Making Resolutions that Count

Happy New Year! As we begin a new year, it’s a great time to reflect on how things are going in our stepfamily life and what areas need attention. I don’t make a lot of resolutions because I would rather set short-term attainable goals, but I have made a resolution this year that I know can make a difference in our family: pray daily for my husband and each of our five children.

 It’s a simple resolution but an important one. Since three of our five children live outside the home, I don’t always know specific struggles going on with them. But I can easily pray for them anyway and lift up concerns that I do know about and other general issues of importance.

I saw a quote on twitter last week (not sure who said it) that I pondered for a while before I decided I agreed with it: “Talk with God about your children more than you talk with your children about God.” I’m a firm believer in talking to our children about God, but particularly since our children are older, I have less opportunity and see the value of vigilant prayer about them.

That doesn’t mean I neglect the opportunities to talk with them about God; it means I understand the importance of constant prayer. As I pray for them, it could open up more doors to communicate with them.  (BTW, if you’re on twitter, connect with me @GaylaGrace).

Prayer is a powerful discipline that we often neglect. We’re too busy finding answers to our problems instead of taking our problems to the Answer.

What resolutions have you made this year? Will you share them with us?

Related Post:

Let Go and Let God

Holiday Tip: Live by Faith, not  Fear

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

Let Go and Let God

“Dad, we’ve been in a wreck. We’re not hurt but my car is pretty messed up.” My stepson, Payton, relayed the disturbing news Friday night after he and two of his buddies were involved in a car wreck that totalled his car. Physically he wasn’t hurt, but emotionally he was destroyed.

It was the final straw for Payon in a series of events that left him feeling hopeless. Recently robbed at gunpoint in his apartment, struggling in a financial management class that could jeopardize his academic scholarship, managing an unsatisfactory work schedule with a less-than-understanding boss, and now coping with the anguish of an auto accident that destroyed his car. He sat at our kitchen table with tears in his eyes, his head in his hands saying, “What do I do?”

We’ve all had those days. Times of complete failure and absolute hopelessness. Days when it seemed our stepfamily relationships would never get better, even though we were doing all we knew to do. Periods of outright despair.

Maybe that’s where you are today. Perhaps you’re tired of the struggle and ready to call it quits on your family. I urge you – don’t give up. As we shared with Payton, let go and let God. He can work a miracle if you trust Him.

In Courage to Change, Al-Anon Family Groups offers good advice on the AA slogan, Let Go and Let God. “The more tightly I clutch my problems to my mind, the less opportunity I give God to help me work them out. God’s help is always available; all we have to do it to make room for Him to take part in our lives and keep ourselves ready to accept His guidance.”

When we let go and let God, we give up control of the problem and ask for His help in the solution. We admit our powerlessness over the situation and surrender our will to His will. 

It takes a concious effort on our part. It requires risk … but offers freedom.

“Come near to God and He will come near to you.” (James 4:8)

Do you need to let go and let God? Will you share the result of past experience with surrending to His will in your stepfamily?

Related Posts:

Finding Hope in the Midst of Uncertainty

Good Things Happen When We Wait

Trusting God with our Finances

Looking for Answers?

Back to School Tips, Part One

The start of school is upon us and it seems a good time to think about how to have a successful school year with our children/stepchildren.

So, I want to include a few tips over the next several posts.

The most important part we can play as stepparents is to commit to pray for our stepchildren regularly during the upcoming school year. If we dedicate a specific time and place to pray daily, it is more likely that it will happen.

In her book, The Power of a Praying Parent, Stormie Omartian says, “The battle for our children’s lives is waged on our knees. When we don’t pray, it’s like sitting on the sidelines watching our children in a war zone getting shot at from every angle. When we do pray, we’re in the battle alongside them, appropriating God’s power on their behalf.”

When our son, Nathan, was in a near-fatal car accident at 15 months old, I began to recognize the importance of praying daily for our children. Nathan had injuries that could have resulted in life-altering disabilities. Instead, as a result of constant prayer from friends and family members, Nathan recovered fully and has few visible signs from his tragic accident.

Following that accident, I began following a ritual of praying for Nathan’s safety every night at bedtime. I have continued that pattern faithfully and believe my prayers allow a rambunctious young boy to live life to the fullest with protection from a powerful God.

As our children begin a new school year, there are many things we can’t do for them to help the year go smoother. But there is one big thing we can do for them regularly: pray.

“Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” Mark 11:24

Will you commit to pray regularly for your stepchildren this year?