The Joyful Stepmom
Posted on November 12th, 2018

​Dear New Stepmoms,

You are on my  heart this morning. You made it through the start of the school year!  And the holidays are fast approaching. We want the best at this time of year. We knock ourselves out creating memories. We drain our wallets buying presents.

I'm a little further down the road than you. I want to give you a word of encouragement before the Turkey comes out and the presents are under the tree.

I'm going to be honest, it hurts when you wake up Christmas morning and the house is quiet. Plan for those years. Make "off year" traditions too. But it's also ok and really good to celebrate holidays whenever you are together. Teach your children, and your own heart, that being together matters more than the date on the calendar.

They won't remember if they were at Mom's house or Dad's house that year. They won't remember how many presents were under the tree. They will remember how we acted about the holidays. They will remember that you made them feel loved. You made them feel at home.

Posted on September 24th, 2018

​We often say, "You just have to let it go!" or "You need to give that to God." But how?!? How do you do that? How do hand something over to Jesus?

If you are like me, you are up in the night worrying about your stepchild. Maybe during the day, driving to the grocery store or running the kids, your mind just starts to fuss about the mom and that last email.

Stop. Physically stop what you are doing. Sit up in bed, pull the car over. And talk to your Father. Tell Him, "Lord, take this from me. Take this fuss from my mind, take this worry from my heart."

No matter how often you have to stop...and give it up....over and over, give your burden to Jesus. Trust Him with it. I promise, very soon- He will be carrying the whole thing.

Posted on September 17th, 2018

I'm a reader. When there is something I do not know, I reach for books so I can learn to fix it, do it, make it, etc. My stepmom journey is no different. When I became stepmom to a five year old little boy, I reached for books. 

Gayla Grace is one of the early authors I found and followed online. She is part of a tribe of women, who now form the Sisterhood of Stepmoms, that were influential in my early stepmom days. And I'm so pleased to share her new devotional with you!

Finding a devotional for stepparents is like finding a gold nugget. I get very excited about Christian resources for us! And this devotional is truly something to be overjoyed about. Step Parenting with Grace by Gayla Grace is a daily devotional that covers a multitude of topics in the stepparent journey. 

The devotions are heartwarming, but they also made me think! Just a few moments reading each day and you will have really gleaned knowledge and encouragement for your walk with the Lord and your family. 

I want to share one such devotion that stuck with me. It is titled The Privilege of a Stepparent on page 21 of her book. The stepmom role is called many different things, anywhere from blessing to duty.  But have you heard it called a privilege? 

This devotion caught my heart and I wanted to share it:
 

"I'll never forget when a counselor asked me to consider it a privilege to be a stepmom. Not a right to discipline or an expectation to be loved.
A privilege.
A privilege to impact two children in a way no one else could." 

Step Parenting with Grace by Gayla Grace

I don't spend a lot of time trying to figure out where I fit in my stepson's life. I am one of his parents. How much he needs me or how involved I am has changed at different times. I do not spend a lot of time analyzing that. But the last line of this quote, paraphrased for my own situation: {consider being a stepmom} "A privilege to impact a child in a way no one else could" really tugs at my heart. 

Just mull that over in your heart. This is not a duty you married into. This is an honor! You are uniquely created by God and GET to impact your stepchild as only He created you to do. 

I'm an introvert and my stepchild is a boy, so between the two of us- we don't share our feelings a lot...or ever! Ha! But I hope he knows this to be true. That is has always been an honor and privilege to share in his life. 

Posted on September 1st, 2018

​​We are so excited The Joyful Stepmom has been added to the Bible Gateway Blogger Grid! We have joined the ranks of writers like Sally Clarkson, Bible Love Notes, and The M.O.M. Initiative. It's a thrill to join the Blogger Grid with other writers professing faith through the written word. 

Throughout the year, we will highlight a few features of Bible Gateway that can enhance our study and quiet time. 

I was so excited to see Max Lucado had a new book out in 2017. To see a major Christian author cover the topic of anxiety was a breath of fresh air. He gives the anxious heart hope. Stepmoms, how many of us feel overcome with anxiety at times? I know you are nodding your head with me. 

Bible Gateway's blog had a great interview with Max Lucado on his book and his thoughts on anxiety. Great sneak peek of the book! 

Posted on August 29th, 2018

Hello Stepmoms, 
Thank you for your patience this summer! After many years of prayer and waiting, the time was right for my husband and I to move. Once we set the ball in motion, our very routine world went out the window! 

Chaos was probably the best word to describe our summer. My husband and I are pretty Type A, routine people. Moving was a big deal. Moving into a home that needed work? Let's just say it was "stretching." Haha!

My stepson is in his second year of college! I've had a hard time adjusting to him being independent. But year two feels a little easier than freshman year. I'm so proud of him and how he handles himself. I pray daily for his life choices and future. 

I've been asked "Why do you do The Joyful Stepmom?" Because I need it! This is the ministry I need. I need a group of Christian stepmoms who know what I'm talking about and are willing to pray for it. 

This summer we saw a tremendous increase in activity at The Joyful Stepmom! I'm so glad you are here with us. Thank you to our Ministry Team for leading and protecting us on social media. 

As we return to the routine of school, and I find my sense of normal, I wanted to let you know about our fall study. Like most branches of The Joyful Stepmom, in 2014 a member asked if we could do Bible Studies together. I said, "Sure, we can do that!" And here we are, about 30 studies later. We always do a fall study together as the children go back to school. 

This summer the Lord placed it on my heart to memorize Bible verses together. Members have been frequently asking for Bible verses for court, hope and anxiety. I remember vividly one season we were in court and I had written verses down on paper, brought my Bible with me to the court room. We entered the room and waited our turn before the Judge. I was so nervous about being there and the situation, that I pulled out my Bible to read the verses I had prepared. And an officer of the court came immediately over and told me I had to put it away. No books or items were allowed out in the court room. 

Picture yourself sitting at mediation, band concerts or Parent Teacher Conferences.  We can't always pull out our Bibles or YouVersion apps (which we love!) This is the time when we need to have Scripture memorized, ready in our heart to run through verses. Memorizing verses takes just a little bit of discipline and we are excited to exercise that spiritual muscle together. 

Join us this fall for Hide God's Word in My Heart. We will post the weekly Bible Verse here and in our Facebook Group. 

With Joy,
Emily