The Joyful Stepmom
Posted on January 25th, 2018

By Emily

It will come as no surprise to those in ministry that The Joyful Stepmom is some what a family affair. This is not a one woman show! Many know our Ministry Team who supports stepmoms through social media. 

And then there is my family. The one's who listen to me, pray with me, and have business meetings with me. My husband and parents are amazing. They so lovingly follow along with my little side project that has turned into a passion. If you click on anything on this website, see anything from a Dad's perspective, it's my husband's tech wisdom and influence. If you received anything in the mail from me (Hello Local Chapters!), my parents helped make that happen. 

At the end of 2017, I sent a Year in Review letter to my parents. My in-laws had also been following the ministry, so I sent them a letter as well. I signed their note: 

For Love of the Guys, 
My Why
Belong Magazine is my favorite resource for women in social media and blogging. Issue 09 challenged readers with an article called "Rediscover Your Why" by Ashley Beaudin. The author asked us to examine why we started writing/ministry, what drives us to do our work? 

I've told the story of how The Joyful Stepmom began many times. You can read about it in other areas of the blog and our social media. But the very heart of my why is simple- For Love of the Guys. I'm just crazy about them! And I believe through whatever avenues, the Lord brought our family together. 

They are the driving force behind my passion to reach out to stepmoms. I believe the Lord calls us to our family and to be a stepmom. It's the role of a lifetime! It's such an opportunity to walk with Christ. And to have a tiny platform like The Joyful Stepmom, where we can encourage each other to do that is such a gift. 

Posted on January 17th, 2018

The Joyful Stepmom began participating in online Bible Studies together in 2014. We grow together through scripture and book study. Intentional growth is necessary for the Christian life. 

Image from Sermon Quotes
NEW in 2018! We will be using the friend and group feature of YouVersion for our Bible Studies. In the past, we have posted Bible Studies in our Facebook group. Due to growth ( yay!) Bible Studies will still be announced in our Facebook group, but participation will take place through YouVersion. Studies are led by our Ministry Team or members can apply to lead a YouVersion reading plan! 
What does this mean? 
YouVersion features reading plans to help us dig deeper and grow in our faith. The app and plans are easily accessible for all of us. We have found that participation in our online studies is greater when access to materials is easy and the studies are easy to follow. We're stepmoms! We're busy! Let's make it easy to connect with each other over the Word. 

At the time, we will be hosting our Bible Studies on the YouVersion platform. Announcements will be made when a new study starts and how to join. 
Here's the fun news! Would YOU like to lead a study? We recognize that The Joyful Stepmom community is made up of amazing women of faith. We all have gifts to use! If you follow YouVersion reading plans and would like to invite other members of TJSM to join you- Let us know! Email us at emily @ thejoyfulstepmom . com or use the Contact Form on our Groups page. 
​Please note: YouVersion comments/posts/participants are expected to follow our ministry standards and guidelines. However, admins do not monitor conversations on this platform. Be aware of your privacy and posting. This platform is strictly for the intentional growth of our faith in Christ. 

Concerned about what will continue in the Facebook Group? We hear you! Over time, we have created a few standard hashtags. Do these look familiar? Follow along for shared devotionals and encouragement throughout the week.  You can also follow us on Instagram for regular posts!
Looking for more? Check out Proverbs31 and She Reads Truth! 

Posted on January 9th, 2018

By Emily

It has been a very cold start to the New Year! Our area has been under Wind Chill Advisories and dealing with sub zero temperatures. Too much winter for me! I'm hibernating with my coffee, blanket and books. 

​I adore books. I usually have a book near my chair, on the table, in my car or get the idea. My husband and I are both book people! I think this image describes our house fairly well.  
(Image from Pinterest-source unknown)
However, I'm a chronic migraine girl.   So reading and concentrating on the little text floating in front of me is often really difficult. Last year, I only read three books. Ugg, that makes my heart cringe. But it doesn't stop me from surrounding myself with them or skimming a few pages when I'm able. 

~I don't buy books. I adopt them. ~

New Year. New Goals. New Stack of Books! 
For 2018, I am determined to get my book reading back on track. For a self described bookworm, three books in one year is just not enough knowledge and imagination to fill my cup. 

What is on my stack of books to start the year? Let's take a look!
Called to Create by Jordan Raynor- Due to the above mentioned deep freeze in weather, I was able to start and finish this already! I loved it. Such an inspiriting way to start the year. Jordan talks about the value of our work and our call as creatives to use the gifts we've been given for the glory of God. 

Boundaries by Henry Cloud- this will be a re-read for me. But I joined an online book club to go through it again. It's a valuable book and well worth a second go around. 

American Fire by Monica Hesse- I've started this and I'm so anxious to really dive into it. It's a nonfiction, journalistic book on a Bonnie and Clyde type couple who were convicted of widespread arson. 

Messy Journey by Lori Wildenberg- This book is for parents of prodigals. It came out last year and after seeing it recommended so much- it's on my stack now! 

Curtain by Agatha Christie- I started this last year and haven't finished it yet. I'm slowly making my way through because I love Agatha Christie but I do know this story. I pick the book up when I'm in between others. 

Whispers of Rest by Bonnie Gray- A devotional book I started last year. It's only 40 days long but I haven't finished yet. Wait! Listen to the why! I haven't it so good, like therapy in a book, that I keep going backwards and re-reading. Will finish this year. 

As you can see, I often have a couple books going at one time. I'm excited about my stack this year! What are you reading? 

Posted on January 1st, 2018

I am excited to announce that 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. 

As the year begins, we are all looking for ways to bring the Bible into our daily lives. There are many apps available, we can scroll social media. However, I enjoy email subscriptions. Devotionals and emails are delivered right to your inbox and put directly in front of your face. 

Bible Gateway will deliver a beautiful Verse of the Day to your inbox. What a wonderful to get started with 2018 and ensure the Bible is part of your day this year!  

Posted on December 7th, 2017

By Emily

The Joyful Stepmom began as a small group of praying stepmoms. Over the past several years, we have seen growth in our number, purpose and as a mission field. 

Personally, I have long struggled to find that balance of being "more than just a spot on Facebook." And while our beloved Facebook group is our source of connection and family with stepmoms, we now connect via blogs, multiple social media outlets and growing leadership. Our reach has made it clear we are truly a mission field not just to the hurt stepmom, but to the lost returning home to Christ. 

To embrace all the Lord has called us to with The Joyful Stepmom, we have updated our Mission Statement and pray it is a reflection of the mission and ministry ahead: