Blog  /  Parenting  /  Food for the Blended Families Soul

11
Aug
2010

Blended families are an opportunity for God to do something great; to show grace, love, commitment, all while stretching and broadening everyone. It’s the combining of two different families with unique hurts, trials and different family systems. Everyone adjusts, everyone commits and everyone can benefit.

When I started my Blended Family journey four years ago I knew I needed to find the common ground areas, places where we naturally connected and then build on those areas as a foundation. My husband and I both were Christian adults, now busy raising four male teenagers. Three were in high school and the youngest was in seventh grade. Our boys were all raised at church and they all loved sports, music and video games. I soon realized that we would all be together for just one year before the exodus to college began! I knew I needed to start building our relationship quickly with memories, quality time and new shared experiences.

I started with FOOD. That may sound crazy, but one thing you can count on boys loving is FOOD. So with that in mind, I planned a grocery store trip with each of my new sons, one on one, with one purpose in mind: to discover their likes and dislikes. If everyone is going to belong, the pantry needs to be inclusive of everyone’s favorites. I then moved forward and began packing their lunches. I believe when a hungry teenage boy looks into their customized lunch bag, it says “I love you” and gives them a midday boost to their spirits. I received lots of advice, some of it being that they were old enough to make their own lunches, but I was coming to the table late and knew I needed to be connecting with my new sons often, even in the middle of the day when I was not with them.

The highlight of these early days was dinner time. This was when all six of us gathered every night to pray, share LOTS of great food, download our day, laugh and connect. It was always a personal challenge to keep up with the demand, both quantity and variety. I’ll never forget when reality hit that I needed 15 chicken breasts or 12 hamburgers for full satisfaction!

In John 6:35 we find Jesus declaring, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty.”

I learned a long time ago that if I was going to build eternity into my son’s lives, I needed to meet their needs first. This may seem like a simple approach, but it was a great starting place with bread on the table, prayer and teachable moments in their hearts. That’s the place I chose to start and today they are still some of our dearest memories.

We still look forward to dinnertime and FOOD is still key, but with two away at college now, the food is delivered by US MAIL. Watching six relationships blend together is a beautiful testimony of what God does when we intentionally love and honor each other, and it’s a definitely a journey of committed love.

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If you missed Jessica’s first post, Hope for the Single Mom – be sure to CLICK HERE.

Jessica is a busy Scottsdale, Arizona mom enjoying her blended family.  She and her husband Wayne have 4 young adult sons and have been married for 4 years.  Jessica is the Assistant Minister to Women at Scottsdale Bible Churchand has a background in corporate human relations.

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