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September 1, 2022 12:00 am
Stuck between your hopes as a stepmom and your reality? Author Cheryl Shumake gets it. If you're wanting to be wanted, she knows it's a battle you can win.
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Cheryl Shumake's website: Step Mom Sanity
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So you know you you sorta have a blind spot probably have a lot of average rate of you deny that is true but when you drive you drive really fast because you hate waiting. You don't want to be late.
You don't want anybody like waiting I and I know I'm I'm even the worst driver you. I can leave a year like you whip around people you going to fasten Lena might have you ever watched you drive where two people do not like to wait. Welcome to family life where we want to help you pursue the relationships that matter most and Wilson Dave Wilson and you can find firstname.lastname@example.org or on our family life, family life today. I don't over you were like everybody else, but I think we might be a little bit like Ron deal is with us today run deals are director blended your family life and Ron's. He's with us around their welcome and I got ask you question. Are you a good waiter.
I don't mean waiter like waiting at the table but I mean are you good at waiting know I'm not good at waiting out on that line from a Princess bride that wonderful movie. Wait, wait. I hate weight. I have said that so many dives diving.
It's definitely not. I don't know. I'm sure some people are good at it but most of us aren't and will listen to interview you had today on family life today and I'm guessing it has some to do is waiting. It does, Cheryl Schoemaker was a guest on my podcast and she's written a book called waiting to be wanted a stepmom's guide to loving before being loved, not just let that soak in from it like that's a lot of stepparents experience there loving and there eagerly waiting to be loved and embraced and accepted. In return, what you do in the meantime, here's the thing I want all of our listeners to hear me on this. This is not just about blended family waiting. This is about life. Waiting is about faith in our walk with God. That's one application but there is something in this conversation for everybody limiting about Cheryl.
She is a life coach stepfamily educator. She founded a network for stepmom's called stepmom sanity.
That's another great little title there. She's written four books of putting this waiting to be wanted that were talking about in this podcast she and her husband have a yours and mine blended family situation.
They live in Michigan. Recently we had her as one of our guests on a women and blended families Facebook life that our team put on included gala grace whose honor our team and Sandy Patty and Lori McGregor and let me just say Cheryl was making so many great might drop moments that Sandy Patty right in the middle of their conversation said wait a minute I get to write that down.
She was taking copious notes. So Cheryl is is a woman who's got some things to say and I just know everybody is going to learn something from this conversation, Ron. I'm guessing based on the topic. This is a topic it's just not for blended right since we all are in situations where there waiting will this benefit all of us. It will if there's anything in your life that you feel like you're waiting on this conversation Cheryl in your book waiting to be wanted stepmom's guide to loving before being loved. You say that waiting is not something that most people do well. Why is this waiting is very hard.
There's the interval.
The gap between what I have and what I want is often painful and unsettling and exhausting hoping for something that remains unfulfilled is honestly exhausting is that what the weather got tells us that Hope deferred makes the heart sick and I know for me.
All too often. My response to. Waiting is to do whatever I can do to hasten its end, you know, I want to end the inconvenience that the void causes SL Ito my go to Czar to fix it for later financing and that brings it to and and so did I end up frustrated on top of the pain and unsettling feeling and the exhaustion as well. Waiting is extremely hard. I think what I just heard you say was waiting is hard so we try to take control because we don't have any control when were waiting for something, but when we try to take control.
Then we discover we still show were more frustrated now than ever. Is that what I deserve. That's exactly what you heard. Yes, it is vicious cycle is yes and you're right that Scripture Proverbs 1312. I love the message version of this says unrelenting disappointment leaves you heartsick yes and it's that unrelenting aspect of waiting that just saddens your heart is your heart makes you heartsick man I love the way you said it is exhausting. Yes, yes it is yeah and I often find that when I am heartsick that I don't respond well to the circumstances that are involved in the waiting because again my heart is I am focused on relieving the heart sickness and so you know I think to find that we rush to end the waiting that we deny ourselves the pleasure of unwrapping this amazing gift. So as frustrating and heartrending waiting can be or unfulfilled longing can be. There really is an amazing gift that God has given us in the waiting.
Okay you got back we got yes from some spiritual eternal standpoint, I totally agree with what you're saying, but the experiences day in and day out. This stinks Ray okay somewhere. It's like a kid waiting for Christmas you yes it's going to get here. One of these days, but it's not now right I find though that what I found in my own journey is that while I was waiting got use that time he use that time to transform me to transfer my heart to draw me closer to himself to refocus my attention so that I was no longer panting after the unfulfilled longing. But I had more after him and that my hopeful expectation was no longer fixed on fulfillment. It was no longer fixed on designer it was fixed on him as a waiting is really a tool Isaiah 3018 yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you. Therefore he will rise up to show you compassion. For the Lord is a God of justice. It says blessed happy to be in the favorite are all who wait for him. You know he uses waiting to shift our attitude from just waiting to now waiting upon him, and he never disappoints heat never ever leaves us wanting what we truly need not necessarily what we desire what we truly need.
This is go one step further with what you just said so shift what you're waiting for from the thing, whatever that is that you're chasing to waiting on the Lord and that that is something that helps you. In the meantime, it does what is that look like practically like some business right now, you're going okay so what I do like how do I do this waiting on the Lord think you're right will let me say up front that waiting on the Lord is not a passive enterprise and all. It definitely is very active about what you're doing is you're you're determining what is it that you are asking me to do in this moment, and I'm going to obey you be that pick up the phone and call my only child, and just tell them I love you, or I'm going to spend a moment in prayer or this incident that just happened really hurt me and I need to talk it out, so maybe I need to go and find a therapist and talk through that and work through some of these issues that I'm going through waiting on the Lord to change the heart of another individual is not passive, it is not this time. When you're just sitting by with inactivity. You're very active in your waiting but all of it is directed by his Holy Spirit so being active, turning to him trying to trust him while you wait while you wait, you know, it occurs to me is you are talking like everything in our world is trains is not to wait got 5G for crying out what we've got. Fast food everywhere with apps you can order stuff so that when you drive up is waiting on you when you get there or it arrives from Amazon the very next day. We have a day Internet based church. You don't even have to drive in the car to go to church if you want to anymore. All of that sort really programs us like the world almost should wait on us.
Does it really. We've created this very self focused idea of how to be in this life of how to interact with individuals and we despise inconveniencing waiting is a huge inconvenience. It certainly is. And if we despise all that comes along with waiting the uncertain, and so on and so forth. You're listening to family life today and were actually listening to a portion of the family life blended podcasts with the our family life blended leader Ron deal in a conversation he had with Cheryl Schoemaker you know Ron, it's interesting that as you know, she walks us through her journey. Her focus of her hope changed as I have this conversation with her. I sort of had a realization.
Waiting is sort of like fasting know it's one of those things that we do that helps us divert our attention away from all the things of life that we put our hope in our schedules and the possessions that we have the money we have. It's real fasting is that I'm getting food.
I'm going to focus on God.
I'm going to wait on him and that concept of waiting is just like that. Like I can't trust in anything else I need to just quiet my soul focusing on God and trust him. Randy fully get back to this episode of family life blended podcasts tell us about the upcoming summit yeah so the summit owns the ministry. Every fall is a two day in person event for ministry leaders and by that I mean anybody who cares to invest in blended families and their children. Our theme this year is about grace and loss were to be unpacking grief in a blended family and what role it plays in bonding and how the family moves forward through time to talk about what we can do and how the church can respond as you guys know blended families make up a very large portion of our nation and more and more churches are coming on board realizing they need to be in tune with helping stepfamily couples, their children and that's with the summit of the family ministry is really all about summit on step.com. You can learn all about it and how you could be a part sounds good to go back to your conversation with Cheryl. It seems to me that many people in stepfamilies and stepparents are really good example of this. There always waiting for somebody to open up to them, wondering about your experience in waiting to be wanted in waiting for somebody to open up what happened in your journey. Well, I definitely was on the waiting in and with one stepchild in particular on the longer end of waiting site. The listeners understand that. Don't be surprised if one child turns towards you before another or if one child turns toward you, and then turns away from you. That's a very common phenomenon in stepfamily life but my experience initially was very disconcerting. I think that's a good more disconcerting to me.
I thought I was well prepared. We had read your book, the smart stepfamilies of course I know what I'm going to do as a way of crushing our expectation and reality of my family was that it was so easy to blend my daughter had recently lost her father so we had a grieving child grieving the death of a parent and we had bonus children who loved me when we were dating and having fun.
But now that I met another adult in the home quite know how they felt about me and they let their trepidation be made known very obviously for lack of a better term, and so I had to learn how to be very flexible and adjust my expectations, manage them and really learn how to depend on the Lord and be honest with myself about what I was feeling and honest with my husband about what I was going through.
And thank God for supportive spouse. They make all the difference in the world. He was very supportive in my own journey and once I learned what waiting was doing for me not to me but for me then it became easier not. I didn't do it perfectly and it certainly was still very hurtful at times, but the journey became easier when I recognize that this was a God thing that God had called me to this role and that he would meet me in the waiting. And while he met me in the waiting he taught me how to love children who were acting out of their own heart without absorbing all of the pain of their hurtful actions.
Okay, there's a whole lot and what you just said let's slow down a little. How old were the kids. The bonus children, not just we got married. They were 12 and almost 9 at the time and I called our family a super blended family because my husband had a stepdaughter from his first marriage and she's right in the fold as well.
She's the oldest and at that time she was 21. Okay so 2112 eight and and my daughter at the time was 14. Got it. Got it. Okay, so there is everybody's on their own journey we all know that we talked about different stages of life, as many times before.
Right different stages of life different developmental issues going on with children and stages of for children and so different levels of openness to stepparents and stepsiblings and all of that in the beginning when those expectations and by the way love this quote in your book waiting on the heart of your stepchild to turn toward you is a graduate-level course in unmet expectations that really good while you're waiting any realizing this is not happening the way I thought or hoped that it would enter first. Your feeling that angst. What did you do what were you feeling the most.
I guess that's really what I wanted out like what were those key emotions are your rejection.
It was definitely rejection I felt out of place. I knew what my role was in my own conventional family and even after the divorce, I was still the head of the household.
I was the mom and the home. My place was very secure so I certainly was feeling a little unsteady as well, which was, not usual, and I felt not always connected and so I don't know we don't like this connection at all. I don't you know I want to be connected to the people that are around me. That was very hard for me and there was a time I actually ran away that week we kept two homes initially so that my daughter could finish high school in the community that she grew up in. It was 60 miles away and it was there was one weekend where she was at our other home with my mom and I was here with my husband and my bonus children and and they were ignoring me. I felt invisible at times they were ignoring me and I announced very haughtily on my at this I'm going home and I left the home, and I honestly the further I drove away the worse I felt in the better I felt. It was such a dichotomy going on and that's the other thing like years so your emotions are all over the place yeah yeah yeah so you will fight, flight, or freeze you wanted to fly when it like I just can't stay in this environment where isolated an outsider.
They're keeping me on the outside and being rejected. I needed break from this and by the way I want to see the list are that is understandable, especially when you just feel overwhelmed in a significant way. And so for you. You took off and the further you got away am I hearing you say in one way you felt relieved and in another sense, you felt even more disconnected is that the way was used because of the double bind was definitely a double-blind, I felt relieved that I didn't have to deal with the pressure and I was going towards the one person at that time in my life who the study and brought consistent joy in it was my daughter right but I also felt very disconnected and very hurt by that because I'm leaving this man. I have placed my life to any children that I really didn't want to love and and open up to but it was very difficult and the pressure got to me that moment I don't necessarily recommend it, but every once in a while we need Alice to get a stepmom bug out bag and have a safe place to go there recalibrate your emotions then you can go home a better use door listening to the conversation and run deal with this hand with the sheriff you make about really interesting blended family situation, but you know as well as anybody, Ron, that's probably pretty common.
I'm going where you need a break.
I just can say every mom can feel that where I just I pack a bag like that. I like that idea yeah and she got away for the weekend. She did you know you go to do some self-care refresh every now and then so that you don't just do what people today will say things like I'm doing self-care, which means I am not being responsible for anything anymore. No, that's not really the way it works it self-care for the purpose of been able to rejuvenate and bring back a better you and she said there in that last statement so that you can come back and serve again and really guys at the hardware. Everybody's listening mom, dad married not. Whatever the case may be, there's all we all have situations in our lives where more is required of us than really we feel like you were not being fed. This is a one-way street I'm giving, giving, giving, how do I continue to do that sometimes we just gotta pull back. Wait on the Lord and have him rejuvenate who we are and help us go forward. I know I'm not good at this. I don't know about you, Ron, but I can run and run when I feel tired and I even know I need a break. I just can keep running in and will look at me and say you need you to stop, take a day take an hour, you can run.
You know what I can do. Sometimes I just find Netflix didn't I think we can just all non-out some way, but I like that idea of going to God of really calling out to him asking him for wisdom to, and I feel like that's what she did you know is I talked with her made me reflect on Psalm 25. Listen to this. Oh my God you I trust. Let me not be put to shame. Let not my enemies exult over but you know what we all feel like we have some sort of enemy. For Cheryl it was that moment in her family were she just felt overwhelmed and didn't know what else to do but listen to this and none who wait for you shall be put to shame. They shall be ashamed who are wantonly treacherous towards us, so make me to know your ways, O Lord, teach me your paths lead me in your truth and teach me, for you. The God of my salvation for you. I wait all the day long.
Think about that. There is a lesson to be learned in waiting.
There are moments where we have to just say I don't know Lord it's all you I'm just trusting in you to see me through to build my strength.
Whatever it is that I need to know to find my path and I just want to say is we continue this conversation with Cheryl tomorrow. She's going to talk about some of the things she learned in her waiting, and the practical things that came to her so that she could in her situation be a better stepmom. Yeah the truth is we know this, that would not have happened for her if she wouldn't take a break. I'm escaping but in some sense when she was able to get away is true for us as well. When we get our eyes off of. Often the situation were in an and take a break and go vertical like you.
Psalm 25 and get her eyes on the Lord, we come back renewed refresh with a new perspective, and it can change everything just like it did for Cheryl. You been listening to David and with Ron deal on family life now coming up on October 13 and 14th is this year's summit on ministry. This is the premier ministry equipping event to help church leaders learn about healthy blended family living in the essentials of local ministry. Find out email@example.com. Tomorrow will hear more from Ron deal's conversation with Cheryl Schoemaker. She gives us perspective on her hardships as a new stepmom and how she found the strength to love before she was love. That's tomorrow on behalf of David and Wilson.
I'm Shelby Abbott will see you back next time for another edition family life today like today is a production of family life accrue ministry helping you pursue the relationships that matter most