The Empowered Stepmom™️ | Biblical Boundaries, Habits, Mindset

A Stepmom's Guide to Setting Boundaries - Holiday Edition - Using the 4 Cs to Prevent Overwhelm #197

November 02, 2023 Episode 197
The Empowered Stepmom™️ | Biblical Boundaries, Habits, Mindset
A Stepmom's Guide to Setting Boundaries - Holiday Edition - Using the 4 Cs to Prevent Overwhelm #197
Show Notes Transcript

Fretting about the holidays with adult stepkids?  Wondering how to create peaceful opportunities as you blend traditions, expectations, and needs?

I've got you friend. In today's episode, I'll share exactly what you can do to prepare yourself for a joyous season - not just for the BIG holidays, but for every holiday and celebration in between.

Know one common denominator? YOU!! You can do this, Stepmom!  I bounce back to Episode #179 from July of this past year to once again apply the Boundary Framework that works!

Be sure to download the free, Holiday Planning Guide to set yourself up for SUCCESS!

It's beginning to sound a lot like a Stepfamily Blended Christmas!  ⋆꙳•̩̩͙❅*̩̩͙‧͙ ‧͙*̩̩͙❆ ͙͛ ˚₊⋆
And the Thanksgiving Turkey + Pie 🦃🍽🥧- I can almost smell them cooking! 

Take Your Power Back & Reclaim Your Joy, FAST!
📞Get Featured on the show! Ask Jen Anything

Next steps:
Step 1: Join the Empowered Community
Step 2:
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Step 3:
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Step 4:
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Be strong, and let your heart be courageous, all you who put your hope in the Lord.
Psalm 31:24

197 \\ A Stepmom's Guide to Setting Boundaries - Holiday Edition - Using the 4 Cs to Prevent Overwhelm

You know how time has that unique ability to move very slowly When you're waiting in anticipation for something? And then it really speeds up when you want it to slow down. Right now, Bill and I are in the process of a very interesting journey that involves moving out of a ginormous house and downsizing.

There's a lot of stuff to go through here. We don't exactly know what's coming next, but we know that this is the right next step. And God has been so gracious to lead us in this direction. During this time that we're moving, we're counting down the days until we close on the house. And that countdown simultaneously feels slow and fast.

Slow as I think about, okay, we've got this many weeks left. And fast when I look at a room and think, Oh my goodness, I need to pack all this stuff up now because there aren't that many days left. 

Hey, in blended families, it's no different when the holidays roll around. That time warp or, uh, speedifier, I don't even know what to call it. That time tunnel where time can slow or time can speed up. It's no different because we are excited about what could be and we're also somewhat concerned about What could be.

Hey, in last week on episode number 196, I shared

 three key strategies on how you can remove the anxiety from planning for the holidays.

This week, I want to go a little bit deeper because we've got this amazing question inside the Facebook group. 

 Technically, it is more than one question, but I think you'll relate to the gist of it. 

How can I navigate through this holiday season and future celebrations with adult stepchildren?

I have four. Two of them already have children of their own. My oldest and his wife are the closest to us. My second has her two children with her fiancé, and it's always been so awkward having them around. From her actions, she's made it clear she wants nothing to do with me. We've had discussions with her, and she states she has nothing against me.

But why the awkwardness? 

My hubs and I have been married for almost 10 years. Also, there's the age difference. But that doesn't matter to me. Could it matter to them? My two youngest ones are coming around after intense prayers. My husband has a relationship with all his children, and at times I do get a little out of sorts because we share two children together and they barely have a relationship with their three sisters.

So, I'm feeling extreme anxiety with Thanksgiving right around the corner, Christmas, and even with future birthdays. I guess my main struggle right now is with my oldest stepdaughter.

Can you relate to Jasmine? Are you feeling the anxiety or trepidation related to holiday planning? Do you wish there was a way to protect your heart from the hurt you sense is wrapped inside some of your family member's hearts and hurts? Are you unsure how to create opportunities for peace during your celebrations?

Well then you are exactly in the right place. In today's episode, number 197 of the Empowered Stepmom podcast, I'll revisit an oldie, but a goodie framework, the four C's boundary builders from earlier this year.

You know, Thanksgiving and Christmas celebrations will come and go, God willing.

But those are not the only two events during the year where you will gather as a family to celebrate something;. And Jasmine alluded to that in her question, that there were a lot of events coming up. Think about your birthdays, anniversaries, baptisms, graduations. Family vacations, concerts, et cetera. 

In today's episode, you'll learn how to break down special events into manageable decisions to prevent overwhelm and to prepare you for reclaiming your joy for every family celebration. The Empowered Stepmom Podcast is not only on a mission to reach you during the holiday season. We are on a mission to reach 12, 000 women in 2023.

And we are discipling one another inside the Empowered Stepmom Academy as we grow in God's sanctifying grace to fully embrace our calling as women of influence. As the first wife, as the steward of God's children, as women committed to preventing generational re divorce in our families.

Hey there, I am your holiday hostess with the mostest, Jen Rogers, Certified Professional Life Coach and Certified Professional Speaker, Holiday Planner, and Founder of the Empowered Stepmom.

I'm leading our journey in these holy spaces in between when women first say yes to forming a stepfamily, where they have tremendous belief that love and the knowledge gleaned from experiential failures and the gut-wrenching loneliness is a joy of a second chance it feels like it's been stolen, to the hard yet possible work in the sanctifying journey of women taking back their 

 power and reclaiming their joy, not only as a stepmom, but as a woman after God's own heart.

I'll hold space for your doubts, for your loneliness, for your fears. And when you can't believe anything will ever change, I will lovingly yet firmly remind you That all things stepfamily are possible with God. My mission is to fight for you, Stepmama. 

I'll stand powerfully and confidently in the gap. I'll remind you of not only whose you are, but what you are created for Because you are the anointed and the appointed woman for the family you are in.

Your name was identified before the foundation of the world. If you're ready to stand firm, be courageous, ask powerful questions of yourself, and implement habits at work from teeny tiny ones that take small amounts of energy to bigger shifts through the power of habit stacking, 

Skills you'll learn when you say yes to empowerment. Then stick around, Sister friend! It's time to plan for your joy during the holiday season and beyond.

P. S. If you want to jump on the fast track to empowerment, head on over to and join the Empowered Stepmom Academy. You'll find solutions to your holiday struggles and so much more inside a community of women who are on the fast track to getting equipped to get the answers they crave so they can indeed blend beautifully together.

Alright, let's get started with today's episode. I am so thankful for you, 

Thank you for putting me in your earbuds. If you are new to the show, you are in for a treat. Welcome, welcome to the community.

 If you've been around these parts for a while, you are indeed welcome, welcome, welcome.

And I'm so grateful for you. Thank you so much for your support of the Empowered Stepmom Podcast.

Would it be okay with you if we went back and touched on episode number 179 and the 4C framework?

I don't know about you, but July 13th, that was a little bit ago. So these 4Cs, they are calm, clear, consistent, and in Christ. So the calm is how you want to show up. And the clear is being very clear on what your expectation is. And this is a tool, this clear piece that you can use to communicate what your desires or expectations are during the holiday season when you're having a conversation with your hunka-hunka because the two of you need to be on the same page to implement a successful holiday strategy.

Consistent. Consistency is important. Consistency in how you want to show up, in how you want to honor people, in how you want to maintain your boundary. And then, in Christ, this is where I encourage you to identify a scripture that is aligned with what you're working on. Okay. Calm, clear, consistent, and in Christ.

Going back to Jasmine's question about navigating the holiday season and future celebrations with her four adult stepchildren, I'm going to break it down and say, let's focus on just one holiday season instead of taking all the future celebrations. into consideration, let's acknowledge how we feel about this one situation.

So even Thanksgiving and Christmas, they are separate events. Let's choose one. Let's choose Thanksgiving. So acknowledging how you feel about this is the first step to calming yourself down and to experiencing some peace. the calm is acknowledgement, hey, I have some concerns about the Thanksgiving holiday.

And again, breaking it down just to one holiday at a time. what makes that strategy effective? Well, when we add all the future events, it can lead to overwhelm. And the only overwhelm I want is the overwhelming love of Jesus. I am anti overwhelm in the empowerment community because we don't need that.

What we need are focused action steps. Little mini things that we can do just like we're doing in this 4C framework, breaking down a highly charged situation and saying, okay, let's see what we have here. So Jasmine's four adult stepkids. My recommendation would be to consider each family individually first and then collectively.

 because Jasmine asked such a powerful question, I decided to answer it through creating a holiday planner. Now, full disclosure, I did not know that's how it was going to go down. When she asked the question, I said, well, let me think about how to respond thoughtfully.

And ask you some powerful questions. in the interim, here are a few questions for you to consider. And then it resulted in this holiday planner. So you can find it at and you can look at the freebies and just click on that drop down list for all the freebies. Or if you want to type it out, then you are welcome.

And I apologize simultaneously. I made it really long. planner. All one word celebration planner. You can find the link in the show notes. That is the easiest time saving method. Just scroll down to the show notes to find the link for the holiday planner guide.

You can see how to break down each family individually and then how you bring them back together inside of the lieu of going through that in Jasmine's scenario, I'm going to encourage you to go get the guide so you can do it for your own scenario.

And you may first want to break it down in this 4C framework. Okay, so calm, acknowledgement, way to go Jasmine, acknowledging, taking the first step to say, this is a big ball of wax because we have different relationships. with each family. Some we're closer with, some it feels estranged or awkward is what you mentioned.

And you're asking yourself a really great question. huh, we've been married almost 10 years. And there's an age difference. Now, technically, I don't know what that means, Jasmine, what age difference you're referring to, 

 so it must be an important piece of information. So that age difference, whatever it is, we'll have to flush that out in one-on-one coaching or inside the academy together. But for right now, you're asking a great question. Could that age difference matter to them?

And then you mentioned that you've been praying intensely. Praise God for that. There is power in prayer so that your youngest ones are coming around. You also mentioned that the relationship that your husband has with his children is different than the relationship that you have and I'm confident they're still working on how do the two of you fit together with them? Because remember when we change, People around us must decide how they want to respond to that change.

And even though it's been 10 years, there's a whole lot of practice in responding. And when we're fighting the reality of what is, it elongates that time frame. Back to that time tunnel again. Okay, Jasmine, you acknowledge. You're saying an I am statement. You say, I am feeling extreme anxiety with Thanksgiving right around the corner.

Here is my sweet invitation to you. Pay attention to the I am Statements you are speaking over yourself. You are speaking life or death over yourself. So you can acknowledge that when a holiday rolls around you experience some tension it's different than saying I am tense. You are experiencing tension.

You have concerns. You want it to go well. Pay attention again to those I am statements. So I want to rebuke your extreme anxiety and acknowledge that it must be important to you. That there's love in your heart for your husband's children and you have a desire to create connection among family members.

It's very different and so much more powerful than I am feeling extreme anxiety. So Jasmine, send me a message inside the Facebook group, okay, and let me know that you rebuke that extreme anxiety I am statement. Okay. All right. Let's go to the clear in the 4C framework. So calm acknowledgement and breaking it down family member by family member.


It is okay for feelings of awkwardness. What I want to foster is trust despite the awkwardness. You could ask your husband to brainstorm with you on special touches his kids might appreciate. No matter the family member on Thanksgiving, you will show up confident, kind, and self-controlled. And you might want to think about an out clause.

If there is a boundary you have that gets crossed, what will you do when that boundary is crossed? Will you leave? Will you withdraw emotionally and not participate in conversations? How will you honor whatever boundary it is that you may have when it comes to gathering together? Families hurt families.

It really goes to hurting people hurt people. And there is a lot of hurt in blended families, even if it's been 10 years, we may not understand it. We may not agree with it, but the fact remains it is there. And each one of us in our blend has a responsibility to address it. And you can't navigate. Hmm.

That's not right. You can't. Fix anybody else's hurt, but you can be compassionate towards their hurt. Okay, consistency. You likely recognize consistent doesn't mean the same. Consistency may be you using the holiday planning guide to prepare for Thanksgiving. And then taking what you've learned about that experience and applying it to the next celebration.

Jasmine, because you have four adult children, it may be that there's a shift each Thanksgiving, that it's celebrated in a different home. That would be something that would be really great to have a conversation with them about, about how they want to experience Thanksgiving. And remember, they have other.

Parents that they're working with as well. And the whole grandkiddo thing, we have grandkids and I would much rather they come and see us than the other grandparents, if I'm being honest. But I also know that we are not the only grandparents that our grandkids have. 

Inside the guide, there are powerful questions you can ask your adult children. Be sure you use both ears to listen to their responses. I also included a section in there for those of us who have kids at home and all the questions in the guide will blend together. I promise you can choose consistent courageousness and consistent prayer for each family member.

As I encourage inside the guide, you could write down each family member's name and praise God for each one of them. You could ask God to prepare you to be an ambassador for the kingdom, to act with compassion. And the fourth C, calm, clear, consistent, and in Christ, it comes to us from Proverbs 15:4. The heart of her who has understanding seeks knowledge.

A quick recap of today's episode, go listen to episode number 179 for the 4C boundary framework that you can apply to your upcoming holiday.

When this episode drops, there are three Thursdays until the turkey is coming out of the oven. I can almost smell it already. Hey, you have a choice. You absolutely have a choice about how you want to show up and it takes practice and understanding the key strategies that you can implement when you know what they are.

You can find out exactly what they are inside the Empowered Stepmom Academy. Head on over to to join the academy today. We are gearing up. We are ready to go. We've had our first sessions and they are powerful. Coaching works. Hashtag coaching works. It absolutely works.

It is empowerment. When you create some space for yourself to ask the question. Who am I really? What does it mean to be a stepmom? What is God calling me to? Those are all the things that we cover on the podcast, of course, bit by bit, episode by episode. But if you want to get down to the nuts and bolts of how to really put it all together, those answers are found inside of the Stepmom Academy.

I do pray you join us. Hey, if today's episode blessed you, encouraged you, and got you thinking about some of your own I am statements, I encourage you to leave a five-star review on whatever platform it is where you are listening. A special shout out to the Audacious Scaling Podcast for their review.

Such encouragement for stepmoms. I really enjoy your work and your messages. Thank you for allowing the Lord to use you in this special way. And I also thank you for your time of service to your country. Oh, that was a long time ago. As a stepmom myself, married to my active duty Navy chaplain hubby, your work is right on target.

Praying God's deepest blessings over you and your kingdom calling. Oh, thank you so much. 

Rhonda Irwin is the hostess with the mostess over there at the audacious scaling podcast. She's a kingdom business strategist and 

She's also a Christian women marketing coach. Oh goodness, Rhonda, you and I, we need to have a conversation. We need to chat. All right, sister friend, God bless you. Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a review because your voice has power because you are influential. I pray God blesses you immensely and I will catch you next week.