I don't blog much about my stepchildren, mostly because I don't want to invade their privacy.
Four (Numbers 1, 2, 3, and 5) are grown and married, with children of their own.
Number 6 isn't home much.
Number 7 remains fair game for blog posts, though -- because he still lives at home. He's okay with that.
Today's blog is about Number 3 -- my inherited daughter, Jen.
When Tim and I first began our long-distance relationship, Jen was about 16 years old and something of a wild child. After Tim and I had been married for a couple of years, I accepted a job-related move to Salt Lake City, and Jen moved in with me so that she could attend Massage Therapy School in SLC. She distinguished herself in her course work -- and she is still my favorite massage therapist.
She saved me from total depression that year she spent with me, because after moving across the country, I really needed someone to look after and be with. I was and am very grateful for her company that year.
Subsequent years were rocky at times while Jen found her way in the world. She is a very empathic person and sometimes that has resulted in a lot of hurt for her.
That empathy, though, is a gift of grace with which she has ministered to me on many occasions. She always seems to sense when I need a connection, and she always comes through.
For example, despite being married to Tim for 10 years now, I can still get a feeling of disorientation in large family gatherings -- where I feel like the outsider from the East Coast, as though I don't have an "official" place in the family. Jen always knows. She says it shows on my face but I don't know what that looks like. No one else seems to notice it.
But Jen does, and in love and grace, she will come over and simply hug me for a moment. That connection restores me in a way that is truly a gift from God.
And I am so very grateful for that gift.