Monday, June 30, 2008


"Train up a child in the way he should go, even when he is old he will not depart from it." Prov 22:6
I am reading the book Grace Based Parenting by Tim Kimmel and this is what he says about this verse.
"Parents assume this verse is saying that if we raise our children in a Christian home, take them to church and Sunday School, point out the pitfalls of the corrupted world around them, and maybe put them in a safe environment then when they are older they are going to embrace the moral and spiritual presuppositions they were trained with in their youth...The problem is, I can come up with plenty of examples of kids who were raised according to the parameters that I just outlined, but they rejected the spiritual training of their youth when they got older. When parents see this happen, they wonder if God broke His promise to them. The answer is "NO." ...What is amazing to me is how so many people continue to misapply Prov 22:6.
The "train up a child" part has an interesting usage when you break down the Hebrew text. The expression "train up" is used in other Hebrew literature to describe a maneuver that ancient midwives used to cause newborns to begin the sucking impulse. Right after birth, they would take the juice of crushed grapes or dates and put it on their index finger and massage the baby's gums and palate. Besides developing the sucking responses, this would also cleanse the newborns mouth of amniotic fluids.
When used in Prov 22, the writer is saying that we should use childhood as an opportunity to build a clean and healthy thirst for life that God has uniquely designed for that child.....One of the most accurate English synonyms for this Hebrew word dereck would be the word bents.
This is how the same word is translated in Ps 11 referring to the bend of a bow.
If you were making a bow out of a tree limb, you'd first study the limb to figure out what its natural "bent" is. Then you'd string it. If you didn't do this, when you pulled the bow back it would snap because it was strung against its natural bent rather than with it. In the same way we are to groom our children according to their natural bents. This means coming alongside them with a plan to help leverage their natural and unique gifts and skills into highly developed assets that they can lean on in the future. also means that we should study them enough to know which natural bents they have that push them in the wrong direction. They might struggle with an inordinate amount of fear, shyness, stubbornness, agrumentiveness, dependence, independence, sexual drive, or need to take dangerous risks. We can't make these liabilities disappear, but we are to raise them in such a way that we account for them and give them tools to help process them properly."

I think this is great perspective and I want to write more about how I see this playing out personally in my life later. Love to hear your thoughts.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Just an FYI

I wanted to pass along to you all a bit of computer info from my handsome and completely computer savvy husband. If you ever leave your email address in a blog post comment or even a post you need to put some random spaces in it or something. There are computer programs designed to surf sites, blogs too, and grab email addresses to add to junk mail list of ALL kinds if you know what I mean. The programs are designed to search and retrieve words followed by the @ and words followed by the . com so here is the way John told me to write them to protect my email address.
amyjanecook at gmail dot com

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Fun Family Time

Friday, June 20, 2008

Keeping it together

I realize that my life (and my post) have mostly been consumed with my health of late. Hives are still living at my house but I am learning to live a little more pleasantly with them. I am determined to live life again this summer. It is shaping up to be a fun and busy summer.
For years, I have had a life management notebook that houses everything for me. There are seasons that it doesn't get used but for the most part it is a vital daily/weekly help for me, my family and household to run smoothly. Thought I would share it with you. I also decided recently that since this is such a main commodity in my life that I should jazz it up and make it more creative. I have been working on doing such in my spare time and I have to say I am extremely pleased with the results. See for yourself. Hope it gives you some ideas as well as inspiration.

front cover

zipper pocket for supplies

section 1 - scrapbook paper cut (with a tab) cut to size and laminated

the spine

Sections of Notebook:
1. Calendar - I keep 2 calenders in here. 1)a whole year at a glance that is on one page 2)monthly calendar - this is where all my stuff goes first.
2. Master Schedules - just what it says. a copy of every ones daily schedule stays in here. This changes periodically depending on what stage the boys are
3. Planning & Evaluation - this section I try to use regularly. It is a commitment of my time but it very much helps me run life more smoothly. To me this is worshipful as well so there are often times that it becomes my time with the Lord that day. In this section are monthly goals for my whole family. This helps me know what to specifically be working on in training each of my children, it helps me not get overwhelmed when I see sooo many areas that need working on - it keeps me focused and patient. It gives me an opportunity to weekly think about how my marriage is doing, how I am doing, what needs to happen in our family, etc. I have a few sheets that I have with questions to help me evaluate and plan. I also have a quarterly evaluation (very thorough) that I put together from my proverbs 31 study a few years ago. Sometimes this lengthy evaluation happens and sometimes it doesn't.
4. Home Care - in this section I keep my cleaning schedules -both weekly as well as monthly, quarterly & yearly. I will however admit that at this stage of my life I have made a choice to slack on my normal cleaning expectations. I do get my weekly chores done (most of the time) but sometimes the extra stuff doesn't happen. It is something that I see is best for this season of my life while my children are young and at home and requiring extra tlc. This season will pass all to quickly and I will resume extra tlc to my house but for now only the necessities. I also keep in this section any ideas that I come across for decorating that I really love. I keep the paint colors of my house in here as well. Basically anything pertaining to my house.
5. Menu Planning - I keep this section in my notebook and it has a few things in it but I do most of this from my computer so there is very little that goes in here. I do have a Wal- mart aisle guide that has an aisle by aisle list of what is on each aisle. This has made grocery shopping for me absolutely 100 times easier. I highly recommend it. I will tell you more about how to do this in another post. I also have blank aisle guides that are my grocery list. If I get a new recipe (very seldom these days) I stick it in here so that it is with me when I plan my weekly menus.
6. Finances - will hold our budget and envelope system. John does our finances now so at this point it is mainly for me just to have a copy on hand.
7. Family - this one is full of helpful stuff. This is where my thinking and planning is kept for my boys - more long range stuff. If I have ideas that I have found to help teach them whatever we are working on it goes here. All 3 boys (John too) and myself have a section in here. John's has a sheet entitled To help me think for him. It does just what it says. Also principles for relating to my husband. Just gives me a place to corral my thoughts about him and our marriage. The boys has same gist but geared toward each child. Mine doesn't have a ton but if there are some things I want to spend time thinking about or looking up later. List of books I want, etc. me stuff. I also have a section for family fun ideas. I keep up with summer movie schedules at the park, free nights places, fun ideas if I read or hear them somewhere.
8. Holiday Planning - this keeps list of all my holiday traditions (which I am really big on!!!) as well as ideas for the holiday, decorating tips. This is not just for Christmas folks - all holidays that I deem worthy to celebrate :) and birthdays to. Helps me with pre-planning.
9. Special Projects - this is just what it says. List of to do's for each project and resources I may need. This can range from house stuff, hobbies, VBS planning
10.Resources - this has a page with a list with all our medical information, docs numbers, etc. I also have a list of websites that have been helpful for various reasons. I also keep articles that are good resources for whatever.

I will post again soon about how I make use of my notebook. I may also do a post on how to put one together for yourself(?). Hope you enjoy!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

A Golden Nugget

I found a very big golden nugget today and wanted to share it with you! I have been looking at this book for a while now but wasn't sure if it was age appropriate for my boys. I decided to bite the bullet and get it knowing that I could use it eventually. It is amazing!!! It specifically breaks down sins and struggles and gives you ideas, scripture refs, consequences etc for each one. I very much see that natural consequences work best in a lot of cases (especially with my 4 year old) but often struggle with what exactly that consequence should be. She tells you and gives you scripture to back it up. It is an amazing resource for a parent that longs to teach and train your children with the Word.

For Instruction in Righteousness is the title. Here is the link.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Perspectives of a 4 year old

So this weekend John went and played golf with some of his buddies on Saturday - to kick off his father's day weekend. I took the boys to Mcdees to play since we have been cooped up in the house sick all week (me too which means more hives). After McDees we went to target to get John a small gift. His big gift that is last year's christmas, father's day and birthday all in one will be coming on July 11 (check the apple store for details about what happens on that day - it's the front page of the website :)) Anyway as we entered Target I told the boys that we were going to get some of daddy's favorite things and here is how the conversation preceded with the boys - Jake is 4 and Brady 2:

M: What do you think some of daddy's favorite things are?

J:Well he loves the gum that taste bad. (those artic chill gums that are so strong)

M:Ok well let's get him some of them

J: He loves coffee too.

M: That is a great idea Jake. Brady what do you think daddy likes?

B: a paci

M: (laughing) Brady a paci is your favorite thing not daddy's

J: yeah brady you love paci's and if we were shopping for my favorite things we would buy a toy

M:Yeah that's probably right Jake

J: Mom if we were shopping for your favorite things we would buy diapers!!!!!!!

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Why Forgive

God has been so very alive to me this week. He has made His presence known to me in many great but emotional ways. One night this week John and I sat before God and really battled a big decision in our life. It was so encouraging to have a husband that I can do this with. Afterwards we were both emotionally spent and John's response was "I need some liquor and ice cream." So he went and scooped him a bowl of coffee ice cream and poured Kahlua over it and vegged in front of the TV. I was sitting in there with him and started talking to him and he reached down while I was talking, grabbed the remote and turned the TV UP!! This really hurt my feelings (and is very unlike John) so I kind of snickered and said something and headed to the bed room. When he got back there he said I am sorry. In that moment I got so mad because I was hurt and felt like I needed more from him before I could forgive him. In that moment, I felt God whisper in my ear - "you forgive because you have been forgiven....period!"

So I said to my husband "I am so mad that God calls me to forgive you just because you ask me to." I really was so frustrated. So I told him that I forgive him only because I was suppose to - (I am aware that there are some heart issues lacking here :)) So the next day I was mulling over the issue (we were fine by the way it wasn't that big of a deal because it was a freak thing and way out of character for John so I wasn't livid or anything - just a little hurt) and I begin to think about my relationship with God. So often when John and I have disagreements i do want more than forgive me or I am sorry. Often I feel like he needs to "do" to be forgiven. I realized that this also is my view of my relationship with God. I don't accept his love and forgiveness period. I feel that He loves me more and forgives me more if I "do"

I think this was such a paradigm shift for me in understanding how God really loves me. I know that His love and salvation is a gift and nothing more but to really be able to put an emotion to what a sacrifice he has made to love me so. In my heart I felt that I needed to be mad at John so that he would prove to me he was sorry and then he would deserve my forgiveness but God said that is not true. He says to forgive only because I have been forgiven. I love John more than anything on this earth and I always want for our relationship to be "right" but in that moment I struggled to forgive.

Oh what love the father has lavished on us that we should be called the children of God and that is what we are!!!! True repentance - I did it, I was wrong, please forgive is completely sufficient for my Father because of Jesus sacrifice. He forgives me when I ask....period. I am overwhelmed with love for my Father.