Monday, December 14, 2009

mothers and fathers

dear emily,

it is extremely difficult to parent effectively if our marriages are a wreck.
you know this, because you counseled our precious shelby before her
marriage, and your marriage is an inspiration to her and dan.  what a
prince she has for a husband!

the foundation of our families is the relationship we have with our
husbands. if we do not have a loving, fulfilling marriage, the chances
are good that the children will not have a secure, happy childhood.
now that our little ones have left the nest, i can assure you that i am
very grateful that hans and i not only still love each other, but LIKE
each other, too!

we must respect our husbands.  we show him respect in many small
ways that add up quickly to make him feel honored.  listen to his
stories from work and be attentive to his devotions to our children.
let our children see how much we  admire him.  we must never, ever
speak in sarcastic tones, roll our eyes, or murmur under our breath.
these are all signs of disrespect that the kids will mimic.

resolve differences in a congenial manner.  it is not necessary to yell
or be ugly to offer an opinion.  this will teach our children how to
address disagreements in a positive way.  we model more than we
teach.  when we prefer each other, we are teaching our children to
do that, also.

they need to understand that the core of our family is not them but
their mother and father, yielding to their heavenly Father.  the children
are part of that solar system but not its center.  (got that from hans)

"...let the wife see that she respects her husband."  ephesians 5:3


hear no evil, speak no evil

hey emily,

when max was three or four and up to some orneriness, he would say to
me, "mommy, don't see me!"

what a great illustration of how we want to hide the ugliness in
ourselves.  unfortunately, the Lord tells us that whatever is done in
secret, will be shouted from the rooftops.  not exactly a refrigerator verse...

it has been said that the truest indicator of our hearts' condition is how
we speak to our husbands and children when no one is
we talk about our friends when they are not we treat
those who are the least in the Kingdom.


'special' friends

dear emily,

my friend brenda just chastised me for neglecting to write you.
you would love her, because she has all the same aspirations and
has succeeded in raising five amazing children.  she is also very
'crafty' like you!

we have homeschooled our 10 children together, taken vacations
together, saved each other's lives multiple times, and endured our
husbands' best friend status for over 25 years.  when the Lord gave
brenda to paul, He was really handing a special present to me.

so, i guess this is really about friends, again.  i don't think it is
possible to raise Godly kids in a vacuum.  they begin to tune us out
as they grow up, but continue to listen to wise men and women
who have poured love and fun into their lives.

my girls pay special attention to brenda's wisdom and would
shudder to disappoint her.  she has taught them how to cook, put
pills down dogs' throats, be mountain women, and make 'brenda
balls' (delicious peanut butter filled chocolate candies.)

her extremely high standards for purity have made a profound
impression on each of them.

the boys think paul is the coolest dad ever and love to ski and fish
with him. one of my favorite paul stories is of him on the stream,
untangling his hook from a branch, saying casually, "fishing
rod-$300, patagonia vest-$150, waterproof pants and shoes-$200,
....the ability to cast, priceless!"

during those outings, he has taken numerous opportunities to spur
them on to pursue adventures in the Lord.

...some friends are more loyal than 'brothers'.   proverbs 18:24