I’m a doer. I enjoy letting people know I love them by finding something to make for them. Words are wonderful – but I want others to be able to look at something time and time again and know that I made it for them – out of my love for them. My parents have been so wonderful about this in my lifetime. I look at my home and I see plants and paintings and other precious gifts given through the years and am sweetly reminded that they invested time, money and talent to share a part of them with me through their gifts. Now that my mom is gone and my dad has Alzheimer’s … those gifts mean even more. As a stepmom, you need to be a doer. Your step children can hear you saying all the right things, but they need to see you doing the right things. That will ‘speak’ louder than your words.
I’m reminded of the saying that love is an action. We can talk all day long but if you never touch someone or serve them – if you won’t listen or lend a hand – can you really back up your words? James 2:14-22 says, “What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can his faith save him? If a brother or sister is without clothes and lacks daily food and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, keep warm, and eat well,” but you don’t give them what the body needs, what good is it? In the same way faith, if it doesn’t have works, is dead by itself.” These verses are talking about faith. Isn’t that so closely tied to love? I know you want to love these children. I know you want to have faith in this new family.
Here is where you learn to use the several tools you already possess to love and increase your faith in this family.
Kids like pictures. I have a bulletin board that I use to tack up printed pics of the family and friends. I guarantee you that all the kids look at that board to see what new pics of them are up. This is such a simple way to ‘tell” them that they are included and loved. Even if your step kids are slow in moving towards this new family unit, they will be seeing positive pics of it!
I used photos again to convey my love to my step kids. Dan and I made up photo albums for each of his kids – starting from birth and including pics of their mom. Their past is such a part of their present. Don’t try to make your step children forget that but encourage them to take the good from the past and build on it for the present which will give all of you a better future.
Lastly, I started a small photo album for each of my grandkids that I use to add a scripture with a personal note to every month. Small gestures but the kids notice – especially when I had quite sending them for about four months! I brainstormed with another step mom and we came up with ideas for a survival guide notebook for her step daughter, about to go out into the world as a young adult. These are just a few ideas.
I John 3:18 says, “Let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.” As step moms, we all have a set of tools we can use to draw our step children into this new family. So get your pen and paper and draw up some plans; then implement. Take pics along the way and get ready to see the beautiful changes in the before and after! And remember, you are building one of the most priceless examples of love in action!