By Kyleen Baptiste
I moved from Florida to Kentucky when I married my husband and gained his three beautiful children to love and share life with as their stepmom. Married for the first time in my mid-thirties, I was so excited for the journey ahead. I envisioned stepping into my new roles of wife and motherhood with grace, courage and humility. But there was a lot of change. It was big city life to rural America. It was church of 13,000 to town of 7,000. It was single, independent woman, to married mom of 3, and marrying into remarriage. Career to stay at home mom. Beaches to cornfields. Lots of cornfields. All, beautiful. All at the same time? Overwhelming.
One cornfield in particular is inside our neighborhood. At the end of the growing season, when the corn stands its tallest right before the harvest, the only vision line is corn. The sharp curves around the road are hidden from sight, and it looks as though there is no way to the other side. In our early years of blended family life, this field represented all the ways I felt…blind to the next steps to take as a wife and stepmom. I loved my husband, I loved my stepchildren, but the truth was it was hard, and I was struggling. There weren’t many faith based resources focused on helping blended families, add to that a couple of uncomfortable women’s bible studies, I felt alone in the world of being a christian blended mom.
Soon after, I noticed that same plot of land in our neighborhood was sprouting different leaves. It’s not even note worthy to the people in my town, but I was awestruck. It was supposed to be a cornfield. Had something gone wrong with the land? I asked everyone I could about it, only to learn how common and purposeful it is to rotate crops on the same plot of soil every few years. What had been a cornfield was now bean field. Mindblown!
Clearly, I’m no farmer. I can’t even keep patio plants alive. I wish I could, but I can’t. So, there’s that for my agricultural background.
You see, (if you’re a farmer, bear with me) soil needs different seeds planted periodically, in order to replenish nutrients drained from it during prior seasons. Planting different crops promotes the richest soil, thus the richest harvest. So simple (and apparently very common knowledge) yet so fascinating to me.
The same spring, I was at the edge of that field one foggy morning on a walk with our 3 month old little girl. It was there, staring out across that field, once again crying out for help, I heard God whisper in my heart, “When are you going to let me grow a different crop in you?” I was undone.
Immediately, I saw I had been approaching my new season of life, the unknown journey in front of me, in my own strength. Yes, I’d been begging God to work in our family but had been blind to where I was expecting Him to do it in a way that was familiar, requiring the least amount of unfamiliar change from me.
Where He’d given me seasons of a career, He now wanted me to have a season as a stay at home mom. Where He’d given me seasons of being mentored by some of the most godly women, who I consider pillars in the faith, He now wanted me being a pillar in the faith to my family, mentoring my children and serving my husband joyfully. Where He’d given me a lifelong view of ministry as a pastor’s daughter, He now wanted to activate ministry through me, reaching blended families who are desperately searching for a place to be loved and supported, and celebrate God’s story of redemption in their own families, yet are aching in silence.
God was inviting me to trust Him, to let Him do a new thing. Isaiah 43:19 “See, I amdoing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” He invites all of us to pay attention, to perceive, what He is doing so that we can experience more of Him.
He may be asking you to join Him as He makes a way for others. He could be asking you to finally open your heart toward healing and recovery from the past. Sisters, I’ve been there, too. Or, like me, He may be waiting on you to allow Him to make a way in you, so He can make a way, through you.
Whether it seems tiny or huge, the journey starts with trusting God. It requires believing Him more than fear. We don’t have to be capable, we just have to be willing.He does the rest.
God continues planting new crops in my heart and home. Seed by seed. Milestone by milestone. What was once foreign territory is now beautifully blended family, knit together in Christ. We’ve launched a ministry for blended families called, you guessed it, ForeignSoil. We’re passionate about helping blended families find godly community and thrive in light of redemption. Most importantly, we’re committed to letting God grow whatever crop He sees fit in our lives.
If you’re a blended Mom, please hear this truth. You are deeply loved and celebrated by God, and you belong in the body of Christ! Your family’s not a stain on His story of reconciliation. You’re a beautiful demonstration of His promises! Yes, we have unique challenges, but oh do we ever get to see the work of God up close and personal when we’re rooted in Him. And, if you’re needing an anthem right now to encourage you, listen to Hillsong’s song, “Who You Say I am”. Whew.
What new thing is God inviting you to trust Him with?
Kyleen is a mom to four amazing children and one super spoiled Great Dane in her blended family. She gained her three oldest “covenant” kids through marriage to her awesome husband, and they have one little girl together. Kyleen was a child life therapist for over 10 years and is now a Tippi Toes® Franchise owner, founder of Foreign Soil Ministries, and passionate about helping blended families thrive in light of redemption. She provides coaching calls and online support to help families navigate the tricky stuff in a godly way. A Kentucky address with a Florida born heart, her fav’s are Florida State football, traveling, as well as being home with the roar of her kids and company. Find her on Facebook and Instagram.