Today DH and I attended a new Sunday School at our church. It is called “Beyond Obedience” and based on a new chapter to Reb Bradley’s small book “Child Training Tips” and it expresses so well the parenting journey I’ve been on the last two years! Finally I can talk to others and share what the Lord has been showing me.

But let me back up a bit and explain a bit about where I’d previously been in regard to parenting. I think it is important to note that though my DH and I actively wanted and tried to have children early in our marriage, it was 9 years of marriage before God answered our prayers. Nine years of getting older. Nine years of becoming more selfish. Nine years of quiet. Nine years of cleaning and having it stay clean. Nine years of tears and prayers for a child. When J1 did join our family at 17 mos old….to say it was an adjustment is to be totally and completely understated. We are still adjusting. And, I supposed every new parent does have an adjustment period. But having a child join your family who already can walk and sort of talk and do somethings….well, that was an adjustment. We had unreasonable expectations of him and of parenthood.

We are readers. We read some good books. We read some bad books. Sadly as new parents we didn’t recognize the bad from the good. And, we didn’t trust ourselves. I now know that if I need to err on any side, I need to err on the side of love and grace. The books that told me that I needed to expect my child to come when I called….everytime….without a comment or complaint……well, those books brought out the worst in me. I became a dictator. And, I needed to first teach my children how to love me and others. Obedience would come with that love. Ok…I’m trying to be circumspect and not share the titles or authors names….because it really wasn’t about them. It was about me. I wanted obedience because that was easier….but I forgot that I was raising a little creation of God and God had made him a certain way (talkative for one thing LOL) and he needed his mommy to listen to him once in a while…not order him around.

So, I’ve been on a journey – and I’ve come to repent of my earlier ways. I wasn’t sure what I needed to do now – I didn’t want to raise little hellions. And I didn’t want to spoil them. I needed some balance. I’ve been looking for others who understand where I am and where I’m going.

Here was one part of what was shared in SS this morning that had my soul screaming “Yes!! Exactly!!” Praise the Lord!

Sadly, many parents do not value love as the highest virtue in their own personal lives, and therefore content themselves with simply raising their children to be obedient. They justify such an approach, insisting Christ taught that those who learn to obey are learning to love. Obedience certainly can be a trait of love,[4] but to subdue our children’s wills and then neglect to teach them to love is like building the foundation for a house, and then stopping construction. The foundation is absolutely necessary, but the goal is the house. So too, obedience and respect which spring from a subdued self-will represent important elements of the foundation, but they are just that – foundational elements for the building of love.

This came from Reb Bradley’s Website…..I hope you will take few minutes to check it out! And, thanks for listening…I’m still not confident that I can express myself well….but I hope you can hear my heart!

Well, today we didn’t let the boys watch television. And, we put up the GameBoys. Yes, they’ll live!

After a few hours of detox 😉 they actually realized there were things they could do! They strapped on their skates and hit the sidewalks. Then one of them discovered how great a sound it makes when you skate over a snail. Then they threw the snails into the road and cheered when they got ran over! Who needs snail bait! LOL

1. Are you a yarn snob (do you prefer higher quality and/or natural fibers)? Do you avoid Red Heart and Lion Brand? Or is it all the same to you?
I use RH and LB for my kids – it will hold up to anything and washes like a champ! But I’m enjoying more natural fibers! I don’t have the budget to be a snob!

2. Do you spin? Crochet?
I crochet

3. Do you have any allergies? (smoke, pets, fibers, perfume, etc.)
No…but I don’t like the smell of smoke/pets.

4. How long have you been knitting?
About 2 years

5. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?
I did…but then I deleted it…It made me really greedy….I want, I want, I want. Ugh!

6. What’s your favorite scent? (for candles, bath products etc.)
I like vanillas, Gardenias, just about anything….except roses. Love the real thing…but in scents – ugh.

7. Do you have a sweet tooth?
Yes please! LOL I like cinnamons and chocolates!

8. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do?
I’m starting to scrapbook again and I crochet.

9. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD)
I like country, Christian contemporary music, classical. I don’t have an ipod or anything…I don’t even have a CD player in my car! LOL But I can play CDs on my laptop or stereo.

10. What’s your favorite color? Or–do you have a color family/season/palette you prefer? Any colors you just can’t stand?
I love purple. I really like just about any color. Not overly fond of orange and brown though.

11. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?
I’ve been married to my DH for 18 years – we have 4 sons. J1 is 10, J2 is 8, J3 is 4 and Josh was only with us for 8 mos (5/29/02-2/22/03)

12. What are your life dreams? (really stretching it here, I know)
hmm…how about what I do for a living? LOL I’m a sahm and home educator. I also do independent contractor for a homeschool magazine and web design for some local organizations (mainly volunteer).

13. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with?
I like it all! Natural fibers feel the best!

14. What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?
That ‘fun fur’ – ugh – not worth the hassle!

15. What is/are your current knitting obsession/s?
socks – going to make Christmas stockings for my extended family.

16. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?
Whatever I’m working on right now!

17. What are you knitting right now?
A purple shawl, socks, sampler from “The Sweater Workshop” by Jacqueline Fee

18. What do you think about ponchos?
I wanted one, but I couldn’t find a pattern I liked. Now I’m afraid I’m behind the times!

19. Do you prefer straight or circular needles?
circular

20. Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?
I don’t like the screech-screech sound of aluminum…makes my skin crawl!

21. Are you a sock knitter?
Yes

22. How did you learn to knit?
I went to a class at the local Adult ed. Then I started reading books!

23. How old is your oldest UFO?
2 years

24. What is your favorite animated character or a favorite animal/bird?
I like the muppets! 🙂 And, I collect Lambs – my nickname is BelovedLamb

25. What is your favorite holiday?
Thanksgiving

26. Is there anything that you collect?
Lambs and Willow tree figurines

27. What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have?
I can’t decide which one…I got a subscription for mother’s day…but haven’t redeemed it yet.

28. Any books out there you are dying to get your hands on
Yes! I really wanted to read Yarn Harlot’s book – but haven’t had the chance to treat myself to it!

We went to our family cabin – don’t get excited, it’s very rustic! – this weekend. My mom, my sister, her hubby and three kids, me, my hubby and our three boys and my brother, his wife and their new baby, Kaya:
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It was really a working weekend…we had to make lots of repairs. We all hope to go up again later this summer to just relax and enjoy it! Here are some pics from this weekend:

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My niece, Caleigh, practices her writing

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A cold J3 has a snack

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One thing we do up there is eat well! My BIL was learning how to use his dutch oven – it was a success!!

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J2, Caleigh and Connor enjoy the heat of the fire

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Uncle Eric and the kids tending the fire

We are very blessed to have a family cabin up in N. California (above Stony Ford for those of you who are local) where we will be meeting my family (My mom, My sister & BIL and their 3 kids, My Brother and SIL and their new baby) for the weekend. It is also Joshua’s birthday weekend – he would have been 3 on Sunday if he had lived. It is very hard but being with family helps. Take care y’all and see you next week!