Boys are Back!
This weekend was great around the Carson house. We got to welcome our kids back from their long Christmas break. It was our year to have them on Christmas Day, but they spent the rest of the two weeks with their mom. I know for many stepmoms that break would probably be welcomed, and I must admit I did enjoy a few days off from the early morning drives, lunch packing, and constant sibling arguments, but after about forty-eight hours I was ready to have them back! We had a lot of fun this weekend eating out with my parents, attending a Belmont Bruins basketball game, and worshipping at church on Sunday.
A Little About Me:
I was twenty-one when my husband and I started dating. He is ten years older than me and started having children quite young. The boys were ages ten and nine when I first entered their lives. I would have to say that as soon as I finally met the boys my walk as a stepmom began. It was gradual at first – so gradual I didn’t even know it was happening. My husband was careful to shield me from the drama of his divorce and ex-wife, but the longer I stuck around the more I became accustomed to their cycles and battles. I think every stepmom becomes a stepmom long before she walks down the aisle. I spent many nights praying for the boys, helping with homework, taking them to play practice and baseball games for years prior to sharing their last name. In fact my husband and just I married in 2011.
As I began to build a relationship with the boys I learned quite a few things. First, it became apparent to me that I absolutely had to treat their mom with respect even though she and I hardly ever communicated at the time. I knew I had to walk out Christ’s example if I ever expected the boys to accept me. I also learned that I could not extract my self worth from their affection. I found myself praying on multiple occasions for the Lord to give me patience and compassion for what they were going through. Although the boys have always been wonderful to me, I know they are hurting – even now at 13 and 12. I try very hard to encourage my husband as he works with his ex-wife. Consistently showing her Christ’s love is not easy for either one of us, but it is essential in keeping our daily walk with the Lord pure. I have to remember that she is the mother of my husband’s children, and even though I disagree with a lot of how she parents, she deserves to be respected as their mother. How can I expect my stepsons to honor their mother and father if I do not do the same?
The first time I really knew the boys and I had something special was one day at the public library. They had been bugging me to get them a library card ever since we started going there to rent movies. I asked the librarian if I could get them a library card and she responded, “Only a guardian can…you don’t look old enough to be that.” I smiled and said, “Well, what about a stepmom can she get them a library card?” My boys looked over at me and grinned, and I stood there nervously when she said, “I guess so…” I was not sure how the boys would react to me being so bold, but they both laughed and couldn’t wait to tell their dad about what had happened when we got home that evening. From that point on the boys have referred to me as their stepmom. I should point out that this event occured two years before I married my husband.
A Little Encouragement:
My beautiful family has been stitched together over time, and I find myself grateful for the little moments that to anyone else are just moments but to me they are HUGE. I remember the first time Tristan told me “I love you.” And just the other day I watched Mitchell hug my mom and kiss her on the head – it just about melted my heart. I find as a young stepmom it is important to focus in on those little things and treasure them in your heart. It is easy to give into the voice of the devil when he tells you that you are not important or that you are an outsider in your own home. I have heard his voice – and I know you have too. But I am reminded of the words of Paul in 2 Corinthians when he writes,
“For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God for the pulling down of strongholds, casting down imaginations and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ, and being in readiness to avenge all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled.” (2 Corinthians 10: 4-6 NKJV)
Being in a stepfamily is like being in a war-worn nation that is trying to rebuild. Although there is peace much of the time, the attacks from the enemy keep coming. Satan loves to attack the family. If he has been able to wreak havoc in one family he will not stop when that family tries to rebuild itself. My husband and I know that first hand – the closer he and I walk with the Lord and try to instill Christ’s message in his sons, the harder the attacks come. I urge you sisters in Christ to cast down every imagination and bring it into captivity. Your family has taken a huge blow – before you even came into the picture and I know that many times you will feel like you are helping clean up the aftermath of a war you had nothing to do with, but your role is VERY important. Keep your mind and heart guarded against the warfare of the enemy. By keeping your mind and heart pure you will free your spirit up to see the beauty in the small things – the laughs, the tears, the growing pains, and the love. I promise, as you seek the Lord you will see the love pour out in your family.