Are you a stepparent? Or, if not, did you perhaps grow up in a blended family?
If you can answer “yes” to either of those questions, you’ll be interested in this brand-new book, Stepparenting with Grace: A Devotional for Blended Families” by Gayla Grace. I am privileged to have been able to serve on the launch team for this devotional. I’d love to share more about Stepparenting with Grace with you…and I even have a copy to give away to one special reader! (Giveaway details will be at the end of the post.)
So what is Stepparenting with Grace?
Stepparenting with Grace is a book born out of both the experiences and the ministry of Gayla Grace. She cofounded a nonprofit, Sisterhood of Stepmoms, to provide community and retreat opportunities for stepmothers. She founded the website Stepparenting with Grace ten years ago to support stepfamilies with coaching, encouragement, and other resources. She also has completed a master’s in psychology and counseling. And as a writer, she brings all these experiences to the reader in a voice that is at once practical, supportive, and hopeful from a Christian perspective.
The book itself is a collection of 90 different two-page devotionals on a wide variety of topics that speak to stepparents. Each one includes a Thought for the Day, then an exploration of a topic or life experiences. Gayla uses clear thinking, wisdom, Scripture, and sound counseling techniques to convey hope and practical helps to stepparents who are struggling with all the different challenges of combining two families into one. The reader can either start at the beginning and read right through, or browse through the titles listed in the table of contents for topical help. Here are some examples of what you’ll find there:
- Live Fearlessly
- Your Efforts Matter!
- Let God Heal Your Hurt
- Change Requires Adjustment
- Maturity Required
- Trusting God
- The Price of Forgiveness
- Coping with Difficult People
- and more!
Topics that I haven’t seen addressed much in books (other than fiction, maybe) are lovingly unpacked and explored, with calm confidence and grace. Each entry is short yet full of worthwhile material, so the reader who’s short on time won’t ever feel overwhelmed.
What I thought of Stepparenting with Grace
I am not personally a stepparent. Yet, I did grow up as a stepchild or, to be more specific, a stepdaughter. Combining two families to attempt to create one new family is just a whole different, and often difficult, proposition. But how can a stepparent approach this enormous challenge with grace, with love, and with wisdom? We’re all working out the issues of life as we journey along, and many different things shape us as individuals, including the families we grew up in. So, when I received the opportunity to serve on the launch team for Stepparenting with Grace, my attention and my heart were captivated. And I can’t tell you how very thankful I am to have had the opportunity to read this book.
I decided to begin at the beginning of the book and simply read through, as part of my quiet time in the mornings. It has been a wonderful experience. Some mornings I did the book version of binge watching and just read chapters upon chapters, one after the other. Other days, I’d just focus on one. I have to tell you, the words were just so rich, often so healing, and they spoke to me on a profound level. I looked forward to reading it each time, and I always came away with something to think about, or something to put into practice. Other times, I found something that deeply encouraged me. In fact, I recopied many quotes or passages in my journal so that I could refer to them again and again. Here are some ideas that particularly resounded with me:
- “If you’re trudging through difficult days in your stepfamily, don’t give up. Rely on God’s strength and power to sustain you—He will see you through to better days ahead.”
- “Accept God’s unconditional love and move past your failure.”
- “Allow His presence to heal your hurt. And remind yourself of the magnitude of His love every day.”
- “We’ll find contentment when we stop focusing on our expectations and trust God to give us strength for our present reality.”
- “But God provides the tools we need for a sure and steady walk. “The secret,” Elisabeth Elliott says, “is Christ in me—not me in a different set of circumstances.””
Sometimes as parents…and, I’d imagine, as stepparents as well, we desperately need someone wise to speak into our circumstances. To tell us, “Yes, you’re doing this well.” Or, “Have you considered trying this instead?” Or simply, “I see you. God sees you. And He is with you and you will get through this.” Gayla Grace, in Stepparenting with Grace, can do that for you. Her words of wisdom are calm and kind, yet possess the kind of depth that only a person who’s been through the struggles—and come out successfully on the other side—can bring. As a Christian, she also is convinced of God’s partnership for us as we parent. I appreciate that as well.
I can, and do, recommend this book wholeheartedly to any stepparent who’s looking for a devotional to help them along on their stepfamily’s journey. (And obviously, these ideas will resound with any parent, I’d believe, as they have with me!) Check out Gayla Grace’s Stepparenting with Grace. You will be lifted up and encouraged as you read her wise counsel.
And now, your opportunity to win your own copy!
I’m so pleased that Worthy Publishing is providing a copy of Stepparenting with Grace for one FINCHNWREN reader to win. Simply click on the pink link below that says, “Enter here.” That will take you to a Giveaway Tools entry form, where you’ll be able to enter in a variety of ways. Giveaway closes 8/20/18. Best wishes!
Disclosure: From time to time, FINCHNWREN may receive a free product or service in exchange for our honest opinions expressed in our blog. We are not required to write a positive or glowing review, nor are we additionally compensated for these reviews. We share our own opinions, and our family’s opinions, of these products. We’re disclosing this in accordance with FTC regulations