Friday, August 2, 2013

Blending and Stepping

 As Families Change, so do we!!!  Not only will our hearts never be the same, but the dynamics in our homes change, our routines change, traditions are altered and relationship and roles are enhanced and modified.  Family Change often times causes a ripple effect-------as one change produces another.  For me, my husband left after 20 years of marriage.  As I mentioned above, our home was forever changed.  My oldest daughter (18 years old at the time) took on a major support role to me, as far as parenting goes.  My 16 year old son took over the home repairs, the lawn and became the physical strength and protector.  My 14 year old daughter became the nanny and my 8 year old son became my shadow.  Now, 3 years later, I sit, one week from getting married.  I have pondered the enormous responsibility at hand, of blending two families into one------ and creating one strong family unit.  A family that will cultivate love, enhance relationships, create bonds, and most importantly raise strong and confident children who know who they are, where they came from and where they are going.  Rather than feeling overwhelmed by this new responsibility, I decided to study and seek out what skills I would need to "blend" and then, get to work.  I soon realized, that the Art of Blending began long ago, within each of us.  As children, we want to BLEND IN.  We are continually trying to make new friends, keep the old, and avoid the awkward.  By "blending in" we want to feel comfortable in each other's presence by feeling appreciated and like we have a place within our clusters of friends---- like we belong.  So, I will dig deep, and find my blending skills which I began to sharpen on my childhood playground of learning, and make sure 6 beautiful kids know they are loved and feel they belong!
CONTINUAL BLENDING is constantly occurring as new acquaintences enter our already-established groups of friends and family.  Sometimes, we are the ones who have invited a new friend.  In those circumstances, WE are the ones who are truly trying to blend and re-blend the group.  By doing so, we are seeking for common interests, likes and dislikes.  We are watching for personality clashes and the rare find ----- a perfect personality match.  When we are the ones who have invited the new friend, employee, student or classmate in, we become the key blenders.  Sort of managing the fun while being completely aware of any possible problems.  We feel responsible for this newcomer and we realize, for that moment, in that situation, their happiness is in our hands.  Then, there are those times when someone else invites the new friend into our group.  We are then, just trying to get to know and welcome this newcomer, while striving to break down any walls, barriers or conflicts which may arise---- and, they always do.  All the while, staying true to our childhood ability to BLEND IN.  I know that I will be Continually Blending during the next phase of my journey.  I look forward to the challenge as I know the rewards will be far greater than any apparent sacrifice I could ever make.

TEENAGE BLENDING is the ultimate blending.  Our teenagers are blending everyday in every way possible, in order to create peace amidst caos, acceptance at the risk of rejection,  consistency in a world where things are changing everyday.  As well as blending their actions with their beliefs........and feeling true to themselves while they blend.  Blending actions, values, friends and family------ TEENAGE ULTIMATE BLENDING!!  Blending skills are being learned and even cultivated within all of us.  I am grateful to have been chosen to harvest some of these skills and use them in my own family.

I believe whole-heartedly in the saying, "It takes a village to raise a child."  I also believe that each village is different for each child.  Villages may consist of mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters, grandparents and aunts and uncles.  Villages may also consist of teachers, coaches, neighbors and yes, even step-parents.  I have studied this new role over and over in my mind, and here are my thoughts.  Not out of any book or from anyone else's post.  Not off of someone's Pinterest.  Just the feelings of my heart coupled with my life-time of BLENDING experiences.  A Step-Mother ought to be exactly that----- A mother with a step!!!!

Perhaps, being a Step-Mother means having an extra "Step" In My Stride?  Through exercise, prayer and pondering, I could make sure that I have a little extra energy, patience and love----- that I might use my BLENDING skills that I have been using my whole life, to blend my new family to the best of my ability-----as I know they are depending on me to do exactly that.  Perhaps, being a Step-Mother means striving to stay One-"Step"-Ahead of the game----- using my Continual Blending skills acquired as a youth to watch and anticipate challenges, that they might be easily resolved.  One-Step-Ahead  to better blend schedules and create new while blending our old goals and priorities.  One-Step-Ahead of holidays and birthdays and tender hearts and emotions that may accompany such Families Change! Maybe, being a Step-Mother means not being afraid to Take A "Step" Back at times, when just Mom and Dad need to be involved.
 As a Step-Mother, I may need to Step-It-Up when emotions, feelings and frustrations reach an all time low, which I'm pretty confident, they will, at times.  Even though I may also be on "Empty" myself, I will seek and pray for the emotional stamina to "Step"-It-Up when the need arises.  Finally, I decided that being a Step-Mother means being a mom with a "step"---- just like my step-stool allows me to reach what I can't reach on my own, as a Step-Mother, I want to help these 6 children reach a little higher.  And, perhaps, I have been placed in their lives for reason.  Perhaps I have something to offer them that no one else does, in my own unique, Step-Mother way.  I want to be the Step-Mother that helps them stand a little taller and reach a little higher.   Being a Step-Mother means that I am being given the honor of being part of the "village" that will continue to raise, influence and love, 6 lives, 6 of Heavenly Father's precious children.  And, I will do my best to blend, love and honor them, while creating consistency, love and support for my own children and my husband!!!!  (Now, there's a word I have not used for almost 3 years!!!)    I will Step-In, Step-it-Up and Step Ahead------ with Him as my ultimate guide, I will become a master Blender and be the Step-Mother I can possibly be.  Families Change.  Families blend.  Hearts and lives intertwine!  Miracles will manifest themselves as I place my family in His hands----- and get to work. Blending and Stepping!!!

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