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Summer Reading Help

Posted by on Jun 30, 2015 in A CHERISHED FAMILY, Beyond 18 Summers, Blog | 0 comments

Once upon a time I was a children’s librarian, and I opened our school library once a week for summer reading. I learned early on that young mothers who had loved reading during their own school years were often at a loss when helping their children find books that 1) satisfied reading interests and 2) fit the reading skills. Here are the books I shared with those mothers to help match young readers with suitable books. Honey for a Child’s Heart by Gladys Hunt is now in its 4th edition (Zondervan, 2002, 256pp.) Honey covers how to choose good books as well as how to encourage children to be avid readers. This edition includes over one hundred pages of some of the best children’s classics. Books Children Love by Elizabeth Wilson (revised edition, Crossway, 2002, 320pp.) is an anthology...

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Bring the Books

Posted by on May 25, 2015 in A CHERISHED FAMILY, Beyond 18 Summers, Blog | 0 comments

Moms and dads, a love for books is a wonderful trait to instill in your children—one that will benefit them in school and in the years beyond. Books can provide opportunities for better communication for you and your child as you read together or discuss your favorite books. Some of my favorite memories are connected to books I read in my childhood . . . and during my teen years . . . and . . . even last summer. I love to read. And I don’t feel the first bit of guilt about the importance of making time to read. Do you remember Paul’s request from the depths of prison? He asks Timothy to “bring the cloak that I left with Carpus at Troas.” He needed the warmth, but he wanted his books. The verse goes on to...

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Role Reversal

Posted by on Apr 27, 2015 in A CHERISHED FAMILY, Beyond 18 Summers, Blog | 0 comments

“May I help you wash your face and brush your hair?” I asked. The answer was swift and harsh. “No!” I wasn’t surprised, and I wasn’t upset. As illness took its toll and robbed her of her memory, Mom refused my help more and more. It didn’t matter how much she had forgotten of our mutual history; it didn’t matter that some days she didn’t even know who I was. She never seemed to forget that mothers care for their children, not the other way around. Washing her face and brushing her hair were not tasks I should do for her. Of that she was certain. Others in similar circumstances have probably experienced the same kind of resistance to the parent-child role reversal. It comes with the territory. There is another kind of role reversal that comes as you...

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We Spill

Posted by on Mar 31, 2015 in A CHERISHED FAMILY, Beyond 18 Summers, Blog | 0 comments

Children spill. If you are in the midst of your eighteen summers, this is not a news flash. Children spill water and milk and juice. It seems the stickier the drink, the greater the likelihood it will spill. Children spill toys they are carrying; they spill tidy stacks of books or papers. They spill off of bicycles. Their eyes spill tears. Their spills can cause stains and breakage and disarray. And for you, the parent, these many spills can cause frustration. Children spill. But here’s the thing: mothers and fathers and grandparents spill too. We still spill some of the same things we spilled many years ago, but we also spill words. Some of our words spill out on others as gracious words, kind words, or words that bless those who are splashed by them. But some of our...

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Posted by on Feb 27, 2015 in A CHERISHED FAMILY, Beyond 18 Summers, Blog | 0 comments

I lost count of the number of blogs and articles I read last year that focused on what not to say to folks who were living with extreme life challenges. The articles touched on what not to say to those diagnosed with various diseases or those in the midst of deep emotional or physical pain.  The specific articles were varied, but the common thread was a call to exercise caution. And I appreciated that message with its various applications. These articles raised awareness about situations and sensitivities I have not experienced, and in that way they were helpful. But as I read article after article, I began to fear that I would not simply be cautious in what I said to others, I would become cautious to a fault. And that would take the shape of silence. Here’s the...

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May I Help?

Posted by on Jan 27, 2015 in A CHERISHED FAMILY, Beyond 18 Summers, Blog | 3 comments

I sometimes get stuck on one section of Scripture. I turn it over and over in my mind and work to figure out how those words are put into practice in the 21st century. The passage I’ve been working on includes these words from Titus 2:3-5: “The aged women . . . teach the young women to be . . . keepers at home.” First thought—How many candles should be on my cake for me to qualify as an “aged woman”? “Aged” can be translated “elder,” “older,” or the gentle “senior.” I have resisted that “older woman” part, because I still think of myself as fairly young. But do you see what is implied in the passage? There are two women mentioned in that verse. If I am alone, I am not older or younger than anyone, but as...

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