Turn Up The Heat

Well, the report is in … on Groundhog day, Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow which means spring is still weeks away. I was hoping to just bound right into spring, but as usual, we will have to endure the storms and cold for a bit longer. Isn’t that how we view life? It’s cold and dreary and we just want relief – now. You might be in a winter season in your blended family and spring looks like it will never come. Grab your coffee and take some notes…spring can be closer than you think!

Keys to melting snow and ice are warmth and light. I don’t know what kind of ice blocks are in your life – but through time and patience, love and laughter – those little step children’s hearts will slowly warm up to you! In Psalm 37, it says, “Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him; those who wait for the Lord, they will inherit the land.” So your first key to melting hearts is to be calm. When you escalate a disagreement with yelling and tantrums (and I’m talking about you – not the kids!), no good comes from that. Remember, you have the choice of how you react and respond to situations. Anger, bitterness and revenge will only harden the very hearts you are trying to soften – as well as provide the possibility of your husband giving you a cold shoulder!

A second key is to remain steadfast. If you have been listening to me or reading my blog or Facebook posts, you know I’m gonna preach to you about hanging in there! Philippians 1:27 says, “Only conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or remain absent I will hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit with one mind, striving together for the faith of the gospel.” Let’s compare this blended family thing to knitting. You can start a lovely afghan with different colors and patterns. It won’t have a worth until you have tied off the last stitch. How many times do we start something only to get tired or find it too tough and then give up? The beauty comes with time and diligence. You have more of a backbone than you think. Stand firm. Be steadfast. I see some water dripping from some icicles!

So you can be calm. You can be sure and steadfast. These are wonderful qualities. Now let’s do some big-time defrosting! 1 John 3:18 says, “Let’s not love with words or speech but with action and truth.” I encourage you to reach out to your step, adopted and biological kiddos in tangible ways. Put short notes in their lunch boxes, write a daily Scripture verse or something positive to them on a mirror with a dry erase marker, have home-made cookies greeting them when they come home from school, steal them away for spur-of-the-moment outings for an ice cream cone, hang a cork board and pin fun and silly pictures of everyone. Okay, I’ve given you some ideas, now it’s your turn.

If your blended family is really struggling to mesh, doing all these things will not magically transform your family into the Brady Bunch. Be comforted in knowing that your qualities and actions will be remembered – maybe not today – maybe not this year. But they will definitely begin the process of melting harsh attitudes and hardened hearts so that some blending can take place. So if your family is having a hard time blending, go turn up the heat!

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