Let Your Yes be Yes!

How many times through the years have I caught myself telling one of my children "No" when they asked for something, only to realize I should have said "Yes"? Or how many times have I told my child either Yes or No and then allowed them to get me to change my mind with little real reason? Makes me feel humble, to say the least!

As the mother writing for this blog, I'd like to share some of my thoughts on this because it has to do with training up a child in the way they should go. And also because it has to do with living by principle, and by doing so, living a more happy, fulfilling and complete life as a parent (not to mention making my child's life happier in the process!).

My mind goes to the admonition in the Word of God, telling fathers to not provoke their children to anger. (Colossians 3:21) I've always applied that to mothers (i.e., myself) as well as dads. What does  "provoke not your children to anger" mean? The scripture goes on: …

Savor The Moment!

Last week it was spices, now I'm suggesting we savor! you agree the time of year may be affecting my thinking? Well, the changing hues and shades of autumn's leaves do usher in the holiday season of  Harvest parties, Thanksgiving and Christmas, all of which include mouth-watering, savory foods!

These holidays are special times of memory-making which will most likely be embraced by our children later in life as part of their family heritage. Although the exact details of each holiday gathering may become elusive over time, the feelings enjoyed will linger in children's memories for the rest of their lives. I know I savor memories of some wonderful holidays from my childhood! 

Early on, in writing for this blog, I mentioned that an older lady once told me the happiest times of her life were those years when her children were the ages mine were at that time. She sparked in me a desire to make the most of my experience being a young mother of active and imaginative c…

Variety is the spice of life!

"Variety is the spice of life!"
Haven't we all heard that saying?

When I think of spices, my mouth waters, contemplating the many herbs, spices, and flavorings I've used through the years in making savory roasted meats, hot spiced cider, delicately flavored cakes, and flavor-packed cookies. Mmmmm! I do love to cook!

Well, it wouldn't be fair of me to omit a humble confession that cooking was sometimes nothing more than a chore during the years when I was the "chief cook and bottle washer" for every meal. Those years, I had to work at keeping it interesting. Part of my efforts included making sure my spice cupboard was stocked. Even during the lean years, my kitchen seldom lacked herbs and spices. Although variety isn't everything, it certainly can be refreshing, even inspiring!
________________________________________________________________________________ While spending time with my grandson recently I pulled out an old children's song book, qu…

Are you ready?

"Emergency!" That cry gets the attention of almost anyone, especially if the cause isn't known. Is it a house fire? A critical auto accident? A seriously dangerous weather condition? There are many kinds of situations that can suddenly turn a mundane, going-through-life-with-no-surprises sort of day into a time-sensitive life and death drama. Thankfully these don't happen often in most of our lives! Yet, when they do, what do we do?

Today's principle for living highlights the value of being ready for anything. But not just prepared to survive; rather, thriving through it and assisting others.
= Be Ready! = As you may have caught from past posts, being out in the wilds was an enjoyable feature of my childhood. We laughed about the idea of being "snowed in" so we could avoid returning to the city and enjoy being surrounded by nature a little bit longer. 
My parents took time to teach my siblings and me (we called ourselves "us kids") many surviva…

Train, Then Breathe as You Delegate!

Since this blog is geared toward helping parents by sharing principles for living that helped me be more joyful as a mom, I bring you today's topic knowing how it helped me. As a mother of 5 children (birthdays spanning 10 years), with all of us actively involved in some form of volunteer work for Church, juggling was part of life. Yes, I understood this was a way of life for many families; still, I sought means of minimizing chaos without ceasing from these out-of-the-home activities. 
I had lived under the old adage If you want a job done right, do it yourself. This way would surely lead to some sort of breakdown eventually! However, my efforts to find ways to operate our home more smoothly led me to an unexpected change of perspective: My personal involvement in every little thing going on in my home was NOT essential. Wow! How very freeing, how ultimately liberating that concept was for me! That was a huge step for someone who loved order, cleanliness, and maintaining a peacefu…

Points of Reference

Among my favorite memories from my "growing up" years are those times my family spent beside Ollalie Lake. Renting a rustic cabin for up to a month at a time, many conveniences known as necessities today were non-existent. Meals prepared on a woodburning range, evenings lit by white-gas lanterns, and lake water drawn from an outdoor spigot were only some of the ways life was different at Ollalie.  I enjoyed a myriad of outdoor activities: fishing, row-boating, hiking, swimming, campfires...the list could go on.

The principle for living I want to present today has a parallel in one of those activities: rowing a boat. Since it's normal to face the stern, or back of the boat, when rowing, I couldn't simply steer while facing the direction I wanted to go, as in driving a car. I learned from my mother and grandmother that it was important to use points of reference when rowing, especially when heading to shore to dock the boat at the end of the day. 

We often brought our …

Do It Now!


Time to get up!

It's time to go!

Dinner time!

Vacation time!

I wonder how much money I'd have if I had been given a dollar for every time I've heard someone say "I don't have time". I've said it many times myself! There is one commodity in life we all have, yet usually don't think we have enough, regardless of who we are: Time.

Although it seems the young among us have longer to use their allotted time, the truth is this is an illusion: none of us know how much time any of us have to live life.

The principle for living I'm bringing to your attention today is based on this fact: We don't know how much time we really have, so we should use our time to the best of our ability. That said, I propose adopting this practice:
Do It Now! Since the Word of God is our instruction manual for living, it only seems right to point to it now. My interpretation of James 4:13-15 goes along these lines: "You say so confidently t…