NEW! My helpful e-book has just been published.
Click to learn more!

Thriving at the Holidays Subscribe to Step Parenting with Grace by Email

Enter your email address to sign up for my mailing list to receive newsletters and other updates.


 

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Are You Celebrating the Beauty of Family this Holiday- Even if Yours is Imperfect?

I was on the phone this week with stepfamily author, Ron Deal. We were chatting about his upcoming move to assume a new position with FamilyLife as the Director of Blended Families Ministries. (Read press release here). I could hear his excitement of continuing his ministy with stepfamilies in a larger fashion through such a great organization.



But I could also hear his grief when he mentioned the upcoming anniversary of the loss of their son, Connor. Connor was 12  years old when he came down with a rare illness that took his life within two weeks of its onset. He was the middle child of three boys and his family will never be the same. It's a parents worst nightmare that leaves unfathomable pain in its wake.

Although the loss of a child may be the greatest loss anyone could experience, each member of a stepfamily has experienced loss too. Through death or divorce, relationships end and pain remains. But through healthy stepfamily relationships, family members can begin to heal and find joy in life again.

Although it may take longer than we desire, beautiful relationships can form if we don't give up. And our family becomes something to celebrate, even if it's imperfect.

So as you celebrate the birth of Christ on Christmas this week-end, I encourage you to celebrate the beauty of family also. Although your stepfamily relationships may not be where you wish they were, celebrate the progress you've made. Commit to stronger relationships through intentional effort as you look toward a new year.

Life is short. We don't know what's around the corner that could alter our family dynamics forever. But we do know what our relationships look like today and can choose to celebrate the beauty of our family.

How will you celebrate the unique beauty of your stepfamily as you celebrate the holidays?

Related Posts:

Your Holiday Doesn't Have to be Perfect to be Meaningful

Stinkin' Thinkin' Creates Bitter Quitters in Stepfamilies

Labels: , , , ,

2 Comments:

At December 23, 2011 at 9:09 AM , Blogger Jane said...

My mother died a year and a half ago. That same year, I was married and gained 2 step children, my brother was also married, my sister divorced and now my father is dating a woman with 2 children. Our life has gone from a wonderful nuclear family of 5 children and loving parents that were married for 35 years, to grown children with 3 sets of kids from divorced homes. Its has been a hard road but also a good one. My aunt came to visit and wrote this, thought it was really amazing and wanted to share, the blessing of a blended family!

I have been studying the life of Joseph this fall and as I was thinking about the family getting together this Christmas, I was reminded that throughout the Bible we have pictures and stories of blended families and how God works through them and sometimes in spite of them. Joseph was in a non-traditional family, his aunt was his step mother! He had at least 10 half brothers; he was a bratty kid yet God used him and his family to save a nation from starvation. Through this dysfunctional family line came the birth of Jesus.

Something else that was very meaningful to me during this study is about Jacob, Joseph's father. On learning of Joseph's death Jacob refused to be comforted in Genesis 37:35. I want to to learn a lesson here and not follow Jacob's lead but rather take comfort from God where He offers it. In whatever form, I want to be comforted. I want to smile, laugh, work, bless others and be blessed and receive what God has for me. I do not want to hold back and sit in a corner and refuse the comfort of God and God's family.

It won't be the same this year at Christmas, but we are so blessed. We have Anna, Will, and Ben living in a wonderful new house. They are on their way to healing and wholeness. Jane's precious family is a joyful addition in recent years and I am thankful for John Mark, Maclay and Brooke and how they bring happiness. Of course Addy is a wonderful treasure. Pam and her two children are the newest additions. Pam's graciousness and beauty will add to our lives. And we can enjoy watching and helping all these children grow to adulthood and be as fabulous as the first batch of kids we had!

The last five years of my life have been wrought with sickness and sin that is swirling all around yet I have hope at Christmas because:

Praise God

In this world of sickness and sin, the dear Christ entered in.

And when Jesus was born so long ago, he was put here on earth in none other than a blended family.

 
At December 27, 2011 at 10:22 AM , Blogger Step Parenting with Grace said...

Thank you for your comment Jane. You are right about the many stories in the the Bible of blended families and how God uses them, despite their shortcomings. I applaud you for your response to the difficulties your family has encountered. I too have experienced God's comfort and guidance during challenging periods and praise Him for His faithfulness. I pray your Christmas was a blessed one. Thank you for sharing.
Gayla

 

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home