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I'm a mommy, wife, chauffeur, zookeeper, reader and book reviewer

Monday, May 30, 2011

Fathers do not exasperate your children

Ephesians 6:4 Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.(NIV)

“Honor your father and mother” and “Obey your parents” were preached and taught often when I was growing up, but I always wondered about this scripture. What does it mean to exasperate? Dictionary.com says: “to irritate or provoke to a high degree; annoy extremely.” Why didn’t they talk about this one? How exactly can fathers, or either parent, exasperate their children? At first I thought “Isn’t just being a parent annoying and irritating to kids?” But then I realized even proper parenting can be taken to the extreme. Reminding your child to pick up their things can turn into nagging. Encouraging them to improve can become overly critical if done in the wrong tone. Seeing or hearing a parent do something the child is told not to do can be very confusing to a child. As adults our lives get busy with deadlines and commitments, and spending focused quality time with each or our children should also be a commitment. And children don’t react the same as adults when they are irritated or annoyed. Their behavior will be altered—sometimes acting out in anger, sometimes acting out for attention, sometimes withdrawing because they feel undervalued or unwanted. So the next time we recite “Honor your father and mother” or “Obey your parents” maybe we should ask ourselves if we are doing anything (or not doing something) that would exasperate our kids. We can’t expect our kids to behave any better than we do.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011


I think I’m starting to understand why parents didn’t trust my suggestions when I was teaching but before I was a mom myself. Ok, so I didn’t know firsthand what it was like to raise kids, but it wasn’t like I hadn’t been around kids before. I have to wonder sometimes where “experts” get their ideas, though. Is it firsthand experience? Is it classroom and textbook theory?

Like when my daughters were potty training and the “experts” in the books said NEVER be negative about an accident and ALWAYS say it’s ok you’ll do better next time. My daughters took that to mean they had permission to have an accident. When we used positive reinforcement (a.k.a. bribery), they were fine with only earning something (Hershey’s kiss, M&M, mini-Reese’s) once per day—in other words, success once per day.

Or how about the experts who say allergies don’t make you lethargic? When I’m sneezing my head off, my eyes are itchy and swollen, my nose is running like a faucet, I’m feeling pretty lethargic.

How about overweight doctors? Need I say more?

Then there are certified dieticians that recommend giving your child diet sodas instead of sugary sodas and juices. Really? I would think that a limited amount of fruit juice is better than soda AND diet soda. Better double check your research on artificial sweeteners. Some of those can be worse than sugar itself.

Now I’m reading an article in Going Bonkers magazine by a psychologist about social phobia. This expert warns about safety behaviors that people practice thinking they are helping, but supposedly make you more nervous. For example: If you’re afraid of saying something stupid or boring, your safety behavior is to plan everything out in your mind before you speak. I do this frequently. I thought it was called “think before you speak.” Oh, and you’re not supposed to go over anxiety-provoking situations after the fact. Really? I would have thought it would be a good idea to think about what went wrong, figure out how to improve so you don’t make the same mistake again. Don’t torture yourself with the mistakes, but how do you improve if you don’t consider what went wrong for a moment?

And how many times have “experts” argued and given us conflicting information?

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Like a Christian Parnell Hall

The Corruptible (A Ray Quinn Mystery)The Corruptible by Mark Mynheir

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Corruptible by Mark Mynheir is a cop driven mystery. Ray Quinn is a former cop turned Private Investigator/Detective. He is coming off a case investigating a cheating husband when Armon Mayer calls. Mayer owns Mayer Holdings—a company with a lot of money, but no one really knows what it does, only that it has high profile clientele. Mayer hires Quinn to find a former security guard who has hacked into Mayer Holdings systems and downloaded sensitive information and then disappeared. Logan Ramsey, the former security guard, had many enemies and few friends. Quinn worked with him briefly in narcotics, but Ramsey was known to go undercover a little too deep. He seemed to go rogue, getting lost in the undercover world. Things get complicated when Ramsey turns up dead but the satchel containing the stolen information is nowhere to be found.

Though I figured out who the killer was before the end of the book, there were several unexpected twists and turns that kept the story interesting. It was a fairly clean read with maybe a few questionable words. I think the style is similar to Parnell Hall. Though Ray Quinn is the main character, he is not a Christian in this storyline which made for an interesting angle for a Christian murder mystery. I am interested in reading more Ray Quinn mysteries by Mark Mynheir.

I received this book free through the Blogging for Books program from WaterbrookMultnomah to read and give an honest review.

View all my reviews

Pilots and Christians

I read a story by a pilot friend of mine about the importance of checking all the instruments and gauges on the dash of a plane or jet. There is a gauge called an attitude indicator and the standby is a gyro. The attitude indicator is the instrument that shows you up from down. Some younger pilots will tend to ignore the gyro because it needs more maintenance—it needs to be righted after big turns and rolls. This friend wrote how even he tended to ignore the gyro in his younger days. There was one day he was thankful he maintained his gyro and paid attention to all the instrumentation—the day his main attitude indicator went out. If he had continued to only pay attention to his main indicator, he would have continued into a nosedive and crashed. Instead, by maintaining the gyro and watching all the other instruments, he was able to right the plane and land safely—with a little help from the approach controller.

As I read that story, it reminded me so much of our Christian lives. We can walk into a situation and ignore our initial reaction, our conscience, our attitude indicator. We can make excuses. We can try to rationalize. But if we read our Bibles every day and keep the communication open with God and surround ourselves with Christian friends who will keep us accountable, we can still right ourselves instead of crashing and burning in temptation.

Proverbs 15:22 (New International Reader's Version)
22 Plans fail without good advice.
But they succeed when there are many advisers.

P.S. You can read the pilot’s story here:
The Ops Check That Saved My Life

Monday, May 9, 2011

We all have a choice

I watched a video of one of my friends presenting a devotional of sorts at a Christian high school assembly. While I liked what he had to say and how he said it, I was surprised at the comments.
• So according to you those kids who are atheist or who don't believe in your version of a monotheistic god are … flawed? What a disgusting thing to say at a school and to kids....
• so thank you for willingly contributing to the ignorance of our future generations
• “It's just sad to see kids being mentally circumcised and brainwashed like that. being a christian school and faith based doesnt mean you deliberately close their minds with crude statements like that man, cmon.... there are many moral codes but they are all flawed? why don't you people give these kids a chance to make up their own mind instead of force feeding them that kind of [bull]. it's just so sad. it should be agents the law and a form of child abuse....”

First off, it’s funny that this commenter would talk about circumcision since God started that one in the Bible. But if I’m not mistaken, every parent from every religion of the world brings their kids up in their religion. Kids are raised on the religion of their parents. Even if you don’t “force feed” them or “shove it down their throats” they will still learn it by watching you. Parents lead by example. And who says these kids don’t have the chance to make up their own mind? If they’ve made it to high school, they have a brain and they can think. If they can choose whether to be a cheerleader, a jock, a book worm then they can choose what religion they will ultimately follow. If they can choose which college to attend, which major to study, which job to apply for, which career to pursue; then they can choose whether to continue to worship as their parents do or go another way.