It's getting more and more difficult for Christians to walk in love. And this is love, that we walk according to his commandments; this is the commandment, just as you have heard from the beginning, so that you should walk in it. 2 John 1:6 And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. Ephesians 5:2 We face such opposition - from the world, and unfortunately, from other Christians. I see the struggles that my children face, and it's so much more complicated than when I was younger. I didn't have cell phones or internet to worry Continue Reading...This post may contain affiliate links. See my full disclosure policy.
I’m becoming a gentler mom. I was spanked as a kid. I grew up in an authoritarian home. I feared everything. When I became a parent, I surely went overboard with strictness, trying to counter the father visitation issues with my preschool daughter. I briefly attended a church that lived by the principles in the Pearl child-training book. That was disastrous. My eldest child just turned fourteen. And I realize I’m losing her. Despite everything. Too little relationship, too late. Too much coercion into compliance and obedience when she was younger is leaving her confused and broken now that Continue Reading...This post may contain affiliate links. See my full disclosure policy.
I have decided not to give our kids presents anymore. My husband and I have long not given presents to each other to save money and to reduce clutter and stress. I have wanted to reduce the quantity of presents on birthdays and Christmas for our children. For years, I said we would downsize Christmas and birthday present piles. Yet, I would weaken and buy stuff anyway. Having four kids is expensive, and it's hard to be fair and equal with different ages and interests. I loathe the expectations and inevitable disappointment. We moved to Germany last summer. We purged and sold loads of stuff Continue Reading...This post may contain affiliate links. See my full disclosure policy.
How do you teach motivation? What do you do with that difficult child? The one who will have her own way. No matter what. We learned long ago we can't make her do anything she doesn't desire to do. We've lectured and talked until we're blue. I tried, unsuccessfully, to compare/contrast intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. And now? I let it go. It's not my job to teach motivation. It's between her and God. Real success is not what the world would teach us. I've learned to pray -- earnestly, unceasingly. She's growing up and will make her own choices. I am more a counselor, a coach, as I Continue Reading...This post may contain affiliate links. See my full disclosure policy.
When I was pregnant with our third child, my husband asked me in bewilderment, “How will we do bedtime?” At the time it seemed to me a ridiculously silly question. “We’ll just do it,” I thought, exasperated. As parents, we sometimes do what we must to survive. I soon realized that having more than one child was hard. I envied the families with only children. I also had no idea how large families did anything well. And I’ve never considered ours a large family. Until we moved to Germany. We stand out here in Europe among the families of single kids or perfect pairs. The parents aren’t Continue Reading...This post may contain affiliate links. See my full disclosure policy.
We don't really do a "back to school" since we "do school" year-round. It's rather anticlimactic; there's little to break the rhythm of lessons, meals, and chores. We have a lifestyle of learning and we certainly take breaks when needed, like during travel or PCS, or for holidays . . . but if we take too much time off, there is misbehavior and boredom. But there is also burnout. I get tired and irritable and selfish. I start to focus on impossibilities. We serve a God of possibilities. Not having any time alone gets wearisome. I start to fantasize about exotic vacations, trips Continue Reading...This post may contain affiliate links. See my full disclosure policy.
2005. That crazy whirlwind of a summer. It actually began with Aaron's deployment being canceled upon the sudden passing of his father. That was the catalyst to change my life forever and always. Since there was no position available for Aaron at his current base, they pushed up his PCS. I had to quit my job teaching college English and prepare to move from Georgia to Texas immediately. The day the movers arrived, I discovered I was pregnant with Victoria. When we arrived in Texas in late June, I could not find any position in education anywhere in the city of San Antonio. As fall Continue Reading...This post may contain affiliate links. See my full disclosure policy.
Recently, I was asked what my plans are for this summer. I replied that we’re creating a new rhythm. We’re moving into our house in the cutest little German village next week. Out of that stressful disruption will come new experiences. We get to make memories in that house for three years. I get to set the rhythm. Our rhythm has been disrupted for too long. Packing, moving, traveling, living out of suitcases is taking its toll. We’ve taken advantage of the lack of schedule. We fit in school when we can. We buy ice cream from the German ice cream man (this is real ice cream – huge Continue Reading...This post may contain affiliate links. See my full disclosure policy.
My house is moving more and more toward a state of absolute chaos. It takes extra effort to handle stress during a military move. We move out of the country next month. My husband works for the United States Air Force and we get to PCS (Permanent Change of Station) again. We're all both excited and nervous to be moving to a foreign country. My canisters that held flour, sugar, and cornmeal are washed and sitting on my kitchen desk, amidst art supplies and empty canning jars. One side of our garage is being used to store items for our garage sale next week. Our music room holds stacks of Continue Reading...This post may contain affiliate links. See my full disclosure policy.
I loathe shopping for my teen daughter. Not because of the stress of shopping or rude cashiers or the high prices or anything as shallow as all that. It's because the selections for clothing in the shops is too often inappropriate, especially with warmer weather approaching. Even I sometimes struggle to find items to update my closet for the season. Thankfully, my daughter borders on prudeness (and I'm not complaining!) and is very particular about the clothing she likes and is comfortable wearing. She's long and lean and many shirts and dresses fall too short for her liking. The Continue Reading...This post may contain affiliate links. See my full disclosure policy.