Today is release day for my new book, Stepparenting With Grace: A Devotional for Blended Families! Have you purchased your copy yet?

Here’s a comment I received last week from a stepmom who had found my book already in New Brunswick:

 

 

“I purchased your book at my local Christian bookstore. I had never heard of you or your organization, however, I was desperate to find a Christian resource that could help me. I have been a stepmom for 12 years. We still face storms. We are a blended family with 4 kids. Thank you so much for writing this book. I have been reading it over the weekend and it’s like a healing balm for my soul. What a relief to know that I am not alone. God Bless you, and thank you for sharing your wisdom with the world.”

 

I’m sharing one of the devotions today:

Celebrate the Blessings

Too often, we focus on stepparenting challenges. We get out of bed grumpy, expecting that our stepchildren will misbehave before our day even begins. We spout angry words when a snarly look comes our way, without taking a pause to reflect.

Why not assume the best in those around us? Instead of looking for misbehavior, expect to have loving conversation with your stepchildren. Refuse to engage if that doesn’t happen. Look for opportunities to praise cooperative attitudes. With God’s help, strive to smile more and laugh easily.

Blessings surround us. Sometimes they’re disguised, invisible unless we’re intentionally looking for them. Prayer helps us identify the good in our lives, and not focus on the less-than-good.

I live in the Deep South, where summers are long and winters are mild. Snow rarely shows up, and no one knows how to drive in the white stuff when it does. School lets out with a prediction of flurries.

My stepson recently moved to Colorado and has been anticipating his first winter there. In October, he sent a picture of a foot of snowfall, marking the beginning of winter in a radically different climate. I could hear his excitement as he described the beauty of the powdery snow, quite different from the sleet and ice normally experienced with a winter storm in the South. I rejoiced with him in my reply, anxious to hear more about his plans to romp around outside.

As I related the conversation to my husband that evening, I celebrated the ease of exchanging drama-free words with Payton. For many years, that wasn’t the case. Tension surrounded our relationship. Thankfully, with God’s help, we’ve walked out of that season.

I now count our thriving relationship a blessing.

The apostle Paul tells us contentment is not found in the situations of life, but rather in our attitude about them. Writing from prison, Paul says, “I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances” (Philippians 4:11). We choose every day to either grumble about our challenges or look for blessings to celebrate.

The stepparent’s road has bumps, curves, and potholes. Some seasons stretch out endlessly with dark clouds and rainy days. Rather than asking God to fix our problems,  however, let’s ask Him to fix our perspective, to look for daily blessings in each day and a rainbow behind every cloud.

Thought for the Day: Gratitude for our blessings brings joy.

Heavenly Father, thank You for walking beside me day after day. I need Your help to find the blessings that surround me and to carry an attitude of thankfulness despite my circumstances.

_____________________________

 

If you enjoyed this devotion, go here to purchase your copy of the book.

You can another excerpt here and here.

Will you also consider sharing it with others?

 

 

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