Happy Friday, RISERS! I hope this week has been good to you. I must admit that the funeral for my stepmother was a little more difficult than I had imagined, as it brought up deeply buried feelings I hadn’t completely dealt with. The bright side is that on our way to and from Kentucky, I enjoyed the breathtaking scenery of fall foliage and rolling hills with my husband and our son, Jacob. Now that it’s getting dark earlier, please be safe on the way home in the afternoons…the sun can be a bit too dazzling as it hangs low in the sky.
Quote of the Week: “You know what’s weird. Day by day, nothing seems to change. But pretty soon… everything’s different.” –from a Calvin & Hobbes comic strip, circa 1995
Movie of the Week: This week’s movie has two versions you can watch. The original Parent Trap starring Haley Mills was released in 1961, and the 1998 version of the movie stars Lindsay Lohan. Both films tell the story of a set of twins who were split up as infants, only to later meet at a summer camp. First, you have Susan and Sharon, who decide to switch places with each other to get to know the other parent. In the latter version, Annie and Hallie meet the same way, except they have an intercontinental living arrangement. Both movies also portray the father as close to marrying a girlfriend, while the twins plot to reunite their estranged parents. It’s hard for me to choose a favorite, since both movies have excellent actors as main characters and in secondary roles. I hope you’ll enjoy these movies as much as I do.
Recharge Tip for the Week: I have been talking a lot lately about emotions. Sometimes, memories get triggered, and feelings you thought you had come to terms with long ago sneak up and wreak havoc on your heart. That’s okay. Remember that you have the right to feel all of the emotions you are experiencing. In complex situations—such as what I faced while grieving the fact my stepmother was in my life for 37 years, but we were not close—just give yourself a bit of grace and mercy as you work through your feelings. Getting things down on paper may help, especially if it seems too hard to articulate your emotions aloud. Looking back at a journal and seeing how far you have come in the healing process will amaze you.
Nugget of Wisdom of the Week: Whether you are a teen or an adult, I want to tell you something important: if your parents divorced when you were younger, you are not responsible for what happened between them. My sister and I had no idea that things had deteriorated between our parents until I was at a band function in ninth grade. I had to leave and did not get to play in the event. I was so embarrassed. Not long after that, my mom, my sister, and I left our home and lived with my grandmother over the summer. I had periods where I didn’t eat much, because I feared I had done something to cause my parents to break up.
If you are an adult like me, and your parents divorced long ago but you still have feelings of inadequacy, just know that you are enough. You cannot live your life consumed by feelings that are not yours to endure. I have always wondered if I did enough to make my father love and accept me. He interpreted the fact that I was basically self-sufficient, and not constantly needing his assistance, as my not needing a relationship with him. But I still did.
If you are a divorced adult, give yourself grace, too. It took a great deal of courage to change your situation. I hope that it is now for the better. Hug your children and remind them that they had no involvement in the outcome of your marriage. They need that assurance and need you to be present in their lives. They likely feel torn already and fear their parents will think they love one of them over the other.
In the last few weeks, we have had teen visitors at our church on Wednesday nights. One of the teens is dealing with a divorce situation. Since I had been through that myself, I reached out and told her I knew how she felt and that she could talk to me anytime. Since then, I have been inspired to create a devotional for children (and adult children) of divorce. If you think of any topics you feel would be essential to include in this devotional, drop them in the comments section. In the acknowledgment section of the devotional, I will include a shout-out to you for your contribution.
Recipe of the Week: With Thanksgiving right around the corner, this recipe for No-Bake Cookies is good for older kids on school break to make with little or no supervision in the kitchen.
What You’ll Need:
1 stick of butter
3 tbs. cocoa
½ cup milk
2 cups sugar
½ cup peanut butter
3 cups quick oats
1 tbs. vanilla extract
In a medium-size saucepot, mix the butter and milk over low heat. Next, add the sugar and cocoa, stirring constantly. Gradually raise the temperature until the mixture starts to boil, then boil for 1 ½ minutes. Remove from heat. Add the peanut butter, oats, and vanilla. Mix well, then spoon onto a nonstick cookie sheet. Let harden, then ENJOY!
Shout Out of the Week: This week, I want to shout out to everyone who is part of a blended family. You have been given multiple family units made up of different personalities. Choose grace and love, and forgive each other when necessary. You can do this!
Have a great weekend. Remember, you are most awesome, and YOU ROCK!
Marion Rhines is a foster-turned-adoptive parent. She lives in Knoxville, Tenn., with her husband and five children. She has written and published two children’s books as well as two foster-care-themed novels. She has a Facebook blog, Tips from the FLIP Side, and enjoys working with children of all ages.