It’s Just Another Day?

Joya and I usually write posts together but I’m taking this one solo.

Father’s Day has taken on a much different tone since my divorce. For several years now I have not had my children on Father’s Day. I try to convince myself it’s not really a big deal. I’ll see them in a few more days and we’ll do something special together.

Probably the hardest thing is that everyone else makes a big deal about Father’s Day (understandably) starting first thing in the morning at church. So when churches ask Dad’s to stand, I don’t get to thank God for my kids and look at them at the same time. As much as I try to escape everyone else’s focus on it – it’s just plain hard to avoid and pretend that it’s just another day. Continue reading “It’s Just Another Day?”

Who Is In Your Church?

We read a quote and statistic today that was eye-catching to say the least!

40% of families in your church and community are blended families.

– FamilyLife

Yup – that’s us!  We are in the growing statistic of couples who got married, had kids, got divorced and then remarried.  And our kids are still under 18 so they are living with us part-time.

There was a time, which seemed not too long ago, when our churches and communities were mostly filled with the “traditional” family – meaning married once with kids.

But, as we all know, over the last couple of decades blended family living has been on the rapid increase.

In fact, approximately 33% of all weddings today will form step-families. Continue reading “Who Is In Your Church?”

MARRIED STRONG!

FRIENDS!  This is a quick update.

So much has happened for us since we launched our blog “Remarried Forever”.

WOW!  Marriage is hard…and REmarriage is even harder!  At least it is from our perspective.  But marriage is a BLESSING every day!

As we have become more active in the marriage arena we are encountering and lovingly interacting with couples of every stripe: newlyweds, veteran married couples, remarrieds, and even engaged couples.

We know that ALL marriages need support and we don’t want to limit our reach as we seek to share, experience, and help married couples.

So today we are retitling our blog:

MARRIED STRONG!

We will always have a special affinity with couples who have remarried, and those blending a family as we are doing, but we want to celebrate and walk along side all married couples.  We will continue to have material that will likely favor remarried and blended families – but hopefully it will all be helpful and fun!

We look forward to being in touch.  And we are excited to be a resource to make ALL marriages STRONG!

 

LIVE from the Summit on Stepfamily Ministry

As you know, we made a commitment to try to help others who are remarried, blending families, and going through the ups and downs of marriage in a different way than the traditional first time marriage struggles, by sharing our experiences, being transparent and open to anyone in need.

So we decided to fly to Little Rock and attend the Summit on Stepfamily Ministry, which is dedicated to teaching people the best ways to help people like us who are remarried and living in blended families.

Let us say up front that many of these lessons are applicable to all marriages in one form or another, but stepfamilies do have many unique issues: ex-spouses and stepchildren being the two biggest.

Here are a couple of quick first takes: Continue reading “LIVE from the Summit on Stepfamily Ministry”

Are you banging a square peg in a round hole?

We are just one month away from our first wedding anniversary, which will also mark one year together as a blended family. Of course, with 4 busy kids and us only having them 50% of the time, it has been difficult to “blend” and get to know each other.

When we bring two families together after living very separate lives for a long period of time, it feels a bit like trying to shove a square peg into a round hole. We want it to work so bad that we keep pushing and forcing that square peg insisting that it will fit into the round hole!

However, what we want and the reality are often two separate things.

One of the most common sayings is “Stepfamilies cook in a crock pot, not a blender.” (Thank you Ron Deal) Obviously that means that bringing together a stepfamily takes time, and they aren’t forced together but come together in their own way, in their own time. Unlike that of whipping together a quick protein shake in a blender.   Continue reading “Are you banging a square peg in a round hole?”

Do you have a ‘beam’ in your eye?

Let’s face it friends – those of us who have gone through divorce and remarriage are dealing with, or have dealt with, someone in their life who creates hurt.

Pastor Ben at Cape Cod Church said it best: “Every story has a hurt, a villain we can point to as a source of pain”.

What happens when we have a villain? What happens when there is someone who causes hurt to your marriage or your family? The hurt that is created can overwhelm us, twist our lives around, and distract us from what is most important. Continue reading “Do you have a ‘beam’ in your eye?”

Our Journey Begins

Thanks for joining us!  This is going to be a very unique blog.  Where to start?  Well, in short, we were each divorced…about 4 years after our divorces we fell in love…and we decided to get remarried.

As with most everyone who falls in love we thought it would all work out well because we have so much love for each other and we have God leading the way.  We started reading books in preparation and we immediately got discouraged.  Most resources out there for couples getting remarried are not what you would call positive.  The pitfalls were endless and we figured that it simply couldn’t be as bad as the books illustrated.  Whoa – were we wrong.

We had the most magical wedding imaginable on August 26, 2017.  From that point forward nearly every day was a struggle.  We have four kids in total (Michael has three and Joya has one).  We each have an ex-spouse.  We all moved into a new house together.  And on August 27, six people started a new family, living together having never done so before.  We tried to prepare, but quite honestly, nothing can prepare a remarried couple and blended family until you all go through it together.

We have chosen to share our journey publicly, to present our challenges and to open ourselves up in an effort to help others.  We will provide real-time sharing with other remarried couples and blended families.  Why?  Because divorce isn’t an option for us and we don’t want it to be an option for others.  We love each other deeply and we are committed to make it work – as the vows say – for better or worse.  Hopefully, together, we all help each other.

**We are the furthest thing from experts.  What we are is a couple who struggles like everyone else in marriage, remarriage, and in blended families – and we wished there was a resource like this before we got married and as we struggle through our first year.  There isn’t – so we are creating it!**

Please know this – we are EXCITED about our marriage and new blended family and we WANT to help you in yours.  We hope this is helpful to you and look forward to connecting.

“A good marriage is a contest of generosity.” — Diane Sawyer

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