the number one slot, I was grateful.

I read a saying about an old couple that was asked how they had stayed married for so long and the wife replied “We come from a time where when things get broken you fix them”. I am thankful that we get to set that example for our daughters. I am thankful that God allowed me

and my husband to repair what was broken. Lets fight for our future generations, lets teach them the importance of God being first in our homes, in our lives, in our marriages, in our work, in our parenting and in our friendships.

It is mandatory that we put God back in the number one spot in everything we do.

One of my favorite verse is 1 Corinthians 10:31 “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” I want to be able to know at the end of the day that everything I did brought Him glory.

Challenge me to it, hold me accountable but most importantly, join me.

Lets pray

“Sweet heavenly Father, thank you for never leaving me and for being patient with me while I learned how to have a relationship with You. Help me to set an example for every set of eyes that sees me today. In Jesus name, Amen.”

. A month after my husband gave his life to Christ, he and I were baptized together. He bought us new wedding bands that we put on right before we were baptized. The are engraved with the words “God be with us together and apart”, I believe Jesus also wears one.