Wednesday, February 17, 2010

BLENDED FAMILY Lessons from a Walmart Morning


Follow this guys lead in your Blended Family.

It was a recent blustery, snow-filled Saturday morning and I was off to grab some waffle mix, eggs, milk and cantelope for a 'Dad's Waffle Breakfast Morning'.  Not enough Saturday's free, so I was excited to enjoy that family tradition.  Good 'bonding' time and hey, I even like my own waffles, so while the kids slept I went to Walmart early to grab the 'stuff'.

As I thought I would be in and out, little did I know I would leave the store with much more than food for family, but bigger than for life.  To share with you.

While I was in the waffle mix aisle, I could not help but overhear the joyful voice, from the next aisle over, of a youngster repeating his Father's words and mentoring.  I heard the little voice say 'I am a happy boy!' repeating his Dad. Then it was 'I can grow up to do great things!' following the coaching, then an interesting comment that really sparked my interest,  'I look for the good in people!' followed by 'God made me special!'.

By this time those of you that know me, understand already that my cart was wheeling around the corner to go meet this 'Super Dad'.  Surely I thought I would find Zig Ziglar's first cousin, Anthony Robbins himself, or maybe just some high school football coach in a cap with a whistle around his neck who knew the power of inspiring his players.  Or perhaps one of those 'hired WalMart Greeter' people who usually are fairly fired up individuals themselves.  They seem to naturally have a smiley face on and love people thanks to Sam Walton's legacy.

You see the voice I heard, but could not see, from across the top of the waffle and cereal aisle divide certainly was certainly a character shaper and a giant of a man.  I wanted to meet him and shake his hand!  Tell him I love what I heard!

So when I spun my cart down that next aisle and looked ahead I did not see any of those wondermen of motivation I spoke of, but instead a man in a torn overcoat, scraggly beard and a weary walk.   After greeting the man and telling him how powerfully he impacted me from across the aisle top, he simply said 'I want Joey to grow up with more positive voices in his little head than I did'.  God's gonna make him better than me'.  Wow!  After hugging the man and telling him God's already blessed this little guy with you, I asked little Joey 'are you happy?'.  He smiled big and blurted out 'I'm a happy boy!'

I had earlier especially been taken by the boy following the wisdom of... "I look for the good in people". Worth repeating. 'Look for the good in people'.

Especially in stepfamilies, too often a parent or child is 'looking for error' in a relationship instead of following that wonderful wisdom...'look for the good'.

Blended Families or any family.   Learn from a scraggly bearded man, who might just have been an angel so I can share this story with you.  Encourage your children.  Be a positive and Godly force that echos into their future.

Scripture shares in Proverbs Chapter 17 and Verse 22...

A cheerful heart is good medicine,
but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.
Go tell somebody THREE THINGS that you like about them.
It will be...good medicine.  And God just may give you one more step on the journey 'from Broken to Blended to BONDED'.

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Monday, January 11, 2010

It's 2010! Throw out and bury those OLD TAPES in Blended Families! Be Encouraged!

God doesn't make mistakes. Ask Him to renew you.
The past is past. His Grace and Mercy are new every morning!

We see much hope and encouragement for 2010. I believe it is embedded deep into every person's very being to appreciate 'fresh starts' when times have been challenging. God built us that way. To be OPTIMISTIC about our tomorrow's. To want to have the hope and expectation that we can and will rise up and break through a challenge. So, as we set forth into 2010...let's remember what....

'Because of the LORD's great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.'


Here's a shout out to those 1974 high school classmates with whom I shared 8 track tapes. Who could ever know that in 2009, I be warmly recalling and 'blogging' about Mike Behne's black and white Chevy Impala, hanging out with some 'best buddy names you ever have heard of' like "Behne", "Kozy", Scholzy", "Leroy" and "Doley", and that we drove around in listening to Bachman Turner Overdrive sing 'Takin' Care of Business'. On a eight track tape. Now...I am "Taking Care of GOD'S Business". We've come a LONG WAY from those days on the country roads of Nebraska. Miss those guys, but not our antics. Look up 'stinkin' thinkin' in a dictionary ...picture of us.

Sometimes 8 track tapes, reel to reel recorders and now even cassettes sometimes seen so out of date and irrelevant, that we laugh about them. Why can't we do that in life?

Often the wounds and brokenness of divorce carry over to the new marriage and fully discovering your 'fresh start' blended family joy. Often, historic, out-of-date opinions and 'commentary' from former spouses, or parents, or friends, at the workplace, or even churches keeps coming up. We 'hear' and let the 'old tapes', the old stories, the old messages dampen our spirit and our new family.

The "old tapes' messages come in the form of 'well, she'll never change' or 'he's a loser', 'he can't handle being a Dad' or 'she won't last with that guy' or 'he's always late' or 'that step-parent never plays with the kids' or 'teacher, call me, cause he'll forget' or whatever those 'old tape' sounds like.

They are not YOU. Maybe it's the OLD YOU...but YES YOU CAN start anew. We believe in YOU! God believes in YOU!

We say at The Bonded Family..."Throw out those OLD TAPES".
God offers you a fresh start.

Don't let your past cloud your future. Make amends. Say your sorry where you need to. Call your former spouse, children, friends, whomever and ask for peace. Foremost Pray and truly ask God for forgiveness and trust in His rue and faithful promise of a second chance. God is the place to go for second chances. Some of us He gives so many chances we wonder just how big is our loving God. Grace is amazing. We are going to make mistakes. Only Christ was perfect. God's promises are real. Count on them.

Become the NEW you. Don't beat yourself up over "old tapes". Throw out the 'old ways' and make your life an iPod-like exciting new message. Then 'download' positive and encouraging messages from the Bible.
What you put into your mind and heart is the direction you will take. What you read, listen to and take in is BIG. Take God's word into your heart. We encourage you for 21 days to pray daily, more like three times a day for your marriage and family. THEN...WATCH WHAT HAPPENS! You WILL SEE great and wonderous things...and say 'Wow! How'd that happen?'

satan (never give evil a capital letter) wants you to fail. Remember John 10:10 'the evil one comes to hurt, kill and destroy, but I (Christ) have come that you might have LIFE and have it more abundantly'. Take this to heart. Don't let the enemy get you to hear in your heart, mind and soul that your aren't worthy of God's love, His promise of a new day, and the creation of a new and WONDERFUL FAMILY!

In closing...these words from scripture grabbed people's hearts for centuries as much as they were made for YOU this very day to hear.

"Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come." 2 Corithians 5 : 17

You ARE a NEW creature. The old (tapes) are gone! Rejoice.

For Coaching from a member of The Bonded Family team, as a 'fresh start 2010 kickoff' we are offering a special Blended Family Coaching Program. For $90, we'll extend a survey for your 'Today We Start Fresh' review and analysis, one 40 minute get acquainted visit and 3 follow-up coaching session for 20 minutes each. Total coaching time 100 minutes for $90. We'll listen, assess, encourage, suggest practical ideas and pray together.
This is a limited offer to the first 10 couples who desire blended family coaching.
Write us at for more information.