Raising Magnolias

Because it's never too late for happily ever after…

Archive for the month “June, 2016”

10 Things You Need to know if Your Children have a Stepmother.

Some One I trust shared this with me. And I’m sharing it with you.

First. This was written by someone who fell in love with a Single Divorced Dad. If your children have a stepmother who broke up your home and tore apart your family, then you have my permission to hate her. Just kidding.

We can’t hate people.

God knows there’s enough of that, already.

Second. This is just one story. It resonates close to my heart, but the Some One who wrote and yours truly who’s sharing, would certainly concede that this is not every story.

So. With that. I share this. 10 things you need to know if your children have a stepmother.

  1. She never wanted to become a stepmother. No little girl grows up, playing dolls while dreaming of becoming a step-anything. Even Disney thinks Stepmoms are wicked. This was not her plan. Which brings me to point #2.
  2. Plans fall apart.
  3. And marriages fall apart. Or are torn apart. Regardless. This. And only this. Is the reason your children have a Stepmother. Because your marriage fell apart.
  4. I have three children.  Two are living. I am their mom. They are my only children.
  5. I do not consider myself a bonus Mom to your children. I think that term is stupid. You children don’t need a bonus mom.
  6. I do love your children, however. Quite a lot. And I’m proud of them. And I’m cheering for them. In life. I’m cheering. And be certain of this. I will always do so and I will be loud.
  7. I don’t have the same emotional attachment to your children as I do to my own and I don’t feel guilty about that. God created a deep and lasting bond between mom and child. Yours is a special relationship. Nothing. Not divorce. Not remarriage. Nothing. Can ever change that.
  8. And while we’re on the subject, I don’t want, have never wanted to change that.
  9. Your children are incredibly loyal. To you. And their Dad. I do not expect  or desire this same loyalty. But know that it’s there. For their Dad. Don’t expect them to hate their Dad simply because you hate me.
  10. I know that you hate me.
  11. Your children need time alone with their Dad.  I respect that. I encourage that. I work hard to ensure that.
  12. Grandchildren. Remember what I said about not having the same emotional attachment to your children? Strangely, it doesn’t apply with Grandchildren. I have two. I am ridiculously, crazy in love with my grand babies .
  13. Your children don’t have to call me their stepmom. I’m their Dad’s wife. And being a Mom and a Wife and a Mimi. Well. It’s enough.

Yes. I know that was #13.  I suck at Math. Therefore I do promise to never  teach your children math. I will leave math to the professionals and parenting to their Dad.


Grace for an Ugly Heart

There is this woman.

I look at her some days—

And cringe.

She’s a  fraud.

People think she’s kind, but her heart is black.

She’s  been told she’s attractive.

I can’t imagine why. Nothing about her is attractive.

She is distinctly unattractive.

She has friends.

Amazing ones.

They must not know. Must not see.

She has clients. Who hire her. Trust her. Follow her.

They must not know. Must not see.

Don’t they know she’s a fraud?

That her heart is full of pride and bitterness?

Can’t they see that she blames everything on everyone else?

That she’s entitled and manipulative and jealous?

People probably think she’s a good mom, too.


She tries.

I’ll give her that.

She tries hard. She loves her children.

She fails. But she tries.

She is hot-tempered.

Lord, have mercy is she hot-tempered.

And often acts like a small child.

She can be irrational and Oh. My. Gosh. high maintenance.

Super high.

Tower. Flippin’. High.

A church dress and sephora’s best cannot mask an ugly heart.

And hers can be so ugly.


I’m not being too harsh. If if sugar-coat her sinful heart, I sugar-coat her need for Jesus.

I sugar-coat the Cross.

And yet.

There is the cross.

There is Grace.

There is Redemption.

Even for a high-maintence, quick-tempered, jealous, ugly soul like hers.

And because of the Cross. Because of His grace.

Her husband adores her.

He praises her. “Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all” (Proverbs 31:29).

(Which makes this woman smile. Like a little word-play from the Lord, for wife #3).

Her children love her. Even when she gets it wrong, they love her.

“They rise up and call her blessed.” (Proverbs 31:28).

That is crazy. Grace-crazy.


Crazy grace that would save a wretch like me.

I used to say it all the time. But had forgotten until this morning.

“I’ve never been here.”

We. Have never been here.

Ann Voskamp wrote that once and it stuck.

We’ve never been here.

As a wife and a mother and a friend and a step and an ex and a business owner and a daughter and a sister.


Have never been here before.

We hear all the time that God’s mercies are new every morning. But here’s what I also know.

They are new. And they are specific.

The mercy we need for today.

So it doesn’t matter.

That we haven’t been here.

He’s go it covered.

Got us covered.

Got me covered.

Amazing Grace, How Sweet the Sound.







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