Tuesday, August 19, 2008


(This post was written on Tuesday night so it would be up bright and early on Wednesday.)

Welcome to those of you who visit after reading my devotion today called, "Somehow Form A Family." I hope that, for those of you who are living in blended family situations, this devotion offered you some hope and encouragement. Maybe today you needed to hear that there is hope that your brood can somehow form a family-- even though from where you are standing right now, that seems impossible! And yet, nothing is impossible with God. Stick close to Him, lean on Him, ask Him for help when you need it.

If you have something to share on this subject-- maybe some advice or hard-earned wisdom for people who are facing the difficult task of melding two families into one, please leave a comment!

If you would like to read this devotion, go here:

or, here:

ETA: I received this beautiful response to the devotion from one sweet reader. Her thoughts were so neat, that I asked her permission to share it here:

Thank you for this devotion today. I'm not from a blended family. I've been married 38 years with two grown children and 9 grandchildren. I'm the second oldest of 7 and also grew up in an intact family. The reason I'm writing is that I was so blessed while reading your devotion because as I read the Lord showed me...what the devil meant for evil God uses for good...

The family unit has always been a sacred thing to God..why is he allowing this broken family unit to increase today? Because we are closer to heaven then ever..His perspective or blessings on blended familes is our preparation for eternity...we will spend eternity together in heaven as one blended family..

You guys are paving the way for the world as examples of how the body of Christ comes together as one big blended family...the whole body fitly joined the pure love and grace of God.

I loved this picture of God creating a blended family of all of us in Heaven. What a neat perspective-- thanks for sharing!
Pin It!


Anonymous said...

I have been receiving the Encouragement for Today emails for a little over a year now. God has used these devotions to touch me in ways I never thought possible. Reading "Somehow Form a Family" hit home for me today. I am both the product of a blended family, and a mother in a blended family. We have struggled for a little while now, particularly in the last few weeks with our oldest daughter. Thank you for your words of encouragement!

Beth said...

Mary Beth,

I too am a stepkid. My parents got divorced, in 1982, after 29 years of marriage and I thought I would never get through it. But with God's help, I have gotten through it and found, in the midst of it a woman, my stepmom, who is strong in faith and character. She has been a role model and friend now for 25 years. Yes, Romans 8:28 speaks even to the pain and sometimes subsequent joy of the blended family. Thanks for allowing those who have had a good experience out of the pain of divorce to have someone to relate to and see that we are not alone in our joy.

Suzanne Eller said...

I didn't know you had six children, Marybeth, and you seem to have the energy and zest for life of a mom who is only packing one little one on the hip. What is your secret? : )

So nice to see you again at She Speaks. Blessings!

Anonymous said...

Hi Mary Beth,

God must be smiling right now, if not laughing out loud.The thought I had just before clicking into your devotion was, "Maybe I should just skip this. Often times it's about husbands". I have been divorced for years.Well, wow, there it was, all about divorce and blended families! Thank you. You have caused me to smile each time I think about this happening!

MidKnight said...

Um, who let you in my house? LOL. This devotion was great. A lady in our church says that parenting isn't for sissies. She's right – it's hard work. Parenting a blended family is even harder. One might say that its like the difference in being in regular classes at school or having honors classes. God put me and my husband in honors. Its definitely harder, but we're honored that he brought us all together.

Bonnelle Pagel said...

I wasn't going to leave a post since I'm not from a blended family but then I felt compelled to comment anyway.

I was blessed by the portion of the devotion where you stated: "They sought the Lord. They practiced grace and exercised forgiveness. They turned the other cheek when feelings got hurt. They kept promises that were painful to keep. They demonstrated a love they didn’t always feel. They got stronger as a result of their struggles. They knew that God would work through their obedience, their prayers and their commitment."

I have struggled with my 'blended family' at work lately and this portion was a confirmation to me that the Lord will take care of me & that He hears my prayers.

Thank you so much for your thoughts.


Bonnelle Pagel said...

P.S. that was in no way an attempt to belittle the struggles that families who live together 24/7 go through. I just wanted to let you know I was blessed.



Kelly said...

I married a man 20 years ago who had three children under 11, and so I became a stepmom. The best advice I can give to other stepmoms is love your husband, don't talk against the kids' real mom, let your husband/the kids dad do the the major discipline stuff, know that there are times you will feel kind of left out, but don't try to be their mom, be their friend/good adult role model and keep it all bathed in prayer. I have good relationships with my adult step kids and I think the things I just mentioned helped us a lot...also, read some good Christian books about stepparenting/blended families..knowledge helps!

Kate said...

We have a blended family similar to yours. My husband's parents have been divorced for over 30 years, and I have been divorced from my older sons' father for 10 years.

I have always been impressed by the way that my husband's parents have put their children ahead of any unpleasant feelings that exist between them. Both of them are present at most family gatherings, including those held at each other's homes. If you didn't know they were divorced, you probably wouldn't figure it out by the way they act around each other.

In my own divorce, I am blessed that my ex-husband has twice married women who were wonderful stepmoms to my sons. His current wife is wonderful. I know that she loves my children as her own. She has always been good about communicating respectfully with me, which made a HUGE difference in my attitude towards my ex-husband.

My older sons have quite the list of halves and steps in their family now. Step mom and dad, step sister, half brother and half sisters. Of course, we leave it as brothers and sisters. No steps and halves in the heart. :) We don't spend holidays together, but they do come for special events (graduations, etc.) and sometimes just to play or barbecue. They have become an extended family to us. All of the younger children are slightly confused about exactly how they are related to the "other" adults, but they know we all belong together somehow...and think it's just possible that they're being cheated by only having one set of parents.

It's not automatically easy, but when both parties work together, put aside offense and resentment, and put the kids first, it's very possible to have a good blended family relationship.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your thoughts on blended families. My husband and I will soon celebrate 40 years of marriage, so I can't relate on the divorce issue, but we experienced something like "blended" struggles when our children were teens and we opened our home to other youth who had major problems. It was a challenge, but now it is a joy to see the outcome and be called grandma by our foster son's children. God is good! - Becky

momsal13 said...

I feel called to comment from another aspect of the blended family.

I was adopted at six weeks of age and, once an adult, found my birth parents. I now have a "blended" family, but of another sort. I have a "half" brother and sister by my birth mother and her husband, but don't call them that. And I have the brother I grew up with, who is truly not a "blood" relative of mine at all.

I am still learning how to use these experiences in raising our own daughter who is adopted, and the children we are waiting for from God, but each day is a new day and I know God will lead me in the way I should go.


Anonymous said...

Thank you for the encouragement, because I am on the verge of giving up. I say that, but in my heart I know that I can't really give up. I am committed to my husband, but just so stressed and battle weary from the many trials. I am so sad that he does not love my kids more and treat them like our "own". He gives me such a hard time about things I need to buy for them... like glasses or expensive calculator needed for school. I know we'll get through it but I feel like my heart is wilting and I'm just so sad that we are not on the same page. He's battle weary too. He says we're on the same page, but it doesn't look like it to me. I need to keep looking to God. I know he will meet every need. I know He doesn't give more than we can handle. I know all these things in my head, but my heart still hurts...

Anonymous said...

At 23, I found myself headed for divorce ... except instead of being a single mom of 2, I had approximately 8 children in my home everyday. You see, I became a babysitter so I could be home with my children. Two of the children I was babysitting are now my step-children. I can tell you first-hand that blended families aren't easy ... especially when there are issues of domestic violence, sexual abuse, and medical conditions in children caused by a mother's drinking and drug consumption during pregnancy. I went into this thinking love would be enough; it isn't. The ONLY way to blend a family is with a close network of trustworthy family members and friends, and a whole LOT of prayer! Thank you for publishing a devotion that reminded me to be a support to others. I always try to leave the path a little smoother for those who travel behind me. I will make a more conscious effort in the future to keep other blended families in my prayers.

jend124 said...

I loved this devotion MB -- you know how important my stepfamily is to me too. My "step-aunt" calls us "framily" -- the family we choose for ourselves.