The Challenges And Blessings Of A Blended Family

Jess O.

Brianna graduated from high school on Sunday. Wow! What an accomplishment! And our blended family five-year anniversary is coming up on July 1.

Now that I have more time to take a breath from the craziness that is graduation week, I have had more time for reflection: Where our family has been, how far we have come, where Brianna has been and how far she’s come. I am just so overwhelmed with thankfulness for where we are. We have been blessed beyond our own imagination.

When Brian and I were dating and talking about marriage, we knew it wouldn’t be easy.  We knew the odds were against us. We knew blended families were hard.

We did our homework. We went to counseling for both of us and as a family (before we were a family). We read, we learned.

Our favorite book (and also a terrifying book) was called “The Smart Stepfamily,” by Ron Deal.  We joked that this book was created to steer you clear of blending a family because it was ALL of the things that could possibly go wrong. And there are MANY!

We also knew we’d have teen daughters to start our marriage, which is not an easy task as a nuclear family, let alone a blended family. We learned this statistic: It takes five to seven years to fully blend a family. That’s terrifying when you realize that, at the start of the blended-family journey, your oldest is already 13!

BUT … We also knew we that God loves us and has a plan for us and a future for us. He wants happy, healthy families who love Him and put him first. He wants the best for us and for our children.

Brian and I danced to our first song at our wedding reception to “The Marriage Prayer” by John Waller and his wife Josee. We sang these lyrics below, believing God would bless our family as long we put Him first. The more we love Him, the more we can love each other and together bring Glory to God.

“Father, I said till

Death do us part

I want to mean it

With all of my heart

Help me to love you

More than I love her

Then I know I can

Love her more

Than anyone else

And bring her in

Your presence today

Make her what

You want her to be

I pray to hear her heart

I pray she’ll love you more

I pray to cherish and serve her

And we’ll bring you glory today, I pray

(Josee Waller):

Father, I said till

Death do us part

I want to mean it

With all of my heart

Help me to love you

More than I love him

Then I know I can

Love him more

Than anyone else

And bring him in

Your presence today

Make him what

You want him to be

Lord, help me love her

As you love the church, your bride


Help me submit to him

As I submit to you, my life”

And here we are: Our oldest is 18 and headed off to college. Wow … we’ve made it five years!  We’ve come a long way since those pre-marriage counseling meetings. And our family is still growing, but we are closer than we’ve ever been.

God has blessed us beyond our wildest dreams. So very thankful today.