Laziness and Arrogance – Helping Our Children Work Hard with a Happy Attitude: Part 2

At the beginning of yesterday’s post I mentioned how difficult it is for me to answer this type of question to those who do not know me and my family personally and based on several of the responses to that post I did not overcome that difficulty and failed to present a balanced answer.

Yesterday’s post elicited criticism on both ends of the spectrum. On one hand this,

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?

and on the other this,

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.

and this,

As far as talking about the shortcomings… your post sounds like you have it down pat.

At the root of the above comments is accurate criticism, both that I’m lazy and that I’m proud. I am both.

I am a sinner. I am a redeemed sinner who faces no condemnation in Christ. However, I continue to sin and fail Him on a daily basis in more ways than I can count.

I am lazy. My husband, children and friends know this because they’ve seen it and they’ve heard me ask forgiveness for my laziness.

I am proud and have far too high an opinion of myself and of my ideas. Once again, this will come as no surprise to my husband, children or those who know me personally.

So, in as far as I’ve sullied the name of Christ by my sin coming through on this blog in yesterday’s post and in previous posts, I ask for your forgiveness. It is my earnest desire that above all else Christ would be exalted by my efforts on this blog and in my life.

He must increase, but I must decrease.

Thank you for your patience with me as a sister in Christ.

It is difficult for me to write about the type of topic addressed yesterday because I currently don’t have (or am unwilling to take) the time that I need to present a whole, balanced picture to those who don’t know us personally. Please allow me to try to add some “real scenarios” to give you a more balance and perspective to yesterday’s thoughts.

First a statement of the obvious, our whole family has bad days. I have bad days. Mark has bad days. Every one of the children have bad days. It’s a fact. We all sin and there are some days when we sin a lot more than other days.

{Please understand that I will generally not share specific struggles or sins of my children because neither Mark nor I believe that it’s good for them to have their private sins placed out in the public arena for people to criticize and comment upon. On this blog, I am purposely slow to point out the failures of either my husband or my children and quick to point out their successes.}

Training our children in hard work and diligence with a pleasant attitude is a daily, if not hourly task. It’s a daunting, discouraging task. Laziness and grumpiness are part of our everyday life, but there is hope and we’ve seen beautiful fruit in our children.

Yesterday I mentioned that we don’t tolerate a lousy attitude in our children. This doesn’t mean that our children never have lousy attitudes and this doesn’t mean that Mark and I handle lousy attitudes properly every time, they do and we don’t.

Teens – Several days ago, one of our teens was struggling with cheerful obedience. This is a teen who demonstrates the fruit of the Spirit in their life (I imagine this would be handled differently if we weren’t confident of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit). I told the child to take a few minutes to examine their heart and attitude in light of God’s Word. A few minutes later, the child returned to me, confessed the poor attitude and asked for forgiveness. Generally, this type of gentle rebuke is sufficient.

Sometimes we remind them of Scripture passages which they are violating. Sometimes we share with them our vision for what their behavior should be. Sometimes we talk with them about how we’ve struggled with the same difficulties and sometimes there are biblical punishments for continual refusal to comply.

Preschoolers – To me it seems that this is the easiest age to tackle these issues. One of the first phrases that we have taught our children is, “I’m disappointed.” When one of our verbal children begins to cry, we remind them that they may not fuss and cry if they are not hurt, but should use words. Then we role play, giving them the words to express their feelings. [Colby’s Attitude Change in Pictures]

The Middles – From around age 4 or 5 until age 9 to 11 are what I call the Galatians 6:9 years.

And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.

Galatians 6:9 is not for the children, but for me. Chores require constant checking, feedback, rechecking and biblical consequences and when I begin to get discouraged I try to remember Galatians 6:9. If your oldest children are in this age range there is hope  just around the corner (read my post from yesterday). [Teaching Children to Work and Teaching Children Diligence]

We often fail. We always fall short. However, in spite of our failings God has chosen to bless our children with good fruit beyond anything that we could ever hope to deserve. I hope that yesterday’s post will be an encouragement to you. If God can accomplish that in our family in spite of our sins and in spite of our failings, He can do it in yours.

But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, that no flesh should glory in His presence. 1 Cor. 1:27-29

We are weak and we are foolish, but God in His great mercy has chosen us to equip these children for His service. Indeed we serve a good and gracious God!

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88 Responses to Laziness and Arrogance – Helping Our Children Work Hard with a Happy Attitude: Part 2
  1. Michele
    February 15, 2013 | 9:06 am

    Keep doing what you are doing! You are obviously a loving mom doing the best you can and being guided by God. I’d say that is a pretty good combination!
    I love what you said about teaching the kids “I’m disappointed”. We are working on that with our 5 year old. “Use your words! It’s ok to feel sad or angry or whatever, but you have to use your words in a kind way”…or “use your words, not your hands!” 🙂 Someday it might sink in! haha


    Christa Reply:

    I enjoyed both your post yesterday and today. Yesterday seemed like you were saying that your family was still working on happy attitudes and you pointed out what you are doing to get there. Thanks for the true life examples today it is nice to hear what other families are doing and be reminded that there are not perfect parents or children so we are not alone. Always enjoy your blog!!


  2. Sarah
    February 15, 2013 | 9:22 am



  3. Elizabeth Sacks
    February 15, 2013 | 9:23 am

    Thank you for taking the time to confess and correct something you felt convicted of. 🙂 It is a hard thing to do. As for today’s post, and yesterday’s post, I want to encourage you that I do find your posts challenging, and inspiring. After reading yesterday’s post I felt uplifted, encouraged, and a bit of the “take heart” type of feelings. I have all littles right now (6, 4, 2, and in less than a month, one more little!) and I feel so discouraged as I navigate the difficulties of pregnancy with all littles. Reading both posts has been encouraging in that it WILL get better, and with consistent training and discipline, one day things will be easier than they are now. My children were kind enough yesterday to “clean” the kitchen while my 2 year old was napping. They swept the floor and put the clean dishes away. This in and of itself was heartening. They may be little, but they can still exhibit kindness, and diligence. Thanks for the testimony that faithfulness may not result in perfection on this side of heaven, but it is a far cry from what happens when we deny God entirely. Thank you also for being willing to admit that accomplishment does not denote your own glory, but that it is the direct result of God’s working in your home. That is the most encouraging thought of all, that despite my failings, God can still work in my children’s hearts.


  4. Laura Sullivan
    February 15, 2013 | 9:24 am

    I read your blog daily (and I have never met your family) and find great encouragement! Please never stop being candid and sharing your successes with us. I often feel very lonely in this journey of motherhood, even though I am surrounded by friends. Only a few embrace the principles you live every day. It helps to know there are others out there seeking God for the hearts of their children, and seeing fruit from them! Yesterday’s post was a particular encouragement to me and I read it to my husband and family, to let them know they are not alone. Keep up the great work and don’t let criticism get you down!


  5. Jamie (@va_grown)
    February 15, 2013 | 9:39 am

    Sorry to see some of those comments get under your skin. Being honest and “real” when you blog doesn’t mean you have to air all your family’s fuss and laundry just to make other people feel better. I find your blog quite encouraging–especially since Galatians 6:9 is my life verse right now and I’m glad to see from an experienced mom that if I hang onto it, there’s hope around the corner! (Our littles are 5, 6, and 8)

    Perhaps its because we have similar philosophies, but I found your 1st post very balanced and insightful. You’re TRAINING your children, not just teaching them something and then letting them go. If you keep your eye on the end goal the whole time, then you can see the results better as you move along. Our kids work hard at home as well and folks often ask us how we get them to do “all that” when they can’t even get their kids to clean their own room. It’s just a matter of obedience–which we insist on–and supervision.

    I like to praise a job well done by pointing out that momma and daddy are proud of you AND the Lord is too, because His Word says {insert applicable verse} and you did that! Any virtue or ethic we are trying to teach them should have an echoing scripture to reference.


  6. Aimee
    February 15, 2013 | 9:46 am

    Just wanted to let you know that I appreciate your insight and reliance on God’s Word that is evident in both today’s and yesterday’s posts.

    I also respect your time constraints and the respect you show for your family in not posting things that could embarrass your family.


  7. Terri
    February 15, 2013 | 9:47 am

    I want you to know that I am very inspired by your posts, yesterday included. I am especially blessed by the details you share of how you actually organize everything and keep things running smoothly with a family of that size. I feel you are realistic and humble. I appreciate the fact that you respect your husband and children in not posting specific details of their struggles online. As for the negative responses to yesterday’s post, I know it is easy to read and be silently blessed, but feel “convicted” to comment when it seems something is not quite right. So I want you to know that I am very grateful to have discovered your blog, and am deeply blessed much more often than I comment. I am sure that I am not alone in that. Keep letting God use you. 🙂


  8. Smockity Frocks
    February 15, 2013 | 10:06 am

    I love you, sister!


  9. Tanya
    February 15, 2013 | 10:11 am

    Please don’t be discouraged by the negative comments, but allow yourself to be encouraged by the positive comments. Negative criticism does not always point to something in us that needs correcting. Just as you have examined yourself after reading the criticizing comments, please do the same for the positive comments-you don’t sound like someone who will become vain because of encouragement. Blessings to you and your family my sister in Christ.


  10. Janee Campbell
    February 15, 2013 | 10:15 am

    I am always encouraged by reading your blog and yesterdays post was no exception. I also suffer from the same short comings so I know where your coming from. Keep being yourself and growing in the Lord and you can’t go too far wrong. Thank you for your honesty and transparency. That too is encouraging! God Bless you.


  11. Sarah Giovannetti
    February 15, 2013 | 10:36 am

    I really LOVED yeterdays post. The timing was impeccable for me. I was having one of those “growing weary” kind of days where I felt like I was fighting a loosing battle. Your post encouraged me and we put some of the tips into practice right away yesterday and now this morning. After I talked to them about doing good things they saw that needed to be done without asking and with a joyful attitude I asked my children to clear the table and put away the dishes while I showered and dressed the babies. By the time I got done they had cleaned up the whole house instead! The truth is that their attitude got a pick me up because my attitude got a pick me up because I read the post that God laid on your heart to share today. Thank you for being a vessel and mostly THANK GOD for speaking to believers through one another and His word to encourage us! I also tried the “change your face” with my two year old. I have to be honest…I was not optimistic. Imagine my surprise when it WORKED! Honestly, I guess a little worldliness had seeped in and convinced me to accept what the world says a two year old is like and can and can’t do. Thanks again for that reminder. That said, I appreciate your candidness today and commend you for being unwilling to publicly display your children’s sins to the world. After all “Love keeps no record of wrongs”! And I am so glad that Jesus loves me enough to do that EVERY DAY!!! Have a beautiful day!


  12. Asiyah
    February 15, 2013 | 10:37 am

    Greetings, I just wanted to Thank You. I have a large family and we were recently uprooted from another country and still adjusting. I have found great strength in reading your blog and receiving your mailings. Even with internet, my connection to previous sisters has been cut quite drastically. We were supports for one another in many things ranging from spiritual to mundane. We had found that we needed to keep lifting each others vision and remind each other of the blessings and gifts that Allah (God) has given us. We would learn from one another and without trying to wallow in the muck and mire in which Shayton (Satan) would have us sink. After having shifted countries, I found myself in a shock of sorts and trying to re-adjust, bringing my house back into a better balance. Along with clinging to Allah, your blog has been a marvelous, uplifting vision. I pray all will be well with you and your family. May Allah bring continued strength in your daily walk. Amin.


  13. Tess
    February 15, 2013 | 10:44 am

    I appreciate the post today, but I didn’t really find it necessary. I found yesterday’s post VERY helpful. As a mother of two littles with a third on the way, I really struggle with teaching them to have good attitudes and obeying cheerfully and I found your post extremely helpful. I didn’t find it lazy or proud, but honest and true.


  14. Jessica
    February 15, 2013 | 10:53 am

    Thank for you this post! I was so blessed by yesterdays post but today this is phenomenal! I feel so blessed by reading this! Ok let me explain. I feel as though this is living out the Word! Even though (making assumptions here) you may feel like you have done nothing wrong you are making amends. Even if we feel that we have nothing to apologize for or that we have done nothing wrong if we know we have offended others it is our duty to ask then for forgiveness and make it right. I think I can justify this away a lot of times because I have done nothing wrong. The devil loves this attitude because it causes division! Thanks for sharing so openly. God used this situation if for no other reason than to teach me!
    I want to say again that I don’t not know Kim so I haveno idea how she actually felt. This is how I would have felt and am.just sharing what the Lord taught ME through this situation.
    Kim thanks for being a great role model as a wife, mother, and fellow sister in Christ! I’m not a mom of many but find your blog very helpful and inspiring. I will miss reading it if it was gone but I would completely understand given your time needed for you family. I have three, my oldest being 4 with one more on the way and am so busy its taken me an hour to write this! Ha! Thanks for all the encouragement!


  15. Connie Sue
    February 15, 2013 | 10:56 am

    Well…I would think an adult would be responsible enough to know what they need. I can decide whether I am going to read your blog or not.

    You go on and write what you are going to write.

    If I want to read a blog about how someone is struggling with an issue, I will. If I am looking for an ideal I will read something else. Both approaches are helpful in their own ways, depending on where I am that day. And where I am has nothing to do with you.

    I’m sure you are well aware of how to deal with comments on your blog, but I just wanted to add that I am sorry you have to deal with those sorts of things. I can’t imagine anyone saying some of the things they have written in person, face-to-face.

    You go on and keep encouraging your husband and your children. I don’t need to know all the dirty details of their failures to know they are not perfect. A goal is something to work toward, something to attain, something worth having.

    There are days that go wonderfully. Days that seem almost perfect. And then there are some that aren’t! The good is what I want, my goal, for what I am working. The goal is where my focus should be. The “not so good” days are helpful to dissect what went wrong, but not my focus.

    Now after my rambling I am going to just hit “submit.” Otherwise I will go back over it all and decide you are a big girl and don’t need to hear my two cents. That’s why I don’t have a blog. 😉
    Have a blessed day!


  16. Annie
    February 15, 2013 | 11:01 am

    So thankful you posted again. I trust that the Lord will guide you through Mark in order to continue with your blog or not. Surely, I appreciate you keeping your family as a priority!
    I will be honest, I read your post yesterday and had to sit on it a bit before really taking it to heart! Why? Because I was defensive! Why? Because I was CONVICTED!! You see, many of us want those “real” stories so that we can say “whew, glad I’m not the only one.” And most of us will do two things with that information. One, we should, Lord willing, be encouraged to continue in our perseverance in working hard for the Lord. Or sadly, two, some of us might use it to wallow in our sin. I think of the scripture that talks about not using God’s grace as a reason to continue in sin.
    What I appreciate about your blog is that you constantly refer to the Lord. You have so much scripture as your reasons for it all and it is so very encouraging. Because who can argue against the Word of God!?
    Secondly, as I read the comments from yesterday I was praying for you. Praying that the negative spirit of others would not affect your day or interactions with your family. Praying that it would turn you to Christ to be encouraged! And, as I thought of what others seemed to want in hearing the real bad days, I thought of Ephesians 4:29, “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.”

    Be steadfast, be encouraged, you are appreciated!


  17. Patty
    February 15, 2013 | 11:20 am

    I’ve been following your blog for quite some time and have always come away from each post having gleaned something. I find your posts encouraging, humbling, and helpful. I love the way Gods Word is the foundation of your home and your parenting, and I’ve never felt that you’re anything but a godly mom striving to raise godly kids. I know enough to know that you’re not perfect, because none of us are, but I also know enough to know that you desire to teach your kids Gods ways and you’re not ashamed of how he’s led you to teach them. And as far as you being more of a delegator now, I CAN’T WAIT to be in that position, because to me, being able to be in that position means that I’ve taught my kids well, and have taught them how to be responsible, diligent people. In no way do I think that delegating means you’re lazy or that you do nothing at all….delegating is hard work as well, keeping up with and looking after the kids responsibilities is just as hard as doing it yourself, if you ask me. I admire you, and look forward to your posts. And though I was in no way offended by yesterday’s post, I admire you for your humility in making it right with those who were offended. You’re honoring God and showing great humility by doing that. Thank you for the imperfect, godly example that you set for me and so many others. God bless!


  18. Ariann
    February 15, 2013 | 12:19 pm

    First, I want you to know how blessed and inspired I have been by your blog. Three years ago I was pregnant with my first and God showed me that I was not a Godly example for my future children and I needed to repent. Over the past 3 years I have been striving, with the Lord’s help to apply God’s word to every area of my life and your blog has been a great source of inspiration and encouragement. Thanks for what you do.
    Secondly, I just have to point out the ABSURDITY of accusing a homeschooling mom of 11 of laziness! You modeled Christ’s love by graciously responding to very unfair comments.


  19. Susan
    February 15, 2013 | 12:34 pm

    Dear sister in Christ,
    For two years now your website has helped me to examine how I want to homeschool and raise my children. I am a certified teacher in the country where I live, and after 5 months of prayer I left to teach my four children at home, now ages 14,12,10 and 7.
    I know that we were having a variety of character issues and things that really needed to be refined. What I was praying for was for God to do “heart surgery” in all of us.
    At first, when reading your blog I struggled with who I was in homeschooling. But – that is because I was finding out who I am not because of any amazing things you are doing with your family. I believe that you are experiencing the blessings due to your diligence and discipleship of your children. If people react harshly, I would like to have them pray and ask for clarification, as the holy spirit is gentle to convict us.
    I never imagined that your children, or you for that matter are perfect, but I did and still do believe that you have been diligent in teaching them fear of the Lord which is the beginning of wisdom and knowledge!
    My children are not perfect either, and I do get feedback from other people about wanting to switch children with me or having me teach their children. I appreciate your acts of delegating and teaching responsibility. And like the post from Annie, I agree that you are appreciated, be strong and courageous!!
    I believe God has called you to be bold for him.
    I am puzzled about your repentance for laziness. It reveals a Christ like woman, and perhaps somewhat affected by negative feedback from others. I would encourage you to remember that we are not warring against flesh and blood, but against the principalities of darkness.
    Please be encouraged to speak the truth and not feel that you have to air everything that happens in your home for it to be of a benefit to others. I thank God for your courage to talk about your family’s walk with the Lord, through homeschooling.
    The Lord has definitely used you and your thoughtful words in my walk as his disciple.
    May God bless you and your family.
    With love in Christ,


  20. Liz Morris
    February 15, 2013 | 1:17 pm

    For two years now, your words have blessed my heart and my home. I am momma to 8 children now, ages 15 to 7 months, 6 girls and 2 boys. When you had Valor and we had our sixth girl, there was a little jesting in my home about what your boys did to “earn” a little score evener. 😉
    You set the bar high with your ability to convey joy and grace in a space where most women take the opportunity to wave their dirty laundry. Yours is one of two only blogs I read daily. My oldest three girls are adopted and bring their own set of challenges to add to my collection of “littles.” Often, folks who know us comment on how nice it must be to have three big girls to help, how lovely they are, etc. I would never respond to such a comment by embarrassing my children in an effort to display false humility. Only we know the truth about how hard we strive to be a light to those around us. Only we know the long nights up with hyper emotional, broken girls spent praying for God’s truth to reign in their lives. My children are lovely, but they are as imperfect as I.
    Reading how you handle difficult situations and the encouragement that comes from the fruit you share helps me push through the worst days. My husband and I were not raised in Christ so it is refreshing to find a godly perspective on parenting. Without knowing us there is no way to briefly express how far we’ve come from how we were raised. I have NEVER felt you were being dishonest or misrepresenting your family, just that you were hoping to bring encouragement. May you continue to shine your light. Your honesty is fresh air and water in a dry, weary land.


  21. Tess
    February 15, 2013 | 1:24 pm

    It seems that others can boost themselves up by looking down on you. What a shame! I understand your methods well. Yes, the children work, but as long as we moms are working also, whether managing, or staying up late catching up on laundry, or spending time on the phone making dentist’s appointments, we are fulfilling our God-given duties. Unless we are making our kids work while we watch soap operas and munch on bonbons, or chit-chat aimlessly by phone or email, we are working together, as a team, to help one and all. It is a real part of life that we must all earn our keep, by work. It’s not always fun, but such is life.

    God bless and encourage you to continue your inspiring words!


  22. Malika
    February 15, 2013 | 3:14 pm

    Although I rarely comment, let me say that you are absolutely my FAVORITE blogger. I have learned from, been inspired, and challenged by you and your family. I read yesterdays post and saw some areas that my family can grow. I read today’s post and felt relieved that your normal and struggle. It’s not from the perspective that misery loves company. This communicated to my heart that I don’t have to be perfect for this to work. Not knowing people intimately, its easy to glamorize them and compare ourselves to them, which can communicate to our hearts that we are inadequate. How we hear something is really about the condition of our heart. You are absolutely right not to uncover your families shortcomings. I think you did an awesome job today with sending the message that we struggle and that it doesn’t come easy without saying too much. Most bloggers present their best without their shortcomings, but I think both can be used to teach and inspire. I think its important to communicate the struggle and not just the end result to encourage others that they to can do it to. Thank you for your sharing your family with me. I’m a better mother as a result. We are all growing in the GRACE and love of Jesus Christ. Be encouraged in the ministry that the Lord has given you.


  23. Nichole Contente
    February 15, 2013 | 3:37 pm

    this post was a great addition to yesterdays.
    you’re a real mom, will real struggles in a real life.


  24. Philippa
    February 15, 2013 | 4:06 pm

    I don’t believe you needed to confess/repent of anything. I found yesterday’s post so helpful – mainly in terms that I needed to be reminded that it’s OK as a mom to have the expectation on my children that they learn to cheerfully serve others, and that they should be making productive use of their time. This morning I woke with a migraine, and asked my 11-year old to take charge (I only have 2 kids), and just because I placed the expectation on her she rose to the occasion spectacularly. I can’t imagine with the size of your family and the fact that you are home-schooling them that you ever get the chance to be lazy, good for you for being organised so that everyone has a role and a contribution to make. Please don’t stop posting – there are those of us that benefit greatly from the inspiration that you give!


  25. Kirsten
    February 15, 2013 | 4:26 pm

    Interesting that a post on RIGHT attitudes would bring out so many WRONG attitudes! It’s called conviction!

    Kimberly, my family had been blessed in more ways than I can count by the wisdom and methods for practical application you have so freely shared on your blog. You continually challenge and encourage me to serve the Lord in every area of my life. Thank you for shining His light in my life 🙂


  26. Shelly Davis
    February 15, 2013 | 5:31 pm

    Thank you! I love reading your blog! Keep your eyes on Jesus. You and your children are a blessing to those of us still learning about Christian living! I love how the frown disappeared on your little boy! God bless you and your family.


  27. Andrea
    February 15, 2013 | 5:50 pm

    I have to admit, I felt discouraged after reading your post yesterday. It was just that we are struggling with one of our children right now, and sometimes I despair. I wondered if there is any hope if you often fail. I guess I assumed that you did not have the same struggles that I do in my parenting, and that may be true. But, I see now that I am mistaken. We all have struggles. I do feel encouraged now, both by your post yesterday and today. Thank you for taking the time to write a little more. Thank you for those specific verses you shared. I love the way you termed it “the Galations 6:9 years”. I will have to add that one to my memory work.


  28. abba12
    February 15, 2013 | 6:00 pm

    I just wanted to follow up that, i do love your blog and your writing and your biblical attitude. You probably wont remember but about 3, 3.5 years ago i emailed you personally, and your response to that email is a part of the reason that i have this two year old to run cicles around me.

    I certainly dont think you need to air all yur dirty lundry or give constant complaint and critisism, i suppose each family has its own strengths and weaknesses, the problem being when you only see their strengths it seems theyre good at everything, and it makes their lfe, their beleifs, seem unattainable. At least, it does to a young mum like me. I want to give up because it seems others can achieve so much morethan i ever will.

    Perhaps, also, you dont realise how some things that you find easy and natural are very hard for others and vice versa. You obviously have a particular skill and gift for gettingthrough to those tiny ones, i cannot imagine my baby understanding no or my two year old fixng her face, im a very verbal person and feel like it will be so much easier once theyre talking. but i remembered this morning when you posted about trying to become a yes mom, something that comes so naturally to me that, when you first posted it, i couldnt understand.

    It wasnt my intention to make you feel bad, i guess it was just to let you know how it came across to a young mum just starting and looking for encouragment, and instead seeing something that they feel they just cant match, can never reach. Im told it will get easier but right now i dont see it.

    Thank you for your writing over the years, it really has encouraged. Like i said, you have a baby here in australia that might not be here if not for your blogging 3 years ago, so i do appreciate it.


    Lisa Reply:


    It sounds like you inadvertently put Kimberly on a pedestal as a model of motherhood, when in fact she is just like us. I don’t think you should try to attain her lifestyle because I’m sure yours is very different.

    I can’t imagine my babies ever understanding no, either, but all babies are not created the same.. My parenting style is different from Kimberly’s, and I think that accounts for some of it too.

    All of us struggle with motherhood at times and despair that we are doing it right. I just told my teenage son that I was afraid he would turn into a social degenerate. He laughed and said I was doing a great job, that he would be fine. Good to know 🙂

    Other women can be great role models, but remember you are looking at a reflection of Christ. The better my relationship with Christ, the better parent I became. God is honoring our feeble efforts, even our family devotions, which are hysterical. They are..zoo like. Quite comical, but we are seeing fruit.

    Now I have to go because 2 of my boys just got into a fight.

    So much for fruit!


  29. Nicki
    February 15, 2013 | 6:28 pm

    Your post yesterday was inspiring! I think having a higher standard is so uncommon today that many find it shocking and offensive. You are constantly sharing WHAT GOD HAS CONVICTED YOU AND MARK TO DO, and you cannot apologize for that. Keep up the good work!


  30. Pam S.
    February 15, 2013 | 6:44 pm

    Yesterday was the first time I have ever read your blog, and I can’t figure out why you received the critism that you did. That being said, please continue to post more advice on how to work on the attitudes. I have a 7 year old with ADD that is really struggling right now, and I look for any and all ideas that might help him. Please keep posting and encouraging!


    Pam S. Reply:

    BTW, his name is Colby.


  31. Anna
    February 15, 2013 | 7:16 pm

    I’d like to start by saying thank you for opening your home and life to us to learn from. Sometimes in looking for encouragement, we Moms can actually get discouraged by comparing ourselves to others. I’d just like to remind the mamas who have younger children (my oldest is 10 years old) that we can appreciate and learn from older women without feeling discouraged that we are not there yet. Also, in my opinion it makes quite a difference whether or not your oldest few include any girls! Girls are so wonderfully in tune with the household compared to boys, and since my oldest is a boy and my second oldest is a girl I can see a very big constrast. Those of us blessed with older boys can train them to work cheerfully, but still know that they will never be like those domestic girls! 🙂


  32. Lisa
    February 15, 2013 | 7:31 pm

    I will never understand people. Just this week I had to defend myself against other Christians when I said I was going to read the Bible through in 90 days. Several people sneered, some people cried legalism and one person scoffed that it would do no good.

    I was in church when I said this.


  33. Erika
    February 15, 2013 | 9:16 pm

    Another long-time reader here and a negligent commenter! I appreciated your post yesterday and I think it’s fantastic! Our society has such low standards and expectations for kids and it’s wonderful to see moms & dads stand against that and expect a LOT out of their kids! Keep up the good work!


  34. Lisa R
    February 15, 2013 | 11:36 pm

    When I read the comments you posted in this article, I just shook my head. Especially at the first one. My guess is that she is a mom of two, maybe 3, and either has young children, or they are in school, or something. I can’t believe that a mom of more than 5 or 6 kids would ever have a problem with you delegating all the work to your kids. I have 3, and if I try to do it all, I won’t have time to read to my kids, or to have any time to relax. I can’t imagine that you are lazy very often. I mean, just managing the relationships of my 3 kids (ages 6, 4, and 7 months) is a big enough job; I can’t imagine dealing with a half dozen or more kids and still keeping up the workload that I have (especially if I were homeschooling). If you homeschool, that takes hours every day of a mother’s time. Someone has to get the work done, and unless one can afford to hire help, then it’s just so much easier when the kids do it. Plus, as you found out first hand, if the kids can run the house without you, it makes getting sick a whole lot less complicated. Right now, if I were to get as sick as you did, chaos would reign. Because even though my husband is very competent in the kitchen and very able to clean, he doesn’t enjoy laundry and would probably shrink stuff. And he isn’t familiar with all the recipes for our older son’s special diet.

    So in summary, I think the ones who are prone to criticize the previous post are really overreacting, and they have certainly never walked in your shoes! Don’t be discouraged! You have a wonderful ministry here, and I have been so blessed by what I read here!


  35. Bob
    February 16, 2013 | 12:33 am

    I was reading on my wife’s kindle tonight when I read your post. Our family is blessed by your blog. Thank you. My wife often reads it to me. I’m thankful she has a Titus 2 example like you as women like you are lacking in our church anyway. Your answers are not only full of humility but also of grace for others understanding they are being real about what they feel and that you understand not all are at the same place on the journey of life. Thank you for not getting angry at those who might seem critical. I appreciate your Christlike example.


  36. T.J.
    February 16, 2013 | 12:50 am

    Hi Kimberly! I just wanted to throw my tarnished two cents in. I think you are and your family are a wonderful example of Christ! People need to understand that you are a second generation homeschooling mom AND second generation trusting The Lord with your family. My point is, the fruit gets sweeter and greater as we keep ourselves and our children closer to the vine! God is showing us through you and yours what a multi generational family in Christ looks like. A family like yours is what I aspire to have, but being that Hubby and I are newbies in Christ we have a lot to learn and consequently are “a little rough around the edges”. The Lord did say we aren’t to compare ourselves to others. He helps me keep this in mind as He continues refining me and mine day by day.

    BTW, you are anything but lazy. :oD

    May God continue to bless you and your beautiful family! And please continue to bless us with the wisdom, hope, and courage you have gleaned!


  37. Priscilla W
    February 16, 2013 | 12:52 am

    Thanks for sharing about the Galatians 6:9 years.

    The title of your article caught my eye. I found you, from a blog list at


  38. Donna
    February 16, 2013 | 2:25 am

    Dear Kimberly.
    I am so sorry that you were criticised. I guess when we feel that other people are going well and commenting about things that we lack in, it triggers the yuck in us and brings our shortcomings to the surface and we get defensive. As much as I love blog land since discovering it a week ago, I am amazed at how people can just think they can put whatever feelings or opinions out there, or criticise other people’s lives without thinking of the consequences of their words. I have 6 children and I feel like I have a small family compared to yours. I take great encouragement from reading your blogs and I want to thank you for it. I also want to thank you for not criticising your family here as I don’t believe that God wants that. I believe He wants us to be honest with our struggles (of which I have many) but not specifically on such a public forum. Being a parent is the hardest job in the world. I do not homeschool and persecuted myself for that for years. The fact is I am a broken mum who is wired very differently and I couldn’t cope. Besides, God has created me with different giftings and am just coming to terms with them now.
    Enough of me. Thank you for being an obedient servant to God and loving Him and your family so much, but also for taking the time (I have no idea how you do it) to encourage the rest of the world. May our great God continually bless you and your gorgeous family. xxx


  39. Lisa
    February 16, 2013 | 4:46 am

    As mom of 6 and one being special needs and headed through puberty, I read your post yesterday looking for some solid answers on what to do to get him to to chores. I must admit I came away from it discouraged. I thought, “This woman has it all together. I guess that’s why she blogs.” True, I don’t know your family, but I think sharing personal struggles, isn’t exactly airing your dirty laundry. As a pastors wife, I often struggle with what to share with the ladies at church, but unless I open up a little and let them know sometimes that there is something I’m struggling with, I can’t minister to them. They may see me as the perfect wife and mom (which I HAVE been accused of by someone in our church). So I say share more of your struggles and how you deal with them! You can greatly encourage the rest of us on our mothering journey! I will keep reading and was very touched by your heartfelt apology!


    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    Thanks for your comment Lisa.

    I agree that we can learn from, pray for and walk beside Christian brothers more fully when we know some of their struggles. I’m very open (often to a fault) with people face to face. Also, if you read some of the posts that I linked to above, you will see that back when I had more time to blog I shared more of my personal struggles.

    However, this blog is a VERY different venue than the ladies in your church or my real life friends and acquaintances.

    This blog is visited by about 2,000 people each and every day, about 14,000 people every week and more read it by other means. . Some are believers and some read because they HATE everything that this blog stands for. So just as I wouldn’t stand on the street corner and tell passing strangers the faults of my husband and children, I won’t be doing that here.

    The primary reason that I don’t currently share more of my struggles is simply that I don’t have the time. I suppose I think of it like this, I take time away from my family every week in order to share my thoughts and things I’ve learned with strangers and many aren’t happy with my efforts, they want more or different. Immnot sure what the solution is, but Mark and I are confident that it’s not pouring more of my time into this blog, my family, church and real life friends need that time.

    May God bless you as you seek to serve Him.

    (If you are looking for solid ideas on how to get your child to do chores, I’ve posted about that previously, please read the articles linked under the heading the middles. Within those articles are linked more posts about chores and training children to work all with concrete examples and ideas (like scheduling a meal or snack right after chore time) for getting children to work hard.)


    Kari J. Reply:

    Well said! Although I thoroughly enjoy reading blogs, I’m always left puzzled with how these women take care of their families & “real life” relationships when they seem to be spending so much time on their blogs. This is not a judgement, but more of a curious thought, because I can’t imagine handling it.

    I appreciate your candid responses, your clear submission to your husband and your caution in what you post regarding how it will affect your family. You seem to have found a good balance with the recognition that it changes with different periods of your life and with direction from your husband.

    You show how real biblical womanhood works & that is truly refreshing. I know few women today who live it or even have any idea what it is — I expect it’s mostly because they have not seen it lived out, not because they refuse to accept it.

    Although our parenting styles may be somewhat different, I am continuously encouraged by your posts. Thank you for sharing your life. And, thank you for sharing some of your struggles with specific sins — I happen to have the same struggles. 🙂 I’m not smiling because I take them lightly, but it’s encouraging to hear another sister admit the same issues and her recognition for a need for repentance and forgiveness.

    It is a blessing to read about how you and your family seeks to do God’s will above your own. Well done.


  40. hijabgirl
    February 16, 2013 | 5:34 am

    Just want to say that you must not have any kids with language delays – my son could not ‘use his words’as he did not speak until later and telling children who are young to do this is damaging when they physically can’t as it only adds to their frustration and feelings of failing. As a family where stuttering and late speaking is common i just want to point this out for those people whose kids don’t speak – let them draw or use signs until they are ready to speak – they aren’t doing it to be rebellious – we all mature at different rates. The same thing also applies to handwriting


    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    We do not require children to say things that they are not capable of saying.

    Just as we start handwriting when they display a readiness for it, so we require them to speak when they are capable of it.

    That has been at different ages for each of our children.


    Emily M Reply:

    I have a child with language delays and other issues. I guess when I read another person’s thoughts or ideas on how they raise their children, I read it with the filter of my individual children in mind, and think about what would work for us, what wouldn’t work, or what I could modify. Perhaps I misread the tone (as that happens a lot in written word) but I think your comment comes across a little harsh toward Kimberly. I don’t think she implied anywhere you should push a child who isn’t ready to do things they aren’t capable of doing. It is not her intention to make anyone feel bad about themselves or their children.
    I know how frustrating it can be to try to communicate with a child who has delays and cannot always communicate back. It’s ok to read someone else’s ideas and realize that may not be realistic for your child at this time. And if need be to sincerely comment that due to language issues that some of the standards are not realistic for your child, and maybe others need to feel that encouragement as well. But I don’t see reason to “call her out” in this manner. Obviously Kimberly cleared up any confusion on the issue.


  41. Donna
    February 16, 2013 | 6:13 am

    Please remember that Kimberly is only saying what she does with her own family. She isn’t saying it is the only way. I also have 6 children. 1 has Autism and I have 2 very high needs children and 1 of those going through puberty also. We need to pick out things that will work for our family and leave the rest. Remember that God made each family and person within that family uniquely and wonderfully made. She isn’t saying that her way ‘fits all’. She is just sharing with the world what works for her family. Please try not to be so sensitive as she isn’t trying to tell us what to do. Kimberly seems to be to be just trying to encourage the world In her way. God sees us all and wants to help us all – every family -in every way. He loves all of us unconditionally. Bless you beautiful mums.


  42. Ashley
    February 16, 2013 | 11:05 am

    I just heard a great sermon on envy Wed. night, and it really struck a nerve with me. It’s very *very* easy to look at others and feel envious and discouraged. If we look where we are supposed to be looking, unto Jesus, we will help ourselves avoid some of this striving that is rooted in envy.

    There are certain blogs I run up against, and begin to feel envious and discouraged. I avoid those like the plague, not because of the blogger, but because of my personal sinfulness.

    We are each given a special race to run. If we spend that race looking around at all those running around us (on different courses no less), we are missing giving our best in our race. You can’t run as well when gawking at those around you.

    Kim – I come here, as a mom expecting a 5th blessing, needing some practical help in how to do this whole larger family thing. You’ve shown consistently in your posts and comments, fruit of a true believer and someone that has acquired wisdom. Today, I’m reviewing your herbal rememdies for a little guy with the start of a cold. You’re a help and blessing and today’s post turning the other cheek to those who lack discretion with their “cyber-tongues” do possess some major spiritual fruit. Blessings!


  43. Karyn
    February 16, 2013 | 1:40 pm

    Dear Kimberley
    I just want to say that I love you! I know that we have never met, but we are sisters in Christ and you and your special family are such a blessing to us. Karyn


  44. Emily M
    February 16, 2013 | 4:48 pm

    You have been a great source of encouragement to me. I have found your blog to be challenging, inspiring, and practical as well. I thank you for taking the time you do to blog.

    I’m sorry that others were so critical of your post. I didn’t read it until after I had read this post, however I still don’t understand the criticism. I found it helpful.

    I know that I often let criticism get under skin and it can bother me for a long time. I hope that isn’t happening with you. But I want you to know I am praying for you. 🙂


  45. Farrell
    February 16, 2013 | 5:02 pm

    Wanted to say most of all how I appreciate how you handled yourself in the face of criticism and attack. My husband is the lead pastor of a church and we see far too often the results of people responding wrongly when attacked. I was so blessed by your calm and humble, godly response.

    I will admit that I have sometimes wondered if some blogger’s children could really be real, lol! 🙂 I have thought to myself “there is NO way my child would respond that well to that” – and it may be true for various reasons. Just among my close friends’ children there is such a large amount of varying temperments that it blows me away sometimes how differently they respond then the way that my kids would. And I certainly am trying to learn to examine myself as well and realize that even in situations where I feel like we have been very conscientious and consistent, there is often still room for improvement.

    We are blessed with four extremely strong-willed children and with God’s help we will raise them the best we can! 🙂


    Farrell Reply:

    As far as different temperments goes – I vividly remember a few Christmases ago someone posting on Facebook asking for suggestions what to do with their Christmas tree because they had an almost one year-old who wouldn’t leave the ornaments alone. There were several suggestions including putting the whole tree in a playpen, putting it up on a raised table, etc. Then there were several posters who quite strongly (and some rudely, I feel) said that if you told a child ‘no’ firmly a couple of times they would never do it again.

    I thought the first couple were joking, to be honest. Are there seriously kids that would work on?! Now we’re talking very very young babies/children, so not kids who have had five years of permisiveness to learn that mom and dad don’t really mean no.

    Every one of my four kids at around that same age went through a phase where they would climb up on to the dining room table over and over and over again. Every. Single. Time. I would take them down and firmly say ‘no. No climbing on the table.’ Usually with a swat to the bottom. Every one of my four continued doing it probably 30 times a day for a few weeks, then finally gave up, I can only assume.

    I admit that I had quite a crisis of confidence in my parenting reading these snarky comments from other parents that ‘kids need to be told no, all you have to do is actually say no a couple of times and they’ll get the message and never touch it again.’ It had never occurred to me that a child might actually stop climbing up on the table after being disciplined only two or three times. I didn’t know what I was doing wrong…I was doing exactly what ‘they’ said I should be.

    Anyway, it was an eye-opener to me on how different kids can be as mine are all very similar – they do have some differences obviously, but in temperment they are extremely close.


  46. zoe
    February 16, 2013 | 5:02 pm

    I really appreciate your blog and your tips/advice/insight. I’ve put a lot of it to use. thank you.

    you touched on this a little in both of these recent posts, but I’ve been battling something I can’t quite figure out how to handle…or even verbalize well. but I’ll try.

    I have 3 young children (newborn, 2 yo, and an almost 4 yo). I try to discipline, teach, and train my kids with biblical truths. I battle how to teach them to be self controlled, kind, loving, etc when they aren’t yet believers. they don’t have true fruit of the Spirit. how do I encourage them in their “successes” and guide them through their sin without raising moralists and quality “performers”?


  47. jayme @ No Regrets Living
    February 16, 2013 | 5:10 pm

    Man, makes me glad that I don’t read the comments on many blogposts! People can be negative! I wonder why they read your blog if they don’t want to hear what you have to say? Even if you don’t agree with someone, it’s no cause to be rude.

    Maybe it’s just me, being a mom of one 10-month-old that just says “Well, that’s her way of dealing with things. Wonder what I can implement? Wonder what fits our family’s personality?” Take what inspires and resonates and be happy for her that she has what’s working for her.

    It’s just so easy to be mean and rude when you are anonymous!


  48. abba12
    February 16, 2013 | 5:24 pm

    I fear my attempt at an apology has come accross just as badly as my original comment, and now ive made it worse trying to respond on connies blog, and probably coming accross as if im attacking someone there too. Im not trying to hurt people. Im just a stupid, fairly new christian from an awful background with no experience, and very little understanding.

    I do understand ive done something wrong, though i might not understand what, and for that i apologise, i never meant to hurt anyone. I wasnt setting about to make hateful comments, im not a troll, just a very stupid child in God i guess, and i havent yet learned something that was apparently important here.


    Elizabeth Reply:

    Hey there,
    Just wanted to take a second to encourage you. I don’t think the other post was at all aimed in your direction. I saw nothing out of line with any of your comments (although I am reading quickly as my kiddos are running around like crazy people right now! They are 3 and 1.) I saw your post as simply an expression of where you’re at and that’s allowed! Don’t allow yourself to continue to worry over it! 🙂

    Us moms have to stick together, lets just raise this kiddos we’ve been blessed with up the best we can looking to others for wisdom and advice but trusting God with it all!!



    Smockity Frocks Reply:

    Abba12, I really do love your sweet heart. I wasn’t trying to publicly chastise you, but merely point out to the many folks who feel “less than” that nothing of the sort is meant by our blog posts.

    I meant to write in a general scenario way, because the type of thing I wrote about happens frequently.

    Please, forgive me for being harsh.


    Monique Reply:

    Abba12, take heart!! Many of us have been fairly new, stupid Christians (I would say instead, young and growing(: ). And some of us are old, stupid Christians! Hugs and blessings. Do not grow weary in your growth. Relish some spiritual stretch marks. And I’ll be sure to read this to myself tomorrow when I get discouraged too 😉


    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:


    I don’t believe that you’ve done anything wrong. I do not know your heart or the motivation behind your comment.

    I’m just a mom like you who is struggling to serve the Lord the best that I can. Mark and I believe that part of that service is to share some of the things that I’ve learned by blogging about them. Just as I’m not a perfect (and often not even a good mom), I’m not a perfect blogger. However, since I publicly share my beliefs, life and family with thousands of people daily, this opens me up for lots (and lots and lots) of criticism and much of that criticism rightly hits home.

    This is what I’ve learned through this situation, I can not possibly please or even help everyone who reads here. There was absolutely no intent in that last post to come across as arrogant or that I have it all together. I’ve read it over several times and I still don’t see it. However, for you it evidently came across that way. My take away from this is to prayerfully do the best that I can and leave the results to the Lord that He will use my imperfect words for His honor and His glory.

    I can only speak the truth in love to the best of my ability, repent when I fail and keep my focus on my God and my family.

    And so I take a deep breath and look ahead, praying that the negative feedback will help me become more like Him who died for me and that I may seek the praise of God and not the praise of man.

    Grace and peace,


  49. Heather Mac
    February 16, 2013 | 6:36 pm

    Thank you, as always, for sharing your journey. “Never tire of doing good”. I have been blessed just by reading the comments of your lovely supportive readers. GOD IS USING YOU KIMBERLY! Trust in what He has purposed you to do.

    Love you! Remember, we have all sinned, but I do not necessarily see sin in yesterday’s post. Conviction of truth does strange things to people in a world so warped by sin, as evidence by some recent comments. Keep the faith!

    Covering you, and all others, in LOVE AND PRAYER!


  50. Michelle Bonneau
    February 16, 2013 | 7:22 pm

    I found your blog today by a hap instance incident through another blog lol . I Know you are catching so many harsh words for both your post yesterday and today. I think you have nothing to apologize for ! You were well written, Well ministered and well mannered in both yesterdays and today’s! I know I for one am Joyful about finding your blog I do not currently have a Church and home school with very few people I know in my area besides my good morning girls group via facebook and the inspiring joyful of the smockitys and a few other blogs women like you are my Titus two. So thank you for any wisdom and advice that is headed my way in the future and I will be praying hard for you. The naysayers can be an evil bunch 🙁 I think the teen expression for it is a haters going to hate yo 😛 thought I would try an attempt at a smile and a Joke ! God bless and Keep on!


  51. Monique
    February 16, 2013 | 9:17 pm

    WHAT!?! You’re NOT perfect?!? Dagnabbit!!! I *KNEW* something was amiss 😉

    To the lovely ladies who feel discouraged, lay down your hurts. There are two ways which we can view someone who has a working method or is successful in things with which we are struggling. We can pout, steep in our defeat, and ask those successful ones to tone it down a little bit. After all, we’re struggling over here! (by the way, I’m REALLY good at this!). But here’s the thing; standing around sharing defeats with sisters in Christ usually only serves to pat ourselves on the back for our failures. After all, we can’t be that bad if others are struggling just as we are. OR, we can simmer down and adjust our lens. God has dropped someone in our path with experience and encouragement, wisdom, and some possible pragmatic applications. Glean with gratitude, and set aside what won’t work for your family. But don’t despise the messenger, in your heart, or in your comments.

    Hugs to all!


  52. Kristi
    February 17, 2013 | 12:09 am

    Hi Kimberly,
    I saw absolutely NOTHING offensive in your first post to this question!!! I think many women….when young-er can take offence because frankly they just are not mature! They are not mature enough to realize how blessed they are to have the technology to receive such wonderful advise! I gleaned so much from your answer and am encouraged by your blog. Please do not be discouraged in well doing….there are people out here who thank God for your courage to “put your life out there”. Thank you for being that Titus 2 woman who blesses not only the “younger women” but also your peers, which I am! Please don’t be careful about sharing things that some people may interpret as you saying your family is perfect – the majority of us know that that family does not exist and realize that is not what you are saying – please share……we love it! May Jesus bless you and your family!!


  53. Tasmanian
    February 17, 2013 | 4:13 am

    I’m devastated to hear the criticisms. My friend and I had a great chat about your post yesterday – the things we found challenging or different from our own families, as well as the reminder that teaching our children to serve CHEERFULLY is an important part of Christian parenting. I taught my four year old a new household task as a response, and realised I tend to request my kids look after their own stuff but not so often serving the family. (Maybe a FEW serving the family things, like bringing shopping in from the car.) I often refer my friends to you 4 Moms.
    My husband and I are excited about the new phase of our life as we have our fourth child soon – which puts us in the “huge family” category in suburban Australia! You 4 Moms are inspiring, encouraging, honest and helpful. Thank you for your blogs.


  54. Louisa
    February 17, 2013 | 10:02 am

    Hello! Can’t tell you enough how much you encourage me in your posts! Keep up the great work with your kids…you are a good thing in my life! Blessings! Yesterday left me wanting more…more for my kids, more in my discipline as a mom and wanting to read the rest of the story. Thank you! You are being a great Titus 2 woman!


  55. Christina
    February 17, 2013 | 10:05 am

    Thank you for the encouragement and clarification. We have experienced some intense struggles in the area of hard work lately with our 3 oldest children. Reading this second post, I realized they are all 3 in the “Gal. 6:9 age” and it is my responsibility to be diligent in their training. Thank you for offering hope that this season will reap joy if I fail not!


  56. Bambi @ In the Nursery of the Nation
    February 17, 2013 | 5:50 pm


    Yours is one of the *few* blogs I still read. I don’t NEED someone to help me keep comfortable in my sin. I NEED women who call sin what it is–and keep the standards high in raising up the next generation. This is why I love RO. I have at times (many, many times) felt conviction when I read your posts. If we are Christians we should *welcome* that conviction from the Lord! It is evidence of His grace and leading in our lives!

    I KNOW you are human, you fail…(we are all lazy and prideful at the root) and yet The Lord has poured out His grace on your family and is honoring your obedience to Him. I am so thankful that you blog. I know (boy do I know) how discouraging it can be at times and how putting yourself and your family “out there” and vulnerable to ones who don’t know you…is risky. We can (and do) get hurt.

    I also want to say that I believe one of the reasons the 4 Moms has been so useful/popular/fun is *because* of the diverse personalities in the bloggers and their families.

    Praying for you today, sister. Weary not! Persevere and stay in the battle! Love you…Bambi


  57. Amanda
    February 17, 2013 | 7:53 pm

    You may feel like your entire blogging career has been a Galatians 6:9 season! But let me add to the chorus of , please PLEASE keep up what you are doing. We’ve never met, and I rarely have/take time to comment, but I love your blog and you are a Titus 2 presence in my life. My husband and I admire your courageous and sacrificial approach to raising and educating Godly children as defined by Scripture–which you clearly love, study, and use as a measure in your lives. Because we have the grace of the Holy Spirit in our lives, those in Christ can reject condemnation (of our adversary the devil) and except the life-giving admonition of the Lord’s gentle conviction because He has already given us EVERYTHING we need for life and Godliness! Thank you for what you do for the Kingdom of God!


  58. Betsy
    February 17, 2013 | 8:10 pm

    I am curious how your use the phrase, “I’m disappointed,” with your little ones. I’m assuming you teach them to say that instead of crying about somehthing? Could you maybe flesh that out a little in a future post?

    I was very convicted and inspired by your last post. Thank you for laying out a vision of what a family can be like. I know that your family is not exceptional, in that others in the past have expected and required such attitudes from their children. I know this because I have read so many books (Little House books come immediately to mind because I’m reading them with my little ones right now!) where the parents have succeeded in cultivating the same environement you’ve described.

    The Lord continuously uses your writing in my personal growth as a parent. I thank you for the mentoring you’ve provided!


  59. Tracy
    February 18, 2013 | 1:19 pm

    I don’t think your previous post was arrogant or otherwise discouraging at all. I have learned quite a lot from your blog and found a lot of inspiration for my own family. Ignore the negative and snarky comments, these people don’t live in your home or know your family at all. There are also websites dedicated to snarking on Christian blogs so you just may have been the target du jour for them. Shake the dust off your feet and move on. Thanks for all your willingness to share your life with us. 🙂


  60. Mellissa
    February 18, 2013 | 3:54 pm

    I just want to say that I think you’re awesome. I think of you as a Titus 2 example and wish I knew you in real life (hope that’s not creepy). I appreciate this post, but also have recognized your realness in other posts. I wouldn’t read your blog if I thought you were puffed up. I know you have a genuine heart with a desire a great desire to train your children in the goodness of the Lord and I can relate to that. Be encouraged dear Sister. 🙂


  61. Amanda Sikes
    February 18, 2013 | 8:37 pm

    Thank you so much! I am often so encouraged by your posts. My oldest is 10 and I often feel weary and discouraged. Often wondering if she will ever serve without constant reminder. Will she ever see a need and do it without my asking. Thank you for the encouragement.


  62. Ellie
    February 18, 2013 | 9:22 pm

    In defense of delegating house work: My amazing mother kept an immaculately clean home, homeschooled us, hosted, did ministry and cooked healthy feasts from scratch. I grew up and got engaged and thought this young man was in for a treat! Daughters become their mothers, right? My mom was amazing so I would be too! Day one of marriage I realized I knew how to do NOTHING but ask my mom for help. She was amazing but never delegated and I entered marriage not even knowing how to scramble eggs or wash a load of laundry! So with my 5 kids I am trying to delegate work as well as responsibility so they’ll be set to run their future homes. There is no way on earth a delegating mother can be lazy and get good results. Anyone who has tried delegating knows it’d be tons easier to do as my mom did and get the work done alone!


    Mellissa Reply:

    this is a powerful comment! [thanks :)]


    Tonya Reply:

    I can say the same thing! Ellie totally described my life. I now have 5 children ages 2 – 7. Teaching them responsibility and how to properly complete the chores I give them is so much harder and time consuming than just doing it myself. This blog constantly encourages me to keep plugging along and not get weary in well doing. Kimberly, continue showing us young mothers how to accomplish this great responsibility before us with the insight born from experience. Great post! Thanks for sharing your life with us.


  63. Candi
    February 19, 2013 | 12:21 pm

    Thank you for your openess and vulnerability to your real life. God uses your blog to speak to others and to give real life applicable tools. Unfortunately, the internet (where people aren’t face to face) is a place where commenters can misjudge, prejudge others faults without any repercution. They can’t see the plank in their own eye when they’re hiding behind the computer screen! As of recent, I am especially thankful that you shared your idea of using journals as a way of communication and expression with your kids. It has been a blessing to implement this with my own littles. May God bless you and your family!


  64. Serenity
    February 19, 2013 | 1:55 pm

    You have encouraged me more than anyone has in the past three years since I started reading your blog. I never realized how much parenting is a MASSIVE task! I used to think if I taught my children manners and how to do chores I would be fine. WOW! was I incorrect. The “why” matters so much more than the “what” sometimes and I never got that until I found you:) In fact, when my oldest son was one I read Tedd Tripps book Shepherding Your Child’s Heart and I was so offended that I threw a silent fit in my head for days! You made me understand, for the first time, that the heart is what matters, not just externals! You changed my life (for the better) more than I can say. I actually went back and read Tedd Tripps book after listening to you and was absolutely broken at how much I have messed up in the past eleven years. But God is gracious and you encourage me to keep trying even when I fail. Thank you 🙂


  65. Natalie
    February 19, 2013 | 2:36 pm

    Please keep on with your blog. I printed out all about scheduling and Bible reading from your blog. I only have 6 children, but no family nearby or church as support. You and 2 other lady’s blogs have been helping me raise wonderful children and keep a happier, peaceful house for my hardworking husband to come home to. Please keep up the great ideas and encouragement.


  66. Val W.
    February 19, 2013 | 2:46 pm

    Thank you so much for your posts! They are so encouraging and are a great inspiration for me as a young mom of three kids, ages 5 and under. I hope you will continue to write in the same manner as you have been, despite any criticism. I really appreciate seeing examples of how to practically apply Biblical standards to family life.

    I don’t feel like you are trying to present your family as perfect, you are simply stating your family’s standards and expectations (and it’s awesome that they are rooted the Bible)!

    Please don’t stop doing what you are doing, and keep sharing with us – it’s a ray of hope in this world that keeps getting dizzier and darker.


  67. Kate
    February 20, 2013 | 1:38 am

    Loved your other post & love this one as well. I was just talking to my husband about how high I have set the bar. My mother thinks my standards are unrealistic, but they were set by the Lord and I have a right to expect them in my home & from my children. He gave us these commandments and requires that we teach them to our children.
    Kim, we are not here seeking mediocrity. We are here for help. Your wisdom is so beneficial and I thank you for sharing.


  68. Annie
    February 20, 2013 | 6:35 am

    To add my voice to the chorus, I too am thankful for your blog! RO is one of the very few I still read because I feel your family, your ministry as a mother and wife and woman of God is truly authentic. I feel, through the blessing of the Internet, The Lord has allowed your blog to touch lives, particularly mine, and through out the week I refer back to your posts to search for wisdom and advice and recipes! I have another friend who will print out your blog posts and put them in a folder for when she needs to refer to them. Of course the Bible is our ultimate standard and where I go first and formost, I am still so thankful for who you are, your family and for your blog! Too bad we can’t be neighbors! I would love to have coffee and to chat with you! I feel as though I would glean so much more from you in person!
    Keep up the good work you a doing! May The Lord continue to bless you and your family!


  69. Katie
    February 20, 2013 | 12:16 pm

    Ok, I admit it of all the “four moms” I read your blog most faithfully, and today I realize the reason is we are more alike than the other ladies. I too am lazy, and have trained my kids to do the work. I too fight the battle of pride. I am so grateful for my husband and kids who are patient and loving with me and encourage me more than they know. Thanks for your honestly today. Writing a blog is so hard to make others understand that you are leaving out the nitty-gritty not because it isn’t there, but because you want to be an encouragement and give glory to God, and not be a person of complaint and discouragement. You did a good job of letting others know you are human and only by the grace of God do you make it through each day. Blessings


  70. MomStarr
    February 20, 2013 | 2:16 pm

    I feel compelled to comment since I do know Kimberly and Mark and have known them for a long time.

    1. Mark and Kimberly are not perfect
    2. their kids are not perfect (though a true delight to be around)
    3. They are an extraordinary Christian family who have faithfully though not perfectly believed, obeyed and taught the Word of God in their home.

    I do suspect that Kimberly chose olive as her blog theme to illustrate the hard work required to raise children in the fear and admonition of the Lord. She and Mark have definitely worked hard and they bear the fruit.

    When we see a Christian family like this one we can praise the Lord for His faithfulness and be greatly encouraged and inspired as I am EVERY TIME I am fellowshipping with this family.

    Kimberly’s desire is for all of us who name the name of Christ to believe His Word and strive, BY HIS GRACE, to obey it….you too will bear the fruit of righteousness.


  71. Amber
    February 22, 2013 | 5:41 pm

    I guess I was never offended by the first post. I still appreciate this one because I relate more to it, ha ha! It’s a hard balance to post to encourage while being honest and humble while not being negative or complainy! I definitely haven’t mastered it. For me, it’s one extreme or the other. I think you balance things well, and I appreciate it. I know the amount of work it takes to put in to get these results, although as you’ve stated, it’s God who changes the heart, so this just gives me something to strive for. I especially appreciated the Galations 6:9 bit because I am a mother of littles with my eldest being almost 5 and 6 and feel like I am CONSTANTLY and impatiently delegating EVERYTHING! Thank you for your humility and your wisdom. I truly enjoy and am inspired by your blog.


  72. Stephanie
    March 26, 2013 | 12:17 am

    I don’t think that I have ever posted a comment though I have been enjoying the 4 Moms for a few years now. What a blessing. As one commenter wrote, it is the difference in perspectives that helps the whole experience, per se. I love and respect your dedication to keep from exposing your children or husband’s sins on the blog. Your blog always sets a high standard…but GOD has set our standard as CHRIST! If people don’t think that there is going to be a lot of work, a lot of change, a lot of prayer, a lot of conviction and just A LOT of everything to achieve that standard, I wonder if they know HIM. Really. God does the work…and He has used your blog to do many works within me toward the goal of conforming to His image and raising children geared to do the same. I, as someone else mentioned, have printed many of your ideas, schedules, etc. and benefitted greatly from them. I, like the one who read Tripp’s book, have often come away convicted to change…and that’s never pleasant or easy…but I am always grateful. Blogs are so difficult. I thank you for the ministry that you and your husband decided to create through your participation in this blog and I do hope that you will continue it in some form or fashion. I do not have a Christian family or upbringing and I have saved you in my favorites as a friend. How richly the Lord blesses…even through technology. Thank you for being a true friend in so many ways. Do not give up! (And, thanks for the breakdown of ages because I too believe there is some kind of reaping in the later years and there seems to be much more work in the early planting years…and repetitive reminders!)


  73. Jodie
    April 3, 2013 | 10:16 pm

    Your standard for raising your children inspires me so much. It encourages me and makes me strive for better when I really want to give up sometimes. I love your comment about the middles being the Galatians 6:9 years. I am feeling like such a failure as a mom this week so that was like a breath of fresh air for me. Jesus is using you on this blog. Keep shouting out the truth!


  74. Viki
    June 11, 2013 | 10:35 pm

    Kimberly, I just think you’re great. THANK YOU so much for taking the time to impart just some of your wisdom to us (to me!) I have gotten so much from reading your site. I have five little ones (ages 7y down to 15m), and at times, I feel as if I’m drowning. But if I can read your blog and get just one thing to help me wage this war (can I call it that?) of raising little ones, then I feel I’m doing good. It’s going to be a slow process for me, but I am so thankful for women like who you are willing to share with mommys like me. 🙂


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