“I always look perfect. I never have a bad hair day.”
Really?? I wanted to ask the teen girl as I heard her talking to her friends. Did she believe that? Was that the standard she was seeking to meet?
That’s a hard way to live. For anyone. It results in heartache, disappointment, and frustration. Because it’s not possible!
God doesn’t call us to be perfect. He doesn’t expect that we will have perfect relationships. But He does use our imperfections and imperfections of those around us to teach us, if we let Him.
I recently began to think about where our stepfamily was ten years ago. My stepchildren, ages 14 and 19, had just lost their mother to cancer. We were in the midst of an ugly custody battle with my stepson’s stepdad (Yes, it still seems crazy that my stepson’s stepdad was seeking custody when my husband was fully capable of taking care of his son). It was a difficult time with hurt, anger, and confusion surrounding our home. I wanted to run away but had nowhere to go.
I didn’t find a lot to be thankful for that Thanksgiving because all I could see was an imperfect stepfamily with little hope of what lie ahead.
Fast forward ten years. My stepchildren are now 24 and 29, both living out of state, happy and content with the lives they’re building for themselves. We’re still an imperfect stepfamily with relationships that need healing, grace and redemption every day. However, I’m no longer focused on what’s wrong with my stepfamily because through our imperfections, I’m now thankful for what I’ve learned.
- I have power over my mind and emotions. I can choose what I think about and how I react.
- I don’t have to judge you if you’re different than me. I can accept your differentness and love you anyway.
- Relationships are constantly evolving. If I’m dissatisfied with where my stepfamily relationships are today, I don’t have to assume we’re stuck. I can do my part to get us unstuck.
- I have my share of shortcomings that need to be worked on. I’m a better wife, mom, and stepmom when I seek healing for my hang ups.
- Life is too short to live mad, hurt, or offended. I have a choice as to whether I will allow your behavior to affect my disposition.
- True contentment is found only when I let God lead my life and trust His plan for my stepfamily, even when I don’t see or understand what lies ahead.
- My marriage is worth investing in. Every day.
- Life is a gift. We’re not guaranteed tomorrow. I can choose to make the best of today.
- Thankfulness is a perspective. I have a lot to be thankful for.
How have the imperfections of your stepfamily made you thankful? Will you share them?
For additional holiday tips, check out our holiday e-book, Unwrapping the Gift of Stepfamily Peace, co-authored with Heather Hetchler of CafeSmom. Packed with proven tools and tips, personal stories and a list of recipes and new holiday traditions you can create with your stepfamily, it’s a great way to help you find peace at the holidays.
Pic by debspoons