Welcome to my new blog! If you've followed my other blog for a while, you know I am prone to pontifications mixed in with my family news and pictures. I've decided to archive all my "thinking out loud" pieces from the past here, and put all my future ones here as well. Looking for family news & photos? Check out Moments at the Manse.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

I really enjoy reading self-help (or "God Help Me!") type books. Darrell and I both do, actually, so we joke around that we think if we could find the right home organization book and just leave it lying around the house, our home organization ails would be over! :>) That's just a funny thought, of course, we don't really think that, do we? Ha ha So here are a few I've been reading this year so far.

A nice little discussion on a great gift married ladies can give their husbands.

A really encouraging, devotional type book. It has inspired me to think beyond the "God Box" I have created in my brain.

This book has been both affirming and challenging to decisions I've made/am making about housewifing and mothering.

BUT all these books are on hold while I finish this one - I'm really good at starting several books and getting sidetracked. . . I'm on day seven (out of 30) and I've been reading it for over two weeks. So it may be a while, but something's telling me it will be worth it. I've been really encouraged and challenged so far.

I'd love to hear what you're reading now or have read that has impacted your life!

Thursday, March 5, 2009


A segment of my ever-growing, ever-changing, completely incomplete philosophy on children . . .

· They will reflect their parents’ attitudes about life in general.

· They will even reflect our facial expressions and tone of voice.

I believe Darrell’s Grandma told me a story about tucking one of her boys into bed and he would screw up his face and say “I love you” – and after a while of puzzling over it, she realized that he was mimicking what she was doing – screwing up her face to hold her glasses on her nose, while she bent over to tell him “I love you.” :>)

· They will reflect our views of God. Not the ones we speak, necessarily, but the ones we live.

· They will reflect our diligent (or not diligent) work.

· They will reflect what we believe about them.

· They will reflect whoever they see and admire most.

I’ll share another example from Grandma Stetler, she tells the story of going back to where she was raised. There was a relative who had plenty of money and wanted to take her children into a store and tell them “Get whatever you want!” She didn't want that to happen because she knew that would be very attractive to a child, and that a child might begin to admire that person, who wasn’t living for God, and the effects could be subtle, but long-lasting in her children.

· They will reflect your attitude toward “things” – being overly aware of what you’re wearing, or overly aware of who has what cool, new thing, or caring too much about what people think – kids pick up on that and usually adopt that attitude as their own.

The underlying truth here is that kids (all of us, actually) are created for worship. They are looking for something to reflect and admire. And we all naturally look around us, unless we are reminded over and over again to lift up our heads and look to God.

Okay – to me, that feels overwhelming. (And truthfully, I feel totally overwhelmed today.) But, when I take a minute and think and pray, I remember - there is hope. If we're trying to train our children to be God-followers, if we’re trying to whet their spiritual appetites to know and love God – there is hope.

2Cor 3:18 And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.

That inspires a bit of hope, does it not?

I love self-help books and more training ideas are always great, but our greatest dreams for healthy, happy, God-honoring children will only come true as we ourselves are being transformed “by the renewing of our minds.” (Rom. 12:2)

2Cor 4:6 For God, who said, "Let light shine out of darkness," made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.

7 But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.

And last . . .

‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,' says the LORD Almighty Zech. 4:6b

Not by schedules, nor routines, nor by sheltering, nor by talking, nor by spanking, nor by stressing about doing it right . . .

But by His Spirit . . . .

That’s my only hope.