His Mercy

"His Mercies Are New Every Morning"

A Thought

In this life we can not always do great things. But we can do small things with great love.." :) Mother Teresa

Prayer Quote

“I pray because I can't help myself. I pray because I'm helpless. I pray because the need flows out of me all the time- waking and sleeping. It doesn't change God- it changes me.”
― C. S. Lewis


I believe in the sun even when it's not shining. I believe in love even when I don't feel it. And I believe in God even when He is silent. (quote found on the wall of a concentration camp)

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Saturday, March 31, 2012

All About Women

We watched Shanandoah last night for our Friday night movie.  The girls liked it a lot!.....
And that is the way it is, you see. :)

Friday, March 30, 2012

Charlton, Marcus and Krang

In my previous post, I wrote a little about the boys.  This post is about our youngest son Marcus, and our Oldest son Charlton.

                                                           and about THIS action figure.....

A LONG time ago.... our oldest son Charlton, saved his allowance and bought a most coveted action figure.  KRANG.... In fact, it was very VERY hard to find. I remember looking and LOOKING as my son patiently went through NEARLY  every single action figure in the store until he found him.  KRANG..... He was so excited.

In fact, all the guys were excited.  They loved playing with those things, and they were happy their brother found just the one he wanted.

Chuck was between 10 and 11 and Marcus was 6.   This is when they went to Public School, and there was ALL this TRADING that would go on.  Everybody traded things. It was fun and it was cool.

Well, one morning, Marcus was so excited about Chuck's Krang, he decided to take it to school to show his friends. He KNEW he shouldn't take his brother's things.  But, he did it.  He didn't PLAN to trade it.... but he got caught up in the moment, and by NOON, he had traded Chuck's precious toy for another action figure that was not NEARLY as cool... and by 3:00, he had traded the other action figure for a tooth brush and tooth paste!  YES! SOMEBODY ACTUALLY brought a tooth brush and tooth paste to school, and Marcus was the unfortunate and GUILTY recipient.....
I'm sure he walked home from school with much trepidation. 

I distinctly remember Charlton coming down stairs after school and saying, "Mom, I can't find Krang!" "I know I left him on my bed and he is gone!" 

I asked everybody, "Anybody seen Chuck's Krang?" 
And the guilty little Marcus with great aligator tears said, 'I know what happened."
"I took him to school to share.... and then I traded him."

And that is when pitiful little Marcus held up the tooth brush and tooth paste.....

Charlton was in great disbelief!  Marcus was mournful.

We had a long talk with him, and he had to pay for the Krang.  But Charlton never did get another one, because they stopped making him for awhile. 
Chuck forgave Marcus, and Marcus learned a very good lesson about peer pressure and taking things that don't belong to you!

So, FAST FORWARD..... 23 years. 
Last week we were joking about Krang on Facebook.  And Marcus, who is now a married man and a CPA was thinking about how Chuck never got his Krang back.  So he went on EBAY and FOUND one in the original package, the right year and everything, and he bought it for his brother and had it  sent  to him.  He said there was no note. He wanted to see if Chuck would know who it was from. :)
I love how the guys truly love and care for each other.

The package arrived today.  I got a call from Charlton.... "Mom, do you have ANY idea who would be sending me a KRANG?" 
"A what?"
"Remember that Teenage Mutant Ninja turtle?"  "I think I had him at one time."

Oh, that.....
"Do you remember what happened to him?"

He said, no, not really! 
That is SO FUNNY! Because both Marcus and I did. :)

So I refreshed his memory a little as he died laughing.  So he called his brother. 

I am sure they had a wonderful talk tonight over something that happened very long ago that was not so pleasant at the time, yet is humorous now.  Marcus said, "Restitution at last!" :)

Tim, Chuck, Marcus and Jodie. :)

Some final thoughts:

I think sometimes kids just do things and they don't really know why.  They just don't think that deeply.  They think like kids and do things on a whim.
Marcus remembered this event very much, and I'm glad that he felt loved and not rejected. 
How  we respond  when our children do wrong will have long lasting effects upon them.
I'm so proud of my guys. :)

The events of the past with the boys and watching them grow up, has definitely had an effect on how I view things with the girls.  I don't think I'm as uptight or fearful as I was when I was younger.
The boys experienced much trauma when they were younger too, and they were all adopted by Mike after we married.
It has been an honor to be their mother. I don't deserve them; any of them.  But GOD has blessed us tremendously with each one of our children, boys and girls. :)
The boys taught me so very much about love and life.... and the girls continue to teach me. 
Loving life today...... 

A Blast From the Past

 Yes, this is us.... but something is very different.  We are YOUNGER than 2 of our boys are right now, AND all those kids are BOYS!  Yep.... Our boys. :)  I don't write often enough about the guys....they are after all, grown and married with kids of their own.  This was JUST NOT THAT LONG AGO! But OH MY how life has changed!
 Timothy is on the left, Joseph on the right and Charlton and Marcus in the middle.
 Here are  a couple of laundry baskets full of boys.
And here they are again.  4 peas in a pod. :) Pictures were just not that easy to get with real film and moving boys. :)  There were no redos. You took a picture and it was  huge guess if it turned out or not. :)

The boys were close in age. Not quite as close as the girls as that would have been physically impossible since none of them are twins. :)  There are 4  years and 9 months between the 4 of them.
We had a wonderful time raising these guys, so much so, that we are doing it all over again except there are dresses, high heels and barbies in our house now. None of those would have been found in our home before.  At least not in a kid size :)

If you go to my side bar.... 3 of the kids wives blog.  One is our youngest son's wife Ivy.  "The life of Little Eunice".  Then there is our son Tim's wife, Emily.  "God's mercy displayed".  BTW- Ivy and Emily are sisters AND sisters in law.   Which means, Tim and Marc are brothers AND brothers in law.  I think that makes the kids double cousins or something like that. :)
Then there is Joe's wife Becca.  She has 2 blogs.  Rebecca's Art, and "It's Not Easy Being Green".
Chuck and Jodie don't blog right now....
I adore each and every one of my boys and daughters in law.  And between all of them, if OLIVIA EVER decides to make an entrance, we have 10 grand children. :)

All of this is leading up to my next post.  It is about our oldest son Charlton, and our youngest son Marcus, and something that happened a long time ago.... It was restored today. :)

Stay tuned.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Painting The Goat Barn

Anna and Alli got busy today..... :)

Erika Is Up....

Things are healing!
Ok, now that I have typed this.... I looked out the window and saw THIS! :)
 She walked out there on her crutches!

Mommy And Alli Sitting in a Tree

 Or.... that is BETWEEN two trees. :)

I think everybody likes the hammock.  It is a great place to talk.  Somebody took our picture from inside the house.... I was preparing Miss Alli for what was going to happen last night.
You know what happened???
 We went to see Monumental
The girls had a wonderful time while we were gone. They were allowed to watch a Bonanza Video.
I forgot how fun Bonanza used to be. :)
When we returned home, all was well and our sweeties managed VERY WELL! :)
Thanks girls! We had fun. :)

Monday, March 26, 2012

Guess Who's Getting New Legs Made!!!

YES SHE IS! :)  The next step to walking again. :)

Waiting to see Dr. Herring

 Camera wars!
 Down to prosthetics to be casted
 Casts done by Dwight!
The first part of having prosthetics made is casting the leg.  They do this very quickly and then cut the casts off so they can make a mold.  If I remember, we will take the camera in two weeks and take pictures what the process looks like.
 Dwight and a very happy Erika. :)

The Weekend

 Anna and Daddy enjoying the morning.
A beautiful Sunday Night Sunset

We had such a wonderful weekend.  Erika and I went on a mama daughter shopping trip, the little girls played and Played and PLAYED! 
The weather was perfect in the upper 70's and lower 80's.  After church we went out to eat and the 2 littles decided to spend SOME of their allowance at a local carnival.  I didn't think it was a wise use of their money, but it IS their money.    When we got home, they decided to work on creating their own carnival.  Oh the notes they took! LOL  We'll see if it comes to fruition. :)

Sunday, March 25, 2012


There was wonderful news yesterday, and today things have been very VERY hard.  Katya's pain is out of control and her oxygen levels are not doing well. The Dr's are there now trying to figure out what to do next.
Please PLEASE pray for this precious little girl and her family.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Such WONDERFUL News About Katya!

I am so happy to see Katya's picture! She looks like an angel! Please continue to pray for Hope Anne's family, especially Katya! 

The Past Returns To The Present

Many, MANY years ago, we were soooo poooor!  You may ask, "How poor were you?"  Well, not third world country poor. We had running water and flushing toilets.... but we were POOR.  I could not afford to buy cleanser or cleaning supplies, so I learned how to use Baking Soda. 
I used it for everything, including laundry, dishes, and cleaning the bath tub. 
I was really happy when we were able to purchase those well advertised "cleaning supplies", that in reality just don't work that well. 

FAST forward 33 years. 

A month or so ago, I was reading Sarah Kovak's blog.  She is on my side bar of favorite blogs to read. :)
Sarah is a wife and mom and also has the same condition as Erika; arthrogryposis.  Her blog is delightful to read.

She is becoming more back to nature and guess what?  She gave instructions for using baking soda for shampoo!  And the conditioner?  "Apple Cider Vinegar!"  I have used distilled vinegar before, for cleaning floors,  but not apple cider vinegar for rinsing hair!

One of the challenges around here is with Miss Alli's tangles. She has the most tangliest hair I have ever seen!  I think it is too dry, and then gets oily and the combination is a disaster with tears and frustration that follow.
I decided maybe the shampoo was drying her hair too much.  So we agreed to try Sarah's recipe for shampoo and rinse.
It was fun doing an "accidental science experiment" at the same time.  We added 2 TLB of baking soda into a cup of warm water and stirred it well.  We wet Alli's hair and then poured the solution onto her hair and washed it as we would if we were lathering a shampoo.  We rinsed, and then added 2 TLB of apple cider vinegar and a cup of warm water in the cup.  ( our accidental experiment was that there was still some baking soda in there, so it got real foamy. :)  )    We poured the baking soda on her hair and let it sit for a minute then rinsed. 
Her hair was much easier to comb out.  It lasted for 2 days and it was time to wash again.  The SECOND TIME, her hair responded even more! This time, there were hardly ANY tangles and in the morning it was MUCH less tangly than normal.

I think my theory that her hair was drying out thus causing her to produce more oil, which was a bad combination was correct.  She is happy and I am happy and it is REALLY CHEAP!

I tried it on myself this a.m. and I am loving the results.  So, NO MORE EXPENSIVE or CHEAP shampoos around here. We will be using soda and vinegar from now on!
Another great use for baking soda is for teeth cleaning.

By the way, we buy the 13.5 LB bag of baking soda for  $6.68!  YES SIX DOLLARS and SIXTY EIGHT CENTS!   The vinegar is more expensive at around 4 dollars.

Sarah also has a face cleanser recipe on her blog.  We are going to try that too, as some of the girls are really getting into face cleansers. :)

And now, the past has returned. I have decided to start using baking soda for cleaning products BY CHOICE.   I forgot how well it cleaned. :)
I have returned to my "hippydom".... now to get an organic garden going again. :)

Friday, March 23, 2012

Sarah's Dr. Visit

Sarah and I headed to Scottish Rite this a.m. EARLY. :)   

She had a great visit with the team of doctors and therapists.
One thing she has been concerned about, is that her left leg thigh muscle is not as developed as her right leg.  She wants it to get stronger.
So the Doctor called in P.T. and they gave her some exercises to do for the next 3 months.
 She was also accepted into a research study on how amputees walk. :)  The goal is to map on a computer gait so that they can develop better ways to help kids walk well.  Sarah does not have a limp and she is a great candidate because she walks so well.  

We were sent downstairs to Orthotics and Prosthetics so they could add about 1 1/2 cm to her leg because she is getting TALLER! :)     She is also thinking about a "high heel" foot. She is, after all going to be 13 in June. :)   They told her to pick out some high heels and the height she will want, and then we will work on it. :) 
I have a very excited little girl. :)

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Truman Shepherd Minich

I just love this little guy.  I MISS him too!  But oh my, holding him and looking at him is like holding his daddy all over again. :)    I can't wait until Joe, Becca, Sam and Truman come home to Texas.... :)

Sweet Readers

We have so many sweet readers; I wish we all lived closer together! 
Today we received a sweet little package in the mail from De. :) Thank you so much for thinking about us and especially praying for us!

And here is a Thank you from the girlies.  (Erika is standing for the first time, but without feet)
Take one:

Take two:
I should have had them say Miss De..... :)

Guess Who is Going to be ONE SOON!!!!

ILSE JOY!  Isn't she just precious! :)  And very VERY soon, she won't be the youngest grand child.  Her cousin Olivia is about to make a grand entrance any day! :)

Anna's Beating Heart

We made goo... and then Anna turned hers into a beating heart. :)

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Our Day

Today was a day...a normal day, an average day, a Wonderful, Normal, average DAY! :)
I cannot tell you how important the 1 year mark was for Miss Alli.  It seems to have given her a new calm that we have never seen.

She KNOWS she belongs. She KNOWS she is home. She KNOWS we love her AND she LOVES us.

Normal, uneventful, average, is LOVELY and GOOD! :)

I think it might be time for Green Eggs and Ham! :)

Katya is Alive!

Praise the Lord, Katya is out of surgery and she is alive!  It was THAT DANGEROUS of a surgery.  Follow Hope Anne's Blog "Bringing Katya Home" on my side bar for more information.

Praising the Lord with the Deucks. :)

Katya is IN SURGERY With Dr. Carson

Please keep Hope Anne and Katya, and all the rest of their family in your prayers... Katya is IN surgery right now.

You can click on the above sentence and get to Hope Anne's blog. 
Here is her latest update:

Booby Traps

Dr Carson just called. He said, "We are still operating. Katya is tolerating it AMAZINGLY well! There are a lot of booby traps in there, so keep the prayers coming." I said, "We are taking a roll and you have prayers coming in from all over the world!" He said, "Tell them, Keep those prayers coming!"

Praying for wonderful results.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Science Lesson

We are studying anatomy and physiology this year in Science.  Chapter 8 is all about the heart and how it works.
I think the book is great and the ideas are great, but I wanted to give the girls a little more understanding on how the heart pumps and what it looks like.

 We found a great science RAP song on youtube.
Then I wanted them to see a real heart beating....and I found a few videos of surgery. I'll spare you...
I didn't expect them to show a surgeon cutting somebody open and show it ALL.....
Everybody was glued, but I lost one of my students! LOL


I don't know if she likes science anymore.  :) 

Revisiting The Bill of Rights

Since we are in an election year, I decided to work with the girls again on Government and understanding our form of Gov't. 
Four years ago I tried this, and this is what the girls said about the bill of rights:

I asked the girlies: What does it mean, "You have the right to own, keep and bear arms?"

The answers:

You have the right to have babies with arms! (bear)
You have the right to keep your arms. Nobody can take them away.
If somebody cuts your arms off, you can own them by keeping them.
If your arms don't have hair; it is ok, you can keep them.

Here are a few more rights:

The right to petition for grievances in Fair and Honest Judgement:
"To tell the judge what you think of him."
I means you can go to the judge and they will be unjust.

The right to privacy in homes:
The condition of being out of the sight and hearing of all other people.
IT means that you want to be left alone.

The right to free speech and press:
You can say what you want to say
It means the right to speak free without getting pressed.

The right to freedom from arbitrary government regulation and control:
You can do whatever you want.

The right to bargain for goods and services in a free market:
To be able to get what you want at the store.

The right to trial by jury and innocent until proven guilty means:
You get together with them and tell them if you are guilty or not.

hmmmmm. we have much work to do. :)

So four years later, they are a little more grown up. :)  And we are really learning about how the gov't. works.
Here is Sarah reciting the Preamble and the first 10 of the bill of rights. :)


 Alli relaxing in the hammock with the cat.
 My gluten free Swedish Crepes.... made with Lingonberries.  I thought they were so pretty. :)
 More tulips
And lastly, these little gems.  I dug them out of an un-named girl's pocket when I was loading the washing machine..... I am SOOO  GLAD I checked that pocket!   It says the ink is "washable" but I don't think putting it in the washing machine was what they meant! 

Looks like I need to go back and re teach checking pockets again. :)

His Mercies are New Every Morning!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Sorting Stuff Out...

We Americans just have too many clothes!  Or, maybe it is just "We Minich's" have too many clothes!
But not any more!
Today, I worked with the girls to get drawers cleaned out, sorted and put back.  I did the same with my things.
I finally got rid of the dress that no longer fits. (hanging onto the jeans, for I do have hope)
Got rid of 10 year old shirts that had stains, so sat in the bottom of my drawer.  I sorted winter and summer. (because that is really all we have here. Cold or Hot)  The winter stuff is going into the attic. The summer stuff is out.  I sorted the too small stuff for good will and the too old stuff for the trash.

And now, I plan to REMEMBER NOT TO BUY ONE THING for a long time! Everybody has enough. I got rid of the too much. 
Ahhh, that feels good!

Interestingly, This is Alli's first cycle to see old clothes come back and new clothes go into the attic. She was pretty excited. :)
She was also surprised at how much she has grown!

I  had a fond memory come back as I was going through my drawers.  I found a little dress Anna used to wear.  I was a cute little summer dress. I can't believe she was ever that tiny! The first time I was going to sort through Anna's clothes when she was 5, she nearly panicked.  She wanted to keep EVERYTHING and not let anything out of her sight. She was so afraid she would lose her clothes forever.  It took some convincing that she was growing and would get some new things.  She is used to it now. :)

Sunday, March 18, 2012

The PROPER Use of Words

I have a confession to make.  I use the word "LOVE" way too much. And I use it out of context.  For instance, in the post below, I said, "the girls LOVED the movie". 
I should have said, "They really liked the movie, or enjoyed watching the movie."  They didn't LOVE it.

I am going to make an effort to use my words accurately..  I don't want to diminish the word LOVE.

Today,  I was teaching my Sunday School Class and I asked the kids to tell me things  they Love!
"Candy!" "My Bicycle!"  "Dogs!" "Toys!" 
And then I asked them, "If you saw a piece of candy in the middle of the street and a car was coming and it was going to run that candy over, would you risk your life to rescue that candy?"
They all laughed!  "OF COURSE NOT!"  :)  (glad they answered that right)
We went through each of the things they said they loved, and none of them would have been willing to risk their life at great peril to rescue even one of those things.

I explained to them, that is because you don't LOVE them.  You like candy, you appreciate your toys, you like your bike.... but you don't LOVE them.

I then said to one of the children specifically, that if He was in the street and his daddy saw him there, I knew without a doubt that his daddy would risk his life and even give up his life for his son. (I know this, because I know this daddy well)  "Do you know why your daddy would do that?  Because he LOVES you."

Then I presented today's lesson which was on the LOVE of Jesus Christ.  The scripture verse was from John 15.  "Greater love hath no man than if he lays his life down for his friends."

I didn't ask them the next question, instead I just stated, "I bet there are some of you in here who would NOT risk your life at great peril if you saw another friend in the street.  Some might, some might not.

But Jesus, the creator of all things, emptied himself, became a MAN, and willingly, NOT JUST RISKED HIS LIFE, but GAVE HIS LIFE UP, for not just His friends, but His ENEMIES too!

That is a true description of Love.  So when I say, "Jesus Loves You!"  It MEANS HE was willing to DIE FOR YOU, and to pay the penalty for YOUR sin, even when you hated Him.

"For God so loved the world, that He gave His Only Begotten Son, that WHOSOEVER believes in Him, would not perish, but have ever lasting life." John 3:16

How did God Love the World?  He sent His Son.

So, after class I asked, "Who loves baseball!"  They all looked at me and said, "WE LIKE Baseball!" :)

Good listeners!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

The Village Movie Review

Our girls are getting older. Erika is almost 14! They were asking to watch a movie that was not a kid movie, and one that was Scary!   I don't care for scary, but there is one we have in our closet that is both Scary and Valuable.
It is called, "The Village". 

The movie is fiction, but it is also very profound. 

The basic plot is:  A small group of people who have met through a counseling service decide to get away from the awfulness of society and create their own little world where everything is perfect and serene and they won't be hurt again. EVER AGAIN!
Each of them has been touched by awful trauma! Each has had a family member murdered.  That is why they were all in counseling.  And that is how they met.

So, they make a pact, to NEVER again go back into society.  It lasts about 25 years. (that is my best guess)
The movie is charming and eerie, because it is based upon FEAR.  There is FEAR and INNOCENCE mixed in.
As the plot develops, the VERY THING they left behind, happens again, within their own little community. 
A mentally ill child, who is now an adult, tries to kill another person out of jealousy.
The movie ends in an interesting way, but leaves MANY questions.

I think it has value because, it illustrates perfectly that MAN is sinful. You cannot get away from Sin.
They tried to create a perfect environment, yet there were the subtle sins of adultry of the heart. And in the end, they realized that pain is a part of life.

I would not recommend the movie to young children. It is SCARY.   However, there is so much good to discuss, I would recommend it to secure teens or pre teens. 
We did SKIP the one scene where the mentally ill young man stabs another person.   
There is no bad language.   But it is intense.

By the way.... The girls loved it, and loved talking about it after. :)

Is Spanking Necessary Part 2

I have studied this for over 30 years. In my first post "Is Spanking Necessary",  I wrote about the importance of the church addressing what true discipline is.  In part 2, I am going to go over a particular verse,  and also address how I feel  about the broad brushed judgment that many have towards Conservative Christians and Home schoolers.

The one Command in the Old Testament, which I have mentioned in several other posts is:
Deuteronomy 6:5-7.... (In context it is a command for Israel to teach to their children)
You shall love the Lord your God with all  your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today, shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down and when you rise."

God wants us to  TEACH our children in every situation in life. That sounds like "discipline" to me.

In the New Testament there are 2 scriptures that are written to parents, specifically FATHERS about children.
"Do not provoke your children to anger. And do not frustrate your children." 

But the scriptures that many focus on, are the striking scriptures in Proverbs.
Before I quote them, Proverbs was written to YOUNG MEN. It was a book of instruction, mostly about keeping away from temptation and following wisdom.  It is considered a Poetic book, and is full of "observation". 

I think the MAIN verse many go to is in Proverbs 23:13-14.  "Do not with hold discipline from a child, if you strike him with a rod, he will not die, if you strike him with the rod, you will save his soul from Sheol. 

There it is in plain English! The problem is, the original was not written in English! 
There are many words for "child" in Hebrew.  The word HERE is Naar. That word is used for a YOUNG MAN between 16-25. (on average)  And then, the word SHEOL... does NOT MEAN HELL....  YOU CAN NOT SAVE A PERSON FROM HELL.... sorry! You CAN'T!

In my friend Samuel Martin's study, he talked about the actual issue of corporal punishment from this verse.  In his book he said there would have been a  trial and a group of elders would have decided if a young man should have been punished in this form.

Sheol means GRAVE.... In other words, this scripture is an ancient scripture talking about a wild young person who is living dangerously, and with holding DISCIPLINE from him, will possibly result in an early death from a wild life.
In this same chapter, there is teaching to a YOUNG MAN about living a foolish life.
Jewish society DID permit public striking for punishment.  But there is NO scripture that advocates striking a young child. EVER.

I have written enough in other posts to not rehash the other striking verses. 

I am a Christian. I am a stay at home mother, I educate my children at home, I have a bunch of them.  I cover my head .  I guess that would make me fit into every category with that broad brush of

The truth is, we do not spank our kids but we do DISCIPLINE THEM.  We DO have a bunch of them, but we don't have them because we don't believe in birth control, we have them because we see them as a blessing and God has blessed us with them! :)  I don't think we are more godly than somebody who has two children or no children. Our lives are just different.
Yes, we are home educators. It fits.
Yes, I cover my head, but I also wear jeans. :)  I take 1st Corinthians 11, literally, because it is a LETTER written to the church in the New Testament. I do not believe it was written for that particular time period. In fact, the Corinthian women, overall did NOT cover their heads usually. They were gentiles.   And, Corinthians is not is not a "Poetic" book.

I am weary hearted at the false teaching within EVANGELICAL churches regarding the discipline  punishment of children. I can no longer remain silent.  Striking is addressed in scripture, but so is slavery.  It is interesting people will say outright that slavery is wrong, and there is more scripture to support it, than striking!  It is mentioned in the New Testament too.  Striking a "child" is not mentioned in the New Testament at all. Go figure.

Spanking IS NOT NECESSARY!  But Godly discipline is, and it STARTS with US!

We as parents need to DISCIPLINE OURSELVES to be patient, kind and gentle teachers to our children so they can follow our example.   And so we can say, DO AS I DO, not just DO AS I SAY.

Is Spanking Necessary?

I try not to enter into controversy, I think.... most of the time, but I came across an article that has disturbed me greatly.  The REASON I am going to blog about it, is NOT to say somebody should be in jail or on trial, as I do not wish to pass that sort of judgment. 
I don't have enough of the details and the courts will make that decision.

A Bible Church Pastor is on trial, as well as several in his congregation, for inciting child abuse (for the pastor) and actual child abuse for the parents.... Folks, we are talking about babies as young as 2 MONTHS old, being struck with a dowel rod on a bare bottom.   THAT IS CHILD ABUSE.
(I will declare that openly and without doubt)

The sad part is,  I was raised and TAUGHT from the pulpit, the Striking Verses from Proverbs.  I remember sermon after sermon, yet the interpretation of those scriptures didn't sit right with me.  Something just seemed so wrong with it.
 James Dobson made everything "funny" talking about beating his stubborn dog with a belt, back in the 1970's.  I remember seeing a video and everybody laughing about it. 
James Dobson came upon the parenting scene like a huge wave, after the 1960's Love Revolution and Rebellion, and protests of the VietNam war.  We were deemed a nation of Rebellious children raised on Doctor Spock the liberal nemesis.
Dobson encouraged people to "DARE to Discipline," physically punish, their children.  And many LOVED his teaching, thinking that this would produce loving, obedient children who would be willing to blindly follow their parents every order, and go to war too.

And not to be too hard on Dobson, I think his intentions were good.  He just bases his entire conclusion on false teaching and on a false premise.
He believes that DISCIPLINE = PHYSICAL PUNISHMENT.... and don't forget he is NOT a theologian but a Psychologist!  The very people who LOVE his ideas, tend to SLAM psychology.... That has always perplexed me. 
Dobson thinks that if you SPANK your children regularly and consistently from the very first time they begin to disobey, (birth?, 9 months?  12 months?  when ??? and what is that based upon?)  then, by the time they are 5, you won't have to do it that much.   That sounds very similar to the Pearls.
Dobson also believes that most of a child's future development in personality and nature happens within the first 5 years of life, so if you don't get them under control by FIVE, well, it is pretty much going to be difficult and awful.  UMMMMM... FALSE AGAIN!  There is not one scripture to back this up.

I remember being TAUGHT this, and was very frightened by the entire thing.  You know why I was frightened?  Because these guys mix SPANKING with Salvation.  They tell you that if you don't spank your kids, how will they come to know God?  How will they understand punishment?

I say, If all you do is spank your kids every time they do something wrong, how will they ever learn the GRACE and MERCY of our LORD JESUS CHRIST if they are constantly having to pay the penalty themselves???  

There is NO SCRIPTURE THAT DEMANDS spanking!  GOD HIMSELF did not even include it in the 10 Commandments!  Nope it isn't there.
To shorten them, as Christ did.... you can sum them up in:
Love the Lord your God with All your heart, soul and mind, and love your neighbor as yourself.
As parents, would we want grace and mercy for ourselves when we sin, or a beating?That really isn't such a difficult answer.
I am sure this Pastor and the followers who have been caught up into this, want Mercy! They certainly don't want to go to prison, though one of them is already there.

I implore my Christian Brothers and Sisters to THINK about this! It is TIME TO TALK ABOUT IT!
You know why?  Because Laws are being passed that FORBID the use of Spanking. The REASON these laws are being passed is because of the abuses those who advocate extreme corporal punishment cause.

To my readers from other countries, they already KNOW THIS WELL, and Spanking may be a foreign concept to them.
In America, it is rampant.  You buy a car, go to work and spank your kids.  Seriously??? Yes.
There are very few who do not.
I know NOBODY who has NEVER.  I wish I were in the NEVER category.  I was more in the seldom category, then EXTREMELY RARE category,  until I got brave enough to break free, IN FAITH, NOT APART FROM IT!
I have actually heard parents say, "I'll go to jail for my right to spank!"  Umm... REALLY?  How is that going to benefit your child?  You go to jail and they go to foster care???  REALLY, are you REALLY thinking this stuff through?

The CHURCH needs to stand up and begin to TEACH PARENTS what TRUE DISCIPLINE looks like!   They need to begin to teach parents that spanking or hitting children, losing their tempers with external control techniques, consequencing them into the ground is NOT discipline, it is PUNISHMENT, and it DOES NOT WORK in the Long term. But before they can teach it, they have to live it.
  I know a few who are doing just that, but they are way too few.  And many times they are mocked and written off as "liberals". 
The one thing I have heard over and over again is "Parents who don't spank, just Yell at their children to try and control them by screaming,  and that is much worse!"   This statement reveals that somebody who believes this does NOT understand true discipline.   Just like Spanking is not = to discipline, screaming is not discipline either.  I would say that is equivalent to an adult temper tantrum. It has NOTHING to do with discipline. How can an undisciplined, temper tantrum thowing parent teach their child anything?
They will also say spanking is quick and everything is over and done.  Really?  Over and done? Maybe for you, but the scars it causes are highly damaging and possibly irreparable. 

This is SERIOUS STUFF .....

What you will find, after much study, OLD TESTAMENT AND NEW, is a merciful, gentle Savior who is great with compassion, SLOW to anger and ABOUNDING in Loving Kindness, who has MUCH to say to the one who would harm a little one. 

to be continued......

Lost and Found : How to Lose Things Without Losing It!

Miss Alli learned a very good lesson today.  It was a lesson in losing things, and learning how to find them without all the drama of "losing it."  That does not mean she didn't "Lose It" , stomp down the hall and slam the door.....but the good news is, she stopped herself, apologized and restarted.

Here is what happened:
God has such a neat way of preparing us for object lessons. :)  DADDY, could not find his wallet or his keys this a.m. He was supposed to go and volunteer at the church today, and he couldn't leave.  We retraced his steps and found the keys and wallet, and all was well.  Daddy is not one to "lose it" when he loses things.  He simply looks, and retraces his steps. In fact, several of us helped him. Even though it is frustrating to lose your keys or wallet, he is always even tempered and doesn't get upset. 

Alli witnessed that scene this a.m.
  And I think it is a good example of "modeling" the behavior you want your children to have.

Fast forward to last night:
Alli and Sarah LOVE to hide when daddy goes and gets pizza for Friday night, keeping watch for his return. Then they like to shine a flashlight or take a picture. It is a silly family ritual that has been going on for YEARS in the family and Alli was introduced to it when she came home.  Honestly, I don't understand why hiding in the driveway is so exciting, but it is . :)

Alli's camera, the one Erika gave her, was not charged up, so she asked Erika if she could borrow her new one. (the one she got for Christmas)  Erika said yes, and then Sarah and Alli ran outside to take a picture of Daddy and Anna coming home.

Everybody came into the house holding pizza boxes and Daddy announced the movie for the night. It was a big surprise to all, because it was HIS TURN to pick! :)
So when he gave the title, I went back to the DVD closet to get it.  Alli and Sarah followed. 
We then had  a fun movie night and all was well.

That is.... UNTIL THIS A.M.

The girls carefully planned the events of today, even making an exact schedule!  Today was called "Camp Day".  They were recreating summer camp and had all these  "events" planned that Erika would film; with her camera.  But her camera was not in her room.
She remembered Alli borrowing it last night, and that is when the issue started.  Erika asked Alli for her camera so they could start.
Alli said, "I already gave it back to you last night." 
Then Erika said, "I don't recall that.  I don't have it."
Alli then repeated, "BUT I GAVE IT TO YOU!" "I DON'T HAVE IT!"
Her REACTION was over the top defensive and she was not concerned about Erika's camera or that it was missing. She was only concerned with her own reputation.

I stepped in and inquired to make sure I understood the situation.  Erika quietly told me that Alli borrowed her camera, last night, and now it is missing today.  She doesn't know where it is.

I was going to ask Alli to retrace her steps, but in her mind, everybody was against her, we all thought she was lying and nobody believed her.  SOOOO came her over the top reactive behavior....She went stomping down the hall saying, "You don't have to believe me if you don't want to!"  SLAM! (door)

We have been doing SO WELL, I hated to see her fall back on old behaviors, but I also know that not being believed is one of her triggers. 
We are in a new phase of her healing and I can be much more direct with her now, than I could last year. 
So, I went ahead and walked in her room . She was sitting on her bed.  I lovingly, but firmly said,  "STOP living in your old family and remember where you are!"
The look on her face changed quickly!  And she said, "But you don't believe me!" 
I said, "Alli, I believe that you think you gave it back to her. Just like daddy THOUGHT he put his wallet and keys in a certain place." 
The camera is missing. Erika has no memory of having it. 
So, just like daddy retraced HIS steps, we have to retrace OURS to find Erika's camera!
Looking for the missing camera is NOT saying I don't believe you!  BUT.... the camera IS missing.
Is it possible you THINK you gave it to her and you didn't?  She thought about it.
And then she calmed herself and joined the family to retrace the steps of the night before.

It was like a Nancy Drew clue movie. :)  Anna was asking questions and the answer to one of them determined that Alli had indeed brought the camera inside and even showed Erika the picture she took!   Erika was at the computer desk when that happened, but her camera was not on the desk. 
Next clue:  Daddy announced the movie!
Sarah, Alli and I went to the DVD closet.  Anna declared, it must be in the closet!
We went back there, and there was the camera on my dresser right by the edge of the closet.

Alli had indeed NOT handed the camera back to Erika, but had shown the picture to her and then in the excitement of finding the movie, ran back to my room camera in hand, she layed it down and forgot about it.
She was stunned at the find. 
"I guess I didn't give it back to her!" She was really sure she had, and faced with the facts that she hadn't.  She realized that her memory was mistaken, and she said,  "I'm really sorry mommy." 
Last year, had something like this happened she would have tried to pin the blame on somebody else, but she didn't!  She took responsibility and I was so proud of her.

I seized the opportunity to held her  learn a deeper lesson  about how loving families operate.  We support one another. When somebody's personal property is lost, we all care and join in to find it because we love each other.
We are all on the same side; we are a TEAM!

I also had the opportunity to talk with her about the "Losing it" behavior.  "You don't have to do that anymore. We love you.  I know you didn't try to steal it. I know you weren't intentionally LYING, or trying to hide what you did."  BUT...I am sad that you thought that is what I was thinking.  And that my dear is something you are going to need to work hard on.  You need to stop those thoughts that say that we think you are a liar, or a cheater or that you can't be trusted. YOU ARE NONE OF THOSE THINGS.
  You need to TRUST that WE LOVE YOU and that We think GOOD about you!  The truth is, YOU didn't trust ME today. YOU are the one who didn't believe ME!"  
(I could not have been this direct last year)
And with that, she was VERY sorry and repented, with  a true repentance.  She asked if she could go and apologize to Erika, which she promptly did.

We have a long ways to go when it comes to learning to care for things. But we are moving, quickly in the right direction.  Alli also knows we love her, but has layers of hurt upon hurt that will continue to surface in self accusation and insecurity.  At the opportune time, we will have the honor to deal with them and continue on the road to healing. .  The Lord will help her, and He will help us to help her too. 
Last year, or even 6 months ago, this could have turned into an all or several hour event.  Today, it was less than  3 minutes.  THAT IS AMAZING!

 It is just another peeling  of the onion. :)

Camp day started on time, and I am sitting here a little teary with joy, watching my girls have such a wonderful time with each other.  They are laughing and playing and Erika is filming it, all as planned. :)
 SOME HOW I MISSED THIS! Glad I didn't see it! YIKES!
 I would have to call this the "how to earn a trip to the E.R. game!

 I think this was the spider web game.

 The camera girl. :)

 It is A LOT more fun to be on the same  team.... :)

You Are Still Holy