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I Know The Plan- Guest Post by Lynnette Flatt

 “I Know The Plan.”

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans for your welfare, not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11 HCSB

 

“This wasn’t the life I envisioned for you.”

My well-meaning mother spoke those words to me at the beginning of my relationship with Steve. Her words stung, but she wasn’t saying them to hurt me.

She loves me very much, and I really believe she would give years off her own life to spare me the hard and cruel lessons the world can teach.

I was raised to love Jesus and pray.

I was raised to remain a virgin until my wedding night. I was raised to do the speed limit, to eat my vegetables, and to get a good education.

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I was not raised, at least in my Mother’s opinion at the time, to fall in love with a man who had a three-year-old and an emotionally unstable ex-wife.

My Mom’s soft green eyes looked at me with worry and sadness as she wrung her hands and listened to my latest woes and drama.

The blissful beginning that most dating couples face was soon replaced with a stressed out boyfriend, a little boy who missed his dad, and an ex whose disturbingly long phone rants would carry on during (and well past) dinner.

Sometimes the only reassurance Mom could give me was a sincere but troubled, “Honey, all I can do is pray for you.”.

Little did I know at the time that Jesus was guiding me through one of the darkest valleys of my life and he was raising me up in His OWN way.

Fast forward quite a storied, beautiful and sometimes difficult 16 years.

My Mom’s frequent and intentional prayers are felt like warm rays of light all around me. Steve and I are at a good place, a joyful place.

My Mom and Dad quickly saw the measure of the man who became my God-fearing and magnificent husband. My Mom now says, “I can’t imagine life without Steve and Keegan. My sweet Lynnette, you are blessed beyond measure.”

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Sometimes our limited minds cannot understand the struggle God has purposely planted in our lives.

My friend, there is beauty in the struggle! There’s also unexpected elation, gained wisdom, and grace. We can’t comprehend with our human eyes the perfectly designed tapestry of life Jesus has planned for us.

What our loving and great-intentioned family and friends want for us might not align with what GOD wants for us.

Step-moms and step-dads, you will get a bevy of advice during this journey, some good and some not at all.

Ask for a discerning heart as you wade through the muck of good intentions. Ask the Lord for wisdom, and listen closely as He directs your footsteps. He won’t lead you astray. Your life belongs to Him, and HE envisions for you to be a beautiful story of His mercy and love.

Moment of Prayer:

“You hear my cries for help, Lord! You ease my despair. Sometimes I get really stubborn and fiercely independent in my thinking. I start out doing things my way, forgetting to relinquish the control to your able Hands. Reel me in today, Lord. You love my strong spirit but you WANT me to depend on you. You are CAPABLE of handling all of this I’m going through. I hand it all over to you, and I TRUST you.”

Individual/Group Discussion:

What “advice” have you been given by family and friends about dating someone who has a child(ren)?

What advice have you given to someone in the past concerning dating a man or woman who has a child or children?

What advice would you give them now?

□  Are you willing to turn all of your concerns over to the Lord and ask Him “thy will be done”? If so, take a quiet moment and ask for His guidance.

 

A Message from the Author:

Hello and God Bless! My name is Lynnette Flatt.

My husband and I live in Canton, GA, about 45 minutes north of Atlanta. I am a Stepmom to a wonderful 19-year-old.

We have been a blended family for 16 years.

We attend Oak Leaf Church in downtown Canton.

We love the Lord and strive to put Him first in our daily walk. Our road as a blended family has not been easy at times, but we continue to pray and love.

 

When troubles come knocking blessings are ten-fold just around the corner! We would love to contribute our experiences, blessings, trials, and encouragement to other blended families who need lifting up.

 

YOU ARE NOT ALONE! We can get through the challenges of life by listening to others and in turn guiding others.

 

Websitesunshinestepmom.com

Twitter

https://twitter.com/nettegator 

Instagram

https://www.instagram.com/lynn_flatt/

 

 

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How to Get Your Spouse to Show you Love Again!

 How to Get Your Spouse to Show you Love Again!

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Like the seasons, love in a relationship both grows and wanes.

One of the most common myths in marriages is the belief that when the love wanes the relationship is over.

It’s not.

If your spouse says anything along the lines of ‘I have fallen out of love with you,don’t panic.

It doesn’t mean your marriage is over. It doesn’t even mean they don’t love you.

What it does mean is that your spouse has lost their way, or doesn’t understand the many stages that love and a relationship go through.

You are being called to take charge of the situation, guide your spouse towards understanding this process, and even begin to rekindle your relationship.

The key to success is in understanding what is happening in your marriage and the role that love plays.

It’s very easy for us to connect “losing the feelings of being in love” with actual loving when it is not really the case.

After the initial thrill of romance is gone, couples often find themselves lost and confused.

What they don’t realize is that love is not just this heady lustful feeling that carries us away. That feeling has a shelf life.

When the prospect of spending years together sets in, the correct question to ask one’s self would be ‘How now do I love without the initial thrill?’

We have to discover that every relationship has stages:

– falling in love,
– the honeymoon stage
– chaos or disillusionment,
– then, mature love or resolution.

We are very quick to assume that we no longer love someone just because the feelings fade.

With proper understanding, we can expect that even if the feeling may not be there, it doesn’t mean we don’t love that person anymore.

In truth, love is a commitment. It is not just a feeling, it is a doing thing.

 

 

 

 

A mature person loves by choice and not simply by circumstance.

The next step would be to manage your partner’s feelings or lack thereof, by starting with dialogue.

Talk about the feelings and find out what happened, where is it coming from?

There are numerous tools and methods available for a couple ‘ together alone or with a counselor/mediator ‘ that would help them examine their present situation.

Talk to your spouse and tell him or her that the relationship deserves at the very least, dialogue.

In dialogue, let your spouse talk and you listen. There may be important things you need to learn about your spouse and your marriage.

On the other hand, you can also share your own feelings about what is happening. Try not to place blame on your spouse, however, but share your thoughts and feelings by using ‘I feel‘ statements.

In the meantime, do some self-improvement. It is never too late to evolve into a happier, more mature and more lovable person – even if it’s just something you do for yourself.

For all you know, this new you will be more attractive to your spouse and come as a surprise to him or her.

Finally, don’t stop reinforcing your presence in the marriage. Do some positive loving acts for your spouse without expecting anything in return.

These mirror your mature, positive view of what love really is. Make these acts little things. They don’t have to be grand gestures.

It’s the everyday things that actually build trust, intimacy and love between couples.

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Self-Care Activities For Moms on the Go

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Self-Care Activities range from very simple to whole planned out ordeals! Today, however, we will be focusing on Self-Care Activites for the Mom who is always on the Go, or always has her kids in tow!

I have already focused on the many misconceptions about Self-Care, the effects of not practicing self-care, and we focused on creating a Self-Care Routine that works for you.

Since this blog is mainly up primarily mom’s like myself, I figured the next best thing to include would be activities moms could practice easily!

So here is your list of easily practiced Self-Care Activities for Moms on the Go:

-take the kids on a nature walk, which will, all in all, satisfy as a Self-Care activity!

The kids will love the idea of a nature walk. Also, walking will circulate your blood and get it pumping, which is always good for Self-Care!

– have a healthy picnic outside! 

The kids will love the idea of a picnic and won’t even notice the healthy part because how many times do they actually get to enjoy an outside picnic! Plus the benefits of enjoying the sunshine outside and eating a healthy meal are endless!

-go for a swim with the kids

This is defiantly for the warmer days, but the exercise and play in the water can diminish stress. The water can also easy muscles that have become stressed as well.

-have a story time with the kids

Reading takes away the present sense of time (especially in a good book) and makes you feel at ease. Take turns ready with and to the kids.

There a ton of activities and ways to practice Self-Care! These are only a few of the many, activities mom’s can practice while on the go, and with their kids.

 

 

What is your Favorite On the Go Mom Self Care Activity? I would LOVE to hear your thoughts! Leave your comments below!

 

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