Real Men

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I nominate my dad for sweetest and handsomest dad and my kids nominate him for best grandpa ever.

If I had to describe my dad in one word it would be “kind.”

I said to my kids (not telling them my word), “I want you to tell me the first word that comes to your mind to describe your grandpa.”

“Stalwart,” Rebekah answered.

“Kind,” said Seth.  “That’s the first word I thought,” Hannah agreed.

I think those two words are what every dad and grandpa should be:  kind and stalwart. 

And if he has giant dimples and an ever-present grin, well that’s just gravy.

Fathers, (and Mothers) Provoke Not Your Children to Wrath

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My motives are pure:  I love children.  They are of exceedingly great value in my eyes.  Therefore, when I see them, as in the grocery store not long ago, screaming at and hitting their mothers, I am more than grieved, shocked, and appalled.  I am mystified.  Or was.

I drove home sick at my stomach.  “I don’t understand, Lord,” I prayed.  “Why would a mother put up with this?  How does this happen?”

And insight came:  She hasn’t done the nurturing, she knows deep inside she has no right to admonish.  Ah yes, Ephesians 6:4, KJV–And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

That child was provoked to wrath, in this case I surmise by the mother as well as the father, because of the absence of balance.

I, for one, have always preferred nurturing to admonition.  John (my husband) told me long ago, that if I had to err, my children would be better off with a little less nurturing and a little more admonition.  My response was that I don’t have to err, not if my nurture and admonition are directed by the very Spirit of God Himself, and that I will nurture my children until their cups runneth over, thank you very much.

I secretly thought I would just leave most of the admonishing to him, and I know I have plenty of sisters who think this way.  Not good.

My daughter is acquainted with a young woman who said she wished her mom had married someone else.  This is a family where the mom never disciplined, so the dad had to be the bad guy.  Not fair, not healthy.

We must all be brave enough to examine our parenting in the light of scripture, and let our child’s behavior be the indicator of where we might be missing it, be it nurture, admonition, or simply complete disregard for the author and finisher of good parenting–that would be our child’s Creator.

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It’s “Raising Mannerly Children,” Not, “Ignoring Aggravating Miniature Terrorists”

Note:   This picture was taken Mother’s Day, 2015, but I am pairing it with an article written in 2010, as I consider it worth repeating.

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The Importance of RAISING MANNERLY CHILDREN cannot be overemphasized. Manners are, in essence, simply the thoughtful consideration of the needs and wants of others.

The Golden Rule is so named because if you learn it, all else of value follows.

And if you don’t . . .

A life of misery–for you, your child, your child’s spouse and children and coworkers, neighbors–is what’s in store if you don’t teach your children manners.

Or, let’s look at it another way: Teach your children to think of others and they will naturally have manners.

This is an ongoing task (see the article’s end for how to begin with ease and quick results), but the rewards are commensurate with the effort.

Seth, (a 10-year-old), has an excess of energy, and sometimes tears through the house like a dervish. Recently he raced past the girls and me, who were having a pleasant conversation, yelling and brushing against us.

It was time for conscious parenting. Time to heed that little voice in my head that said, “Stop what you’re doing, stop having a nice chat with your girls, and deal with this.” So I stopped.

IT’S MY JOB.

Not fun, but necessary. I will not be the mother of a hellion, who thinks the conversations and happiness of others beneath his time and consideration.

Yes, we all know someone like this. An adult. Not a pretty picture.

Remember: If you don’t care enough to teach your child to be kind and considerate, who will?

But how?  Where to begin?  An excellent place to start is with Munro Leaf’s books, those loved and still remembered by my kids–Manners Can Be Fun, How to Behave and Why, and How to Speak Politely and Why.

Fun, funny, great illustrations, and effective:  Munro Leaf.

Early Morning Rain, Jesus, Testosterone, Good Books, Babies, and so Forth

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I cut and pasted these from my 2009 Facebook “25 Things” because it made me happy to read, and because I think it will be fun to add to it.

1. I love quiet time with Jesus early, early in the morning, and a nap in the afternoon.
2. I love putting in a load of laundry at 4:00 a.m. before I build a fire, make a cuppa or indulge in my latest new coffee, and settle in for quiet time.
3. I love being a member of the revolution Jesus started 2000 years ago.
4. I love rain. And more rain. Long, grey, dreary rainstorms.
5. With good books, like five or ten, fiction and non-fiction.
6. And a journal with colored pens, and a legal pad for absolutely mindless scribbling.
7. I love sending letters on nice stationery with lots of stickers and a pretty stamp.
8. I love watching my kids out the window on their sleds.
9. I love it when they wipe out and shriek with laughter, only to be pounced on by the dog, and get up and do it again!
10. I love John.
11. I love men who are so manly the testosterone drips off them, but they wear pink proudly, and are really good at comforting babies and changing diapers (John).
12. I love men who sing country love songs and hold my hand and sound like Vince Gill (yes, you guessed it – John).
13. I love men who love like Jesus – John, and also my dad.
14. I love my friends and all my family, especially all those little babies I have never seen.
15. I love big hardwood trees in the fall.
16. I love Fall.
17. I love God’s new mercies every morning.
18. I love color, lots of clear, bright color, or soft, muted colors. And light – iridescent, translucent, luminous, shimmering light.
19. Like on water. I love water, especially the Pacific ocean, but any water will do. I even love mud puddles.

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20. I love to travel. Even if it’s just a new dirt road close to home.
21. I love conversations with friends.
22. I love home schooling, and all my great teachers – my children.  And talking about home schooling with other home schoolers.
23. I love studying my kids, discovering them, marveling at God’s genius in creating them.
24. I love marriage. And chocolate.
25. I love whipping the devil’s butt when he tries to make me afraid. I love Jesus.

April, 2015 – And smiling teenagers teaching themselves without any Mom-prodding.

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