Today we’d like to introduce you to Summer Butler.
So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I was driving down the tollway, mind chatter busy, and something spoke. Loudly. For weeks, I had been prepping our ninth grader for winter formal, getting everything arraigned, ordered, coordinated. While this is the stuff my dreams are made of, I like to be a part of it all coming together. This wasn’t going to happen. We’re a blended family and the weekend of winter formal was not ours. I complained to anyone who would listen; it was like working for two weeks and not getting a paycheck.
Stuck in this thinking God gently pulled me off the road, “Write this down”, He said. “You are not raising these children so they grow up and call you their mother. You’re raising these children so they grow up and call Me their Father.”
Mic drop, punch in the soul. This took me a minute (weeks) to process. It later occurred to me that I was so wrapped up in serving them and what that should do for me that I had lost sight of serving Him and what would be best for everyone.
Months later, in March of 2018, Blended Book Co. was born. There are so many factors that play a role in the blended family dynamic and so few resources available. It seems, at least for me, the blended family relationship is one that digs deep into our souls, brings out our own personal struggles, and unless confronted and worked through contributes to the current blended family divorce rate of 66%.
I’ve been blessed with a blended family that does life together, respects each other, and refuses to fall victim to the worldly enemy that works so hard to kill, steal, and destroy. Through Blended Book Co. and our recently published bible based workbook, Blended, we are committed to walk beside others through their personal trials creating a community of support and hope.
Has it been a smooth road?
My story is unique, my struggles as a stepmom have never been anything other than deep rooted core issues. Comparison, resentment, pride; just to name a few.
I think for me, all these things seemed to surface when I was thrown into the middle of a blended family. There’s just so much that no one prepares you for and so many dynamics to sort through. Toss in brokenness from childhood and an unhealthy expectation of marriage and it’s a disaster waiting to happen. (Hence the current blended family divorce rate of 66%)
Before God spoke His mission into my life, raising these sweet boys to look to Him through me, I placed blame on everyone else not taking ahold of my insecurities. I clearly see now that it was my insecurities and sin that kept me in bondage, no one else. The lives I was trying to control was to keep mine from losing grip on what I thought was right.
My advice, honestly, is to find God. Placing Him first, marriage second, children third were really the redeeming factor in our marriage. That, and, get into a community. People who have walked in your shoes are walking in your shoes, and people to love you through the fires.
So let’s switch gears a bit and go into Blended Book Co. story. Tell us more about the business.
I left a successful career when I met my husband and his two boys. After ten years in the non-profit mental health arena, I chose to stay home with the kids.
Staying home lead to new experiences, PTO President, room mom and doing the ‘burb life. While life was pretty sweet, an emptiness still rested in my soul. I was far away from the walk I was put on this earth to take but I had no idea what that walk was. I was stuck in a hole and wasn’t even sure I knew that at the time.
A couple years later life brought us little Eli. Our spitfire completed the family circle but life for me spun out of control. Remember, control issues is a core one for me so admitting I was out of control didn’t come easy or without a fight. Post pardum depression sunk me. Deep.
After months of going untreated, I finally caved and went to the doctor. After about a year, clear headed enough to hear, I heard God call out to me telling me to “just show up.” I remember thinking to myself, that’s all I’ve really been doing the past year. Just showing up. Not really ‘being’ there, just showing up. But the call was great and my need for a group of girls was greater. I showed up to our churches women’s bible study and life has never been the same sense.
SO, my work… I’ve written a faith base short workbook called Blended. A short walk through all the things necessary to heal and function in a blended family. I’m leading women through this study and others and allowing my work to be lead by God himself. I never really know who or what it next …
It would be great to hear about any apps, books, podcasts or other resources that you’ve used and would recommend to others.
Some of my favorite books recently have been Armor of God bu Pricilla Shirer, Breaking Free by Beth Moore, and Follow by Andy Stanley.
The podcast Moms of Men by Lisa Bevere has been life to give and just so relevant and good.
And, can’t lie… When Life Gives You Lululemons was legit.
- Website: www.blendedbookco.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: blendedbookco
- Facebook: Blended Book Co.
- Twitter: @BlendedBookCo
Christie Gare Photography, LLC