Helping Our Children Work Hard with a Happy Attitude: 4 Moms

“How do you teach your children to work hard with a happy attitude?”
That’s the question that the 4 Moms are answering today and it’s a hard one.moms of many manage

Edited to add: Obviously I didn’t handle this topic well, so please read Part 2: Laziness and Arrogance for a more balanced picture.

First of all, we don’t tolerate our children working, obeying or just hanging around with a lousy attitude ever. We don’t tolerate this in the one or two year old, in the eight year old or in our teens.

We’ve taught our children to obey cheerfully from the beginning and generally our older ones simply need a reminder if they are struggling with cheerful obedience. I also think that this is mainly an issue of God’s grace working in the lives of our children. While the Proverbs do say that the rod gets to a child’s heart, ultimately (even if the outside appearance is cheerful) none of us can have a right attitude toward God (or any other authority) without God’s mercy.

As I’ve pondered this post, I’ve struggled with what to say. Most of you don’t know me and don’t know my children.

You have no idea whether or not our children work hard and you have no idea whether our children are cheerful.

You also have no idea what my definition of ‘hard work’ is.

It’s much easier to answer this question when people we know ask it.

  • “Why are your children always so eager to help?”
  • “How have you taught your children to see what needs to be done and do it without asking them?”
  • “How have you trained your children to serve each other cheerfully?”

They know our kids and know what to expect if they ask for our advice. But you don’t know our kids, so allow me to give you a glimpse into our home.

The beginning of my pregnancy with Valor was tough and while I did post on here that I was in and  out of the hospital struggling with dehydration, I did not post (and don’t intend to now) how extremely ill I was. Let’s suffice it to say that it was a “good day” when I was able to be upright (sitting) for more than 4 hours in a 24-hour period. I was so sick that I was back in the bedroom sleeping even when our family Bible study group was meeting in our home.

The house functioned without me for 3 months and the children figured out how to cope without me on their own.

Amber (15 at the time) managed all the food. She planned all the meals, prepared shopping lists and put 3 meals a day on the table for 12 people.

Kaitlin and Matthew (13 and 11 at the time) tag teamed the responsibilities with the younger children (5, 3 and 1), keeping them cleaned, entertained and cared for.

Everyone pitched in and continued to do our basic cleaning and home maintenance routines and of course Mark supervised and kept up with everyone’s school work.

Not only did they keep the basics going, they hosted large groups in our home several times.

And after that experience, our children still pray that God will send us more babies. So overall I would have to say that we are making progress in this area.

So how did this happen? How have we helped our children to become happy servants? The simple answer is, “We’re still working on it and I’m not sure.

This is one of the main goals of our parenting.

We want to teach our children to be humble servants of Christ.

So this whole blog is really an answer to this question. We try to make all of our parenting decisions lead to this end. If our children are humble servants of Christ they will humbly and cheerfully serve others. Also note that if WE are humble servants of Christ, WE will humbly and cheerfully serve others, and yes that is convicting to me.

That said, here are some things that I think have contributed to the work ethic we see in our children (and trust me, it’s not perfect. It’s so hard to speak of these things to those who do not know our children, their strengths and weaknesses):

We expect our children to contribute to the family welfare.  In addition for taking care of their own things (brushing their hair, keeping up with their school work, making their bed, etc.), every member of our family spends time serving the whole family. We do this regularly with daily chores.

We expect our children to serve others by denying self. One example of how we do this is that whenever there is a line for getting food, we always allow others to go before us. Our family is nearly always one of the last to get food.

This is  true even when we have little children who are overly hungry and/or tired. The truth is that learning to be a servant is learning to do things we don’t want to do and often that will mean dealing with being uncomfortable.

I realize this is completely contrary to our culture where we excuse poor behavior in children with “they’re overly hungry” or “they missed their nap today” and we rush grumpy children to the front of the line. A lack of physical comfort is absolutely no reason for poor behavior, disobedience, selfishness or even fussing (for children who are verbal).

We encourage our children to be productive. I’ve mentioned before that we don’t go in for much of this entertainment society that surrounds us. Generally our children’s non-productive screen time is limited to one family video each Friday evening.

Currently, our older children (age 7 and over)  spend their ‘free time’ learning music, drawing, running cross country, cooking, planning and planting a garden, reading, wood carving, taking care of the baby and sewing.  This is what they do for fun. Our younger children spend a lot of time playing outside, drawing, building with Lego’s, playing with the babies and watching/helping the bigger kids.

Our children have progressed naturally from the play type activities of the younger years to the more productive type activities of the older years. They actually desire to be productive.

We do NOT require our children to participate in non-productive activities. I say this because I think it contributes to how our children decide to spend their time. If, from the time they are small, we occupy our children’s time with purposeless, repetitive tasks (I’m thinking  of all that preschool busywork that we throw at our children) then it will be natural for them to continue to choose non-productive activities when they are older. (6 Distinctives of our Homeschool)

It’s for this reason that we delay formal instruction in math and grammar. We teach our children those skills that they need and use as they are needed  and wait until they are older and have a good grasp on how they use grammar and math on a daily basis to introduce formal instruction and workbooks. So far, all of our children have enjoyed and excelled in both grammar and math.

We do expect a lot from our children. While we don’t require a lot of busywork and we try very hard not to fill our children’s time with meaningless activities, we do require a lot from our children. Hopefully, what we require reflects our purposes and goals for our children’s lives, so while you won’t see Olive children completing myriads of worksheets or other time consumers, they have plenty of opportunities to practice diligence.

Our children memorize scripture, lots of it. It takes us over 30 minutes each morning to recite our review passages from the ‘big kids box’ and a couple weeks ago, several of the children memorized the first chapter of Ephesians within 3 days.

Our children read the Bible. All independent readers spend about an hour reading their Bible everyday.

Our children help around the house. My role is more managerial these days and I’m able to focus on parenting and educating our children, most everything else is delegated.

Our children help with the younger ones. – They actually beg and squabble over who gets to do this.

Our children serve others. Look around, there are lots of opportunities for this for any child between 7-9 or older (even younger ones can be helpful, but when it comes to helping with younger children, a little older is better). Most kids are too busy playing to notice, but if parents are aware they can see the opportunities and direct your children. People who drop something at the store, opening the door for ladies, helping other families with small children, walking a fussy baby, cleaning up after a church meal, carrying packages or boxes for others, helping prepare food for others, babysitting, mowing yards, etc., etc. The needs are vast!

We work alongside of our children. We love to tackle projects together as a team. It’s amazing how quickly things can get done when you have a bunch of people working together. Our children help with whatever is happening in the home. Some kids help with the little ones (2 and 5 months), some kids help mom, some help dad and some may help an older sibling.

Also, those needs that I mentioned above and more are needs that are often not being met by the church body. Often families could use help as they struggle with illness, welcome a new baby, tackle big projects, etc. This is where the body of Christ can come together and lend a hand. The key here is not being so busy with your own life that you have no time to help others. When you go to help others include your children. Not only can they be very helpful, they are also watching you.

As a word of encouragement, there was a time when we were not seeing the results that we wanted. Namely, that we were always having to point out to our children the needs of those around them. I think that this is a problem that simply resolves itself with maturity and practice. Keep on keeping on and don’t be discouraged. Gently point out how they can help those around them and soon they will begin to see things themselves.

I would say that things should probably change if your children are not obeying you cheerfully whatever their age. Even Valor (5 months) understands the meaning of the word ‘no’ and doesn’t touch things that we tell him are a ‘no’.

Also, children who are capable of speaking should not be in the habit of crying when they are not hurt. I suspect that allowing this will make it more difficult to teach cheerful obedience in the future.

How have you helped teach your children to work hard with a happy attitude?

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57 Responses to Helping Our Children Work Hard with a Happy Attitude: 4 Moms
  1. Sarah Giovannetti
    February 14, 2013 | 9:46 am

    Thank You! This is just what I needed today!

    [Reply]

  2. Heidi
    February 14, 2013 | 10:35 am

    Hi, there!

    Great post; only, I feel you failed to mention one of the key reasons your children are modeling obedient and cheerful work ethics. It is clearly because you and your husband are cheerful, obedient models serving Our Lord—bring 11 little ones into this world is no easy task but you contiue to view these blessings as gifts and this mindset is reflected in your attitudes. If we readers have picked up on this, it can be assumed that your little Olives have as well. Keep up the great work! :-)

    [Reply]

    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    Thank you for your kind words Heidi.

    [Reply]

  3. Kim
    February 14, 2013 | 10:46 am

    My gosh! You don’t do any of the housework or cooking? That is not right. How can you encourage your kids to work hard when it sounds like you do nothing but delegate?

    [Reply]

    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    Hi Kim.

    This type of response is why I don’t like answering this type if question from those who don’t know our family. I’m assuming you are referring to this comment in the post, “My role is more managerial these days and I’m able to focus on parenting and educating our children, most everything else is delegated.”

    I realize that you have never watched our family in action. You’ve never been around as Mark and I have parented our children and you’ve never watched our family work together. Please allow me to share a bit of how our family works.

    I spend hours every day cooking and cleaning (working alongside of our children in the tasks that have been delegated to them). I also handle all of the deep cleaning, organizing, laundry and homeschooling for our family of 13. I suspect that I spend more of my time doing housework and cooking than most women in the U.S.

    We believe that our children benefit from having responsibility over certain areas of our home, this is how we are training them to one day manage homes of their own. This doesn’t mean we’re never working alongside them, but rather that they get to decide what should be done when and how.

    You are right, if I sat in a chair and simply bossed everyone around all day because I didn’t want to work, that would be wrong, but then I don’t think we would have children who were hard workers.

    Have you ever heard a mom say that it’s easier to clean the room themselves rather than get their children to help? If you’ve ever worked to teach children how to complete a task then you know what I’m talking about. :)

    We have not chosen the easy road. We’ve chosen to have a large family, we’ve chosen to homeschool, we’ve chosen to live with less which takes a lot more effort than just going to a store and buying what we need, but our God is good and has blessed us in more ways that we can imagine. Am I ever lazy? Absolutely, I struggle with being lazy every day, but this role of mine is not based in laziness, but in a desire to train our children to the best of our ability.

    I suspect that our children’s behavior and attitudes speak more for my work ethic than anything I could ever say on this blog which is why I wish you all could know them personally. Then you could decide if this is the type of outcome that you desire in your children or not.

    Thanks for taking time to comment.

    [Reply]

    Suzanne Reply:

    Kimberly,
    I disagree with Kim. But I sometimes feel guilty about the amount I delegate. Recently I came across this thought on another blog. “When my children do their chores they are not doing MY job. My job is to teach, train and equip them to become productive individuals (and per your goals humble servants). It is MY job to train them it is their job to learn. I was unequipped to become a wife and mother because I was rarely required to help at home. I do not want the same for my children.

    Kimberly, do you have other thoughts or posts on why you choose to delegate more at this time in your life?

    [Reply]

    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    I have chosen to delegate more at this time because our family is doing more and there are more children who are needing to have some responsibility.

    We are cooking more from scratch, making our own personal care and cleaning products, hosting more company, homeschooling more children (including 3 in high school), making food for others and we’re more involved in ministering to others in a variety of ways. We also have more children to whom to delegate tasks.

    Our older children are actually doing less now (unless it’s their week in the kitchen) than they were when they were younger. Several of the older kids no longer have table chores and have fairly light regular chores because we needed to have the younger children take on more responsibility so they could learn diligence.

    I find that I’m much busier now (in a different way) than when all of our children were small, but our family is also a lot more productive. It u sed to be that I spent all day just trying to survive, now I spend much of the day making our lives and the lives of others nicer, more beautiful, more enjoyable or easier.

    Does that make sense?

    [Reply]

    Cindy Reply:

    With as many children as Mrs. Olive has, I’m sure her day is quite full. I have seven children of my own and I sometimes never sit down..if I did I would probably fall asleep :). I feel to that there isn’t time in my day to do more than manage the chores assigned…that is hard, exhausting work to keep up with 7, let alone 4 more. Why not have the children do the little chores, to help keep the house up? They are so capable, but have to be trained in it, which takes a pile of time and effort on mom’s part. It is training them to serve and notice the needs of others, be able to keep a home of there own..they can get selfish if nothing is expected of them. Hats off to you Mrs. Olive. I never thought you to be lazy, but offering advice in an area you have down or at least working on it. Obviously, no one is perfect and we are all sinners saved by grace…thank you Lord for the grace to be calm, patient and loving when dealing with my children…

    [Reply]

    Christie Reply:

    I am confused by your response. I remember the post saying that she delegate all of the chores while she was sick and now, she and her husband “work alongside of our children.”

    Do you have older children? It seems perfectly reasonable to expect a 10 year old to learn to help prepare food and that by the time the child is 13 or 15 years old, he or she could easily prepare entire meals as a help to the busy household.

    [Reply]

  4. Annie
    February 14, 2013 | 10:58 am

    Good morning!
    I want to start by saying thank you for taking the time to post. I’m sure you are busy.
    I receive your blog posts via email, because I’m trying to make a point to not be online frequently.
    I am encouraged by your blog to be looking to Christ. I am thankful you have given credit to His mercy and work in your children’s lives.
    I also wonder, you most likely have a husband who is your leader and who is dictating the standards for your home?!
    Because, while I am thankful today for what the Lord has chosen for me, I am waiting on the Lord for Him to lead my husband. I have struggled very much in this in the past. Being here for 50 hours a week while he’s working does put a lot of the spiritual burden on me. However, it will do more harm (in my opinion) to be the one grabbing the reins and running ahead. I have done that most of my marriage! I believe that good is the enemy of best and I pray that I find daily what I need in Christ to do the best. I imagine many women struggle with how much to do, in order to not be neglecting our responsibilities in the Word, but also to be accountable with our time here.
    For example, their free time. It’s difficult when daddy is home and has no problem with anyone using their free time for their enjoyment. Therefore, when the “week” of work happens and I’m here, I find it a struggle to encourage them otherwise. Don’t get me wrong, they work hard, most of the time. I want to set godly standards on not wasting time and working hard as servants, but I wonder how much is usurping my husbands authority if he hasn’t set that biblical standard for them.
    I believe the Lord can do this for my children if they are in the Word. We do family bible time at night, and I have a personal quiet time every morning, but again, my husband has not set the standard for our children to do this regularly. I believe if it comes from me alone, yes it can reap good benefits, but if the father is not leading it most likely will not last or ultimately lead to life change.
    Sorry this got long.
    Because while its encouraging in some aspects to hear how “other families do things”, today I feel discouraged! I am praying the Lord helps me to stay focused on Him and be content with my lot, but not to disregard my role! What a delicate balance it seems to be!
    And, I have a 5-month old also, and I think that is pretty interesting yours can understand “no”! I’m amazed! Mine can’t remember to un-pin his arm when he rolls over!! :)

    [Reply]

    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    Grace and peace my sister in Christ. I believe that God uses all types of parenting practices to equip His children for His glory.

    Mark spends a lot of time playing with the children. Playing tag, hide and seek, football, soccer, and lots of board games. I think this is a great use of time and provides a good balance to my more task oriented personality.

    Please don’t be discouraged, be encouraged that God is equipping your family and your children for the particular purposes to which He has called you.

    [Reply]

    Abby Reply:

    Praise the Lord for your waiting on him. I can truly say I have been in your shoes, and He is faithful. The Lord has done far greater things in the life of our family than I ever dared to even pray for, in His own timing. Don’t be discouraged.

    [Reply]

  5. Hilary
    February 14, 2013 | 12:05 pm

    Wow! We’ve got a long way to go in this house! Sometimes I see my mistakes more than successes. I (only) have 4 children and attitude seems to be our #1 problem. I’ve addressed it and it is getting better but boy…!! We also homeschool but I have trouble getting my 9 year old son to do his work without constant nagging. I’ve been disciplining with extra chores…Isn’t this parenting thing a puzzle? It is for me. I will consider it a success if my children are Christians and pray for them a lot. I’m going to have to really look at some of your other posts.

    [Reply]

  6. Lucy
    February 14, 2013 | 12:42 pm

    Low blood sugar actually is a physical reason for poor behavior, though not a good excuse :-) In little ones who are too young to understand that we make an effort to solve the physical cause quickly while we discourage the bad behavior. As they get older it’s a good opportunity to explain to them how their bodily functions can affect their mental outlook, and by understanding that it is easier to recognize symptoms and adjust their mental outlook accordingly.

    [Reply]

    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    I should have used the word sinful rather than poor. :)

    [Reply]

  7. Kirsten
    February 14, 2013 | 1:41 pm

    Thank you Kimberly for taking the time to describe exactly how you are training your children. It is always such a blessing! I’m wondering, how do you go about acknowledging your children when they have acted Biblically? Do you use that instance to quote the Scripture that they have demonstrated obedience to? This is what I have been trying lately and it seems much more meaningful than thanking my children or praising them for correct behavior. Thank you again for sharing your wisdom!

    Kirsten

    [Reply]

    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    Hi Kirsten.

    We actually haven’t considered much about how we thank or praise our children. We do thank and praise them when they demonstrate godly behavior. I also make a huge effort to point out all of the things that we’re able to do because of there help.

    I think pointing out how they’ve demonstrated obedience to God is a wonderful way of reinforcing our ultimate goal and motivation. Thank you.

    [Reply]

  8. Annette
    February 14, 2013 | 2:44 pm

    Hello Kim,

    I have been following along the Thursday thread for a long time now and I seem to always learn something new. However, I must say that at times I wish that you posted more “real” scenarios and actually admitted once in a while that your children had A bad day. Your posts always sound as if your children are always perfect. I know that this cannot be true, but I believe that being “real” to the outside world is very encouraging to those who struggle. It is hopeful to see that there is light at the end of the tunnel, and that we must “not grow weary in doing good.” I know that you mean well, but I find myself gravitating to the other women’s sites because they appear to be more “real” where I can relate better to them.

    I think that you and Mark are amazing parents and you come across as being very confident.

    Thank you for taking the time to read.

    Blessings,
    Mama to 9

    [Reply]

    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts and if my blog is discouraging and other blogs are helpful and encouraging to you then by all means read those and please, please, please skip this one.

    Back when I had more time to spend on the computer, I shared a lot about our failures and real life situations and struggles. I even dedicated one post a week to looking at the humorous part of our short comings. I posted more about our everyday struggles simply because I had more time to post. As a matter of fact, for the first 3 years of this blog (it’s existed for 4 years) it was nominated for the Nitty-gritty award (given to the blog that was most real and made you feel better about yourself because you had it more together than that blogger) in the annual homeschool blog awards.

    Now that my posting is limited to once a week and those posts are dedicated to specific topics, I find that I don’t do that type of thing because I simply don’t have the time.

    I take time away from my family and home to write this blog, therefore Mark and I believe that sharing things that have worked for us, rather than things in which we have failed is the best use of this time. For example, in is post I could have shared that our attempt at a reward system for chores was a miserable failure or that each of our children has gone through a phase (or several) where they struggled to be dilligent or that sometimes I lose my temper because the children seem not to listen when it’s chore time. Perhaps that would have been helpful to some, but it gives no direction. It doesn’t help anyone know where to head, just where not to head.

    All of that said, this issue you bring up (limited posting means no one really knows who I am so my posts come in a vacuum and it may seem that we have it all together) is one reason that I’m hoping to discontinue blogging very soon. The reason I hav continued thus far is because Mark believes that it is a beneficial ministry and a good use of my time, however if its just discouraging to readers……

    Thanks for your insight.

    [Reply]

    abba12 Reply:

    Ive been reading this blog basically since it began, so i have the perspective of your imperfections, which helps i guess.

    I have gotten a lot of very useful, practical help and spiritual understanding behind why you do things, leading to why i do things. Its been a real blessing and i would hate to have it shut down.

    Having said that, sitting here reading this post, after spanking my two year old for doing the same naughty thing for the third time this morning, and having her going through a stage where she directly tells me no and i feel like things are out of control, it is depressing. i do feel tempted to just give up because i must be doing everything wrong and i cant succeed with this. Short of spending my entire day spanking her, i dont know how to stop the nos, and part of me hopes maturity will help a lot, since she has only just turned two and is hardly verbal. But i cant imagine her ‘fixing her face’, we are so busy with obedience right now i cant even deal with the cheerful part, though ive followed much of your advice since she was born. I guess im just doing it wrong, we have given up on her sitting in church, shes just so stubborn, she would rather stand facing the wall all service than sit with us. Any time i really try to crack down on something the family tells us to back off because shes only 1, now 2, and comfort her from my dicipline or give her a treat. How i wish i knew a helpful mother in real life to guide me with specific advice so i could do better with my second little girl. Shes valors age and i couldnt imagine her understanding no…

    As far as talking about the shortcomings, kimc and connie both expressed that its still a work in progress, but your post sounds like you have it down pat.

    I love your practical advice and theological articles, but i also feel like those ideals are so far out of my reach its not worth trying. And i have tried, but my daughter has ignored almost all my nos this morning, despite two spankings, two time outs, a denial of a privelege and complete consistency everytime she does it. I cant be any stricter, or we would both be miserable.

    [Reply]

    Leslie B Reply:

    I think there is a lot that could be said in a conversational dialogue with you and the worst part is that you haven’t found an Godly woman/mother in your church to lead you along. Just know that what you are going through is by no means uncommon. Kimberly has had/will have 2yrolds who do this as well as many others. I also believe that the first child is the hardest, not because of temperament, but because of our inexperience as parents! A wise mother once told me as we were starting out to imagine we have a terribly long trench to dig to the ocean. Every time we stop and look up, but see no signs of the sea we are disheartened and our shovels grow heavier and the dirt thickens. But if we trust in the Master, who has told us the ocean is coming and instead dig with all our best effort and rely on Him to give us water/rest when we need it, one day we’ll be surprised to hit the sand of the beach! We were so focused and concerned with digging and being in complete reliance on Him for everything, we stopped worrying about if we were ever going to make it! It may be years before you see great tangible uninfluenced fruit of your labors with your 2yrold. Don’t lower your standards. Just keep digging. :D
    If this is unhelpful, please delete it Kim :D

    [Reply]

    Jessica Reply:

    abba12
    I just wanted to encourage you this morning! I know where you are at right now and it is a hard place to be! I have a 4 1/2 years old that was exactly how you were describing your daughter. I have been at the end of my rope so many many days. I have felt like I was failing. I had the thoughts of I’m doing it all wrong. My family was not supportive (by family I’m assuming you are meaning other than your husband) and I felt like they were working against me all the time. We have never left my children in the care of others so all of this was usually done right in front of me
    There were many many days I felt like giving up. Today I am so happy that I didn’t. It seems that just over the last few months my defiant, bossy, strong willed little boy has matured. I am not at all saying that daily we don’t have all the issues we have had before because we certainly do but we are starting to see fruit from all of our hard work. I encourage you to remain as consistent as possible. I know some days that’s easy and others not so much. Remember that this time is such a short amount of time and it to will pass.
    Another note on your family. Still assuming this is not your husband because my next statement would not apply in that case. If it is a constant battle it may be worth sitting down and explaining to them that she is your child and you are doing what you see is best. In my situation my mother would literally scope him up and coddle and give treats and say things like mommy is just a grouch or she is being bossy huh? Well grandma loves you, etc. I prayed for many days about how to approach the situation. I encourage you to pray foe Gods guidance in this area so that he may be glorified in the end. I will also add that there were tines I lost my temper and didn’t handle it right because the discussion we had had to happen several times and my parents needed reminded. ;) some encouragement here too is that after 4 years and three children, with one on the way, it is getting better.
    I hope this encourages you. There will be fruit soon enough. Just as a gardener must plant the seeds, tend the plats, care for soil so we as parents must do. And soon we will have a harvest! Some plants may just be late season producers ;) Keep up the good work momma!

    [Reply]

    Sarah Reply:

    Dear disheartened momma,

    First, God loves you! Exactly as you are, he will not love you anymore or less than he does right now, because he is the same today, yesterday, and forever. So, you can really, truly, fully rest in the knowledge that no matter what you do right or what you screw up(by human standards), he will always completely love you. There is so much more going on than simply what we see here on earth. This is a small blip on the radar in light of eternity. In reality, everything we deal with here is a small thing. I once heard some advice that went like this: “Don’t sweat the small stuff…and it’s all small stuff”
    That’s not to belittle what you’re going through right now, it’s to encourage you that though “we see through a glass dimly” right now, we won’t always. As we go on our path with God, and give him more of us, He will give us more of himself. At some point, hopefully, in a mature Christian walk, each person will realize that whatever they do or don’t do, has nothing to do with their own strength or intellect, but rather with God’s strength and divine wisdom.
    “I can do all things through Christ Jesus which strengtheneth me” and “for it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure” are huge reminders of this.
    This place in time where we are, is about so much more than how well behaved our children (hopefully) will be one day, or how well we can communicate, how great our career can be, etc.
    When we get down to the root of our existence it is God, and only God. He is our creator, our redeemer, our savior, our friend, our shelter, our rock, the only constant in a world of chaos and doubt.
    Let me share with you a little glimpse into my world:
    I am a mother of two(2 1/2 and 16 months), a wife to a man who has had zero healthy role models for a good husband or dad and battles serious self-doubt daily, and a daughter to a mother who unintentionally undermines my every attempt at teaching my children anything different or more biblical than what she taught me. Each day of my mothering life has been an uphill climb. I was raised in an authoritarian home where I was never given any reason behind rules, and I grew up angry. I left my home, left my faith, made a LOT of bad choices, and wound up divorced at 21, remarried at 22…pregnant. I used to carry this around as proof that I was a miserable excuse for a “proper” Christian and beat myyself up over it daily. In the three+ years I have been married to my wonderful scarred husband we have been through more jobs than I can count, times where we didn’t know where the next meal would come from, two back surgeries, tons of “advice” from people close to me who should not be giving it, and about a million and a half tantrums between my two girls. I have been tired, I have been depressed, medicated even at one point, I have been angry, I have been sad, I have belittled myself, I have hated myself, and I have been my own worst critic. I have verbally destroyed God’s handiwork. He made me. He knit me together in my mother’s womb. He designed every aspect of my nature, and every part of my body. And I, in response, have hated it. I spent the first 24 1/2 years of my life tearing down what God so intricately designed for me.
    Now let me tell you where I am now. Imperfect. Still. But so grateful. Grateful for my imperfections, because in them, God is strong. Grateful for the wonderful man who was so lost and hurt when we got married he had panic attacks when we had our first daughter. Grateful for the man who has started to face his own childhood and take the steps toward breaking the cycle, in faith, knowing that it isn’t him, but God who will direct his paths. Grateful for the beautiful girls who destroy my house everyday, cry, play, scream, giggle, dance and fight giving up their will. Grateful for every shred of progress I see in them. Grateful for every day that goes so wrong by my standards I just want to curl up into a ball at the end of it. Grateful for every mistep and mistake I have made, because they are what brought me to where I am. I am loved, completely. You are loved, completely.
    God does not keep a scorecard of the times you lose your temper and raise your voice at your kids, and then dock some love. He doesn’t judge or condemn us when we fall, he reaches his hand out to lift us up. So every time you fall, instead of looking at the ground and beating yourself up that you fell again. Look up, to the source, look into the face of love, of mercy, of grace. Accept it. Truly accept it. He doesn’t hold anything back, he forgives AND forgets. Ask for HIS strength, HIS wisdom, HIS love. Ask him at the beginning of each day for HIS plan for you that day. What he desires of you as a child of God, as a wife, and as a mother. He will show you the path, slowly, carefully, each day. We are not simply raising our children to a set of human standards. We want to teach our children to love God, and want to follow him. All the rest of it are just details. Do we want our children to behave nicely, clean up after themselves, stop complaining and throwing fits? Of course! Who doesn’t? But that shouldn’t be the goal, simply the byproducts of a child’s relationship with Christ. When we pray for God to show us what to do each day, and we pray for our husband and children each day, how can we go wrong? Ultimately, we can not choose for our husbands, we can not choose for our children. We can only pray, let God work through and in us, and do the best we can. I’m not saying we don’t try to teach good behaviors, we do, but we can’t judge our sucess as a child of God on our children’s behavior. Being a mom is important, being a good mom is important, but the only one you should let judge how you measure up is God. Not even you should try to be the judge of that. We often condemn ourselves much more harshly than we would even an aquaintance. I have once been the queen of perfectionism, I got knocked off that throne pretty hard. Then I became the queen of self-deprecating comments and thoughts. I was gently pushed off of that throne. Now, I try to remember to keep the right person on the throne, God.(and leave the verdicts to him as well) When you keep each day, each circumstance in that light, everything else gets small, and God gets big. So big, you can’t even hear your thoughts and comparisons anymore. Just peace, freedom. I want you to know I will be praying for you, please be encouraged. I am sorry this is so long, you were on my heart, if you ever need to talk, reply to this comment and I can give you my email.
    God bless!

    A last comment: my girls still throw fits every day, but slowly they are getting fewer and less severe. And slowly, God is popping up more in our daily conversation and is becoming our yardstick for all things. We are FAR from perfect and will never reach it on earth, but with God’s grace and mercy, He is bringing us where He wants us, in Him timing and His way. Again, God bless you.

    [Reply]

    abba12 Reply:

    Thank you for your encouragment. You neednt have shared all that in such a public space, but i do relate. I am only 21, fairly young to have two kidlets i suppose, though i was married at 18. I came from, lets say, a traumatic childhood, and i guess it all factors in. Its so hard to remember i have to meet gods standards for me, not his standards for someone else.

    I dont want to talk much more here, but if you truly would like to email me you can at abba12_the_first@hotmail.com (i get so much spam already it doesnt much matter if i place it publically) but please dont feel as if you have to.

    [Reply]

  9. Stephanie
    February 14, 2013 | 3:21 pm

    Thank you for encouraging large families to look outside of their own families for needs and places to serve. Often I read about large families moslty focusing on the needs of their own families and using that as an excuse not to serve others. I appreciate seeing how the needs of a large family and service to others can be meet.

    [Reply]

  10. Lisa
    February 14, 2013 | 4:48 pm

    Please do not quit blogging! Your site is the only reason I am staying sane and attempting to be a Christ-like parent! And I do NOT have 11 children.

    We have wanted to do so many things with our children but never get around to it. I have been much more intentional in my parenting after coming across your site. We have started family devotions, a dialogue about homeschooling and intentions are being done rather than just talking about them.

    We are consistently working on obeying the first tiime, and discussing the 10 commandments. Our eight year old was complaining the next morning about having to do things. Our eleven year old said, “Come on, it’s the first amendment!” LOL!

    So I appreciate your site and how it has taught me to capture my children’s heart. Plus, I’m reading the Bible in 90 days. I figure the more Scripture, the better.

    Thank you!

    [Reply]

  11. Lisa
    February 14, 2013 | 4:52 pm

    Plus, I want lots of grandchildren. One of your daughters may work well with one of my boys. And we only live a few hours away!

    File it away for future reference ;)

    [Reply]

    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    Filed. ;)

    [Reply]

  12. Megan Volmer
    February 14, 2013 | 5:35 pm

    Kimberly,

    Thanks for this. I am a mom of 6 with a deployed husband (13 months) that will soon be home. The post was great and I really appreciate the encouragement just to keep pointing out things. My oldest is 12 and the others are about 2 years apart. They work fairly well despite three household moves in 38 months and six months on location in the States with my husband. I want them to take initiative and feel “relieved” that sometimes it just comes with maturity.

    I too delegate most of the “housework”. We have survived this year – including a pack the house, load with Marine help, move and unpack only because my kids helped. I feel so unorganized due to so many moves, but rest in the fact that God orders our days. I don’t often comment, but appreciate your posts.

    [Reply]

  13. Jenn
    February 14, 2013 | 8:59 pm

    Okay, so what do you and Mark do for punishment if one of your children are not doing chores with the right attitude? How do you specifically instill these character traits? What do you do when they don’t want to do schoolwork and are having a bad attitude about it? And with some of my children it just seems like an everyday occurance. What if their attitude just keeps up? And I’m also wondering about if you have any recommended books for this type of thing.

    And please don’t give up blogging, I so look forward to your posts!

    [Reply]

  14. Debbie
    February 15, 2013 | 10:07 am

    I think this has been a wonderful post!! I read part of it yesterday morning and I thought about it as we went through our busy day. I am going to print it off so that I can read it again and study it out. It is not too much to expect the best from our children, just as our Heavenly Father expects the best from us. Mine range in ages 16- not yet born (5) and I can say that my oldest is no where near perfect, but I am a very proud momma of a very respectful, hard working young man. But at the same time, my 12 yo, is no where near as mature as she should be, lazy, and it’s a constant struggle to get her to do what she should. This post has been encouraging because yes it can happen, and yes we still have a lot of work to do in this household. It has helped me to put this into a lesson for her. I too deal with “laziness” every day compounded by chronic fatigue and at times I simply have to shut down and rest. It makes me mad t myself because it wastes so much time I could be training.

    [Reply]

  15. Sarah
    February 15, 2013 | 10:12 am

    Please don’t quit blogging! I don’t have much time to really get into how much you and your family have helped me, hopefully sometime soon I will. For now, please don’t stop until you feel god is telling you, then I will know he either has another provision for me elsewhere(which is not the case currently) or has decided that I no longer need another person to help lead me where he is guiding me.(which us the goal right?) But please remember that when people comment negatively about you, it is actually something within themselves they are working on and their anger and condemnation simply got directed at you.
    You are an amazing help and blessing to a lot of people, and imperfection is not an issue- we all are, so how could we possibly judge you with any legitimacy?
    Be encouraged, there are many people who your efforts are blessing!

    [Reply]

    Sarah Reply:

    Okay, I’m not on my phone now and everyone is asleep, so I can explain a little further.
    I was raised in a Christian home, but not a Godly home, and definitely not a home where I was taught how to seek God daily.
    This was what I had to work with when I became a mom. I found your blog when my oldest was a little over one year old. I was already falling into the patterns of the ones before me, and I was miserable, and my daughter was miserable.
    God used you to open my eyes to a whole new world of parenting, a “radical” new style that I had never heard of or seen. Many times I am DEEPLY, DEEPLY convicted when I read your blog. It hurts sometimes, but only because God is chipping away at some of the bad in me. I am so glad to have a resource to go to that I know has been prayed over, a lot. Not simply some, well it was a good thought and seems to be working for now stuff, but some really prayed over, biblically based concepts. I hate to say how radical of an idea it was to me to only teach my children biblically. I have always been into researching the best way to do things, and had tried to apply that to child rearing, only I looked in the wrong places and ignored the only book I should have been going to. That was until I read your blog. I read one of your archived posts that referred to biblically raising children, and I literally cried. I cried in anger at myself, in dissapointment that I hadn’t been doing better, and in fear that I would never do it right.
    Since then God has worked on me and through me and we have seen an ever so slow improvement. We explain now why they need to follow our instruction, not because I said so, but because I am responsible to God and so are they. It is amazing how much that changes things. My girls have gone from throwing tantrums pretty much every time I disciplined them, to mostly handling it well when I instruct or discipline them now. Now the fits are only a few times a day, I’m still having to work through all the time of bad parenting. I will mess up some days and fall back on old patterns. Things will get awful around our house, and then I’ll pray and get on here for some encouragement and ideas. I feel a little redundant here, since so many people are also telling you how needful your blog is, but maybe you need some encouragement too. ;) God has used you in a mighty, wonderful way in my life, and if I ever met you face to face, I’d have to give you a great big hug. I have no idea what I’ll look like as a mom ten years from now, or how well our house will run, but through your surrender and obedience to God and in sharing your walk, I have a good frame of reference. So thank you again, and PLEASE, PLEASE keep up the good work!

    [Reply]

  16. Taryn Morgan
    February 15, 2013 | 10:54 am

    I have a horrible problem with family members hindering me from doing what I feel is right with my kids. How does anyone deal with that. My oldest daughter is 6 and she is a super shy, super emotional, whiner. Especially when it comes to my mother in law. While I was working she spent the majority of her time with my in laws (me and DH both worked over an hour away from home on 3rd shift). Because of this she hates to stay at home. She is always telling me how she wishes she didn’t live with me and anytime we go over to my in laws to visit (they live across the street) it is a struggle to leave. Both my daughter and my mother in law end up huddled together in the recliner crying on eachothers shoulders begging to let her stay. It is so draining and I don’t know what to do. Even my family is caught up in the codddling. My mother is always telling me that grandmothers aren’t supposed to discipline yet she thinks complaining to me about the way they act will do some good.

    I am to the point of telling everyone to just stick it! and making the kids stay home. Is this my best option. I hate to tell them they can’t see family because they look forward to the sleepovers every weekend but I feel like I have to start all over as soon as they get home. It feels like I am having to be the constant bad guy and because everyone else lets them get away with so much I have to be that much stricter on them, further making me into the horrible mean mother.

    Anyway, all that to ask how you deal with unsupportive/unhelpful family members? Especially the ones that question your authority right in front of the kids.

    [Reply]

    Sharon Reply:

    I had some major boundary issues with my parents in the past. One of the worst things I did was let them spend too much time alone with my kids. They felt that they were better parents than us and undermined us.

    It seems to be a temptation for grandparents to want to take over because they can do a “much better job”. I recommend ceasing the sleepovers and spending more time at home with your kids. I can relate to feeling like they were coming home from a “divorced spouse visit” and it took days to get them back to normal. It is just too draining and also hard on the children.

    In my case I felt that I had given over some of my responsibility to my parents that I should not have (learned the hard way). It was hard making that break (and they made me feel soo guilty), but it has been so worth it to bring peace to our home.

    I hope this helps. I dont know your parents and can not say exactly what you should do but pray for guidance and wisdom.

    [Reply]

    Sarah Reply:

    I would agree with Sharon, but would like to also make a suggestion in addition to it. Once you have prayed about it, write down the things that are happening at the grandparents’ house that are making it harder to discipline the children when they get home. Then go to the grandparents with this list and talk it over with them. See what some other ways you can both come up with that are better than what’s going on right now. Explain to them your goals as a mom, trying to raise godly children, and that, while you value their opinion, ultimately who you are responsible to is God, not man. These children were entrusted to you, not the grandparents. So you and your husband are the only ones who should have final say on anything. Explain that if you can’t get on the same page, then you will have to create a lot more distance there, which is not your desire or goal.
    My mother in law was particularly bad about letting my oldest daughter get away with things I would never allow. After several times of having to “retrain” my daughter I went to my mother in law with my concerns. I told her pretty much what I just told you, I explained it in a loving, non judgemental tone, but also pretty matter of factly. I explained that if every time I let my daughter spend time with her, she was going to essentially tell my daughter that what her mother said wasn’t right or important, I would have to put distance there. But that I didn’t want to need to do that. I explained that while I appreciate her input and advice, I prefer she give it to me in private, and follow my husband’s and my goals and rules with our daughters, since we were the one who will have to give an account to God one day on how we dealt with the blessings he entrusted us with.
    When spoken that way, she actually accepted it pretty well. We did back down the amount of time she spent there, but now, the smaller amount of time is more treasured also and treated with respect. I hope this helps. May God bless you and give you the wisdom and grace to find the right path for your family in this area.

    [Reply]

  17. Anita Chamblee
    February 15, 2013 | 11:49 am

    Sending you a hug!! Even though I am older and have some older children I am always encouraged by your posts.

    [Reply]

  18. Amanda
    February 15, 2013 | 12:10 pm

    Please don’t give up blogging. I am a young mother of three children 5 and under who does not have any Godly titus 2 women in real life to look up to and learn from. I rely on your example and a few other bloggers. This morning we used the scripture memmory box and began with your listed scriptures. Because of you, I am dealing with the squabbles of my children in a biblical manner. I have also used many of your recipes. I used your schedule and suggestions as a guide that has made us far more productive. There are many more great things you have done for us. Please don’t stop!!!!

    [Reply]

  19. Stephanie
    February 15, 2013 | 2:40 pm

    I don’t see anything wrong with this post! I think sometimes we need to assign some positive intent and love on people who write blogs to encourage and mentor :)

    [Reply]

  20. Kristine
    February 15, 2013 | 2:58 pm

    I do appreciate your ministry through this site so very much. In many ways, your blog is filling a mentoring gap in my life, providing frequent instruction and exhortation to read the Bible extensively, believe it entirely, and apply it diligently. It is a big commitment for anyone to provide weekly mentoring conversations, and I value your blog for how you are encouraging me as a wife and mother. Thanks!

    [Reply]

  21. Alexandra Howard
    February 15, 2013 | 4:00 pm

    This is an amazingly encouraging post! THANK YOU for writing this. As a homeschooling mom of three littles with another blessing on the way, it’s so refreshing to see other Christian families modeling the strong values, work ethic, and character that we are trying to instill in our family. Obviously, EVERYONE should know that non of us are perfect and while you stated in this post your goals and ideal training methods, we should all know that none of us are perfect or meet those goals 100% of the time. Many days I get to the end of the day and think, “what did I accomplish today?” when things have gone rough, but posts like this help me to see the long process that raising children that love the Lord really can be. It’s not an instant result or a check list, it’s a lifetime of instilling, teaching, modeling, training, and imparting God’s values into our children.

    The other part of this post that I love is that you train your children to work as a family to serve your family and other families. So many people are always complaining that their children don’t have any goals in life, don’t have any work ethic, etc and then wonder why. Maybe it’s because for 18 years nothing has be expected of these kids except for them to focus on themselves, their own pursuits, and their own entertainment. I think if people remembered what many large families are doing (all helping out) today, most families did for centuries and maybe if we had higher standards for our children we wouldn’t have a generation of lost young adults. Do we so easily forget all the young men that led our newly founded nation in battle? Our young women who know how to run a household if something happened to the mother? Or the 12 year old men who were ambassador’s to other countries? I think we’ve been so focused on making sure our children have play time that we’ve forgotten that there are far more important things our children need to learn.

    [Reply]

  22. Abby
    February 15, 2013 | 4:17 pm

    Oh how much pressure you must feel with so many looking to you for advice! Thank you for your honesty and grace! In my opinion, this post was beautifully handled, and I do not see you thinking that you have everything down pat. It is so easy for us to make assumptions and judgments about people when we really don’t know much about them. In our house, parenting issues have become less dramatic as we have acquired more children, because you have the older children setting an example for the littles daily. There are children in our family who continually set a happy example, and others who need much more additudinal direction. :) We love all of our children, and see much of ourselves in each one, and are so thankful for their placement in our family. My husband and I believe that attempting to raise Godly children is one of God’s key ways of conforming us to himself. Blessings to you.

    [Reply]

  23. Cheryl
    February 15, 2013 | 4:27 pm

    I would also add that I have been blessed by your blog. Yes, your standards are high, but as followers of Christ, our standards should be high! :) Some of us may at times feel convicted…but it can be for our good. (For example, Colby’s face change–that just gave me something new to think about: disciplining for toddler faces.)
    Anyway, I understand about blogging, as I have pretty much stopped myself and am trying to figure out if it is permanent or not. But…if you do decide to stop, could you please leave your site up so that we can continue to be blessed by the posts you have written in the archives? They have encouraged me! Thanks!

    [Reply]

  24. Cindy
    February 15, 2013 | 10:48 pm

    Don’t quit your blog…I love and admire everything you write. One thing I got from either the part 1 or part 2 was not to focus to other people on the negative of our kids…love that as I have a difficult one right now and I need to be looking for ways to praise him more to his face and to others. Thanks.

    [Reply]

  25. noelle
    February 16, 2013 | 2:11 am

    I love that you don’t spend your posts taking about the negative qualities of your children, your husband or yourself!!! If only we could all learn to focus on the positive aspects of our lives, cheerfulness would come much more easily to us all. Perhaps that is the gift you give your children- your commitment to see them at their best. No wonder they find happiness in growing their spirit each day. Kudos to you!!
    We have six boys, all of whom are very helpful, gentlemanly, and sensitive. When they do have a moment of weakness, we discuss it with them each privately. I, for one, am more encouraged by reading the strengths of others than I am by comparing flaws. Thanks for keeping things so passive. It is, after all, all a matter of perspective :-)

    [Reply]

    noelle Reply:

    Ooops!!! I meant, thanks for keeping things so positive!!! ( not passive, of course!…silly autocorrect!)

    [Reply]

  26. Diana
    February 16, 2013 | 9:46 am

    This post was great! I loved it! Thank you for writing. Definitely printing off for my parenting notebook.

    (And please keep blogging! I love your blog!!)
    Diana

    [Reply]

  27. Diana
    February 16, 2013 | 9:49 am

    P.S. I know you said that you don’t plan to share about your experience with hyperemesis…. but if you ever change your mind, I would LOVE to hear about it, as I too am a hyperemesis mum. I always love hearing about others’ experiences and how they managed to cope and/or live through it.

    Have a great day!
    Diana

    [Reply]

  28. Gabe
    February 16, 2013 | 5:26 pm

    I just wanted to encourage you, your blog has been such a blessing to me. I’ve been blessed by your honesty, by being willing to share the ups AND downs in your life. It seems to me that you did that here.

    Training and obedience are always a struggle, both for the parents and the kids. Sometimes things come together and we get a pay off for all of the hard work. Thank you for sharing how your family came together, and rose to the occasion when you were so ill during your pregnancy.

    Thank you for being a Titus 2 woman in my life, even though we’ve never even met. You’ve impacted how we run our home, homeschool our children (more purposefully), and relate to our children. The Holy spirit has worked in me through your words and I am truly thankful that you have listened to His prompting in writing on this blog.

    [Reply]

  29. Jenny
    February 17, 2013 | 12:59 am

    Thank you so much for your encouraging posts! Please don’t stop blogging. :)

    [Reply]

  30. Taryn
    February 17, 2013 | 2:38 pm

    Taryn you for your kind words. They have been so encouraging to us. I have been talking about all this with my husband and he is on the same page as me. We are now in the praying/planning stage of how to talk to them. This is the part i have dreaded the most since my in laws are very….difficult at times. We have had multiple talks with them about the problems we are having and they convincingly agree with everything we say and we put together a plan to make us all happy and then the next time my kids stay with then they forget all we said and go right back to what they were doing. I know that nothing they do is on purpose and they are just treating my kids the way they did their own but they failed to raise their own daughter in the watt i think is appropriate, not just for Godly women but for ANY respectable woman to act, and i don’t want my girls to think any of that if acceptable. Yet i can’t come out and say that because then i might as well call her a failure as a mother and that’s the last thing i want to do. We are going that a more quiet approach to it will be the more stress free option. We will have a talk and air our concerns and wishes and then let then know what we have decided the new arrangement will be. All we can do now us pray the Lord opens their hearts to our words and they understand. Thank you all again.

    I just want to add that this blog is such an inspiration to my family. We are new “converts” to the idea of a family size directed by God and we are also just beginning on our journey to being a God centered family. It is a struggle and reading blogs and posts like this one give us hope that what we envision can be achieved and also remind us that every family struggles to bring glory to Him at times and those are the times that show us how far we have come.

    [Reply]

    Brit Reply:

    Oh how I can relate to your comment. I am in the same place except we are living with my in-laws (see my comment below). Everything has seemed to magnify. We used to just ignore when they would make comments about how we parent or specifically do things contrary to how we do them. That was OK when they were 6 hours away, but not now. It is so hard on me. I feel like I can’t say a single word or my mother-in-law will be offended and cry. We have written everything down, and my husband has spoken to her with me present. She says things like, “I won’t do that anymore” or “that’s just how I am and how I treat everyone” We feel good about our talks, and then the next day it’s like we’re back to square one.

    I honestly don’t even know what to do. We need to move out so bad, but that is not an option until my husband gets a job. Sigh.

    I am thankful for a Godly husband that defends our parenting choices when he is around.

    [Reply]

  31. Brit
    February 17, 2013 | 3:36 pm

    I wanted to thank you for this post! It was encouragin to me… and I’m frustrated by some of the cruel comments some people made in this post.

    Anyways, I am encouraged. My family is in a ver difficult place right now. My husband closed down his business on June 30th of last year, the day before our 3rd child was born. We currently have an almost 3-year-old, 2 year old, 8 months and I’m 3 months pregnant with our 4th. My husband and I are OK with this, but because of our unexpected financial issues (my husband still hasn’t found a job), we had to rent out our house and move out of the state. We are living with my in-laws.

    This has been a huge struggle, especially for me. My in-laws think we are too strict on our kids. Every. single. time. I discilple them I have to defend what I’m doing. I am so worn out and tired. I desire more than anything for my husband to get a job so he can support and we can MOVE OUT!

    This post encouraged me to stick it out. My 2 oldest require discipline multiple times a day (for not listening, whining, bad attitudes, fighting, etc.). I desire to have children like yours as my kids get older, and this gave me focus as to why we are doing what we’re doing.

    [Reply]

  32. CK
    February 17, 2013 | 4:55 pm

    I was thrilled to read about your children pitching in to keep home and family running smoothly while you were having a difficult time with pregnancy. You and your husband are raising your children to be wonderful adults, who will be a blessing to others.

    I also love how you encourage your children, even when disciplining. Thank you for sharing how y’all do things and allowing a glimpse into your lives.

    [Reply]

  33. Ellie
    February 18, 2013 | 8:34 pm

    There’s no way I could articulate all the ways in which your blog has blessed our family! I only follow one blog (yours) for time’s sake and I chose it carefully. Not to flatter you nor “glorify the worm” but our Lord has given you a lot of wisdom and opportunity to impact a huge number of lives. If He leads you away from blogging, I won’t argue with that but don’t let the devil take victory here if God gives you the freedom to continue blogging! Jesus’ words offended many but are LIFE to many too. As you share a lot of truth you share that life with me. I thank God for the freedom we’ve found in listening to your wisdom. So, if my vote counts, it’s: don’t quit blogging! Besides, negative commenters may one day see the truth too and it’s a seed you’ve planted. Esther 4:14 comes to mind. God will bring deliverance to His chosen but you have the opportunity here to be a part of His lovely work in our lives :)

    [Reply]

  34. Suzanne
    April 2, 2013 | 9:33 am

    If it fits into God’s plan for your life, PLEASE keep blogging. I have 6 kids, and your blog is the only one I follow. MUCH of our homeschooling life is patterned after things I have read on your blog…which makes me look awesome! Thank you for the time you put in to your blog, I have seen your school schedule, and really respect that you have made time in your day to blog as opposed to ignoring your children all day just to blog. Thank you SO much for your inspiration and encouragement and detailed how-to’s.

    [Reply]

  35. Melissa
    July 19, 2013 | 10:33 am

    I found this to be a very insightful post. Raising 7 under 9 myself I know how little extra time you have so thanks for spending it in this way. We Are daily striving to train our kids to be more responsible and hard working with a happy heart as we lead by example and I know that you had times of struggle in getting your house to run as it does now. I don’t need you to tell me about it because I know, I have those days too. My hope and encouragement comes from knowing that it can be done,as you’ve shown, if we are faithful to stay the course and rely on God for wisdom. I wish more woman could read posts like this and glean what they can without getting discouraged by feeling their house has to run the same way. We all have different styles and needs and our houses will run differently based on what works for us. It’s helpful to see how other moms successfully do it and implement bits and pieces here and there as it fits our family dynamic. Thanks for your willingness to share what you have learned.

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