30 Days to a Better Stepfamily – Day 27
These next three blogs will all go together. Just so you will know.
It is the night for the Boy Scouts to celebrate Christmas with a dinner and a few awards. Doc helps as much as he can with the youngest son’s troop; but, his job is very demanding; and, it is difficult to have time off.
Today is one of the few times he can participate with the troop and his son. I pick the children up after school, giving them a quick snack from the gas station (one of their favorite places to get a snack), and instruct them to get showered and dressed.
In the kitchen, I am making my assigned green-bean casserole and sweet potato casserole, when the youngest son comes in and announces that he needs his new badges sewn on before we go. I throw the casseroles into the oven and race to the sewing machine to put patches on his uniform. Then, I iron both his and his father’s uniforms for them to wear.
The youngest daughter begins to carp about going to the scout meeting, and how bored she will be, proclaiming, “it is not fair that I have to go!” So into the craft basket I go, pulling out new colored pencils and art paper, hoping that she will find them intriguing and get into the car without an argument.
On we go to the church fellowship hall, where I help the other mothers set up the buffet line, and make sure each dish has a serving utensil.
Doc flies in from work just as the lights are going down, kisses me and lets me know that the children’s mother was able to make it. I nod in acknowledgement.
Now it is time for Doc and his son to take to the stage and hand out awards. He hands me his camera, and asks me to take pictures of them. I get up and go to the corner for the best shot of the two of them together.
Awards and badges are handed to the boys for their accomplishments. Then they announce that awards are to be given to the mothers. The birth mom, over to the daughter, and takes her by the hand as she goes to the stage to receive her award.
And there it is – the truth! – they are family; and, I am just a phantom, an image, a shadow of a real mom to these children. I am the extra wheel that is called upon when the other wheel cannot be there. I am just the extra, the back up, the sub.
I did not birth these children, but I made the casseroles, I ironed the clothes, the children are clean and on time because of me; but, my name is never called. I am never acknowledged. My job continues as I click, click, click – frame after frame – to make sure a couple of the pictures come out well – no half closed eyes, no weird expressions, just a happy family.
My body begins to shake and I am fighting back tears. I want to be up there too; I want an award, I want credit.
I have talked with so many stepmothers who have worked hard, with little or no thanks. Stepmothers who have given baby showers, paid for everything, then left to do dishes as the birth mother, daughter, grandparents, and friends go out to eat lunch without any invitation to the stepmother.
I have seen weddings where the stepmother worked like a slave, and for some reason, there were no flowers for her to wear on her dress, and she was seated with the guests.
But, that is not the way it goes every time when you are the stepmother. You do what is right, because it is right. You do what you can for the child, and for your husband.
Don’t blame your husband for all of it. Yes, sometimes he probably could do a better job, but most of the time, ladies, he is lost as to what to do. They simply do not know, and their greatest fear, is taking a stand that causes their child to never speak to them again. That is what they fear.
Here is what you need to know. Did I say know, I mean KNOW – the live it out loud, kind of Know!
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
Blessed are the gentle, for they shall inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thrust for righteousness for they shall be satisfied.
Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:13)
See the word “shall” that I have italicized? In these sentences, that is the part of speech that is called the Perfect Tense (PF); and, represents the action that was completed in the past but has continuing results.
From the beginning of time, before the foundation of the earth, God knew you would be challenged in this way. Before the beginning of time, before the foundation of the earth He signed off on this for your life. He prepared and equipped you for the mission field you are in. The plan was made in the past and the results are continuing in your life today.
But today, we need to know, that we are in God’s plan; and, the plan is bigger than acknowledgement of a job well done. But our attitude makes the difference. Our attitude can destroy any joy that could possibly come our way; or, it could change us into the type of woman that takes our husband’s breath away – day after day.
Come by tomorrow as we continue this lesson.