Wednesday, July 22, 2015

But I'm NOT a WICKED Stepmother by Kathi Lipp and Carol Boley

Most little girls grow up dreaming of being a mom, but hardly any of them dream of becoming a step-mom. Nevertheless, approximately one million new step-families are created every year.

StepMotherIt’s no secret, being a stepmother can be a living nightmare. But it can also be an enriching and rewarding experience—one that God can use to strengthen you, helping you survive and even thrive in the toughest job you never asked for.
Written by two women who are stepmothers themselves—and know the difficulties of helping to raise someone else’s children—this book is filled with down-to-earth insights and advice for stepmothers from stepmothers. It also offers expert guidance from pastors and counselors on such issues as roles, expectations, realistic goals, organization, finances, holidays, vacations, relationships with stepchildren, negotiation, forgiveness, healing the past, building a strong marriage with stepchildren on the scene, dealing
with in-laws and ex-spouses, sexual tensions in step-families, health, depression, stress, and much more.
While there is no magic formula to guarantee stepmother success, encouragement and practical wisdom are available in this much-needed resource.
Set your family up for success while maintaining sanity!
This is the go-to book for any woman who wants to succeed as a stepmother. Authors Kathi Lipp and Carol Boley, step-moms themselves, offer straight talk to help women blend two families into a cohesive unit.
Every chapter captures a realistic view of step-motherhood and offers plenty of help and hope on making it work!

You’ll learn from a wide range of topics how to:

~ communicate clearly                                     ~ set up step-systems that work
~ define your role in the family                       ~ protect your marriage
seek and accept forgiveness                        ~ connect to God’s heart

Available on Amazon and other online retailers

About the Authors:
Kathi Lipp is a full-time speaker and writer as well as being the parent of four young adults with her husband, Roger in San Jose, CA. When she is not doing laundry, she is speaking at retreats, conferences and women's events across the US.

Kathi's articles have appeared in Focus on the Family, Today's Christian Woman and Christian Parenting Today. Her books include: The Husband Project, The Marriage Project, The Me Project, The "What's for Dinner?" Solution, The Get Yourself Organized Solution and 21 Ways to Connect with Your Kids - published by Harvest House and Praying God's Word for Your Husband - by Revell. 
Find out more about Kathi at http://www.kathilipp.com

Carol BoleyCarol Boley, writer and speaker, loves Jesus, loves people, and loves helping connect the two. She has spent over 35 years ministering to the needs, fears, and joys of a woman's heart. A journalism graduate of the University of Arizona with a master's degree from Wheaton College (IL), she is a former newspaper reporter and feature writer and has worked in hospital community relations. Carol has written for a variety of publications, including Guideposts, Focus on the Family, Better Family Living, and Arizona Magazine. Carol and Jim, her husband of more than 30 years, are the parents of three grown daughters. She cheers for the Arizona Wildcats and eats chocolate every day.

I was blessed with this book by the author as a part of her launch team in exchange for my honest opinion.

My Thoughts:
Being a step-mom myself, this book was of great interest to me. I was so excited when I found out I was going to be blessed with the privilege of reading and reviewing it. It is not easy being a step-mother, especially if you gain children who have already begun being raised by the biological mothers, as mine had. Your methods may differ greatly and along with that comes along much bigger issues.

Kathi's book has amazing insight into what being a stepmother consists of, as well as how to handle it as a Christian (if you are one). The importance of God's calling in our lives and how we can use that to help when the situation may seem a little overbearing or out of control.
Her book is chalk full of information, techniques, ideas and so much more for handling minor as well as major problems. Two important lessons I felt stood out to me above the rest were - prayer and communication. Without those two things, failure is on the brink. 

Kathi devotes many pages to the importance of prioritizing your marriage, building your husband, respect, and communication as well as problem solving, staying in God's Word, and lowering our expectations of our stepchildren's acceptance of us. 
"Step-motherhood can be an instrument God uses to mold us into the image of Christ." "God's design for step-mothers begins with 'one thing' to sit at His feet and receive from Him all He delights in supplying us to live the abundant life". 
Being a blended family is a big step for all parties involved! Remembering that and walking with the Lord will greatly increase our chances of not just surviving but thriving in a possibly difficult environment. 

I highly recommend this book if you are starting out a new blended family, but it will also be very beneficial if you have been in one for years, or maybe know someone who is. Sadly, Kathi writes in her book, "according the the Step Family Foundation, second marriages only stand a 40% chance of survival, and third marriages less than that". All the help we can get seem important under such a strain. 

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