In Your Language

Monday, April 13, 2015

Dear Step Families

Combat your Prejudice

The area of blended families is the last frontier of socially sanctioned prejudice. There are activist groups for most sub-populations of Americans. The one population who gets the most legal and social prejudice is step-parents and step-families. I think this is the most insidious place for discrimination. If I write this post within my intentions, I will insult you little and motivate you to do better.

If it is okay to discriminate at home, then how easy does that make it to do it elsewhere? On top of that, we are basically modeling to our children that we CAN and SHOULD prejudice people who are not genetically related to us. Ok, to put that in perspective: how much of the global population to you claim as your genetic family? 

It's not just that step-parents succumb to prejudice, so do the children. But, I'm talking to adults and adults are the ones who need to be the "bigger people." I get it. You were a stepchild once and your stepmother mistreated you. And then, low and behold, you find yourself married to a person who has kids from a previous marriage.

The visceral reaction is to play out those unhealthy dynamics with an INNOCENT child. Your feelings and memories are valid. But they are not valid in this new environment. Don't get me wrong, every one has their pain and needs grace. But, for the love of your spouse, this largely innocent child, and the future of the marriage that holds together your present family, keep your past in your past.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

When Love Goes the Distance

A Helicopter Tour in Colorado
Distance can put a huge strain on relationships. Jen Im from “Clothes Encounters” on YouTube has a long distance relationship with a guy in England. Michelle Phan has a long distance relationship with her man in mainland Europe. Many military couples endure long separations so that they can serve their country on the home-front and abroad.

Driving down the road today, I realized that God was supplying me and my husband everything we needed to nurture and grow our relationship. Our communication is constrained by time, text or video chats that can be tense. There is also an inability to have physical intimacy with each other.

I know my husband, being a different person than I, does not share exactly the same view and experience of this separation, I still think that my perspective is worth sharing as it shows God’s hand in enriching our relationship. He replaced physical intimacy with physical longing. He gave us opportunities and inspiration to grow on a whole new level of intimacy—the spiritual kind.

Despite the fact that he is not a professing “Christian,” I see God knocking on his heart more and more fervently during this time. God knows that even though my husband longs for my comfort, that His comfort is enough. His kind of comfort can minister to my husband in his time zone when I cannot.

This period of spiritual growth (with God being the conduit that overcomes constraints of time differences) is monumental because it was a major point of weakness (or absent) in our relationship when we were face to face. It makes me realize that even with physical intimacy, there can be a lack of spiritual intimacy. And let’s face it, we all want to reach the mecca of spiritual intimacy. Anyone can knock boots, but can they resonate on a spiritual level?

With this realization, the promise that God honors our marriage has come to life. Our eyes were not on the spiritual side of our marriage in this “season of life.” In fact we were quite locked in on the mundane aspects of keeping the family going while separated. He has infused a supernatural aspect to our relationship.

Despite our physical distance apart, I have never felt so “known” by my husband. Chances are, we would not have reached this point if he were right in front of me. It was the hidden gift in this time apart. It makes me think of the work God wants us to do in our time apart, from hours to months to years.

God substituted something better than what was missing. He supplied spiritual intimacy when we lacked the physical kind. It is akin to losing a cubic zirconia ring and getting a free diamond for a replacement. It feels like a relationship jackpot. He is waiting to make your (future) marriage a testament for his will and love for all people.


Small Victories Sunday Linkup

Thursday, April 9, 2015

The God Network

Are you on Direct Spiritual Link (DSL)?
I ask this sincere question because I can say that I have NOT always been connected. But I can say that I have always known it to exist. This is my first stab at putting words to this idea. The premise for this post is reveling in the small and big events that have happened over the past few months that convinces me that this D.S.L. (with God) transcends time and physical presence.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

In Good Times and In Bad Times

You don’t need a perfect Marriage.
My marriage is not perfect. But it is at the stage where I feel like other people would want what we have. And in all honesty, that feels—AMAZING. It’s the quality of marriage that I don’t want to put in jeopardy. I am protecting it so it can protect me during life’s storms. It’s not a matter  of if they come, but a matter of when they come.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Recognize Your Redeemer


I was recently touched by someone’s very personal and very real story. While in the moment, I was drenched in empathy for this person’s story of pain and betrayal. The person had come to expect one thing in particular. And then— she met her redeemer. And like so many redeemers, they appear of God’s appointment and usually are not obvious to the receiver.

Here I am Again

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