Lady in Waiting

Most Monday and Thursday mornings I would be driving my stepsons to school at 6:45. They would be half-asleep and I would feel groggy, but there was always a strange sort of satisfaction of getting up, making their breakfasts, and taking them to school. I don’t have kids of my own, but these actions just seem to come naturally and bring a strange sort of satisfaction. Today, however, marks the beginning of a new era in the Carson Cabin. Thankfully, my husband started a new job a few weeks ago and it is just a few minutes from the children’s school. So now he is able to take his kids to school and enjoy some extra time with them. Part of me is thrilled that he gets that time with his children, and part of me is sad.

As a stepmom, I have come into this family with my sleeves rolled up and ready to work. When something is needed – say pack lunches or buy bandaids or send canned food to pay library fines – I’m all over it. I come from a long line of women who sacrifice themselves for their family. But my situation is a bit different. Sometimes it calls for a backing away and releasing some of those responsibilities to someone else. Sure, this morning I got to go back to bed and drink my coffee while my husband took the kids, but I also felt like I wasn’t needed. I know that is a lie from Satan, but I still hear it and fight constantly to rebuke it.  As I have stated in most of my other posts, we can’t let our roles define us, but instead we must define the role as we look to Christ to center and tell us who we are.

Growing up almost every adult in my life told me I was “patient” or was an “old-soul.” Something inside me believed them, but most of the time I found myself wishing I was like other kids. Now, I feel like I understand why I wasn’t. The Lord was preparing me for this – being a stepmom. And being a stepmom, at least in my case, is a waiting game.  I wait at band concerts for my stepsons solos,. I wait at baseball games for my younger stepson to hit a grand slam. I wait at home while my husband and the children are at counseling sessions. I wait in the school parking lot after school and play practices.  I wait for my oldest stepson to gel his hair every morning. I wait to feel like a true part of this family. I wait to have children of my own. I wait for my husband to feel like himself again and to feel like he is a good father despite what his ex-wife may say. I wait for healing and forgiveness to wash over a broken family. I wait to feel like I have a handle on this stepmom thing.  I would be lying to you if I told you this waiting was easy. It’s not. It sometimes brings frustration and doubt that must be overcome. Sometimes it feels futile. But among all this waiting, one thought continually comes to mind. Although it is important to speak up and tell my husband when I am overwhelmed or I am in need of some refreshing, it is also important to remain a lady while I wait.

In our society, women tend to be marginalized as the ones who make the world go round. They do so by being cold, fierce, and strong in a very masculine way. They push to get their way and if their man does not comply, he is not a good husband. These thoughts make my heart sick. I don’t think that’s what the Lord had in mind.  If we look at Proverbs 31, we see a woman who is busy for the sake of her household – not her own gain. She is bringing joy and honor to her husband. She has strength that comes not from puffing up, but instead from the Lord working inside of her. As stepmoms, it is easy to feel like you can’t be the woman of your own home without making it known in a very harsh and blatant way, but again, I don’t think that’s what the Lord really desires. That may be how most stepmoms react, but what about Christian women who find themselves in this role? Should we abandon what the Lord has asked of us simply because we are not in a traditional marriage or role? I don’t think so. Yes, we wait and wait and wait, but I encourage you to be a lady while you wait – clothed with strength and dignity.

Proverbs 31: 10-31, NLT

  10 Who can find a virtuous and capable wife? She is more precious than rubies.

11 Her husband can trust her, and she will greatly enrich his life.

12 She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life.

13 She finds wool and flax and busily spins it. 
   

14 She is like a merchant’s ship, bringing her food from afar. 
  

 15 She gets up before dawn to prepare breakfast for her household 

and plan the day’s work for her servant girls.

16 She goes to inspect a field and buys it; with her earnings she plants a vineyard.

17 She is energetic and strong, a hard worker.

18 She makes sure her dealings are profitable; her lamp burns late into the night.

19 Her hands are busy spinning thread, her fingers twisting fiber.

20 She extends a helping hand to the poor and opens her arms to the needy.

21 She has no fear of winter for her household, for everyone has warm clothes.

22 She makes her own bedspreads.

She dresses in fine linen and purple gowns.

23 Her husband is well known at the city gates, where he sits with the other civic leaders.

24 She makes belted linen garments and sashes to sell to the merchants.

25 She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future.

26 When she speaks, her words are wise, and she gives instructions with kindness.

27 She carefully watches everything in her household and suffers nothing from laziness.

28 Her children stand and bless her. Her husband praises her:

29 “There are many virtuous and capable women in the world but you surpass them all!”

30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the LORD will be greatly praised.

31 Reward her for all she has done. Let her deeds publicly declare her praise. 

 
      Let her deeds publicly declare her praise. 

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3 thoughts on “Lady in Waiting

  1. I appreciate this post and the encouragement to wait. I can relate to the delayed gratification that goes with being a stepmom. If it helps, though, from an outside perspective, it seems that you have a very active role in your stepsons’ lives. Not as much as a full-time mom, maybe, but it seems like you’re very involved. I have two stepsons but am not able to do things like take them to school or pick them up from practice. Their mom is extremely possessive, and while she has no legal right to keep me from doing those things, she has the ability to make life miserable for my husband. So for now, we go along with it.

    I know the lie that we’re not needed, and we’re not important. Satan loves that one. I have to fight it all the time. Thanks for being honest about those feelings. It’s easier to fight the lie once it’s acknowledged.

    • Nickeleah11 — I feel your pain as well. My stepdaughters’ mom is extremely jealous of my ability to spend more time with them than she is and she loathes it.

      Growing up, I always felt like I was meant to be a stepmom. But it wasn’t until I became one that I realized how painful this job really is. The girls love me, my husband supports me, but that stupid lie that Satan tells is constantly brought up… and there are times its just so hard to fight it.

  2. I am an older (almost 52) woman who is only contemplating the fact that I might be a stepmom to a now 16 year old and a 12 year old (older boy, and younger girl). I am dating a wonderful, gentle, christian man who has custody of his 2 kids. Mom left the family for another man, over 2 years ago, and sees her children when it is convenient for her. My 2 daughters are both grown. I am reading and researching about being a christian step parent
    I have a great relationship with the son, but am well aware of the perils of raising a teenage girl, but not STEP-parenting…Just wondering (besides this blog…which is great by the way!!) if anyone can recommend any other blogs and/or books etc. on this topic? thanks to everyone.

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