What a breath of fresh air. To read someone else has felt the way I feel, thought the things I've thought and maybe even tried some of the techniques I've tried. Some portions of this book made me laugh out loud, such as the following excerpt regarding things we don't understand until we've been a stepmom for a while:
"Your assumption that if you're nice and respectful to your stepkids, his ex-wife, and her family, they will be nice back is blown out of the water."
"Your assumption that you will want to be nice and respectful all the time is also not a reality."
"Perhaps hardest of all, we have had neither a realistic way to measure our success nor many guidelines to get there. Most stepmothers told me they didn't consider themselves success stories. Why? Because their relationships with their stepchildren weren't all they wanted them to be, even though they had done many of the right things to build strong relationships.
You may feel the same way. But I have good news for you: Your success does not depend on the outcome of your stepmothering effeorts. your success depends only on those things you can control- your attitudes, words, and actions (including the choice to accept God's grace and love). Your success as a stepmother does not- indeed, cannot- depend on those things which you can't control, including the actions of your stepchildren. You can be a sucessful stepmother regardless of how they think, act, or speak."
"In my research, I discovered that most stepmothers are quicker to grant forgiveness to others than to accept it for themselves. Tired of trying to forgive yourself? Of course you are. It's a backbreaking, wearisome burden. So please, quit trying. You may be surprised to learn that forgiving yourself isn't necessary. ... If we could forgive ourselves, why would we need Jesus? .... The idea that our own forgiveness is what will truly set us free is just another way the enemy tries to take our focus off Jesus and put it back on ourselves."
*** In the interest of full disclosure, I would like to mention that a copy of this book was given to me courtesy of Tyndale House Publishers for the purpose of reviewing. I was not obligated to give a favorable review, the opinions are mine.
In the interest of offering further encouragement, I would like to share the following post on Crosswalk.com by Dena Johnson:
3 Beautiful Truths Every Divorced Christian Needs to Know