The Joyful Stepmom
Be Vigilant
Posted on September 7th, 2016

By Sarah Weintraub

​The guards at Buckingham Palace let nothing, absolutely nothing, deter them from their position in front of the palace. They stand guard night and day, rain, snow, sleet, and shine. They are never distracted from protecting the palace from those that threaten it. They are constantly alert and attentive to what is going on around them. One tiny distraction and they have failed at their job. They are dedicated servants to their country and above all else, they stand guard over the palace.

The first several years of my stepmomhood journey were spent with anger, bitterness, and strife ruling it. I reacted in anger to many of the situations, which of course, made everything work out perfectly. WRONG! I walked around with a cloud of bitterness that smothered any possibility of light. Strife followed me like a shadow, always there.

I always complained about how unfair this life was, the injustice of the court ruling, blah, blah, blah. My marriage suffered, friendships suffered, family relationships suffered, my stepkids suffered, in general my life was horrible. These feelings consumed me from the inside out. If I had taken my heart out and looked at in the mirror during some of those times, it would have been black and shriveled, no life left in it.

The lifelessness in my heart didn’t happen overnight, it took years for those three powerful emotions to take up permanent residence in my heart. There was nothing diligent or vigilant about how I kept watch over my heart. Perhaps I should have paid more attention to the guards at the palace. Not even a bee buzzing around them moves them from their place. Impressive!

I didn’t pray against anger’s stealth approach; I wasn’t alert to the bitterness that seeped in through the cracks anger created; and I definitely did not keep a vigilant watch for strife, in fact, I welcomed these in with open arms.

Why in the world would anyone welcome anger, strife, or bitterness into their life? Seriously, why? It was easier for me to give in to the emotions than to fight against them or continually be on the watch. I was flat out lazy. God was not a big part of life during this time either.
​Enter God and His book of life, the Bible.

Proverbs 4:23 (King James Version) says “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.” I love the wording in the Message Bible for this verse: “Keep vigilant watch over your heart; that’s where life starts.” A vigilant watch requires effort and focus, time spent on my knees, heart wide open for Him to wash it clean.

Your heart will tell you when you have not been vigilant or diligent in protecting it from those stepmomhood things that seek to destroy you; our hearts hurt and long for the love from our Savior. God wants, no needs, us, to be diligent and vigilant guards of our hearts. I had to choose to start protecting it, He won't make that choice for you. We can’t live a life for Him if we are living a life where anger, bitterness, and strife rule the day. Trust me; it’s no way to live.

When we allow anger, bitterness, and strife to thrive in our heart, it spews from every pore of our body and into every aspect of our lives. It's like hot lava flowing from a volcano that destroys everything in its path. It creates mass destruction that takes years, maybe even decades, for life to be seen in that area again.

Life truly starts in our heart. A heart filled with love will have a greater impact on our families – a positive ripple – than a heart filled with anger, bitterness, or strife.

Thankfully, Jesus saved me when I asked Him into my heart, and He gave me hope for a better future. I may not always be diligent in guarding my heart, however, more days than not, I keep a vigilant watch over it and focus on Him to refill my heart with His love. The days I don't, I have an amazing group that prays with me through it.

Guard your hearts, sweet stepmommas.

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