Delightful Read – Great Gift!

blog post motherhood Want a unique gift for the mothers in your life?

This little gem has it all! I laughed, cried and found myself nodding along with this delightful     collection of anecdotes, advice, and famous quotes from and about mothers. Throw in  a dozen easy recipes and a colorful, creative background and you have the makings of a wonderful, re-readable keepsake. “You Might Be a Mommy If…” had me rolling with understanding laughter.


I highly recommend this lovely gift book:

  • For new mommy’s to start them on their journey
  • For in the middle mom’s who need a new perspective and a boost to keep going
  • For mothers and grandmothers who have weathered the parental storms and will enjoy the reminiscing

A collaborative work of five experienced authors who have lived out the joys and challenges of motherhood, this book would make a wonderful shower gift, birthday gift or Mother’s Day gift. Or even give it as an encouragement for a family member or friend who’s having a difficult time in the parental realm. I also appreciated the inclusion of adoptive parenting difficulties and victories.

Available here on Amazon.

20 Tips for Parents

As the parent of 7 wonderful children (4 of my own and 3 delightfully inherited), I’ve made some observations over my past 32 years of summer vacation '12 068parenting.

Thus far, I’ve concluded four things:

  • Raising children well doesn’t mean we have to be perfect or have it all figured out ahead of time.
  • Parenting is as much for our benefit as for our children’s.
  • God’s the perfect parent so we should examine how he does it.
  • Each person has free choice. No matter how well we train a child, he or she will choose how to live. Remember that perfect parent God? Even Adam and Eve made a devastating choice.

Dr. James Dobson wrote a book called Parenting Isn’t for Cowards, but most of us find ourselves cowering in our hearts at one point or another along the way.

Here are some tips to boost your bravery:            028

  1. Respect them. They are people too.
  2. Right or wrong, be honest. They smell hypocrisy.
  3. Tell them you love them every day.
  4. Ask for forgiveness when you blow it.
  5. Allow God’s grace to cover your mistakes and failures.
  6. Don’t exasperate them with inconsistency, lack of boundaries or unrealistic expectations.
  7. Ask the right questions. Ones that open discussion not shut it off.
  8. Tell them you are proud of who they are not only what they do.
  9. The Bible is the standard, you are simply the messenger. Let God direct them. Be accountable to God for the message you give.
  10. Show them Jesus by your actions and your love for them and others.
  11. Listen, listen, listen to THEM, and they will listen to you. (HEAR what they are saying.)
  12. Don’t declare war on them—you are on the same side so fight their battles with them.
  13. Put yourself in their shoes. We are parents because we’ve been there. If we forget what it was like, how can we relate to them in order to help them navigate through it?
  14. Take your role as parent seriously. You are accountable to God. He entrusted you with the children you have.
  15. Train them to make good decisions and be trustworthy and responsible for their actions. Self-governed not rule governed. They need to learn good choices for life not just to keep from being “in trouble.”
  16. Teach them to obey because it will bring them good not because you hover over or threaten punishment. Focus on the positive rather than simply avoiding trouble.
  17. Be self-disciplined. We can’t expect our kids to follow through when we don’t.
  18. Allow them to be who God has made them to be. Help them see who they are, not who you want them to be.
  19. Don’t take their behavior or words personally. Avoid reacting. Even though they may be a reflection of you, don’t make that your goal.
  20. Love them enough to say no. Be willing to say yes.  Even when it’s inconvenient.

Hopefully these tips I’ve collected will encourage you in your parenting journey. DSC_0011

How about you? What things have you learned along the way? Or what would you share from a young person’s perspective?

The Value of Parenting

Parenting is like a job. I mean, it IS a full-time job, but it also parallels the aspects of a job one would hold, like being a CEO of a company. Think about it.

I had a dream the other night in which I found myself with a house full of children–my own and a friend’s, not that I don’t have enough of my own children. My husband and I proudly claim seven children ranging in age between thirty and nine, as well as five grandchildren ages one to nine, so you can understand how kids often invade my sleep both literally and figuratively.

So in the dream, after settling the baby with a diaper change and making sure the older four were playing kindly, the three year old brings me a broken toy and says in an adorable voice, “We have a problem.”

I think to myself, as I have hundreds (or perhaps thousands) of times over the past thirty parenting years, “I’m never going to get anything done today at this rate.” And immediately it strikes me, ( you know like the V-8 commercials!) This IS what you’re getting done!

Managing problems, putting out fires, running “bored” meetings, handling disputes, brainstorming how to organize, providing luncheons, arranging schedules, financing projects, explaining policy, enforcing policy, training future executives; and creating a pleasant, instructional, fun, productive environment in which all that takes place defines parenting on a daily basis. Oh, I forgot to mention performing emergency medical procedures or transportation as well.

Take it a step further and think about this:

Would any of us take on a new job without some form of job training? As we step into any employment, we naturally attempt to learn all we can about how to do the job effectively, efficiently or at least adequately. We may take classes, learn from another employee or attend a job training seminar. And during the course of our employment we probably continue our education at least every year. Even when we go home, we might read books, magazines and binders full of company policy to further our knowledge and ensure we do our job well.

But, when it comes to parenting, a job that has far more significance and complications than any employment we will ever hold, we often neglect this instruction and figure we’ll just have to wing it. Don’t we flounder along wondering if we’re doing it right, or getting it done at all? It’s so helpful when we ask questions of older parents, read books about training kids and have discussions with others about what works for them.

In addition to that, we think, as I have, that we aren’t actually accomplishing anything worthwhile during our day. How grossly in error we are! Every hug, answered question, moment of training and discipline, every shirt washed or meal prepared is a task of greater value than anything we may tackle in a day at the office even if it has no monetary gain because the investment is in a life…or multiple lives.

Along the way, the dividends in smiles, hugs, cute phrases, hilarious questions and “I love you Mommy. I love you Daddy.” are so worth every ounce of energy we invest in learning how to do this job well and giving that to our kids. What did I invest in today? What did you?


For parenting resources I’ve found helpful try