Friday’s Fav Scripture – “Pray Without Ceasing”

“Seven days without prayer makes one weak.” Author unknown

“Pray Without Ceasing” (I Thess. 5:17). It’s a short verse with powerful words that we often neglect. How easy it is to disregard our need to pray continually.

If you’re dealing with stepfamily struggles that seem to have no answers, I suggest you “pray without ceasing.” When we’re in an attitude of prayer, we find peace in the midst of our trial.

As we guide two of our children through the murky waters of young adulthood, I was reminded of our need to pray for them constantly. The words of a Proverbs 31 ministry devotion by Susanne Scheppmann resonated with me:  “Sometimes, no matter how great the parenting, some children flounder in adulthood. They wander into uncharted territory to test their independence. What’s a parent to do then? If the child is of legal age, the best thing a parent can do is to pray.”

A good reminder. Do you agree?

Related Posts:

Looking for Hope on your Stepfamily Journey?

Let Go and Let God

Some Days are Harder than Others as a Stepparent

Be Anxious for Nothing

Note to Readers: I’m starting a new format with my Friday blog entries. I will post a favorite Scripture, quote, or song video every Friday and how it applies to stepfamily life. I will continue my post series on tips for a successful remarriage with my next post on Monday.

One of my all-time favorite Scripture passages is Philippians 4:6,7: “Be anxious for nothing but in everything, by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Stepfamily life has brought a lot of anxiety our way. Some days I handle it better than others, but the only way I handle it with confidence and peace, is through prayer and supplication.

Our biggest anxiety currently centers around financial concerns. My husband’s job has been unstable for more than two years because of the economy and we don’t see much hope of it getting better. We are facing decisions of whether he should look for other employment, which could involve relocating, or continue to hope and pray for his current position. The stress of increasing financial obligations also looms overhead with two children currently in college and a third one to start next year.

It’s not unusual for stepfamilies to face financial crises. When there are several children in the mix, financial strain can become a burden. But we can trust that God will take care of our needs and give us the peace we need when we “let our requests be made known to God,” and trust Him with the answers.

Are you struggling with anxiety over circumstances in your stepfamily? Have you taken your requests to the Lord?

Related Posts:

Trusting God With Our Finances

Finding Peace in Your Blended Family

Live by Faith, and Not By Explanation

How do you Find Balance?

“This holiday week-end has had too many commitments for me, ” I told my husband as we were walking into a church service Sunday evening that required another piano commitment on my part. I usually enjoy the extra music that goes along with 4th of July festivities but since I have taken on the additional role of a piano accompanist at a second church, the demands get overwhelming at times.

And then throw in a 5K event in our hometown my husband was in charge of, out of town company, two separate firework events we attended, and a slew of teen-agers at our house every time I turned around looking for food and a place to sleep, and you find me completely exhausted at the end of it.

I have found my life out of balance on several occasions. When you live life as a blended family (and have a bunch of kids like we do), you can easily end up with too many obligations on your plate. So, here are a few suggestions to help create a balanced schedule:

1. Say NO unless it is important to you or your family and provides meaning for you. There are a lot of great activities we can be involved in but if we want to simplify our schedule, we must learn to say no. We will have plenty of time to enjoy other activities when our kids are grown.

2. Eat right and include regular exercise in your routine. Most of us know how to eat and are well aware of the need to exercise, but just don’t do it. However, when we take care of ourselves physically, we are more likely to make good choices with our priorities and have more energy to take care of our commitments.

3. Get adequate rest. Don’t skimp on your sleep. That is usually the first thing to go when life gets hectic, but it will create problems in other areas of life. Recent studies have shown that lack of sleep can negatively affect the hormones that regulate our appetite, leading to weight gain. Adequate sleep results in clearer thinking and sharper judgment.

4. Maintain a spiritual journey to bring wholeness and harmony to your being. Find an active Bible study group, attend church regularly, join a prayer group, or use personal study time to grow spiritually. Walking a spiritual road can have a significant effect on our well-being at every level.

5. Include leisure time in your schedule. Coffee with a girlfriend, date night with our husband, or simply a walk around the block can create the perfect environment to recharge our batteries when we began to head toward overload.

We have to be intentional with our time and responsibilities if we want to maintain balance. Life is too short to fall victim to busyness. We all have the same number of hours in a day but how we choose to spend them is our choice.

Do you feel out of balance? What healthy choices will you make to put your schedule in balance?

Can You Live in Peace While Blending a Family?

Today our focus is on PEACE from Galatians 5:22, 23. “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, PEACE, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.”

Living in peace seemed like a tall order at our house during the early years of our marriage. The constant activity with four young children learning how to live together and parents who were learning how to parent together was overwhelming. Parenting dilemmas brought constant bickering about what was fair to one child but unfair to another. My husband and I both battled a natural bias toward our biological kids, creating ongoing tension with each other.
It’s natural for conflict to occur while blending a family. As different personalities emerge with contrasting parenting styles, disagreements ensue. But as we work through our struggles with one another (in a healthy manner), we begin to grow and develop relationships.

How we handle conflict determines its outcome. Withdrawing from it or angrily discussing the situation, with accusations or sarcasm, will not solve the problem. When conflict occurs, the family members involved need to discuss it as soon as possible, listening to all sides with an open mind and arriving at solutions or compromises that seem fair to all parties.

Attaining peace while blending a family requires work on our part. Psalms 34:14 instructs us to: “Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.” Peace is reached if we pursue it. We must be intentional in our efforts. But peace in our relationships is a goal worth pursuing.