The Joyful Stepmom
Posted on January 16th, 2019

As part of the Bible Gateway Blogger Grid, throughout the year we will highlight features from the site to enhance your Bible Study.

Today I wanted to focus on Topical Bible Study. A topical study focuses on a point of interest in our life. Maybe it's an area where we are struggling or we hope to see growth. The question becomes, how can we find specific materials or verses for that topic?

A Topical Bible is an amazing resource. I have a big, old copy of Nave's Topical Bible on my shelf. I love to open the old pages and look for just the right words God is speaking to me.

"Nave's Topical Bible is a book written by Orville James Nave and published by Thomas Nelson Publishers. Nave was a chaplain in the United States Army and referred to his work as "the result of fourteen years of delight and untiring study of the Word of God." -Wikipedia

Bible Gateway has made Nave's book accessible to us online! Their passage lookup Search feature uses Nave's index to help you find just the right verses for your Bible Study topic. I love that this is available! Go check it out! 

Posted on January 8th, 2019

We are all familiar with safe driving messages. We hear it often! Don't text and drive, keep your eyes on the road. And I know we all agree it is a good and life saving message! Eyes up! 
Did you know, our eyes tend to direct our path? Like the reminder from this safe driving campaign: Eyes on the road! Keep your eyes forward! It reminds us that when your eyes are down or looking around, your car goes all crazy directions. But when you look forward, that's where your car goes.

Looking at the girl next to you, or in that second house,  doesn't help your own marriage and and family at all! Your eyes aren't forward! So your path is going to be all screwed up.

Many of us choose a word for the year. It keeps us focused, helps to start the year with good intentions and often spiritual direction. I like to choose a verse. My verse for 2019 is Proverbs 4: 25 (pictured above).

I have written on keeping our eyes forward in the past. It's an important message for women, but I think particularly for stepmoms.  Our family is pretty spread out, there are extra balls to juggle, the past can rear it's ugly head. There's a lot going on! But look where God calls us to look- forward. We are to keep our gaze focused, directly before us to where the Lord is calling us. Here's to a year of looking straight ahead.

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.