2008 Book of the Year in the Nonfiction General Category!
Black Christian Book Distributor's
Top 50 Small-Independent Publishers Bestseller in the Non-fiction Category!
With divorce, single-parent households and family crises on the rise, many people are experiencing the tumultuous dynamics of blended or stepfamilies.
Learn biblical principles and practical tools to successfully blend your family. Contributors include award-winning Christian authors, Kevin Wayne Johnson, Vanessa Miller and Dr. Vivi Monroe Congress. Edited by Valerie L. Coleman, this book ministers to the needs of those hurting and crying out for answers.
"The short stories were helpful because they used experiences that were relatable to today's families. To understand how others have combined families through faith, determination and persistence was personally useful.
Families that are combined should use this book as a reference for current and future issues. I highly recommend Blended Families An Anthology for stepparents and stepchildren to understand that they are not alone."
"Yours, mine and ours Blended Families An Anthology is heartwarming and inspiring as it showcases the obstacles and triumphs that often occur when separate, but equal families become one. Blended Families An Anthology helps you believe family love is as good the second time around." ~ aNN Brown, RAWSISTAZ™ Reviewer
"A Most Valuable Resource The editor’s main point is that blended families are challenging, they require awareness of pitfalls and willingness to face them head on with a lot of humility and love.
The editor shares a great deal of her own experience and presents the stories of several other folks who have trod this journey as well. Ms. Coleman courageously bared her soul, revealing the pain she endured in the process of coming to terms with her own blended family. She is a woman of deep faith and exhibits a great deal of spiritual insight throughout the book.
There was much to which I myself could relate in these stories as I, too, took on a blended family 26 years ago. So many of these accounts reminded me of my own experience—the good and not so good. If only a book such as this had been available to me back then. It would have been so helpful and I would not have felt so alone.
Suffice it to say that I find this a most valuable resource. Many are the readers who will be able to benefit from it. In fact, I have promised to send my copy to my son and daughter-in-law for their own consumption. My son married a woman with four children from a previous marriage which he has legally adopted. Subsequently they have had two children together. I believe there is much from which they can benefit within these pages.
Blended Families An Anthology is written from a Christian perspective for a Christian audience. The material could benefit members of other religious traditions equally as well; Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus for example struggle with the same challenges in their own blended families. By tweaking some of the language to make it more inclusive without sacrificing the fact that she is of the Christian tradition, Ms. Coleman could appeal to a wider audience." ~ Louise Landeta, Reader Views
“Practical Pointers from Poignant Stories This anthology is heart warming and heart breaking with stories that demonstrate the complexities of making blended families work successfully. The anthology includes practical pointers from sources representing every aspect of blended families.
Articles from award winning Christian authors reinforce the importance of the book and strengthen and enhance the principles shared by the other contributors. I was deeply moved by Vanessa Miller’s contemporary fiction story based on biblical Hannah’s plea for a child of her own. I also benefited from Kevin Wayne Johnson’s challenge to a commitment to fatherhood. Dr. Vivi Monroe Congress presented a working definition of blended families, illustrations from biblical families, and an excellent summary of God’s design and plan for the family. Editor, Valerie L. Coleman, provided an excellent write up of a case study done by Brenda McKinney, M. S., L. S. W. The study highlighted the idiosyncrasies and innuendos that reflect relationship dynamics in the blended family.
The book also provides biblical principles and practical examples of things to look for as you find yourself preparing for or already positioned in a single-parent or blended-family situation. Money issues, custody of the children and extended families are all important concerns addressed in this comprehensive, well-organized anthology.
Blended Families An Anthology is a valuable resource, with a Christian emphasis, for anyone contemplating becoming a part of a blended family or already deeply involved in the process of working out these complex relationships. This anthology is poignant and practical, well articulated, and heart warming.” ~ Richard Blake, Amazon.com reviewer This review is featured in the Feb. 2007 Midwest Book Review
"God and the Stepfamily Valerie L. Coleman has brought together a diverse and eclectic set of contributors for this anthology of mostly first-hand experiences with blended families — families with kids from previous marriages and relationships, foster kids, grandkids, etc. Most essays concentrate on (1) the hardships and (2) the role their faith in God played in getting through the bad times and appreciating the good times. Recommended for families going through the process of integrating new family members into the whole, or for parents at their wit’s end looking for hope.” ~ Tim Brandhorst, Amazon.com reviewer
"Something For Blended Families Few books actually address the real concerns and issues facing “blended families;” those are the new families that come about through the remarriages of parents. In her book Blended Families An Anthology, Valerie L. Coleman compiles a group of outstanding short essays, life experiences and even a couple of fictional tales that fully illustrate this new family status. She starts off with her own personal story and some of the issues and problems that she encountered. This story alerts the reader that this is not going to be an easy task, and for most couples that want to build a new family; great faith and love will be needed.
The anthology is not only entertaining, interesting and full of little personal wisdoms but it is also an inspirational look through the eyes of a Christian. Practical tools and biblical principles are at work in the editing process as Coleman places appropriate Bible passages for the stories.
The book is an insightful look at the real world of modern life. It is well written and intelligently edited. The book has a place on the bookshelves of all single, divorced and remarried parents. You will find that you are not alone; and some of those very issues that you may be facing others have already experienced. Their experiences and thoughts just may be of help to you in working out your own family matters. I recommend this book for Christian families who are dealing with this same kind of issue." ~ Bill McDonald, author and former president of Military Writers Society of America
“No one can give a better perspective of blended families than one who has a first-hand account. In this eye-opening anthology, a wealth of talent combines with a wealth of experience and the end result is heartwarming, empowering and inspiring! Each offering, be it scripturally based or a slice of the author’s own reality, will give the reader a better understanding of what family is really all about.” ~ Kendra Norman Bellamy, national bestselling author of Crossing Jhordan's River and More Than Grace
"Valerie Coleman provides an opportunity to learn and become more sensitive to the challenges of those living in blended families. This book is a quality resource for pastors, ministers and lay persons." ~ Marion Witcher, author of Sowing My Tears, Reaping His Joy
"Blended Families An Anthology brilliantly illustrates the obstacles and triumphs that often occur within blended families. Each story serves as a powerful testimony of God’s love and encourages believers to forge ahead with confidence. This book will positively impact all who are open to receive the messages it relays." ~ Lynel Johnson Washington, freelance editor
“Blended Families An Anthology was filled with words of wisdom and grateful advice, opening my eyes to a very different side of the word ‘family.’ One learns that although ‘bad things may happen’ there is always hope and a way to repair damages of the heart and soul, if two people really want to make it work. I was captivated and moved from the first story to the last, realizing as I read this anthology that with a lot of love and faith, families have a way of healing. Blended Families is definitely an anthology worth reading and treasuring for centuries to come.” ~ Sylvia Hubbard, author and founder of Motown Writers Network
Wisdom - Experience is the best teacher
External influences create internal chaos. Valerie L. Coleman Dayton, Ohio
When it comes to blended families, remember that life is based on change. The better one is prepared to deal with this fact, the better one will be equipped to handle this major transitional phase of their life. Lamarr Lewis Dayton, Ohio
The parents need to agree upon the methods of disciplining the children. Also, before chastising a child, the parent and child must first establish a relationship. Premature discipline may stifle a healthy relationship and evoke retaliation from the child. Children respond better to discipline when love precedes correction (Ecclesiastes 4:9). LaShawn and Joy Lewis Dayton, Ohio
Couples bring their life experiences into marriage. Your spouse’s style of parenting may differ considerably from yours, good or bad. So to prevent problems; talk through everything from discipline to philosophies on education. One thing is for sure; you cannot be too prepared when it comes to raising children. Deena Miller Atlanta, Georgia
The married couple must establish, monitor and enforce rules specific to their household. These rules apply to all the children even if they do not reside in the home. Consistency, reinforcement and agreement are critical to the success of blending families. Tammy Kessler Dayton, Ohio
Don’t let the other parent run your house! The married couple must establish the rules of engagement for visitations, drop offs, pick ups and vacations, then stick to them. Given the opportunity, the other parent may try to use the children to manipulate your spouse, causing division in the marriage. Tonya Baker Clayton, Ohio
Make sure that this is what you want and that you’re ready for what lies ahead. Being a stepparent is hard — much is expected of you, but in the end it’s never good enough. Laura Phillips
Unity is essential to the success of the blended family. Both parents must agree to become and stay unified while raising the children. Children will try to divide the family, if given the opportunity. The Word of God is true and must be applied to our lives daily. Can two walk together, except they are agreed? Amos 3:3 Melvin Williams Dayton, Ohio
Foster parenting is a 24-7, 365 days a year job. Most often, the biological families have abandoned, abused, and neglected their children. The children have no reason to trust you and will intentionally do things to test if you will also abandon them. Your only weapon is unconditional love. Gwendolyn Cox Trotwood, Ohio
When families with children blend, the parents need to set new rules and decide how the family will be managed. Each parent hopes to keep things as consistent and safe for their own children as possible. Identifying specific areas of differences, stating clearly what those differences are and working to find common ground is essential for successful family blending. Marilyn Barnicke Belleghem, M.Ed, R.M.F.T. Burlington, Ontario Canada
Marrying someone who has children is a tricky situation to entertain. Confidence, compassion, understanding, patience, sacrifice, security, acceptance and the ability to recite (and believe in) the Serenity Prayer on a daily basis are great considerations and prerequisites before treading there. Lyn Handler Sebring, Florida
Quality family time doesn’t have to be a major event. Choose one night a month for dinner and fun. It improves the quality of life and gives children a sense of family identity. In no time at all, your crew will be looking forward to The Funky Family Fun Night. Patricia Griffin Dayton, Ohio
Our experiences as children help to formulate our interaction as parents with our own children. Abandonment, insecurity, selfishness are generational curses that must be broken if we are to be effective parents. Valerie L. Coleman Dayton, Ohio