As I sit at my kitchen table this brisk Tennessee morning drinking my nice warm cup of decaf coffee, I can hear the birds start to chirp and see the sun making its appearance earlier and earlier and I can tell that spring is indeed on its way and once again the Lord is making all things new. I always love the morning of March 7th primarily because that means the previous day contained laughter, celebration and my favorite – cake! Yesterday, if you couldn’t guess by the context clues, was my birthday. I feel more alive and vibrant this year than I have in many years past. I think that is in part me settling into this role of wife and stepmom, growing up (a continuing process), and deepening my walk with the Lord. I’m learning to let go of things I can’t change and focus on what I DO have. I could write a novel on what the Lord has been doing in my heart lately but that would take all morning so I’ll just share something that happened yesterday that proves He does indeed make all things new.
I was so excited when I realized my birthday landed on a Wednesday this year. Wednesday nights are the one night every week that our boys come over and stay with us. I love celebrating with my husband, parents, and grandpa but it was so wonderful to have the WHOLE family there to enjoy the evening. I had already told my husband he was off the hook for any physical gift for my birthday (I mean he had already purchased me a massage at a local spa for Valentine’s Day which I will be enjoying today as well as getting my hair done too) but I did hint that I wanted something from the boys. I didn’t have to tell my husband that I didn’t want them to get me a candle, or a bath and body set, or a shirt, or any other trinket for that matter. After picking up the kids from their mom’s last night, he took them to Walgreen’s and they picked out cards for me. Being a writer, I cherish, more than anything, a person’s written word. When I opened the cards from the boys, they had both written me the sweetest notes. I have to share what my almost 15 year old wrote to me because I never dreamed I would hear these words from him in his adolescent years. He says, “I am so thankful for you being in my life. You and my dad complete me and I don’t want him with anyone else. I am proud to call you my stepmom. Thank you for everything you do for me…” To say that brought tears to my eyes would be an understatement. My other son didn’t write as much but he wanted me to know that he put a heart over the “i” in his name and he only does that for just a few special people. I will keep these cards forever. I may not have macaroni-necklaces or crayon colored picture frames, but I will always have these cards.
There are some days I struggle with not having any biological children of my own and if you ask my husband he would probably tell you that I not so subtly hint at it every day (not just some). I think part of that longing is wanting to experience the joy and unity with him that kids bring but I also want to experience motherhood in a more complete way. Sometimes I get caught up in my daydreams and what ifs and think about how different my life would be if I had my own children right this very moment or an even more entertaining thought – what if there were no ex-wife?! I say this in complete jest, but I do realize that these thoughts are nothing but distractions and usually put me in a bad mood and they blind me from seeing the love that is unfolding right in front of me. These cards with 2-3 sentences have been 4.5 years in the making. 4.5 years of tears, joys, pain, struggles, triumphs and most importantly prayer. These cards are a glimpse of trusting hearts and make mine so very full.
I’ll leave you with this thought, last Sunday my husband and I sang a song at church that I wrote over six years ago (Yes, I live in Nashville and fit the cliche). I was in a very broken place and very lonely place and one day crying out to the Lord in my car I noticed a bumper sticker in front of me that said “Love Wins” and out of that sticker the Lord spoke to my heart and a song was born. As I sang these words last Sunday I couldn’t help but think of how perfectly they fit for where my life is right now. Stepmoms, I urge you, even when you feel under appreciated and frustrated and you feel like giving up. Remember, love wins and Christ can and will make all things new in His perfect timing. I’ve added a video of the song below from 2008 (a little dated so don’t be surprised if you don’t recognize me..haha) but I hope it brings you some encouragement!