Thursday, July 11, 2019

A Boon for Blended Families

Over the years I have read and enjoyed the imaginative books of Clark Burbidge.  I first read his Giants in the Land trilogy for ages 7 and up.  Then I devoured his Star Passage trilogy, for ages 10 and up. The latest of Burbidge's work I’ve read is a non-fiction book that debuted this July 4.  Living in the Family Blender: 10 Principles of a Successful Blended Family  is written in tandem with Clark's wife, Leah.

They became engaged in 2004 with 10 children between them.  Then began their journey to attempt to join the 12 of them into one cohesive family.  This book is a result of what they learned traversing the hills and valleys of blended family life in the intervening years.

They approach this book and their family life from a Christian perspective.  I appreciate the fact they don't present themselves as experts in the arena of blended families.  They present 10 principles they developed along the way and transparently include many personal examples from their family's experiences to illustrate each one--both successes and challenges.  The Burbidges look at all aspects of bringing together their children and how the ex-spouses play into things as well. 

Each chapter is devoted to one of the principles.  The Burbidges explain the principle and the why behind it.  The book lays out a clear road map for families navigating the "blender" experience.  The couple emphasizes how the pre-trip planning for this journey should begin long before the actual marriage. 

Nearly everyone is touched by a blended family, either as part of one or as a friend or relative of someone in a blended family.  Families impacted by factors, such as divorce, death, or abandonment, come together to form a new family unit with all members bringing along their baggage.  The Burbidges help the reader understand the complexities of steering around the chug holes of uniting a blended family, establishing good communication, and listening actively.

This is a must-read for couples contemplating merging their families.  It is very enlightening for anyone who has a blended family close to them.  Teachers would benefit from reading the book as well to help them understand what many of their students are going through at home.  Pastors and family counselors will want this book in their libraries as an excellent reference.  Buy your copy here.  Check out their Facebook page.

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