Positive Inspirational Stories
Positive Featured Inspirational Story - September 1 to September 30, 2011
'If a job is worth doing, it's worth doing right. There's no satisfaction in doing anything halfway!' My father preached those wise words of wisdom to me from the time I was old enough to grasp their meaning.
And, Dad was right! For me, a job well done brings happiness like nothing else and typically comes after triumphing over a major challenge that generates joy in the lives of those I love.
When my husband, Jerry, and I were given one days notice that his children, Leisa and Chuck, were arriving the following afternoon to live with us, I was dumbstruck, felt completely inept, and was shaking in my boots. I was overwhelmed with fear and knew those youngsters felt the same way, surely even more so.
Why would a Mother choose to devastate her children's lives at a moment's notice? To this day, none of us have an answer. We took custody rapidly so she could never again 'toy' with their lives.
Leisa and Chuck came to us broken, confused, and anxious about life in a new city, new schools, and without old friends to confide in. Worse yet, a step-mother! When the most difficult challenge of my life was unexpectedly tossed my way, I said a prayer and gave it my all.
On day one, I assured both children they would always be cared for in safe surroundings and that I would never try to take their mother's place. Also, that my utmost hope was to earn their trust and become a friend that they could come to in times of trouble.
Chuck, at nine years of age, had his father available for male conversations. Leisa, at 12 years of age, definitely needed a woman with whom she could easily converse for she was about to be faced with rampaging hormones and a barrage of questions, many of them personal in nature.
Positive results did not come quickly and time crept by at half speed. We all struggled . . . one day, one week, and one year at a time. We shed tears, had bouts of anger, and dealt with a gamut of emotions like the peaks and dips of a seemingly endless roller coaster ride. Bad days would remind me of every story I'd heard or read about situations like ours . . . and the many marriages that didn't survive! That's when determination would suddenly grab hold; I'd grit my teeth, re-adjust my attitude and continue to battle the predicament thrust upon the four of us. And, on my most frustrating days, Dad's words echoed a stern reminder of doing the job right!
Given time, lots of time, it happened . . . eventually true love did grow! I can't put a finger on the precise moment, but gradually love was felt lingering in the air, and little by little tension skedaddled right out the front door.
I'm reminded of a sick, scraggly, withered plant that is surely to die. But, with continued watering, moving it to differently lighted locations, you are astounded to envision what appears to be a minute hint of green. Within a few days a single shiny leaf begins to appear. You see there is hope, you donít give up, and in due time the plant is lush, green, and heavy with glorious blossoms!
The day Leisa informed me I was never to use the word 'step' again, more than made up for all the daunting days of years gone by. Her exact words, 'You are my mom!' She was a grown woman with children of her own when that time came and possibly the long wait made those words even more cherished. It is said, 'Good things come to those who wait.' I'm a believer!
Chuck and I always had an unusual and comical way of communicating and I still jokingly refer to myself as . . . Your Wicked Step-Mother. Not long ago I referred to myself in that manner as regards Leisa. He stopped me dead in my tracks, 'That phrase is reserved for me and me alone!' He and I may be the only ones that know what he was really saying, which was, 'I love you.'
Even though the journey was thorny, it's rewarding when two now - grown children mainly recall only the good times. Often they remind me of events I've long since forgotten; we laugh and relive those times again.
Mealtime had been more important to Leisa and Chuck than I had ever fathomed. To this day, it's a rare visit that their favourite recipes donít sneak into our conversations. Recently, I flew to Leisa's for a week's visit.
Several days before my departure, she called wondering if I could find time to bake Pumpkin Bread. Her request was added to my already staggering 'to do' list!
I baked, froze two large loaves, and placed them in my carry-on bag. When I plopped them down on her kitchen counter Leisa squealed with delight. My reward was a tight bear hug and 'thank you' muttered from a mouth already stuffed full.
While blended families do not always thrive, thankfully ours did. It took tremendous effort from all of us; the end result being a home filled with love.
Thatís what I call happiness than can never be outshined . . .
Written by Kathleene S. Baker
Kathleene has been a long time contributor of wonderful and inspiring stories, not only to this website but also to many other websites around the world as well as having her stories published in the Chicken Soup for the Soul books.
- Finding a Forever Home
- Grandma's Thimble
- When you thought I wasn't looking
- Left Behind
- Enjoy your nectarine
- The Old Phone . . . How do you spell fix?
- You make a difference
- Lessons from Geese
- The Richest Man in the Valley
- The Making of a Memory
- Why The Elephants Dont Run
- The Sandpiper . . . to bring you joy
- They don't walk in your shoes . . . Click, Click, Click!
- The Happiest Day of My Life
- Courage - Despite the Odds
- You just never know
- Learning to Listen
- If it is meant to be, it will be
- The Learning Tree
- The Red Marbles
- The Weeds of Our Lives
- The Distinct Sound of Purring
- Flowers for the Teacher
- The Red Ribbon
- Santa's Love
- All The Good Things
- Yusuf - He's My Brother
- Extra Good Luck
- Hoo Hoo Fraks
- Stand tall like the Sunflower
- Unique Words of Forgiveness
- I Got Back On My Seat
- Brick Wall
- White Envelopes
- Love and Music in Their Hearts
- Birthday Cards with Secret Codes
- Gift Exchange - lessons about life!
- When the message light doesn't blink
- Tenant Farmers
- I know you by heart
- In Clay Vessels
- Letting Go
- When the nest emptied
- When the birdies came
- Broken Eggs and Shattered Glass
- After the applause, make time for words of praise!
- Are you a bucker filler or a dipper
- Choosing Confidence
- The Stone Soup Story
- A Mother's Job
- Hugging Life
- The Perfect Partnership
- Acknowledging a Special Treat
- A Different Perspective
- Life is meant to be lived
- Treasured Traditions
- Rules for a better way to live
- I Just Get Started
- Memories sustain us on Fatherís Day
- Creating Opportunity
- Forgiving without condoning or forgetting
- Nothing is long or short, hot or cold, good or bad!
- The Power of Discipline
- Sentry of the Homestead
- You deserve an Academy Award!
- All in the Family
- What is your Passion?
- We danced through life
- A choice to make
- Five ingredients of personal growth
- Acres of Diamonds
- If you look like a duck . . .
- The Secret of Happiness
- Harvesting Love
- It's music to your ears
- A Special Brand of Luck
- They are just empty cars
- Thou Art An Eagle
- Encouragement Works
- When you're in the cement mixer
- Plant Annually
- Life and Its Legs
- No Barriers in Life
- Getting Started
- Good Leaders are Good Followers
- How much do you want it to be
- How to improve your vision
- What forgiveness will buy
- Why let that hold you back
- Letting the yeast work its magic
- 9 things that make good employees quit
- The Beginning of Positive Thinking
- Giving Back
- May you be known by your love
- Expand your vision of possibilities
- We are meant for the skies
- Mr Belser died last night
- Are you dead on the job
- What makes us happy
- Motivating Others
- The clock is running so make the most of today
- Calming the muddy waters
- Keeping New Yearís Resolutions - the secret additive
- You are unique
- Web of Love
- Is happiness around the corner
- Seeing Life Through New Eyes
- An enriching action
- The Road to Significance and Success
- The real purpose of your life
- With leadership its the little things that matter
- The Obstacle in our Path
- Good deeds no matter how small can change the world for someone
- Accepting responsibility has its rewards
- An Inspiring Thanksgiving