Hello friends and welcome! I am Tanya Phillips and I am married to a guy who keeps me laughing; Jim Phillips. We are a “blended family,” and with God’s daily help, we are thriving living in Linden, Michigan, navigating the twists and turns of life, with our five children.
We began our blended journey in 2011. Jim and I were both previously married, and those marriages both ended in divorce. Jim and I realized early on that while God was continuing to heal our pasts and guide our steps, with blending two households and five teenagers at the time, we knew were going to need additional support and guidance if we were going to be successful on this blended family journey.
We began meeting with our pastor at our church for marriage counseling. I came across Ron Deal’s The Smart Stepfamily curriculum online and ordered it. We presented it to our pastor at that time, and asked if we could begin a blended family study at our church. He agreed, and a blended family ministry was launched at our church. Jim and I enjoyed facilitating the blended family ministry group at our church for 7 years, before we moved to a new city and new church. Our blended family ministry used Ron Deal’s The Smart Stepfamily dvd/book study during our meetings, and more recently used Family Life Blended’s “Blended and Blessed” conference material.
I also have enjoyed leading and co-leading a blended family moms’ bible study group for 7 years as well. We used Laura Petherbridge’s The Smart Stepmom material and her online video interviews, Kristie Carpenter’s The Blended Family Mom book, and we also enjoyed studying God’s word and applying it to blended family life.
Although, blended family complexities can pose unique challenges that traditional families do not face, through God’s grace, Matthew 19:26 states “Jesus looked at them and said, ‘With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible’.”